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Better late than never, I suppose:


CIA publicly acknowledges 1953 coup it backed in Iran was undemocratic


While revealing new details about one of the most famed CIA operations of all times — the spiriting out of six American diplomats who escaped the 1979 U.S. Embassy seizure in Iran — the intelligence agency for the first time has acknowledged something else as well.


The CIA now officially describes the 1953 coup it backed in Iran that overthrew its prime minister and cemented the rule of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as undemocratic.




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4 hours ago, Playoff Beered said:

So the Polish prime minister is out? He made some big commitments to military spending. I'm going to have to do a little homework and see if the opposition party there is in support of keeping up that military spending commitment or scaling it back.

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So, the deal has conditions.  Some, not all of the sanctions will be lifted.  Will require more open (internationally monitored) elections next year.  This is all good news, at it should help the Venezuelan economy, thus removing pressure caused by Venezuelan migrants trying to leave the country whose economy is in the dumpster. 




US broadly eases Venezuela oil sanctions after election deal

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On 10/16/2023 at 3:14 PM, UnkNuk said:

Better late than never, I suppose:


CIA publicly acknowledges 1953 coup it backed in Iran was undemocratic


While revealing new details about one of the most famed CIA operations of all times — the spiriting out of six American diplomats who escaped the 1979 U.S. Embassy seizure in Iran — the intelligence agency for the first time has acknowledged something else as well.


The CIA now officially describes the 1953 coup it backed in Iran that overthrew its prime minister and cemented the rule of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as undemocratic.





I have brought up Mohammad Mosaddegh on both this board and the old one a few times. 


Democratically elected leader of Iran whose administration initiated social security, land reforms, nationalising the oil industry, which was why the yanks and Brits were pissed. 

Gotta wonder where the people of Iran would be now if he had remained in power.


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  • 3 months later...

As Europe's armies brace for war, allies call on Canada and others to catch up

Russia's rearmament plans have rattled European capitals — is Canada paying attention?

Murray Brewster · CBC News · Posted: Jan 30, 2024 1:00 AM PST | Last Updated: 5 hours ago
A poster is seen in on the side of a castle.
A poster with an image of Russian President Vladimir Putin on the wall of the Narva Castle opposite the Russian border in Narva, Estonia on Tuesday, May 9, 2023. (Associated Press)


In Estonia, they're talking about building more public bomb shelters and making them mandatory in all newly constructed homes.


In neighbouring Latvia, the government is going through the second draft of mandatory military service legislation. Next door in Lithuania, there's talk of universal conscription.


"I understand that when we speak from the Baltic perspective, it might sound somewhat dramatic and shocking," Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen, the speaker of the Seimas, Lithuania's legislature, told CBC News Monday in Ottawa.


"It is obvious that today, democracy itself, democratic countries, democracies all around the world are under pressure from Russia and its autocratic allies."


Since the beginning of 2024, security warnings in Europe about Russia's future intentions have been landing fast and furious.


And they've come in different forms and from different officials — many of whom are known best for their discretion and lack of hysteria.


These warnings are being driven in part by Russia's stated plans to put defence and munitions production on a war footing — something western nations, and Canada in particular, have struggled to accomplish in their efforts to bolster Ukraine's defence against Russia's invasion.


Many observers wonder whether the security warnings are even being heard by Ukraine's allies, especially Canada and the United States.


Two weeks ago in Sweden, a political debate erupted after the country's two top defence officials warned that war could be on the horizon. Sweden's Civil Defence Minister Carl-Oskar Bohlin and its military commander-in-chief Gen. Micael Byden said people should prepare mentally for the possibility — and begin stocking up on supplies.

A land war in Western Europe?

The head of the British Army, Gen. Sir Patrick Sanders, said in a recent speech that the United Kingdom should train a "citizen army" and be ready to fight a war on land in the future.


Three parliamentary speakers from the Baltic nations of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania are the latest to deliver fresh warnings about how prepared western nations are for the prospect of an even bigger conflict in Europe. 


They visited Ottawa on Monday and met with senior government officials before heading to Washington for more meetings.


Two women and a man stand in front of flags.
Lauri Hussar (left), speaker of the Estonian legislature; Daiga Mierina, speaker of the Latvian parliament and Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen (right), speaker of the Lithuanian legislature visited Ottawa on Monday, Jan. 29, 2024 to meet with senior Canadian government officials. (CBC News)


Daiga Mierina, the speaker of Latvia's legislature, said that because Baltic nations were occupied by the Soviet Union, they have a decidedly more visceral approach to the threat posed by the Kremlin and can "very clearly see what we can expect from Russia.


"We understand Russia differently."


The speaker of Estonia's legislature said building up public resilience in western nations starts with understanding that an information war is already underway.


"This is really important in a moment because it's full-scale war and [that's what] underlies the online attacks in social media and elsewhere," said Lauri Hussar.


Whether these warnings are registering in western countries is debatable. Opposition politicians in Sweden described the warning from the defence chief as alarmist.


Former Swedish prime minister Magdalena Andersson told Swedish TV that while the world's security situation is serious, "it is not as if war is just outside the door."


Since many defence experts say the professional Russian Army that started the war in Ukraine has been virtually destroyed, there's a kernel of truth to Andersson's argument.


Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with service members, involved in the country's war in Ukraine, at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia, January 1, 2024.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with service members involved in Russia's war on Ukraine at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, on January 1, 2024. (Kristina Kormilitsyna/Reuters)


But Moscow has an ambitious rebuilding plan. Russia's military spending in 2024 will increase to 7.1 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) and will account for 35 per cent of total government spending, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.


What's needed in the West, in addition to ramped-up production, is a shift in mindset, said Dutch Admiral Rob Bauer, chair of NATO's Military Council.


"I think a nation needs to understand that when it comes to a war, as we see in Ukraine, it is a whole-of-society event," Bauer said recently following a meeting of NATO chiefs of defence staff.


Women work on drones on an assembly line.
Ukrainian women assemble military drones at the drone manufacturer Atlas Aerospace in the capital Riga, Latvia, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023. (Sergei Grits/AP)


The West, he said, has for decades been labouring under the belief that "the professional military ... would solve these security issues that we had in Afghanistan in Iraq."


That approach isn't good enough any longer, he said.


"You will need more people from society to sustain the military in terms of people," he said. "You need the industry to have enough ammunition to produce new tanks, new ships, new aircraft, new artillery pieces. All that is part of this discussion of a whole-of-society event.


"I think more people need to understand it's not just something of the armed forces and money. We need to be readier across the whole spectrum."


When asked about the recent comments in Sweden during an interview with CBC News last week, Defence Minister Bill Blair said the rising alarm in Europe is totally understandable, given the proximity to the threat.


He insisted Canadians understand that their way of life, and the rules under which western nations have operated for decades, are at stake.


WATCH | Why Russia's 2024 election actually matters: 

Why Russia's 2024 election actually matters

2 months ago
Vladimir Putin is officially in the running for his fifth term in office ahead of next spring's Russian elections, solidifying his hold on power until at least 2030. In a race where the winner is almost guaranteed, Putin will be re-elected in March — but what could he lose in the process? CORRECTION (Dec. 14, 2023): A previous version of this video incorrectly stated at 3:56 that Dmitry Medvedev is Russia's current prime minister. In fact, he held that role until 2020. The video has been edited to remove this part.



"We've always been a country that stood up [for] those rules and those principles and we're going to continue to do so," Blair said.


But do Canadian leaders truly share that sense of urgency felt across much of Europe? 


Last fall, a House of Commons committee heard about a critical shortage of artillery ammunition, notably the NATO standard 155 millimetre shells. Unlike its allies, Canada has not signed an agreement with munition-makers to radically boost production.



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  • 2 weeks later...

This post could literally go into any number of threads here in OT, but because of its global nature, I'm putting it here.


An article from The Conversation - one of the longest I've encountered from that site, and I found it to be an interesting and engaging read.  I can't post the whole article here, so please consider taking a moment to visit the URL below:





One of the most common patterns that has jumped out is how extreme inequality shows up in nearly every case of major crisis. When big gaps exist between the haves and have-nots, not just in material wealth but also access to positions of power, this breeds frustration, dissent and turmoil.


Ages of discord”, as Turchin dubbed periods of great social unrest and violence, produce some of history’s most devastating events. This includes the US civil war of the 1860s, the early 20th-century Russian Revolution, and the Taiping rebellion against the Chinese Qing dynasty, often said to be the deadliest civil war in history.


All of these cases saw people become frustrated at extreme wealth inequality, along with lack of inclusion in the political process. Frustration bred anger, and eventually erupted into fighting that killed millions and affected many more.



Our age of polycrisis

There is no doubt that we’re facing certain novel challenges today that people in the past did not. Not just in terms of the frequency and scale of ecological disasters, but also in the way that so many of our systems (global production, food and mineral supply chains, economic systems, the international political order) are more hopelessly entangled than they ever have been.


A shock to one of these systems almost inevitably reverberates into the others. The war in Ukraine, for example, has affected global food supply chains and the price of gas across the world.


Researchers at the Cascade Institute, some of the leading authorities working to understand and track our current polycrisis, present a truly terrifying (and not exahuastive) list of crises the world is facing today, including:

  • the lingering health, social, and economic effects of COVID-19
  • stagflation (a persistent combination of inflation and low growth)
  • volatility in global food and energy markets
  • geopolitical conflict
  • political instability and civil unrest arising from economic insecurity
  • ideological extremism
  • political polarisation
  • declining institutional legitimacy
  • increasingly frequent and devastating weather events generated by climate heating

Each of these on its own would wreak significant devastation, but they all interact, each one propelling the others and offering no signs of relief.



If the past teaches us anything, it is that trying to hold on to systems and policies that refuse to appropriately adapt and respond to changing circumstances — like climate change or growing unrest among a population – usually end in disaster. Those with the means and opportunity to enact change must do so, or at least to not stand in the way when reform is needed.

Volunteers at building site laying bricks.
Volunteers rebuilding a school in Trishuli, Nepal, that was destroyed by the earthquake in 2016. Shutterstock/Mihai Speteanu

This last lesson is a particularly hard one to learn. Unfortunately, there are many signs around the world today that the mistakes of the past are being repeated, especially by our political leaders and those aspiring to hold power.


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On 2/15/2024 at 7:20 PM, the destroyer of worlds said:

Good on the Greeks.  





Greece legalises same-sex marriage



Greece has become the first Christian Orthodox-majority country to legalise same-sex marriage




Considering they're known for greased up naked dudes wrestling it is about time! Not that there is anything wrong with that! 

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  • 4 weeks later...

The article at the URL below raises an interesting argument for why sanctions generally don't work, and specifically why they don't seem to work against puta and his hairy henchmen.







Since 2013, Russia has been preparing for western sanctions and managed to isolate its economy from transactions requiring American dollars.


In early 2022, Russia pegged its currency, the ruble, to gold, and 5,000 rubles will now buy an ounce of pure gold. The plan was to shift the currency away from a pegged value and into the gold standard itself so the ruble would become a credible gold substitute at a fixed rate.





To thwart Putin’s plan, the lustre needs to be removed from gold. Increasing gold supply could lower the price. Australia, Canada and the U.S. have important roles to play as leading gold producers.


Rising interest rates also tend to lower gold prices. A mass sell-off of government holdings in gold could also cause a tailspin for the ruble, but likely for the U.S. and Canadian dollars as well.


No single policy can thwart Putin’s goals — it requires disrupting the supply of gold beyond Russia, and that might well mean involving the U.A.E.


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  • 4 weeks later...

Meanwhile, in Singapore...



Singapore PM Lee to hand power to successor Wong on May 15

April 15, 20242:42 AM PDTUpdated 7 hours ago
ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, in Melbourne
Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong speaks during a joint press conference with Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (not pictured) at the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, in Melbourne, Australia March 5, 2024. REUTERS/Jaimi Joy/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights, opens new tab
SINGAPORE, April 15 (Reuters) - Long-time Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced on Monday he would hand over power to his designated successor, Lawrence Wong, on May 15, ahead of an election that must be by held next year.
Wong has been prime minister-in-waiting since April 2022 after the previous anointed successor stepped aside unexpectedly and derailed the carefully choreographed leadership transition typical in the affluent Asian financial centre.
Wong, 51, was catapulted into the spotlight as co-head of the government's COVID-19 task force during the pandemic, restricting movement within and in and out of Singapore and overseeing contact-tracing, earning him praise for helping contain infection and keeping deaths low in the city state while also explaining policies clearly to the public.
He served as Lee's principal private secretary from 2005 to 2008 and led the education and national development ministries before becoming finance minister in 2021 and deputy prime minister in 2022.
In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Lee, 72, prime minister since 2004 and the eldest son of modern Singapore's founding father Lee Kuan Yew, called the leadership transition a "significant moment".
"I will relinquish my role as Prime Minister on 15 May 2024 and Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong will be sworn in as the next Prime Minister on the same day," wrote Lee.
"Lawrence and the 4G (fourth generation of leaders) team have worked hard to gain the people's trust, notably during the pandemic," he said.
In a video statement posted on Facebook, Wong said: "I accept this responsibility with humility and a deep sense of duty. I pledge to give my all to this undertaking."
Wong is also deputy chairman of sovereign wealth fund GIC and chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Southeast Asian nation's central bank.
In addition, he spearheaded a national exercise called Forward Singapore meant to chart the country's "social compact" between the government and the people on how to deal with issues ranging from sustainability to inequality and employment.
Still, National University of Singapore political scientist Chong Ja Ian said it was hard to tell what kind of prime minister Wong would be.
"No one knows to be honest. Up until now, Wong has not given people a sense of his political vision," said Chong.
Chong added that while a leader who doesn't rock the boat may have been more welcome in the past, "given that Singapore is in a more uncertain world today, more of the same may not be good enough".




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