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Moon of Alabama

Cuba - US Diplomats Retreat In Horror ... Because ... 'Crickets'

This incident earlier this month will probably go down in the annals as the most stupid diplomatic foul-up ever:
President Trump on Tuesday expelled 15 Cuban diplomats, escalating his response to a mysterious affliction that has stricken American Embassy personnel in Havana in a move that cast a Cold War chill over relations between the two countries. 
...
American diplomats and their spouses began reporting symptoms that included hearing loss, dizziness, balance and visual problems, headaches and cognitive issues last December. By late January, the State Department realized that the illnesses were related and might have resulted from some sort of attack, perhaps by a sonic device, toxin or virus.
The US diplomats were hearing strange noises at night. This within certain parts of their embassy as well as in some homes. Lots of mischief was suspected - from huge infrasound weapons to food poisoning. But no technical or medical explanation was found. The State Department described the noise as "specific attacks" on its diplomats. At least 21 were affected and half of the US staff in Havana was ordered home. Cuban diplomats were expelled from the US
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Iran - Trump Has No Strategy, Only Aims And No Way To Achieve Them

President Trump hates the international nuclear deal with Iran.  The agreement put temporary restriction of Iran's nuclear program and opened it up to deeper inspections. The other sides of the deal committed to lifting sanctions and to further economic cooperation. Trump wants to get rid of the deal; but he is unwilling to pay the political price.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was negotiated and signed by the five permanent UN Security Council members (U.S., Ch, Ru, UK, F), Germany, the EU and Iran. If the U.S. defaults on the deal it will be in a lone position. The diplomatic isolation would limit its abilities to use its influence on other issues.

Trump has little knowledge of Iran, the nuclear deal, the Middle East or anything else. What he knows comes from Fox News and from Netanyahoo and other Zionist whisperers who get to his ear. All he heard is that the deal with Iran is bad. Therefore, he concluded, it must end.
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How The Military Defeated Trump's Insurgency

Trump was seen as a presidential candidate who would possibly move towards a less interventionist foreign policy. That hope is gone. The insurgency that brought Trump to the top was defeated by a counter-insurgency campaign waged by the U.S. military. (Historically its first successful one). The military has taken control of the White House process and it is now taking control of its policies.
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Saudi Arabia - Bin Salman's Coup Is A Model For His Own Ouster

Someone wanted the public to know that the new Saudi clown prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MbS) took up his new position by unceremoniously disposing his predecessor Mohammed bin Nayef (MbN) by force. The juicy details, true or not, were briefed to Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times on the same day:
As next in line to be king of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Nayef was unaccustomed to being told what to do. Then, one night in June, he was summoned to a palace in Mecca, held against his will and pressured for hours to give up his claim to the throne. 

By dawn, he had given in, and Saudi Arabia woke to the news that it had a new crown prince: the king’s 31-year-old son, Mohammed bin Salman.
Bin Nayef was a darling of the CIA and his disposal was not welcome. It may well be that the author of the tale of his ouster has his office in Langley, Virginia.
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Israel's Fire Support For Its Al-Qaeda Mercenaries Started Three Years Ago

Al-Qaeda attacked a Syrian Arab Army position in Madinat al-Baath (map) next to the Israel occupied Golan heights. Al-Qaeda requested Israeli fire-support by launching some mortars towards empty space in the Israel occupied area. The Israeli Defense Force accepted the request and destroyed two Syrian Arab Army tanks. Two Syrian soldiers were killed. The SAA held steady and the al-Qaeda attack on its position failed.
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US Wants Control Over Anbar And Beyond - Iraq and Syria Will Prevent It

The US is casting its net over the desert between Iraq and Syria, Saudi Arabia and Jordan to install military bases and power-structures that will guarantee major influence in the area for the foreseeable future. A part of that plan is to develop Sunni proxy forces that will keep the government forces of Damascus and Baghdad out of the area. Another part is to privatize important infrastructure to keep it under direct US control.
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Al-Qaeda Gets An Oscar

Hollywood is all about fake. That is what movies are - fake depictions of a fake reality that only exist in the mind of scriptwriters, directors and a usually gullible audience. (Disclosure: I do like some movies.)

Hollywood has never been shy of plagiarizing. Every idea, tale of cinematographic trick that made a splash somewhere - and is thereby a potential money generator - will get copied again and again. Every successful make gets a remake. And another one.

In 2015 the promoting host of the Miss Universe franchise "misread" the name of the winner. He announced "Columbia" when the chosen winner was "Philippines." After a few minutes he "corrected" himself. That "mistake" brought a lot of additional media attention - and financial value - to the event owner.
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The War Hawks Rolled Donald Trump

President Trump's first National Security Advisor Mike Flynn got kicked out of office for talking with Russian officials. Such talks were completely inline with Trump's declared policies of détente with Russia. (I agree that Flynn should have never gotten the NSA job. But the reasons for that have nothing to do with his Russian connections.)

Allegedly Flynn did not fully inform Vice-President Pence about his talk with the Russian ambassador. But that can not be a serious reason. The talks were rather informal, they were not transcribed. The first call is said to have reached Flynn on vacation in the Dominican Republic. Why would a Vice-President need to know each and every word of it?

With Flynn out, the war-on-Russia hawks, that is about everyone of the "serious people" in Washington DC, had the second most important person out of the way that would probably hinder their plans.
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A Desperate Obama Administration Resorts To Lying And Maybe More

On September 28 the French mission to the UN claimed that two hospitals in east-Aleppo had been bombed. It documented this in a tweet with a picture of destroyed buildings in Gaza. The French later deleted that tweet.

It is not the first time such false claims and willful obfuscations were made by "western" officials. But usually they shy away from outright lies.

Not so the US Secretary of State John Kerry. In a press event yesterday, before talks with the French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault about a new UN resolution, he said (vid @1:00) about Syria:
Last night, the regime attacked yet another hospital, and 20 people were killed and 100 people were wounded. And Russia and the regime owe the world more than an explanation about why they keep hitting hospitals and medical facilities and children and women.These are acts that beg for an appropriate investigation of war crimes. And those who commit these would and should be held accountable for these actions.
No opposition group has claimed that such an extremely grave event happened. None.
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Another US Proxy Force Defeated By ISIS - Incompetent Training or Intent?

The US military has again failed in one of the training programs it runs in support of fighting the Islamic State. Earlier training missions had failed to create competent and willing forces. Supplies for US supported forces ended on the black markets or directly in the hands of the Islamic State. Is all this really incapability or is there some intent behind this?
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