Ben’s battleground talking points show 2024 is going to be anus-clinching, indeed! Hang on!

I’ve already printed out my copy. Watch the show he co-hosted this week,

Blowback: Exposing Imperial Decline




– 404: Ukraine has no ‘plan B’ for US aid – FM Kuleba in interview with Amanpour ( CNN )

– 404: Russian hackers were inside Ukraine telecoms giant, Kyivstar for months, 40% destroyed  ( Reuters )

– 404: Four Kiev residents face 12yrs in prison for publishing a video of attack ( UAF video )


– 404: Russia and Ukraine exchange 248 for 173 prisoners, with UAE mediation ( RT)

– 404: Ukraine Council Committee on Mobilization gets emotional – Zaluzhny quote ( )

– 404: Ukraine official Tymofiy Mylovanov suggests military draft ‘lottery’ ( official facebook )

– 404: Ukraine considers exempting men earning $875/mo from military draft  ( Forbes )

– 404: Russia retaliates for Ukraine terror, wiping out fuel infrastructure – 70k tons ( Sputnik )

– 404: Russia targets Ukraine‘s defence industry for a long war ( Telegraph! )

– 404: NATO-Ukraine Emergency Council to be held on January 10 per Kiev’s request ( TASS )


– USC: The West badly needs more missiles – but the wait to buy them is years Long ( WSJ )

– USC: The US Navy does not have enough air defense missiles ( The National Interest )

– USC: Ukraine needs to up-armor its American-made M1 Tanks – not clear what UA doing with Abrams ( Forbes )

– EUK: Ukraine‘s Leo2 tanks not repaired bc. Europe out of spare parts – MP Sebastian Schäfer ( Business Insider )

– EUK: France to change weapons supply tactics – Ambassador to Ukraine, contract investment ( Ukro Pravda )

– EUK: British Defence stocks hit record high as Ukraine war depletes Western ammo supplies ( Telegraph )

– EUK: BAE to restart howitzer production to meet rising US demand – after big gun success! ( WSJ Exclusive )

– EUK: Britain‘s weapons stockpiles ‘reduced to nothing’ – Ukrainian source ( Times > RT )

– EUK: British Navy has so few sailors it has to decommission ships ( Telegraph )

– EUK: Italian Leonardo wants to unify EU’s fragmented defense industry ( FT )

Context : Continental champions, not national – even if it means giving up “a bit of national sovereignty”


– USC: The war in Ukraine Is not a Stalemate – Jack Watling – support now, or Russia wins ( Foreign Affairs )

– USC: Europe must ramp up Its support for Ukraine – abandoning Kyiv would embolden Russia ( FP )

– EUK: What western allies must do for Ukraine – and for themselves – send Taurus, pay up ( FT )

– EUK: Ukraine’s new year may end with a brutal Western betrayal – because of spineless leaders ( Telegraph )

– EUK: Romania will help restore Ukraine‘s damaged digital infrastructure ( Ukro-Pravda )


– EUK: EU justifies Ukrainian attacks on Russian civilians as Self Defense – Peter Stano ( TASS, RT )

– EUK: Ukraine Is targeting Russian border regions, seeking to ‘disrupt life and embarrass Putin ( AP )

– EUK: Ukraine trains its signs on Russian border region, seeking to ‘stir up discontent’ ( ABC )


– USC: Did Ukraine miss an early chance to negotiate Peace with Russia? ( WSJ )

– USC: ‘It’s state propaganda’Ukrainains shun TV news as war drags on ( NYT ) ( NAFO started “#NewOrkTimes )

– USC: Ukraine facing increasingly unfavorable odds – Anatol Lieven ( Responsible Statecraft )

– USC: Ukraine may have to accept a Cease-Fire – eventual EU and NATO membership ( WSJ )

– EUK: Estonia hoped for ‘completely different result’ in Ukraine – PM Simonyte ( LRT > RT )

– EUK: Vladimir Putin, winner of the year 2023 – counteroffensive dead, economy resilient ( Le Parisien )

– EUK: Germany has no plans at moment to send Taurus missiles to Ukraine ( Bild )



– ISR: Legal experts : No obligation to allow Gazans to return north ( Israel national news )

– ISR: Liberman says Israel may have to reoccupy southern Lebanon for 50 years ( Times of Israel )

– ISR: Israeli officials said in talks with Congo, others on taking in Gaza emigrants ( Times of Israel )

– ISR: Does it have to be Alan Dershowitz defending Israel against charges of genocide? ( Haaretz )

– ISR: Israelis question army’s rules of engagement after hostages slain ( NYT )

– ISR: State Officials fear ICJ could charge Israel with genocide in Gaza ( Haaretz )


– WEA: Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri killed by ‘suspected’ Israeli strike in BeirutLebanon ( WSJ )

– WEA: At least 103 dead in blast at memorial for General SoleimaniKerman Iran ( Tasmin )

– WEA: PMU announce death of commander Abu Taqwa al-Saidi in US drone strike in Baghdad Iraq ( FT )


– USC: Islamic State claims responsibility for blasts at grave of Iranian general ( Bloomberg )

– USC: Killing of Hamas leader in Lebanon appears to signal shift in Israel’s war effort ( WaPo )

– USC: The war in Gaza may widen. The Biden admin is getting ready for it ( Politico )

– USC: Blinken will depart for 4th Middle East tour, two stops in Europe ( )

– USC: Blinken Heads to Middle East with goal of defusing tensions ( NYT )

– USC: US rushes to douse flames of new Israel-Hezbollah war ( same event > Newsweek )

– EUK: Killing of senior Hamas leader in Beirut raises stakes in Israel war ( FT )


– USC: UN Special Rapporteur calls forcible transfer of Gazans ‘act of genocide’ ( Middle East Monitor )

– USC: US rejects ‘inflammatory and irresponsible’ Gaza ethnic cleansing proposal – State Dept ( )

– EUK: ‘Israel‘s suicidal strategy’ – Renauld Girard – he also includes the West ( LeFigaro )

– EUK: Binyamnin Netanyahu is botching the war. Time to sack him ( Economist )

– WEA: Iran launching legal, International moves through UN over Kerman terror attack ( IRNA )

– WEA: Iran‘s Supreme National Security Council meets on Kerman terror attacks ( IRNA )

– WEA: Iran aims to form joint currency with BRICS nations, drop the dollar ( Sputnik )

– WEA: Russia opens $71m credit line for Iran – Central Bank ( TASS )

– WEA: Libyan parliament bans Israeli ships / aircraft from waters / airspace ( Mint Press )

– WEA: President Ebrahim Raisi to visit Ankara Thursday with a political and economic delegation ( IRNA )

– WEA: Over 100 Iraqi resistance attacks on US bases since 10-7 – US official ( Al Mayadeen )

– WEA: Egypt suspends all mediation efforts with Israel in response to assassination ( Middle East Eye )

– WEA: Israeli security delegation ends visit to Cairo ( Jerusalem Post )

– WEA: Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah makes new speech, sends Israelis home ( video )

– WEA: Pakistan orders J-31 ( 5th gen stealth fighter, US F-35 equivalent ) form China ( GT )


– USC: Biden Needs ‘More Aggressive’ Response to Houthis – Ex-NATO commander Stavridis ( Newsweek )

– USC: White house issues Joint Statement warning Houthis will bear responsibility for attacks ( White House )

Context : US-UK-AUS, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, NZ, Singapore

– USC: State Department says neither US nor Israel behind Iran blasts that killed over 100 ( Times of Israel )

– USC: White House dismisses South Africa‘s genocide case against Israel as ‘meritless’ ( Independent )

– USC: US ‘not seeing acts of genocide’ in Gaza, State Dept says – Matthew Miller ( Reuters )

– USC: US quietly reaches agreement with Qatar to keep operating largest military base in Middle East ( CNN )

– USC: US seeks drone bases in coastal ( Ghana, IvoryC. Benin ) Africa to stem Islamist advance ( WSJ Exclusive )

( USC: US offered $5m bounty for Saleh Al-Arouri on November 14, Middle East Monitor )

+ EUK: Israel is winning. Its enemies are powerless to stop it – Con Coughlin ( Telegraph )



– USC: Spot container shipping rates soar 173% on Red Sea threats ( Bloomberg )

– USC: VC ( Venture Capital for startups ) fundraising in the US has hit a six-year low ( FT )

– USC: Barclays downgrades Apple stocks, leading to 4% drop in shares ( Reuters )

– USC: US was top LNG exporter in 2023 as hit record levels ( Reuters )

– USC: US national debt hits record $34 trillion as Congress gears up for funding fight ( WaPo )

– USC: Wall Street’s ambitions in China run into a rising Firewall ( Bloomberg )

– USC: Stocks’ bad start has forecasters on edge – four days into new year ( WSJ )

( USC: Optimism abounds on Wall Street this New Year – 1 January, WSJ )


– USC: Scoop: House members to receive classified UFO briefing ( Axios )

– USC: The case for Conservative Internationalism – how to reverse the inward turn of Republican FP ( FP )

– USC: Joe Biden campaign volunteers are quitting in ‘droves’ ( NewsWeek )

– USC: The man supposed to stop Donald Trump is an unpopular 81-year-old ( Economist )

– USC: I don’t want to risk talking about Epstein, do you guys ( Ben )


– USC: Oklahoma Army National Guard aviation unit deploying to ‘Kosovo ( )

– EUK: Europe needs more cash, Belgian PM De Croo says – doesn’t specify where from ( Politico )

– EUK: Swedish Bankruptcies Surge to Highest Level Since 1990s Crisis ( BB )

– EUK: Mob of German farmers accosts top Green as protests escalate ( Politico )

– EUK: German government backtracks on tax hikes for farmers following protests ( Politico )

– EUK: Polish farmers resume blockade of border crossing with Ukraine ( Politico )

– EUK: Growing fears for Slovakian press freedom amid government crackdown ( Guardian )

– EUK: Nigel Farage is a no-show as his party – Reform UK – blasts ‘socialist twins’ Starmer and Sunak ( Politico )

– EUK: Pistorius instead of Scholz? Wild rumor about Chancellor exchange – wirecard? ( Bild )

– EUK: Britain’s Winter hacks : How to keep your home warm and cozy this Christmas ( Belfast Telegraph )

– EUK: British homeless population surges in rural england – 40% 5yrs ( Campaign 2 Protect Rural England – CPRE )

– EUK: Britain forgot what it means to be a successful, dynamic country – used to decline and despair ( Telegraph )

– EUK: Labour is the party to end national despair, says Starmer – there is despair? ( Times )

– EUK: The NHS is facing the longest strike in its history – pay must rise 35 to make up for real losses ( Politico )


– ASO: Japan‘s nuclear power plants ‘largely undamaged’ following quake ( Japan Times )

– ASO: South Korean president Yoon – american pie – vetoes bill to investigate his wife ( Korea Herald )

– ASO: North Korea conducts artillery drills along disputed sea border, South Korea to stage similar drills ( AP )

– ASO: Two South Korean islands evacuated as North Korea fires into the sea, South Korean military says ( ABC )

– LAT: Venezuela will ask to join the BRICS at its next summit in Russia October 24 ( TeleSur )

– GLO: BRICS: 16 New countries plan to ditch the US dollar in 2024 ( ASEAN )

APPENDIX – Diplomatic responses to the terror attack on mourners in Iran, briefly:

China: “We condemn this.”

Russia: “We condemn this.”

Türkiye: “We condemn this.”

Qatar: “We condemn this.”

Saudi Arabia: “We condemn this.”

Oman:  “We condemn this.”

Nicaragua: “We condemn this.”

Cuba: “We condemn this.”

Venezuela: “We condemn this.”

Bolivia: “We condemn this.”

United States: “It wasn’t us, and it probably wasn’t Israel”


“We don’t have a plan B. We are confident in plan A. Ukraine will always fight with the resources given to it. And…what is given to Ukraine is not charity. It’s an investment in the protection of NATO and in the protection of the prosperity of the American people”

Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba

“The army must be replaced somehow… If parliamentarians cannot agree on a new mobilization law, they can volunteer to go to the front themselves.”

Ukraine Commander-in-chief general Zaluzhny

“I appreciate the United States very much, but with all due respect – we are no longer a star on the American flag. The United States is our dear friend, but first we will do what is best for the State of Israel: emigrate hundreds of thousands of Gaza will allow the residents of the Gaza Strip settlements to return to their homes and live in safety and will protect IDF soldiers.”

Israel Minister of National Security Ben Gvir

APPENDIX – Video clips

Lindsey Graham – make Iran’s worst nightmare real :

Ashton Cirillo’s explosive summer :


USC = United States + Canada

EUK = Europe + United Kingdom | 404 = Ukraine

WEA = West Asia, formerly Middle East | ISR = Israel

ASO = Asia + Oceania

AFR = Africa

LAT = Latin America

GLO = Global

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