UK denying Maduro access to Venezuelan gold is not only THEFT, it’s MURDER of London’s reputation as trusted financial center

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George Galloway

George Gallowaywas a member of the British Parliament for nearly 30 years.

He presents TV and radio shows (including on RT). He is a film-maker, writer and a renowned orator. Follow him on Twitter @georgegalloway

©  Getty Images / Vitoria Holdings LLC

The standards are poor at the Bank of England these days, I don’t know why anyone would want to do business with them. George Galloway gives British banking, and justice, a triple-fail rating.

It used to be “a thing” when I was growing up. “As safe as the Bank of England” was the acme of trustworthiness and security. But as Venezuela – and any other Global South country foolish enough to entrust the British with their sovereign wealth just found out in the High Court in London – the Bank of England isn’t any longer safe at all.

Almost a billion dollars worth of Venzuelan gold bullion has just been stolen by the British government, theft has just been legalized, and the thieves didn’t even bother to wear a mask.

The gold was deposited in London by the then internationally recognized government of Venezuela. But the now internationally recognized government of Nicolas Maduro has been refused permission to have its value transferred to the United Nations in New York for work they wish the UN Development Program to conduct against the coronavirus pandemic.

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Venezuela in legal battle to get its gold back from Bank of England

Venezuela in legal battle to get its gold back from Bank of England

Instead, a man off the street in Caracas by the name of Juan Guaido – who has not only never been elected to power in Venezuela, he’s no longer even elected as the leader of the opposition – is the legal owner of the gold, says Justice Alice-in-Wonderland. After all, words mean whatever the British government wants them to mean.

The elected president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, is recognized by the great majority of countries in the world. More importantly, his government is recognized at the United Nations. It is not true, as the British government told the High Court, that they “do not recognize” the Maduro government – they recognize it every day at the UN, in discussions in the canteen as well as in the chamber.

Moreover, it is the principle of British diplomacy that they “recognize” whomsoever is in effective control of a territory – whether they like them or not. Though, come to think of it, they did breach that “principle” once before – when they continued to recognize the Cambodian genocidal murderer Pol Pot  and insist that Comrade Number 1 remains in his seat in New York long after he was actually overthrown and while the mountain of corpses in Cambodia were being counted.

By any standards, Maduro is in effective control of Venezuela and Juan Guaido is not. Maduro controls every square inch of Venezuela, is the elected president, is recognized by the United Nations and by most countries in the world. Guaido is not elected, is not recognized by the United Nations, nor by most countries in the world and doesn’t control one single inch of Venezuelan territory. But he is now the proud owner of the gold in the Bank of England. It makes the Great Train Robbery look like a mere bagatelle, Guaido makes the Thief of Baghdad look like an amateur. It is the greatest single act of theft ever to take place on British soil. And that’s saying something.

ALSO ON RT.COMMystery of the Venezuelan gold: Bank of England is independent of UK govt – but not of foreign govt

But away from the scene of the crime, away from Venezuela, British officials in their ivory tower should take note. It wasn’t just theft which took place in the Strand this week – it was murder. The murder of London’s reputation as a financial center you can trust.

Certainly, any sovereign government which has invested its sovereign wealth in London should examine their head if not the current state of their balance. This decision has given a green light to the Pirates of the Caribbean, and you could be next. Fall out with the British government and they can now hand all your country’s wealth they can grab, over to your opposition, however discredited.

Quite a day’s work in financial standards, a triple-A fail.

If I ever won the National Lottery (which I don’t enter) the last place on Earth that I would deposit my millions would be in London. Standards here just went down the rabbit-hole and will never re-emerge. The City of London has fallen.

When I was young I told my Irish grandfather that the teacher had told me that the British had an empire so vast that the Sun never set upon it. He answered “that’s because God would never trust the British in the dark.” I knew he was telling the truth. And now so does Venezuela.

©  Getty Images / Vitoria Holdings LLC

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/493718-uk-maduro-venezuela-gold/

‘The God That Failed’: Why the U.S. Cannot Now Re-Impose Its Civilisational Worldview

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Alastair Crooke

June 29, 2020

The God That Failed': Why The U.S. Cannot Now Re-Impose Its ...

It was always a paradox: John Stuart Mill, in his seminal (1859), On Liberty, never doubted that a universal civilisation, grounded in liberal values, was the eventual destination of all of humankind. He looked forward to an ‘Exact Science of Human Nature’, which would formulate laws of psychology and society as precise and universal as those of the physical sciences. Yet, not only did that science never emerge, in today’s world, such social ‘laws’ are taken as strictly (western) cultural constructs, rather than as laws or science.

So, not only was the claim to universal civilisation not supported by evidence, but the very idea of humans sharing a common destination (‘End of Times’) is nothing more than an apocalyptic remnant of Latin Christianity, and of one minor current in Judaism. Mill’s was always a matter of secularized religion – faith – rather than empiricism. A shared human ‘destination’ does not exist in Orthodox Christianity, Taoism or Buddhism. It could never therefore qualify as universal.

Liberal core tenets of individual autonomy, freedom, industry, free trade and commerce essentially reflected the triumph of the Protestant worldview in Europe’s 30-years’ civil war. It was not fully even a Christian view, but more a Protestant one.

This narrow, sectarian pillar was able to be projected into a universal project – only so long as it was underpinned by power. In Mill’s day, the civilisational claim served Europe’s need for colonial validation. Mill tacitly acknowledges this when he validates the clearing of the indigenous American populations for not having tamed the wilderness, nor made the land productive.

However, with America’s Cold War triumph – that had by then become a cynical framework for U.S. ‘soft power’ – acquired a new potency. The merits of America’s culture, and way of life, seemed to acquire practical validation through the implosion of the USSR.

But today, with America’s soft power collapsed – not even the illusion of universalism can be sustained. Other states are coming forward, offering themselves as separate, equally compelling ‘civilisational’ states. It is clear that even were the classic liberal Establishment to win in the November U.S. elections, America no longer has claim to path-find a New World Order.

Yet, should this secularised Protestant current be over – beware! Because its subterranean, unconscious religiosity is the ‘ghost at the table’ today. It is returning in a new guise.

The ‘old illusion’ cannot continue, because its core values are being radicalised, stood on their head, and turned into the swords with which to impale classic American and European liberals (and U.S. Christian Conservatives). It is now the younger generation of American woke liberals who are asserting vociferously not merely that the old liberal paradigm is illusory, but that it was never more than ‘a cover’ hiding oppression – whether domestic, or colonial, racist or imperial; a moral stain that only redemption can cleanse.

It is an attack – which coming from within – forecloses on any U.S. moral, soft power, global leadership aspirations. For with the illusion exploded, and nothing in its place, a New World Order cannot coherently be formulated.

Not content with exposing the illusion, the woke generation are also tearing down, and shredding, the flags at the masthead: Freedom and prosperity achieved via the liberal market.

‘Freedom’ is being torn down from within. Dissidents from the woke ideology, are being ‘called out’, made to repent on the knee, or face reputational or economic ruin. It is ‘soft totalitarianism’. It recalls one of Dostoevsky’s characters – at a time when Russian progressives were discrediting traditional institutions – who, in a celebrated line, says: “I got entangled in my data … Starting from unlimited freedom, I conclude with unlimited despotism”.

Even ‘science’ has become a ‘God that failed’; instead of being the path to liberty, it has become a dark soulless path toward unfreedom. From algorithms that ‘cost’ the value of human lives, versus the ‘costing’ of lockdown; from secret ‘Black Box’ algos that limit distribution of news and thinking, to Bill Gates’ vaccination ID project, science now portends despotic social control, rather than a fluttering standard, hoist as the symbol of freedom.

But the most prominent of these flags, torn down, cannot be blamed on the woke generation. There has been no ‘prosperity for all’ – only distortions and warped structures. There are not even free markets. The Fed and the U.S. Treasury simply print new money, and hand it out to select recipients. There is no means now to attribute ‘worth’ to financial assets. Their value simply is that which Central Government is willing to pay for bonds, or grant in bail-outs.

Wow. ‘The God who failed’ (André Gide’s book title) – a crash of idols. One wonders now, what is the point to that huge financial eco-system known as Wall Street. Why not winnow it down to a couple of entities, say, Blackrock and KKR (hedge funds), and leave it to them to distribute the Fed’s freshly-printed ‘boodle’ amongst friends? Liberal markets no more – and many fewer jobs.

Many commentators have noted the wokes’ absence of vision for the future. Some describe them in highly caustic terms:

“Today, America’s tumbrils are clattering about, carrying toppled statues, ruined careers, unwoke brands. Over their sides peer those deemed racist by left-wing identitarians and sentenced to cancelation, even as the evidentiary standard for that crime falls through the floor … But who are these cultural revolutionaries? The conventional wisdom goes that this is the inner-cities erupting, economically disadvantaged victims of racism enraged over the murder of George Floyd. The reality is something more … bourgeoisie. As Kevin Williamson observed last week, “These are the idiot children of the American ruling class, toy radicals and Champagne Bolsheviks, playing Jacobin for a while, until they go back to graduate school”.

Is that so? I well recall listening in the Middle East to other angry young men who, too, wanted to ‘topple the statues’; to burn down everything. ‘You really believed that Washington would allow you … in’, they taunted and tortured their leaders: “No, we must burn it all down. Start from scratch”.

Did they have a blueprint for the future? No. They simply believed that Islam would organically inflate, and expand to fill the void. It would happen by itself – of its own accord: Faith.

Professor John Gray has noted “that in The God that failed, Gide says: ‘My faith in communism is like my faith in religion. It is a promise of salvation for mankind’’. “Here Gide acknowledged”, Gray continues, “that communism was an atheist version of monotheism. But so is liberalism, and when Gide and others gave up faith in communism to become liberals, they were not renouncing the concepts and values that both ideologies had inherited from western religion. They continued to believe that history was a directional process in which humankind was advancing towards universal freedom”.

So too with the wokes. The emphasis is on Redemption; on a Truth catharsis; on their own Virtue as sufficient agency to stand-in for the lack of plan for the future. All are clear signals: A secularised ‘illusion’ is metamorphosing back into ‘religion’. Not as Islam, of course, but as angry Man, burning at the deep and dark moral stain of the past. And acting now as purifying ‘fire’ to bring about the uplifting and shining future ahead.

Tucker Carlson, a leading American conservative commentator known for plain speaking, frames the movement a little differently: “This is not a momentary civil disturbance. This is a serious, and highly organized political movement … It is deep and profound and has vast political ambitions. It is insidious, it will grow. Its goal is to end liberal democracy and challenge western civilization itself … We’re too literal and good-hearted to understand what’s happening … We have no idea what we are up against … These are not protests. This is a totalitarian political movement”.

Again, nothing needs to be done by this new generation to bring into being a new world, apart from destroying the old one. This vision is a relic – albeit secularised – of western Christianity. Apocalypse and redemption, these wokes believe, have their own path; their own internal logic.

Mill’s ‘ghost’ is arrived at the table. And with its return, America’s exceptionalism has its re-birth. Redemption for humankind’s dark stains. A narrative in which the history of mankind is reduced to the history of racial struggle. Yet Americans, young or old, now lack the power to project it as a universal vision.

‘Virtue’, however deeply felt, on its own, is insufficient. Might President Trump try nevertheless to sustain the old illusion by hard power? The U.S. is deeply fractured and dysfunctional – but if desperate, this is possible.

The “toy radicals, and Champagne Bolsheviks” – in these terms of dripping disdain from Williamson – are very similar to those who rushed into the streets in 1917. But before dismissing them so peremptorily and lightly, recall what occurred.

Into that combustible mass of youth – so acultured by their progressive parents to see a Russian past that was imperfect and darkly stained – a Trotsky and Lenin were inserted. And Stalin ensued. No ‘toy radicals’. Soft became hard totalitarianism.

US EMBASSY HELPS RUSSIANS TO VOTE YES ON CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS

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US Embassy Helps Russians To Vote YES On Constitutional Amendments

On June 25, the vote on amendments to the Russian constitution started in all the 14 administrative regions of Russia’s Far Eastern federal district, according to state media citing regional election commissions and administrative bodies. The official vote is scheduled for July 1, but authorities opened polling stations a week early to stop overcrowding amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The proposed amendments will allow to strengthen the system of governance and limit a president’s rule to two six-year terms in total, rather than two consecutive terms, (allowing Vladimir Putin to potentially participate in the next presidential election). Besides this, they will introduce economic changes needed to provide Russian citizens with an additional social and economic security, an affirmation of Russia’s “faith in God”, and entrench the definition of the marriage as a unity of a man and a women. These conservative (both social and economic) moves go contrary to the neo-liberal agenda promoted by the so-called ‘united West’.

On the same day, the US embassy in Russia, central Moscow, raised a LGBT flag alongside with a US flag on its building. This move likely directly ordered by US Ambassador to Russia John J. Sullivan and was designed to demonstrate the US official position towards the current constitutional vote in Russia.

It is an open secret that the majority of the Russian population is against the official promotion of LGBT and neo-liberal values that became mainstream in the West. Even in the biggest cities like Moscow or Saint Petersburg, the number of people supporting so-called ‘neo-liberal’ values does not exceed about 5%. There is a Russian federal law “for the Purpose of Protecting Children from Information Advocating for a Denial of Traditional Family Values” that bans LGBT propaganda among people under 18yo. In these conditions, the move of the US embassy could be described as an intentional provocation.

At the same time, the voting on amendments to the Russian constitution also caused mixed feelings among residents of Moscow, Saint Petersburg and some other large cities that just recently experienced often strange and contradictory actions of local authorities in the conditions of the COVID-19 crisis. This included the increased administrative pressure, including various fees, and the drastic electronic surveillance measures employed by Moscow authorities. A one more point of contradictions is that the proposed amendments will allow Vladimir Putin to participate in the next presidential election potentially allowing him to lead Russia until 2036. These factors are behind reports that a part of Moscow residents has opted to not participate in the voting. There is also a segment of uncommitted voters. Nonetheless, both these groups support traditional values and the definition of the marriage proposed in the amendments.

Over the past weeks, Russian citizens have been able to follow the situation in the United States, where LGBT activists were supporting left wing and black rioters. The June 25 action initiated by the US Ambassador will motivate a part of uncommitted voters to support the conservative changes to the constitution.

In this situation, the US embassy decision is a foolery or an agitation trick in support of the “YES” vote. Mr. Putin should thank US diplomats or even give a state decoration to Mr. Sullivan.

MORE ON THE TOPIC:

INFIGHTING AMONG IDLIB RADICALS RESUMES WITH RENEWED ENERGY

South Front

Late on June 23, the Israeli Air Force conducted airstrikes on alleged Iranian-linked targets near al-Sukhna and Kabajab in central Syria and near Tel Al-Sahn in the countryside of as-Suwayda in southern Syria. A second wave of Israeli strikes early on June 24 targeted Salamyieh and al-Sabboura in the province of Hama. Syrian state media denied that the strikes hit Iranian targets saying that 2 soldiers were killed, 4 others injured and some material damage was caused by the attack. As was expected the airstrikes took place just a few days after Hezbollah-affiliated media had released a video with threats to strike targets inside Israel in the event of an escalation.

Since June 23 intense fighting has been ongoing in the countryside of Idlib and the southern part of the province between Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) and the recently formed coalition of al-Qaeda-linked groups, Fa Ithbatu.

The Idlib central prison area, the village of Arab Said, and the towns of Barisha, Sarmada and Ariha were the main focal points of the confrontation. According to pro-militant sources, the fighting broke out as a result of recent tensions caused by the arrests of some members of Fa Ithbatu by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham security forces. From demands to release its members, Fa Ithbatu forces moved to a direct confrontation with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. However, as of the morning of June 24th, they had not yet achieved any major successes in these efforts.

Simultaneously, tensions grew between Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and another al-Qaeda-linked group, the Turkistan Islamic Party, in the town of Jisr al-Shughur. Turkistan Islamic Party members reportedly surrounded a local HQ of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.

Fa Ithbatu and the Turkistan Islamic Party are apparently very unhappy with the recent actions of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, which had indirectly supported the implementation of the Turkish-Russian de-escalation agreement on southern Idlib and pressured other al-Qaeda-linked groups in the area to gain more support from Turkey.

While the close cooperation with Turkey allows Hayat Tahrir al-Sham to increase its military and financial capabilities, the implementation of the de-escalation deal poses a direct threat to interests of smaller radical groups such the ones from Fa Ithbatu. Thus, there is a clear conflict of interest that may yet turn into a full-scale military confrontation.

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SOUTHFRONT CENSORSHIP ON YOUTUBE – SUPPORT TEAM STRIKES BACK

South Front

SouthFront Censorship On YouTube - Support Team Strikes Back

YouTube continues attempts to justify its illegal decision to censor SouthFront.

More than 1.5 months since the censorship of SouthFront on YouTube, the YouTube staff has been ignoring SouthFront rejecting requests to provide at least some kind of formal reason behind this decision. However, in mid-June, YouTube finally invented some formal explanation for its illegal decision to censor SouthFront.

Now, YouTube claims that SouthFront’s main channel was terminated because of “repeated or severe violations” of YouTube Community Guidelines, including “spam, scams or commercially deceptive content”. The claim that SouthFront content on YouTube somehow promoted spam, scams or deceptive content is a blatant lie.

HINT: On May 1, YouTube terminated all of South Front’s channels, with approximately 170,000 subscribers. The main YouTube channel in English had over 152,000 subscribers, 1,900 uploaded videos and approximately 60 million views. The termination of our channels occurred without any warnings or notifications and regardless of the fact that our YouTube channels had zero active strikes.

We immediately appealed this decision and during the next weeks repeatedly requested YouTube to explain reasons behind it. However, no real answers have been provided until now.

A summary of the recent events:

On June 16, YouTube requested us to provide him links to SouthFront channels, which were terminated (like YouTube Support Team cannot get these links by itself):

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SouthFront provided all the requested information:

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On June 18, YouTube finally invented a formal explantion for its unjustified decision to censor SouthFront by claiming that our main YouTube channel with over 152,000 subscribers was promoting “spam, scams or commercially deceptive content”:

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However, this claim goes contrary to YouTube’s official data itself. There was zero YouTube Community Guidelines strikes or any other strikes on the channel.

On May 3, YouTube Support Team officially confirmed this fact in its own email saying that there were “no reasons” to terminate SouthFront’s channel:

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We emphasized this in our answer to YouTube’s new claims:

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On June 22, YouTube made a one more clumsy attempt to explain its decision to censor SouthFront. This time YouTube Support Team claimed that “multiple Community Guideline strikes” may have become the reason behind the termination of our channel.

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Indeed, few years ago, SouthFront’s YouTube channel received Community Guidelines strikes because of a mass flagging of our videos by ill-wishers. These Community Guidelines strikes were removed after our appeals to YouTube Support Team. Therefore, YouTube officially confirmed that these strikes were unjustified or added by mistake. Therefore, SouthFront’s YouTube channel had ZERO strikes when it was terminated.

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On June 23, YouTube sent us a new reply very similar to those that we received previously on June 11This reply does not deal with the current situation in a direct way. In fact, YouTube cannot confirm its claims about supposed Community Guidelines violations because it has no evidence to do so. Therefore, it just used SouthFront’s readiness to defend its rights as a formal pretext to not provide any facts and evidence behind its decision to terminate SouthFront’s channel.

This situation once again demonstrates the double-faced approach of the service that tries to hide blatant acts of censorship behind baseless claims about supposed Community Guidelines violations.

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We eagerly await the further development of this situation. How would YouTube try to explain this act of illegal censorship next time?

YOUR SUPPORT IS CRITICAL TO KEEP SOUTHFRONT ALIVE:

Palestinian Artist Paints Mural on Apartheid Wall for Autistic Man Shot Dead by Israeli Police (VIDEO)

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June 16, 2020

Mural of Palestinian Iyad Hallaq on the Aparthied wall in Bethlehem. (Photo: via Twitter)

A Palestinian artist memorialized Palestinian autistic man Iyad Hallaq, 32, who was shot dead by Israeli police in Jerusalem on May 30.

A few days ago, Palestinian artist Taqieddin Sabatin painted a mural commemorating African American man George Floyd, who was killed by US police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25.



See @palestinechron’s other Tweets

Sabatin painted the Floyd and Hallaq murals on the concrete wall built by Israel to separate Bethlehem from Jerusalem in order to commemorate both victims of police brutality.

Hallaq, a 32-year-old man with the mental age of an 8-year-old child, was executed by Israeli forces while crouching behind his teacher near his special needs school in the Old City of Jerusalem.

His murder in cold blood brought to mind the killing in Minneapolis days earlier of George Floyd and made parallels of police brutality in the US against African Americans and in Palestine against Palestinian Arabs.

(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

The end of globalisation won’t be televised, despite the hopes of the Western 99% (2/2)

Monday, 27 April 2020 5:46 AM  

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The end of globalisation won’t be televised, despite the hopes of the Western 99% (2/2)

By Ramin Mazaheri


Part 1 
discussed how the West’s coronavirus response totally ignored the needs of their lower classes, and also how Iran’s “Resistance Economy” rejects Western economic liberalism (and neoliberalism) which has always sought to relegate non-Westerners to second-class economic partners.

As I have written previously, the West’s corona response is not just murderously mediocre but middle-class – it assumes everyone has a comfortable home, savings and a stable job. The West is employing quarantining, control methods and collective-over-individualist concepts used by Asian nations, but without having similar cultures of government economic intervention nor widespread trust in their governments. It is not hysteria to suggest that this could prove fatal to their bubble-filled, high-finance dominated economies.

There is a lot of foolish talk from Westerners, who are effectively forbidden to learn about and discuss how capitalism-imperialism truly operates, regarding how corona will cause supply chains to move back home. This has produced a lot of soon-to-be-forgotten agreement from their politicians, who are desperate to show that – all of a sudden – they care about their lower classes. Recall that the “end of irony” was proclaimed after 9/11 – will we see the “end of globalisation” because of coronavirus?

That’s funny.

The state of Delaware is where most US corporations are located and buy their charters – if it is not the world’s biggest corporate tax haven, according to The New York Times and The Japan Times, the state is certainly among the world’s top five. (Indeed, it should now be no surprise why Delaware senator Joe Biden was chosen to be Barack Obama’s running mate amid the 2008 economic crisis.) It could not be more crystal clear, even though neoliberals in the US often try to sow confusion about this fact: “Delaware corporate law requires corporate directors to manage firms for the benefit of shareholders, and not for any other constituency.” So anyone thinking corporations will sacrifice a mere fraction of their stock price in order to move supply chains back home are absolutely deluded about the possibility of patriotism, much less humanity, in “Capitalism with American characteristics”: their laws explicitly forbid it.

The post-corona persistence of neoliberalism – an ideology predicated on reducing government programs and expenditures for the 99% with ruthless efficiency – means that Western governments both national and local will be so strapped for cash in a post-Lockdown climate that they will be forced to try and save every nickel they can to maximise ever-more inadequate tax revenues and income. They will forced to buy from China, Haiti or whoever can save them pennies, because this is exactly what neoliberalism demands – it fundamentally neuters economic patriotism.

Urban hipsters who perhaps previously would pay premiums to “eat local” (because it is tastier) will soon find that unemployment (or a worsening of the seemingly never-ending underemployment for the West’s youth class) drastically alters one’s menu options. They would like to “eat local”, but many will be forced to forego the local farmers’ market to buy their food as cheaply as possible, and regardless of provenance.

So such talk from Esquire magazine bout how corona will usher in a new economy based around “resilience preparedness” is totally absurd: the very basis of globalisation is hyper-specialisation (Adam Smith) and turning every nation into a single cash crop/cow (David Ricardo’s comparative advantage) writ large, and these two concepts are the very opposite pole of resilience. Hyper-specialisation is hyper-resistant… but in one single area; if classic liberalism or modern neoliberalism or the “free market” selected your country to produce hygienic masks, congratulations! According to them you should jack up the price and the rest of us should not try to domestically produce our own.

Contrarily, we can say that Iran has tried to create “specialisation” in the normal way – within a single national economy’s different regions instead of all over the world, messianically and arrogantly. This is why they have employed a “resistance economy” (with many egalitarian principles held over from the “command/war economy” era), which is based around self-sufficiency, protectionism, government intervention to stimulate innovation in vital sectors, and government ownership in essentially every sector with medium or large importance. This, even more than the insistence that Islam is compatible with democracy, is why the West wages war on Iran.

The good news for Iranians: these economic principles are what promote resilience and preparedness, they curtail the indebtedness/poverty of the lower classes, and they will make Iran far more capable of weathering the economic turmoil of the coming months.

It is amusing that some in the West are now clamouring for sensible, humane, patriotic, efficient measures which Iran has employed for decades. Is Iran’s economic idea more exportable to Esquire if we call it a “resilience economy”, perhaps?

The Iranian economy in opposition to the West’s seemingly certain post-Great Lockdown economic chaos

At the root of this economic program is not anti-capitalism but anti-the-type-of-capitalism which today’s Iranians are violently confronted by: neoliberalism and globalisation. This form of capitalism is the most-geared towards maximising the profits and market concentration of the 1%, whereas a “resistance economy” is fundamentally-geared towards satisfying the needs of the Iranian 99%. The Koran sanctions capitalism, after all, but it bans usury and has clear exhortations to equality and the economic redistribution of massively-ordered charity. (If the West would simply follow the ban on usury – exorbitant interest and debilitating compound interest – they would be so much better off….)

If the Iranian Revolution did not satisfy the needs of their 99%… how can we possibly explain its endurance amid all the growth-sabotaging Cold War from the West? The question never was growth, after all, but re-distribution. The same logical argument stands for anti-imperialist Cuba and North Korea – caricaturing these nations as totalitarian oligarchies will continue to lose its false power for as long as these countries continue to not just endure but thrive (considering Western blockades), and for as long as the West’s post-1980 inequality entrenchment continues. Despite the looming economic crisis, does anyone really believe the West is culturally capable of reversing these inequality trends?

Undoubtedly, the West’s corona overreaction will make their economies – which were already in a Great Recession – even weaker.

Yes, this will force more Western domestic criticism of neoliberalism and globalisation, but will it really? How can it when France’s Muslims, US so-called “White Trash” and their lower-class counterparts across the “West + client” world cannot even be seen on their televisions? We are logical to believe that open criticism of the ideology of globalisation will be muted very shortly, because all these nations have airwaves which are dominated by a handful of corporations; contrarily, the Iranian government owns all the radio and TV waves – to get the outlook of not-always-selfless private media one can turn to Iran’s extremely critical, thriving print press.

Yes, the West’s reduced economies will necessarily reduce the influence and local reach of governments, but this reduced reach can easily be counter-balanced by the drastic quasi-martial laws which have already been employed. France almost certainly has the most over-policed corona lockdown (800,000 citations already), mais bien sûr: they just had an Islamophobia-based two-year state of emergency, which President Emmanuel Macron legalised into normal police practice.

Yes, the gut-wrenching reduction in wealth for the West’s lower classes may provoke “Western-style populism”, but this ideology is intrinsically reformist and not revolutionary. Look at the Five-Star Movement in Italy – it took them eight years to win significant power, but they have not been able to make significant changes. In their last national election the superb Yellow Vests gained merely half the votes of the (ugh) Animal Rights Party.

Yes, Westerners can see that all the evidence points to the necessity that they must change, but we must recall how very culturally chauvinistic they are: The West is hysterically convinced that their system is supreme – even among their “dissidents”, who are usually just “semi-dissidents” at best – despite all the evidence of failure and their perennial disregard of their own lower classes.

So combine this inherent conservativeness (liberal reformism), with neoliberal cultural saturation, with laws that forbid leavening neoliberalism, with “it’s not totalitarian when the West does it”, and it’s hard to compute a conclusion where the Great Lockdown produces a drastic reform of the Western economy, no? They have to overcome all of these trends, laws and false beliefs simultaneously and in great measure.

That would be a revolution. The West, the great thwarter of progressive revolutions, is supposedly now on the cusp of having one?

The only thing more idiotic than such talk are the commentators who accuse Iranian Reformists of being “neoliberals”, which is as stupid as calling Biden-backing Bernie Sanders or the French “socialists”. The Iranians most associated with the “resistance economy” are indeed Ayatollah Khamenei, ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Principlist Party, but the idea that Reformists aren’t hugely, hugely on board with countless resistance economy principles is just eye-rollingly wrong.

The reality – well-known in Iran – is that there is absolutely no room in Iranian politics for any political group which pushes ending the pro-99%, government-interventionist, fundamentally anti-neoliberal direction of the economy for this simple fact: they would never get re-elected by the 99%, and thus such a movement is necessarily finished before it could ever even could get started in Iranian democracy. Capitalism is sanctioned by the Qur’an, so it will always have a place, but neoliberal capitalism (again, all capitalism is not “neoliberalism” just as all socialism is not “violently atheistic Russian Soviet socialism”)? Not hardly.

Smith and Ricardo’s liberal ideas that each region should produce only that which it was perfectly suited to producing had one fatal flaw: such perfect harmony cannot possibly ever exist in a capitalist-imperialist system, because such a system is predicated upon competition. This is not a small flaw in their ivory-tower thinking, nor am I resorting to a mere humbug attack on “human nature” – competition, instead of cooperation, is a poor foundation for human stability and peace.

Such harmony and mutually-beneficial arrangements (and on a global scale, no less!) could only possibly ever be achieved in a world that has a basis which is definitely not neoliberal, which is very wary of capitalism’s excesses and constant exhortations to battles both big and small, and which tacitly accepts resolutely anti-imperialist and thus essentially socialist economics as the foundation.

You may not want Iran’s culture – that’s natural, they don’t want yours.

But across the West their lower classes are clamouring for an economy with many of Iran’s motivations and practices – they will be ignored, sadly.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

www.presstv.tv

100 Years of Hate: B’nai Brith’s Attack Dog the Anti-defamation League (ADL) by Valdis Bell

Source

April 22, 2020

Editor’s Preface: The following article by Valdis Bell is a well written and researched expose of the Rothschild’s notorious hate-spewing, criminal organization the ADL, an offshoot of B’nai Brith International, a Jews-only masonic order first created in the USA back in the latter half of the 19th century. The reason for its creation is explained in the article but my purpose in writing this preface is to connect the ADL up to its Canadian counterpart the League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada.

Those who have been following my legal battles with B’nai Brith Canada over the past six years may recall that the initial ‘hate crime’ complaint laid against myself and RadicalPress.com came from agent Z of Victoria, B.C. who is the British Columbia representative for the League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada. His (s)mug shot is featured above in the article’s header along with that of Det.Cst. Terry Wilson of the RCMP’s Hate Crime Team, the other attack dog for the Jewish lobby, who was the arresting officer back in May of 2012 when these same colluding culprits pulled off their criminal arrest of my person and laid the second charge of ‘hate’ against me in the form of sec. 319(2) of the Canadian Criminal Code.
Everything that you will read about the ADL is applicable to the League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada. Their primary purpose in existing is to smear and defame and silence any and all critics of the state of Israel and their world-wide criminal organizations such as B’nai Brith International. Pushing the Zionist agenda for global control and power over all purported independent nation states these arms of the Rothschild financial octopus spread lies and disinformation wherever they can and their financial resources are virtually endless.

Strange that this particular Jewish organization should have come into existence the very same year that the Rothschild banking cartel was able to take control of the United States government in 1913 and have their Jewish banking cartel enshrined in law as the U.S. Federal Reserve. The rest, as they say, is history, one hundred years of war, rip-offs, poverty, pollution and decadence and the ADL and the League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada are there to see that these diabolic enterprises carry on undisturbed by any criticism on the Internet.
—-
FoxmanADL
TODAY MARKS THE 100th anniversary of the largest and most-well funded hate and defamation group in the history of mankind: the Anti-Defamation League, or ‘ADL.’ The organization was originally called the ‘Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith’ after its parent group, the Jewish fraternal [masonic. ed.]order B’nai B’rith (meaning ‘Sons of the Covenant,’ or, literally, ‘Sons of the Cut’ — referring to circumcision).

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The ADL was founded in the immediate aftermath of the conviction of Atlanta B’nai B’rith President Leo Frank for the strangulation and sex murder of a 13-year-old factory girl, Mary Phagan. The international Jewish community did not believe that Frank should have been convicted. They had mounted a huge press, publicity, legal, and lobbying campaign to convince officials and the public that a Black man, James Conley, was the real killer. But the evidence against Frank was so strong — and the evidence against Conley so thin — that the Southern, all White, and doubtless philo-Semitic (like most of the Christian South) jury unanimously convicted Leo Frank and sentenced him to hang. Two months after Frank’s conviction, on October 20, 1913, the ADL was formed. To this day, the ADL and its allies promote the fiction that Frank’s conviction was a result of ‘anti-Semitism’ and use the case a rallying cry to garner support and funding.

The ADL operates as a private intelligence agency, sending spies, infiltrators, disruptors, and agents provocateurs into the camps — both Jewish and non-Jewish — of those who disagree with its radically pro-Israel and Jewish supremacist agenda. [emphasis added. Ed.] Also like an intelligence agency, it maintains a huge database containing personal information on politicians, writers, dissidents, activists, publishers, bloggers, and even unaffiliated private citizens so that — should any of these people ‘get out of line,’ in the opinion of the ADL — they can be threatened, ‘exposed,’ blackmailed, and thus silenced with maximum effectiveness.

BullockADL
In 1993, an ADL operative, Roy Bullock, was caught corrupting police officials and illegally obtaining police files to add to the ADL’s dossiers on ‘thought criminals’ Left and Right. Despite this, the ADL audaciously uses its money and influence to ‘educate’ law enforcement officials through a subsidiary called the ‘Law Enforcement Agency Resource Network’ (LEARN), which uses persuasive techniques to convince police authorities that individuals and groups that the ADL dislikes are dangerous criminals — and that the ADL and its allies are public-spirited, beneficial groups.
Ironically, considering its name, one of the main techniques used by the ADL, and for which its massive intelligence archive is most useful, is public defamation of those who the ADL has declared are its enemies.

The ADL is headquartered in New York City and has 29 offices in major cities in the United States, one in Israel, and two known offices in other countries. Abraham Foxman has been ‘national director’ of the group since 1987. It has an admitted annual U.S. budget of $55 million, with listed assets in 2011 of $171 million.

The Bullock Case
In 1993, an ADL agent named Roy Bullock, a San Francisco art dealer and fairly well-known in the homosexual community there, whose specialty was the infiltration of patriotic, Arab-American, and other organizations on behalf of the League, was found to have in his possession illegally obtained and highly private and personal data on his targets — data which could only have been obtained from police and other confidential government files; data that was also discovered in the files of the ADL itself when police raided ADL headquarters in San Francisco and Los Angeles as result of Bullock’s exposure.

According to the Los Angeles Times of 9th April, 1993, ‘Police on Thursday served search warrants on the Anti-Defamation League here and in Los Angeles, seizing evidence of a nationwide intelligence network accused of keeping files on more than 950 political groups, newspapers, and labor unions and as many as 12,000 people.

‘Describing the spy operations in great detail, San Francisco authorities simultaneously released voluminous documents telling how operatives of the Anti-Defamation League searched through trash and infiltrated organizations to gather intelligence an Arab-American, right-wing, and what they called ‘pinko’ organizations….

‘…Police allege that the organization maintains undercover operatives to gather political intelligence in at least seven cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco.

‘Groups that were the focus of the spy operation span the political spectrum, including such groups as the Ku Klux Klan, the White Aryan Resistance, Greenpeace, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the United Farm Workers, and the Jewish Defense League. Also on the list were Mills College, the board of directors of San Francisco public television station KQED, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian newspaper.

‘People who were subjects of the spy operation included former Republican Representative Pete McCloskey, jailed political extremist Lyndon LaRouche and Los Angeles Times correspondent Scott Kraft, who is based in South Africa….

‘…In addition to allegations of obtaining confidential information from police, the Anti-Defamation League could face a total of 48 felony counts for not properly reporting the employment of its chief West Coast spy, Roy Bullock, according to the affidavit filed to justify the search warrant.’
I’ll interrupt the article to inform you that those 48 felony counts were somehow suppressed and the ADL was never prosecuted. A sweetheart deal was worked out in 2000 under which the ADL admitted no wrongdoing, paid an out-of-court settlement — of under $200,000 — part of it for legal fees and the rest to ‘charitable groups’ which ‘fight hate’ (in other words, the kind of groups the ADL would support anyway — one such group was the ‘Hate Crimes Reward Fund’), issued a weak apology for dealing with ‘fact finders’ who had violated the law, supposedly without the knowledge of the ADL, and then had the unbelievable audacity to reaffirm their ‘right’ to spy on any group and anyone just as they always have!

Continuing:
‘The Anti-Defamation League disguised payments to Bullock for more than 25 years by funneling $550 a week to Beverly Hills attorney Bruce I. Hochman, who then paid Bullock, according to the documents released in San Francisco. Hochman, a former president of the Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles and one of the state’s leading tax attorneys, will be out of the city until late next week and could not be reached for comment, his office said.

‘Until 1990, Hochman, a former U.S. prosecutor, also was a member of a panel appointed by then-Senator Pete Wilson to secretly make initial recommendations on new federal judges in California. Hochman is a former regional president of the Anti-Defamation League….
‘David Lehrer, executive director of the Los Angeles ADL office, said the organization has not violated the law….
‘…But in an affidavit filed to obtain warrants for Thursday’s searches, San Francisco police allege that ‘ADL employees were apparently less than truthful’ in providing information in an earlier search conducted without a warrant….
‘…The police affidavit contends that Lehrer had sole control of a secret fund used to pay for ‘fact-finding operations.’ Lehrer, according to the documents, signed checks from the account under the name ‘L. Patterson.’…
‘…League officials will not confirm or deny whether Bullock was an employee and have said they simply traded information with police departments about people who might be involved in hate crimes.’
I’ll add here that the category of crime called ‘hate crimes’ was virtually invented by the ADL. The purpose of such laws is to add extra penalties for acts which are already crimes under existing statutes — like murder, assault, etc. — if the perpetrator can be shown to have held prejudiced or ‘hateful’ views which might have motivated his actions. Under ‘hate crime’ laws, American citizens would receive different sentences for the same crime, depending on whether or not their thoughts are ‘Politically Correct’ on issues relating to homosexuality, race, nationality, and politics. That such laws might have a chilling effect on free speech — for a thoughtful person would now realize that his every utterance on ‘sensitive’ topics might someday be used against him in a court of law, should he be required to defend himself with force someday or even have an argument with a member of a ‘protected class’ — was probably the ADL’s intention all along.

Enter Tom Gerard
From the Los Angeles Times, 13th April, 1993:
’ To the outside world, Roy Bullock was a small-time art dealer who operated from his house in the Castro District. In reality, he was an undercover spy who picked through garbage and amassed secret files for the Anti-Defamation League for nearly 40 years.
‘His code name at the prominent Jewish organization was Cal, and he was so successful at infiltrating political groups that he was once chosen to head an Arab-American delegation that visited Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) in her Washington, D.C. office.
‘For a time, ‘Cal’ tapped into the phone message system of White Aryan Resistance… …From police sources, he obtained privileged, personal information on at least 1,394 people. And he met surreptitiously with agents of the South African government to trade his knowledge for crisp, new $100 bills.
‘These are among the secrets that Bullock and David Gurvitz, a former Los Angeles-based [ADL] operative, divulged in extensive interviews with police and the FBI in a growing scandal over the nationwide intelligence network operated by the Anti-Defamation League….
‘Transcripts of the interviews — among nearly 700 pages of documents released by San Francisco prosecutors last week — offer new details of the private spy operation that authorities allege crossed the line into illegal territory.
‘At times, the intelligence activities took on a cloak-and-dagger air with laundered payments, shredded documents, hotel rendezvous with foreign agents and code names….
‘On one occasion, Gurvitz recounts, he received a tip that a pro-Palestinian activist was about to board a plane bound for Haifa, Israel. Although the Anti-Defamation League publicly denies any ties to Israel, Gurvitz phoned an Israeli consular official to warn them. Shortly thereafter, another [Israeli government] official called Gurvitz back and debriefed him.
‘The court papers also added to the mystery of Tom Gerard, a former CIA agent and San Francisco police officer accused of providing confidential material from police files to the Anti-Defamation League… …Bullock said it was Gerard who sold official police intelligence. Bullock said he split about $16,000… evenly with Gerard, telling him at one point, ‘I may be gay, but I’m a straight arrow.’…
‘Gerard fled to the Philippines last fall after he was interviewed by the FBI, but left behind a briefcase in his police locker. Its contents included passports, driver’s licenses, and identification cards in 10 different names; identification cards in his own name for four different embassies in Central America; and a collection of blank birth certificates, Army discharge papers, and official stationery from various agencies.
‘Also in the briefcase were extensive information on death squads, a black hood, apparently for use in interrogations, and photos of blindfolded and chained men.
‘Investigators suspect that Gerard and other police sources gave the ADL confidential driver’s license or vehicle registration information on a vast number of people, including as many as 4,500 members of one target group, the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee.
‘Each case of obtaining such data from a law enforcement officer could constitute a felony, San Francisco Police Inspector Ron Roth noted in an affidavit for a search warrant.’

Now we’re up to 4,500 felonies. Was the ADL brought to justice for even one of them? No. And what was revealed in the Gerard case was just the work of one ADL operative — and one group which the ADL had targeted! Evidence seized from Bullock’s computer indicate that the ADL was using him to compile data on individuals belonging to over 950 groups and Bullock is just one agent. The rest of that iceberg must be most impressive.

As for Gerard himself — whom the ADL had sent on an all-expenses-paid trip to Israel two years before his arrest — he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of unauthorized use of a police computer and was sentenced to three years’ probation, 45 days in jail, and a $2,500 fine.
The New York Daily News for 9th April, 1993 informs us that these were no ‘rogue’ agents — the illegal spying was controlled directly from the ADL’s central office in New York City:

‘Police in San Francisco and Los Angeles yesterday seized documents from a prominent Jewish-American organization accused of amassing confidential information — sometimes illegally — on thousands of people in the United States.

‘The alleged operation was directed from the New York City offices of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, ABC News reported last night.
‘The ADL has long been one of the most respected civil rights organizations in the country, tracking hate crimes and exposing prejudice.

‘But ABC said that for several decades the spying operation has snooped into the records and activities of more than 10,000 people in the United States, including many who simply opposed the policies of Israel and South Africa….

‘The report identified the leader of the intelligence ring as Irwin Suall.
‘Sources told the Daily News that Suall is one of about 15 people in the ADL’s research department in Manhattan. Neither Suall or other ADL officials could be reached for comment.

‘We’re talking about the use of information from Department of Motor Vehicles files, other confidential files of state and local agencies, illegally furnished and illegally received by private agencies,’ San Francisco District Attorney Arlo Smith told ABC.’

Irwin Suall, the former National Secretary of the Socialist Party of America, was the chief of the ‘fact-finding’ (that is, espionage) division of the ADL from 1967 to 1997. According to the Baltimore Sentinel for September, 1993 ‘In a memo dated July, 1992, Suall praised Roy Bullock as ‘our number one investigator’ — just months before Bullock’s illegal activities were exposed.
According to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, the ADL offered money to corrupt law enforcement officers and officials in return for illegally-obtained personal information that was supposed to have been destroyed. How many of these corrupt officials were never prosecuted, and how many were recruited during the ‘educational’ conferences, and trips to Israel, arranged for them by the ADL’s law enforcement liaison division?

The Report states:
‘After COINTELPRO, a still-controversial FBI operation to destabilize black nationalist and other groups in the ’60s and ’70s, the FBI, state and local law enforcement authorities were ordered out of the business of gathering information about legitimate political activity by American citizens. But in some major American cities, law enforcement files relating to legitimate and Constitutionally protected political activities that had been ordered destroyed instead found their way to the offices of the ADL, which quickly became a clearinghouse for such illegally obtained and illegally retained information.

‘The absence of the FBI, state, and local police investigators in the field therefore created a void the ADL rushed to fill, with remarkable success, by increasing its in-house ‘fact-finding’ assets and capabilities and developing enhanced working relationships with ‘official friends’ — government officials, investigators, and intelligence officers. Some of these were the officials who had not destroyed files of illegally obtained materials, or had made private copies of the official files before they were destroyed in compliance with the court order.

‘The ADL favored many of its ‘official friends’ with expense-paid trips to Israel, where they met with and were entertained by friendly officers of Israel’s espionage and counter-intelligence organizations, Mossad and Shin Bet, thus creating a major conduit for the flow of sensitive and useful U.S. domestic political intelligence to Israel’s spymasters in Tel Aviv.’
Despite its obvious — and admitted — ties with the state of Israel, and its agenda of advancing Israel’s policy objectives, and gaining power to blackmail or otherwise intimidate perceived enemies of Israel, the ADL has never been required to register as a foreign agent as other, far more benign, organizations have been required to do.

A.ForsterADL
ADL’s former National Director Benjamin Epstein, in an internal letter disclosed during discovery proceedings in a lawsuit against the ADL in 1970, spoke with pride about the close cooperation that existed between the ADL and Israel’s intelligence apparatus. In his 1988 autobiography, ADL general counsel Arnold Forster specifically named the Mossad as as having a close connection with the League . The Mossad routinely engages in political assassinations of those it deems to be ‘Israel’s enemies’ around the world.
More Than Just Spying?
According to investigator William Norman Grigg, Bullock did much more than spy for his ADL bosses: ‘In 1993, it was discovered that Roy Bullock had been attempting to arrange a political marriage between the Institute for Historical Review, a holocaust revisionist organization, and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (AADC) so the ADL could ‘out’ [AADC] members as neo-Nazis.’

But it wasn’t just Bullock, and it wasn’t just setting victims up for bigger and better smears. One ADL agent provocateur had a role as a leader and speaker for groups targeted by the ADL — doubtlessly steering the clueless radicals in directions helpful to the ADL agenda and against their own interests. And he also staged completely phony ‘extremist incidents’ for the media to inflame fears of ‘racism’ and ‘anti-Semitic’ violence.

Investigative journalist Laird Wilcox tells us: ‘James Mitchell Rosenberg, a career infiltrator for the Anti-Defamation League, regularly attended and was a speaker at Ku Klux Klan rallies and meetings of the Mountain Church in Cohoctah, MI, considered a gathering place for neo-Nazis of all kinds. For the benefit of television reporters, Rosenberg also posed as a leader of a para-military group called the ‘Christian Patriot’s Defense League’ which was the subject of a breathless exposé entitled ‘Armies of the Right.’ In 1981, Rosenberg and an associate were arrested on a New York City rooftop and charged with carrying an unregistered rifle. The two were posing as paramilitary extremists for a photographic fabrication exaggerating the threat from the far right. The charges were subsequently dropped at the request [of] the ADL’s Irwin Suall, Rosenberg’s direct supervisor.’

And these are just the ADL agents who have come to public attention and been exposed in the newspapers. Do you really believe that they were rare, exceptional cases? Or were they part of a much, much larger coordinated operation? With its multimillion-dollar budget and cozy relationship with corrupt law enforcement officials — and with murderous intelligence agencies and their unfathomably deep pockets — how many undiscovered agents does the ADL employ, and what might their functions be?
Seeing Anti-Semitism Where There Is None

In Denver, Colorado in 1994, an argument over pets and garden plants between two couples — next door neighbors — became the focus of ADL public relations and legal action because of the alleged ‘anti-Semitism’ of one of the couples toward the other, who were Jewish.

Candace and Mitchell Aronson were the Jewish neighbors of William and Dorothy Quigley.

The Aronsons used a VHF scanner radio to listen in on the cordless telephone conversations of the Quigleys. They heard Mrs. Quigley discuss with a friend — it turns out, in joking tones — a possible campaign to drive the Aronsons from the neighborhood by frightening them with ‘pictures of ovens’ and throwing gas at one of the Aronson’s children. Mrs. Quigley was also heard ‘wishing that the Aronsons would be killed in a suicide bombing.’ Although the conversations were obviously facetious, and at one point Mrs. Quigley even said she was saying some ‘sick’ things, the Aronsons decided to contact the Denver office of the ADL.

Upon the advice of the ADL, the Aronsons began recording the Quigleys’ private telephone conversations — an illegal act. Astoundingly, ADL attorneys then advised the Aronsons to use the illegal recordings as the basis for a federal civil lawsuit against the Quigleys for ‘ethnic intimidation.’ Meanwhile, the ADL defamation and PR machine geared up to ‘expose’ yet another ‘anti-Semitic incident’ and, not coincidentally, totally ruin the Quigleys’ lives.
Saul Rosenthal, Regional Director of the ADL, appeared at a news conference describing the Quigleys as engaging in ‘a vicious anti-Semitic campaign.’ Rosenthal also appeared in local media making the same claims, and successfully urged local prosecutors to use the tape recordings in filing criminal charges against the Quigleys.
The Quigleys became pariahs in their own community, receiving so many threats that they felt compelled to hire security guards. Animal feces was sent to their home. Mr. Quigley’s lost his job at United Artists. The family had to drive long distances to shop in stores where they would not be recognized.
However, the cases against them quickly began to fall apart. The local prosecutor dropped the charges upon hearing the obviously non-threatening nature of the conversations. He even apologized to the Quigleys and publicly stated that the accusations against them were untrue. The federal case was dead because the recordings were themselves illegal and therefore inadmissible.
The Quigleys counter sued the ADL, Rosenthal, the Aronsons, and two ADL volunteer attorneys. Ultimately the Quigleys received a judgement of some $12 million, including interest, in their favor for the devastation that the Aronsons and the ADL had caused in their lives. (By the way, the Quigleys employed a Jewish lawyer, Jay Horowitz, to argue their case.)
The ADL probably lost this one case only because they were not fully conversant with wiretap law. Had they not tripped up on that technicality, they, their well-funded attorneys, and their massive PR machine (aided by an ADL-friendly media) would have prevailed and the Quigleys would have been forgotten, impoverished, possibly imprisoned, and without recourse. How many other cases have there been? — how many unsung victims of the ADL have suffered that fate — or worse?

Crime Connections
The ADL operates much like an organized crime gang, as their intimidation and in-your-face life-ruining tactics make clear. And that’s not just a result of ‘overzealousness’ or an unreasoning fear of persecution. The ADL has direct connections to numerous notorious crime figures:
LanskyADLsupporter
Meyer Lansky, one of the architects of modern organized crime in the United States and connected with ‘Murder, Incorporated,’ was a strong supporter of and donor to the ADL. His granddaughter, Mira Lansky Boland, was an ADL official — ironically, her position is listed as ‘liaison to law enforcement.’ She arranged expense-paid luxury tours to Israel, the world capital of sex trafficking, for certain key law enforcement officials who had ‘something to offer’ the ADL in return — among them Tom Gerard.

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Moe Dalitz, organized crime boss of Las Vegas, was a long-time supporter of the ADL and a close friend of Meyer Lansky. In 1982, Dalitz received the ‘Torch of Liberty’ award from the ADL.
Theodore Silbert, mafia front man worked simultaneously for the ADL and the Sterling National Bank (a mafia operation controlled by the Lansky syndicate).
Michael Milken, convicted financial criminal of ‘junk bond’ fame, was a major contributor to the ADL.

Mark RichADL
Marc Rich, international fugitive and financial criminal was hiding out in Switzerland to avoid prosecution for his crimes when he wrote a check for $100,000 to the ADL, who then proceeded to pull the necessary strings. He was then pardoned by President Bill Clinton on his last day in office. Rich later admitted he had worked with the ADL-linked Mossad for years, and Israeli officials also intervened on his behalf with Clinton.
Jewish Critiques
The ADL routinely smears those who have criticized its goals and methods by calling them ‘anti-Semites’ — an amazing, invented word, by the way: No other ethnicity, so far as I know, has created a comparable neologism to demonize, isolate, and ostracize its critics. But so outrageous has been the behavior of the ADL that it has garnered much criticism from Jewish writers, activists, and dissenters from the ‘mainstream’ Jewish establishment.
Noam Chomsky, leftist Jewish activist and Professor of Linguistics at MIT on the ADL: ‘[O]ne of the ugliest, most powerful pressure groups in the U.S… Its primary commitment is to use any technique, however dishonest and disgraceful, in order to defame and silence and destroy anybody who dares to criticize the Holy State (‘Israel’)…’ ‘[The ADL is] engaged in surveillance, blacklisting, compilation of FBI-style files circulated to adherents for the purpose of defamation, angry public responses to criticism of Israeli actions, and so on. These efforts, buttressed by insinuations of anti-Semitism or direct accusations, are intended to deflect or undermine opposition to Israeli policies…’

Robert Friedman, liberal Jewish journalist, says of the ADL: ‘[T]he largest private spy agency in America… Through its 31 offices across the country, the ADL monitors school curricula, library acquisition lists, and public conferences and symposiums, working behind the scenes to stifle intellectual freedom.’ (Robert I. Friedman, ‘The Jewish Thought Police’, Village Voice, July 27, 1993)

Norman Finkelstein, Jewish author and academic, says of the ADL’s long-time director Abraham Foxman that he is ‘a hoodlum and a thug.’ (Defamation, video documentary, 1999 — see link in references)
Monty Warner, conservative Jewish writer and director of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture, says that ‘the ADL has devolved into an opportunistic, intolerant, grief-grubbing stench’ and says of ADL boss Abraham Foxman that he is ‘a disgrace to my religion.’

Rabbi Daniel Lapin, president of Toward Tradition, a Jewish religious group called ADL leader Abraham Foxman ‘Our own worst enemy.’ Toward Tradition said it picked Foxman ‘from among other representatives of the Anti-Semitism industry’ because of his pivotal role in former president Clinton’s pardon of fugitive Jewish financial criminal Marc Rich: ‘After the ADL received a $100,000 check from the Rich Foundation, Foxman wrote to Bill Clinton urging the pardon.’

Midge Decter, Dennis Prager, and 75 prominent Jewish writers and leaders issued a public statement in 1994 charging the ADL with ‘engaging in defamation’ in the ADL’s attacks on rightists and Christians, routinely using ‘such discreditable techniques as insinuation and guilt by association’ by finding and publicizing ‘links’ between its targets and allegedly more radical (read: already smeared) figures in its voluminous dossiers of personal information obtained largely through espionage.

Steve Zeltzer, Jewish labor activist and himself a victim of ADL spying, states of the ADL: ‘They have always had enemies lists, and they have always wanted to control the flow of information.’

The ADL and the post-9/11 National Security State
Post-9/11 hysteria led Americans into illegal and unjustified wars in the Middle East and has brought us such unconstitutional erosions of our rights as the misnamed Patriot Act and its secret laws, secret courts, secret trials, and secret prisons; the massive illegal spying operations of the NSA and other agencies; and the maintenance of a ‘kill list’ under which anyone on Earth can be marked for death by the President. Within months after the attacks, the ADL had already organized conferences to ‘help’ the secret police take advantage of their new ill-gotten powers — as this ADL press release makes clear:
ADL Press Release June 6, 2002
More than 500 representatives of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies were briefed on extremist and terrorist threats during a daylong conference co-sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The May 31 program, held at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA, was an outgrowth of ADL’s longtime involvement in providing information and training to law enforcement on threats posed by extremists. The conference, ‘Extremist and Terrorist Threats: Protecting America After 9/11? included presentations from ADL, FBI and other nationally recognized experts on extremist groups, investigative techniques, counter terrorism strategies, domestic security and threat assessment.
‘Now more than ever, law enforcement must have the resources and know-how to prevent future acts of terrorism,’ said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. ‘In order to assess threats against the United States, law enforcement must have credible information about domestic and foreign extremists whose rhetoric promotes violence. Through our network of regional offices and our experts in the field, ADL is uniquely suited to aid in the war against terrorism. This conference was an opportunity for law enforcement and extremism watchdogs to compare notes and forge alliances.’
Somehow I doubt that Roy Bullock’s name was brought up at the meeting.
Rabbi Spitz’s Vision
Spitz
It seems that the ‘Anti-Defamation League’ has taken to heart the words of Rabbi Leon Spitz, writing in The American Hebrew of March 1, 1946: ‘American Jews too must come to grips with our contemporary anti-Semites. We must fill our jails with anti-Semitic gangsters, we must fill our insane asylums with anti-Semitic lunatics, we must combat every alien Jew-hater, we must harass and prosecute our Jew-baiters to the extreme limits of the laws, we must humble and shame our anti-Semitic hoodlums to such an extent that none will wish to dare to become ‘fellow-travelers’.’
Spitz is speaking in coded language, but the veil is rather thin. He’s not talking about prosecuting criminals per se, for the whole force of law enforcement was already doing that when he spoke.
He’s calling for especially intense scrutiny of perceived ‘anti-Semites’ by law enforcement, and the use of any and all technical violations that might be discovered to prosecute them. In our law-happy society, it’s doubtful that anyone could escape such close scrutiny unscathed — Google the Internet meme ‘three felonies a day’ if you don’t believe me.
He doesn’t actually believe that gangsters are disproportionately ‘anti-Semitic’ — in fact, no one has ever alleged that. What he’s saying is that the perceived enemies of the Jewish people should be criminalized in the public mind and in the minds of law enforcement officers so that they will be treated like gangsters. And that, in fact, is what the ADL has done, with their close liaisons with police (and secret police) authorities, alerting them to the ‘dangers’ of patriot militia ‘hate groups,’ traditionalist religious groups, alleged ‘neo-Nazis,’ and the like — those whom the ADL sees as vociferous critics of Israel or Jewish power. In fact, few of these groups have any desire to harm Jews in any way, though they may criticize the ADL, Israel, or other parts of the Jewish establishment.
Criticism of Jews as Jews, or public doubt of their tales of suffering in World War 2, is a prosecutable offense in some countries today, in part due to the lobbying activities of the ADL and its allies.
Spitz doesn’t actually believe that his perceived enemies are insane, and therefore belong in asylums. (Elsewhere in his article he credits them with only with avarice, jealousy, and hatred.) He is intimating, though, that they will by some means be redefined as insane and literally fill the asylums. The mass media, heavily influenced by the ADL and disproportionately staffed with Jews, do present caricatured portraits of ‘conspiracy theorists’ and ‘racists’ who dislike Jews, and it is often implied that they are lunatics, ‘evil geniuses,’ or some dangerous mix of the two. Critics of Jewish power today are never, to my knowledge, ever presented in a sympathetic manner by the media. [emphasis added. Ed.]

When Rabbi Spitz tells his fellows that ‘we must harass and prosecute our Jew-baiters to the extreme limits of the laws, we must humble and shame our anti-Semitic hoodlums to such an extent that none will wish to dare to become ‘fellow-travelers’,’ he is telling us that the laws must be stretched to their ‘extreme limits’ to prosecute — and harass! — those who criticize Jews in order to ‘humble’ them and shame them — that is, ruin their reputations — so that no one will dare to join them, publicly share their opinions, or value their friendship. This has nothing to do with enforcing the laws equally for all — and everything to do with destroying lives and suppressing the freedom to speak and organize through pure intimidation.[emphasis added. Ed.] Though The American Hebrew was not an ADL publication, and I don’t know if the good rabbi supported the ADL, I think it’s fair to say that his view represented a significant and influential strain in American Jewish thought in the aftermath of World War 2, a strain eagerly taken up by the ADL. Spitz’s hatefully poetic words are in the League’s spirit, and, considering the League’s ongoing, lavishly-funded, and largely successful defamation of those they label ‘anti-Semites,’ perhaps Rabbi Spitz should be regarded as a kind of latter-day prophet, with the ADL his Heavenly Host of Hate.

كورونا القيامة والكمامة…بقلم عز الدين ميهوبي – أديب وكاتب جزائري

كعادتهم يخرج المنجمون والفلكيون والعرافات وقارئات الكف والفنجان من شرنقتهم ليبشروا العالم بأيام أكثر إشراقا أو ينذروه بفواجع في 2020 فيقولون سيعم السلام الشرق الأوسط وتتعافى اقتصاديات العالم وتؤول جائزة نوبل للسلام لشخصية عربية، وبالمقابل ستحدث كوارث وزلازل واغتيالات، 

لأن القمر يقترب للمرة الأولى من الأرض، والمشتري يقترن بزحل، والزهرة ستكون على مدار عطارد، وكل يبحث في برجه عن حظ يبعد عنه التعاسة ويفتح أمامه أبواب الرزق من أهل المال والسياسة. ولم ينتبه العالم إلى التحذير الذي أطلقه الطبيب لي وين ليانغ في مستشفى وُوهان الصينية في أواخر 2019 منبهًا إلى فيروس غير عادي، قد يحول حياة الناس إلى جحيم، ولكن صوت الطبيب لم يتجاوز جدران المستشفى، ومات وفي حلقه غصة.. وتحول إلى مجرد رقم من الأرقام التي يعرضها علينا كل مساء الدكتور تيدروس أدهانوم..

كشف فيروس كوفيد 19، عورة العالم التي لا تكفي غابةٌ من ورق التوت لتغطيتها، وفضح خرافة القيم الإنسانية التي يتبجح بها المنتصرون بعد كل حرب مدمرة، فهي لا تعدو أن تكون أكثر من كذبة يطلقها الكبار فيصدقها الصغار ويدفعون ثمنها “كاش” رغم أنوفهم..

كشف كوفيد 19 أن التضامن بين الشعوب والتكافل بين الأمم مجرد شعار أجوف، لا يختلف عن فقاعات صابون أو حبات ملح تذوب في الماء، وكشف أن المنظومات التي تدار بها المجتمعات هشة أو مهترئة، لا تقوى على الصمود والمقاومة  ولو لأسابيع، فعندما يجد الناس أنفسهم يعدون النعوش ويودعون أحبتهم عاجزين، لا يفهمون جدوى التغني بالحرية والديمقراطية وحقوق الانسان والاقتصاد الحر في غياب كمامة أو جهاز للتنفس. ولا يجدون سببا للتغني بالمثل العليا التي تكرس سيطرة الأقوياء، سياسيا بالفيتو، واقتصاديا بما تقرره مجموعة الثمانية الكبار..

صحيح هناك عوالم ثلاثة، عالم لم تكفه الأرض فاحتل الفضاء وادعى ملكيته، وعالم يسعى لابتلاع ما ومن في الأرض، وعالم يعيش تحت الأرض. العالم الأول اعتقدَ أن التكنولوجيا والقوة الاقتصادية كفيلتان بجعله الحاكم الأبدي للأرض، يطوع ويروع شعوبها كما يشاء، إذا صفعها على خد صعرت خدها الآخر صاغرة، عالمٌ يعيش على الحروب، ويستثمر في ماضيه الاستعماري، ويبني فلسفته على الخوف والتخويف وهو الغرب بقيادة أمريكا، والعالم الثاني، آخر همه أن يدخل حربا أو ينفخ في رمادها، يفتتح في كل ساعة مصنعا، ويطرق أبواب كل البلدان عارضا منتجاته، يبيع الإبرة والقطارات السريعة..  يدرك أنّ تأمين قوت مليار ونصف من الأفواه لا يتحقق إلا بشعار “اعمل أو مت”.. عالمٌ تتراجع فيه الإيديولوجيا ويكبر فيه الاقتصاد، تقوده الصين وأخواتها، وعالمٌ ثالث، يتلمس طريقه في أرض ملغمة، لم يعثر على وصفة للخروج من بناء الطابق الأرضي للدولة، وهو لا يعرف طريقه إلى التطور والتنمية، فيلقي أحيانا اللائمة على الاستعمار، وأحيانا على الإمبريالية والعولمة المتوحشة، يراوح في مكانه، يتقدم خطوة ويتراجع خطوتين، غارقًا في أزماته المتعددة الأشكال، مستسلمًا لأسئلة الخوف من المستقبل. عالمٌ يمثله ثلاثة أرباع بلدان العالم.

لقد شكلت محنة كورونا امتحانًا حقيقيا للعالم الذي وجد نفسه أمام مرآة الواقع التي كشفت عيوبه وما أكثرها، إذ لا يمكن لأي بلد، ولو كان عضوا في النادي النووي، أن يدعي قدرة على مواجهة الفيروس، وحماية شعبه ومنحه الطمأنينة اللازمة، فكل الأنظمة الصحية، مهما بلغت درجة تطورها وتعقيدها، تهاوت أمام سرعة انتشار الوباء، فانقلبت موازين التعاطي مع واقع الحال، وصار عاديا أن تتلقى إيطاليا الدعم من دول محدودة النمو، وانهارت كبرياء أمريكا في ظل عجز صريح عن منع تفشي الوباء، فألقت باللائمة على الصين ومنظمة الصحة العالمية لعدم تحليهما بالشفافية، وأبان العالم، في لحظة نفاق إنساني، عن ملامح مؤقتة لروح التضامن المفقودة، إذ تقول الحكمة “أثناء العاصفة يتعارف البحارة”. إنها استفاقة متأخرة، جاءت إكراهًا بالرغم من الكراهية التي تولدت عن صراعات الحرب الباردة ونزعة التفوق.

نعم، ليس هناك علاج متفق عليه بين الدول ومختبراتها، أحيانًا نسمع هنا وهناك، أن العمل يجري للوصول إلى لقاح، أو تطوير مصل مشابه، بينما منظمة الصحة العالمية تائهة بين خبر يدفع نحو التفاؤل ومعلومة تفتح أبواب السوداوية المرعبة. وكلما ازدادت حدة الفيروس انتشارا، زاد الحديث عن حرب المختبرات، بينما يستسلم العالم لما تضخه وكالات الأنباء ووسائل التواصل الاجتماعي من أخبار، يتداخل فيها الصحيح بالمغلوط أو المضلل، عن مشاريع حلول تكمن في أدوية الملاريا وتعديل في تركيباتها، أو باستخدام بلازما الدم، وأمام اليأس يلجأ الناس إلى الطب البديل، والعلاج بالعسل والزنجبيل والقرنفل والزعفران والحبة السوداء وخلطة الثوم والزيت والبصل وبخار الماء.. فيما أجمع الخبراء على أن العلاج الأفضل الذي لا يتم تحصيله من الصيدليات هو الوقاية بالحجر الصحي وغسل اليدين ووضع كمامة عند التواصل مع الآخرين والحفاظ على مسافة مترين..

عجيب أمر هذا العالم، دخل قلب الذرة، ونجح في فك شفرة الجينوم، واستثمر في الهندسة الوراثية، وأرسل مسابر لاستكشاف المجرات والبحث عن حياة في كواكب بعيدة، يقف اليوم عاجزا أمام فيروس، غير مرئي، عابر للقارات ومخترق للقصبات الهوائية.. عالمٌ يتجند بكل مقدراته من أجل كمامة.

في لحظة فارقة اكتشف العالم أن الصحة، فعلا، تاج على رؤوس الأصحاء لا يراه إلا المرضى، وهم في هذه الأزمة الوبائية سواء، لأن الفيروس “ديمقراطي” في فعلته، يدخل أكواخ الفقراء مثلما يلج قصور الأثرياء.. حيث لا يعنيه اللون أو الدين أو العرق أو الجاه أو المركز السياسي.. يدمر الرئتين ويرحل في ثانيتين.

واكتشف العالم حجم التقصير الذي مارسته الحكومات في حق شعوبها، فهي ترهقها بالضرائب ورفع الأسعار ، وتعجز عن توفير كمامات تقيها الوباء وشره..

إذن، من حق مواطن في بوتسوانا أو غواتيمالا أو سلوفينيا أو سريلانكا شأنه شأن مواطن أمريكي أو ألماني أو ياباني أو انجليزي أن يسأل لماذا يتم تخزين ترسانات الأسلحة الفتاكة، وتقام آلاف القواعد العسكرية التي تستنزف ميزانيات الدول، وتبقي على ثلاثة أرباع سكان العالم تحت خط الفقر، وفوق خط الموت، لا يملكون تأمينا على حياتهم، وأسوأ من ذلك، لا يملكون كمامة تؤجل موتهم إلى حين.

هذه الأيام، بدا كثير من كبار أمريكا أمثال كارتر وكيسنغر غاضبين من الرئيس ترامب، ومن أسلوب تعامله مع بقية العالم، مستهدفا خصومه الديمقراطيين في الداخل، وخصومه في الخارج، الصين وإيران والاتحاد الأوروبي  كعادته، إذ قالوا له، منذ نصف قرن، لم نسمع أن الصين دخلت حربًا أو أنفقت دولارا واحدًا في نزاع مسلح، بل وجهت جهودها لبناء اقتصاد قوي، وإنشاء آلاف المصانع والبحث عن أسواق لها في كل بلاد الدنيا، بينما دخلت أمريكا مئات الحروب والنزاعات باسم توسيع النفوذ ومحاربة الإرهاب والتبشير بالديمقراطية والحرية، وأنفقت خمسة آلاف مليار دولار على وَهْم قيادة العالم.. وهي اليوم عاجزة عن توفير كمامات لمواطنيها الذين يموتون مختنقين بفيروس.. أسماه ترامب في بدايته الفيروس الصيني، إحراجا لشي جين بينغ، غير أنه لم يجد بُدا من طلب الدعم بعد أن ابتلعَ الطعم.

الوباء لا يستثني أحدا، وهو يحصد الأرواح أمام دهشة العالم. فترامب يشكو قلة حيلته أمام ما يحدث.. وارتفاع أعداد المصابين لم يُقنع الجمهور بالتبريرات المقدمة، وبدا أن أسلوبه كرجل أعمال لم يتغير إزاء الأزمة، فهو يبرز جهود إدارته بالأرقام، ويتعاطى مع كورونا وكأنها سلعة في السوق يسعى إلى إغراقها خاصة إذا كانت صينية المنشأ(..) وبقدر إحصائه للأموات، يتحدث عن البورصة وإنعاش الشركات، والمحافظة على مناصب الشغل، ودعم الفئات المحرومة.. ولأن الأمر لا يخلو من السياسة، فهو يعرف أن انتخابات الخريف المقبل على الأبواب، وأن متاعبه بدأت مع كوفيد 19 وزادت مع الركود الاقتصادي وتقلبات سوق النفط وانحسار الدولار الذي تخلت عنه الدول الآسيوية لصالح اليوان وارتمائها في جلباب العم بينغ، بحثا عن الأمان.. إن ترامب في معركته مع كورونا والوضع الاقتصادي لا يختلف عن سيزيف وصخرته..

يقول هنري كيسنغر إن الأمريكان اليوم يكتشفون “معنى الموت”، الموت بالجملة، وليس بالمفرق، كما هو في حروب كثيرة دخلوها بحسابات الربح، وخرجوا منها بنتائج الخسارة.. وهذا ستكون له تبعات كبيرة. ولعل من المظاهر التي سجلتها بعض المواقع الإلكترونية، والتي أبانت عن ضغط نفسي كبير بسبب انتشار الوباء حتى أن هناك من شبهها بحالات الفزع التي أعقبت هجمات 11 سبتمبر. الهلع في كل مكان.

ومن مفارقات المشهد الأمريكي القاسي أن أصواتًا ارتفعت في المكسيك تطالب ترامب بالإسراع في بناء الجدار العازل بين البلدين حتى لا تنتقل عدوى كورونا.. فالهجرة لم تعد تستهوي المكسيكيين أو تسيل لعابهم. هم يعرفون “معنى الحياة”.

هناك إجماعٌ على أن ساسة أمريكا، اليوم، باختلاف توجهاتهم، محكومٌ عليهم بإعادة تحميض الصورة النمطية التي تكرست عنهم في عيون الأمم الأخرى، لأن منظريهم في جامعات يلْ وجورج تاون وهارفارد وستانفورد، أوْهَمُوهم أنهم هم من يصنع التاريخ ومن يغير الجغرافيا، ومن يعلم الناس كيف يجدون متعتهم في الماكدونالد والبيسبول.. ويُكرهون العالم على قبول أنهم النموذج الأوحد والأخير للبشرية. صدقوا كذبة منظري حقبة القوة والمواجهة، هنتنغتون وفوكوياما، ففضحهم كوفيد 19 المخادع.. العالم ليس واحدًا، إنه متعدد بالفطرة. ولم تكن كتابات المفكرين والمحللين السياسيين الأمريكان أكثر تشاؤمًا كهذه المرحلة..

لا يختلف اثنان في أن أوروبا هي التي التهمت الحربان العالميتان أكثر من خمسين مليون من أبنائها وأبناء مستعمراتها، وشهدت قبل ذاك أكثر من وباء ابتلع الملايين أيضا، هُم يحاولون التعالي على عدد ضحايا الفيروس بالقول “جاء بغتة.. ولم نكن مهيئين له”، ثم شرعوا في تصفية حسابات الدكاكين فيما بينهم، مما جعل الاتحاد الأوروبي يبدو كأفراد عائلة وقعوا في ورطة، يسعى كل واحد منهم لإنقاذ رأسه، والخروج من المأزق بأخف الأضرار. ولعل صورة إيطاليا، شهيدة كورونا، وهي تعد ضحاياها كل يوم، أمام عجز كامل للدولة ومؤسساتها، ودهشة شعبها، هي صورة لبؤس التضامن الأوروبي الذي يخفي كثيرا من الأنانية، إذ صارت أيقونة الحضارة والتاريخ القديم والإبداع الراقي في أوروبا تستجدي الجيران والأصدقاء أمام الارتفاع المهول لعدد الأموات، فلم تجد سوى طواقم بوتين وخبراء شي جين، وأطباء كاسترو..

استيقظ الاتحاد الأوروبي متأخرا، لأنه شعر أن الفيروس سيفعل بالقارة العجوز ما لم يفعله البريكسيت بعد خروج الانجليز، وأنه سيزيد الهوة ويوسع الشرخ، ويهدد البيت الأوروبي بانهيار وشيك، ويعود كل بلد إلى شرنقته الأولى، فتسقط المواطنة الأوروبية، وتستعيد القوميات الأصلية حيويتها، ويقول الآباء المؤسسون وداعًا لماستريخت ولفضاء شينغين.. وليلزم كل واحد كوخَه، ويأكل برتقاله وخوخَه.

منذ البداية ظهر رأيان حول جائحة كورونا، الرأي الأول يقول إنه نتاج مختبرات سرية هدفها تركيع الصين لأمريكا، أو العكس، أمريكا للصين، في ظل الحرب التجارية القائمة بينهما، والتي اشتدت مع مجيء ترامب وتحرشاته المتواصلة بالتنين، أو ربما هي شراكة بين دول لتحييد الصين وروسيا عن مركز الاستقطاب الجديد، وتُذكر إسرائيل كطرف فاعل في هذه المعادلة، وبعضهم يرى أنها تهدف لتأديب الاتحاد الأوروبي الذي لم يحسن إدارة شؤونه، فهو يعيش حالة تيهان مستمر أو إرباك سياسي، مرة يتهيأ له أنه مستقل تماما، ومرة يقترب من روسيا، ومرات يميل إلى أمريكا، وأحيانا إلى الصين، أو يبدي مرونة مع إيران.. وهذا ما يرفضه ترامب جملة وتفصيلا، فعلى الأوروبيين أن يحفظوا وديعة مارشال، رأسمال العلاقات التاريخية بين العالمين الجديد والقديم.

 عشرات التقارير المنسوبة للمخابرات الأمريكية أو الأجهزة المنتحلة، أو غيرها، تشير إلى أن الأمر دُبر بليل، وأن كورونا المستجد حلقة في حرب طويلة، لا يُعرف إن كان الأمر مبيتا، أو حدث في ووهان ما حدث في تشيرنوبيل، من فقدان للسيطرة على انفلات فيروسي غير محسوب، أو أنه، كما جاء في الرواية الصينية، جاء بفعل تسريب من الجيش الأمريكي على الأراضي الصينية، وليس هناك من يؤكد أو ينفي، لأن الفأس وقعت في الرأس.

وهناك من يقول إن حكاية الوباء وردت في كتب فكرية وروايات أو أفلام الخيال العلمي وو.. تتحدث عن فيروس مبتكر سيفتك بشعوب العالم، وأنه سينطلق من مدينة ووهان الصينية، على غرار رواية “عيون في الظلام The Eyes of Darkness التي صدرت في 1981 للكاتب الأمريكي دين كونتز Dean Koontz والتي يتحدث فيها بصريح الكلمة عن فيروس فتاك يظهر في ووهان أي قبل أربعين عاما. وغيرها من الكتابات التي عززت نظرية المؤامرة، ويذهبون إلى أن طبيبًا أمريكيا اسمه تشارلز ليبيرCharles LIEBER ، يدير دائرة البيولوجيا والكيمياء في جامعة هارفارد، هو من قام بتصنيع الفيروس وابتاعته الصين منه، واستخدمته بالصورة التي أدخلت العالم في كابوس مرعب. وتذكر المصادر أنه تم القبض على ليبير.. والأيام وحدها ستكشف مدى صحة المعلومة. ويسعى آخرون إلى إلصاق التهمة ببيل غيتس Bill Gates لأنه تحدث منذ سنوات عن إمكانية ظهور فيروسات قاتلة في المستقبل.. وربما هذا ما يدفع الخبراء إلى التساؤل: لماذا يصل الفيروس إلى كل بقاع العالم، وينتشر في القارات الست، ولا يدخل العاصمة بيجين حيث قيادة الصين السياسية ومدينة شنغهاي حيث القيادة الاقتصادية، وهما قريبتان من ووهان؟ وكيف نجحت الصين في السيطرة على انتشار الوباء في أسابيع قليلة بينما فشلت دول قوية، منها أمريكا.. هذا كلام تروج له دوائر في الغرب في محاولة لتبرير العجز التام والاستسلام للوباء، وهي في النهاية قراءات تتم تحت طائلة نظرية المؤامرة. وهناك من يقول إن تقريرا لمجموعة علماء أصدروه في عام 1973 بأستراليا حذروا من أن العالم سيواجه كارثة بيولوجية وبيئية في 2020 بسبب التلوث والاحتباس الحراري.. وأنها أشبه بالقيامة أو نهاية العالم. وتذهب بعض القراءات المغرضة إلى أن الغرب أراد أن يتخلص من العجزة وكبار السن، ممن يتجاوزن العقد السابع، فأرسل عليهم الفيروس الذي يخلصهم منهم دون أدنى كلفة.. وهي قراءات فاقدة لأية قيمة إنسانية، وهي لا تختلف عن نظرية الموت الرحيم..

أما الرأي الثاني فيرى أن ظهور جائحة كورونا، هو لعنة حلت بالبشر، لأنهم حادوا عن الطريق القويم وخالفوا الشرائع والنواميس، وأنهم يغالبون خالقهم في خلقه، وأنها بمثابة امتحان رباني للبشرية التي خانت وعدَ الله.. لهذا نشر كثير من الناس مقولات أو تنبؤات على ألسنة أسماء نكرات في التراث الإنساني، إذا استثني نوستراداموس الذي فُسرت بعض رباعياته الشهيرة على أنها تتنبأ بالفيروس القادم من الصين، وأكثرها سوادًا تلك التي تتنبأ بمستقبل فرنسا غير المحمود العواقب، ويذهب المتنبئ الفرنسي إلى أن الاقتصاد العالمي سينهار كليا. هناك، مثلا، من أخرج كتابا تراثيا عنوانه “دعائم الدهور” أو عظائم الدهور لمؤلف اسمه أبو علي الدبيزي (..) ونسب إليه أنه ذكر في أرجوزة له أن وباءً قاتلا يأتي من الصين وسببه الخفاش، وسيصيب كثيرا من الأقوام وخاصة الطليان.. ويُرجع مروجو هذا المخطوط إلى أنه يعود للعام 565 للهجرة، أي قبل أحد عشر قرنًا.. وهذا دليل على الكذب والتلفيق، علمًا أن مخطوط الدبيزي مذكور في المراجع التراثية ولكن لا أثر له.. وكثيرة هي الحكايات الصفراء التي يحفل بها عالم الأنترنيت المثقل بالمغالطات والأكاذيب والخرافات..

كتب المفكر الفرنسي المولود بالجزائر جاك أتالي مقالا حول كورونا وتأثيره على العالم الذي وجد نفسه بين مطرقة الفيروس وسندان الانهيار الاقتصادي، ولا خيار إلا البحث عن حلول للأزمتين معًا، وإلا فلا يمكن التنبؤ بما سيكون. يقول أتالي إن الوباء العظيم، أو ما أطلق عليه الموت الأسود، الذي أتى على ثلث سكان أوروبا في القرن الرابع عشر دفع الإنسان إلى الاحتماء بالكنيسة، وأن وباء القرن الثامن عشر جعل الناس يلجؤون إلى قوة الدولة، ومع كوفيد 19 وجد الناس ملاذهم الأخير في المشافي والمصحات.. وبالتالي فإن كل وباء يحيل الإنسان على قوة تحميه، إما رجل دين أو شرطي أو طبيب. هو بحاجة إلى خيط يتعلق به، لا خيار له. وحتى نكون أكثر إنصافا، فإن مواجهة الوباء لا يمكن أن تتم إلا بالدواء والدعاء.. والحجر في البيوت، أي بفعالية المختبرات وبقوة وصدق الإيمان.

ولعل الشيء الذي أكد أن الناس يتعلقون بأدنى قشة عندما يجدون أنفسهم على مسافة شبر من القبر هو العودة إلى الله وكتبه السماوية، فقد شاهد العالم الإيطاليين وهم يتضرعون إلى الله، مؤمنين أو ملحدين، لأنهم جربوا كل شيء، ولا حل إلا في معجزة.. وفي مشاهد أخرى، لوحظ خروج بعض الوُعاظ من دعاة الكنيسة الأنجليكانية في شوارع نيويورك وهم يدعون الناس إلى التوبة عن الانحراف، فما يجري هو إرهاصات القيامة.. وهو المشهد الذي يتكرر في شوارع المدن الكبرى، المتضررة من الوباء، روما، بروكسل، طنجة.. وهي تتضرع إلى الله ليصرف البلاء ويبعد الأذى.. وفي عديد المنابر، يفسرون غلق دور العبادة من مساجد وبيَع وكنائس على أنهُ دليلٌ على غضب من الله. الله يُمهلُ خلقهُ ليتوبوا عن الضلال الذي هم فيه ويعودون إلى رشدهم.

وخصصت مجلة “نيوزويك” الأمريكية منذ أسابيع مقالا أشارت فيه إلى أن النبي محمد، عليه الصلاة والسلام، هو أول من اقترح الحجر الصحي إذا ما انتشر الطاعون، بقوله “إذا سمعتم بالطاعون بأرض فلا تدخلوها، وإذا وقع بأرض وأنتم بها فلا تخرجوا منها”. وتساءلت المجلة إن كانت قوة الصلاة فعلاً قادرة على هزيمة الوباء.

لم يصدق الناس أن أوروبا التي أنجبت الثورة الصناعية وتفوقت في التكنولوجيا وبناء مجتمعات متحضرة، تعجز ـ كأي بلد تحت محدود النمو ـ عن مواجهة الوباء، وكيف تفشل أنظمتها الصحية عن التكفل بالأمر، فقد سمع الناس نداءات الإستغاثة تطلع من روما ومدريد ولندن وأمستردام.. مثلما سمعوها منذ سنوات من مونروفيا ولاغوس وكوناكري وفريتاون بعد تفشي وباء إيبولا. أمام الوباء، لا فرق بين من يصنف كقوة عظمى ومن ينتسب لعالم تحت الفقر. والأمر المستهجن في ظل هذه الجائحة، عندما يجرؤ أطباء فرنسيون على اقتراح إجراء تجارب للقاح كوفيد 19 على الأفارقة للتأكد من فعاليته، وهو ما اعتُبر موقفا عنصريا منبوذًا.. بل يؤكد وجود نزعة كولونيالية لدى الذين يفكرون بهذا المنطق الأخرق، وكأن الأفارقة فئران تجارب.

لم يتفق العلماء والساسة في الوصول إلى أجوبة نهائية مقنعة بشأن هذا الوباء الذي يحصد الآلاف يوميا، هل هو بفعل فاعل، امتحان إلهي، أم بفعل فاعل، قوة استخبارية تسعى لتركيع أخرى؟ هل تقف وراءه جهة تهدف لتحقيق ضربة تجارية تاريخية؟ هل يمكن الوصول إلى لقاح يقي البشر فيروس الشر؟ إلى أي حد يمكن للعالم أن يصمد أمام إكراهات الحجر وماذا عن قدرة الدول على تأمين القوت اليومي لمليارات الأفواه في ظل الركود الاقتصادي وموت الإنتاج؟ وأسئلة أخرى، من قبيل كم حكومة ستصمد إذا استمر الوضع على ما هو عليه؟ هل سيبقى النظام الدولي بتركيبته الحالية أم ستعاد هيكلته ليس على أساس القوة، ولكن على أساس الحفاظ على وحدة الكوكب وانسجام شعوبه؟ وهل سيصدق الناس مستقبلا القيم التي تبشر بها الأنظمة القائمة؟ وكأننا على مشارف القيامة أو أضحى عالمُنا منتهي الصلاحية. وبالتالي فالذي لا يختلف حوله اثنان أو ثلاثة، هو أن العالم سيخرج مُنهكا من هذه الأزمة، منهكٌ صحيًا وسياسيًا واجتماعيًا واقتصاديًا ونفسيًا، سيكون عالمًا بالغ الهشاسة، يتنفسُ ببطء، وكأنه أدرك شيخوخته قبل الأوان.

ما يمكن استخلاصه أن كل الأجوبة تبقى مجرد تخمينات وافتراضات، ولكن المؤكد أن مقاومات شرسة ستحدث بعد أن تحط الحرب على الوباء أوزارها. مقاومة للحفاظ على الإرث التاريخي للأنظمة الغربية والشرقية وما بينهما على السواء، أي تنقذ ما يمكن إنقاذه، ولو تشهد المرحلة سقوط حكومات، وتزول من شاشة الرادار السياسي مئات الوجوه التي أخفقت في إدارة الأزمة، ومع هذا يكون السؤال الأكبر في الغرب خاصة هو أين مكانة التضامن الإنساني في أجندة الحوكمة المستقبلية؟ وهل يمكن ترميم المشاعر التي ترك فيها الوباء ندوبًا عميقة؟ وهل ستُبقي بعض الدول على نمط المجتمعات المؤسسة على الفرد دون المجموعة؟ وهل سيتعزز موقع أنظمة الشرق، بقيادة الصين وروسيا، كونها أشعرت مواطنيها، وجزءًا من العالم، أنها تمتلك آليات الدولة المانحة المجموعة أولوية على الفرد الواحد، كون المواطن في الغرب يتبع الشركة التي تؤمن له قوت عياله، وما انتماؤه للدولة إلا مجرد حق في المواطنة، بينما في الشرق، ينبع الولاء للدولة من تأمينها الشروط الضرورية للعيش بين الجماعة والإفادة من ريع الدولة.. وهناك دول تأخذ بالنظامين، لذا بدت درجة الاحتجاج أقل ضررا، وأوفر أمانا. بلا شك، سيبحث العالم عن أنظمة أكثر مواءمة للحق في الحياة، وربما تثور الشعوب على الحروب التي لا رابح فيها سوى كارتلات السلاح التي يدير أصحابها دفات الحكم، في هذا البلد وذاك، كما يريدون.. ويرتفع منسوب الضغط على الأمم المتحدة لتُنهي بؤر الصراع والتوتر المتجدد في نقاط من العالم، كالشرق الأوسط، وربما يعود الناس إلى أفكار الأنبياء والفلاسفة والساسة الملهمين أمثال النبي محمد، وكونفوشيوس والفردوسي وماركس ولينكولن وغاندي ومانديلا ولي كوان ومهاتير.. ليعيدوا صياغة عالم جديد يتخلص فيه من فيروسات الأنانية والكراهية والخوف.

العالم بعد كورونا، وهي حتميّة تاريخية فرضها عارضٌ صحي عميق، سيعيد صياغة المفاهيم والقيم التي دمرها فيروس الأنانية، فيعيد بناء منظومة قيم جديدة تلامس كل ما هو سياسي واجتماعي واقتصادي ونفسي، للحفاظ على الجنس البشري، وأن يكون التضامن بين الأمم هو عنوان المستقبل، وأن يرتكز الاهتمام على ضرورة حماية الكوكب، وتنظيف رئتيه من إفرازات مصانع الموت التي تسبب فيها الإنسان، وتحريره من الإحتباس الحراري بفعل التغير المناخي المقلق وإفراغه من التلوث القاتل، وجعل بيئة الأرض أكثر قابلية للحياة. إن من حتمية الأشياء أن تخصص أغلفة مالية كبرى لتأمين البشر من الأوبئة والأمراض المستعصية. بلا شك، سيمتلك العالم الجرأة للبحث في مسببات المجاعة والتطرف والإرهاب والهجرة السرية والإتجار بالبشر والمخدرات وحماية التراث الثقافي الانساني، وأن يتجاوز العالم مفاهيم الحوار بين الثقافات والحضارات والأديان والحق في الاختلاف إلى الحوار من أجل حماية الإنسان وكوكبه. وسيرتفع خطابٌ نبذ ثقافة العنف والكراهية في مختلف أشكال التعبير والإبداع، وستتعزز مكانة القيم الروحية في مختلف المجتمعات، وتُعلن الحربُ على الحروب والنزاعات المسلحة التي تستنزف موارد الشعوب الفقيرة التي لا تملك نمط عيش ثابت، ويأخذ التكافل بين البلدان مكانا متقدما في العلاقات الدولية، ويُعطى مفهوم الاقتصاد التشاركي قيمة أكبر مستقبلا، وتبرز البدائل الجديدة في الطاقة والاقتصاديات الناعمة، فضلا عن تطوير منظومات البحث العلمي والتكنولوجي لأجل تفكيك أسئلة ما استعصي على الطب والتصدي للأوبئة والأمراض المزمنة لبلوغ سقف مقبول من راحة الإنسان.. وبذلك تأخذ قيم السعادة والتعاون والمبادرة مكان البؤس والخوف والأنانية..

قد تُستبق هذه التصورات بمراحل انتقالية ببروز أجيال حاملة لهذه الأفكار والقناعات، أو ما يمكن تسميته أجيال ما بعد كورونا. قد تكون مجرد تهويمات أو تهيؤات لقيم مُثلى، أو أن فيها شيئا من جمهورية أفلاطون ومدينة الفارابي الفاضلة، لكن التاريخ علمنا أنه بعد كل وباء يلبس العالم رداءً مختلفًا، يأنس فيه إلى مجتمع آمن.. وإذا اختزلنا الصورة، فيمكن القول إن العالم سينتقل من العولمة السالبة لحق الإنسان في أمنه وغذائه، إلى الأنسنة العادلة التي من شأنها أن تعيد العالم إلى جوهر العيش المشترك والتعايش الحتمي، بعيدا عن حسابات الدين واللغة والعرق والإيديولوجيا. إن فك شفرة المستقبل تكمن في بناء العالم/ العائلة.

الكاتب

عز الدين ميهوبي أديب وكاتب جزائري وزير الثقافة سابقا

المصدر : 5stass

   ( الخميس 2020/04/16 SyriaNow) 

German Minister Commits Suicide After ‘Virus Crisis Worries’

By Euractiv

Global Research, March 31, 2020

Euractiv 30 March 2020

Thomas Schaefer, the finance minister of Germany’s Hesse state, has committed suicide apparently after becoming “deeply worried” over how to cope with the economic fallout from the coronavirus, state premier Volker Bouffier said Sunday (29 March).

Schaefer, 54, was found dead near a railway track on Saturday. The Wiesbaden prosecution’s office said they believe he died by suicide.

“We are in shock, we are in disbelief and above all we are immensely sad,” Bouffier said in a recorded statement.

Hesse is home to Germany’s financial capital Frankfurt, where major lenders like Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank have their headquarters. The European Central Bank is also located in Frankfurt.

A visibly shaken Bouffier recalled that Schaefer, who was Hesse’s finance chief for 10 years, had been working “day and night” to help companies and workers deal with the economic impact of the pandemic.

“Today we have to assume that he was deeply worried,” said Bouffier, a close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“It’s precisely during this difficult time that we would have needed someone like him,” he added.

Popular and well-respected, Schaefer had long been touted as a possible successor to Bouffier.

Like Bouffier, Schaefer belonged to Merkel’s centre-right CDU party.

He leaves behind a wife and two children.

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Featured image: An undated handout photo made available by the Ministry of Finance of German state of Hesse shows Finance Minister Thomas Schaefer. According to the Wiesbaden public prosecutor’s office, the Minister of Finance of Hesse, Thomas Schäfer, was found dead on 28 March 2020. [EPA-EFE/SABRINA FEIGE]The original source of this article is EuractivCopyright © EuractivEuractiv, 2020

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بقلم د. بثينة شعبان

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يقول المثل العربي: «ما أكثر العِبَر وما اقلّ الاعتبار»؛ ذلك لأن الاعتبار يعني التفكّر في العبر وفهم المغزى الحقيقي لها والتصرف على أساس الدروس المستقاة منها، ونحن نجد اليوم عبراً لا تحصى في التجربة الإنسانية بكل أشكالها وتجلّياتها ولكن الاستفادة من هذه العبر محدودة أحياناً وتكاد تكون معدومة أحياناً أخرى.

 والمثال الأكبر والأهم والذي يشغل بال البشرية اليوم هو فيروس كورونا الذي صدف أن بدأ انتشاره في جمهورية الصين الشعبية وظنّ الآخرون أنهم في منأى عن هذا الخطر نتيجة البعد الجغرافي واختلاف العرق وأخذوا يطلقون نظريات لا علاقة لها بالعبر التي يجب أن تكون مستمدة من هذه الحال إلى أن بدأ بالانتشار في كلّ أنحاء المعمورة تقريباً وإن يكن بدرجات متفاوتة وبتفاوت أكبر في الاستعداد والتصدّي له.

والعبرة الأولى التي يجب أن يتعلمها الإنسان من هذه الكارثة الكونية هي أننا جميعاً مؤتمنون على سلامة هذا الكون وأن البشرية في قارب واحد وأن ما يؤذي أهلنا في الصين سيلحق الأذى بنا عاجلاً أو آجلاً، ولذلك علينا أن نعمل وفق الآية الكريمة «وتعاونوا على البرّ والتقوى ولا تعاونوا على الإثم والعدوان». ولكنّ القوى التي تعتبر نفسها فوق كلّ قانون وفوق الجنس البشري بدرجة، مع أنها منه، مازالت سائرة في الطريق الذي أوصل الجميع إلى هذه الحال التي لا يحسد عليها أحد، وما زالت تتبنى العقوبات والحظر والإرهاب والحرب والمنع والترهيب أسلوباً للتعامل مع الدول والمجتمعات البشرية خارج إطار حدودها ولم تفهم إلى حدّ الآن أن ارتدادات عقوباتها تصل إليها بطريقة أو بأخرى.
وعلى سبيل المثال لا الحصر فقد استخدمت هذه الدول على مدى سنوات الإعلام المضلّل لتشويه صور الآخرين وإرسال أنباء مزيفة عمّا يجري على أرضهم وإقناع العالم أن هؤلاء يستحقون القدر الذي حلّ بهم والعقوبات التي تفرضها القوى الغربية أو المنظمات الدولية المؤتمرة بأمر هذه القوى أصلاً. واليوم وفي محاولة التصدي لفايروس كورونا نجد أن هذه الدول الغربية ذاتها وحكامها هم ضحايا إعلامهم المضلّل، الذي أضلّ بهم الطريق حتى عن قدراتهم وإمكاناتهم لمواجهة مثل هذه الكارثة التي تنتشر أذرعها الأخطبوطية إلى الجميع اليوم؛ ففي الوقت الذي كان يعتقد معظم الناس في هذه الدول وربما حكامها أيضاً وفي الدول التي مازالت تدور في فلكها بأنها تمتلك نظاماً ومؤسسات صحية وأساليب عمل قادرة على مواجهة أي خطر يعترض أسلوب حياتها، فوجئ الجميع بأن هذا التصوّر هو نوع من الوهم الذي لا يحاكيه الواقع أبداً وأن المؤسسات الصحية والقدرات الاحتياطية الموجودة لديها لمواجهة كارثة ما هي إلا قدرات ضعيفة ولا يمكن لها مواجهة هذه الكارثة التي تحلّ بالبلاد.

وفي الوقت الذي كان هذا الإعلام ذاته يبثّ الشعور بالتفوّق على الشرق والعالم برمّته اضطر بعد أن عايش أداء الصين المتميّز في التصدّي لهذا الوباء أن يعترف أن الصين مثال يحتذى وأن خير ما يمكن أن يقوم به أي بلد هو أن يستفيد من تجربة الصين في مواجهة هذا الوباء، ولحسن الحظ فإنّ الصين تصرفت بكِبَر وبدأت بإرسال مساعداتها وعرض الإفادة من خبرتها وأسلوب معالجتها لكل الراغبين في الاستفادة منها.

ولكنّ الغريب في الأمر هو أنه وبالرغم من أن العبرة من هذه الكارثة البشرية واضحة للعيان فإن الولايات المتحدة مازالت منشغلة بفرض عقوبات على إيران وروسيا وسورية، ومازال معاون وزير خارجيتها يستقبل الرأس المدبّر لإرهابيي الخوذ البيضاء، ومازال مسؤولوها يتحدثون بلغة تجافي الأدب والمنطق والواقع أيضاً عن «الفيروس الصيني» إمعاناً منهم في محاولة تشويه صورة الصين التي برهنت للعالم برمته أن أنظمتها التقنية والسياسية والتنظيمية وأخلاقها المجتمعية جديرة بالفعل لأن تكون أنموذجاً للعالم برمته. فقد دعت الصين إلى رفع العقوبات عن إيران من أجل مساعدتها لمكافحة فايروس كورونا وهذا أول درس يجب أن يكون قد توصل إليه الجميع من هذه الكارثة. وهذا هو الدرس المنطقي والإنساني والمعقول لمصلحة البشرية إذا كنا نؤمن فعلاً، أو توصلنا إلى الإيمان، بأن البشرية في قارب واحد وأن ما يصيب البعض يصيب الكل في النهاية.

في هذه الحال كما في أحوال شتّى وعلى مدى عقود برهنت النخب الرأسمالية الحاكمة في الغرب أنها تصمُّ آذانها وتغمض عينيها عن واقع وصل إلى عقر دارها، وعن ناقوس خطر يكاد صوته يصمّ سمع البشرية وذلك في محاولة ومكابرة منها لتبقي هيمنتها على العالم رغم ترهل أدوات قيادتها ورغم ظهور قيادات أكثر قدرة وحكمة على قيادة السفينة البشرية التي ننتمي لها جميعاً. ولكنّ هذه المكابرة، التي يعتبر الإعلام المضلّل أحد أهم أدواتها، لن تجدي نفعاً أبداً بعد اليوم ولا حتى على المدى القصير لأنّ الضرر وصل إلى الجميع ولابدّ لهم من مواجهته وبعد ذلك التعّرف إلى أسبابه ومحاولة معالجتها. مازالت الدول الغربية في سباق من أجل مصادر الثروة وطباعة الدولار والسيطرة الكاملة على منابع النفط في العالم ولا تريد أن ترى أن مقوّمات القوة لا تعتمد على الثروة المادية وحدها بل تعتمد على العلم والمعرفة والأخلاق أيضاً؛ «وإنما الأمم الأخلاق ما بقيت، فإن هم ذهبت أخلاقهم ذهبوا». وهذا ليس شعاراً وليس ترفاً وإنما حقيقة واقعة نلمسها عبر التاريخ.

اليوم يكتشف مواطنو الدول الغربية أن الشعور بالقوة والتقدّم والحضارة لا يرتكز على حرص عميق على الإنسان بل يرتكز على الثروة المادية فقط التي تمتلكها نسبة ضئيلة جداً من مواطني هذه الدول.

السؤال اليوم:

هل سيسجل التاريخ أن الحرب الكونية لمكافحة كورونا كانت أهم من الحرب العالمية الثانية في فرز القوى المؤهلة لقيادة العالم في المستقبل؟ وهل سيتمخّض العمل ضد هذا الفايروس عن قيم سياسية واجتماعية ونظم مختلفة تماماً عمّا عهدناه قبل كورونا؟ وهل سيصبح من الصعب بعد كورونا أن يلعب الإعلام المضلّل لعبته لأن الناس قد اكتشفت من خلال خطر الموت حقيقة الأمور ولا يمكن لأي قوة دعائية أن تعلّم الإنسان أكثر مما تعلمه من التهديد المباشر لحياته ووجوده؟

هل سيتذكر العالم تجربة كورونا بعد الانتهاء منها بأنها كانت الحدّ الفاصل الذي سقط بعده النظام الرأسمالي في الامتحان الأهم، وبرهن النظام الاشتراكي أنه الأجدر والأقدر على قيادة البشر لما فيه خيرهم وصحتهم وأمنهم وأمانهم؟ لا شك أن الإمبراطوريات لا تسقط بين عشية وضحاها وأنها تستغرق وقتاً ولكنّ هذا المفصل في مواجهة هذه المعضلة الصحية يبدو لي مفصلاً دقيقاً ومهماً جداً في تاريخ النظم السياسية وتقييمها وقدرتها على البقاء والمنافسة، وهل هذا يعني أن العالم سيشهد بعد كورونا تغييراً جذرياً في النظم والشرعة الدولية التي نظمت العلاقات بين الدول منذ الحرب العالمية الثانية وحتى اليوم؟

لقد شهد العقد المنصرم الذي نعيش عامه الأخير هذا العام استهتاراً متزايداً من الغرب بالشرعية الدولية وحقوق الإنسان وسيادة الدول، وشهد تجبّراً من الدولة الأقوى عسكرياً، وتدخّلاً من هذه الدولة وحلفائها وعملائها في الشؤون الداخلية للبلدان المستقلة، وطمساً للهويات وحقوق السكان الأصليين لا يمكن وصفه إلا بشريعة الغاب، كما شهد انتهاكاً للبيئة والمناخ والجغرافيا والتاريخ وكلّ ما منحنا الله إياه على هذه الأرض من ثروات طبيعية وتبدّل جميل في الفصول واختلاف في البيئة والجغرافية ما سبب احتباساً حرارياً وفيضانات وجفافاً وكوارث طبيعية لم يشهدها الإنسان من قبل. واليوم علّ هذه الكارثة التي حلّت بالبشرية من خلال فيروس لا يمكن رؤيته بالعين المجرّدة ويشكّل هذا التهديد الخطير للحياة البشرية برمتها؛ علّ هذه الكارثة تدفع البعض إلى التواضع وتخفّف من عوامل تجبّرهم واستكبارهم وجبروتهم على حيوات ومقدرات الآخرين، وعلّها أيضاً تدفع الإنسان للعودة إلى الأصول والاهتمام بالأرض والبيئة والمناخ والحضارة والتاريخ وإعادة الاعتبار للقيم الإيجابية المتوارثة من الآباء والأجداد والمبادئ الدينية الداعية إلى المحبة والسلام بعيداً عن العنصرية والاستكبار.

علّ هذا الفايروس يذكّر البعض بوهن الإنسان وضعفه أمام خطر من فايروس لا يُرى بالعين المجردة ويدفع هذا الإنسان إلى التخلّي عن سياسة العقوبات والاستهداف النابعة من التجبّر والاستكبار والعودة إلى التواضع والتفاهم والتصرّف كأعضاء في أسرة إنسانية واحدة والتي هي في الواقع جسد واحد إذا أصيب منه عضو تداعت له سائر الأعضاء بالحمّى والسهر.

   ( الاثنين 2020/03/23 SyriaNow) 

UAE CROWN PRINCE DISCUSSES COVID-19 PANDEMIC WITH SYRIA’S ASSAD

UAE Crown Prince Discusses COVID-19 Pandemic With Syria’s Assad

South Front

Late on March 27, UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed discussed the coronavirus pandemic with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a rare phone call.

President Bashar al-Assad and Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. Source: the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA)

The two leaders discussed the precautionary measures taken in their countries to face the pandemic, according to the Emirates News Agency (WAM).

“I discussed with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad updates on COVID-19. I assured him of the support of the UAE and its willingness to help the Syrian people. Humanitarian solidarity during trying times supersedes all matters, and Syria and her people will not stand alone,” Bin Zayed wrote on Twitter.

The call is the first between the two leaders since the outbreak of the Syrian war. The UAE suspended its relations with Syria in 2012 just like most Arab countries.

Work to restore relations between Syrian and the UAE began more than a year ago, when Abu Dhabi reopened its embassy in Damascus.

The UAE has registered 405 COVID-19 cases, including two fatalities, thus far. In Syria, only five cases of infection with the novel virus were documented.

Despite being one of the busiest transportation hubs in the Middle East, the UAE has been containing the pandemic with much success. The country’s experience and vast resources will for sure be of help for Syria, that is struggling due to crippling sanctions by the U.S. and EU.

Telephone call between President al-Assad and UAE’s Crown Prince

Created on Friday, 27 March 2020 19:40

DAMASCUS, (ST)_ A telephone call was made today between President Bashar al-Assad and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces.

The Crown Prince of the UAE asserted his country’s support for the people of Syria during the current exceptional circumstances. He cited that Syria will not be alone in these circumstances.

Basma Qaddour

COVID-19: PROPAGANDA AND MANIPULATION

 A

Epidemic outbreak in China

On November 17, 2019, the first case of a person infected with Covid-19 was diagnosed in Hubei Province, China. Initially, doctors tried to communicate the seriousness of the disease, but clashed with regional authorities. It was only when the number of cases increased and the population saw the seriousness of the disease that the central government intervened.

This epidemic is not statistically significant. It kills very few people, although those it does kill experience terrible respiratory distress.

Since ancient times, in Chinese culture, Heaven has given a mandate to the Emperor to govern his subjects [1]. When he withdraws it, a disaster strikes the country: epidemic, earthquake, etc. Although we are in modern times, President XI felt threatened by the mismanagement of the Hubei regional government. The Council of State therefore took matters into its own hands. It forced the population of Hubei’s capital, Wuhan, to remain confined to their homes. Within days, it built hospitals; sent teams to each house to take the temperature of each inhabitant; took all potentially infected people to hospitals for testing; treated those infected with chloroquine phosphate and sent others home; and treated the critically ill with recombinant interferon Alfa 2B (IFNrec) for resuscitation. This vast operation had no public health necessity, other than to prove that the Communist Party still has the heavenly mandate.

Propagation in Iran

The epidemic spreads from China to Iran in mid-February 2020. These two countries have been closely linked since ancient times. They share many common cultural elements. However, the Iranian population is the world’s most lung-weakest. Almost all men over the age of sixty suffer from the after-effects of the US combat gases used by the Iraqi army during the First Gulf War (1980-88), as did the Germans and the French after the First World War. Any traveller to Iran has been struck by the number of serious lung ailments. When air pollution in Tehran increased beyond what they could bear, schools and government offices were closed and half of the families moved to the countryside with their grandparents. This has been happening several times a year for thirty-five years and seems normal. The government and parliament are almost exclusively composed of veterans of the Iraq-Iran war, that is, people who are extremely fragile in relation to Covid-19. So when these groups were infected, many personalities developed the disease.

In view of the US sanctions, no Western bank covers the transport of medicines. Iran found itself unable to treat the infected and care for the sick until the UAE broke the embargo and sent two planes of medical equipment. People who would not suffer in the other country died from the first coughs due to the wounds in their lungs. As usual, the government closed schools. In addition, it deprogrammed several cultural and sporting events, but did not ban pilgrimages. Some areas have closed hotels to prevent the movement of sick people who can no longer find hospitals close to their homes.

Quarantine in Japan

On February 4, 2020, a passenger on the US cruise ship Diamond Princess was diagnosed ill from the Covid-19 and ten passengers were infected. The Japanese Minister of Health, Katsunobu Kato, then imposed a two-week quarantine on the ship in Yokohama in order to prevent the contagion from spreading to his country. In the end, out of the 3,711 people on board, the vast majority of whom are over 70 years old, there would be 7 deaths.

The Diamond Princess is an Israeli-American ship, owned by Micky Arison, brother of Shari Arison, the richest woman in Israel. The Arisons are turning this incident into a public relations operation. The Trump administration and several other countries airlifted their nationals to be quarantined at home. The international press devoted its headlines to this story. Referring to the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918-1919, it asserts that the epidemic could spread throughout the world and potentially threaten the human species with extinction [2]. This apocalyptic hypothesis, not based on any facts, will nevertheless become the word of the Gospel.

We remember that in 1898, William Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, in order to increase the sales of their daily newspapers, published false information in order to deliberately provoke a war between the United States and the Spanish colony of Cuba. This was the beginning of “yellow journalism” (publishing anything to make money). Today it is called “fake news”.

It is not known at this time whether tycoons deliberately spread panic about Covid-19, making this vulgar epidemic seem like the “end of the world”. However, one distortion after another, governments have become involved. Of course, it is no longer a question of selling advertising screens by frightening people, but of dominating populations by exploiting this fear.

WHO intervention

The World Health Organization (WHO), which monitored the entire operation, noted the spread of the disease outside China. On February 11th and 12th, it organized a global forum on research and innovation on the epidemic in Geneva. At the forum, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called in very measured terms for global collaboration [3].

In all of its messages, the WHO stressed : the low demographic impact of the epidemic; the futility of border closures; the ineffectiveness of wearing gloves, masks (except for health care workers) and certain “barrier measures” (for example, the distance of one metre only makes sense with infected people, but not with healthy people); the need to raise the level of hygiene, including hand washing, water disinfection and increased ventilation of confined spaces. Finally, use disposable tissues or, failing that, sneeze into your elbow.

However, the WHO is not a medical organization, but a United Nations agency dealing with health issues. Its officials, even if they are doctors, are also and above all politicians. It cannot therefore denounce the abuses of certain states. Furthermore, since the controversy over the H1N1 epidemic, the WHO must publicly justify all its recommendations. In 2009, it was accused of having let itself be swayed by the interests of big pharmaceutical companies and of having hastily sounded the alarm in a disproportionate manner [4]. This time it used the word “pandemic” only as a last resort, on March 12th, four months later.

At the Franco-Italian summit in Naples on February 27, the French and Italian presidents, Giuseppe Conte and Emmanuel Macron, announced that they would react together to the pandemic.

Instrumentation in Italy and France

Modern propaganda should not be limited to the publication of false news as the United Kingdom did to convince its people to enter the First World War, but should also be used in the same way as Germany did to convince its people to fight in the Second World War. The recipe is always the same: to exert psychological pressure to induce subjects to voluntarily practice acts that they know are useless, but which will lead them to lie [5]. For example, in 2001, it was common knowledge that those accused of hijacking planes on 9/11 were not on the passenger boarding lists. Yet, in shock, most accepted without question the inane accusations made by FBI Director Robert Muller against “19 hijackers”. Or, as is well known, President Hussein’s Iraq had only old Soviet Scud launchers with a range of up to 700 kilometers, but many Americans caulked the windows and doors of their homes to protect themselves from the deadly gases with which the evil dictator was going to attack America. This time, in the case of the Covid-19, it is the voluntary confinement in the home that forces the person who accepts it to convince himself of the veracity of the threat.

Let us remember that never in history has the confinement of a healthy population been used to fight a disease. Above all, let us remember that this epidemic will have no significant consequences in terms of mortality.

In Italy, the first step was to isolate the contaminated regions according to the principle of quarantine, and then to isolate all citizens from each other, which follows a different logic.

According to the President of the Italian Council, Giuseppe Conte, and the French President, Emmanuel Macron, the aim of confining the entire population at home is not to overcome the epidemic, but to spread it out over time so that the sick do not arrive at the same time in hospitals and saturate them. In other words, it is not a medical measure, but an exclusively administrative one. It will not reduce the number of infected people, but will postpone it in time.

In order to convince the Italians and the French of the merits of their decision, Presidents Conte and Macron first enlisted the support of committees of scientific experts. While these committees had no objection to people staying at home, they had no objection to people going about their business. Then Chairs Conte and Macron made it mandatory to have an official form to go for a walk. This document on the letterheads of the respective ministries of the interior is drawn up on honour and is not subject to any checks or sanctions.

The two governments panic their populations by distributing unnecessary instructions disavowed by infectious diseases doctors: they encourage people to wear gloves and masks in all circumstances and to keep at least one metre away from any other human being.

Video from February 25, 2020 censored by the French Ministry of Health

The French “reference daily” (sic) Le Monde, Facebook France and the French Ministry of Health undertook to censor a video of Professor Didier Raoult, one of the world’s most renowned infectiologists, because by announcing the existence of a proven drug in China against Covid-19, he highlighted the lack of a medical basis for the measures taken by President Macron [6].

Presentation by Professor Didier Raoult to the General Assembly of the University Hospitals of Marseille, March 16, 2020.

It is too early to say what real goal the Conte and Macron governments are pursuing. The only thing that is certain is that it is not a question of fighting Covid-19.

Notes:

[1The Mandate of Heaven and The Great Ming Code, Jiang Yonglin, University of Washington Press (2011).

[2Human Extinction and the Pandemic Imaginary, Christos Lynteris, Routledge (2020).

[3] «Nouveau coronavirus : solidarité, collaboration et mesures d’urgence au niveau mondial s’imposent», Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Organisation mondiale de la Santé, 11 février 2020.

[4Pandemics, Science and Policy. H1N1 and the World Health Organization, Sudeepa Abeysinghe, Plagrave Macmillan (2015).

[5] “The techniques of modern military propaganda”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 18 May 2016.

[6] «“La chloroquine guérit le Covid-19” : Didier Raoult, l’infectiologue qui aurait le remède au coronavirus», Étienne Campion, Marianne, 19 mars 2020.


By Thierry Meyssan
Source: Voltaire Network

A Lesson Coronavirus Is About to Teach the World

By Jonathan Cook

Global Research, March 19, 2020

If a disease can teach wisdom beyond our understanding of how precarious and precious life is, the coronavirus has offered two lessons.

The first is that in a globalised world our lives are so intertwined that the idea of viewing ourselves as islands – whether as individuals, communities, nations, or a uniquely privileged species – should be understood as evidence of false consciousness. In truth, we were always bound together, part of a miraculous web of life on our planet and, beyond it, stardust in an unfathomably large and complex universe. 

It is only an arrogance cultivated in us by those narcissists who have risen to power through their own destructive egotism that blinded us to the necessary mix of humility and awe we ought to feel as we watch a drop of rain on a leaf, or a baby struggle to crawl, or the night sky revealed in all its myriad glories away from city lights.

And now, as we start to enter periods of quarantine and self-isolation – as nations, communities and individuals – all that should be so much clearer. It has taken a virus to show us that only together are we at our strongest, most alive and most human.

In being stripped of what we need most by the threat of contagion, we are reminded of how much we have taken community for granted, abused it, hollowed it out. We are afraid because the services we need in times of collective difficulty and trauma have been turned into commodities that require payment, or treated as privileges to which access is now means-tested, rationed or is simply gone. That insecurity is at the root of the current urge to hoard.

When death stalks us it is not bankers we turn to, or corporate executives, or hedge fund managers. Nonetheless, those are the people our societies have best rewarded. They are the people who, if salaries are a measure of value, are the most prized.

But they are not the people we need, as individuals, as societies, as nations. Rather, it will be doctors, nurses, public health workers, care-givers and social workers who will be battling to save lives by risking their own.

During this health crisis we may indeed notice who and what is most important. But will we remember the sacrifice, their value after the virus is no longer headline news? Or will we go back to business as usual – until the next crisis – rewarding the arms manufacturers, the billionaire owners of the media, the fossil fuel company bosses, and the financial-services parasites feeding off other people’s money? 

‘Take it on the chin’ 

The second lesson follows from the first. Despite everything we have been told for four decades or more, western capitalist societies are far from the most efficient ways of organising ourselves. That will be laid bare as the coronavirus crisis deepens.

We are still very much immersed in the ideological universe of Thatcherism and Reaganism, when we were told quite literally: “There is no such thing as society.” How will that political mantra stand the test of the coming weeks and months? How much can we survive as individuals, even in quarantine, rather than as part of communities that care for all of us?Western leaders who champion neoliberalism, as they are required to do nowadays, have two choices to cope with coronavirus – and both will require a great deal of misdirection if we are not to see through their hypocrisy and deceptions.

Our leaders can let us “take it on the chin”, as the British prime minister Boris Johnson has phrased it. In practice, that will mean allowing what is effectively a cull of many of the poor and elderly – one that will relieve governments of the financial burden of underfunded pension schemes and welfare payments.

Such leaders will claim they are powerless to intervene or to ameliorate the crisis. Confronted with the contradictions inherent in their worldview, they will suddenly become fatalists, abandoning their belief in the efficacy and righteousness of the free market. They will say the virus was too contagious to contain, too robust for health services to cope, too lethal to save lives. They will evade all blame for the decades of health cuts and privatisations that made those services inefficient, inadequate, cumbersome and inflexible.

Or, by contrast, politicians will use their spin doctors and allies in the corporate media to obscure the fact that they are quietly and temporarily becoming socialists to deal with the emergency. They will change the welfare rules so that all those in the gig economy they created – employed on zero-hours contracts – do not spread the virus because they cannot afford to self-quarantine or take days’ off sick.

Or most likely our leaders will pursue both options.

Permanent crisis 

If acknowledged at all, the conclusion to be draw from the crisis – that we all matter equally, that we need to look after one another, that we sink or swim together – will be treated as no more than an isolated, fleeting lesson specific to this crisis. Our leaders will refuse to draw more general lessons – ones that might highlight their own culpability – about how sane, humane societies should function all the time. 

In fact, there is nothing unique about the coronavirus crisis. It is simply a heightened version of the less visible crisis we are now permanently mired in. As Britain sinks under floods each winter, as Australia burns each summer, as the southern states of the US are wrecked by hurricanes and its great plains become dustbowls, as the climate emergency becomes ever more tangible, we will learn this truth slowly and painfully. 

Those deeply invested in the current system – and those so brainwashed they cannot see its flaws – will defend it to the bitter end. They will learn nothing from the virus. They will point to authoritarian states and warn that things could be far worse. 

They will point a finger at Iran’s high death toll as confirmation that our profit-driven societies are better, while ignoring the terrible damage we have inflicted on Iran’s health services after years of sabotaging its economy through ferocious sanctions. We left Iran all the more vulnerable to coronavirus  because we wanted to engineer “regime change” – to interfere under the pretence of “humanitarian” concern – as we have sought to do in other countries whose resources we wished to control, from Iraq to Syria and Libya.

Iran will be held responsible for a crisis we willed, that our politicians intended (even if the speed and means came as a surprise), to overthrow its leaders. Iran’s failures will be cited as proof of our superior way of life, as we wail self-righteously about the outrage of a “Russian interference” whose contours we can barely articulate. 

Valuing the common good 

Those who defend our system, even as its internal logic collapses in the face of coronavirus and a climate emergency, will tell us how lucky we are to live in free societies where some – Amazon executives, home delivery services, pharmacies, toilet-paper manufacturers – can still make a quick buck from our panic and fear. As long as someone is exploiting us, as long as someone is growing fat and rich, we will be told the system works – and works better than anything else imaginable. 

But in fact, late-stage capitalist societies like the US and the UK will struggle to claim even the limited successes against coronavirus of authoritarian governments. Is Trump in the US or Johnson in the UK – exemplars of “the market knows best” capitalism – likely to do better than China at containing and dealing with the virus?

This lesson is not about authoritarian versus “free” societies. This is about societies that treasure the common wealth, that value the common good, above private greed and profit, above protecting the privileges of a wealth-elite.

In 2008, after decades of giving the banks what they wanted – free rein to make money by trading in hot air – the western economies all but imploded as an inflated bubble of empty liquidity burst. The banks and financial services were saved only by public bail-outs – tax payers’ money. We were given no choice: the banks, we were told, were “too big to fail”.We bought the banks with our common wealth. But because private wealth is our era’s guiding star, the public were not allowed to own the banks they bought. And once the banks had been bailed out by us – a perverse socialism for the rich – the banks went right back to making private money, enriching a tiny elite until the next crash.

Nowhere to fly to 

The naive may think this was a one-off. But the failings of capitalism are inherent and structural, as the virus is already demonstrating and the climate emergency will drive home with alarming ferocity in the coming years.

The shut-down of borders means the airlines are quickly going bust. They didn’t put money away for a rainy day, of course. They didn’t save, they weren’t prudent. They are in a cut-throat world where they need to compete with rivals, to drive them out of business and make as much money as they can for shareholders.

Now there is nowhere for the airlines to fly to – and they will have no visible means to make money for months on end. Like the banks, they are too big to fail – and like the banks they are demanding public money be spent to tide them over until they can once again rapaciously make profits for their shareholders. There will be many other corporations queuing up behind the airlines. 




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Sooner or later the public will be strong-armed once again to bail out these profit-driven corporations whose only efficiency is the central part they play in fuelling global warming and eradicating life on the planet. The airlines will be resuscitated until the inevitable next crisis arrives – one in which they are key players.

A boot stamping on a face

Capitalism is an efficient system for a tiny elite to make money at a terrible cost, and an increasingly untenable one, to wider society – and only until that system shows itself to be no longer efficient. Then wider society has to pick up the tab, and assist the wealth-elite so the cycle can be begun all over again. Like a boot stamping on a human face – forever, as George Orwell warned long ago.

But it is not just that capitalism is economically self-destructive; it is morally vacant too. Again, we should study the exemplars of neoliberal orthodoxy: the UK and the US.

In Britain, the National Health Service – once the envy of the world – is in terminal decline after decades of privatising and outsourcing its services. Now the same Conservative party that began the cannibalising of the NHS is pleading with businesses such as car makers to address a severe shortage of ventilators, which will soon be needed to assist coronavirus patients.

Once, in an emergency, western governments would have been able to direct resources, both public and private, to save lives. Factories could have been repurposed for the common good. Today, the government behaves as if all it can do is incentivise business, pinning hopes on the profit motive and selfishness driving these firms to enter the ventilator market, or to provide beds, in ways beneficial to public health.

The flaws in this approach should be glaring if we examine how a car manufacturer might respond to the request to adapt its factories to make ventilators.

If it is not persuaded that it can make easy money or if it thinks there are quicker or bigger profits to be made by continuing to make cars at a time when the public is frightened to use public transport, patients will die. If it holds back, waiting to see if there will be enough demand for ventilators to justify adapting its factories, patients will die. If it delays in the hope that ventilator shortages will drive up subsidies from a government fearful of the public backlash, patients will die. And if it makes ventilators on the cheap, to boost profits, without ensuring medical personnel oversee quality control, patients will die.

Survival rates will depend not on the common good, on our rallying to help those in need, on planning for the best outcome, but on the vagaries of the market. And not only on the market, but on faulty, human perceptions of what constitute market forces.

Survival of the fittest 

If this were not bad enough, Trump – in all his inflated vanity – is showing how that profit-motive can be extended from the business world he knows so intimately to the cynical political one he has been gradually mastering. According to reports, behind the scenes he has been chasing after a silver bullet. He is speaking to international pharmaceutical companies to find one close to developing a vaccine so the United States can buy exclusive rights to it.

Reports suggest that he wants to offer the vaccine exclusively to the US public, in what would amount to the ultimate vote-winner in a re-election year. This would be the nadir of the dog-eat-dog philosophy – the survival of the fittest, the market decides worldview – we have been encouraged to worship over the past four decades. It is how people behave when they are denied a wider society to which they are responsible and which is responsible for them.




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But even should Trump eventually deign to let other countries enjoy the benefits of his privatised vaccine, this will not be about helping mankind, about the greater good. It will be about Trump the businessman-president turning a tidy profit for the US on the back of other’s desperation and suffering, as well as marketing himself a political hero on the global stage.

Or, more likely, it will be yet another chance for the US to demonstrate its “humanitarian” credentials, rewarding “good” countries by giving them access to the vaccine, while denying “bad” countries like Russia the right to protect their citizens.

Obscenely stunted worldviewIt will be a perfect illustration on the global stage – and in bold technicolour – of how the American way of marketing health works. This is what happens when health is treated not as a public good but as a commodity to be bought, as a privilege to incentivise the workforce, as a measure of who is successful and who is unsuccessful.

The US, by far the richest country on the planet, has a dysfunctional health care system not because it cannot afford a good one, but because its political worldview is so obscenely stunted by the worship of wealth that it refuses to acknowledge the communal good, to respect the common wealth of a healthy society.

The US health system is by far the most expensive in the world, but also the most inefficient. The vast bulk of “health spending” does not contribute to healing the sick but enriches a health industry of pharmaceutical corporations and health insurance companies.

Analysts describe a third of all US health spending – $765 billion a year – as “wasted”. But “waste” is a euphemism. In fact, it is money stuffed into the pockets of corporations calling themselves the health industry as they defraud the common wealth of US citizens. And the fraudulence is all the greater because despite this enormous expenditure more than one in 10 US citizens has no meaningful health cover.

As never before, coronavirus will bring into focus the depraved inefficiency of this system – the model of profit-driven health care, of market forces that look out for the short-term interests of business, not the long-term interests of us all.

There are alternatives. Right now, Americans are being offered a choice between a democratic socialist, Bernie Sanders, who champions health care as a right because it is a common good, and a Democratic party boss, Joe Biden, who champions the business lobbies he depends on for funding and his political success. One is being marginalised and vilified as a threat to the American way of life by a handful of corporations that own the US media, while the other is being propelled towards the Democratic nomination by those same corporations.

Coronavirus has an important, urgent lesson to teach us. The question is: are we ready yet to listen?

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This essay first appeared on the author’s blog site, Jonathan Cook’s 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.

Featured image is from Health.milThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Jonathan Cook, Global Research, 2020

Anger in Germany at Report Trump Seeking Exclusive Coronavirus Vaccine Deal

Anger in Germany at Report Trump Seeking Exclusive Coronavirus Vaccine Deal

By Staff, Agencies

German ministers have reacted angrily following reports US President Donald Trump offered a German medical company “large sums of money” for exclusive rights to a Covid-19 vaccine.

“Germany is not for sale,” economy minister Peter Altmaier told broadcaster ARD, reacting to a front page report in Welt am Sonntag newspaper headlined “Trump vs Berlin”.

The newspaper reported Trump offered $1bn to Tübingen-based biopharmaceutical company CureVac to secure the vaccine “only for the United States”.

The German government was reportedly offering its own financial incentives for the vaccine to stay in the country.

The report prompted fury in Berlin. “German researchers are taking a leading role in developing medication and vaccines as part of global cooperation networks,” foreign minister Heiko Maas told the Funke Mediengruppe research network. “We cannot allow a situation where others want to exclusively acquire the results of their research,” said Maas, of the center-left SPD.

“International co-operation is important now, not national self-interest,” said Erwin Ruddel, a conservative lawmaker on the German parliament’s health committee.

Christian Lindner, leader of the liberal FDP party, accused Trump of electioneering, saying: “Obviously Trump will use any means available in an election campaign.”

The German health minister, Jens Spahn, said a takeover of CureVac by the Trump administration was “off the table”. CureVac would only develop vaccine “for the whole world”, Spahn said, “not for individual countries”.

Worldwide infections have grown to more than more than 86,000, according to the Johns Hopkins university tracker, while cases inside China stood at 80,860 as of Monday. Deaths outside China have risen to more than 3,241, while deaths in mainland China stand at 3,208 as of Monday.

At a news conference on Sunday, interior minister Horst Seehofer was asked to confirm the attempts to court the German company. “I can only say that I have heard several times today from government officials today that this is the case, and we will be discussing it in the crisis committee tomorrow,” he said.

A US official told AFP on Sunday that the report was “wildly overplayed”. “The US government has spoken with many [more than 25] companies that claim they can help with a vaccine. Most of these companies already received seed funding from US investors.”

The official also denied the US was seeking to keep any potential vaccine for itself. “We will continue to talk to any company that claims to be able to help. And any solution found would be shared with the world,” the official said.

CureVac, founded in 2000, is based in the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg, and has other sites in Frankfurt and Boston.

The firm markets itself as specializing in “development of treatments against cancer, antibody-based therapies, treatment of rare illnesses and prophylactic vaccines”.

The lab is working in tandem with the Paul-Ehrlich Institute, linked to the German health ministry.

Last week, the firm mysteriously announced that CureVac CEO Daniel Menichella had been replaced by Ingmar Hoerr, just weeks after Menichella met Trump, his vice-president Mike Pence and representatives of pharma companies in Washington.

CureVac quoted Menichella on its website as saying shortly after the visit: “We are very confident that we will be able to develop a potent vaccine candidate within a few months.”

On Sunday, CureVac investors said they would not sell the vaccine to a single state.

“If we are successful in developing an effective vaccine, then it should help and protect people across the world,” said Dietmar Hopp, head of principle investor dievini Hopp BioTech holding, in a statement.

Altmaier welcomed the statement, saying it was a “fantastic decision”.

He also pointed out the government had the power to scrutinise foreign takeovers, saying: “Where important infrastructure and national and European interests are concerned, we will take action if we have to.”

Looking at the Military Aspects of Biological Warfare

THE SAKER • MARCH 14, 2020

The 20th century has seen a seemingly countless number of military conflicts, ranging from small local clashes, to at least two world wars. The same 20th century saw a huge efforts by major powers to develop three types of so-called “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD): Atomic, Bacteriological and Chemical (ABC). All of these WMD were initially seen as very effective and very frightening, yet there were only used in a few, limited occasions.

Ask yourself, why is that?

The reason is simple: while the US could nuke Japanese cities with impunity in 1945, and while the Anglo powers developed at least THREE plans to wage a total war against the Soviet Union (details in this article), they never dared to implement them.

Again, ask yourself, why is that?

I am a total medical ignoramus, and I have nothing to say about the nature of SARS-CoV-2, I am a military analyst and one of my two areas of specialization (besides planning nuclear forces) was operational art, that is the level of military operations above tactical, but under strategic: you can think of it as what connects the tactical means to the strategic goals. You can also think of it as the level at which combined arms (above division level) formations are brought together in something similar to an army corps. This is exactly the level at which the used of WMD would be the most likely to happen. Yet, if you look at the typical Soviet/Russian or US manuals discussing operational art you will notice that it is always assumed that the other side will initiate the use of WMD (even in secret documents).

Again, ask yourself, why is that? Is it only a type of political correctness showing that “we are the good guys” and “they are truly evil”? To some degree, yes, but not only.

I submit that all three cases have the same explanation: WMD are very tricky to use, and when used, they can result in absolutely truly cataclysmic political consequences. Take for example the (completely fake) reports about the Syrian government using chemical weapons against the Takfiris: they made no sense to any military analyst simply because 1) they brought no advantage to Damascus and 2) everybody knew that as soon as this latest “new Hitler” would be accused of using chemical munitions, the Empire would seize this pretext to strike at Syria.

True, the Takfiris *DID* develop chemical weapons, apparently, they did try to use them here and there, with no special result to show for, and recently they seem to have poisoned themselves (according to Russian reports). Besides, the very real stocks of Takfiri bioweapons were used as proof of Syrian government attacks (how insanely stupid is that?). So for these Takfiri nutcases, there are no real political consequences. As for their public image, following many hours of video-taped atrocities, you can be sure that they don’t care one bit what the “kafirs” and other “crusaders” think…

Same deal for Saddam Hussein who, aided by the “international community” (mostly the Empire, the USSR and France), did use chemicals against his own population and against Iran, but since he was “our son of a bitch” he was under ZERO risk of retaliation. But when the Empire turned on him, he did not dare to use his WMD against anybody.

Why?

Because the US-led forces would not be stopped by a chemical attack. And because any such attack would give the US and the rest of the anti-Iraqi coalition a “license” to use whatever weapon or technology against Iraq they wanted, including tactical nukes.

The truth is that there are very few military scenarios in which the use of WMD makes sense, this is true for all three of them, but this is especially true for biowarfare which is the hardest of them to control.

Here I have to, again, remind everybody that war is never an end by itself, but only a means towards an end, and that end is always POLITICAL. Going in just to kill people and even bombing a country back to the stone age does NOT qualify as a political goal. If you prefer, the political goal is what ought to be defined as “victory”. So, again, “destroying all enemy ships” or “pulling off a decapitating anti-leadership strike” are NOT political goals.

There are several countries out there which are capable of developing bioweapons. In fact, most biolabs could manufacture a simple bioweapon using commonly found agents. But labs don’t get to decide to engage such weapons. That decision is clearly one which can only be taken at the national command center level and only following a compelling argument by military and scientific specialists. Finally, no responsible government would ever order the use of WMD if it felt that there is a risk of retaliation, both military or political.

Finally, in the case of SARS-CoV-2 and of all the other epidemics/pandemics we see situation where the infection is not confined to the original infection site but goes global.

As far as I know, and please correct me if I am wrong, but I know if no virus which has been successfully deployed against a specific target and then remained contained to that target. In other words, the risk of “collateral damage” from bioweapons is pretty close to infinite (at least potentially).

Yes, in theory, a country could develop a new virus, or weaponize an known one, and then develop a vaccine and then vaccinate its armed forces or even its entire population. But that would amount to placing a huge sign on the White House saying “Yes, we done it!”: political suicide.

Now, the VAST majority of comments here have focused on the possible medical aspects of this pandemic, which is fine and which I have nothing to contribute to. But I ask you now to look at the MILITARY and, therefore, POLITICAL, dimensions of this crisis and ask yourself cui bono?

Seems to me that China and Russia did very, very well. The crisis is pretty much under control in China, and in Russia it is both limited and confined. The fact that neither the Chinese nor the Russians have any delusions about the “private sector” and the fact that these societies perfectly understand that a powerful government is needed to respond to this type (and many other) types of crisis helped them. No such luck for the deluded United States which has less than 950’000 hospital beds in the entire country and whose president seems to believe that Walmart and Amazon can deliver respirators to those in need.

In fact, the USA is a country which can LEAST afford a real pandemic, so why would the US leaders decide to unleash a weapon against comparatively MUCH better prepared countries while itself is one of the most vulnerable on the planet?

How about the fact that the situation in Europe looks absolutely awful? Yes, I know, the Idiot-in-Chief did not even bother to consult with the USA’s so-called “allies” before declaring his (confused) 30 day ban on travel between the US and the EU. But it is one thing to have no manners and not understand diplomacy, it is quite another to be the party responsible for tens of thousands, possibly even millions, of dead amongst your so-called “allies”.

So it boils down to this: do we believe that the real leaders of the AngloZionist Empire (not the clowns in the White House, obviously) insane enough to still try to pull off such an operation?

Frankly, I will not say “no”. I will admit that this is possible.

But, as I like to remind everybody, possible is NOT the same as “likely” and it dramatically different from “established”.

In conclusion:

  1. So far, all we have are speculations and guesses.
  2. We also know that irrespective of how “good”/”bad”/effective the SARS-CoV-2 virus is, using ANY WMD is fantastically dangerous both politically and militarily.
  3. And we know of no modern cases of a successful and limited viral bioweapon attack (bacteria and spores are rather different from that point of view)

Now this is my request to all the commentators:

Since we have discussed the biomedical aspects of SARS-CoV-2 ad nauseam, let’s stop for a while and let’s now ONLY discuss the political and military implications of a deliberate use of SARS-CoV-2 against China (or any other country).

There are two more things I would like to share with you.

First, I looked at the tweet of the Chinese official who declared that the SARS-CoV-2 might have come from the USA. I believe it is this one:

First, I looked at the tweet of the Chinese official who declared that the SARS-CoV-2 might have come from the USA. I believe it is this one:

It refers to this GlobalResearch article: https://www.globalresearch.ca/china-coronavirus-shocking-update/5705196 . In turn, the GlobalResarch article references a GlobalTimes article: https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1180429.shtml . This latest article refers to the website ChinaXiv http://chinaxiv.org/home.htm (I think!). So what we have is a Chinese official, referencing a Canadian outlet, which references a Chinese source which itself bases its reports from a website clearly close to the Chinese government.

Now, unlike most folks in the West, I trust the Chinese government infinitely more than ANY western regime, but even I can see that once the China-bashing campaign swung to a totally new level once the SARS-CoV-2 panic began, the Chinese had a major political interest to point a finger right back at the USA.

In fact, I would argue that NO government out there wants to be blamed for this latest disaster and that the finger pointing is not going to stop, especially if a US politician dies from respiratory complications.

The other thing which will inevitably grow is panic. So far, relatively few people in the West have died, but most specialists agree that this crisis is far from over, especially not in the EU and USA where the epidemic it is still on the ascent. Right now, the general public in the West reminds me of a guy falling from a skyscraper and who, passing the 10th floor, thinks “so far, so good”. Friends, it *WILL* get worse, even if only 1 or 2 percent of the infected people die. I loathe both Merkel and Jonhson, but compared to the flag-waving “best Idiot-in-Chief in the galaxy”, they come across as almost honest politicians (at least and only in this case).

Finally, I want to post an extremely interesting interview by the Russian version of RT of the Academician and Chief Senior Pulmonologist of Russia, Aleksandr Chuchalin. This interview is EXTREMELY interesting and contains a wealth of important statements which, considering who is making them, I would be willing to take to the bank. One problem, this interview is only in Russian:

And here is my special request to all Russian speakersif you can, could you please either 1) find the interview in English, maybe just a transcript or, if not, could you please translate as much of that interview as possible and post your translation in the comments section (or send it to me for posting)? If you cannot translate it all, at least post a summary of the most interesting points?

I wish I could do it myself, but I am really exhausted and, besides, there is a lot of medical terminology I don’t really understand. My wife does, but she is also exhausted. This is why I ask for your help (ребята – если честно, то просто сил нет, помогите если можете!).

That’s it for me for today.

Two Decades of Afghan War… and a Shabby U.S. Retreat

Photo: REUTERS/Nasir Wakif

Source

March 13, 2020©

Is that it? Nearly two decades of war – America’s longest-ever, almost twice as long as the Vietnam War – and now, finally, a dubious peace deal.

It’s a “deal” that could have been signed years ago by previous U.S. administrations, thereby saving hundreds of thousands of casualties and trillions of dollars in damages.

The Afghan combatants that the U.S. vowed to defeat back in 2001 – the Taliban – are stronger than ever and look set to take back control when the Americans eventually tuck tail and get out. The militants view it as a “victory over a superpower”, according to NBC.

President Trump’s administration is of course trying to sell the conclusion of the Afghan War as some kind of honorable exit from the Central Asian country. But the shaky peace pact – cobbled together in haste and with no input from the U.S.-backed regime in Kabul – looks more like an electioneering ploy by Trump.

There are some 13,000 U.S. troops currently in Afghanistan. That’s about 10 per cent of the levels that were there under the GW Bush and Obama administrations. Trump’s peace deal with the Taliban mandates that troop levels will be drawn down to about 8,500 in the next four months. After 14 months, the aim is to have no U.S. troops remaining there.

The scheduling looks arranged to give Trump a timely electioneering boost. After all, he took office in January 2017 promising to end the “endless” Afghan War. Nearly four years on and just in time for the November election, Trump can claim he is delivering on that promise.

The flimsiness and contradictions of the bargain – the word “deal” seems misplaced – also indicate more haste than honor. Washington wants the Taliban to cease military attacks on U.S. troops over the drawdown period, but the militants appear to have leeway to continue assaults on the local U.S.-backed Afghan security forces.

Washington says its wants to see an “intra-Afghan” political dialogue on the future polity of the country. But the Americans fatally undermined the authority of its Kabul regime by excluding it from talks with the Taliban. The regime looks set to collapse without U.S. support. Why would the Taliban bother to engage with an entity it sees as a corrupt American puppet? Trump has even admitted that he sees the possibility of the Taliban taking full control of Afghanistan once the U.S. finally pulls out.

Here there is an echo of the “Fall of Saigon” when the Americans sold out the venal South Vietnamese regime in a 1973 peace deal with Communist North Vietnam which then went on to rout the crumbling U.S. Saigon puppet in 1975.

On a wider note, it is understandable that the region is apprehensive about the future of Afghanistan. Two decades of war and a botched retreat by the Americans could leave the country as a miserable failed state with no stable government for many years to come. Russia and Iran have good grounds to be concerned about the security implications from such a failed state. Fortunately, Russia has been developing working relations with Afghan parties over recent years, including the Taliban and its opponents. Thus, Moscow may be well-placed to help stabilize the country in the aftermath of Washington’s exit from the Afghan quagmire. How ironic is that? Afghanistan was supposed to be Moscow’s “Vietnam”, according to U.S. imperial planners. Turned out, however, that Afghanistan became America’s “Second Vietnam”.

An absurd contradiction in Washington’s deal-making with the Taliban is the expectation from the Trump administration that the Taliban will cooperate to prevent the emergence of Al Qaeda-linked terror groups. Hold on a moment. The official reason why the Americans invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 was a “war on terror” against the Taliban following the September 9/11 attacks in New York. Now we are told that the Taliban are some kind of legitimate partner against terrorism.

No wonder most U.S. military veterans are disillusioned with the Afghan War and the latest attempt to end it. As one former soldier told Time magazine: “I’m okay with the Afghans fighting for their own country and us supporting them from a distance. I’m not comfortable with us just walking away. It is morally wrong to give legitimacy to an enemy that continues to murder our people,” he said. “And it undermines our credibility around the world. Who can – or should – trust an America that cavalierly surrenders an ally like this?”

War fatigue in America is understandable. But the fact is this war should never have been started in the first place. The Afghan War stands as a monumental crime by the American state. Its aim and justifications by Washington were always a farrago of lies, as declassified U.S. documents show.

About 157,000 people are estimated to have been killed, with 43,000 of the dead being civilians. If there was any justice in this world, American leaders and generals should be prosecuted in a Nuremberg-type war crimes court, including Bush, Obama and the incumbent president, Donald Trump.

A reduction in violence is unquestionably welcome. We may hope the Afghan people can somehow develop a political process for a peaceful future. But eternal shame on Washington. It’s the Afghan people and the region which are having to pick up the pieces from criminal American adventurism.

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

Why is Corporate Media trying to erase Tulsi?

I’m continuing to run for the same reason I originally began this race: to bring about a sea change in our longstanding foreign policy of carrying out regime change wars, end the new cold war & nuclear arms race, and invest the trillions wasted in such wars into the American people

GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT (AGAIN): UN REPORT ON ALLEGED RUSSIAN ‘WAR CRIMES’ IN SYRIA IS BASED ON ‘WE SAY SO’ & UNNAMED SOURCES

March 7, 2020, RT.com

A UN-mandated report, which accuses Russia of war crimes in Syria, heavily relies on anonymous sources and lacks evidence, but also smacks of deliberate disinformation that is halting the eradication of terrorism in Idlib.

Earlier this week, the The Independent International Commission of Inquiry into the Syrian Arab Republic released a report largely lambasting Syria and Russia in their fight against terrorism in Syria. Corporate media were quick to echo allegations of Russian “war crimes” in Syria, all while diminishing the crimes of terrorist groups against Syrian civilians and soldiers.

The report does passingly acknowledge that Syria, Russia and allies are fighting “armed opposition groups, including Hay’at Tahrir” (al-Qaeda); the rest of the document reads mainly as a litany of accusations against Syria and Russia.

In the “mandate and methodology” section, the report notes that its information is based on “233 interviews conducted in the region and from Geneva” as well as from governments, NGOs, and UN reports.

So a report based on testimonies taken in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon or by phone, is again negating the masses of Syrians in Syria who would like their truths to be heard, the terrorism they have endured to be known.

I scoured the 24 pages of the report, but even in the annexes I could find no transparent and credible sources, only the following vague terms repeatedly referred-to: Witnesses, civilians, NGO, rescuers, medical teams, first responders, flight spotters, and early warning observers.

As Western media has largely focused on two accusations of Russian war crimes, I’ll address these here.

Russia War Crime – Accusation One

The first of two major accusations against Russia is of conducting airstrikes on Marat al-Numan, Idlib, on July 22, 2019, allegedly killing 43 civilians and targeting a market.

Details for this claim are provided by the unnamed sources mentioned above. Quite possibly, information was also provided by the usual suspects, like the one-man (Rami), UK-based “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights,” and the terrorist-affiliated White Helmets fake rescue group, which, by 2020, should need no introduction.

The commission refers to flight spotters, “civilians who monitor aircraft flights to provide…advance warning prior to an air strike.”

But who are these civilians? Do they use the early-warning radar systems like those provided to the White Helmets? Are they neutral observers? Or the usual sources embedded with terrorists that we are meant to believe as credible?

The report claims it had obtained “satellite imagery, video footage and photos” regarding the alleged airstrikes. Yet none are included in the report.

It claims it “obtained flight communication intercepts conducted in the Russian language.” 

How did it supposedly obtain these intercepts? How do they know they are authentic? How do we know, since the alleged intercepts are not shared in the report?

Russia has emphasized that “Russian aviation was not used in this area on July 22 and did not fly there.”

Russian Colonel General Sergei Rudskoy noted that reconnaissance two days after the alleged attacks showed, “the allegedly destroyed market is completely intact and functions as usual.”

Given that Syria is surveilled by the intelligence services of the US, Israel, and Turkey, is it really plausible that Russia would be so careless as to broadcast their moves over airways?

So, for claim number one, we are presented with a number of unnamed sources. There is no transparency as to who these sources are, what their allegiances are (civilians or members of al-Qaeda or other armed groups in that area) and no visual evidence presented.

Just the words of the commission. Trust them.

Journalist and blogger Vanessa Beeley, who was last week in Marat al-Numan, told me “I can categorically say that the White Helmet centers in Marat al Numan were next door to Nusra Front, as always.”

Keep that in mind when watching their dramatic footage of the alleged July 22 attacks.

Accusation Number Two

The second claim concerns a Russian airstrike on a refugee compound near Haas, Idlib, on August 16, 2019, allegedly killing 20 people.

The commission’s segment on this accusation is long, with details about why people came to live in that compound, on the agricultural fields surrounding the area, that children played in summer in an open area of the compound, and that there was a kindergarten and schools, and also a prayer room!

All this detail paints a very intimate picture: we can imagine the setting and the subsequent horrors.

But whereas the report is quite long on such details, it is scant on one rather important thing: evidence.

It relays what purported events took place, but again gives no specifics on who the cited sources are or on why they should be credible, given that Idlib is under the control of al-Qaeda.

Having myself looked into previous anti-Syria war propaganda, including articles by the New York Times, I have found that, time and again, sources cited inevitably display allegiance to terrorist groups.

For claim number two, the report again refers to intercepted communications “in the Russian language,” a claim which stands against that of Russia’s Defense Ministry on its pilots’ communication policies.

Again, no supporting visuals are included in the report.

In fact, in the entire 24 pages, a sole photo is provided: a detailed map of Syria.

We are simply meant to take the word of the commission.

It’s possible that the UN commission also relied on the report of Human Rights Watch. However, that report is also replete with anonymous sources and devoid of names and evidence.

Based on all of these vague points, the UN commission concluded “reasonable grounds to believe” the guilt of Russia having committed war crimes.

Since when do we need more than that, right?  Think WMD Iraq

Commission’s Track Record of War-Crime Reports

You would imagine since the commission’s mandate is to report all war crimes in Syria since 2011, it would be replete with massacres committed by terrorists, including the incessant beheadings, rapings, public executions, torture, the underground prisons (including under hospitals), the caging of civilians and use of them as human shields.

Scrolling through the commission’s archives, one finds only reports echoing the war propaganda popular at any given time, vilifying the main parties fighting al-Qaeda, Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) and other terrorists in Syria: Syria and Russia.

The latest report covers the period from July 2019 to January 2020. Yet, while briefly admitting the presence of al-Qaeda in Idlib, the report does not highlight the terror of civilians targeted by al-Qaeda & co in areas they control, something which colleagues and myself have done.

And nowhere could I find reports of the terrorist bombings of civilians in Aleppo city, which have occurred routinely, long since the liberation in late 2016 of Aleppo City until only recently, when Aleppo’s countryside was restored to peace, all to the silence of corporate media.

Accusations of war crimes are a serious matter, requiring solid, transparent, evidence. From what the UN has presented, there is no clear evidence. Instead, there is a lot of “we say so,” and otherwise a reliance on sources and witnesses not named and quite possibly al-Qaeda-affiliated. In what court of law would such sources be considered acceptable?

The UN, US, and Western media play a guilty-until-proven-innocent game when it comes to their accusations against Syria and Russia. But it is they who have proven time-and-again to be guilty of war propaganda and of whitewashing terrorism in Syria.

Related:

‘Sorry, but it’s fake…again’: Russian military debunk NYT report on bombing of civilians in Syria, December 3, 2019

Excerpt:

“On Sunday, the leading US newspaper came up with a heartbreaking story of a housing complex for families displaced by the Syrian conflict being bombed in what the Times called a Russian airstrike in August. The journalists then stated that they were able to trace the air raid back to the Russian Air Force using “eyewitness photos and videos,” and claimed to have a trove of flight logs and cockpit tapes.

…Responding to the accusations on Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry has highlighted flaws in the report – perhaps the most glaring of which is that Russian pilots neither receive commands, nor report on their mission mid-flight, Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov argued.

“As frustrating as it can be for the masterminds behind this fake, but we have to say it once again: passing of coordinates to Russian bomber pilots and reports on task execution are not made by voice openly on air”

In fact, it is not the first time the Russian military has refuted claims that appeared in America’s newspaper of record. The Defense Ministry issued a similar correction following another damning piece by the same outlet in October. That story accused Russia of bombing UN-protected hospitals, some of which turned out to be militant hideouts tucked away in caves in the Idlib province. Konashenkov also questioned other evidence presented in the Times’ latest report, calling it “primitive and ill-defined” and adding that “In Russia, it is called a shot in the dark.”

CAN CHINA CONFRONT AND DEFEAT THE U.S. NAVY?

South Front

This video is based on the analysis “Can China Confront and Defeat the U.S. Navy?” released by SouthFront on January 4, 2020

China is on pace to achieve regional naval supremacy by the year 2025. This has been a long-term goal of the Chinese national and military leadership, the foundations of which were laid out in the early 1990s.

Chinese naval supremacy, and the absolute necessity of it on at least a regional basis, is tied not only to the development and security of the maritime segment of One Belt-One Road, but also access to China’s growing presence on the African continent. The modernization and expansion of the Peoples’ Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has been conducted in parallel with the fortification of islands in the South China Sea and the establishment of military bases in and around the strategic Horn of Africa and the Strait of Hormuz. After centuries of isolationism, internal strife, a devastating cultural revolution and later an economic boom, China is now on the cusp of global expansion. This will not just be a limited or one-dimensional expansion, but one of economic, military and even cultural dimensions.

In contrast to the U.S. leadership of recent decades, the national and military leadership of the Chinese Communist Party has been diligent and focused on implementing long term programs. While both the military industrial complex of the U.S. and the authoritarian communist systems of government of these respective nations both breed rampant corruption, social and economic inequality, and a multitude of dysfunctionalities, the Chinese system is inherently more singular in focus, as all authoritarian regimes are. While one could reflect on U.S. foreign policy over the past forty years and determine that it has been quite haphazard, disjointed and even schizophrenic in nature, the opposite must be said of China. This fact becomes readily apparent when contrasting the development and expansion of the PLAN and that of the U.S. Navy.

A U.S. Navy in Disarray

It can rightly be asserted that the U.S. Navy is a force struggling to define its core mission and strategic focus as the year 2020 begins. Since the dissolving of the Soviet Union, the U.S. military industrial complex has encouraged a wasteful bureaucracy, an inept and overly confident civilian and military leadership, to invest vast sums of money in a growing wish list of high-tech weapons aimed at achieving full spectrum dominance over every possible adversary. Little thought was apparently given to the opportunity cost of investing in such programs, and how they would be employed in a broader national defense strategy. The U.S. Navy stands out as the worst example of these failures and is poised at a crossroads today.

After the Soviet Union disappeared as its chief adversary on the high seas, the U.S. Navy maintained its age old obsession with the aircraft carrier, and utilized its many aircraft carrier strike groups (ASG) to great effect in attacking any disobedient nation that lacked a robust navy or air defense system. While the modern ASG proved effective at power projection against weaker adversaries, its viability in a modern maritime environment heavily contested by a peer adversary has yet to be established. The U.S. Navy has decided to ignore this obvious fact and has continued to embrace the ASG as the cornerstone of naval strategic planning well into the future.

The U.S. Navy has maintained ten ASGs and launched the latest generation of aircraft carriers in the form of the Gerald R. Ford CVN-78 in 2013. Although commissioned in 2017, the carrier has yet to reach operational readiness and has been plagued by many technical problems with its most essential combat systems. The CVN-78 is the most expensive warship ever constructed, with current unit cost approaching $14 billion USD.

While the U.S. has invested vast sums of money, energy and focus in developing a massive new class of aircraft carrier, it has done very little to improve the one asset most crucial to the carrier, the carrier airwing that it carries into battle. Instead of committing to develop aircraft tailored to specific functions, the Navy chose to embrace the one-size-fits-all concept of the F-18 Super Hornet. In addition, the service also committed to this concept to a much larger degree, in throwing its support behind the F- 35 Joint Strike Fighter. Neither the F-18 nor the F-35 rectify rectifies the combat range deficiency now inherent in the aircraft carrier airwing. In short, an ASG will become a target of both land-based anti-ship ballistic missiles (ASBM) and even land-based Chinese aircraft equipped with anti-ship guided missiles, long before the ASG can achieve striking distance with its carrier borne aircraft. This problem becomes even more glaring when one considers the scenario of a Chinese battle group forward deployed and operating within range of its own land-based Anti-Air Warfare assets.

What has the U.S. Navy done to modernize and improve its surface warfare vessels over the past two decades? Not surprisingly, the service embraced new ship designs that were long on high-tech promise, yet did not fit into a specific, traditional and vital function within the broader strategic framework of the service. The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program and Zumwalt DDG-1000 programs were ill-conceived at the outset and resulted in two classes of vessels that consumed vast amounts of funding, time and energy that could have been used to improve upon traditional, proven warship designs. At an approximate unit cost of $350 million USD per LCS and $8 billion per DDG-1000, both vessels have proven long on cost and short on capability.

The Arleigh Burke class DDG is arguably the backbone of the U.S. Navy and is a highly effective and proven warship. The latest upgrade to the design, the Flight III, will not begin production until sometime between 2023 and 2029. A multi-purpose frigate vessel program known as the FFG(X), meant to pick up where the LCS failed, has yet to reach an advanced design phase. There are currently five contenders for the new FFG(X) proposal.

At the same time, there is no replacement at all planned for the aging Ticonderoga CG-47 class cruiser. The Ticonderoga class CGs perform a vital AAW and surface warfare function in the established U.S. Navy carrier strike group structure. The only other navy in the world fielding a similar warship is China’s, with the introduction of the first Type 055 class in 2018.

A Chinese Navy in Ascent

While the United States Navy struggles to identify its purpose and maintain its preeminence in the 21st century, the PLAN has embarked on a robust program of modernization and expansion based on sound strategic principles and proven technology.

China has produced a long list of modern, capable classes of warships in recent years. Not only has the PLAN designed, constructed and put a new generation of warships into operational service in the past two decades, it has engaged in an ambitious ship building program that has seen these vessels fielded at an unprecedented rate. Standardized designs for corvette, guided missile frigate (FFG), guided missile destroyer (DDG), large guided missile destroyer/cruiser (CG), landing platform dock (LPD), landing helicopter dock (LHD), and logistical support vessels of multiple classes have all been adopted and fielded in significant numbers in the past 20 years. Running in parallel to this, the PLAN has also developed a fledgling aircraft carrier program, including the 100% indigenous Type 001A Shandong. Such a feat is unparalleled in modern naval history.

The question must immediately be asked; why would a nation engage in such an ambitious program to transform and expand its naval warfighting capabilities in such totality? The answer is obvious. It intends to use this capability. But in what fashion and to what end?

In order for the Chinese nation to complete and secure the ambitious Old Belt-One Road economic trade corridor and to ensure the economic prosperity of the country into the next century, a sizeable navy of unparalleled capability will be required. Such a naval force is currently in an advanced state of completion, yet a further 5 years are likely required before the PLAN will be in a position to fight and win against a determined U.S. naval effort to confront it through force of arms.

If current production levels are maintained, the PLAN will field an impressive force of major surface warfare, amphibious warfare and aircraft carriers by 2025. By this time, major surface warfare combatants will include 50 x Type 056 Corvettes, 30 x Type 054A Frigates, 18 x Type 052D Destroyers, and 8 or more Type 055 Destroyers. The amphibious warfare fleet will be comprised of approximately 38 x LSTs, 8 x Type 071 LPDs, and at least 2 x Type 075 LHDs. The Type 001 Liaoning and Type 001A Shandong will both be operational, while the first of the much more capable Type 002 CATOBAR carriers will likely have reached operational status as well. These warships will be supported by no less than eleven logistics support and underway replenishment vessels and four garrison support vessels of modern design.

A major strategic advantage that China has achieved over the United States is that it has built the most robust and productive shipbuilding industry in the world. China has been ranked as the world’s top shipbuilder for 5 years now. The United States by contrast, ranks tenth. The gross tonnage of vessels of all types produced in Chinese shipyards; however, is 77 times greater than the total produced by U.S. shipyards.

The Greater Strategic Picture

It is important to view the development of both navies within the larger context of the respective geopolitical strategic positions of both countries. China undoubtably enjoys a stronger position today than it did a decade ago, while the opposite must be said for the United States. Not only has China gained greater political and economic influence on a global scale, but it has moved to secure military supremacy in all areas along its national borders, and increasingly within its expanding maritime territory. By contrast, the United States has lost both political and economic influence in many regions of the world, largely through its own failed policies

China has managed to develop greater economic ties with nations that have decided to participate in the One Belt-One Road project, which has also afforded them a greater political influence over these nations. China has negotiated the establishment of military bases, mostly logistical support facilities for its growing navy, which will also allow for the deployment of rapid reaction forces to deter and interdict threats to the One Belt-One Road trade corridor. China continues to solidify its presence on the Africa continent. The military base established in Djibouti, and fleet support agreements established in Gwadar, Pakistan and the African nation of Tanzania provide the resources needed to be able to exert military force if required to back up Chinese economic and political efforts on the continent.

Although the U.S. maintains numerous military bases and facilities in Africa to secure its own strategic interests in the region, it lacks the same political and economic influence that China has established. The U.S. military has been aiding a number of nations in Africa to battle Islamic extremist insurgents, but has made little investment in those nations in a broader sense, and thus exerts far less influence.

Although outside of the maritime sphere of influence of China, the nations of Europe have increasingly responded favorably to the promised benefits of the One Belt-One Road trade project. On a political and military level, China has largely remained out of European affairs. The same cannot be said for the United States.

While the Obama administration began the disastrous, multifaceted war against the Russian Federation, the Trump administration has only expanded it, while antagonizing its most traditional European allies in the process. The Trump administration appears to have doubled down on the failed Ukraine policies of its predecessor, increased U.S. military presence on the European continent, and has leveled trade tariffs on key allies. By propping up the phony Russian threat narrative with increased military deployments, the United States is squandering vast sums of money and diverting large contingents of front-line fighting forces to confront an enemy it knows to be a threat conceived through its own propaganda alone.

China has responded to the U.S. led effort to internationally isolate Russia, by leveraging its position to provide an alternate market for Russian goods. It has supplied political support for Russia on the world stage and has increased military cooperation with Russia in key regions where both nations share an interest and are forced to confront the United States. Both nations have increased bilateral cooperation in developing the northern arctic shipping route and have conducted joint naval exercises in the maritime regions of Europe, Asia and the Indian Ocean. Iran most recently joined the two in joint exercises in the Indian Ocean.

Can the PLAN Win?

A scenario where the PLAN and U.S. Navy engage in open conflict is improbable at present, yet not impossible. Although China has strengthened its position to such a degree in the South China Sea that no other nation, including the United States can change the strategic realities that exist there today, increasing interaction between PLAN and U.S. warships may lead to a tragic encounter. U.S. freedom of navigation patrols are largely symbolic in nature and do not present any real threat to Chinese interests in the region, yet they do require a response Such a situation could lead to a confrontation where an accident occurs, or an overzealous vessel commander makes a decision that leads to a military engagement which could escalate in a very short window of time.

It is most probable that China will do everything possible to avoid such a situation at present. This may not be the case after 2025, when the PLAN enjoys a much stronger position relative to the U.S. Navy and its allies in the Asia Pacific. China will occupy the central position, enjoy regional guided ballistic missile supremacy and be able to take advantage of land-based air assets in support of its navy. Surveillance and early warning facilities established on various artificial island and atolls will by then be fully operational.

If fire was exchanged between a U.S. warship and PLAN warship in the South China Sea, and the incident was not immediately deescalated, the U.S. vessel would inevitably be destroyed. The PLAN would suffer significant casualties in the exchange without doubt. China would immediately move to deny all access to the region through its already robust Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) capabilities. The United States would then have to decide what level of sacrifice would be acceptable to the state and the American public in rapidly deciding upon its level of military response. The authoritarian Chinese state would find this decision much easier to make.

The U.S. seventh fleet would be hard pressed to mount any immediate military response, beyond mounting a retaliatory attack via attack submarines forward deployed in the region. Any large effort mounted to attack Chinese island garrisons in either the Spratly or Paracel islands would be met with overwhelming force by a combination of anti-ship guided ballistic missiles, submarine, surface and air attack. It is hard to see any such scenario taking place, without the confrontation elevating to a full-spectrum war of global proportions. Most regional allies of the United States would calculate that such an outcome would render overwhelmingly negative results and would not outweigh the tragic loss of one or two U.S. warships and their crews.

Assuming that a hot war could be avoided, a new cold war would inevitable result between an ascendant China and a U.S. in decline. If current military, economic and political trends continue from the present through 2025, China will only strengthen its strategic position both regionally and globally, while the opposite will likely be the case for the United States. It is important to note that the leadership of both nations see such a conflict as undesirable and not inevitable, yet miscalculations, mistakes and poor judgement can scuttle any grand plans. History is unequivocal in this regard and must be analyzed and understood to avoid repeating disaster. We ignore the lessons of history at our peril, yet a current period bereft of insightful, measured and reasonable leadership in Washington, does not bode well for avoiding what may prove to be an unavoidable conflict between two global superpowers.

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