*Need to insert video I made here* - My video program having problems.
U.S. coastline to see up to a foot of sea-level rise by 2050
Report projects a century of sea-level rise in 30 years
America is warming fast. See how your city’s weather will be different in just one generation.
Climate change: How hot cities could be in 2050
Published11 July 2019
NATO Expansion: What Gorbachev Heard
"The main issue highlighted by the crisis on the Ukraine borders over the past few months has predominantly focused on the role of Nato and the friction over the eastward expansion of the alliance. This has been a constant message emerging from the Kremlin: that the Nato membership of many parts of the old Soviet Bloc, and the prospective membership of Ukraine to the alliance, poses a threat to Russian sovereignty.
But the decision to accept former members of the Warsaw Pact, the defensive alliance which included the USSR and several eastern European countries, is being subject to a revisionist history. This is perpetuating a myth that Nato promised not to expand eastwards after the Soviet Union dissolved.
In 2014, the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev marked the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall by noting in an interview that that Nato’s enlargement “was not discussed at all” at the time:
Not a single Eastern European country raised the issue, not even after the Warsaw Pact ceased to exist in 1991. Western leaders didn’t bring it up, either.
There was, he said, no promise not to enlarge the alliance, though in the same interview Gorbachev also stated that he thinks that enlargement was a “big mistake” and “a violation of the spirit of the statements and assurances made” in 1990.
Indeed, the only formal agreement signed between Nato countries and the USSR, before its breakup in December 1991, was the Treaty of Final Settlement with Respect to Germany. The promises made specifically relate to Germany, and the territory of the former GDR, which were on the deployment of non-German Nato forces into eastern Germany and the deployment of nuclear weapons – and these promises have been kept."
The link to what was said in full:
"RBTH: It fell to you to decide the fateful problem of global development. The international settlement of the German question, which involved major world powers and other nations, served as an example of the great responsibility and high quality of the politicians of that generation. You demonstrated that this is possible if one is guided – as you defined it – by “a new way of thinking.” How capable are modern world leaders of solving modern problems in a peaceful manner, and how have approaches to finding answers to geopolitical challenges changed in the past 25 years?
M.G.: German reunification was not an isolated event, but a part of the process of ending the Cold War. Perestroika and democratization in our country paved the way for it. Without these processes, Europe would have been split and in a “frozen” state for decades longer. And I’m sure that it would have been a degree of magnitude more difficult to get out of that state of affairs.
What is the new way of thinking? It is recognizing that there are global threats – and at the time, it was primarily the threat of a nuclear conflict, which can only be removed by joint efforts. That means we need to build relations anew, conduct dialogue, seek paths to terminating the arms race. It means recognizing the freedom of choice for all peoples, while at the same time taking each others’ interests into account, building cooperation, and establishing ties, to make conflict and war impossible in Europe.
These principles lie at the foundation of the Paris Charter (1990) for a new Europe – a vital political document signed by all the European countries, the U.S., and Canada. As a result, its provisions needed to be developed and solidified, structures needed to be created, preventive mechanisms needed to be established, as did cooperation mechanisms. For example, there was a proposal to create a Security Council for Europe.
I don’t want to contrast that generation of leaders with the subsequent generation. But a fact remains a fact: it wasn’t done. And European development has been lopsided, which, it should be said, was facilitated by the weakening of Russia in the 1990s.
Today we need to admit that there is a crisis in European (and global) politics. One of the reasons, albeit not the only reason, is a lack of desire on the part of our Western partners to take Russia’s point of view and legal interests in security into consideration. They paid lip service to applauding Russia, especially during the Yeltsin years, but in deeds they didn’t consider it. I am referring primarily to NATO expansion, missile defense plans, the West’s actions in regions of importance to Russia (Yugoslavia, Iraq, Georgia, Ukraine). They literally said “This is none of your business.” As a result, an abscess formed and it burst.
I would advise Western leaders to thoroughly analyze all of this, instead of accusing Russia of everything. They should remember the Europe we managed to create at the beginning of the 1990s and what it has unfortunately turned into in recent years.
RBTH: One of the key issues that has arisen in connection with the events in Ukraine is NATO expansion into the East. Do you get the feeling that your Western partners lied to you when they were developing their future plans in Eastern Europe? Why didn’t you insist that the promises made to you – particularly U.S. Secretary of State James Baker’s promise that NATO would not expand into the East – be legally encoded? I will quote Baker: “NATO will not move one inch further east.”
M.G.: The topic of “NATO expansion” was not discussed at all, and it wasn’t brought up in those years. I say this with full responsibility. Not a single Eastern European country raised the issue, not even after the Warsaw Pact ceased to exist in 1991. Western leaders didn’t bring it up, either. Another issue we brought up was discussed: making sure that NATO’s military structures would not advance and that additional armed forces from the alliance would not be deployed on the territory of the then-GDR after German reunification. Baker’s statement, mentioned in your question, was made in that context. Kohl and [German Vice Chancellor Hans-Dietrich] Genscher talked about it.
Everything that could have been and needed to be done to solidify that political obligation was done. And fulfilled. The agreement on a final settlement with Germany said that no new military structures would be created in the eastern part of the country; no additional troops would be deployed; no weapons of mass destruction would be placed there. It has been observed all these years. So don’t portray Gorbachev and the then-Soviet authorities as naïve people who were wrapped around the West’s finger. If there was naïveté, it was later, when the issue arose. Russia at first did not object.
The decision for the U.S. and its allies to expand NATO into the east was decisively made in 1993. I called this a big mistake from the very beginning. It was definitely a violation of the spirit of the statements and assurances made to us in 1990. With regards to Germany, they were legally enshrined and are being observed."
Could today’s media hysteria lead us into a war?
Overwrought coverage stoked by alarmist officials and pundits can both shape and ratify bad policy decisions. We’ve seen it before.
"Thursday was roiling with headlines — thanks to remarks from U.S. government officials, including President Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Ambassador to the UN Linda Greenfield — that a Russian invasion of Ukraine was “imminent.” As a result, social media was crackling with the speculation that war might break out any moment.
Media coverage of the Ukraine crisis for the last several months has been increasingly sensationalist and overwrought. Many of the worst features of Western media reporting on foreign policy issues have been on display from the mostly uncritical acceptance of government claims at face value to the worst-case alarmism about what is going to happen.
Some of the analysis of the dynamics behind the crisis has been no better, as pundits and think tankers have spun far-fetched theories that the Russian buildup is happening now because of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan last year. Ostensibly straight news reports have also repeated these bogus credibility arguments without evidence. Despite the many significant differences between Ukraine and Taiwan, the public has also been treated to speculation about how the crisis in Europe could lead to a conflict in East Asia. All of this is harmful to an accurate understanding of the crisis, and insofar as it contributes to ratcheting up tensions it makes de-escalation more difficult.
Many Western news reports have dutifully relayed worst-case scenarios, including claims that a Russian advance could take Kyiv in a matter of days for the purpose of regime change. Some publications have seized on specific dates and times when an invasion is supposed to begin.
Blaring these alarmist headlines have served mostly to damage Ukraine’s economy and spook its stock market, much to the Ukrainian government’s dismay. Davyd Arakhamia, the head of President Zelensky’s Servant of the People Party in Ukraine’s parliament, recently complained about the economic damage done by what he called Western media hysteria and estimated that it was costing the country $2-3 billion every month.
Sometimes media outlets have made more significant mistakes in how they report the information they are getting from the government. PBS ran with a story that the U.S. believed the Russian government had decided on an invasion, requiring National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan to clarify his own statements about the Russians readying for an attack on Friday Feb. 11. But not before major news organizations had tweeted out his original comments."
"The quality of media coverage of an international crisis matters because it shapes both public and elite opinion, and poor analysis can lead to even worse policy decisions. When coverage is alarmist, it can stoke tensions when tensions are already high. When analysis is extremely ideological, it can blind policymakers to viable solutions by misidentifying the causes of the crisis. It is because the situation is serious and the danger of war is real that we need much more responsible and careful reporting and analysis than we have seen over the last few months."
Enough Already: Time to End the War on Terrorism Paperback – January 16, 2021
by Scott Horton (Author)
“If you only read one book this year on America’s unending ‘War on Terror,’ it should be this persuasive and devastatingly damning account of how the United States created the original al Qaeda terrorism threat by its own actions and then increased that threat by orders of magnitude by its wanton killings in one country after another in the name of ‘counter-terrorism.’ Once I started reading it, I couldn’t stop!” — Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistleblower and author of The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner
FEBRUARY 15, 2022
Biden’s Multi-Billion Afghan Theft Gets Scant Mention on TV News
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Venezuela is becoming a cautionary tale of how a policy of collective punishment has been allowed to continue for years for no good reason.
Biden’s 2023 defense budget could top $800 billion
The reported request is grotesque, particularly when considering today’s unconstrained Pentagon waste.
FEBRUARY 18, 2022
Written by William Hartung
"Sources in the Pentagon have told Reuters that the Biden administration is poised to propose a budget for national defense that could top $800 billion for FY 2023, an enormous sum that far exceeds the levels reached at the peaks of the Korean and Vietnam wars or during the Reagan buildup of the 1980s. It is also more than three times what China spends on its military, and ten times what Russia spends. The figure apparently includes items beyond the Pentagon budget proper, such as spending on nuclear weapons at the Department of Energy, along with billions in defense-related spending at other government agencies.
The administration’s proposal is misguided and counterproductive, but not unexpected. A Pentagon review of the U.S. global force posture, released late last year, was a status quo document that failed to call for significant reductions in the U.S. military deployment in the Middle East, even as it signaled an intention to bulk up the U.S. presence in East Asia. And as Quincy Institute Distinguished Non-Resident Fellow Joseph Cirincione has noted, the Biden administration’s forthcoming Nuclear Posture Review is likely to leave the Pentagon’s 30 year plan to build a new generation of nuclear-armed bombers, submarines, and land-based missiles largely intact, at a cost of up to $2 trillion.
Military hawks are already circling, suggesting that the Biden proposal will not be sufficient to keep up with inflation, to the detriment of military readiness. These cries for more ignore the fact that there is ample room to scale back from current levels, given better budget discipline at the Pentagon and, most importantly, a new, more realistic strategy that doesn’t cast the United States in the role of global policeman.
On the question of spending discipline, the Pentagon is the only major federal agency never to pass an audit — it can’t tell taxpayers exactly where its money is going, nor does it have an accurate inventory of equipment and spare parts, leading to systematic duplication and waste. The department routinely overpays for basic items like spare parts. In one case, involving the notorious supplier Transdigm, there was an astonishing markup of 3,800 percent on a single part, and overcharges on a sampling of components totaling $20.8 million. This is small change by Pentagon standards, but multiplied by thousands of suppliers it no doubt adds up to billions in overcharges.
On a larger scale, the Pentagon too often buys weapons that are overpriced, dysfunctional, or unnecessary. A case in point is the F-35 combat aircraft, the most expensive single weapons program ever undertaken by the Pentagon. It is being rushed into service before testing has been completed, resulting in costly retrofits for design flaws that are still being detected. It has over 800 unresolved defects, is extremely difficult to maintain, and costs $38,000 per hour to operate. These and other serious problems led House Armed Services Committee chair Adam Smith to remark that he was tired of “pouring money” down the F-35 “rathole.”
Add to the F-35 systems like $13 billion aircraft carriers that have trouble launching and landing aircraft and vessels like the Littoral Combat Ship that can’t operate in high intensity combat environments, and it is clear that there is ample room to cut procurement of big ticket items without undermining our security.
The biggest area of savings in Pentagon spending would flow from the development of a new strategy that puts diplomacy first, ends the forever wars, reduces the nuclear arsenal while maintaining deterrence, and takes a more realistic view of the security risks posed by China, the nation that the Pentagon describes as the “pacing threat” guiding its spending plans. This approach would free up funds to address the most urgent threats to our security, from pandemics to climate change to economic inequality. With democracy in the balance, it’s time to focus on building strength and resilience at home rather than preparing for misguided military adventures abroad. Maintaining over 750 military bases, hundreds of thousands of troops overseas, counter-terror operations in at least 85 nations, and allocating more than $800 billion for the military will only weaken America while distracting attention and siphoning off resources needed to deal with the non-military challenges that pose the greatest threats to human lives and livelihoods. "
On another issue...
Why the CIA cannot be trusted and violates what the US should stand for Scott Ritter
----- Sorry if I'm violating copyright, may they forgive me and see it as advertising...(is too amazing not to post this in this light)