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Global Research Editor’s Note

We bring to the attention of our readers the following text of Osama bin Laden’s interview with Ummat, a Pakistani daily, published in Karachi on September 28, 2001. It was translated into English by the BBC World Monitoring Service and made public on September 29, 2001.

The authenticity of this interview remains to be confirmed. It is available in recognized electronic news archives including the BBC. Its authenticity has not been questioned.  

The interview tends to demystify the Osama bin Laden persona.

Osama bin Laden categorically denies his involvement in the 9/11 attacks.  Bin Laden’s statements in this interview are markedly different from those made in the alleged Osama video tapes.

In this interview, Osama bin Laden exhibits an understanding of US foreign policy. He expresses his views regarding the loss of life on 9/11. He focusses on CIA support to the narcotics trade.

He also makes statements as to who, in his opinion, might be the likely perpetrator of  the September 11 attacks.

This is an important text which has not been brought to the attention of Western public opinion.

We have highlighted key sections of this interview.

It is our hope that the text of this interview, published on 28 September 2001 barely a week before the onset of the war on Afghanistan, will contribute to a better understanding of the history of Al Qaeda, the role of Osama bin Laden and the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

This interview is published for informational purposes only. GR does not in any way endorse the statements in this interview.

Michel  Chossudovsky, September 9, 2014


Full text of September 2001 Pakistani paper’s “exclusive” interview with Usamah Bin-Ladin

Ummat (in Urdu)

translated from Urdu

Karachi, 28 September 2001, pp. 1 and 7.

Ummat’s introduction

Kabul: Prominent Arab mojahed holy warrior Usamah Bin-Ladin has said that he or his al-Qa’idah group has nothing to do with the 11 September suicidal attacks in Washington and New York. He said the US government should find the attackers within the country. In an exclusive interview with daily “Ummat”, he said these attacks could be the act of those who are part of the American system and are rebelling against it and working for some other system. Or, Usamah said, this could be the act of those who want to make the current century a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity. Or, the American Jews, who are opposed to President Bush ever since the Florida elections, might be the masterminds of this act. There is also a great possibility of the involvement of US intelligence agencies, which need billions of dollars worth of funds every year. He said there is a government within the government in the United States.

The secret agencies, he said, should be asked as to who are behind the attacks. Usamah said support for attack on Afghanistan was a matter of need for some Muslim countries and compulsion for others. However, he said, he was thankful to the courageous people of Pakistan who erected a bulwark before the wrong forces. He added that the Islamic world was attaching great expectations with Pakistan and, in time of need, “we will protect this bulwark by sacrificing of lives”.

Following is the interview in full detail:

Ummat: You have been accused of involvement in the attacks in New York and Washington. What do you want to say about this? If you are not involved, who might be?

Usamah [Osama bin Laden]: In the name of Allah, the most beneficent, the most merciful. Praise be to Allah, Who is the creator of the whole universe and Who made the earth as an abode for peace, for the whole mankind. Allah is the Sustainer, who sent Prophet Muhammad for our guidance. I am thankful to the Ummat Group of Publications, which gave me the opportunity to convey my viewpoint to the people, particularly the valiant and Momin true Muslim people of Pakistan who refused to believe in lie of the demon.

I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. I had no knowledge of these attacks, nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children, and other humans as an appreciable act. Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children, and other people.

Such a practice is forbidden ever in the course of a battle. It is the United States, which is perpetrating every maltreatment on women, children, and common people of other faiths, particularly the followers of Islam. All that is going on in Palestine for the last 11 months is sufficient to call the wrath of God upon the United States and Israel.

There is also a warning for those Muslim countries, which witnessed all these as a silent spectator. What had earlier been done to the innocent people of Iraq, Chechnya, and Bosnia?

Only one conclusion could be derived from the indifference of the United States and the West to these acts of terror and the patronage of the tyrants by these powers that America is an anti-Islamic power and it is patronizing the anti-Islamic forces. Its friendship with the Muslim countries is just a show, rather deceit. By enticing or intimidating these countries, the United States is forcing them to play a role of its choice. Put a glance all around and you will see that the slaves of the United States are either rulers or enemies of Muslims .

The US has no friends, nor does it want to keep any because the prerequisite of friendship is to come to the level of the friend or consider him at par with you. America does not want to see anyone equal to it. It expects slavery from others. Therefore, other countries are either its slaves or subordinates.

However, our case is different. We have pledged slavery to God Almighty alone and after this pledge there is no possibility to become the slave of someone else. If we do that, it will be disregardful to both our Sustainer and his fellow beings. Most of the world nations upholding their freedom are the religious ones, which are the enemies of United States, or the latter itself considers them as its enemies. Or the countries, which do not agree to become its slaves, such as China, Iran, Libya, Cuba, Syria, and the former Russia as received .

Whoever committed the act of 11 September are not the friends of the American people. I have already said that we are against the American system, not against its people, whereas in these attacks, the common American people have been killed.

According to my information, the death toll is much higher than what the US government has stated. But the Bush administration does not want the panic to spread. The United States should try to trace the perpetrators of these attacks within itself; the people who are a part of the US system, but are dissenting against it. Or those who are working for some other system; persons who want to make the present century as a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity so that their own civilization, nation, country, or ideology could survive. They can be any one, from Russia to Israel and from India to Serbia. In the US itself, there are dozens of well-organized and well-equipped groups, which are capable of causing a large-scale destruction. Then you cannot forget the American Jews, who are annoyed with President Bush ever since the elections in Florida and want to avenge him.

Then there are intelligence agencies in the US, which require billions of dollars worth of funds from the Congress and the government every year. This funding issue was not a big problem till the existence of the former Soviet Union but after that the budget of these agencies has been in danger.

They needed an enemy. So, they first started propaganda against Usamah and Taleban and then this incident happened. You see, the Bush administration approved a budget of 40bn dollars. Where will this huge amount go? It will be provided to the same agencies, which need huge funds and want to exert their importance.

Now they will spend the money for their expansion and for increasing their importance. I will give you an example. Drug smugglers from all over the world are in contact with the US secret agencies. These agencies do not want to eradicate narcotics cultivation and trafficking because their importance will be diminished. The people in the US Drug Enforcement Department are encouraging drug trade so that they could show performance and get millions of dollars worth of budget. General Noriega was made a drug baron by the CIA and, in need, he was made a scapegoat. In the same way, whether it is President Bush or any other US president, they cannot bring Israel to justice for its human rights abuses or to hold it accountable for such crimes. What is this? Is it not that there exists a government within the government in the United Sates? That secret government must be asked as to who made the attacks.

Ummat: A number of world countries have joined the call of the United States for launching an attack on Afghanistan. These also include a number of Muslim countries. Will Al-Qa’idah declare a jihad against these countries as well?

Usamah: I must say that my duty is just to awaken the Muslims; to tell them as to what is good for them and what is not. What does Islam says and what the enemies of Islam want?

Al-Qa’idah was set up to wage a jihad against infidelity, particularly to encounter the onslaught of the infidel countries against the Islamic states. Jihad is the sixth undeclared element of Islam. The first five being the basic holy words of Islam, prayers, fast, pilgrimage to Mecca, and giving alms Every anti-Islamic person is afraid of it. Al-Qa’idah wants to keep this element alive and active and make it part of the daily life of the Muslims. It wants to give it the status of worship. We are not against any Islamic country nor we consider a war against an Islamic country as jihad.

We are in favour of armed jihad only against those infidel countries, which are killing innocent Muslim men, women, and children just because they are Muslims. Supporting the US act is the need of some Muslim countries and the compulsion of others. However, they should think as to what will remain of their religious and moral position if they support the attack of the Christians and the Jews on a Muslim country like Afghanistan. The orders of Islamic shari’ah jurisprudence for such individuals, organizations, and countries are clear and all the scholars of the Muslim brotherhood are unanimous on them. We will do the same, which is being ordered by the Amir ol-Momenin the commander of the faithful Mola Omar and the Islamic scholars. The hearts of the people of Muslim countries are beating with the call of jihad. We are grateful to them.

Ummat: The losses caused in the attacks in New York and Washington have proved that giving an economic blow to the US is not too difficult. US experts admit that a few more such attacks can bring down the American economy. Why is al-Qa’idah not targeting their economic pillars?

Usamah: I have already said that we are not hostile to the United States. We are against the system, which makes other nations slaves of the United States, or forces them to mortgage their political and economic freedom. This system is totally in control of the American Jews, whose first priority is Israel, not the United States. It is simply that the American people are themselves the slaves of the Jews and are forced to live according to the principles and laws laid by them. So, the punishment should reach Israel. In fact, it is Israel, which is giving a blood bath to innocent Muslims and the US is not uttering a single word.

Ummat: Why is harm not caused to the enemies of Islam through other means, apart from the armed struggle? For instance, inciting the Muslims to boycott Western products, banks, shipping lines, and TV channels.

Usamah: The first thing is that Western products could only be boycotted when the Muslim fraternity is fully awakened and organized. Secondly, the Muslim companies should become self-sufficient in producing goods equal to the products of Western companies. Economic boycott of the West is not possible unless economic self-sufficiency is attained and substitute products are brought out. You see that wealth is scattered all across the Muslim world but not a single TV channel has been acquired which can preach Islamic injunctions according to modern requirements and attain an international influence. Muslim traders and philanthropists should make it a point that if the weapon of public opinion is to be used, it is to be kept in the hand. Today’s world is of public opinion and the fates of nations are determined through its pressure. Once the tools for building public opinion are obtained, everything that you asked for can be done.

Ummat: The entire propaganda about your struggle has so far been made by the Western media. But no information is being received from your sources about the network of Al-Qa’idah and its jihadi successes. Would you comment?

Usamah: In fact, the Western media is left with nothing else. It has no other theme to survive for a long time. Then we have many other things to do. The struggle for jihad and the successes are for the sake of Allah and not to annoy His bondsmen. Our silence is our real propaganda. Rejections, explanations, or corrigendum only waste your time and through them, the enemy wants you to engage in things which are not of use to you. These things are pulling you away from your cause.

The Western media is unleashing such a baseless propaganda, which make us surprise but it reflects on what is in their hearts and gradually they themselves become captive of this propaganda. They become afraid of it and begin to cause harm to themselves. Terror is the most dreaded weapon in modern age and the Western media is mercilessly using it against its own people. It can add fear and helplessness in the psyche of the people of Europe and the United States. It means that what the enemies of the United States cannot do, its media is doing that. You can understand as to what will be the performance of the nation in a war, which suffers from fear and helplessness.

Ummat: What will the impact of the freeze of al-Qa’idah accounts by the US?

Usamah: God opens up ways for those who work for Him. Freezing of accounts will not make any difference for Al-Qa’idah or other jihad groups. With the grace of Allah, al-Qa’idah has more than three such alternative financial systems, which are all separate and totally independent from each other. This system is operating under the patronage of those who love jihad. What to say of the United States, even the combined world cannot budge these people from their path.

These people are not in hundreds but in thousands and millions. Al-Qa’idah comprises of such modern educated youths who are aware of the cracks inside the Western financial system as they are aware of the lines in their hands. These are the very flaws of the Western fiscal system, which are becoming a noose for it and this system could not recuperate in spite of the passage of so many days.

Ummat: Are there other safe areas other than Afghanistan, where you can continue jihad?

Usamah: There are areas in all parts of the world where strong jihadi forces are present, from Indonesia to Algeria, from Kabul to Chechnya, from Bosnia to Sudan, and from Burma to Kashmir. Then it is not the problem of my person. I am helpless fellowman of God, constantly in the fear of my accountability before God. It is not the question of Usamah but of Islam and, in Islam too, of jihad. Thanks to God, those waging a jihad can walk today with their heads raised. Jihad was still present when there was no Usamah and it will remain as such even when Usamah is no longer there. Allah opens up ways and creates loves in the hearts of people for those who walk on the path of Allah with their lives, property, and children. Believe it, through jihad, a man gets everything he desires. And the biggest desire of a Muslim is the after life. Martyrdom is the shortest way of attaining an eternal life.

Ummat: What do you say about the Pakistan government policy on Afghanistan attack?

Usamah: We are thankful to the Momin and valiant people of Pakistan who erected a blockade in front of the wrong forces and stood in the first file of battle. Pakistan is a great hope for the Islamic brotherhood. Its people are awakened, organized, and rich in the spirit of faith. They backed Afghanistan in its war against the Soviet Union and extended every help to the mojahedin and the Afghan people. Then these are the same Pakistanis who are standing shoulder by shoulder with the Taleban. If such people emerge in just two countries, the domination of the West will diminish in a matter of days. Our hearts beat with Pakistan and, God forbid, if a difficult time comes we will protect it with our blood. Pakistan is sacred for us like a place of worship. We are the people of jihad and fighting for the defence of Pakistan is the best of all jihads to us. It does not matter for us as to who rules Pakistan. The important thing is that the spirit of jihad is alive and stronger in the hearts of the Pakistani people.

Copyright Ummat in Urdu, BBC translation in English, 2001

Read about Osama Bin Laden in Michel Chossudovsky’s international best-seller

According to Chossudovsky, the  “war on terrorism” is a complete fabrication based on the illusion that one man, Osama bin Laden, outwitted the $40 billion-a-year American intelligence apparatus. The “war on terrorism” is a war of conquest. Globalisation is the final march to the “New World Order”, dominated by Wall Street and the U.S. military-industrial complex.

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Today’s Most Popular Stories

October 15th, 2013 by Global Research News

A deluge of articles have been quickly put into circulation defending France’s military intervention in the African nation of Mali. TIME’s article, “The Crisis in Mali: Will French Intervention Stop the Islamist Advance?” decides that old tricks are the best tricks, and elects the tiresome “War on Terror” narrative.TIME claims the intervention seeks to stop “Islamist” terrorists from overrunning both Africa and all of Europe. Specifically, the article states:

“…there is a (probably well-founded) fear in France that a radical Islamist Mali threatens France most of all, since most of the Islamists are French speakers and many have relatives in France. (Intelligence sources in Paris have told TIME that they’ve identified aspiring jihadis leaving France for northern Mali to train and fight.) Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), one of the three groups that make up the Malian Islamist alliance and which provides much of the leadership, has also designated France — the representative of Western power in the region — as a prime target for attack.”

What TIME elects not to tell readers is that Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is closely allied to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG whom France intervened on behalf of during NATO’s 2011 proxy-invasion of Libya – providing weapons, training, special forces and even aircraft to support them in the overthrow of Libya’s government.

As far back as August of 2011, Bruce Riedel out of the corporate-financier funded think-tank, the Brookings Institution, wrote “Algeria will be next to fall,” where he gleefully predicted success in Libya would embolden radical elements in Algeria, in particular AQIM. Between extremist violence and the prospect of French airstrikes, Riedel hoped to see the fall of the Algerian government. Ironically Riedel noted:

Algeria has expressed particular concern that the unrest in Libya could lead to the development of a major safe haven and sanctuary for al-Qaeda and other extremist jihadis.

And thanks to NATO, that is exactly what Libya has become – a Western sponsored sanctuary for Al-Qaeda. AQIM’s headway in northern Mali and now French involvement will see the conflict inevitably spill over into Algeria. It should be noted that Riedel is a co-author of “Which Path to Persia?” which openly conspires to arm yet another US State Department-listed terrorist organization (list as #28), the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) to wreak havoc across Iran and help collapse the government there – illustrating a pattern of using clearly terroristic organizations, even those listed as so by the US State Department, to carry out US foreign policy.Geopolitical analyst Pepe Escobar noted a more direct connection between LIFG and AQIM in an Asia Times piece titled, “How al-Qaeda got to rule in Tripoli:”

“Crucially, still in 2007, then al-Qaeda’s number two, Zawahiri, officially announced the merger between the LIFG and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb (AQIM). So, for all practical purposes, since then, LIFG/AQIM have been one and the same – and Belhaj was/is its emir. “

“Belhaj,” referring to Hakim Abdul Belhaj, leader of LIFG in Libya, led with NATO support, arms, funding, and diplomatic recognition, the overthrowing of Muammar Qaddafi and has now plunged the nation into unending racist and tribal, genocidal infighting. This intervention has also seen the rebellion’s epicenter of Benghazi peeling off from Tripoli as a semi-autonomous “Terror-Emirate.” Belhaj’s latest campaign has shifted to Syria where he was admittedly on the Turkish-Syrian border pledging weapons, money, and fighters to the so-called “Free Syrian Army,” again, under the auspices of NATO support.

Image: NATO’s intervention in Libya has resurrected listed-terrorist organization and Al Qaeda affiliate, LIFG. It had previously fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now has fighters, cash and weapons, all courtesy of NATO, spreading as far west as Mali, and as far east as Syria. The feared “global Caliphate” Neo-Cons have been scaring Western children with for a decade is now taking shape via US-Saudi, Israeli, and Qatari machinations, not “Islam.” In fact, real Muslims have paid the highest price in fighting this real “war against Western-funded terrorism.”

….

LIFG, which with French arms, cash, and diplomatic support, is now invading northern Syria on behalf of NATO’s attempted regime change there, officially merged with Al Qaeda in 2007 according to the US Army’s West Point Combating Terrorism Center (CTC). According to the CTC, AQIM and LIFG share not only ideological goals, but strategic and even tactical objectives. The weapons LIFG received most certainly made their way into the hands of AQIM on their way through the porous borders of the Sahara Desert and into northern Mali.

In fact, ABC News reported in their article, “Al Qaeda Terror Group: We ‘Benefit From’ Libyan Weapons,” that:

A leading member of an al Qaeda-affiliated terror group indicated the organization may have acquired some of the thousands of powerful weapons that went missing in the chaos of the Libyan uprising, stoking long-held fears of Western officials.”We have been one of the main beneficiaries of the revolutions in the Arab world,” Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a leader of the north Africa-based al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb [AQIM], told the Mauritanian news agency ANI Wednesday. “As for our benefiting from the [Libyan] weapons, this is a natural thing in these kinds of circumstances.”

It is no coincidence that as the Libyan conflict was drawing to a conclusion, conflict erupted in northern Mali. It is part of a premeditated geopolitical reordering that began with toppling Libya, and since then, using it as a springboard for invading other targeted nations, including Mali, Algeria, and Syria with heavily armed, NATO-funded and aided terrorists.

French involvement may drive AQIM and its affiliates out of northern Mali, but they are almost sure to end up in Algeria, most likely by design.

Algeria was able to balk subversion during the early phases of the US-engineered “Arab Spring” in 2011, but it surely has not escaped the attention of the West who is in the midst of transforming a region stretching from Africa to Beijing and Moscow’s doorsteps – and in a fit of geopolitical schizophrenia – using terrorists both as a casus belli to invade and as an inexhaustible mercenary force to do it.

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Salafism and the CIA: Destabilizing the Russian Federation?

September 14th, 2012 by F. William Engdahl

Part I: Syria comes to the Russian Caucasus

On August 28 Sheikh Said Afandi, acknowledged spiritual leader of the Autonomous Russian Republic of Dagestan, was assassinated. A jihadist female suicide bomber managed to enter his house and detonate an explosive device.

The murder target had been carefully selected. Sheikh Afandi, a seventy-five-year old Sufi Muslim leader, had played the critical role in attempting to bring about reconciliation in Dagestan between jihadist Salafi Sunni Muslims and other factions, many of whom in Dagestan see themselves as followers of Sufi. With no replacement of his moral stature and respect visible, authorities fear possible outbreak of religious war in the tiny Russian autonomous republic.[1]

The police reported that the assassin was an ethnic Russian woman who had converted to Islam and was linked to an Islamic fundamentalist or Salafist insurgency against Russia and regional governments loyal to Moscow in the autonomous republics and across the volatile Muslim-populated North Caucasus region.

Ethnic Muslim populations in this region of Russia and of the former Soviet Union, including Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan and into China’s Xinjiang Province, have been the target of various US and NATO intelligence operations since the Cold War era ended in 1990. Washington sees manipulation of Muslim groups as the vehicle to bring uncontrollable chaos to Russia and Central Asia. It’s being carried out by some of the same organizations engaged in creating chaos and destruction inside Syria against the government of Bashar Al-Assad. In a real sense, as Russian security services clearly understand, if they don’t succeed in stopping the Jihadists insurgency in Syria, it will come home to them via the Caucasus.

The latest Salafist murders of Sufi and other moderate Muslim leaders in the Caucasus are apparently part of what is becoming ever clearer as perhaps the most dangerous US intelligence operation ever—playing globally with Muslim fundamentalism.

Previously US and allied intelligence services had played fast and loose with religious organizations or beliefs in one or another country. What makes the present situation particularly dangerous—notably since the decision in Washington to unleash the misnamed Arab Spring upheavals that began in Tunisia late 2010, spreading like a brushfire across the entire Islamic world from Afghanistan across Central Asia to Morocco—is the incalculable wave upon wave of killing, hatreds, destruction of entire cultures that Washington has unleashed in the name of that elusive dream named “democracy.” They do this using alleged Al-Qaeda groups, Saudi Salafists or Wahhabites, or using disciples of Turkey’s Fethullah Gülen Movement to ignite fires of religious hatred within Islam and against other faiths that could take decades to extinguish. It could easily spill over into a new World War.

Fundamentalism comes to Caucasus

Following the dissolution of the USSR, radical Afghanistani Mujahadeen, Islamists from Saudi Arabia, from Turkey, Pakistan and other Islamic countries flooded into the Muslim regions of the former USSR. One of the best-organized of these was the Gülen Movement of Fethullah Gülen, leader of a global network of Islamic schools and reported to be the major policy influence on Turkey’s Erdogan AKP party.

Gülen was quick to establish The International Dagestani-Turkish College in Dagestan. During the chaotic days after the Soviet collapse, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation officially registered and permitted unfettered activity for a variety of Islamic foundations and organizations. These included the League of the Islamic World, the World Muslim Youth Assembly, the reportedly Al-Qaeda friendly Saudi foundation ‘Ibrahim ben Abd al-Aziz al-Ibrahim.’ The blacklist also included Al-Haramein a Saudi foundation reported tied to Al-Qaeda, and IHH, [2] a Turkish organization banned in Germany, that allegedly raised funds for jihadi fighters in Bosnia, Chechnya, and Afghanistan, and was charged by French intelligence of ties to Al Qaeda.[3] Many of these charities were covers for fundamentalist Salafists with their own special agenda.

As many of the foreign Islamists in Chechnya and Dagestan were found involved in fomenting the regional unrest and civil war, Russian authorities withdrew permission of most to run schools and institutions. Throughout the North Caucasus at the time of the Chechyn war in the late 1990’s, there were more than two dozen Islamic institutes, some 200 madrassas and numerous maktabas (Koranic study schools) present at almost all mosques.

The International Dagestani-Turkish College was one that was forced to close its doors in Dagestan. The College was run by the Fethullah Gülen organization.[4]

At the point of the Russian crackdown on the spread of Salafist teaching inside Russia at the end of the 1990’s, there was an exodus of hundreds of young Dagestani and Chechyn Muslim students to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and other places in The Middle east, reportedly to receive training with the Gülen movement and various Saudi-financed organizations, including Salafists. [5] It is believed in Russia that the students trained by Gülen supporters or Saudi and other Salafist fundamentalist centers then were sent back to Dagestan and the North Caucasus to spread their radical strain of Islam.

By 2005 the situation in the Caucasus was so influenced by this Salafist intervention that the Chechen Salafist, Doku Umarov, cited by the UN Security Council for links to Al-Qaeda,[6] unilaterally declared creation of what he called the Caucasus Emirate, announcing he planned to establish an Islamic state under Sharia law encompassing the entire North Caucasus region including Dagestan. He modestly proclaimed himself Emir of the Caucasus Emirate. [7]

*  *  *

WWIII Scenario

*  *  *

 

Part II: Salafism at war with Sufi tradition

Salafism, known in Saudi Arabia as Wahhabism, is a fundamentalist strain of Islam which drew world attention and became notorious in March 2001 just weeks before the attacks of September 11. That was when the Salafist Taliban government in Afghanistan willfully dynamited and destroyed the historic gigantic Buddhas of Bamiyan on the ancient Silk Road, religious statues dating from the 6th Century. The Taliban Salafist leaders also banned as “un-islamic” all forms of imagery, music and sports, including television, in accordance with what they considered a strict interpretation of Sharia.

Afghani sources reported that the order to destroy the Buddhas was made by Saudi-born jihadist Wahhabite, Osama bin Laden, who ultimately convinced Mullah Omar, Taliban supreme leader at the time to execute the act.[8]

Before and…After Salafist Taliban …

While Sufis incorporate the worship of saints and theatrical ceremonial prayers into their practice, Salafis condemn as idolatry any non-traditional forms of worship. They also call for the establishment of Islamic political rule and strict Sharia law. Sufism is home to the great spiritual and musical heritage of Islam, said by Islamic scholars to be the inner, mystical, or psycho-spiritual dimension of Islam, going back centuries.

As one Sufi scholar described the core of Sufism, “While all Muslims believe that they are on the pathway to God and will become close to God in Paradise–after death and the ‘Final Judgment’– Sufis believe as well that it is possible to become close to God and to experience this closeness–while one is alive. Furthermore, the attainment of the knowledge that comes with such intimacy with God, Sufis assert, is the very purpose of the creation. Here they mention the hadith qudsi in which God states, ‘I was a hidden treasure and I loved that I be known, so I created the creation in order to be known.’ Hence for the Sufis there is already a momentum, a continuous attraction on their hearts exerted by God, pulling them, in love, towards God.” [9]

The mystical Islamic current of Sufism and its striving to become close to or one with God is in stark contrast to the Jihadist Salafi or Wahhabi current that is armed with deadly weapons, preaches a false doctrine of jihad, and a perverse sense of martyrdom, committing countless acts of violence. Little wonder that the victims of Salafist Jihads are mostly other pacific forms of Islam including most especially Sufis.

The respected seventy-five year old Afandi had publicly denounced Salafist Islamic fundamentalism. His murder followed a July 19 coordinated attack on two high-ranking muftis in the Russian Volga Republic of Tatarstan. Both victims were state-approved religious leaders who had attacked radical Islam. This latest round of murders opens a new front in the Salafist war against Russia, namely attacks on moderate Sufi Muslim leaders.

Whether or not Dagestan now descends into internal religious civil war that then spreads across the geopolitically sensitive Russian Caucasus is not yet certain. What is almost certain is that the same circles who have been feeding violence and terror inside Syria against the regime of Alawite President Bashar al-Assad are behind the killing of Sheikh Afandi as well as sparking related acts of terror or unrest across Russia’s Muslim-populated Caucasus. In a very real sense it represents Russia’s nightmare scenario of “Syria coming to Russia.” It demonstrates dramatically why Putin has made such a determined effort to stop a descent into a murderous hell in Syria.

Salafism and the CIA

The existence of the so-called jihadist Salafi brand of Islam in Dagestan is quite recent. It has also been deliberately imported. Salafism is sometimes also called the name of the older Saudi-centered Wahhabism. Wahhabism is a minority originally-Bedouin form of the faith originating within Islam, dominant in Saudi Arabia since the 1700’s.

Irfan Al-Alawi and Stephen Schwartz of the Centre for Islamic Pluralism give the following description of Saudi conditions under the rigid Wahhabi brand of Islam:

Women living under Saudi rule must wear the abaya, or total body cloak, and niqab, the face veil; they have limited opportunities for schooling and careers; they are prohibited from driving vehicles; are banned from social contact with men not relatives, and all personal activity must be supervised including opening bank accounts, by a male family member or “guardian.” These Wahhabi rules are enforced by a mutawiyin, or morals militia, also known as “the religious police,” officially designated the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) who patrol Saudi cities, armed with leather-covered sticks which they freely used against those they considered wayward. They raid homes looking for alcohol and drugs, and harassed non-Wahhabi Muslims as well as believers in other faiths.” [10]

It’s widely reported that the obscenely opulent and morally-perhaps-not-entirely-of- the-highest-standards Saudi Royal Family made a Faustian deal with Wahhabite leaders. The deal supposedly, was that the Wahhabists are free to export their fanatical brand of Islam around to the Islamic populations of the world in return for agreeing to leave the Saudi Royals alone.[11] There are, however, other dark and dirty spoons stirring the Wahhabite-Salafist Saudi stew.

Little known is the fact that the present form of aggressive Saudi Wahhabism, in reality a kind of fusion between imported jihadi Salafists from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the fundamentalist Saudi Wahhabites. Leading Salafist members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood were introduced into the Saudi Kingdom in the 1950’s by the CIA in a complex series of events, when Nasser cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood following an assassination attempt. By the 1960’s an influx of Egyptian members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Saudi Arabia fleeing Nasserite repression, had filled many of the leading teaching posts in Saudi religious schools. One student there was a young well-to-do Saudi, Osama bin Laden.  [12]

During the Third Reich, Hitler Germany had supported the Muslim Brotherhood as a weapon against the British in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East. Marc Erikson describes the Nazi roots of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood thus:

…as Italian and German fascism sought greater stakes in the Middle East in the 1930s and ’40s to counter British and French controlling power, close collaboration between fascist agents and Islamist leaders ensued. During the 1936-39 Arab Revolt, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of German military intelligence, sent agents and money to support the Palestine uprising against the British, as did Muslim Brotherhood founder and “supreme guide” Hassan al-Banna. A key individual in the fascist-Islamist nexus and go-between for the Nazis and al-Banna became the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini.[13]

After the defeat of Germany, British Intelligence moved in to take over control of the Muslim Brotherhood. Ultimately, for financial and other reasons, the British decided to hand their assets within the Muslim Brotherhood over to their CIA colleagues in the 1950s. [14]

According to former US Justice Department Nazi researcher John Loftus,  “during the 1950s, the CIA evacuated the Nazis of the Muslim Brotherhood to Saudi Arabia. Now, when they arrived in Saudi Arabia, some of the leading lights of the Muslim Brotherhood, like Dr Abdullah Azzam, became the teachers in the madrassas, the religious schools. And there they combined the doctrines of Nazism with this weird Islamic cult, Wahhabism.” [15]

“Everyone thinks that Islam is this fanatical religion, but it is not,” Loftus continues. “They think that Islam–the Saudi version of Islam–is typical, but it’s not. The Wahhabi cult has been condemned as a heresy more than 60 times by the Muslim nations. But when the Saudis got wealthy, they bought a lot of silence. This is a very harsh cult. Wahhabism was only practised by the Taliban and in Saudi Arabia–that’s how extreme it is. It really has nothing to do with Islam. Islam is a very peaceful and tolerant religion. It always had good relationships with the Jews for the first thousand years of its existence.” [16]

Loftus identified the significance of what today is emerging from the shadows to take over Egypt under Muslim Brotherhood President Morsi, and the so-called Syrian National Council, dominated in reality by the Muslim Brotherhood and publicly led by the more “politically correct” or presentable likes of Bassma Kodmani. Kodmani, foreign affairs spokesman for the SNC was twice an invited guest at the Bilderberg elite gathering, latest in Chantilly, Virginia earlier this year.[17]

The most bizarre and alarming feature of the US-financed  regime changes set into motion in 2010, which have led to the destruction of the secular Arab regime of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Muhammar Qaddafi in Libya, and the secular regime of President Ben Ali in Tunisia, and which have wreaked savage destruction across the Middle East, especially in the past eighteen months in Syria, is the pattern of emerging power grabs by representatives of the murky Salafist Muslim Brotherhood.

By informed accounts, a Saudi-financed Sunni Islamic Muslim Brotherhood dominates the members of the exile Syrian National Council that is backed by the US State Department’s Secretary Clinton and by Hollande’s France. The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood is tied, not surprisingly to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood of President Mohammed Morsi who recently in a meeting of the Non-Aligned in Iran called openly for the removal of Syria’s Assad, a logical step if his Muslim Brothers in the present Syrian National Council are to take the reins of power. The Saudis are also rumored to have financed the ascent to power in Tunisia of the governing Islamist Ennahda Party,[18] and are documented to be financing the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Syrian National Council against President Bashar al-Assad. [19]

Part III: Morsi’s Reign of Salafi Terror

Indicative of the true agenda of this Muslim Brotherhood and related jihadists today is the fact that once they have power, they drop the veil of moderation and reconciliation and reveal their violently intolerant roots. This is visible in Egypt today under Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi.

Unreported in mainstream Western media to date are alarming direct reports from Christian missionary organizations in Egypt that Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood has already begun to drop the veil of “moderation and conciliation” and show its brutal totalitarian Salafist colors, much as Khomeini’s radical Sharia forces did in Iran after taking control in 1979-81.

In a letter distributed by the Christian Aid Mission (CAM), a Christian Egyptian missionary wrote that Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood “announced they would destroy the country if Morsi didn’t win, but they also said they will take revenge from all those who voted for [his opponent Ahmed] Shafiq, especially the Christians as they are sure we did vote for Shafiq. Yesterday they began by killing two believers in el Sharqiya because of this,” the missionary added, speaking on condition of anonymity.[20]

This report came only weeks after Egyptian State TV (under Morsi’s control) showed ghastly video footage of a convert from Islam to Christianity being murdered by Muslims. The footage showed a young man being held down by masked men with a knife to his throat. As one man was heard chanting Muslim prayers in Arabic, mostly condemning Christianity, another man holding the knife to the Christian convert’s throat began to cut, slowly severing the head amid cries of “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah is great”), according to transcripts. In the letter, the Egyptian missionary leader added that, “soon after Morsi won, Christians in upper Egypt were forcibly prevented from going to churches.” Many Muslims, the letter claimed, “also began to speak to women in the streets that they had to wear Islamic clothing including the head covering. They act as if they got the country for their own, it’s theirs now.” [21]

Already in 2011 Morsi’s Salafist followers began attacking and destroying Sufi mosques across Egypt. According to the authoritative newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm (Today’s Egyptian), 16 historic mosques in Alexandria belonging to Sufi orders have been marked for destruction by so-called ‘Salafis’. Alexandria has 40 mosques associated with Sufis, and is the headquarters for 36 Sufi groups. Half a million Sufis live in the city, out of a municipal total of four million people. Aggression against the Sufis in Egypt has included a raid on Alexandria’s most distinguished mosque, named for, and housing, the tomb of the 13th century Sufi Al-Mursi Abu’l Abbas.[22]

Notably, the so-called “democratically elected” regime in Libya following the toppling of Mohamar Qaddafi by NATO bombs in 2011, has also been zealous in destroying Sufi mosques and places of worhip. In August this year, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova expressed “grave concern” at the destruction by Islamic Jihadists of Sufi sites in Zliten, Misrata and Tripoli and urged perpetrators to “cease the destruction immediately.” [23] Under behind-the-scenes machinations the Libyan government is dominated by Jihadists and by followers of the Muslim Brotherhood, as in Tunisia and Egypt. [24]

The explosive cocktail of violence inherent in allowing the rise to power of Salafist Islamists across the Middle East was clear to see, symbolically enough on the night of September 11,th when a mob of angry supporters of the fanatical Salafist group, Ansar Al-Sharia, murdered the US Ambassador to Libya and three US diplomats, burning the US Consulate in Bengazi to the ground in protest over a YouTube release of a film by an American filmmaker showing the Prophet Mohammed indulging in multiple sex affairs and casting doubt on his role as God’s messenger. Ironically that US Ambassador had played a key role in toppling Qaddafi and opening the door to the Salafist takeover in Libya. At the same time angry mobs of thousands of Salafists surrounded the US Embassy in Cairo in protest to the US film. [25]

Ansar Al-Sharia (“Partisans of Islamic law” in Arabic) reportedly is a spinoff of Al-Qaeda and claims organizations across the Middle East from Yemen to Tunisia to Iraq, Egypt and Libya. Ansar al-Sharia says it is reproducing the model of Sharia or strict Islamic law espoused by the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Islamic State of Iraq, a militant umbrella group that includes al-Qaeda in Iraq. The core of the group are jihadists who came out of an “Islamic state”, either in Afghanistan in the mid-1990s, or among jihadists in Iraq after the US-led invasion in 2003.[26]

The deliberate detonation now of a new round of Salafist fundamentalist Jihad terror inside Muslim regions of the Russian Caucasus is exquisitely timed politically to put maximum pressure at home on the government of Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Putin and the Russian Government are the strongest and most essential backer of the current Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad, and for Russia as well the maintenance of Russia’s only Mediterranean naval base at Syria’s Tartus port is vital strategically. At the same time, Obama’s sly message to Medvedev to wait until Obama’s re-election to evaluate US intent towards Russia and Putin’s cryptic recent comment that a compromise with a re-elected President Obama might be possible, but not with a President Romney, [27] indicate that the Washington “stick-and-carrot” or hard cop-soft cop tactics with Moscow might tempt Russia to sacrifice major geopolitical alliances, perhaps even that special close and recent geopolitical alliance with China.[28] Were that to happen, the World might witness a “reset” in US-Russian relations with catastrophic consequences for world peace.

F. William Engdahl*  is the author of Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order

Notes:

[1] Dan Peleschuk, Sheikh Murdered Over Religious Split Say Analysts, RIA Novosti, August 30, 2012, accessed in

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20120830/175517955.html.

[2] Mairbek  Vatchagaev, The Kremlin’s War on Islamic Education in the North Caucasus, North Caucasus Analysis Volume: 7 Issue: 34, accessed in http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=3334

[3] Iason Athanasiadis, Targeted by Israeli raid: Who is the IHH?, The Christian Science Monitor, June 1, 2010, accessed in http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2010/0601/Targeted-by-Israeli-raid-Who-is-the-IHH.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Mairbek Vatchagaev, op. cit.

[6] UN Security Council, QI.U.290.11. DOKU KHAMATOVICH UMAROV, 10 March 2011, accessed in http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1267/NSQI29011E.shtml. The UN statement reads: “Doku Khamatovich Umarov was listed on 10 March 2011 pursuant to paragraph 2 of resolution 1904 (2009) as being associated with Al-Qaida, Usama bin Laden or the Taliban for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of”, “recruiting for”, “supplying, selling or transferring arms and related materiel to” and “otherwise supporting acts or activities of” the Islamic Jihad Group (QE.I.119.05), the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (QE.I.10.01), Riyadus-Salikhin Reconnaissance and Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs (RSRSBCM) (QE.R.100.03) and Emarat Kavkaz (QE.E.131.11).”

[7] Tom Jones, Czech NGO rejects Russian reports of link to alleged Islamist terrorists al-Qaeda, May 10, 2011, accessed in http://www.ceskapozice.cz/en/news/society/czech-ngo-rejects-russian-reports-link-alleged-islamist-terrorists-al-qaeda?utm_source=tw&utm_medium=enprofil&utm_campaign=twennews.

[8] The Times of India, Laden ordered Bamyan Buddha destruction, The Times of India, March 28, 2006.

[9] Dr. Alan Godlas, Sufism — Sufis — Sufi Orders:

[10] Irfan Al-Alawi and Stephen Schwartz, Wahhabi Internal Contradictions as Saudi Arabia Seeks Wider Gulf Leadership, Center for Islamic Pluralism, May 21, 2012, accessed in http://www.islamicpluralism.org/2040/wahhabi-internal-contradictions-as-saudi-arabia

[11] Irfan Al-Alawi and Stephen Schwartz, Wahhabi Internal Contradictions as Saudi Arabia Seeks Wider Gulf Leadership, May 21, 2012, accessed in http://www.islamicpluralism.org/2040/wahhabi-internal-contradictions-as-saudi-arabia.

[12] Robert Duncan, Islamic Terrorisms Links to Nazi Fascism, AINA, July 5, 2007, accessed in http://www.aina.org/news/2007070595517.htm.

[13] Marc Erikson, Islamism, fascism and terrorism (Part 2), AsiaTimes.Online, November 8, 2002, accessed in http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/DK08Ak03.html.

[14] Ibid.

[15] John Loftus, The Muslim Brotherhood, Nazis and Al-Qaeda,  Jewish Community News, October 11, 2006, accessed in http://www.canadafreepress.com/2006/loftus101106.htm

[16] Ibid.

[17] Charlie Skelton, The Syrian opposition: who’s doing the talking?: The media have been too passive when it comes to Syrian opposition sources, without scrutinising their backgrounds and their political connections. Time for a closer look …, London Guardian, 12 July 2012, accessed in http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/12/syrian-opposition-doing-the-talking.

[18] Aidan Lewis, Profile: Tunisia’s Ennahda Party, BBC News, 25 October 2011, accessed in http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15442859.

[19] Hassan Hassan, Syrians are torn between a despotic regime and a stagnant opposition: The Muslim Brotherhood’s perceived monopoly over the Syrian National Council has created an opposition stalemate, The Guardian, UK, 23 August, 2012, accessed in http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/23/syrians-torn-despotic-regime-stagnant-opposition.

[20] Stefan J. Bos, Egypt Christians Killed After Election of Morsi, Bosnewslife, June 30, 2012, accessed in http://www.bosnewslife.com/22304-egypt-christians-killed-after-election-morsi.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Irfan Al-Alawi, Egyptian Muslim Fundamentalists Attack Sufis, Guardian Online [London],

April 11, 2011, accessed in http://www.islamicpluralism.org/1770/egyptian-Muslim-fundamentalists-attack-sufis

[23] Yafiah Katherine Randall, UNESCO urges Libya to stop destruction of Sufi sites, August 31, 2012, Sufi News and Sufism World Report, accessed in http://sufinews.blogspot.de/.

[24] Jamie Dettmer, Libya elections: Muslim Brotherhood set to lead government, 5 July, 2012, The Telegraph, London, accessed in http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/9379022/Libya-elections-Muslim-Brotherhood-set-to-lead-government.html.

[25] Luke Harding, Chris Stephen, Chris Stevens, US ambassador to Libya, killed in Benghazi attack: Ambassador and three other American embassy staff killed after Islamist militants fired rockets at their car, say Libyan officials, London Guardian, 12 September 2012, accessed in http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/sep/12/chris-stevens-us-ambassador-libya-killed.

[26] Murad Batal al-Shishani, Profile: Ansar al-Sharia in Yemen, 8 March 2012, accessed in  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17402856.

[27] David M. Herszenhorn, Putin Says Missile Deal Is More Likely With Obama, The New York Times, September 6, 2012, accessed in http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/07/world/europe/putin-calls-missile-deal-more-likely-if-obama-wins.html. According to an interview Putin gave on Moscow’s state-owned RT TV, Herszenhorn reports, “Mr. Putin said he believed that if Mr. Obama is re-elected in November, a compromise could be reached on the contentious issue of American plans for a missile defense system in Europe, which Russia has strongly opposed. On the other hand, Mr. Putin said, if Mr. Romney becomes president, Moscow’s fears about the missile system — that it is, despite American assurances, actually directed against Russia — would almost certainly prove true.

“Is it possible to find a solution to the problem, if current President Obama is re-elected for a second term? Theoretically, yes,” Mr. Putin said, according to the official transcript posted on the Kremlin’s Web site. “But this isn’t just about President Obama. “For all I know, his desire to work out a solution is quite sincere,” Mr. Putin continued. “I met him recently on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, where we had a chance to talk. And though we talked mostly about Syria, I could still take stock of my counterpart. My feeling is that he is a very honest man, and that he sincerely wants to make many good changes. But can he do it? Will they let him do it?”

[28] M.K. Bhadrakumar, Calling the China-Russia split isn’t heresy, Asia Times,  September 5, 2012, accessed in http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/NI05Ad01.html.

 

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September 8th, 2012 by Global Research

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“At the moment when the facts of the case were presented to her, this arbiter of justice freely chose to side with mistruths. Judge Coney Barrett’s responses are factually inaccurate, scientifically unsound, and dangerous.”

***

More than 70 science journalists have signed an open letter warning that Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett‘s close ties to the fossil fuel industry and refusal to publicly acknowledge the established science behind human-caused climate change make her an enabler of “the ecological crisis of our times.”

First published in Rolling Stone on Sunday, the letter slams Barrett’s responses to basic climate questions during her confirmation hearings as “factually inaccurate, scientifically unsound, and dangerous.” As Common Dreams reported, the right-wing judge insisted she has “no firm views” on the climate crisis and, in later written responses, called the science of climate change “controversial.”

“It is frightening that a Supreme Court nominee—a position that is in essence one of the highest fact-checkers in the land—has bought into the same propaganda we have worked so hard to dispel,” reads the letter, which was signed by author and environmentalist Naomi Klein, 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben, and other prominent climate writers.

“How can Judge Coney Barrett rule on pending issues of climate change liability, regulation, finance, mitigation, equity, justice, and accountability if she fails to accept even the underlying premise of global warming? The answer is that she cannot,” continues the letter, which came hours before the Republican-controlled Senate cleared a procedural hurdle and paved the way for a final vote on Barrett’s confirmation Monday.

Below is the full letter and list of signatories:

We are science and climate journalists. We are researchers and weavers of information, creating a fabric that explains the work of scientists who themselves are working to describe our natural world and universe. We are published in the nation’s leading outlets, both large and small, including Scientific American, Nature, National Geographic, MIT Technology Review, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Washington Post, The New Yorker and many more. Over decades of reporting on the threats and now deadly and devastating harms of worsening climate change, we have succeeded in at least one respect. The vast majority of the world’s people, including those in the United States, not only acknowledge the scientific certainty of climate change, but also want action taken to address it.

We have succeeded because the science is clear, despite there being a massive well-orchestrated effort of propaganda, lies, and denial by the world’s largest fossil fuel corporations, including ExxonMobil and Koch Industries and fossil-fuel-backed institutes and think tanks. It is frightening that a Supreme Court nominee—a position that is in essence one of the highest fact-checkers in the land—has bought into the same propaganda we have worked so hard to dispel.

And it is facts—a word under repeated assault by the Trump administration, which nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett—that are at issue here. “I’m certainly not a scientist…I’ve read things about climate change. I would not say I have firm views on it,” Judge Coney Barrett told Sen. John Kennedy during the Senate confirmation hearings on October 13th.

The next day, Sen. Richard Blumenthal asked Judge Coney Barrett if she believed “human beings cause global warming.” She replied: “I don’t think I am competent to opine on what causes global warming or not. I don’t think that my views on global warming or climate change are relevant to the job I would do as a judge.”

When asked that same day by Sen. Kamala Harris if she accepts that “COVID-19 is infectious,” Coney Barrett said yes. When asked if “smoking causes cancer,” Coney Barrett said yes. But when asked if “climate change is happening, and is threatening the air we breathe and the water we drink,” Judge Coney Barrett said that while the previous topics are “completely uncontroversial,” climate change is instead, “a very contentious matter of public debate.” She continued: “I will not express a view on a matter of public policy, especially one that is politically controversial because that’s inconsistent with the judicial role, as I have explained.”

Judge Coney Barrett repeatedly refused to acknowledge the scientific certainty of climate change. This is an untenable position, particularly when the world’s leading climate scholars warned in 2018 that we have just 12 years to act to bring down global average temperature rise and avert the most dire predictions of the climate crisis.

At the moment when the facts of the case were presented to her, this arbiter of justice freely chose to side with mistruths. Judge Coney Barrett’s responses are factually inaccurate, scientifically unsound, and dangerous.

How can Judge Coney Barrett rule on pending issues of climate change liability, regulation, finance, mitigation, equity, justice, and accountability if she fails to accept even the underlying premise of global warming? The answer is that she cannot.

Judge Coney Barrett’s ties to the fossil fuel industry have already proved problematic, forcing recusal from cases involving Shell Oil entities related to her father’s work as a long-time attorney for the company. She may also need to recuse herself from future cases due to her father’s former position as chairman of the Subcommittee on Exploration and Production Law of the American Petroleum Institute—the nation’s leading fossil fuel lobby.

Climate change is already an increasingly dominant aspect of American life, and an issue of growing import in American law. On the Supreme Court docket is BP P.L.C v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore—a case that involves Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and other major oil companies, and could impact about a dozen U.S. states and localities suing Big Oil over its contribution to climate change.

Judge Coney Barrett says, “I’m certainly not a scientist,” but she does not need to be a scientist, rather she needs to have faith in science. Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, is an ardent supporter of action on climate change, releasing in 2015 the “Encyclical on Climate Change & Inequality: On Care for Our Common Home.” The Pope embraces hard science in order to keep close to his faith.

Judge Coney Barrett has displayed a profound inability to understand the ecological crisis of our times, and in so doing she enables it.

Signed,

Bill McKibben, journalist and author, the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in environmental studies at Middlebury College

Rebecca Solnit, author and journalist

Sonia Shah, science journalist and author

Jonathan Weiner, Pulitzer Prize winning author, science journalist, and professor at Columbia Journalism School

Jeff Goodell, climate journalist and author of The Water Will Come

Naomi Klein, journalist and author

Michelle Nijhuis, science journalist and author

Amy Westervelt, climate journalist

Rachel Ramirez, environmental justice reporter

Iris Crawford, climate justice journalist

Anoa Changa, movement and environmental justice journalist

Tiên Nguyễn, multimedia science journalist

Eric Holthaus, meteorologist, climate journalist at The Phoenix

Jenni Monet (Laguna Pueblo), climate affairs journalist and founder of Indigenously

Nina Lakhani, environmental justice reporter

Samir S. Patel, science journalist and editor

Clinton Parks, freelance science writer

Meehan Crist, writer in residence in biological sciences, Columbia University

Elizabeth Rush, science writer, author of Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore

Anne McClintock, climate journalist, photographer and author, professor of environmental humanities and writing at Princeton University

Ruth Hopkins (Oceti Sakowin, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate), tribal attorney, Indigenous journalist

Wade Roush, science and technology journalist and author

Kim Stanley Robinson, New York Times bestselling author of climate science fiction, Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Awards

Jason Mark, editor in chief, Sierra

Kate Aronoff, climate journalist

Richard Louv, journalist and author

Heather Smith, science journalist

Judith Lewis Mernit, California climate editor, Capital & Main

Madeline Ostrander, climate journalist

Julie Dermansky, multimedia environmental and social justice journalist

Kenneth Brower, environmental journalist and author

Alexander Zaitchik, science and political journalist and author

Hillary M. Rosner, science journalist and scholar in residence, University of Colorado

Wudan Yan, science journalist

Debra Atlas, environmental journalist and author

Rucha Chitnis, climate, environmental justice and human rights documentarian

Drew Costley, environmental justice reporter

Jonathan Thompson, environmental author and journalist

Carol Clouse, environmental journalist

Brian Kahn, climate journalist

Geoff Dembicki, climate journalist and author

Peter Fairley, energy and environment journalist

Nicholas Cunningham, energy reporter

Nina Berman, documentary photographer focusing on issues of climate and the environment, professor of journalism at Columbia University

Michele C. Hollow, freelance journalist

Ben Depp, documentary photographer, focusing on issues of climate and the environment

Virginia Hanusik, climate photographer

Philip Yam, science journalist and author

Maura R. O’Connor, science journalist and author

Chad J. Reich, audio and visual journalist covering energy and environment in rural communities

Steve Ross, environmental writer/editor, former Columbia environmental reporting professor

Starre Vartan, science journalist

Michael Snyder, climate photographer

Brandon Keim, science and nature journalist

Tom Athanasiou, climate equity writer and researcher

Hope Marcus, climate writer

Jocelyn C. Zuckerman, freelance journalist

Dana Drugmand, climate journalist

Tom Molanphy, climate journalist

Roxanne Szal, associate digital editor, Ms.Magazine

Dashka Slater, author and climate reporter

Jenn Emerling, documentary photographer, focusing on issues of climate and culture in the American West

Christine Heinrichs, science writer and author

Clayton Aldern, climate and environmental journalist

Karen Savage, climate journalist

Charlotte Dennett, author, investigative journalist, attorney

Carly Berlin, environmental reporter

Ben Ehrenreich, author and journalist

Ibby Caputo, science journalist

Lawrence Weschler, former New Yorker staff writer, environmental author, most recently with David Opdyke, of This Land: An Epic Postcard Mural on the Future of a Country in Ecological Peril.

Justin Nobel, science journalist

Antonia Juhasz, climate and energy journalist and author

From Common Dreams: Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.

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Featured image is an official White House photo

Scientists Welcome Key Milestone for Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty

October 27th, 2020 by Scientists for Global Responsibility

Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) welcomes the 50th ratification of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – reached late yesterday – which means the treaty will now enter in force on 22 January 2021.

The treaty bans the production, testing, possession and use of nuclear weapons by signatory nations, along with other activities that could enable or assist any other nation to acquire or use these weapons of mass destruction. The treaty now puts nuclear weapons in the same category as other weapons of mass destruction – i.e. biological and chemical weapons – which are banned by international treaty.

The treaty is the culmination of the efforts by campaigners led by ICAN (the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) – 2017 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize – of which SGR is a partner organisation.

Dr Philip Webber, Chair of SGR, said,

“Since SGR’s forerunner Scientists Against Nuclear Arms was formed in 1981, we have argued that nuclear weapons pose an unacceptable threat to human civilisation and indeed all life on Earth. There are still currently 1,800 nuclear weapons deployed and ready to fire at short notice – and some of these deployed by the UK. We strongly urge the UK government and other nuclear nations to support this treaty.”

Dr Rebecca Johnson, peace activist and first president of ICAN, said

“The treaty exists now because of 75 years of humanitarian activism, from the ‘Hibakusha’ and indigenous survivors of nuclear weapons and testing, to the Aldermaston marchers and Greenham Common peace women who helped to ban nuclear testing and get US cruise missiles removed from British soil. Together we persuaded UN governments to bring this ground-breaking nuclear disarmament treaty into international humanitarian law.”

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Notes

1. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was agreed by the UN in 2017. Honduras became the 50th nation to ratify on 24th October. For more details on the treaty and the wider campaign, see: https://www.icanw.org/the_treaty

2. Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) is a UK membership organisation promoting responsible science and technology. Its 700 members include natural scientists, social scientists, engineers and others with expertise in peace and environmental issues. SGR has been a partner organisation of ICAN from soon after it was formed. For more information, see: https://www.sgr.org.uk/

3. Dr Philip Webber, a physicist by training, has written and campaigned about the threat from nuclear weapons for 40 years. He is an author of the 1982 book, London After the Bomb, as well as numerous SGR briefings and articles on the issue, including some used by ICAN in a range of international meetings in Norway, Mexico and Austria in the run up to the agreement of the treaty. For a list of SGR’s key outputs on nuclear weapons, see: https://www.sgr.org.uk/projects/nuclear-weapons-threat-main-outputs

4. For more details on the current numbers of nuclear weapons, see: Federation of American Scientists (2020). Status of World Nuclear Forces. https://fas.org/issues/nuclear-weapons/status-world-nuclear-forces/

The Cult of the Brave New Normal

October 27th, 2020 by Dr. Bruce Scott

In March, it was just a three-week lockdown, to flatten the curve so as not to overwhelm the NHS. The narrative has quickly evolved. It has progressed from what seemed a reasonable idea of keeping NHS bed space free based on the completely false Neil Fergusson prediction that hospitals would be overwhelmed by patients suffering from COVID19.

This never happened. Many weeks passed where face masks were not needed and then suddenly in July, long after the majority of supposed COVID19 deaths had occurred, face masks were made compulsory.

Indeed, the UK government advice from the likes of Chris Whitty and the World Health Organisation was that face masks were not effective in stopping the spread of COVID19 or in contracting it; science does not change that quick – anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar.

The result is that we have now fallen deep into a Covidian Cult, a totalitarian psychotic narrative that has little connection to reality or to the facts.

The opposition to official government narratives regarding Covid19 are well known. I will not bother again telling you what is already known or can be readily ascertained.

Suffice to say, one just needs to type into Google “The Great Barrington Declaration” or ACU2020, where one can read about the doctors, scientists and lawyers who are opposing multi-governmental COVID19 restrictions and laws of social distancing, lockdown, mandatory/coerced consent to vaccines, and mandatory face masks, amongst other things.

Their essential argument, contra the multi-government policy on COVID19, is that virus is not the danger we are being told it is; the data on COVID19 is clear: we do not need to lockdown society, wreck the economy, or frighten people into death as they are scared to leave home for fear of catching COVID19 or seek medical treatment for non-COVID19 illness, which has happened.

Specifically, many doctors and scientists argue that face masks are not protective and could be very harmful. Dr Jay Bhattacharya, a signatory of the Great Barrington Declaration, which 40,000 medical, public health scientists and medical practitioners have signed, said that the use of face masks are not supported in the scientific literature. There is no randomised data to indicate if they are effective in reducing the spread of COVID19.

Indeed, face masks have no effectiveness in the spread of influenza. This is backed up by the fact that social distancing and face masks have not made a difference on yearly rate of influenza deaths in the UK.

On the 15th October 2020 the stark reality that we are being led by a psychotic Covidian cult narrative became even more evident; Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, announced with great glee that couples marrying would no longer have to wear face masks when tying the knot. Of course, the Priest, Vicar, or Registrar etc conducting the ceremonies never had to wear a mask to conduct the marriage ceremony. What kind of political leader would impose on couples, who for all intent and purposes will be living together and spending the night together after the wedding, have to wear a mask during their wedding ceremony? Would a mask be required for the happy couple to consummate their marriage on their wedding night?

This ridiculous face mask rule imposed by Nicola Sturgeon shows quite clearly the dark side of Scottish politics. It is ridiculous because Nicola Sturgeon (as well as all the other MSP’s and Holyrood staff) has met many people from other households indoors in parliament (before and after face masks were imposed), whilst at the same time continually telling the masses that they cannot meet people from other households indoors. One rule for me, one for thee.

The paranoid fuelled COVID19 rules delivered by Sturgeon on a daily basis during the week and even reiterated on her twitter account on a frequent basis, and the blatant inconsistent and illogical nature of these rules, are not meant to console or comfort the masses. No, they are a deliberate attempt to disorientate and control the minds of the masses.

Cult leaders do this to their followers to short circuit their critical thinking. Cult leaders will also change the rules or the narrative at a whim for no apparent reason. Hence the change of now being able to get married without a face mask, even though the COVID19 restrictions are being tightened again all over the UK; it makes no sense, its not meant to, and the masses are meant to follow, not question and obey.

Cult leaders want to make the masses follow chaos.

This kind behaviour is equally applicable to the realm of BDSM (bondage, domination, sado-masochism) or the Master-Slave dialectic. In the world of BDSM, a master or mistress will impose illogical rules, but demand to be obeyed. As a slave in BDSM scenario might say, “Mistress is correct even when Mistress is wrong”.

This forms the basis for a human subject becoming an object, of becoming alienated from themselves. This logical structure underpins the dictates from politicians in relation to COVID19 restrictions. The blatant flaunting of the dictates by the likes of Catherine Calderwood, Neil Fergusson, Dominic Cummings, Margaret Ferrier (and the many more we have not heard about yet) is testament to the fact that they don’t really take this COVID19 restrictions all that seriously.

This abusive objectification and alienation are what totalitarians and cult leaders want to achieve and impose on their followers. Initiation rituals like mask wearing (especially when getting married) and social distancing, attack a person with terror, pain, humiliation and subjugation. Of course, anyone who has been in an abusive relationship will tell you that pointless rituals or behaviours are demanded by the abusive and sadistic abusive partner to wear the other person down.

As is so often found in cults and individuals in abusive relationships, the cult members or abused partner will even go to great lengths to defend the cult leader’s demands or the person who abuses them. In our current predicament, this is highly ironic as the Scottish government have recently introduced psychological abuse as a crime.

This abusive dialectic that is playing out between the UK government/Scottish government/devolved assemblies and the masses might explain why so many people cannot perceive the totalitarianism that is being inflicted upon them right in front of them, or right on their faces in the guise of masks and up till recently masked up in front of the alter getting married.

The problem we have is this: people generally find it very difficult to recognise the delusional nature of a totalitarian master narrative. One case in point was Nazi Germany; cognitive dissonance was a prevalent characteristic of people during these times. People who cannot see the totalitarian moves made upon them are not ignorant or unintelligent; they have been initiated into a cult through the methods of initiation, chaos, confusion and the short circuiting of critical thinking.

We are being initiated and conditioned for a future way of life where there will be no return to normality, and it has nothing to do with a virus. This is why children are being socially distanced in schools, are made to wear masks in certain contexts, are treated like bio-hazards by their teachers and are frightened half to death by being made to obsessively wash their hands multiple times a day with an abrasive hand sanitiser.

Drawing on psychoanalytic thought, such directives pushed onto children will ensure that many children will grow up to be socially anxious and fearful of social interaction. It begs belief that the Adverse Childhood Experiences “movement” (ACEs) in Scotland are utterly silent about the harms being committed upon children as a result of these scientifically challengeable COVID19 restrictions and rules.

As the Centre for Disease Control state, the survival rate estimates for people aged 0-19 years for COVID19 is 99.997%, 20-49 years is 99.98%, 50-69 years 99.5%, and 70 years+ 94.6% respectively. And now we have a casedemic where the rates of false positives (89%-94% of positives potentially false) and the PCR test does not even test for COVID19 (See ACU, 2020). Of course, the politicians ignore the fact that the PCR test was never intended to be a diagnostic instrument to be used to inform public health policy, never mind mandate it.

The culture of deindividuation that the totalitarian abusive cult-like rituals of social distancing, mask wearing and not being able to meet people freely is also primed to be ramped up even further; Nicola Sturgeon has stated that she is considering face masks to be compulsory even in outside spaces-seven months into this COVID19 nightmare-another illogical and ridiculous idea with no basis in science.

We are now entering a precarious tipping point; not from the virus, but from deindividuated members of the cult slavishly following these new rules and not challenging the wearing of masks outside. No doubt the “nudging” from the Government will work a treat on the masses

This is because the UK and Scottish governments are manipulating, coercing and frightening us into following the rules and shaming us when we don’t. The UK and Scottish Governments are using applied behavioural psychology, breaking the ethical guidelines for psychologists, to deliberately ramp up fear in the population. A group of psychologists called Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours (SPI-B) of SAGE have been tasked with advising the UK and Scottish Governments how to get people to adhere to COVID 19 restrictions.

From their document which is freely available on the UK Government website, it is written:

A substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened.”

And:

The perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased among those who are complacent, using hard-hitting emotional messaging.”

The psychologists of SPI-B and the UK government knew fear alone would not be enough. Therefore, SPI-B suggested to government to use and promote social approval for desired behaviours, to consider enacting legislation to compel required behaviours, and to consider the use of social disapproval for failure to comply.

They have used the Mainstream Media and Social media, along with false fact-checking and censorship to get their message across and it has been working.

The tactics of the SPI-B psychologists informing UK and Scottish Governments’ policies on the COVID19 response are in my opinion contrary to the ethical and practice guidelines of The British Psychological Society (BPS); the psychology equivalent of the Hippocratic oath for medicine.

The mainstream media are silent on these unethical practices of deliberately ramping up people’s sense of personal threat, creating a culture of feeling shame to follow COVID19 regulations and encouraging people to shame others for not following regulations. From the reports of several mental health charities, UK and Scottish Government reports, mental ill-health is in a crisis because of the COVID19 response/measures.

Suicide risk factors have undoubtedly been hugely multiplied (house repossessions, unemployment, poverty and stress etc); when the official figures are completed, I have no doubt that there will have been, and there will be to come, many suicides because of the COVID19 lockdown and associated measures.

Our political leaders, despite their lip service to mental health, are aware of the mental health and suicide crisis that now engulfs us, yet they proceed onwards with the COVID19 agenda regardless complicit in more psychological abuse being foisted upon people, knowing full well that this will cause untold misery.

Vladimir Bukovsky, a Soviet dissident who was imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital (enforced incarceration for political dissidents) described well our current predicament:

The peculiar features of the Soviet political system, the Communist ideology, the uncertainties and difficulties of the science of psychiatry, the labyrinths of the human conscience-all these have weirdly woven themselves together to create a monstrous phenomenon, the use of medicine against man.”
Forward from Russia’s political hospitals, 1977 (S. Bloch and P. Reddaway) by Vladimir Bukovsky.

Like the Soviet Union today the monstrous phenomenon is again the use of science and medicine against the masses by many Governments in the battle against COVID19. Not only do our political leaders want to “keep us safe until a vaccine” but they seem to want to destroy the economy, create huge unemployment and destroy businesses. They also want to monitor our every move and impose restrictions on work, travel and social and family life.

There will be no end to this nightmare; there never is an end when one is in an abusive relationship. The goalposts always keep moving. The victim is broken down until they can offer no resistance.

Indeed, Bill Gates recently indicated that even if we get a vaccine for COVID19, there will be no return to normal as it will probably take a second or third generation vaccine to get us back to normal. Of course, we know full well, when we get that second or third generation vaccine, it will not herald a return to the old normal.

Unfortunately, at the moment there is not enough people (especially politicians and mainstream media journalists) with the necessary courage to call out the tyranny and call out the abuser. Historically this has also been a problem; politically and within an abusive context (e.g., the victim finds great difficulty calling out their abuser). In a critical remark and warning to the West, Alexander Solzhenitsyn said in his Harvard address in 1973:

A decline in courage may be the most striking feature which an outside observer notices in the West in our days. The Western world has lost its civil courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, each government, each political party, and, of course, in the United Nations…..Should one (have to) point out that from ancient times declining courage has been considered the beginning of the end?”

Is this Scotland’s beginning of the end? Will the masses start to wake up to the dictatorial and totalitarian measures? Only time will tell. It might be too late. If it is the end, just don’t say you didn’t see it coming or nobody told you.

There is hope. We can learn from history and enact that famous dictum after World War II; it should never happen again. Perhaps our politicians should mediate upon the Nuremberg Code of guidelines for determining what constitutes a war crime and UNESCO Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights Article 6.

Nuremberg Code:

  1. The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential.
  2. The experiment should be such as to yield fruitful results for the good of society, unprocurable by other methods or means of study, and not random and unnecessary in nature.
  3. The experiment should be so designed and based on the results of animal experimentation and a knowledge of the natural history of the disease or other problem under study that the anticipated results will justify the performance of the experiment.
  4. The experiment should be so conducted as to avoid all unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injury.
  5. No experiment should be conducted where there is an a priori reason to believe that death or disabling injury will occur; except, perhaps, in those experiments where the experimental physicians also serve as subjects.
  6. The degree of risk to be taken should never exceed that determined by the humanitarian importance of the problem to be solved by the experiment.
  7. Proper preparations should be made and adequate facilities provided to protect the experimental subject against even remote possibilities of injury, disability, or death.
  8. The experiment should be conducted only by scientifically qualified persons. The highest degree of skill and care should be required through all stages of the experiment of those who conduct or engage in the experiment.
  9. During the course of the experiment the human subject should be at liberty to bring the experiment to an end if he has reached the physical or mental state where continuation of the experiment seems to him to be impossible.
  10. During the course of the experiment the scientist in charge must be prepared to terminate the experiment at any stage, if he has probable cause to believe, in the exercise of the good faith, superior skill and careful judgment required of him that a continuation of the experiment is likely to result in injury, disability, or death to the experimental subject.

UNESCO Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights: Article 6 – Consent

  1. Any preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention is only to be carried out with the prior, free and informed consent of the person concerned, based on adequate information. The consent should, where appropriate, be express and may be withdrawn by the person concerned at any time and for any reason without disadvantage or prejudice.
  2. Scientific research should only be carried out with the prior, free, express and informed consent of the person concerned. The information should be adequate, provided in a comprehensible form and should include modalities for withdrawal of consent. Consent may be withdrawn by the person concerned at any time and for any reason without any disadvantage or prejudice. Exceptions to this principle should be made only in accordance with ethical and legal standards adopted by States, consistent with the principles and provisions set out in this Declaration, in particular in Article 27, and international human rights law.
  3. In appropriate cases of research carried out on a group of persons or a community, additional agreement of the legal representatives of the group or community concerned may be sought. In no case should a collective community agreement or the consent of a community leader or other authority substitute for an individual’s informed consent.

The Nuremberg Code and UNESCO Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights Article 6 make for sobering reading when it comes to governmental mandates or ideas in the pipeline regarding COVID19.

Just think of face masks (especially for children), social distancing, travel restrictions, work restrictions, immunity passports and ideas about giving people a rushed out unlicensed vaccine for COVID19 (which will be indemnified) which has not been assessed for the long-term side effects.

The cult-like nature of the Brave New Normal that is COVID19 is insidiously pervading more and more aspects of our lives, with seemingly less and less science to back it up, and curiously being seen by those in power as an opportunity to reshape our society, not for our good, but for the good of those in power.

Perhaps we should all think about what all this means for us, our children, our grandchildren and democracy in the UK and wider world.

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Dr Bruce Scott is a Psychoanalyst in Edinburgh/Scottish Borders who trained with the Philadelphia Association, London. He is the author of Testimony of Experience: Docta Ignorantia and the Philadelphia Association Communities (2014) and a contributor to RD Laing: 50 Years since the Divided Self (2012, edited by Theodor Itten and Courtenay Young), both published by PCCS Books Ltd. He is also the English language Edition Editor of Psychotherapy with life: intensive therapeutic life, by Alexander Alexeychick (2019), Published by Angelika Belolipetskaya. He can be reached through his website, twitter, youtube and bitchute.

Amid naval patrols, live military drills, island building, trade wars and diplomatic breakdown, drones are making an increasing impact on the security situation in the South China Sea and the relationship between China and the US.  Smaller nations in the region are also acquiring further reaching surveillance UAVs, while a number of states are looking to bring armed drones in to service over the next few years.

A new report from Drone Wars UK, Contested Sea, Crowded Sky, looks at the steady acquisition of drones by smaller states in South East Asia and their deployments in the South and East China Seas that are contributing to destabilisation in the region and deteriorating relations between China and the US.

Just last week, Congress received notification from The Whitehouse of a proposed sale of a maritime version of the Reaper drone to Taiwan, while US drone crews have been recently training for Reaper operations in the pacific region (“With an Eye on China, Reaper Drones Train for Maritime War”) as part of the ‘pivot away from the Middle East’.  Both incidents have greatly angered China.  Caught in a super-power stand-off, smaller states in the region also have security concerns regarding contested island chains, natural resources under the sea bed and access to fishing waters. China claims many of the small island chains but most are also claimed by several smaller states. The tensions over ownership and resources are contributing to military build-up in the South and East China seas. As well as upgrading jets and naval vessels, states are investing in longer range, more persistent unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to enhance security.

For new weapons systems, South East Asian states have primarily looked to Israel, China and the US – the major drone exporters – for the latest surveillance technology and some are also investing heavily in their own capabilities, in order to acquire armed systems.

Currently, it is only China that has the capacity to operate armed drones in the region, although Indonesia has purchased Chinese CH-4B drones and is designing their own version, the MALE Elang Hitam (Black Eagle), which the manufacturers hope will be fully certified by 2024. Thailand too, are working towards an armed drone – an upgraded version of the SkyScouttactical drone.

Unarmed surveillance drones are also adding to air and maritime capabilities. The report covers the recent US deal with four South East Asian nations for Scan Eagle 2 drones, worth $47mn. Meanwhile, Taiwan, has fielded a tactical drone, the Chung Shyang 2 in 2019 for coastal monitoring.

There are also a growing number of larger drones in service, primarily Israeli exports. Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines have signed deals for or have in service Heron and Hermes models respectively. The US has also sanctioned the export of Northrop Grumman’s HALE Global Hawk to Japan and South Korea, while Singapore is exploring a future Global Hawk purchase.

The report also covers China’s drone use in South and East China Sea. Having first escalated tensions with Japan in 2013 in the East China Sea by flying the BZK-005 in contested airspace over the Senkaku/Daioyu islands, there is now a new drone programme with the Ministry of Natural Resources that observers think may be connected to the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). Either way, its gives Chinese authorities much more surveillance capacity in disputed areas where neighbouring states are also ramping up security and surveillance.

Drones make up only part of this military build-up in the South and East China Seas, where island and peninsular nations rely on other aircraft and naval vessels for security. However, drones are increasingly favoured for their wide-ranging surveillance capabilities, particularly models that can be launched from frigates, such as the Scan Eagle. China’s project with the Ministry of Natural Resources, noted above, will allow it specifically to collect surveillance from around disputed islets and reefs. And if the Japanese deal with the US for Global Hawk goes ahead, for example, this will give Japanese defence forces wide ranging and persistent surveillance potentially over disputed East China Sea territories like the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands.

Report author Joanna Frew discusses drone proliferation and the South China Sea

The problem with an increasing array of drones over these contested seas are that, although mostly unarmed (for now), they can enhance targeting capacity, can take more risks than manned aircraft and are thus more likely to be used in contested air space. However, this is not a region where state authority has broken down allowing a ‘permissive’ airspace – such as in Libya or Afghanistan and Somalia. Rather, missteps or overreach could result in serious repercussions from neighbouring states.

As the proliferation of drones continues without any international agreements on standards for use, the increasing of addition of drones in the South and East Asian region highlights how another region is succumbing to a drone race to retain a strategic advantage over neighbours and adversaries.  The reality is that drones lower the threshold for the use of force and make armed conflict more likely. Adding this dangerous technology into this highly militarised zone could fan the flames of any smouldering conflict and turn it into a conflagration.

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Global Research: Over Nineteen Years of Publishing Independent Voices

October 26th, 2020 by The Global Research Team

Dear Readers,

As freedom of speech online continues to be curtailed, running an independent counter-current news media in 2020 is no easy feat. With recent publications appearing in the mainstream media aimed at discrediting the vital work of Global Research and the independent media at large, support from our readership has never been so crucial.

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Are Face Masks Effective? The Evidence

October 26th, 2020 by Swiss Propaganda Research

First published August 4, 2020

1. Studies on the effectiveness of face masks

So far, most studies found little to no evidence for the effectiveness of cloth face masks in the general population, neither as personal protective equipment nor as a source control.

  1. A May 2020 meta-study on pandemic influenza published by the US CDC found that face masks had no effect, neither as personal protective equipment nor as a source control.
  2. A July 2020 review by the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medince found that there is no evidence for the effectiveness of cloth masks against virus infection or transmission.
  3. A Covid-19 cross-country study by the University of East Anglia came to the conclusion that a mask requirement was of no benefit and could even increase the risk of infection.
  4. An April 2020 review by two US professors in respiratory and infectious disease from the University of Illinois concluded that face masks have no effect in everyday life, neither as self-protection nor to protect third parties (so-called source control).
  5. An article in the New England Journal of Medicine from May 2020 came to the conclusion that cloth face masks offer little to no protection in everyday life.
  6. A July 2020 study by Japanese researchers found that cloth masks “offer zero protection against coronavirus” due to their large pore size and generally poor fit.
  7. A 2015 study in the British Medical Journal BMJ Open found that cloth masks were penetrated by 97% of particles and may increase infection risk by retaining moisture or repeated use.

Additional aspects:

Japan, despite its widespread use of face masks, experienced its most recent influenza epidemic with more than 5 million people falling ill just one year ago, in January and February 2019. However, unlike SARS-2, the influenza virus is transmitted by children, too.

Several countries and states that introduced mandatory face masks on public transport and in shops in early summer, such as California and Argentinia, nevertheless saw a strong increase in infections from July onwards, indicating a low effectiveness of mask policies.

There is increasing evidence that SARS-2 is transmitted, at least indoors, not only by droplets but also by smaller aerosols. However, due to their large pore size, cloth masks cannot filter out aerosols.

The WHO admitted to the BBC that its June 2020 mask policy update was due not to new evidence but “political lobbying”:

“We had been told by various sources WHO committee reviewing the evidence had not backed masks but they recommended them due to political lobbying. This point was put to WHO who did not deny.” (Deborah Cohen, BBC Medical Corresponent).

2. Studies claiming face masks are effective

Some recent studies argued that cloth face masks are indeed effective against the new coronavirus and could at least prevent the infection of other people. However, most of these studies suffer from poor methodology and sometimes show the opposite of what they claim.

Typically, these studies ignore the effect of other measures, the natural development of infection numbers, changes in test activity, or they compare countries with very different conditions.

An overview:

  1. A German study claimed that the introduction of compulsory masks in German cities had led to a decrease in infections. But the data does not support this: in some cities there was no change, in others a decrease, in others an increase in infections (see graph below). The city of Jena was an ‘exception’ only because it simultaneously introduced the strictest quarantine rules in Germany, but the study did not mention this.
  2. A study in the journal PNAS claimed that masks had led to a decrease in infections in three hotspots (including New York City). This did not take into account the natural decrease in infections and other measures. The study was so flawed that over 40 scientists recommended that the study be withdrawn.
  3. A US study claimed that mandatory masks had led to a decrease in infections in 15 states. The study did not take into account that the incidence of infection was already declining in most states at that time. A comparison with other states was not made.
  4. A Canadian study claimed that countries with mandatory masks had fewer deaths than countries without mandatory masks. But the study compared African, Latin American, Asian and Eastern European countries with very different infection rates and population structures.
  5. A much-cited meta-study in the journal Lancet claimed that masks “could” lead to a reduction in the risk of infection, but the studies considered mainly hospitals (Sars-1), medical (not cloth) masks, and the strength of the evidence was reported as “low”.

Mandatory masks in German cities: no relevant impact. (IZA 2020)

3. Risks associated with face masksWearing masks for a prolonged period of time is not harmless, as the following evidence shows:

  1. The WHO warns of various “side effects” such as difficulty breathing and skin rashes.
  2. Tests conducted by the University Hospital of Leipzig in Germany have shown that face masks significantly reduce the resilience and performance of healthy persons.
  3. A German psychological study with about 1000 participants found “severe psychosocial consequences” due to the introduction of mandatory face masks in Germany.
  4. The Hamburg Environmental Institute warned against the inhalation of chlorine compounds in polyester masks as well as problems in connection with disposal.
  5. The European rapid alert system RAPEX has already recalled 70 mask models because they did not meet EU quality standards and could lead to “serious risks”.
  6. In China, two boys who had to wear a mask during sports classes fainted and died.
  7. In the US, a car driver wearing an N95 (FFP2) mask fainted and crashed into a pole.

Conclusion

Cloth face masks in the general population might be effective, at least in some circumstances, but there is currently little to no evidence supporting this proposition. If the SARS-2 virus is indeed transmitted via aerosols, at least indoors, cloth masks are unlikely to be protective.

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On October 23, Sudan became the third Arab state to normalize relations with Israel.

The UAE in August and Bahrain last month took this step — what Hamas called “a stab in the back of the Palestinian cause…serv(ing) only the Israeli occupation and crimes.”

A Palestinian Authority (PA) statement also slammed what it called surrendering to Israeli occupation and annexation of West Bank territory.

Following Sudan’s announced normalization with Israel, the PA “condemn(ed) and reject(ed)” it.

Hamas called on the Sudanese people to “fight all forms of normalization and have nothing to do with the criminal enemy.”

The Trump regime arranged the deal through typical US pressure tactics and a benefit at a stiff price handed to Sudan’s transitional government.

Khartoum was delisted from the State Department’s state sponsors of terrorism list.

It’s comprised of nations unwilling to sell their soul to the US and its imperial allies.

Currently, they include North Korea, Iran and Syria — nonbelligerent states threatening no one.

In stark contrast, the US, other NATO countries, Israel, and their imperial partners threaten humanity by their endless wars and other hostile actions.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and chairman of the country’s transitional Sovereignty Council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan agreed to bow to the will of Washington and Tel Aviv.

They agreed to pay $335 million in compensation for two 1998 truck bomb explosions at US embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya — causing large numbers of deaths and injuries, few US citizens harmed.

When the incidents occurred, US envoys were not in the facilities.

Weeks before both incidents, Israeli intelligence told US embassy officials to ignore information suggesting a security threat to both facilities.

Security cameras were conveniently turned off. Israeli special forces and Mossad agents were first on the scene after these incidents.

At the time, bin Laden and al-Qaeda were accused of the bombings.

Bin Laden was a CIA asset, al-Qaeda a US creation. If responsible for what happened, they were acting on orders from Washington.

No evidence links Sudan to what either the US, Israel, or regimes in both countries were responsible for.

The US falsely accused bin Laden of all sorts of incidents, including 9/11, the mother of all state-sponsored false flags he had nothing to do with.

According to retired Italian Carabinieri officer Capt. Aurelio dell Acqua at the time, a diplomatic security expert:

“We don’t know yet who was at the wheel of those car bombs. But we do know that the long fuse leading to these terrorist flare-ups was lit in Israel.”

An unnamed Gulf nation official accused Israel of “staging a new regional crisis.”

The US Dar es Salaam embassy earlier was an Israeli compound.

Following a call from Trump and Netanyahu with Hamdok and Burham, a pre-drafted statement said the following:

Sudanese “leaders agreed to the normalization of relations between (their country) and Israel and to end the state of belligerence between their nations,” adding:

They “agreed to begin economic and trade relations, with an initial focus on agriculture.”

They “also agreed that delegations would meet in the coming weeks to negotiate agreements of cooperation in those areas as well as in agriculture technology, aviation, migration issues and other areas for the benefit of the two peoples.”

“The United States will take steps to restore Sudan’s sovereign immunity and to engage its international partners to reduce Sudan’s debt burdens.”

“The United States and Israel also commit to working with their partners to support the people of Sudan in strengthening their democracy (sic), improving food security, countering terrorism and extremism and tapping into their economic potential.”

It’s unclear what the US and Israel will do for Sudan, other than exploiting the country and its people.

The unacceptable deal hasn’t gone down well in Khartoum.

On Sunday, Sudanese parties rejected normalization with Israel, some officials saying they’ll form an opposition bloc against the deal they reject.

Street protests occurred over the weekend in Khartoum.

Sudan’s Popular Congress Party said the following:

“We see that our people, who are being systematically isolated and marginalized from secret deals, are not bound by the normalization agreement.”

“Our people will abide by their historical positions and work through a broad front to resist normalization and maintain our support for the Palestinian people in order for them to obtain all their legitimate rights.”

Former Sudanese Prime Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi denounced the deal, saying:

It “contradicts the Sudanese national law…and contributes to the elimination of the peace project in the Middle East and to preparing for the ignition of a new war.”

He withdrew from a state-sponsored religious conference on Saturday in protest.

Popular Congress Party leader Kamal Omar said “(t)his transitional government hijacked the Sudanese position to satisfy regional and international intelligence agencies.”

Sudanese Baath Party leader Muhammad Wadaa warned that he and other parties involved in the transitional government will withdraw support if official Sudanese normalization with Israel occurs.

Protesters in Khartoum chanted “no peace, no negotiation, no reconciliation with the occupying entity,” expressing support for Palestinians.

A statement by Iran’s Foreign Ministry said the following:

“Pay enough ransom, close your eyes on the crimes against Palestinians, then you’ll be taken off the so-called ‘terrorism’ blacklist.”

“Obviously the list is as phony as the US fight against terrorism. Shameful!”

A Final Comment

Israel’s creation and establishment of the CIA happened around the same time in the late 1940s.

The spy agencies of both countries have a long history of state-sponsored criminality.

It’s unsurprising that Israel’s dirty hands may have been all over the 1998 US embassy bombings in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi.

Maybe Mossad and the CIA partnered in what happened.

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

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In his latest book, ‘This Land – The Story of a Movement’ (Penguin, ebook version, 2020), The Guardian’s Owen Jones charts the rise and fall of Jeremy Corbyn.

Jones depicts Corbyn as a ‘scruffy,’ (p.8), ‘unkempt’ (p.50), thoroughly shambolic backbench MP, ‘the most unlikely’ (p.50) of contenders for the Labour leadership. In May 2015, Corbyn reluctantly dipped his toe in the water of the leadership contest, saying: ‘You better make fucking sure I don’t get elected’ (p.54), only to be swept away on a tide of popular support.

As this suggests, Jones argues that while Corbyn was indeed relentlessly savaged by forces both inside and outside the Labour Party – including the ‘mainstream’ media, with ‘profound hostility’ from ‘the publicly funded, professedly impartial’ BBC (p.68) – he was out of his depth, his team making constant, massive mistakes from which all progressives must learn. It is not at all inevitable, says Jones, that future leftist movements need suffer the same fate.

Much of this analysis is interesting and useful; Jones interviewed 170 insiders closest to the action, ‘people at the top of the Labour Party right down to grassroots activists’, who supply important insights on key events.

Jones portrays himself as someone who fundamentally agrees with much that motivated Corbyn, emphasising that his disagreement lies in tactics and strategy. But, once again, we note a remarkable pattern of omissions in the work of Jones, an ostensibly outspoken, unconstrained leftist, and by his serious misreading of the antisemitism furore that engulfed Corbyn.

Jones recognises that people loved Corbyn because, unusually for a UK politician, he was made of flesh rather than PR plastic; he told the truth:

‘While other contenders refused to give direct answers to questions, and were caught squirming between their principles and their political compromises, he spoke with immediacy – sometimes rambling, always authentic, always passionate.’ (p.57)

Ironically, Jones does plenty of his own ‘squirming’ between ‘principles’ and ‘political compromises’ as he airbrushes out of existence facts, views and voices that are consistently and conspicuously Guardian-unfriendly. He writes:

‘Corbynism… was woven together from many disparate strands: from people who marched against the Iraq war in 2003’ to people hit by the ‘trebling of college tuition fees in 2010’ and ‘the millions more frightened by a looming climate emergency’. (p.10)

Above all, of course, ‘Corbyn’s entire career had been devoted to foreign affairs’. (p.29) Andrew Murray of the union, Unite commented: ‘Corbyn was very prominent in the anti-war movement.’ (p.33)

Thus, deep popular outrage at the Iraq war is key in understanding Corbyn’s popularity. And yet, in discussing this central feature of the movement, Jones makes no mention at all of Julian Assange (or WikiLeaks), of Noam Chomsky, or John Pilger – the most important anti-war voices – exactly as he made no mention of them in his previous book, ‘The Establishment’, published in 2014.

Jones has not mentioned Assange in his Guardian column in the last twelve months. Indeed, his sole substantive mention came in April 2019.

Corbyn became Labour leader in 2015, but Jones mentions NATO’s catastrophic, 2011 war on Libya, opposed by Corbyn, once in passing, noting merely that Labour MP Chris Williamson had ‘supported the war in Libya’. (p.251)

Jones’ previous book, ‘The Establishment’, published three years after NATO’s assault, similarly granted ‘Libya’ a single mention, noting that UK voters were ‘Weary of being dragged by their rulers into disastrous wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya…’. (Jones, ‘The Establishment – And how they get away with it’, Penguin, ebook version, 2014, p.275. See our discussion.)

The fact that the US-UK assault resulted in mass death, ethnic cleansing, mass displacement for millions of Libyans and the destruction of the entire country was not mentioned in either book.

Elsewhere, Jones has been more forthright. In February 2011, with NATO ‘intervention’ clearly looming, he tweeted:

‘I hope it’s game over for Gaddafi. A savage dictator once tragically embraced by me on left + lately western governments and oil companies.’ (Jones, Twitter, 20 February 2011)

On 20 March 2011, one day after NATO bombing had begun, like someone writing for the ‘Soaraway Sun’, Jones commented:

‘Let’s be clear. Other than a few nutters, we all want Gaddafi overthrown, dead or alive.’ (Jones, ‘The case against bombing Libya’, Left Futures, March 2011)

Similarly, in 2012, Jones reacted to news of the killings of Syrian ministers in a bomb explosion with:

‘Adios, Assad (I hope).’ (Jones, Twitter, 18 July 2012)

After all, Jones tweeted, ‘this is a popular uprising, not arriving on the back of western cruise missiles, tanks and bullets’. (Jones, Twitter, 18 July 2012)

As was very obvious then and indisputable now, Jones was badly mistaken – the West, directly and via regional allies, played a massive role in the violence. The New York Times reported that the US had become embroiled in a dirty war in Syria that constituted ‘one of the costliest covert action programs in the history of the C.I.A’, running to ‘more than $1 billion over the life of the program’. (Mark Mazzetti, Adam Goldman and Michael S. Schmidt, ‘Behind the sudden death of a $1 billion secret C.I.A. war in Syria’, New York Times, 2 August 2017)

As though tweeting from the NATO playbook, the same Guardian columnist now analysing the peace movement supporting Corbyn, wrote:

‘I’m promoting the overthrow of illegitimate and brutal dictatorships by their own people to establish democracies.’ (Jones, Twitter, 18 July 2012)

In ‘This Land’, Jones mentions Saudi Arabia’s disastrous war in famine-stricken Yemen exactly once, again in passing:

‘…Labour MPs refused to back Corbyn’s call for a UN investigation into alleged Saudi war crimes in Yemen’. (p.81)

There is no mention of the UK’s support for these crimes since 2011, no discussion of the horrors the UK has inflicted (See our discussion). The word ‘Yemen’ was unmentioned in Jones’ previous book in 2014. To his credit, he has written several Guardian pieces on the war in Yemen, the most recent in 2018.

Gaza was mentioned once, in passing, in Jones’ previous book and three times, in passing, in ‘This Land’. Our media database search found that, since he joined the Guardian in March 2014, Jones has made three substantive mentions of Gaza, in 2014 (a philosophical piece focusing on ‘How the occupation of Gaza corrupts the occupier’, with few facts about the situation in Gaza) a brief piece here, and one in 2018 (with a single paragraph on Gaza).

‘This Land’ simply ignores the Western propaganda wars on Iran and Venezuela.

Remarkably, while recognising the role of climate fears in the rise of Corbyn and discussing the UK’s ‘Climate Camp’ in the late 2000s, Jones makes no mention of Extinction Rebellion or of Greta Thunberg, both strongly supported by Corbyn, further fuelling popular support for his cause.

There is no mention of the Guardian’s lead role in destroying Corbyn; although, ironically, Jones does celebrate the fact that, ‘I wrote the first pro-Corbyn column to appear in the mainstream media: a Guardian piece’. (p.53)

The silence is unsurprising. In 2017, Jones tweeted:

‘I’m barred from criticising colleagues in my column.’ (Jones, Twitter, 19 November 2017)

He wasn’t joking:

‘Guardian colleagues aren’t supposed to have these public spats…’

Of his own opposition to Corbyn, in the Guardian and elsewhere, Jones writes:

‘Although I voted for him again in 2016, I had a period of disillusionment before the [June 2017] general election – something which still riles his most ardent supporters.’ (p.14)

In fact, the ‘period of disillusionment’ was extensive and began long before the 2017 election. In July 2016, fully one year earlier, Jones wrote:

‘As Jeremy Corbyn is surrounded by cheering crowds, Labour generally, and the left specifically, are teetering on the edge of looming calamity.’

He added:

‘As things stand, all the evidence suggests that Labour — and the left as a whole — is on the cusp of a total disaster. Many of you won’t thank me now. But what will you say when you see the exit poll at the next general election and Labour is set to be wiped out as a political force?’

Similar comments followed in February, March and April 2017. For example:

‘My passionate and sincere view is Jeremy Corbyn should stand down as soon as possible in exchange for another left-wing MP being allowed to stand on for leadership in his place: all to stop both Labour and the left imploding, which is what is currently on the cards.’ (Jones: ‘“I don’t enjoy protesting – I do it because the stakes are so high”’, Evening Standard, 3 February 2017)

Blaming The Victim – The Great, Fake Antisemitism Scandal

Time and again, Jones criticises the Corbyn leadership for failing to deal adequately with antisemitism claims: ‘there was no coherent strategy within the leader’s office on how to tackle claims of antisemitism’. (p.227)

While Jones accepts that there were ‘bad-faith actors opposed to Corbyn’s policies’, his emphasis is focused elsewhere: ‘ultimately there were severe and repeated errors by the leadership, which resulted from those two characteristic failings: a lack of both strategy and emotional intelligence’. (p.254)

Remarkably, Jones concludes that the crisis ‘need never have happened’. (p.254)

This is nonsense. The crisis had to happen because sufficiently powerful forces within the Labour Party and Conservative Party, and across the corporate media ‘spectrum’, were determined to make it happen.

Compare Jones’ account with that of Norman Finkelstein, whose mother survived the Warsaw Ghetto, the Majdanek concentration camp and two slave labour camps. Finkelstein’s father was a survivor of both the Warsaw Ghetto and the Auschwitz concentration camp. In an interview with RT in May, Finkelstein commented:

‘Corbyn, he did not present a threat only to Israel and Israel’s supporters, he posed a threat to the whole British elite. Across the board, from the Guardian to the Daily Mail, they all joined in the new anti-semitism campaign. Now that’s unprecedented – the entire British elite, during this whole completely contrived, fabricated, absurd and obscene assault on this alleged Labour anti-semitism, of which there is exactly zero evidence, zero.’

He added:

‘Yeah, there’s some fringe members of Labour who, you know, play the anti-semitic [interrupted by interviewer]… I read the polls, I read the data – it hovers between six and eight per cent are hardened anti-semites in British society. It’s nothing! Yeah, so there are a few crazies, but there’s no “institutionalised” anti-semitism in the British Labour Party. There’s no threat of anti-semitism in British society. I’ve read all the data, I’ve studied it closely. It just doesn’t exist. It’s all being designed and manipulated… I don’t believe in conspiracy theories, as you know, but this is a conspiracy.’

Jones accepts that ‘the former leadership and the vast majority of Labour’s membership abhor antisemitism’, arguing that the problem lay with a ‘small minority’. (p.254) But Jones does not cite an October 2016 report by the Commons home affairs committee, which found:

‘Despite significant press and public attention on the Labour Party, and a number of revelations regarding inappropriate social media content, there exists no reliable, empirical evidence to support the notion that there is a higher prevalence of antisemitic attitudes within the Labour Party than any other political party.’

And he does not cite a September 2017 report by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, which found:

‘Levels of antisemitism among those on the left-wing of the political spectrum, including the far-left, are indistinguishable from those found in the general population… The most antisemitic group on the political spectrum consists of those who identify as very right-wing: the presence of antisemitic attitudes in this group is 2 to 4 times higher compared to the general population.’

Instead, Jones pours scorn on leftists who ‘still were in denial, claiming that the antisemitism crisis had been entirely manufactured by a media “out to get” Corbyn…’ (p.254)

Rational commentators have always accepted that antisemitism exists within the Labour Party. The point is that making that ugly reality a ‘crisis’ specifically for Labour, rather than for other parties and other sectors of society, and above all making it a ‘crisis’ for Corbyn – reviled as a dangerous antisemite – was entirely manufactured.

Jones cites ‘the passionately anti-Corbyn editor of the Jewish Chronicle’, Stephen Pollard, who grotesquely claimed to perceive ‘nudge, nudge’ (p.253) antisemitism in one of Corbyn’s self-evidently anti-capitalist critiques. Such outlandish claims, Jones notes, only encouraged leftists to believe the whole furore was a smear campaign:

‘It was a vicious circle, and it turned to nobody’s benefit – least of all Corbyn’s, while causing more hurt and distress to Jewish people.’ (p.253, our emphasis)

But this is absurd. Quite obviously, the smear campaign was to the very real benefit of the political and media forces trying to crush Corbyn’s version of socialism.

The claims targeting Corbyn were fake and they depended on ignoring as non-existent a mountain of evidence indicating that Corbyn is a passionate, committed and very active anti-racist. What is so outrageous is that this was accepted by essentially everyone before Corbyn stood for the leadership in 2015. As Jones comments:

‘Anti-racism is core to Corbyn’s sense of identity. He believes, proudly, that he has fought oppression all his life, so being labelled a racist was a cause of profound personal trauma to him.’ (p.228)

Corbyn’s chief of staff, Karie Murphy, commented on the impact of the smear campaign:

‘This was a man who was beyond broken-hearted, that, as a proud antiracist campaigner, he was being accused of racism. So he was paralysed… It wasn’t true – no one will convince me that he has an antisemitic bone in his body…’ (p.242)

Genuine racists are not left ‘beyond broken-hearted’ by claims that they are racist. They are not ‘paralysed’ by a sense of injustice and grief.

Jones comments on Corbyn: ‘no one close to him believes for a moment that he would ever willingly associate with a Holocaust denier’. (p.222) And Corbyn ‘could point to an extensive record opposing antisemitism and showing pro-Jewish solidarity’ (p.221). Jones lists some of Corbyn’s efforts in this regard: helping to organise a counter-mobilisation to a demonstration by National Front fascists in the so-called Battle of Wood Green in 1977; taking part in a campaign to save a Jewish cemetery from being sold off to property developers in 1987, calling on the British government to settle Yemeni Jewish refugees in 2010.

Before the sheer intensity of propaganda caused most commentators to find truth in lies, Corbyn’s deep-rooted opposition to racism was simply unquestioned. Chris Mullin, who did not vote for Corbyn to either become or remain leader, commented:

‘I’ve always liked him as long as I’ve known him. He’s a thoroughly decent human being, almost a saintly man.’ (p.30)

As Jones writes of Corbyn at the time he stood for the leadership in 2015:

‘Corbyn had no personal enemies. Everyone liked him. Relentlessly cheerful, endlessly generous with his opponents, he exuded integrity.’ (pp.50-51)

Despite this, Jones says of the antisemitism crisis:

‘The damage to Corbyn’s Labour was grievous. The crisis led to months of media coverage.’ (p.254)

In fact, the media coverage was the crisis! It was this real crisis that was the cause of the ‘crisis’. The antisemitism ‘crisis’ was just one more fabrication by an awesomely corrupt and immoral media system willing to throw, not just the kitchen sink, but – God help us! – Nazi gas chambers at Corbyn.

The key to understanding the anti-semitism ‘scandal’ was explained by Jones himself:

‘Anybody who knows anything about the British press knows that it is almost unique in the Western world for its level of commitment to aggressively defending and furthering right-wing partisan politics… the media onslaught that greeted his [Corbyn’s] leadership win in 2015 was as predictable as it was unrelentingly hostile.’ (p.67)

Jones lists only a few of the endlessly fabricated stories used to smear Corbyn: he supposedly planned to ‘abolish’ the army, refused to bow his head on Remembrance Day, danced happily on Remembrance Day, didn’t sing the national anthem loudly enough, and so on. The London School of Economics reported in 2016:

‘the British press systematically delegitimised Jeremy Corbyn as a political leader’ through a ‘process of vilification that went beyond the normal limits of fair debate and disagreement in a democracy’. (p.68)

Corbyn’s great anti-semitism ‘scandal’ was a non-story, a fabricated non-event, a Soviet-style propaganda smear. Sufficient numbers of people wanted it to be true because they wanted to be rid of Corbyn. Everyone else bowed their heads to avoid being subject to the same career-destroying smears.

Jones often mentions Len McCluskey, general secretary of the Unite Union, in ‘This Land’. McCluskey commented in the New Statesman last week on Corbyn’s press chief Seumas Milne and chief of staff Karie Murphy:

‘Having given a brilliant and detailed polemic of the history of anti-Semitism, he [Jones] veers away to lay blame at the [door of] Milne and Murphy, based on a distorted view of what it was like trying to deal with the constant daily attacks.

‘When you are in a war – and be under no illusion, from day one of his leadership, Corbyn was subjected to an internal and external war – you develop methods of defence and attack that change by necessity almost on a daily, if not hourly basis.  Being in your living room, observing with a typewriter, is a damn sight easier than being in the ditches on the front line, trying to dodge bullets flying at you from all angles, especially from your own side.’

Establishment forces were out to destroy Corbyn with antisemitism, or whatever else they could think of, no matter what he did, how he replied. And it worked. The incompetence of Corbyn’s team may have made things worse, but the truth that matters is that a form of ruthless fascism arose out of British society to crush an attempt to create a more democratic politics.

Needless to say, Jones has not one word to say about the lead role of his employer, the Guardian, in the antisemitism smear campaign.

Conclusion

Why do we focus so intensely on popular progressives like Owen Jones, George Monbiot and loveable, NATO-loving loon Paul Mason?

The reason is that they breathe life into the faded dream that progressive change can be achieved by working within and for profit-maximising corporations that are precisely the cause of so many of our crises. Even the best journalists cannot tell the truth within these undemocratic systems of top-down power. As Jones freely admits, they have to compromise, to self-censor. Guardian colleagues may not be criticised! Ultimately, they have to compromise in ways that allow the state-corporate status quo to thunder on.

Our most celebrated public radicals – almost all of them made famous by corporate media – function as dissident vaccines that inoculate the public against a pandemic of authentic dissent.

Corporate media are careful to incorporate a tiny bit of progressive poison, so that we all hang around for a whole lot of propaganda-drenched news and commentary, and a perma-tsunami of unanswered corporate advertising persuading us that status consumption, status production and paper-thin concern for the problems of our world are all there is.

Ultimately, corporate dissidents are the final nail in the corporate coffin, normalising the blind, patently doomed rush to disaster called ‘business as usual.’

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Selected Articles: Capitalism Is Double-billing Us

October 26th, 2020 by Global Research News

Capitalism Is Double-billing Us: We Pay from Our Wallets Only for Our Future to be Stolen from Us

By Jonathan Cook, October 26 2020

As we shall see, externalities mean someone other than the company itself pays the true cost behind its profits, either because those others are too weak or ignorant to fight back or because the bill comes due further down the line.

Sesame Street Offers “New Normal” Brainwashing for the Very Young and Vulnerable

By John C. A. Manley, October 26 2020

This clumsy puppet also makes a guest appearance on World Economic Forum’s The Great Reset Podcast where he offers more dehumanizing advice to lonely and depressed children.

The Global Takeover Is Underway

By Dr. Joseph Mercola, October 26 2020

The World Economic Forum public relations video, “8 Predictions for the World in 2030,” short as it may be, offers a telling glimpse into what the technocratic elite has in store for the rest of us.

FDA Lets Pfizer Test Experimental COVID-19 Vaccine on U.S. Children

By Children’s Health Defense, October 26 2020

Pfizer announced that it had received FDA permission to administer the unproven vaccine to children as young as 12, becoming the first company in the U.S. to include young participants in Phase 3 trials.

Will the Next Head of the WTO Impose a Gates-Davos “Great Reset” Agenda?

By F. William Engdahl, October 25 2020

She presently heads an organization created by the seeming omnipresent (not omniscient) Bill Gates together with the Davos World Economic Forum—both involved in implementing the Great Reset–and she is deeply tied to the prime institutions of globalization and international finance. 

“Democracy” vs. COVID: A No-Go. The Great Reset is the Antidote of Democracy

By Peter Koenig, October 25 2020

On 21 October 2020, the German Press Agency (dpa) reports that Germany pledges NATO soldiers for possible Covid-19 operations.

US-China Confrontation: The Hijacking of the United Nations Security Council Continues

By Carla Stea, October 25 2020

The Security Council meeting on October 5th, 2020, during the Russian Presidency,  is a dramatic demonstration of US and allied manipulations and falsifications, the very manipulations and falsifications they accuse China of.

Video: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.: International Message for Freedom and Hope

By Robert F. Kennedy Jr, October 26 2020

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Chairman of Children’s Health Defense, provides an inspirational message for freedom and hope to activists around the world.

Coronavirus: Killer Virus or Common Flu

By Michael WelchDr. Sucharit Bhakdi, and Prof Mark Crispin Miller, October 24 2020

This is part one of a special series devoted to the global pandemic that has coordinated an unprecedented attack on lives and civil liberties everywhere. In this chapter, we have two guests concluding that the threat is not nearly catastrophic as to demand lock-downs and masks.

50 Years Ago: The Assassination of René Schneider, Chile’s Constitutionalist General

By Adeyinka Makinde, October 26 2020

The assassination of Chilean General René Schneider who died on October 25th 1970 from wounds sustained in an an attack three days earlier is worth recalling because of his stand in protecting the constitutional process in his country, as well the circumstances of his murder.

Impunity and Carefree Violence: Australia’s Special Forces in Afghanistan

By Dr. Binoy Kampmark, October 26 2020

In 2016, Australian Major General Jeff Sengelman approached the then chief of the Australian army Lieutenant General Angus Campbell with a nagging worry. The concern lay in allegations that Australian special forces had committed various war crimes in Afghanistan. 

Death, Money, and the Dueling Frauds: Trump and Biden

By Edward Curtin, October 25 2020

Only people who still believe in professional wrestling would think these clowns don’t work for the same bosses – the Umbrella People, aka the power elites, the national security state, etc., who own the country and choose their stooges to represent their interests in the White House.

The assassination of Chilean General René Schneider who died on October 25th 1970 from wounds sustained in an an attack three days earlier is worth recalling because of his stand in protecting the constitutional process in his country, as well the circumstances of his murder.

He was a pro-democratic military official who affirmed that the role of the armed forces should be apolitical. During a General Staff meeting on July 23rd 1970, Schneider said the following:

The armed forces are not a road to political power nor an alternative to that power. They exist to guarantee the regular work of the political system and the use of force for any other purpose than its defence constitute high treason.

Schneider had issued this powerful statement at a time when there was agitation within the Chilean army to block the confirmation of Salvador Allende, a Marxist-influenced politician, as the President-elect of Chile. It came to be known as the “Schneider Doctrine”.

His murder, at the hands of a right-wing faction of the army led by General Roberto Viaux, a retired officer who had previously engineered a mutiny over soldiers pay and conditions, was a state-sponsored enterprise involving the United States Central Intelligence Agency with the knowledge of Henry Kissinger, the National Security Advisor during the Nixon presidency.

The “Schneider Doctrine” would be challenged and finally destroyed on September 11th 1973, when a violent military coup deposed President Allende and brought to power a military dictatorship led by General Augusto Pinochet. And on March 30th 2004, Schneider’s murder was the subject of a legal complaint brought by his estate against Kissinger in the United States. The action was dismissed and finally ended in 2006.

The threat of the rise of governments which could be perceived as anti-American in Latin America, had of course obsessed the United States for decades before the enunciation of the Schneider Doctrine. The Monroe Doctrine, through which the United States demarcated its Western Sphere of influence, applied not only to the old European powers but to the emerging power of the USSR. The reported plan by the Socialist Junta to confiscate wealth while operating a soviet form of government caused a great deal of apprehension in Washington when the Government Junta of Chile was established in June 1932. American interventions in Latin America were persistent and in the Cold War era, Allende, who pursued a policy of nationalisation, and who was a self-described “implacable enemy of Yankee imperialism” drew the ire of the United States which subsequently aided his overthrow.

Although the era of the military junta appears to be in the distant past, the relevance of the Schneider Doctrine remains. The military coup which overthrew Honduran president Manuel Zelaya in 2009, has been followed more recently by the pivotal role played by the Bolivian military in securing the resignation and resulting exile of President Evo Morales, as well as President Jair Bolsonaro raising the prospect of military intervention in Brazil to protect his hold on power.

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Adeyinka Makinde is a writer based in London, England. He writes on his blog site where this article was originally published.

Featured image: Chilean Stamp commemorating the second anniversary of the death of General Rene Schneider (Source: author)

The Event Horizon: Homo Prometheus and the Climate Catastrophe

October 26th, 2020 by Dr. Andrew Glikson

In his new book, “The Event Horizon: Homo Prometheus and the Climate Catastrophe”, Dr. Andrew Glikson discusses the impact of the mastery of fire, presents global climate change and its consequences and provides projections of future evolution.

About the book

With the advent of global warming and the nuclear arms race, humans are rapidly approaching a moment of truth. Technologically supreme, they manifest their dreams and nightmares in the real world through science, art, adventures and brutal wars, a paradox symbolized by a candle lighting the dark yet burning away to extinction, as discussed in this book. As these lines are being written, fires are burning on several continents, the Earth’s ice sheets are melting and the oceans are rising, threatening to flood the planet’s coastal zones and river valleys, where civilization arose and humans live and grow food.

With the exception of birds like hawks, black kites and fire raptors, humans are the only life form utilizing fire, creating developments they can hardly control. For more than a million years, gathered around campfires during the long nights, mesmerized by the flickering life-like dance of the flames, prehistoric humans acquired imagination, a yearning for omnipotence, premonitions of death, cravings for immortality and conceiving the supernatural. Humans live in realms of perceptions, dreams, myths and legends, in denial of critical facts, waking up for a brief moment to witness a world that is as beautiful as it is cruel. Existentialist philosophy offers a way of coping with the unthinkable. Looking into the future produces fear, an instinctive response that can obsess the human mind and create a conflict between the intuitive reptilian brain and the growing neocortex, with dire consequences. As contrasted with Stapledon’s Last and first Man, where an advanced human species mourns the fate of the Earth, Homo sapiens continues to transfer every extractable molecule of carbon from the Earth to the atmosphere, the lungs of the biosphere, ensuring the demise of the planetary life support system.”

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Andrew Yoram Glikson, an Earth and paleo-climate scientist at the Australian National University, studied geology at the University of Jerusalem and graduated at the University of Western Australia. He conducted geological surveys of the oldest geological formations in Australia, South Africa, India and Canada, underpinning the effects of large asteroid impacts, including their effects on the atmosphere and oceans and the mass extinction of species. Since 2005 he studied the relations between climate and human evolution.


coverThe Event Horizon: Homo Prometheus and the Climate Catastrophe

Author: Andrew Glikson

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-54734-9

Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-54733-2

Number of Pages: XI, 134

Click here to order.

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Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s recent comments regarding his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron’s mental state has led to the recall of the French ambassador from Ankara. His assertion that Macron was “in need of mental health treatment” was not his first barb aimed at the French president. Back in August, he accused Macron of having “colonial aims” in Lebanon and referred to Macron’s visit to Beirut as a “spectacle”. But if there is any truth to Erdogan’s accusation, it is almost certainly a case of psychological projection. Erdogan himself has been explicitly engaged in a perennial quest aimed at restoring Turkish grandeur and influence to the great cost and the irritation of his country’s neighbours and traditional allies. 

That Recep Erdogan would be sensitive to comments construed as anti-Muslim in sentiment, is not particularly surprising. He is by all accounts a devout Muslim. Further, many consider his ideological roots when he began a path into politics as akin to that professed by members of the Muslim Brotherhood. He is today perceived by many to be an al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun in a suit.

But his publicly uttered umbrage at President Macron’s speech cannot merely be interpreted as a spontaneous reaction of a pious statesman. His failure to express regret over the beheading of a French History teacher by an Islamist student who was offended by the display of two cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad alongside other cartoons during a discussion on freedom of speech speaks volumes. Those who know the man well will be bound to see it as a calculated move geared toward building up his image at home, as well as promoting himself as a righteous leader of the Muslim world.

Erdogan is a man who is adept at self-promotion. He is also consistently involved in one or other conspiratorial endeavour aimed at expanding Turkey’s geopolitical sphere of influence. It is neither inaccurate nor lazy to attribute his agenda as being that of attempting to facilitate the emergence of a neo-Ottoman state.

Yet, all his designs have so far ended in failure.

His attempt at weaving this Ottoman dream in Central Asia went awry in the 2000s because his Turkic cousins wanted more money than Erdogan could afford. Erdogan was knee-deep in the attempt to balkanise Syria in concert with the Saudis, Israelis, and US-led NATO states. But this was frustrated by the actions of Russia, Iran, and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah. More recently, Erdogan tried to bolster his prestige at home by asserting a Turkish sphere of influence across the Mediterranean by threatening the Greeks and intervening in the Libyan mess created by NATO’s overthrow of Gaddafi. He was frustrated in this endeavour not only by Egyptian and Greek actions which called his bluff, but also by Macron’s stated intent to militarily oppose any overt acts of Turkish aggression in the region.

Ever the troublemaker, Erdogan has been revealed as an active backer of the Azeri attack on Armenian-controlled Nagorno Karabakh, an action that has brought back memories among the Armenian populace and the Armenian Diaspora of the Ottoman orchestrated anti-Armenian genocide of the early 20th century.

Back in July, Erdogan’s decision to sign a decree which will turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque will signal the final nail on Christendom in what used to be the Christian city of Constantinople. An ineradicable opportunist, he likely chose this moment in time to capitalise on the recent schism in the Eastern Orthodox Church, which is based on the geopolitical animus between Russia and Ukraine.

Through all of this he has lost friends: Erdogan has fallen out with President Bashar Assad of Syria, President Vladimir Putin of Russia, as well as the Saudis. The European Union, which Erdogan once aspired to join, has become wary of him -if not hostile- because of his intermittent attempts to extort money through the threats of coercive engineered migration. And his relationship with the United States has been poor since the 2016 coup which he believes was a NATO-backed operation using the followers of the exiled Fethullah Gulen.

Through all his adventures, he has burnt bridges as well as his fingers. The “Zero Problems with Neighbours” policy which he trumpeted at the beginning of his tenure in office has long been in tatters. But the parlous state of the Turkish economy which had been steadily contracting prior to the global recession caused by the covid-pandemic may mean that his endless scheming and posturing will not abate.

The question that now remains is when will the world be finally rid of this meddlesome and mischievous neo-Ottoman sultan?

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Adeyinka Makinde is a writer based in London, England. He has a keen interest in issues pertaining to global security. He writes on his blog site where this article was originally published. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Protests in Iraq: Corruption, Unemployment, Impoverishment

October 26th, 2020 by Stephen Lendman

Long-suffering Iraqis have legitimate grievances in the post-Saddam Hussein era.

Notably they include rampant corruption, high unemployment, impoverishment affecting millions — the nation’s youths notably affected — and lack of essential to life public services.

Saddam ruled despotically but he wasn’t all bad. According to UNESCO, he established one of the region’s best educational systems that was free to the highest levels.

Healthcare was near-universal, available in nearly all urban areas and most rural ones, according to UNICEF.

Pre-Gulf War, it ranked with the region’s best. Since that time, things changed dramatically for the worst.

For the last 30 years, the US waged wars on Iraq by hot and other means.

Sanction following the Gulf War caused about 1.5 million deaths.

Mostly young children, the elderly and infirm, about 7,000 died monthly — a US-imposed system former UN humanitarian coordinator Denis Halliday called “genocide.”

The US-launched Gulf and 2003 wars erased the cradle of civilization.

An occupied wasteland/US controlled free-trade zone replaced it.

US “shock and awe,” followed by “shock therapy” produced repression, daily killings, deprivation, mass detention and torture.

US regimes bear full responsibility for wrecking the country to plunder its resources.

Iraq under Saddam was no rose garden. Decades of US rampaging made life for the vast majority of Iraqis far worse than any time under his rule.

Before his death from imprisonment and mistreatment by US occupying forces, former Iraqi foreign minister and deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz said the following in 2013:

“There is nothing here any more. Nothing. For thirty years Saddam built Iraq, and now it is destroyed. There are more sick than before, more hungry.”

“The people don’t have services…We are all victims of America and Britain. They killed our country.”

The US killed Aziz slowly by neglect and other mistreatment, the same thing true for Iraq.

The prosperous nation of long ago no longer exists, destroyed by US rapaciousness.

Ordinary Iraqis suffered hugely since the US-orchestrated 1980s Iran/Iraq war — followed by the Gulf War, genocidal sanctions, Bush/Cheney’s aggression and its violent/chaotic aftermath to the present day.

A year after Iraqis took to the streets in 2019 because their rights and welfare were unaddressed, they’re protesting again because promises made remain unfulfilled.

In Baghdad, Basra, Najaf and elsewhere, they demand fundamental change.

Instead of addressing their justifiable concerns, security forces attacked them with tear gas, stun grenades, and other harsh tactics, making a bad situation worse.

Chanting “(o)ur our souls, we sacrifice for you Iraq,” they marched through Baghdad’s Tahrir Square.

One protester likely spoke for others, saying “(t)oday is an important day as it marks a year since October 25, 2019 and our revolution for which we gave our blood and sacrificed many martyrs.”

“On the top of our demands is holding the killers and kidnappers accountable. Justice must be achieved and we’ll keep coming until we see that.”

Other protesters gathered outside the US-controlled/heavily fortified Green Zone.

A year ago, tens of thousands of Iraqis took to the streets, hundreds killed or wounded before energy waned and relative quiet returned.

Then-Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi was forced from office. Mustafa al-Kadhimi replaced him.

According to a 2020 Arab Opinion Index survey, most Iraqis and others in the region said they don’t have enough income for their basic family needs.

Iraqi regimes give short shrift to public rights and needs.

According to Iraqi analyst Sajad Jiyad, “protests have continued for over a year and are being renewed today (because) the ruling elite (instituted) no significant reforms…”

“The size of protests have not reached the numbers from a year ago but given that the economic situation has deteriorated and trust in the political system continues to fall, it will be very likely that protests will gain momentum.”

Along with failure of Iraqi  governance to address fundamental rights and needs of all Iraqis, as long as US forces occupy the country and remain in the region, they’ll never be free from want and the threat of more Pentagon-led aggression.

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

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“Hello everybody! It’s your old pal Grover with some health tips…” begins the spindly blue monster in a Sesame Street PSA.

After teaching kids to wash their hands Grover transitions into some new normal brainwashing: “Another way for everyone to stay healthy is by practicing physical distance and staying six feet away from people in public. That is right, six cute little feet like this…”

Grover takes a step to his left, yells and slips on the soap he dropped during his hand washing class. When his furry blue head appears on camera again a pink mask is draped overtop.

“Here’s another tip to stay healthy,” he continues with dwindling scientific efficacy. “Wear a mask in public to protect yourself and others…. You should wear a mask securely on your face covering your mouth and nose. Everyone can do their part to stay healthy and…” He then slips again.

This clumsy puppet also makes a guest appearance on World Economic Forum’s The Great Reset Podcast where he offers more dehumanizing advice to lonely and depressed children in lockdown: “At first it was hard when nobody could go to school. And I could not visit my friends like Elmo or, well, even Oscar the Grouch. But then we learned to have video play time; which was a lot of fun and made us feel better.”

In Your Guide to the Great Reset, James Corbett sums up “this propaganda for the whole family” rather succinctly: “Remember kids, wash your hands, wear a mask and keep six feet away from other human beings — because they are icky, biological being that can shed their disgusting viruses around you and we have to be protected at all times. Yay!”

Rather appropriately, the Muppet Wiki says that Grover “loves to help people, but is very bad at it.” This appears to be the case when we can consider that there is no evidence social distancing works and SickKids warns it “could cause significant psychological harm.” Likewise, masks have many known and potential harms, including tooth decay. And “video play,” formerly known as “screen time,” is the very thing the Journal of Pediatrics attributes to rising obesity among teens; and the Journal of Mental Health cites as a major cause of depression among youngsters.

Hey Grover! what about time-tested health advice like running around and playing ball, eating your vegetables and getting kids to bed before nine?

Just goes to show you and your children shouldn’t take health advice from a propaganda puppet — whether it looks like a monster, government official or a newscaster.

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John C. A. Manley has spent over a decade ghostwriting for medical doctors, as well as naturopaths, chiropractors and Ayurvedic physicians. He publishes the COVID-19(84) Red Pill Posts – an email-based newsletter dedicated to preventing the powers that should not be from using an exaggerated pandemic to violate our health, livelihood and humanity. He is also writing a novel, Much Ado About Corona: A Dystopian Love Story. You can visit his website at: MuchAdoAboutCorona.ca. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

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This CTV Report confirms police violence in Poland directed against Covid Lockdown Protesters

 

Protesters gathered without face masks, saying curbs are not needed and holding up banners saying “Let us work, and let us decide on our own.”

Police responded with force, including tear gas, on several occasions. Protests are banned in light of the pandemic, Warsaw police spokesman Sylwester Marczak said, adding some in the crowd were aggressive at times. CTV

 

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Our thanks to Julian Rose for bringing this to our attention.

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Since the re-election of Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko on August 9, deemed a rigged election by the West, protests have persisted for nearly three months. Led by opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the protests do not only continue to persist, but neighboring countries are actively intervening in the domestic affairs of Belarus in the hope that Lukashenko will be toppled, and thus, in their view, weaken Russian influence.

Just days after the election, a faction of the Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats in the Seimas, the unicameral parliament of Lithuania, called for the immediate announcement of Lithuanian sanctions against 39 of the most influential representatives of the “Alexander Lukashenko regime,” as they termed it.

“Lithuania must clearly, quickly and unambiguously formulate and consolidate strategic provisions for the Belarusian regime at the European Union and transatlantic level, be an icebreaker in the fight for freedom and against tyranny. Sanctions must also send a signal to other influential members of the regime that continue to support Lukashenko, will mean a stalemate and further sanctions against a wider range of the current elite,” said leader of the Seimas opposition, Gabrielius Landsbergis.

With full backing from the opposition, decision makers in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius achieved complete unanimity to pressure Belarus on behalf of NATO and the European Union. Taking on the so-called responsibility of dealing with the situation in Belarus, Lithuania developed a plan to challenge the legitimacy of Lukashenko by providing visas, housing and financial support to opposition figures; promoting Belarusian activists in Lithuanian universities, including awarding educational scholarships at the expense of the Lithuanian Ministry of Education, Science and Sports; simplified employment in the Lithuanian labor market; and, free medical services.

In addition, separate assistance is also provided to the Belarusian opposition in the form of a €200,000 grant to the Belarusian European Humanitarian University, a private liberal arts university founded in Minsk in 1992 shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union. It has however been operating in exile in Vilnius since 2004 after being shut down for “unsuitable classes,” but more likely for aggressively promoting liberal ideology.

While Vilnius may be proud of its role in the Belarusian conflict, Lithuanians are beginning to realize the economic consequences of such assistance, especially since a Ukraine-style color revolution was averted and Lukashenko’s position is consolidated and secure. Despite the fact that Vilnius annually receives visible support from the European Union, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda and his government ineffectively allocates resources received towards anti-Lukashenko activities.

Social protection spending in Lithuania is among the lowest in the Europe Union while the poverty rate is among the highest. Lithuanian citizens do not have enough employment opportunities, which is why they seek for it in Western Europe. Many educated Lithuanians travel abroad for work opportunities but often end up doing mundane work, irrespective of their university qualifications. In the United Kingdom it is common to find Lithuanians doing construction, nannying or maid work. According to a statement by representatives of the Ministry of Social Security and Labor, the situation with unemployment in Lithuania is absolutely critical.

Belarusian migrant workers to the Baltic country are just worsening the situation, especially since 2,360 labor permits were issued since the beginning of the year, a significant amount considering Lithuania’s population is only about 2.7 million. This would be especially frustrating for Lithuanians considering unemployment in Belarus was 4.6% in 2019, lower than Lithuania’s 6.35%. Belarus is also capable of consistent GDP growth without having to rely on remittances unlike Lithuania which is experiencing a population decline due to immigration to the West because of the lack of employment opportunities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not been any kinder to Lithuania’s prospects as a negative trend continues in almost all sectors of the economy, including wholesale trade and retail business, transportation, food services, industrial output, the scientific and technical service sector, construction and tourism.

Vilnius’ priority in favor of the Belarusian opposition instead of Lithuanian citizens has seen a degradation of living quality. In fact, crime is beginning to explode in Lithuania, partially because of the lack of opportunities. In all of the EU, Lithuania had the second highest number of intentional homicides in 2017. It was only behind Latvia and recorded 4 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. It can only be assumed until the next release of official statistics that crime in Lithuania has only become worse as a result of the downturn in the economy because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Primary care and public health measures in Lithuania are underfunded but there is no shortage for the defense sector, whose funding is steadily growing. While Lithuania spends 2.02% of their GDP on defense, parliamentary parties signed an agreement pledging to increase the country’s defense spending to 2.5% of the GDP by 2030. An increasing military budget and prioritized funding for the Belarusian opposition will only see more Lithuanians become dissatisfied with the domestic situation.

Lithuania claims its bloated military budget is part of their NATO responsibilities and is a deterrence against Russia. Although Lithuania cannot match Russia militarily, the justification of stalling the Russians long enough so that NATO can intervene in a hypothetical war is being actively used. Of course, Russia has no ambitions of conquering the Baltic States as they would try to have us believe, but this permanent paranoia cannot be shaken off. This paranoia and servitude to Atlantic-Euro interests drives Vilnius’ anti-Lukashenko policies.

Whereas Lukashenko is believed to be a Russian puppet, he was actually far more dynamic as he attempted to balance Moscow and the West. In fact, Lukashenko often prioritized relations with the West over Moscow. However, given Belarus’ recent negative experience with the West, largely spearheaded by Lithuania, it has only forced Lukashenko to return to Russia’s sphere of influence. Effectively, rather than pressuring Lukashenko into capitulation, Lithuania has only driven him back to Moscow, thus weakening their own geopolitical positioning and failed to strengthen. While Lukashenko is secure in Minsk, Lithuanian citizens are increasingly impoverished as their government does everything it can to topple the Belarusian leader.

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This article was originally published on InfoBrics.

Paul Antonopoulos is an independent geopolitical analyst.

Featured image is from InfoBrics

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Nobel Prize for a Gene Bomb

October 26th, 2020 by Silvia Ribeiro

Alfred Nobel himself might see the irony. The 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry – named after  the inventor of dynamite and founder of one of the largest bomb factories in the world – has been awarded to researchers who developed the genetic engineering technique CRISPR-Cas9. 

Some of the applications of this technology could have such an explosive effect on nature and people that it has been called a “gene bomb”.

CRISPR itself is not an invention. It is a natural mechanism that allows bacteria to recognize viruses.  The award-winners J. Doudna and E. Charpentier, published a paper in 2012 describing a means by which this feature of bacteria could be artificially constructed, and added a construct that allows it to cut DNA:  Cas9, a “Crispr associated system”.

Risk 

The design allows genetic engineers to recognize a specific site in the DNA of an organism where CRISPR-Cas9 is introduced and cut the DNA strands at that site. In this way, geneticists can for instance, prevent gene expression and  introduce new genetic material, which then result in a new transgenic organism.

CRISPR seemed at first to be a faster and more accurate means of genetic engineering than previous approaches that had no control over the site where foreign genetic material is inserted. But it was not long before several researchers showed that CRISPR is not as accurate as the hype had claimed.

Although it can reach and modify a particular site in an organism’s  genome, the technique also alters other sites in the genome, with the potential to produce a multitude of “off-target effects”, even erasing or rearranging long sequences outside the target site, causing changes that can cause serious disease.

In 2018, a study by the Karolinska Institute (the organisation that awards the Nobel Prize for medicine), argued that manipulating human cells with CRISPR and then introducing it in humans, could increase cancer risk. Other scientific studies have argued a series of other potential harmful impacts of CRISPR use, in animals, plants and human cells, to the point that George Church, biotechnology pioneer from Harvard University, in 2019 called CRISPR “a blunt axe“, whose use is “genome vandalism”.

Since its release in 2012, and despite the bitter patent dispute that arose shortly thereafter with another US team, which also claims to have been the inventors – the technology has been licensed and applied to a large number of experiments.  These have taken place using plants, animals, human cells and even in humans (an illegal experiment in China with pregnant women, at least one of whom gave birth to twins).

Danger

Doudna and Charpentier, have made millions of dollars from patents on the technology, and have founded or have financial interests in several spin-off and other companies.

The government allocated $65 million to the US Defense Research Agency (DARPA) for the “Safe Genes” project, to defend the US against potential bioweapons that other developers could create with CRISPR. However, the line between developing bioweapons and researching how to defend against them is blurred: this program could be working on developing bioweapons as well.

This program funds research projects in the United States and other countries to develop “gene drives,” an application of CRISPR to change the laws of inheritance in sexually reproducing species in order to make engineered genes dominant in such species. For example, manipulating the genetics so that only males are born, which would quickly lead a species becoming extinct.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funds the development of this same technology, but they do not call attention to the bioweapons aspect, instead, they try to highlight only its alledged potential in health projects. The UN tried to establish a moratorium on this dangerous application, but Gates’ money sabotaged it.

Jennifer Doudna herself has stated that CRISPR has tremendously dangerous uses, even referring to a nightmare in which Hitler asks her for the CRISPR formula. Both the projects financed by DARPA and the Gates Foundation, as well as the experiments with humans, transgress fundamental ethical, ecological and political boundaries. Such developments should be prohibited.

Industry 

A more immediate threat to humanity is the pressure from transnational companies to commercially release the so-called gene editing (“new GM”) in plants and animals for the agricultural and livestock industry.

The GM industry has made a deceitful campaign to make believe that the products of technologies like CRISPR do not need to go through biosafety evaluations, or at least they should be more lax than the existing ones. They have done so in the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Honduras and Guatemala, countries that are lackeys of the GM agribusiness and in treaties with the United States.

They are now advancing these regulatory changes in further countries, by taking advantage of the limited information and restrictions due to the pandemic. The European Union, thanks to protests and a collective lawsuit put forward by La Via Campesina and other organizations, has so far stopped these changes to biosafety regulations.

CRISPR and all forms of genetic editing introduce new risks to the environment and health, so existing biosafety regulations – contrary to what the industry claims – are completely inadequate.

These new forms of manipulation must not be allowed anywhere near our food systems or into the wider environment.

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Silvia Ribeiro is a journalist and the Latin American Director of ETC Group, based in Mexico City. She is a well-known lecturer, writer, editor and educator on emerging technologies including geoengineering and biotechnology. 

Featured image is from Flickr/National Human Genome Research Institute Follow

Here is a word that risks deterring you from reading on much further, even though it may hold the key to understanding why we are in such a terrible political, economic and social mess. That word is “externalities”. 

It sounds like a piece of economic jargon. It is a piece of economic jargon. But it is also the foundation stone on which the west’s current economic and ideological system has been built. Focusing on how externalities work and how they have come to dominate every sphere of our lives is to understand how we are destroying our planet – and offer at the same time the waypost to a better future.

In economics, “externalities” are usually defined indifferently as the effects of a commercial or industrial process on a third party that are not costed into that process.

Here is what should be a familiar example. For decades, cigarette manufacturers made enormous profits by concealing scientific evidence that over time their product could prove lethal to customers. The firms profited by externalising the costs associated with cigarettes – of death and disease – on to those buying their cigarettes and wider society. People gave Philip Morris and British American Tobacco their money as these companies made those smoking Marlboros and Lucky Strikes progressively unhealthier.

The externalised cost was paid – is still paid – by the customers themselves, by grieving families, by local and national health services, and by the taxpayer. Had the firms been required to pick up these various tabs, it would have proved entirely unprofitable to manufacture cigarettes.

Inherently violent 

Externalities are not incidental to the way capitalist economies run. They are integral to them. After all, it is a legal obligation on private companies to maximise profits for their shareholders – in addition, of course, to the personal incentive bosses have to enrich themselves, and each company’s need to avoid making themselves vulnerable to more profitable and predatory competitors in the marketplace.

Companies are therefore motivated to offload as many costs as possible on to others. As we shall see, externalities mean someone other than the company itself pays the true cost behind its profits, either because those others are too weak or ignorant to fight back or because the bill comes due further down the line. And for that reason, externalities – and capitalism – are inherently violent.

All this would be glaringly obvious if we didn’t live inside an ideological system – the ultimate echo chamber enforced by our corporate media – that is complicit either in hiding this violence or in normalising it. When externalities are particularly onerous or harmful, as they invariably are in one way or another, it becomes necessary for a company to obscure the connection between cause and effect, between its accumulation of profit and the resulting accumulation of damage caused to a community, a distant country or the natural world – or all three. 

That is why corporations – those that inflict the biggest and worst externalities – invest a great deal of time and money in aggressively managing public perceptions. They achieve this through a combination of public relations, advertising, media control, political lobbying and the capture of regulatory institutions. Much of the business of business is deception, either making the externalised harm invisible or gaining the public’s resigned acceptance that the harm is inevitable.

In that sense, capitalism produces a business model that is not only rapacious but psychopathic. Those who pursue profit have no choice but to inflict damage on wider society, or the planet, and then cloak their deeply anti-social – even suicidal – actions.

Psychopathic demands 

A recent film that alludes to how this form of violence works was last year’s Dark Waters, concerning the long-running legal battle with DuPont over the chemicals it developed to make non-stick coatings for pots and pans. From the outset, DuPont’s research showed that these chemicals were highly dangerous and accumulated in the body. The science overwhelmingly suggested that exposed individuals would be at risk of developing cancerous tumours or producing children with birth defects.

There were huge profits to be made for DuPont from its chemical discovery so long as it could keep the research hidden. So that’s exactly what its executives did. They set aside basic morality and acted in concert with the psychopathic demands of the marketplace.

DuPont produced pans that contaminated its customers’ food. Workers were exposed to a cocktail of lethal poisons in its factories. The company stored the toxic waste products in drums and then secretly disposed of them in landfills where they leached into the local water supply, killing cattle and producing an epidemic of disease among local residents. DuPont created a chemical that is now everywhere in our environment, risking the health of generations to come. 

But a film like Dark Waters necessarily turned a case study in how capitalism commits violence by externalising its costs into something less threatening, less revelatory. We hiss at DuPont’s executives as though they are the ugly sisters in a pantomime rather than ordinary people not unlike our parents, our siblings, our offspring, ourselves.

In truth, there is nothing exceptional about the DuPont story – apart from the company’s failure to keep its secret hidden from the public. And that exposure was anomalous, occurring only belatedly and against great odds.

An important message the film’s feelgood ending fails to deliver is that other corporations have learnt from DuPont’s mistake – not the moral “mistake” of externalising their costs, but the financial mistake of getting caught doing so. Corporate lobbyists have worked since to further capture regulatory authorities and to amend transparency and legal discovery laws to avoid any repetition, to ensure they are not held legally liable, as DuPont was, in the future.

Victims of our bombs 

Unlike the DuPont case, most externalities are never exposed. Instead they hide in plain sight. These externalities do not need to be concealed because they are either not perceived as externalities or because they are viewed as so unimportant as to be not worth factoring in.

The military-industrial complex – the one we were warned about more than half a century ago by President Dwight Eisenhower, a former US general – excels in these kinds of externalities. Its power derives from its ability to externalise its costs on to the victims of its bombs and its wars. These are people we know and care little about: they live far from us, they look and sound different to us, they are denied names and life stories like us. They are simply numbers, denoting them either as terrorists or, at best, unfortunate collateral damage. 

The externalities of the west’s war industries are opaque to us. The chain of cause and effect is nowadays obscured as “humanitarian intervention”. And even when war’s externalities come knocking at our borders as refugees flee from the bloodshed, or from the nihilistic cults sucked into the power vacuums we leave behind, or from the wreckage of infrastructure our weapons cause, or from the environmental degradation and pollution we unleash, or from the economies ruined by our plunder of local resources, we still don’t recognise these externalities for what they are. Our politicians and media transform the victims of our wars and our resource grabs into, at best, economic migrants and, at worst, barbarians at the gate.

Snapshots of catastrophe

If we are entirely ignorant of the externalities inflicted by capitalism on victims beyond our shores, we are gradually and very late in the day waking up to some of capitalism’s externalities much closer to home. Parts of the corporate media are finally admitting that which can no longer be plausibly denied, that which is evident to our own senses.

For decades politicians and the corporate media managed to veil two things: that capitalism is an entirely unsustainable, profit-driven, endless consumption model; and that the environment is being gradually damaged in ways harmful to life. Each was obscured, as was the fact that the two are causally connected. The economic model is the primary cause of the environmental damage.

People, especially the young, are slowly awakening from this enforced state of ignorance. The corporate media, even its most liberal elements, is not leading this process; it is responding to that awakening.

Last week the Guardian newspaper prominently ran two stories about externalities, even if it failed to frame them as such. One was about micro-plastics leaching from feeding bottles into babies, and the other about the toll air pollution is taking on the populations of major European cities.

The latter story, based on new research, specifically assessed the cost of air pollution in European cities – in terms of “premature death, hospital treatment, lost working days and other health costs” – at £150 billion a year. Most of this was caused by pollution from vehicles, the profitable product of the car industry. The researchers admitted that their figure was an under-estimate of air pollution’s true cost.

 

But, of course, even that underestimate was arrived at solely on the basis of metrics prioritised by capitalist ideology: the cost to the economy of death and disease, not the incalculable cost in lost and damaged human lives, and even less the damage to other species and the natural world. Another report last week alluded to one of those many additional costs, showing a steep rise in depression and anxiety caused by air pollution. 

The other story, on baby bottles, is part of a much bigger story of how the plastics industry – whose products are derivatives of the fossil fuel industry – has long been filling our oceans and soil with plastics, both of the visible and invisible kind. Last week’s report revealed that the sterilisation process in which bottles are heated in boiling water resulted in babies swallowing millions of micro-plastics each day. The study found that plastic food containers were shedding much higher loads of micro-plastics than expected.

These stories are snapshots of a much wider environmental catastrophe unfolding across the planet caused by profit-driven industrialised society. As well as heating up the climate, corporations are chopping down the forests that don’t burn down first, ridding the planet of its lungs; they are destroying natural habitats and soil quality; and they are rapidly killing off insect populations.

These industries’ externalities are, for the time being, impacting most severely on the natural world. But they will soon have more visible and dramatic effects that will be felt by our children and grandchildren. Neither of these constituences currently has a say in how our capitalist “democracies” are being run. 

Perception managers 

Capitalism isn’t only harming us, it’s double-billing us: taking first from our wallets and then depriving us of a future. We have now entered an era of deep cognitive dissonance.

Unlike a few years ago, many of us now understand that our futures are at grave risk from changes in our environment – the effect. But the task of today’s perception managers, like those of yesteryear, is to obscure the main cause – our economic system, capitalism.

The increasingly desperate effort to dissociate capitalism from the imminent environmental crisis – to break any perception of a causal link – was highlighted early this year. It emerged that counter-terrorism police in the UK had included Extinction Rebellion, the west’s main environmental protest group, on a list of extremist organisations. Under related “Prevent” regulations, teachers and government officials are already required by law to report anyone who they suspect of being “radicalised”.

In a guide explaining the purpose of the list, officials and teachers were told to identify anyone who speaks in “strong or emotive terms about environmental issues like climate change, ecology, species extinction, fracking, airport expansion or pollution”.

Why was Extinction Rebellion, a non-violent, civil disobedience group, included alongside neo-Nazis and Islamic jihadists? A whole page is dedicated to the threat posed by Extinction Rebellion. The guide explains that the organisation’s activism is rooted in an “anti-establishment philosophy that seeks system change”. That is, environmental activism risks making apparent – especially to the young – the causal connection between the economic system and damage to the environment.

Once the story broke, the police hastily rowed back, claiming that Extinction Rebellion’s inclusion was a mistake. But more recently establishment efforts to decouple capitalism from its catastrophic externalities have grown more explicit.

Last month England’s department of education ordered schools not to use any materials in the curriculum that question the legitimacy of capitalism. Opposition to capitalism was described as an “extreme political stance” – opposition, let us remember, to an economic system whose relentless pursuit of growth and profit treats the destruction of the natural world as an uncosted externality.

Paradoxically, education officials equated promotion of alternatives to capitalism as a threat to free speech, as well as an endorsement of illegal activity, and – inevitably – as evidence of antisemitism.

Suicidal trajectory 

These desperate and draconian measures to shore up an increasingly discredited system are not about to end. They will get much worse.

The establishment is not preparing to give up on capitalism – the ideology that enriched and empowered it – without a fight. The political and media class proved that with their relentless and unprecedented attacks on Labour opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn over several years. And Corbyn was offering only a reformist, democratic socialist agenda.

The establishment has also demonstrated its determination to cling on to the status quo in its relentless and unprecedented attacks on Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who is locked away, seemingly indefinitely, for revealing the externalities – the victims – of the west’s war industries and the psychopathic behaviour of those in power.

Efforts to end the suicidal trajectory of our current “free market” system will doubtless soon be equated with terrorism, as the Prevent strategy has already intimated. We should be ready.

There can be no escape from the death wish of capitalism without recognising that death wish, and then demanding and working for wholesale change. Externalities may sound like innocuous jargon, but they and the economic system that requires them are killing us, our children and the planet.

The nightmare can end, but only if we wake up.

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This essay first appeared on Jonathan Cook’s blog: https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His books include “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

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Donald Trump, the Mr. Magoo of geopolitics, has shot his big mouth off again and incited warfare between Egypt and Ethiopia.

Trump said, according to the BBC, that Egypt cannot accept the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam that is being built on the Blue Nile, which the government of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi believes will reduce water flow to Egypt. Trump went on to crack that Egypt might “blow it up.”

The head of state of a superpower cannot afford to speak this way. What Addis Abbaba heard was that al-Sisi likely said some such thing to Trump, which the blabber-mouth-in-chief was now inadvertently making public.

Ethiopia’s foreign minister, Gedu Andargachew, angrily summoned the US ambassador in Addis Ababa, Michael Raynor, on the mat to explain Trump’s wild comments. Raynor is a career foreign service professional and must be really tired of having to explain Trump to people. Andargachew told Raynor, “It is unacceptable for the current American president to incite war between Ethiopia and Egypt.”

Egypt’s minister of water resources and irrigation, Muhmmad `Abd al-`Ati, complained last week that no progress has been made with Ethiopia on negotiations over the Renaissance Dam, despite a 2015 agreement on principles. After Trump’s comment, `Abd al-`Ati came out to blame Ethiopia for having caused the failure of Washington’s diplomatic initiative to resolve the conflict.

The two goliaths of northeast Africa are at odds over this giant dam of Ethiopia’s. There are two Niles below Sudan, which flow together as one river through Egypt up to the Mediterranean. The White Nile originates in Tanzania and is unaffected by the dam. The Blue Nile originates in Ethiopia and flows up to Sudan, where it joins the White Nile and proceeds through Egypt.

Ethiopia is building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile in its territory to generate electricity. This seems a shame because Ethiopia is rich in sunlight and wind and if it had spent as much money on wind and solar farms as it is putting into the dam, I think it could have had the electricity without putting Sudanese and Egyptians in danger of not having enough water. 

Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed maintains, like his predecessors, that the dam will not interfere with the flow of water to water-poor Egypt. It is true that if the reservoir created by the dam is filled very, very slowly, over years, the impact on the Egyptian water supply can be reduced. In wet years, thereafter, the dam should not have a significant impact on Egypt. But a recent study in Nature suggested that if there is another multi-year drought, the Renaissance Dam could act as a multiplier in reducing Egypt’s water supply.

The reservoir also has a bigger surface than the river, and as global heating advances, it could lead to substantial evaporation of precious water.

I lived in Egypt altogether something like three or four years on and off between 1976 and 2014, and I think I was rained on three times, briefly. Egypt would just be the northeastern edge of the Sahara if it were not for the Nile. Most people live along its banks. The ancient Greek historian Herodotus called Egypt “the gift of the Nile,” and he was not wrong. Egypt, with 100 million people, does not have enough water. It needs to build some solar-driven water purification plants, but has not done so yet.

Egypt did once fight a modern war with Ethiopia, in 1874-76, when Cairo had expanded south into the Sudan and beyond in search of land on which to grow cotton for the world market. The Ottoman viceroy or Khedive Isma`il prosecuted this war. I once saw some documents on it in the Egyptian archives. Egypt was decisively defeated, and the loss contributed to Ismai`il’s weakening and the loss of confidence in him of the European Powers. He was deposed in 1879.

As for the Mr. Magoo reference, I was a little afraid it was a Boomer thing that wouldn’t be any longer widely understood. But I checked and there is a new ‘Mr. Magoo’ series on CBS All-Access just this year. For those who don’t know, in the cartoon he is a near-sighted older gentleman whose inability to see clearly leads him into hilarious misunderstandings and confuses everyone around him. Whatever is wrong with Trump seems to operate similarly.

Ironically, Trump’s nickname for Jeff Sessions was ‘Mr. Magoo.’ Talk about the pot calling the kettle black:

Mr. Magoo sometimes in the cartoons imagines that he has been conscripted and caught up in a war. I don’t know if he ever provoked one.

Trump is much more terrifying, if equally cartoonish.

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Juan Cole is the founder and chief editor of Informed Comment. He is Richard P. Mitchell Professor of History at the University of Michigan. He is author of, among many other books, Muhammad: Prophet of Peace amid the Clash of Empires and The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Follow him on Twitter at @jricole or the Informed Comment Facebook Page

Featured image is a screenshot from the WaPo video above

With the victory of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) in the Bolivian elections on October 18, the de facto coup government presided over by Jeanine Áñez, has requested visas from the United States for its officials according to a US-based network.

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NBC news network journalist Tom Brokaw reported Thursday on a letter from Jeanine Áñez, in which he has requested 350 visas from the U.S. government for officials of his de facto coup government.

The report, cited by the communication platform Resumen Latinoamericano, indicates that the reason behind the request is the concern that the Bolivian de facto government has about being prosecuted by the government of President-elect Luis Arce Catacora.

The news has gone viral on social networks under the title: “Time to Escape?”

On Sunday, the candidate of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS), Luis Arce, managed to win the first round of elections in Bolivia, elections that took place 363 days after the coup d’état orchestrated by the opposition and supported by the US, after which Evo Morales resigned as President of the country.

This triumph has been possible despite the efforts of the de facto government of Jeanine Áñez, which was installed after the coup d’état of November 2019, to perpetuate itself in the government with measures such as the postponement of the elections and repression of MAS leaders and sympathizers.

Despite her attempts to prevent the return to power of the MAS in Bolivia, Áñez has even been forced to recognize Morales’ party’s resounding victory in the elections, thus ending her mandate with several unfulfilled promises and acts of crime and violence.

Now, the MAS has returned to power, after a year, with the commitment to resolve the serious problems that afflict the Andean nation, above all the economic crisis.

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Featured image is from EFE/Joédson Alves

Former intelligence officials, Democratic leaders, and media outlets dismissing the Hunter Biden story as “Russian disinformation” are spreading more Russiagate disinformation, ex-CIA officer Ray McGovern says.

Media outlets are amplifying the claims of former intelligence officials, including John Brennan and James Clapper, as well as of top Democrats, including Joe Biden and Adam Schiff, that the Hunter Biden laptop revelations are “Russian disinformation.”

They have done so even though no one from the Biden camp has disputed the authenticity of a single leaked email or document, or denied that the laptop belongs to Hunter Biden. Ray McGovern, a former career CIA officer who served as chief of the CIA’s Soviet analysts division and chaired National Intelligence Estimates, discusses the widespread disinformation about “Russian disinformation,” and why it raises new questions about the conduct and claims of the intelligence officials behind Russiagate.

Guest: Ray McGovern. Former longtime CIA officer, who served as chief of the CIA’s Soviet analysts division, chaired National Intelligence Estimates, and prepared the President’s Daily Brief. He is also the co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

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Aaron Maté is a journalist and producer. He hosts Pushback with Aaron Maté on The Grayzone. He is also is contributor to The Nation magazine and former host/producer for The Real News and Democracy Now!. Aaron has also presented and produced for Vice, AJ+, and Al Jazeera.

The Global Takeover Is Underway

October 26th, 2020 by Dr. Joseph Mercola

We bring to the consideration of our readers this important article by Dr. Mercola.

This is a controversial analysis which requires carefully debate.  

The video by the World Economic Forum (WEF) is one of the architects of  the “New Normal” Global Reset. It is presented to us a private-public partnership project.

This is what they propose as a “Solution”.  

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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • According to the World Economic Forum, by 2030 we will own nothing and be happy about it
  • Terms like “the Great Reset,” “the Fourth Industrial Revolution” and “Build Back Better” all refer to the same long-term globalist agenda to dismantle democracy and national borders in favor of a global governance by unelected leaders, and the reliance on technological surveillance rather than the rule of law to maintain public order
  • For decades, war and the threat of war have enriched the technocratic elite and kept the population going along with their agenda. Today, pandemics and the threat of infectious outbreaks are the new tools of war and social control
  • The Federal Reserve is working on a central bank digital currency (CBDC). An all-digital currency system is part of the system of social control
  • Key globalist players working on the implementation of the technocratic agenda include the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, Bill Gates and foundations such as the Rockefeller Foundation, the UN Foundation and George Soros’ Open Society Foundation, Avanti Communications, 2030 Vision and Frontier 2030, Google, Mastercard and Salesforce

The World Economic Forum public relations video above, “8 Predictions for the World in 2030,” short as it may be, offers a telling glimpse into what the technocratic elite has in store for the rest of us. This includes:

  • “You’ll own nothing” — And “you’ll be happy about it.” Instead, you’ll rent everything you need, and it’ll be delivered by drone right to your door.
  • “The U.S. won’t be the world’s leading superpower” — Instead, a handful of countries will dominate together.
  • “You won’t die waiting for an organ donor” — Rather than transplanting organs from deceased donors, custom organs will be 3D printed on demand.
  • “You’ll eat much less meat” — Meat will be “an occasional treat, not a staple, for the good of the environment and our health.”

As detailed in many previous articles, this is a foolhardy idea, not just for health reasons but also environmental ones. Integrating livestock is a foundational aspect of successful regenerative farming that can solve both food shortages and environmental concerns at the same time. For a refresher, see “Top 6 Reasons to Support Regenerative Agriculture.”

  • “You’ll eat much less meat” — Meat will be “an occasional treat, not a staple, for the good of the environment and our health.”

As detailed in many previous articles, this is a foolhardy idea, not just for health reasons but also environmental ones. Integrating livestock is a foundational aspect of successful regenerative farming that can solve both food shortages and environmental concerns at the same time. For a refresher, see “Top 6 Reasons to Support Regenerative Agriculture.”

  • “A billion people will be displaced by climate change” — As a result, countries will have to prepare to welcome more refugees.
  • “Polluters will have to pay to emit carbon dioxide” — To eliminate fossil fuels, there will be a global price on carbon. Vandana Shiva, Ph.D., discussed this in a recent interview. Rather than promoting organic and regenerative farming, the technocratic elite are pushing something called zero-budget natural farming. Bill Gates is part of this scheme.

As explained by Shiva, the wholly unnatural setup works something like this: The state takes out large loans, which are then divvied out to farmers to grow food for free. The farmers make their money not by selling their crops, but by trading their soil carbon rate on the global market.

Basically, carbon is being turned into a tradeable commodity, replacing the actual farm output of grains and other crops. Farmers with higher carbon in their soil will make more money than those with carbon-poor soil. Meanwhile, they’ll make nothing from the crops they grow.

  • “You could be preparing to go to Mars” — Scientists “will have worked out how to keep you healthy in space,” thus opening up the possibility of becoming a space-faring race and colonizing other planets.
  • “Western values will have been tested to the breaking point.”

Pandemics Are a Tool of Social Control

For decades, war and the threat of war has enriched the technocratic elite and kept the population going along with their agenda. War and physical attacks have been repeatedly used to foist ever more draconian restrictions upon us and remove our liberties. The Patriot Act, rammed through in the aftermath of 9/11, is just one egregious example.

Today, pandemics and the threat of infectious outbreaks are the new tools of war and social control. For years, Gates has prepared the global psyche for a new enemy: deadly, invisible viruses that can crop up at any time.1,2 And the only way to protect ourselves is by giving up old-fashioned notions of privacy, liberty and personal decision-making.

We need to maintain our distance from others, including family members. We need to wear masks, even in our own homes and during sex. We need to close down small businesses and work from home. We need to vaccinate the entire global population and put stringent travel restrictions into place to prevent the potential for spread.

We must track and trace everyone, every moment of the day and night, and install biometric readers into everyone’s bodies to identify who the potential risk-carriers are. Infected people are the new threat. This is what the technocratic elite wants you to believe, and they’ve succeeded to convince a shocking ratio of the global population of this in just a few short months.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term “technocracy,” be sure to go back and listen to my interview with Patrick Wood, author of “Technocracy Rising: The Trojan Horse of Global Transformation” and “Technocracy: The Hard Road to World Order.” You can also learn more on Wood’s website, Technocracy.news.

A New Digital Currency System Underway

Two of the last pieces of the totalitarian takeover will be the transition to an all-digital currency linked to digital IDs. With that, enforcement of social rules will be more or less ensured, as your finances, indeed your entire identity, can easily be held hostage if you fail to comply.

Just think how easy it would be to automate it such that if you fail to get your mandated vaccine, or post something undesirable on the internet, your bank account becomes unavailable or your biometric ID won’t allow you entry into your office building.

An August 13, 2020, article3 on the Federal Reserve website discusses the supposed benefits of a central bank digital currency (CBDC). There’s general agreement among experts that most major countries will implement CBDC within the next two to four years.

An all-digital currency system also plays into social engineering, as it can be used to incentivize desired behaviors, very similar to what China is doing with their social credit system. For example, you might get a certain amount of digital currency but you have to buy a certain item or perform a particular task within a certain timeframe.

Many uninformed people will believe that these new CBDCs will be very similar to existing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, but they would be seriously mistaken. Bitcoin is decentralized and a rational strategy to opt out of the existing central bank controlled system, while these CBDCs will be centralized and completely controlled by the central banks.

If you have been intrigued about investing in Bitcoin as a safer alternative to the stock market, but just didn’t know how or understand the process, the video below is an excellent introduction on how to do this safely without losing your funds. My favorite crypto exchange is Kraken, which has far lower fees than Coinbase.

The Globalists

While I mention Gates a lot, he’s not acting alone, of course. It just so happens that as you trace the connections between the decision-makers of the world, you’ll find him in an astonishing number of places.

For example, In October 2019, Gates co-hosted a pandemic preparedness simulation for a “novel coronavirus,” known as Event 201, along with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and the World Economic Forum.

The event eerily predicted what would happen just 10 weeks later, when COVID-19 appeared. Gates and the World Economic Forum, in turn, are both partnered4 with the United Nations which, while keeping a relatively low profile, appears to be at the heart of the globalist takeover agenda.

Gates is also the largest funder of the World Health Organization — the medical branch of the U.N., while the World Economic Forum is the social and economic branch of the U.N. Other key partners that play important roles in the implementation of the globalists agenda include:5

  • Foundations such as the Rockefeller Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Ford Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the UN Foundation and George Soros’ Open Society Foundation
  • Avanti Communications, a British provider of satellite technology with global connectivity
  • 2030 Vision, a partnership of technology giants to provide the infrastructure and technology solutions needed to realize the U.N.’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. 2030 Vision is also partnered with Frontier 2030, which is a partnership of organizations under the helm of the World Economic Forum
  • Google, the No. 1 Big Data collector in the world and a leader in AI services
  • Mastercard, which is leading the globalist charge to develop digital IDs and banking services
  • Salesforce, a global leader in cloud computing, the “internet of things” and artificial intelligence. Incidentally, Salesforce is led by Marc Benioff, who is also on the World Economic Forum’s board of directors

The Fourth Industrial Revolution Is the Technocratic Agenda

In decades past, the technocrats, the global, mostly unelected, elite that steer the management of nations worldwide, called for a “new world order.” Today, the NWO has been largely replaced with terms like “the Great Reset,”6 “the Fourth Industrial Revolution,”7 and the slogan “Build Back Better.”8

All of these terms and slogans refer to the same long-term globalist agenda to dismantle democracy and national borders in favor of a global governance by unelected leaders, and the reliance on technological surveillance rather than the rule of law to maintain public order.

As expressed by Matt Hancock, the British Minister for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, during a speech before the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Fourth Industrial Revolution in 2017:9

“One of the roles of Parliament is to cast ahead, to look to the horizon, and tackle the great challenges of our time. So, I applaud the creation of the APPG on the fourth industrial revolution, which surely is one of the greatest challenges we face, as a nation, and as a world.

The nature of the technologies is materially different to what has come before. In the past, we’ve thought of consumption as a one-off, and capital investment as additive. Yet put resources into the networks that now connect half the world, or into AI, and the effects are exponential …

I’m delighted to speak alongside so many impressive colleagues who really understand this, and alongside Professor Klaus Schwab who literally ‘wrote the book’ on the 4th Industrial Revolution. Your work, bringing together as you do all the best minds on the planet, has informed what we are doing …

Our Digital Strategy, embedded within the wider Industrial Strategy, sets out the seven pillars on which we can build our success. And inside that fits our 5G strategy, like a set of Russian Dolls.

Our Strategy covers infrastructure, skills, rules and ethics of big data use, cyber security, supporting the tech sector, the digitization of industry, and digitization of government.”

The Great Reset — A Techno-Fascist Recipe

If you listened to my interview with Wood, you will recognize the technocratic elements of Hancock’s speech: the focus on technology — in particular artificial intelligence, digital surveillance and Big Data collection (which is what 5G is for) — and the digitization of industry (which includes banking) and government, which in turn allows for the automation of social engineering and social rule (although that part is never expressly stated).

Then there’s the direct reference to professor Klaus Schwab, chairman of the World Economic Forum. Schwab is also highlighted in the June 29, 2020, Technocracy.news article,10 “The Elite Technocrats Behind the Global ‘Great Reset,” which reads, in part:11

“The UN Agenda 2030 with its Sustainable Development Goals is claimed to ‘ensure peace and prosperity for people and the planet.’ The actions are said to tackle poverty and hunger, bring better health and education, reduce inequalities, and save the oceans, forests and the climate.

Who can argue against such benevolent goals? But the promised Utopia comes with a price — it sets shackles on our personal freedom …

The leading partners of the United Nations Global Goals project reveal the real technocratic agenda that lies behind the polished feel-good façade — it involves a plan to fully integrate mankind into a technological surveillance apparatus overseen by a powerful AI.

The current pandemic scare has been a perfect trigger to kickstart this nefarious agenda … The current COVID-19 crisis is seen by the World Economic Forum and its chairman Klaus Schwab as the perfect trigger to implement their grandiose technocratic plan. Big Tech will come to ‘rescue’ the world.

In June 2020, Schwab declared … the need of a Great Reset to restore order in a world steeped in panic, conflict and economic turmoil:

‘The COVID-19 crisis has shown us that our old systems are not fit anymore for the 21st century. It has laid bare the fundamental lack of social cohesion, fairness, inclusion and equality. Now is the historical moment in time, not only to fight the real virus but to shape the system for the needs of the Post-Corona era.

We have a choice to remain passive, which would lead to the amplification of many of the trends we see today. Polarization, nationalism, racism, and ultimately increasing social unrest and conflicts.

But we have another choice, we can build a new social contract, particularly integrating the next generation, we can change our behavior to be in harmony with nature again, and we can make sure the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are best utilized to provide us with better lives.’

This techno-fascist recipe will then, in an utmost non-democratic fashion without any public debate or skeptic inquiry, soon be integrated into the agenda of G20 and the European Union — relabeled as the Great Green Deal …

Unsurprisingly, Klaus Schwab fails to mention his own and his cronies’ role in creating this global economic mess in the first place — as it was ‘foreseen’ with stunning accuracy in World Economic Forum’s and Bill Gate’s Event 201 (October 2019) and in the Rockefeller Foundation report12 Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development(2010).”

UN Calls for Nations to ‘Build Back Better’

The U.N.’s central role in the technocratic agenda is hard to miss once you start looking. As reported by the U.N.’s Department of Global Communications April 22, 2020, in an article about climate change and COVID-19:13

“As the world begins planning for a post-pandemic recovery, the United Nations is calling on Governments to seize the opportunity to ‘build back better’ by creating more sustainable, resilient and inclusive societies …

‘With this restart, a window of hope and opportunity opens… an opportunity for nations to green their recovery packages and shape the 21st century economy in ways that are clean, green, healthy, safe and more resilient,’ said UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa in her International Mother Earth Day message … It is therefore important that post-COVID-19 stimulus packages help the economy ‘grow back greener’ …

As Governments approve stimulus packages to support job creation, poverty reduction and economic growth, UNEP will help Member States ‘build back better,’ and capture opportunities for leap-frogging to green investments in renewable energy, smart housing, green public procurement and public transport — all guided by the principles and standards of sustainable production and consumption. These actions will be critical to fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Here too, we see the technocratic agenda shining through. As described by Wood (see interview hyperlinked above), technocracy is an economic system based on the allocation of energy resources, which necessitates social engineering to control the population and the technological infrastructure to automate this control.

Rather than being driven by supply and demand and free enterprise, this system is one in which companies are told what resources they’re allowed to use, when, and for what, and consumers are told what they are allowed to buy — or rather, rent, judging by the World Economic Forum video above.

If you need something, you’ll be allowed to rent it. You probably won’t even own the clothes on your back. Everything will be “fair” and “equitable.” There will be no need for hard work, ingenuity or higher-than-average intelligence. Everyone will be the same — with the exception of the technocrats themselves, of course. And in true social engineering fashion, they tell us we will be “happy” in our 24/7 enslavement to boot.

The Encroaching Dystopia

It’s important to realize that one way by which this globalist plan is being pushed forward is through the creation of new global laws. Gates already wields powerful influence over global food and agriculture policy, in addition to his influence over global health and technology (including banking and digital IDs).

The Great Reset, or the “build back better” plan, specifically calls for all nations to implement “green” regulations as part of the post-COVID recovery effort. It sounds like a worthwhile endeavor — after all, who doesn’t want to protect the environment?

But the end goal is far from what the typical person envisions when they hear these plans. The end goal is to turn us into serfs without rights to privacy, private ownership or anything else.

To get an idea of just how dystopian a future we might be looking at, consider Microsoft’s international patent14 WO/2020/060606 for a “cryptocurrency system using body activity data.” The international patent was filed June 20, 2019. The U.S. patent office application,15 16128518, was filed September 21, 2018. As explained in the abstract:16

“Human body activity associated with a task provided to a user may be used in a mining process of a cryptocurrency system. A server may provide a task to a device of a user which is communicatively coupled to the server. A sensor communicatively coupled to or comprised in the device of the user may sense body activity of the user.

Body activity data may be generated based on the sensed body activity of the user. The cryptocurrency system communicatively coupled to the device of the user may verify if the body activity data satisfies one or more conditions set by the cryptocurrency system, and award cryptocurrency to the user whose body activity data is verified.”

The U.S. patent application includes the following flow chart summary of the process:17

U.S. patent application flow chart summary

This patent, if implemented, would essentially turn human beings into robots. If you’ve ever wondered how the average person will make a living in the AI tech-driven world of the future, this may be part of your answer.

People will be brought down to the level of mindless drones, spending their days carrying out tasks automatically handed out by, say a cellphone app, in return for a cryptocurrency “award.” I don’t know about you, but I can think of better, more enjoyable ways to spend my time here on Earth.

The World Economic Forum — A Trojan Horse

I’ve mentioned the World Economic Forum multiple times already in this article, and it, along with the U.N., is at the heart of the global takeover agenda. As noted in the Canadian Truth blog post,18“World Economic Forum Wheel of Evil”:

“ … this is about two things, the implementation of the UN SDG’s [Sustainable Development Goals] and the WEF [World Economic Forum] Fourth Industrial Revolution. End game: total Technocratic lock-down where they control every aspect of our lives and all resources on the planet.”

The blog post includes the following illustration, created and released by the World Economic Forum, showing the widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global response to it. If you go to the original site for the illustration,19 you’ll also find listings of publications, videos and data relating to all of these facets.

In short, the pandemic is being used to destroy the local economies around the world, which will then allow the World Economic Forum to come in and “rescue” debt-ridden countries.

As mentioned earlier, the price for this salvation is your liberty. The World Economic Forum will, through its financial bailouts, be able to effectively control most countries in the world. And, again, one of the aspects of the technocratic plan is to eliminate nation borders and nationalism in general.

widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID — Symptoms of Power

There’s a lot more that could be said on this, but I’ve already covered many of the different aspects of the globalists agenda in other articles, including “COVID Symptoms of Power: Tech Billionaires Harvest Humanity,” “Tech Billionaires Aiming at a Global Currency,” “Harvard Professor Exposes Surveillance Capitalism,” “How Medical Technocracy Made the Plandemic Possible” and “US Surveillance Bill 6666: The Devil in the Details.”

None of it is pleasant reading, but it’s important to understand where we’re headed. We no longer have the luxury of sticking our heads in the sand and waiting for the bad news to pass.

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically widened the economic gap between average people and the wealthy elite, with billionaires raking in trillions of dollars in mere months.20,21 Without the competition from small businesses, large multinational companies have been allowed to gobble up business, expanding both their wealth and their influence, while extreme poverty has risen for the first time in two decades.22

If you think the Great Reset and the Green New Deal are going to even out this financial disparity and turn the world into an equitable Utopia, you’re bound to be disappointed. The globalist plan isn’t about creating a better world for the average person. Microsoft’s patent illustrates what the plan heralds for us.

Medical Tyranny Will Get Worse if We Let It

Click here to watch the video.

The medical tyranny and censorship of anti-groupthink that has emerged full-force during this pandemic are also part and parcel of the Great Reset. After all, if they won’t allow you to own anything, and they want to put biosensors into your body to turn you into a cryptocurrency mining minion, do you really think they’re going to let you make medical decisions for yourself?

Over the past several months, Gates has made the media rounds discussing the need to silence dissenting views and information about the virus, it’s treatment and the vaccines being made.

According to a survey cited by RT,23 less than half of all Americans now say they would not take the COVID-19 vaccine even if they were paid $100 to do it. There are good reasons for this hesitancy, as trials are starting to reveal serious side effects.

For Gates, who is funding no fewer than six different COVID-19 vaccines, this is no small problem. In an October 2020 interview, Gates urged American health officials to start “thinking about which voices will help reduce the hesitancy, so we can get a level of vaccination that really has a chance of stopping” the pandemic.24

Despite the risks associated with these novel mRNA vaccines, which have never before been approved for human use, and despite the fact that children and adolescents have a minuscule risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19, vaccine proponents like Dr. Paul Offit are now calling for children to be added to the COVID-19 trials.25 Hopefully, the number of parents willing to offer up their children as guinea pigs will be few.

In closing, keep in mind that technocracy is inherently a technological society run through social engineering. This is why there’s such a strong focus on “science.” Anytime someone dissents, they’re therefore accused of being “anti-science,” and any science that conflicts with the status quo is declared “debunked science.”

The only science that matters is whatever the technocrats deem true. Logic, however, will tell you that this cannot be so. Science is never settled. Science is never one-sided. Science can be wrong. Getting to the truth demands that an issue be looked at from many different angles.

Over the past year in particular, scientific inquiry and inquisitiveness has been censored and stifled to an astonishing degree. If we allow it to continue, the end result will be devastating.

We must keep pushing for transparency and truth. We must insist on medical freedom and personal liberty. Do not allow yourself to be bullied into silence by those who counter your objections with “anti-science” or “conspiracy-theory” slurs. The future of mankind is at stake. Be brave. Resist tyranny.

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FDA Lets Pfizer Test Experimental COVID-19 Vaccine on U.S. Children

October 26th, 2020 by Children’s Health Defense

Americans have been following COVID-19 vaccine trial developments for weeks, watching companies jockey for frontrunner status like contestants in a reality TV show. And though participants in some of the studies (by Moderna, Oxford, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer) have surfaced with reactions serious enough to pause several of the trials, market analysts remain “bullish” about the near-term prospects for approval of these liability-free products by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

On Oct. 16, Pfizer’s CEO indicated the company would likely file for FDA Emergency Use Authorization for its experimental BNT162b2 vaccine in late November. That statement came three days after Pfizer announced that it had received FDA permission to administer the unproven vaccine to children as young as 12, becoming the first company in the U.S. to include young participants in Phase 3 trials. In the UK, Oxford and AstraZeneca gained approval to test their vaccine in children aged 5-12 back in May, a couple of months before two of their adult clinical trial participants developed transverse myelitis.

To date, Pfizer has administered two doses of vaccine to almost 35,000 adult participants in five countries. Unworried by the dramatic side effects reported by some of these adults — including high fever, pounding headaches, body aches, exhaustion and shivering intense enough to crack teeth — more than 90 parents have already expressed interest in volunteering their teenagers.

Are these parents (perhaps left unemployed by coronavirus restrictions) tempted by the financial incentives offered to clinical trial participants, reportedly anywhere from $1200 to $2000? Otherwise, their motivation for wanting to throw their children into the experimental fray is unclear; as the director of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital stated, “most of the time, what a coronavirus causes is a cold” that does not even make children “sick enough to where a parent says they need to go to a doctor.”

The Cincinnati physician has, nonetheless, just started giving Pfizer’s shot to 16- and 17-year-olds (and soon to 12-15-year-olds). To entice additional young participants, he tells parents that the COVID-19 death rate in children is “not zero” — but declines to spell out that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the survival rate in those age 19 and under is 99.997%. Using similarly vague language, a Memorial Sloan-Kettering health policy expert said that a COVID-19 vaccine’s benefits for the young would likely be “secondary’ in nature” but characterized the gesture as “an act of service to help protect others.”

However, reports in Pediatrics and other journals assert that children are not a source of infection and are far more likely to acquire COVID-19 from adults “rather than transmitting it to them.” In other words, policymakers expect children to accept a risk-benefit equation heavily tilted toward risk.

Corporate bad guy

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer — the second-largest drug and biotech company in the world and the fourth-highest earner of vaccine revenues — has seen a 7% increase in its share value this year. However, though Pfizer claims to be a standard-bearer for “quality, safety and value,” it has a corporate rap sheet a mile long. Pfizer is routinely mired in controversies involving alleged price-fixing, bribery, kickbacks, tax avoidance, regulatory misdirection and other unsavory practices and has also repeatedly paid fines for environmental violations at its research and manufacturing plants.

Critics point to decades of aggressive and questionable marketing. In 2009, this behavior earned Pfizer the dubious distinction of paying the largest-ever criminal fine at the time — $2.3 billion — for fraudulent and illegal promotion of four drugs, including a painkiller marketed at “dangerously high” doses. In 2016, a British regulator levied a $106 million fine against Pfizer for a 2600% increase in the price of a widely prescribed anti-epilepsy drug that increased the National Health Services’ expenditures from one year to the next — for a single drug—from $2.5 million to $63 million.

Perhaps to compensate for its unpleasant track record, Pfizer is the top drug company spender in state elections, even outspending the industry’s own lobbying group, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRM). As a just-published analysis of drug company political spending by STAT and the National Institute on Money and Politics shows, Pfizer’s “prolific” state-level spending ($778,000 since January 2019) “mirrors its behavior at the federal level, where its [political action committee] was also the top political spender among drug companies” — roughly $1 million over the same time period. The report pointedly notes that while the amounts paid out to legislators represent a “pittance” for a company earning tens of billions a year, “those small chunks of corporate change can have a significant impact.”

Pfizer’s vaccines

Pfizer is responsible for two vaccines on the U.S. childhood and adolescent vaccine schedule: the pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar-13 (given to children under 5 and also to older adults) and the meningococcal vaccine Trumenba (approved for 10 – 25-year-olds). Package inserts link the two vaccines to a large number of serious adverse events, including anaphylaxis and other allergic reactions, severe headaches and chronic muscle and joint pain. Among the roughly 40 harms listed in the Prevnar-13 insert are sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and half a dozen other fatal outcomes.

Pfizer developed its COVID-19 vaccine — which uses experimental messenger RNA (mRNA) technology — in partnership with the German biopharma company BioNTech. Although mRNA vaccines must be stored in special ultra-low-temperature freezers that pose certain logistic obstacles, Pfizer is gung-ho on the never-before-approved approach because it bypasses the more costly and difficult methods used in traditional vaccine production. It does this by essentially turning recipients into “vaccine factories” — with long-term risks that are unknown.

Pfizer and BioNTech brought their COVID-19 vaccine candidates “from concept into clinical development” in under three months, perhaps helped along by the current Pfizer CEO’s efforts to restructure Pfizer into a more “nimble” company. At the same time, observers who now place Pfizer at the head of the pack for COVID-19 vaccines credit the company’s “well-oiled system,” remarking that “Pfizer’s incredibly organized and is always … a couple steps ahead, planning where they want to go.”

Conflicts of interest and revolving doors

In the summer of 2019, after having served as the Trump administration’s FDA commissioner for two years, Scott Gottlieb passed through the revolving door to join Pfizer’s board of directors as well as becoming a regular contributor on CNBC. For the past four decades, stepping onto pharmaceutical boards has been par for the course for departing FDA commissioners, though Gottlieb may have upped the ante by also joining the boards of the AI- and big-data-reliant genetic testing start-up, Tempus, and the biotech company Illumina.

While at the FDA, Gottlieb presided over a record number of drug approvals. According to one commentator, this “trail-blazing” FDA stint and Gottlieb’s focus on “hustling up the [drug approval] process … helped endear him to the industry, making him one of the most popular commissioners in FDA history.” As the director of a consumer watchdog group put it, “He’s basically been a shill for pharmaceutical corporations for much of his career.” Two months before stepping down from the agency, Gottlieb attracted notice when he strongly denied any link between vaccines and autism while publicly threatening that the federal government might be “forced” to intervene in states with vaccine exemptions to make vaccines mandatory across the board.

Gottlieb’s affiliation with CNBC may explain why he has been a frequent public face during the coronavirus pandemic, promoting the U.S. as a world leader in the vaccine race but also vocally endorsing measures like universal masking, universal testing and restaurant and school shutdowns. On October 19, Gottlieb dourly told Americans that the U.S. is “entering a pretty difficult period” and that “the hardest part is probably [still] ahead.” Ironically, around the same time that Gottlieb was using positive test results to hype ongoing restrictive measures, a former Pfizer vice-president and chief science officer in the UK characterized mass testing as “inappropriate,” asserting that “it is impossible for the positives to be much other than false.” Discussing the harsh policies that have been particularly disastrous for children, the former Pfizer executive agreed that they have essentially been based on “completely fake data.”

Kids at risk

Reporter Whitney Webb recently outlined how Operation Warp Speed is awarding contracts to vaccine companies through a nongovernmental defense contractor intermediary, a tactic that shields the contracts from oversight and federal regulation. Meanwhile, Moncef Slaoui — who heads up the Operation Warp Speed initiative — stated that after a round of testing in adolescents, he expects the leading coronavirus vaccines to also be tested in toddlers and babies. Parents would do well to keep their children on the sidelines of these experiments. If vaccine clinical trials, including Pfizer’s, are already generating concerning results in adults capable of describing their symptoms, what will happen when preverbal babies experience similar adverse outcomes?

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Amnesty International Condemns Johnson Government

October 26th, 2020 by True Publica

Amnesty International has catalogued how the actions of Boris Johnson’s Conservative government led to the deaths of thousands of elderly people in care homes during the first stage of the coronavirus pandemic.

Amnesty’s report was largely ignored by the media or relegated to inside pages. Yet it presents evidence that the government’s policy of herd immunity was responsible for what could easily be accepted by many families as little more than mass murder. The government was entirely aware of the probable outcome of their policy and went ahead regardless of the risk to thousands of lives.

The report, “As if expendable: The UK government’s failure to protect older people in care homes during the Covid-19 pandemic”, details how, between March 2 and June 12, 18,562 residents of care homes in England died with COVID-19. The vast majority (18,168) were aged 65 and over, representing almost 40 per cent of all deaths involving the virus in England during this time frame. Of these, 76 per cent (13,844 deaths) occurred within care homes for the elderly.

In the meantime, the care home industry is literally on the brink – with many going out of business at a crucial time. A typical story was published recently in the mainstream media about an 85-year-old resident at Newfield Nursing Home in Sheffield, where 25 people living there died with the virus after more than 110 residents and staff members tested positive. The result is that the care home is closing for good, with 38 nurses and carers facing redundancy.

And it is as if the lessons from the first wave were completely ignored, as Boris Johnson has decided that the very same strategy should take place once again.

Even the right-wing Daily Mail wrote in dismay last week – “Care homes are once again being asked to take in elderly hospital patients infected with coronavirus to protect the NHS from being overwhelmed this winter. The sensational decision has sparked widespread fears No 10 has not learnt from its catastrophic errors during the first wave of the pandemic, which led to the disease killing tens of thousands of elderly residents.”

Amnesty International said through its Crisis Response team  – “A series of “shockingly irresponsible” Government decisions put tens of thousands of older people’s lives at risk and led to multiple violations of care home residents.” Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK went on to say:

“The Government made a series of shockingly irresponsible decisions which abandoned care home residents to die. … The appalling death toll was entirely avoidable – it is a scandal of monumental proportions.”

Amnesty International UK has launched a new campaign calling for a full independent public Inquiry into the pandemic, with an interim phase starting immediately focusing on older people in care homes.

Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Response Adviser, said:

It is as if care home residents were seen as expendable. Despite thousands of empty beds they were de-prioritized when it came to getting access to hospital care, and had blanket do not resuscitate orders imposed on them without due process. Such abuses are deeply disturbing. It is imperative that lessons are learned so that the same mistakes are not repeated, and that those responsible for such disastrous decisions are held accountable.”

Amnesty received multiple reports of care home residents’ right to NHS services – including access to general medical services and hospital admission – being denied during the pandemic. Care home staff and relatives told Amnesty how sending residents to hospital was discouraged or outright refused.

The son of one care home resident who passed away in Cumbria said that sending his father to hospital had not even been considered:

From day one, the care home was categoric it was probably COVID and he would die of it and he would not be taken to hospital. He only had a cough at that stage. He was only 76 and was in great shape physically. He loved to go out and it would not have been a problem for him to go to hospital. The care home called me and said he had symptoms, a bit of a cough and that doctor had assessed him over mobile phone and he would not be taken to hospital. Then I spoke to the GP later that day and said he would not be taken to hospital but would be given morphine if in pain… He died a week later.”

Amnesty received multiple reports right across the country of doctors refusing to enter care homes and only being available for consultations by phone or video call, regardless of a sick resident’s symptoms or even in the case of end-of-life support.

The misuse of ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ forms, inadequate access to testing, insufficient PPE and the devastating impact of prolonged isolation were also highlighted in Amnesty’s report.

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In 2016, Australian Major General Jeff Sengelman approached the then chief of the Australian army Lieutenant General Angus Campbell with a nagging worry. The concern lay in allegations that Australian special forces had committed various war crimes in Afghanistan.  Sengelman was then special forces commander; Campbell was chief of the army.  Sociologist Samantha Crompvoets was duly commissioned to write a report on “Special Operations Command Culture interactions”.  It was leaked in 2018, and claimed that Australia’s special forces had engaged in the “unsanctioned and illegal application of violence on operations” aided by a timorous leadership and perception of impunity. 

Campbell duly tasked the inspector-general of the Australian Defence Force, James Gaynor, with the role of investigating war crimes allegations connected with the Special Operations Task Group during stints in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016.  Paul Brereton, a New South Wales Supreme Court judge and major general in the Army Reserve, was given the task of leading the inquiry.  For four years, it has been conducted under conditions of utmost secrecy.  The instrument directing the inquiry, and the terms of reference of the inquiry, remain unpublished

Screenshot from aph.gov.au

The report is expected to be completed by year’s end, though some preparations for softening the blow are already being made.  The IGADF annual report  of 2018-9, tabled in parliament in February, at least alludes to the fact that more than 338 witnesses have been examined since March 2016, noting “55 separate incidents or issues under inquiry covering a range of alleged breaches of the Law of Armed Conflict, predominantly unlawful killings of persons who were non-combatants or were no longer combatants, but also ‘cruel treatment’ of such persons.”  Exclusions are already clear: decisions made during the “heat of battle,” for instance, are of no concern.  Focus, instead, “is on the treatment of persons who were clearly non-combatants or who were no longer combatants.”

In an interview with journalist Stan Grant in an online conference series, Defence Minister Linda Reynolds was not optimistic about what would be unearthed. 

“I think that will make some very significant findings, ones that I’m certain will make Australians uncomfortable and also dismayed at.  So, I think we do need to prepare ourselves for that.” 

While she had not seen the report, she felt that there was enough to be troubled by, though “that in no way reflects on our current serving men and women both here and overseas who are doing an extraordinary job for your nation.”

The Senator is keen to push the point that things have improved since those dark days.  Army Commander Lieutenant General Rick Burr also made the point in a note to Australia’s soldiers that,

“This is not who we are and not what we stand for.” He seemed to show some fondness for the bad apple theory, “concerned about the impact of those findings on those of you who served in Afghanistan and other operations and who served as professionals with pride and integrity.  You did the right thing.”   

The ADF establishment has been particularly concerned with what is seen as the isolation of the special unit arm from the rest of the army.  Over the course of 20 rotations over 11 years in Afghanistan, “catastrophic and cultural shortfalls” have been identified within the Special Operations Command.  The Special Air Service Regiment and commandos have also been at each other’s throats in what can only be described as competitive viciousness.

Lying behind such lines of inquiry is a policy of containment: the idea that atrocities can be stemmed, cordoned off, and identified as the work of a few rotters within a rotten culture.  Identify the culture and its advocates; neutralise them.  Burr is confident that this has already taken place, using the insufferable language of organisational management in describing “substantial cultural and professional transformation.”  The question as to why such outfits should be deployed in the first place is never asked, leaving politicians and commanders immune and smug from the horrors of war and the stupidities of armchair planning.  

While the IGADF inquiry has been moving slowly along, the exposes have come thick and fast.  The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has become the main font of disturbing revelations, its Afghan Files a trove of bloody and brutal adventurism.  The impact of their exposure led to investigations by the Australian Federal Police, not into allegations of such atrocities, but those who wrote about them.  Only this month, ABC journalist Dan Oakes received the comforting, if cold news, that he would not be prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions in the aftermath of raids conducted on the national broadcaster last year.  The CDPP waved the magic wand of public interest, and thought it poor form to be pursuing a journalist for exposing the misdeeds of Australia’s military effort in Afghanistan.  But more troubling for Oakes, the CDPP thought that any prosecution would have stood a reasonable chance of success.

Another matter of concern regarding the future efficacy of the inquiry has also surfaced.  This month, the ABC obtained an internal Defence Department bulletin noting the placing of an embargo on the shredding of any records relating to ADF operations in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2015.  The embargo stemmed from the Afghanistan Inquiry Task Force established with the “primary role” of preparing “Defence to receive and respond to the IGADF Afghanistan Inquiry report.”  Startling that this should have taken four years, but the Defence Department saw little trouble with it.  According to the dull formulation of a spokesperson, “In accordance with these requirements, key operational records relating to planning and conduct become eligible for destruction after 20 years.”

This should have caused a flurry of consternation.  For Rawan Arraf, director of the Australian Centre for International Justice, the timing of the embargo raised “serious questions about whether the Defence Department has had the proper processes in place; whether it has been complying with its regulations and international guidelines on record keeping and data protection, especially where it’s relevant to investigating any potential violations of international humanitarian law or the laws of armed conflict.”

While the findings of such inquiries will duly fill the books of military history, they will not alter the central problem in Australian military and foreign policy: that constant craving to deploy personnel to harsh foreign theatres without obvious strategic necessity.  Australia’s SAS and the commandos can rightly be seen to be the Ghurkhas of the US military, an elite annexe serving as auxiliaries for foreign power.    

Troubled and ruined, Afghanistan has been killing, maiming and driving the imperially minded insane for centuries.  It has mocked and derided invaders, swallowed up armies.  The tag of military professionalism is mere dinner table formality in the face of unconventional warfare; when engaged in such areas of battle, the rules will go out the window.  By all means, hold the soldiers to account for such cruelties, but the same could be said about those who sent them there in the first place, decision makers who remain perennially immune from a prosecutor’s brief.

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Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research and Asia-Pacific Research. Email: [email protected]

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Damascus confirmed the visit of President Donald Trump’s Special envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens and Senior Director for Counterterrorism Kash Patel to Syria and their meeting with the Syrian Director of the National Security Ali Mamluk (sanctioned by the European Union and the US administration). It was the last of three visits the US took to Damascus where the first one was in 2017 when the United Arab Emirates arranged for a visit of a political and a military US delegation whose plane landed at Damascus airport and met with Mamluk.

The title of the US visit concerned the release of US prisoners arrested in Damascus. More than one of these captured have double Syrian-American nationalities and others who visited the country without going through the official channel but were ‘sold’ by rebels.

Sources in Damascus said that “the leadership has no intention to boost President Trump’s election and no American captured is expected to be released this year as long as Trump is in power”.

“Brigadier general Ali Mamluk asked from the US officials who visited his office in the Syrian capital if they have a plan of the US withdrawal from the Syrian occupied territory starting with the oil and gas-rich area in north-east Syria. If the Syrian Army is allowed to cross the river to regain control of the sources of energy, then Syria is ready to look into the matter seriously not before”, said the source.

Mamluk rejected an offer by the US senior diplomatic delegation to ease sanctions on Syria imposed by the EU and the US in exchange for an immediate release of at least one hostage. The US delegation members were pressing for the time of release. Still, they had no authority to discuss the withdrawal of all US forces from the occupied Syrian territory in north-east Syria.“

Click here to access full article.

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On October 2 Canadian peace activists held their second pan-Canadian Day of Action against the purchase of 88 new fighter jets. At some locations activists also underscored their objections to the purchase of 12 armed drones at a projected cost of $5 billion. The activists delivered letters to 27 Members of Parliament opposing the purchase of these killing machines and urged actions for peace, protecting the environment and a just economic recovery.

The October 2 Day of Protest, like the July 24 Day of Protest, was spearheaded by Canadian Voice of Women for Peace and allied peace and solidarity organizations. October 2 was also the International Day of Non-Violence named in honour of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi on October 2, 1869.

At some of the protests at the offices of Members of Parliament, peace councils affiliated with the Canadian Peace Congress handed out a leaflet prepared by the Congress executive. Referring to the reasons for the purchase of the fighter jets they stated, “the true purpose is to prepare for war against the people of Russia, China or any other country unwilling to comply with demands coming from the US empire.” They also referred to Canada’s membership in the “aggressive NATO alliance which still operates on the dangerous premise that it can start and win a nuclear world war.” The Congress leaflet also pointed out that “Canada has participated in NATO wars of destruction against Yugoslavia (1999), Afghanistan (2001), Libya (2011) and Syria (2011).”

The Peace Congress suggests another vision for Canada:

“We see a Canada upholding international law and the UN charter. We see a country emphasizing peaceful co-existence of all states and actively opposing policies and actions that worse international relations. We see a Canada out of NATO.”

The leaflet concluded by urging its readers to take the threat of a Third World War seriously; to join a local peace council or group and participate in building a strong and engaged Peace Network across Canada.

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This article was originally published on People’s Voice.

Ed Lehman is a member of the Canadian Peace Congress Executive and the Regina Peace Council

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This evening, Mr. Markus Haintz, a prominent and courageous human rights lawyer in Germany was brutally arrested by Berlin police. His assistant, Frederike, was also brutally arrested. The arrest was filmed.

It is important to report this arrest worldwide and denounce such terror tactics by the German police.

Please inform your friends how the German authorities are directing the police to escalate violence.

 

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2020 marks the 75th Anniversary of the world’s most important and visionary organisation, the United Nations. Everything TFF has done during its 35 years of existence has been based on one mission – namely, to promote the UN Charter’s Article 1 which states that peace shall be brought about by peaceful means.

That is a typical Gandhian inspiration – “the means are the goals in-the-making” – as he said. You cannot use destructive means to achieve constructive goals.

Regrettably, one hears many – thoughtless – voices accusing “the UN” of being too expensive, too bureaucratic, too ineffective, too corrupt, too this and that.

Why must this be seen as an indicator of intellectual poverty?

First, as stated by its first Secretary-General, Norwegian Trygve Lie – the UN shall never become stronger or better than its member states want to it to be. And, sadly, they are more nationalist than globalist.

Lie’s words are still spot-on correct and mean, simply, that it is the member-states (some more than others) that behave internationally and in their UN policies in such a manner that the world organisation and its norms are weakened, its power and role undermined and its operations marginalized.

Secondly, those who say that the world could just as well close down the “outdated” UN just don’t consider how small its budget is and how impossible it would be to make the world a better place with so little funds given the destructive forces that are pitted against the UN and its norms.

The fact is that the United Nations and its organisations operate on a regular administrative budget of US$ 3 billion and that the total annual expenditures of all its member agencies (such as WHO, UNICEF etc) is US$ 50-60 billion. That is 3 per cent of the costs of global militarism which are US$ 2000 billion annually.

What fires can you prevent or extinguish against militarist pyromaniacs having 30-40 times more resources at their disposal to start new fires?

Thirdly, whether intended or not, these critics implicitly say: We’d rather have a world run by the US (and a few others) than by the UN. This is a dangerous way of thinking that totally undermines international law and the extremely important UN Charter – the most Gandhian document the world’s governments have ever signed.

There is no doubt that saving humankind and our common global future goes through the United Nations and its Charter norms – not as the only change-maker but as the most central.

Yes, the UN needs reform. But as we show below, there is a much larger need for government and peoples to reform their attitudes and policies concerning the United Nations.

As a matter of fact, it’s part of a much larger process of democratizing decision-making beyond the national and regional level and begin to think of global governance in completely new, future-oriented ways.

If and when humankind develops something far better than the UN – then we may switch to that and close down the UN as we know it today. Not a second before!

And that new institution shall not be located in the member state that has harmed the UN the most. But until that moment, let’s make the present UN stronger so it can eventually do what it was intended to: Serve the common good and abolish.

Only “we, the peoples” can do that – from below since “they, the governments” have consistently violated that tremendously important Article 1!

Below please find 23 proposals for global democracy and a strong UN.(1)

Let us first focus on democracy in relation to the United Nations. It deserves emphasis that there are many problems pertaining to democracy and the international community.

First, democracy itself is a complicated term, an essentially contested concept.

Second, what to do with the fact that democracy, athough perhaps being the best so far, is considered “pseudo” and ineffective and is systematically circumvented by a number of power elites in the Western world (and Japan).

Third, it is Western-biased concept and most often taken to imply only elements such as multi-party system, equality before the law, free speech, and a set of social institutions such as parliaments and the free press. Thus, many consider the Soviet Union a dictatorship because it has one party and the United States a democracy because it has two parties. India is called the world’s largest democracy while thousands starve to death unnecessarily, and China in which the people’s basic welfare is satisfied is called authoritarian, or worse.

Fourth, democratization is desirable but how do we avoid, on the one hand, the cultural imperialism of universalizing a deeply Western definition and, on the other, the cultural particularism in which any system or dictator is permitted to call a society democratic with reference to local interpretations?

Fifth, there is no democracy at the international level, no institutions that resemble those of the nation-states; therefore, we will have to build on the only institution that can be reformed in the direction of a multi-cultural democratic institution at the supranational level, the U.N. But that itself must be democratized and it must come to embody, sooner rather than later, a democratized world order. It is time to take “we, the peoples” serious and look into which peoples should be given a say in world – and UN – affairs. The catchword, of course, is popular sovereignty, i.e., a systematic acknowledgement of the principle that sovereignty resides with the people.

Sixth, as pointed out by Gandhi, democracies are based on regress to violence (armies, state repression, prisons, courts, capital punishment etc.) to uphold its order. And all democracies with exceptions such as Costa Rica, Iceland and perhaps a few more benefit from arms exports and support, more often than not, political interventionism and nuclearism.

Seventh, the same could be said about the attitudes in most democracies about the relationship between society and Nature. The complete, general entanglement of modern democracies in capitalism entails environmental destruction. It is the democratic world, not communism or dictatorships, that chop down rain forests and kills species, languages and “primitive” cultures.

Fortunately, both the environment and the development serve more convincing than any other problematic as an argument for restructuring existing international organizations, creating new ones and changing the meaning of government politics.

This is what eco-politics is about.

Today, the United Nations is totally unable to deal effectively with this civilizational challenge. The fact that sustainable development is a concept that has come to stay justifies the establishment of an entirely new organization within the United Nations. The 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development in Brazil must deal effectively with this and like-minded ideas.

After all, the environmental agenda is the only: one that reflects the common interest of all humankind.

The Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, TFF, in Sweden recently published a TFF Statement entitled A United Nations of the Future. What ‘We, the Peoples’ and Governments Can Do to Help the U.N. Help Ourselves.

In it, we suggest radical reforms in peacekeeping, development and environment and democratization of the U.N. itself and of the world community.

Here follows the 23 proposals relating to the latter:

1. The UN Security Council must undergo reforms and the veto power be restricted.

The exceptionally strong influence of the five permanent Security Council members is incompatible with democracy.

The veto power of the permanent members of the Security Council (SC) ought to disappear or its use restricted to certain areas and situations. Instead of the veto power, the SC could work with a double majority among the permanent members and among the elected members. Whatever we prefer, we can no longer ignore the need for, a comprehensive reform of the Security Council, its membership criteria, and modes of operation.

We believe that a gradual fading away of the veto power is not only desirable but also possible. Furthermore, it is important to strengthen the remunerative, peaceful and democratic powers of the General-Secretary and a new leadership structure as well as the General Assembly in the future rather than relying on the negative power of the veto. Hence:

2. The UN needs a stronger Secretary-General and a new leadership organization.

The provisions for the functions of the Secretary-General (particularly Article 99 and 100) are, in fact, the only concession made in the Charter to supra-nationality. However, it demands a super human being to fulfil all the requirements of a Secretary-General laid down in the Charter and practices developed since then, not to speak of the personal qualities demanded.

Collective leadership in the top echelon is now a necessity. It could consist of five: the Secretary-General him- or herself, the three deputies – for peace and security, economic and social matters and for administration and management. The fifth would be a new deputy in charge of relations with the public, the non-governmental and private sector.

3. The General Assembly should be invigorated.

Maybe the most important role for the General Assembly (GA) in the future will be to raise political awareness on global issues. It could sponsor Special Sessions to get the facts and evaluations as well as the urgency expressed to a wide audience.

The legislative authority of the GA needs to be binding and linked to actions decided upon at the same time (as well as their financing). It has to be consensus decisions. There need to be legally binding conventions. The “United Action for Peace” Resolution from November 1950 provided that the General Assembly would meet to recommend collective measures in situations where the Security Council was unable to deal with a breach of peace or act of aggression.

4. The UN needs new constituencies.

The United Nations is, in fact, the United Governments. It is beyond doubt that a number of the governments are “non-peoples organizations” (NPOs) whereas many so-called NGOs are, in reality, People’s Organizations (PO) but have no access to UN forums.

So, new actors should be brought into the picture in various ways and with guarantees that they are truly independent of states. We suggest the following categories: a) international organizations, b) transnational organizations, in which people represent causes or worldwide issues but not parties or countries, such as various movements and initiatives, c) minorities and indigenous peoples, d) refugees and displaced persons, e) children and youth and f) transnational corporations.

5. Establish links and consultative processes between all these NGOs and all UN bodies.

Consultative status, direct participation in commissions and agencies, an elaborate system of hearings throughout the UN system, sounding of analyses and proposals and inviting statements, commissioning fact-finding, research etc. with these organizations – are all measures that would facilitate such a democratization.

Tapping non-governmental resources effectively would lead to a tremendously enriched UN and would turn the organization into a much more dynamic body perceived by citizens worldwide to be relevant to them.

6. A Citizens Chamber or Second Assembly must be developed.

We think they should be granted direct decision-making power in the not so distant future. The often proposed Second Chamber or “parallel structure” is an idea we fully endorse. The 1992 Conference Environment and Development could be a starting point for such an assembly, being formed and growing initially outside but parallel with the General Assembly. We find it wise to introduce it gradually and to establish first which constituencies it should have (see a-e above) and how to elect them. And this is the next point:

7. Direct election of UN representatives.

Today, Ministries of Foreign Affairs appoint by far the majority of UN civil servants. This leaves no chance for citizens to influence who will represent them – “We, the peoples.”

This creates a sense of distance. However, nothing in the statutes of the United Nations seems to forbid any member from appointing their representatives by direct election, but obliging them to do so would hardly be possible today.

For other bodies than the General Assembly such as for agencies and the proposed Second Chamber of non-governmental actors, citizens should be given the opportunity to vote for candidates.

8. The United Nations must be “sold” efficiently.

Why are totally unnecessary products and glittering pseudo messages broadcasted constantly worldwide while an organization such as the United Nations has no commercials, no educational programs, no campaigns, no reports and no debates and analyses that reach us?

Most UN documents and even public information materials appear anything but stimulating to ordinary citizens. Year after year, public information has decreased as a share of the total budget. We live in the age of electronic communication and the UN must have creative media competence as well as sufficient funds to reach into our living rooms. There are not only ample opportunities for using satellite broadcasting, local stations and cable networks for global communication. We can also use these new technologies creatively for conflict-resolution.

And, now, what can the member governments do?

9. Members must integrate UN norms and long-term goals in national decision-making and give up some of their sovereignty.

Obviously, the nation-state as such is losing influence vis-a-vis transnational actors and the environment. Governments should acknowledge that while they give up some sovereignty now, they harvest the benefits of cooperation, early solutions to problems and order instead of chaos later. Taking others into account in new ways is the sine qua non of survival for all.

10. Members should develop true self-defence and new security policies.

Any national moves towards purely defensive military and/or civilian postures and doctrines would solve – automatically – a number of serious problems that would otherwise be dumped on the Secretary-General or settled through naked force in the battlefield.

It would indeed be illusory to expect the United Nations – armed with an annual budget for all UN activities of 5/1000 of world military expenditures – to solve the cumulative problems arising from the fact that practically all member states, to some degree, practice national defence policies in contradiction with the spirit, if not also the letter, of the United Nations.

11. Members should allow for direct UN service.

Each member, through national law-making, ought to make it possible for any citizen otherwise eligible for military service to seek recruitment with the United Nations, for military and civilian peacekeeping, on an equal basis.

12. Members should refer more conflicts to the United Nations.

Recent analyses show that only around 32% of all disputes involving military operations and fighting have been referred to the UN during the 1980s, the lowest share since 1945.

Imagine that the whole range of ecological conflicts that are developing these years will also be referred – and you have the perfect argument for transnational management and a considerable boost in the capacity and budgets of the UN for these types of activities.

13. Members should re-affirm their Charter obligations and develop common-sense coalitions

This applies particularly to those relating to non-use of force and the peaceful settlement of disputes, respect for the spirit and letter of the Charter combined with a firm commitment to make available all kinds of civilian and military peacekeeping forces as well as all expertise relating to non-violent, peaceful conflict-resolution.

There is a need for a “new, common-sense coalition” consisting mainly of middle size and non-aligned countries, determined to use the UN machinery effectively. The Soviet Union of 1990, with its new support for the UN, certainly belongs to such a commonsense coalition. Common sense coalitions will be needed not only in the field of peacemaking but also in creating genuine, globally sustainable development and ecological security. The UN is no substitute for governmental action.

14. Expand the budget and share the burden of the future UN budget more equally.

No member should be allowed to exert political pressure within the organization because of the size of its financial contribution. No member should contribute more than, say, 15% of its budget. Sharing in relation to size of population and/or GNP may be the easiest, with compensation for the poorest, i.e., resembling some kind of progressive taxation.

There is no doubt that the UN, unfortunately, is a huge bureaucracy, but reality is also that it is also pitifully lacking funds; the entire staff of 50,000 is equivalent to 1/8 of all military researchers and engineers worldwide or l/3 of the British Railways.

We doubt the bureaucratic problem within the UN is that much worse than in most other large organizations. Evidently it should be rationalized and better coordinated, and deep cuts should hit extravagant salaries, per diem and travel costs.

Having said so, the UN will need resources many times what it has today to be an effective actor in the future world community. It is a shame upon humanity that the UN is constantly forced to live close to bankruptcy while Hollywood films make multibillion-dollar business.

There are at least two ways in which the United Nations could supplement its budget: members could earmark a certain percentage of personal incomes and consumption taxes, and the United Nations and its organizations could raise funds from not-for-profit foundations, private donators, big and small throughout the world. The criteria must, of course, be that no formal or informal strings be attached.

15. Member parliaments should establish multidisciplinary UN committees.

They should be staffed with experts, politicians, public servants and representatives of movements, minorities, refugees, children and youth and charged with raising issues, presenting proposals, holding hearings, etc.

Each such national committee would in various ways monitor all the nation’s policies and programs for the UN and its agencies and help create a much wider public consciousness on world affairs. It should carry out “global impact assessments” of national decision-making, preferably in cooperation with UN agencies and regional bodies.

It could also facilitate better national and regional coordination of UN activities. While governments often demand “improved coordination” of the UN, they themselves have created a loose system and often fail to coordinate their own policies in different forums within the UN system.

16. Set up UN “embassies” in member states with transnationally recruited teams.

They could operate together with the United Nations associations and monitor security, development and environmental policies and actions and report back to regional organizations, UN agencies and central UN bodies on these matters. Naturally, they should place their advice and analyses at the disposal of governmental, non-governmental groups and associations as well as explain UN affairs to media.

In other words, they would serve as “go-betweens” in each country, with consultative and observer status and no more. They would make the presence of the UN and its norm system felt locally and balance the governments’ representatives to the UN. This is an obvious solution to the problem of the very low worldwide profile of the UN.

Now is the best chance ever! If humanity has a common future and shares common interests at all, one of them certainly is that of using and developing the United Nations and transform it into a global authority of the future.

Surveys unequivocally show that people worldwide want the UN. Change means struggle. Paradoxically, we must cooperate to create that regime of cooperation without which there will not be a better world for humankind.

The struggles for change at all levels by all actors converge naturally at the United Nations. The more we help it, the more we are all helped by it. Nations can make a difference – if united!

Hopefully, human energies will be employed to take stock of what we have and, sooner rather than later, take stock of what we need.

17. We should revise the UN Charter so it gives appropriate attention to environmental issues.

The Charter does not mention environmental problems or ecological balance at all. Peace is understood as non-war between governments and not as harmony between Nature and human beings.

Few would dispute today that the two are intimately linked and that peace with Nature is of the highest priority.

18. An Environmental Security Council (ESC) must be set up and given very comprehensive authority and peaceful enforcement capacity.

It will have to have very extensive non-violent powers but operate in a manner totally different from the present Security Council. It should deal with all matters related to issues such as global warming, ozone layer depletion, pollution, waste, ecological assessment (also of consumerism in rich countries), clean water and air, urbanization, transport systems and infrastructure. Further it should decide global environmental standards and depletion quotas of threatened resources and energy sources.

19. A Declaration of Human and Governmental Duties and Obligations.

The United Nations, its Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are “anthropocentric.” The UN should strive to establish a normative framework which integrates humankind and Nature.

Whether we cherish and care for Nature and its bio-diversity in consideration for human beings or believe that Nature has rights and values in and of itself, we shall not solve the environmental problems and learn to live in sustainable ways without a concept of human duties and obligations vis-a-vis Nature.

It is time that the United Nations, in cooperation with all relevant constituencies, begin the work of drafting a “Universal Declaration of Human and Governmental Duties and Obligations”.

20. Demilitarization of the common heritage and protection of parts of the earth.

The ESC should cooperate with the SC in demilitarizing the common heritage and developing a global governance over the parts of the earth not now under national sovereign control: outer space, Antarctica and the high seas.

21. The Trusteeship Council could be revitalized.

Today it is virtually without tasks and could be given authority over the common heritage areas, resources and culture. The modalities for such a new, much larger role for the Trusteeship Council should be investigated and proposals made.

If territories, resources and various objects could, either permanently or for limited periods be entrusted to the United Nations, it would solve many problems and reduce environmental damage.

22. UN protection and management of humankind’s most important resources and species.

We think here of resources such as oil, rain forests and resources threatened by depletion that could be protected and managed by the Trusteeship Council. Depending on circumstances, the Council would cooperate with the ESC and perhaps the SC. Setting depletion quotas for resources and reduction standards for threatened species should become the prerogative of the UN system.

23. A UN ecological security monitoring agency and regional eco-security commissions are needed.

The first step would be to coordinate already existing institutions worldwide. For the first time, the word “regional” would not mean political or geographical but biological or ecological regions. Governments and many other actors would cooperate in new bio- or eco-regional patterns, often crisscrossing other types of boundaries, and the commissions would report directly to the Secretary-General.

To summarize it all: the United Nations is … we.

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Note

1. What follows from that point in the article was written in 1991 when I served as a visiting professor at the International Christian University, ICU, in Tokyo. It was published in “Alternatives To World Disorder In The 1990s” – Educational Series Nr 25, Institute of Asian Cultural Studies.

Over these almost 30 years, world disorder has only increased – particularly since the West chose the triumphalistic response to the demise of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. And now the US, NATO and other West is in decline and will fall.

How much better it would have been for the West itself – and the world as a whole – to have worked instead for the common good and given the UN the power and resources to serve the common good of all humanity!

Still, we feel that good ideas should never be scrapped just because they are not picked up in the micro-historic time frame that 30 years are.

There will come a day when the world is looking intensely for good ideas about global governance – after nationalism and militarism and other constructs of lesser minds have declined too.

Featured image is by edgarwinkler / Pixabay

Chileans Vote Up or Down for Constitutional Change

October 26th, 2020 by Stephen Lendman

Since the CIA elevated Augusto Pinochet to power on an earlier 9/11 day of infamy in 1973 — replacing social democracy with tyrannical fascist rule — Pinochet’s ghost still haunts most Chileans.

Billionaire Sebastian Pinera governs the country with an iron fist, enforcing neoliberal harshness under police state rule.

Since 2019, millions of Chileans took to the streets against deep-seated corruption and inequality, high prices, poverty wages, and governance for privileged interests exclusively at the expense of most others.

For nearly half a century, Chilean ruling authorities followed Chicago School fundamentalist/IMF diktat policies.

They privatized state enterprises, handing them to corporate predators.

Mass layoffs, deregulation, deep social spending cuts, wage freezes or cuts, free market accesses for corporate America, business tax cuts, and tax increases for ordinary Chileans followed.

So did harsh repression against labor and other ordinary people.

Among 27 OECD member states,  Chile ranks highest in income inequality.

Most Chileans demand Pinera’s resignation and a new constitution.

He remains in office. On Sunday, Chileans are voting up or down on drafting a new constitution to replace the current repressive one.

Ahead of Sunday’s vote, Chileans filled Santiago streets and elsewhere in the country for fundamental changes they demand.

They include higher wages, affordable prices, pension reform, free education and healthcare, along with a nation fit to live in.

Voting age Chileans are expected to turn out en masse for democratic change over fascist repression and a constitution that reflects it.

Widely despised Pinera has rock-bottom support of around 10% or less.

Choice for voters on Sunday is twofold: whether or not to draft a new constitution and if approved, what type body to prepare it.

On the latter issue, voters have two choices:

A constitutional convention with equal numbers of legislators and popularly elected delegates or a body comprised entirely of voter-elected members.

According to results of an Activa Research poll published on October 10, nearly 85% of Chileans want a new constitution, only 15% against drafting a new one.

Nearly 78% of respondents favor a “constitutional convention” option — MPs excluded, all delegates popularly elected.

If majority Chileans approve preparation of a new one, a vote to elect drafting body delegates will follow on April 11, 2021.

Once assembled, the Constitutional Convention will have nine months to draft a new document.

It must be approved by a two-thirds majority.

Within 60 days of approval, Chileans will have final say up or down on the new document by a simple majority through a national plebiscite.

If approved, it would become effective in 10 days.

It’ll be months to complete the process that begins on Sunday — with no assurance of the outcome no matter what changes most Chileans demand.

They’ve lived under repressive rule for nearly half a century.

Based on large-scale protests since last year, Chileans want equity and justice over ongoing fascist rule.

If the referendum and constitutional drafting process don’t deliver it, they’ll likely be back in the streets again demanding their fundamental rights.

A Final Comment

Chile has around 15 million eligible voters. They include citizens aged-18 or older and foreign nationals who’ve lived in the country over five years and have not been convicted of a crime.

Chileans abroad may vote at consulates where they reside.

Voting is scheduled from 8AM to 8PM or later at stations if queues remain.

Special voting hours for Chileans aged-60 or older exclusively are from 2PM – 5PM.

Individuals diagnosed with covid disease are prohibited from taking part in the process.

Official results of Sunday’s referendum may not be known until late November.

Electoral officials have until November 27 to announce them.

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Featured image is from InfoBrics

Today, October 24, 2020, there are many rallies around the world. Activists in these countries are joining in a common voice: Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Uruguay, Italy, Germany, Poland, Belgium, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, France, and Austria.

Citizens of all countries are paying an enormous price for the pandemic. They have not only lost their loved ones, but their freedoms, their livelihood, their joy. Children and youth are suffering due to this crisis too. Without their friends and social activities, mental health problems in our young are at an all-time high. People around the world are demanding to be spared from the devastating consequences of the pandemic.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Chairman of Children’s Health Defense, provides an inspirational message for freedom and hope to activists around the world.

Full transcript by Transcript by Rawan R. Mahmasa

Hey, everybody, it’s Robert F. Kennedy Jr. here, and I cannot tell you how happy I am to be able to have this opportunity to talk to thousands of citizens in 15 countries and all the continents in the world who have come together today to protest this coup d’etat by big data, by big telecom, by big tech, by the big oil and chemical companies, and by the global public health cartel led by Bill Gates and the WHO  that now amounts to two trillion dollars and wants to magnify and amplify its wealth and its power over our lives, over our liberties,

It wants to subvert our democracy and wants to destroy our sovereignty and our control over our lives and our children’s health.

And I want to remind you, those of you who are not Americans, of something that every American child learns when we’re growing up in this country about our history. And during the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt, who was one of the greatest presidents in American history, said to the American people: “the only thing that we have to fear is fear itself”

And we grow up hearing that but  people don’t really understand what it means. And it was a very, very profound warning by Roosevelt because he saw what the Great Depression was doing in Eastern Europe, in Italy and Germany and Spain, where that crisis was turning people towards fascism in the eastern countries, where the same crisis was turning citizens and governments towards communism and also causing the collapse of governments all over the world. And in our country, In the United States, it’s hard for people to remember today that almost a third of the people in our country were completely disillusioned with capitalism and wanted to turn to communism and another third wanted to turn to fascism. And Franklin Roosevelt wanted to preserve our country for democracy, for free market capitalism, for civil rights and to preserve our Constitution.

And he recognized that the weapon of authoritarian control was going to be fear. And when I spoke a few weeks ago in Berlin, I reminded the people of Germany of a very famous story that happened during the Nuremberg trials after World War Two, when Hitler’s closest lieutenant  the head of the Luftwaffe, Hermann Goering, was asked by one of the prosecutors, how did you get the German people?, the German people are the most educated people in the world,

They were some of the most tolerant people in the world. The Weimar  Republic was one of the strongest democracies in the world. How did you take them? These people were so well educated and so awakened and so tolerant and turned them into obedient slaves who had committed some of the worst atrocities in human history? and Goring said, ” oh, that’s a simple thing.” And any of you can look up his quote and I urge you to do so. And he said, “And it works not just in the fascist government, but it works in a democracy, in a monarchy and in a communist government, and any government that you want, the job of the government is to put the people in fear. And and if you can keep them in fear, you can get them to do anything that you want them to do, that they will turn into sheep.

And there’s a famous book by Naomi Klein and all of us should read called Disaster Capitalism. And that book shows it’s a historical chronology of all of the times in American history, the history of the world during the Great Depression and during the financial collapse in 2008, during the financial collapse in Chile, for example, in 1973, during the time of the World Trade Center bombing, that authoritarian elements in a society and large corporations and wealthy plutocrats and oligarchs, wealthy families and individuals use crises to shift wealth upward to obliterate the middle classes of those countries and to clamp down totalitarian control.

And of course, that’s an obvious thing that people who are used to voting for their governments are not going to vote for policies that make the rich people richer and give corporations even more power over their lives, that reduce democracy and reduce civil rights. These are not good vessels for populism, in order to transform the government so that it will reward the rich with even more wealth.

The people who want to do that, the large corporations who orchestrate that kind of change, have to get rid of civil rights. The first civil right that they begin with is freedom of speech. They need to clamp down censorship because censorship is the most important right. And our country, we put it, number one, the First Amendment of the Constitution, because all the other rights depend on it. If a government can hide what it’s doing, it can get away with anything it wants.

If a corporation can lie to you and conceal information, if there’s no transparency in a democracy, you do not have a democracy. So, if you want to get rid of all the other rights, like freedom of assembly, which you are exercising today, some of you are exercising it at grave threats. Some of you will suffer, some of you will be jailed, some of you will suffer injuries.

But that is a basic right, the right to freedom of expression, the right to a jury trial, the right to freedom of religion, the right to privacy, the right to have governments don’t spy on you and keep your information.

All of those other rights can only be subverted if they begin imposing censorship, by being able to silence people who want to speak. So the coup d’état that we are all fighting today, is a coup d’etat that starts with a conspiracy between the government agencies and the big technology companies that Silicon Valley billionaires, people like Zuckerberg and Bill Gates and the people who run Google and Facebook and Pinterest and all of these other Silicon Valley corporations who are now in this conspiracy to make sure that we cannot talk about our grievances, we cannot say bad things about pharmaceutical products.

We can not question government policies that make no sense to us. And I’m going to say a few things about some of those government policies. Number one, I am not a conspiracy theorist. I follow the facts. I don’t know that the covid illness was laboratory generated in Wuhan. There is plenty of evidence that  it was, but  not enough evidence for me to say that it’s a fact. My question is, why don’t we know the answer to that?

Why is Tony Fauci not being asked that question? Why is President Trump not launching an investigation? or President Xi Jinping or the presidents of any of these countries? Saying, “Where did this come from?”  Because we need to know that, but global citizens, this is the worst calamity in history. And nobody seems curious about where this actually comes from?

We know it didn’t come from a bat in the wet market in Wuhan.

And that story was a fable that now has no basis, in fact.

And we have Nobel laureates, and we have large institutions and investigative agencies and prosecutorial agencies are saying, ” we think it came from the Wuhan lab, and we think that it may have come from studies that were funded by Bill Gates and Tony Fauci. I don’t know if this is true. Why are our government officials not asking that as the number one question? Why instead of sending their police to suppress dissent, are they not sending the police to question people who may know the answer to that question.

There are many other questions that I’d like to know the answer. Questions about masks. I’m very willing to accept if the masks work. Then I want to wear them, if they’re going to protect other people from tansmissibility then I want to wear them, but the studies I have seen indicate that they do not work against viral transmission for the most part, there’s some that  say they may work under limited circumstances. What I don’t want to be told is: they work and you’re going to wear them, and you’d better not ask questions about it.

Most Americans and most of people on this planet, we want leadership but we don’t want bullying. And we know the difference between bullying and leadership. We want to know the truth about hydroxychloroquine, we want to know why are we spending 18$ billion on vaccines and only 1.4$ billion on therapeutic drugs.  What is the sense of that? There are many, many other questions that we, in a democracy, have a right to have answered, without being called conspiracy theorists, without being vilified as “inconsiderate” or being bad “citizens”.

Everybody who’s part of these demonstrations is people who are striving with their lives to become good citizens. Now let me tell you what we need to do to win this battle, the only way we can win it is with democracy. We need to fight to win our democracy back, to reclaim our democracy from these villains who are stealing it from us. And you notice the people who are getting richest from this quarantine are the same people who are censoring criticism of the quarantine.

Who’s becoming the richest? Jeffrey Bezos, $83 billion he’s made, and he owns Amazon, and he’s censoring books that criticize the quarantine. Zuckerburg, who owns Facebook, who’s made tens of billions of dollars by this quarantine and he is censoring information that is critical of the quarantine. He censors my Instagram, he censors my Facebook, my Twitter page is also censored. And all of these people are people who are making billions of dollars on the quarantine. And what I want to know is a simple question: is the quarantine actually effective?

You know we’ve had plenty of pandemics in the past. In 1969, we had a Hong Kong Flu pandemic that killed 100,000 people in the United States. It’s the equivalent of 200,000 people today who are being killed by coronavirus. Did we go into lockdown? No. Did we wear masks? No. We went to Woodstock. We went to the Democratic Convention in Chicago and had huge crowds of people. Nobody was told to lockdown, and don’t see your girlfriend, and wear a mask and don’t go out of your house, and shutdown your business and bankrupt every business in the country.

Last year, there were 1.6 million people in the world who died from tuberculosis. We have 1.6 million people die every year from tuberculosis. We’re not wearing masks. We’re not on lockdown. What’s the difference between tuberculosis and coronavirus? Tuberculosis has a vaccine, and the vaccine costs about $3 and that’s why we’re not on lockdown because nobody is making $39 a vaccine, or $300 a vaccine, the way that Moderna, and AstraZeneca, and Johnson  & Johnson are making from this catastrophe, and that is the only reason that I can think of. And I’m happy if somebody tells me there’s another reason, but let’s hear it. Don’t just shut me up. Don’t just tell me that I can’t debate. Here’s what we need to do. We need to do exactly what you’re doing today. We need to come out on the street and we need to stick together.

What the Big Tech villains and scoundrels, and Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeffrey Bezos, and Bill Gates, and Toni Fauci want you to do is they want us fighting with each other, they want blacks fighting against whites, they want republicans fighting against democrats, they want everybody polarized, they want everybody fragmented, cause they know if we all get together, we’re going to start questions, and those are questions that they can’t answer, “why are you getting rich?” And “Why are we all getting poor?” And “What’s the difference between tuberculosis and coronvirus?” And “Why are we not wearing masks for tuberculosis but we are for the coronavirus?” And “Where did it all come from?” And all of those questions that we deserve an answer to that we’re not getting answers, we need to stick together.

If you’re a republican or a democrat, stop talking about that. Stop identifying yourself. The enemy is Big Tech, Big Data, Big oil, Big Pharma, the medical cartel, the government totalitarian elements that are trying to oppress us, that are trying to rob us from our liberties, of our democracy, of our freedom of thought, of our freedom of expression, of our freedom of assembly, and all of the freedoms that give dignity to humanity. And the last thing that all of us need to do is we need to stay educated and informed.

One of the things that I want to announce to you today is that Children’s Health Defense, my organization with the help of many of you who are in these crowds, is launching a journal, a daily journal, and we are going to  weaponize information for you, we’re going to tell you what the newest science is.

We’re going to take all the information that is censored everywhere else and we’re going to reprint it in our publication, and you can get that everyday, so, if you see something that is censored, we want to hear about it because we want to put it up.

We are going to be the enemies of censorship. We are going to be the refuge, and we’re going to allow debate. We’re going to make sure it’s civil debate. We’re going to encourage people to be non-partisan. But we’re going to allow people to comment and have different opinions than us, we are not scared of debate, the way pharmaceutical companies and Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeffrey Bezos, and Toni Fauci, are terrified of debate. We welcome debate, we want to hear if we’ve got a different opinion than me, I want to hear about it, and I want to see your science. And I want the public to hear us talking about it and debating about it because the free-flow of information, the cauldron of debate is the only thing that allows governments to develop rational policies in which self-governance will actually work and triumph.

You are on the front lines of the most important battle in history and it is the battle to save democracy and freedom and human liberty and human dignity from this totalitarian cartel that is trying to rob us simultaneously in every nation in the world of the rights that every human being is born with.

So thank you for your courage, thank you for your commitment, so thank you for your brotherhood, and I can pledge to you, I will go down dying with my boots on, fighting side-by-side with all of you to make sure that we return these rights and preserve them from our children.

And I will see all of you on the barricades, thank you.

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Featured image is a screenshot from the video 

Azeris Using Banned Cluster Munitions in Nagorno-Karabakh

October 26th, 2020 by Stephen Lendman

According to reports on the ground, Azeris are using Israeli-supplied cluster munitions in Nagorno-Karabakh.

More on this below.

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The 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) bans production use, transfer, and stockpiling of these terror weapons that scatter submunition bomblets over a wide area.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody Williams called CCM “the most important disarmament and humanitarian convention in over a decade.”

Brightly colored, children mistake cluster bomblets for toys. Picking them up risks serious injury or death.

The US and Israel notoriously use these and other banned weapons in their preemptive wars.

Both countries failed to join over 100 others that are parties to the CCM.

Cluster munitions can be fired by artillery, rockets, and missiles, or air-dropped by warplanes.

Most often, they open when airborne, dispersing multiple submunitions (bomblets) over a wide area.

Acting like landmines, they remain dangerous for years unless professionally destroyed.

In November 2017, a Trump regime war department memo indefinitely delayed implementation of a ban on these weapons.

Current US policy gives military commanders discretion to use them “until sufficient quantities” of “enhanced and more reliable” versions are developed and deployed.

Despite years of research, no  safer substitutes were found.

The US, NATO, and Israel use chemical, biological, radiological, and other banned weapons in all their wars of choice — the human toll never an issue, nor the rule of law.

The Cluster Munition Coalition promotes nonuse of these weapons — a futile initiative as long as they continue to be used by US-led Western countries and Israel.

Reportedly, Azeri forces are using cluster munitions indiscriminately in terror-bombing Nagorno-Karabakh (NK below) residential areas, including in Stepanakert, NK’s capital.

Remnants of unexploded Israeli Mo95 submunition bomblets were found on the ground.

No evidence indicates that Armenian or NK forces have these terror weapons — either self-produced or obtained from foreign suppliers.

Reports on the ground indicate that Azeri forces used these weapons nearly straightaway after launching war in NK on September 27.

According to Southfront on October 3, “the Armenian Unified Infocenter shared photos showing the remains of Israeli-made M095 submunitions found in a civilian settlement that was the target of an Azerbaijani rocket strike.”

“According to the Infocenter, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces carried out the strike using a LAR-160 multiple rocket launch system (MRLS).”

“At least 30 LAR-160 MRLS are reportedly in active service with the Azerbaijani Armed Forces. The Azerbaijani systems are apparently armed with Mk.”

“II cluster rockets, which are known to carry M095 submunitions.”

Use of these terror weapons against combatants or civilians — designed to indiscrdiminately kill or maim over a distance of several hundred yards — constitutes a war crime.

Preemptive wars of course are the ultimate high criminal actions — the US, NATO, Israel, and their imperial partners guilty time and again.

Separately on Saturday, Armenian President Armen Sarkissian’s press office said the following:

“In the context of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Russia is a trusted and pro-active mediator between the conflicting sides. Russia plays a crucial role here, and it demonstrated its commitment to finding a peaceful solution to the conflict by brokering a ceasefire on 10 October.”

“We must admit that this was a courageous and timely move, even though the Azeri side remained aggressively stubborn and destructive.”

After nearly a month of Azeri launched war in NK, it continues because Baku and Turkey’s Erdogan want conflict, not resolution.

Erdogan earlier said the following:

“We support the friendly and fraternal Azerbaijan in every way possible and we will continue to do it. This struggle will continue until Karabakh is liberated from occupation.”

On Friday, he expressed willingness to work with Moscow on conflict resolution — adding that he wants a seat at the table along with Minsk Group countries Russia, France and the US.

At the same time, he added: “Azerbaijan is putting its righteous demand forth” — wanting control over NK instead of Armenia.

That’s a prescription for continued conflict, resolution only possible through diplomacy and compromises by both warring sides.

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

First published on November 24, 2016

Author’s Note

Independent media is under attack. 

Censorship is now routinely applied. 

Readers on social media are warned not to go onto certain sites.

Those who say the truth are tagged as “conspiracy theorists”.  

In relation to the corona crisis, the media is involved in sustaining a Worldwide fear campaign. 

Several medical doctors who have spoken out against the official Coronavirus narrative have been fired.

Globalresearch.ca has been tagged by Canada’s media as a source of disinformation.

Our analysis confirms that the mainstream media are routinely involved in distorting the facts and turning realities upside down. 

They are the unspoken architects of “Fake News”.  The Lie becomes the Truth. 

One area of routine distortion is the use of fake videos and images by the mainstream media. 

Michel Chossudovsky, October 26, 2020

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Four Notorious Cases of  Media Distortion

These are four examples and there are many more. The manipulation of videos and images is routine. In some cases, these manipulations are revealed by readers, independent media and social media. In most cases they go undetected. And when they are revealed, the media will say “sorry” we apologize: they will then point to technical errors. “we got the wrong video”.

What is important to emphasize is that these media distortions are invariably deliberate.

1. Coverage of CNN 2008 Riots in Tibet

Chinese Cops with khaki uniforms and Indian Style Moustaches

The video footage, which accompanied CNN’s John Vause’s 2008 report, had nothing to do with China. The policemen were not Chinese, but Indian cops in khaki uniforms from the Northeastern State of Himachal Pradesh, India.

Viewers were led to believe that demonstrations inside China were peaceful and that people were being arrested by Chinese cops.

Chinese Cops in Khaki Uniforms?

1′.27-1′.44″ video footage of “Chinese cops” and demonstrators including Buddhist monks. Chinese cops are shown next to Tibetan monks

Are these Chinese Cops from Gansu Province or Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, as suggested by CNN’s John Vause’s Report?

REPORT ON CHINA, MARCH 14, 2008

Screenshot from above CNN video

Alleged Chinese cops in khaki uniforms repressing Tibet demonstrators in China, CNN, March 14, 2008  1’38”, 1’40″ (image above)

Their khaki uniforms with berets seem to bear the imprint of the British colonial period.

Khaki colored uniforms were first introduced in the British cavalry in India in 1846.

Khaki means “dust” in Hindi and Persian.

Moreover, the cops with khaki uniforms and moustache do not look Chinese.

Look carefully.

They are Indian cops.

The videotape shown on March 14, 2008 by CNN is not from China (Gansu Province or Lhasa, Tibet’s Capital). The video was taken in the State of Himachal Pradesh, India. The videotape of the Tibet protest movement in India was used in the CNN report on the Tibet protest movement within China. CNN got its countries screwed up.

For the full report on Global Research click Here

2. BBC Coverage of the War on Libya, 2011

Green Square Tripoli. Libyans Celebrating “Liberation” and the Victory of Rebel forces over Gadaffi waving Indian Flags

Examine the footage: It’s not Green Square and it’s not the King Idris Flag (red, black green) of the Libyan Rebels.  

Its the Indian flag (orange, white and green) and the people at the rally are Indians.

Perhaps you did not even notice it.

And if you did notice, ”it was probably a mistake”.

Sloppy journalism at the BBC or outright Lies and Fabrications? Recognize the flags?

Indian Flag  (see right)

Libya’s Rebel Flag (King Idris)

 

Terrorists “celebrating” in Green Square

There was no celebration. It was a NATO sponsored massacre which has resulted in several thousand deaths. (2011)

But the truth cannot be shown on network television. The impacts of NATO bombings have been obfuscated.

The rebels are heralded as ”liberators”.

NATO bombing is intended to save civilian lives under The Alliance’s R2P mandate.  But the realities are otherwise: the civilian population is being terrorized by the NATO sponsored Rebels.

The images must be switched to conform to the “NATO consensus”.

Death and destruction is replaced by fabricated images of celebration and liberation.

See the full report on Global Research

3. CNN and BBC on 9/11.

The Report on the Collapse of WTC Building Seven Occurred Prior to the Collapse

Fake News regarding the Collapse of WTC Building Seven

The most grotesque lie pertains to the BBC and CNN announcement in the afternoon of September 11, that WTC Building Seven (The Solomon Building) had collapsed.

The BBC report went live at 5.00pm, 21 minutes before the actual occurrence of the collapse, indelibly pointing to foreknowledge of the collapse of WTC 7.

CNN anchor Aaron Brown announced that the building “has either collapsed or is collapsing” about an hour before the event.

See the images below: WTC Building Seven is still standing.

(See WTC7.net the hidden story of Building 7: Foreknowledge of WTC 7′s Collapse)

The Collapse of WTC Building Seven.

“CNN anchor Aaron Brown seems to struggle to make sense of what he is seeing one minute after announcing that WTC Building 7, whose erect facade is clearly visible in his view towards the Trade Center, has or is collapsing.” (see below)

4. The March 2016 Brussels Terrorist Attacks.

Belgian Media Used Video of a 2011 Moscow Airport Terrorist Attack

Brussels News media Dernière Heure at dhnet.be as well as La Libre reported on the terror attacks by providing a CC Camera Airport Surveillance Video of the terror attacks. 

The published video footage was fake as documented by a blog posting on Media Part

The video pertains to a terror attack at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport on 24 January 2011 (posted on youtube in November 2013).

The  report of DHnet.be on the Brussels airport attack used the video of the Moscow 2011 attack with the date of the Brussels attack: (22/03/2016) pasted onto the Russian video.

Below is the screenshot of DH’s report.

And the screenshot of  La Libre at http://lalibre.be,

And here is a screenshot of the January 2011 terror attack at Moscow’s Domodedova International Airport published on youtube in November 2013 followed by the full youtube video of the Moscow attack:

According to the BBC (January 24, 2011) report (which includes the video), the Moscow 2011 airport attack  resulted in 35 dead.

Screenshot of BBC Report January 2011 report

Coincidence? That Same Day, There was A Second Fake Surveillance Video at Brussels Maelbeek Metro Station 

The terror attack in the afternoon of March 22 2016 at Brussels Maelbeek Metro station was reported by mainstream media including CNN.

In these reports, video footage from a 2011 terror attack in Minsk, Belarus was used by network TV and online media to describe what was happening in the metro station at the time of the attacks.

According to the Independent:

CCTV footage that was shared after the Brussels attacks, believed to show video from inside Maelbeek Metro station, has been proven fake.

As news emerged of the third explosion in the Belgian capital, which targeted the station situated near EU offices, many began sharing what they believed to be footage of the bombing.

However it was soon discovered that the video in fact came from the Minsk Metro bombing of 2011 that killed 15 and injured over 200 people.

The Independent’s report is based on a fallacy. It was the mainstream media that published the Moscow and Minsk video footages. It was thanks to incisive social media blog reports that the use of fake videos by the mainstream media was revealed.

The more fundamental question: two cases of fake videos:

Can we trust the mainstream media reports concerning the Brussels terror attacks?

Comparisons: Brussels, 22 March 2016 versus Minsk, 11 April 2011. Same video footage

Here is a screenshot of  video footage broadcast on network TV and on the internet depicting the explosion in the Metro in Brussels, March 22, 2016

The alleged video footage of the CCTV surveillance camera, Brussel Maelbeek Metro Station (subsequently removed).  The CC surveillance camera is under control of the Metro security authorities. (screenshot above)

 

Now Compare the above to the screenshot of  the Minsk April 2011 attacks followed by full-length video.

 Full video of the Minsk Attack

 

Read Complete article on Brussels Fake Videos

Concluding Remarks

The lies and fabrications of the MSM are not the result of “sloppy journalism”.

They are deliberate and are intended to mislead the public.

The mainstream media routinely uses fake images and videos in its coverage of the war on Syria.

The campaign against alternative and independent media seeks to limit freedom of expression.

An outspoken proponent of government-led tactics to influence public opinion on policy and to undermine the credibility of “conspiracy theorists” will lead the World Health Organization’s (WHO) efforts to encourage public acceptance of a COVID-19 vaccine, Children’s Health Defense has learned.

Last week, WHO’s general director, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, tweeted that he was glad to speak with the organization’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Behavioural Insights and Sciences for Health to “discuss vaccine acceptance and uptake in the context of COVID-19.”

In his next tweet Ghebreyesus announced that Cass Sunstein, founder and director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy at Harvard Law School, will chair the advisory group, which was created in July.

Sunstein was former President Barack Obama’s head of Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs where he was responsible for overseeing policies relating to information quality.

In 2008, Sunstein wrote a paper proposing that governments employ teams of covert agents to “cognitively infiltrate” online dissident groups and websites which advocate “false conspiracy theories” about the government. In the paper, Sunstein and his co-authors wrote:

“Our principal claim here involves the potential value of cognitive infiltration of extremist groups, designed to introduce informational diversity into such groups and to expose indefensible conspiracy theories as such.”

The government-led operations described in Sunstein’s paper would work to increase faith in government policy and policymakers and undermine the credibility of “conspiracists” who question their motives. They would also maintain a vigorous “counter misinformation establishment” to counter “conspiracy” groups opposed to government policies that aim to protect the common good.

Some of this would be accomplished by sending undercover agents, or government-paid third parties, into “online social networks or even real space groups.”

Sunstein also advocated in 2008 that the government pay “independent experts” to publicly advocate on the government’s behalf, whether on television or social media. He says this is effective because people don’t trust the government as much as they trust people they believe are “independent.”

WHO has already contracted the public relations firm, Hill + Knowlton. The PR giant, best known for its role in manufacturing false testimonies in support of the Gulf War, was hired by WHO  to “ensure the science and public health credibility of the WHO in order to ensure WHO’s advice and guidance is followed.”

WHO paid Hill + Knowlton $135,000 to identify micro-influencers, macro-influencers and “hidden heroes” who could covertly promote WHO’s advice and messaging on social media, and also protect and promote the organization’s image as a COVID-19 authority.

There’s no evidence that WHO has yet implemented any “cognitive infiltration” policies similar to what Sunstein advocated in 2008. If the organization were to adopt such a strategy, and use it to convince hesitant populations to take a COVID vaccine, it would raise questions of legality.

As put forward in a report by the Congressional Research Service, illegal “publicity or propaganda” is defined by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to mean either (1) self-aggrandizement by public officials; (2) purely partisan activity; or (3) “covert propaganda.” By covert propaganda, GAO means information which originates from the government but is unattributed and made to appear as though it came from a third party.

Because WHO is a multinational organization and not a U.S. Government agency, covert “cognitive infiltration” policies could fall into a gray area, or even be considered legal.

Dr. Margaret Chan, former general-director of WHO, once stated that the organization’s policies are “driven by what [she called] donor interests.”

According to a 2012 article in Foreign Affairs, “few policy initiatives or normative standards set by the WHO are announced before they have been casually, unofficially vetted by Gates Foundation staff.” Or, as other sources told Politico in 2017, “Gates’ priorities have become the WHO’s.”

WHO’s current general director, Ghebreyesus, was previously on the board of two organizations that Gates founded, provided seed money for and continues to fund to this day: GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, a public–private global health partnership focused on increased access to vaccines in poor countries, and the Global Fund, which says it aims to accelerate the “development, production and equitable global access to safe, quality, effective, and affordable COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines.”

If, as Politico put it, “Gates priorities have become the WHO’s,” and if WHO’s policies are driven by “donor interests,” this raises questions as to what online groups, people and websites would be targeted by such covert programs.

The idea of government agents carrying out psychological operations on social media is not far fetched. Earlier this year the head of editorial for Twitter’s Middle East and Africa office was outed as an active officer in the British Army’s psychological warfare unit, known as the 77th brigade, which specializes in online behavioral change operations.

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Jeremy Loffredo is a reporter for Children’s Health Defense.

Featured image is from CHD

“The truth is, the technocrats have no intention of ever letting us go back to normal,” writes Dr. Joseph Mercola in Fear Secures Obedience in COVID-19 War. “The plan is to alter society permanently. Part of that alteration is the removal of civil liberties and human rights, and it is now happening at breakneck speed.”

It may seem like we are outnumbered in an impossible battle against the Corona World Order. The majority of the population have already succumbed to the mass brainwashing operation underway.

Yet, 605 years ago, King Henry V found his army outnumbered by six-to-one on the fields of Agincourt in Northern France.

Before the battle, in Shakespeare’s King Henry V, the king overhears his cousin lamenting how so many men in England were sleeping in bed that morning of the battle. King Harry responds:

Despite being so outnumbered, the English won the battle. Partly, the historians say, because 80% of the army was made up OF soldiers skilled in the use of the longbow.

Likewise, we may not have great numbers, but we have facts and figures on our side. Truth seems a far sharper weapon than the mind control dribble the other side is showering upon the public.

So best hope have I, too.

Now, for a stirring dose of inspiration, on this the 605th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt check out Kenneth Branagh’s performance of speech that roused fearful men to victorious battle. And for the cutest rendition, check out my son reciting the speech at age six.

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John C. A. Manley has spent over a decade ghostwriting for medical doctors, as well as naturopaths, chiropractors and Ayurvedic physicians. He publishes the COVID-19(84) Red Pill Briefs – an email-based newsletter dedicated to preventing the governments of the world from using an exaggerated pandemic as an excuse to violate our freedom, health, privacy, livelihood and humanity. He is also writing a novel, Much Ado About Corona: A Dystopian Love Story. Visit his website at: MuchAdoAboutCorona.ca. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image: John Gilbert – The Morning of the Battle of Agincourt (1884), Guildhall Art Gallery (Public Domain)

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Whether it be because the EU is staying true to its pledge to protect the freedom and well-being of its citizens, or because it wishes to increase its relevance and importance in the mind of Europeans, the matter is of no small importance. The Court of Justice of the European Union, through its Advocate General, Giovanni Pitruzzella, could put an end to a creeping campaign led by private organizations to discontinue physical currency. The motion aims to protect vulnerable citizens and fundamental liberties.

The numerous enemies of cash

The war on currency started so long ago that few agree on the birth year. But a ball park date would be the 1960s and 1970s, when alternative payment methods started slowly replacing banknotes in transactions. Nowadays, countless options are offered to consumers during their purchases. CSR reports that “electronic forms of payment have become increasingly available, convenient, and cost efficient due to technological advances in digitization and data processing. Anecdotal reporting and certain analyses suggest that businesses and consumers are increasingly eschewing cash payments in favor of electronic payment methods.” Along the way, many organizations saw in the societal shift an opportunity, and started trying to rush it, against public interest or, at the very least, disregarding it. Now that consumers in the EU have a large pallet of payment options, these organizations realized that cash held its ground, and that numerous daily transactions were still being carried out with good old-fashioned banknotes. And this is where, gradually, push came to shove. 

Big Tech wishes to increase profit

There are two reasons why financial service companies wish to eradicate hard currency. The first one is direct: with a small commission paid in every digital transaction, it takes no genius to figure out why these companies would wish to increase the number of non-cash payments on markets. The Congressional Research Service released a global study in 2019, stating that “Such trends have led analysts and policymakers to examine the possibility that the use and acceptance of cash will significantly decline in coming years and to consider the effects of such an evolution.” The second reason is indirect. While banks and financial institutions can sometimes be creative and at the tip of ingenuity, they followed suit in this case, after GAFA companies built their fortunes by collecting information on their clients. Banks and financial institutions eventually realized that they, too, could collect rich data on people, as digital payments leave a generous paper trail behind them: who paid what to whom, for what, where, and when. Such a treasure trove of information would be valuable to these companies, or to the highest bidder.  But for that, cash payments, which can be used to evade Big Tech control, need to be eliminated first. And, given that cash is used in larger proportions by the more vulnerable segments of society, this would amount to harming the poor, homeless and elderly, so that large corporations may increase their profit.

Some national governments keen on a cashless world 

Banks and large companies found themselves alongside some governments, in this struggle: namely those who were eager to increase their control over their populations. The most prominent example came in 2016, when India brutally attacked cash and sent destructive shockwaves throughout the nation, in an attempt to aggrandize its reach and power. In Europe, as well, some governments dream of achieving complete control over their economies and population. A cashless economy would indeed provide this level of power, as any citizen could be kept under scrutiny and controlled in its economic life. If companies drawing profit with their information on people wasn’t bad enough, civil liberties activists dreaded what some European governments could do with such power. Hungary, an EU member, as recently tipped into brutal dictatorship and could easily use enhanced data on its population to intimidate citizens and opponents into silence.

Giovanni Pitruzzella steps in

These trends warmed up quietly for years, until they came to a boiling point in the 2010s. The EU let itself be influenced for a very short period, before it realized what was at stake. Various anti-cash measures were implemented but, in 2018, when Brussels realized there was a larger agenda behind these pushes, it put an end to it. Recently, two German citizens who attempted to pay their taxes in cash were turned away, and struck with mark-ups, as their tax offices insisted they pay digitally. They brought the matter to the CJEU, which ruled in their favor. Giovanni Pitruzzella seized the occasion to put an end to the matter and remind all organizations involved that cash was not only a citizen’s guarantee for economic independence. He stated that: “despite widespread usage of electronic forms of payment in the EU, […] cash still plays an important role in the euro area economy and thus the advent of a cashless society does not seem as imminent as some people like to think”. He also confirmed that economic decisions should be made, taking into account the interests of the poorest, and keeping in mind the cost-benefit balance. “There is a direct link between cash and the exercise of fundamental rights […] which does exist in cases where there is a social inclusion element of the use of cash”, he added. In this case, the assessment was made that an opportunity for private profit or government control could not take precedence over the protection of the EU’s most vulnerable and the freedom of choice of its citizens. 

The EU has been facing headwinds in recent years, in no small part due to the UK questioning its relevance, leadership, or even integrity. As public and private corporations around the world turn away from their mission to protect their most vulnerable, and towards self-interest, the CJEU has made it clear that no such breaches would occur within the confines of the European Union. If the EU was seeking an occasion to show its worth, it came in the person of its Advocate General.

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Featured image is from the public domain

It is all but certain that the next head of the influential World Trade Organization (WTO) will be an African by birth and a woman. But neither is what makes the all-but certain naming of Nigerian-born Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala cause for alarm. Rather it is who she is and who she presently is tied to that insure she will implement the unfolding agenda of the Great Reset transformation of the world economy, using the coronavirus pandemic as a prime lever. She presently heads an organization created by the seeming omnipresent (not omniscient) Bill Gates together with the Davos World Economic Forum—both involved in implementing the Great Reset–and she is deeply tied to the prime institutions of globalization and international finance. Some background we should know about.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has just won the unanimous support of the 55 nations of the African Union, defeating an Egyptian candidate. As of this writing she faces certain approval over her South Korean opponent. On October 17, the 55 member countries of the African Union voted to back Okonjo-Iweala against her only remaining opponent, Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea, their current Minister of Trade. The Nigerian candidate claims also to have the backing of a group of Caribbean and Pacific states, bringing the number of countries officially endorsing her candidacy to 79 out of the 164 states that comprise the WTO. It looks like a done deal.

Who is Okonjo-Iweala?

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala comes from senior ministerial posts in Nigeria, one of the world’s most corrupt states with a 2019 Transparency International index of 146 from 180 states evaluated. Notably, she was Finance Minister in the Nigerian government twice, first under President Olusegun Obasanjo from 2003–2006. Then again, from 2011–2015 under President Goodluck Jonathan when she was named Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy. Though she was never charged with corruption, in 2015 almost $20 billion was discovered “lost” after an audit by PriceWaterhouseCoopers of state oil revenues. She also convinced Goodluck Jonathan to lift gasoline subsidies in 2012 triggering massive street protests as many Nigerians see cheap gasoline as the only benefit they get from the country’s vast oil wealth. Cutting such subsidies is standard World Bank fare.

As Finance Minister she backed the usual IMF/World Bank demands for slashing state subsidies for gasoline and privatization of electricity. It was no surprise, as Okonjo-Iweala was with the World Bank in Washington for 25 years. After Obasanjo terminated her first stint as Finance Minister, she returned to the World Bank to become Managing Director of Operations from 2007–2011. Several times she made clear her ambition to become head of the World Bank, a post traditionally filled by an American Citizen. Indeed, she went so far as to take American citizenship in 2019 when the World Bank post again became vacant, but to no avail.

The World Bank is one of the pivotal UN-based instruments for advancing the globalist corporatist economic agenda, along with the IMF. Like the IMF the World Bank uses its money as a carrot to impose draconian conditionalities on recipient governments in developing countries. This is called the “Washington Consensus” and imposes an unsuitable “free market” agenda that inevitably includes demands to slash state budgets, cut state subsidies to food and fuel, make the currency convertible and cheap, and eliminate protectionist barriers. The Structural Adjustment Programs of the World Bank and IMF in West Africa led countries to prioritize debt payments over investment in public services including in education, infrastructure or basic health services. In short, it is a brutal form of what has been called technocratic neo-colonialism, far more sinister than the British or French or Belgians ever managed because they use Africans or other developing country technocrat “faces” to impose the draconian austerity that forces countries to open to foreign plunder, typically by the western corporate giants.

GAVI and Gates

Okonjo-Iweala left the corrupt government of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 to become Chairman of GAVI-The Vaccine Alliance, where she sits until today. GAVI stands for Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization. It was founded in 2000 with an initial $750 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates was joined by the World Bank and GAVI was all agreed at the Davos World Economic Forum, the globalist hub at the center of the Great Reset. GAVI claims to have spent more than $4 billion on vaccines. Its main target is vaccinating every child in Africa, India and the developing world. GAVI declares on its website,

“As part of its mission to save lives, reduce poverty and protect the world against the threat of epidemics, Gavi has helped vaccinate more than 822 million children in the world’s poorest countries.”

The Board of GAVI includes, in addition to Chairman Okonjo-Iweala, one of the world’s largest vaccine makers, GSK, as well as the Gates Foundation, World Bank, WHO and UNICEF. Under the chairmanship of Okonjo-Iweala, GAVI has been involved in the scandalous spread of polio in Africa as a result of their polio vaccine strategy. As well also in India GAVI and the Gates Foundation were sued in Indian High Courts for “criminally negligent trialling the vaccines on a vulnerable, uneducated and under-informed population– school administrators, students and their parents– who were not provided informed consent or advised of potential adverse effects or required to be monitored post-vaccination.” A number of vaccinated Indian girls died after receiving HPV vaccines from GSK, a board member of GAVI.

Most recently, under Okonjo-Iweala’s term as Chairman of GAVI, cases of paralytic polio resulted in African and Indian children who had been vaccinated by GAVI and Gates Foundation Oral Polio Vaccine programs. GAVI and Gates did so despite the fact they knew that the OPV had been dropped by the US CDC in 1992 from its vaccine schedule in the US because it was causing polio. Under the GAVI-Gates polio vaccination program polio cases have been registered in more than a dozen African countries including Angola, Congo, Nigeria and Zambia and Okono-Iweala’s Nigeria. But the shocking thing is that the outbreaks are all reportedly caused by the Gates-backed oral polio vaccine. GAVI and Gates engage in a colossally corrupt and even criminal enterprise in which the tax exempt Gates Foundation invests in vaccine companies like GSK and others that then sell their vaccines to huge new markets such as Africa and India. As stock prices in GSK rise as a result of rising sales of vaccines, Gates Foundation net worth rises too. “Charity” for profit is the model.

In short Okonjo-Iweala’s role as head of the corrupt GAVI as well as World Bank and Nigerian Finance Ministry make her a superb candidate to head the globalist World Trade Organization. Looking further into her ties adds to that picture.

Revealing Board Ties

While taking the position as Chairman of GAVI Okonjo-Iweala also became “Senior Advisor” to Lazard Ltd., a US investment bank which claims to be the world’s largest independent investment bank, with principal executive offices in New York City, Paris and London. The current Lazard board includes among others Richard Haass, head of the New York Council on Foreign Relations. Lazard chairman Kenneth Jacobs sits on the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group. Then in 2018, while still advising Lazard and heading Gates’ GAVI, she joined the board of Jack Dorsey’s Twitter, infamous these days for massive political censorship.

She also took a position in 2018 on the Board of the major international bank Standard Chartered, whose major shareholder is the government sovereign wealth fund of Singapore, and whose banking operations are in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. In 2012 the New York Department of Financial Services accused Standard Chartered of hiding $250 billion (!) in transactions involving Iran, labelling it a “rogue institution.” The bank has been involved in money laundering US sanctions-violations also involving Myanmar, Libya and Sudan and Hong Kong, where it has major business with China. The Nigerian WTO candidate is well-connected to the world of global finance powers that be, in short.

The former Nigerian Finance Minister and World Bank official is also well-versed in the globalist dystopian UN Agenda 2030 backed by the Davos WEF and Gates. She is co-chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate which calls for “bold climate action,” alongside the head of the IMF, and former head of the agribusiness giant Unilever among others. She also served on the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the infamous “sustainable development” agenda. And she is listed as an “Agenda Contributor” to the Davos World Economic Forum.

The WTO Agenda

If she is elected which seems all but a done deal, she will head one of the central globalist institutions. The WTO was created in 1995 to advance the Davos agenda of globalization, arguably one of the most economically destructive agendas in history. WTO rules on agriculture trade were drafted by the agribusiness cartel companies led by Cargill to force open agriculture markets in the developing countries to agribusiness products from the global food cartel companies. Rather than eliminate food subsidies in the North American and EU producer countries, subsidies of over 40% on key products have allowed giant agribusiness companies like Unilever to flood local markets in Africa and Asia which bankrupt local small producers, forcing them to flood into urban centers for cheap labor. As one analyst put it, reforms demanded by the WTO have destroyed guaranteed prices and state-sponsored extension services, and governments of the Global South have had to dismantle programs for food security and rural assistance in favor of those that would help them meet WTO mandates.

With her ties to Bill Gates, to the World Bank, the Word Economic Forum, to international finance and even Twitter, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is well-suited to supervise the planned imposition of the totalitarian agenda of the Gates-WEF Great Reset. That she will owe her election to WTO to the backing of African and other developing country governments is a bitter commentary on the cynical manipulations of the Powers That Be in today’s world.

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F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook” where this article was originally published. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

Featured image is from NEO


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Seeds of Destruction: Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation

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This skilfully researched book focuses on how a small socio-political American elite seeks to establish control over the very basis of human survival: the provision of our daily bread. “Control the food and you control the people.”

This is no ordinary book about the perils of GMO. Engdahl takes the reader inside the corridors of power, into the backrooms of the science labs, behind closed doors in the corporate boardrooms.

The author cogently reveals a diabolical world of profit-driven political intrigue, government corruption and coercion, where genetic manipulation and the patenting of life forms are used to gain worldwide control over food production. If the book often reads as a crime story, that should come as no surprise. For that is what it is.

Russia and United States Get Closer on Signing Nuclear Agreement

October 25th, 2020 by Kester Kenn Klomegah

Russia and the United States, after several months of moving forth and back with negotiations, have finally moved closer to agree on extending the controversial nuclear treaty for one year. The one-year short-term agreement was on the initiative, or better still a proposal offered by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“It would be extremely sad, if this Treaty ceased to exist and was not replaced by another fundamental document of this kind. During all the previous years, the New START worked and worked properly, performing its fundamental role as a constraint curtailing the arms race and a tool of arms control. It is clear that we have new weapons systems that the American side lacks, at least for the time being. We are not refusing to discuss this aspect of the matter as well,” Putin said at the Russia’s Security Council meeting on October 16, transcript made available on the Kremlin website.

“In this regard, I have a proposal to extend the Treaty now in effect unconditionally for at least a year in order to have a chance to hold substantive talks on all the parameters of problems that are regulated by treaties of this kind, lest we leave our countries and all nations of the world with a vested interest in maintaining strategic stability without such a fundamental document as the Strategic Offensive Arms Limitation Treaty,” he further added.

In response, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov mentioned that Russia has remained quite proactive in contacts with American colleagues on strategic stability matters in all their aspects, including by emphasizing our initiative to take a decision without delay to extend the New START, set to expire in February 2021, for a new five-year term without any preconditions. This initiative remains on the table.

According to Lavrov, Russia would be ready to continue working on new agreements, clear proposals in furtherance of the comprehensive approach to strategic stability, which have been forwarded to the US side. In reply, the United States has sent its proposals, which have been presented as conditions, or rather preconditions for the extension of the New START.

On October 20, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued an official statement that surprised experts in arms control both, in Russia and the United States. The ministry suddenly announced that Moscow was ready to prolong the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) for one year, undertaking the political obligation along with Washington to freeze the amount of its nuclear warheads for that period.

The official statement said that Russia offers to extend the New START Treaty for one year and meanwhile is ready to jointly with the U.S. undertake a political commitment to “freeze” for the above-mentioned period the number of nuclear warheads that each side possesses.

This position of ours may be implemented only and exclusively on the premise that “freezing” of warheads will not be accompanied by any additional demands on the part of the United States. Were this approach be acceptable for Washington, then the time gained by the extension of the New START Treaty could be used to conduct comprehensive bilateral negotiations on the future nuclear and missile arms control that must address all factors affecting strategic stability, the statement said.

Despite the fact that both Russia and the United States get closer to agree on short-term extension, Russian experts still have deep reservations and oscillating perceptions about the relations with United States. On the other hand, some believed that the decision did not only demonstrate a radical change in Russia’s stance but also would pave the way for future negotiations.

New START is the last major bilateral treaty related to nuclear arms control, Director General at the Russian International Affairs Council, Andrey Kortunov, pointed out in comments to Vedomosti daily newspaper, added that without the agreement, the era of bilateral arms control, which began 50 years ago, would come to an end.

Putin’s initiative was targeted at US President Donald Trump who may need to showcase himself as a champion of peace ahead of the presidential election, Kortunov noted. Russia actually suggested that talks should be continued later, in case Trump wins.

“If Trump fails to be re-elected, then [Russia] would continue the conversation with the Democrats. Especially since Biden seems to be willing to preserve the bilateral mechanism of strategic arms control,” the expert added.

Kortunov believes that even if New START is extended, the current arms control mechanism cannot be salvaged. “In any case, there is a need to shift to a new mechanism. Not only in terms of engaging China, but also because of changes in nuclear weapons technologies,” the expert stressed.

In addition to above, Russia’s Izvestia newspaper also reported that Moscow and Washington continued to have different assessments of the future of the treaty. Thus, Russia is sure that the chances of extending the document are “close to zero” because of the position of the United States. At the same time, the US claims that they have reached an agreement, in principle, and would be able to approve all the formalities before the presidential elections in the United States.

“The extension of the agreement is hindered by the current American administration’s efforts to solve its internal problems by using the Treaty. They practically want to receive a certain document for the elections, which can be trotted out as a victory. But the conditions they offer are unacceptable,” Ilya Kramnik, an Expert at the Russian International Affairs Council told the Izvestia newspaper in comments.

Konstantin Bogdanov, Senior Researcher at the Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), believes that Russia was in no hurry to sign the deal under such conditions.

“The Americans are increasingly demonstrating their dependence on the upcoming elections. They need at least some ‘paper’ before the national ballot and they are noticeably anxious. That is why right now, before the elections, there will be no agreements on American terms,” the expert assured.

The possibility of extending the treaty will exist until February 2021, with the deal actually expiring only three months later, said Dmitry Stefanovich, a Researcher at the International Security Center, the Institute of World Economy and International Relations.

According to him, Putin is ready to continue substantial discussions of mutual concerns in the strategic field. His order to the Foreign Ministry to get a clear-cut answer from the United States points to Moscow’s annoyance at “the mess in Washington.”

Russia is still convinced that proliferation risks and threats that are rampant today can be eliminated by the strict observance of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), while respecting and ensuring the balance between its three components: nonproliferation, disarmament and peaceful use of nuclear energy.

It restricts the numbers of strategic nuclear warheads that Russia and the United States can deploy as well as the missiles and bombers that carry them. Despite their differences, Moscow and Washington appear to be moving closer to a deal on a new agreement. Moscow and Washington signed the Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms in 2010. Under the terms, the Treaty concluded for a period of ten years, it therefore means until February 5, 2021.

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Kester Kenn Klomegah is a frequent and passionate contributor to Global Research.

Featured image: President Putin by Harold Escalona/shutterstock; President Trump by Drop of Light/Shutterstock

The Armenian defense in the southern part of the Nagorno-Karabakh region seems to be collapsing as the advancing Azerbaijani forces are about to reach the strategic Lachin corridor.

On October 23, Azerbaijani troops were filmed near the village of Muradxanlı, which is located in about 15 km from this strategic area. Even if this Azerbaijani unit was just a field recognizance patrol and the main forces of the Turkish-Azerbaijani bloc still have to overcome Armenian resistance to reach the area, the fact of the Azerbaijani presence there marks the hard situation on the frontline for the Armenians.

The Lachin corridor is a mountain pass within the de jure borders of Azerbaijan, forming the shortest route between Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Republic of Artsakh). The cutting off of Lachin will destroy the remaining hopes of the Armenian side to achieve a military victory in the ongoing war. Meanwhile, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev announced that his forces took full control of the Azerbaijani-Iranian border after capturing the village of Aghband. The Azerbaijani leader also declared that the Armenians lost 21 more settlements in the districts of Zangilan, Fuzuli and Jabrayil.

The Armenian military denies the collapse of its defense lines in the south and claims that Azerbaijani units appearing on video are just sabotage parties. According to the Armenian side, various Azerbaijan troops tried to advance in the western, northern and northwestern directions, but all of these offensive attempts were repelled. The Azerbaijani military allegedly suffered heavy losses.

The Armenian side insists that the towns of Hadrut and Fuzuli are in fact not in the hands of Azerbaijan. It insists that various units of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan penetrate into different settlements in the front-line zone trying to create panic and make selfies there. These groups, according to Armenian media, are very small and often run away from Armenian troops. The optimism of Armenian officials is at least surprising.

According to reports, Armenian troops left the town of Aghband with almost no resistance to the Azerbaijani Armed Forces supported by Turkish specialists and Syrian militants. This move was likely a result of the need to save personnel and keep at least some reserves needed on other parts of the frontline. The defending of the almost surrounded town makes no sense. Nonetheless, videos and photos appearing online indicate that Armenian sabotage groups are also active in the rear of the advancing Azerbaijani forces. In that area, if they have enough supplies and weapons, they would be able to deliver painful blows to the logistical convoys of the Turkish-Azerbaijani bloc. It is likely that his activity is a formal pretext behind the statements of the Armenian Ministry of Defense that Azerbaijan has not gained full control of the border with Iran.

Forces of Azerbaijan continue to take control of settlements and villages in the south of Karabakh. Most of them are empty as the locals (ethnic Armenians) know well what fate they could face. It seems that the south of Karabakh is already lost for Armenia.

The Azerbaijani advance along the border with Iran through the relatively flat ground (if one compares it with the rest of Karabakh) appears to be a success. Now the Azerbaijani military and its allies are working to fully secure the border with Iran and set conditions for an operation to capture the Lachin corridor. The ability or inability of Azerbaijan to capture Lachin could become another turning point in the war.

Under the current conditions, it seems that a relatively positive outcome of the conflict for Karabakh forces would be possible in the event of the involvement some third power that would provide them with direct military assistance. Nonetheless, this scenario remains unlikely as long as even Armenia, which for years has been using Karabakh as its own protectorate, is not hurrying up to do so. Some Armenian sources even claim that the Pashinyan government oriented towards the West and NATO has just opted to sell the contested region to Azerbaijan under some formal pretext to remove the unresolved territorial disputes factor and open a way towards the further ‘democratic’ transformation of Armenia that it desires so much.

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On 21 October 2020, the German Press Agency (dpa) reports that Germany pledges NATO soldiers for possible Covid-19 operations:

“German soldiers could be sent on crisis missions to other NATO and partner countries during the second wave of the Corona pandemic. As a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense confirmed, the German government has promised NATO support for its “Allied Hand” emergency plan. According to this plan, medical personnel, pioneers and experts from the force would be made available for foreign missions to counter nuclear, biological or chemical hazards as required. The contingency plan is to be activated, for example, if a collapse of the health care system is imminent in allied or NATO partner countries due to very high infection rates and the affected state asks for support.”

In clear text, this means that German soldiers may be deployed on covid-related “crisis missions” to other NATO partners. Covid-restrictions and related government oppression and tyranny may lead to massive civil unrest, and German soldiers, alias German NATO soldiers, along with soldiers form other NATO countries, could help the local governments suffocate such potential people upheavals, applying military force. Live bullets and killing, if “necessary”.

In some European countries, covid-unrests already clearly visible, i.e., Slovenia, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Spain – and of course, in the very Germany. Civil and societal unrest is also boiling hot in France, currently one of the most repressive regimes in the western world.

All these countries were told and brainwashed into believing they live in a “democracy” – and in a democracy what is happening to them could and should never happen. They were never asked. Their governments didn’t even bother telling them that these “measures” were for their own good. Now, they are even being told by people like Boris Johnson, British PM, not to hope to go back to “normal”. There will be no more normal as we knew it, he literally said. Instead, there will be a Great Reset.

Amazon.com: COVID-19: The Great Reset eBook: Schwab, Klaus, Malleret, Thierry: Kindle Store

Thereby he is aping the words of Klaus Schwab, the founder and CEO of the World Economic Forum (WEF), who just published (July 2020) a book, called “Covid-19 – The Great Reset”. The book is available on Amazon (where else!), and I highly recommend reading it, not for Schwab to get richer, but for you and us the people to know what “their” plan is. Only if we know what the plan is, we may stop it – if we organize in solidarity and resist.

There is no “democracy”, there has never been. The EU is one of the least democratic institutions there is. But, yet, we are being indoctrinated with this huge lie, we are living in a democracy. It is covid that finally brings this abject global deceit to light.

And our lie-prone politicians and their bought mainstream media, continue to praise our western beautiful democracy, while deviating our attention from the truth, by bashing wester-made enemies, like China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Syria, North Korea – and others, just so we are blinded at home, but are told with false-propaganda that all these other countries are evil. They are evil, because they do not believe in our western greed-economy. The media does a very successful firing up of “cognitive dissonance’ – we know something is not right, but our feverish want for remaining in our comfort zone, makes us believe that we are well protected by our “elected” masters – and those, for example, in the east, who may follow another life philosophy than is ours which is made up of greed and violence – are evil.

An interesting poll, made public today in Switzerland shows that on average more than two thirds of the EU population thinks negatively about China and Russia. Why? China and Russia have never done anything harmful to Europe, to the contrary – they have offered truthful cooperation, against coerced collaboration, US-style. So, the question “Why?” is answered with the corporate paid brainwash-media.

Is this “democracy”? Is this democratic thinking?

Do these people realize that their brains have been captured years ago by a consumer-comfort propaganda and gradually converted into a submissive slave-behavior that still believes in “democracy”?

The German people have not been asked whether they agree sending German troops to other countries, nor whether they should participate in NATO exercises. The truce that is in force for Germany since the end of WWII, allows no foreign intervention by German military. In fact, no formal Peace Agreement has (yet) been signed between Germany and the winning powers. The armistice accord contains a clause that dictates that Germany ought to never undertake any actions that go against the interests of the United States. This would explain, at least in part, why the German Government bends backwards over to please Washington.

But most of the Germans are oblivious to this fact. On purpose. Because “democracy” would dictate the ethical: let the public know. Get a public debate going about the autonomy and sovereignty that Germany currently has and that she – and her people – deserve.

The decision of using German troops as NATO soldiers in other countries has nothing to do with “democracy”. It goes against the grains of democracy. Is Germany under a “covid emergency law”, which would be similar to Martial Law? As is France, Switzerland, Spain, the UK? If so, have the people been properly informed?

Switzerland has just recently extended her Covid Emergency Law until the end of 2021 – and then what? It could easily be extended again, as it was now. The law was rammed through a right-wing congress, regardless of political parties, congress men and women largely agreed. No questions asked. The people were never consulted.

Now a People’s Referendum (a privilege the Swiss still have) that would ban this so-called “Notrecht” (emergency Law), is under way. But by the time enough signatures will be assembled and the referendum will be “allowed” by the Government to be presented to the public for a vote, it may be too late to change the drastic measures that were implemented under the quasi-Martial Law.

That’s “democracy”, or is it?

France under Mr. Macron, a Rothschild gnome, has reimposed a State of Health Emergency and introduced curfews, a ban on weddings and being out in the streets is permitted only with special permits. This as the result of a “sudden and spectacular acceleration” in the spread of the coronavirus, Jean Castex, the Prime Minister said, justifying this audacious draconian measure. He added that the national COVID-19 incidence rate over the past ten days had jumped from 107 to 190 cases per 100,000 population with “particularly alarming levels” in some large cities. But who checks the figures, the statistics, how they are assembled? Nobody.

That’s “democracy”? –  For disobedience fines are €135 for first offenders, rising to as much as €7,500 — and a six-month prison term. Well, is this dictatorship or what?

It is far asway from “democracy” – that’s for sure. Especially if we know what covid really is – namely nothing more than closely similar to a regular flu. This is according to Anthony Fauci, chief of NIAID / NIH of the US, when he writes peer-reviewed articles in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), like “Covid-19 – Navigating the Uncharted”  …. “the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.

Screenshot from NEJM

When Fauci speaks to the media – in countless interviews to mainstream TV – he uses the usual fear-mongering narrative of the deadliness of the corona virus.

This shows, that there is clearly a different agenda behind covid than controlling the “Pandemic”, but rather controlling the people. We ought to wake up. It’s too late to talk about reinstating “democracy”. Truth is, we never had democracy. And now we have to fight for our sheer survival as human beings. Trust me.

“Democracy” is but a wishful slogan. Democracy in today’s world certainly doesn’t exist. It never did. Not even in ancient Greece it worked, where the term was invented some 2500 years ago by well-off, but admittedly well-thinking philosophers. Democracy was always for the educated, for the fortunate and wealthy – but it never played out in truth to all of the people – to what the term in its original translation meant and means. As soon as the term democracy is given to politicians as a concept of ruling a nation to be applied, the meaning of “democracy” is vandalized into “the people choose, but the elite decides”. It is the same as of this day. Democracy is derived from the ancient Greek “demokratia,” literally meaning that power belongs to the people. It never did; and even less so today.

“The power belonging to the people” was and is conceded to the people, always to the extent that the controlling elite deems appropriate. If the people want to take over what’s theirs, the controlling elite brings out controlling forces and plays the propaganda game, misinformation, manipulated truth and outright lies. This was the case then and is practiced today in even more sophisticated ways.

Today, deceit is not just applied as the ruling elite sees fit and for personal gains, it is manufactured by algorithms, actually by Artificial Intelligence. Today’s elections, particularly in the west, are decided by oligarch or deep state-controlled algorithms. The voters play an alibi role. Not more. There is hardly any election in the (western) world which is not ultimately controlled and decided by the United States.

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Back to the non-democratic European Union. It is using NATO troops for urban warfare, if you will. There is a not-much-talked about German / NATO military base in the small “Land” (State) of Saxony-Anhalt, not far from Hamburg. According to the German online journal “Pivot Area”, the urban warfare military base in Schnöggersburg is being built since 2012. It should be finished by the end of 2020. By then it will consist of more than 500 buildings stretched over 6.25 square kilometers. The so called „urban agglomeration“, as the Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces) labeled its training ground, has a whole city infrastructure – i.e. a canalization (water supply and sewerage), an underground (metro) line, a train station, an industrial park, as well as a sport stadium, slums, residential areas and a high-rise district. The German MoD (Ministry of Defense) planned to invest 140 million Euros into the project (by completion, it will likely be considerably more). According to lieutenant-general Frank Leidenberger, head of the land forces innovation-department, the last decade shows the clear trend, that „warfare moves from the field to the cities.“ Therefore Schnöggersburg should give the German armed forces a supreme training ground for state of the art operations in urban scenarios. Leidenberger says also that the Bundeswehr considers its new high training city as a strategic resource to push the framework of nation concept with partner armies.”

The key phrase is the framework of nation concept with partner armies.”  That’s where NATO comes in.

How many Germans have been democratically informed about this Monster Project?

It clearly indicates that urban social unrest, on massive scale, was already foreseen way before 2012 – probably around the time that the Global Great Reset started taking form, decades ago, in the criminal heads of the all-controlling Deep State; those that started this new phase of societal digitization with 9/11 in 2001, curiously also the beginning of a new western calendar landmark, the Third Millennium. Starting with 9/11, the western empire and its minions went downhill. And the East started rising.

The downhill slide will undoubtedly mean the end of the empire. But on the way there, all the most mischievous powers will be used to enslave the population, digitally and with AI, algorithms. Since this Deep State has also eugenicists in its core, a massive population reduction is also part of the plan.

Monetary digitization is likewise part of the plan. In fact, it is already well under preparation, as an element of WEF’s Great Reset, or as the IMF calls it, The Great Reformation. The IMF (and the World Bank), both controlled by the US Treasury, are planning a so-called Bretton Woods 2.0, a Reset of the monetary system, where eventually the western dollar economy would be replaced by a digital crypto-currency, in which selected western currency may partake. The role of gold in it, is not clear, nor is the role of the de facto strongest currency, the Chinese Yuan.

If this as of yet hypothetical new IMF-BIS controlled crypto-currency materializes, it would most likely wipe out all US debt and make lines of credit available – perhaps in the hundreds of trillions of dollars equivalent – to help bail-out small central banks of poorer, highly indebted countries. Watch the video below.

Would these countries’ debt base just balloon out of proportion with the new IMF-BIS bail-outs, or would they simply (have to) concede their national asset base to the IMF-BIS managed Global monster fund – to be able to limp along in “lockstep” and poverty, according to the Masters’ rules, is not clear.

In any case, be prepared, there is much to come, if, We, the People, allow the Covid-19 induced Great Reset to move forward. It is increasingly clear that covid is nothing more than an instrument for a much grander plan, The Great Reset. – the Great Reset is the antidote to “democracy”. It is a further demolition of any hope towards a “democracy”.

Fortunately, there is China, also with a new digital (crypto?) currency, in test phase, under preparation – eventually to be rolled out for international payment use, as an alternative to the dollar economy, or the new IMF-BIS treacherous US Treasury controlled crypto-currency. In contrast, the digital yuan is meant as a peaceful means of trading among equals in view of a more balanced multi-polar world. Yes, this despite the negative wester thinking about China.
The Tao life philosophy that the west doesn’t want to know or understand, is not confrontational, not even when constantly confronted by the aggressive west.

In the meantime, to escape the new monetary tyranny (from fiat dollars to fiat-fiat crypto), countries could simply retake their sovereignty, take back their national central banks, heir national currencies and start producing for local markets with local public banks and with local debt – as much as possible towards a state of self-sufficiency, with cross-border trading in local currencies. If this happens, the IMF-BIS controlled crypto currency will bite the dust.

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Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for online journals such as Global Research; ICH; New Eastern Outlook (NEO) and more. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

Paul Robeson and the Battle for the Soul of America

October 25th, 2020 by Matthew Ehret-Kump

“Every artist, every scientist, every writer must decide now where he stands. The artist must take sides. He must elect to fight for freedom or for slavery. I have made my choice”

Paul Robeson, 1937

America today stands at a crossroads. Where an entrenched oligarchy strives desperately to keep hold of those military, intelligence, financial and federal institutions which it spent decades infesting, while attempting to overthrow a nationalist president who has worked to end the “forever wars” while cooperating with both Russia and China.

This fight within the heart of America has been confusing for many people who accustomed themselves to interpret world history from the distorted lens of the age in which they live.

Such confused people cannot fathom HOW America could possibly be anything but an imperialistic nation infested with self-contradiction: A nation founded on Liberty but relying on exploitation, usury and institutional racism.

This confusion can easily be resolved by taking off the distorted glasses of “the present” and look at history as a process defined by the clash between two opposing views of mankind: a creature born free or enslaved.

Where the oligarchical system defines humanity as simply a mass of enslaved apes controlled by higher ‘alpha’ apes, the humanist system defines humanity as a species made in the image of a creator with inalienable rights. Abstract notions of “law, value, goodness, purpose, beauty, creativity or even potential” flow equally as words from each system, but with definitions that stand in stark opposition to each other.

Paul Robeson lived his remarkable life according to this knowledge and gave everything to awaken what he understood as the real America as a force of opposition to the racist, imperialistic machine that had made its move to take control of the republic on the eve of President Roosevelt’s early death in 1945.

Who was Paul Robeson?

Paul Robeson is a man who defies categorization. Although famous as a great African American baritone and actor born of an escaped slave, Robeson was so much more. While his life’s work should be basic knowledge and pride of every American today, the deep state which ran America for over 70 years has done all but erase him from existence labelling him a “communist crackpot” and Soviet spy. Why is the oligarchy so afraid of his memory?

Robeson is a cultural warrior of the highest caliber who knew over 20 languages including Russian, Chinese, Arabic and several African dialects, he early on became a cultural ambassador expressing the universality of mankind as he sung folk songs around the world and created institutions to enhance the best of each cultures development. He combined the anti-imperialist fight to liberate all former colonies with the combat for racial equality in America. He was the most vocal opponent to the Wall Street takeover of America and was recognized internationally as the leading figure and founder of America’s Civil Rights movement.

Music as a Weapon

Robeson famously called “music his weapon”, and used it masterfully to build spiritual bridges with all cultures by absorbing their languages, stories and folk songs. He wrote: “folk songs are, in fact, an expression of a peoples’ innermost nature, of the distinctive and multifaceted conditions of its life and culture, of the sublime wisdom that reflects that peoples’ great historical journey and experience.

In Russia, Robeson sang numerous patriotic pieces like Song of the Plains in perfect Russian:

In China, he sang popular folk songs and was the first western singer to sing Chi Lai (Arise) in 1940 which later became China’s national anthem:

He even learned Yiddish and sang the anti-fascist Warsaw Ghetto Uprising ballad:

Nothing more powerfully conveys the insight Robeson had into the universality of mankind when one hears his incredible description of the universal harmonies, and patterns underlying world languages and folk music conveyed during his 1958 Carnegie Hall concert featuring international folk music:

Political Freedom as the Highest Art

Counted among his close friends and allies were Albert Einstein, Vice President Henry Wallace (who Robeson campaigned vigorously for in his 1948 bid for the presidency), Jawaharlal Nehru, Jomo Kenyatta, and Kwame Nkrumah. Kenyatta and Nkrumah became leaders of the powerful Pan African movement and were members of an organization called the Council on African Affairs founded and chaired by Robeson in 1937.

Presiding over the 1944 Council on African Affairs conference alongside emerging Pan African leaders and American workers of all colors, Robeson oversaw the resolutions defining the conferences’ objectives:

  • To Give concrete help to the struggle of the African masses
  • To disseminate accurate information concerning Africa and its people; in that, to wake up Americans to what is happening in Africa; the one continent where undisguised colonial slavery is still practiced.
  • To influence the adoption of governmental policies designed to promote their advancement and freedom and preserve international peace.
  • To smash the iron curtain of secrecy and double talk surrounding the schemes for imperialist exploitation of Africa and its people.
  • To prevent American loans and guns from being used to crush the freedom struggle of Africans and other subject peoples.
  • To strengthen the allegiance of progressive Americas, black and white, with the peoples of Africa and other lands in the struggle for world peace and freedom.

Albert Einstein who also suffered under McCarthyism, co-chaired the American Crusade Against Lynching founded and chaired by Robeson in response to Truman’s failure to enforce anti-lynching legislation in 1946. Between 1945 and 1946, well over 100 black war veterans were lynched and many more “disappeared” as the south re-asserted their hegemony through terror.

It is not always appreciated today, but the fascist takeover of America in the wake of FDR’s death saw the resurgence of the southern establishment which Lincoln sought to destroy 80 years earlier. African American servicemen returning from WWII expecting to find equal rights, encountered a newly empowered Ku Klux Clan and racist Jim Crow laws- now protected by Hoover’s FBI and a racist little President who was working hard to undo all of FDR’s accomplishments.

Einstein, Wallace and Robeson in 1948

Reviving the Anti-Colonial America

As the founder of the Civil Rights Congress (CRC), Robeson not only fought for racial equality at home but united this new movement with the international anti-colonial struggle saying at a CRC meeting:

“The guarantee that our day of liberation is not far off is that this is a time of colonial liberation. It is a time when dark men and women in Asia and Africa are pulling off their shackles of exploitation which have kept them bound for centuries… As they succeed in Asia and soon, you may be sure, in Africa- as more than half the world escapes the clutches of the Dulles, Rockefellers and Firestones, they lend a powerful stimulus to our freedom struggle here at home.”

In describing the American corporations moving into controlling positions in Africa, Robeson made sure to differentiate the deep state from the real America when he asked:

“Are these financial big boys America? No! They are the former enemies of Roosevelt. They were the ones who were glad when Roosevelt died. They are the same ones who Roosevelt said were the core of American fascism. They are the allies of the remains of the Hitler entourage- they are the friends of Franco, the living representatives of the Spanish conquistadores who enslaved us and still enslave us in Latin America. They are the ones who hate American democracy as did the enemies of Jefferson and Lincoln before them. They are no part of America. They are the ‘would-be’ preservers of world fascism and the enemies of progressive America!”

It is no wonder then that Robeson became enemy #1 for Hoover’s FBI, Dulles’ State Department and Red hunters like Joe McCarthy who did everything in their power to destroy his life by labelling him a “Black Mussolini” and “Soviet agent”. In truth, they were afraid that he was more of a “Black Solon” who would destroy their usurious power hold over the republic and free the bond slaves at the first opportunity.

Resisting American Fascism

Speaking at a rally at Madison Square Garden, Robeson identified the real evil agenda lurking behind the Anglo-American Cold War:

“The ‘Stop Russia’ cry really means- stop the advance of the colonial peoples of Asia and Africa toward independence; stop the forces of the new democracy developing in Europe; stop the organized workers of America from trying to hold their ground against their profit-greedy employers; stop the Negro people from voting and joining trade unions in the South- ‘Stop Russia’ means- stop progress- maintain the status quo. It means- let the privileged few continue to rule and thrive at the expense of the masses. We must indeed win the peace- but we can do it only by using methods exactly the opposite of those pursued at present by the British Foreign Office and our own State Department. To win total peace there must be total freedom”.

The highest leading official in America who stood up to this agenda was “the man who should have been president” Henry Wallace (Vice President 1940-1944), who was fired from his position as Commerce Secretary by Truman in 1946 for the crime of demanding Russia-US friendship. Speaking to thousands on September 21, 1946 Robeson stated: “We are shocked by the forced resignation of Wallace. We join with the overwhelming majority of Americans who want peace and democracy for this country and the world, in fully supporting Wallace’s criticism.  We cannot avoid the painful conclusion that Truman’s action represents a complete capitulation to the reactionary minority in our country who seek world domination”.

When Wallace announced his presidential bid in 1948, Robeson was asked to run as his Vice-presidential running mate, but declined feeling that he could do more good on an international level but dedicated his every waking hour campaigning for Wallace and the Progressive Party in 1948.

In a March 1948 campaign speech for Wallace, Robeson said:  “Either we get along with the Communists, jump in the ocean or blow up the whole world. Saying you can’t get along with Communists is like saying you can’t get along with the birds”. In that speech Robeson described himself as “an advanced New Dealer” and said he supported Wallace because “if anybody continues the new deal traditions of Franklin Roosevelt, it is Wallace.” Robeson’s concept of an “advanced New Dealer” and Wallace’s fight against the deep state was elaborated on in Wallace’s Vision for the Post-War World Order. (1)

Image on the right: Wallace and Robeson at the Progressive Party Convention in 1948

Robeson vs the Deep State

Sadly the entire force of the deep state came down on Wallace resulting in his defeat in 1948 bringing Truman in for another 4 years.

Robeson was punished by John F. Dulles who revoked his passport in 1949, preventing him from travelling while the FBI ensured that he was un-hirable, his records unplayable and his words unprintable. The singer’s revenues collapsed and he relied heavily on the kindness of friends during this time. In 1956, Robeson said “there is a deliberate policy of attempting to prevent me from making a living by practicing my profession as an artist.” In a famous 1956 testimony to the House of Un-American Activities, Robeson courageously called out the fascist nature of the proceedings.

International pressure resulted in an end to his “imprisonment” and he began a new world tour where he sang, performed Othello in Shakespeare’s play in Stratford England, wrote his autobiography Here I Stand and campaigned against neo-colonialism. In a 1960 Australian ABC interview Robeson eloquently laid out his thoughts on the freedom struggle:

In 1961, Robeson began another world tour and let it be known that he would go to the Soviet Union, then to Africa and finally to Cuba where he was scheduled to meet with Fidel Castro and Che Guevara putting into jeopardy Dulles’ plans for a Cuban invasion. After this, Robeson intended to return to America to lead the Civil Rights movement that he had, in large measure began. Sadly, Robeson made it no further than Moscow. Dulles’ invasion of Cuba occurred three weeks later.

MK Ultra and the Deconstruction of Robeson

Much has been written on the topic of Robeson’s victimization under MK Ultra. The most pioneering work having been done by his son Paul Robeson Jr. who spent over 30 years investigating the matter. In short, Robeson had found himself at a surprise party in a Moscow hotel hosted by CIA-funded Soviet dissidents. According to reports, Robeson fell into a paranoid hysteria, hallucinating and locking himself in a room where he tried to commit suicide.

He was quickly sent to London’s Priori hospital where he was put through 54 electro shock therapy sessions and huge doses of psycho-active drugs. Robeson’s son proved that three doctors performing these “treatments” were CIA contractors while MI5 operatives oversaw the entire process. Robeson Jr. wrote that his father was “subjected to mind de-patterning under MK Ultra”.

It took two years for Robeson’s family and friends to get him out of Priori and into a German clinic before returning him home in August 1963 where doctors were shocked to discover the scale of drugs and electro shock he suffered in London.

Although he recorded a handful of messages in support of the Civil Rights movement after 1963, which had thankfully found competent leadership under Martin Luther King Jr., Robeson never recovered, living as a recluse and passing away at 77 years of age in 1976.

Today, as America is again forced to decide whether it wishes to go down the road of fascism and self-annihilation or renew its proper heritage as a defender of liberty, it is worth listening to the wise words of Robeson who gave his last recorded speech in January 1961:

“Despite common suffering, an even greater responsibility lies upon us to guarantee our children and all children everywhere that we shall do everything in our collective power to refrain our ‘would-be’ world dominators, our ‘would-be’ new masters of the century. They must understand that while we are uttering these very words, a new day has dawned in Africa, in Latin America, in Asia and this light awaits just beyond the horizon.”

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Matthew J.L. Ehret is a journalist, lecturer and founder of the Canadian Patriot Review. He can be reached at [email protected]

Note

[1] For anyone doubtful of Robeson’s characterization of FDR, believing the singer to be naïve, I invite them to read my previous article documenting Roosevelt’s war with Wall Street and London.

All images in this article are from SCF unless otherwise stated

Death, Money, and the Dueling Frauds: Trump and Biden

October 25th, 2020 by Edward Curtin

When The New York Times and CNN recently referred to the staged town hall spectacles of Biden and Trump as dueling events, they inadvertently revealed the truth that U.S. presidential elections are America’s favorite movie and that the corporate media is in the entertainment business.

While it is ludicrous to imagine these tottering actors crossing swords in tights, their skirmishes in suits and ties are good for a few laughs, if you have the stomach to watch them. Only people who still believe in professional wrestling would think these clowns don’t work for the same bosses – the Umbrella People, aka the power elites, the national security state, etc., who own the country and choose their stooges to represent their interests in the White House.

I much prefer Mel Brooks, a genuinely funny guy.

The columnist Russell Baker once said the purpose of such political entertainment is to “provide a manageably small cast for a national sitcom, or soap opera, or docudrama, making it easy for media people to persuade themselves they are covering the news while mostly just entertaining us.”

As for debates and town hall farces in television prime time, the witty Baker said that “the charm of television entertainment is its ability to bridge the chasm between dinner and bedtime without mental distraction.”

Now let’s proceed to the dark side, where the sardonic screams of laughter dissolve into tears.

For such entertainment serves a devious distracting purpose: to conceal the nature of social evil and the driving forces behind American politics today.  It is not particularly complicated unless the syllogism – All cats die/Socrates is dead/ therefore Socrates is a cat – rings true.

Then it’s an impossible conundrum.

We are not cats or Socrates, as far as I know.  But like them, we will also die. Everyone knows this, but the thought of death is not particularly “have-a-nice-dayish,” so people deny it as much as possible in a host of ways. Most people prefer life over death, and when death does approach and can no longer be denied, most hope for immortality in some way, shape, or form.

Yes, there are those who assert this isn’t true for them, and there is no reason to doubt their sincerity. There are philosophical arguments to support their position, such as that of the Roman poet Lucretius in his famous poem De rerum natura (On the Nature of Things). But I would maintain with the great psychoanalyst Rollo May that all such naturalistic efforts, including Lucretius’s, to explain away human anxiety rooted in death, founder on the human emotions of pity, grief, love, and loneliness. Rational explanations take us only so far.  In their efforts to deny the human condition and dismiss the spiritual dimension, the irrational, and the daimonic, they open the door to madness, as is happening today with the push by the world’s economic elite to convince people that they are machines and that their machine dreams will conquer death.

For those who love life, it seems axiomatic to me that some form of perpetuation and redemption of an individual’s life in the face and fear of death is widely desired. This can take many forms: a literal afterlife, fame, heirs, monuments, money, children, etc. History is quite clear that people have always sought some way of transcending their physical fates.

This was aptly noted by Graham Greene, the English novelist, when, as an old man approaching death, he was asked if he was disappointed at not receiving the Nobel Prize, and he said no, since he was hoping for a greater prize.

In his important book, The Denial of Death (Pulitzer Prize 1974 for general non-fiction), the cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker, puts it succinctly:

Man is literally split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with a towering majesty, and yet goes back into the ground a few feet in order blindly and dumbly to rot and disappear forever.

Faced with such an impossible situation, then, overwhelmed from childhood with a sense of one’s own ultimate physical powerlessness but being symbolic creatures as well as physical ones, the normal person learns to repress the terror of death by building various defenses that allow one to believe that he ultimately controls his death.  One’s natural impotence is then hidden within “ the vital lie of character”; one lives within the manageable social world that helps one blot out existential awareness by offering various social games and cultural symbols, agreed forms of madness that narcotize the fear.  One learns to adjust. The aim is to cut life down to manageable proportions, domesticate terror, and trust in the cultural and social authorities for protection and reassurance. Obedience is key.

Listen to Big Daddy and he will rescue you , especially when he first tells you that Mr. Pumpkin Head is coming to get you unless you run into his protective embrace.

These days, it’s Halloween all year round in the land of the free and the home of the brave where the fear of death is handed out like poisoned candy and Big Daddy waits at the door disguised as everyone’s benevolent grandfather.  To be treated, you must be masked. That is his trick. “Stay well,” he mutters, after he drops a dollop of sweet fear into your bag and cackles behind his face.

Everywhere you look these days, people are doubly masked. The paper kind and by definition, since the the word person, being derived from the Latin, persona, means mask, while there is another Latin word, larva, that also means mask or ghost or evil spirit.  Clearly there is a dance contest underway, a danse macabre.  And who will win nobody knows.

“Every conflict over truth,” wrote the psychoanalyst Otto Rank, “ is in the last analysis just the same old struggle over … immortality.”

This is exactly what is going on now with the fierce disagreements over Covid-19.

Like the attacks of September 11, 2001, the anthrax attacks, the ginning up of terrorism fear with Homeland “Security’s” color-coded warning system, the lies about weapons of mass-destruction, and the coronavirus early warning systems, people have adopted positions upon which they stake their psychological lives. To admit you were snookered is a little death that is hard to swallow.

We are being subjected to mind-control on a vast scale, the continual pumping up of the fear of death to control the population.  Americans have been living in an atmosphere of dread for almost twenty years.  It’s so old and so obvious but cuts so deep it works like a charm. “You don’t want to die, do you, so come here into Big Daddy’s arms.”

In Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell writes that “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake.”  It is a famous quote that is not true when taken out of context.  The Umbrella People and their lackeys don’t seek power entirely for its own sake. They have a larger agenda: immortality.

If one reads Orwell carefully, one comes upon a key passage that clarifies the previous quote. The evil O’Brien, the torturer and member of the Inner Party who poses as a member of the resistance to Big Brother (sound familiar?), asks his victim Winston Smith to reverse the slogan from “Freedom is Slavery” to Slavery is Freedom:

Alone – free – the human being is always defeated.  It must be so, because every human being is destined to die, which is the greatest of all failures.  But if he can make complete, utter submission, if he can escape from his identity, if he can merge himself in the Party so that he is the Party, then he will be all-powerful and immortal.  The second thing for you to realize is that power is power over human beings.  Over the body – but, above all, over the mind.  Power over matter – external reality as you would call it – is not important.  Already our control over matter is absolute.

All power is fundamentally power to deny mortality.  This is true whether it is the power of the state or church.  And it is always sacred power.

Many often ask why do the super-rich and  powerful always want more.  It’s simple.  They wish to transcend their pre-existing human mortality and become gods – immortals.  They stupidly believe that if they can lord it over others, kill, dominate, achieve status, become billionaires, presidents, magnates, celebrities, etc., they will somehow live in some weird forever.

In a process that has spanned at least a hundred and fifty years or so, our traditional cultural/religious symbol systems have been radically undermined, most momentously by the Faustian creation of Lord Nuke.  All forms of symbolic immortality (theological, biological, creative, natural, and experiential) that formerly provided a sense of continuity have been severely threatened. This is the haunting specter lurking in the background of life today.

What is death?  How to defeat or transcend it?  How to affirm life in the face of death?

One paradoxical way that political leaders do this is by killing.  Followers who accede to such killing join their leaders, not simply to see others dead, but to acquire power over death itself – to kill their own deaths.  It is perverse of course, and is summed up in the saying to love the bomb joyously, to experience the nightmare of oblivion as ecstasy.  Isn’t this what the philosophy of voting for the lesser of two evil is about?  At least he will be our killer.  Our evil killer, but not as bad as yours.  You lose.

I have read that there is a painting still visible at the entrance to a house in ruined Pompeii that tells us much about power and wealth. It perfectly symbolizes the meaning of the economic gap between the super-rich – e.g. those behind the World Economic Forum, the CIA, the presidential candidates, the corporate media – and the rest of us.  It pictures a man weighing his penis on a scale of gold coins. Gold, God, wealth, and power.  It’s an old story.

Today, however, there is a difference, for the spirit of nihilism has grown as belief in the spiritual dimension and God has diminished dramatically. Money or gold, wealth in all its forms, is today’s foremost immortality symbol, a sign that one is powerful and can conquer death. What else are Trump’s gold-emblazoned Tower and hair, and Biden’s boastfully admitted threat to withhold one billion dollars from Ukraine unless they fire the prosecutor investigating his son, Hunter. The greasing of palms, bribery, tax theft, etc. – par for the course in a corrupt society run by thieves and criminals.

Becker says of this wealth obsession:

The only hint we get of the cultural repression seeping through is that even dedicated financiers wash their hands after handling money.  The victory over death is a fantasy that cannot be fully believed in; money doesn’t entirely banish feces [decay and death that is of course defeated with toilet paper as Covid-19 has proven], and so the threat of germs and vulnerability in the very process of securing immortality.

Pseudo immortality.

Enter Covid-19.  Like the attacks of September 11, 2001, it is death writ large. An insidious terrorist threat.  Invisible, sneaky, ready to pounce. Fear and trembling.  So-called surprise attacks that were preceded by simulations and live drills.  Numerous parallels, too many to mention.  Let’s not.  Have a nice day!  Stay safe!

So what do the super-rich controllers want now?  What are the World Economic Forum’s Klaus Schwab, Google and the Defense Department’s Eric Schmidt, Bill Gates, Ray Kurzweil of Google and “The Singularity,” et al. pushing now that Covid-19 has so many cowering in fear?

These people have realized that the thing that their money and power must do is to create a world where trans-humanism must triumph and people of flesh and blood must be induced and forced to become the machines they have been told they are. If you doubt this is underway, research the World Economic Forum’s agenda, see what the Great Reset is about, the Build Back Better slogans, the massive push to create on-line existence for everyone, etc.  As a recent ad I saw says: “The world is going digital.”

The goal of these mad technocratic elites is to create a fabricated reality where the visible world becomes nearly meaningless once the screen world becomes people’s “window on the world.” An electronic nothingness to replace reality as people in the industrialized countries gleefully embrace digital wraparound apparitions and the poor and vulnerable of this world suffer and die out of sight and out of mind. It is the fundamental seismic shift of our era and perhaps the greatest propaganda operation ever undertaken.  A sort of end-times desperate gambit.

And “it just so happens” to revolve around the use of death fear to accomplish its goals.

But for the elites, there will be no death.  For having realized that their stolen wealth and power can only take them so far, and they too will become food for worms, they have commandeered science and medicine to undertake their immortality projects.  If medicine fails to find for them the secret of immortality, then computer science and Artificial Intelligence will, and they will be uploaded into computers and live forever in their beloved cyberspace.  Digital immortality is not a joke for these people – see  Kurzweil’s (the director of engineering at Google) “The Singularity,” etc. – for they are actually insane but hold key positions throughout the computer and biotechnology industries.  Check where the super rich invest their money to confirm this.  None of it is secret.

Having heeded Russell Baker’s words about television offering no mental distraction between dinner and bedtime, I took to my crib early, knowing Tweedledee and Tweedledum would be dueling again, this time in what they humorously called a debate.  I was surrounded by my stuffed animals that protected me and I slept safe and sound.

Upon awakening, I read that the gladiators had exchanged blows but that both were left standing for the big showdown on November 3.  I also noticed that each had used the words “dark winter” in reference to Covid-19. Biden said one was coming and Trump said he didn’t know.

Neither, of course, spoke of the Dark Winter Exercise, a senior level war game conducted on June 22-23, 2001, about a biological attack, a smallpox outbreak, the public health response, the lack of vaccines, the need for quarantine and isolation, the restriction of civil liberties, and the role of the Defense Department and the military in the response. Nor did they speak of anthrax attacks, but the Canadian researcher, Graeme MacQueen, will here fill you in on both, in case you don’t know.

Maybe the boys just forgot.

I am sure they didn’t talk about the elements of Trump’s “Operation Warp Speed,” but if you wish to understand how we are being gamed, Whitney Webb will tell you here.

Was there any mention of the Russians?  I haven’t heard.  They are always a kind of a solution.  As my friend Joe Green has said:

All dissenting opinions are Russian. I think Socrates said that. I’m paraphrasing.

Maybe many are still Waiting for the Barbarians.

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This article was originally published on the author’s blog site, Edward Curtin, Behind the Curtain

Distinguished author and sociologist Edward Curtin is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He is the author of the new book: https://www.claritypress.com/product/seeking-truth-in-a-country-of-lies/

Featured image is from InfoWars


Seeking Truth in a Country of Lies

Author: Edward Curtin

ISBN: 9781949762266

Published: 2020

Options: EBOOK – Epub and Kindle, paper, PDF

Click here to order.

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Former OPCW Director-General Bustani Banned From Speaking At UN Security Council

October 5: Western Delegations Oppose Presentation of Evidence that OPCW Report Of Chemical Weapons Attack on Douma, Syria May Have Been Falsified. 

October 21: In New York Post Article, US Ambassador Falsely Accuses China of Precisely the Same Tactics that the US Has Used for 75 Years at the UN.

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Introduction

US Ambassador publishes article in New York Post, October 21, 2020 accusing China of precisely the tactics the US has been using at the UN since its inception.

Screenshot from New York Post

China replies today:

“On  21 October the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations published an article, viciously attacking cooperation between China and the UN.  The article disregards facts, and features lies, twisted logic, ideological bias and a cold war mentality.  It is an embodiment of McCarthyism in the new era.  We firmly reject it.”

The Security Council meeting on October 5th, 2020, during the Russian Presidency,  is a dramatic demonstration of US and allied manipulations and falsifications, the very manipulations and falsifications they accuse China of.

Background

The scandalous pattern of deceit:

On February 5, 2003, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell knowingly lied to the UN Security Council, insisting that the U.S. possessed irrefutable proof that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, although there was no such proof, and he knew that.

This falsification, which Powell, in shame now admits was the lowest point in his career, was used in an attempt to justify the US attack on Iraq the following month, in March, 2003, which resulted in more than 100,000 civilian deaths, and the complete destruction of the Iraqi state, leaving it an incubator of terrorism to this very day.

Prior to this Bush Administration engineered war, on July 6, 2003, Ambassador Joseph Wilson published an op-ed piece in the New York Times entitled:

“What I Did Not Find in Africa,” refuting allegations that Saddam Hussein was seeking to buy uranium tubes in Niger to restart his nuclear program.

In retaliation for Wilson’s exposure of the falsity of Bush’s numerous allegations, the Bush Administration revealed the fact that Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame was an undercover CIA operative, henceforth “Fair Game,” endangering her life, and the lives of all her contacts and associates.

Wilson’s refusal to support the Bush administration’s false allegations against Iraq led to escalating harassment of him and his wife, threats to their lives and their children’s lives, until, ultimately, at the National Press Club Wilson and Plame announced their lawsuit against Vice-President Cheney and the CIA, and fearful for their lives, ultimately left Washington, D.C.

In 2002, The Washington Post had headlined complaints by CIA intelligence staff that they were being forced to politicize intelligence, and, indeed, CIA Chief John Tenet had written a letter to Senator Bob Graham, Chairman of the Senate Congressional Committee on Intelligence, stating that Saddam Hussein would not attack the U.S. unless the U.S. initiated an attack against Iraq.

Left: Tenet, Cheney, Bush

The facts did not demonstrate that Iraq was a threat to the U.S. and the facts did not  justify a U.S. attack against Iraq, but the facts were ignored in the U.S. obsession with regime change.  The unconscionable lies and falsification of evidence were scandalous, but the warhawks were undeterred.  The famous British “Downing Street Memo” confirmed that “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy” of war against Iraq.

Less than a decade later, in March, 2011 the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1973 on Libya, based on similar falsification of reality, and resulting in the destruction of the Libyan state, and another incubator of terrorism in the Middle East.

Soon after the US, UK and France had collaborated to destroy Iraq and Libya, in 2011 Syria erupted in demonstrations, resulting in chaos, and the US, UK and France tried repeatedly to force through the UN Security Council another “war resolution to ‘protect the civilians of Syria’.”

This time, however, Russia and China were wise to the ploy, and both countries vetoed efforts to obtain Security Council authorization for military or “humanitarian” intervention in Syria, recognizing that this would ultimately consign Syria to the horrific fate of Iraq and Libya, and this Western covert and overt strategy might ultimately be used to destroy Iran, as well.  These famous “double-vetoes” by Russia and China, however, seem in hindsight to have only slowed down the Western powers’ inexorable determination to destroy the independent government of Syrian President Assad, using the most corrupt and venal  means.  Colin Powell’s deceitful performance at the Security Council in 2003 appears to be repeating itself in variations, culminating on October 5, this month.

Today

The official OPCW report on Douma alleges that the Syrian Government attacked its own people in Douma on April 7, 2018, using chemical weapons, specifically chlorine.  Veteran OPCW inspector Ian Henderson, ultimately a whistleblower, was present on the ground in Douma, interviewed numerous witnesses living in Douma, and found no evidence of any attack by the Syrian government on Douma, and strong evidence that an appearance of an attack had been staged, and this fabrication was ultimately used as an attempt to justify the bombing of Syria by the U.S. immediately afterward.  Little by little, Syria is deteriorating under these stealthy and relentless hostile actions by the West, covert and overt, as terrorists from countries throughout the world are arriving in Syria to continue the destabilization of one of the most progressive countries in the Middle East.

OPCW inspector Ian Henderson, who headed the team initially investigating the Douma incident, and present, himself in Douma during this initial investigation,  attempted to expose the fraudulence of the final official report by the OPCW, which states the the Syrian government had attacked its own people in Douma, using chemical weapons in violation of its pledge to the OPCW.  Henderson’s repudiation of the final report, and the repudiation by another OPCW inspector who, fearful of the consequences, has remained anonymous, is credible and a serious indication that the OPCW has been compromised, and has capitulated under the pressure of Western countries to issue a fraudulent report condemning the Syrian Government, with no legitimate proof.

Credible OPCW inspectors repudiating the report are being silenced, and their alarm at the corruption of the OPCW is being, at best, ignored.  The OPCW’s final and official report, used to justify the U.S. bombing of Syria soon after the alleged events in Douma, which were, according to Ian Henderson, events which never occurred, is no different than Colin Powell’s presentation of falsified “evidence” to the UN Security Council in 2003, just prior to the Bush Administration’s devastating “shock and awe” attack on Iraq.  This now seems to be the pattern:  falsely accuse the target government of a heinous crime, a “false flag,” then used as justification for military attack against the falsely accused government.  This bears ominous similarity to Hitler’s use of the Reichstag fire to justify his extermination of the Jews.

On October 5, 2020, the Russian President of the UN Security Council, Ambassador Nebenzia, had invited former Director-General of the OPCW, Jose Bustani, to brief the Security Council, providing additional information about the so-called chemical attack in Douma, and discussing Ian Henderson’s allegations that the OPCW had been corrupted under pressure by Western powers.  The UK, France and the US ferociously banned Bustani from the Security Council meeting, claiming that he was not “qualified” to speak on the issue!!!!  This was the UK’s objection, quite preposterous, considering that Bustani had been Director-General of the OPCW at its inception, and had been forced to resign by John Bolton. According to Business Insider,

“The retired Brazilian diplomat, Jose Bustani, who was then serving as the Director General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, was trying to negotiate with Iraq and Libya to allow chemical weapons inspectors into their borders and to have them agree to destroy their chemical weapons.  But the US was reportedly not fond of Bustani’s outreach to these countries, and Bolton, who was one of the primary architects of the Iraq War that began in 2003, himself visited Bustani to pressure him to step down from his post.

‘We can’t accept your management style,’ Bolton told Bustani in 2002.  ‘You have 24 hours to leave the organization, and if you don’t comply with this decision by Washington, we have ways to retaliate against you,’ he continued.

Bolton reportedly said, ‘We know where your kids live.  You have two sons in New York.’  Bustani was taken aback by Bolton’s directness, but did not back down.

‘John Bolton is a bully.’ Bustani told his colleagues at the OPCW about the encounter, and one former official who was in the room at the time, Gordon Vachon, said Bolton had made another threat to Bustani as well.  Vachon told The Intercept that he recalled Bolton saying Bustani ‘could go quietly, with little fuss and restraint on all sides, and without dragging your name through the mud.’  Bustani eventually was forced to step down after the US convinced its allies in the OPCW to rally against him, according to the Times.  He was forced out by a stunning vote of 48 to 7 and 43 abstentions.”

The ILO subsequently ruled that the ouster of Bustani was illegal.

After this disposal of its Director-General, Bustani, who was forced out because he showed integrity, the OPCW cannot claim impartiality, as it is so obsequious to the Western countries:  this may explain why it won the Nobel Peace Prize, which is becoming something of a political award for obedience to interests other than peace.

On October 5, 2020, the UK, the US, France, Belgium and Estonia spearheaded the banning of Bustani from testifying before the Security Council, attempting to deprive its members of information that may be crucially important in its decisions on war and peace. Their intellectual and moral cowardice in suppression of inconvenient facts disputing their false narrative was vividly exposed by their infantile performance. The Chinese delegation brilliantly defended the right of the members of the Security Council to hear Bustani, whom it identified as far more qualified to address the council than many other briefers who had been permitted to speak.

The Chinese arguments were excellent, but to no avail.  Once again the lies of the OPCW prevail, and Bustani, personally, was muzzled.  Fortunately, nevertheless, in his capacity as Representative of the Russian Federation, the President of the Council, Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia read aloud Bustani’s complete statement, with the emphatic instruction that this be entered into the official record of the Security Council meeting.  Obviously, the clique that prohibited Bustani’s presence were infuriated by Russia’s determination that Bustani’s words be heard.

Tragically for the world, the hijacking of the UN Security Council continues, from its complicity in the Korean War in the 1950’s through today, 75 years later.

*

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Carla Stea is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) and Global Research’s Correspondent at UN headquarters, New York. 

Featured image is from Syria News

Author’s Note and update

Since this article was first published under the title LancetGate: “Scientific Corona Lies” and Big Pharma Corruption. Hydroxychloroquine versus Gilead’s Remdesivir on July 3, 2020, there has been a virtual censorship of debate on Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) largely directed against medical doctors.

On May 22, Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report  by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, was published by the New England Journal of Medicine, (NEJM)

On June 29, 2020, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is the head of NIAID granted the “Greenlight” to Gilead Sciences Inc. despite the fact that the study of the new experimental drug was “preliminary”.The NIH-NIAID sponsored report (May 22) was used to justify a major agreement with Gilead Sciences Inc.

A $1.6 billion agreement between the HHS and Gilead Sciences Inc. was announced on June 29th, despite the fact that NIH NIAID study published in the NEJM was considered “preliminary”. In the late 1990s, Gilead Sciences Inc was headed by Donald Rumsfeld (1997-2001), who later joined the George W. Bush administration as Secretary of Defense (2001-2006).

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, October 25, 2020

Introduction

There is an ongoing battle to suppress Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), a cheap and effective drug for the treatment of Covid-19. The campaign against HCQ is carried out through slanderous political statements, media smears, not to mention an authoritative peer reviewed “evaluation”  published on May 22nd by The Lancet, which was based on fake figures and test trials.

The study was allegedly based on data analysis of 96,032 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 between Dec 20, 2019, and April 14, 2020 from 671 hospitals Worldwide. The database had been fabricated. The objective was to kill the Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) cure on behalf of Big Pharma.

While The Lancet article was retracted, the media casually blamed “a tiny US based company” named Surgisphere whose employees included “a sci-fi writer and adult content model” for spreading “flawed data” (Guardian). This Chicago based outfit was accused of having misled both the WHO and national governments, inciting them to ban HCQ. None of those trial tests actually took place.

While the blame was placed on Surgisphere, the unspoken truth (which neither the scientific community nor the media have acknowledged) is that the study was coordinated by Harvard professor Mandeep Mehra under the auspices of Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) which is a partner of the Harvard Medical School.

When the scam was revealed, Dr. Mandeep Mehra who holds the Harvey Distinguished Chair of Medicine at  Brigham and Women’s Hospital apologized:

I have always performed my research in accordance with the highest ethical and professional guidelines. However, we can never forget the responsibility we have as researchers to scrupulously ensure that we rely on data sources that adhere to our high standards.

It is now clear to me that in my hope to contribute this research during a time of great need, I did not do enough to ensure that the data source was appropriate for this use. For that, and for all the disruptions – both directly and indirectly – I am truly sorry. (emphasis added)

Mandeep R. Mehra, MD, MSC  (official statement on BWH website)

But that “truly sorry” note was just the tip of the iceberg. Why?

Studies on Gilead Science’s Remdesivir and Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) Were Conducted Simultaneously by Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH)

While The Lancet report (May 22, 2020) coordinated by Dr. Mandeep Mehra was intended “to kill” the legitimacy of HCQ as a cure of Covid-19, another important (related) study was being carried out (concurrently) at BWH pertaining to Remdesivir on behalf of Gilead Sciences Inc. Dr. Francisco Marty, a specialist in Infectious Disease and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School was entrusted with coordination of the clinical trial tests of the antiviral medication Remdesivir under Brigham’s contract with Gilead Sciences Inc:

Brigham and Women’s Hospital began enrolling patients in two clinical trials for Gilead’s antiviral medication remdesivir. The Brigham is one of multiple clinical trial sites for a Gilead-initiated study of the drug in 600 participants with moderate coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and a Gilead-initiated study of 400 participants with severe COVID-19.

… If the results are promising, this could lead to FDA approval, and if they aren’t, it gives us critical information in the fight against COVID-19 and allows us to move on to other therapies.”

While Dr. Mandeep Mehra was not directly involved in the Gilead Remdesevir BWH study under the supervision of his colleague Dr. Francisco Marty, he nonetheless had contacts with Gilead Sciences Inc: “He participated in a conference sponsored by Gilead in early April 2020 as part of the Covid-19 debate” (France Soir, May 23, 2020)

What was the intent of his (failed) study? To undermine the legitimacy of Hydroxychloroquine?

According to France Soir, in a report published after The Lancet Retraction:

The often evasive answers produced by Dr Mandeep R. Mehra, … professor at Harvard Medical School, did not produce confidence, fueling doubt instead about the integrity of this retrospective study and its results. (France Soir, June 5, 2020)

Was Dr. Mandeep Mehra in conflict of interest? (That is a matter for BWH and the Harvard Medical School to decide upon).

Who are the Main Actors? 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, advisor to Donald Trump, portrayed as “America’s top infectious disease expert” has played a key role in smearing the HCQ cure which had been approved years earlier by the CDC as well as providing legitimacy to Gilead’s Remdesivir.

Dr. Fauci has been the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since the Reagan administration. He is known to act as a mouthpiece for Big Pharma.

Dr. Fauci launched Remdesivir in late June (see details below). According to Fauci, Remdesevir is the “corona wonder drug” developed by Gilead Science Inc. It’s a $1.6 billion dollar bonanza.

Gilead Sciences Inc: History

Gilead Sciences Inc is a Multibillion dollar bio-pharmaceutical company which is now involved in developing and marketing Remdesivir. Gilead has a long history. It has the backing of major investment conglomerates including the Vanguard Group and Capital Research & Management Co, among others. It has developed ties with the US Government.

In 1999 Gilead Sciences Inc, developed Tamiflu (used as a treatment of seasonal influenza and bird flu). At the  time, Gilead Sciences Inc was headed by Donald Rumsfeld (1997-2001), who later joined the George W. Bush administration as Secretary of Defense (2001-2006). Rumsfeld was responsible for coordinating the illegal and criminal wars on Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003).

Rumsfeld maintained his links to Gilead Sciences Inc throughout his tenure as Secretary of Defense (2001-2006). According to CNN Money (2005): “The prospect of a bird flu outbreak … was very good news for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld [who still owned Gilead stocks] and other politically connected investors in Gilead Sciences”.

Anthony Fauci has been in charge of the NIAID since 1984, using his position as “a go between” the US government and Big Pharma. During Rumsfeld’s tenure as Secretary of Defense, the budget allocated to bio-terrorism increased substantially, involving contracts with Big Pharma including Gilead Sciences Inc. Anthony Fauci considered that the money allocated to bio-terrorism in early 2002 would: 

“accelerate our understanding of the biology and pathogenesis of microbes that can be used in attacks, and the biology of the microbes’ hosts — human beings and their immune systems. One result should be more effective vaccines with less toxicity.” (WPo report)

In 2008, Dr. Anthony Fauci was granted the Presidential Medal of Freedom by president George W. Bush “for his determined and aggressive efforts to help others live longer and healthier lives.”

The 2020 Gilead Sciences Inc Remdesivir Project

We will be focussing on key documents (and events)

Chronology 

February 21: Initial Release pertaining to NIH-NIAID Remdesivir placebo test trial

April 10: The Gilead Sciences Inc study published in the NEJM on the “Compassionate Use of Remdesivir”

April 29: NIH Release: Study on Remdesivir (Report published on May 22 in NEJM)

May 22, The BWH-Harvard Study on Hydroxychloroquine coordinated by Dr. Mandeep Mehra published in The Lancet

May 22Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report  National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, New England Journal of Medicine, (NEJM) 

June 5: The (fake) Lancet Report (May 22) on HCQ is Retracted.

June 29, Fauci announcement. The $1.6 Billion Remdevisir HHS Agreement with Gilead Sciences Inc

April 10: The Gilead Sciences Inc. study published in the NEJM on the “Compassionate Use of Remdesivir”

A Gilead sponsored report was published in New England Journal of Medicine in an article entitled  “Compassionate Use of Remdesivir for Patients with Severe Covid-19” . It was co-authored by an impressive list of 56 distinguished medical doctors and scientists, many of whom were recipients of consulting fees from Gilead Sciences Inc.

Gilead Sciences Inc. funded the study which included several staff members as co-authors.

The testing included a total of 61 patients [who] received at least one dose of remdesivir on or before March 7, 2020; 8 of these patients were excluded because of missing postbaseline information (7 patients) and an erroneous remdesivir start date (1 patient) … Of the 53 remaining patients included in this analysis, 40 (75%) received the full 10-day course of remdesivir, 10 (19%) received 5 to 9 days of treatment, and 3 (6%) fewer than 5 days of treatment.

The NEJM article states that “Gilead Sciences Inc began accepting requests from clinicians for compassionate use of remdesivir on January 25, 2020”. From whom, From Where? According to the WHO (January 30, 2020) there were 82 cases in 18 countries outside China of which 5 were in the US, 5 in France and 3 in Canada.

Several prominent physicians and scientists have cast  doubt on the Compassionate Use of Remdesivir study conducted by Gilead, focussing on the small size of the trial. Ironically, the number of patients in the test  is less that the number of co-authors: “53 patients” versus “56 co-authors”

Below we provide excerpts of scientific statements on the Gilead NEJM project (Science Media Centre emphasis added) published immediately following the release of the NEJM article:

‘Compassionate use’ is better described as using an unlicensed therapy to treat a patient because there are no other treatments available. Research based on this kind of use should be treated with extreme caution because there is no control group or randomisation, which are some of the hallmarks of good practice in clinical trials. Prof Duncan Richard, Clinical Therapeutics, University of Oxford.

 “It is critical not to over-interpret this study. Most importantly, it is impossible to know the outcome for this relatively small group of patients had they not received remdesivir. Dr Stephen Griffin, Associate Professor, School of Medicine, University of Leeds.

 “The research is interesting but doesn’t prove anything at this point: the data are from a small and uncontrolled study.  Simon Maxwell, Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and Prescribing, University of Edinburgh.

“The data from this paper are almost uninterpretable. It is very surprising, perhaps even unethical, that the New England Journal of Medicine has published it. It would be more appropriate to publish the data on the website of the pharmaceutical company that has sponsored and written up the study. At least Gilead have been clear that this has not been done in the way that a high quality scientific paper would be written.  Prof Stephen Evans, Professor of Pharmacoepidemiology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

 “It’s very hard to draw useful conclusions from uncontrolled studies like this particularly with a new disease where we really don’t know what to expect and with wide variations in outcomes between places and over time. One really has to question the ethics of failing to do randomisation – this study really represents more than anything else, a missed opportunity.” Prof Adam Finn, Professor of Paediatrics, University of Bristol.

To review the complete document of Science Media Centre pertaining to expert assessments click here

April 29: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Study on Remdevisir. 

On April 29th following the publication of the Gilead Sciences Inc Study in the NEJM on April 10, a press release of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on Remdevisir was released.  The full document was published on May 22, by the NEJM under the title:

 Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report (NEJM) 

The study had been initiated on February 21, 2020. The title of the April 29 Press Release was:

“Peer-reviewed data shows remdesivir for COVID-19 improves time to recovery”

It’s a government sponsored report which includes preliminary data from a randomized trial involving 1063 hospitalized patients. The results of the trial labelled Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT) are preliminary, conducted under the helm of Dr. Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID):

An independent data and safety monitoring board (DSMB) overseeing the trial met on April 27 to review data and shared their interim analysis with the study team. Based upon their review of the data, they noted that remdesivir was better than placebo from the perspective of the primary endpoint, time to recovery, a metric often used in influenza trials. Recovery in this study was defined as being well enough for hospital discharge or returning to normal activity level.

Preliminary results indicate that patients who received remdesivir had a 31% faster time to recovery than those who received placebo (p<0.001). Specifically, the median time to recovery was 11 days for patients treated with remdesivir compared with 15 days for those who received placebo. Results also suggested a survival benefit, with a mortality rate of 8.0% for the group receiving remdesivir versus 11.6% for the placebo group (p=0.059).  (emphasis added)

In the NIH’s earlier February 21, 2020 report (released at the outset of the study), the methodology was described as follows:

… A randomized, controlled clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the investigational antiviral remdesivir in hospitalized adults diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) …

Numbers. Where? When? 

The February 21 report confirmed that the first trial participant was “an American who was repatriated after being quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise ship” that docked in Yokohama (Japanese Territorial Waters). “Thirteen people repatriated by the U.S. State Department from the Diamond Princess cruise ship” were selected as patients for the placebo trial test. Ironically, at the outset of the study, 58.7% of the “confirmed cases” Worldwide (542 cases out of 924) (outside China),  were on the Diamond Cruise Princess from which the initial trial placebo patients were selected.

Where and When: The trial test in the 68 selected sites? That came at a later date because on February 19th (WHO data), the US had recorded only 15 positive cases (see Table Below).

“A total of 68 sites ultimately joined the study—47 in the United States and 21 in countries in Europe and Asia.” (emphasis added)

In the final May 22 NEJM report entitled Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report

There were 60 trial sites and 13 subsites in the United States (45 sites), Denmark (8), the United Kingdom (5), Greece (4), Germany (3), Korea (2), Mexico (2), Spain (2), Japan (1), and Singapore (1). Eligible patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive either remdesivir or placebo. Randomization was stratified by study site and disease severity at enrollment

The Washington Post applauded Anthony Fauci’s announcement (April 29):

“The preliminary results, disclosed at the White House by Anthony S. Fauci, …  fall short of the magic bullet or cure… But with no approved treatments for Covid-19,[Lie] Fauci said, it will become the standard of care for hospitalized patients …The data shows that remdisivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery,” Fauci said.

The government’s first rigorous clinical trial of the experimental drug remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment delivered mixed results to the medical community Wednesday — but rallied stock markets and raised hopes that an early weapon to help some patients was at hand.

The preliminary results, disclosed at the White House by Anthony Fauci, chief of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which led the placebo-controlled trial found that the drug accelerated the recovery of hospitalized patients but had only a marginal benefit in the rate of death.

… Fauci’s remarks boosted speculation that the Food and Drug Administration would seek emergency use authorization that would permit doctors to prescribe the drug.

In addition to clinical trials, remdesivir has been given to more than 1,000 patients under compassionate use. [also refers to the Gilead study published on April 10 in the NEJM]

The study, involving [more than] 1,000 patients at 68 sites in the United States and around the world (??), offers the first evidence (??) from a large (??), randomized (??) clinical study of remdesivir’s effectiveness against COVID-19.

The NIH placebo test study provided “preliminary results”. While the placebo trial test was “randomized”, the overall selection of patients at the 68 sites was not fully randomized. See the full report.

May 22: The Fake Lancet Report on Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ)

It is worth noting that the full report of the NIH-NIAID) entitled Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report was released on May 22, 2020 in the NEJM, on the same day as the controversial Lancet report on Hydroxychloroquine.

Immediately folllowing its publication, the media went into high gear, smearing the HCQ cure, while applauding the NIH-NIASD report released on the same day.

Remdesivir, the only drug cleared to treat Covid-19, sped the recovery time of patients with the disease, … “It’s a very safe and effective drug,” said Eric Topol, founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute. “We now have a definite first efficacious drug for Covid-19, which is a major step forward and will be built upon with other drugs, [and drug] combinations.”

When the Lancet HCQ article by  Bingham-Harvard was retracted on June 5, it was too late, it received minimal media coverage. Despite the Retraction, the HCQ cure “had been killed”.

June 29: Fauci Greenlight. The $1.6 Billion Remdesivir Contract with Gilead Sciences Inc

Dr. Anthony Fauci granted the “Greenlight” to Gilead Sciences Inc. on June 29, 2020.

The semi-official US government NIH-NIAID sponsored report (May 22) entitled Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report (NEJM) was used to justify a major agreement with Gilead Sciences Inc.

The Report was largely funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

On June 29, based on the findings of the NIH-NIAID Report published in the NEJM, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on behalf of the Trump Adminstration an agreement to secure large supplies of the remdesivir drug from Gilead Sciences Inc. for the treatment of Covid-19 in America’s private hospitals and clinics.

The earlier Gilead study based on scanty test results published in the NEJM (April 10), of 53 cases (and 56 co-authors) was not highlighted. The results of this study had been  questioned by several prominent physicians and scientists.

Who will be able to afford Remdisivir? 500,000 doses of Remdesivir are envisaged at $3,200 per patient, namely $1.6 billion (see the study by Elizabeth Woodworth)

The Drug was also approved for marketing in the European Union. under the brandname Veklury.

If this contract is implemented as planned, it represents for Gilead Science Inc. and the recipient US private hospitals and clinics a colossal amount of money.

 

[error in above title according to HHS: $3200]

According to The Trump Administration’s HHS Secretary Alex Azar (June 29, 2020):

“To the extent possible, we want to ensure that any American patient who needs remdesivir can get it. [at $3200] The Trump Administration is doing everything in our power to learn more about life-saving therapeutics for COVID-19 and secure access to these options for the American people.”

Remdesivir versus Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ)

Careful timing:

The Lancet study (published on May 22) was intended to undermine the legitimacy of Hydroxychloroquine as an effective cure to Covid-19, with a view to sustaining the $1.6 billion agreement between the HHS and Gilead Sciences Inc. on June 29th. The legitmacy of this agreement rested on the May 22 NIH-NIAID study in the NEJM which was considered “preliminary”. 

What Dr. Fauci failed to acknowledge is that Chloroquine had been “studied” and tested fifteen years ago by the CDC as a drug to be used against coronavirus infections.  And that Hydroxychloroquine has been used recently in the treatment of Covid-19 in several countries.

According to the Virology Journal (2005) Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread”. It was used in the SARS-1 outbreak in 2002. It had the endorsement of the CDC. 

HCQ is not only effective, it is “inexpensive” when compared to Remdesivir, at an estimated “$3120 for a US Patient with private insurance”.

Below are excerpts of an interview of Harvard’s Professor Mehra (who undertook the May 22 Lancet study) with France Soir published immediately following the publication of the Lancet report (prior to its Retraction).

Dr. Mandeep Mehra: In our study, it is fairly obvious that the lack of benefit and the risk of toxicity observed for hydroxychloroquine are fairly reliable. [referring to the May 22 Lancet study]

France Soir: Do you have the data for Remdesivir?

MM: Yes, we have the data, but the number of patients is too small for us to be able to conclude in one way or another.

FS: As you know, in France, there is a pros and cons battle over hydroxychloroquine which has turned into a public health issue even involving the financial lobbying of pharmaceutical companies. Why not measure the effect of one against the other to put an end to all speculation?  …

MM: In fact, there is no rational basis for testing Remdesivir versus hydroxychloroquine. On the one hand, Remdesivir has shown that there is no risk of mortality and that there is a reduction in recovery time. On the other hand, for hydroxychloroquine it is the opposite: it has never been shown any advantage and most studies are small or inconclusive In addition, our study shows that there are harmful effects.

It would therefore be difficult and probably unethical to compare a drug with demonstrated harmfulness to a drug with at least a glimmer of hope.

FS: You said that there is no basis for testing or comparing Remdesivir with hydroxychloroquine, do you think you have done everything to conclude that hydroxychloroquine is dangerous?

MM: Exactly. …

All we are saying is that once you have been infected (5 to 7 days after) to the point of having to be hospitalized with a severe viral load, the use of hydroxychloroquine and its derivative is not effective.

The damage from the virus is already there and the situation is beyond repair. With this treatment [HCQ] it can generate more complications

FS Mandeep Mehra declared that he had no conflict of interest with the laboratories and that this study was financed from the endowment funds of the professor’s chair.

He participated in a conference sponsored by Gilead in early April 2020 as part of the Covid-19 debate.

France Soir, translated by the author, emphasis added, May 23, 2020)

In Annex, see the followup article by France Soir published after the scam surrounding the data base of Dr. Mehra’s Lancet report was revealed.

Concluding Remarks

 Lies and Corruption to the nth Degree involving Dr. Anthony Fauci, “The Boston Connection” and Gilead Sciences Inc.

The Gilead Sciences Inc. Remdesivir study (50+ authors) was published in the New England Journal of Medicine (April 10, 2020).

It was followed by the NIH-NIAID Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report on May 22, 2020 in the NEJM.  And on that same day, May 22, the “fake report” on Hydroxychloroquine by BWH-Harvard Dr. Mehra was published by The Lancet.

Harvard Medical School and the BWH bear responsibility for having hosted and financed the fake Lancet report on HCQ coordinated by Dr. Mandeep Mehra.

Is there conflict of interest? BWH was simultaneously involved in a study on Remdesivir in contract with Gilead Sciences, Inc.

While the Lancet report coordinated by Harvard’s Dr. Mehra was retracted, it nonetheless served the interests of Gilead Sciences Inc.

It is important that an independent scientific and medical assessment be undertaken, respectively of the Gilead Sciences Inc New England Journal of Medicine (NEMJ) peer reviewed study (April 10, 2020) as well as the NIH-NIAID study also published in the NEJM (May 22, 2020). 


ANNEX

Retraction by France Soir

The fraud concerning the Lancet Report was revealed in early June. France Soir in a subsequent article (June 5, 2020) points to the Boston Connection: La connexion de Boston, namely the insiduous relationship between Gilead Sciences Inc and Professor Mehra, Harvard Medical School as well as the two related Boston based hospitals involved.

 

 

(excerpts here, to access the complete text click here translation from French by France Soir, emphasis in the original article)

The often evasive answers produced by Dr Mandeep R. Mehra, a physician specializing in cardiovascular surgery and professor at Harvard Medical School, did not produce confidence, fueling doubt instead about the integrity of this retrospective study and its results.

… However, the reported information that Dr. Mehra had attended a conference sponsored by Gilead – producer of remdesivir, a drug in direct competition with hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) – early in April called for further investigation

It is important to keep in mind that Dr. Mandeep Mehra has a practice at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) in Boston.

That study relied on the shared medical records of 8,910 patients in 169 hospitals around the world, also by Surgisphere.

Funding for the study was “Supported by the William Harvey Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The development and maintenance of the collaborative surgical outcomes database was funded by Surgisphere.”

The study published on May 22 sought to evaluate the efficacy or otherwise of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, alone or in combination with a macrolide antibiotic.  …

It is therefore noteworthy that within 3 weeks, 2 large observational retrospective studies on large populations – 96,032 and 8,910 patients – spread around the world were published in two different journals by Dr. Mehra, Dr. Desai and other co-authors using the database of Surgisphere, Dr. Desai’s company.

These two practising physicians and surgeons seem to have an exceptional working capacity associated with the gift of ubiquity.

The date of May 22 is also noteworthy because on the very same day, the date of the publication in The Lancet of the highly accusatory study against HCQ,  another study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine concerning the results of a clinical trial of…remdesivir.

In the conclusion of this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, “remdesivir was superior to placebo in shortening the time to recovery in adults hospitalized with Covid-19 and evidence of lower respiratory tract infection.”

Concretely: on the same day, May 22nd, one study demeaned HCQ  in one journal while another claimed evidence of attenuation on some patients through remdesivir in another journal.

It should be noted that one of the main co-authors, Elizabeth “Libby”* Hohmann, represents one of the participating hospitals, the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, also affiliated with Harvard Medical School, as is the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, where Dr. Mandeep Mehra practices.

Coincidence, probably.

Upon further investigation, we discovered that the first 3 major clinical trials on Gilead’s remdesivir were conducted by these two hospitals:

“While COVID-19 continues to circle the globe with scientists following on its trail, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) are leading the search for effective treatment.

“Both hospitals are conducting clinical trials of remdesivir.”

MGH has joined what the National Institute of Health (NIH) describe as the first clinical trial in the United States of an experimental treatment for COVID-19, sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of NIH. MGH is currently the only hospital in New England to participate in this trial, according to a list of sites shared by the hospital.

” It’s a gigantic undertaking, with patients registered in some 50 sites across the country, getting better.

“The NIH trial, which can be adapted to evaluate other treatments, aims to determine whether the drug relieves the respiratory problems and other symptoms of COVID-19, helping patients leave hospital earlier.**

As a reminder, the NIAID/NIH is led by Antony Fauci, a staunch opponent of HCQ.

Coincidence, probably.

At the Brigham, two additional trials initiated by Gilead, the drug developer, will determine whether it alleviates symptoms in patients with moderate to severe illness over five- and ten-days courses. These trials will also be randomized, but not placebo controlled, and will include 1,000 patients at sites worldwide. Those patients, noted Francisco Marty, MD, Brigham physician and study co-investigator, will likely be recruited at an unsettlingly rapid clip.”

As a result, the first major clinical trials on remdesivir launched on March 20, whose results are highly important for Gilead, are being led by the MGH and BWH in Boston, precisely where Dr. Mehra, the main author of the May 22nd HCQ trial, is practising.

Small world! Coincidence, again, probably.

Dr. Marty at BWH expected to have results two months later. Indeed, in recent days, several US media outlets have reported Gilead’s announcements of positive results from the remdesivir clinical trials in Boston.:

“Encouraging results from a new study published Wednesday on remdesivir for the treatment of patients with COVID-19.**

Brigham and Dr. Francisco Marty worked on this study, and he says the results show that there is no major difference between treating a patient with a five-day versus a 10-day regimen.

…”Gilead Announces Results of Phase 3 Remdesivir Trial in Patients with Moderate COVID-19 

– One study shows that the 5-day treatment of remdesivir resulted in significantly greater clinical improvement compared to treatment with the standard of care alone

– The data come on top of the body of evidence from previous studies demonstrating the benefits of remdesivir in hospitalized patients with IDVOC-19

“We now have three randomized controlled trials demonstrating that remdesivir improved clinical outcomes by several different measures,” Gilead plans to submit the complete data for publication in a peer-reviewed journal in the coming weeks.

These results announced by Gilead a few days after the May 22 publication of the study in the Lancet demolishing HCQ, a study whose main author is Dr. Mehra, are probably again a coincidence.

So many coincidences adds up to coincidences? Really ?

 

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This article was originally crossposted in April 2020.

The arrogance and brutality of the ruling class – is nothing less than breathtaking.

Let’s begin.

April 9 2020, Business Insider: “Many Americans will not have jobs to return to after the coronavirus pandemic ends, according to former US presidential candidate Andrew Yang”:

“Many Americans will not have jobs to return to after the coronavirus pandemic ends…”

“We’re going to see something like 10 years of change in 10 weeks…”

“The fact is right now this virus is the perfect environment for companies to get rid of people, bring in robots and machines, and figure out how they can operate more efficiently.”

“Universal basic income is going to become the topic, not just here in the United States, but Spain’s adopting a version of a minimum income. Legislatures around Europe are all very, very much focused on this.”

“We’re going to see the progressive Amazonification of our economy as Amazon’s one of the only businesses out there that’s hiring more and more. You’re seeing more robots are in grocery store aisles cleaning after we all supposedly go home…”

“One thing I’ve been saying is that we’re going to see something like 10 years of change in 10 weeks, because businesses are being put in a position where it makes sense to speed up a lot of the automation that they were considering investing in.”

“The fact is right now this virus is the perfect environment for companies to get rid of people, bring in robots and machines, and figure out how they can operate more efficiently.”

“My kids are at home just like everyone else’s kids and they’re getting taught online…they’re going to be many, many families that actually make a different determination where they actually say, “Hey, this online thing is working well.”

“If you can find a way to, frankly, make yourself useful from afar, that’s going to be something that unfortunately we all have to think about more and more.”

“I think at this point it’s actually going to need to be a bit higher than that, because the $1,000 a month is enough for baseline needs for at least most of us, but the economy is going to become even more inhuman and punishing, both during this crisis and afterwards.”

“… I’d be looking at something higher than $1,000 a month that would be more robust & helping people not just be able to meet their needs, but also have a real path forward.”

“we’re going to be dealing with the consequences of this crisis for years to come, and we need a Marshal Plan style initiative to rebuild the country… helping create that vision for what America in 2022, 2023, is going to look like after we have a vaccine in place.”

March 31 2020, Business Insider: “RESTAURANT APOCALYPSE: More than 110,000 restaurants expect to close up forever in the coming weeks, with millions out of work and the industry’s future uncertain.”

And while the Amazonification of our economy ploughs full steam ahead, independent shops and services are pounded into dust, while public services are shut down, opening the door for further privatization. While prepping the citizenry for coming and required “certifications”, the deliberate and violent contraction of the economy continues. The decimation of small enterprise with monetary wealth directed, again, upward. McDonald’s, Starbucks and Walmart (“essential services”) remain open while small business is forced to remain closed. On April 13 2020, Amazon announced they would hire Amazon will hire an additional 75,000 workers to keep up with its soaring volume of online sales.

Andrew Yang, Twitter, April 9, 2020: "Investors pay for returns not jobs."

"Wow. Pope Francis today: 'This may be the time to consider a universal basic wage.' Game-changing."

A brilliant idea: We all live on $1,000 a month – when Klaus Schwab, Andrew Yang, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Bezos, et al. – live on $1,000 a month. The rich are dangerous, calculating, insane hypocrites.

April 12 2020, Business Insider: “Pope Francis says it might be ‘time to consider a universal basic wage’ in Easter letter”:

“In an Easter letter to leaders of prominent social movements, Pope Francis suggested that it might be time for countries to consider a universal basic wage.

“This may be the time to consider a universal basic wage which would acknowledge and dignify the noble, essential tasks you carry out,” The Pope wrote in his letter.

Over a dozen countries are implementing or experimenting with some form of temporary or permanent universal basic income in response to the current economic devastation and massive unemployment.”

Feb 28 2020, Business Insider:

“The pope has joined forces with Microsoft and IBM to create a doctrine for ethical AI and facial recognition. Here’s how the Vatican wants to shape AI.”

The Pope’s collaboration with corporate giant Microsoft and the Vatican Bank is deep into social impact investing. Citizens are on UBI [Universal Basic Income] will still require privatized public services – a massive impact market. [Source]

Impact investing is predicated on turning people into investments as human capital. [Further reading]

Oct 18 2019, Slate MoneyBox, Andrew Yang Keeps Talking About the Fourth Industrial Revolution. What the Heck Is That?:

“Yang likes branding. He calls his marquee policy idea—a UBI of $1,000 a month—a “freedom dividend.” …And lately, he can’t stop talking about “the fourth industrial revolution.”

“The fourth industrial revolution is the shorthand Yang now uses to describe the wave of massive technological change that he believes has decimated manufacturing employment and will soon automate away millions of American jobs.”

“The fourth industrial revolution is now migrating from manufacturing workers to retail, call centers, transportation, as well as to white-collar workers like attorneys, pharmacists, and radiologists…”

“In a World Economic Forum video from 2016, experts offered up predictions such as ‘Our bodies will be so high-tech we won’t really be able to distinguish between what’s natural and what’s artificial…’”

“It’s self-serious, Star Trek–style sci-fi for people who wear expensive suits and maybe have an endowed lab at Harvard. These are the intellectual waters Yang swims in, and that’s disconcerting. Aside from the fact that these conferences tend to be pretty intellectually bankrupt”—even JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has joked that “Davos is where billionaires tell millionaires about what the middle class feels”—they by definition reflect the interests and values of the global capitalist class.”

June 20 2019, World Economic Forum: “Can UBI survive financialization?”:

“Following this pattern, by providing a stable income stream and thus a reliable form of collateral, paid by the state, UBI would strengthen and even create financial markets, particularly for consumer credit, mortgages, and pensions. Far from serving as a revolutionary route to freedom from the whip of the market, UBI may end up yoking all citizens to rentier capital through indebtedness.”

Jan 31 2019, Wrench in the Gears, “Good Guy in Davos? Not So Fast”:

” This panel and the viral video clips flying around the internet are a brand-building exercise for Bergman’s neoliberal snake oil. If UBI is implemented in the current climate of austerity, economic precarity, and social entrepreneurship, you can be sure payments will be linked to digital identity to track “impact.” That $1,000 a month distribution will be just enough to scrape by. But hey, you’ll be able to sell personal data if you want more than gruel for dinner. Check out the Netherlands’ foray into personal data curation via the DecodeProject.eu here. It’s being run in partnership with NESTA, the global impact innovation unit out of the UK.”

March 26 2020, The London Freepress: “Keep it quiet, but universal basic income is coming”:

“You think that after six months or a year of this we will just go back tamely to the old economic rules? I rather doubt it.”

The rise of fascism & the 2nd World War required the creation of the full welfare state… The current emergency may be fostering the rise of ideas previously seen as too radical to contemplate…”

July 31, 2017, World Economic Forum, “We should let the robots take our jobs – and then pay us all a basic income”:

“As developments in artificial intelligence and robotics advance, there is going to be a severe and swift disruption of many working classes.”

“UBI, an economic proposition in which a sum of money is regularly paid to a population, could be a vital bulwark against the unintended consequences of automation in the workforce.”

“Companies will profit significantly from workforce automation, so the private sector will be able to afford shouldering this burden, while at the same time still making greater profits.”

“After all, a full-time human has needs: 30 minutes for lunch each day, vacation and sick time, toilet breaks, and health benefits, to name a few. Meanwhile, an automated worker would only require an initial installation and the occasional repair or upgrade.”

“The BCG report stated that a human welder today is paid around $25 an hour (including benefits) versus the equivalent operating cost of around $8 for a robot.”

“In 15 years, that gap will widen even more dramatically,” the report states. “The operating cost per hour for a robot doing similar welding tasks could plunge to as little as $2 when performance improvements are factored in.”

“This trend will only continue to accelerate. McDonald’s, an early pioneer of automation, is already replacing human workers with automated kiosks. They expect a 5% to 9% return on investment in just the first year; in 2019 they expect this return to balloon to double digits.”

“And this is only one sector: PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that 38% of US jobs will be in danger of being replaced by automation by 2030.”

“Companies that automate their workforces should be taxed on these new massive profits, and some of the resulting capital given back to workers by the government in the form of UBI.”

“While the idea of a UBI is popular—Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates have all championed it—how exactly would a universal basic income be engineered?

“Large swaths of laborers are going to lose their jobs, leading to unprecedented levels of unemployment.”

That moment has arrived.

March 18 2020: Over 500 academics and public figures called on governments to implement universal basic income via an open letter: “It is time for governments to enact emergency universal basic income, ensuring that everyone in their jurisdiction has enough money to buy the food and other essentials they need to survive.”

 Close to 50% of all U.S. jobs may be automated this decade. Globally? Over 50% by 2055. A disposable working class.

McKinsey places the number of jobs to be replaced by automation at close to 50% by 2030. The COVID-19 virus provides an opportune moment to push the envelope of automation forward.

April 9 2020: “Global statistics reported by UNESCO reveal that since the last week of March roughly 1.7 billion students from pre-primary to tertiary education levels are out of school, affecting 91.3 percent of all enrolled learners and including every student in 188 countries that have mandated nationwide closures. With most schools set to remain closed through the rest of the current academic year, the scale of these closures is unprecedented in the history of world capitalism.”

We must recognize we live in a capitalist economic system that serves capital first & foremost. Further, it is imperative to recognize that the UN & UN agencies, inclusive of the WHO (WEF/Gates), exist in name only. The WEF is at the helm of a consolidation of global power.

We must recognize we live in a capitalist economic system that serves capital first & foremost. Further, it is imperative to recognize that the UN & UN agencies, inclusive of the WHO (WEF/Gates), exist in name only. The WEF is at the helm of a consolidation of global power.

January 2020, World Economic Forum: “The notion of an educator as the knowledge-holder who imparts wisdom to their pupils is no longer fit for the purpose of a 21st-century education.”

March 2020, McKinsey & Co: “Beyond coronavirus: The path to the next normal”:

“The crisis will reveal not just vulnerabilities but opportunities to improve the performance of businesses. Leaders will need to reconsider which costs are truly fixed versus variable, as the shutting down of huge swaths of production sheds light on what is ultimately required versus nice to have. Decisions about how far to flex operations without loss of efficiency will likewise be informed by the experience of closing down much of global production. Opportunities to push the envelope of technology adoption will be accelerated by rapid learning about what it takes to drive productivity when labor is unavailable. The result: a stronger sense of what makes business more resilient to shocks, more productive, and better able to deliver to customers.”

April 4, 2020: “This pandemic has optimized the “testing” of robots and drones in broad daylight …Zoom’s video conferencing platform has detonated in popularity as stay-at-home commands have cleared the globe and some of the credit for having the option to keep up with demand goes to automation…’We have automation set up so we can rapidly scale our foundation, the network as well as the compute infrastructure with next to no human intercession’… the organization is getting enthusiasm for purchasing robots to clean office spaces, production floors, retail locations, grocery stores, airports, lodgings and cafés.” [Source]

March 23 2020, CNBC, “Inside the hospital in China where coronavirus patients were treated by robots”

“The idea of humanoid robots taking jobs previously done by humans may feel dystopian, but in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, robots can free up human hospital medical staff and limit the possibility virus spread…

For a time in March, “a previously human-run field hospital located inside Hong Shan Sports Center located in Wuhan was converted … into a robot-led field hospital staffed entirely by robots and other smart [Internet of Things] devices,” CloudMinds CEO and founder Bill Huang tells CNBC Make It, in a statement…

Called HARIX (Human Augmented Robot Intelligence with eXtreme Reality), “this AI platform, synced with smart bracelets and rings worn by patients, was able to monitor patient vital signs (including temperature, heart rate, blood oxygen levels), allowing doctors and nurses outside the facility to monitor all patient vital information remotely on one interface…”

April 7, 2020: Morningstar: “Spain to become first European country to introduce Universal Basic Income”.

Jan 26 2018, World Economic Forum, “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World Global Agenda”:

“… with some economists suggesting that automation could potentially replace over half of all jobs by 2055… the disruption to workers’ lives will be significant.”

Sep 24 2019, António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:

“And we must look at the 2030 Agenda not through the prism of the economy of the last decade, but the economy of the next decade, seizing the potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and safeguarding against its dangers.”

Here it is important to note that also on March 11, 2020, the World Economic Forum announced a partnership with the WHO (a UN agency) to form the COVID-19 Action Platform – a task-force comprised of over 200 corporations at launch, which as has “soared to 726“, as of March 28, 2020. This is in addition to the World Economic Forum partnership with the United Nations on June 13, 2019. This is the consolidation of global power, happening in real time.

April 7 2020, CNN: “Grocery stores turn to robots during the coronavirus”:

“Walmart, the country’s largest retailer & private employer, will have Brain Corp’s self-driving robots in 1,860 of its more than 4,700 US stores by the end of the year.”

“Workers manually picking, bagging and delivering is costly for grocers, and employees picking orders can clog up aisles.”

“Takeoff Technologies… has seen a double-digit increase in orders since the crisis began. “Robots handle a majority of the leg-work when fulfilling orders, meaning there is limited contact with grocery items… The process is “well suited” for social distancing.”

“In the retail industry, “margin pressure has made automation a requirement, not a choice,” according to McKinsey. ‘Automation will disproportionately disrupt retail.’”

March 25 2020, CNN: “Robots could help us combat future pandemics. Here’s how experts wish they could help us now”:

“Experts agree that robots could take over the “dull, dirty and dangerous” jobs humans are currently fulfilling.

Countries such as China have already deployed robots to assist with certain tasks during the pandemic, like taking people’s temperatures…

Robots currently used for other applications could be repurposed to handle dangerous tasks that involve a risk of infection. And the coronavirus pandemic serves as a teachable moment…

“Robots have the potential to be deployed for disinfection, delivering medications and food, measuring vital signs, and assisting border controls,” …

They can be used to take temperatures of people in public areas or at ports of entry, collect nasal and throat samples for testing, act as telemedicine assistants, handle contaminated waste and even monitor compliance with voluntary quarantines.

The editorial also addresses remote operations that allow work and socioeconomic functions to continue. The authors call for robotics that could assist with manufacturing or operating power and waste treatment plants, doing the hands-on work and allowing people to remotely operate them.

Remote presence robots could also stand in the place of someone in a meeting, basically providing their presence through a video screen.

“COVID-19 may become the tipping point of how future organizations operate,” the researchers wrote. “Rather than cancelling large international exhibitions and conferences, new forms of gathering — virtual rather than in-person attendance — may increase. Virtual attendees may become accustomed to remote engagement via a variety of local robotic avatars and controls.”

The pandemic is also highlighting a need for assistance and social robots to help those at home, especially the elderly.

Social robots can not only monitor patients and make sure they adhere to treatments, but provide much-needed social interactions as well.”

In addition to the Fourth Industrial Revolution 2020 reset, we have the coming “New Deal For Nature” to be implemented at years  end, or perhaps sooner under the pretext of emergency measures. The feigned concern for climate and biodiversity by those that serve them, is, to be blunt, complete bullshit. There is nothing to be found within the Fourth Industrial Revolution dystopia in regard to nature – other than her financialization and objectification. She too will be placed on the blockchain. Here, man’s arrogance is on full display – with plans to cover the Earth’s surface with artificial forests and drone bees, while cordoning off what they have not yet plundered – for their own personal leisure.

Source: UNLOCKING THE INCLUSIVE GROWTH STORY OF THE 21ST CENTURY: ACCELERATING CLIMATE ACTION IN URGENT TIMES, August, 2018 New Climate Economy c/o World Resources Institute

Source: UNLOCKING THE INCLUSIVE GROWTH STORY OF THE 21ST CENTURY: ACCELERATING CLIMATE ACTION IN URGENT TIMES, August, 2018, New Climate Economy (World Resources Institute)

The Fourth Industrial Revolution, the monetization of nature, is being rolled out in lockstep with the deployment of central bank digital currency (CBDC). This is a global transformation of the economic system. Consider nature “valued” at 125 trillion vs. GDP at 85.9 trillion (2018). “Natural Capital” accounting will replace GDP.

“Coronavirus hysteria provides cover for introducing UBI, a grand theft from the working class…. Notorious fraudster Johann Hari is now touting the UBI scam as an “anti-depressant.”[@cordeliers on Twitter]

April 10, 2020, Newsday: “Pandemic strengthens the case for universal basic income”:

“Subsidizing low-wage work depresses wages by essentially allowing employers to pay less than a livable wage, so EITC-type benefits are at least in part a transfer to employers, rather than workers.”

April 3, 2020, The Wall Street Journal: “Henry Kissinger – The Coronavirus Pandemic Will Forever Alter the World Order”:

“Democracies need to sustain their Enlightenment values. Without balancing power with legitimacy, social contract will disintegrate. Yet the issue of legitimacy can’t be settled at same time as this “plague”….Priorities must be established.”

Nov 15 2016, Socialist Project: “Ontario’s Austerity Government Sets Basic Income Trap”:

“While a progressive Basic Income is not on the cards, its free market evil twin is a real and very dangerous possibility. Under this neoliberal model, an inadequate and dwindling BI payment is provided that absolves low wage employers from the obligation of paying living wages and becomes the only element of social provision left in place. You become a customer shopping in a market place of privatized services. Who could really deny that this right wing version is much closer to presently unfolding reality than the hopes and dreams of left BI enthusiasts?”

Jan 2 2017, Socialist Project: “Basic Income -Progressive Dreams Meet Neoliberal Realities”

“Basic Income, when all is said and done, is a vision for nothing more than the means to be a customer in an unjust society that decides what is for sale.”

“It’s really about the commodification of social provision. Your payment may actually be less conditional and somewhat larger but, as you shop through the privatized remains of the social infrastructure, with inadequate means and very few rights, you are dramatically worse off…

… it is sometimes asserted that an adequate system of provision must be put in place simply because we are moving toward a “workless future.” In such a society, it is suggested, masses of people who have been displaced will have to be provided for and the capitalists will have to think like Elon Musk, of Tesla Motors and support BI because it is the only sensible and rational solution. To imagine such responsible provision for the future is to place undue faith in a system based on the making of profit. If they won’t stop building pipelines in the face of environmental catastrophe, there’s little reason to expect them to worry too much about sensible solutions to technological displacement. There simply is no post-capitalist capitalism and no social policy innovation that is going to bring it about…

I am suggesting that our movements need to challenge, rather than come to terms with, the neoliberal order and the capitalist system that has produced it. For all its claims to be a sweeping measure, the notion of progressive BI is a futile attempt to make peace with that system. In reality, even that compromise is not available. The model of BI that governments are working on in their social policy laboratories will not ‘end the tyranny of the labour market’ but render it more dreadful. The agenda of austerity and privatization requires a system of income support that renders people as powerless and desperate as possible in the face of exploitation and that won’t change if it is relabelled as “Basic Income”.”

When we all start to literally starve (some already have, and many more have been for decades), perhaps then – we will eat the rich.

The question is this? Do you still believe that these people actually give a flying fuck about your health?

The Fourth Industrial Revolution cannot come into fruition without the 5G infrastructure that will run the Internet of Things. “Smart” cities must be understood within the context of global policing and the military industrial complex. Cybersecurity will be the battle space of the twenty-first century.

This is class war.

In closing:

The future, is now on our doorstep: All “human capital” is to be controlled

“via digital identity systems tied to cashless benefit payments within the context of a militarized 5G / IoT [Internet of Things]/ AR [augmented reality] environment. The billionaire class has built & is rapidly putting the finishing touches on infrastructure to run human capital social impact markets that will securitize the lives of most people as data streams. The tech that underlies this 4IR automation will hasten the death of the planet. World Economic Forum is advancing a technocratic system of control & domination of humanity & the planet… Why should we agree to this? It is a profound sickness of Western culture. Hubris. Sick. And totally ignoring the impact our actions have on the natural world around us.” – Independent researcher Alison Hawver McDowell, Wrench in the Gears

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Cory Morningstar is an independent investigative journalist, writer and environmental activist, focusing on global ecological collapse and political analysis of the non-profit industrial complex. She resides in Canada. Her recent writings can be found on Wrong Kind of GreenThe Art of Annihilation and Counterpunch. Her writing has also been published by Bolivia Rising and Cambio, the official newspaper of the Plurinational State of Bolivia. You can support her independent journalism via Patreon.

All images in this article are from WKG unless otherwise stated

The 2020 Election: Nothing Will Change

October 25th, 2020 by Robert Fantina

With the first of three scheduled presidential debates (aka brawl) between President Donald Trump and his opponent, former vice-president Joe Biden, now history, the pundits will fall all over themselves to determine what it all means. Who won? Did either candidate deliver a fatal blow to the election chances of the other? Did Biden disprove the Trump-encouraged rumors about his senility? Did Trump manage to sway any undecided voters?

We will not dwell here on the fact that many other, highly-qualified candidates are running for president (this writer, a U.S. citizen who moved to Canada fifteen years ago, will vote for Gloria La Riva of the Party for Socialism and Liberation for president).

No, with all the discussion about Trump and Biden, it is beneficial, this writer thinks, to consider what continues to happen in the world, that has lost the attention of the press, and therefore, the public. We will present a short, albeit incomplete, list.

Internationally:

  • Millions of people in Yemen, many of them children, risk starvation due to the U.S.-supported Saudi Arabian assault on that nation.
  • Palestinians still live under the harshest and most brutal conditions in the world, all financed and supported by the United States.
  • The U.S. war against the people of Afghanistan continues in it’s nineteenth year. A large segment of the Afghan population now has never known anything but war.
  • The people of Iran continue to struggle in many ways – economically and medically – against U.S. sanctions, imposed when the U.S., against the wishes of the other participants of the agreement and most of the world community, violated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
  • The people of Venezuela struggle against sanctions, also imposed by the United States, because they had the temerity to re-elect a president displeasing to the U.S. Trump and his cohorts say that Nicholas Maduro is not the legitimate president, forgetting or ignoring the fact that Trump himself did not win the majority vote in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. His odious opponent in that election, Hillary Clinton, did.
  • Migrant children continue to be caged at theS. – Mexico border.
  • The U.S. continues to maintain the most cordial relations with some of the world’s major violators of human rights, including Israel and Saudi Arabia. This should not be surprising, since the U.S. itself made the list of ’10 Global Hotspots for Major Human Rights Violations in 2017’, and things have only worsened since then.
  • As India heads towards genocide in Kashmir, the U.S. government, not wanting to annoy the Indian government, ignores it, as it ignores the Israeli genocide of the Palestinians.

Domestically

It is, perhaps, whimsical for this writer to hope that the public will concern itself with these issues, and ponder carefully the upcoming election. Yes, another Supreme Court appointment by Trump could turn back the U.S. clock to a time of very limited consumer protections, a further reduction of environmental regulations, and greater racial inequality (even worse than it is today), and a host of other hard-won victories. Black lives will not matter; international law will continue to be held in contempt (although that is business-as-usual for the U.S.), and U.S. warmongering and war-making will continue, with all the destruction and slaughter of innocent men, women and children that that always brings.

There are some people who believe a Biden presidency will usher in change. Has hell frozen over? He has a long record in government of ‘business as usual’, so looking for change from him and the Democratic Party is an exercise in futility.

Others praise Trump as an effective leader, one who has done much to help the people of the nation.  This narrative deserves a prominent place with ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’, ‘Cinderella’, ‘Jack and the Bean Stalk’ and other fairy tales. It, like them, has no basis in reality and is simply a figment of the collective right-wing imagination.

The United States, from its earliest years, has a been a force for violence, destruction and death on the global stage. As its wealth and power have increased, so have its violent tendencies. It overthrows foreign governments, invades sovereign nations, issues crippling sanctions against governments and individuals that displease it, and threaten its allies if they don’t follow along.

The 2020 election will change none of this.

It is said that a sign of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. Unless and until the public stops looking to the Democratic and Republican Parties for solutions to problems, leadership in troubled times and assistance in creating and maintaining a peaceful world, no election will alter the tragic and violent trajectory of the United States. The longer that recognition is delayed, the more people will suffer, in the U.S. and around the globe.

*

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The Third “Open” Presidential Debate

October 24th, 2020 by Global Research News

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Gerald Celente, the popular publisher of The Trends Journal, is sounding the alarm on what he sees as a coming economic catastrophe.

“They are killing us,” says Celente referring to the current lockdown of many businesses.

In the interview with Stansberry Research anchor Daniela Cambone, Celente discusses what he is doing to protect his assets.

He also details how he is preparing for what he considers the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression…

..

In a 2014 interview (below), Celente confirmed that “it is not a conspiracy theory. The markets are rigged.”

See 2014 interview below: 2. 48″

And they were rigged in February 2020 leading to massive appropriation of money wealth by a handful of billionaires.

We fully concur with Gerald Celente’s analysis of the Lokckdown.

They, the politicians are destroying people’s lives, Worldwide. The markets are rigged. The media is rigged. 

“On March 11, the WHO officially declared a Worldwide pandemic at a time when there were 18,000 confirmed cases and 4291 deaths out of a total World population outside China of the order of 6.4 billion people.  What do these “statistics” tell you? Most of these confirmed “positive cases” were estimated using the RT-PCR test which does not detect or identify the virus.

Immediately following the March 11 WHO announcement the fear campaign went into high gear. Confinement instructions were transmitted to 193 member states of the United Nations. The outright closing down of national economies was upheld as a means to resolving a public health crisis.

Politicians are the instruments of powerful financial interests. Was this far-reaching decision justified as a means to combating the Virus? Did the “numbers” (of confirmed cases) justify a Worldwide pandemic?

Unprecedented in history, applied almost simultaneously in a large number of countries, entire sectors of the World economy were destabilized. Small and medium sized enterprises were driven into bankruptcy. Unemployment and poverty are rampant.

In some countries famines have erupted. The social impacts of these measures are devastating.

The devastating health impacts (mortality, morbidity) of these measures including the destabilization of the system of national health care (in numerous countries) far surpass those attributed to Covid-19.

Michel Chossudovsky, October 2020

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“It destroys peoples lives! And it destroys the nation-state! And eventually, what is happening is a structure whereby the financial establishment takes over the structures of government.”

– Professor Michel Chossudovsky (from this week’s interview)

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

While there is much reporting on the daily increases COVID carriers (assuming the tests are reliable) and the regrettable deaths (assuming COVID was the cause), there is less attention to the horrendous difficulties wrought by the shut-downs of the economy as a necessity to halt the spread of the virus.

Starting in March, we have seen several centres close down services, including schools, universities, and museums. An entire season of festivals and public engagements have gotten cancelled. Businesses having to deal with less business than usual are worried about their futures, and some are definitely in trouble. As a result, workers face unemployment. [1][2][3]

This has resulted in increases in domestic violence and increasing poverty. And the suicide rate has gone through the roof!

Is this truly a price worth paying? Is the carnage induced by the lock-downs part of the casualties we must endure while we await the cherished vaccine?

Or could there be other entities who privately benefit from this situation in ways that are on a whole different level than public health?

These are just a few of the concerns the Global Research News Hour show will ponder as we take a look at the pandemic from a social and economic perspective.

Our first guest, Professor Michel Chossudovsky, has been very informed about the virus not being what we are told. He is also an economist with a background in studying health economics. In this interview, Professor Chossudovsky mentions that moves by the elites seemed to have foreknowledge of the spread of the virus. He also mentions that elites got very wealthy from the subsequent collapses of companies and economies.

In our second half hour, after a brief talk about the “Great Reset” of the entire system, Professor Radhika Desai talks about the structure if the collapse due to COVID denying us any sense of a new economic normal. She also suggests the Chinese approach to the pandemic crisis was fundamentally far more helpful and sensible than that in the U.S. or Canada. This interview is shared with us by Chris Cook of CFUV’s Gorilla-radio!

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal, Editor of Global Research. He has 

Radhika Desai is a professor in the Department of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba and currently serves as the director of the Geopolitical Economy Research Group. She is currently working on a 7-part  multi-week series of commentary on the COVID-19 crisis entitled WHAT IS TO BE DONE? A MANIFESTO FOR POLITICS AMID THE PANDEMIC AND BEYOND.

(Global Research News Hour Episode 292)

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

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The Global Research News Hour airs every Friday at 1pm CT on CKUW 95.9FM in Winnipeg. The programme is also podcast at globalresearch.ca .

Notes:

  1. https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/05/1064362
  2. https://en.unesco.org/covid19/educationresponse
  3. https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/universities-brace-for-a-permanent-wave-of-closures-as-coronavirus-pushes-schools-to-brink-153123471.html

Coronavirus: Killer Virus or Common Flu

October 24th, 2020 by Michael Welch

This is part one of a special series devoted to the global pandemic that has coordinated an unprecedented attack on lives and civil liberties everywhere. In this chapter, we have two guests concluding that the threat is not nearly catastrophic as to demand lock-downs and masks.

The first guest is Sucharit Bhakdi. This renowned expert in microbiology along with Karina Reiss wrote a book – Corona: False Alarm? Facts and Figures. He breaks down how the facts he chronicles show how mightily deceived the public has been.

Our next guest is Mark Crispin Miller. A noted academic from New York, he took a particular interest in the mask question used to contain the spread of the virus. He analyzes the situation in an article that he is in the process of writing. He joins us to share his thoughts about masking, and the various methods used to further this remedy and other aspects of the COVID situation.

Sucharit Bhakdi, MD is a physician and  a post-doctoral researcher. He was named chair of Medical Microbiology at the University of Mainz in 1990, where he remained until his retirement in 2012. He has published over three hundred articles in the fields of immunology, bacteriology, virology, and parasitology, for which he has received numerous awards and the Order of Merit of Rhineland-Palatinate. He is a specialist in microbiology and one of the most cited research scientists in German history. His book, co-authored by Karina Reiss, is Corona: False Alarm? Facts and Figures

It is available now in the English language.

Mark Crispin Miller is a professor of media, culture and communication at New York University, and author of numerous articles on media censorship and election fraud. He is also authoring a major article which is focused on the widespread lies about the safety of the masks we put on to protect us from the threat of COVID 19.

 

Transcript of Sucharit Bhakdi in Conversation with Global Research News Hour host Michael Welch.

Global Research: Sucharit Bhakdi.

Sucharit Bhakdi, MD: If you look at the statistics of how many percent of infected, in terms of the coronavirus, I would ask the audience whether they had any inkling how many percent died. Was it 40 percent? 20 percent? 10 percent? 5 percent? Make a cross when you think you’ve got the answer. I tell you, it was way, way under 1 percent. Meaning that even without any antibodies, we didn’t have any antibodies, therefore they got the infection with this new, so called new coronavirus that was supposedly deadly and dangerous.

Anyone below the age of 70 even with pre-existing illnesses, the chances of dying was less than 1 percent. And if you have no pre-existing illness, the chances of dying of this COVID-19 was less than 0.1 percent meaning that 99.9 percent would not die because of course, we have modern medicine today. We have excellent possibilities of treating these patients. We are not of the age 1918 where there were no antibiotics, no intensive care medicine so you can’t go around comparing this sort of thing. And if you do, you may be making a big mistake.

GR: Today, from the onset of the virus, 200,000 people in the United States died from the virus. So should these numbers not spark an outrage?

SB: Well you see the whole problem about this virus is that the definition of virus, death, corona, victim” – entirely unscientific and violated all the basic rules of infectious disease. If you had a positive test for this virus, a lab test mind you, which is a PCR test, this is a test where you…The gene or gene fragments of the virus are multiplied so that it’s like putting a loop on what you’re trying to look at to see if the virus is there or not. This test was never intended for diagnostic use. This test was created for laboratory use and there was no mention at all that you could use this test to diagnose an infection and in fact this test does not diagnose an infection.

If you have a positive test it does not mean that you have an active infection. It does not mean that the infection made you ill. And it certainly does not equate with, if you die of this, that the infection killed you. Because this is something that caused the whole wave of misunderstanding to go off all over the world. If anyone tested positive for this virus and jumped off a cliff, then it wasn’t suicide anymore, the virus killed him. All right? I mean, it’s so ridiculous and this is what has been happening and what is happening, even today, even in the US. The virus does no more and no less than any other coronavirus that would have done a year ago or two years ago. Except that last year and the year before, no one would have thought about looking for a coronavirus because these viruses are not important enough to get diagnosed.

If you die of a heart attack, you die of a heart attack, and for that virus there, or a flu virus, or any other virus, it’s immaterial. It doesn’t really matter, and it shouldn’t matter, because if you do this sort of thing you are forcing upon others a false diagnosis. And making the correct diagnosis at death is so important for science and medicine, and you can see, after six months, how much self destruction has already taken place, how many existence are ruined, how many, you know, people have died because they haven’t been treated properly because hospitals have been closed to them. My god, now people in Europe are wearing masks, children are forced to wear masks in school, they’re going crazy, all these sort of thing, for what? Just because people are afraid. But if you look at the number of deaths, you see that if you’re under 70 it’s very, very soft. I’m not being [inaudible] it’s almost difficult to die.

The people who are dying are those whose lives are coming to an end with pre-existing illnesses, and it is correct these people are at risk, but they are at risk for the flu, they’re at risk for pneumococcal, they’re at risk for any agent that happens to hit them. So what one has to do is to protect those people specifically. In the nursing home, in the… People of old age are being taken care of. But you don’t go around doing what governments are doing now, putting masks on people who are not infected, prohibiting them to make a living. You know this is crazy.

GR: Could you talk about the lockdowns that were introduced, because there are some countries that went to extremes and others that did not. Could you maybe point to a few scenarios that show that the lock down…Lockdowns, I mean, on the one hand, maybe you’re protecting people from the virus, on the other hand there are a lot of, you know –

SB: Collateral damage

GR:collateral damage that could be committed by the lock down, so could you just point to an example that shows that the lockdowns that are triggered is not really making the, doing it, making a positive difference?

SB: Well, the pure evidence in retrospect is that the lockdowns never did any good…and… because they came too late anyway. When the epidemics were already going down, any effect that you thought you might see was there anyway and of course you… Prime example is Sweden which didn’t do the lockdown, as we all know, and without the lockdown Sweden has not been doing worse than France, Italy, the U.S. And, you know, looking at this there’s no question whatsoever that the lockdowns have done nothing but damage. Damage. And all these restrictions that have been continued in Germany, in Switzerland, in France, Spain, whereby in Scandinavia. There is no mask there. They don’t have to wear masks, nothing happens to them either. I mean, it is as clear as day and we can’t understand that people just don’t stand up and say no mask anymore.

GR: Dr Bhakdi, you mentioned the masks, could you point to examples of how these masks were not only ineffective but could even be harmful to those who wore it.

SB: Well, it is well known that wearing masks causes so many psychological damage, harm to children in schools. You know they go really crazy and we have so many examples of children who hate these masks. The moment out they’re out of school they tear them to bits, and they start saying and they scream, “I don’t want to go to school anymore. I hate these masks!”

Masks are also known to increase the concentration of CO2, you know, that you breathe in and out because CO2 does accumulate in the mask. And this is very bad for elderly people who have lung problems…people who… I can tell you openly that my mother-in-law has lung cancer, and she’s an old lady. She’s in terminal stage lung cancer, she was forced to wear a mask when she went to buy milk and bread in the supermarket, and she collapsed in the supermarket and almost had to be taken to a hospital, but then she said, “I will not go to the hospital because if I go to the hospital I will never see my grandson again, and I will also probably never see my children. And if you try to take me to the hospital, I have a plastic bag that I’m going to put over my head.” She did.

And so I’m rather emotional about this. I myself, I can tell you cannot wear a mask because my blood pressure is on the border line. My blood pressure is about 135 to 140, okay? When I put in a mask within 10 to 15 minutes my blood pressure is 145/150 which shortens my life. Now there are millions of you in America, there are millions of people in Germany, in Europe, who are in the same position as me, and when they wear these damn masks, their blood pressure goes above the critical limit and their lives are being shortened. Not by years, but by days and maybe months. I don’t know how much, but I refuse to wear a mask. These are just two examples, but there’s so many others, there are people who get frantic when they put on masks, they get psychic, you know, break downs. And so it’s absolutely unethical that the politicians are forcing their people…They’re dehumanizing them all right, I’m using a very strong word, but it’s true.

GR: Could you maybe just talk about the role of other scientists because I know that there’s a fairly high number of people that are refusing to go along with this, something in the order of the hundreds, but there’s still some scientists who stick to that…you know, the idea that this is something that we should be taking precautions against it and so on. Could you maybe elaborate a little bit on what would guide them to go along with the normal course of action.

SB: Well, we’re all so perplexed, we can’t really understand that our colleagues don’t see through this. We have colleagues who are absolutely terrified of the virus despite the fact that after six months, what I’ve been telling you is… anyone can look up these numbers in the register. I mean it’s so easy, just look at the numbers and you see that everything I said is true. And despite this, they still refuse to stop being afraid and stop inciting fear in their patients and all their friends.

But there’s a real rift now in the medical community. Ever more physicians and people at the front who are seeing patients see that it is not true that this virus is going rampant. We have hardly any patients in the ICUs in Germany with COVID-19. Hardly any. We have hardly any deaths. You can count them on one hand every day. No, we have 2500 deaths a day in Germany and we have maybe five so-called COVID-19 deaths because they are dying with or because of the virus. So, in fact the COVID-19 is one of the most seldom causes of death in Germany at the moment.

To our great delight, it was yesterday, I think, that one thousand four hundred Belgium doctors signed and opened their voices, their opinion, that they said that this whole thing is a bogey. That SARS-COVID-2 is not the killer virus that people have been saying it is. And yet, just yesterday I think, Boris Johnson tightened the measures, and the Bavarian government are thinking of getting soldiers in to control people. It’s incredible, they want to mobilize the army. Oh my god, I mean where are we going? I hope that America doesn’t go this way, but sometimes when I see what the Americans are doing, I start to get my doubts.

We’re in Switzerland right now, I’m trying to talk to the Swiss because the Swiss are also behaving very, very childishly, extremely unSwiss. This was, used to be, the courageous independent people who showed the world the way to go. America used to be one of those too, but no. No way.

GR: That was Dr Sucharit Bhakdi, microbiology specialist and author on the threat of COVID-19 being exaggerated. Sucharit Bhakdi’s book, Corona, False Alarm? published by Chelsea Green Publishing is now available in the English language. Go to the site chelseagreen.com to order a copy or order from your local bookstore.

———————————-

Mark Crispin Miller: Well, over the summer, in fact since this crisis began, and once I came over, I got over my own panic over the coronavirus…I mean, I lost a friend to it and nearly lost another. You know, whatever exactly it is. And I’m seventy, I have Lyme disease so I was duly cautious and kind of on the fence about its seriousness, but as time wore on, I became more and more struck by a significant chinks in the official narrative.

I mean, going all the way back to the zoonotic origin theory that it had leapt from a bat to human, you know it comes right out of the end of the movie Contagion. I’m a student of propaganda, that’s probably my major intellectual interest nowadays and has been for some time. So I realized that this was, we’re living in the midst of, and in a world devastated by a propaganda drive of unprecedented scope and sophistication. And as the mask mandates were imposed and became all the more aggressive, I was increasingly struck by this, in particular.

It started with…what peaked my interest in the beginning was the fact that governor Greg Abbott of Texas who had been a staunch proponent of reopening and had even been invited to the oval office by Donald Trump to get the presidential salute for his position. Suddenly, I think in June, abruptly pivoted, and was now mandating masks in Texas. His pivot is very similar to the one by the CDC and Dr Fauci and the WHO, all three of which were whom had basically articulated the scientific consensus on the usefulness of masks against respiratory viruses. And all said very publicly that healthy people shouldn’t wear them. Fauci was on 60 minutes saying this, that they may make you feel a sense of security, but they’re not really that effective.

Then they all switched, they all shifted. And governor Abbot shifted, and that was a significant moment in the politicization of this issue because it was reported by The New York Times and others as a kind of come-to-Jesus moment, that Abbott had seen the light and understood that indeed the United States should have been following China’s example all along, and that was kind of the subtext of this because the World Health Organization has always strongly championed China’s draconian approach to this and hailed New Zealand for following China’s example.

So then other southern governors began to fall into line and Sean Hannity of Fox News did a TV spot or PSA urging people to wear masks. It was coming at us from every direction as winning propaganda always does. It uses every available medium, every possible stimulus to move large numbers of people to some thought or action and it was happening here. So that we had Tom Hanks, you know, a kind of reliable, arguably CIA-connected movie star saying, “I don’t trust anybody who doesn’t wear a mask.” You had Banksy, the radical street artist doing works of art about the necessity of masking. It was really everywhere we looked, everything we read, everything we saw, masks along the highway, “Wearing is Caring.”

So I was very struck by the summary published in April by Denis Rancourt, a fellow Canadian. You know, deftly and expertly summarizing the findings of seven randomized controlled tests of mask wearing, in hospital settings, from the past 10 or 15 years and they’re all in agreement, and it’s really very simple, that the variants of these respiratory viruses are simply too small for paper or cloth masks to prevent their transmission. One doctor, Dr Simone Gold, in LA, has used the metaphor that…trying to protect yourself from this virus with a face mask is like trying to use a chain link fence to keep out a mosquito. It’s a very apt analogy. It’s just as ridiculous. And the N.95 masks which are harder to penetrate are somewhat more effective but only as long as they fit your face very, very tightly, and with use the fit loosens and that opens up a pathway for the virus to enter.

Now let me pause and note something that nobody thinks about. What is it that health care workers in covid wards have used to protect themselves from infection? Well, they wear masks and respirators and goggles and face shields, and gloves and a gown and booties. That’s the full regalia. You know I spoke to nurses about this. That’s pretty formidable protection against a highly infectious virus in a hospital setting.

So the idea that, first of all, that that’s in any way comparable to what we have to do out in the streets in the open air when we’re healthy, that’s ridiculous because this is.. life is not a covid ward. And secondly, the idea that one of these masks by itself can offer any protection against the virus theoretically passed along by a passer-by on the sidewalk, which doesn’t happen either – these are completely irrational notions. And the more deeply I dug, the more stuff I found, rigorous studies, there’s one in the British medical journal about cloth masks in particular which warns against their use…I think it’s from 2015, it warns against the use of cloth mask by health care workers because these are basically bacteria traps and are dangerous.

Global Research: There has been a major study published by Texas A&M University highlighting how masks were by and large beneficial in protecting from covid. Professor Miller took a look at this and discovered several prominent voices calling for a retraction.

MCM: The one you mentioned is the one most often cited. It was published I think in June in proceedings of the National Academy of Science by a team in Texas A&M University and it got all kinds of press, you know, the media was headlining this and so on. Well, as I took a close look at this, and let me add Michael, I don’t tend to be a scientist myself I mean, I … my…doctorate is in English, and I’ve become a kind of expert in propaganda study and media ownership and things like that, and I’ve learned how to consult those with the appropriate expertise to judge these things. I went and I consulted the scientific reviews of that article. I went to the scientific media center in Britain, this is a control center and there’s a whole number of a lot…a big number of responses to this article, and it’s very damning. They pointed out the data was unreliable, the methodology was faulty, and researchers at Johns Hopkins did the same thing. The article was a fraud. Well they didn’t retract it.

This then prompts a closer look at Texas A&M University. What’s this say about that? Well it turns out it has extremely lucrative contracts with, I think, Pfizer and another pharmaceutical company, they’re in business with them, okay? So this is not a disinterested institution. This is an institution with an interest in keeping, [inaudible] clear for the vaccine or vaccines that are coming at us, see?

Anyone asks protract the error to maintain the actual lockdown…even things might nominally loosened up.

It is related to the scandalous campaign to discredit hydroxychloroquine, which had been proven overwhelming to be extremely successful in treating this disease. This has been affirmed in numerous studies worldwide and in countless clinical practices [inaudible] in Houston. And the local TV station, where they actually did a report on this hospital success rate in treating covid19. They had not lost a single patient. [inaudible] steroid.. cocktail that they use. There are hospitals in Florida that have used it with a perfect rate of success. And here they are telling us that it’s not effective.

GR: Mainstream media have not been doing the job of reviewing the efficacy of masks, among other problems with the covid story. I asked Miller about the press being held hostage by not only corporations, but conglomerates, and what role big pharma could be playing in this.

MCM: You raised a really good and complicated question. I mean first of all the fact that the media is largely concentrated and in the hands or within the tentacles of I think five multinational corporations is already a dangerous development that I.. I’ve been sounding the alarm about since the nineties, when it was accelerating, and as we approached the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which just made everything much, much worse. So that’s…definitely, that lays the groundwork for propaganda across media that are all owned by the same corporation, and all five of them are very closely involved with each other, and they all are connected to the CIA and the National Security State and their advertisers. Paramount among whom is big pharma.

Then there’s the Gates Foundation. There’s a superb article that was in the Columbia Journalism Review [inaudible] media peace keepers, and it gets into his having so far donated around $250 million to media outlets of all kinds, you know NBC News, The Atlantic, NPR, indirectly The New York Times. So that they are all functioning as part of the Mighty Wurlitzer that serves his and Big Pharma interests. So this is a, you know, the classic example of the kind of corruption that has bedeviled the commercial press from the beginning. What has now become, you know, a major threat to public health and the survival of humanity, I think. Because it’s so concentrated. There is no competition within it and NPR, which is supposed to be public broadcasting, is among the worst and so is PBS.

But Gates has also given to the BBC you know. He’s been very generous with media outlets abroad so that it’s difficult to, you know, find genuinely independent media and this extends to medical journals, you know, for the reasons I alluded to in talking about Texas A&M, that university scientists and medical journals are you know, basically in the pocket of the CDC which is itself.. .the Center for Disease Control is not acting in the public interest, it’s a deeply corrupt organization, as is the World Health Organization. And yet our media, naturally, being complicit and being owned, always piously invokes them as if they were, you know, ordained by God to tell us the truth about matters of public health. The opposite is true. The same is the case with Dr Fauci. He’s an extremely corrupt person with a very destructive record in public health. But with the media running interference for him and those agencies, it’s very hard to get at those truths and it’s especially difficult with the most educated people, I have found.

GR: I’d like to then ask you, I mean you’ve been outspoken in this in a number of different areas and I’m wondering about the backlash about, you know, personally, I mean, could you share with our listeners examples of how you’ve been treated for speaking so forthrightly about masking, a parallel of peril to civil liberties.

MCM: Well you know I.. I.. was…I’ve been written off as a conspiracy theorist since I wrote my book on the theft of the 2004 election. It’s called, Fooled Again. It came out in 2005 from a major publisher, who, like myself, was really kind of staggered by the blackout on the book when it appeared. And I was especially staggered by, not a blackout by, but a slander by the left media, many outlets for which I’d written, pieces by people I was friends with, who actually called the book conspiracy theory, and me a conspiracy theorist and it’s not a work of theory, it’s all documented. That was the… that was the meme that was used to shoot me down from the so called left, okay?

I’ve been tagged as a conspiracy theorist. I had been frequently invited on NPR to speak on various aspects of media. I was now persona non grata. I had written a number of opeds for the New York Times, I think 4 or 5. And now I was a pariah, and you know, so my reputation took a public hit. Lately, as I have been focusing on the covid crisis and the disinformation over it, and the disastrousness on the approach to it, through lockdowns and so on, I’ve been specifically targeted at NYU where I teach. A few months after I started doing these things, my department chair sent me four what do you call…negative student reviews from a course I taught on propaganda the previous fall, this is months later. Four single sentences, very, very damning, claiming that I had harangued them in class, and that I did nothing but flawed conspiracy theory and so on. And he said none of these have come from any student evaluations. And he wouldn’t tell me who had given them to him. And he urged me to, you know, straighten up, clean up my act, change my course descriptions, I guess to say, “You should be forewarned that I’m insane and I will be flogging insane theories in the class,” something like that.

So my response to this was to gather together a couple of dozen glowing emails from students, in that class and others, graduates and undergraduates, thanking me for opening their eyes, expressing gratitude for the opportunity to learn how to study these things critically, right? And I sent them to him, and I said, “This is the real consensus. You know, I don’t know where you got that quartet of put downs, but I’m not even convinced they’re authentic.” So that went away.

Now, just this week what’s happened is that a student in my current propaganda course who had come to the class late, about a week-and-a-half into the class, missed the opening week where we talk about all of these general issues, you know, the difficulty of being truly skeptical, the challenge of being genuinely skeptical, and the necessity to be prepared to move out of your comfort zone when you study propaganda, because often you discover that things you have believed – and this has happened me repeatedly in my life, happened to everyone who.. who’s… thoughtful. You come to see that something you believe to be true is not true. It’s the result of very, very sophisticated propaganda. She missed those classes.

So when she came, we were talking, I mean, in such classes I always focus on ongoing propaganda drives, because this is not an academic subject. This is not something you talk about the Nazis and the Bolsheviks only, or you talk only about World War One when modern propaganda began. If you approach it that way, you’re basically doing propaganda because you’re implying that we don’t do it, you know. The North Koreans do it, the Chinese do it, we don’t do it. Well in fact, the United States and Britain invented it, they invented political propaganda. They invented commercial propaganda as it’s been used ever since.

So, my view is that, you know, that you study its history and then you move directly to propaganda drives that are now on going, you have the students do the investigation, you know. I mean, I tell them things that startle them, always saying pointedly do not believe a single word I say, okay? Don’t take my word for anything! I could be wrong, you know, I could be right, it’s irrelevant. I’m not making proclamations of the truth here. I’m setting an example of a kind of critical investigation you have to carry out yourselves. So if something I say strikes you, you are obliged to look into it, yourself. Okay? So, naturally, since I’m forced to teach online, their lives have been completely upended, their socializing is under, you know, police surveillance, and the university is punishing students for having small gatherings in their own apartments, okay? Since we’re living in… in the heart of an unprecedented propaganda maelstrom, how can we not talk about it in class?

So I brought up the mask thing, I mentioned it. I mentioned the scientific studies. I recommended them. I sent them links. And this one student, I mean, who never said a word about any of this during a class discussion but sat there in what I recall now is a kind of stony silence, just on Tuesday started tweeting really hostile statements about my course and demanding that NYU fire me, okay? That I be fired for putting everybody at risk, for flogging dangerous disinformation. She refers contemptuously to the links I sent because, you know, this is very revealing, because I don’t run across many young people like this, but certainly older people, you know, certainly my peers and younger people in their 30s, 40s, 50s who’ve been steeped in The New York Times and so on. They have a tendency to simply shut down in the face of counter evidence. They sometimes become abusive. You know, there’s something about the fear of death that does this.

GR: In the minutes we had left I asked Mark Crispin Miller to expand on the issue of what informed citizens could do to reverse the direction of a massive fraud carried out at their expense.

MCM: Yeah. Well I’m in New York, which is one of the most dystopian cities around I’m afraid. It is unrecognizable to me as New York City. I am very heartened by resistance movements, particularly in Europe. I thought that the turnout in Germany was extraordinary and very, very inspiring, and that Bobby Kennedy Junior’s remarks were right on target, that we are witnessing the rollout of a totalitarian movement, the likes of which we have never seen anywhere, this is global now. And we’ve got all these liberals and progressives screaming about Trump as a fascist, okay. We can get into that whole subject, but to point to Trump as a fascist threat when we’re being faced with mandatory vaccination, immunity passports, we’re having our temperatures taken remotely, our movements are being tracked on cellphones, our socializing and gathering has been forbidden and is sometimes punished. If people can’t see that that’s totalitarianism, then they have been, they have their eyes wide shut. So what’s the solution?

The solution is for people to… those who’ve looked into this to spread the word, you know, however you can do it. It’s what I try to do in class, it’s what I’m doing with you, it’s what you guys do at Global Research. This means, increasingly, that we have to find alternatives to Facebook and Twitter and YouTube and people are finding them. I mean people have to resist, they have to say no. And not look at this in a politicized way, it has nothing to do with Trump or you know, whatever, I mean that… that’s all irrelevant. What matters is the truth, what matters is free and open discussion. That a student of mine would go on Twitter and demand I be fired for sharing certain kind of information and that the university would apparently back her up! I mean, my chairman sent her a reassuring tweet that they would make this a priority, which I found staggering, okay? The good news is that the reaction on Twitter has been overwhelmingly positive you know in… I’m… I don’t want to say in my favor, but in favor of free and frank discussion without having to fear the threat of unemployment or punishment. It is now astonishingly the left, it is more totalitarian, more pro-war, more pro-censorship, more pro-bio security than any other part –constituency.

We need to tell the truth, as George Orwell said, “In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act,” and that is unfortunately true. That’s the truth today, and therefore we have to heed his advice, because I think his work and the work of other authors who understood the dangers of dystopian surveillance and control, you know, including E.M Forster and Aldous Huxley and others. Their relevance to this crisis is actually far greater than the work of Karl Marx, because this isn’t just about capitalism. This is about a global elite heading in the direction of a kind of neo feudalism where they will own most of the land, control the food supply, where they are actually at work on a eugenics project to lower the population, and this is something that Gates has talked about openly, Ted Turner as well, thinks the population should be reduced by between 80 and 90 percent of the world’s population. This is the biggest landowner in the United States with huge herds of bison, right.

So we’ve got to wake up to this fact, we have to tumble to it, we can’t turn away from it and say it’s all just for short term profits. We follow the money, we follow it beyond the quid pro quos that we talked about before, the Big Pharma profits from this kind of coverage. It’s actually following the money to see that it also involves dividing and conquering the people. Splitting us up in as many ways as possible: red versus blue, black versus white, masked verses unmasked.

And then we follow the money beyond that to see that the eugenics project which began with the twentieth century, funded by the Rockefellers, the Carnegie Foundation and the Harriman family, never went away, it was embarrassed by the Holocaust. Although all those interests backed and supported Hitler before the war, sometimes during the war, and it reemerged a few years later as population control. And that’s now a key part of the Green New Deal and all that stuff. So part of the environmental movement is captive. It is an elite movement, and that’s where the money leads us, and I’m saying to you, Michael, that in order for us to survive this and to defeat it, as I believe it can and will be defeated, because to be perfectly honest, it is evil, and I don’t think evil can ultimately triumph – but God helps those who help themselves. So in order for good to triumph we have to step up, we have to be brave, we have to speak out.

GR: Mark Crispin Miller’s essay is entitled “Masking Ourselves to Death.” It will be released soon. His site is markcrispinmiller.com.

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Image CTV report, September 

“Red zones”, travel bans, quarantines, “red lists”. A “Second Wave” has been announced. 

The fear campaign has gone into overdrive. Millions of people are lining up for Covid-19 testing.

Drastic state measures are contemplated, including restrictions on social gatherings, marriages, funerals, the closing down of restaurants and bars, the outright paralysis of civil society. 

Coming to the rescue of our citizens. What is the justification? 

This article focusses on the “Numbers Game”.  How statistics and “estimates” are used by politicians to justify the closure of the national economy and the derogation of fundamental civil rights.  

From the onset of the Covid crisis in January 2020, far-reaching decisions taken by the WHO and national governments have been justified by citing “estimates” of the Covid-19 disease as well “statistics” pointing to a  Worldwide spread of a new deadly coronavirus originating in Wuhan, China. 

Scientific analysis confirms that these estimates of “confirmed cases” tabulated by the WHO and the CDC are subject to error.  The tests do not detect or identify the virus. Moreover, the figures are often manipulated to justify political decisions.

Both the concepts as well as the test results do not point to the existence of a Worldwide Covid-19 pandemic. Nor do they justify social distancing, the face mask and the closing down of the global economy.

Corruption prevails at the highest levels of government as well within the upper echelons of the United Nations system. The entire state apparatus as well as inter-governmental organizations are controlled by powerful financial interests. 

Millions of people are now being tested which contributes to increasing the number of so-called “confirmed” Covid positive cases Worldwide. These statistics are then carefully tabulated.  The governments need those numbers to justify their totalitarian measures.


VIMEO (click screen) Michel Chossudovsky and Kristina Borjesson


 

 

What’s the Big Lie? What’s the Smoking Gun?

SARS-CoV-2 is NOT A “KILLER VIRUS”. The fear campaign has no scientific basis. (See analysis below)

The standard RT-PCR test used to “detect” the insidious Virus, “can not identify the Virus”. 

The Virus

In early January 2020, a so-called novel coronavirus  entitled SARS-CoV-2 , which causes “coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19” was identified. It was given a similar name to an existing coronavirus, namely SARS-CoV, i.e. the beta coronavirus that causes the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)

According to renowned immunologist Dr. Beda Stadler of Bern University,

“this so-called novel virus is very strongly related to SARS-1 as well to as other beta-coronaviruses which make us suffer every year in the form of colds.”

Stadler also begs the question: Is this a new virus or the mutation of an existing virus, “similar to the corona beta cold viruses”.

According to a recent study by Tsan-Yuk Lam, Na Jia, et al (Joint Institute of Virology, Shantou and Hong Kong universities):

…the [SARS-2] virus [is] most closely related (89.1% nucleotide similarity) to a group of SARS-like coronaviruses (genus Betacoronavirus, subgenus Sarbecovirus) (Nature, April 2020).

Moreover, the studies of Dr. Anthony Fauci et al in the New England Journal of Medicine as well as the WHO acknowledge that Covid-19 has similar features to seasonal influenza (Viruses A and B). (For further details, see Michel Chossudovsky, September 2020)

What these scientific statements convey is that SARS-2 (which causes Covid-19) is not a killer virus. In fact quite the opposite.

But neither the governments nor the media have reassured public opinion.

The fear campaign not only prevails, it is gaining momentum.

At this juncture of the Covid-19 crisis, governments are envisaging the launching of extreme measures in response to a so-called “Second Wave”. In turn, several media are now spreading stories that this Second Wave is comparable to the 1918 Spanish Flu:

At this point in the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 32 million infected and more than 980,000 dead worldwide, describing this time as “unprecedented” may sound like nails on a chalkboard. This pandemic, however, actually isn’t without precedent: The last time we dealt with a pandemic so mysterious, uncontained and far-reaching was in 1918, when influenza devastated populations around the globe. (CNN, September 25, 2020)

Flashback to March 11, 2020: The Launching of the WHO Pandemic 

On March 11, the WHO officially declared a Worldwide pandemic at a time when there were 18,000 confirmed cases and 4291 deaths out of a total World population outside China of the order of 6.4 billion people.  What do these “statistics” tell you? Most of these confirmed “positive cases” were estimated using the RT-PCR test which does not detect or identify the virus. (See our analysis below)

Immediately following the March 11 WHO announcement the fear campaign went into high gear. Confinement instructions were transmitted to 193 member states of the United Nations. The outright closing down of national economies was upheld as a means to resolving a public health crisis.

Politicians are the instruments of powerful financial interests. Was this far-reaching decision justified as a means to combating the Virus? Did the “numbers” (of confirmed cases) justify a Worldwide pandemic?

Unprecedented in history, applied almost simultaneously in a large number countries, entire sectors of the World economy were destabilized. Small and medium sized enterprises were driven into bankruptcy. Unemployment and poverty are rampant.

In some countries famines have erupted. The social impacts of these measures are devastating.

The devastating health impacts (mortality, morbidity) of these measures including the destabilization of the system of national health care (in numerous countries) far surpass those attributed to Covid-19.

The Rush to Get Tested

In a large number of countries, simultaneously, people are encouraged to get tested which in turn contributes to increasing exponentially the number of so-called confirmed  Covid-19 “positive cases”. Facilities are set up all over the country.

Screenshot, Daily Express

Panic prevails. national authorities establish testing facilities, do it yourself testing kits, etc.

People stand in line to get tested. The estimates are often manipulated.

In England “People stand in drive-thru lines as testing centres hit capacity”

CBC News Screenshot

Screeshot Reuters. Test at German airports

With increasing numbers, as of early June, the health authorities in several countries have pointed to an imminent “Second Wave”.

What is the intent of the Second Wave?

To postpone “normalization”? To prevent the reopening of national economies? To trigger more unemployment?

Currently, national economies have partially reopened.  This Second Wave constitutes the “second phase” of a bankruptcy program, targeting the services economy, air transport, the tourism industry, retail trade, etc.

Social distancing prevails. Schools, colleges and universities are closed down, social gatherings and family reunions are prohibited.

The face mask is reimposed despite its negative health impacts. We are told that it is all for a good cause. Combat the transmission of the virus.

These far-reaching decisions which derogate fundamental civil rights, are based on the “estimates” of Covid-19 positive cases, not to mention the manipulation of the test results.

Video; The Covid-19 Numbers Game with Michel Chossudovsky

The Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction Test (RT-PCR)  

The standard test used to detect / identify SARS-2 around the World is The Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction Test (RT-PCR) which is used to estimate and tabulate the number of confirmed positive Covid-19 cases. (This is not the only test used. Observations below pertain solely to the standard PCR).

According to Nobel Laureate Dr. Kary Mullis, who invented the PCR test: 

“PCR detects a very small segment of the nucleic acid which is part of a virus itself. The specific fragment detected is determined by the somewhat arbitrary choice of DNA primers used which become the ends of the amplified fragment.”

The PCR test was never intended to identify the virus.

PCR detection of viruses is helpful so long as its accuracy can be understood: it offers the capacity to detect RNA in minute quantities, but whether that RNA represents infectious virus may not be clear” (see also Lancet report)

The standard PCR Test applied in relation to Covid-19 does not detect or identify the virus. What it detects are fragments of the virus. According to renowned Swiss immunologist Dr B. Stadler

So if we do a PCR corona test on an immune person, it is not a virus that is detected, but a small shattered part of the viral genome. The test comes back positive for as long as there are tiny shattered parts of the virus left. Even if the infectious viri are long dead, a corona test can come back positive, because the PCR method multiplies even a tiny fraction of the viral genetic material enough [to be detected]. 

According to Dr. Pascal Sacré, “these tests detect viral particles, genetic sequences, not the whole virus”

What this means is that the PCR test cannot detect or identify SARS-CoV-2. What it detects are fragments, which suggests that a standard “PCR positive” cannot be equated to a so-called Covid-19 Positive.

“Fragments of viruses positive” does not mean “SARS-2 positive” (or Covid-19 Positive).

In other words, the published estimates of COVID-19 positive (resulting from the standard PCR test) in support of the Second Wave hypothesis are often misleading and cannot be used to measure the spread of SARS-2.
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There are currently, at the time of writing (according to WHO statistics) almost 33 million so-called “confirmed cases” and 1 million deaths. Are these alleged “Covid-19 positive” estimates which are in large part based on the RT-PCR test reliable? Global Research has published numerous reports on theses issues.
.

Once the Covid-19 Positive label is established and accepted, it is then subject to numerous forms of manipulation, not to mention the falsification of death certificates.

These figures are then used to sustain the fear campaign and justify political decisions by corrupt national governments.

The public is led to believe that there is a “Second Wave” and the government is there to save lives through social distancing, the face mask, the closing down of economic activity, the paralysis of the national health system and the closing down of schools and universities.

There is a circular causal relationship. The more people get tested as a result of the fear campaign, the more PCR positive cases. …

Michel Chossudovsky, Biographical Note

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It’s hard to talk about the myriad issues piled in our society in a cohesive way, and when we try, we often get the same response:  “What is your solution?”  People get frustrated and demand an instant solution to the structural problem they are very much a part of. The very insistence on a single, cure-for-all-answer betrays their unwillingness to see the structural and systematic nature of the problem. Meanwhile they allow themselves “solutions” which are concocted by those who have created the problems.

Those “solutions” are bound to be strictly incremental and reformist, otherwise the self-serving nature of the overall trajectory becomes blatantly obvious.  Confrontation with the flaws of the “solutions” triggers an emotional response:  A clear indication that the criticism points to the obvious flaws of the system itself, which in turn resonates as a criticism against the self.  The emotional burst and the denial to recognize the system for what it is are indications of pathological adhesion to abusive power. This is the condition that forces many American people to prop up the capitalist hierarchy and continue to prove their allegiance to it.

The real solution must involve a structural change. The feudal hierarchy which structurally imposes extortion schemes of money and violence on people by domesticating their humanity, to be harvested over and over within the capitalist framework, is inhumane and destructive to our species.  Such an idea must not be brushed aside as untenable idealism if we are to live harmoniously with one another and with our environment.

Capitalist Cage

In the vastness of space and unimaginable span of geological time, our presence is small: smaller than a spec of dust on a whole planet.  As conscious beings, we have created narratives and theories to explain what it means to be in this mysterious sea of matter and time.  Such ideas are central to our social organization as well as how we relate ourselves to it.  They very much affect how we perceive things as individuals and as collectives.  Those ideas can take the shape of religion, history, ideology, tradition, myth and so on, constituting parts of the individual psyche as well as the collective psyche.

Those ideas are supposed to be promoted and perpetuated by the community members because they serve them by validating the given social order which serves their best interests. They are supposed to give us ways to reconcile with the unknown in collective manners, by which we find ways to accept the mystery of life with reverence and awe.

But do they?

As we are born into the social order, where those ideas are reinforced and physically manifest as social framework, we internalize those ideas, we become a part of the social mechanism and the ideas become “reality”.

But strictly speaking this “reality” is somewhat different from what is inherently real in a material sense.  What we perceive as “reality” is our interpretation of matter which has been shaped by the imperatives of the social order.

For example, in a capitalist society, a fact can deviate from material reality because an institution which specializes in the fact is influenced by the interests of the ruling class. For example, industrial waste material can be dumped as a harmless substance.  The effect of the lie increases progressively against the oppressed people since the profits are made with the expense of those who are exploited and subjugated by the lie.  People suffer from the erroneous information but to different degrees.  Those who suffer the most are subjected to the most strict measures, while those who exploit and subjugate can change the measures according to their needs while being well equipped to face material hardships.

Social institutions under capitalism always have the risk of failing since experts’ opinions are necessary to understand a complicated fact.  People with bigger platforms can simply dominate the fact because people don’t have the time and resources to examine the fact.  A louder opinion can simply get its way.  The economic hierarchy ensures that those who have dire interests in getting the fact right can not get it right.

Now, this mechanism also works vertically. Different institutions are affected differently by the false fact. A fact twisted by the special interests creates conflicts among institutions. This creates conflicts among the people.  However, the degree of the divisions get narrower and narrower as it gets closer to the level of the ruling class, where the lie can create broader benefits to the already wealthy and powerful people as they have the ability to access all moneyed institutions in creating “reality” that serves them.  Dangerous policy, dangerous substance, dangerous practice and so on affect those who do not have the means to avoid them, while they can be part of enacting lucrative business schemes for the ruling class.  We are put against each other in artificially scarce material conditions where we compete and form hierarchy based on the imperatives imposed by the capitalist framework, instead of according to the material facts.

A few major things happen from the lie. First, the ruling class succeeds in profiting from the exploitation and subjugation and/or succeeds in preserving the capitalist hierarchy. Second, the lie creates divisions among the oppressed.  Third, the lie requires more lies to cover it up, depriving people’s ability to relate to themselves, to each other and to nature according to material reality.

The dynamic repeats itself in many ways, creating a false reality in which misinformation, disinformation and propaganda merge with facts as institutions are manipulated to serve the interests of the ruling class while the rest of the people are divided, confused and disempowered. The Founding Fathers of the US probably knew this mechanism very well when they installed “separation of powers” within the US government.  The separation would effectively institutionalize the mechanism, ensuring that the interests of the people are checked and balanced by the ruling class which can have access to all branches of the government.

Moneyed social institutions as well as some “dissidents” and “community activists” can function as a crucial part of the capitalist hierarchy, maintaining and perpetuating the system regardless of their intentions. First, those who neglect to reveal the aims of the ruling class by solely pointing out criminal acts and refusing to recognize the mechanism of exploitation distract the people from what is really happening.  Second, those who refuse to see the structural mechanism of exploitation within the capitalist hierarchy can end up protecting their own positions at the expense of the people at the bottom while serving the ruling class.  Third, those who fail to recognize the lies or actively repeat them help facts to be subordinated to the capitalist framework while destroying the credibility and integrity of the social institutions, leading to destabilization of social relations—making us more susceptible to lies and manipulations.  The paralyzed state can be utilized in further privatizing the institutions, resulting in more extensive domestication of humanity and nature.

These are only a few examples of how seemingly constructive social dynamics within the capitalist hierarchy can function to prop up the capitalist  hierarchy. The risk of people truly recognizing the nature of the capitalist hierarchy, armed with experts and unity, is real as we observe instances of socialist revolutions across the globe. Capitalist institutions carefully accommodate those people who do not pose fundamental threats to the capitalist framework in maintaining the social structure that serves them.

Parasitic Tendency of Capitalism

Some may wonder, if the system is so fascistic and draconian, why it would allow “dissidents” to play a role in the social structure at all.  It is because an authoritarian structure with commands, decrees, and rigid rules and their punitive consequences can not cultivate active social relations to prop itself up.  Human minds can not free the potential of creativity to do so under such conditions .  Just enough freedom to move within the cage is necessary for the capitalist hierarchy.  Also, without allowing some degree of “freedom” within its framework, some people might establish communities with a true sense of freedom within the social structure, which can pose a threat to the system. For this reason, the illusion of safety and freedom are allowed within the capitalist framework.  Within this environment, people engage in creative activities, the exchange of ideas and products, and the rest of the daily routines.  These activities are guided by moneyed social institutions ensuring that the boundaries are set to perpetuate the capitalist framework.  Governmental organizations, media, culture organizations, NGOs and so on play significant roles in ensuring that the subject population are domesticated within the framework.

Those organizations’ roles center on a moment by moment maintenance of the capitalist hierarchy.  But they also curate acceptable “crises” within the structure in order to shift the direction of exploitation and subjugation in combatting unavoidable cyclical economic downturns (they are structurally unavoidable), and to continue deepening their colonization of humanity and nature.  A country defying the capitalist hegemony might be called “a deadly threat to humanity” before bombs rain on its people.  Population growth in certain countries might be termed “population bomb” before an assortment of colonial measures are implemented against them.  The issues that generate profits and help augment the capitalist framework are ignored, or normalized no matter how enormous they are—cancer epidemic, drug epidemic, mass incarceration and so on and so forth, until the momentum to fight them becomes useful in perpetuating the capitalist hierarchy.

However, despite the efforts by the ruling class to construct the invisible prison for all, our creative energy can occasionally escape the artificial boundaries set by the capitalist domination.  And some individuals could manage to garner the support of a broader population.  However, they would be smeared by media, be attacked by various social institutions, or even be killed by government agencies.  The element of fear is crucial in preventing our creative energy from going beyond the capitalist cage.

Fear of unknown must have been an essential perception of ours from the beginning of our species.  Our efforts in understanding ourselves and our surroundings stem from it. Our sense of reverence toward nature, spirituality and so on stems from its mystery and unimaginable depth.  The momentum to dominate by accumulation of wealth confronts fear of the unknown with its brute force.  When capitalists destroy a pristine forest filled with wild lives and their intricate system, they destroy and colonize the natural environment while stealing the fear of unknown. When capitalists destroy cultures and traditions and replace them with a capitalist market, they destroy what they can’t steal in order to play God of Money.

Cultivation of fear

A protection racket scheme works the best when the service provider appears to be capable of inflicting the very violence that you wish to avoid.  9/11 is an embodiment of such a shady marketing strategy.

We are told what happened.

We are told to think accordingly.

But there are obvious inconsistencies— the failure of the Air Force to intercept the hijacked airplanes, suspicious lack of actions against the suspected hijackers prior to the attack by intelligence agencies, numerous testimonies indicating the presence of explosives in the 9/11 buildings, circumstantial evidence indicating that an event like 9/11 was necessary to embark on a series of colonial wars against the Middle East while curtailing the civil and legal rights of the people and so on.  The authority itself doesn’t deny those points, as if to say “what are you gonna do about it?”

And we are told “you are either with us, or against us”.

9/11 has become the go-to justification for colonialism, corporatism and militarism for the empire.  Countries that defy the western capitalist hegemony have been destroyed. People who defy it have been ridiculed, excluded, jailed or killed.

The obvious inconsistencies of the state policies simply turn into fear, which in turn strengthens the sale of the imperial protection racket. After all, the empire is armed with the sheer might of 800 military bases across the globe and numerous WMDs.

The absolute power of violence that defeats logic and humanity is the manifestation of wealth and power, which are the essence of the US empire:  a feudal hierarchy, inflicting countless structural extortions against its people 24/7.

There are many other examples of such events throughout the history of the US empire, which cultivate unspeakable fear among the people while giving the authority blank checks to impose repressive measures. The assassination of a prominent figure can be such an event(1). These and other events are always augmented by disclosures by intelligence agencies confirming that such events can actually take place.  These events continue to prevent the subject population from questioning their leap of faith into the destructive system—again, capitalism colonizes our fear of unknown as it establishes itself as God of Money.

Covid-19

It stands to reason that measures appropriate to the risk of the virus should be taken as legitimate medical precautions, just as occasional school closures during a flu season, basic sanitary precautions to avoid getting sick, the protection of vulnerable people, and so on can be considered necessary.  But an obvious restructuring of a society in ways which would inflict repressive measures of censorship, banning of free assembly, destruction of communities, restriction of human rights, and creation of lucrative business opportunities for the ruling class should raise serious questions.  Especially, as the “new virus” has turned out to be not so new(2) according to scientists, and it also turns out to be not so deadly(3).

As we undergo Covid-19 lockdown measures, the rich and powerful are showered with bailouts, economic opportunities, political decisions to be “rescued”, making billions and billions, while the rest of us endure neoliberal restructuring—losing wages, losing workers’ rights, losing legal rights and losing human rights (4).

The momentum for the Covid measures has been pushed through our society with the same momentum of a protection racket scheme. Just as 9/11 or JFK’s assassination have left numerous undeniable evidence indicating that the events are pivotal in forwarding economic projects, the Covid panic situates itself within the context of a web of financial interests(5). Misinformation and disinformation and crucial evidence indicating conflicts of interests on the part of large international institutions with strong corporate and military ties–the World Economic Forum, WHO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, various prominent NGOs, government agencies, and giant corporate entities—signal to the people that this requires unconditional compliance.  Under such circumstances, facts about the virus, inconsistencies, and the rest of the questions become fuel for doubt.  The doubt opens the door for the possibility that those who claim to protect you are in fact the perpetrators of the pain and suffering.  The people face a catastrophic crisis of their identity:  they face a major cognitive dissonance.  No amount of facts would convert their positions.  In fact, the more they know, the more they become afraid and adamant in sticking to the state-sanctioned Covid rituals.

Germaphobia

Obsessive compulsive behavior manifests to gain a sense of control.  It forces physically healthy individuals to engage in ritual cleansing of their body parts and their surroundings, so much so that their actions interfere with their daily lives.  The action is purely psychological and ritualistic.  Germaphobes are not rational, sanitary or healthy.  Just as dirty masks are worn over and over.  Just as people wear masks on streets, and immediately take them off as soon as they sit down to eat at an enclosed restaurant.

Logic and reason don’t matter for those who engage in rituals of cleansing in order to escape from facing the ultimate truth about the system and their own positions in it.   The ritual behaviors are stipulated by the system —social distancing, wearing masks, no assembly.  Obedience and complacency are enforced even if the measures might not be effective in reducing the risk of virus and the detrimental effects of the measures can surpass the supposed lethality of the virus (4), (6), (7), (8), (9) and (10).  As their behaviors become habitual in the daily repetitions, the accompanying slogans sink into the psyche of the population. The fear of abuse and pain are pushed under their consciousness as they engage in the rituals. Images of black people getting shot by police officers, whistleblowers mercilessly thrown in prisons, and so on fade as they make sure that their masks are on their faces.

Capitalism preys on the most vulnerable people as the subject population upholds the deadly tendency to protect their own positions in it . Seemingly bright people suddenly acquire a mental block and fail to see the structural mechanism of economic extortion and exclusion as soon as the system turns to them and whispers “what can you do about it?”. Yet, the very presence of the capitalist hierarchy becomes visible as the population shamelessly goes along with flimsy official narratives:  “WMDs in Iraq is the biggest threat against humanity”, “inner-city minority kids are super predators who need to be brought to heel” , “the Russians are coming”, or “a deadly plague is here”. Why not? After all, people seem to believe that a country founded by slave owning colonizers with 800 military bases across the globe, which, killing, raping and stealing in a culture of domination, is actually a defender of freedom. The fear of the God of Money is in full motion.

Meanwhile, those who refuse to conform are excluded and shamed.  The dynamic is actively encouraged to stay within the corporate political framework, invigorating the illusion of “democracy” dominated by two US imperial political parties.  Narratives are prepared by the party establishments.  Positions are stipulated.  If you are for this selected issue or that issue, or if you are against them, you are drawn into the mudslinging match within a state-sanctioned ring of acceptable ideas.  This culminates in a ritual fight called the US Presidential election.  Seemingly smart people are cornered into cheering for a gladiator battle between two imperialists who will perpetuate the feudal hierarchy of money and violence.   Their scream urging you to vote in order to save the oppressed people is firmly in line with the colonial vestige of manifest destiny. They vote for the very government that kills people in “enemy countries”.  They vote for the very government that cages children and incarcerates immigrants.  They vote for the government that locks up people who haven’t committed crimes.  They vote for the government that kills people for the color of their skin. All those people they claim to save cannot vote.  They don’t have to vote because the saviors—American people—will vote to determine their fate.  US corporate politics provides some of the main rituals for the God of Money.

Even those dissidents, activists and so on, who are generally insightful and aware have also contracted this condition, attacking their fellow comrades for questioning the lethality of the virus, effectiveness of mask wearing, validity of various lockdown measures and so on for the reasons already described above. However, it should also be noted that those who subscribe to various sorts of fascist ideologies actively align themselves with the restrictive measures of the state as well.  For those people, the structural consequences of the capitalist hierarchy and its deceptions do not pose any problem.  The momentum of fascism is always useful in eliminating the anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist momentum in times of “crisis”.

The mechanism of conformity and compliance is in place working with a full imperial force 24/7, creating an imperial gravity that lifts those who go along with the establishment, while putting weights on those who don’t. The people are forced to form groups gathered at various levels on the hierarchy, aimed to protect their own existences along with the structural layers of the caste order.  Their own values, beliefs and norms are formed to serve themselves but they are built within the capitalist framework.  They may oppose those who are above or below but ultimately their worst enemies are those who do not conform to the hierarchy itself.  Anti-capitalists and anti-imperialists are often eliminated by the authoritarian momentum within the social networks which must exist within each layer in order to float at the particular position—the imperial gravity permeates throughout the hierarchy at all times.

Pathological conditions have been cultivated among people to cope with the situation: addictive behaviors, obsessive compulsive behaviors, depression, anger, and suicidal ideation.  Mental health problems among minors are skyrocketing as well.  However, those are not the main concerns of the establishment.  Meanwhile, those who refuse to wear masks are openly called psychopaths, just as enslaved people who escaped were said to have a mental illness called drapetomania, or women who could not bear ruthless gender discrimination were said to have hysteria.

Meanwhile, the unconditional authoritarian hierarchy constantly turns minds under the spell of learned helplessness.  Some are wrapped up in acute cynicism refusing to consider any possible alternatives.  The pain of abuse and neglect force children to internalize abusiveness as a defense mechanism, forcing them to cultivate abusers in their psyche to overcome their traumas, turning them into good candidates for enforcers of pain within the capitalist hierarchy.  The God of Money destroys those who defy, while colonizing those who obey at psychological levels.

Organically grown communities that help to connect people harmoniously are forced into the framework of Covid measures to be divided, nullified and assimilated into the capitalist framework.  Covid measures alienate people by removing our tools of intimacy, communication, organizing, and etc., while digitizing them into commodifiable data. Those who can afford “the new normal” within their gated communities are blessed with the time to reflect, appreciate art and nature and embrace their fantasy world of a dystopic now, at the expense of the people who are domesticated within the strict measures of structural extortion regimes. Visits to the doctor become online chats based on profit incentives.  Education becomes digital indoctrination without the intricacy of sharing and depth of creative pursuit.  Small businesses which can foster community values are replaced with global corporations with imperial values.  Oppressive measures continue to concentrate among those who are already oppressed.  The result of lacking healthcare, weakened immunity, and prevailing health issues manifest as justifications to entangle them with more lockdown measures and financialization of their sufferings.

Capitalism: A Serial Arsonist by Night, A Brave Firefighter by Day

The head of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, writes(11)

“COVID-19 lockdowns may be gradually easing, but anxiety about the world’s social and economic prospects is only intensifying. There is good reason to worry: a sharp economic downturn has already begun, and we could be facing the worst depression since the 1930s. But, while this outcome is likely, it is not unavoidable. To achieve a better outcome, the world must act jointly and swiftly to revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions. Every country, from the United States to China, must participate, and every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed. In short, we need a “Great Reset” of capitalism.”

Independent researcher Cory Morningstar writes(12):

“Schwab refers to the COVID-19 crisis as a watershed moment for fourth industrial revolution technologies. And while people are distracted with masks and COVID-positive cases reported incessantly in order to sow anxiety and compliance, the global consolidation of power is happening in real time. In servitude to the power elite, World Economic Forum founder and CEO Klaus Schwab is advancing “a new global architecture”, upheld by a new “global governance”. May 18, 2018: the World Bank partners with the United Nations. June 13, 2019: the World Economic Forum partners with the United Nations. Oct 18, 2019: a high stimulation exercise, modeling a fictional coronavirus pandemic, was held by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, [5] in partnership with the in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Approximately five months later, on  March 11, 2020: the World Economic Forum partners with the World Health Organization (a UN body) launching the COVID Action Platform, a coalition of 200+ of the world’s most powerful corporations. (By May 6, 2020 this number had swelled to over 1,106.) On this same day, March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization classified COVID-19 as a pandemic.

On March 26, 2020, with  87% of the world’s student population affected by COVID-19 school closures, the Global Education Coalition was announced as a means to accelerate the transition to a global forth industrial revolution digitalized education fueled by emerging markets (SDGs). Founding partnersinclude Microsoft, Google, and Facebook. Other partners include BBC, McKinsey, IBM, the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy, and the Global Business Coalition for Education. [Global Business Coalition for Education Advisory Board Members and Founding Members] This is the global commodification of children, as data commodities, a new class asset. An emerging market, under the guise of SDGs (presided over by the World Economic Forum), built on child data surveillance and human capital assets. [April 15, 2019: From Billions to Trillions: Investing in the Next Generation]”

Winter Oak straightforwardly describes(13) Kaus Schwab’s world view as “fascistic” and describes how Covid-19 can help realize “his great fascist reset”:

“21st century fascism has found different political forms through which to continue its core project of reshaping humanity to suit capitalism through blatantly authoritarian means.

This new fascism is today being advanced in the guise of global governance, biosecurity, the “New Normal”, the “New Deal for Nature” and the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”.

The global capitalist ruling elite have certainly been doing their best to “take advantage of the shock inflicted by the panic”, assuring us all since the very earliest days of the outbreak that, for some unfathomable reason, nothing in our lives could ever be the same again.

Schwab and Malleret are, inevitably, enthusiastic in their use of the New Normal framing, despite their admission that the virus was only ever “mild”.

“It is our defining moment”, they crow. “Many things will change forever”. “A new world will emerge”. “The societal upheaval unleashed by COVID-19 will last for years, and possibly generations”. “Many of us are pondering when things will return to normal. The short response is: never”. (97)”

Historian Luciana Bohne, writes(14) on her facebook wall:

“Ominous words from the World Bank (see beow). They say post-Covid, we’ll have a “different economy.” By “different” they mean “new businesses and sectors.” They mean “the older are being driven to bankruptcy or absorbed into monopolies.” They mean, “You are going to lose your jobs and not many of you will find them in the new sectors because you won’t have the skills.” They blame Covid, but the old economy–that they’re shutting down– well before Covid was in growth ZERO (Germany for example) and most Western-style economies were well below the minimum tolerable 3%. So, Covid didn’t kill it. They drove it to the edge, And now it’s being “restructured,” and “downsized”–it’s NEOLIBERALISM ON STEROIDS. If that is possible, and they think it is.

“In order to reverse this serious setback [Covid] to development progress and poverty reduction, countries will need to prepare for a different economy post-COVID, by allowing capital, labor, skills, and innovation to move into new businesses and sectors.”–World Bank, October 2020 Reportsd”

In the past, we’ve seen the US government engage in destruction of communities by cornering people into destitute poverty, violence, drug epidemic, only to introduce “solutions” which gentrify, incarcerate, murder and steal. We’ve seen western governments engage in destabilization of countries by sanctions, economic embargo, propaganda campaigns and proxy wars, only to declare “so and so must go”, “so and so is killing his own people” and unleash its military might in protecting the western capitalist hegemony. The events surrounding Covid-19 illustrates a text book pattern of events within the capitalist framework in which a concerted momentum of fear, crisis and economic assaults are orchestrated in order to introduce favorable conditions for more exploitation and subjugation.

It must be strongly noted that the urgency of virus measures and their repressive aspects can augment violent strategies against “enemy” in and out of the empire, corporate green schemes against nature, commodification of digitized social relations and financialization of oppressed populations. The human costs as well as environmental costs of plunderings will be enormous. The schemes described by various independent journalists reflect how dangerous those imaginations of domination, which are devoid of material reality, can be.

The active initiatives to replace humanity and nature with an artificial-scape of algorithm, machines, and artificial intelligence are in line with the colonization of humanity and nature by capitalism.  Ultimately, digitization of social relations and currency allow the capitalist establishment to put strings on people’s behaviors just as the capitalist hierarchy controls people’s behavior with economic structural extortions (I highly recommend research by Alison McDowell on it below).  People’s paths are further atomized and divided without organic social interactions within a rigid framework to be controlled, moderated, and harvested as commodified data.  Here are some good materials on the topic and more. Please do look into each materials.

by Cory Morningstar

By Cory Morningstar

by Winter Oak

By Whitney Webb & Raul Diego

By Alison McDowell

By James Corbett

“Good Americans”

American people are deeply domesticated people with a grand sense of narcissism as “Americans”.  The country has inflicted so much pain and suffering against the world with its colonial policies and wars, yet American people generally perceive themselves as citizens of freedom.  Ironically, the more they are cornered into enduring the consequences of their own complacency, the more they cling to the fact that they are at least “Americans”.   Because, as it was described above, rejecting their countryhood is a rejection of themselves—the biggest fear of all for the proud Americans.

Such a core value bursts out in the open when we see white people screaming “I’m white!” as they get beaten up by police officers.  It’s not that they don’t know the nature of the stratified structure of the caste system when they insist on “diversity“ without dismantling the exploitive system of subjugation.  Most of them do know it and they do know their positions in it and they want to keep it that way.

That’s why so many people buy the idea that Russians are messing with their “democracy”.  It is not that they actually believe that Russians do stuff to them, but they sense the position of Russia in the imperial framework.  “How dare Russians get in the way of the United States of America!”.  How ironic is it that those who are going through the economic shock therapy now at the hands of those who inflicted an economic shock therapy against the Russian people after the destruction of USSR fail to see what is happening to themselves.  Needless to say, imperial gravity is global.  Some western proxy powers, on the other hand, are eager to comply and do extra miles in order to hold better positions in the imperial hierarchy.  Neoliberal restructuring of their economies, compliance for military strategic necessities, and demonization of “enemy countries” and so on can be more prominent in those countries than the US itself.

China and Covid-19

Now, I feel compelled to discuss briefly why I think China has acted so drastically to the virus situation since this has been raised over and over to either validate western actions on the virus or to demonize the Chinese government for taking such strict measures.

First of all, it should be noted that there are drastic differences between fully for profit measures implemented by the western countries and measures implemented by China which include considerations for job security, wage compensation, viable treatment options and so on.  The measures were effective in keeping the fatality at the very minimum.  A recent poll shows the level of of happiness among the Chinese people to be extremely high compared to that of western countries.

China has been cornered by the imperial forces to realize what it sees as a Marxist Leninist society with a long term plan.  There have been a few major lessons for China. First, industrialized western powers have attempted to colonize China multiple times.  This has necessitated that China have its own industrialization through centralized planning in order to provide for its population while avoiding being exploited and subjugated by the western capitalist framework.

In order to do so, China has established its Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence: mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence. Based on this idea of non-interference, China engages in economic activities with countries that do not share such principles—which include major imperialist powers and proxies.

As a result, China has indeed expanded its economic sphere, successfully pulling countless people out of poverty, while gaining its economic power against the imperial forces.  This has attracted criticism among those who see China as an anti-imperial force. “How come China is working with Israel, the US and so on in its economic projects?”, they would ask.  The answer to me is in its aim of economic development for its people as well as in its non interference policy.  As a sovereign country, China is deciding its own path by weighing a particular balance between pragmatism and moving toward its goal within the world in which imperial powers are dominant.

Now, there is another angle we must pay attention to.  The introduction of its market economy for China has been another necessity to avoid destruction of its economy, as well as its nationhood, by development of the black market as well as infiltration by the western colonial interests.  By allowing free market activities under the framework of the CPC, China ensures its emerging billionaires to follow Chinese agendas instead of the Western imperial framework.

This background helps us to understand China’s very active position in Covid-19 measures.  If indeed what the global economic powers term as the 4th industrial revolution is a determining factor for their future economic powers, not having a stake in it puts China in a secondary position to the Western imperial hegemony. The Covid situation needs to be seen in this dynamic of the economic struggle between the imperialist forces and the rest of the world since it is an introduction to the 4th industrial revolution in many regards.

China simply sees the medical measures against the virus as well as the 4th industrial revolution as a part of the economic phenomenon that needs to be under the guidance of the CPC.  This might be hard to swallow for those who recognize the grave danger of further digitizing our social relations under the corporate framework, as well as its financialization and its associated assortments of exploitation and subjugation.  This is understandable but such a judgement should not be made according to the western capitalist history and its contexts.

This point has been fully utilized by the western establishment in erroneously labeling China as leading online censorship and repressive measures associated with new technologies.  For one thing, regulations against western political infiltration can not be equated to “censorship” or “human rights abuse” when we look at the history of the western colonial destabilization schemes against subject countries.  The Chinese government gets more support from its own people than most western governments do for good reasons.  The income inequality as well as the poverty rate is lower in China than the US now.   Meanwhile, reality shows us that it has been the US police that kills three people on average everyday, and it is the US government interfering with human rights, imposing mass incarceration, violent police forces, institutional discrimination of various sorts, deprivation of social safety nets, and global surveillance and so on against the people.  Credit score, racial demography, and tools of oppression have been used to perpetuate exploitation and subjugation in the US for so long.

It just doesn’t make sense to target China when the US is clearly the leading force of exploitation globally, and China to the empire is the biggest obstacle in its path today.

And let’s say that the 4th Industrial Revolution is detrimental to the people in the west.  Would it make sense to demonize China and demand that it stop developing AI technology, online capabilities and so on? Isn’t it like destroying all nuclear weapons of Russia and China during the Cold War?

China has its own problems stemming from its introduction of the market economy, environmental issues and so on.  Although the structural issues have emerged from reactions against the imperial forces, needless to say, allowing imperial forces to “solve” them totally defeats the purpose.  Those problems are not the white man’s burden to be solved by the west. China has its own ways of solving them and it is simply not the business of the imperial west to decide the fate of the Chinese people.

Last but not the least, the imperial forces, including the pre-WW2 imperial Japan, have engaged in bio attacks against China, Korea, Cuba and so on.  The US military possesses numerous bio weapon facilities across the globe(18).  The preparedness against such attacks is another determining factor in overcoming western imperialism as it is a deterrence against an imperial bio attack.  This matter is particularly urgent when the western media, government agencies, corporate entities, NGOs and other political, economic and military forces of the West have been orchestrating various destabilizing projects against China–Uyghur region(19), Hong Kong(20) and blatant lies regarding the Tiananmen Square event(21) to name a few.  The empire has been colonizing and co-opting those who defy, and when it fails, it has mercilessly destroyed them.

Understanding these dynamics between China as well as its allies and the Western capitalist hegemony should be a positive step toward our harmonious existence.

Lastly, I would like to sincerely express my gratitude to all of you who stand where imperial gravity is strong. Thank you.  Uncovering facts buried in the sea of capitalist propaganda and discerning dynamics rooted in our genuine circumstances and its historical context is important.  Because grasping the material reality is a key to remaining human when we are domesticated in the capitalist cage of lies and deceptions.

Hiroyuki Hamada is an artist. He has exhibited widely in gallery and non-commercial settings alike. Hamada was the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, twice received New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships in sculpture, and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2018. Alongside his work in the studio, his writings have appeared through various online outlets.

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Notes

1. TalkingStickTV – Jim Douglass – MLK, JFK, RFK and the Unspeakable

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUdqgD6-cLM

2. Some T cells recognize the new coronavirus without having seen it before

https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-preexisting-immune-memory-t-cells-common-colds-2020-8

3. Studies on Covid-19 Lethality

By Swiss Policy Research

https://swprs.org/studies-on-covid-19-lethality/

4. In the Worst of Times, the Billionaire Elite Plunder Working Class America

By Nick Baker

https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/09/03/in-the-worst-of-times-the-billionaire-elite-plunder-working-class-america/

5. COVID-19 AS A WEAPON. THE CRUSHING OF THE DISPOSABLE WORKING CLASS – BY DESIGN

By Cory Morningstar

http://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/2020/04/13/covid-19-as-a-weapon-the-crushing-of-the-disposable-working-class-by-design/

6. MASK WHISTLEBLOWERS TELL ALL

The Highwire

https://thehighwire.com/videos/mask-whistleblowers-tell-all/

7. “Covid-19: the war against the elderly in uncaring “care” homes”

by Patrick Corbett

https://www.patreon.com/posts/patrick-corbett-36665302

8. Fever, Famine and War… and SARS-Cov-2

by Dennis Riches

https://dennisriches.wordpress.com/2020/07/29/fever-famine-and-war-and-sars-cov-2/

9. Perspectives on the Pandemic | The (Undercover) Epicenter Nurse | Episode Nine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIDsKdeFOmQ

10. Corona Scandal – The Biggest Crime Against Humanity Ever Committed – Dr. Reiner Fuellmich

https://bluecat.live/video/56/corona-scandal—the-biggest-crime-against-humanity-ever-committed

11. Now is the time for a ‘great reset’

By Klaus Schwab

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/now-is-the-time-for-a-great-reset/

12. Masks Made Mandatory in the Age of Climate Emergency & Planetary Biodiversity Crisis

By Cory Morningstar

http://www.theartofannihilation.com/mandatory-masks-in-the-age-of-climate-emergency-planetary-biodiversity-crisis/

13. Klaus Schwab and His Great Fascist Reset

By Winter Oak

https://winteroak.org.uk/2020/10/05/klaus-schwab-and-his-great-fascist-reset/

14. Facebook post, October 10 at 8:56pm

By Luciana Bohne

https://www.facebook.com/luciana.bohne.79/posts/203527504625064

15. All Roads Lead to Dark Winter

By Whiteny Webb & Raul Diego

https://www.thelastamericanvagabond.com/all-roads-lead-dark-winter/

16. Introduction to the Fourth Industrial Revolution & The Covid Economic Reset

By Alison McDowell

https://wrenchinthegears.com/2020/07/24/introduction-to-the-fourth-industrial-revolution-the-covid-economic-reset/

17. Episode 383- COVID-911:  From Homeland Security to Biosecurity

By James Corbett

https://www.corbettreport.com/covid911/

18. The Pentagon Bio-weapons

By Dilyana Gaytandzhieva

http://dilyana.bg/the-pentagon-bio-weapons/

19. The Biggest Lie About China’s Xinjiang “Internment Camps”

By Tony Cartalucci

https://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2020/09/the-biggest-lie-about-chinas-xinjiang.html

20. A web of Deceit: Amnesty International in Hong Kong

By Laura Ru

https://medium.com/@italian4hk/a-web-of-deceit-b9b8af234077

21. 30 years after Tiananmen Square, the U.S. is still trying to destabilize China

By Max Parry

https://www.opednews.com/articles/30-years-after-Tiananmen-S-by-Max-Parry-Tiananmen-Square-Massacre-190712-880.html

Iran, Russia and electoral interference.  It is all part of the delicious mess that any observer of US politics has come to expect.  Were the US body politic capable of being examined on the clinician’s couch, historical fears, psychic disturbances, and a range of unsettling syndromes would be identified.  The issue of electoral interference would certainly be at the fore; it would also be fitting that a state so indifferent to the electoral sovereignty of others would now find itself constantly fearing large return servings. 

On some level, this standards to reason.  In 1948, the United States, still flushed with victory, made a punchy bid to interfere with the outcome of the Italian elections.  It was the Central Intelligence Agency’s first covert operation, and it was ignominiously undemocratic.  As Walter Dowling, Italian desk officer at the US State Department urged in a memorandum in November 1946, the US had to become increasingly involved with Italian affairs, making itself “so pro-damned Italian that even the dumbest wop would sense the drift.” Being so damnably pro-Italian naturally meant being anti-communist.  US intelligence officials got to work ensuring that the Italian Communist Party (PCI), allied with the Italian Socialist Party (PSI) were kept out of office in favour of Alcide De Gasperi.  Contingency plans were laid for the prospect of US military intervention in the event of civil strife.  After De Gasperi’s victory, covert US aid to Italy’s centrist parties continued into the 1960s.  

Hair splitting in these sorts of things is the order of the day.  Chat in the land of political inference, especially when appraising the US role, focuses on how considerably different the meddling tends to be.  “Unlike Russian electoral interference,” suggests Thomas Carothers of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, “US democracy promotion does not … favour particular candidates, or undercut the technical integrity of elections.  On the whole, it seeks to help citizens exercise their basic political and civil rights.”  Carothers had obviously forgotten Chile in all of this, along with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s infamous remarks about correcting the democratic choice of Chile’s voters.

Post-Cold War history has not been freed from the meddling hand of Washington.  In 1996, President Bill Clinton had to admit to efforts assisting Shimon Peres as the preferred candidate in Israel’s general elections.  Benjamin Netanyahu prevailed, and Clinton conceded on Israel’s Channel 10 news that he “tried to do it in a way that didn’t overtly involve me.”  When Netanyahu visited the White House as Israel’s prime minister, he “wanted me to know that he knew I wasn’t for him and he beat us anyway.”

Such behaviour shows that allies are not exempt from the practice.  The CIA did its bit in the lead-up to the French elections in 2012, though the effort was modest.  Available in the WikiLeaks CIA Vault 7 Series, a number of “tasking orders” were executed in an effort to infiltrate French political parties and conduct surveillance.  As WikiLeaks describes it, “All major French political parties were targeted for infiltration by the CIA’s human (‘HUMINT’) and electronic (‘SIGINT’) spies in the seven months leading up to France’s 2012 presidential election.”  Despite being seen as pro-American, President Nicolas Sarkozy was not exempt from Washington’s prying eyes.

With such a glorious record, it is little wonder that Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, when asked about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, had little time for the fuss.  In an interview with CNN’s Jack Tapper, Paul suggested that the electoral interference game was a buffet of reciprocal options: “they’re going to interfere in our elections. We also do the same … We all do it.   What we need to do is make sure our electoral process is protected.”   The investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into the Trump campaign and Russian interference was a needless “witch hunt”.

With only a brief interval now to the presidential elections next month, it would have been odd not to have another set of allegations of interference.  This latest round of claims has even been a bit neurotic.  It began as accusations of interference from a domestic source: the far-right Proud Boys group.  Emails, supposedly sent from “[email protected],” warned registered Democratic voters in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Florida, and Alaska to “vote for Trump on Election Day or we will come after you.” 

Enrique Tarrio, chairman of the Proud Boys and Florida state director of Latinos for Trump, denied that the group had a hand in the effort.  “We don’t do mass emails,” he told Fresh Take Florida, a news service of the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications.  “This is definitely, definitely not us.” 

With little care for caution and corroboration, a good stable of mainstream media outlets jumped on the narrative, accepting the premise that the Proud Boys had orchestrated a domestic campaign of electoral intimidation.  It seemed to tally with image and reputation.  Some group members have promised to keep an eye on polling stations across the country in a show of political heft.  The Lincoln Project was furious, claiming that “the Proud Boys are attempting to scare voters away from the polls.”  Such an act was “punishable by up to a year in jail and a blatant attempt to prevent people from voting.  Let’s find them and make them famous.” 

Then came the press conference of October 21, convened by the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.  FBI director Christopher Wray and the Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe were present.  According to Ratcliffe, Iran and Russia “have taken specific actions to influence public opinion relating to our elections.”  Voter registration information had been obtained by both countries. 

“This data can be used by foreign actors to attempt to communicate false information to registered voters that they hope will cause confusion, sow chaos, and undermine your confidence in American democracy.” 

Reference was made to the intimidating emails, which would not have comforted the anti-Trump camp. 

“We have already seen Iran sending spoofed emails designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest, and damage President Trump,” stated Ratcliffe. 

“You may have seen some reporting on this in the last 24 hours or you have been one of the recipients.”  Iran was also “distributing other content,” including a video implying “that individuals could cast fraudulent votes, even from overseas.  This video – and any claims about such allegedly fraudulent ballots – are not true.”  

Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, never one to be entirely balanced when viewing material on the White House Ogre, questioned the assertions made during the press conference.  Interference in US elections over the last four years had always been taken to be against the Democrats and favourable to Trump.  Could it actually be designed to sabotage the US president?  Good of Ratcliffe, claimed Maddow, to be having the gathering (there was “drama” in holding a “short-notice press conference on election security”). “But when it comes to what he actually communicated, frankly nobody actually knows what he was talking about.” 

It should have been clear from the context, but clarity was not dawning on Maddow.  “We assume what he’s talking about here is these intimidating ‘vote Trump or else’ emails that were sent to Democratic registered voters in Florida and in numerous other states, but maybe that’s not what he’s talking about.” 

For the devotees of Russia gate, any reverse angle was hard to stomach.  Ideology must shape reality.  Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, in an effort to move the focus away from any specific targeting of Trump, claimed to have a different account of the security briefing he had been given.  “From the briefing, I had the strong impression it was much rather to undermine confidence in elections and not aimed at any particular figure”. 

A passable knowledge of recent Iran-US relations would surely make Ratcliffe’s assertions credible, not least Trump’s effort to sink the Iran nuclear deal and the ordered killing of Quds leader Major General Qasem Soleimani.  But partisanship has been the order of the day for four years.  Even in matters of electoral inference, trusted demonologies cannot be disturbed.

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Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research and Asia-Pacific Research.  Email: [email protected]

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Those who have been waiting for the elusive October Surprise that will upset the apple cart on election day are admittedly running out of time. The media’s unwillingness to even consider that the antics of Hunter Biden just might constitute an embarrassment of major proportions or even something worse has done much to kill that story. And the old tried and true expedient of starting a little war somewhere is also proving to be a false hope as no one appears ready to provoke the righteously wrathful Secretary of State Mike Pompeo by ponying up a casus belli. Maybe there is still time for a false flag operation, but even that would require more prior planning than the White House appears capable of.

There is, however, one area that might just be exploitable to create a crisis, though it much depends on whether a tired public is willing to go one more round over the issue of “foreign election interference.” And yes, the Russians are presumed to be involved, on this occasion, as they always are, joined by the ever-vengeful Iranians.

On Wednesday Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe held a news conference at which he laid out details of the most recent dastardly plot against American democracy. He described how Iran and Russia both obtained American voter registration data, apparently through publicly accessible databases and through purchases of email lists. Though no actual votes have been altered, they are using that information “to influence the presidential election as it enters its final two weeks.” Ratcliffe elaborated how “This data can be used by foreign actors to attempt to communicate false information to registered voters that they hope will cause confusion, sow chaos and undermine…confidence in American democracy.”

Ratcliffe focused mostly on Iran, saying that it had been identified as the source of what he described as a claimed 1,500 “spoofed emails” routed through Estonia that “seek to intimidate voters, incite social unrest, and damage President Trump.” Iran was also blamed for other material, to include a video encouraging the casting of illegal ballots both domestically and overseas. Additional intelligence suggests that Iran is planning to take more steps to influence the election in the coming days, though what those measures could possibly be was not revealed.

Other government sources elaborated, indicating that Iranian intelligence has been credited with the sending of the email messages going out to Democratic voters in four states, including hotly disputed Pennsylvania and Florida. The emails falsely claimed to be from the alleged far-right group Proud Boys which has been much in the news.  Their message was that “we will come after you” if the recipients fail to vote for Donald Trump.

It doesn’t take much to realize that threatening messages relating to voting for Trump allegedly coming from a source described as “racist” would undoubtedly motivate most registered Democratic voters to do the opposite, but that seems to have escaped the analysts of the Directorate of National Intelligence. And one must also ask why Tehran would want the re-election of a president who has been unremittingly hostile, including imposing crippling sanctions, withdrawing from a beneficial nuclear agreement, and assassinating a leading Revolutionary Guards general. Even U.S. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer appears to have figured that one out, saying “It was clear to me that the intent of Iran in this case and Russia in many more cases is to basically undermine confidence in our elections. This action I do not believe was aimed… at discrediting President Trump.”

The anti-Trump New York Times has, of course, another, more sinister interpretation, suggesting that “…it may also play into President Trump’s hands. For weeks, he has argued, without evidence, that the vote on Nov. 3 will be ‘rigged,’ that mail-in ballots will lead to widespread fraud and that the only way he can be defeated is if his opponents cheat. Now, on the eve of the final debate, he has evidence of foreign influence campaigns designed to hurt his re-election chances, even if they did not affect the voting infrastructure.”

The Times also notes a broader conspiracy by the dreadful Persians, explaining how “Iran has tinkered at the edges of American election interference since 2012, but always as a minor actor. Last year, it stepped up its game, private cybersecurity firms have warned. They have caught Iranian operatives occasionally impersonating politicians and journalists around the world, often to spread narratives that are aimed at denigrating Israel or Saudi Arabia, its two major adversaries in the Middle East.” Again, however, the article provides no explanation of what Iran could possibly hope to gain from the minimal “tinkering” it might be able to engage in an American election in which billions of dollars will be spent by Democrats and Republicans who are viciously attacking each other without any outside help.

Ratcliffe had less to say about Russia but U.S. media coverage of the story included a referral to a recent account of how the U.S. military’s Cyber Command helped take down a network developed by Russian hackers called TrickBot that had been used in ransomware attacks directed against companies as well as cities and towns across the United States. It also reported how “In recent days, another Russian hacking group called Energetic Bear, often linked to the F.S.B. — one of the successors to the Soviet Union’s K.G.B. — appears to have focused its attention on gaining access to state and local government networks. That has caught the attention of federal investigators because, until now, the group had largely targeted energy firms, including public utilities.”

There was, however, no evidence that either hacking group was being directed against voter systems, so Russia’s inclusion in the front-page Times story headlined “Iran and Russia Seek to Influence Election in Final Days, U.S. Officials Warn” has to be considered questionable editorial judgment. Perhaps scaremongering would be a better description. In any event, the story itself is much ado about nothing. Iran’s sending out 1,500 emails if that actually occurred, would have zero impact. Likewise, the claimed existence of alleged Russian hacking groups that have done nothing directed against voters or balloting systems with only a few days left until the election would appear to be an electoral tactic rather than exposure of any genuine threat. One might even describe it as a bit of deliberate disinformation.

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This article was originally published on American Herald Tribune.

Philip M. Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer who served nineteen years overseas in Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Spain. He was the CIA Chief of Base for the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and was one of the first Americans to enter Afghanistan in December 2001. Phil is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a Washington-based advocacy group that seeks to encourage and promote a U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East that is consistent with American values and interests. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image: Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe. Credit: The Hill/ YouTube

During the presidential debate alongside Donald Trump in September, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden uttered the invocative Islamic expression “Inshallah,” meaning “God willing,” to woo the Muslim American voters, which was cheered by Democratic supporters across the Islamic World.

Being misinformed viewers of the Western mainstream media, however, the Democratic Party-leaning Muslims didn’t realize that all the missiles the liberal interventionist Obama-Biden administration deployed to bomb eight Islamic countries during its eight-year tenure were also inscribed with “Inshallah.”

Empty rhetoric, no matter how bombastic and noble-sounding, is never a substitute for tangible benevolent deeds. If nurturing patron-client relationship with autocratic rulers of the Islamic World is the touchstone for being an Islamic sympathizer, then the Trump administration has forged friendlier relationships with absolute monarchs of the Gulf States, the military dictator of Egypt and the populist demagogue of Turkey.

All Joe Biden did for the Islamic World in his over forty-year political career, first as a longtime senator from Delaware and then as Obama’s vice president, was to underwrite the Machiavellian policy of the US national security establishment to train and arm Islamic jihadists and use them as proxies against strategic adversaries in regions as disparate as the Af-Pak, Chechnya in the North Caucasus, Bosnia and Kosovo in the Balkans, Libya in North Africa and Syria in the Near East.

Before being elected as Obama’s vice president in 2008, as a senator and subsequently as the member and then the chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Joe Biden, alongside inveterate hawk Senator Joe Lieberman, was one of the principal architects of the Bosnia War in the Clinton administration in the nineties.

Naively giving credit to former Senator and Vice President Joe Biden for his supposed “humanitarian interventionism” and for creating a catastrophe in the Balkans in the nineties, Paul Richter and Noam N. Levey, writing for the LA Times [1] in August 2008, observed:

“Biden has frequently favored humanitarian interventions abroad and was an early and influential advocate for the US military action in the Balkans in the 1990s.

“Biden considers his most important foreign policy accomplishment to be his leadership on the Balkans in the mid-1990s. He pushed a reluctant Clinton administration first to arm Serbian Muslims and then to use U.S. air power to suppress conflict in Serbia and Kosovo.”

Biden’s belligerent militarism, however, didn’t stop in the Balkans, as the head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden said in 2002 that Saddam Hussein was a threat to national security and there was no option but to eliminate that threat. In October 2002, he voted in favor of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq, approving the US invasion of Iraq.

More significantly, as chair of the committee, he assembled a series of witnesses to testify in favor of the authorization. They gave testimony grossly misrepresenting the intent, history of and status of Saddam and his Baathist government, which was an openly avowed enemy of al-Qaeda, and touting Iraq’s fictional possession of weapons of mass destruction.

Writing for The Guardian’s “Comment is Free” in February, Mark Weisbrot contends [2] that Joe Biden was at the forefront of mustering bipartisan support for the illegal Iraq War and it would come back to haunt him in the forthcoming presidential elections like the criminal complicity of Hillary Clinton in lending legitimacy to the Bush administration’s unilateral invasion of Iraq had thwarted her presidential ambitions, too, in the 2016 presidential elections.

Weisbrot observes:

“When the war was debated and then authorized by the US Congress in 2002, Democrats controlled the Senate and Biden was chair of the Senate committee on foreign relations. Biden himself had enormous influence as chair and argued strongly in favor of the 2002 resolution granting President Bush the authority to invade Iraq.

“‘I do not believe this is a rush to war,’ Biden said a few days before the vote. ‘I believe it is a march to peace and security. I believe that failure to overwhelmingly support this resolution is likely to enhance the prospects that war will occur …’

“But he had a power much greater than his own words. He was able to choose all 18 witnesses in the main Senate hearings on Iraq. And he mainly chose people who supported a pro-war position. They argued in favor of ‘regime change as the stated US policy’ and warned of ‘a nuclear-armed Saddam sometime in this decade.’ That Iraqis would ‘welcome the United States as liberators’ and that Iraq ‘permits known al-Qaida members to live and move freely about in Iraq’ and that ‘they are being supported.’”

When the ill-conceived invasion and occupation of Iraq didn’t go as planned and the entire region slipped into myriad ethnic and sectarian conflicts, including the spillover of militancy across the porous border in neighboring Syria in 2011, Biden sought refuge in “plausible deniability” and blamed Syria’s neighbors Turkey, Jordan and the Gulf States for fueling the conflict.

Addressing a seminar at Harvard in 2014, Joe Biden said [3] that Saudi Arabia and the UAE had transferred hundreds of millions of dollars and large amounts of weaponry to a variety of Islamist militias inside Syria, including at least one with ties to al Qaeda.

“The Turks were great friends, and I’ve a great relationship with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, … the Saudis, the Emiratis, etc. What were they doing? They were so determined to take down Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war. What did they do?” Biden asked, according to a recording of the speech posted on the White House’s website.

“They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad, except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra, and al Qaeda, and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.”

To his credit, despite being a warmonger masquerading as “a pacifist,” former President Obama was at least smart. Having graduated as one of the poorest student from the law school, then-Vice President Biden didn’t realize the irony of his remarks.

The Gulf States, Turkey and Jordan didn’t funnel money and weapons into Syria’s proxy war without a nod from Washington. In fact, the CIA’s Operation Timber Sycamore to train and arm Syrian militants battling the Bashar al-Assad government from 2012 to 2017 in the border regions of Jordan and Turkey was approved and supervised by the Obama administration of which Biden was the vice president and second-in-command.

Regarding the creation and composition of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, apart from training and arms which were provided to Syrian militants in the training camps located in the Turkish and Jordanian border regions adjacent to Syria by the CIA in collaboration with Turkish, Jordanian and Saudi intelligence agencies, another factor that contributed to the success of the Islamic State when it overran Raqqa in Syria in 2013 and Mosul and Anbar in Iraq in 2014 was that its top cadres were comprised of former Baathist military and intelligence officers from the Saddam era.

Reportedly, hundreds of ex-Baathists constituted the top- and mid-tier command structure of the Islamic State who planned all the operations and directed its military strategy. The only feature that differentiated the Islamic State from all other insurgent groups was that its command structure which was comprised of professional ex-Baathists and its state-of-the-art weaponry that was provided to all militant outfits fighting in Syria by the intelligence agencies of the Western powers, Turkey, Jordan and the Gulf states.

In fact, Washington exercised such an absolute control over Syria’s theater of proxy war that although the US openly provided the American-made antitank (TOW) weapons to Syrian militant groups, it strictly forbade its clients from providing anti-aircraft weapons (MANPADS) to the militants, because Israel frequently flies surveillance aircrafts and drones and occasionally conducts airstrikes in Lebanon and Syria, and had such weapons fallen into the wrong hands, they could have become a long-term security threat to the Israeli Air Force.

Although ostensibly fighting a “war on terror” for the last couple of decades, the American deep state and political establishment have clandestinely nurtured Islamic jihadists and used them as proxies in myriad conflict zones of the Middle East to achieve “strategic objectives.”

If we take a cursory look at the history of the recent US administrations, the Carter and Reagan administrations trained and armed Afghan Mujahideen against the former Soviet Union during the Cold War in the late 1970s and 80s, those same “freedom fighters” later mutated into al-Qaeda and Taliban; the Clinton administration used Islamic jihadists to break up former Yugoslavia in the 1990s; the Bush administration invaded Iraq in 2003 that gave birth to al-Qaeda in Iraq; and the Obama-Biden administration initiated proxy wars in Libya and Syria in 2011 to topple Arab nationalist governments of Gaddafi and Bashar al-Assad that gave birth to extremist groups such as Ansar al-Sharia in Libya and Islamic State and al-Nusra Front in Syria.

Karl Marx famously said that history repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce. The only difference between the Soviet-Afghan jihad back in the 1980s, that spawned Islamic jihadists such as the Taliban and al-Qaeda for the first time in history, and the proxy wars in Libya and Syria 2011-onward was that the Afghan jihad was an overt jihad: back then, the Western national security establishments and their mouthpiece, the mainstream media, used to openly brag that the CIA provides all those rocket-propelled grenades and stingers to the Afghan so-called “freedom fighters” to combat the Soviet troops in Afghanistan.

After the 9/11 tragedy, however, the Western deep states and corporate media became a lot more circumspect, therefore this time around, they waged covert jihads against the Arab-nationalist Gaddafi regime in Libya and the anti-Zionist Assad government in Syria, in which Islamic jihadists (aka terrorists) were sold as “moderate rebels” with secular and nationalist ambitions to the Western audience.

Since the regime change objective in those hapless countries went against the mainstream narrative of ostensibly fighting a war against terrorism, therefore the Western national security establishments and the corporate media tried to muddle the reality by offering color-coded schemes to identify myriads of militant and terrorist outfits that operated in Syria: such as the red militants of the Islamic State and al-Nusra Front, which the Western powers wanted to eliminate; the yellow Islamic jihadists, including Jaysh al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham, with whom the Western powers can collaborate under desperate circumstances; and the green militants of the Free Syria Army (FSA) and a few other inconsequential outfits, which together comprised the elusive “moderate” Syrian opposition that existed only in the mainstream media’s fictional narrative of Syria’s proxy war but was nowhere to be found on the ground.

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Nauman Sadiq is an Islamabad-based attorney, columnist and geopolitical analyst focused on the politics of Af-Pak and Middle East regions, neocolonialism and petro-imperialism. He is a regular contributor to Global Research.

Notes

[1] On foreign policy, he’s willing to go his own way:

https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2008-aug-24-na-foreignpol24-story.html

[2] Joe Biden championed the Iraq war. Will that come back to haunt him now?

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/17/joe-biden-role-iraq-war

[3] Joe Biden is the only honest man in Washington:

https://foreignpolicy.com/2014/10/07/joe-biden-is-the-only-honest-man-in-washington/

Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria the issue of Syrian refugees and internally displace has been the subject of countless articles and reports with international humanitarian organizations and countries involved in the Syrian conflict shifting responsibility for the plight of migrants.

The most notorious example of human suffering put against political games is the Rukban refugee camp located in eastern Syria inside the 55-km zone around Al-Tanf base controlled by the U.S. and its proxies.

According to official information, more than 50,000 people, mostly women and children, currently live in the camp. This is a huge number comparable to the population of a small town. The Syrian government, aware of the plight of people in Rukban, has repeatedly urged Washington to open a humanitarian corridor so that everyone can safely return home. However, all such proposals were ignored by the American side. U.S. also refuse to provide the camp with first aid items. Neighbouring Jordan is inactive, too, despite Rukban being the largest of dozens other temporary detention centres in Syria, where people eke out a meager existence.

At the same time, the problem is not only refugee camps. Syria has been at war for a decade. The country’s economy has suffered greatly over this period, and many cities have been practically grazed to the ground. Moreover, the global coronavirus epidemic didn’t spare Syria and drained the already weakened economy even more. However, Damascus’ attempts of post-war reconstruction and economic recovery were undermined by multiple packages of severe sanctions imposed by the U.S. At the same time, U.S.-based human rights monitors and humanitarian organizations continue to weep over the Syrian citizens’ misery.

The situation is the same for those refugees who stay in camps abroad, especially in countries bordering on Syria, particularly Jordan and Turkey. Ankara has been using Syrian citizens as a leverage against the European states in pursuit of political benefits for a long time. No one pays attention to the lives of people who are used as a change coin in big politics. This is equally true for Rukban where refugees are held in inhuman conditions and not allowed to return to their homeland. In those rare exceptions that they are able to leave, refugees have to pay large sums of money that most of those living in camp are not able to come by.

It’s hard to predict how long the Syrian conflict will go on and when – or if – the American military will leave the Al-Tanf base. One thing can be said for sure: the kind of criminal inaction and disregard for humanitarian catastrophe witnessed in refugee camps is a humiliating failure of modern diplomacy and an unforgivable mistake for the international community. People shouldn’t be a tool in the games of politicians.

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Ahmad Salah is a freelance Syrian journalist focused on the Middle East and especially the Levant. 

Featured image is from the author

Protests Against President Iván Duque Increase in Colombia

October 23rd, 2020 by Lucas Leiroz de Almeida

In Colombia, popular dissatisfaction with President Iván Duque‘s policies is growing day after day. Popular protests started late last year and peaked between September and October this year. During this period, the number of claims increased significantly, mainly due to the advance of the new coronavirus pandemic, which caused a serious economic and social crisis in the country – with which the government has been incompetent to mitigate the effects. Last month, 13 people died during the demonstrations due to the great police violence that has been used to suppress the demonstrations. Now, in October, the scenario is being repeated.

In this context of protests, the 21st of October was marked by an unusual agitation. Thousands political activists, students and indigenous people attended a national strike in Colombia on Wednesday to protest against the economic policies of Iván Duque, the murder of protesters and human rights activists and the police violence. Still, protesters are demanding a variety of government grants, including guaranteed income for those who lost their jobs in the pandemic and more funding for health and education and measures.

The national strike of 21 October was a real mark in the demonstrations, mainly due to the presence of more than 8,000 indigenous people. The indigenous protests are organized through long marches known as “La Minga”. In fact, Colombian native communities have been the biggest victims of the insecurity that is taking over the country. Such communities live in the midst of conflicts between different paramilitary militias and drug trafficking organizations, having their rights constantly violated.

The indigenous people demand a personal meeting with Iván Duque to request their needs. In search of a dialogue with the president, the indigenous people managed to start some negotiations with Duke’s advisers, but the president continues to ignore the requests. Days before the general strike, Commissioner for Peace, Miguel Ceballos, had announced that he would head a presidential delegation that would visit the department of Cauca, western Colombia, where a large part of that community resides. However, “La Minga” was already in Bogotá demanding to speak to Duque in person. Its members had been going to the capital for more than a week through the long marches. Thus, the indigenous people decided to join the protests in the capital.

The Colombian government has always wanted to stigmatize indigenous demonstrations.

Currently, the Colombian government’s main rhetoric to undermine all social unrest is the need to fight the pandemic. With the justification of “avoiding agglomerations” and “protecting the health of the population”, the government has repressed protests with extreme violence, while remaining silent about popular demands. The “Miga” organizers have already spoken out during the general strike stating that the pandemic will not cease the demonstrations. In the same vein, as the government fails to respond to the protesters requests, the turmoil tends to increase.

The most curious thing to note is that even in the face of this scenario, the Colombian government continues trying to make the country a South American NATO satellite and to invest large amounts of money in this project. Colombia is a key point in a strategic siege against Venezuela that is planned by Washington with the assistance of Brazil. Basically, the government’s priorities do not correspond to the basic needs of the population. While indigenous people are murdered by drug traffickers, the armed forces plan to invade a neighboring country; while unemployment and poverty increase exponentially, public spending on defense remains enormous. Colombia is the country that spends the most on defense in the entire South American continent, allocating more than 3% of its GDP to this sector. Obviously, defense spending and military alliances with foreign powers are important. But how can a country prioritize such issues to the detriment of internal public security and the material well-being of its people?

In parallel, the pandemic is indeed advancing in the country. Despite a small drop in the number of cases in the past month, the country is still severely affected by the virus, approaching the 30,000 dead. The protests tend to actually increase the number of cases and to reverse the recent decline. But how can the population remain silent and comply with social isolation standards when there is no income to supply their needs? Without government assistance, it will be impossible to keep the population off the streets and, consequently, the pandemic situation will worsen.

So, what will the Colombian government choose? If it maintains the strategy of simply suppressing protests with police violence, not guaranteeing any improvement for the population, there will be no change, as the demonstrations will continue and the cases of COVID-19 will increase.

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This article was originally published on InfoBrics.

Lucas Leiroz is a research fellow in international law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

Featured image is from InfoBrics

Turkey to Send Troops to Combat Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh?

October 23rd, 2020 by Stephen Lendman

Like the US, Turkey’s Erdogan pursues interests at the expense of peace and stability.

He favors war for extending Turkey’s borders to further his neo-Ottoman aims.

He, his family members and regime profited earlier from stolen Syrian oil.

He gave ISIS and other terrorists safe haven in Turkish territory, providing them with weapons, other material support, and a launching pad for attacks on Syrian soldiers and civilians.

Turkey under Erdogan is a fascist police state — speech, media and academic freedoms they way they should be banned.

So is dissent. Anyone publicly criticizing or insulting him risks prosecution for terrorism, espionage or treason, including children.

As long as he doesn’t act against US interests, as a NATO member and in other ways, his tyrannical rule and regional destabilizing actions are tolerated — if only barely.

On Wednesday, his Vice President Fuat Oktay said Ankara is ready to send troops to back Azerbaijan’s war on Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh (NK below).

In response to Turkey’s deployment of armed and directed jihadists to combat Armenian forces in NK, the country’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called on regional countries to unite against them and their Turkish paymaster.

“Regretably (they) have not responded to this reality seriously enough yet,” Pashinyan added.

“It is beyond doubt that the presence of foreign terrorists will pose a threat to the region in the future.”

“The region’s countries must deal with this issue more seriously.”

The Erdogan regime is also involved militarily in NK by providing Baku with command and control services, training of its military forces, and heavy weapons for warmaking.

He and hardliners surrounding him support war, not resolution in NK.

Pashinyan stressed it, saying “the Karabakh question…cannot have a diplomatic solution.”

“Everything that is diplomatically acceptable to the Armenian side…is not acceptable to Azerbaijan…”

Baku’s ruling authorities intend endless war until Armenian forces are driven from NK — no matter the human toll, according to comments from its leadership.

As Azeri forces advance, civilians in harm’s way are caught in the crossfire.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that they’ve taken control of areas bordering Iran and Armenia’s international border — increasing the risk of conflict spilling into both countries.

Armenia’s Defense Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan accused Azerbaijan of sending “small…subversive groups…into villages and towns, film(ing) themselves there, spread(ing) those images…to feed their society. But, unfortunately, this also affects us.”

While conflict continues, foreign ministers of both warring sides will meet with Trump regime’s Pompeo for talks in Washington on Friday.

Yet on Tuesday, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev said the following:

“We are fighting on our own land, giving martyrs and restoring our territorial integrity. These steps will continue to be taken.”

“Armenia must declare before it is too late that it is withdrawing from the occupied territories. After that the fighting may stop.”

From the above remarks and two failed Russian/Minsk Group arranged ceasefire, Aliyev is unwilling to compromise on his aims in NK.

With support from Turkey, including Erdogan’s willingness to send troops if asked, Aliyev rejects diplomacy while sending his foreign minister to discuss ceasefire with his Russian, French and US counterparts.

According to the Asia Times, Erdogan’s support for Azerbaijan is driven by energy interests in competition with Russia.

An unnamed Erdogan advisor said “Russia is neither an ally, nor an enemy, but we can’t negotiate if we are too dependent on them, especially when it comes to energy.”

“We have vital interests to protect,” including two pipelines from Azerbaijan to Europe, one for oil, the other for gas.

One runs close to NK, the other near northern Armenia, the unnamed advisor close to Erdogan adding:

“We can’t afford losing our sight on what’s going on around our pipelines in the Caucasus, especially in the Tavush region, where there have been several clashes (with Armenia) over the last years.”

The so-called BTC oil pipeline is owned by Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Britain’s BP.

The South Caucasus Pipeline runs from Azerbaijan’s Caspian Sea field to Turkey, and Georgia — soon as well to Italy, Greece and Bulgaria.

Earlier in October, Erdogan accused Armenia of endangering supplies of energy to Turkey and other European countries.

Oil and gas pipelines from Azerbaijan to Europe are only endangered by its preemptive war on Armenia in NK.

No danger would exist if conflict resolution ended weeks of fighting.

Russia also supplies gas to Turkey through Turkstream 1.

Turkstream 2 is under construction, completion expected around yearend.

Azerbaijan will compete with Russia for the European natural gas market.

Moscow prioritizes cooperation with other nations, confrontation with none.

Turkey’s Erdogan prioritizes the advancement of his neo-Ottoman interests.

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

The US has taken Sudan off the list of state-sponsors of terrorism, and with UAE support to provide several billion dollars of aid, in exchange for normalization with Israel.

US President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter Monday: “GREAT news! New government of Sudan, which is making great progress, agreed to pay $335 MILLION to U.S. terror victims and families. Once deposited, I will lift Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. At long last, JUSTICE for the American people and BIG step for Sudan!”

Sudan’s de-facto leader, Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, welcomed Trump’s tweet: “I would like to express my deep appreciation and that of the Sudanese people to President Trump.”

Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok tweeted: “Thank you so much, President Trump!”

Legitimate Sudanese businesses were handicapped, foreign direct investment was frozen, and the International Monetary Fund and World Bank couldn’t adopt a package to relieve its massive debt of about $72bn as long as Sudan was on the terror list.

The scale of hunger today is monumental, and the UN counts 9.6 million Sudanese as “severely food insecure”. This is made worse by the Covid-19 shutdown and floods. It is a crisis that cannot be overcome by food handouts but requires a massive injection of financial assistance.

Sudan has already agreed with the US to a compensation deal for victims of the 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which were orchestrated by Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network while he was living in Sudan.

The elephant in the room

Regardless of the economic benefits, Sudan would receive from normalizing relations with Israel, public hostility toward Israel remains strong, with many who insist on Palestinian rights. Sudan, a Muslim-majority Arab country, has long said there are three rules: no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and no negotiations.

Trump, Netanyahu, the Gulf Arabs, and now Sudan’s leaders are not dealing with the elephant in the room, which is the apartheid condition in Occupied Palestine.

Normalizing relations with Israel

The prize Israel is seeking is to be recognized by a truly democratic nation within the Arab world. The other nations who previously signed the ‘Abraham Accords’ on September 15 at the White House are monarchies, and far from anything considered democratic; however, Sudan is now in the first stages of a transition to democracy, after shedding an authoritarian past. Experts are worried that this fragile new democracy could break apart if the public rises up in defiance of the relationship with Israel, and the country could plunge into chaos.

Burhan’s meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in Uganda in January was met with shock and dismay not just among Islamists, but among many of the liberal and secular forces that were active in promoting democracy.

The normalization process could begin with a phone call between Trump, al-Burhan, Hamdok, and Netanyahu.

“Now, whether we like it or not, the removal is tied to (normalization) with Israel,” the deputy head of the council, Gen. Mohammed Dagalo, told a local television station on October 16, while adding, “We need Israel … Israel is a developed country and the whole world is working with it,” he said. “We will have benefits from such relations … We hope all look at Sudan’s interests.”

The Israeli government hopes a deal can be wrapped up before the US election on November 3.

The US pressure and the election

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Khartoum on August 25 and a later trip to Abu Dhabi by al-Burhan, on September 20 are the basis for speculation.

While in Khartoum, Pompeo proposed a deal to Hamdok: if Sudan recognized Israel, President Trump would remove Sudan from the terror list, and announce an aid package to include financial aid and wheat, medicine, and oil shipments.  Trump also committed to mobilize private sector investments in Sudan and to organize a Sudan donors conference.

Trump would reap a huge boost to his campaign for normalizing Arab relations with Israel in the days before the election, while Trump would appear in a foreign policy victory. The pressure on Sudan’s leaders is intense, as they fear incentives being offered now could be withdrawn after the US election.

The oil-rich Arab Gulf influence

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain joined Egypt and Jordan in declaring peace with Israel, and when Sudan joins them the US and UAE would provide Sudan with a big aid package, which was offered in Abu Dhabi last month.  Almost $1 billion in cash was being offered, mostly to be paid by the Emirates, but the Sudanese team had asked for $3 billion.

Sudan’s resources

Sudan is rich in natural resources, including natural gas, gold, silver, chromite, asbestos, manganese, gypsum, mica, zinc, iron, lead, uranium, copper, kaolin, cobalt, granite, nickel, tin, and aluminum.

Petroleum is Sudan’s major natural resource, though much of it went to the split with South Sudan; however, nearly 30 tons of gold is produced annually.

Sudan’s main crops include cotton, peanuts, sesame, gum arabic, sorghum, and sugarcane. Agriculture and livestock raising are the main sources of livelihood for most Sudanese.

In late 1999, the Jordanian army found a food-growing paradise in Sudan, with flat, nutrient-rich soil, and plentiful water.

Besides the Jordanians, Pakistanis, Syrians, Emiratis, Lebanese, Yemenis, and others began flocking to Sudan and snapping up huge acreages to farm. In 2016 the Saudi government leased 1 million arable acres in the east of the country, while Bahrain leased 100,000 acres. The Qataris, Saudis, and Emiratis are Sudan’s largest financial benefactors, while all depend heavily on food imports.

The past leader

President Omar al-Bashir was deposed in April 2019 following a 30-year rule. Violent street protests began immediately after al-Bashir returned from a visit to Syria, which resulted in a military coup.

After seizing power in a military coup in 1989, President Bashir turned Khartoum into a global center for militant extremism, and Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network operated freely in Sudan in the 1990s before he moved to Afghanistan.

Sudan will now pay compensation for victims of the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania conducted by al Qaeda. After the first terror attack on New York’s World Trade Center in 1993, the US designated Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism.

In 2016, under pressure from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the Bashir government cut its ties with Iran.

Sudan’s current government

In a deal brokered by the US, UK, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, Sudan agreed to share power with a civilian cabinet. Sudan’s transition to democracy presents an opportunity for the country to chart a path out of autocracy and violence toward stability.

However, one year into the transition, the security and economic crises that were the trigger of the revolution have worsened. Millions remain displaced, while the value of the Sudanese pound has fallen from 45 to a US dollar in August 2019 to nearly 300 this month. More than half of the country is severely food insecure, and despite pledges of support, the international community has failed to mobilize financial aid to support the transition, which has caused the population to distrust the new transitional government.

Sudan is currently ruled by a fragile transitional Sovereignty Council run by the top military official, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, with the cabinet led by a technocratic prime minister in Abdallah Hamdok, along with a legislative assembly.

Sudan’s political landscape was one of the most diverse and vibrant in the Arab world, with organized forces ranging from communists and Baathists to liberal secular forces to a range of Islamist-oriented groups.

Backed by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, the chairman of the transitional council, al-Burhan, and his deputy Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagolo, known as “Hemeti”, command troops and money. Burhan met Netanyahu in February, without Hamdok knowing.  Burhan and Hemeti want international recognition, without the burden of democracy.

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This article was originally published on Mideast Discourse.

Steven Sahiounie is an award-winning journalist. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image is from MD