Sunday, April 30, 2023

Chrystia Freeland and Hillary Clinton - A Match Made In Hell

The following announcement recently appeared on the Liberal Party of Canada's Twitter feed:



Just for fun, let's look at what these two "global leaders" have had to say in the past:


1.) Hillary Clinton on the death of Muamar Qaddafi:


That's empathy, Clinton style.


2.) Chrystia Freeland on freezing bank accounts of Canadians during the February 2022 Truckers' Protest:


Remember, it gave her "no pleasure" to punish innocent Canadians.  Yeah, sure.  


Humanitarians they aren't.

Let's close with this definition:

Sociopathic behaviour

Consistent behavior patterns in sociopaths include:


1.) Lack of empathy for others


2.) Impulsive behavior


3.) Attempting to control others with threats or aggression 


4.) Using intelligence, charm, or charisma to manipulate others


5.) Not learning from mistakes or punishment


6.) Lying for personal gain

Friday, April 28, 2023

Air Defender 2023 - NATO's Largest Air Exercise

With the current conflict in Ukraine taking place largely because Russia felt obligated to protect its flanks against NATO's unceasing expansionism, an event that will take place in Germany in June 2023 should draw some attention from the Kremlin.


Air Defender 23 will take place between June 12th and 23rd, 2023 in European airspace under the command of the German Air Force:

This event will be the largest deployment exercise of air forces in NATO's history and will consist of up to 10,000 exercise participants from 24 nations utilizing 220 aircraft of 23 different types.  One hundred of these aircraft will be supplied from the inventory of the United States National Guard from 35 states in the U.S.  


The following nations are participating:


Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.


Interestingly, Sweden is not a member of NATO and Finland's membership was just approved in April 2023.


The exercises will be held at the following locations with the airfields Schleswig/Hohn, Wunstorf and Lechfield in Germany:


1.) Jagel/Hohn in Schleswig-Holstein


2.) Laage in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania


3.) Wunstorf in Lower Saxony


4.) Lechfeld in Bavaria


5.) Spangdahlem in Rhineland-Palatinate


6.) Volkel in the Netherlands


7.) Čáslav in the Czech Republic 


The main aim of Air Defender is for Germany to exercise its role as a "strategic collective defence hub" within Europe.  It will help the militaries of NATO member states improve interoperability between their assets, test their command-and-control structures and test their intelligence, reconnaissance, surveillance and cyber capabilities.  Germany's Bundeswehr (Armed Forces) has also stated that the exercise will be modelled after an Article 5 Assistance scenario, one of the principles of NATO's existence as shown here:


Aircraft in the exercise will include the following:


1.) Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth multirole fighter


2.) Fairchild A-10 twin-0engine ground combat aircraft


3.) General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter


4.) McDonnell Douglas F-15 fighter


5.) Boeing F/A-18C/D Hornet fighter


6.) General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper reconnaissance and attack drone


7.) Lockheed Marting C-130KJ Hercules military transport


8.) Airbus C295M military transport


9.) Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker aerial refuelling tanker and cargo/troop transporter


10.) Dassault DA20 Falcon airborne electronic warfare capable


11.) Saab JAS 39 Gripen C/C combat aircraft


12.) Kawasaki C-2 cargo/troop transporter


13.) Alenia C-27J multipurpose transport aircraft


14.) Boeing KC-46 aerial refuelling tanker and cargo/troop transporter


Just in case you were curious, the Air Defender 23 exercise has not gone unnoticed by the Russians as shown here:



But, I'm certain that the Kremlin will not feel one bit threatened by the fact that NATO is planning is largest ever deployment of its air forces in its history.  I'm sure that it's just a coincidence.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

The Collapse of the Rules-based International Order

Let's open this posting with a definition from the United Kingdom's government:


"The rules-based international system (RBIS) is founded on relationships between states and through international institutions and frameworks, with shared rules and agreements on behaviour.  It works for UK interests in multiple ways: promoting peace and prosperity through security and economic integration; encouraging predictable behaviour by states; and supporting peaceful settlement of disputes. It also encourages states, and a wide range of non-state actors, to create the conditions for open markets, the rule of law, democratic participation and accountability."


The rules-based order is a shared commitment among states to conduct their affairs in accordance with an existing set of rules that are underpinned by a system of global government that has evolved since the end of the Second World War.  The United Nations is generally considered to be at the core of this "order".


Here is an additional summary of rules-based order noting that there are no specific rules:


1.) RBO seems to be a broader term than international law which is defined as legally binding rules that are based on, and require the consent of each individual State.

2.) It seems to include both traditional international law rules, and what is usually referred to as “soft law” – legally non-binding political commitments.

3.) The term “rules-based order” blurs the distinction between binding and non-binding rules, giving the impression that all States and international actors are subject to this order, irrespective of whether or not they have consented to these rules.

4.) While international law is general and universal, the “rules-based order” seems to allow for special rules in special cases.


With that in mind, let's look at some excerpts from recent comments made by Russia's Foreign Minister (and consummate diplomat) Sergei Lavrov at the United Nation's Security Council's open debates "Effective multilateralism through the Defense of the Principles of the UN Charter" with my bolds throughout:


"For a little less than 80 years of its existence, the UN has been carrying out the important mission entrusted to it by its founders. For several decades, a basic understanding by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council as regards the supremacy of the charter’s goals and principles guaranteed global security. By doing this, it created the conditions for truly multilateral cooperation that was regulated by the universally recognized standards of international law.


Today, our UN-centric system is going through a deep crisis. The main reason is a striving by some UN members to replace international law and the UN Charter with a certain “rules-based” order. Nobody has seen these rules. They have not been discussed in transparent international talks. They are being invented and used to counter the natural process of the forming of new independent development centres that objectively embody multilateralism. Attempts are made to curb them through illegal unilateral measures – by denying them access to modern technology and financial services, excluding them from supply chains, seizing their property, destroying their critical infrastructure and manipulating universally accepted norms and procedures. This leads to the fragmentation of global trade, a collapse of market mechanisms, paralysis of the WTO and the final – now open – conversion of the IMF into an instrument for reaching the goals of the US and its allies, including military goals.


In a desperate attempt to assert its dominance by way of punishing the disobedient, the United States has gone as far as destroying globalisation which it has for many years touted as a great benefit for humankind serving the needs of the global economy’s multilateral system. Washington and the rest of the obeisant West is using these rules as needed to justify illegitimate steps against the countries that build their policies in accordance with international law and refuse to follow the “golden billion’s” self-serving interests. Those who disagree are blacklisted based on the precept that “he who is not with us is against us....


By imposing a rules-based order, the quarters behind it arrogantly reject the UN Charter’s key principle which is the sovereign equality of states. The “proud” statement by the head of EU diplomacy Josep Borrell to the effect that Europe is a “garden” and the rest of the world is a “jungle” said it all about their world of exceptionality. I would also like to quote the Joint Declaration on EU-NATO Cooperation of January 10 which runs as follows: The United West “will further mobilise the combined set of instruments at our disposal, be they political, economic or military, to pursue our common objectives to the benefit of our one billion citizens.”


The collective West has set out to reshape the processes of multilateralism at the regional level to suit its needs. Recently, the United States called for reviving the Monroe Doctrine and wanted the Latin American countries to cut down on their ties with the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China....


Since World War II, Washington has pulled off dozens of reckless criminal military operations without even trying to secure multilateral legitimacy. Why bother, with their set of arbitrary “rules?


And, Russia is not just pointing the finger at Washington:


"The Anglo-Saxons (i.e. the United Kingdom) who are at the helm of the West not only justify these lawless adventures, but flaunt them in their policy for “promoting democracy,” while doing so according to their own set of rules as well, where they recognised Kosovo’s independence without a referendum, but refused to recognise Crimea’s independence even though a referendum was held there; according to British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, the Falklands/Malvinas are not an issue, because there was a referendum there. That’s amusing."


Here's Russia's solution to the dilemma:


"In order to avoid double standards, we call on everyone to follow the consensus agreements that were reached as part of the 1970 UN Declaration on Principles of International Law which remains in force. It clearly declares the need to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the states that conduct “themselves in compliance with the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples as described above and thus possessed of a government representing the whole people belonging to the territory.” 


I would strongly suggest that you take the time to read Lavrov's entire commentary which you can find here


There is little doubt that the international order which was established by the victorious allies after the end of the Second World War is under threat.  Here is a quote from a paper entitled "Challenges to the Rules-Based International Order" which appears on the Chatham House website, again with my bolds:


"The framework of liberal political and economic rules, embodied in a network of international organizations and regulations, and shaped and enforced by the most powerful nations, both fixed the problems that had caused the war and proved resilient enough to guide the world into an entirely new era.


But given its antique origins, it is not surprising that this order now seems increasingly under pressure. Challenges are coming from rising or revanchist states; from unhappy and distrustful electorates; from rapid and widespread technological change; and indeed from the economic and fiscal turmoil generated by the liberal international economic order itself.


In general these challenges seem serious rather than catastrophic. There is little coherence or common interest among the challengers, except for discontent with aspects of the current order, and therefore little coordination. There is no sign of any integrated international opposition movement which might unite the discontented and advocate an alternative system, leading to the sort of ideological struggle that marked the last century. And, despite continuing conflicts around the world, war remains an exceptional and disreputable activity rather than, as in much of the past, a proper and attractive tool of international dispute resolution.


These are small mercies. The danger to the current order comes not from a single deathblow from a rival system, but from its gradual weakening in the face of widespread dissatisfaction among those it needs to serve. If the system is to survive, its weaknesses must be recognized and resolved, and it must adapt better and faster to the changing international situation."


Three interconnected problems must be resolved. The first is the problem of legitimacy. For a system based on rules to have effect, these rules must be visibly observed by their principal and most powerful advocates."


If you want a prime example of a breach of the rules-based international order, you need look no further than Washington's decision to invade Iraq in 2003, the failure to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, America's use of torture during the War on Terror, the use of presidential authority to carry out drone strikes and America's widespread use of surveillance technology which was pointed out by Edward Snowden.


The world is on the cusp of change.  Unless the ruling class in Washington and the West in general adapts quickly to the new global reality, it will be left behind as the new world moves ahead under the leadership of the BRICS nations and those who attach themselves to the growing influence of this group of nations who have been left out in the cold during the era of the rules-based international order.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

China and the Afghanistan Lithium Coup

Here is a recent article that appeared on the Khaama Press News Agency website, an independent news organization which was formed in 2010 to ensure free press and journalism in Afghanistan:


As background, according to Afghanistan's Ministry of Information and Cultures’ analytical data in 2021, Khaama Press was ranked as Afghanistan’s top ranking and number one news website. 


A similar article appeared on the Afghanistan Times news website:



China, a nation whose leadership plays the long-game, is making this move to ensure the security of its supply of lithium, a key component in the global move toward electrification.


Back in 2022, the Brookings Institution took notice of this possibility:


Here is a quote:


"Concern by the United States and its allies about China’s potential push into Afghanistan’s mining sector is well-founded. China is diplomatically and commercially poised to make additional moves in Afghanistan. Beijing is well positioned to strike mining deals with the Taliban. It has kept its diplomatic mission running in Kabul, hinted that it may formally recognize the Taliban government, and voiced opposition to international sanctions against Afghanistan— though has stopped short of trying to lift them. Foreign Minister Wang Yi even made a surprise visit to the country in late March, the highest-ranking foreign official of any country besides Pakistan and Qatar to do so after the Taliban’s rise to power. He denounced “the political pressure and economic sanctions on Afghanistan imposed by non-regional forces.”


Chinese-Afghan mining deals theoretically make sense. Chinese mining companies could provide the Taliban with much-needed cash to soften the blow of a crippling international sanctions program, which has sparked an economic and humanitarian crisis. In exchange, Beijing would get access to a new, bountiful source of minerals critical to the government’s ongoing decarbonization efforts."


In April 2019, this article appeared on the TOLO News website, An Afghani news channel broadcasting from Kabul:



Lithium reserves in Afghanistan were first discovered by scientists from the Soviet Union in the 1980s.  After discovering maps left behind by USSR scientists, the United States Geological Service (USGS) acquired imaging spectrometer data over most of Afghanistan in 2007 to assess the nation's mineral wealth, covering an area of more than 438,000 square kilometres as shown here:



From this data, geologists were able to interpret the geological makeup of the surface minerals.  Rare minerals like lithium, caesium tantalum and niobium occur in three main types of deposits; pegmatites (very coarsely interlocking crystalline igneous rocks that are abundant in quartz, felspar and mica as well as mega-crystals of rare-earth elements), mineralized springs and playa-lake sediments shown on this map:


The most easily extractible resources are located in mineralized spring and playa-lake sediments.  


Here is a map showing the location of rare-metal pegmatites in Afghanistan: 


Here is a table showing rare metal pegmatite reserves in Afghanistan:


While resource assessment is still in the very early stages, it is believed that Afghanistan's reserves of lithium could rival those of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile, the Lithium Triangle Countries or LTCs  which has almost 60 percent of the world's total lithium reserves as shown here:



China is not the only nation in the region that is interested in Afghanistan's lithium resources; India and its massive electronics industry have also been courting Afghanistan's political leaders.


When it comes to protecting its economy and its people, China's leadership is playing the long-game.  The nation uses its economic clout to provide infrastructure and much-needed financial assistance to open doors.  This is in sharp contrast to the United States which uses the threat of financial sanctions and its military might to force nations to hand over their resources.  As you can see on this map, Afghanistan's proximity to China's Belt and Road Initiative is key to understanding why China is so interested in improving diplomatic relations with the war-torn nation:


Friday, April 21, 2023

The Trudeau Government's Pink Stiletto Solution to Violence Against Women

This tweet recently appeared on the Twitter feed of Canada's laughable excuse for a Minster of Transport, Omar Alghabra (who, incidentally is anything but honourable despite his title as a Liberal government minister):



Here is the video in all of its glory for those of you who just can't get enough of men in pink stilettos:



By the way, Omar, the author of the Liberal government actions that prevented unvaccinated Canadians from travelling by air or rail during the pandemic, is the little troll fifth in line among his pink shoe-wearing confederates.

Here are a couple of photographs from the "photo/video op" with Omar in the foreground of the first photo:


I have three questions:


1.) Who thought that this stunt actually was respectful of women in any way?


2.) Who thought that this stunt would actually accomplish anything meaningful?


3.) Who paid for all of the pink stilettos?  I'm guessing that Canadian taxpayers are on the hook for some expensive pink shoes that these men are likely to wear when they get home as part of their fetish life.


But then, given Omar's boss's penchant for dressing up in black face, Superman costumes and Indian garb, should we expect anything better from the Trudeau Liberals?


What an embarrassment.  One can only hope that one of these idiots twisted an ankle while strutting around the room.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Robert F. Kennedy Jr and the Irony of Conspiracy Theories

Over the past few years, the use of the words "conspiracy theory" has become ubiquitous, particularly in the era of COVID-19 when anyone who did not swallow the publicly acceptable vaccine and masking narratives was branded with this moniker.  In this posting, we'll look at how the U.S. intelligence community made use of this phrase and how it is ironically being used to label a potential candidate for the President of the United States in the 2024 presidential election.


For those of my readers that were either alive during the John F. Kennedy assassination or who follow the ongoing saga, there has long been a wide ranging disbelief in the narrative promoted by the Warren Commission which was taxed with investigating the death of America's 35th president.  As background, according to the Warren Commission's analysis, the trajectory of one of the bullets that hit both President Kennedy and Texas Governor Connally looked like this:


This is known as the "single bullet theory" or the "magic bullet" by those who are inclined to disbelieve the Warren Commission's conclusions.  This is just one of the many aspects of the Kennedy assassination which continues to lead to distrust in the American government to this day.


The Central Intelligence Agency did its best to discredit anyone who did not swallow the "Warren Commission company line".  This document dated April 1, 1967 entitled "Countering Criticism of the Warren Report" outlines the concerns that the CIA had about who was responsible for the murder of President Kennedy and how this was leading some critics to speculate that there was a conspiracy:



Notice the second last sentence of the second paragraph on page 1:


"The aim of this dispatch is to provide material for countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists, so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims in other countries."


There you have it - conspiracy theorists. In this specific case, the CIA was invoking the term because "conspiracy theories have frequently thrown suspicion on our organization" and that the aim of the document was to protect the reputation of the CIA whose Director, Allen Dulles, had been fired by John F. Kennedy's Administration on November 29, 1961. 


For decades, Americans have been skeptical of the Warren Commission.  This distrust still stands today.  In fact, in the 2022 National Voter Poll About JFK Assassination, pollsters found the following:


1.) 50 percent believed that other people were involved in a conspiracy to kill JFK and that Lee Harvey Oswald was not the only man involved.


2.) when asked who was primarily responsible for the planning of the act to kill JFK, respondents believed that the following actors were involved:


a.) CIA - 31 percent


b.) The Mafia - 13 percent


c.) Cuban government - 7 percent


d.) Government of the USSR - 6 percent


3.) when asked if President Biden should release all of the files on the JFK assassination on December 15, 2022, respondents answered as follows:


a.) release all files - 71 percent


b.) postpone release - 10 percent


c.) don't know/no answer - 19 percent 


Now, let's look at the irony of the use of the word "conspiracy theorist" in today's context which is particularly pertinent given Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s recent announcement that he was running as the Democratic Party candidate for President in 2024.  Here is a screen capture from Rolling Stone about Robert F. Kennedy Jr. who, for personal and well-researched scientific reasons is very skeptical of Big Pharma and its vaccine programs:



Here is a screen capture from ABC News:


Here is a screen capture from the Washington Post:



Here is a screen capture from the Independent:


Here is a screen capture from the New York Times in which the author states that RFK Jr is guilty of repeating "...a popular conspiracy theory that 5G high speed transmission towers are being installed across the nation "to harvest our data and control our behaviour"."



Isn't it ironic to see the nephew of the man whose assassination is the subject of so many conspiracy theories that it concerned the CIA being branded as a conspiracy theorist himself?    I wonder if any of the writers of these articles have taken 5 minutes out of their lives to actually investigate why Robert Kennedy Jr. has concerns about vaccines, particularly the large number of vaccines mandated for American children" or if they are just parroting talking points that are provided to them by God knows who?  From what we can see, the lame stream media has already made up its mind about RFK Jr. and my guess is that they will do want ever they can to ensure that the only coverage that he gets from them will be negative, largely because the advertising revenue from Big Pharma forms such an important part of their overall business model.


At the very least, I find the use of the word "conspiracy theorist" as a tool to brand people who don't whole heartedly swallow the accepted narrative as a lunatic fringe offensive.  As the past three years have taught us, the only difference between a conspiracy theory and reality is three months.