With the new U. S. sanctions bill having been passed by a united Congress and signed by a President allegedly opposed to it, U. S. sanctions are now all over the news. But the sanctions bill was not just a step toward a second Cold War with Russia, the bill was also aimed at North Korea, Iran, China, and even Europe. In his excellent study of the bill, ‘U. S. Sanctions: A ‘Loony Tunes’ Bad Remake; ‘Irreversible Decline Of The U. S. As A Global Superpower,’ F. William Engdahl described the legislation as being a ‘nuclear barrel bomb with sanctions flying in all directions.’ Sadly, Engdahl is right.
Without going into a detailed analysis of the bill, suffice it to say that it is aimed directly at Russia, Iran, and North Korea but that it threatens anyone and any country that does business with specific elements of the Iranian, North Korean, or Russian economy. This means that China, Germany, and the European Union as a whole have been put on notice that business as usual will subject them to United States sanctions, ‘allies’ or not.
Once again, the United States is declaring to the world that it is the emperor of the planet and any country (save for Israel) who acts in opposition to its whims is in danger of sanctions or worse.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on AUGUST 8, 2017.

REVEALED: A Secret Agreement to Restore Raqqa to Syria?

21st Century Wire says…
This report is still unconfirmed, but based on the current strategic situation in Syria, this apparent behind closed doors agreement would be a practical decision.

Ever since ISIS became prominent in northeastern Syria in 2014, the United States gradually moved in to back the Kurdish defense forces and militias, including the YPG and a new Kurdish fighting group set up by Pentagon called the ‘Syria Democratic Forces’ (SDF). The US and Israeli objective appears to have been to allow ISIS to gradually depopulate the area, and then once ISIS could be moved out of their stronghold in Raqqa, then Washington would use their Kurdish proxies to occupy strategic towns and cities – including the area around Raqqa. This appears to have been very poor planning by the Pentagon, as it not only ignores the demographics of the area (Arab majority), but it’s also ignorant of the fact that not all Kurds desire an independent state or Rojava canton. The US deep state’s masterplan for a federalized partition of Syria also appears to have ignored another obvious factor – that Syria was not going to hand over any of its territory in a US-led course of action.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on AUGUST 7, 2017.

Rare Earths Are China’s Most Potent Weapon In A Trade War

In October 1973, the world shuddered when the Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries imposed an oil embargo on the United States and other nations that provided military aid to Israel in the Yom Kippur war. At the same time, they ramped up prices.
The United States realized it was dependent on imported oil – and much of that came from the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia the big swing producer. It shook the nation. How had a few foreign powers put a noose around the neck of the world’s largest economy?
Well, it could happen again and very soon. The commodity that could bring us to our knees isn’t oil, but rather a group of elements known as rare earths, falling between 21 and 71 on the periodic table.
This time, just one country is holding the noose: China.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 6, 2017.

Pharma Shares Melt Down as Generic Drug Prices Drop, But Consumers Might See Relief from Rip-Off

Effects of competition after government cracks down on price fixing?
Shares of Teva (TEVA), the largest generic drug manufacturer in the world, plunged 13% on Friday, to $20.60, after having already plunged 24% on Thursday, after having reported that second quarter revenue and profits had been beaten down by a 6% decline in generic drug prices. Since July 2015, shares have plunged 70%.
Though revenues rose, Teva booked a net loss of $6.0 billion in the quarter. It listed a slew of special items, including a $6.1 billion write-off ‘related to the US generics reporting unit.’
It announced that it would slash its dividend by 75%, lay off 7,000 employees globally, including in Israel where it is headquartered, pull out from 45 countries, and close 15 plants. It is grappling with a generics market where competition started to push down prices in 2015. ‘Negative net pricing’ is what the company calls this.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ Aug 5, 2017.

Episode #196 – SUNDAY WIRE: ‘States of Nature’ with guests Mike Robinson, Vanessa Beeley, Basil Valentine

Episode #196 of SUNDAY WIRE SHOW resumes on July 30th, 2017 as guest host Patrick Henningsen brings you this week’s LIVE broadcast on the Alternate Current Radio Network – covering all the top news stories both at home and internationally…
5pm-8pm UK Time | 12pm-3pm ET (US) | 9am-12am PT (US)

This week we deliver another LIVE broadcast from the sunny shores of Devon in the UK, as SUNDAY WIRE host Patrick Henningsen is joined by Mike Robinson, editor of the UK Column, as we discuss this weeks top news stories both foreign and domestic. While the Trump White House is embroiled in another episode of political archaos, the US votes to resume sanctions against Russia, while Israel threatens to break the fragile Russian-brokered ceasefire in Syria. Trump drawn fire from liberal progressives and Hollywood over his recent announcement to ban transgender soldiers from US military. We also discuss Charlie Sheen and Whoopi Goldberg’s appearance in new 9/11 film trailer due out this fall. Later in the first hour we’ll discuss the recent controversy over a new US law that would make organized protests or boycotting Israel illegal in the US. In the third hour, we’ll try and connect with 21WIRE Associate Editor Vanessa Beeley on the ground in Aleppo, Syria. Later in the program we’ll also try and connect with SUNDAY WIRE intrepid correspondent for culture & sport, Basil Valentine, reporting from the Port Elliot Literary Festival in St Germans, Cornwall and joined by the lovely and talented Tamara The Political Poetress.
VOTE IN OUR NEWS POLL: Who ‘Meddled’ More in the 2016 Election – The Democratic National Committee (DNC) or Russia?

Strap yourselves in and lower the blast shield – this is your brave new world…

This post was published at Spreaker BY 21WIRE JULY 30, 2017.

The Reason US Police Murder US Citizens

The Reason US Police Murder US Citizens
If you care to understand how public servants were transformed into public executioners, read Philiip Giraldi’s article:
Briefly, the reason US police routinely shoot down unarmed and unthreatening US citizens in the street and in their homes is beause US police are increasingly trained by Israeli police. In Israel the police are an occupying force. They are there to suppress the dispossessed Palestinian population whose homes, villages, and olive groves have been stolen by ‘settlers’ and who are conviently branded ‘ terrorists’ and therefore can be murdered.

This post was published at Paul Craig Roberts on July 25, 2017.

Chapter 42: Education

Christian Economics: Teacher’s Edition
In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God. And he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and placed the vessels in the treasury of his god. Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility, youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king’s palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans (Daniel 1:1 – 4).
AnalysisThis was public education in action. It was funded by the king of an empire. The king brought in young men from the conquered nationalities. He wanted them educated in the literature of the Chaldeans. After their education was completed, they would then be placed in positions of authority in the empire, serving as intermediaries between the Chaldean state and the subject nationalities. The king understood the centrality of state-run education in the hierarchy of control over the conquered nations.
The young men had no choice but to attend. Their names were changed as a mark of their new subordination (v. 7). But we learn that Daniel established a practice that revealed the sovereignty of God over the gods of the empire. He suggested a test.
But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs, and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, ‘I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king.’ Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, ‘Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king’s food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.’ So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days. At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food. So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables (vv. 8 – 16).

This post was published at Gary North on July 21, 2017.

Lessons learned of U.S./Russia summits…past and present: John Batchelor Interviews Stephen F. Cohen

There is a return to the historical view in this podcast as perspectives of change are examined to reveal how governments now behave, and to give some idea whether the world is a safer place or not. The recent drama has been around the G20 meeting in Hamburg when Putin and Trump met for the first time. Cohen considers this as potentially a very good thing, while Batchelor wonders, in his introduction, if any dtente efforts are even possible. The meeting in reality was a summit and for Trump an official attempt to reduce tensions between Russia and the United States, and although there is opposition to dtente in both countries Cohen notes that ‘Russiagate’ forces are mounting a very heavy resistance to the process – much heavier (with details given) than has been faced by other presidents. The main point for Cohen about the meeting may be centred around Putin’s and the Kremlin’s concern whether Trump can even deliver on any agreements between the two countries; this because Russiagate has so weakened the ability for the president to act. (This writer shares that concern.) The U.S. MSM, Cohen continues, of course went into a frenzy of fake news during the summit, for example, about Russian agents pouring into the US, and doubled down on the repetitious themes that are so cherished by them- regardless that most of narratives have been repudiated from official sources. I think that this says more about how more important the MSM is to the American public’s awareness level than government investigations are when a media can edit out the important realities to continue to corrupt the internal politics. Perhaps the, media should also be considered a national security threat or formally recognized as part of government in Washington.
The two pundits then launch a discussion on opposition to the previous dtente efforts by presidents Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan. Eisenhower’s efforts were negated by the U-2 shoot down incident over Russia, for example. Nixon’s were hindered by Soviet immigration policy for its Jews, and, of course, Watergate. Reagan also faced huge opposition and overcame it (even firing his neo-conservative elements close to him -Larry). But Cohen points out that what Trump is facing is different – his opposition is much greater than anything seen in the past. And Cohen offers that perhaps this was predictable in that cooperation with Russia was part of his election platform (and the only one still pursued by him – Larry). Cohen also states that Trumps problems have been compounded with his views about Syria that Assad should stay. Cohen also mentions the intelligence aid given by Israel and Jordan to Russia in the war (although I have a problem with this view – more about this later). Many of these subjects were discussed at the recent summit: Trump shares with Putin the view that terrorism is the existential danger. A new solution for settling the civil war in Ukraine was a topic – without the EU involved (and here his opposition is also expanded to conflict with elements in NATO/CIA and the E.U.). Even cyber warfare was discussed – although one wonders how anything that secretive and destructive can ever be honestly regulated between Washington and Russia. Cohen, however, rates these summit talks between Putin and Trump as a major achievement and a necessary one.

This post was published at Audioboom

Russia Is Using A Unique Strategy In The Middle East – Episode 1334b

The following video was published by X22Report on Jul 17, 2017
The interpreter in the Trump Jr. meeting was linked to the Hillary Clinton and her state department. CNN faked news with the Russian hacking of Qatar, actually the Washington Post is now reporting it was UAE. South Korea and North Korea might work together militarily. Finland is preparing for war with Russia. Russia moving troops into Southern Syria, Israel says it will not go along with the ceasefire in Syria. Turkey is preparing to attack the Kurds. Putin is using Turkey to keep the deep state from establishing a Kurd state.

The US Deep State: Sabotaging Putin-Trump Ceasefire Agreement In Syria

The meeting between Trump and Putin at the G20 in Hamburg injects new hope into the complicated relationship between the United States and Russia. Only time can confirm whether there is any basis for this hope.
The most eagerly anticipated meeting of the year, that between Putin and Trump, lasted far more than the scheduled 20 minutes, extending past two hours. This is not too much of a surprise given the points of friction that needed to be discussed, the many outstanding issues in international relations, and the fact that this was the first official meeting between the two world leaders. The results achieved exceeded initial ambitions, and the personal chemistry between Putin and Trump seems to have been sufficient to reach an important agreement in Syria as well as to conduct discussions surrounding cyber security. Trump even asked Putin about the alleged Russian hacking in the US presidential election as a way of appeasing detractors back home. The statements of both presidents following their meeting underlined their positive intentions. Putin called Trump a very different person from the one portrayed in the media, mentioning that he was reflective and very attentive to details. Trump, for his part, praised the meeting with Putin, stating the importance of dialogue between nuclear-armed superpowers.
The most important agreement concerned a ceasefire in southern Syria along the border with Israel and Jordan. This is a very active area of fighting, and so the ceasefire obviates the possibility of dangerous confrontations between the United States and Russia, as well as between Syria and Israel, which could escalate out of control as seen when the US Air Force shot down a Syrian Su-22 jet as well an Iranian drone. Israel, from its position in the occupied Golan Heights, has repeatedly struck the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), in a desperate effort to halt its gains against al Qaeda and Daesh terrorists.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 17, 2017.

Chapter 37: Subsidies

Christian Economics: Teacher’s Edition
So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, for all the Egyptians sold their fields, because the famine was severe on them. The land became Pharaoh’s. As for the people, he made servants of them from one end of Egypt to the other. Only the land of the priests he did not buy, for the priests had a fixed allowance from Pharaoh and lived on the allowance that Pharaoh gave them; therefore they did not sell their land (Genesis 47:20 – 22).
AnalysisThe case of this subsidy to the priests provides insight into the nature of government subsidies in general. Subsidies buy the cooperation of the recipients. Pharaoh had begun subsidizing the priests in year one of the famine. He was no fool. He wanted the priesthood on his side. We know from secular Egyptian history that the priests taught that the Pharaoh was a semi-divine figure: the link between heaven and earth. He therefore possessed sovereignty. This theology was advantageous to Pharaoh, especially during a famine, when Egyptians might have been receptive to a revision of priestly theology. But with the priests on the dole, he could be confident that there would be no revision of priestly theology. As the saying goes, ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you.’
This example is from the history of Egypt, not the history of Mosaic Israel. Those theologians who seek to derive a theory of state subsidies from the Bible cannot find examples in the Mosaic law or the history of the mosaic Israel. Whenever they cite the example of Joseph’s central planning in Egypt, they neglect to mention that Joseph was bringing the people of Egypt under the rule of a state that taxed them at 20%, which is twice the rate that is identified by God as tyrannical (I Samuel 8:10 – 14). Joseph brought the Egyptians under the bondage that was implicit in Egypt’s theology of the divine Pharaoh. This was God’s judgment on the nation.
The economic principle here is simple: ‘He who pays the piper calls the tune.’ If the state pays any group on a permanent basis, it calls the tune. The recipients become dependent on the flow of funds from the state. This subsidy buys political cooperation.

This post was published at Gary North on July 15, 2017.

Iran Arrests 4 Saudis On A Vessel Inside Its Territorial Waters

On June 19, just around the time it emerged that Israel had been secretly funding Syrian rebel groups and was explicitly aligned with Saudi Arabia in the Syrian conflict, Saudi media reported that the kingdom had captured three members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps from a boat as it approached the kingdom’s offshore Marjan oilfield. The Saudi Center for International Communications added that the boat carried explosives, and the Iranians aboard “intended to carry out terrorist act in Saudi territorial waters” with the Marjan Saudi offshore oilfield allegedly targeted. In other words, Saudi paraded that it had caught what appeared to be three Iranian terrorists belonging to IRGC, suggesting this was an operation ordered from the very top.
Of course, Iran’s take on things was different: Iran’s Tasnim news agency said that Saudi border guards had opened fire on an Iranian fishing boat in the Gulf on Friday, killing a fisherman. It said the boat was one of two Iranian boats fishing in the Gulf that had been pushed off course by waves. So on one side terrorists, on the other fishermen: about par.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 7, 2017.

Putin’s Assessment of Trump at the G-20 Will Determine Our Future

The backdrops to the Putin/Trump meeting are the aspirations of Israel and the neoconservatives. It is these aspirations that drive US foreign policy.
What is Syria about? Why is Washington so focused on overthrowing the elected president of Syria? What explains the sudden 21st century appearance of ‘the Muslim threat’? How is Washington’s preoccupation with ‘the Muslim threat’ consistent with Washington’s wars against Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, and Assad, leaders who suppressed jihadism? What explains the sudden appearance of ‘the Russian threat’ which has been hyped into dangerous Russophobia without any basis in fact?
The Muslim threat, the Russian threat, and the lies used to destroy Iraq, Libya, and parts of Syria are all orchestrations to serve Israeli and neoconservative aspirations.
The Israel Lobby in the United States, perhaps most strongly represented in Commentary, The Weekly Standard and The New York Times, used the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon to urge US President George W. Bush to begin ‘a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from Power in Iraq.’
See also: Saddam Hussein was a secular leader whose job was to sit on the animosities of the Sunni and Shia and maintain a non-violent political stability in Iraq. He, Assad, and Gaddafi suppressed the extremism that leads to jihadism. Saddam had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11, and under his rule Iraq constituted a ZERO threat to the US. He had been a faithful vassal and attacked Iran for Washington, which had hopes of using Iraq to overthrow the Iranian government.

This post was published at Paul Craig Roberts on July 7, 2017.

US Expands Military Footprint in Syria to EIGHT Bases, ‘Modifies’ Kobani Air Base

‘The US is setting up its military bases in the territories that were liberated from Daesh by our fighters during the fight against terrorism,’ ~ Senior Representative of the US armed, proxy, SDF forces.
With very little fanfare from the western media, the US is quietly creating a hostile military footprint inside Syria.
By establishing a chain of airbases, military outposts and missile bases inside Syria, the US is illegally, stealth-occupying a sovereign nation. The number of US military installations in Syria has increased to eight bases according to recent reports, and possibly nine according to one other military analyst.
We should also not forget the malevolent presence of Israel in the criminally annexed southern Syrian territory of the Golan Heights. This could just as easily be included in the list of US military outposts inside Syria.
Two regional intelligence sources disclosed mid-June that the US military moved a new truck-mounted, long-range rocket launcher from Jordan to a US base in al-Tanf in Southeastern Homs, near the Iraqi and Jordanian borders, stepping up its presence in the area.
The sources said the (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems – HIMARS) had moved into the desert garrison, which saw a buildup in recent weeks as tensions escalate after the US-led coalition struck positions of the Syrian forces to prevent them advancing toward the al-Tanf base.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JULY 5, 2017.

Chapter 28: Justice

Christian Econimics: Teacher’s Edition
You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor (Leviticus 19:15).
AnalysisPoint four of the biblical covenant is sanctions. It asks: ‘What do I get if I obey? Disobey?”
This law is a specific application of one of the laws of Passover: ‘There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you’ (Exodus 12:49). These two verses are the biblical foundation of the principle of the rule of law. Hebrew or gentile, rich or poor, there was to be one civil law-order. This was crucial in the Mosaic law’s concept of justice. No one was exempt from the rule of law.
The Mosaic law was authoritative in pre-exilic Israel. The law was enforced by civil courts. These courts had to contain Levites and civil rulers. There was no separation of church and state in the civil court system. Levites were citizens as members of a tribe. They were the also teachers of the Mosaic law: specialists.
If any case arises requiring decision between one kind of homicide and another, one kind of legal right and another, or one kind of assault and another, any case within your towns that is too difficult for you, then you shall arise and go up to the place that the Lord your God will choose. And you shall come to the Levitical priests and to the judge who is in office in those days, and you shall consult them, and they shall declare to you the decision. Then you shall do according to what they declare to you from that place that the Lord will choose. And you shall be careful to do according to all that they direct you. According to the instructions that they give you, and according to the decision which they pronounce to you, you shall do. You shall not turn aside from the verdict that they declare to you, either to the right hand or to the left. The man who acts presumptuously by not obeying the priest who stands to minister there before the Lord your God, or the judge, that man shall die. So you shall purge the evil from Israel. And all the people shall hear and fear and not act presumptuously again (Deuteronomy 17:8 – 13).
Civil courts were required by God to bring negative sanctions against convicted law breakers. The whole nation was to understand the law. No one could legitimately claim ignorance of the law. Civil rulers were not legislators. They were judges. They could not legally multiply laws. The law code was short enough to be read to all the people every seventh year. God had declared it. The judges enforced it.

This post was published at Gary North on July 05, 2017.

I sure hope that I am wrong, but… — The Saker

The talk of the week is the upcoming meeting between Presidents Trump and Putin on the sidelines of the G20 conference this Friday. There have been some very good articles already written on this topic, I particularly recommend Adam Garrie’s ‘5 obstacles Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin will have to address in their meeting’ for The Duran and Israel Shamir’s ‘What Would Putin Tell Trump?’ for The Unz Review. It is undeniable that the fact that these two men will finally meet is an event of immense significance and importance for the future not only of U.S.-Russian relations, but even for the future or mankind.
Or is it?
I have to be honest here and say that my expectations are pretty close to zero. Oh sure, they will smile, probably a lot, and some minor issues, such as the seizure of the Russian diplomatic residence in the USA, will be resolved. Probably. There might even be some kind of positive sounding sounds about ‘reaffirming the Minsk Agreement’ or ‘fighting ISIS in Syria’, but compared to long list of truly vital issues which need to be urgently discussed and resolved, this will, I am afraid, be as close to nothing as it can get. Why do I say that?
First, we should all stop kidding ourselves, Russia and the USA do not have ‘disagreements’. The sad and frightening reality is that we are now closer to war than during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Not only are Russian and U.S. servicemen now deployed in the same war zone (the Americans totally illegally), but unlike what happened during the Cuban Missile Crisis we have a U.S. President who terminally lacks the willpower to deal with the crazies on the U.S. side, I am talking about the Neocons, of course. In fact, under Kennedy there were no real Neocons to tackle to begin with. Now they are running the White House while Trump serves them coffee or watches TV in another room (I am joking of course, but just barely). In this context, to meet on the ‘sidelines’ of a G20 conference is bordering on the criminally irresponsible. What the world would need is for Trump and Putin to meet in a ‘Camp David’ like format for at least 3-5 days with all their key advisors and officials. Even if we assume a 100% of good will on both sides, meeting on the ‘sidelines’ of an already big conference just won’t make it possible to get anything done. In the very best of cases Lavrov and Tillerson could have done most of the hard work away from the public eye, but the truth is that the Russians say that so far the two sides have not even agreed upon an agenda.

This post was published at The Saker