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GUT-CHECK: Elephant Skin Needed – SILVER OUT OF AIR!

This article was contributed by Portfolio Wealth Global.

In WW2, in order to defeat the German army and save Europe from total annihilation, both the Russians and Americans fought a common enemy, which was Hitler’s nightmarish vision for Europe and, indeed, the world. It wasn’t a real alliance, though. The two countries had vastly different approaches to life on planet Earth and as soon as this mission was completed, each of them went on their own separate ways.

The Democrats and Republicans saw a common enemy in the past few months. It isn’t the virus; it is the disappearance of the American consumer.

Here’s a question that every politician, on both sides of the aisle, has asked himself in the past few months: Just how important is spending to the GDP of the country? It’s estimated to be around 70% of it!

Now you see why, despite having no confidence in each other’s policies and truly remarkable levels of personal disgust and animosity towards certain players in the equation, they were able to rush stimulus bills through. The enemy was too great to fight over the usual stuff, so they put it aside for the greater good.

It doesn’t seem likely that will continue after the elections are concluded.

Courtesy: Seeking Alpha (ESI Analytics Limited)

What is America about? You got your answer in the past few months; the United States of America is a business enterprise, masquerading as a country.

The glue that binds all Americans together doesn’t exist anymore. If one does a road trip, passing through the various states that comprise the union and asks the following question: Has President Trump handled the crisis successfully or not? I guarantee that he’ll receive such a buffet of opposing answers that the only conclusion he would be able to make is that people are emotional right now, not logical.

What I want to do is re-introduce reason and common sense to the equation and to show you the potential realities ahead of us:

  1. Biden wins and Democrats sweep the House and Senate.
  2. Biden wins, but Republicans hold the Senate.
  3. Trump wins, but Democrats sweep the House and Senate.
  4. Trump wins and Republicans hold the Senate.

If possibility (A) occurs, this is the trajectory American enterprises will take: Green initiatives, solar energy, cannabis legalization, plenty of infrastructure programs, and continued reliance on outsourcing.

If possibility (D) happens, we’re looking at bigger defense budgets, better conditions for the banks, and massive upside for tech. The energy industry might get help as well.

In both cases, we believe infrastructure is important to both parties.

Courtesy: Zerohedge.com

Lastly, what we’re seeing with the dollar looks to be over-stretched. We believe it has bottomed in the near-term, so a HANDS-OFF approach seems to be ideal with precious metals until the storm passes.

The dollar has been extremely weak since the FED had made their presence felt in March and April.

In the last two months, though, the FED has largely exited its aggressive asset purchases.

Clearly, markets are taking this as a sign that the recovery is strong and that there’s no rush for more injections, but that’s all wrong.

Most small businesses are toying with bankruptcy; seriously, it’s bad out there!

The stock market isn’t the gauge of the Main Street environment at all.

We are 100% confident that more aid is on the way.

The post GUT-CHECK: Elephant Skin Needed – SILVER OUT OF AIR! first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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German KSK (Special Forces Command) Soldier On Secret Contract Between US & Russia (Made Sometime After WW2) That WW3 Is Planned To Take Place In Europe… And Many Other Secret Truths (Video)

H/t reader A. B. Source This confirms Alois Irlmaier’s predictions once again and much more of which I’ve been telling you here at I. U. over all these years. *** Here is the documentary on Germany’s KSK (mentioned in the video): Excerpt with English subs: * * * Please support I. U. PayPal: Donate in … Read more

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US Manufacturing Disappoints In Early October PMI Data As Election Anxiety Builds

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

After a mixed bag of PMI data from Europe (UK ugly, Services weak compared to Manufacturing), preliminary October data for both segments of the US economy were expected to rise (despite a trend towards weaker macro data for the last two months).

Interestingly, US saw a mirror image of Europe – with Manufacturing disappointing (53.3 vs 53.5 3exp) and Services stronger (56.0 vs 54.6 exp)

Source: Bloomberg

The combination proved enough though to lift the US Composite index to 20-month highs and suggest economic growth is rebounding confidently…

Commenting on the flash PMI data, Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit, said:

The US economy looks to have started the fourth quarter on a strong footing, with business activity growing at a rate not seen since early 2019. The service sector led the expansion as increasing numbers of companies adapted to life with COVID19, while manufacturing continued to report solid growth amid rising demand from households and businesses.

A slowdown in hiring and weaker new order inflows were in part attributable to hesitancy in decision making ahead of the presidential election. More encouragingly, business optimism surged higher, indicating that firms have become increasingly positive about prospects for the coming year amid hopes of renewed stimulus, COVID-19 containment measures gradually easing and greater certainty for businesses a and households after the presidential elections.”

Perhaps most worrying for The Fed, however, is that Markit found “Inflationary pressures also eased. Despite a further strong rise in cost burdens, service providers sought to generate more sales and limit increases in output charges.”

Get back to work Mr.Powell!

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More Lockdowns Around The World As COVID-19 Cases Surge

Many European authorities have been reluctant to reimpose harsh lockdown measures after previous restrictions caused deep recessions and widespread bitterness. However, other countries, such as Ireland, have taken to intentionally destroying people’s livelihoods over what’s turning out to be a mild illness.

Economic Terrorism Continues: Ireland Imposes A 6-Week Lockdown

Ireland became the first European country to enter a second national lockdown and Germany’s daily cases leaped to a record high as the second wave of coronavirus spread gloom across the continent on Thursday. Germany is expected to launch new shutdowns and more restrictions on basic human rights to fight the “invisible enemy.” Heads of state governments and representatives of the federal chancellery and Chancellor Merkel have met to decide on new measures (harsher restrictions on freedom.)

Faced with the sharp rise in cases, authorities have toughened the scamdemic measures, such as banning large gatherings and making face masks compulsory on certain streets in Berlin.

Europe Locks Down Again, China Institutes MASS TESTING Of ENTIRE CITY

But Ireland’s five million people have been ordered to stay at home for six weeks, with non-essential businesses urged to shut up shop. The government has said this will result in about 150,000 jobs being lost.  Irish authorities have also imposed a strict five-kilometer (three-mile) travel limit, limited bars, and restaurants to takeaway only, and extended a ban on visits between households.

“It’s devastating to see us locked down again… during our busiest line-up for the Christmas period,” Dublin antique jeweler John Farrington told AFP this week.

The county of South Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom, which includes the city of Sheffield, will enter into “very high” alert or tier three restrictions for at least four weeks from Saturday, the UK government announced. This horrific decision will affect around 1.4 million people, taking the number under the very toughest restrictions to 7.3 million, or about 13 percent of England’s population, according to Medical Xpress. 

In France, major cities including Paris were virtually deserted on the fifth night of a curfew affecting some 20 million people from 9pm. The number of patients in intensive care in France has surged past 2,000 for the first time since May. Elsewhere in Europe, Poland’s prime minister said he wanted “red zone” lockdown measures to be extended to the entire country amid a record spike in infections.

Back when the coronavirus news first broke, we warned that the harsh lockdowns imposed in China would spread, and they probably will again.  It doesn’t matter whether the public is in agreement with the totalitarian lockdowns or not, the ruling classes of the planet don’t give a damn and will take your freedom at will.

Do not assume we are out of the woods yet. Please prepare. That’s all the best advice I have right now.  There is no way to say what’s coming down the pike for us, but one thing for sure is that it is not going to be for our good.

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Here We Go: MSM Begins Propagating a “Third Wave” of COVID-19

The mainstream media has switched from reporting on the surge in coronavirus cases to propagating a “third wave” of COVID-19.  The MSM is calling the outlook “dire” as a way to panic the masses.

At this point, it would be a complete shock if we didn’t go into another lockdown.  Be ready, because the predictive programming is there once again.

With more than 40 million reported cases globally and 1.1 million deaths, the pandemic shows no sign of slowing down. In Ireland, a lockdown has been reimposed, as other pockets of Europe weigh similar restrictions again.

In the U.S., more than 8.2 million cases and more than 220,000 deaths have been reported to-date. While the rate of deaths has slowed, there is still a concern for some of the most vulnerable populations, where increasingly asymptomatic cases are being reported. Meanwhile, the case count has already hit more than 60,000 daily, with all regions of the country affected. –Yahoo

Dr. Leo Nissola, an immunotherapy scientist at Parker Institute in San Francisco, told Yahoo Finance: “Things are not looking pretty. The most difficult phase of the epidemic is ahead of us,” he said.

Axios reported that the “third wave is gaining steam.” The outlet further reported that high positivity rates indicate a worsening outbreak, and put together with the rise in cases and hospitalizations across the country, suggest that the U.S. is in bad shape. The big picture then, according to MSM, is that the virus is spreading throughout the U.S. It’s not concentrated in any one region, as it was during the previous waves.

Because they don’t have “isolated pockets of infections,” another more brutal lockdown could be coming. In fact, at this point, it would be shocking if they don’t try to pull off another one. Especially considering this little blurb from Axios:

This all means more deaths, more economic devastation, and more isolation and psychological strain. If we’d gotten the virus under control during the summer, we’d have saved ourselves from a lot of this coming pain.

Brace yourselves. Prepare. Remain alert. They are pushing this. This “third wave” reporting has ramped up substantially in the past 24 hours. People didn’t buy the second wave narrative, but will they fall for this one? Will something more sinister happen? Will the virus become more deadly? Everything is possible right now.  Use discernment, and most of all, check your preps and make sure you have what you need. Something is coming.

If You Feel Like Something Really, Really Bad Is About To Happen, You Are Definitely Not Alone

 

The post Here We Go: MSM Begins Propagating a “Third Wave” of COVID-19 first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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Europe Locks Down Again, China Institutes MASS TESTING Of ENTIRE CITY

The coronavirus “second wave” we’ve been promised is here.  European countries are locking down and restricting basic human rights once again as China takes to mass testing of an entire town.

Things are ramping up again. This scamdemic is going to go on for as long as the governments of the world can get away with it.

China has rushed to test the entire city Qingdao for COVID-19. The population of Qingdao is 9 million. Meanwhile, Europe is locking people down again and eliminating its economy in the process. Many mainstream media outlets are still reporting that the virus is spreading rapidly around the globe and we should all be terrified of it.

In Europe, the Netherlands imposed a “partial lockdown” to “control” one of the region’s worst outbreaks. According to the Mumbai Mirror, Labour opposition leader Keir Starmer in Great Britain called for a 2-3 week “circuit break” lockdown.  France has declared a national state of emergency within the past 24 hours. France is now expected to lockdown more people and restrict basic human rights to help stop a surge in cases.

The “Second Wave” Is Here As Expected, Bill Gates Says This One Will Get Our Attention

Dr. Fauci Warns of Winter Once Again: “I Think We’re Facing a Whole Lot of Trouble”

CNBC reported that the COVID-19 hoax is “out of control” in Europe so people should submit to horrific oppression. The U.K. is appearing to approach a second national lockdown and Germany introducing further rules to restrict the spread of the virus.

Deutsche Bank strategists (elitists installing the New World Order) led by Jim Reid said that Wednesday’s developments reflected “sadly yet another day of bad news out of Europe,” and warned that Italy was also seeing a sharp rise in cases, having lagged its neighbors in seeing a second wave.

 

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Dr. Reiner Fuellmich: Crimes against Humanity (Video) – CDC STATES COVID19 TESTS DON’T EXIST – CITED IN GERMAN LAWSUIT – YET FAUCI/BIRX SHUT DOWN AMERICA

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Spain Expands Lockdowns As “Record Surge” In Cases Reported

After a record surge in cases of COVID-19 have been reported, Madrid, Spain expands its lockdown to more than 1 million people in an effort to stop the “second wave.” It is here, and we are being backed into a corner.

Yesterday, the Financial Times published a deep dive comparing Madrid’s handling of the virus to New York City’s. It appears some Bank of America analysts have followed that up with a chart comparing the various ‘waves’ of outbreaks, Sputnik reported.

The mainstream media continues to report on the surge in coronavirus cases, even though this “disease” is not nearly as deadly as the flu, by their own statistics. Yet, we are supposed to somehow buy into a second lockdown. Pay attention to what mainstream media focuses on and you will get an idea of what the ruling class has in store for us.  It looks like they are ginning up the fear for a second lockdown, and it could happen as soon as October.

They are attempting to manufacture your consent to be screwed over once again and using fear to do it.  Please don’t fall for it:

Within Europe, both the UK and the EU’s biggest economies are all struggling to curb spiking coronavirus cases and mounting hospitalization numbers without resorting to full-scale lockdowns like they did back in the spring. Yesterday, both the UK and France reported record-breaking tallies of new cases.

Now, Europe’s biggest economies are struggling to bring the coronavirus back under control as hospitalizations and newly confirmed cases soar. After announcing new curbs earlier this month, Madrid’s local government is expected to decide on Friday whether to expand restrictions on movement within the city of Madrid and its suburbs, with nearly 40% of ICU beds in the region around the Spanish capital filled with COVID-19 patients. France earlier this week just expanded restrictions in and around Marseilles.

Poland, which has continued to report record after record in terms of new cases, is expected to introduce new restrictions next week to combat the virus.ZeroHedge

If you think this won’t be coming back to the United States, think again. People willingly locked themselves in their homes the first time, and far too many have yet to wake up to the reality of the New World Order bein rolled out under the film of this scamdemic hoax.

Isreal has also tightened their second lockdown restrictions imposed late last week. Already, starting last week, articles have surfaced declaring the US. needs to lock down again as cases continue to soar (using bullshit tests, of course.) If you are allergic to propaganda, refrain from reading the following article, written by Foreign Affairs:

America Needs To Lockdown Again

Others say that the U.S. failed to implement the lockdown effectively, so another one will be needed. A second lockdown “must be implemented and enforced.”

Keep your eyes and ears open, stay alert, continue to prepare, and don’t live in fear.  We know there’s no reason for another lockdown, but those pushing the agenda of the elites on the world are making sure we at least respect another one.  Whether or not we comply and go along with this tyrannical enslavement of humanity will be up to us.

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Prepare Now! Europe Locks Down AGAIN!

In addition to Israel, Australia, and the United Kingdom, Europe is now going into a second lockdown.  If you think another one can’t or won’t happen in the United States, think again. There were plenty of people who said it wouldn’t happen here, and the U.S. is still on its knees from the first lockdown.

According to a fear-mongering report by Time, even the countries that had largely avoided the first coronavirus wave (such as the Czech Republic) are now seeing surges. Stricter regulations to try and curb the spread of the virus could remain in place for the entire winter. In the United Kingdom, for example, where case rates are doubling by the week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new restrictions yesterday that could last six months, warning that the country is at “a perilous turning point.”

People are beginning to figure out that this entire debacle is a scam, a hoax being perpetrated by governments and helped with the constant bombarding of the public with fear by the mainstream media.

James Corbett: “The Pandemic Is A Test Run” For Your Enslavement

New infection clusters appear to be linked to younger people, who are less likely to die of the virus making people unwilling to follow the totalitarian rules imposed back in the spring.  The result is that this latest surge of cases has so far been less deadly than the first back in March and less burdensome to healthcare services. However, they are really scrambling for an excuse to lock people down again.

But the new restrictions could change if older people begin falling ill in greater numbers. Already, there has been a significant increase in the number of older people testing positive for the virus in France and Spain over the past two weeks, leading to upticks in hospital admissions. Rising case numbers threaten to overrun hospitals and health care services if not managed carefully. “We are not in the situation we were in March yet,” says Dominique Costalgliola, a member of the French Academy of Science and the vice-dean of research for the faculty of medicine at the Sorbonne University. –Time

Mainstream media is now also saying that Australia’s complete  violent authoritarianism “worked,” which is the exact same predictive programming and brainwashing we saw used back in spring to manufacture consent of a global lockdown after China’s brutality was a “success.”

This is all a test to see what and how much people are willing to put up with. So far, we’ve seen people in complete submission to the ruling class. Hopefully, that changes and soon because this is getting out of hand.

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NATO’s Slow-Motion Blitzkrieg Eastward

September 20, 2020 (Gunnar Ulson – NEO) – When the US announced it would be reducing the number of its troops stationed in Germany many hoped in vain it would be the beginning of an overall reduction of US forces in Europe and a deescalation of tensions between the US, NATO and the Russian Federation.

Many others, however, easily predicted these forces would simply be moved elsewhere in Europe and most likely eastward even closer to Russia’s borders and, as a result, increasing tensions.

AP reported in its article, “Pompeo inks deal for US troop move from Germany to Poland,” that:

Some 4,500 U.S. troops are currently based in Poland, but about 1,000 more are to be added, under a bilateral decision announced last year. Last month, in line with President Donald Trump’s demand to reduce troop numbers in Germany, the Pentagon announced that some 12,000 troops would be withdrawn from Germany with about 5,600 moving to other countries in Europe, including Poland.

The article would add, in an attempt to explain the presence of US troops in Europe and their creep ever eastward, that:

Pompeo has used his Europe trip to warn the region’s young democracies about threats posed by Russia and China and has received a warm welcome.

What threats would those be?

NATO’s creation and use as a balance of power during the Cold War could be argued, but since the collapse and eventual dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, NATO has not only continued to expand in membership including nations sitting directly on Russia’s borders, it has expanded in scope, participating in wars of aggression stretching from Africa to Asia.

If it were ever a tool to maintain a balance of power between East and West, it has since transformed into a bludgeon to fully exploit a perceived absence of it in its favor.

From Libya to Iraq to Syria to Afghanistan, NATO members have destroyed one nation after another from the turn of the century and continue doing so to this day.

A 2011 article in The Atlantic titled, “The Arab Spring: ‘A Virus That Will Attack Moscow and Beijing’,” quoted US Senator John McCain as saying:

“A year ago, Ben-Ali and Gaddafi were not in power. Assad won’t be in power this time next year. This Arab Spring is a virus that will attack Moscow and Beijing.”

The article’s author would then note:

Senator McCain’s framing reflects a triumphalism bouncing around at this conference.  It sees the Arab Spring as a product of Western design — and potentially as a tool to take on other non-democratic governments. 

At an earlier session, Senator Udall said that those who believed that the Arab Spring was an organic revolution from within these countries were wrong — and that the West and NATO in particular had been primary drivers of results in Libya — and that the West had helped animate and move affairs in Egypt.  Udall provocatively added Syria to that list as well.

Without a doubt, and even according to US newspapers like the New York Times, the Arab Spring was most certainly “a product of Western design” and in hindsight it cannot be disputed that the US and NATO in particular had been “primary drivers of results in Libya” with the alliance having used direct military force to topple the Libyan government.

In hindsight we can also see the swath of absolute devastation left in the wake of this “product of Western design,” with turmoil consuming North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.

After threatening Russia (and China) that this “product of Western design” was ultimately aimed at them, McCain would eventually tour the pile of rubble that once was Libya as well as visit the fringes of Syria’s still active battlefields. 

Can anyone honestly decouple threats like those of McCain against Moscow and Beijing and the visible destruction created as a result of Western military aggression all along Russia’s and China’s peripheries?

History Repeating Itself 

At the beginning of World War II Nazi Germany used an offensive form of warfare against Russia known as blitzkrieg. It first amassed troops along the border with Russia and then attempted to deliver a swift, focused blow aimed at Moscow to overwhelm Russian forces before they could mobilize and react.

Like many other invasions of Russia throughout history, Germany’s invasion failed and blitzkrieg, while successful against France, Belgium and Poland and even initially successful against Russia, was found to be ill-suited for the depth and distances required to conquer Russia’s sheer geographical size.

Is it hyperbole to claim history is repeating itself with the US amassing forces along Russia’s borders today while it burns the planet down along Russia’s borders and threatens Moscow that it is next in line?

It doesn’t seem like hyperbole at all.

It seems like a slow-motion version of Nazi Germany’s blitzkrieg, but instead of attempting to plow over Russia before winter comes as the Nazis attempted in June of 1941, it is instead methodically dissecting Russia’s allies abroad, smothering it along its borders, undermining and attempting to isolate it economically while attempting to foment the same sort of political subversion that kicked-off the Arab Spring in 2011 within Russia’s borders.

Policy circles in Washington and Brussels like to refer to its rivalry with Russia and China as a “Great Power Game.” Considering what the West has done to lesser pawns in this game, nations like Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen, to those in Moscow or Beijing it doesn’t feel like a game.

It feels existential.

Russia now faces an increase of US troops sitting on its borders. The transfer of 1,000 more US troops to Poland means 1,000 more US troops hovering over Russia’s Kaliningrad Oblast which sits on the northern Polish border.

It remains to be seen where other troops leaving Germany will be stationed but it is almost a certainty they will not be going back to the United States, and instead, will be heading further east.

The US and NATO attempt to portray Russia as the villain of this story for bolstering troops along its western borders in response. But these are Russian troops, inside of Russia and Russian troops facing off against the growing presence of US troops just on the other side.

The US has crossed an ocean and a continent to find itself on Russia’s doorstep. These are also US troops that have laid waste to several nations including and especially former Soviet allies and until their destruction, allies of the Russian Federation.

How else should Russia interpret all of this? How else should the rest of the world interpret this?

AP and others in the Western media refuse to state the obvious, but NATO’s existence since the fall of the Soviet Union has been a multi-decade, multi-trillion dollar slow-motion blitzkrieg that has already destroyed entire nations, is destroying many more now and poses as the most pressing threat to global peace and stability today.

When US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claims Russia and China pose “threats” to the world, there remains the inescapable fact that the US and NATO are the only nations in the 21st century invading and destroying other nations, creating conflict consuming entire regions of the planet and building up troops along the borders of the few nations left outside Western domination.

Until Russia and China do likewise, it is clear the only threat the US and NATO really face is reaching the limits of their abuses, or eventually even having to pay for them.

Gunnar Ulson, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”. 

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Embattled Lukashenko Raises Possibility Of Fresh Elections In First Hint At Compromise

Embattled Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has remained defiant after weeks of mass protests have brought parts of the country, especially the capital of Minsk, to a standstill, following his disputed August 9 reelection to a sixth term. He’s actually been seen walking the presidential compound grounds in combat fatigues while holding an automatic rifle, to show just how serious he is about resisting the unrest increasingly at the gates of his residence.

But on Tuesday he showed the first signs he might be willing to compromise as both domestic and international pressures grow toward holding a fresh election. The opposition claims the Aug.9 election was “rigged” as exiled opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya urges “international pressure on this regime” while issuing regular messages from neighboring Lithuania

Lukashenko was quoted in Interfax as saying Tuesday that he may have “overstayed” his time in office and that he would “not exclude early presidential elections” in a significant first sign of possibly softening his stance.

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Hundreds of US Troops Arrive in Lithuania for Drills Near Belarus’ Border

Since August election, Belarusian President Lukashenko has accused NATO of building up forces to oust him.

Hundreds of US troops have arrived in Lithuania to take part in military drills near the border of Belarus, adding to the mounting tensions over the disputed Belarusian presidential election. On Saturday, about a dozen Abrams tanks crossed into Lithuania from neighboring Poland.

Since the August 9th presidential election in Belarus, the US and EU have rejected the results and called for a fresh round of votes. The official results gave incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko 80 percent of the votes. Since the controversy over the election started, Lukashenko has accused NATO of building up a military force on Belarus’ borders in an effort to oust the embattled president.

The government of Lithuania insists that the exercise was pre-planned and has nothing to do with “any events in the region,” alluding to the August 9th election. The US deployment to Lithuania is expected to last until November. NATO has repeatedly denied Lukashenko’s claims of a military build-up on Belarus’ border.

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Navalny Poisoning – The Real Target is Russian-German Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

US-NATO continue building “momentum” behind Navalny incident – hope to end Nord Stream 2 pipeline before facts emerge, the pipeline is completed, and as all other options have so-far failed.  

September 6, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci – LD) – Alexei Navalny is the ideal opposition figure for any incumbent government – he is ineffective, unpopular, and transparently compromised by malign foreign interests.

According to a poll carried out by the Lavada Center – a polling organization funded by the US government itself  via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) – a mere 9% of all Russians look favorably on him and his work, with most Russians unaware of who he even is.

Germany was the one place the US and NATO needed Navalny to be the most – and in a condition of poor health the US and NATO needed him to be in. 

His continued existence and his monopoly over Russia’s equally unpopular opposition ensures that an effective opposition never takes root in grounds choked by his presence.

For Moscow – Navalny’s continued existence is not only not a threat, he occupies space where a real threat might otherwise emerge.

For the United States and its NATO partners who have dumped millions of dollars and political capital into Navalny’s dead-end opposition in Russia – Navalny’s continued existence is an underperforming investment at best.

“Coincidentally” just as the German-Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline nears completion – a pipeline project that will expand Russia’s hydrocarbon exports, increase revenue, and provide cheap energy to Europe in a business deal that would also help draw Europe and Russia closer diplomatically – Navalny was “poisoned.”

He wasn’t just “poisoned.” He was allegedly poisoned with nerve agents called “Novichoks” alleged to be available only in Russia. Navalny was rushed by a shadowy NGO with opaque funding called “Cinema for Peace” to Germany – of all places.

Delivered right to the heart of what is surely one of Russia’s most important economic and diplomatic projects at the moment – it is the perfect excuse for the US and NATO to pressure Germany to abandon Nord Stream 2 – an objective Washington has struggled and failed to achieve for years.

The US and NATO wasted no time accusing Russia even with no evidence presented that Russia was responsible – not to mention lacking any conceivable motive for the alleged “assassination” attempt of such an unpopular opposition figure at such a crucial time for Russia, its economy, and its ties with Western Europe and Germany in particular.

German state media, Deutsche Welle (DW), in an article titled, “Navalny, Novichok and Nord Stream 2 — Germany stuck between a rock and a pipeline,” indirectly lays out not only the real motive behind Navalny’s alleged poisoning, but the most likely culprit as well.

The article admits just how close to completion Nord Stream 2 is, noting (emphasis added):

Many are looking to Germany, whose Nord Stream 2 pipeline is a prominent example of selective cooperation with Russia despite concerns about the country’s approach to human rights both domestically and internationally.

The Nord Stream 2 project, which is more than 90% complete, aims to double Russia’s supply of direct natural gas to Germany. Running under the Baltic Sea, the pipeline bypasses Eastern European states, sending gas from Russia’s Narva Bay to Lubmin, a coastal town adjacent to Merkel’s constituency in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

It’s noted that the pipeline bypasses Eastern Europe where the US has repeatedly toppled governments and installed client regimes hostile to Russia – complicating Russia’s delivery of hydrocarbons to Western Europe – Ukraine being a recent example.

The DW article then admits:

Critics do not view Nord Stream 2 as purely a business affair, instead calling it a major win for Russia’s image and standing at the international level. The Navalny poisoning, which draws strong parallels to the 2018 Novichok attack on a former Russian double agent that the United Kingdom has accused the Kremlin of orchestrating, further complicates Germany’s efforts to keep politics out of Nord Stream 2.

“After the poisoning of Navalny we need a strong European answer, which Putin understands: The EU should jointly decide to stop Nord Stream 2,” tweeted Norbert Röttgen, an outspoken Russia critic in Merkel’s conservative party.  

His voice carries particular weight, as Röttgen chairs the Bundestag’s Foreign Affairs Committee and he is currently running for the party’s leadership.

It doesn’t take an expert in geopolitics to have understood that an attempt on Navalny’s life would have provided a mountain of political ammunition for the US and NATO in its ongoing attempts to sabotage Nord Stream 2 and prevent “a win for Russia’s image and standing at the international level.”

This is the most compelling reason why the Kremlin would not have ordered it – especially so close to completing Nord Stream 2.

It must also be remembered that Navalny was flown directly to Germany after the alleged attack.

Germany was the one place the US and NATO needed Navalny to be the most – and in a condition of poor health the US and NATO needed him to be in. With Nord Stream 2 over 90% complete – there is little time left to threaten, coerce, and pressure Germany to otherwise abandon the project.

The alleged presence of “Novichok” nerve agents – had the attack been the work of the Kremlin – would have been a smoking gun and a virtual calling card left – all but guaranteeing immense pressure from across the West and in particular – pressure placed on Germany to cancel the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

The DW article covers what the US has already done to pressure Germany, noting (emphasis added):

 The Trump administration wants to sell Germany its own gas, which critics say is more expensive than gas from Russia. Sanctions have bipartisan support in Washington, and the US has already imposed them against companies laying pipe in the Baltic Sea, prompting the Swiss-Dutch company Allseas to pull out of the project in 2019. More sanctions are awaiting the US president’s signature.

Then DW quoted Sarah Pagung – a specialist on German-Russian relations for the German Council on Foreign Relations. The article would note her saying (emphasis added):

“We can’t rule [the canceling of Nord Stream 2] out as an option, but it’s unlikely,” Pagung told DW, although she said Germany could use the Navalny poisoning as an “opportunity” to shift its position on the pipeline without appearing to be caving to US pressure. 

DW all but spells out the true motive of Navalny’s alleged poisoning and his “serendipitous” delivery to Germany for treatment – to serve as a catalyst for the cancellation of Nord Stream 2.

Since Moscow has absolutely nothing to gain from this – it is the least likely suspect.

Since it not only fits into the US and NATO’s openly declared agenda of coercing Germany into cancelling the Nord Stream 2 project, it also fits a pattern of staged attacks and fabricated claims used by the US and NATO to advance their collective foreign policy – they are the most likely suspects.

Consider the much worse and absolutely verified crimes against humanity the US and NATO are guilty of – with the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the 2011-onward military interventions in Libya and Syria as just two examples. Poisoning Navalny – a failed investment as a living, breathing opposition figure and turning him into a martyr – is a relatively small act of false-flag violence to create a difficult impasse for the German government regarding Nord Stream 2.

The fact that the US and NATO are rushing to conclusions without evidence – as they’ve done many times before when pushing now verified lies – only further incriminates both as the most likey suspects in Navalny’s poisoning.

For Navalny himself – his fate – if he was actually poisoned – is tragic. The very people he worked for and whose agenda he served seem to find him more useful dying than healthy in terms of advancing Western foreign policy against Russia.

There are too many “coincidences” surrounding this incident:

  • The attack itself at such a sensitive time for Russia, its economy, and its ties with Germany in particular;
  • The fact that Navalny was flown by a shadowy NGO to Germany itself;
  • The fact that the US has been openly trying to sabotage the German-Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline all along and;
  • The fact that the “attack” was allegedly carried out in such a clumsy, ineffective, and incriminating way specifically to implicate Russia.
For a US and NATO who have sold the world entire wars based on “evidence” and “accusations” of everything from nonexistent “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq to lies about viagra-fuelled rape squads in Libya – one more lie about an unpopular Russian opposition figure poisoned in Russia, picked up by a dubious NGO, and placed down right in the middle of German-Russian relations and the Nord Stream 2 pipeline the US and NATO are desperate to stop – fits a disturbing but all-too-predictable pattern.  
The question is why are people still falling for it? Will Germany fall for it, or at the very least, cave – costing itself economic opportunities in exchange for a deeper and more costly role in US-NATO aggression against Russia? Only time will tell. 

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Europe Intelwars

NATO’s ‘Unified Front’ at Breaking Point

Last month, a Turkish warship came one step away from firing missiles at a French naval vessel off the coast of Libya. In response, Paris suspended its involvement in Operation Sea Guardian – a multinational maritime effort to provide security in the Mediterranean Sea and halt the arms trafficking fueling Libya’s ongoing civil war. Initially, only eight member states – notably excluding both the U.S. and U.K. – supported France’s official complaint. This was only the latest incident in the increasingly frequent – and exceedingly awkward – tensions between several of Washington’s core North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies. Indeed, from South America to East Asia, NATO members stand divided over many critical foreign policy issues of the moment.

On the subject of NATO – as with much else – President Trump is obtuse and ill-informed. Only here he isn’t exactly wrong. In fact, recent events raise serious questions about the 70-year old alliance’s lingering relevance and utility – as in what, so to speak, NATO is for?

Sure, The Donald is hardly a bridge-builder, but the media’s temptation to blame him alone for NATO’s growing fissures ultimately misses the mark – and the backstory. While his foreign policy fiascoes have widened its divisions, the alliance’s inherent contractions and hypocrisies preceded Mr. Trump. Indeed, some of the current fracture traces back to NATO’s complicated genesis; the rest, mainly, to the problematic pivot after the collapse of its justification-boogeyman – the Soviet Union – and its leading American member’s hyper-imperial post-9/11 turn.

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NATO Begins Provocative Military Exercises on Russian Border

Once again, NATO is operating dangerous and bold military maneuvers in regions close to the European Russian border. This time, the country hosting the tests is Estonia, a Baltic State that in recent decades has been characterized by a strong pro-Western and anti-Russian stance. The small European country is occupied by a large contingent of American troops and will be in such a situation until at least September 10, when the operations end.

The tests started on September 1 are already causing a small diplomatic crisis between Russia and the United States. The Russian Embassy in Washington commented on the exercises with great antipathy:

“The Russian Federation has repeatedly offered to the United States and its allies to limit training activities and to divert exercise areas from the line of contact between Russia and NATO. We consider the actions of the US Armed Forces in Estonia provocative and extremely dangerous for regional stability (…) What signal from NATO members want to send us? Who is actually fueling tensions in Europe? And all this is taking place in the context of an aggravated political situation in that region of the European continent. Rhetorical question: how would the Americans react if such shooting were carried out by our military near the US borders?”.

In addition to the diplomatic crisis, military tension broke out in the region last Tuesday. NATO planes that would be used in the exercises were intercepted unexpectedly by Russian fighters while flying over the border area. In addition, Aleksandr Lukashenko, president of Belarus, put his troops on high alert and started his own military exercises, understanding NATO’s maneuvers as a provocative and threatening measure, not only against Russia, but also Belarus

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“Poisons Regional Peace”: Turkey Enraged After US Lifts Decades-Old Arms Embargo On Cyprus

The timing significantly comes amid Turkey’s Mediterranean gas exploration standoff with Greece and Cyprus, which this past weekend very nearly resulted in shots fired, as the conflict gets increasingly militarized: the US has announced it will lift a decades-old arms embargo on Cyprus.

For now, the US move will only allow “non-lethal” military items to be exported to EU member Cyprus. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo relayed the change to Republic of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades in a Tuesday phone call.

Pompeo further “reaffirmed US support for a comprehensive settlement to reunify the island” – given the arms embargo was imposed in the first place in 1987 in the hope it would encourage reunification, following Turkey’s military invasion and occupation of the northern half of the island since 1974.

President Anastasiades welcomed the temporary sanctions lifting, while predictably Turkey sees it as a direct threat, immediately urging Washington to reverse course:

“It poisons the peace and stability environment in the region,” the Turkish foreign ministry said, adding it does “not comply with the spirit of alliance” between the US and Turkey.

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Turkey’s Erdogan accuses EU of using Greece as ‘bait’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip accused European nations of using Greece as “bait” in the Mediterranean Sea confrontation while belittling Athens’ military might on Tuesday.

Erdogan, who has threatened Greece with military action, described Turkey’s activities in the eastern Mediterranean as the “pursuit of [its] rights and justice” and denounced what he said were Greek efforts to “imprison” Turkey to a small region surrounding its coast.

“Efforts to descend on the riches of the Mediterranean, which are the rights of every country around it, is an example of modern-day colonialism,” Erdogan said.

He also accused some nations he did not name of pushing Greece into a confrontation with Turkey.

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Europe Intelwars RUSSIA/BELARUS/UKRAINE

Moscow brands US war games in Estonia ‘extremely dangerous,’ denies NATO claims Russian fighter jet violated Danish border

Russia has accused the US of “escalating tensions in Europe” by holding live-fire exercises “in the immediate vicinity” of its borders. The Defense Ministry also denied a NATO accusation that a Russian jet entered Danish airspace.

In a statement the Russian embassy in Washington said it considers the use of multiple launch rocket systems by US armed forces during the exercises in Estonia to be provocative and extremely dangerous for regional stability, “Russia has repeatedly proposed to the United States and its allies to limit training activities and to divert the exercise zones from the Russia-NATO contact line,” the text reads. “Why do this demonstrative saber-rattling? What signal do the NATO members want to send us? Who is actually escalating tensions in Europe? And this is all happening in the context of an aggravated political situation in that region of Europe [in Belarus].”

“A rhetorical question is – how would the Americans react in the event of such shooting by our military at the US border?” the embassy added.

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How Should The European Union Respond To Rising Greece-Turkey Tensions?

Authored by Michael Leigh via Bruegel.org,

If the European Union can mediate effectively to resolve current Greek-Turkish tensions over energy in the Eastern Mediterranean, it could also provide an opportunity to tackle more deep-rooted problems.

But so far, the two most powerful EU nations have adopted a ‘good cop, bad cop’ approach that conveys different and confusing messages – and has not prevented escalation. Chancellor Angela Merkel, with the added authority of holding the EU’s six-month revolving presidency, has launched a German initiative to prevent escalation, reduce tensions and overcome longstanding conflicts. But French President Emmanuel Macron, while not eschewing mediation, has opted for a show of force, sending French naval vessels into disputed waters to counter the presence of Turkish warships.

Deep-rooted dispute
The dispute is ostensibly over ownership of offshore gas deposits and the delimitation of 200-mile exclusive economic zones (EEZs).

Turkey has sent exploration vessels and warships into waters claimed by Greece and Cyprus and begun drilling for gas. Despite its 1,600 kilometre Mediterranean coastline, Turkey is the only Eastern Mediterranean state without internationally recognised rights to offshore resources in the area because nearby Greek islands and Cyprus have secured the right to generate EEZs under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Turkey is one of fifteen UN members that is not a party to UNCLOS, and Ankara insists that Turkey’s continental shelf gives it ownership rights that take priority over the UNCLOS-backed claims of Cyprus and Greece.

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U.S. Control of Alexandroupolis Port Will Not Help to Protect Greece from Turkey

The Greek Private Asset Utilization Fund (HRADF) will sell a 67% stake of Alexandroupolis Port in northern Greece near the border with Turkey and Bulgaria. Two American companies are believed to be interested in the deal. Selling a port of strategic importance to U.S. companies, coupled with the availability of the facility for U.S. and NATO troops, is raising many questions in Greece. The Mediterranean country remains only one in two countries surveyed in NATO where the civilian population is not in favor of the alliance and only 36% of Greeks view the U.S. favourably. An announcement issued by HRADF emphasized that the bid consisted of two phases – “in the first phase, interested parties are invited to express their intention to participate before 5:00 pm on October 2, 2020.”

It is worth noting that the signing of a new defense agreement between Athens and Washington in October 2019 gave the Americans freedom to use the country’s seaport infrastructure. In fact, the U.S. announced its interests in the Alexandroupolis Port as far back as September 2019.

Although the Greek leadership knows that Washington has traditionally appeased Turkey at the expense of Greek security and interests, they are still willing to sacrifice one of their most strategic assets with the hope that it will stem Turkish aggression on Greece. Earlier this week, Turkish Member of Paliament Metin Külünk, who belongs to the ruling Justice and Development Party and went to the same youth movement as Erdo?an, went to Twitter to announce Turkey’s future conquest of Greece’s eastern Aegean islands and the mainland region where Alexandroupolis Port is located, accompanied with a map of “Greater Turkey.”

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Turkey intercepts six Greek F-16 jets in the Mediterranean as tensions rise

Turkey said on Saturday it will hold a military exercise off northwest Cyprus for the next two weeks, two days after it intercepted six Greek F-16 jets in the Mediterranean amid growing tensions with Athens over energy exploration rights.

Video footage posted by the Turkish defence ministry on Friday purportedly showed Turkish Air Force planes preventing the Greek aircraft from entering the area where Turkey was operating. The F-16s had departed from the island of Crete and were heading towards southern Cyprus, the statement said.

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Swedish Police ‘Have No Control’ as Koran Burning Sparks Riots in Malmo – Photos, Videos

A group of activists burned a copy of the Islamic holy book and uploaded the video, depicting it online after police arrested a leader of “Hard Line” political party was arrested by authorities.

Mass riots hit Malmo, Sweden after a public Koran burning. At least three hundred enraged people rallied in the Muslim-majority neighbourhoods, with a crowd torching cars and throwing stones at the police officers, who tried to ease the tensions.

“We have ongoing and violent riots right now that we have no control over”, police spokesman Rickard Lundqvist told journalists.

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Russian Troops Active In Belarus War Games As Putin Unveils “Law Enforcement Reserve” Standing By

Early this week the US State Department said there were no signs that Russia’s military plans to intervene in ongoing chaotic events in Belarus where swelling protests in the tens of thousands have brought Minsk to a standstill as opposition activists and strikers demand 26-year ruling President Alexander Lukashenko step down, or at least hold “fair” and not “rigged” elections.

As of last Monday Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun said there were no indications to suggest Moscow planned to intervene in the political crisis, which many see as resembling the 2014 crisis in Ukraine where the country was split between pro-EU and pro-Russian factions and interests.

That assessment might have changed by end of the week, as regional headlines have confirmed Russia’s military is assisting Belarus in conducting war games on Thursday, Friday, and into next week.

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ASIA China CURRENT EVENTS Economy Europe Intelwars

Escobar: Definitive Eurasian Alliance Is Closer Than You Think

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Saker blog (originally posted at The Asia Times),

Beijing-Moscow is already on; Berlin-Beijing is a work in progress; the missing but not distant link is Berlin-Moscow..

We have seen how China is meticulously planning all its crucial geopolitical and geoeconomic moves all the way to 2030 and beyond.

What you are about to read next comes from a series of private, multilateral discussions among intel analysts, and may helpfully design the contours of the Big Picture.

In China, it’s clear the path ahead points to boosting internal demand, and shifting monetary policy towards the creation of credit to consolidate the building of world-class domestic industries.

In parallel, there’s a serious debate in Moscow that Russia should proceed along the same path. As an analyst puts it, “Russia should not import anything but technologies it needs until it can create them themselves and export only the oil and gas that is required to pay for imports that should be severely restricted. China still needs natural resources, which makes Russia and China unique allies. A nation should be as self-sufficient as possible.”

That happens to mirror the exact CCP strategy, as delineated by President Xi in his July 31 Central Committee meeting.

And that also goes right against a hefty neoliberal wing in the CCP – collaborationists? – who would dream of a party conversion into Western-style social democracy, on top of it subservient to the interests of Western capital

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