Dutch Finance Minister Admits He Lied About Putin’s Plans For A “Greater Russia”

In a shocking admission, Dutch Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra said he lied when he claimed to have heard President Vladimir Putin describing an ambition to unify Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic states and Kazakhstan into a single super-state to rival the influence of the former Soviet Union.

Zijlstra claimed at a party conference in 2016 that he had overheard Putin outlining the grand plan for a “Greater Russia” in 2006 during a gathering of businessmen. At the time, Zijlstra was working at Shell, RT reports.

Dutch

In the original retelling of the story, Zijlstra said he had been in a back room of a dacha (country house) when he heard Putin define “Great Russia” as “Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic states,” adding that “Kazakhstan was nice to have.”

The story was questioned by the newspaper Volkskrant, however, which quickly discovered that Zijlstra had not even attended the 2006 business meeting in Russia, despite being part of the Shell delegation. When confronted about this, the minister acknowledged that he had lied, and said he was simply trying to protect a source.

“I made the decision that this is an important geopolitical story with serious implications,” he said.

I put myself in the story to make sure that the revelations weren’t about the person who was actually there. Because that could have had implications for him or his company.”

Zijlstra insisted he was told as much from a source whom he refused to name. The newspaper itself says the source was Jeroen van der Veer, who was the CEO of Shell at the time.

The revelation comes at an awkward time for the foreign minister. Zijlstra, who took office in October 2017, is set to visit Moscow this week to meet with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov. Geert Wilders’ opposition right-wing Party for Freedom has called for a parliamentary debate about Zijlstra’s integrity before he leaves. Zijlstra told Volkskrant that he informed Prime Minister Mark Rutte about his conduct several weeks ago.

“Greater Russia” is an amorphous term usually used to describe the historic core of the Russian state, roughly corresponding to the territory of medieval Russia in the 16th century – the beginning of the reign of Ivan the Terrible, who was the first of Russia’s great expansionist rulers. The word “greater” is meant as a description of spiritual significance rather than physical size. The same term was applied to the core territories of some other countries, like Greater Armenia, Greater Walachia or Greater Poland.

Free Speech And Social Engineering In The “Land Of The Free”

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

A disturbing trend has been going on for quite some time now, and that’s the destruction of free speech.  Many college campuses even have safe spaces now, where certain speech is banned so college students can snuggle blankets.

Free speech is now the topic of several debates and they all revolve around social engineering/social tyranny. Take this article from The Week, for example.

On many college campuses, groups of left-leaning students insist that free speech should be conditional on speakers adhering to explicit standards of diversity and avoiding the infliction of emotional harm on the members of marginalized groups through the spreading of “hate.”

From the opposite ideological direction, President Trump believes that the government should “take a strong look” at libel laws to keep news organizations from subjecting his own administration to negative coverage.

Finally, from the center-left come calls to use anti-discrimination law to punish organizations that oppose the legitimacy of same-sex marriage and accommodations for transgender people. If that happens — either by passing new laws that explicitly add to existing anti-discrimination statutes or by courts treating the members of these groups as protected classes covered by existing law — the result will almost certainly be a significant constriction of speech, as those holding more conservative views will face sanction for expressing them in public. –The Week

The article asks the question: Is America Having Second Thoughts About Free Speech?  But Joe Joseph with The Daily Sheeple answers the question perfectly.

“NO! America’s NOT having second thoughts about free speech. But the social engineers are cramming it down our throat like this is what we want.  But really, nobody wants it! It’s unfreakin’ believeable!”

Joseph’s take reflects all those who are individual minded.  Even offensive speech is only offensive to the emotionally weak. “I can’t believe that we’re even having this conversation in the land of the FREE!!!! What the heck is going on…. are we in the “Twilight Zone”? When did we go from a nation of bad ass mo fo’s to a nation of pansies?” says the caption on Joseph’s latest news shot video.

“How about we do this…how about these media organizations actually follow through with what their code of ethics say. How about they actually do what they say they’re gonna do! How about you practice the rules you’re taught day one in journalism school!” says Joseph about the media.

He goes on to say laws dictating what speech is acceptable, and what type of speech is not acceptable, are not designed to fix the problem.  They are designed to divide the people and amplify the problems.

There should never be a question of whether or not humans have free speech. It’s a natural right to think and say whatever you want.  Words don’t do physical damage, and until someone is hurt or their property is damaged, no crime has been committed.

Pentagon Sending Heavily Armed Marine Units To East Asia To “Counter China Threat”

According to a recent report by the Wall Street Journal, the Pentagon is considering plans to transfer heavily armed, versatile Marine Corps Expeditionary Units (MEU) to East-Asia, citing the rapidly expanding Chinese influence in the region.

After 16-years of military embarrassments in the Middle East, the Pentagon appears to have realized that its misfortunes in the area have transformed into nothing more than Vietnam 2.0; alternatively it is merely provoking Asian superpowers into a new race for military dominance in the region.

Washington’s drive for regional militarization (and constant wars feeding the MIC) appears is shifting away from the Middle East and onto China and Russia’s playground. President Trump’s newly issued National Defense Strategy report highlights “our [Pentagon] competitive military advantage has been eroding” throughout the world, as it has now become a national security threat. Further, the report labels, the South China Sea and the Korean Peninsula, as areas of an “increasingly complex security environments,” which the Pentagon will start transferring military assets to the region, to combat the threat because it is jeopardizing the American empire.

“Today, we are emerging from a period of strategic atrophy, aware that our competitive military advantage has been eroding. We are facing increased global disorder, characterized by decline in the long-standing rules-based international order—creating a security environment more complex and volatile than any we have experienced in recent memory. Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in U.S. national security.”

“China is a strategic competitor using predatory economics to intimidate its neighbors while militarizing features in the South China Sea. Russia has violated the borders of nearby nations and pursues veto power over the economic, diplomatic, and security decisions of its neighbors. As well, North Korea’s outlaw actions and reckless rhetoric continue despite United Nation’s censure and sanctions.”

The Wall Street Journal says the Pentagon intends to boost its military appearance in the East Pacific with the deployment of Marine Expeditionary Units. A Marine expeditionary unit (MEU, pronounced “Mew”), is a group of 2,200 marines who are part of the quick reaction force and are usually deployed to a region for an upcoming or immediate crisis. A unit deploys about 2,200 marines who operate amphibious assault ships, aircraft, helicopters, tanks, heavy weapons, and other military assets. Each MEU is equipped with:

Officials said these shifts are “major muscle movements,” as the Pentagon transfers military equipment and personnel redeployments, and are aimed at “a global resetting of forces” rather than a “buildup for war.”

“We have enduring interests here, and we have an enduring commitment and we have an enduring presence here,” Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, who spoke about America’s reshuffling of armed forces during an eight-day visit through Asia last week.

MEUs deploy in seven-month rotations on Tarawa-class amphibious assault ships operated by the United States Navy; they may stay offshore for the entire time of deployment or come ashore for small periods of time to conduct training exercises. General Robert Neller said MEUs sent to Asia would jump right into military patrols and joint activities with allies.

“We have to be present and engaged to compete,” Gen. Neller said. The new defense strategy “will shape our future naval presence, especially in the Indo-Pacific region.”

WSJ says MEUs have recently been deployed to various theaters in the Middle East but will be soon departing from their native ports on the West Coast of the United States to Asia.

MEUs based on the West Coast have traveled from the U.S. to the Middle East for wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and most recently, Syria, all in the area of responsibility of U.S. Central Command. MEUs, designed to be a quick reaction force, were among the first units to arrive near northern Iraq in 2016 to set up for a campaign to free the city of Mosul from Islamic State.

Pentagon officials said they hope their new strategy on East Asia will persuade Pacific nations to stand with the U.S. “I believe the [National Defense Strategy] and other guidance requires us to adopt a more global posture and this will shape our future naval presence, especially in the Indo-Pacific region,” said Gen. Neller.

Kelly Magsamen, a former Pentagon and State Department policy official, said the new military strategy, when more fully implemented, will require careful diplomacy and a robust economic approach: “Follow through on strategy is essential, but so is close communication and coordination with our allies and friends,” said Ms. Magsamen, now vice president national security and international policy at the Center for American Progress.

In keeping with the Pentagon’s party line, the WSJ warns that depleting military resources in the Middle East could enable Russia and China to “bolster their presence” in the region.

Some officials argue that withdrawing resources from the Middle East could allow Russia and China to bolster their presence there. Russia backs Syria’s ruler and both countries are seeking to expand their influence elsewhere in the region.

Take Guam, an American territory in Micronesia in the Western Pacific, which has about 3,831 American soldiers on the island stationed at Anderson air force base. Last month, we reported, the B-1B Lancer bombers, the B-2 Spirit stealth bombers, and the B-52H Stratofortress bombers are now ‘temporarily’ stationed at Andersen Air Force Base. Nevertheless, the show of force wound down this month, when the B-1Bs return to Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota.

Curiously, the Pentagon’s military build-up in Asia comes as Pyongyang and Seoul are making some progress towards engaging in dialogue over North Korea’s reckless nuclear and rocket programs. Further, the United States is becoming increasingly worried about Beijing’s drive to militarize the heavily disputed artificially-created islands it controls in the South China Sea.

America’s legacy of failed wars in the Middle East is quietly being swept under the carpet. The Pentagon is now vocally repositioning itself for the next boogeyman being Russia, China, and North Korea, as highlighted in the 2018 National Defense Strategy. It is likely that the Trump administration with the Pentagon will condition the American people through psychological operations, about how America’s competitive military advantage is eroding, and the need to transfer military assets to the Asia Pacific is critical for America’s survival. This alarming trend will continue for at least President Trump’s first term, and if he gets elected again, it will definitely persist until the next World War starts.

Meanwhile, Beijing is preparing for the next global conflict with a new era of modernization of the country’s armed forces, the largest in the world, including AI-Enabled Nuclear Submarines, fifth-generation fighters, and hypersonic weapons.

A President Held Hostage?

Authored by Justin Raimondo via Antiwar.com,

They’ve got him surrounded…

As Vice President Mike Pence made a fool both of himself, and the country he is supposed to be representing, at the Olympic Games by refusing to stand for the athletes of any nation other than the US, back at home the Washington Post was reporting on a President Trump who appears to have nothing in common either with Pence or with the White House staff. The piece, entitled “Trump’s favorite general: Can Mattis check an impulsive president and still retain his trust?” tells a story that pits a President inclined to challenge the War Party against a Praetorian Guard determined to nullify his electoral mandate to keep out of foreign wars and put “America first”:

“Although Trump has given the military broad latitude on the battlefield, he also has raised pointed questions about the wisdom of the wars being fought by the United States. Last year, after a delegation of Iraqi leaders visited him in the Oval Office, Trump jokingly referred to them as ‘the most accomplished group of thieves he’d ever met,’ according to one former U.S. official.”

Truer words were never spoken, but of course this leak is designed to embarrass Trump and put him at odds with those very thieves. Mattis was presumably horrified by this truism, since the General is an even bigger thief, having successfully manipulated Congress into appropriating 15.5 percent more money for the military than Trump asked. The Post piece goes on to detail the President’s many heresies:

He has repeatedly pressed Mattis and McMaster in stark terms to explain why US troops are in Somalia. ‘Can’t we just pull out?’ he has asked, according to US officials.

“Last summer, Trump was weighing plans to send more soldiers to Afghanistan and was contemplating the military’s request for more-aggressive measures to target Islamic State affiliates in North Africa. In a meeting with his top national security aides, the president grew frustrated. ‘You guys want me to send troops everywhere,’ Trump said, according to officials in the Situation Room meeting. ‘What’s the justification?’”

Oh, the shocked silence in that room must have lasted for what seemed like forever. Then Mattis came up with the same old bullshit:

“‘Sir, we’re doing it to prevent a bomb from going off in Times Square,’ Mattis replied.”

Trump didn’t fall for it: “The response angered Trump, who insisted that Mattis could make the same argument about almost any country on the planet.” And the President wasn’t alone in his skepticism: “Attorney General Jeff Sessions echoed Trump’s concerns, asking whether winning was even possible in a place such as Afghanistan or Somalia.”

Here’s the scary part, which concludes the piece:

“It was Mattis who made the argument that would, for the moment at least, sway Trump to embrace the status quo – which has held for the past two presidents.

“‘Unfortunately, sir, you have no choice,’ Mattis told Trump, according to officials. ‘You will be a wartime president.’”

Really? Why is that? And which war is Mattis specifically referring to? Afghanistan? We’re largely out of Iraq. Syria – the latest addition to our interventionist folly? We aren’t told, but in my view it’s not any foreign war Mattis is referring to, but – perhaps unconsciously – he’s referencing the war at home, i.e. the one being conducted by his own government against the President of the United States.

We read about it every day in the media: the Russia-gate hoax is still being flogged, despite growing evidence of its utter falsity. Robert Mueller is still on the prowl, looking for a pretext to take Trump down. The media, a longtime adjunct of the national security bureaucracy, is openly working in tandem with the intelligence services to take out Trump – and if you want to know why, just re-read the reporting on Trump’s reluctance to go along with the War Party’s murderous agenda.

So once they take him down, who will be Trump’s replacement? It’ll be Mike Pence, of course, the same person doing everything in his power to destroy the possibility of peace on the Korean peninsula – quite against Trump’s expressed hope that “we can make a deal” with North Korea.

The War Party cannot tolerate a President who questions the most basic premises of the American Empire: “You guys want me to send troops everywhere!” Of course they do. However, Trump was elected to carry out a very different mandate: to start putting America first. He railed against regime change. And now the regime-changers want to carry out a change of regime against him.

Just look at the reporting by James Risen in The Intercept: the FBI/CIA/NSA cabal paid a Russian operative $100,000 as a down payment on a total of a million to get compromising material on Trump. Isn’t this kind of thing only supposed to happen in places like Tadjikistan? Oh, it was all done under the pretext of getting back our stolen cyber-war tools, but really – how valuable are they if the Russians already have them? Sure, we could find out what was stolen – we still don’t know – but the long involved process described by Risen is really about getting rid of Trump. That’s all they really care about right now, and they’ll stop at nothing – including, I believe, assassination – to pull it off.

There’s too much money riding on the continued existence and expansion of our worldwide empire to let Trump ruin their scam. Too many careers are based on it, too much prestige is at stake, too many “allies” are dependent on the largesse it affords them. They’re boxing him in, despite his noninterventionist instincts, and they’re compiling “dossiers,” and they’re mobilizing all their forces for the final assault on the Oval Office. In an important sense, Trump is being held hostage: they have limited his policy options in every important sphere of the national security/foreign policy realm, The “swamp” Trump talks about is an international miasma, and swamp creatures of diverse nationalities are crawling out of the muck, their claws aimed straight for the presidential throat.

The War Party plays for keeps. The question is: does Donald Trump? We shall see.