Saturday, July 30, 2022

Religion, Nations, and Geopolitical Review: SATURDAY, JULY 30

by A. Joseph Lynch


POPE FRANCIS  IN CANADA: Pope Francis is in Canada to apologize for any wrongs done to Native American children at Catholic boarding schools in the past. Debate still swirls as to whether or not all such abuse claims took place and what role lack of funding from the Canadian government might have played in any malnourishment of children. Meanwhile Taylor Marshall is beside himself over Pope Francis' presence at a traditional Native American religious ceremony. We must note that while we understand Marshall's distaste at one level, Pope Francis did not lead or directly participate in the ceremony. 

RUSSIA TURNS THE SCREWS: Russia is upping the ante in its energy poker game with Europe. This week output via Nord Stream 1 - Germany's vital line of natural gas - dropped from 40% to 20% as Russia says it's having issues with turbines used to pipe the gas to Germany. Natural gas prices in Europe are no skyrocketing as rationing appears to begin and haggling breaks out among EU members. Europe is in for many dark days ahead.

UKRAINE KILLS ITS OWN POW'S: On Friday morning, a massive missile strike hit a pre-trial internment facility for captive Azov Neo-Nazis preparing to stand trial for their war crimes. These men would play a key role in showcasing Russia's justification for its Ukrainian intervention. Though Ukraine thinks it can blame Russia for the attack, strong evidence on the ground suggests the attack conducted by the Ukrainian military using the US-supplied HIMARS long range rocket system. What's more it is believed that the US coordinates the targeting for every HIMARS strike. If so, it would mean that the US assisted Ukraine in a war crime. The hit on Azov POWs had two goals: keep the Azov soldiers from talking while warning Ukrainian soldiers what might await them if they surrender. 

ODESSA BRIGADE: Blatant attacks on its own people will undoubtedly drive Ukrainians into the arms of Russia. Enough have now done so to launch an entire Ukrainian infantry brigade that now fights alongside Russians. The new brigade is called the Odessa Brigade - an ominous name considering old Russian port city of Odessa remains in Ukrainian control. We have a feeling we know where this brigade is headed. What's more, word has it that Russia is training another sixteen Ukrainian infantry battalions at this very moment.

BUYING TIME: Ex-president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, who seized power following the infamous coup of 2014, had some things to say about the Minsk agreements which aimed at making peace in Ukraine's Donbas region. Having lied about peace to Putin following the first Minsk agreement, Poroshenko launched an assault in the Donbas that ultimately led to s stalemate and a second Minsk agreement. Russia waited nearly eight years for Ukraine to implement this second agreement before the war broke out in February. We now know how Poroshenko felt about that second agreement - according to the man himself:“We had achieved everything we wanted... Our goal was to, first, stop the threat, or at least to delay the war – to secure eight years to restore economic growth and create powerful armed forces.” In other words, Ukraine used the second Minsk agreement not to obtain peace but rather time for rearming in preparation to invade Donbas once again - which it planned to do in March of this year.

REDEFINING RECESSION: The United States is officially in a recession - or is it? For decades economists have been using two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth as the technical definition of a recession. This economic contraction has now officially taken place - yet Biden would like to redefine recession to include job growth numbers. The sad reality is that we are in recession. The only question is: how bad a recession will it be?

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