Hong Kong Protests & D.C Lobbyists Wade Into The Libyan War

Hong Kong Protests


Source

The protests in Hong Kong over an “extradition bill” escalated in the last month, to the point where the leader, Carrie Lam, announced the bill was “dead”. The bill hasn’t been withdrawn to this point and neither have the protesters. As late as Sunday, thousands rallied in suburbs of Hong Kong, some even throwing items at police who retaliated with pepper spray and nightsticks.

The widespread support of the protests of the bill has allowed other nationalist issues to also get the light of day. In the border town of Sheung Shui, protests were organized against “parallel traders”. These traders buy up goods in the market at duty-free prices and resell them in China or to tourists within Sheung Shui:

Many interviewed by the Guardian earlier in the day said the millions-strong anti-extradition protests during the past month became a lightning rod for them.

“Restore Sheung Shui to its former glory,” “Restore our serenity” and “Kick out parallel traders,” shouted many at the march earlier in the day.

They said they resented the government for having turned a blind eye to the border town being overrun with parallel traders for more than a decade. They accused them of filling the streets with cardboard boxes of commodities and leaving behind piles of rubbish, while neighborhood shops were squeezed out of business due to high rents and replaced by shops selling goods popular with mainland tourists and traders.

Both Sides of Libyan War Sign D.C. Lobbying Contracts

The UN-backed government in Tripoli and soon-to-be strongman Khalifa Haftar are hitting the big time. Both sides of the conflict in Libya have signed contracts with major US lobbying firms. They are looking to gain support of their cause in the US Congress, much like Mujahideen did in the mid-80s in their fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan:

Left scrambling after Haftar’s attack, Mercury Public Affairs and Prime Policy Group added at least 17 foreign agents to foreign influence operations for the Libyan government since early May. The hires include former Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.), a longtime stalwart on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and vice chairman of Prime Policy Group, and Edward Cox, former senior policy advisor to retired Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

The government agreed to pay Mercury $2 million annually in retaining their services. Prime Policy Group, on the other hand, says it made a verbal agreement to work on a pro-bono basis.

“A unified, democratic Libya is in the best interest of Libyans and furthers the security goals of the United States,” the organization said in a press release.

Haftar’s Libyan National Army has contracted five foreign agents and operatives at Linden Government Solutions, a Texas firm headed by former Bush administration official Stephen Payne. The arrangement, first reported by the AP, will officially include meetings with U.S. officials, “international coalition building and general public relations.”

Payne has an extensive history with the troubled North African nation. He visited in 2011 with former Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Penn.) before the fall of Gaddafi, helping to negotiate the release of three imprisoned journalists. At the same time, he was bankrollingWeldon’s visit in hopes the former congressman could convince Gaddafi to step down. Payne has close ties to three of Gaddafi’s sons.

The one-year deal with Linden is worth about $2 million. While not explicitly mentioned in the contract, both parties may have an interest in Libyan’s abundant oil, as Payne and legal counsel Brian Ettinger have deep ties in international energy markets and Haftar recently gained control of El Sharara, Libya’s largest oil field.

This development backs up my view that the West is struggling over which side of this conflict to support. On one hand, you have the original UN/EU-backed “civilian government” set up after the fall of Gaddafi. This government isn’t that powerful, has no real army, and has lost most of Libyan territory at this point.


Source: Eurasia Review

On the other hand, we have Haftar, a strongman with control of the oil fields, backing of Gulf States, an organized army and has been seen as attractive is European powers like France in the past. Sounds like a perfect sock-puppet to get behind.

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PSA: Tropical Storm Barry to Hit Midwestern States, Add to Worst Farming Season in Modern History

I felt the need to do a quick video about the Americans in the “flyover country” states that are in the path of Tropical Storm Barry.

I did a video earlier in the year about the flooding in the “bread basket” and how it this could lead to food shortages. A story that didn’t get enough coverage in the media (because of the politics of the region in my opinion).

The coverage of Tropical Storm Barry has been focused mostly on the Gulf States, understandable, and pray for those living there. However, it is important to mention that this storm is add to the already flooded-out farmland in the middle of the country.

Michael Snyder over at the End of the American Dream blog lays it out perfectly once again:

It is being reported that approximately 11 million people are currently under flash flood warnings right now, and this storm is moving very, very slowly…

As of Sunday afternoon, Barry was crawling north across Louisiana at around 9 mph — slower than a bicyclist. That means it’s still hovering over the same state where it made landfall Saturday, dumping copious amounts of rain on cities already deluged.

And it’s not even close to done.

“Barry is expected to produce additional rain accumulations of 3 to 6 inches across portions of the lower Mississippi Valley with isolated maximum amounts of 10 inches across eastern Arkansas, western Tennessee, southeast Missouri, and northwest Mississippi,” the NHC said.

The slower this storm moves, the more rain it will dump, and we are talking about immense amounts of water.

In fact, at one point it was being projected that Barry would dump 14 trillion gallons of rain on Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas…

Heavy rain packs the biggest danger over the region through the weekend. Forecasters said up to 20 inches is expected over southeast Louisiana, including New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Alexandria, and in southwest Mississippi, with as much as 25 inches in some isolated areas.

In all, some 14 trillion gallons of rainwater is forecast to fall on Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas during Barry, according to an estimate from BAM Weather meteorologist Ryan Maue.

The current track of this storm is going to take it over some of the hardest hit areas of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

Needless to say, a lot of farmers are saying prayers and hoping for a miracle.

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“The Squad” Meltdown Continues

I was just going to do a video about my normal foreign policy topics.

However, on the heels of Trump’s “MOST RACIST TWEET IN HUMAN HISTORY” and the “bravery” of these Democratic Congresswomen in the face of such fascism, I had to comment on them doubling-down on their self-destruction and the very telling poll that make it pretty evident that they won’t be around for much longer.

The pleads to emotion, group-think and identity politics come off as annoying to most everyday Americans. And to the lower IQ on-looker, be it the supporter (like the nutty Boomer who attempted to firebomb an ICE faulty because of the “concentration camps”) or the conservative opponent who can’t shut up about any of them; they have soured domestic politics to a large majority of the country. Like the whining customer who holds the rest of us up by asking to “see your manager!”, we would all be better off if they floated out to sea.

The members of the “The Squad” only won their seats because of pure social justice guilt-tripping. The party voter in their district that wanted to show they were “woke” and Democrats outside of their districts wanted to avoid being seen as gasp racist/bigot/woman-hating, signed off on these individuals getting a voice on the grand stage. The poll shows that the party might be rethinking that decision.

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4th of July Wrap Up

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I spent the long weekend celebrating the defeat of the Brits so I wasn’t too tuned into the news. However, the holiday ended with the great news of Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest. I break that down, along with my feelings on The Fourth of July.

Separately, I touch on the news out of AfghanistanSyriaTurkey/US relationsYemen and Sudan.

I’ll be upgrading my recording spot shortly, the move still has me a bit disjointed.

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Foreign Policy Roundup – July 1st

The Quincy Institute

The most intriguing foreign policy story I came across this week was the creation of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Sounds like spy stuff. The institute is funded by George Soros and Charles Koch. Seems legit…

..until I saw that two of the founding members are Tritia Parsi and Andrew Bavcevich. Two strong antiwar voices who I trust a lot.

The institute might just be a rebuke of Trump, and an “non-interventionist for commerce” screen to hide their money behind. But, the goal and vision of Parsi and Bavcevich is sound, and just having their voices mixed in with the neoconservative and liberal internationalist soup that is D.C. think-tanks is refreshing.

Trump & Kim

The world stopped for a moment last week, when Donald Trump stepped on some gravel and shook hands with a dictator. Nothing new there for an American president. But the established order didn’t sign off on this one. Peace in Korea is not good for the American Empire business.

Libya Gets a New Gaddafi?

When we last left Khalifa Haftar, he was in control of the majority of the land in Libya (along with the oil fields) and was marching on Tripoli. Since then, he has tightened his hold on the territory he owns, and has received more and more support from world powers. Powers that have come to grips with the fact that the rebels they backed to removed Gaddafi are no match for a military commander with an army that thinks it’s his turn. Now, the CIA backed Haftar before (he lived in Virginia for decades), but in the last year we’ve seen France, Russia and the US switch sides. Russian cargo planes from Israel, Jordan and Egypt; skirting UN sanctions, and US arms on the ground.

The Turks and the Saudis are funding the rebels now. They both do not want an independent oil-rich Muslim nation in their region (especially one that may take some of its orders from the US).

Hafta’s stalled out offensive on Tripoli might give his foreign backers some pause. But I believe a strongman is what leads Libya in the near future, not some UN/EU/US created “coalition government”. Too many people to bribe in type of set up.

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Tulsi Gabbard & The Death of Justin Raimondo

A great weekend personally had a sad shocking episode when Twitter let me know that Justin Raimondo had past away. He had been battling cancer for years now. Raimondo was a brutal force for good, hitting on all cylinders when he wrote on a topic. A great writer that I discovered during 2007. His legacy and catalog can be found on antiwar.com

The antiwar movement might have suffered a big lose, but the beginning of week was a positive one. Tulsi Gabbard used her limited time to have her own “Ron Paul moment”. She dominated the war issue at the first Democrat debate. Reasonable voters found her refreshing, she was the most Googled candidate.

She also was the poll winner on The Drudge Report, had an interview with Breibart, and called John Bolton a “chickenhawk” to the delight of conservative social media. Her ability to get American Conservative Republican voters to unite (at least support) a Democrat talking about ending wars is good to see. The reaction from the Democratic base is even more of out the ordinary. We’ll see if her message receives enough support to force the media to keep her around.

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Don’t Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran

Is Iran an enemy of the American people? Or is the American government and its allies the true enemy?

A recent article by Scott Horton in The National Interest listing all the ways that Iranian regime attempted to assist the United States in the War on Terror. If the American citizens living at that time were allowed to know about these attempts at corporation, they might be a bit confused why their government was denying assistance and demonizing Iran, while continuing to cozy up to the Saudis, Egyptians, Pakistanis and Gulf Nations, all whom had nationals involved in the 9/11 attacks. Below is a short list from the article:

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Campaign Season is Upon Us

Another presidential campaign season is in full swing. Complete with two mobs screaming at each other that the other is immoral, while the candidates they look up to keep the focus on cultural and domestic issues, putting the force of government more and more into our social fabric.

At the same time, the issue of aggressive wars and the real consequences on the people fighting them, the civilians on the ground and the overall effect on the culture that never-ending war has is completely ignored.

It’s up to the population to dictate the issues important to them, and every four years the focus is on getting their lollipops and fancy pants disgusted as epic human struggles.

America is The Capital from Hunger Games. The majority completely detached from perspective.

Let the games begin.

Veterans’s Day, D-Day and The War Pigs’ Propaganda

The war racket enjoys a full week of marketing for new recruits each year, by using the memories and sacrifice of the warriors they created.

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I Return to The Circus

I’ve taken some time off to try to focus on this thing called “life”. I discovered in the process that it is the best way to fight against all the darkness within politics and culture (see below):

I return to shine some light on the war hotspots of the day, what to be aware of going forward, and how to spot war propaganda.

Content

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