2 Feb 2019

Why Venezuela Must Be Destroyed

By Dmitry Orlov: Last week Trump, his VP Mike Pence, US State Dept. director Mike Pompeo and Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton, plus a bunch of Central American countries that are pretty much US colonies and don’t have foreign policies of their own, synchronously announced that Venezuela has a new president: a virtual non-entity named Juan Guaidó, who was never even a candidate for that office, but who was sorta-kinda trained for this job in the US. Guaidó appeared at a rally in Caracas, flanked by a tiny claque of highly compensated sycophants. He looked very frightened as he self-appointed himself president of Venezuela and set about discharging his presidential duties by immediately going into hiding.
His whereabouts remained unknown until much later, when he surfaced at a press conference, at which he gave a wishy-washy non-answer to the question of whether he had been pressured to declare himself president or had done so of his own volition. There is much to this story that is at once tragic and comic, so let’s take it apart piece by piece. Then we’ll move on to answering the question of Why Venezuela must be destroyed (from the US establishment’s perspective).

Palestine In Pictures: January 2019

The new year in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip began as 2018 ended, with Israeli soldiers and settlers killing Palestinian men, women and children with impunity.
The Electronic Intifada: Nearly 300 Palestinians were killed by Israeli occupation forces last year, thanks to a “reckless open-fire policy” and a “profound disregard for the lives of Palestinians … broadly backed by senior policy makers in the military, the government and the judicial system,” as described by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.
A Palestinian protester is engulfed by tear gas during Great March of Return protests east of Gaza City on 4 January. Mohammed Zaanoun ActiveStills
“Given this sweeping support and the lack of accountability for these deaths, such incidents will continue,” B’Tselem warned at the close of 2018.
Eleven Palestinians were killed by soldiers and settlers during January, and an additional Palestinian died from his injuries after being shot during protests in Gaza the previous year.

US To Invade Venezuela If Staged Coup Fails: Russian Foreign Ministry

Maria Zakharova, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson:
"We call upon all of our partners to seriously consider what real role Washington is giving them in the preparation and carrying out of the force-based scenario in the region. ...This is like what was done in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, and many other places on our planet earlier. How severe will be the humanitarian and migratory crises in case those plans are implemented?"

Scandal: An Impoverished Labour Council Spent £136,000 To Stop Me Playing Sax And Got Santa Claus Instead

'A frog thrown into a pot of boiling water will immediately jump out but a frog placed in a pot of cold water that is slowly heated to a boil will not save itself. It will be cooked to death. Brits, like Americans, the French and other Westerners have been steamed for a while.'

Exposed Israel Admitted Arming Anti-Assad Syrian Rebels - Big Mistake

By Daniel J. Levy: In his final days as the Israel Defense Forces’ Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Gadi Eisenkot confirmed, on the record, that Israel had directly supported anti-Assad Syrian rebel factions in the Golan Heights by arming them.
This revelation marks a direct break from Israel’s previous media policy on such matters. Until now, Israel has insisted it has only provided humanitarian aid to civilians (through field hospitals on the Golan Heights and in permanent healthcare facilities in northern Israel), and has consistently denied or refused to comment on any other assistance.
In short, none other than Israel’s most (until recently) senior serving soldier has admitted that up until his statement, his country’s officially stated position on the Syrian civil war was built on the lie of non-intervention.
As uncomfortable as this may initially seem, though, it is unsurprising. Israel has a long history of conducting unconventional warfare. That form of combat is defined by the U.S. government’s National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 as "activities conducted to enable a resistance movement or insurgency to coerce, disrupt or overthrow an occupying power or government by operating through or with an underground, auxiliary or guerrilla force in a denied area" in the pursuit of various security-related strategic objectives.

Feminist Slamdown 5317

DoctorRandomercam: We're reduced to rebutting synchronised underwater slam poetry now. Send requests. And also, help.

'Terrorist Russia Is Coming To Take Away Heat From Your Family In Minus 50 Degrees Winter!' - MSNBC's Pigeon Lady

Putin is going to hack your central heating!
By Tyler Durden: Extreme weather, merciless cold in the Midwest United States, snow squalls bringing near-whiteout conditions to the Northeast, nine dead, schools and postal service in many states canceled, and airports closed  an "act of God" as they say, yet MSNBC's Rachel Maddow still found a way to make it all about Putin.
She breathlessly reported Wednesday evening that life-threatening cold weather in the US could be weaponized by Russia. Maddow invoked a recent intelligence assessment which speculated over Russia and China's abilities to launch cyber-attacks on critical US infrastructure, including natural gas pipelines. Running with this "what if" scenario, she launched into her now well-known conspiracy theorizing and fear-mongering, saying "It is life-threatening! And it is like negative 50 degrees in the Dakotas right now."