"I spent thirty-three years in the Marines, most of my time being a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism." -- General Smedley Butler, former US Marine Corps Commandant,1935

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The faltering bid of congressional warhawks to continue to provide Ukraine with a blank check isn't the only sign of Russia's geopolitical strength in eastern Europe. As the future of the war in Ukraine hinges on that crucial aid package, another region has emerged as evidence of Russia's growing sphere of influence. Pridnestrovie, a region bordering Ukraine known better under the western exonym Transnistria, is scheduled to address Russian President Vladimir Putin at its next congressional assembly on February 28th.

The US State Department has approved Italy’s requests for air-to-air missiles and small bombs worth $214 million.

In a recent announcement, the state department said Rome had requested 12 AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) for $69.3 million.

Brussels spyware bombshell: Surveillance software found on officials phones Ladylove

The European Parliament on Wednesday asked members on its defense subcommittee to have their phones checked for spyware after it found traces of hacking on two devices.

Members and staff in the chamber's subcommittee on security and defense (SEDE) have had their phones hit with intrusive surveillance software tools, the institution said in an internal email.

All lawmakers in the subcommittee have been advised to take their phones to the institution's IT service to be checked for spyware, according to the email, seen by POLITICO.

Refusing To Admit US Foreign Policy Blunders Ladylove

A recurring defect in US foreign policy is a refusal by elites to concede when they made a serious policy mistake.  This is not a new problem, but it has grown decidedly worse in the past few decades.  It characterized the intervention in Vietnam years after it should have become evident that Washington’s approach was failing.

Brussels spyware bombshell: Surveillance software found on officials phones MikeRivero

The European Parliament on Wednesday asked members on its defense subcommittee to have their phones checked for spyware after it found traces of hacking on two devices.

Members and staff in the chamber's subcommittee on security and defense (SEDE) have had their phones hit with intrusive surveillance software tools, the institution said in an internal email.

All lawmakers in the subcommittee have been advised to take their phones to the institution's IT service to be checked for spyware, according to the email, seen by POLITICO.

Zelenskyy invites Polands leaders to border to resolve farmers protest affecting flow of weapons MikeRivero

Ukraine’s president on Wednesday invited Polish leaders to meet him at their shared border to resolve a blockade by Polish farmers protesting Ukrainian food imports, saying it’s hampering the shipment of weapons to Ukrainian soldiers.

The country of Sweden has issued a brochure to EVERY home, instructing citizens on Emergencies / War Preparations.  The English-translated version appears below.

Governments in Europe have been -- and continue to -- instruct populations on war preparations.  Why?

Russia has repeatedly made clear they have no ambitions whatsoever, for territory in Europe.  So why is Europe acting as if World War 3 is imminent?

NATO has grown from 15 members to 31, & now they’re trying to admit Sweden as No. 32. Hungary sees this as provoking Russia but Washington says this won’t be tolerated & threatens sanctions.

Mainstream news is reporting that a bipartisan delegation of U.S. senators made an official visit to Hungary’s capital Sunday to put pressure on the nationalist government of Viktor Orban to immediately approve Sweden’s request to join NATO.

About 32,000 NATO soldiers, over 1,000 armored vehicles, 235 airplanes and helicopters are deployed near Russia's and Belarus's borders, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Tuesday.