Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Microsoft lands $21 billion contract to arm US soldiers with futuristic augmented-reality headsets

from RT:

The Pentagon will pay Microsoft billions of dollars to build augmented-reality headsets for its soldiers. The devices will be backed by the tech firm’s Azure cloud computing services, which was compromised by hackers last year.

The contract was announced on Wednesday and could earn Microsoft up to $21.88 billion over 10 years. Back in 2018, the US Army gave Microsoft $480 million to develop a prototype headset built around the company’s HoloLens technology. Based on its performance, Microsoft will now provide up to 120,000 of the headsets, dubbed the Integrated Visual Augmented System, or IVAS.

Flashpoint Ukraine: Don’t Poke the Bear

by Philip Giraldi, The Unz Review:

Question 1— For the last 4 years, Democrat leaders have blamed Russia for allegedly meddling in the 2016 elections. Now the Democrats– who control all three branches of government — have the power to reset US foreign policy and take a more hostile approach to Moscow. But will they?

At present, there are roughly 40,000 US-NATO troops massed along the Russian border conducting military exercises while scores of Russian tanks, artillery and an estimated 85,000 Russian troops are now located about 25 miles from Ukraine’s eastern border. Both armies are on hair-trigger alert and prepared for any sudden provocation. If the Ukrainian Army invades the Russian-speaking region of Ukraine (Donbas), Moscow will likely respond.

AS BORDER CRISIS WITH RUSSIA ESCALATES, UKRAINE PRESIDENT ZELENSKY BYPASSES BIDEN AND CALLS ON EMMANUEL MACRON TO BRING PEACE TO SITUATION

by Geoffrey Grinder, Now The End Begins:

The massive build-up of Russian troops along the border with Ukraine has sparked new tensions in eastern Ukraine, where government forces have been battling pro-Russian separatists since 2014. “Ukraine’s sovereignty is under threat,” Macron’s office said heading into the talks Friday, adding: “All our work is aimed at avoiding an escalation and defusing tensions.” Zelensky’s meeting with the leaders of France and Germany, who have been mediators in the conflict since 2015, comes as Ukraine accuses Russia of threatening to destroy it.

Who Wags the Dog? Israel’s Friends in Washington Mean Constant War in the Middle East

by Philip Giraldi, Strategic Culture:

Biden, like presidents before him, is caught in the trap between an extremist-dominated Israel and the all-powerful domestic Israel Lobby.

Donald Trump, who was elected President of the United States in 2016, may have won due to voters attracted by his pledge to end many of the “stupid” wars that the American military was involved in worldwide. In the event, however, he ended no wars in spite of several attempts to withdraw from Afghanistan and Syria, and almost started new conflicts with cruise missile attacks and the assassination of an Iranian general. Trump was consistently outmaneuvered by his “experts” on the National Security Council and at the Pentagon, who insisted that it was too early to disengage from the Middle East and Central Asia, that America’s own national security would be threatened.

Politicians Concerned about Violence Should Start by Ending Their Wars and Their Police State

by David R. Iglesias, Mises Institute:

On April 8, 2020, President Biden addressed the public concerning new executive orders he is planning on putting through. This will be on top of the forty-eight other executive orders that have already come from the man who just last October was saying, “I have this strange notion—we are a democracy … [there are] things you can’t do by executive order unless you are a dictator. We’re a democracy, we need consensus.” He’s already surpassed both Trump and Obama in executive orders issued during the first four months of their respective presidencies.

It looks like the next EOs Biden aims at mandating are related to the topic of gun control: “Gun violence in this country is an epidemic. Let me say it again. Gun violence in this country is an epidemic.” This is ironic coming from the former vice president of the Obama administration, which started regime change wars in countries like Yemen, Libya, and Syria which in large part included supplying certain “moderate” rebel groups like al-Nusra and ISIS with weapons, cash, and intelligence support that was ultimately used to slaughter innocent men, women, and children.

The Growing Mystery of Suspected ‘Energy Attacks’ on U.S. Government Personnel

by Rick Moran, PJ Media:

What’s behind the suspected “energy attacks” the U.S. government is investigating? Is it a weapon? Is it our own surveillance equipment? Is it a case of mass hysteria?

The only thing certain about the sickening of dozens of American government workers in several different places — including outside the White House — is that people are falling ill with debilitating symptoms.

Otherwise, our intelligence agencies don’t have a clue. They call it “Havanna Syndrome” because that’s where government employees first reported symptoms. But what it is escapes them.

ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: GAZA ATTACK CAMPAIGN WILL CONTINUE “AS LONG AS NECESSARY”

by Mac Slavo, SHTF Plan:

According to prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the attack campaign against Gaza by Israel will last “as long as necessary.” Israel appears to remain committed to fighting the terrorists” entrenched in Gaza, Netanyahu said in a televised address on Sunday after a week of fighting.

“Our campaign against the terrorist organizations is continuing with full force,” he stated. “We are acting now, for as long as necessary, to restore calm and quiet to you, Israel’s citizens. It will take time,” he added according to a report by RT.

Act of war? Ukraine asks EU to consider cutting off Russia from SWIFT payment system as Kiev seeks more sanctions against Moscow

from RT:

Ukraine has requested that the European Union consider the possibility of disconnecting Russia from SWIFT, the international system of transfers between banks, suggesting that the measure be added to a new package of sanctions.

Moscow has previously warned it would consider the move “a declaration of war.” Former Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who now serves as the deputy chairman of the Security Council of Russia, has also dubbed it a “punch in the gut.”

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba told Reuters on Wednesday that he personally brought up the idea with his counterparts from the EU. Kuleba believes this measure could be used to deter Moscow in event of the situation in eastern Ukraine escalating.

CNN and a Senator Are Gently Pounding the War Drums for Ethiopia

by Tim Kirby, Strategic Culture:

Black Africans are competent just like the rest of us and if anyone can understand the solution to the problems in the Sudan-Ethiopia-Somalia corridor then it will surely be the locals.

No matter how scary or violent an internet video from a far away land may be, the reaction of Washington to it is far more terrifying in the long term. Recently, some rather disturbing footage has supposedly come from the tense Tigray region of Ethiopia. The interesting thing here is that it has been brought into the public’s consciousness by United States Senator Chris Coons and Mainstream Media outlets like CNN and the BBC. In the past the combination of media and government seemingly working in tandem to present a problem that requires a bombing solution has happened many times. So what should we think about this new situation in Ethiopia, is this another tragedy worth fighting over?

Lyle Goldstein: “Yes, War with China Could Go Nuclear and End Life on Earth”

by Mike Billington, LaRouche Organization:

An article under the above title was published on March 20 in the National Interest by Lyle Goldstein, but not noted by EIR at the time. Goldstein, an Associate Professor in the China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI) at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, is fluent in both Chinese and Russian, and is a frequent critic of the imperial U.S. thinking and policies.

In this case, Goldstein is sending a wake-up call to the war hawks in the United States who are acting as though the U.S. were still the only superpower and could dictate policies at will under the misconception that no country can withstand U.S. military force. Goldstein reviews the recent developments of China’s nuclear arsenal. He starts with a 2015 graphic from Naval & Merchant Ships, a Chinese journal, which shows the “impact of a Chinese intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) strike by twenty nuclear-armed rockets against the United States,” destroying most of the major U.S. cities.

Russia to expel 10 American diplomats and considering ‘painful’ measures aimed at US businesses – Lavrov

from RT:

Ten US diplomats will have to leave Russia in response to Washington’s expelling of Russian diplomats, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said, adding that Moscow is looking at other sanction options if unfriendly steps continue.

Lavrov announced the news at a press conference on Friday, adding that Moscow would ban US funds and NGOs from interfering in Russia’s internal affairs. Lavrov added that, with the US currently employing 450 diplomatic staff in Russia, and Russia employing 350 in the US, “the Americans will be asked to bring the number of employees in Russia in line with the number of Russians in the United States,” should relations between the two countries sour further.

Lavrov also said that Russia had the opportunity to inflict “painful measures” on US businesses, but would not take action at this time.

IAEA Chief Warns Iran Has Already Reached Nuclear Weapons Capable Enrichment

from ZeroHedge:

Amid the fifth and what’s expected to be the final round of Iran nuclear talks in Vienna, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has voiced that time is running out on reaching an agreement given the Islamic Republic has already reached bomb-building capability in terms of enriched uranium purity levels.

IAEA chief Rafael Grossi told Financial Times that Iran has reached uranium purity levels that “only countries making bombs are reaching” after routinely ramping up enrichment since Trump pulled out of the Obama-era JCPOA back in May 2018.

China- ‘God of war in the sky’

War Talk in Washington, London on Eve of Biden-Putin Summit

by Harley Schlanger, LaRouche Organization:

Buoyed by praise from Congressional Democrats and Republicans for his commitment to “stand up to Russia and China”, Joe Biden’s first words on arriving in the U.K. for a series of summits reflected that bipartisan consensus.

“I’m headed to the G7, then to the NATO ministerial and then to meet with Mr. Putin, to let him know what I want him to know,” he boasted to a gathering of U.S. Air Force personnel at a British air base, sounding more like a mafia boss than a statesman. Offering the now-standard administration comment on the summit, that he is “not seeking conflict” with Russia, but a “stable predictable relationship”, he fell back to his combative persona, saying “I’ve been clear, the United States will respond in a robust and meaningful way when the Russian government engages in harmful activities.