Sunday 16th of May 2021

mr pickwick lives in the white house...

pickwickpickwick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is becoming clearer, to a certain extent, what US President Joe Biden was referring to in his comments about the first conversation (since his inauguration on January 20, 2021) over the telephone with China’s leader Xi Jinping on February 11 of this year. During a discussion with US senators the following day, the new US leader made a strange statement. He warned that the PRC would eat USA’s lunch if America did not “step up its infrastructure spending”.

 

Even at the time, it was reasonable to assume that the President was, in some sense, concerned with PRC’s global Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This international infrastructure project can, in fact, be viewed as a real-life embodiment of the global socio-economic and philosophical concept – a “community of shared future”, described by Xi Jinping during his famous speech at the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos.

In his remarks during the visit to the Delaware Air National Guard base in Wilmington DE on March 26, 2021, Joe Biden mentioned his telephone conversation with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The US President said that they had talked about the PRC and the competition its was engaging in via its Belt and Road Initiative. He also suggested that a similar initiative coming from the democratic states could help “those communities around the world that, in fact, need help”.

At around the same time, an article in Reuters reported that Joe Biden was planning to unveil a multi-trillion – dollar plan to rebuild America’s infrastructure in Pittsburgh the following week. It seems that the word “infrastructure” has special significance for the current US leader. This article will, however, focus only on the foreign policy-related aspects of these plans.

To start with, it is important to note that the essence of China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative could be (roughly) described in three points (using Joe Biden’s terminology). Firstly, the lunch does not belong to “USA” or its allies, i.e. to any particular group of nations, but to everyone (the entire human race). Secondly, its preparation is still in initial stages, and in order to successfully complete the “cooking” process, it is essential to work together. Thirdly, the lunch, once it is ready, has to be shared with everyone so that no one goes hungry.

In fact, given some imagination, one could even discern similar ideas in Joe Biden’s brief remarks about the initiative from democratic nations, aimed at helping those around the world who are most in need. Hence, the concept behind the “democratic BRI” deserves some attention.

First of all, it is worth noting that the strategy behind PRC’s One Belt One Road initiative (currently referred to as BRI) did not materialize in 2013 out of nowhere, i.e. it was not based on pure theory. By that time, China had already visibly successfully expanded its economic clout in nations referred to (quite arbitrarily) as “underdeveloped”, which are home to most of the world’s population.

In other words, the “assistance” that Joe Biden and Boris Johnson are planning (?) to provide has long been offered by the country that they both seemingly have issues with. At this point, it is worth pointing out that leaders of the “democratic world” should look for the source of these problems in their own countries too.

Continuously increasing assistance offered to the “underdeveloped” nations by the PRC was a recent topic of discussion in the New Eastern Outlook in connection with Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s tour of a number of African and Southeast Asian countries, his recent visits to the Greater Middle East are also noteworthy but they warrant a separate article.

Probably the main issue with the Biden-Johnson initiative is the fact that it is anchored on the idea of a potentially divided world and global confrontation, which will invariably occur on all fronts (including the economic, political and quite possibly military ones).

Several years ago, during a discussion about various projects aimed at developing infrastructure in Southeast Asia (which started as a result of PRC’s plans to establish the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank), it came to light that the sum required exceeded the worth of all the available financial assets in the region, which in theory, could have been used for these needs.

Still, the lack of necessary funds was bound to become an even bigger problem as decisions on how to allocate them would have to be made during the implementation of initiatives linked by similar aims.  And this was the situation leading up to forecasted global cataclysms, whose victims were, first and foremost, nations and people who the US President said were the most in need.

Is it possible that the idea of offering assistance to the aforementioned via the “democratic BRI” is nothing more than propaganda aimed at masking the political goal behind this initiative, which is to counter the growing popularity of USA’s and its allies’ key geopolitical opponent in the “underdeveloped” world? All in all, it would not be surprising if the answer to the aforementioned question was in fact a “yes”.

After all, the three previously defined points applicable to China’s BRI look, in all likelihood, as utter heresy in the eyes of current US and British elites, whose ideology appears to be based on that of Crusades and colonization and repression. Who would even come up with such an idea of “working together”, when it could be far simpler to just “come and take”.

Judging by a number of statements made by Joe Biden himself and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, an alliance of “democratic” nations will act as a counterweight to autocratic regimes, specifically that of China (together with Russia), i.e. the initiator and key implementer of BRI.

Taking into account the way the key exercise in democracy in the United States proceeded in 2020, the “democratic” values being promoted are unlikely to encompass, even in name only, the rule of the people. And the word “democratic” (which has positive connotations) will probably only be used to describe countries that are either current or potential allies of the US.

The idea of creating the aforementioned alliance is not new, in and of itself. In fact, it has, from time to time, been the topic of political debates and discussions. For instance, last year, Boris Johnson announced his plans to invite India, South Korea and Australia to the scheduled G-7 Summit, which, in 2021, will be held in Great Britain. It was not surprising that the Prime Minister of the host nation was able to make such a proposal, which, in turn, prompted political scientists to talk about the possibility of establishing the “democratic ten”.

It is also noteworthy that the idea of creating such an alliance must have arisen to counter the suggestion of former US President Donald Trump to invite Russia to the G7 Summit, probably, in order to breathe some life into this seemingly pointless organization.

However, it is unlikely that the (hypothetical) D-10 has any chance of becoming anything but a forum (i.e. yet another Pickwick Club or a platform for endless discussions). And as we are all aware, at present, it is easy to lose count of similar organizations. It is seemingly premature to talk about the Democratic 10 while the Quad is yet to expand beyond a forum (and may even fail to do so) for one obvious reason, in the author’s opinion, – different approaches of its participants towards China. And one of the main reasons, why various alliances, such as the Quad, Democratic 10, are being created is to counter PRC’s global influence.

In conclusion, it is worth pointing out the key difference between the current states of Xi Jinping’s BRI and Joe Biden’s hypothetical democratic alliance. The former is in the process of being actually implemented. In fact, this initiative was born at least ten years prior to the announcement about it by the Chinese leader. In contrast, little is known about the latter, other than the vague statements made about it by the current US President.

If the author were to ask what developments (if any) to expect from the idea behind the “democratic” BRI, the answer, at present, would include pure conjecture and not evidence-based forecasts. After all, there is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the ever-changing factors that influence the way the current stage of the Global Chess Game is going.

 

 

Vladimir Terehov, expert on the issues of the Asia-Pacific region, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

 

 

Read more:

https://journal-neo.org/2021/04/06/president-joe-biden-s-answer-to-bri/

 

 

assangeassange

deranged commentators...

 What would US-China war really mean?

 

By Paul Malone 

Apr 7, 2021

 

Do the commentators who talk of war with China actually think about what this would mean?

 

“Military conflict in the Pacific, which would certainly involve Australia, is becoming more likely,” Greg Sheridan, The Australian’s Foreign Editor proclaimed on the front page of the paper in March this year.

 

But what sort of a war with China is he and his like-minded cold-warriors trying to provoke with their constant stream of articles predicting a war?

Perhaps one like those war games you find online where the Chinese would line up in yellow and the United Sates troops, dressed in red, white and blue with Australia at its side, faces off  on the beaches of Taiwan?  Or maybe our cannon-armed sailing ships would take on their junks in the Taiwan Strait?

In continually writing about and promoting war Sheridan and others such as Peter Jennings of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), provide no depiction of the conflict they envisage. They seem to assume that the world would roll on as normal while these two nuclear-armed superpowers go to war.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) estimates that the United States has 5,800 nuclear warheads and China 320.   The Union of Concerned Scientists believes that fewer than a hundred Chinese warheads and bombs could reach the United States. But even a fraction of that number could kill hundreds of thousands of people. If only one was detonated over New York an estimated 583,160 people would die.

How can we be sure that the war that Sheridan, Jennings and others envisage, will not spiral out into a full nuclear conflict?

The US’s provocative action in sailing fleets of warships off the Chinese coast — euphemistically designated as “Freedom of Navigation” exercises — could provoke an incident that leads to war.

So too could a lone US warship manoeuvring in the region and bumping into a Chinese ship.  Collisions between US warships and other shipping have occurred in the past. In 2017 the USS Fitzgerald and a Philippine-flagged merchant vessel, the ACX Crystal, collided south of Tokyo Bay in the East China Sea, costing the lives of seven US sailors.  Australians will also well remember the June 1969 tragedy when the USS Frank E Evans crossed the bow of the aircraft carrier Melbourne during a training exercise in the South China Sea. Seventy-four US sailors lost their lives.

The commentators most commonly foresee the war being fought over Taiwan. Jennings bluntly says “President Joe Biden’s first international crisis will likely be over the future of Taiwan.”  Sheridan, who takes his riding instructions from the US Pacific commanders, reminds readers that US Admiral Philip Davidson says Beijing could invade Taiwan within six years.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is always “the baddie” in these cold-war scenarios. After stating that military conflict with China is becoming increasingly likely Sheridan says his words are not hysterical, they are the implicit message in the words of President Xi at the March National People’s congress in Beijing.

But is President Xi really saying anything different to what the Chinese have said in the past? 

No! For decades the Chinese have stated their strong views on Taiwan without launching an all-out war. In 1995 then US President Clinton expressed an interest in visiting Taiwan. Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping responded in exactly the same way as Xi would today. He said the status of Taiwan was at the crux of Chinese-US relations. “If this question is not handled properly the result could be very explosive.”

Put simply the Chinese government has always said that Taiwan is part of China and for that matter the Nationalists who fled to Taiwan after the civil war and established government there also agreed that the island is part of China, claiming that they were still the legitimate government of the mainland.

Australia accepted the Taipei claim until the establishment of diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China in 1972. Australia’s Joint Communiqué with the PRC recognised the PRC Government as China’s sole legal government and acknowledged the PRC’s position that Taiwan was a province of the PRC.

Jennings says that in his view Xi thinks he can exploit a window of opportunity created by COVID-19 and the change of US president to accelerate China’s ambition to take over Taiwan.  But he also notes that the Chinese Communist Party’s objective is that Taiwan should be under its control by 2049, the centenary of the party’s takeover in Beijing.

2049! If that is true it hardly seems that the Chinese are intent on rushing to war. And it’s hardly likely that XI will still be president.

What such a timeline does suggest is a patient process, one that might see ever increasing trade and investment between Taiwan and the mainland, leading to closer co-operation and gradual integration. It’s certainly not in China’s interest to see the region that has flourished in recent decades torn apart by conflict.

Nevertheless another of the cold warriors, Clive Hamilton claims that the United States is not going to unilaterally undertake some sort of military action, but Beijing might do so.

Hamilton conveniently forgets Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam and a host of other unilateral US military operations around the world.

But could it suit the US to provoke turmoil in the seas off China? Might the US hawks believe, as US generals did during the Cuban military crisis,  that the US has the ability to knock out the enemy before the enemy has sufficient military strength to seriously threaten the United States?

During the Cuban missile crisis US General Curtis Lemay argued that the US and Soviet Union were approaching a nuclear weapons balance where war would bring mutually assured destruction. LeMay pushed President Kennedy to take out the missile sites the Soviet Union was constructing in Cuba, holding the view that the Soviet Union could be obliterated without more than normal US Strategic Air Command losses.

Might the US generals and admirals believe today that the United States could quickly and clinically wipe out China?  We can only hope that like Kennedy, Biden keeps a level head and tempers any such thinking.

 

Read more:

https://johnmenadue.com/what-would-us-china-war-really-mean/

 

 

FREE JULIAN ASSANGE NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

mad as a hypocrite blinken...

 

The U.S. hypocrisy to come will be even greater than anything tried by the Trump administration.

 

By Patrick Lawrence
Special to Consortium News

 

For a time after Joe Biden took office not quite three months ago, among the questions raised was how the new administration would address the Syria question.

I do not think we will have to wonder about this much longer. It is early days yet, but one now detects the Biden’s administration’s Syria policy in faint outline. From what one can make out, it is bleak, it is vicious, it is unconscionably cruel to the Syrian people. 

And it may prove yet worse than anything the Trump administration came up with, the Bible-banging Mike Pompeo in the lead as secretary of state.

Will Biden’s national security people drop the covert coup operation Barack Obama set it in motion nine years ago, its failure long evident? Or will they reinvigorate American support for savage jihadists in the name of “regime changing” the secular government in Damascus? What about the American troops still operating illegally on Syrian soil? What about the oilfields the Trump administration took to “protecting” from the nation that owns them? What about the brazen theft of crude from those fields?

And what, of course, about the murderous sanctions that various executive orders have escalated on numerous occasions since the Bush II administration imposed the first of them 17 long years ago?  

What will Biden and his people do, in short, about the godawful mess the U.S. has made of the Syrian Arab Republic since it bastardized legitimate demonstrations against the Assad government in early 2012 (at the latest) by perverting them with Sunni extremists and hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of weapons?

These were the questions. Answers now begin to arrive.

February Bombing

The first suggestion of things to come came in late February, when U.S. warplanes bombed sites inside Syria’s border with Iraq said to have been used by militias backed by Iran. This action coincided roughly with talks in Washington with senior Israeli intelligence and military officials, convened to determine whether and how the administration would re-enter the accord governing Iran’s nuclear programs. Those talks merely confirmed what was already evident: The Biden administration will make no move in Iran’s direction without Israel’s approval. Ditto in the Syrian case.   

As a long record shows, Israel wants to destabilize Syria as long as it is not governed by a pliant Western client; it continues to bomb Syrian targets, including Damascus, on a regular basis. With these realities in view, we can confidently surmise that the Biden administration does not actually have a Syria policy, just as it does not actually have an Iran policy. Apartheid Israel has a Syria policy it dictates to the professedly Zionist Biden administration.

 

“When I think of the suffering of the Syrian people, including Syrian children, I think of my own two children,” Antony Blinken tweeted last week. “How could we not take action to help them? Our common humanity demands it. Shame on us if we don’t.”

One already grows accustomed to our new secretary of state’s wildly disconnected remarks on social media and elsewhere. This guy has a troubled relationship with reality, we must begin to conclude. As The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal replied to this morbid hypocrisy, “If you treated your children like you treat the Syrian people you would be jailed for child abuse.”

But let us set aside the preposterous assertion that, while starving Syrians of bread, fuel, medicines and reconstruction funding other nations would otherwise provide, Blinken thinks of suffering Syrians as he does his children. As boilerplate propaganda this offensive stuff may seem trivial and worthy of no note. But in this case we are left with a question worth posing.

Why ‘Common Humanity’ Now?

Why would Blinken broadcast these things on social media at this moment? Why would he summon “our common humanity” when there is no shred of evidence that he or anyone else among Biden’s national security crew gives a tinker’s damn about those human beings commonly known as Syrians?

I have two answers, of equal importance.

One, the Biden administration appears to be preparing Americans for a round of Washington’s morally bankrupt, grossly illegal campaign to bring down the government of a sovereign nation because it does not conform to America’s imperial diktat (and because, as noted, this will please the Israelis). Liberal and “progressive” consciences must be eased. And among others a state of slumber must be maintained.

Two, Blinken has in all likelihood begun the work of keeping Washington’s “coalition partners,” notably the French and British, in the Syrian subversion game by providing cover for the savagery that is to come. Reading straight from the Vietnam-era script, Blinken wants America’s “allies and partners” — a favorite phrase of his — to be confident that when they bomb Syrian children the world will understand it is in order to save them.

Never go to Tony if you are in search of an original thought.

Reading into these matters, text and subtext, we can begin to brace ourselves for what is probably on the way in Syria. The coup operation is again on. American troops will remain on the ground, almost certainly to increase in number over time. The U.S., in concert with the same fanatics it has to date bankrolled, trained and supplied, will continue to sequester Syria’s oilfields and the fertile wheat fields that ought to be feeding the population.

The hypocrisy to come will be yet greater than anything the Trump administration tried on — a forecast I offer confidently. Here comes the bankruptcy of the “responsibility to protect” at its very worst. This will be liberal righteousness with a genteel veneer worthy of your grandmother’s mahogany dining table.

PBS Report

Another piece of the puzzle arrived just before Easter (of all times), when PBS broadcast an interview with Abu Mohammad al–Jolani, the head of Hayat Tahir al–Shalam, HTS, the latest among the name-changing cutthroats our mainstream press still refers to as Syria’s “moderate opposition.” Martin Smith’s exchange with Jolani is a piece of a full-dress documentary on Jolani that Frontline plans to air in the not-distant future. Herein lies a tale.

Alert readers will recall that Jolani was once an Islamic State commander who went on to found Jabhat al–Nusra, the worst of the worst among al–Qaeda’s shape-shifting affiliates operating in Syria. The State Department declared Jolani a “specially designated global terrorist” in 2013. This designation still stands.

Jolani now runs what he calls a “salvation government” in Idlib, the remaining retreat of Islamist extremists in northwestern Syria. Yes, he remains an Islamist theocrat determined to impose Sharia law on secular Syria. But (the big “but”) is that he is committed to fighting Assad and so shares “common interests with the United States and the West,” as PBS delicately puts it.

Human rights NGOs have implicated Jolani and HTS — videos, witness testimonies, interviews with victims — in numerous cases of torture, violence, sexual abuse, arbitrary arrests, disappearances and the rest of the inexcusable stuff these groups get up to. Jolani denies it all in his encounter with Smith: “There is no torture, I completely reject this,” he says on camera.

To be fair to Smith and Frontline, they have covered themselves carefully by laying out the record of Jolani’s and HTS’s crimes against innocent Syrians. But Smith also wants us to know of Jolani’s emergence “as a leading Islamist militant” — note the “Islamist” remains — “and his efforts, despite his history with al–Qaeda and allegations of human rights abuses, to position himself as an influential force in Syria’s future.”

As if to certify this judgment, PBS cites the noted remark recently of James Jeffrey, the self-confessed liar who served as President Donald Trump’s special envoy to Syria, to the effect that HTS is “‘an asset’ to America’s strategy in Idlib.”

What are we looking at here? There are two ways to consider this question.

One, PBS’s generous reporting on Jolani’s past is at bottom part of a rehabilitation job. It is once again a case of text and subtext. Read the PBS report accompanying the video of Smith’s interview. The list of HTS’s sins is a lengthy apologia, the intent of which appears to be to preclude the criticisms sure to arise along with Jolani’s emergence as “an influential force in Syria’s future.”

My conclusion: Syria may shortly get its version of Juan Guaidó and Alexey Navlany, the two Dummköpfe Washington has ridiculously elevated to some status of saintly democrats in Venezuela and the Russian Federation respectively. My verb is “may” because the Jolani project could prove so preposterous as to fail  before it gets airborne.  

Two, we watch the redeployment of a tried-and-disastrous strategy Zbigniew Brzezinski sold to President Jimmy Carter in late 1979. Paranoiacally anti–Soviet, Carter’s national security adviser persuaded the peanut farmer from Plains the best way to snooker the Soviets in Afghanistan was to finance and arm its adversaries. Osama bin Laden, al–Qaeda — indeed, the fundamentalist freak show that has unfolded in Syria for nearly a decade: Need one say more about the consequences of Zbig’s idiocy?

One would think the policy cliques in Washington would learn something once in a while, but no. They cannot learn because they cannot quite get to thinking.

This column concerns early signs of another foreign policy disaster that may be impending. Should these signs prove out, we will watch as an empire already on its back foot makes another desperate attempt to defend its fading hegemony. Let us, once again, bitterly hope for failure.

America could knock over whoever it wished long ago, and it could send men to the moon. No longer does it seem able to do either.

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, author and lecturer. His most recent book is Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century. Follow him on Twitter @thefloutistHis web site is Patrick Lawrence. Support his work via his Patreon site.

 

 

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assangeassange

holy shit! no trump to blame there!...

 

About 40 people were arrested just north of Minneapolis in a second night of unrest over the police shooting of a black man.

Protesters in the city of Brooklyn Center defied a curfew and threw objects at police, who responded with flash grenades and tear gas.

Police said Daunte Wright, 20, was shot and died after an officer mistook her gun for a Taser during a traffic stop.

The shooting came as the high-profile George Floyd murder trial continues.

In a courtroom just a few miles away, ex-police officer Derek Chauvin is charged with murdering the African American man in May last year.

Derek Chauvin's defence team on Monday asked for the jury members to be sequestered - separated from other people - as they might be swayed by the latest events. The judge denied the request.

 

The officer who shot Mr Wright was named on Monday as Kim Potter, 48, who has worked for Brooklyn Center Police for 26 years.

Mr Wright was pulled over on Sunday for a traffic violation, but there was a struggle when he tried to get back into his car.

After mistakenly drawing her gun, the officer said: "Holy shit, I just shot him."

 

Read more:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-56729673

 

Remember when the media and everyone else blamed Trump for this sort of caper? And when was the last time police would mistake a gun for a gun?...

 

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assangeassange

 

biden goes waco...

 

Last week, President Joe Biden nominated David Chipman to be head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the premier federal firearms enforcement agency. Biden complemented that announcement with a call for a national red flag law to entitle police to preemptively confiscate firearms from citizens suspected of being a threat to themselves or others.

Chipman was a 25-year ATF agent and a key official at the 1994 federal trial of the Branch Davidians who survived the ATF and FBI assaults the prior year. Many federal agents posed for grisly “victory photos” in the rubble of the Branch Davidians’ Waco, Texas, home after it burned to the ground during an FBI assault. One photo allegedly shows Chipman proudly holding a rifle in front of the wreckage where scores of children died shortly before. The White House and Chipman’s current employer, the antigun Giffords organization, did not respond to repeated email requests to confirm or deny that Chipman is the federal agent in that photo; the Daily Mail and many online sites have tagged Chipman as the agent. In a Reddit public question and answer session in 2019, Chipman sought to spur support for an assault weapons ban by falsely claiming that the Davidians shot down two federal helicopters that were attacking their compound.

 

Biden’s nomination of Chipman has thrust Waco back in the national spotlight. Millions of Americans permanently lost faith in the federal government after ATF and FBI attacks concluded with more than 80 civilians dead. But few Americans are aware of Biden’s role, first in helping cover up the debacle and later, after ample damning evidence had surfaced, exonerating federal law enforcement and instead blaming Americans who distrusted Washington. Biden’s behavior on Waco is a bad portent for anyone who expects federal agencies to be leashed during his reign.

At the time of the federal assault at Waco, Biden was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which had primary oversight jurisdiction over the conduct of federal law enforcement agencies. How did Biden react to an FBI tank and toxic gas assault that ended with shocking carnage? On the day after the fire, Biden “cautioned that lawmakers should wait until all the details become available before it begins second-guessing the Justice Department,” the New York Times reported. Biden declared, “We’ve got to wait to figure out what happened before we have hearings.” Delaying hearings until after the federal agencies that had blundered (or far worse) announced the “facts of the matter” would have horrified earlier generations of congressional leaders who courageously exposed federal lies and cover-ups, from Sen. William Fulbright’s investigation of the Vietnam War in the 1960s to Sen. Frank Church’s investigation of FBI and CIA rampages in the 1970s.

 

Biden conducted zero hearings on Waco while he was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. After Republicans captured control of Congress in the 1994 elections, committee chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) held hearings in late 1995. Despite plenty of damning disclosures of federal misconduct at Waco in the prior two years, Biden was emphatic that the real problem was “a growing number of people across the country who are seizing on the incidents at Waco as well as at Ruby Ridge to suggest that law enforcement is our enemy.”

“The record from Waco does not evidence…any improper motive or intent on the part of law enforcement,” Biden declared. Instead, Biden touted “the excellent overall record of the Federal law enforcement agencies, including both the ATF and the FBI.” Biden vindicated the feds: “The ATF had a legitimate and very important reason to be at Waco in the first place, that is, to serve warrants on those reasonably suspected of violating the Federal criminal laws.” But if the ATF Waco search is Biden’s idea of “legitimate,” the next four years will be hell on civil liberties.

 

The Waco investigation got rolling in July 1992, when ATF agent Davy Aguilera visited the Branch Davidians’ gun dealer, and suggested the Davidians were illegally converting semiautomatic firearms to full automatic firing capacity, a federal felony. When Davidian leader David Koresh was told about that allegation, he invited Aguilera to visit the Davidians’ residence and conduct an on-the-spot inspection. Aguilera refused the invitation and his subsequent affidavit application to search the Davidians’ residence “contained an incredible number of false statements,” according to a 1996 congressional report.

In an October 1995 Senate hearing, Biden declared, “Nobody in Washington, nobody in ATF, nobody involved with ATF had an idea that, you know, those Branch Davidians are dangerous people, Koresh is a dangerous guy, we have got to be aggressive and go after them.” The ATF’s subsequent conduct reveals Biden’s definition of “non-aggressive.” Instead of conducting a peaceful search of the Davidians’ sprawling wooden home, the ATF chose to launch a massive attack on its peaceful residents. On February 28, 1993, more than 70 ATF agents and three military helicopters launched a Sunday morning attack with no warning. Prior to the assault, the ATF alerted several television stations to assure coverage of a raid expected to seize a big cache of weapons. CBS’s 60 Minutes disclosed that ATF agents said “the initial attack on that cult in Waco was a publicity stunt—the main goal of which was to improve ATF’s tarnished image.” A 1996 congressional investigation noted that ATF deliberately chose a “dynamic entry approach. The bias toward the use of force may in large part be explained by a culture within ATF,” including “promotional criteria.”

 

ATF claimed a surprise attack was necessary because Koresh almost never came out of his home. Six years after the attack, thanks to FOIA hounding by former federal lawyer David Hardy, the ATF finally disclosed a memo revealing that, nine days before the raid, two undercover ATF agents (recognized as such by Koresh) knocked on the door of the Davidian residence and invited Koresh to go shooting. Koresh, two other Davidians, and the two agents had a fine time shooting AR-15s and SIG Sauer semiautomatic pistols. Koresh provided the ammo and the agents handed him their guns. The ATF undercover agents’ official report, filed before the raid, noted: “Mr. Koresh stated that he believed that every person had the right to own firearms and protect their homes.” Koresh could have easily been arrested that day but that would have preempted the biggest and most glorious raid in ATF history.

Instead, the raid quickly turned into a debacle, leaving four ATF agents and six Davidians dead. The ATF claimed Davidians “ambushed” their agents, a story promoted by the vast majority of the media. But after ATF agents told superiors that the ATF shot first, the ATF ceased its shooting review to avoid creating documents that could subvert the court case against the Davidians. A Treasury Department report written by outside experts and issued in September 1993 condemned “deliberately misleading post-raid statements about the raid and the raid plan by certain ATF supervisors.” After the raid debacle, the FBI took over the scene and ramped up the pressure on the Davidians. The FBI settled on an assault plan that included using military tanks to collapse the building atop the residents. The FBI fired pyrotechnic rounds at the scene, perhaps the source of the conflagration that ended the standoff.

Biden was one of the most fervent champions of the federal drug war in the 1980s and 1990s, but he had no complaint about the ATF’s drug war scam at Waco. Prior to the raid, ATF officials were told that it would be illegal for the U.S. military to assist them unless there was a “drug nexus” to the case. Voila! A few days later, the ATF notified military officials that they suspected the Davidians had a methamphetamine lab in their basement. ATF agents then received training in close-quarters combat and called in military helicopters from the Texas National Guard to assault the Davidians’ home in conjunction with the agents attacking on the ground. Despite such extensive preparations, the drug charge vanished immediately after the raid, and federal prosecutors never raised the issue at the surviving Davidians’ 1994 trial. A 1996 congressional report concluded that the ATF’s actions during and after the raid made it “clear that the ATF believed that a methamphetamine lab did not exist.” The House report concluded that “the ATF intentionally misled Defense Department and military personnel” regarding the existence of the meth lab. But federal agencies treated those lies as a harmless error since they did not reduce government power.

At the trial of the surviving Davidians in 1994, federal prosecutors compared Koresh to Hitler and Stalin and declared that the 11 defendants were “as much religious terrorists as the people who blew up…Pan Am 103.” But the jury found all the Davidian defendants not guilty of murder, though seven were convicted of manslaughter. The New York Times characterized the verdict as a “stunning defeat” for the federal government; a Los Angeles Times headline declared, “Outcome Indicates Jurors Placed Most Blame on the Government.” Jury foreman Sarah Bain commented after the trial, “The federal government was absolutely out of control there…. The wrong people were on trial, it should have been the ones that planned the raid and orchestrated it.”

But neither the jury verdicts nor House hearings in the summer of 1995 that exposed further ATF and FBI deceits and abuses dented Joe Biden’s view. Instead, at the Senate hearings in October of that year, Biden portrayed the real danger as people on the “left and right who see everything as some great conspiracy.” Biden sought “to establish that this wasn’t Big Brother sitting up in Washington.” If the ATF mass assault and the FBI tank-and-toxic-gas attack don’t count as Big Brother, what does?

Biden is making restoring trust in government a theme of his presidency. In his inaugural address, he declared, “Each of us has a duty and a responsibility as citizens, as Americans, and especially as leaders…to defend the truth and defeat the lies.” Biden’s conduct on Waco and his nomination of David Chipman signal that Americans can’t count on any help from the White House in defeating the lies.

 

James Bovard is the author of Lost RightsAttention Deficit Democracy, and Public Policy Hooligan. He is also a USA Today columnist. Follow him on Twitter @JimBovard.

 

 

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https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/biden-re-ignites-the-waco-fire/

 

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assangeassange

nation in peril...

 

 

A day after 124 retired generals and admirals released a letter spreading the lie that President Joe Biden stole the election, current and former military officers are speaking out, calling the missive a dangerous new sign of the military being dragged into the trenches of partisan warfare.

The open letter on Monday from a group calling itself Flag Officers 4 America advanced the false conspiracy theory that the presidential vote was rigged in Biden's favor and warned that the nation is "in deep peril" from "a full-blown assault on our Constitutional rights."

...

As news of the letter spread, it set off a round of recriminations among current and former military members. One serving Navy officer, who did not want to be identified publicly, called it "disturbing and reckless."

Jim Golby, an expert in civil-military relations, called it a "shameful effort to use their rank and the military's reputation for such a gross and blatant partisan attack," while a retired Air Force colonel who teaches cadets at the Air Force Academy, Marybeth Ulrich, labeled it "anti-democratic."

"I think it hurts the military and by extension it hurts the country," said retired Adm. Mike Mullen, a former chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, describing it as replete with "right-wing Republican talking points."

 

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https://www.politico.com/news/2021/05/11/retired-brass-biden-election-487374

 

 

Open Letter from Retired Generals and Admirals [124 of them. Same happened in France]

 

 

Our Nation is in deep peril.

 

We are in a fight for our survival as a Constitutional Republic like no other time since our founding in 1776. The conflict is between supporters of Socialism and Marxism vs. supporters of Constitutional freedom and liberty.

 

During the 2020 election an “Open Letter from Senior Military Leaders” was signed by 317 retired Generals and Admirals and, it said the 2020 election could be the most important election since our country was founded. “With the Democrat Party welcoming Socialists and Marxists, our historic way of life is at stake.” Unfortunately, that statement’s truth was quickly revealed, beginning with the election process itself.

 

Without fair and honest elections that accurately reflect the “will of the people” our Constitutional Republic is lost. Election integrity demands insuring there is one legal vote cast and counted per citizen. Legal votes are identified by State Legislature’s approved controls using government IDs, verified signatures, etc. Today, many are calling such commonsense controls “racist” in an attempt to avoid having fair and honest elections. Using racial terms to suppress proof of eligibility is itself a tyrannical intimidation tactic. Additionally, the “Rule of Law” must be enforced in our election processes to ensure integrity. The FBI and Supreme Court must act swiftly when election irregularities are surfaced and not ignore them as was done in 2020. Finally, H.R.1 & S.1, (if passed), would destroy election fairness and allow Democrats to forever remain in power violating our Constitution and ending our Representative Republic.

 

Aside from the election, the Current Administration has launched a full-blown assault on our Constitutional rights in a dictatorial manner, bypassing the Congress, with more than 50 Executive Orders quickly signed, many reversing the previous Administration’s effective policies and regulations. Moreover, population control actions such as excessive lockdowns, school and business closures, and most alarming, censorship of written and verbal expression are all direct assaults on our fundamental Rights. We must support and hold accountable politicians who will act to counter Socialism, Marxism and Progressivism, support our Constitutional Republic, and insist on fiscally responsible governing while focusing on all Americans, especially the middle class, not special interest or extremist groups which are used to divide us into warring factions.

 

Additional National Security Issues and Actions:

 

• Open borders jeopardize national security by increasing human trafficking, drug cartels, terrorists entry, health/CV19 dangers, and humanitarian crises. Illegals are flooding our Country bringing high economic costs, crime, lowering wages, and illegal voting in some states. We must reestablish border controls and continue building the wall while supporting our dedicated border control personnel. Sovereign nations must have controlled borders.

 

• China is the greatest external threat to America. Establishing cooperative relations with the Chinese Communist Party emboldens them to continue progress toward world domination, militarily, economically, politically and technologically. We must impose more sanctions and restrictions to impede their world domination goal and protect America’s interests.

 

• The free flow of information is critical to the security of our Republic, as illustrated by freedom of speech and the press being in the 1st Amendment of our Constitution. Censoring speech and expression, distorting speech, spreading disinformation by government officials, private entities, and the media is a method to suppress the free flow of information, a tyrannical technique used in closed societies. We must counter this on all fronts beginning with removing Section 230 protection from big tech.

 

• Re-engaging in the flawed Iran Nuclear Deal would result in Iran acquiring nuclear weapons along with the means to deliver them, thereby upsetting Mideast peace initiatives and aiding a terrorist nation whose slogans and goals include “death to America” and “death to Israel” . We must resist the new China/Iran agreement and not support the Iran Nuclear Deal. In addition, continue with the Mideast peace initiatives, the “Abraham Accords,” and support for Israel.

 

• Stopping the Keystone Pipeline eliminates our recently established energy independence and causes us to be energy dependent on nations not friendly to us, while eliminating valuable US jobs. We must open the Keystone Pipeline and regain our energy independence for national security and economic reasons.

 

• Using the U.S. military as political pawns with thousands of troops deployed around the U.S. Capitol Building, patrolling fences guarding against a non-existent threat, along with forcing Politically Correct policies like the divisive critical race theory into the military at the expense of the War Fighting Mission, seriously degrades readiness to fight and win our Nation’s wars, creating a major national security issue. We must support our Military and Vets; focus on war fighting, eliminate the corrosive infusion of Political Correctness into our military which damages morale and war fighting cohesion.

 

• The “Rule of Law” is fundamental to our Republic and security. Anarchy as seen in certain cities cannot be tolerated. We must support our law enforcement personnel and insist that DAs, our courts, and the DOJ enforce the law equally, fairly, and consistently toward all.

 

• The mental and physical condition of the Commander in Chief cannot be ignored. He must be able to quickly make accurate national security decisions involving life and limb anywhere, day or night. Recent Democrat leadership’s inquiries about nuclear code procedures sends a dangerous national security signal to nuclear armed adversaries, raising the question about who is in charge. We must always have an unquestionable chain of command.

 

Under a Democrat Congress and the Current Administration, our Country has taken a hard left turn toward Socialism and a Marxist form of tyrannical government which must be countered now by electing congressional and presidential candidates who will always act to defend our Constitutional Republic. The survival of our Nation and its cherished freedoms, liberty, and historic values are at stake.

 

We urge all citizens to get involved now at the local, state and/or national level to elect political representatives who will act to Save America, our Constitutional Republic, and hold those currently in office accountable. The “will of the people” must be heard and followed.

 

Signed by:

 

RADM Ernest B. Acklin, USCG, ret. MG Joseph T. Anderson, USMC, ret. RADM Philip Anselmo, USN, ret. MG Joseph Arbuckle, USA, ret. BG John Arick, USMC, ret. RADM Jon W. Bayless, Jr. USN, ret. RDML James Best, USN, ret. BG Charles Bishop, USAF, ret. BG William A. Bloomer, USMC, ret. BG Donald Bolduc, USA, ret. LTG William G. Boykin, USA, ret. MG Edward R. Bracken, USAF, ret. MG Patrick H. Brady, MOH, USA, ret. VADM Edward S. Briggs, USN, ret. LTG Richard “Tex’ Brown III USAF, ret. BG Frank Bruno, USAF, ret. VADM Toney M. Bucchi, USN, ret. RADM John T. Byrd, USN, ret. BG Jimmy Cash, USAF, ret. LTG Dennis D. Cavin, USA, ret. LTG James E. Chambers, USAF, ret. MG Carroll D. Childers, USA, ret. BG Clifton C. “Tip” Clark, USAF, ret. VADM Ed Clexton, USN, ret. MG Jay Closner, USAF, ret MG Tommy F. Crawford, USAF, ret. MG Robert E. Dempsey, USAF, ret. BG Phillip Drew, USAF, ret. MG Neil L. Eddins, USAF, ret. RADM Ernest Elliot, USN, ret. BG Jerome V. Foust, USA, ret. BG Jimmy E. Fowler, USA, ret. RADMU J. Cameron Fraser, USN, ret. MG John T. Furlow, USA, ret. MG Timothy F. Ghormley, USMC, ret. MG Francis C. Gideon, USAF, ret. MG William A. Gorton, USAF, ret. MG Lee V. Greer, USAF, ret. RDML Michael R. Groothousen, Sr., USN, ret. BG John Grueser, USAF, ret. MG Ken Hagemann, USAF, ret. BG Norman Ham, USAF, ret. VADM William Hancock, USN, ret. LTG Henry J. Hatch, USA, ret. BG James M. Hesson, USA, ret. MG Bill Hobgood, USA, ret. BG Stanislaus J. Hoey, USA, ret. MG Bob Hollingsworth, USMC, ret. MG Jerry D. Holmes, USAF, ret. MG Clinton V. Horn, USAF, ret. LTG Joseph E. Hurd, USAF, ret. VADM Paul Ilg, USN, ret. MG T. Irby, USA, ret. LTG Ronald Iverson, USAF, ret. RADM (L) Grady L. Jackson MG William K. James, USAF, ret. LTG James H. Johnson, Jr. USA, ret. ADM. Jerome L. Johnson, USN, ret. BG Charles Jones, USAF, ret. BG Robert R. Jordan, USA, ret. BG Jack H. Kotter, USA, ret. MG Anthony R. Kropp, USA, ret. RADM Chuck Kubic, USN, ret. BG Jerry L. Laws, USA, ret. BG Douglas E. Lee, USA, ret. MG Vernon B. Lewis, USA, ret. MG Thomas G. Lightner, USA, ret. MG James E. Livingston, USMC, ret. MOH MG John D. Logeman, USAF, ret. MG Jarvis Lynch, USMC, ret. LTG Fred McCorkle, USMC, ret. MG Don McGregor, USAF, ret. LTG Thomas McInerney, USAF, ret. RADM John H. McKinley, USN, ret. BG Michael P. McRaney, USAF, ret. BG Ronald S. Mangum, USA, ret. BG James M. Mead, USMC, ret. BG Joe Mensching, USAF, ret. RADM W. F. Merlin, USCG, ret. RADM (L) Mark Milliken, USN, ret. MG John F. Miller, USAF, ret. RADM Ralph M. Mitchell, Jr. USN, ret. MG Paul Mock, USA. ret. BG Daniel I. Montgomery, USA, ret., RADM John A. Moriarty, USN, ret., RADM David R. Morris, USN, ret. RADM Bill Newman, USN, ret. BG Joe Oder, USA, ret. MG O’Mara, USAF, ret. MG Joe S. Owens, USA, ret. VADM Jimmy Pappas, USN, ret. LTG Garry L. Parks, USMC, ret. RADM Russ Penniman, RADM, USN, ret. RADM Leonard F. Picotte, ret. VADM John Poindexter, USN, ret. RADM Ronald Polant, USCG, ret. MG Greg Power, USAF, ret. RDM Brian Prindle, USN, ret. RADM J.J. Quinn, USN, ret. LTG Clifford H. Rees, Jr. USAF, ret. RADM Norman T. Saunders, USCG, ret. MG Richard V. Secord, USAF, ret. RADM William R. Schmidt, USN, ret. LTG Hubert Smith, USA, ret. MG James N. Stewart, USAF, ret. RADM Thomas Stone, USN., ret. BG Joseph S. Stringham, USA, ret. MG Michael Sullivan, USMC, ret. RADM (U) Jeremy Taylor, USN, ret. LTG David Teal, USAF, ret. VADM Howard B. Thorsen, USCG, ret. RADM Robert P. Tiernan, USN, ret. LTG Garry Trexler, USAF, ret. BG James T. Turlington, M.D., USAF, ret. BG Richard J. Valente, USA ret. MG Paul Vallely, USA, ret. MG Russell L. Violett, USAF, ret. BG George H. Walker, Jr. USAR Corp of Engineers, ret. MG Kenneth Weir, USMCR, ret. BG William O. Welch, USAF, ret. MG John M. White, USAF, ret. MG Geoffrey P. Wiedeman, JR. USAF, ret. MG Richard O. Wightman, Jr., USA, ret. RADM Denny Wisely, USN, ret. RADM Ray Cowden Witter, USN, ret. LTG John Woodward, ret.

 

 

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https://img1.wsimg.com/blobby/go/fb7c7bd8-097d-4e2f-8f12-3442d151b57d/downloads

 

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Note: no-one can say with certainty that Biden won the elections fair and square...

 

 

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