US Is the Top Human Rights Violator in the World, and It’s Not Even Close

By Danny Haiphong

Source

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Few things are more politicized and distorted in the United States than the subject of human rights. Over the last two generations, the U.S. political class and its conduits in the corporate media have weaponized human rights to serve an imperialist agenda. NGOs such as Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International tend to focus much of their time crafting human rights narratives on matters of critical importance to the U.S. Department of State. Syria, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and a host of countries have been condemned by these organizations for alleged human rights violations. Since 2018, China has been targeted for the same treatment.

China is accused of detaining millions of Xinjiang-based Uyghurs in “concentration camps.” Thanks to Ajit Singh and The Grayzone, we know that the sources for these allegations are far from reliable. We know that the principle source for all things Xinjiang in the U.S. is Adrian Zenz, a far-right Christian fundamentalist who believes he is led by God to overthrow the Communist Party of China. We know that the Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders responsible for the study that conducted a total of eight total interviews to derive conclusions of mass Uyghur internment is heavily funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a CIA-linked organization. We also know that the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) currently leading the charge to demonize China on human rights issues is sponsored by military contractors such as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.

The primary concern of institutions such as ASPI is not the issue of human rights, but rather the creation of an atmosphere of war that will service its donors in the U.S. weapons industry. This is exactly what the propagation of the “Uyghur oppression” narrative has achieved. While relying completely on speculation, faulty satellite imagery, and testimonies from Uyghur-exile groups funded by the NED, the successful penetration of the baseless claim that China is detaining millions of Muslims in camps has played an important role in building up public support in the U.S. for a New Cold War against China. U.S. public opinion of China has dropped significantly over the past year. The U.S. has used the Uyghur human rights narrative to successfully sanction businesses and Communist Party of China officials in Xinjiang.

When U.S. officials accuse other countries of human rights violations, what comes afterward is always far worse than the allegations. After 9/11, U.S. intelligence agencies accused Saddam Hussein of stockpiling non-existent Weapons of Mass destruction. The U.S. went on to invade Iraq in 2003—a war that caused the death of over one million Iraqi civilians and poisoned thousands more with toxic depleted uranium. In 2011, Muammar Gaddafi was accused of “murdering his own people” only to have Libya transformed into a failed state following a more than six month bombing campaign by NATO to protect a jihadist insurgency. Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has been repeatedly accused of using chemical weapons “on his own people.” Syria has been mired in an endless war with both the U.S. and its regional allies which has left hundreds of thousands of dead, millions displaced, and nearly one-third of its oil-rich and water-rich territory occupied by the U.S. military.

These examples are just a few of many that demonstrate why the U.S. is the chief human rights violator in the world. However, it is important to note that how the United States conducts itself abroad is a reflection of the myriad of ways that it violates the human rights of people living in the United States. Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Sandra Bland, and Michael Brown are just a few of hundreds of examples of Black Americans that have been killed by police officers without redress. An average of 1,000 people in the United States are killed by police officers each year. Unlike the U.S.-led Xinjiang narrative, it is well-documented that over 2 million people reside in U.S. prisons and that nearly three-quarters of that prison population is Black, Latino, or Native American.

The U.S. is home to a quarter of all prisoners in the world. Around 80,000 of these prisoners are held in solitary confinement, a practice of prolonged isolation that the U.N. has firmly declared to be an act of torture. Research suggests that solitary confinement is directly linked to a host of psychological maladies from psychosis to suicide. Solitary confinement also causes lasting structural damage to the brain, especially in the hippocampus region responsible for memory and spatial awareness. Widespread use of solitary confinement in the U.S. is not a benign practice but one that specifically targets racial groups. Over forty percent of all male prisoners in solitary confinement are Black American. The world has long known that the U.S. engages in torture abroad at CIA black sites and Guantanamo Bay Prison but fewer are aware of how torture is commonplace in the U.S.’ numerous prisons.

For decades, the U.S. has accused countries such as China of the very policies that make up the foundations of its domestic and foreign policy. U.S. elites have accused China of suppressing free speech but say little about the NSA’s massive surveillance program or the attempted extradition of a non-citizen in Julian Assange for publishing documents relating to U.S. war crimes. China has been accused of sterilizing ethnic minorities yet U.S. officials have failed to scrutinize documented cases of sterilization within U.S. immigration detention centers or its mistreatment of Muslim citizens since the War on Terror was declared in 2001. The Economist has accused China of using its anti-poverty campaign to build loyalty to the Communist Party of China but has yet to call out Joe Biden or Donald Trump for ignoring the needs of the forty percent of people in the U.S. who have virtually no disposable income. China is routinely accused of possessing an “aggressive” foreign policy by the same policy makers and thought leaders who have kept the U.S. at war for more than two-hundred years of its existence.

The ideology of American exceptionalism has created the illusion that the U.S. deserves to hold a monopoly on the issue of human rights. American exceptionalism presumes that the United States is the model example for countries and peoples all over the world. However, the days when the world was forced to bow to the U.S. are over. Most of the world sees the U.S. as the biggest threat to human rights and a peaceful existence. The U.S.’s human rights track record suggests that the world is correct, and it is the entire planet that suffers when issues such as war, climate change, poverty, and racism are blamed on China rather than addressed with solidarity and cooperation at a global level. 

‘Coward, Savage’ US Assassinated ISIL’s No.1 Enemy: Zarif

September 28, 2020

zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Iranian were not brought to their knees in spite of tough economic pressures exerted by the United States against the country.

Speaking on Monday in a ceremony of honoring martyrs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the eight years of Sacred Defense, Zarif addressed US authorities and added, “You (US) are criminals against humanity and today, you are claiming the human rights? You are coward and savage but could not bring Iranians to their knees.”

While respecting and honoring the families of martyrs of the Foreign Ministry and commemorating the name and memory of all martyrs of the Islamic Revolution, Sacred Defense and nuclear scientists as well as martyrs of defenders of holy shrines especially former IRGC Quds Force Commander Lt. Gen. Suleimani and his comrades who were assassinated by the US terrorist forces in Iraq, he reiterated, “In spite of tough and cruel US sanctions imposed against the country, Iranians were not brought to their knees in the current economic war.”

The minister said that Washington assassinated ISIL terrorists’ number 1 enemy.

Addressing the families of martyrs, Zarif said, “Today, in this critical regional and international situation and in spite of irregularities, martyrs with their sacrifice bestowed dignity and grandeur to the Islamic Iran and did not allow others to insult noble people of the country during these years.”

He pointed out that martyrs brought dignity and pride for Iran and were it not for their braveries and courage, the country would have given in the battlefield during the eight years of the Sacred Defense.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif pointed to the eight years of Sacred Defense and said, “During Iran-Iraq war, former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was heavily supported by other countries both financially and militarily and today, these countries are claimant of human rights which is ridiculous.”

SourceIranian Agencies

OBSTACLES TO FRENCH SUCCESS IN LEBANON: SAUDI ARABIA AND THE US

Posted on  by Elijah J Magnier

Leb Zionists

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

A US counterterrorism official has claimed that Hezbollah “is stocking ammonium nitrate in France, Italy, Greece, Spain and Switzerland”. The French Foreign Ministry responded that these allegations were untrue. Consequently, it dealt a direct blow to the American administration, which is working in Brussels to place Hezbollah with its military and political wings on the EU’s terrorist list. France enjoys enough influence within the corridors of the European Union and the European Parliament to stand as an impediment to the American plans. For France, it is not a matter of love or support for Hezbollah, but rather its belief that the time has not come to declare war on the organisation. France believes that it needs a relationship with Hezbollah if it is to advance its strategic interests in Lebanon. Hostility to Hezbollah means engaging in a war with the group or moving away from acquiring a foothold in Lebanon. Paris is trying to advance its chances by, for example, avoiding the resignation of its candidate, Prime Minister Mustafa Adib. But France does not hold all the cards and certainly not all the aces.

It is common knowledge that Prime Minister Mustafa Adib does not have any experience in navigating Lebanese domestic politics and its complications and ramifications that extend out to Saudi Arabia, the US and France. These are the countries mainly involved in Lebanon, while Turkey and Russia play smaller roles.Adib’s nomination was arranged when former Prime Minister Saad Hariri lost any hope of being appointed to this position due to his rejection by Saudi Arabia. The Lebanese former Prime Minister Hariri holds both Saudi and French nationalities. During his time in office, More

The World Has Gone Absolutely Insane!

THE SAKER • SEPTEMBER 25, 2020

We all know that we are living in crazy, and dangerous, times, yet I can’t help being awed at what the imperial propaganda machine (aka the legacy ziomedia) is trying to make us all swallow. The list of truly batshit crazy stuff we are being told to believe is now very long, and today I just want to pick on a few of my “favorites” (so to speak).

First, of course, comes the “Novichok Reloaded” scandal around the alleged poisoning of the so-called “dissident” Alexei Navalnyi. I already mentioned this absolutely ridiculous story once, so I won’t repeat it all here. I just want to mention a few very basic facts:

  • Navalnyi is pretty much a discredited non-entity in Russia. “Putin” (because this is how the imperial propaganda machine always personalizes the evils of Russia: “Putin” did this or that, as if Putin was personally in every alleged Russian evil deed) had absolutely and exactly zero reasons to harm Navalnyi in any way. I would even add that IF Navalnyi was poisoned in Russia (which I do not believe) then the FSB screwed up by not offering him 24/7 protection, especially in the current political climate (i.e. struggle for the completion of North Stream 2).
  • The Empire always likes to produce a “sacrificial lamb” to symbolize the putative evil of the nation which dares to resist. In Iran it was Neda, in Kuwait the infamous “incubator babies”, in Syria anonymous kids killed by Russian gas, and in Russia it was Nemtsov (did not really work) and now Navalnyi (I wonder who the sacrificial lamb will be in Belarus (Tikhanovskaia?). The FSB should have seen this coming, especially after Nemtsov.
  • There is exactly zero evidence that the mineral water bottle which the Germans claim contained traces of, what else, “Novichok”, ever was anywhere near Navalnyi or even that it ever was in Russia. No such bottle was found by, or mentioned to the Russian investigators. This bottle was, allegedly, hidden from the FSB by Navalnyi supporters, and secretly brought to Germany. What that means in terms of “chain of custody” is self-evident.
  • As I have mentioned in my past article, if what the German authorities are claiming is true, then the Russians are truly the dumbest imbeciles on the planet. Not content to use this now famous “Novichok” gas against Skripal in the UK and after failing to kill Skripal, these stupid Russians decided to try the very same gas, only “improved”, and they failed again: Navalnyi is quite alive and well, thank you!
  • Then there is this: according to the imperial propaganda machine, Novichok was so horribly dangerous, that the Brits had to use full biosuits to investigate the alleged poisoning of Skripal. They also said that they would completely destroy the dangerous Skripal home (though they never did that). The self same propaganda machine says that the Novichok used on Navalnyi was a more powerful, improved version. Okay. Then try to answer this one: why did the Russians NOT put on biosuits, why did not a single passenger suffer from any side effects (inside a closed aircraft cabin!)? How is it that this super-dooper Novichok not only failed to kill Navalnyi (who, allegedly, ingested it!) but also failed to even moderately inconvenience anybody from the many people Navalnyi was surrounded by on that day?

I could continue to deconstruct all this nonsense, but that would take pages. I will mention two thing though:

First, the Russians have requested any and all evidence available to the Germans and to the Organization for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons – but they got absolutely nothing in return. Yet the EU is demanding an investigation (which is already under way in Russia anyway!) as if the Russians did not want the exact same!

After being exposed to an improved Novichok and after weeks in coma in intensive care, here is Navalnyi trotting down stairs feeling great

After being exposed to an improved Novichok and after weeks in coma in intensive care, here is Navalnyi trotting down stairs feeling great

Second, Navalnyi apparently has an immunity to otherwise deadly Russian biological agents, just take a look at him on this post-Novichok photo:

[By the way, the first time around the Brits also never gave the Russians any information, nevermind any kind of evidence. Apparently, to hide some super-secret secrets. Yeah, right!]

Next, I absolutely have to mention the absolutely insane situation around Belarus.

To make a long story short, the EU wants to sanction Russia for intervening in Belarus while that self-same EU is intervening in every possible imaginable manner: from the Poles who treat Tikhanovskaia as a modern False Dmitri the Fifth (see here for a summary of Polish-run False Dmitris), to the promise of a special “Marshall Plan for Belarus”, to the coordination of all the protests from Poland. The EU refuses to recognize Lukashenko as the winner (in spite of the fact that there is exactly zero evidence suggesting that Lukashenko lost) and refers to Tikhanovskaia as the “Leader of Belarus” (whatever that means).

As for our US American friends, having learned exactly nothing from the abject failure of their Guaido coup in Venezuela, they now want to repeat exactly the same with Tikhanovskaia in Belarus. As a result, Tikhanovskaia has been re-christened “Juanita Guaido”

But the worst are still the Europeans. Not only are they prostituting themselves to the leaders of the Empire, the following countries were the first to declare that they will not recognize Lukashenko as the leader of Belarus: Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia (which is no surprise, they all compete for the title of most pro-US colony on the planet), but also putatively mentally sane countries such as Germany, Czechia, Slovakia, Denmark. The case of Germany is particularly amazing, because Germany will now be placed under immense pressure to cancel North Stream 2, something which the entire German industry opposes. Eventually, the US, Canada, the Ukraine, the UK and the entire EU joined in and also refused to recognize Lukashenko as the leader of Belarus.

What is especially amazing to me is that these EU imbeciles apparently don’t care that without North Stream 2 they will have to purchase US gas, at much higher prices, which will make the EU economy less effective than the US one. And I thought that prostitutes are always acutely aware of the money they can make: not the European ones, apparently.

Still, I think that the “top honor” in this category goes to Poland which, while condemning some undefined Russian intervention in Belarus, runs the NEXTA Telegram channel which runs videos like this one: (in Russian – no, not in Belarusian, they know that 99.9999% Belarussians speak Russian):

Oh, but it gets better.

NATO seems to be trying to frighten Russia with maneuvers in Poland and B-52 flights over the Ukraine and the Black Sea (see here for a full analysis). As for the Poles and Ukronazis, they apparently believe that the Russian bear covered himself in poop and ran away at full speed.

What I am going to say next is not a secret, every military person who looked into this issue knows and understands this: NATO, and I mean the combined power of all NATO member states, simply does not have the hardware needed to wage a war against Russia in Europe. What NATO does have is only sufficient to trigger a serious incident which might result in a shooting war. But once this war starts, the chances of victory for NATO are exactly zero. Why?

Well, for one thing, while coalitions of countries might give a thin veneer of political legitimacy to a military action (in reality, only a UNSC resolution would), in purely military terms you are much better off having a single national military. Not only that, but coalitions are nothing but the expression of an often held delusion: the delusion that the little guy can hide behind the back of the big guy. Poland’s entire history can be summarized in this simple principle: strike the weak and bootlick (or even worse!) the powerful. In contrast, real military powers don’t count on some other guy doing the heavy lifting for them. They simply fight until they win.

Yes, the Europeans, being the cowards that they are, do believe that there is safety in numbers. But each time these midgets gang up on Russia and start barking (or, to use Putin’s expression, start oinking) all together, the Russians clearly see that the Europeans are afraid. Otherwise, they would not constantly seek somebody to protect them (even against a non-existing threat).

As a direct result of this delusion, NATO simply does not have the equivalent of the First Guard Tank Army in spite of the fact that NATO has a bigger population and much bigger budgets than Russia. Such a tank Army is what it would take to fight a real war in Europe, Russia has such an Army. NATO does not.

The other thing NATO does not have is a real integrated multi-layered air defense system. Russia does.

Lastly, NATO has no hypersonic weapons. Russia does.

(According to President Trump, the US does have super-dooper “hydrosonic” weapons, but nobody really knows what that is supposed to mean).

I would even argue that the comparatively smaller Belarusian military could make hamburger meat of the roughly three times larger Polish armed forces in a very short time (unlike the Poles, the Belarusian are excellent soldiers and they know that they are surrounded by hostile countries on three sides).

As for the “armed forces” of the Baltic statelets, they are just a sad joke.

One more example: the Empire is now sending ships into the Black Sea as some kind of “show of force”. Yet, every military analyst out there knows that the Black Sea is a “Russian lake” and that no matter how many ships the US or NATO sends into the Black Sea, their life expectancy in case of a conflict would be measured in minutes.

There is a popular expression in Russia which, I submit, beautifully sums up the current US/NATO doctrine: пугать ежа голой задницей, which can be translated as “trying to scare a hedgehog with your naked bottom”.

The truth is that NATO military forces currently are all in very bad shape – all of them, including the US – and that their only advantage over Russia is in numbers. But as soon as you factor in training, command and control, the ability to operate with severely degraded C3I capabilities, the average age of military hardware or morale – the Russian armed forces are far ahead of the West.

Does anybody sincerely believe that a few B-52s and a few thousand soldiers from different countries playing war in Poland will really scare the Russian generals?

But if not – why the threats?

My explanation is simple: the rulers of the Empire simply hope that the people in the West will never find out how bad their current military posture really is, and they also know that Russia will never attack first – so they simply pretend like they are still big, mighty and relevant. This is made even easier by the fact that the Russians always downplay their real capabilities (in sharp contrast to the West which always brags about “the best XYZ in the world”). That, and the fact that nobody in the Western ruling classes wants to admit that the game is over and that the Empire has collapsed.

Well, they apparently can hide these truisms from most of their public opinion: Trump promises super-dooper missiles and big red buttons, and his supporters immediately wave (Chinese made) US flags! But I assure you that the Russians (political leaders and even the general public) know what the real score is.

Yet the Empire still refuses to deal with Russia in any other way except insults, bullying, threats, accusations, sanctions, and constant sabre-rattling. This has never, and I mean never, worked in the past, and it won’t work in the future. But, apparently, NATO generals simply cannot comprehend that insanity can be defined as “doing the same thing over and over again, while hoping to achieve different results”.

Finally, I will conclude with a short mention of US politicians.

First, Trump. He now declares that the Russians stole the secret of hypersonic weapons from Obama. This reminds me of how the Brits declared that Russia stole their vaccine against the sars-cov-2 virus. But, if the Russians stole all that, why is it that ONLY Russia has deployed hypersonic weapons (not the US) and ONLY Russia has both two vaccines and 2 actual treatments (and not the UK)? For a good laugh, check out Andrei Martyanov’s great column “Russia Steal Everything”.

And then there is Nancy Pelosi who, apparently, is considering, yes, you guessed it – yet another impeachment attempt against Trump? The charge this time? Exercising this Presidential prerogative to nominate a successor to Ruth Ginsburg. Okay, Pelosi might be senile, but she also is in deep denial if she thinks impeaching Trump is still a viable project. Frankly? I think that she lost it.

In fact, I think that all the Dems have gone absolutely insane: they are now considering packing both the Supreme Court and the Senate. The fact that doing so will destroy the US political system does not seem to bother them in the least.

Conclusion: quos Deus vult perdere prius dementat!

We live in a world where facts or logic have simply become irrelevant and nobody cares about such clearly outdated categories. We have elevated “doubleplusgoodthinking” into an art form. We have also done away with the concepts of “proof” or “evidence” which we have replaced with variations on the “highly likely” theme. We have also, for all practical purpose, jettisoned the entire corpus of international law and replaced it with “rules-based international order“. In fact, I can only agree with Chris Hedges who, in his superb book the “Empire of illusions” and of the “triumph of spectacle”. He is absolutely correct: not only is this a triumph of appearance over substance, and of ideology over reality, it is even the triumph of self-destruction over self-preservation.

There is not big “master plan”, no complex international conspiracy, no 5D chess. All we have is yet another empire committing suicide and, like so many before this one, this suicide is executed by this empire’s ruling classes.

Hegemon USA v. Humanity

By Stephen Lendman

Source

US rage for dominating other countries by hot and/or cold wars poses an unparalleled threat to humanity.

US drive for hegemony is in stark contrast to the multi-world polarity agendas of China, Russia and Iran — prioritizing peace, stability, and mutual cooperation among all nations.

On Thursday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif said the following:

“To meet the special challenges of our time, we need to solidify our cooperation within the framework of CICA (Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia).” 

“We need to secure a pivotal role for the organization, to advance multilateralism, and to ensure inclusive collaboration.” 

“It is imperative for us to pool our resources to jointly tackle the enormous challenge(s)” of our time.

Days earlier, Iran’s envoy to Britain Hamid Baeidinejad slammed the US for “behaving like a bully,” its actions “isolat(ing) itself from the international community.”

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that the “interdependence and interconnectedness of all states without exception in all spheres of public life is the most important” way to deal with vital issues of our time,” adding with reference to Washington’s hegemonic agenda:

“(O)ur common misfortune has failed to smooth out the differences between some states.” 

“On the contrary, it has exacerbated many of them.” 

“The very moments of crisis that we observed in international relations earlier have resurfaced.” 

“A number of countries are increasingly…look(ing) abroad to find those who are responsible for their problems at home.” 

“There are obvious attempts by individual states to use the current situation to promote self-serving and fleeting interests and to settle scores with unwanted governments or geopolitical rivals.”

“(T)he practice of imposing unilateral, illegitimate sanctions persists, (notably by the US) which undermines the authority and prerogatives of the UN Security Council.”

Again with reference to the US, Lavrov called attacks on the UN system “absolutely unjustified.”

Stressing the importance of supporting and maintaining world peace, stability and security, Lavrov’s call for permanent Security Council members to prioritize this agenda fell on deaf ears in Washington, London and Paris, nations run by belligerent regimes.

“(O)vercom(ing) the most pressing problems of humankind” is only possible by mutual cooperation among all nations, especially major ones, said Lavrov.

It’s been unattainable throughout the post-WW II period because of US-dominated NATO’s rage for endless wars by hot or other means.

On Thursday, China’s UN envoy Zhang Jun sharply criticized slanderous Trump regime attacks on his country, saying the following:

What the world needs now is global cooperation against a made-in-the-USA “political virus,” its blaming other nations for its own wrongdoing, its “unilateralism and bullying,” adding:

“(T)he US keeps withdrawing from international treaties and organizations, severely undermining the UN-centered international system and the international order based on international law.”

“The US flexes its (political and military muscles (globally, unlawfully) interfering…in the internal affairs of other countries…”

It “instigat(es) ‘color revolutions,’ jeopardizing (world) peace and stability.”

Its “cold war mentality” and drive for hegemony “push(es) the world into a dangerous situation.” 

It’s “erecting protectionist barriers and destabilizing the world supply and industrial chains.”

It’s “wielding the big stick of unilateral sanctions, frantically containing and suppressing foreign (countries and) companies, and attempting to artificially cut off the international flow of capital, technology, product, industry and personnel.” 

“(T)hese (actions) pose a serious threat to world peace and development.”

Jun’s call for the US to change its unacceptable ways fell on deaf ears of its one-party state with two right wings.

In February 2019, Trump appointed Kelly Knight Kraft as Washington’s UN envoy.

A dubious figure, wife of billionaire coal-mining tycoon/large GOP donor Joseph Craft, she’s notably unqualified for the high-profile diplomatic post, shown by her remarks — sounding like right-wing extremist/geopolitical know-nothing Nikki Haley.

On Thursday, she used the world stage to bash China and Iran unjustifiably.

Falsely accusing Iran of “funding and arming terrorists around the world” — a US specialty, not how Tehran operates anywhere — she shifted her venom at China, reciting a litany of bald-faced Big Lies, sounding like Chinaphobe Pompeo.

Time and again, GOP and Dem hardliners falsely blame countries they want transformed into pro-Western vassal states for high crimes committed against them.

A “safer and more secure world” is unattainable because of Washington’s geopolitical agenda, its hegemonic aims, its war on humanity, its abhorrence of peace, stability, cooperation among all nations, and the rule of law.

It’s better for U.S. forces to come to Persian Gulf to be within our reach: IRGC deputy chief

Source

September 23, 2020 – 19:54

TEHRAN – While the U.S. describes the deployment of its aircraft career to the Persian Gulf region as a show of force aimed at deterring Iran, a senior Iranian military official has welcomed the deployment of American troops to the region, saying they will be within Iran’s reach.

“It is better for them to come to the Persian Gulf because they will be within our reach,” Ali Fadavi, the deputy commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), told the Arabic-language al-Mayadeen news network aired on Wednesday.

In a provocative move, the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Nimitz has entered the Persian Gulf for the first time in ten months on September 18, only one day before the U.S. announced the return of all UN sanctions on Iran. The U.S. navy said in a statement on the same day that the aircraft carrier’s transit through the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf was “scheduled,” a clear attempt to dispel speculation over the timing of the deployment of USS Nimitz to the Persian Gulf, which came against a backdrop of heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington. However, the U.S. move was widely seen as a show of force to Iran.

“If the Americans commit new folly, they will be faced with unimaginable force.”The IRGC has flown home-made surveillance drones over the aircraft carrier and publish images of it. The images show fighter planes parked on the carrier’s deck.

In a clear warning to the U.S., Fadavi said, “If the Americans commit new folly, they will be faced with unimaginable force.”

Iran also flexed its military muscles only a week before the U.S. aircraft carrier entered the Persian Gulf. On September 11, the Iranian Army began three-day military exercises in the Sea of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean. The exercises, codenamed “Zolfaqar-99”, took place in areas spanning 2 million square kilometers. During the exercises, Iran’s armed forces unveiled and tested their state-of-the-art weapons, including a number of cruise missiles and combat drones.

Analysts believe that the Zolfaqar-99 exercises were meant to send a clear message to the U.S. that Iran is fully prepared to thwart any U.S. military action.

The IRGC has flown home-made surveillance drones over the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier and publish images of it. The images show fighter planes parked on the carrier’s deck.“Iran conducted the Zolfaqar-99 exercises to show that it is able to defend itself in the face of any U.S, military action,” Seyed Jalal Sadatian, Iran’s former ambassador to the UK, told the Tehran Times.

Sadatian previously told the Tehran Times that Trump was likely to wage limited war with Iran to boost his reelection chances. According to the former ambassador, U.S. allies in the region cannot confront Iran alone and that the U.S. had no other options than strengthening their bases in the region to besiege Iran in a way that it would not be able to respond to any aggression.

“But they will fail because Iran has a strategic depth in the region and the U.S. can’t undermine this strategic depth. So if they attack Iran, they will be bogged down in the region. Any attack against Iran could pave the way for the U.S. to be mired in the region,” the former ambassador warned.

The U.S. threatened to attack Iran after an American publication accused Iran of weighing a plot to assassinate U.S. ambassador to South Africa Lana Marks in retaliation for the assassination of the IRGC’s Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani in early January. Iran strongly denied the accusation. 

After leaving the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, the U.S. sought to build a maritime coalition against Iran in the Persian Gulf. But its efforts in this regard failed to yield concrete results.

Fadavi said the Americans will never be able to create coalitions against Iran in the region. 
“They have not and will not succeed in forming any new coalition against the Islamic Revolution,” the top general said, adding, “The U.S. efforts to create coalitions against the Islamic Revolution are old.”

RELATED NEWS

Weekly China Newsbrief and Sitrep

Source

Weekly China Newsbrief and Sitrep

By Godfree Roberts selected from his extensive weekly newsletter : Here Comes China

Editorial Comments

Now that the excitement of all the major Heads of Countries virtually speaking at the UNGA is over, we can come to initial conclusions.  The theme of this gathering was to investigate the UN itself, and to position it to be a better global gathering place where internal relations can be discussed, problems solved and the work of multi-polarity between nations can continue.  President Putin gave a serious statesman speech without any fireworks, stating why the UN is important and calmly outlining the conditions in our world today, which actions should take priority and what the Russian focus is in the medium and long terms.  His gift to the UN and staff is a free SputnikV Vaccine.  Chairman Xi did the same and also came bearing gifts, putting some money where their mouth’s are in essence.  Here is the transcript and this quote stands out:  (Note my bolded sentence).

“Since the start of this year, we, the 1.4 billion Chinese, undaunted by the strike of COVID-19, and with the government and the people united as one, have made all-out efforts to control the virus and speedily restore life and economy to normalcy. We have every confidence to achieve our goals within the set time frame, that is, to finish the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, lift out of poverty all rural residents living below the current poverty line, and meet ten years ahead of schedule the poverty eradication target set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

China is the largest developing country in the world, a country that is committed to peaceful, open, cooperative and common development.  We will never seek hegemony, expansion, or sphere of influence. We have no intention to fight either a Cold War or a hot war with any country.  We will continue to narrow differences and resolve disputes with others through dialogue and negotiation. We do not seek to develop only ourselves or engage in a zero-sum game. We will not pursue development behind closed doors. Rather, we aim to foster, over time, a new development paradigm with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other. This will create more space for China’s economic development and add impetus to global economic recovery and growth.

China will continue to work as a builder of global peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of international order. To support the UN in playing its central role in international affairs, I hereby announce the following steps to be taken by China:

— China will provide another US$50 million to the UN COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan.

— China will provide US$50 million to the China-FAO South-South Cooperation Trust Fund (Phase III).

— China will extend the Peace and Development Trust Fund between the UN and China by five years after it expires in 2025.

— China will set up a UN Global Geospatial Knowledge and Innovation Center and an International Research Center of Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals to facilitate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

So why is it that the Chinese government seemingly fails to convince the western public that China is not their enemy? Alternatively stated, why is it that the western countries are successful in portraying China as their enemy?  The answer is non-complicated at a first look.

At present, 90% of Americans learn about China through Western media, so it’s hard for the Chinese Government to convince Americans of anything.

American media are even more tightly controlled than Chinese media and far less trustworthy, says the American Press Institute, “Just six percent of Americans say they have a lot of confidence in the media, putting the news industry about equal to Congress and well below the public’s view of other institutions”.

Americans don’t trust what their media tell them, but they don’t have other sources of information, either.

Joey Yu says: (February 22) —”The average American also has never left the United States. Never seen another country unless it’s through the media, and what the media shows them is probably outdated.”  • And nearly all Western media has the constant anti-Chinese political refrain which has brainwashed many even highly educated American and British professionals. I have given up trying to correct such people because I would lose their friendship if I continue to do that. But that brainwashing rankles.

First we had President Trump’s speech at the UNGA, which can only be categorized as a blistering and outright attack on China, well outside of the theme set for this meeting, while pretending to be the ‘Peaceful Nation’.  The Chinese commentary was immediate and devastating. I pulled these few comments describing President Trump’s speech out of just one of the Chinese commentaries:

Discriminatory, did the US President come to the UN for a quarrel, vulgar, full of loopholes, fooling only the American public, undisguised attempt at a new cold war, a destroyer, a creator of tensions, a hysterical attack that violated the diplomatic etiquette a top leader is supposed to have, pays no heed to diplomacy, they believe power is everything, they want the agenda of the international community to serve US politics, and the UN General Assembly be turned into Trump’s presidential campaign, the US has performed so poorly in handling domestic affairs that reforms could barely be advanced, it has to pass the buck to digest the domestic anger.

And then finally:  “This is the sign of stagnation and the decline of a major power. It’s hoped the US government will not go further in this direction, which will only end up deceiving itself.”

With that as a backdrop, this selection from Godfree’s Here Comes China Newsletter focuses on

  • vaccines,
  • how the ‘scary social credit system’ actually works,
  • a purported whistle blower,
  • Pakistan and Belt and Road
  • Chinese foreign investment.

While in the western countries there is a concerted effort against vaccines, and a tremendous amount of backlash from citizens against vaccines for Covid-19 (and I don’t blame them at all given who is developing these for the western world), in China the situation is completely different:

China will not need a sweeping coronavirus vaccination programme because the pathogen is effectively under control in the country – at least for now. Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC), said that large-scale vaccination would only be needed if there was a major outbreak, like the one in Wuhan in February. “This is an issue of balancing risk and return”.[MORE]


We’ve seen endless propaganda with visions of brutal control of the citizens via the so-called Social Credit System in China.  Let’s take a look at how it really works.

The chairman of China’s embattled HNA Group Co. Ltd. was restricted from excessive spending on travel, golf and other activities by a court as debt woes continue rattling the once high-flying conglomerate. A district court in Xi’an, northwest China’s Shaanxi province, issued orders to limit spending by HNA and its 67-year-old co-founder and Chairman Chen Feng, a court document database showed Wednesday. As the legal representative of HNA, Chen will be restricted from taking flights, buying train tickets that are pricier than economy class, accommodations in luxury hotels, spending on entertainment such as golf and leisure trips, buying property and nonessential vehicles, and investing in high-yield wealth management products, according to the orders. The Xi’an court said it issued the orders in a debt dispute filed against HNA in August. [MORE]

It seems absolutely fine to me that if someone mismanaged his large business and lived a luxury life, that he should be brought back to a normal lifestyle while fixing his business.


We`ve all heard of the Chinese Virologist that is being trotted out on most western mainstream media, saying that China developed the Covid-19 virus in a lab and she was told to stay silent.   Yet, I bet very few have seen the Chinese commentary on this:

Chinese defector’s shocking virus claim: Dr Li, a formerly a specialist at Hong Kong’s School of Public Health, said her supervisor first asked her to investigate a new “SARS-like” virus in Wuhan – but that her efforts were later stifled. She said she reported back that cases appeared to be rising exponentially but was told to “keep silent and be careful”. “’We will get in trouble and we’ll be disappeared’,” her supervisor reportedly said.  Dr Li travelled to the US in late April before speaking out, saying she had to leave Hong Kong because she “knows how [China] treat whistleblowers”. [MORE]

A press release from the University of Hong Kong (HKU) denied her claim and stated that: “Dr Yan never conducted any research on human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus at HKU during December 2019 and January 2020. We further observe that what she might have emphasised in the reported interview has no scientific basis but resembles hearsay.” The director of HKU’s School of Public Health, Keiji Fukuda, said in an internal memo to staff that none of the researchers named by Yan were involved in any cover-up or “secret research”.[MORE]


Pakistan and China signed the Development Agreement for the first China Pakistan Economic Corridor’s (CPEC) Rashakai Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Monday. Chairman Atif R. Bokhari said sufficient headway has been made on this front and the zones are now gearing up for business. “Pakistan’s proximity with China will allow these SEZs to foster economic interdependence for mutual economic advantage,” he added. [MORE]

In Pakistan, the Belt and Road project is everywhere. A dinner at the Islamabad Club quickly turns into a reminiscence of different visits to China. After a lecture in Lahore, a group of young men from Baluchistan want to know if China’s monumental economic initiative will develop their region — or cause it to lose its identity. The acronym for the corridor linking China and Pakistan, CPEC, can be heard in hotel lobbies and restaurants; it stands out for those who cannot understand Urdu. There are young people who have come of age since the beginning of the initiative and for whom it constitutes the only possible horizon for professional advancement. Earlier this year, I spent three weeks traveling in Pakistan, the crown jewel of the Belt and Road project, the country where the initiative first took root and therefore the most plausible candidate for the place where its future can be surmised and understood.

So central is the Belt and Road to Pakistani politics that it should not be thought of as a specific enterprise. Rather, it provides the overarching framework for every economic policy and project. In short, the initiative is something that should feel very familiar to policymakers in Brussels and other European capitals.

In my discussions with economic authorities and think tanks, it quickly became obvious that the main debate in Pakistan today is about the best way to adapt policy decisions and reforms to the Belt and Road framework. The Belt and Road can thus be compared to the European Union and the role it played for countries in Central and Eastern Europe after the 2004 and 2007 enlargements. Which decisions should these countries make in order to better occupy their place within the given political and economic order?

That many in the West still think of the Belt and Road purely in terms of infrastructure is something I find deeply perplexing. In the project’s inaugural speech that Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered in Astana in 2013, infrastructure was no more than one of the five pillars of the Belt and Road — and very obviously not more than an ancillary one. The real action was clearly elsewhere.

At the time of Xi was giving his speech in Astana, it was common to hear from different officials and intellectuals in Beijing that the Belt and Road was meant to be completed in 2049, around the time of the first centennial of the new China. Last year, while living in Beijing, I started hearing that the temporal horizon was even longer. Many spoke openly of a 100-year project. This is not the time-scale of an infrastructure plan. The Marshall Plan was concluded in just a few years. Interestingly, in Pakistan this idea — that the Belt and Road is a project of economic and technological development, culminating in a new global political and economic order — is clearly understood.  By Bruno Maçães, a former Europe minister for Portugal, is a senior adviser at Flint Global in London and the author most recently of “History Has Begun: The Birth of a New America” (Hurst, 2020). The paperback edition of his “Belt and Road: a Chinese World Order” will be published this month.  [MORE]


Over 80% of the World’s Na­tions received Chi­nese For­eign In­vest­ment in 2019. Chi­na’s out­bound for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment to­talled USD$136.91 bil­lion, for a YoY de­cline of 4.3%. The in­vest­ment sum nonethe­less made China the world’s sec­ond biggest source of for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment af­ter Japan ($226.65 bil­lion). As of the end of 2019 Chi­na’s to­tal for­eign di­rect in­vest­ments were $2.2 tril­lion, third be­hind the United States ($7.7 tril­lion) and the Nether­lands ($2.6 tril­lion). Chi­na’s out­bound for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment com­prised 10.4% of the global to­tal in 2019 – the fourth con­sec­u­tive year that this fig­ure was above 10%. Chi­na’s to­tal for­eign di­rect in­vest­ments were 6.4% of the to­tal, on par with 2018. 80% of Chi­na’s for­eign di­rect in­vest­ments in 2019 were in the ser­vices sec­tor, with key ar­eas in­clud­ing leas­ing and com­mer­cial ser­vices, whole­sale and re­tail, fi­nance, in­for­ma­tion com­mu­ni­ca­tions/ soft­ware, real es­tate, and tran­sit/ ware­hous­ing. [MORE]


Selections and editorial comments by Amarynth.  (Go Get that newsletter – it is again packed with detail).

The censored reason why the US would torpedo the UN over Iran: Iranian strength

Tuesday, 22 September 2020 7:19 PM  [ Last Update: Tuesday, 22 September 2020 7:23 PM ]

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)
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference to announce the Trump administration’s restoration of sanctions on Iran, on September 21, 2020, at the US State Department in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)
Why would the US blow up the UN over little old Iran?

By Ramin Mazaheri and cross-posted with Press-TV

Washington has illegally snapped back illegal sanctions on Iran. No one in the world cares, but all this illegality has not gone unnoticed: The US is gutting both its international reputation and that of the United Nations all over Iran.

Risking the international order, which Washington partially controls, over China – Ok, they could be viewed as a serious enough threat by the realpolitik fanatics in the Pentagon. Over the former USSR? Ok, that unsubmissive bloc also threatened total US control.

But over Iran?

We must remind ourselves that the question seems strange only because in all the Western coverage of Iran-US relations what is never broached is the merest notion of Iranian strength.

But if Iran is so powerless then why is the US going to such unprecedented lengths? Why did the warmongering New York Times take a pause from their yellow journalism to concede that, yes, the absurd sanctions move means, “the United States has largely isolated itself from the world order”.

But they didn’t genuinely explain, much less even ask: “Why risk so much over Iran?”

Here is the never-stated reality: the US has made this desperate, sure-to-fail gambit because US policy has been defeated by superior Iranian strength.

This is not jingoistic propaganda on my part: The New York Times conceded that, “The act was born of frustration”. Iran is not some behemoth ready to steamroll the entire world, nor is it a media darling welcomed by foreign masses with strewn flowers – so how can it frustrate the superpower so very much, even as so many other countries fear to engage in the smallest acts of independence or defiance?

It can’t merely be the morally-bankrupt answer so popular in the US, “It’s the economy, stupid,” – i.e, that Iran has a lot of oil. 

No, Iranian strength rests upon the fundamental success of Iran’s unique combination of post-1917 socioeconomic political structures adapted under a genuine and modern interpretation of Islam.

This strength has even another strength on top of it – what a tremendous appeal this combination has for the huge portion of the globe known as the Muslim world.

Iran calls US attempt to ‘snapback’ sanctions ‘null and void’, urges UN to block it
Iran calls US attempt to ‘snapback’ sanctions ‘null and void’, urges UN to block it

Iran says the US’ claim about the return of the UN Security Council’s sanctions against Tehran as per the so-called “snapback” mechanism is “null and void”, calling on the UN and its Security Council to block any attempt to reinstate the bans.

The idea that the Iranian Islamic Revolution could be universally exported is an absurdity – forced conversion to Islam is proscribed in the Qur’an, for starters, and Islamic culture does not seem readily compatible with that of Amsterdam, Rio de Janeiro or Tokyo any more than the culture of Tokyo, Rio and Amsterdam are readily compatible with that of Iran’s. But the idea that a post-1917, Islamically-based government can not just exist but thrive – even in total and open opposition to Western imperialism – is most definitely exportable to the Muslim World.

But even allowing this option to be democratically presented within Muslim countries is something which imperialists – from any region or culture – cannot risk.

Iran’s frightening strength, and its massive threat, is thus this: it keeps democratically presenting this option. That is the true reason why the US is so very deranged over Iran that they would topple the world order just to keep Iran from succeeding.

In a sense they are right: Iran’s success really does challenge the world order, after all, given the modern importance of oil – a Muslim world not chained by arrogant imperialists would force the West to finally cooperate and not dominate, and also free up trillions of petrodollars for local use.

Washington demands that 80 million Iranians must be viciously sanctioned because they keep selecting this option; keep getting out to vote; keep democratically participating; and – in 2020 – keep on respecting the national democratic will no matter how many sanctions get levied in an effort to, as former US Secretary of State John Kerry once said by accident in Paris, “implode” Iran.

(In 2020 in the US, however, it seems like neither side will honor the national democratic will if their own candidate doesn’t win – more proof that the US is not a very democratic culture, perhaps.)

UN chief says will take no action on US 'snapback' push against Iran
UN chief says will take no action on US ‘snapback’ push against Iran

The UN chief says “uncertainty” prevents him from considering Washington

Savvy commentators know that Trump’s sanctions may have increased economic difficulties but they also know that they have only increased domestic patriotism: a country which fought for eight years to preserve 5 centimetres of Iranian land from Iraqi & Western aggressors cannot be easily cowed, nor have they come this far to stop now.

Increasing this sense of patriotism is the reality that Iranians truly feel that they deserve international respect precisely because the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979 has created a novel system so very strong and egalitarian that it can face endless sanctions and still win.

These post-1917 and Islamic-inspired creations, solutions and levers are what are so treasured domestically; are what explain the success for Iran’s resistance; cannot even be objectively described, much less openly admired, in the West, which is why the West doesn’t even want to inquire about possible Iranian strengths.

It also these systems – their very success, support and how they increase sovereign Iranian strength – which explain why it is China which courted Iran for the Belt and Road Initiative and not the other way around. For over five years Iran rather rejected Beijing’s overtures, in order to give the JCPOA a chance.

The most lenient analysis in 2020 would be that the JCPOA is at least a partial failure, and it seems very historically logical to predict that even a victory by Joe Biden would not lead to the US actually honoring the treaty.

But as the JCPOA’s promises continued to go unfulfilled Iranian diplomats were also laying the groundwork for the $400 billion, 25-year strategic partnership with China that now seems certain to be finalized.

None of it adds up over Iran, to the US elite:

Why would the US blow up the UN over little old Iran? Why is China making Iran (and not, say, Russia) their make-or-break node in their Belt and Road Initiative? Why is the world standing with Iran against almighty Washington?

But it’s not possible to intelligently answer such questions if the idea of Iranian strength cannot even be openly discussed.

Fortunately for the average Iranian: strength means having the ability to disregard the ignorance, collusion and duplicity of those weaker than yourself.

Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV 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 ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

(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

Maduro Accuses US of Allowing CIA to Carry Out “Terrorist” Actions in Venezuela

Maduro Accuses US of Allowing CIA to Carry Out “Terrorist” Actions in Venezuela

By Staff, Agencies

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that US President Donald Trump’s administration gave its approval to the Central Intelligence Agency [CIA] to carry out recent “covert and terrorist operations” against an array of targets in the country.

“They have given the CIA the green light to come with direct agents to covert and terrorist operations against oil, electricity, military, electoral targets and other dirty covert actions like those used by the CIA,” he told state television in Spanish on Tuesday, speaking of the Trump administration. 

This comes amid a series of developments that followed the capture of an alleged US spy near Venezuela’s largest oil refinery earlier this month.

Following an investigation into the matter, the Venezuelan president claimed that the spy, who was arrested alongside three others in Falcon State, served as a communications operator at a CIA base in Iraq between 2006 and 2016.

Maduro also reiterated accusations against the US Drug Enforcement Administration [DEA], which he claims has been used by the White House to attack Venezuela and overthrow Caracas.

“It has placed the DEA as the operator agency of the attack against Venezuela, what is new today is not that the DEA is involved with the Colombian drug trafficking group to attack Venezuela, the new thing is that they have approved that the CIA get involved in operations terrorist attacks against Venezuela,” he stated on Tuesday.

Earlier this year, a group of 13 individuals were captured by Venezuelan security forces. Two of the 13 detainees were later identified as US citizens Luke Denman and Airan Barry.

A testimony published soon after showed a detainee claiming the group was made up of “intermediaries of the security chief of the USA president, they say they are from the security advisory of Donald Trump,” according to a translated tweet.

Venezuelan Interior Minister Nestor Reverol claimed that one of the men was a DEA agent. However, the DEA has denied these allegations.

Maduro also warned on Tuesday that Colombian President Ivan Duque has been recruiting drug smugglers ahead of a planned attack on Venezuela.

“Ivan Duque is directly articulating the drug trafficking gangs and has placed the drug trafficking gangs of La Guajira and other places to prepare his group of hit men and terrorists to come and attack Venezuela in the coming weeks,” he claimed.

Maduro’s announcement of this anticipated attack comes a day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced new sanctions against the Venezuelan president, as well as against the Iranian Defense Ministry and other Iranian officials.

“For nearly two years, corrupt officials in Tehran had worked with the illegitimate regime in Venezuela to flout the UN arms embargo,” Pompeo said on Monday.

The Venezuelan president and 14 present and past government officials were previously indicted by the US Department of Justice on narcoterrorism charges.

The Trump administration has also offered a $15 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Maduro. Allies of the president, like Supreme Tribunal of Justice President Maikel Moreno, also had multi-million-dollar bounties placed on them by the US government.

A DARPA-Funded Implantable Biochip to Detect COVID-19 Could Hit Markets by 2021

By Raul Diego

Source

An experimental new vaccine developed jointly with the US government claims to be able to change human DNA and could be deployed as early as next year through a DARPA-funded, injectable biochip.

he most significant scientific discovery since gravity has been hiding in plain sight for nearly a decade and its destructive potential to humanity is so enormous that the biggest war machine on the planet immediately deployed its vast resources to possess and control it, financing its research and development through agencies like the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and HHS’ BARDA.

The revolutionary breakthrough came to a Canadian scientist named Derek Rossi in 2010 purely by accident. The now-retired Harvard professor claimed in an interview with the National Post that he found a way to “reprogram” the molecules that carry the genetic instructions for cell development in the human body, not to mention all biological lifeforms.

These molecules are called ‘messenger ribonucleic acid’ or mRNA and the newfound ability to rewrite those instructions to produce any kind of cell within a biological organism has radically changed the course of Western medicine and science, even if no one has really noticed yet. As Rossi, himself, puts it: “The real important discovery here was you could now use mRNA, and if you got it into the cells, then you could get the mRNA to express any protein in the cells, and this was the big thing.”

It was so big that by 2014, Rossi was able to retire after the company he co-founded with Flagship Pioneering private equity firm to exploit his innovation, – Moderna Inc., attracted almost a half billion dollars in federal award monies to begin developing vaccines using the technology. No longer affiliated with Moderna beyond his stock holdings, Rossi is just “watching for what happens next” and if he’s anything like the doting “hockey dad” he is portrayed to be, he must be horrified.

Remote control biology

As early as 2006, DARPA was already researching how to identify viral, upper respiratory pathogens through its Predicting Health and Disease (PHD) program, which led to the creation of the agency’s Biological Technologies Office (BTO), as reported by Whitney Webb in a May article for The Last American Vagabond. In 2014, DARPA’s BTO launched its “In Vivo Nanoplatforms” (IVN) program, which researches implantable nanotechnologies, leading to the development of ‘hydrogel’.

Hydrogel is a nanotechnology whose inventor early on boasted that “If [it] pans out, with approval from FDA, then consumers could get the sensors implanted in their core to measure their levels of glucose, oxygen, and lactate.” This contact lens-like material requires a special injector to be introduced under the skin where it can transmit light-based digital signals through a wireless network like 5G.

Once firmly implanted inside the body, human cells are at the mercy of any mRNA program delivered via this substrate, unleashing a nightmare of possibilities. It is, perhaps, the first true step towards full-on transhumanism; a “philosophy” that is in vogue with many powerful and influential people, such as Google’s Ray Kurzweil and Eric Schmidt and whose proponents see the fusion of technology and biology as an inevitable consequence of human progress.

The private company created to market this technology, that allows for biological processes to be controlled remotely and opens the door to the potential manipulation of our biological responses and, ultimately, our entire existence, is called Profusa Inc and its operations are funded with millions from NIH and DARPA. In March, the company was quietly inserted into the crowded COVID-19 bazaar in March 2020, when it announced an injectable biochip for the detection of viral respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.

 A wholly-owned subsidiary

In July, a preliminary report funded by Fauci’s NIAID and the NIH on an mRNA Vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 was published in The New England Journal of Medicine, concluding that mRNA-1273 vaccine. provided by Moderna for the study, “induced anti–SARS-CoV-2 immune responses in all participants, and no trial-limiting safety concerns were identified,” and supported “further development of this vaccine.”

A month earlier, the NIH had claimed a joint stake in Moderna’s mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, citing a contract signed in December, 2019, stipulating that the “mRNA coronavirus vaccine candidates [are] developed and jointly owned” by both parties. Moderna disputes the federal government’s position, stating that the company “has a broad owned and licensed IP estate” and is “not aware of any IP that would prevent us from commercializing our product candidates, including mRNA-1273.”

A poster is displayed in the entrance way looking for volunteers as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

The only obstacle is a delivery system, which though Moderna claims to be developing separately, is unlikely to get FDA approval before the federal government’s own DARPA-developed hydrogel technology, in tandem with Profusa’s DARPA-funded light sensor technology, which is expected to receive fast track authorization from the Food and Drug Administration by early 2021 and, more than likely, used to deploy a coronavirus vaccine with the capacity to literally change our DNA.

In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is currently investigating Moderna’s patent filings, claiming it failed to disclose “federal government support” in its COVID vaccine candidate patent applications, as required by law. The technicality could result in the federal government owning a 100 percent stake in mRNA-1273.

France: No Evidence of Hezbollah Explosives Stores

France: No Evidence of Hezbollah Explosives Stores

By Staff, Agencies

France’s Foreign Ministry Friday said there was no evidence to suggest that the Lebanese Resistance group Hezbollah was storing chemicals to make explosives in France after a senior US official claimed the group had set up caches in Europe since 2012.

Speaking on Thursday, Nathan Sales, the US State Department’s coordinator for counterterrorism, accused the Resistance group of smuggling and storing chemicals, including ammonium nitrate, from Belgium to France, Greece, Italy, Spain and Switzerland.

“It stores these weapons in places so it can conduct major terrorist attacks whenever its masters in Tehran deem necessary,” Sales said in a briefing without elaborating or providing evidence of the activities.

“To our knowledge, there is nothing tangible to confirm such an allegation in France today,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Agnes von der Muhll told reporters in response to Sales’ allegations.

“Any illegal activity committed by a foreign organization on our territory would be sanctioned by the French authorities with the greatest firmness,” von der Muhll said.

Tucker: President Trump wants US troops out of the Middle East

Source

Battleground South China Sea?

By Stephen Lendman

Source

US hostility toward China’s growing political, economic, technological, and military prominence risks possible direct confrontation between both nations.

China seeks peace and cooperative relations with other countries in stark contrast to Washington’s aim for unchallenged dominance by whatever it takes to achieve its aims. 

Last week, Trump regime envoy for arms control Marshall Billingslea said (nuclear-capable) intermediate-range missiles may be deployed in the Indo-Pacific close to China’s territory.

Its Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian denounced what’s likely coming, saying the following:

“China decisively condemns the US’s plans to deploy intermediate-range missiles in the Asia-Pacific Region, and expresses its sharp displeasure with constant pressure on China and the neighboring countries, as well as with constant provocations at China’s borders.”

Noting that deployment of these missiles will affect Russia’s security, its Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova expressed concern, saying:

“We must also take into account that such armaments will also create additional risks for our territory as well, including objects of strategic importance, which would naturally require taking necessary response measures – which I would call compensatory.”

On August 2, 2019, Trump formally abandoned the landmark 1987 INF Treaty — based on phony accusations of Russian violations, invented ones because no real ones exist.

Responding to the unacceptable Trump regime action, Sergey Lavrov said the US began violating the INF Treaty “in 1999 when it began trials of combat unmanned flying vehicles with specifications similar to those of ground-launched cruise missiles banned by the treaty,” adding:

“Later it started using target missiles, ballistic target missiles, for testing its missile defense system, whereas starting in 2014 it began deploying in Europe launching pads for its positioning areas of missile defense – Mk 41 launching pads, which may absolutely be used without any changes and to launch Tomahawk medium-range cruise missiles.”

“That is a direct violation of the treaty. Such systems have already been deployed in Romania, are being prepared for deployment in Poland, as well as in Japan.”

The US under Republicans and Dems is a serial violator of treaties, conventions, bilateral and multilateral agreements, as well as the rule of law overall domestically and geopolitically.

Its provocative actions threaten world peace and stability.

In response to the likely deployment of US intermediate-range missiles close to the borders of China and Russia in the Indo-Pacific, Vladimir Putin said this action will result in a symmetrical response and create new threats.

On Friday in response to repeated US anti-China provocations, PLA spokesman Senior Col. Li Huamin said the following:

“Ignoring the rules of international law, the US side has repeatedly provoked troubles in the South China Sea, exercising navigational hegemony under the pretext of ‘freedom of navigation,” adding:  

“We urge the US to stop such provocative behavior and restrict its maritime actions to avoid possible military accidents.”

What the Pentagon calls “routine freedom of navigation” is highly provocative in the South China Sea, the Persian Gulf, and other international waters close to the territory of nations it wants transformed into US vassal states.

On August 26, the PLA launched two missiles into the South China Sea, including an “aircraft carrier killer,” in response to unacceptable Pentagon aerial spying in no-fly-zone airspace during live-fire Chinese military exercises.

China’s Foreign Ministry called the US action a “naked provocation” that risked a possible “accident,” adding:

The PLA “will not dance to the US’ tune,” stressing that it should “pull itself out of the swamp of anxiety and paranoia.”

Time and again, provocative US intrusions occur in parts of the world not its own that heighten tensions and risk direct confrontation with nations it doesn’t control.

On Friday, the PLA said it expelled the USS Mustin guided missile destroyer from Chinese territorial waters near its Xisha Islands.

The PLA accused the Pentagon of breaching international law by its South China Sea provocations on the phony pretext of freedom of navigation — adding that its actions threaten China’s sovereignty and security.

According to China’s official People’s Daily broadsheet on Friday, the Pentagon unacceptably “sent military aircraft to the region more than 2,000 times  in the first half of this year alone,” adding:

“The US tries to drive wedges between China and related Southeast Asian nations, push those countries to the front, and enlist them as pawns in its anti-China agenda.”

“Washington’s malign scheme to make the South China Sea another anti-China battleground will certainly fail.”

The US is a warmaker, not a peacekeeper in the Indo-Pacific or anywhere else.

The South China Sea and Persian Gulf are the world’s top hot spots.

If global war occurs by accident or design, it’ll likely be launched by the US in one or both of these areas.

What’s unthinkable is possible because of US rage for global dominance — pursued by endless wars by hot and other means that risk destruction of planet earth and all its life forms if things are pushed too far.

US War Secretary’s Imperial Vision

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Mark Esper is to the Trump region’s war department what Pompeo is at State.

Both figures are right-wing extremists supporting endless US wars of aggression on nonbelligerent states threatening no one.

On August 24 in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Esper said “(t)he Pentagon is prepared for China,” adding:

Xi Jinping intends “transforming the PLA into a world-class military, one that can further the party’s agenda far beyond China’s shores (sic).” 

“His remarks serve as a stark reminder that we have entered a new era of global competition between the free and open international order (sic) and an authoritarian system fostered by Beijing (sic).”

Unsaid by Esper is that China prioritizes fostering cooperative relations with other countries, hostility toward none — polar opposite US hegemonic aims, waging war on humanity at home and abroad.

Since Nixon began the process of normalizing Sino/US relations in February 1972, followed later by the Joint Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations agreed to by Jimmy Carter and Deng Xiaoping that formally established bilateral relations on January 1, 1979, China never attacked another country.

Its geopolitical agenda is in stark contrast to endless US wars on invented enemies.

If all countries fostered relations with others as Beijing does, world peace, stability, and mutual cooperation among the world community of nations would break out all over.

China threatens no other countries. The US threatens the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations it doesn’t control.

Trump, Pompeo, Esper, and vast majority of congressional members support endless US war on humanity.

Its hostile to peace agenda risks global war with nukes if its hardliners push things too far.

Esper falsely accused Beijing of pursuing “an economic and foreign policy agenda that is often inimical to the interests of the US and our allies” — a bald-faced Big Lie.

Xi’s plan for modernizing China’s military is with self-defense in mind — not naked aggression against invented enemies the way the US operates.

The rest of Esper’s op-ed included a further litany of Big Lies while concealing Washington’s hostile agenda.

Part of his aim is wanting trillions more dollars spent on US militarism and belligerence, including for a space force to wage future wars from the heavens.

Separately on a visit to Hawaii, Palau and Guam, Esper stressed the Indo-Pacific’s importance as “the main focus of America’s national strategy” for unchallenged global dominance.

Instead of cooperative outreach to regional countries for the mutual benefit of all, he called for Indo-Pacific leaders to ally with the US against China — falsely calling the country a regional threat, what applies to Washington, not Beijing.

Unacceptably hostile remarks by him, Pompeo, Trump, and likeminded congressional hardliners reflect how greatly Sino/US relations deteriorated with no prospect for improving things no matter which wing of the US war party runs things in Washington.

If Republicans or Dems push things too far, a Sino/US political and economic clash of civilizations could turn hot.

George Santanyana warned “(t)hose who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Two global wars taught America’s ruling class nothing — neither Kellogg-Briand’s renunciation of aggressive wars after WW I ended or the UN Charter’s preamble, saying:

“We the Peoples of the United Nations Determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind…”

Is another global war inevitable, the next one with super-weapons able to destroy planet earth and all its life forms if detonated in enough numbers?

What’s madness is possible by accident of design because of US rage to dominate other countries by whatever it takes to achieve its hegemonic aims.

Western Media’s Favorite Hong Kong ‘Freedom Struggle Writer’ Is American Ex-Amnesty Staffer in Yellowface

By Max Blumenthal

Source

 

Hong Kong Tsung Gan Brian Kern yellowface media f92af

An American man with ties to Amnesty International and key Hong Kong separatist figures has been posing online as a Hong Kong native named Kong Tsung-gan. Routinely cited as a grassroots activist and writer by major media organizations and published in English-language media, the fictitious character Kong appears to have been concocted to disseminate anti-China propaganda behind the cover of yellowface.

Through Kong Tsung-gan’s prolific digital presence and uninterrogated reputation in mainstream Western media, he disseminates a constant stream of content hyping up the Hong Kong “freedom struggle” while clamoring for the US to turn up the heat on China.

Whispers about Kong’s true identity have been circulating on social media among Hong Kong residents, and was even mentioned in a brief account last December by The Standard.

The Grayzone spoke to several locals outraged by a deceptive stunt they considered not only unethical, but racist. They said they have kept their views to themselves due to the atmosphere of intimidation looming over the city, where self-styled “freedom fighters” harass and target seemingly anyone who speaks out publicly against them.

In this investigation, The Grayzone connected the dots between Kong and an American man who has become a major presence in Western media and at protests around Hong Kong. Our research indicates that Kong’s editors and prominent protest cheerleaders were likely aware of the deceptive ploy.

Kong Tsung-gan bursts onto Hong Kong Twitter scene, becomes go-to source for anti-China content

The Twitter user Kong Tsung-gan (@KongTsungGan) first appeared in March 2015. Kong Tsung-gan’s earliest tweets featured commentary about Tibet and the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement.

At some point, Kong changed his Twitter avatar to a black-and-white headshot of an unknown Asian person. A search of the Wayback Machine internet archive shows that this photo remained up until sometime in late 2019.

Later, Kong changed his Twitter avatar to an image depicting Liu Xia, the wife of the late Nobel Prize-winning dissident Liu Xiaobo. Liu Xiaobo was a right-wing ideologue who celebrated the US wars on Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and was rewarded with the 2014 Democracy Award by the National Endowment for Democracy – the favorite meddling machine of the US government.

As of August 2020, Kong Tsung-gan’s Twitter account boasts more than 32,000 followers. He live-tweets during protests, posts incendiary commentary about the Communist Party of China (CPC), likens the Hong Kong “struggle” to Tibet and Xinjiang, begs the United States to ram through sanction bills like the Hong Kong Safe Harbor and Hong Kong People’s Freedom and Choice Acts, urges NBA star Lebron James to “find out about our freedom struggle,” retweets Nancy Pelosi and other US politicians, promotes his books, maintains an ongoing tally of arrests in his regular “#HK CRACKDOWN WATCH UPDATE,” and disseminates images of protest posters.

At around the time he created his Twitter account, Kong Tsung-gan published his first Medium post. He has since filled his Medium feed with protest timelines, lists of recommended human rights books and journalism (including a link to the questionable China “expert” Adrian Zenz), and “first-hand accounts” of his protest experiences on the ground. In one account, Kong Tsung-gan claimed he attended a Band 1 government school, implying he was a native Hong Kong resident.

Kong’s work has been amplified by Joshua Wong, the Hong Kong protest poster-boy who has enjoyed photo-ops with neoconservative Republican senators like Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton.

Thanks to his continual stream of content on Twitter and Medium, and his platform on the website Hong Kong Free Press, Kong Tsung-gan has become one of mainstream Western media’s go-to sources for soundbites.

Kong Tsung-gan: Darling of the Western press

Since bursting onto the Hong Kong Twitter scene, Kong Tsung-gan has been quoted by a who’s who of Western corporate media outlets. He has been described as an “author” (CNNGlobe and MailTime), “writer and activist” (New York TimesWashington Post), “activist and author” (LA Times),“activist” (AFPAl Jazeera), “writer, educator and activist” (Guardian), “political writer” (Foreign Policy), “writer” (Vice), and “Hong Kong writer and activist” in an op-ed posted by the Nikkei Asian Review.

Kong has also been cited as a “Hong Kong journalist and rights activist” by Radio Free Asia and as a “rights activist and author” by Voice of America, two subsidiaries of the US Agency for Global Media (USAGM). Tasked with a mission to “be consistent with the broad foreign policy objectives of the United States,” the USAGM budgeted around $2 million to support protests in Hong Kong in 2020.

When he is not churning out commentary on Twitter and Medium accounts, Kong Tsung-gan is a columnist at Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) and publishes books about the Hong Kong “freedom struggle,” whose proceeds go directly to HKFP.

Hong Kong Free Press describes itself as an “impartial non-profit media outlet” and “completely independent.” The outlet also boasted that it “gets full marks” from a supposed journalism ethics verification initiative called News Guard, which happens to be overseen by a collection of former US government national security and law enforcement officials.

HKFP editor-in-chief Tom Grundy has boasted of rejecting article pitches from deceptive figures operating behind false identities. At the same time, Grundy has provided a regular home for Kong’s commentary.

The Grayzone emailed HKFP to request a comment on Kong’s identity, but received no reply.

The distinctly American voice of Kong Tsung-gan

To burnish his reputation as a reliable source, Kong Tsung-gan has furnished audio interviews to Western outlets. In July 2019, Kong Tsung-gan was featured on Louisa Lim’s Little Red Podcast alongside National Endowment for Democracy fellow Johnson Yeung, lawmaker Eddie Chu Hoi-Dick, and former Hong Kong Chief Secretary Anson Chan.

Around the same time, an American man in Hong Kong named Brian Kern spoke to RTHK at a march commemorating the Tiananmen anniversary.

A close listen to both audio clips, along with an interview Kong furnished to an Italian interviewer, demonstrates that Kong Tsung-gan and Brian Kern are the same person.

Listen for yourself here, or in the video embedded at the top of this article:

Indeed, the distinctively American voices of Kong Tsung-gan and Brian Kern are the same.

So why have news outlets like Hong Kong Free Press failed to disclose that Kong Tsung-gan is a pen name for an American man? Who is Brian Kern? And why is he yellowfacing as Kong Tsung-gan?

In plain sight: American teacher coordinating with Hong Kong protesters

Brian Patrick Kern has been a fixture at the Hong Kong protests since they erupted in 2019. He has been profiled by the Chinese press, photographed cleaning egg stains off the walls of the police headquarters and escorting his children to demonstrations.

Kern has even been filmed coordinating with protesters and rioters in videos circulating on social media.

*(Brian Kern conferring with Hong Kong protesters)

In another video that went viral on social media, Kern was filmed screaming at the police: “You’re a communist puppet! … Kill us all!… With your bug gun, shoot me! I’m so violent! I’m a violent rioter! Shoot me! Your communist masters will love you!”

Brian Kern also writes for the HKFP as a guest contributor under his own name.

Clearly, Kern enjoys the spotlight, and has no apparent fear of local authorities.

But few people know that Brian Kern also hides behind the persona of Kong Tsung-gan, furnishing quotes to media outlets across the West as an expert native source on the Hong Kong “freedom struggle.”

Brian Kern publishes anti-China books under at least two pseudonyms

Not only does Brian Patrick Kern write as Kong Tsung-gan, which he romanized to seem like a Hong Kong native; he also writes under the pen name Xun Yuezang, romanized to appear as a Chinese mainlander. Writings under both aliases are filled with warnings of the “creeping control of the Chinese Communist Party.”

As Kong Tsung-gan, Brian Kern has published three booksUmbrella: A Political Tale from Hong Kong (Pema Press), As long as there is resistance, there is hope: Essays on the Hong Kong freedom struggle in the post-Umbrella Movement era, 2014-2018 (Pema Press), and Liberate Hong Kong: Stories from the Freedom Struggle (Mekong Review).

As Xun Yuezang, Brian Kern has published Liberationists (Pema Press), which “tells the story of a human rights worker who disappears while crossing the border between Hong Kong and mainland China.” One reviewer wrote, “like many debut novels, [Liberationists] a work weighed down by its own good intentions.” In the book, “Xun Yuezang” discloses that it was published under a pseudonym.

No matter which alias he is employing, Brian Kern’s mission is clear: To portray the CPC as one of the world’s most dangerous evildoers.

Kern’s books also are filled with clues exposing him as the man behind both Xun Yuezang and Kong Tsung-gan. Xun Yuezang dedicated the book Liberationists to Mayren “who struggled so long to be free.” Brian Kern’s mother is named Mayren.

Liberationists was also dedicated to someone referred to simply as “Y.” Similarly, Kong Tsung-gan dedicated Liberate Hong Kong: Stories from the Freedom Struggle to “Y, for the shared struggle.” The name of Brian Kern’s wife, Yatman, begins with the letter “Y.”

Pema Press is the publisher for the work by Xun and Kong. Brian Kern’s daughter happens to be named Pema – the same name as the publisher. (It is possible Kern named both his publishing house and his daughter after Jetsun Pema, sister of the Dalai Lama, with whom he and his wife worked in the Tibetan Children’s Villages charity.)

Kern’s Orientalist stunt could be compared to that of Michael Derrick Hudson, a white middle-aged poet from Indiana who struggled to get his work published until he began submitting it to journals under the pseudonym Yi-Fen Chou.

Unlike Hudson’s fake Chinese persona, however, Kern is a political actor posing as a native grassroots activist to spread propaganda. His ploy is therefore more reminiscent of the “Gay Girl in Damascus” hoax, in which Tom MacMaster, a 40-year-old American graduate student at the University of Edinburgh, posed as a Damascus-based lesbian activist named “Amina Arraf” to gin up left-liberal support for regime change in Syria throughout 2011.

Kern’s personal profile is similar to MacMaster’s as well. Both are activist-minded liberal internationalist types with PhDs in literature. But unlike MacMaster, who forged a career in academia, Kern also has a record of work in the human rights industry.

Amnesty and US regime change links

Brain Kern grew up in Minnesota and completed his PhD in Comparative Literature at Brown University in 1996. In 1998, he began teaching at the Red Cross Nordic United World College (UWCRCN) in Norway, where he met his wife, Yatman Cheng.

Cheng graduated from UWCRCN in 2002 and received a Jardine Foundation scholarship to attend Oxford. In 2003 or 2004, as a university student, she volunteered with the Tibetan Children’s Villages in India on a trip organized by her college and led by Brian Kern.

In 2004, Cheng became a summer intern at the Hong Kong think tank Civic Exchange, which has received funding from the National Democratic Institute, a subsidiary of the US government-funded National Endowment for Democracy. Cheng and Kern lived in London in 2007, where Kern worked for Amnesty International as a member of their education team.

In 2008, they moved to Hong Kong, where Kern began teaching at the Chinese International School and established its human rights club.

A few of Kern’s former students appear to work with him behind the cover of his false Asian identity. Several have translated work by Joshua Wong for Kong Tsung-gan’s Medium blog, and one designed the cover for one of Kong Tsung-gan’s books.

Where is Brian Kern now?

Brian Patrick Kern was last seen in public on May 24, 2020, marching with lawmaker Eddie Chu Hoi-Dick in a demonstration against China’s National Security Law.

Weeks later, Kong Tsung-gan published his next book, Liberate Hong Kong: Stories From The Freedom Struggle. Hong Kong’s last British colonial governor Chris Patten praised the tract as “a fascinating insider’s look at what has happened, which will be a defining issue for China’s place in the twenty-first century.”

Did Chris Patten know Kong Tsung-gan was a made-up person?

And how about Tom Grundy, the editor-in-chief of Hong Kong Free Press? Did he know that his columnist, Kong, was actually an American named Brian Kern?

Below, Kern can be seen warmly greeting Grundy during the June 2019 Wan Chai Police station siege:

This August, Kong Tsung-gan published a long-winded diatribe against China’s National Security Law in the Mekong Review, clamoring for harsh US sanctions on Beijing. While acknowledging in small print at the end of the essay that Kong was a pen name, Kern continued to insinuate that he was a Hong Kong native.

“An indication of just how draconian the CCP edict is, is that I could be arrested, charged with ‘colluding with foreign forces’, and face up to life in prison just for calling for sanctions on CCP and HK officials,” he wrote.

In reality, the author was not colluding with foreign forces. He was the foreign force.

According to Hong Kong locals contacted by The Grayzone, Kern is rumored to have left the city.

DARPA’s Man in Wuhan

By Raul Diego

Source

Michael Callahan’s career began in USAID and in the bioweapons labs of the former Soviet Union, advancing the agenda of the global bioweapons and pharmaceutical cartels. He would take what he learned there to execute a massive expansion of DARPA’s biodefense portfolio and today finds himself squarely in the center of the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Dr. Michael Callahan was given a leave of absence from his senior executive role at United Therapeutics (UTHR) in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China; sent there to assist colleagues handling mass infections of the novel coronavirus under his joint appointment at a Chinese sister hospital of the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, where he has maintained a faculty appointment since 2005.

Soon, Callahan would be pouring through thousands of case studies emerging from the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, examining patients in Singapore and briefing U.S. officials on the location of the next likely outbreak, according to NatGeo. The doctor marveled at the “magnificent infectivity” of the disease, which sits “like a little silent smart bomb in your community”.

The doctor’s strange fascination with viral infections and morbid titillation might well be attributed to the fact that he has dedicated his life to studying these microscopic killers. “Triple boarded” in internal medicine, infectious diseases and tropical medicine, Callahan, nevertheless also has a strong entrepreneurial streak, that drove him to launch no less than 11 companies and develop 8 patents.

Callahan’s nose for business came into play early on in the pandemic. After studying data from over 6,000 patient records from Wuhan, he reportedly detected a pattern that could point to a possible treatment using a low-cost and widely available ingredient of an “over-the-counter histamine-2 receptor antagonist called Famotidine”, more commonly known as the brand name Pepcid.

Simultaneously in the U.S., it is claimed, an old colleague of Callahan’s Dr. Robert Malone had been conducting a study with U.S. government-sponsored research teams. Specifically, Malone was working alongside U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) consultants to carry out supercomputer-based analyses to identify existing FDA-approved drugs that may be useful against the novel coronavirus responsible for COVID-19. Per their analyses, famotidine turned out to be the “most attractive combination of safety, cost and pharmaceutical characteristics“.

Callahan, who by then had been recruited to be Special Adviser on COVID-19 to the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response (ASPR), Robert Kadlec, was presented the joint findings of the U.S. DTRA and Dr. Malone. Both Dr. Callahan and Malone claimed to be unaware of each other’s conclusions regarding the anti-acid, and despite agreeing to collaborate, each claims to have made the initial discovery. Malone offered a February post on LinkedIn as proof, where he asserts that he was “the first to take the drug to treat my own case” upon discovering the proper dose. Callahan, meanwhile, never provided any evidence of his ostensible breakthrough, though he claims to have told Dr. Malone himself about the discovery before the Virginia-based physician began running the sequences through DTRA computers.

Quite a Resume, Mr. Bond

In 1988, Michael Callahan started his first company called Rescue Medicine. A National Institutes of Health (NIH) bio describes the company as a charter organization that provides “emergency air medical evacuation and refugee medical care in austere developing regions”. According to their website, Rescue Medicine supports “federal government and U.S. corporations operating in remote international environments”, becoming a “global leader in disaster medicine research”.

The experience made him a shoe-in as the health director of USAID in Nigeria; a post he held for 4 years, carrying out research on pathogen infections in Africa, prospectively enrolling participants for cutaneous anthrax studies in Nigeria and monkey pox, as well as Ebola and Marburg virus in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola.

As was the case for several individuals within a certain, tight-knit group within infectious disease and biological weapons circles, 9/11 and the subsequent anthrax attacks changed the course of Callahan’s career, spurring his meteoric rise in both the public and the private sectors. Robert Danzig, Clinton’s Secretary of the Navy, credited Callahan with being “extremely good at connecting the military environment with mainstream public health“. Touted as one of Callahan’s “first high-level links to the military”, Danzig would only be one of many “high level” people the doctor would add to his rolodex over the next two decades.

His time with USAID would overlap with the start of his faculty appointments at Massachusetts General Hospital – appointments he maintains to this day – and his participation in biological terrorism working groups at the National Academies of Sciences, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Homeland Security.

A year later, in 2002, Callahan would be tapped by the State Department’s director for the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation to serve as “clinical director for Cooperative Threat Reduction [CTR] programs” at six former Soviet Union Biological Weapons facilities as part of the Bioindustry Initiative (BII) program, where he was officially tasked with carrying out the stated goals of the mission, which entailed the “reconfiguration of former biological weapons production facilities” in the former Soviet Union and the acceleration of “drug and vaccine production”. More specifically, however, Callahan would be put in charge of gain-of-function programs for viral agents at these facilities.

The CTR, better known as the Nunn-Lugar Act “to secure and dismantle weapons of mass destruction in states of the former Soviet Union and beyond” was co-authored and sponsored by Senator Sam Nunn, who was none other than the “president” in the bioterror attack simulation that preceded the 2001 anthrax attacks by a matter of months, Dark Winter, an exercise covered by Whitney Webb and this author in the investigative series, Engineering Contagion. A few months prior to the Dark Winter exercise, Nunn had co-founded the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) with conservative reactionary media mogul, Ted Turner, serving as its CEO until 2017. The NTI would play a critical role in the repurposing the former Soviet bioweapons labs into “vaccine production facilities”, allocating millions of dollars to this end.

A full year before Callahan’s BII appointment, the Sam Nunn Policy Forum received a proposal from two Russian scientists working at the “Vector Institute” or State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology in the Novosibirsk district of Siberia. The former Soviet bioweapons R&D center had been selected to serve as a model for the makeover of other former BW facilities into “open and fully transparent” laboratories after the collapse of the Soviet Union; a process that had been discussed “at length” with the U.S. Vector Evaluation Team that had visited the compound a few years earlier in 1998.

The Russian scientists aimed to create a non-profit organization called the International Center for the Study of Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases (ICERID). ICERID was intended to perform research in areas related to diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics. The project was presented to the Sam Nunn Policy Forum in 2001. While ICERID, itself, fell through, Vector would nonetheless receive a $600,000 grant from Nunn and Turner’s NTI soon thereafter.

Callahan would follow shortly in tow, under the auspices of the U.S. State Department program, leading clinical research teams at Vector and several other important Soviet bioweapons labs to aid in their transformation into profitable ventures. Callahan was also given access to the infamous Institute of Highly Pure Biopreparations (IHPB) where Soviet microbiologist, Vladimir A. Pasechnik had worked before defecting to England in 1989 and kick-starting the dreams of the international bioweapons mafia detailed in the Engineering Contagion series.

Both IHPB and Vector were part of the five principal institutes of the “Biopreparat” – the broader Soviet BW program. The State Research Center for Applied Microbiology (SRCAM), The Kirov Institute, the Research Center of Molecular Diagnostics & Therapy (RCMDT), RIHOP and Berdsk round out the six labs where Callahan was formally leading clinical research teams; though in Congressional testimony, given together with another high profile Russian defector, Callahan claimed to have worked at “14” separate facilities.

The Russian IP Party

Throughout Callahan’s travels in the former Soviet Union, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) was sharing in the research and scientific innovation taking place in the former Soviet labs as part of the consortium of Massachusetts medical research institutions. In 2004, the “number 1 research hospital in the U.S.“, Mass General was taking part in the Bioindustry Initiative (BII) program, making use of the Russian technology their faculty member, Michael Callahan was in the process of discovering.

“We took a Russian delivery system, a rocket as it were, and put an American warhead on it”, said Jeffrey A. Gelfand, a colleague of Callahan’s and international director of MGH’s Center for Integration of Medicine & Innovative Technology, referring to a drug delivery system taken from the RCMDT, one of the former Soviet facilities then under the clinical directorship of Callahan.

The RCMDT is described as a “small-molecule research facility that traditionally focused on entities the body generates, such as interferon and cytokines, to turn on or turn down the immune response system”. The former Soviet research center obtained a grant from the National Institutes of Health via BII “for a collaborative project on new approaches to disease research”. Another facility Callahan was working at, Vector, also received funding for a novel HIV vaccine and helped file patents “on the institute’s approach to hepatitis C and influenza”. The same institution obtained grants from BII for RNA-based antiviral research.

The task of transforming these former Soviet bioweapons labs into profitable ventures was hitting some cultural walls, according to the then director of the Center for Global Security Research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and chairman of the board of BII precursor ISTC, Ronald F. Lehman II: “They have no experience with a market economy”, he alleged and claimed that they had to “work very hard” to make the Russians understand that intellectual property (IP) was an “economic good”.

Soon enough, the Russian scientists would be ushered into brokered meetings with Eli Lilly and Dow Chemical, among other large Western pharmaceutical companies, to commercialize their discoveries. Much of the groundwork for this had been laid by a sort of precursor of the BII, the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) – a Moscow-based “intergovernmental” organization established in 1992 to serve as “clearinghouse for developing, approving, financing, and monitoring projects aimed at engaging weapons scientists, technicians, and engineers” from the former Soviet Union and other states that were once behind the Iron Curtain.

Lehman conceded that “any kind of economic, political, or social turmoil” would complicate the process or commercializing the scientific work being done in these Eastern bloc labs. But, in the meantime Callahan, along with “BII and its partners” was doing his best “to push as much science as possible from Russian lab benches into production.”

One of the main functions of the BII was “scouting out sites and planning for business development”. At the time of Callahan’s sojourn through Russia, one of the projects that resulted from this activity by the BII and its private NPO partner, the U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation (CRDF), had to do with a little-known vaccine plant in the former Soviet state of Georgia.

According to James Wolfram, a senior scientist with the CRDF, the Georgia facility was “antiquated” and housed “dangerous pathogens”. The ostensible goal of converting the vaccine plant into a “feed mill” turned into an agreement between the DoD and the government of the Republic of Georgia officially titled “Cooperation in the field of prevention of the introduction of pathogenesis and experience related to biological weapons development”. That same year, construction began on the Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research in Tbilisi, Georgia. The center was completed in 2011.

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Defense awarded a $6.5 million contract to a company called EcoHealth Alliance, Inc to carry out research on “the risk of bat-borne zoonotic disease emergence in Western Asia”. Journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva uncovered the Pentagon project, which focused on “genetic studies on coronaviruses in 5,000 bats collected in Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Jordan”.

Gaytandzhieva also detailed the multiple covert activities being carried out by the USG, such as American diplomats trafficking in blood and pathogens for a secret military program, as well as an instance in which a breakout of hemorrhagic fever in the area immediately surrounding the Center was traced back to experiments being carried out by Pentagon scientists on “tropical mosquitos and ticks“.

Not coincidentally, EcoHealth Alliance had previously received a $3.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2014 to study coronaviruses in bats in Asia. This particular study was carried out in partnership with scientists at none other than the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Master of the Dark Sciences

After a few years bouncing from one former Soviet lab to another, Michael Callahan would return to the United States with a head full of new ideas and a brand new job at the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) where he could put it all to use as director of the agency’s biodefense therapeutics portfolio.

In the space of just seven years, from 2005 to 2012, Callahan would expand DARPA’s biodefense portfolio from $61 million to $260 million per year and launch eight programs that would generate nine investigational new drugs (INDs) and three new drug applications with products in market, including the injectable fungal treatment, Ambisome (Gilead), which has generated over $6 billion since approval.

Two programs in particular developed by Callahan while at DARPA would later play a critical role in his future involvement in the broader story of the SARS-CoV-2, a.k.a. COVID-19 and the vilification of China, IP and the advancement of a global vaccine regime.

The Accelerated Manufacture of Pharmaceuticals (AMP) program was created by Michael Callahan in 2006, barely a year after he first came on board as DARPA’s portfolio manager. Its purpose was to find technologies that could “radically accelerate the manufacturing of protein vaccines and protein-based therapeutics”, with the goal of “revolutionizing protein therapeutics and vaccine manufacture” through the private sector.

The program’s mandate dovetailed with concurrent efforts to fundamentally transform the U.S. government’s approach to vaccine manufacture and (Medical Countermeasures) MCMs. Just as Callahan was soliciting proposals and handing millions of DARPA’s money to private companies, the agency was entering into a cooperative agreement (HR0011-07-2-0003) with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) to look into the challenges of this endeavor.

The seminal 180-page report that resulted from the 2-year deep dive (2007-2009) into USG procurement and manufacturing methods for MCMs, titled “Ensuring Biologics Advanced Development and Manufacturing Capability for the United States Government: A Summary of Key Findings and Conclusions” was led by Tara O’Toole and Thomas Inglesby, two key individuals in the Dark Winter exercise and perennial participants in the course of the policy and legislative changes, that have led to the establishment of an entrenched biotech mafia in the halls of government.

The central question that this cooperative effort between DARPA and the UPMC wanted to answer was how to incentivize the private sector to manufacture products that only had one buyer, the U.S. government. To this end, the researchers probed different areas such as barriers to entry, cost analysis and several types of manufacturing options. They included one case study to demonstrate what they believed would be the most effective strategy to follow. That case study looked at a company headquartered in Rockville, MD called Novavax, which recently received a $1.6 billion grant (the largest so far) from Trump’s Operation Warp Speed to manufacture a COVID-19 vaccine.

The paper lauded the company’s “single-use [bioreactors and bags] equipment bioprocessing facility for the development of their influenza virus-like particle vaccine” and concluded that, although not all biopharma companies would be willing to transition to single-use facilities, it was nonetheless in the government’s best interest to patronize single-use manufacturing processes for MCMs, as these would lower costs and cut down production time by two years.

Several USG incentive programs were cited as successfully removing barriers to entry for private sector participants. Among these were the Orphan Products Program (OPP), tax cuts for Big Pharma, subsidies and, significantly, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) legislation, created by ASPR Robert Kadlec and which established BARDA, clearing the unique “governance” barrier faced by global pharmaceutical firms.

In 2005, just as he was getting ready to decorate his new office at DARPA, Michael Callahan testified before Congress together with Ken Alibek – former deputy director of the Soviet Biopreparat, who defected to the U.S. and became the darling of the bioterror alarmists in and out of government. In his prepared statement, Callahan concluded with a chilling statement that summarizes the general sentiment shared by many in his circle:

“The dark science of biological weapon design and manufacture parallels that of the health sciences and the cross mixed disciplines of modern technology. Potential advances in biological weapon lethality will in part be the byproduct of peaceful scientific progress. So, until the time when there are no more terrorists, the U.S. Government and the American people will depend on the scientific leaders of their field to identify any potential dark side aspect to every achievement…”

Michael Callahan

Callahan would receive DARPA’s highest commendation, the DARPA Achievement Award, for his success with the Accelerated Manufacture of Pharmaceuticals (AMP) program. But, it would be another program of his creation that would prove prophetic.

Self-fulfilling Prophecy

Prophecy was another program created by Callahan at DARPA. It sought to “transform the vaccine and drug development enterprise from observational and reactive to predictive and preemptive” through algorithmic programming techniques. In layman’s terms, the program proposed that “viral mutations and outbreaks” could be predicted in advance to more rapidly counter the unknown disease with preemptive drug and vaccine development.

Among the grantees of Callahan’s program were at least two institutions where he himself held faculty positions. Harvard University, where he holds a clinical appointment, received a $19.6 million contract for a joint project with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Pittsburg and others. Another institution with close ties to Callahan obtaining generous funding through the DARPA Prophecy program was the King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, which houses the King Chulalongkorn Medical University where Callahan is a visiting professor.

In 2009, Callahan’s old employer USAID launched PREDICT, an early warning system for new and emerging diseases in 21 countries. Thailand, known for being a “hotbed of undiagnosed illnesses and viruses” among medical experts, was among those 21 nation and a doctor described as a “giant in the field of virus discovery worldwide” was tapped by the CIA cutout to lead the PREDICT program in that country.

Dr. Supaporn “Chu” Wacharapluesadee, from the King Chulalongkorn Memorial and faculty of Medicine at Chulalongkorn University had been conducting research on viruses in bats for years and is considered one of the world’s leading experts on bat pathogens. ” We need more Dr. Supaporns of the world”, exclaimed Callahan in a 2016 interviewwith Vice. The doctor praised his Chulalongkorn University colleague, noting that “Chu” was “at the very top of [his] list” when it came to whom he chose to work with on “virologic expeditions”.

Indeed, Callahan and DARPA had identified Wacharapluesadee as an asset in 2004 when she discovered the Nipah virus in bats, which can affect humans and pigs. Callahan and the Thai doctor worked together on several studies. One of these, funded by the USAID PREDICT project, titled “Diversity of coronavirus in bats from Eastern Thailand” was published in 2015 and carried out between 2008 and 2013, as well as a 2013 study on encephalitis funded by DARPA and the Thai government.

Callahan is not shy about crediting Dr. Wacharapluesadee with allowing the U.S. government to work on “critically important global virology projects”. His compliments could be more than simple admiration, however. It was Dr. Wacharapluesadee, after all, who would find herself at the center of the narrative built around the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China; namely that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) purposely withheld critical genomic information from the world at the outset of the pandemic in January, 2020.

According to a PBS.org story, on January 8, a Thai woman returning from Wuhan was “pulled aside” at the airport over symptoms of a runny nose, sore throat and high temperature. “Supaporn Wacharapluesadee’s team”, as claimed, discovered that the woman was infected with a “new coronavirus”. Dr. Wacharapluesadee herself had allegedly succeeded in “partially” decoding the genetic sequence of the virus by the following day and reported it to the Thai government.

That same day, a 61-year-old man became the first death in Wuhan after succumbing to a disease with a reportedly similar pathology. However, the Chinese government didn’t report it until two days later on January 11 along with the virus sequences from the Wuhan Institute of Virology and its own CDC, sparking accusations against the PRC that it was delaying information about the outbreak. Dr. Wacharapluesadee compared her sequence with the one later published by the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center and “found it was a 100% match”, making it the first officially recorded case outside of China and effectively dropping the first domino, which would eventually lead to the WHO declaring a global pandemic two months later.

Callahan, himself, had been stoking the fires about China’s caginess regarding its lack of enthusiasm for scientific collaboration with the West as far back as 2018: “Jeopardizing U.S. access to foreign pathogens and therapies to counter them”, declared Callahan over reports that Chinese officials had “concealed” lab samples of H7N9 (type of bird flu), which he argued “undermines our nation’s ability to protect against infections which can spread globally within days”.

A Close-Knit Cluster of Institutions

Michael Callahan would leave DARPA’s payroll and his official title of Program Manager for Biodefense and Mass-Casualty Care in 2012 and return to Massachusetts General Hospital to run a disease surveillance and antiviral clinical trials program in Africa. But, a man with Callahan’s background never quite leaves government, as he himself admitted in a UAB alumni profile: “I still have federal responsibilities to the White House for pandemic preparedness and exotic disease outbreaks,” said Callahan in 2013, “which will continue for the near future”.

Dennis Carroll, a former USAID director of emerging threats division who had led the U.S.’ response to Avian influenza (H5N1) in 2005, would go on to create PREDICT, which partnered with a non-profit called EcoHealth Alliance to carry out its 9-year effort to catalog hundreds of thousands of biological samples, “including over 10,000 bats“. The aforementioned PREDICT-funded 2015 study on “diversity of coronavirus in bats” by Wacharapluesadee and Callahan also included Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance, among its participants.

Daszak, a regular advisor to WHO on pathogen prioritization for R&D, Carroll and Joana Mazet – former global director for USAID’s PREDICT – all joined together in 2016 to form the Global Virome Project; a “10-year collaborative scientific initiative to discover unknown zoonotic viral threats and stop future pandemics”. Mazet was also co-director of UC Davis’ One Health program, which recruited Dr. Wacharapluesadee and her team in Thailand to conduct a multi-year research project on bats. They are joined by Edward Rubin of Metabiota Inc, a recipient of Callahan’s PROPHECY funds at DARPA and, notably, an $18.4 million DTRA contract award for scientific research and consulting work in Ukraine and the Lugar Center in the Republic of Georgia. Metabiota was accused by the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium in 2014 of violating their contract and engaging in dangerous blood culturing work at a lab in Africa, as well as misdiagnosing patients.

EcoHealth’s Executive Vice President, William Karesh, links directly back to the very top of the U.S. biodefense establishment, as a member of ASPR Robert Kadlec’s original Blue Ribbon Panel on Biodefense along with Hudson Institute senior fellows Tevi Troy, Jonah Alexander and Scooter Libby, whose pivotal roles has been detailed in the Engineering Contagion series. EcoHealth Alliance is listed as a partner of the Wuhan Institute of Virology on archived pages of its website and was mentioned as a one of the institute’s “strategic partners” by the WIV’s Deputy Director General, Prof Yanyi Wang, in remarks during the visit of an official U.S. delegation to the institute in 2018.

The relationship between the WIV and the American Biodefense establishment was advanced by EcoHealth Alliance policy advisor, David R. Franz, former commander at U.S. bioweapons lab at Fort Detrick (USAMRIID). Franz was chief inspector on the three UN Special Commission biological warfare inspection tours in Iraq, which included a young Robert Kadlec as a member of the team on the ground, and currently advises Robert Kadlec as a member of HHS’ National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity.

Significantly, Franz was also part of the first “U.S.-U.K.” teams that visited the former Soviet Union’s BW facilities in the early 90’s, which led to the creation of the ISCT and subsequent BII program in which Michael Callahan served as clinical director for multiple BW facilities prior to joining DARPA in 2005.

During a visit to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2017 as part of the “Second China-U.S. Workshop on the Challenges of Emerging Infections, Laboratory Safety and Global Health Security“, Franz outlined “possible joint project ideas”, which included carrying out joint “table top exercises” or simulations of outbreaks (e.g. exercises similar to Dark Winter), decision-making surrounding “gain-of-function” research and “overcoming barriers to sharing strain collections and transport of pathogens”. The last point would play a crucial role in the narrative emerging about the ostensible origins of the virus, which has been claimed to be the WIV, itself.

A “renowned” bat coronavirus researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Shi Zhengli a.k,a “Batwoman”, was not only the first scientist to associate the novel coronavirus with bats, but is also the original source of the claim that the virus had escaped from the WIV, when she mused in a Scientific American article published in March that the thought had crossed her mind and hadn’t “slept a wink” in days worrying about it until the lab tests results came back showing that “none of the sequences matched those of the viruses her team had sampled from bat caves”. Zhengli has been at the center of a whirlwind of rumors, including that she had smuggled “hundreds of confidential documents” out of the country and was seeking asylum with her family in France. These rumors have since been denied by Zhengli herself.

Like Thailand’s Dr. Wacharapluesadee, Dr. Zhengli has also worked with EcoHealth Alliance’s Peter Daszak on bat-related studies. As far back as 2005, Daszak and Zhengli were conducting research on SARS-like coronaviruses in bats. Several PREDICT-funded studies on SARS-like coronaviruses and Swine Flu count with both Zhengli’s and Daszak’s contributions. Perhaps the most noteworthy of these is a 2015 PREDICT and NIH-funded study she co-authored entitled: “A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence”.

Predictable Outcomes

While Michael Callahan was roaming across Africa for the DoD-funded disease surveillance program at MGH in 2012, United Therapeutics came calling for his services. He joined the publicly-traded company to execute a $45 million NIH contract to develop “next-generation” antivirals and currently holds the position of President of their division of Cellular Therapeutics. True to his word, Callahan didn’t let his day job interfere with any mission the federal government might send him on.

In March 2020, Callahan was on board the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Pike on his way to a cruise ship off the coast of California to separate the sick from the healthy among the 3,500 passengers of the Grand Princess. In a few days, the WHO would officially declare the coronavirus to be a global pandemic and spur the lurch into a “new normal” where quarantines, masks and hand sanitizer would be peddled as unquestionable realities.

Days earlier, NIAID director, Anthony S. Fauci, had come on Face the Nation, in one of his first televised appearances to announce, among other things, the implementation of the 14-day quarantine for all Americans as news of infected U.S. citizens on board cruise ships was making the rounds on all mainstream media outlets. The State Department would issue a travel warning specifically for cruise ship passengers on March 8, barely three days before the WHO’s official pandemic declaration.

Callahan, ever the disaster entrepreneur, had struck while the iron was still hot in February and put on his Rescue Medicine hat – the company he had founded in the 80’s – to assist “Japanese and U.S. health authorities” tend to the sick aboard the Diamond Princess, which was being held in the Japanese port of Yokohama, near Tokyo. “There was no way this wasn’t going to show up on a cruise ship first,” Callahan told the Miami Herald. “Cruise ships are the canary for disease outbreak that reveals these diseases on a grand scale”.

Dr. Wacharapluesadee
DR. SUPAPORN IN HER OFFICE (PHOTO BY ADRIANA CARGILL/MEDILL)

But, it appears that Dr. Callahan did not need the cruise ships to alert him about the nature or scale of the problem. Already by January 4, 2020, four days before his esteemed colleague in Thailand, Dr. Wacharapluesadee, had run the genomic data and come up with a “partial” sequence and a full match had been determined after China and the WIV had released their sequences, Callahan had phoned his old friend Dr. Malone in New York with news of a new emerging disease out of Wuhan, China.

In March, ASPR Robert Kadlec, wrote to Northwell’s executive vice president of research encouraging him to draw up a contract proposal and a budget for the “Pepcid trial” with Callahan. The proposal that came back was about $20.75 million-short of what Dr. Malone, whose Alchem Laboratories Corporation would be getting the actual contract, apparently wanted.

“We stepped in to do it on behalf of Northwell (which) knows nothing about federal contracting”, Malone told AP. But, it seems that Callahan’s Pepcid brainstorm ruffled a few feathers at HHS. Former BARDA director, Rick Bright, cited the Pepcid fiasco as the prime example of how Kadlec “was inviting violations of federal procurement law” in his March 5th complaint.

For the moment, the Pepcid trials are on hold as Malone and Callahan work out who gets the credit for the “idea”. Robert Kadlec, meanwhile, remains the ASPR and – as far as we know – Michael Callahan is still advising him on matters pertaining to COVID-19.

Acknowledgements: Whitney Webb contributed with research for this article

Correction:  A previous version of this article stated that Dr. Callahan had called Dr. Malone on January 4, 2020 to suggest the possible use of Famotidine as a treatment. Dr. Robert Malone clarified to Unlimited Hangout that Callahan had only alerted him about an outbreak of the virus on that date. We have revised this article accordingly and regret the error.

كليمة البحر بيروت بين الحقيقة والتضليل…!

إيران تتهم أمريكا وإسرائيل بالمسؤولية عن تفجير مرفأ بيروت | دنيا الوطن
إيران تتهم أمريكا وإسرائيل بالمسؤولية عن تفجير مرفأ بيروت

محمد صادق الحسيني

بيروت

‏يا كليمة البحر

‏بيروت يا روح المدن

‏بيروت يا كتف الجبل الأشم

‏ستخرجين متألقة وأجمل مما كنت

‏رسموا لك إشارة الموت

‏ لكنك غلبتِهم بإرادة الحياة

‏بيروت لا تُحرَق

‏ ولا تغرق

‏تشرب من كأس من معين

‏بيروت بلد الأمين

‏الأمين على الدماء وعين اليقين

‏ وتنهض كطائر الفينيق

‏بيروت هذه تغار منها تل أبيب كما تغار منها سيدتها واشنطن وتريد أن تنتقم منها، لأنها عقدت قرانها على المقاومة ومعها، والذين تسبّبوا في تفجيرها إهمالاً أو تورّطاً يحاولون عبثاً حرف الأنظار عن المجرم الحقيقي، كما هو آتٍ:

فعلى الرغم من أنّ كافة عقلاء الأرض وخبرائها ومطلعيها بأنّ الانفجار الذي حدث في ميناء بيروت مساء 4/8/2020 لا علاقة له بحزب الله لا من بعيد ولا من قريب إلا انّ وسائل الاعلام الإسرائيلية، المسيطر عليها والموجهة من الأجهزة الأمنية تصرّ ومنذ اللحظة الاولى لوقوع الكارثة، وبالتناغم مع وسائل إعلام نواطير النفط في الخليج، على إطلاق حملة منظمة ضد حزب الله، وان بشكل غير مباشر في الاعلام الإسرائيلي على الاقل.

فها هو موقع صحيفة “جيروزاليم بوست” الإسرائيلي مثلاً ينشر موضوعاً رئيسياً تحت عنوان:

نصر الله هدّد بتفجير “إسرائيل” بالمواد الكيماوية نفسها التي انفجرت في بيروت. كما واصل الموقع خطه الهجومي هذا فوق موضوعات أخرى، اشار فيها الى ان حزب الله يُخزِّن السلاح في المناطق السكنية، ثم يتساءل الكاتب عما اذا كان الحزب سيخلي ترساناته العسكرية من المناطق السكنية، وذلك في تحريض واضح للشعب اللبناني ضد حزب الله.

ولم يقتصر التحريض الإسرائيلي على الساحة اللبنانية فقط، بل إنه وصل الى بريطانيا، حيث نشر كاتب إسرائيلي آخر، وفي الموقع المذكور نفسه أعلاه، موضوعاً يدعي فيه ان حزب الله قد قام بتخزين مواد كيماويه شبيهة، لتلك التي انفجرت في بيروت، خلف مدرسة في لندن العام الماضي. كما طالب وزير الخارجية الإسرائيلي دول اميركا اللاتينية، خلال اجتماع له مع سفراء تلك الدول في الكيان، بحظر نشاط حزب الله وإعلانه منظمة إرهابية في دول اميركا اللاتينية.

اذن، ها هم نواطير النفط في الخليج وأركان القاعدة العسكرية الاميركية في فلسطين، والتي تسمى “إسرائيل”، يعلنون عن بدء الاستثمار السياسي في كارثة انسانية حلت بلبنان، بغضّ النظر عن الأسباب والمسبّبات، وحتى قبل صدور أي تقارير رسمية من طرف الحكومة اللبنانية، التي تجري تحقيقات معمّقة للوقوف على الأسباب التي أدت الى وقوع الانفجار، وذلك تمهيداً لحملة سياسية قادمة ضد حزب الله، تهدف الى إعادة طرح موضوع سلاح المقاومة على طاولة البحث والمساومات السياسية.

نقول للصهاينة الدجالين:

بغض النظر عن كذب ادّعاءاتكم، حول تخزين الحزب للأسلحة في المناطق السكنية، وإيحاءاتكم بأن مادة نترات الأمونيوم، التي انفجرت في ميناء بيروت، هي مادة استوردها حزب الله وقام بتخزينها في الميناء، إن ما عليكم أن تعلموه أن هذه المادة، التي تخزنون منها عشرات آلاف الأطنان في محيط ميناء حيفا، أي في المناطق السكنية المحيطة بالميناء، هي مادة قابلة للانفجار بسهولةً حتى دون قيام أحد بالتسبّب بتفجيرها.

اذ إنها، وكما قال السيد رولاند الفورد، مدير شركة ألفورد تيكنولوجيز ، وهي شركة بريطانية متخصصة في التخلص من المتفجرات، قال إن هذه المادة قابلة للانفجار عند تعرّضها لدرجات حرارة عاليةٍ حتى من دون أي أسباب أخرى. وهذا ما يعرفه الخبراء العسكريون في حزب الله، الذين لم تشهد مستودعاتهم وعلى مدى قرابة الأربعين عاماً أي أحداث من هذا النوع، نتيجة حرصهم الشديد على تخزين أسلحتهم بالطرق السليمة وفي الأماكن المناسبة، على العكس من جيشكم وحكومتكم، التي رفضت حتى الآن وتتعلل حالياً في نقل حاويات الأمونيا الضخمة، من حول ميناء حيفا الى أماكن آمنة، على الرغم من المظاهرات المتكرّرة التي يقوم بها السكان المحليون للمطالبة بذلك.

وبالعودة الى ما تخططون له من مؤمرات، ضد حلف المقاومة بشكل عام وحزب الله وسلاحه بشكل خاص، فعليكم أن تعلموا ما يلي:

أن التهديدات المبطنة ضد إيران وحلف المقاومة، التي تروجون لها بطرق غير مباشرة، من خلال تسريبات من أجهزتكم الأمنية لكتاب وصحافيين أميركيين، كالتسريبات التي نشرها الكاتب الاميركي روبرت فارلي ، في مجلة ذي ناشيونال انتيريست الاميركية، يوم أمس 4/8/2020، حول احتمالات قيام “إسرائيل” بتوجيه ضربة نووية الى إيران او غيرها، وتحويل “الشرق الأوسط “الى بحر من النيران، ان هذه التهديدات وغيرها لن تخيف إيران ولا بقية حلقات محور المقاومة، ولن تثني هذا المحور عن استكمال استعداداته لشن المرحلة الأخيرة من هجومه الاستراتيجي، الهادف الى تحرير القدس وإنهاء وجود دويلة الاحتلال الإسرائيلي وتهديدها المباشر لكافة دول وشعوب الإقليم وليس فقط للدول العربية المحيطة بها. ولنا في موضوع سد النهضة الإثيوبي المدعوم والمسنود إسرائيلياً خير مثال على الخطر الإقليميّ وحتى العالمي الذي تشكله هذه القاعدة العسكرية على الأمن والسلام والاستقرار في العالم.

إن قصف إيران، سواءً بأسلحة تقليدية او نووية، لا يتطلب امتلاك “إسرائيل” صواريخ بعيدة المدى، مثل صاروخ اريحا /3 الذي يبلغ مداه أحد عشر الف كيلومتر.

2) انّ كلّ ما تقومون به، من محاولات لاستثمار الألم الشعبي العام، في لبنان بعد الانفجار، وتحويله الى موجة غضب ضد حزب الله وسلاحه، كما استثمرتم اغتيال الحريري لإخراج الجيش السوري من لبنان عام 2005، ليس سوى وهم وسراب سيتبخر سريعاً لأن الشعب اللبناني لن يركع ولن يستسلم وأنتم خير من خبره. ولعل من المفيد تذكيركم باتفاقية 17 أيار 1983، التي أسقطها الشعب اللبناني البطل، وكرّس إسقاطها عبر مقاومة ولدت من رحم الشعب، وألحقت بكم الهزيمة تلو الهزيمة، منذ ذلك التاريخ وحتى اليوم.

3) كما عليكم ان تتيقنوا من أن الخسائر البشرية والمادية الهائلة، التي تعرّض لها الشعب اللبناني يوم أمس، لن تؤدي الى تمزيق وتفتيت هذا الشعب الصامد ولا الى رحيله عن دياره وتخليه عن وطنه، على عكس ما سيحدث لمستوطنيكم الطارئين الذين يغتصبون أرض الشعب الفلسطيني منذ 72 عاماً، حيث إنهم سيبدأون بالرحيل الى اوطانهم الأصلية وغيرها بعد سقوط اول رشقة صواريخ ثقيلة، من قوات محور المقاومة، على تل أبيب وغيرها من تجمعاتكم الاستيطانية.

4) ودليلنا على ذلك هو تقهقر جيشكم الى عمق ثمانية كيلومترات، داخل حدود فلسطين، لمجرد تخوّفكم من الضربة الانتقامية التي ترتقبونها من حزب الله رداً على استشهاد أحد ضباطه، في غارةٍ لطائراتكم على مطار دمشق أواخر الشهر الماضي. فاذا كان جيشكم يخلي مواقعه، حتى قبل أن تطلق قوات المقاومة طلقة واحدة، فما بالكم كيف ستكون أحوال مستوطنيكم، الذين وعدتموهم بالعيش في أرض السمن والعسل، وها هم يعيشون في أرض مغتصبة تفتك بهم الأوبئة وأنتم عاجزون حتى عن علاجهم، علاوة على الرعب الذي يعيشونه سواءٌ في الشمال أو الجنوب؟

نقول لكم يا من تشترون الوقت لأيام إضافية لكيانكم بان الرد آت حتماً وأن الشعب اللبناني منتصر عليكم لا محالة وقوات المقاومة في أعلى جهوزية وعلى كافة الجبهات لردكم ومن ثم طردكم، وهي الأقدر على تحويل عذابات الشعب وآلامه وجراحه الى انتصارات.

‏بيروت هذه التي فجّرتم ميناءها بشكل مباشر أو غير مباشر هي ‏بعين السيد الأمين، ودماء بيروت المقاومة هذه ستطيح بكم واحداً واحداً، ‏ومقاومة لبنان سترمي بالعملاء والمرجفين بالمدينة الى مزبلة التاريخ. ‏

على صخرة مقاومتك وثباتك واستقامتك يا سيد ‏ستتكسر كل موجاتهم. ‏لن ينالوا منك ولن ينالوا من جمهورك ولا من شعب لبنان ‏ولو بهيروشيما المرفأ. ‏كالطود أنت شامخ، ‏ابحر بنا الى حيث تشاء ويا جبل ما يهزك ريح…

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله.

Another Hiroshima is Coming…Unless We Stop It Now

by JOHN PILGER

Photograph Source: Oilstreet – Own work – CC BY 2.5

When I first went to Hiroshima in 1967, the shadow on the steps was still there. It was an almost perfect impression of a human being at ease: legs splayed, back bent, one hand by her side as she sat waiting for a bank to open.

At a quarter past eight on the morning of August 6, 1945, she and her silhouette were burned into the granite.

I stared at the shadow for an hour or more, then I walked down to the river where the survivors still lived in shanties.

I met a man called Yukio, whose chest was etched with the pattern of the shirt he was wearing when the atomic bomb was dropped.

He described a huge flash over the city, “a bluish light, something like an electrical short”, after which wind blew like a tornado and black rain fell. “I was thrown on the ground and noticed only the stalks of my flowers were left. Everything was still and quiet, and when I got up, there were people naked, not saying anything. Some of them had no skin or hair. I was certain I was dead.”

Nine years later, I returned to look for him and he was dead from leukaemia.

“No radioactivity in Hiroshima ruin” said The New York Times front page on 13 September, 1945, a classic of planted disinformation. “General Farrell,” reported William H. Lawrence, “denied categorically that [the atomic bomb] produced a dangerous, lingering radioactivity.”

Only one reporter, Wilfred Burchett, an Australian, had braved the perilous journey to Hiroshima in the immediate aftermath of the atomic bombing, in defiance of the Allied occupation authorities, which controlled the “press pack”.

“I write this as a warning to the world,” reported Burchett in the London Daily Express  of September 5,1945. Sitting in the rubble with his Baby Hermes typewriter, he described hospital wards filled with people with no visible injuries who were dying from what he called “an atomic plague”.

For this, his press accreditation was withdrawn, he was pilloried and smeared. His witness to the truth was never forgiven.

The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was an act of premeditated mass murder that unleashed a weapon of intrinsic criminality. It was justified by lies that form the bedrock of America’s war propaganda in the 21st century, casting a new enemy, and target – China.

During the 75 years since Hiroshima, the most enduring lie is that the atomic bomb was dropped to end the war in the Pacific and to save lives.

“Even without the atomic bombing attacks,” concluded the United States Strategic Bombing Survey of 1946, “air supremacy over Japan could have exerted sufficient pressure to bring about unconditional surrender and obviate the need for invasion. “Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey’s opinion that … Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war [against Japan] and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.”

The National Archives in Washington contains documented Japanese peace overtures as early as 1943. None was pursued. A cable sent on May 5, 1945 by the German ambassador in Tokyo and intercepted by the US made clear the Japanese were desperate to sue for peace, including “capitulation even if the terms were hard”. Nothing was done.

The US Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, told President Truman he was “fearful” that the US Air Force would have Japan so “bombed out” that the new weapon would not be able “to show its strength”. Stimson later admitted that “no effort was made, and none was seriously considered, to achieve surrender merely in order not to have to use the [atomic] bomb”.

Stimson’s foreign policy colleagues — looking ahead to the post-war era they were then shaping “in our image”, as Cold War planner George Kennan famously put it — made clear they were eager “to browbeat the Russians with the [atomic] bomb held rather ostentatiously on our hip”. General Leslie Groves, director of the Manhattan Project that made the atomic bomb, testified: “There was never any illusion on my part that Russia was our enemy, and that the project was conducted on that basis.”

The day after Hiroshima was obliterated, President Harry Truman voiced his satisfaction with the “overwhelming success” of “the experiment”.

The “experiment” continued long after the war was over. Between 1946 and 1958, the United States exploded 67 nuclear bombs in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific: the equivalent of more than one Hiroshima every day for 12 years.

The human and environmental consequences were catastrophic. During the filming of my documentary, The Coming War on China, I chartered a small aircraft and flew to Bikini Atoll in the Marshalls. It was here that the United States exploded the world’s first Hydrogen Bomb. It remains poisoned earth. My shoes registered “unsafe” on my Geiger counter. Palm trees stood in unworldly formations. There were no birds.

I trekked through the jungle to the concrete bunker where, at 6.45 on the morning of March 1, 1954, the button was pushed. The sun, which had risen, rose again and vaporised an entire island in the lagoon, leaving a vast black hole, which from the air is a menacing spectacle: a deathly void in a place of beauty.

The radioactive fall-out spread quickly and “unexpectedly”. The official history claims “the wind changed suddenly”. It was the first of many lies, as declassified documents and the victims’ testimony reveal.

Gene Curbow, a meteorologist assigned to monitor the test site, said, “They knew where the radioactive fall-out was going to go. Even on the day of the shot, they still had an opportunity to evacuate people, but [people] were not evacuated; I was not evacuated… The United States needed some guinea pigs to study what the effects of radiation would do.”

Like Hiroshima, the secret of the Marshall Islands was a calculated experiment on the lives of large numbers of people. This was Project 4.1, which began as a scientific study of mice and became an experiment on “human beings exposed to the radiation of a nuclear weapon”.

The Marshall Islanders I met in 2015 — like the survivors of Hiroshima I interviewed in the 1960s and 70s — suffered from a range of cancers, commonly thyroid cancer; thousands had already died. Miscarriages and stillbirths were common; those babies who lived were often deformed horribly.

Unlike Bikini, nearby Rongelap atoll had not been evacuated during the H-Bomb test. Directly downwind of Bikini, Rongelap’s skies darkened and it rained what first appeared to be snowflakes.  Food and water were contaminated; and the population fell victim to cancers. That is still true today.

I met Nerje Joseph, who showed me a photograph of herself as a child on Rongelap. She had terrible facial burns and much of her was hair missing. “We were bathing at the well on the day the bomb exploded,” she said. “White dust started falling from the sky. I reached to catch the powder. We used it as soap to wash our hair. A few days later, my hair started falling out.”

Lemoyo Abon said, “Some of us were in agony. Others had diarrhoea. We were terrified. We thought it must be the end of the world.”

US official archive film I included in my film refers to the islanders as “amenable savages”. In the wake of the explosion, a US Atomic Energy Agency official is seen boasting that Rongelap “is by far the most contaminated place on earth”, adding, “it will be interesting to get a measure of human uptake when people live in a contaminated environment.”

American scientists, including medical doctors, built distinguished careers studying the “human uptake’. There they are in flickering film, in their white coats, attentive with their clipboards. When an islander died in his teens, his family received a sympathy card from the scientist who studied him.

I have reported from five nuclear “ground zeros” throughout the world — in Japan, the Marshall Islands, Nevada, Polynesia and Maralinga in Australia. Even more than my experience as a war correspondent, this has taught me about the ruthlessness and immorality of great power: that is, imperial power, whose cynicism is the true enemy of humanity.

This struck me forcibly when I filmed at Taranaki Ground Zero at Maralinga in the Australian desert. In a dish-like crater was an obelisk on which was inscribed: “A British atomic weapon was test exploded here on 9 October 1957”. On the rim of the crater was this sign:

WARNING: RADIATION HAZARD 

Radiation levels for a few hundred metres

around this point may be above those considered

safe for permanent occupation.

For as far as the eye could see, and beyond, the ground was irradiated. Raw plutonium lay about, scattered like talcum powder: plutonium is so dangerous to humans that a third of a milligram gives a 50 per cent chance of cancer.

The only people who might have seen the sign were Indigenous Australians, for whom there was no warning. According to an official account, if they were lucky “they were shooed off like rabbits”.

Today, an unprecedented campaign of propaganda is shooing us all off like rabbits. We are not meant to question the daily torrent of anti-Chinese rhetoric, which is rapidly overtaking the torrent of anti-Russia rhetoric. Anything Chinese is bad, anathema, a threat: Wuhan …. Huawei. How confusing it is when “our” most reviled leader says so.

The current phase of this campaign began not with Trump but with Barack Obama, who in 2011 flew to Australia to declare the greatest build-up of US naval forces in the Asia-Pacific region since World War Two. Suddenly, China was a “threat”. This was nonsense, of course. What was threatened was America’s unchallenged psychopathic view of itself as the richest, the most successful, the most “indispensable” nation.

What was never in dispute was its prowess as a bully — with more than 30 members of the United Nations suffering American sanctions of some kind and a trail of the blood running through defenceless countries bombed, their governments overthrown, their  elections interfered with, their resources plundered.

Obama’s declaration became known as the “pivot to Asia”. One of its principal advocates was his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who, as WikiLeaks revealed, wanted to rename the Pacific Ocean “the American Sea”.

Whereas Clinton never concealed her warmongering, Obama was a maestro of marketing.”I state clearly and with conviction,” said the new president in 2009, “that America’s commitment is to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”

Obama increased spending on nuclear warheads faster than any president since the end of the Cold War. A “usable” nuclear weapon was developed. Known as the B61 Model 12, it means, according to General James Cartwright, former vice-chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that “going smaller [makes its use] more thinkable”.

The target is China. Today, more than 400 American military bases almost encircle China with missiles, bombers, warships and nuclear weapons. From Australia north through the Pacific to South-East Asia, Japan and Korea and across Eurasia to Afghanistan and India, the bases form, as one US strategist told me, “the perfect noose”.

A study by the RAND Corporation – which, since Vietnam, has planned America’s wars – is entitled War with China: Thinking Through the Unthinkable. Commissioned by the US Army, the authors evoke the infamous catch cry of its chief Cold War strategist, Herman Kahn – “thinking the unthinkable”. Kahn’s book, On Thermonuclear War, elaborated a plan for a “winnable” nuclear war.

Kahn’s apocalyptic view is shared by Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, an evangelical fanatic who believes in the “rapture of the End”. He is perhaps the most dangerous man alive. “I was CIA director,” he boasted, “We lied, we cheated, we stole. It was like we had entire training courses.”  Pompeo’s obsession is China.

The endgame of Pompeo’s extremism is rarely if ever discussed in the Anglo-American media, where the myths and fabrications about China are standard fare, as were the lies about Iraq. A virulent racism is the sub-text of this propaganda. Classified “yellow” even though they were white, the Chinese are the only ethnic group to have been banned by an “exclusion act” from entering the United States, because they were Chinese. Popular culture declared them sinister, untrustworthy, “sneaky”, depraved, diseased, immoral.

An Australian magazine, The Bulletin, was devoted to promoting fear of the “yellow peril” as if all of Asia was about to fall down on the whites-only colony by the force of gravity.

As the historian Martin Powers writes, acknowledging China’s  modernism, its secular morality and “contributions to liberal thought threatened European face, so it became necessary to suppress China’s role in the Enlightenment debate …. For centuries, China’s threat to the myth of Western superiority has made it an easy target for race-baiting.”

In the Sydney Morning Herald, tireless China-basher Peter Hartcher described those who spread Chinese influence in Australia as “rats, flies, mosquitoes and sparrows”. Hartcher, who favourably quotes the American demagogue Steve Bannon, likes to interpret the “dreams” of the current Chinese elite, to which he is apparently privy. These are inspired by yearnings for the “Mandate of Heaven” of 2,000 years ago. Ad nausea.

To combat this “mandate”, the Australian government of Scott Morrison has committed one of the most secure countries on earth, whose major trading partner is China, to hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American missiles that can be fired at China.

The trickledown is already evident. In a country historically scarred by violent racism towards Asians, Australians of Chinese descent have formed a vigilante group to protect delivery riders. Phone videos show a delivery rider punched in the face and a Chinese couple racially abused in a supermarket. Between April and June, there were almost 400 racist attacks on Asian-Australians. 

“We are not your enemy,” a high-ranking strategist in China told me, “but if you [in the West] decide we are, we must prepare without delay.” China’s arsenal is small compared with America’s, but it is growing fast, especially the development of maritime missiles designed to destroy fleets of ships.

“For the first time,” wrote Gregory Kulacki of the Union of Concerned Scientists, “China is discussing putting its nuclear missiles on high alert so that they can be launched quickly on warning of an attack… This would be a significant and dangerous change in Chinese policy…”

In Washington, I met Amitai Etzioni, distinguished professor of international affairs at George Washington University, who wrote that a “blinding attack on China” was planned, “with strikes that could be mistakenly perceived [by the Chinese] as pre-emptive attempts to take out its nuclear weapons, thus cornering them into a terrible use-it-or-lose-it dilemma [that would] lead to nuclear war.”

In 2019, the US staged its biggest single military exercise since the Cold War, much of it in high secrecy. An armada of ships and long-range bombers rehearsed an “Air-Sea Battle Concept for China” – ASB – blocking sea lanes in the Straits of Malacca and cutting off China’s access to oil, gas and other raw materials from the Middle East and Africa.

It is fear of such a blockade that has seen China develop its Belt and Road Initiative along the old Silk Road to Europe and urgently build strategic airstrips on disputed reefs and islets in the Spratly Islands.

In Shanghai, I met Lijia Zhang, a Beijing journalist and novelist, typical of a new class of outspoken mavericks. Her best-selling book has the ironic title Socialism Is Great! Having grown up in the chaotic, brutal Cultural Revolution, she has travelled and lived in the US and Europe. “Many Americans imagine,” she said, “that Chinese people live a miserable, repressed life with no freedom whatsoever. The [idea of] the yellow peril has never left them… They have no idea there are some 500 million people being lifted out of poverty, and some would say it’s 600 million.”

Modern China’s epic achievements, its defeat of mass poverty, and the pride and contentment of its people (measured forensically by American pollsters such as Pew) are wilfully unknown or misunderstood in the West. This alone is a commentary on the lamentable state of Western journalism and the abandonment of honest reporting.

China’s repressive dark side and what we like to call its “authoritarianism” are the facade we are allowed to see almost exclusively. It is as if we are fed unending tales of the evil super-villain Dr. Fu Manchu. And it is time we asked why: before it is too late to stop the next Hiroshima.

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John Pilger can be reached through his website: www.johnpilger.com

Iran Intelligence Ministry rejects reports on US-based group ringleader’s overseas arrest

Press TV

Monday, 03 August 2020 5:51 AM  [ Last Update: Monday, 03 August 2020 6:44 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)
This photo released by Fars news agency shows Jamshid Sharmahd after his capture by Iranian security forces.

Iran’s Intelligence Ministry, which recently announced the apprehension of the ringleader of a US-based anti-Iran terrorist group, has rejected reports alleging that the person in question was actually nabbed in Tajikistan.

The reports “are roundly rejected,” the Ministry said in a statement that was cited by Tasnim News Agency on Sunday.

Statements released by the Ministry’s Public Relations Office are the ultimate source of any official information detailing the operations that are carried out by the Ministry’s operatives, the statement asserted.

The Ministry announced arresting Jamshid Sharmahd, the ringleader of the Tondar (Thunder) outfit, otherwise known as the so-called “Kingdom Assembly of Iran,” on Saturday, notifying that he had directed “armed operations and acts of sabotage” inside Iran from the US in the past.

Upon arrest, Sharmahd admitted to providing explosives for a 2008 attack in southern Iran that killed 14 people. US-based group ringleader admits providing explosives for 2008 deadly bomb attack in Iran

Upon arrest, the ringleader of a US-based anti-Iran terrorist group admits providing explosives for a 2008 attack in southern Iran.

“I was called before the bomb was about to be set off,” he was seen confessing in footage provided by the Islamic Republic of Iran News Network later in the day. 

The attack that targeted the Seyyed al-Shohada mosque in the city of Shiraz also wounded 215 others.

According to the Ministry, the group had planned to carry out several high-profile and potentially hugely-deadly attacks across the Islamic Republic, but had been frustrated in the attempts owing to intricate intelligence operations targeting the outfit. These included blowing up of Sivand Damn in Shiraz, detonating cyanide-laden bombs at Tehran International Book Fair, and carrying out explosions during mass gatherings at the Mausoleum of the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini.

Details of the arrest

Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi, meanwhile, congratulated the Ministry’s operatives on their success in arresting the terrorist ringleader, detailing the circumstances that surrounded the operation.

Sharmahd enjoyed “serious support” from the American and Israeli intelligence services, which “considered it to be far-fetched for the Iranian Intelligence Ministry to be able to penetrate their intelligence cover and put him under its command through an intricate operation,” the minister said.

The Americans still believe that pictures showing Sharmahd in Iran after his arrest have been snapped outside the Islamic Republic, he added, saying, “They will found out about everything [concerning the operation] in near future.”

Alavi differentiated between Sharmahd’s outfit and other so-called royalist groups, which mostly resort to rhetoric and statements to try to establish themselves.

Tondar “was the only movement that was very violent and was after establishing itself through terrorist operation,” the minister noted.

‘Iran neutralized 27 ops by Tondar’

Alavi noted that the Ministry had succeeded in frustrating 27 operations by Sharmahd and his group.

The minister again highly rated the arrest operation, recalling previous remarks by Sharmahd, in which he had considered himself to be comfortably nested within the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“He considered his place to be lying on the sixth floor of the FBI [‘s building],” and now sees himself in the grips of Iranian intelligence operatives, Alavi said.

Following the terrorist attack in Iran, the Islamic Republic notified the Interpol of Sharmahd’s identity and demanded his arrest. However, he would still travel freely between countries with his real identity.

Alavi said the inaction despite Tehran’s complaint “indicates the hollowness of the Americans and their European allies’ claim of fighting terrorism.”

The minister finally hailed that the arrest “has not been and will not be” the first such complicated operation to be aced by Iranian intelligence operatives, asserting that “they have carried out such arrests in the past, the due time for explaining which has not yet arrived.”


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The heart of the matter in the South China Sea

The heart of the matter in the South China Sea

July 30, 2020

by Pepe Escobar for The Saker Blog and originally posted at Asia Times

When the Ronald Reagan and Nimitz carrier strike groups recently engaged in “operations” in the South China Sea, it did not escape to many a cynic that the US Pacific Fleet was doing its best to turn the infantile Thucydides Trap theory into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The pro forma official spin, via Rear Adm. Jim Kirk, commander of the Nimitz, is that the ops were conducted to “reinforce our commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, a rules-based international order, and to our allies and partners”.

Nobody pays attention to these clichés, because the real message was delivered by a CIA operative posing as diplomat, Secretary of State Mike “We Lie, We Cheat, We Steal” Pompeo: “The PRC has no legal grounds to unilaterally impose its will on the region”, in a reference to the Nine-Dash Line. For the State Dept., Beijing deploys nothing but “gangster tactics” in the South China Sea.

Once again, nobody paid attention, because the actual facts on the sea are stark. Anything that moves in the South China Sea – China’s crucial maritime trade artery – is at the mercy of the PLA, which decides if and when to deploy their deadly DF-21D and DF-26 “carrier killer” missiles. There’s absolutely no way the US Pacific Fleet can win a shooting war in the South China Sea.

Electronically jammed

A crucial Chinese report, unavailable and not referred to by Western media, and translated by Hong Kong-based analyst Thomas Wing Polin, is essential to understand the context.

The report refers to US Growler electronic warplanes rendered totally out of control by electronic jamming devices positioned on islands and reefs in the South China Sea.

According to the report, “after the accident, the United States negotiated with China, demanding that China dismantle the electronic equipment immediately, but it was rejected. These electronic devices are an important part of China’s maritime defense and are not offensive weapons. Therefore, the US military’s request for dismantling is unreasonable.”

It gets better: “On the same day, former commander Scott Swift of the US Pacific Fleet finally acknowledged that the US military had lost the best time to control the South China Sea. He believes that China has deployed a large number of Hongqi 9 air defense missiles, H-6K bombers, and electronic jamming systems on islands and reefs. The defense can be said to be solid. If US fighter jets rush into the South China Sea, they are likely to encounter their ‘Waterloo.’”

The bottom line is that the systems – including electronic jamming – deployed by the PLA on islands and reefs in the South China Sea, covering more than half of the total surface, are considered by Beijing to be part of the national defense system.

I have previously detailed what Admiral Philip Davidson, when he was still a nominee to lead the US Pacific Command (PACOM), told the US Senate. Here are his Top Three conclusions:

1) “China is pursuing advanced capabilities (e.g., hypersonic missiles) which the United States has no current defense against. As China pursues these advanced weapons systems, US forces across the Indo-Pacific will be placed increasingly at risk.”

2) “China is undermining the rules-based international order.”

3) “China is now capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war with the United States.”

Implied in all of the above is the “secret” of the Indo-Pacific strategy: at best a containment exercise, as China continues to solidify the Maritime Silk Road linking the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean.

Remember the nusantao

The South China Sea is and will continue to be one of the prime geopolitical flashpoints of the young 21st century, where a great deal of the East-West balance of power will be played.

I have addressed this elsewhere in the past in some detail, but a short historical background is once again absolutely essential to understand the current juncture as the South China Sea increasingly looks and feels like a Chinese lake.

Let’s start in 1890, when Alfred Mahan, then president of the US Naval College, wrote the seminal The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783. Mahan’s central thesis is that the US should go global in search of new markets, and protect these new trade routes through a network of naval bases.

That is the embryo of the US Empire of Bases – which remains in effect.

It was Western – American and European – colonialism that came up with most land borders and maritime borders of states bordering the South China Sea: Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam.

We are talking about borders between different colonial possessions – and that implied intractable problems from the start, subsequently inherited by post-colonial nations.

Historically, it had always been a completely different story. The best anthropological studies (Bill Solheim’s, for instance) define the semi-nomadic communities who really traveled and traded across the South China Sea from time immemorial as the Nusantao – an Austronesian compound word for “south island” and “people”.

The Nusantao were not a defined ethnic group. They were a maritime internet. Over centuries, they had many key hubs, from the coastline between central Vietnam and Hong Kong all the way to the Mekong Delta. They were not attached to any “state”. The Western notion of “borders” did not even exist. In the mid-1990s, I had the privilege to encounter some of their descendants in Indonesia and Vietnam.

So it was only by the late 19th century that the Westphalian system managed to freeze the South China Sea inside an immovable framework.

Which brings us to the crucial point of why China is so sensitive about its borders; because they are directly linked to the “century of humiliation” – when internal Chinese corruption and weakness allowed Western “barbarians” to take possession of Chinese land.

A Japanese lake

The Nine Dash Line is an immensely complex problem. It was invented by the eminent Chinese geographer Bai Meichu, a fierce nationalist, in 1936, initially as part of a “Chinese National Humiliation Map” in the form of a “U-shaped line” gobbling up the South China Sea all the way down to James Shoal, which is 1,500 km south of China but only over 100 km off Borneo.

The Nine Dash Line, from the beginning, was promoted by the Chinese government – remember, at the time not yet Communist – as the letter of the law in terms of “historic” Chinese claims over islands in the South China Sea.

One year later, Japan invaded China. Japan had occupied Taiwan way back in 1895. Japan occupied the Philippines in 1942. That meant virtually the entire coastline of the South China Sea being controlled by a single empire for the fist time in history. The South China Sea had become a Japanese lake.

Well, that lasted only until 1945. The Japanese did occupy Woody Island in the Paracels and Itu Aba (today Taiping) in the Spratlys. After the end of WWII and the US nuclear-bombing Japan, the Philippines became independent in 1946 and the Spratlys immediately were declared Filipino territory.

In 1947, all the islands in the South China Sea got Chinese names.

And in December 1947 all the islands were placed under the control of Hainan (itself an island in southern China.) New maps duly followed, but now with Chinese names for the islands (or reefs, or shoals). But there was a huge problem: no one explained the meaning of those dashes (which were originally eleven.)

In June 1947 the Republic of China claimed everything within the line – while proclaiming itself open to negotiate definitive maritime borders with other nations later on. But, for the moment, there were no borders.

And that set the scene for the immensely complicated “strategic ambiguity” of the South China Sea that still lingers on – and allows the State Dept. to accuse Beijing of “gangster tactics”. The culmination of a millennia-old transition from the “maritime internet” of semi-nomadic peoples to the Westphalian system spelled nothing but trouble.

Time for COC

So what about the US notion of “freedom of navigation”?

In imperial terms, “freedom of navigation”, from the West Coast of the US to Asia – through the Pacific, the South China Sea, the Malacca Strait and the Indian Ocean – is strictly an issue of military strategy.

The US Navy simply cannot imagine dealing with maritime exclusion zones – or having to demand an “authorization” every time they need to cross them. In this case the Empire of Bases would lose “access” to its own bases.

This is compounded with trademark Pentagon paranoia, gaming a situation where a “hostile power” – namely China – decides to block global trade. The premise in itself is ludicrous, because the South China Sea is the premier, vital maritime artery for China’s globalized economy.

So there’s no rational justification for a Freedom of Navigation (FON) program. For all practical purposes, these aircraft carriers like the Ronald Reagan and the Nimitz showboating on and off in the South China Sea amount to 21st century gunboat diplomacy. And Beijing is not impressed.

As far as the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is concerned, what matters now is to come up with a Code of Conduct (COC) to solve all maritime conflicts between Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and China.

Next year, ASEAN and China celebrate 30 years of strong bilateral relations. There’s a strong possibility they will be upgraded to “comprehensive strategic partner” status.

Because of Covid-19, all players had to postpone negotiations on the second reading of the single draft of COC. Beijing wanted these to be face to face – because the document is ultra-sensitive and for the moment, secret. Yet they finally agreed to negotiate online – via detailed texts.

It will be a hard slog, because as ASEAN made it clear in a virtual summit in late June, everything has to be in accordance with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS).

If they can all agree on a COC by the end of 2020, a final agreement could be approved by ASEAN in mid-2021. Historic does not even begin to describe it – because this negotiation has been going on for no less than two decades.

Not to mention that a COC invalidates any US pretension to secure “freedom of navigation” in an area where navigation is already free.

Yet “freedom” was never the issue. In imperial terminology, “freedom” means that China must obey and keep the South China Sea open to the US Navy. Well, that’s possible, but you gotta behave. That’ll be the day when the US Navy is “denied” the South China Sea. You don’t need to be Mahan to know that’ll mean the imperial end of ruling the seven seas.

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