Paul Craig Roberts Goes There: “World War 3 Is Approaching”

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

“In a nuclear war the ‘collateral damage’ would be the life of all humanity.” – Fidel Castro

The Russians, in their anxiety to show the West how friendly they are, left Washington with a toe hold in Syria, which Washington is using to reopen the war. The Russians’ failure to finish the job has left Washington’s foreign mercenaries, misrepresented in the American presstitute media as “freedom fighters,” in a Syrian enclave. To get the war going again, Washington has to find a way to come to the aid of its mercenaries.

The Trump regime has found, or so it thinks, its excuse in the revival of the Obama regime’s fake charge of Syrian use of chemical weapons. This made-up lie by the Obama regime was put to rest by Russian intervention that made sure there were no Syrian chemical weapons. Indeed, if memory serves, Russia delivered the chemical weapons to the US for destruction. Little doubt Washington still has them and will use some of them with their Syrian markings for what appears to be a coming false flag attack that can be blamed on Assad. In other words, Washington will create a “situation,” blame Assad and Putin, and with or without congressional authorization introduce US intervention in behalf of Washington’s mercenaries

If we can believe James Mattis, the retired US Marine General who is US Secretary of Defense, Syria, a country without chemical weapons and in need of none in its mopping up operations against Washington’s mercenaries, is using chlorine gas “against its own people,” exactly the same phrase as the Obama regime used when Obama tried to orchestrate an excuse to attack Syria. Mattis said that he is receiving reports of chlorine gas use by Assad while simultaneously saying he has no evidence of gas use, much less by the Syrian Army.

The US Secretary of Defense actually accused Syria of “targeting hospitals” with chlorine gas even though he admits there is no evidence. Mattis went on to accuse Russia of complicity in killing civilians, an endeavor in which the US excels.

Stephen Lendman reports that CIA Director Pompeo “suggested a US attack on Syrian forces may be forthcoming, saying Trump won’t tolerate CW [chemical weapons] attacks, adding he hasn’t made a decision on the latest reports about chlorine gas use.” 

US Secretary of State Tillerson joined the orchestrated allegation even though he admitted there was no evidence. 

Of course, there has not been any chlorine gas use unless by the Washington-supplied mercenaries. But facts are not important to Washington. What is important to Washington is Israel’s demand that Washington destroy Syria and Iran in order to get rid of Hezbollah’s supporters so that Israel can seize southern Lebanon.

No doubt that other interests are in on the plot. Oil companies that want to control the location of oil and gas pipelines, the crazed neocons married to their ideology of American World Hegemony, the military/security complex that needs enemies and conflicts to justify its massive budget. But it is Israel’s determination to expand its boundaries and water resources that set all of the Middle East conflict in motion.

Does Russia understand this, or is the Russian government preoccupied with eventually winning acceptance by the West as a part of the West? If the latter, the world is heading for nuclear war.The Russian government does not seem to understand that its pusillanimous response encourages Washington’s aggression and, thereby, is driving the world to the final war.

Every time Russia fails to finish the job, as in Syria and Ukraine, Russia does not win Washington’s friendship, but extends to Washington yet another run at prevailing in the conflict that Washington initiated. Washington will not slack off until Washington is halted in its track, something that Russia does not seem willing to do. Consequently, Washington continues to drive the world to nuclear war.

When will the Russians notice that literally everyone in the Trump regime is issuing threats to Russia – Mattis, Tillerson, Nikki Haley, government spokespersons, the UK PM and UK Foreign Secretary. Yet the Russians still speak about their “partners” and how much they want to get along with the West.

There is no prospect whatsoever of the British going to war against Russia. The entirety of the UK would be instantly wiped out, yet the UK PM issues ultimatums to Russia.

Here is what Finian Cunningham has to say about the British prime minister threatening Russia:

Given their inveterate anti-Russian agenda, the British authorities have much more vested interest in seeing Skripal poisoned than the Kremlin ever would.

And while we are in “who done it?” mode, another important possible lead is this: if Venomous Agent X (VX) was used to harm the former Russian spy, the perpetrators would have had a convenient source by which to carry out their deed.

Britain’s top secret chemical weapons laboratory at Porton Down is only six miles away from the location in Salisbury where Skripal and his daughter were apparently attacked last Sunday afternoon. Porton Down is the laboratory where VX was originally synthesized in the 1950s. It remains one of the most deadly chemical weapons ever made. And it is as British as afternoon tea.

That’s motive and means. But, hey, who needs logic when Russophobia is the name of the game?

The entire Western world is insane. As Michel Chossudovsky says, the Western politicians and presstitutes who serve them are driving the world to extinction. 

Note: It appears that the military/security complex is closing its grip on the Trump regime. Secretary of State Tillerson has been fired and is being replaced by CIA Director Pompeo. Gina Haspel, the new CIA Director, is the person who oversaw the CIA’s secret torture prisons in Thailand.

Second Trump Organization Lawyer Involved In Silencing Stormy Daniels

The public relations battle being waged against President Trump by Stephanie Clifford – aka Stormy Daniels – a retired porn star who claims to have had an affair with Trump back in 2006 continued to rage Wednesday night when CNN, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal reported on what they characterized as “the first known link between Trump and the effort to silence” Daniels.

Specifically, documents from a February arbitration hearing turned over to the media show that a senior Trump Organization lawyer named Jill Martin filed some of the paperwork related to the hearing.

The documents, filed as part of confidential arbitration proceedings on Feb. 22, were made public Wednesday evening by CNN and the Wall Street Journal. The Washington Post confirmed their authenticity with Michael Avenatti, a lawyer for Daniels.

In a statement, the Trump Organization said it was not representing anyone in the Daniels dispute and “had no involvement in the matter.” One of its attorneys, Jill A. Martin, filed a document in her personal capacity while awaiting permission for another lawyer, not connected to the company, to practice in California, the statement said.

Martin has worked at the Trump organization since 2010, per WSJ.

Ms. Martin, a lawyer for the Trump Organization since 2010, has defended Mr. Trump both in court and in the media. She was a lead attorney for the Trump Organization in lawsuits alleging Mr. Trump’s real-estate seminars, Trump University, had defrauded customers.

The Trump Organization has so far claimed that it had no involvement in the matter…but Martin’s petition during the arbitration hearing is a direct link between Trump’s business and the Daniels affair.

In a statement, the Trump Organization said it was not representing anyone in the Daniels dispute and “had no involvement in the matter.” One of its attorneys, Jill A. Martin, filed a document in her personal capacity while awaiting permission for another lawyer, not connected to the company, to practice in California, the statement said.

In what appears to be a Cohen-like attempt at deflection, Martin emailed WSJ a statement showing that she facilitated the filing “in her individual capacity” until a New York-based lawyer gained approval to practice in California. “The company has had no involvement in the matter,” the statement said.

Filings from the arbitration battle – which Daniels lost – provided to WSJ by Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, confirmed a connection between Essential Consultants and Trump. On Feb. 27, an arbitrator issued a temporary restraining order against Daniels that enforced the terms of the NDA. In response, Avenatti filed the suit in a Los Angeles court challenging the legitimacy of the arbitration agreement.

The crux of Avenatti’s defense, it seems, is that the agreement should be ruled invalid because Trump – who used the pseudonym David Dennison – neglected to sign the agreement.

To be sure, as WSJ points out, it isn’t known whether Trump helped organize the payoff. Cohen has said under oath that he made the $130,000 payoff to Daniels on his own initiative. His statement has been heavily scrutinized by a Washington watchdog, which has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission arguing that the payoff violated FEC rules because it was, in fact, a campaign related expense.

Daniels

(Courtesy of WaPo)

Daniels received the money from Cohen in October 2016 after signing a non-disclosure agreement. According to its terms, Daniels is barred from speaking publicly about her liaison with the president. Violating the agreement could result in a fine of up to $1 million per violation.

And Martin’s services may be used more in the future, as Daniels’ lawsuit, filed in a Los Angeles court, proceeds. As we reported earlier, a hearing has been scheduled for June 12.

…And we’re certain we’ll be hearing more from Daniels and her lawyer between now and then.

White House Blames Russia For “Abhorrent” Attack, As Haley Warns Of Russian Chemical Weapons In New York

In its most pointed criticism of Russia to date, on Wednesday the White House said in a statement that it agreed with the British government’s assessment that Russia was responsible for the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in the United Kingdom.

“The United States shares the United Kingdom’s assessment that Russia is responsible for the reckless nerve agent attack on a British citizen and his daughter, and we support the United Kingdom’s decision to expel Russian diplomats as a just response,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in the statement.

“This latest action by Russia fits into a pattern of behavior in which Russia disregards the international rules-based order, undermines the sovereignty and security of countries worldwide, and attempts to subvert and discredit Western democratic institutions and processes. The United States is working together with our allies and partners to ensure that this kind of abhorrent attack does not happen again.”

Until Tuesday night, the White House had avoided pointing the finger at Russia for the attack, in which a former Russian spy was poisoned with a nerve agent near his home in southern England, and which the UK concluded was orchestrated by the Kremlin, despite offering no proof and refusing to comply with Russian demands that the alleged toxin be produced.

This explicit condemnation of Moscow by the White House, however, was apparently not enough for the NYT, which said that despite Sanders’ statement, “for whatever reason, Mr. Trump avoided saying so personally in public, much as he has generally avoided condemning Russia for its election meddling.”

Instead, the NYT claims that Trump “has allowed top advisers to denounce Moscow for its interference in American democracy, but when it comes to his own Twitter posts or comments, he has largely stuck to equivocal language, seemingly reluctant to accept the consensus conclusion of his intelligence agencies and intent on voicing no outrage or criticism of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, for whom he has expressed admiration.”

Instead, through early evening, Mr. Trump used his Twitter feed to focus on issues like trade, infrastructure, school safety and his complaints that Senate Democrats are obstructing confirmation of his nominees. His only public comments during the day came at a Boeing plant where he talked about tax cuts.

This apparent unwillingness by Trump to join the chorus prompted US politicians from both parties to urge the president “to speak out personally and possibly take action to back up Mrs. May.”

“Where Prime Minister May has taken bold and decisive initial action to combat Russian aggression, our own president has waffled and demurred,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader. “Prime Minister May’s decision to expel the Russian diplomats is the level of response that many Americans have been craving from our own administration.”

Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, said the United States should consult with NATO allies about “a collective response,” including the possibility of expelling Russian diplomats from Washington and other alliance capitals or freezing more Russian assets. “We ought to make it inescapably clear to Russia that its shadow war will be met with a coordinated response,” he said.

The legacy neocons were most vocal: Evelyn Farkas, a former Pentagon official who oversaw Russia policy under President Barack Obama, said Trump should offer a range of assistance to Britain to help investigate the episode, prevent further such attacks on British sovereignty and impose punishment. She added that the United States could cite the suspicious death of Mikhail Y. Lesin, a former Russian minister, in a Washington hotel in 2015, in taking joint action. Investigators concluded that he died from a drunken fall but many remain skeptical.

 “Judgment day for Donald Trump,” R. Nicholas Burns, a former ambassador to NATO and an under secretary of state under President George W. Bush, wrote on Twitter. “Will he support Britain unequivocally on the nerve agent attack? Back #NATO sanctions? Finally criticize Putin? Act like a leader of the West?”

After all, what better way to prove to Mueller that you are not a Putin pawn than to lob a couple of nukes over the North Pole and into the Russian capital, in the process sending the stocks of US defense contractors through the roof?

* * *

Joking – we hope – aside the White House’s official statement on the attack came just hours after United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Russia was responsible for using a nerve agent to poison the ex-spy and his daughter. “The United States believes that Russia is responsible for two people in the United Kingdom using a military-grade nerve agent,” Haley said.

The fearmongering then quickly escalated, with Haley next telling the UN Security Council that aying next that “if we don’t take immediate concrete measures to address this now, Salisbury will not be the last place we see chemical weapons used. They could be used here in New York, or in cities of any country that sits on this Council. This is a defining moment.

The specter of more Russian attacks – when there still isn’t actual proof of the first one – was raised during an emergency council meeting, held at the request of British officials who have accused Russia of using “a military-grade nerve agent” to target a former military intelligence officer who committed treason. Russian diplomats have denied responsibility for the incident, but British investigators say they have identified the poison as a chemical weapon produced by the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

They have, however, refused to present it to Russia for examination, despite repeated requests. So without the requirement of even a minimal burden of proof, the propaganda flowed:

“Time and time again, member-states say they oppose the use of chemical weapons under any circumstance,” Haley said. “Now one member stands accused of using chemical weapons on the sovereign soil of another member. The credibility of this council will not survive if we fail to hold Russia accountable.”

* * *

Russia, naturally, has repeatedly denied responsibility for the March 4 incident, which left former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia hospitalized, and warned British Prime Minister Theresa May against considering a cyber-attack or other aggressive retaliation. “A hysterical atmosphere is being created by London,” Russian Ambassador Visaly Nebenzia told the Security Council. “We would like to warn that this will not remain without reaction on our part.”

Russia has also faulted the United Kingdom for taking action before submitting to a formal investigation brokered by Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. “Those experts will not be convinced by their argument,” he predicted. The British representative at the meeting countered that the United Kingdom has invited the OPCW to conduct an independent test, while faulting Russia for ignoring May’s demand for an explanation earlier this week.

“We have received no meaningful response,” deputy ambassador Jonathan Allen said during the meeting. “This council should not fall for their attempt to muddy the waters.”

Doubling down, Haley compared the Skripal attack to North Korea’s use of a nerve agent to assassinate the half-brother of dictator Kim Jong-un — a murder that resulted in the designation of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. She linked the Salisbury incident to the increasingly-regular use of chemical weapons, especially in Syria, and urged Russia to “come clean” about the assassination attempt.

“The Russians complained recently that we criticize them too much,” she said. “If the Russian government stopped using chemical weapons to assassinate its enemies; and if the Russian government stopped helping its Syrian ally to use chemical weapons to kill Syrian children; and if Russia cooperated with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons by turning over all information related to this nerve agent, we would stop talking about them. We take no pleasure in having to constantly criticize Russia, but we need Russia to stop giving us so many reasons to do so.”

Some tried logic: Nebenzia argued Russia had no reason to try to kill Skripal. He described the former double agent as “a perfect victim” for a plot to frame Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government in the run-up to the March 18 presidential elections.

“[T]he most probable source origin for this chemical are the countries which have since the end of the 90s been carrying out intensive research on these kinds of weapons, including the UK,” Nebenzia told the Security Council. “If the UK is so firmly convinced this is a [Soviet-era] Novichok gas, then that means that they have the samples of this and they have the formula for this and they are capable of manufacturing it.”

By then however, with both sides entrenched in factless allegations, any possibility for a rational discussion was long gone.

Instead, we can now look forward to the moment when Colin Powell will again make a grand appearance in the UN, and definitively prove to the world that Russia is guilty by holding a vial of that infamous Russia anthrax, as justification for heating up a few notches the new cold war between Russia and the West.

And The Richest Town In America Is…

After introducing the list last year, Bloomberg has published its second iteration of the “100 Richest” list – its analysis of the 100 wealthiest towns in America, based off data compiled by the Census bureau. The data is released with a delay, so data from this year’s list stretch back to 2016.

And perhaps the most interesting takeaway from this year’s data is the gains made by midwestern towns – notably suburban Chicago and St. Louis – which are finally making headway against towns along the West and East Coasts that typically comprise the bulk of the towns on the list.

The Silicon Valley suburb of Atherton, Calif. claimed the top spot again. As Bloomberg explains, the six-square-mile town is near Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Stanford University.

Atherton’s average household income was $443,403 in 2016, more than $50,000 higher than second-place Cherry Hills Village, Colorado.

See the list in full below:

Richest

Richest

Richest

Four

Five

Newcomers to the list include three areas in suburban Chicago. The average income in Clarendon Hills, Illinois, about 25 miles west of downtown Chicago, jumped 15% in 2016 from the prior year, breaking into the top 100 for the first time with a tally of $199,325. Three other western Chicago suburbs made the top 100: Burr Ridge, Oak Brook and Hinsdale. All four showed gains in household earnings from between 4% and 15% to 15 percent from the prior year.

The biggest mover on the list was Highland Park, Texas, which moved up to No. 9 from No. 14 the previous year as a zero state income tax and relatively low overall tax burden made it more attractive (since the data is from 2016, the impact of last year’s increase in energy prices isn’t reflected). Another big mover was Los Altos Hills, Calif., which climbed three spots to No. 4. Los Altos Hills is home to tech billionaires, including Google’s Sergey Brin and entrepreneur Yuri Milner.

Another notable entry was Palm Beach, Fla. – home to President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago.

Bloomberg also calculated something called the Gini Index, which is a measure of the homogeneity of incomes. For example, the more incomes are clustered around the median, the lower the Gini reading. 

And the prize for top Gini Index reading was Greenwich, Connecticut, while Darnestown, Maryland scored the lowest. Their scores were 0.37 and 0.65, respectively.