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Germany: Pentagon trains Ukrainian troops on Bradley, Stryker combat vehicles.

Army TimesFebruary 17, 2023 Ukrainian battalion completes first combined-arms training in Germany Ukrainian troops wrapped up the first rotation of battalion combined-arms training at U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria’s Grafenwoehr training area in Germany this week, the Pentagon announced Friday. Training focused on the M2 Bradley fighting vehicle…. “Approximately 635 Ukrainians completed the approximately five-week period […]

Germany: Pentagon trains Ukrainian troops on Bradley, Stryker combat vehicles — Anti-bellum

February 20, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

The Horrifying Endgame in Ukraine

This entire scenario is a long slow march toward nuclear war or the complete disintegration of Ukraine.

The U.S. won’t end the weapons deliveries because Joe Biden is afraid of losing face and his closest advisors such as Victoria Nuland have an irrational hatred for Russia and are total warmongers.


In yesterday’s issue, I addressed the biggest and most complex topic on the geopolitical landscape today — China.

But today I’m discussing what is by far the most alarming topic on the geopolitical landscape today. That’s the war in Ukraine and the dangers of escalation.

I’ve written extensively about two facets of the war in Ukraine that you don’t hear from legacy media in the United States or U.K. The first is that Russia is actually winning the war.

U.S. outlets such as The New York Times (a channel for the State Department) and The Washington Post (a channel for the CIA) report endlessly about how Russian plans have failed, about how incompetent they are about how the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) have pushed back Russians in the Donbass, and how NATO weapons such as U.S. Abrams tanks, U.K. Challenger tanks and German Leopard tanks will turn the tide against Russia soon.

This is all nonsense. None of it is true.

Reality Check

First off, the Ukrainian advances that took place in late summer were against lightly defended positions that the Russians quickly conceded to conserve forces. The Russians were willing to give up the land so that they wouldn’t lose valuable men and materiel.

The Russians withdrew to more defensible positions and have been badly mauling Ukrainian attacking forces ever since. Ukraine has wasted incredibly large amounts of men and equipment in these futile and ill-advised attacks.

In all, credible reports indicate that AFU casualties are nearing 500,000 and are increasing at an unsustainable rate. On the other hand, reports of 100,000 Russian dead are almost certainly wild exaggerations put out by Ukraine. The BBC attempted to verify these numbers and could only find about 20,000 confirmed Russian dead based on extensive searches on funeral notices, public records, etc.

Send in the Tanks — Eventually!

What about the tanks NATO is supposedly sending? Well, the tanks have not been delivered yet and most won’t be for months or longer. Our own M1 Abrams tanks might not even arrive for a year or more.

We actually have to custom build these tanks so that they don’t have the special armor and other advanced systems that our own M1s have. The Pentagon doesn’t want them falling into Russian hands if they’re destroyed or captured. Besides, we’re only sending 31 tanks anyway.

When the NATO tanks do arrive, they’ll likely quickly be destroyed by Russian artillery, anti-tank weapons and precision missiles. They’re good tanks, but far from invincible. For decades, the Russians have been developing powerful weapons specifically designed to destroy these NATO tank models. The Russians aren’t particularly worried about them.

Aside from that, tanks rely on effective air cover for protection, which Ukraine lacks. They’ll be sitting ducks on the battlefield. It doesn’t really make sense to send tanks to Ukraine unless you send combat aircraft to give them cover (more on that below).

Russia’s Winning on the Battlefield

Meanwhile, Russian forces have nearly encircled the city of Bakhmut, which is a major transportation and logistics hub, with several key roads and rail lines passing through it. It’ll probably fall to the Russians within weeks.

Losing Bakhmut will be a major blow to Ukraine, despite claims in the western media that it really isn’t very important. Ukraine’s entire 800-mile defensive line would probably begin to crumble, and they don’t have heavily fortified positions to fall back on. Ukrainian troops, while brave and competent soldiers, are exhausted and running out of supplies as it is.

On top of that, it appears likely that Russia is preparing a devastating offensive with massive amounts of men, tanks, armored personnel carriers, artillery, helicopters, drones and fixed-wing aircraft.

This Russian army is not the same army that invaded Ukraine a year ago. It’s much better trained, led and equipped. It’s learned from the mistakes it made during its initial invasion last February. Ukraine shouldn’t expect them to repeat those mistakes.

Does all this mean I’m cheering on a Russian victory in Ukraine? No, I’m just observing the facts on the ground and consolidating them to perform an objective analysis.

That analysis leads me to believe that Russia will win the war militarily. Western military assistance may prolong the fighting but won’t affect the ultimate outcome. It’ll just delay the inevitable and get a lot more people needlessly killed.

The Much Greater Risk

The second facet of this war not reported in the media, or at least downplayed, is the growing risk of nuclear war.

This risk increases with every escalatory step by both sides. The U.S. is the leader in reckless escalation by supplying long-range artillery, Patriot anti-missile batteries, intelligence, surveillance, and now the tanks. Russia responds at each step.

There’s a number of steps before the two sides arrive at the nuclear level, but neither shows a willingness to step back.

By the way, Russia has every legal right to attack those NATO countries supplying arms to Ukraine. By supplying arms to a party to the conflict, they’ve given up their neutrality and have become, in effect, combatants. Russia hasn’t done this because it doesn’t want to bring NATO directly into the fight. But legally, it can.

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme

Ukraine’s demands on the U.S., UK and the rest of NATO for advanced weapons to fight Russians know no limits. The West began by supplying Ukraine with cash, intelligence and anti-tank weapons such as the Javelin missile. Soon we were supplying long-range artillery, drones, and more cash.

As Russian advances continued, Zelensky demanded and got Patriot anti-missile batteries that can destroy incoming Russian missiles. The U.S. artillery was aimed at Russian Crimea. Several drones struck inside Russia at sensitive air bases with nuclear weapons nearby.

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme

Ukraine’s demands on the U.S., UK and the rest of NATO for advanced weapons to fight Russians know no limits. The West began by supplying Ukraine with cash, intelligence and anti-tank weapons such as the Javelin missile. Soon we were supplying long-range artillery, drones, and more cash.

As Russian advances continued, Zelensky demanded and got Patriot anti-missile batteries that can destroy incoming Russian missiles. The U.S. artillery was aimed at Russian Crimea. Several drones struck inside Russia at sensitive air bases with nuclear weapons nearby.

Once these advanced systems show they can’t help, what’s the Ukrainian’s next demand? Russia can escalate just as quickly and lethally as the U.S.

This entire scenario is a long slow march toward nuclear war or the complete disintegration of Ukraine.

Is Anyone Really Prepared for This?

The U.S. won’t end the weapons deliveries because Joe Biden is afraid of losing face and his closest advisors such as Victoria Nuland have an irrational hatred for Russia and are total warmongers.

Now, we can add a new danger, resulting from desperation. This is the fact that the U.S. itself may be the biggest loser in the war.

As Ukraine disappears under a massive Russian onslaught, the U.S. will grow increasingly desperate. Its credibility is on the line after committing so much money, materiel and moral weight to Ukraine’s defense.

The Biden administration has essentially turned the war in Ukraine into an existential crisis for the U.S. and NATO, when it never should have been. Ukraine has never been a vital U.S. interest. But the war is existential for Russia, and Russia won’t give up.

Is the U.S. just going to throw up its hands and concede Russian victory? NATO may actually disintegrate in the face of such spectacular failure. So, we’ll probably double down.

Maybe a desperate Biden orders troops into western Ukraine as a buffer against a complete Russian takeover of the country. You can imagine what could go wrong. That situation may quickly devolve into a direct war between the U.S. and Russia rather than the proxy war that it is now.

The American people and investors in particular are not prepared for any of this. They should be. It’s becoming increasingly likely.

February 20, 2023 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | 3 Comments

Microsoft Puts New Limits On Bing’s AI Chatbot After It Expressed Desire To Steal Nuclear Secrets

Forbes Matt Novak, Contributor, FOIA reporter and founder of, writing news and opinion on every aspect of technology. 20 Feb 23,

Microsoft announced it was placing new limits on its Bing chatbot following a week of users reporting some extremely disturbing conversations with the new AI tool. How disturbing? The chatbot expressed a desire to steal nuclear access codes and told one reporter it loved him. Repeatedly.

“Starting today, the chat experience will be capped at 50 chat turns per day and 5 chat turns per session. A turn is a conversation exchange which contains both a user question and a reply from Bing,” the company said in a blog post on Friday…………………………………………more

February 20, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

France’s government may switch funds from social housing to the cause of propping up the nuclear industry.

Will we be forced to choose between heating and housing one day? This
question may appear absurd at an individual level but much less so at the
level of the French state which constantly has to make trade-offs on
subjects as uncomfortable as this one.

According to French business daily
Les Echos, the government is contemplating the possibility of setting aside
a portion of the Livret A [savings account proposed by French banks] –
whose €375 billion is mainly devoted to social housing funding – and
investing a portion of the money in nuclear power.

Le Monde 12th Feb 2023

February 20, 2023 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment

Financial disaster looms for France’s nuclear corporation EDF

EDF reported one of the biggest losses in French corporate history on
Friday, February 17, as fallout from the Ukraine war and idling nuclear
reactors spelled financial disaster for the state-controlled utility.

EDF struggled with a drop in electricity output last year as it had to close
several of France’s 56 nuclear reactors to fix corrosion problems while a
heatwave led to a diminution of hydro-power production.

While 2022 revenue rose 70% to €143.5 billion, EDF reported a record loss of €17.9 billion
which compared with a net profit of €5.1 billion in 2021. After Russia’s
invasion of Ukraine sent energy prices skyrocketing, the government
required EDF to sell energy under cost to consumers to help them afford
their bills.

Le Monde 17th Feb 2023

February 20, 2023 Posted by | business and costs, France | Leave a comment

Pentagon-Funded Plymouth University Cancels Anti-War Academic: the militarization of higher education.

Pentagon-Funded Plymouth University Cancels Anti-War Academic: Reflections on How the US Empire Conquered Higher Education, CouterPunch BY T.J. COLES 17 Feb 23,

The US Empire is in the final and most dangerous stages of its quest for what the Pentagon calls “full spectrum dominance.” Having invaded and fought proxy wars in the oil-rich Middle East, it is now trying to break nuclear-armed Russia in another proxy war before attempting “regime change” in nuclear-armed China. We need not tarry on the potential consequences. Professor Noam Chomsky called it 20 years ago: this is hegemony or survival. Which one do you choose?

As the Empire races towards its biggest bet, using humanity and all other species on the planet as gambling chips, anti-war comment is tolerated less and less. For those who want to know what happened to me, see the Annex of this article for the leaked emails and background. Meanwhile, consider what is taking shape.


Critics of Western imperialism are silenced by the Empire’s witting and unwitting minions in increasingly knee-jerk ways. Google, which was developed with CIA money, has de-ranked anti-war websites, driving traffic to state-corporate outlets that promote imperialism. After buying YouTube, it then went on a de-platforming spree, banning and de-monetizing “conspiracy theorists,” left and right, who dare deviate from the increasingly narrow orthodoxy of acceptable thought.

Under the new McCarthyism of RussiaGate, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation has used the pretext of countering foreign disinformation to suspend and terminate political accounts. In 2020, following an evidence-free CNN report alleging that it was a front for the sanctioned nation of Iran, the FBI and Department of Justice seized the US domain for the website of the American Herald Tribune, founded by Dr. Anthony James Hall, who retired from his Canadian university, Lethbridge, following pressure from the Zionist Lobby and from individuals who accused him of being a “conspiracy theorist”—a cheap smear tactic employed against me by a cabal of staff at Plymouth University.

Meanwhile, the Twitter Files have exploded the myth that “social media” are independent corporate actors. Likewise, journalist Dr. Alan Macleod has documented the dozens of former spies now employed to police content at Facebook.


The opinions of self-described fact-checkers—like the Poynter Institute—are amplified by state-corporate media which engage in public humiliation rituals in the hope that retailers will pull magazines, academic institutions will fire staff, digital providers will demonetize accounts, and web hosts will drop entire sites and/or content……….

As governments contract out censorship to “fact-checkers,” critics of Empire are demonetized. Consortium News and Mint Press have seen their PayPal accounts frozen. PayPal’s pro-Trump co-founder, Peter Thiel, has made many millions of dollars from Pentagon contracts. Between 2007 and ’19, US taxpayers gave his Palantir Technologies $1.5 billion via the Department of Defense, particularly to spy on Afghans and Iraqis.


The above examples show how the US military and intelligence continue to influence the infrastructure through which much of today’s information travels. Another target is academia. But how serious is the problem?……………………………………………………..


Universities serve a variety of purposes, one of which is the development of new weapons for the US military. In the past, white voices critical of Empire would be tolerated as long as their non-university work did not grind the gears of Empire. That’s how Professor Chomsky, for instance, was able to get arrested protesting mass murder in Vietnam while receiving Pentagon money to undertake his linguistics research.

The technological origins of “full spectrum dominance” can perhaps be traced back to the outgoing Reagan and incoming George H.W. Bush administrations, under whom the Pentagon founded the Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative to further integrate with education and develop tools for things like the so-called Star Wars program (Strategic Defense Initiative). One consequence is that higher education became significantly influenced—maybe not full-spectrum dominated—by the eternal war machine.

By 2015, the Department of Defense (DoD), which in more honest times was called the Department of War, was investing $250 million of taxpayer money in universities. In that year, the DoD decided to look for international partners, of which the Britain was a natural first-choice.   The Pentagon’s Basic Research Office Director, Robin Staffin, said: “we decided it was time to formalize cooperation between the U.S. and the U.K.”

DARPA is the Pentagon’s taxpayer-funded innovation arm. It used to stand for the Advanced Projects Research Agency, but PR experts realized that they’d better prefix it with the word “Defense.” In 2016, venture capitalist-turned-DARPA Director, Arati Prabhakar, said: “DARPA is reliant on research universities as one part of this huge ecosystem  … [We] draw from the deep foundational research, almost always at places like great universities.”

For instance, the DoD recently said that the universities of Alabama-Huntsville, Florida International, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, and others, have received funding to develop solutions for—are you ready?—“monitoring the health and status of hypersonic aeroshells” (heat shields for space systems, which are core elements of “full spectrum dominance.” The “health and status” of ordinary Americans, who still don’t have free coverage, is less important). Other projects include thermodynamic ducts for hypersonic vehicles sponsored by the usual suspects, like Boeing and Lockheed Martin.



As universities continue designing weapons of mass murder, thought criminals in Western countries continue to face deplatforming and public shaming. Are their personal fates as severe as those of dissident academics in US-UK-supported regimes, like Saudi Arabia? Of course not. But that is not the point. An obvious chilling effect is created in which scholars striving for social justice and indeed the survival of the planet are silenced. The witting an unwitting minions of Empire are too obtuse to realize that by issuing penalties for expressing opinions, those penalties may one day be imposed upon them.


MY STORY……………………………………………………………………………….as I have lost my University position as a result of my political views, it is worth considering exactly what I write for Nexus (article by article) and that my articles give a left-wing voice to the so-called conspiracy research community, which is often dominated by right-wingers and apolitical people.

As one can see below, the bulk of my work for Nexus consists of critiques and exposés of US military and intelligence agencies. …………………………………………………………

T. J. Coles is director of the Plymouth Institute for Peace Research and the author of several books, including Voices for Peace (with Noam Chomsky and others) and  Fire and Fury: How the US Isolates North Korea, Encircles China and Risks Nuclear War in Asia (both Clairview Books).

February 20, 2023 Posted by | Education, PERSONAL STORIES, UK, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Betting on Ukraine victory was ‘suicidal’ – Seymour Hersh 18 Feb 23

The West didn’t even want Kiev in NATO because of corruption concerns, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist says.

The US and its allies should have attempted to reach an agreement with Moscow as their belief that Ukraine can win a conflict against Russia is “suicidal,” iconic American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has argued.

Speaking in a YouTube interview with the Consortium News outlet on Friday, Hersh accused the Biden administration of making “so many bad mistakes,” adding that “it’s impossible to believe just how dumb this leadership was.” 

“It was suicidal to think you can win that war, that Ukraine can win the war [against Russia]. There’s just too much corruption. That was a very, very bad decision. We should have been pushing for peace, we should have made an agreement,” the former Pulitzer Prize winner insisted.

US President Joe Biden basically “blew off NATO in Europe” by telling allies that he is backing Ukraine with its “totally corrupt government,” Hersh added. The journalist also pointed out how Kiev glorifies Stepan Bandera, “the great pro-Nazi who killed Jews like crazy during World War II.” 

It’s just silly not to right away assure the Russian government that we weren’t interested in making Ukraine a member of NATO,” Hersh stated, referring to long-standing concerns in Moscow. “NATO didn’t want Ukraine anyway because of the corruption.” 

Hersh recently published a bombshell report which accused the US of sabotaging the Nord Stream pipelines last year. He cited an informed source as explaining that explosives were planted on the bottom of the Baltic Sea by US Navy divers under the guise of a NATO exercise back in June 2022. They were detonated in late September, rendering the pipelines, which were built to deliver Russian gas to Europe through Germany, inoperable.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, as well as Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, are all “very hawkish,” according to the journalist. The trio “pushed Biden very hard” to go ahead with the sabotage because “they have long-standing incredible hatred for [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. It’s almost personal, I would guess,” Hersh claimed.  

READ MORE: More Nord Stream ‘bombshells’ to come – Seymour Hersh

US National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson branded Hersh’s bombshell report “utterly false and complete fiction.” The journalist has promised even more revelations on how the pipelines were blown up.

February 20, 2023 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

NATO to participate in Ukraine war “for as long as it takes”

‘NATO is determined to make sure that Ukraine wins this war’ NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana told DW that the alliance is determined to continue supporting Ukraine for as long as it takes. DW:..Will the alliance support Ukraine as long as Russian troops are controlling parts of the country, including […]

  Author: Rick Rozoff1 Comment, Deutsche Welle, February 18, 2023

‘NATO is determined to make sure that Ukraine wins this war’

NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana told DW that the alliance is determined to continue supporting Ukraine for as long as it takes.

DW:..Will the alliance support Ukraine as long as Russian troops are controlling parts of the country, including Crimea?

Mircea Geoana: We are determined to continue supporting Ukraine for as long as it takes and also make sure that Ukraine wins this war….

[W]we are helping Ukraine, and by helping Ukraine we help ourselves. And we are here to stay for the long run with the Ukrainians.

DW: NATO has significantly boosted its presence on its eastern flank. What will the alliance do to protect the Black Sea region (including your home country, Romania) and why is this region so important in the context of Russia’s war in Ukraine?

[In] the strategic concept of NATO that our leaders approved in Madrid, we consider and we recognize the Black Sea as a strategic region, of strategic relevance to us. Not the only one: the Baltic Sea is important, the Adriatic Sea is important, the North Sea is important, the North Atlantic is important. But the Black Sea has a specificity with so much Russian presence, with so much pressure that they’re putting on Ukraine. And also we have Ukraine and Georgia and the Republic of Moldova, who are partners of NATO’s.


So the Black Sea is very important. And we take specific steps. In my home country, Romania, France is leading the battle group. In the neighboring country, Bulgaria, Italy is leading the battle group….

[W]e see an intensification of the partnership between the Republic of Moldova and NATO….


NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana, a former head of the Social Democratic Party in Romania, has served as Romanian minister of foreign affairs (2000–2004) and president of the Romanian Senate (2008–2011).

February 20, 2023 Posted by | EUROPE, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Cities must not be targets — Beyond Nuclear International

Bombarding civilians violates international humanitarian law

Cities must not be targets — Beyond Nuclear International

Using nuclear weapons on populations is inherently racist and xenophobic

By Carlos Umaña, MD

The following was a live presentation made by Dr. Umaña inside the basement of the St. Nikolai Church, destroyed during the firebombing of Hamburg during World War II but now housing a museum commemorating the horrors of targeting cities during war.

I am honored speak on such a special occasion, to such a special crowd, and humbled to do so in such a special place. Here, the name of my presentation, “Cities are not targets” takes a special meaning, as in the basement of St. Nikolai’s Memorial Church one cannot help but marvel at the grandeur of human enterprise, while at the same time be appalled by the reaches of human destruction.

“Cities are not targets,” the title of my presentation, is also the name of a campaign launched in 2006 by Mayors for Peace, an organization founded in 1982 by the mayor of Hiroshima with the aim of producing nuclear abolition, an organization that currently has over 8,200 member cities.

Now, when we talk about cities, urban centers of civilian population being targets, we are not talking about peace, we are talking about war, and the bare minimum of humanity that must be followed during war. We are talking about the rules of war, for civilians ‐ innocent noncombatants ‐ must not be a part of war.

During World War II, attacks on civilian structures were justified by “othering”, that is, by objectifying populations, making not the government or the army the enemy, but the people. In popular culture nowadays we see how nuclear weapons are used to fight off evil aliens in scientific action movies. Entire races of evil, ugly aliens who want to destroy humanity are killed off and humanity is saved by the atomic bomb.

In the 1940s, the aliens, in the public eye of many people in the United States, were the Japanese. The Japanese people themselves, who looked and acted so differently, were somehow evil. In the collective mind of many in the United States, all Japanese people were accomplices to their army’s misdeeds. Hence, they deserved the atomic bomb. They had it coming.

Nuclear weapons are inherently racist and xenophobic: they were created and used with the idea of killing off a population of people who are “not like us”. This “othering”, this extreme indifference towards the horrible suffering of those who are somehow different is the reason for being of these weapons and why they are the epitome of cruelty. In this sense, the words of our dear and renowned Hiroshima survivor Setsuko Thurlow resonate loudly: “nuclear weapons are not a necessary evil, but the ultimate evil”.

Now, since World War II, International law has evolved. International Humanitarian Law, the law of war, condemns any attack on civilians and thus condemns the use of explosive weapons in urban centers, as it is disproportionate and indiscriminate and harms civilians directly.

Weapons of mass destruction: chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, landmines, and cluster munitions, contravene International Humanitarian Law because they do not distinguish between military and civilian targets and attack everything and everyone indiscriminately.

Explosive weapons in cities not only kill and harm innocent people directly ‐ who may require long‐term assistance ‐ they also cause other problems. They cause displacement, the damage and destruction of housing, schools, hospitals, water and sanitation systems, and this worsens the suffering of innocent people in a conflict.

With nuclear weapons, by far the most destructive of all weapons, and the ones that cause the most suffering, civilians are the targets. Cities are the targets. They go beyond affecting the housing, schools, communication and healthcare infrastructure, or the water and sanitation systems. They destroy and contaminate. The city becomes uninhabitable. The food systems of the city ‐ any farming on which the population depends ‐ become unusable. The city’s historical and environmental patrimony are destroyed beyond repair.

In Hiroshima and Nagasaki, over 200,000 people died in the first few days and many more have suffered and died insidiously over the years. Many of the injured suffered horribly from the blast and the heat, and more so by the effects of radiation, something most people were unaware of at the time. The mysterious disease that people knew nothing about caused many to die and suffer atrociously: their abdomens exploded, their faces melted, they bled to death. Their wounds would not heal. And those apparently healthy would get sick and die years later.

Most of the people who suffered these horrors were noncombatant people: elderly people, women and children. Children. And these people suffered further the stigmatization by other people in Japan. The children were kept apart from other children, for fear of contagion. They would have difficulty finding work, as they were perceived as sickly, or finding partners, as it was feared that they would bear defective children. Therefore, many learned to keep their origins to themselves and lie about where they were from. What was once a source of pride, their city, had become a source of scorn and shame……………………………………

February 20, 2023 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

War is a climate killer — Beyond Nuclear International

Conflicts worsen military sector’s already enormous CO2 footprint

War is a climate killer — Beyond Nuclear International

The military already has the largest carbon footprint. Going to war makes it far worse

By Angelika Claussen

War brings death and destruction – not least to the environment and climate. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine offers a depressing reminder of that fact, and further increases the military sector’s already enormous global CO₂ footprint. In addition, the eastern Ukrainian cities where fighting is taking place are home to fossil fuel infrastructure such as chemical factories, oil refineries, and coal mines, the bombing of which produces a cocktail of toxic substances that has devastating environmental impacts. Efforts to arm the two sides, moreover, are consuming materials and resources that could otherwise go towards tackling the climate crisis.

Based on the global CO₂ budget, humanity has less than eight years to ensure it still hits its 1.5-degree warming target. To do so, we need to urgently implement reforms in all areas, to bring about “systemic change,” as the IPCC report from early April puts it. The military sector barely gets a mention in this almost 3,000-page document, however, with the word “military” coming up just six times. You might thus conclude that the sector is of little relevance to the climate emergency.

The reality is rather different. Using military hardware results in huge quantities of emissions. In the war in Ukraine, 36 Russian attacks on fossil fuel infrastructure were recorded in the first five weeks alone, leading to prolonged fires that released soot particulates, methane and CO₂ into the atmosphere, while oil infrastructure has been ablaze on the Russian side too. The oil fields that were set on fire in 1991 during the second Gulf War contributed two per cent of global emissions for that year.

While greenhouse gas emissions are one of the most significant impacts of war, the quantity emitted depends on the duration of the conflict and on what tanks, trucks, and planes are used. Another is the contamination of ecosystems that sequester CO₂. Staff from Ukraine’s environment inspectorate are currently collecting water and soil samples in the areas around shelled industrial facilities.

Military emissions

The ramifications for the climate can be catastrophic in scale. According to a study by the organisation Oil Change International, the Iraq War was responsible for 141 million tonnes of CO₂ equivalent emissions between its outbreak in 2003 and the report’s publication in 2008. By way of comparison: some 21 EU member states emitted less CO₂ equivalent in 2019, with only six states topping that figure…………………………………………………..

As the war in Ukraine goes on, the biggest challenge of the 21st century – the climate crisis – has slipped down the agenda. We mustn’t forget, though, that efforts to tackle that crisis can only succeed if all countries – including Russia – work together. The immediate demand is for a ceasefire, followed by measures to build trust, such as international disarmament treaties. Moreover, Russia will need outside help if it is to transition to a climate-friendly energy industry. What’s required is a fundamental socio-ecological transformation, with policy-making dictated by the needs of all. That may seem inconceivable at present, but what’s the alternative? Unchecked global warming would be catastrophic for the planet’s entire population.

February 20, 2023 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Spiralling cost of Hinkley Point C nuclear station

 Cost of Hinkley Point nuclear plant backed by France, China spirals to
US$38.5 billion. EDF and its partner in the project, China General Nuclear
Power, will be asked to provide additional funding, but it’s unlikely the
Chinese will agree.

EDF saidElectricite de France said the cost of building
its flagship Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in the UK is set to
spiral further to £32 billion (US$38.5 billion). Higher levels of
inflation have pushed up the estimated spend on the plant, the French
energy giant said in a presentation published alongside its annual results.

The revised estimate is the latest indication of surging costs after the
start of plant was delayed last year. In May, EDF raised the price tag to
build the two reactors at Hinkley to £25 billion (US$30 billion) and £26
billion (US$31 billion).

 South China Morning Post 18th Feb 2023

February 20, 2023 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Rolls Royce’s financial problems, as it plans to make small nuclear reactors for the British government.

 Rolls is complex: it can’t seem to decide whether it has three, four, or
five divisions. It has its fingers in too many pies.

Among its many projects: it makes engines for luxury yachts. It provides back-up power to
solar farms in the Atacama desert. It has built an enormous new jet engine
called the UltraFan at a cost of hundreds of millions of pounds, without
knowing which model of plane might actually use it (Rolls insists the tech
developed for Ultra Fan is already finding its way into existing engines).

Oh, and it has an arm that wants to build small modular nuclear reactors
(SMRs) for the British government
— tech derived from the reactors it
makes for the Royal Navy.

So much for the diagnosis, but what can
Erginbilgic do to heal the patient? This week he is expected to announce
restructuring — though not job cuts, yet — and a strategic review. This
may stop short of selling off divisions, but could see Rolls seek out more

 Times 19th Feb 2023

February 20, 2023 Posted by | business and costs, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, UK | Leave a comment

Ukraine Hawk Who Heads European Commission Has a Nazi Pedigree She Does Not Want You to Know About.

Covert Action, By Evan Reif, February 17, 2023 

Her father Ernst Albrecht, President of the German state of Lower Saxony from 1978 to 1990, brought unrehabilitated Nazis into his administration and carried out a black-flag terrorist operation designed to discredit the left-wing Red Army Faction.

In the wake of the Russo-Ukrainian war, terms like “European values” have come back into the mainstream. One of the people who has been most responsible for this is Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission who is now a nearly omnipresent figure in the media.

According to Ursula, “European values” represent only the highest attributes of humankind: freedom, justice, solidarity, and rule of law.

Of course, anyone with even a passing knowledge of history can tell you that these are nothing but euphemisms. Not long ago, “European values” meant something very different. Those values drew the borders of the world in oceans of blood, both of Europeans and those they conquered. A look at the history of Ursula’s aristocratic European family can show us the true face of these “European values” and how the ruling class profited from imposing them on the world.

Sins of the Father

“If we succeed in bringing people of above-average capabilities to governance an autocracy or the rule of the few will be able to create a better order than the rule of the people.” – Ernst Albrecht

Ursula von der Leyen is the scion of two aristocratic German families. She was born Ursula Albrecht, the daughter of a prominent European bureaucrat, CDU party leader, and former governor of Lower Saxony, Ernst Albrecht. The family carefully nurtured a cosmopolitan image as Ernst spent most of his life working for the EU and various precursor organizations. Growing up, Ursula was nicknamed “Röschen” (Rosie in English) by her father, and images of the happy family featured heavily in her father’s political advertisements……………………………………………………………………….

The rank-and-file of the Nazi regime, the army of people who physically made the Nazi machine do the murderous work of subjugating and exterminating an entire continent went almost entirely unpunished for their crimes.

In the case of people like Hans von der Groeben, they were rewarded with jobs in the new “de-Nazified” West German government. Despite the pretenses of a new Germany, only the names changed. The same bureaucrats labored toward the same goal, the destruction of the Soviet Union and its people, by any means necessary. The state machinery once called the Greater German Reich had now simply been absorbed into a new structure, now called the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Now in the position of the deputy, Ernst Albrecht took on the same role his boss had in the 1940s, this time with “blood and soil” replaced with “European values.”

Although Ernst Albrecht was a few years too young to have been a Nazi himself, throughout his long political career he made his sympathies very clear. Ernst was an elitist dripping with contempt for the common people and wanted to bring about what he deemed elite rule in Germany as opposed to the rule of the “uninsightful” mob. Given that he never missed a chance to venerate the Third Reich and its killers, it is very clear whom Ernst considered elite………….

During his time as leader of the Christian Democratic Union (one of Germany’s two largest political parties) government of the German state of Lower Saxony, Ernst successfully wooed members of the neo-Nazi Deutsche Reichspartei (DRP) into the ranks of the CDU………………

When he came to power, one of the elites Ernst entrusted to rule was his justice minister, a jurist by the name of Hans Puvogel. Once again, he picked a fanatical Nazi. …………………………… as far as anyone knows he went to the grave a committed Nazi. For his part, Ernst Albrecht simply never mentioned it. The strategy of simply pretending the Third Reich never existed paid off once more as Albrecht himself faced no real consequences.

……………. Ernst did not just work for Nazis, fill his cabinet with Nazis and invite Nazis into his party; he also spent a great deal of time courting Nazi voters. Ernst and his deputies were fixtures at Nazi veteran events throughout Lower Saxony.

Albrecht’s deputy minister, close friend, and Nazi officer Wilfried Hasselmann even gave the keynote speech at a Knight’s Cross Association dinner in 1978, in which he venerated the worst killers of Hitler’s Reich as brave and honorable men, whose courage was an example for future generations who would be inspired by their “European values.”……………………………………………………………………………

It is not at all unfair to ask where Ursula von der Leyen’s family’s money and power came from, and what they did to earn it, especially given that Ursula has benefitted enormously from her family’s wealth and connections to further her own career, which can stand on its own as an example of corruption, severe scandal, incompetence and, possibly, even outright treason. Her time as a politician shows that Ursula’s apple has not fallen far from the Albrecht family tree.

Ursula first entered politics in 2003 when she was defeated via technicality in a Hanover regional election primary by CDU stalwart Lutz von der Heide. This was unacceptable for Ursula’s father Ernst, who launched a full-court press alongside his old deputy and Wehrmacht artillery officer Wilfried Hasselmann.

The two set to work both campaigning for Ursula and smearing her opponent, who had held the seat for more than 15 years at this point. At the time, Ursula had a long-running column in far-right tabloid Bild, a newspaper founded by ex-Nazi propagandist and CIA asset Axel Springer which has been sanctioned dozens of times for violations of German law and, through this, she was able to effectively amplify their attacks on von der Heide. Soon, all of Germany was reading the latest dirt about a primary for a small regional election.

The campaign was decisive and, in the second round of voting, Ursula won by a two-thirds majority. It was a safe seat so, as the new CDU candidate, Ursula was elected easily. Considering this, it is impossible to separate Ursula von der Leyen from her father’s legacy.

Two years later, she was picked by Angela Merkel to serve as Minister of Labor and Family Affairs, despite her almost non-existent political experience. In this role, she was mostly noted for cutting social services for the blind and trying to ban heavy-metal albums, a resumé that would not seem to justify further promotion.

Despite this, she was promoted to Minister of Defense in 2013, a move which baffled the opposition. It was here that the “European values” of Ursula von der Leyen began to show their shape once more.

Ursula’s mandate was to expand and increase readiness of the Bundeswehr, and she set about the job with gusto. She began a constant drumbeat for war, arguing that the German army was too small and unprepared to face whatever new enemy she conjured up on that day. Be it Afghanistan, Iran, China, Russia or Syria, Ursula consistently advocated for more weapons, more war, and more money. Ursula even proposed a German foreign legion to bolster the ranks of the Bundeswehr, a proposal that was met with horror and condemnation from all sides.

Almost immediately, she said that the ministry required outside help and hired one of the favorite and most criminal consultants of the neo-liberal political class, the CIA-affiliated McKinsey…….. McKinsey’s tendrils reach into governments and corporations throughout the world, and it exemplifies the “revolving door” among government, intelligence and big business.

It was more than just a consultancy: McKinsey was given direct control of the ministry, with consultant Katrin Suder awarded a new position inside the ministry to “reform the armaments sector.” Ursula shoveled nearly half a billion euros into the coffers of McKinsey and others for “consulting” services, and received absolutely nothing in return. The unelected Suder was seen so often beside von der Leyen that the opposition joked she was Ursula’s new bodyguard.

This brazen corruption became known as the “consultant affair” and was so severe that it led to a parliamentary inquiry, with opposition from both the left and right demanding answers from von der Leyen. Ursula responded mostly by stonewalling, simply refusing to answer questions or provide information, eventually destroying evidence of her misdeeds before she could be brought before Parliament. As there was no evidence, the inquiry failed. For her role in the affair, Katrin Suder was awarded the Bundeswehr Cross of Honor by von der Leyen.

The scandal was so serious, so brazen and so utterly baffling that the opposition Social Democratic Party openly accused Ursula von der Leyen of treason, working in the interests of the United States government as opposed to Germany:

As Federal Defense Minister, von der Leyen behaved as the U.S. President wanted when he called for increase in military spending: higher military budgets, increased armaments instead of disarmament. And although this minister got into trouble because of her high spending on consulting firms and various personnel decisions and was anything but a role model, she became President of the EU Commission. That is a key function and it is important for the U.S.

The decision for von der Leyen happened quietly backstage. No sensible person can explain why she was given this important office. A partial explanation is that she had the support of important countries from Eastern Europe. The United States has a great influence on these states.

In the first major critical case, von der Leyen immediately and unequivocally represented the U.S. position, where she said Iran itself is to be blamed for the confrontation in the Middle East and for the execution of the Iranian general. With her, the United States can probably also stake a claim on other occasions and play a key role in shaping the internal structure of the European Union. Ursula von der Leyen is the perfect example of an ‘agent of influence.’
– Albrecht Müller, SPD member of parliament January 2, 2021

……………………… Further investigations in 2019 revealed that the special forces unit was not only infested with open neo-Nazis, but they had been actively planning to overthrow the German government for at least three years. Furthermore, despite being repeatedly warned, Ursula von der Leyen and her army of consultants had at best done nothing and at worst actively exacerbated the issue…………………

Despite all of this, Ursula was considered a favorite to succeed Jens Stoltenberg as secretary general of NATO. Given the alliance’s history with Nazis, it should be no surprise that her ties to the far right were either ignored or, more likely, counted in her favor.

The reason Ursula was not chosen was because she had once again failed upwards and had already been elected president of the European Commission in a close election which she won despite almost universal condemnation from German politicians both from her own party and the opposition. ……………

Ursula was the first woman to hold this position, and the second with any connection to the Nazis: Former Wehrmacht artillery officer and Nazi law professor Walter Hallstein had gotten his start in politics arguing for the virtues of the Nuremburg race laws as a young man, demonstrating his lifelong commitment to “European values.”

It was from her new platform in Brussels that the whole world got to see the “European values” of Ursula von der Leyen. After the outbreak of war in Ukraine, Ursula has dominated the news as one of the most forceful and steadfast advocates for more war, more sanctions and more weapons……………. more

February 20, 2023 Posted by | EUROPE, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Despite massive losses of nuclear company EDF, and reactor corrosions, France plans to build a new fleet of EPR reactors.

Despite corrosion leaving nearly half of French atomic power fleet idle
last year and huge cost overruns at new construction, state-backed power
comapny insists on building even more reactors.

A plunge in nuclear power
output related mostly to inspections and repairs for stress corrosion that
left nearly half of France’s atomic generation fleet idled for much of last
year has cost EDF €29.1bn ($30.99bn), pushing the embattled state-owned
utility into a massive loss.

Forty-three of the company’s 56 reactors are
currently operational again, up from only 30 at the beginning of November
2022. But last year’s decline in nuclear output – which the company had to
compensate for with power purchases at a time when market prices were very
high – linked to the impact of price caps for French consumers last year,
triggered a loss in generation and supply segment earnings before interest,
taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of €23.14bn.

Gains in other
areas, such as regulated activities or renewables were not able to
compensate for the nuclear drain on finances. That was the main cause of a
€17.94bn net loss for the entire group, compared to a €5.11bn net
profit in 2021.

Despite the massive losses at EDF, as well as dozens of
billions in cost overruns and decade-long delays at the construction of a
new EPR (European Pressurised Reactor) at Flamanville, French President
Emmanuel Macron last year launched a programme to build six further EPRs in
France, with the option for eight more at later stage.

Recharge 17th Feb 2023

February 20, 2023 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment

N Korea confirms ICBM test, touts nuclear counterattack ability

Pyongyang says its latest ICBM test was meant to bolster its ‘fatal nuclear counterattack’ capabilities.

North Korea has said it fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) as a warning to the United States and South Korea, claiming the drill successfully demonstrated its capacity to launch a “fatal nuclear counterattack”.

The North Korean statement on Sunday came a day after it launched the Hwasong-15 into the sea off Japan’s west coast after warning of a strong response to upcoming military drills by the US and South Korea……………………………………………………………………….

Analysts say North Korea is likely to conduct more weapons tests, including a possible new solid-fuel missile which could help Pyongyang deploy its missiles faster in the event of a war.

North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programmes are banned under UN Security Council resolutions, but Pyongyang says its weapons development is necessary to counter “hostile policies” by Washington and its allies.

February 20, 2023 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment