Important story UPDATE from a Reader, to whom I’m grateful:
Iraq ‘Joins Forces’ with Turkey, Syria, Russia, & Iran Creating Dangerous New Alliance, April 20th 2018
IRAQ launched airstrikes against ISIS in Syria on Thursday in coordination with the Syrian army, triggering fears A NEW ANTI-WESTERN ALLIANCE was being created in the region. The Iraqi government is working alongside Russia, Turkey, & Iran in support of the Syrian government – a new and bigger threat to the interests of the US, UK and French Axis.
Their latest missile campaign comes after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi indicated he may engage more heavily in military interventions against ISIS in Syria, threatening the already volatile geopolitical relations between the US [French, British Axis] and [Russia, Hezbollah, Turkey, Kurds, &] Iran.
Prime Minister Abadi commented on the airstrikes, saying:
“Our heroic armed forces carried out DEADLY AIRSTRIKES on Thursday AGAINST positions of [US ISRAELI] ISIS TERRORIST GANGS in SYRIA by the Iraqi border.
“The strikes against [US Israeli] ISIS gangs were conducted DUE TO THE RISK POSED by THESE GANGS AGAINST Iraqi TERRITORY.
* * *
. . . here is some hopeful news amid all the propaganda 🙂
. . . The embarrassing ineffectiveness of the April 14th invasion – it didn’t even get the OPCW, Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons, to cancel its planned investigation of the evidence in Douma Syria regarding whether it was Assad and Putin who have been lying, or instead Trump and his foreign allies who were lying – caps what is actually the U.S. Government’s defeat in its decades-long plan for global hegemony, global dictatorship. . . .
* * *
North Korea: Russia wins with a peaceful approach while ‘US will say they saved the world’ . . . Can you agree that this article sounds more ‘real’ than what was said yesterday. I believe more good comes from helping others than from degrading them.
Pyongyang’s move to halt nuclear and missile tests is more the result of collective efforts, including that of Russia and China, than US threats to “wipe off the map” North Korea, a top Russian senator says.
On Friday, the North Korean leadership announced it is freezing the nuclear and ballistic missile programs and scrapping a major test site. The development could be the “news of the year,” head of Russia’s Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council, Konstantin Kosachev, believes.
Yet, it is not the end of the long-running crisis in the region which was once “at the threshold of a nuclear conflict”. Much more lies ahead – from North Korea returning to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog, to Washington abandoning its aggressive rhetoric.
However, progress in the Korean Peninsula crisis was made possible thanks to the efforts of “five countries” – members of the six-party talks – that, apart from the US, include North and South Korea, Japan, China, and Russia.
“Keeping the channels of the dialogue with Pyongyang by Beijing and Moscow was not [a] less important instrument than public threats to ‘wipe off the map’ from Washington,” the senator said.
In fact, the US has already taken credit for Pyongyang’s decision.
“Welcome news. Maximum pressure is working. The American people and our Allies know we would not be at this point without the strong leadership of @POTUS [Donald] Trump,” US Vice President Mike Pence tweeted.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, called on the US and its major ally in the region, South Korea, to make “adequate reciprocal steps” and reduce their military activity in the region. Pyongyang has repeatedly lashed out at American war games on its doorstep which it deems a threat to national security. While supporting a number of UN Security Council sanctions on North Korea, Moscow also cautioned that the US-led drills are “provoking” Kim Jong-un into striving for new weapons.
However, the recent change in Kim’s rhetoric is proof again that diplomatic efforts are able to aid a peaceful resolution of the crisis, Russia’s upper house Committee for International Relations, Senator Aleksey Chepa said. He particularly cited a joint Russian-Chinese initiative. Last year, Moscow and Beijing put forward a ‘double freeze’ plan calling for a simultaneous halt to North Korea’s tests and the US’ war games in the region. However, Washington ignored these calls and continued its maximum pressure and bellicose line.
“If North Korea gets guarantees for its security and the threats to it from the West stop, then naturally the denuclearization of the region will happen,” Chepa told Interfax. “That is what Russia and China have been always talking about, and today the program suggested by them is practically being implemented.”
North Korea’s decision to freeze its nuclear and missile programs comes just ahead of a much-anticipated meeting between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on April 27. The world also awaits one more unprecedented event – a meeting between Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump. The date for the summit, however, has not been announced yet.
Related: Mike Pompeo had secret meeting with Kim Jong-un . . . Can you imagine Kim agreeing to anything without getting . . . “guarantees for security,” and do you think these guarantees should come from the West?
. . . and. . .
North Korea’s ‘nuclear freeze’ is a call for reciprocal US ‘commitment & guarantees’ . . . Wouldn’t this be a positive way to begin such talks!
* * *
Nassim Taleb Warns Americans Should “Fear The 2% – The Intellectuals & Politicians”, Via Esquire.com . . .
. . . Nassim is the person who always talks about the Black Swan Event, and if you are interested, this is what he looks like. 🙂 In this day and age, I think his words are amazing, and may even shock some of my younger readers. After the Depression in ’29 caused my parents to lose their home and my father his livelihood, my parents adopted this wise 0ld-fashioned idea.
People ask me my forecast for the economy when they should be asking me what I have in my portfolio. Don’t make pronouncements on what could happen in the future if you’re immune from the consequences. In French, they use the same word for wallet and portfolio.
I have never, ever borrowed a penny. So I have zero credit record. No loans, no mortgage, nothing. Ever. When I had no money, I rented. I have an allergy to borrowing and a scorn for people who are in debt, and I don’t hide it. I follow the Romans’ attitude that debtors are not free people.
I carry euros, dollars, and British pounds. What I do with my money is personal. People who say they give it to charity, that’s a no-no in my book. Nobody should ever talk about a charitable act in public.
Better to miss a zillion opportunities than blow up once. I learned this at my first job, from the veteran traders at a New York bank that no longer exists. Most people don’t understand how to handle uncertainty. They shy away from small risks, and without realizing it, they embrace the big, big risk. Businessmen who are consistently successful have the exact opposite attitude: Make all the mistakes you want, just make sure you’re going to be there tomorrow.
Don’t invest any energy in bargaining except when the zeros become large. Lose the small games and save your efforts for the big ones.
There’s nothing wrong with being wrong, so long as you pay the price. A used-car salesman speaks well, they’re convincing, but ultimately, they are benefiting even if someone else is harmed by their advice. A bullshitter is not someone who’s wrong, it’s someone who’s insulated from their mistakes.
What is in his wallet? Euros, dollars, and British pounds.
There is less “skin in the game” today than there was fifty years ago, or even twenty years ago. More people determine the fates of others without having to pay the consequences. Skin in the game means you own your own risk. It means people who make decisions in any walk of life should never be insulated from the consequences of those decisions, period. If you’re a helicopter repairman, you should be a helicopter rider. If you decide to invade Iraq, the people who vote for it should have children in the military. And if you’re making economic decisions, you should bear the cost if you’re wrong.
Ninety-eight percent of Americans – plumbers, dentists, bus drivers – have skin in the game. We have to worry about the 2 percent – the intellectuals and politicians making the big decisions who don’t have skin in the game and are messing the whole thing up for everybody else. Thirty years ago, the French National Assembly was composed of shop owners, farmers, doctors, veterinarians, and small-town lawyers—people involved in daily activities. Today, it’s entirely composed of professional politicians—people who are just divorced from real life. America is a little better, but we’re heading that way.
Money can’t buy happiness, but the absence of money can cause unhappiness. Money buys freedom: intellectual freedom, freedom to choose who you vote for, to choose what you want to do professionally. But having what I call “fuck you” money requires a huge amount of discipline. The minute you go a penny over, then you lose your freedom again. If money is the cause of your worry, then you have to restructure your life.
The best money I’ve ever spent has been spent on books. The stupidest thing I’ve ever spent money on? Books. Also, I cannot understand why anyone would spend any amount to enhance their social status.
If nobody’s paying my salary, I don’t have to define myself. I find it arrogant to call yourself a philosopher or an intellectual, so I call myself a flaneur and I refuse all honors. As Cato once said, it’s better to be asked why there is no statue in your name than why there is one.
* * *
. . . this next article offers us an explanation of WHY countries are now doing this:
. . . an UPDATE on another recent subject . . . and I recall, however, they cut Iran off from the SWIFT, so I’m a bit wary of this statement . . .
* * *
The Chinese representative of the Ministry of Commerce has declared that US sanctions won’t stop trade and economic relations between Russia and China, who pointed out that unilateral sanctions are not a particularly popular thing for the Chinese.
China is open to expanding trade with Russia across all sectors to the maximum extent possible, with Russia-China trade to grow at least 10% in 2018 to $100 billion.
* * *