Pro-Palestinian Activists Celebrate 12 Years of BDS Successes in Adelaide, Australia

November 23, 2022

Pro-Palestinian activists in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo: Supplied)

By Margaret Cassar

A huge amount has changed in the twelve years since we started our weekly BDS actions, organized by the Australian Friends of Palestine Association (Afopa), in the heart of Adelaide, Australia. People no longer spit at us, call us terrorists, or use vile verbal abuse for our protesters of Middle Eastern appearance.

We are now more likely to be hugged and congratulated for standing up for Palestinians. It is blatantly obvious here in Adelaide that the Australian government’s craven toadying to the will of the Israel lobby and the United States when it comes to Palestinian human rights has not kept pace with the hearts and minds of the general population.

This 12-year mark is a good time to reflect on some of our successes. One of the most important of these is the grassroots organizational structure of the group. Our approach stands in stark contrast to some politicians and bureaucrats in this country but firstly a few examples of how individuals in our group have used their local knowledge and initiative to drive change.

For 12 years now, Helen Lawrie and Phil Davies have been writing original songs about Palestine, BDS campaigns, and/or adapting other songs. In just one example Helen turned “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” into “Diamonds are Israel’s Best friend.” The YouTube of this song traversed the seas to Sean Clinton, in Ireland, and was promoted widely by international Blood Diamond activists. I am happy to say the crucial Blood Diamond campaign is still going strong and becoming more influential.

In 2017, Dr. David Faber, Afopa’s historian, researched the facts of the Australian Light Horse Brigade’s action in Beersheba in 1917. This meant that Australian activists had knowledge at their fingertips to refute the Zionist myth, promulgated at the 100-year anniversary of Beersheba, that Australian soldiers died to create the state of Israel. We were part of a national campaign that led eventually to the chief sponsor, Australia Post, withdrawing all their public statements promoting this lie.

Another 2017 success story resulted from an action initiated by one of our most dedicated activists who has braved all conditions to stand weekly in Rundle Mall, Joe Frank. While he was in the hospital that year, Joe filled out his place of birth as Palestine on the mandatory forms for admission. The next day he was given a printout that said his place of birth was ‘Not Given’; apparently, there was no place in the database for Palestine. Obviously, a bureaucrat in Canberra at the stroke of a pen had decided to toe the Zionist line, or been instructed to toe the Zionist line, and deny the existence of Palestinians.  Joe wrote a strong letter of complaint. Sometime later Joe received an email from the Australian Bureau of Statistics saying that a code has now been allocated for Palestine.

Not all of Joe’s campaigns were resolved so quickly.  He had to persist for a year in asking the Australian government to change his country of birth from ‘Unspecified’ to Palestine on his new passport. Makes you wonder who are the bureaucrats dreaming up such weasel words to help the Zionist cause and then imposing them on every Palestinian in Australia.

After battling for a year Joe was informed he had won the case at mediation. This was a major win for all Australian Palestinians.  Joe’s achievements with these two issues show that even the most powerful federal bureaucracies can change and you do not always need a large group of activists or powerful people or politicians just one Palestinian-Australian.

Reflecting on these successes is heartening and inspires us to keep going. However, we also know the noose is tightening – we see it in the Mall and the city every week. This last year has seen a local group of Christian Zionists increasing their harassment, increasing their stalking,  flaunting their close relationship with security agencies, and increasing the numbers of Zionists in the Mall, especially on Friday evenings. Recently we were outnumbered 8 to 1.

We are also seeing the noose tightening at a government level with the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) Definition of Anti-Semitism laws attempting to shut down criticism of Israel and all BDS actions. Earlier this year a newly elected One Nation member of the South Australian Legislative Council introduced the adoption of what Dr. David Faber describes as this pseudo-definition. I am proud to say the Upper House in South Australia was prepared to reject this motion.

Unfortunately, some of our political parties are run like autocracies and the bureaucracies I have already mentioned. The hard word came down from Canberra that our South Australian Labor Party politicians had to toe the Zionist line.  And they did. The South Australian Upper House has now adopted the pseudo-definition.

In a bizarre move, federal politicians have subsequently created a group named “The Parliamentary Friends of the IHRA Definition”. I believe this is the first time Australian politicians have befriended a definition. They usually create groups like Parliamentary Friends of the United States of America or Parliamentary Friends of Climate Action. To appease the Zionist lobby these politicians will happily support the silencing of free speech on human rights abuses in Palestine and make themselves ridiculous by cozying up to a definition.

Top-down control ignored the wishes of millions of Australians in 2003 and led to the obscenity and mass slaughter of the Iraq war now this dictatorial model of politics has led to senior politicians enforcing support for an Apartheid regime, Israel, and for silencing free speech in Australia. I would prefer to see political parties follow our Adelaide BDS group’s model of inclusive, grassroots decision-making and actions.

– Margaret Cassar is Convenor of the Australian Friends of Palestine’s BDS Activist Group, Co-founder of the Adelaide-based Scribes for Palestine organization, and Executive Member of the Australian Friends of Palestine Association. She contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

UN Votes to Take “Israeli” Occupation of Palestine to Hague Int’l Court

November 12, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

The United Nations General Assembly voted 98-17 to seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the illegality of the “Israeli” entity’s occupation of Palestinian territories on the grounds that it can be considered de facto annexation.

This resolution specifically asked the ICJ for an opinion on the status of al-Quds [Jerusalem]. The city is one of the most volatile and contentious points of discord between “Israelis” and Palestinians.

The “Israeli” entity, the United States, Canada and Australia were among those who opposed the ICJ referral when the UNGA Fourth Committee held its preliminary vote on Friday in New York.

The issue now moves to the UNGA plenum for final approval.

“There is no authority that can declare that the Jewish nation is an occupier in its homeland,” the “Israeli” entity’s ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan tweeted defiantly after the vote.

Erdan wrote that he had warned the UN nations that an appeal to the ICJ at The Hague was the “last nail in the burial coffin” of “Israeli”-Palestinian reconciliation. “Unilateral measures” such as an ICJ appeal “will be met with unilateral measures.”

At issue is the question of whether after 56 years, the “Israeli” entity’s hold on territories it captured from Jordan Egypt and Syria in the defensive 1967 Six-Day War, can be considered tantamount to de facto annexation and thus illegal under international law.

The international community does not recognize “Israeli” “sovereignty” in al-Quds [Jerusalem] and only the US accepts the entity’s annexation of the Golan.

The “Israeli” entity withdrew from Gaza, but the international community still holds that its under “Israeli” occupation due to the “Israeli” Occupation Forces’ [IOF’s] control of much of its borders.

An ICJ opinion on the matter is non-binding, but it would help codify into international law the Palestinian insistence that all that pre-1967 territory, should be within the final boundaries of its future state.

At Friday’s meeting, the US and the “Israeli” entity charged that the resolution was an attempt to bypass a negotiated resolution to the conflict with the Palestinians and as such ran counter to past UN resolutions including at the Security Council which called for such talks.

“The Palestinian’s have rejected every single peace initiative, and now they embroil an external body with the excuse that the conflict has not been resolved but the only reason why it has not been resolved is because of their rejectionism,” Erdan said. “They claim that they are ready to negotiate, but what they fail to mention is that they are only ready to do so if they are guaranteed 100 percent of their demands before they even sit down at the negotiating table,” Erdan explained.

“Exploiting a UN organ by enlisting the UN’s politicized anti-‘Israel’ majority for the purpose of forcing your demands instead of negotiating, is clearly a unilateral step,” he added.

The United States Representative Andrew Weinstein said that the “failure” in such resolutions “to acknowledge the shared history of the Haram al-Sharif [Temple Mount], a site sacred to both Jews and Muslims, is perhaps the clearest demonstration that they are intended only to denigrate ‘Israel’, not to help achieve peace.”

After the vote, the Palestinian Authority Ambassador Riyad Mansour thanked all the nations that endorsed and supported the resolutions.

“Nothing justifies standing with ‘Israeli’ annexation and occupation,” Mansour said, noting that these actions went against the UN Charter.

“This occupation needs to end,” Mansour said.

The request for an ICJ advisory opinion, submitted for the first time this year, was tacked onto a pre-existing annual resolution called “‘Israeli’ practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people.”

The text of the resolution was read out by Namibia and Cuba.

A number of nations objected to the inclusion of the ICJ resolution in an already existing text rather than as a stand-alone item, noting that the matter had been pushed through quickly with little time for review.

The resolution asks the ICJ to advise on “the legal consequences arising from the ongoing violations by Israel of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination from its prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967.”

This includes, the resolution stated, “measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem and from its adoption of related discriminatory legislation and measures.”

In addition, the resolution asked the ICJ to explain how Israel’s policies and practices “affect the legal status of the occupation” and what are the “legal consequences that arise for all states the UN from this status.”

Among the nations that opposed the text were Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, Italy, Liberia, Lithuania, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, and Palau.

Many European countries abstained including Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Ukraine, Ireland and Poland were among those countries that supported the ICJ referral.

This is the second such ICJ referral. In 2004 the ICJ issued an advisory opinion against the “Israeli” entity’s security barrier, explaining that its construction in east al-Quds [Jerusalem] and the West Bank was illegal.

Scott Bennett to Al-Ahed: ‘Israel’ Is Committing War Crimes in Palestine

Nov 3 2022

By Mostafa Awada

Former US Army Special Operations Officer [11th Psychological Operations Battalion, Civil Affairs-Psychological Operations Command] Scott Bennett accused the ‘Israeli’ occupation entity of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity against the Palestinian people.

Bennett made the remarks in a conversation with al-Ahed News on the sidelines of his participation in the event held for ‘Palestine International Prize for Literature’ in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, which is focused on the Palestinian Cause.

The non-governmental prize is organized with the cultural and literature institutions in several Muslim countries.

As he stated that “God has opened my eyes and shown me the evil that has been done by ‘Israel’ and the United States,” Bennett also hailed that “There are many Americans that are coming out and speaking the truth. It is God awakening, and I think it is important for Palestine and the other people of the Middle East to see that there are real Americans, honest Americans, that we tell the truth fearlessly.”

Lamenting that there are very few conferences on Palestine, and none in America that really talk about this since it is being covered up by the Zionist media, the former US Army officer highlighted the need to have more of them in other countries, in America, Australia, Europe, Canada, South America.

Bennett urged every continent to have a conference and a discussion to tell the truth about the Palestinian suffering and the issue of the ‘Israeli’ aggression. “That needs to be spoken about to stop it because it is a war crime and a crime against humanity what ‘Israel’ has been doing to the Palestinians,” he concluded.

Australia’s Jerusalem Reversal Marks the Death of Trump’s « Deal of the Century »

INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

Feature photo | Protesters burn effigies of pictures of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed and U.S. President Donald Trump, during a demonstration against the United Arab Emirates’ deal with Israel, in the West Bank city of Nablus, Aug. 14, 2020. Majdi Mohammed | AP

Ramzy Baroud
US President Donald Trump’s so-called “Deal of the Century” was meant to represent a finality of sorts, an event reminiscent of Francis Fukuyama’s premature declaration of the “End of History” and the uncontested supremacy of western capitalism. In effect, it was a declaration that “we” – the US, Israel, and a few allies – have won, and “you”, isolated and marginalized Palestinians, lost.

In the same way, Fukuyama failed to consider the unceasing evolution of history, the US and Israeli governments also failed to understand that the Middle East, in fact, the world, is not governed by Israeli expectations and American diktats.

The above is a verifiable assertion. On October 17, the Australian government announced that it is revoking its 2018 recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Expectedly, the new decision, officially made by Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, was strongly criticized by Israel, celebrated by Palestinians, and welcomed by Arab countries who praised the responsible diplomacy of Canberra.

Any serious analysis of the Australian move, however, must not be confined to Australia’s own political shifts but must be extended to include the dramatic changes underway in Palestine, the Middle East, and, indeed, the world.

For many years, but especially since the US invasion of Iraq as part of the politically-motivated “war on terror”, Washington perceived itself as the main, if not the only, power that is able to shape political outcomes in the Middle East. Yet, as its Iraq quagmire began destabilizing the entire region, with revolts, social upheavals, and wars breaking out, Washington began losing its grip.

It was then rightly understood that, while the US may succeed in waging wars, as it did in Iraq and Libya, it is unable to restore even a small degree of peace and stability. Though Trump seemed disinterested in engaging in major military conflicts, he converted that energy to facilitate the rise of Israel as a regional power, which is incorporated into the Middle East’s political and economic grids through a process of political “normalization”, which is wholly delinked from the struggle in Palestine or the freedom of the Palestinians.

The Americans were so confident in their power to orchestrate such a major political transformation to the extent that Jared Kushner – Trump’s Middle East adviser and son-in-law – was revealed to have attempted to cancel the very status of Palestinian refugees in Jordan, an attempt that was met with a decisive Jordanian rejection.

Kushner’s arrogance reached the point that, in January 2020, he declared that his father-in-law’s plan was such a “great deal” which, if rejected by Palestinians, “they’re going to screw up another opportunity like they’ve screwed up every other opportunity that they’ve ever had in their existence”.

All of this hubris was joined with many American concessions to Israel, whereby Washington virtually fulfilled all Israeli wishes. The relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem was merely the icing on the cake of a much larger political scheme that included the financial boycott of Palestinians, the cancellation of funds that benefited Palestinian refugees, the recognition of the illegally occupied Syrian Golan Heights as part of Israel and the support of Tel Aviv’s decision to annex much of the occupied West Bank.

The then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies had hoped that, as soon as Washington carried out such moves, many other countries would follow, and that, in no time, Palestinians would find themselves friendless, broke, and irrelevant.

This was hardly the case, and what started with a bang ended with a whimper. Though the Biden administration still refuses to commit to any new “peace process”, it has largely avoided engaging in Trump’s provocative politics. Not just that, the Palestinians are anything but isolated, and Arab countries remain united, at least officially, in the centrality of Palestine to their collective political priorities.

In April 2021, Washington restored funding to the Palestinians, including money allocated to the UN refugee agency, UNRWA. It did not do so for charitable reasons, of course, but because it wanted to ensure the allegiance of the Palestinian Authority, and to remain a relevant political party in the region. Even then, the PA President Mahmoud Abbas, still declared, during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Kazakhstan on October 12, that “we [Palestinians] don’t trust America”.

Moreover, the annexation scheme, at least officially, did not go through. The rejection of any Israeli steps that could change the legal status of the occupied Palestinian territories proved unpopular with most UN members, including most of Israel’s western allies.

Australia remained the exception, but not for long. Unsurprisingly, Canberra’s reversal of its earlier decision regarding the status of Jerusalem earned it much criticism in Tel Aviv. Four years following its initial policy shift, Australia shifted yet once more, as it found it more beneficial to realign itself with the position of most world capitals than to that of Washington and Tel Aviv.

Trump’s “Deal of the Century” has failed simply because neither Washington nor Tel Aviv had enough political cards to shape a whole new reality in the Middle East. Most parties involved, Trump, Netanyahu, Scott Morrison in Australia, and a few others, were simply playing a political game linked to their own interests at home. Similarly, the currently embattled British Prime Minister Liz Truss is now jumping on the bandwagon of relocating the British embassy to Jerusalem so that she may win the approval of pro-Israel politicians. The move further demonstrates her lack of political experience and, regardless of what Westminster decides to do next, it will unlikely greatly affect the political reality in Palestine and the Middle East.

In the final analysis, it has become clear that the “Deal of the Century” was not an irreversible historical event, but an opportunistic and thoughtless political process that lacked a deep understanding of history and the political balances that continue to control the Middle East.

Another important lesson to be gleaned from all of this is that, as long as the Palestinian people continue to resist and fight for their freedom and as long as international solidarity continues to grow around them, the Palestinian cause will remain central to all Arabs and to all conscientious people around the world.


Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and the editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. His other books include “My Father was a Freedom Fighter” and “The Last Earth”. Baroud is a non-resident senior research fellow at the centre for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is ramzybaroud.net

From Ally to Enemy: Australia Hammers Final Nail in US ‘Deal of the Century’

October 26, 2022

Abraham Accord signing ceremony in Washington. (Photo: Wikimedia)

By Ramzy Baroud

US President Donald Trump’s so-called ‘Deal of the Century’ was meant to represent a finality of sorts, an event reminiscent of Francis Fukuyama’s premature declaration of the ‘End of History’ and the uncontested supremacy of western capitalism. In effect, it was a declaration that ‘we’ – the US, Israel and a few allies – have won, and ‘you’, isolated and marginalized Palestinians, lost.

The same way Fukuyama failed to consider the unceasing evolution of history, the US and Israeli governments also failed to understand that the Middle East, in fact, the world, is not governed by Israeli expectations and American diktats.

The above is a verifiable assertion. On October 17, the Australian government announced that it is revoking its 2018 recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Expectedly, the new decision, officially made by Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, was strongly criticized by Israel, celebrated by Palestinians and welcomed by Arab countries who praised the responsible diplomacy of Canberra.

Any serious analysis of the Australian move, however, must not be confined to Australia’s own political shifts but must be extended to include the dramatic changes underway in Palestine, the Middle East and, indeed, the world.

For many years, but especially since the US invasion of Iraq as part of the politically-motivated ‘war on terror’, Washington perceived itself as the main, if not the only, power that is able to shape political outcomes in the Middle East. Yet, as its Iraq quagmire began destabilizing the entire region, with revolts, social upheavals and wars breaking out, Washington began losing its grip.

It was then rightly understood that, while the US may succeed in waging wars, as it did in Iraq and Libya, it is unable to restore even a small degree of peace and stability. Though Trump seemed disinterested in engaging in major military conflicts, he converted that energy to facilitate the rise of Israel as a regional power, which is incorporated into the Middle East’s political and economic grids through a process of political ‘normalization’, which is wholly delinked from the struggle in Palestine or the freedom of the Palestinians.

The Americans were so confident in their power to orchestrate such a major political transformation to the extent that Jared Kushner – Trump’s Middle East advisor and son-in-law – was revealed to have attempted to cancel the very status of Palestinian refugees in Jordan, an attempt that was met with a decisive Jordanian rejection.

Kushner’s arrogance reached the point that, in January 2020, he declared that his father-in-law’s plan was such a “great deal” which, if rejected by Palestinians, “they’re going to screw up another opportunity, like they’ve screwed up every other opportunity that they’ve ever had in their existence.”

All of this hubris was joined with many American concessions to Israel, whereby Washington virtually fulfilled all Israeli wishes. The relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem was merely the icing on the cake of a much larger political scheme that included the financial boycott of Palestinians, the cancellation of funds that benefited Palestinian refugees, the recognition of the illegally occupied Syrian Golan Heights as part of Israel and the support of Tel Aviv’s decision to annex much of the occupied West Bank.

The then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies had hoped that, as soon as Washington carried out such moves, many other countries would follow, and that, in no time, Palestinians would find themselves friendless, broke and irrelevant.

This was hardly the case, and what started with a bang ended with a whimper. Though the Biden Administration still refuses to commit to any new ‘peace process’, it has largely avoided engaging in Trump’s provocative politics. Not just that, the Palestinians are anything but isolated, and Arab countries remain united, at least officially, in the centrality of Palestine to their collective political priorities.

In April 2021, Washington restored funding to the Palestinians, including money allocated to the UN refugees’ agency, UNRWA. It did not do so for charitable reasons, of course, but because it wanted to ensure the allegiance of the Palestinian Authority, and to remain a relevant political party in the region. Even then, the PA President, Mahmoud Abbas, still declared, during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Kazakhstan on October 12, that “we (Palestinians) don’t trust America”.

Moreover, the annexation scheme, at least officially, did not go through. The rejection of any Israeli steps that could change the legal status of the occupied Palestinian territories proved unpopular with most UN members, including most of Israel’s western allies.

Australia remained the exception, but not for long. Unsurprisingly, Canberra’s reversal of its earlier decision regarding the status of Jerusalem earned it much criticism in Tel Aviv. Four years following its initial policy shift, Australia shifted yet once more, as it found it more beneficial to realign itself with the position of most world capitals than to that of Washington and Tel Aviv.

Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’ has failed simply because neither Washington nor Tel Aviv had enough political cards to shape a whole new reality in the Middle East. Most parties involved – Trump, Netanyahu, Scott Morrison in Australia, and a few others – were simply playing a political game linked to their own interests at home. Similarly, the currently embattled British Prime Minister Liz Truss is now jumping on the bandwagon of relocating the British embassy to Jerusalem so that she may win the approval of pro-Israel politicians. The move further demonstrates her lack of political experience and, regardless of what Westminster decides to do next, it will unlikely greatly affect the political reality in Palestine and the Middle East.

In the final analysis, it has become clear that the ‘Deal of the Century’ was not an irreversible historical event, but an opportunistic and thoughtless political process that lacked a deep understanding of history and the political balances that continue to control the Middle East.

Another important lesson to be gleaned from all of this is that, as long as the Palestinian people continue to resist and fight for their freedom and as long as international solidarity continues to grow around them, the Palestinian cause will remain central to all Arabs and to all conscientious people around the world.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

The West Bank in Palestine is Ready to Explode

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 


Steven Sahiounie

There is a battle brewing in the occupied West Bank of Palestine. Thousands of Israeli occupation forces will be deployed to face a growing resistance force. The ‘natives are restless’ and the Lions’ Den has mobilized to fight for their freedom and human rights.

500,000 illegal Jewish settlers now live in the West Bank in some 130 settlements. Today, the Israeli forces said dozens of settlers ran through Hawara, near Nablus, throwing rocks at Palestinian cars. The settlers used pepper spray on the Israeli commander as well as another soldier and sprayed another two soldiers at a nearby checkpoint. Settlers are allowed to intimidate Palestinians and destroy their property, while Palestinians are hunted down and killed by Israeli occupation forces.

The Palestinian youth have grown up under brutal military occupation and an apartheid state. The resistance in Jenin, Nablus, and Hebron has inspired rebellion against sieges and attacks. The Palestinian people living under the iron hand of oppression are ready to fight the Israeli occupation and are frustrated with their leadership which is seen as collaborating with the Israelis in keeping the status quo firmly in place. The resistance movement sees no benefit in maintaining the occupation and demands a dramatic change in their future.

The Palestinian youth reject the divisions among the factions in the politics of Palestine. The recent unity deal in Algeria has given them hope that political parties can work together in brigades such as the Lions’ Den, which has fighters from Hamas, Fatah, and others fighting together for a single goal of freedom.

On October 11, an Israeli soldier was killed in an attack north of Nablus, and two other shooting attacks against Israeli forces took place in Beit Ummar, near Hebron, and in Sur Baher, a neighborhood in Jerusalem.

On October 14, Israeli forces killed 20-year-old Mateen Dabaya in a raid on the Jenin refugee camp. Dr. Abdallah Abu Teen, 43, rushed to the aid of Dabaya in front of the Jenin hospital and was also shot and killed by the Israelis in his attempt to give medical care to the injured young man. Two Palestinian paramedics and several civilians were also wounded in the attack by the Israelis at the entrance to the hospital.

On October 15, a Palestinian in his twenties was killed north of Ramallah, and Israeli forces raided Nablus and arrested a Palestinian man while continuing to impose movement restrictions on Palestinians in the West Bank, which is a hallmark of an apartheid state.

On October 16, Mohammad Turkman, 20, died of his wounds while in Israeli custody. He had been wounded and captured by Israeli forces in Jenin in late September.

On October 20, Mohammed Fadi Nuri, 16, died after being shot in the stomach last month by Israeli troops near the city of Ramallah.

The Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem is completely sealed in a siege by Israeli forces as a form of collective punishment following an attack there, and Israeli police announced that it arrested 50 Palestinians in Jerusalem recently.

Riyad Mansour, the representative of Palestine to the UN, has denounced attacks by Israeli occupation forces and called on the UN to comply with international law and Security Council resolutions. Mansour noted that Israeli forces and settler militias “are relentlessly harassing, intimidating and provoking the Palestinian people in a ruthless manner,” and condemned the new attack against the city of Jenin

The US enables Israel to remain an apartheid state

The United States of America, the champion of freedom and democracy, is currently sending billions of dollars worth of weapons to Ukraine to fight for democracy. But, you won’t see the US sending a bullet to the Palestinians for their fight for democracy. The US is also the champion of ‘double standards’.

According to the various international human rights groups, which are often cited by the US as evidence of war crimes and atrocities by American foes, the Jewish State of Israel is an apartheid state. The US and her western liberal allies were the chief critics of the former apartheid state of South Africa, and the western criticism helped to fulfill the dreams of freedom and democracy in the land of Nelson Mandela.

The US is like a parent who allows Israel to continue self-destructive behavior. Some parents of teenage drug addicts will buy drugs for their children to protect them from danger and arrest. The parents are not willing to go through the tortuous procedure of rehab for the child, so they minimize the danger and make the drug addiction as safe as possible. This is known as enabling, and this is the role the US has chosen for itself in its relationship with Israel and Palestine. On the one hand, the US claims to support the democratic aspirations of all peoples but is unwilling to stand up to Israeli policies of racism, collective punishment, blockades, imprisonment without trial or legal aid, and other crimes perpetrated against the Palestinian people under occupation. The enabling stance of the US is destructive for both the US and the Palestinians, as the reputation of America suffers from global ridicule and shame.

Palestinian unity deal

Arab unity might be too much to ask for, but Palestinian unity has been agreed on in Algeria. Hamas, Fattah, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the PLO, and others signed the deal brokered by Algerian President Abdulmajeed Tabboune. This deal resolves a 15-year political dispute among the various factions and looks forward to new elections.

“Jenin has demonstrated to the [Palestinian] leaders meeting in Algeria that national unity is built in the field,” Palestinian prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said.

Why is the west bank resisting?

The Palestinian Authority has lost control in Nablus and Jenin the West Bank. The Palestinians view their leadership as an extension of Israeli control and oppression. The Lions’ Den in Nablus has claimed responsibility for the latest resistance operations against Israeli occupation forces.

On October 16, the Jenin Brigade announced they will support the Lions’ Den in their resistance to occupation, and this has raised the prospect of increased Israeli raids on Jenin and Nablus.

Benny Gantz, Israeli Defense Minister, trivialized the threat of the Lions’ Den when he made statements on how his occupation forces will capture and eliminate the members. Israel has depended on the divisions among the Palestinian factions. However, Israel has never before faced a unified force of motivated youth who are willing to die for freedom and a chance to create a new future for themselves and their families. Revolutions occasionally succeed.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, over 170 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank and Gaza, since the beginning of 2022, making this year the deadliest since 2015.

UK embassy move proposed

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, have both expressed concern over the proposed UK embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Liz Truss, the embattled British Prime Minister, proposed the idea in her meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid last month.

Pope Francis, the UK churches, and the 13 denominations of Christians in Jerusalem have always maintained a position supporting a UN resolution for a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine firstly, and secondly a final status of Jerusalem to be decided afterward. Previously the Christians of Jerusalem stated concern over moving embassies to Jerusalem, “We are certain that such steps will yield increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, moving us farther from the goal of unity and deeper toward destructive division.”

Truss has wanted to follow in the footsteps of President Trump who defied international law when he shifted the US embassy to Jerusalem. The Truss plan was first suggested in her letter to the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI), a pro-Israel lobby group, similar to the pro-Trump AIPAC in the US.

Australia reverses its position on embassy move

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong has announced Australia has reversed its recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Wong also told reporters that “the Australian government remains committed to a two-state solution in which Israel and a future Palestinian state can coexist in peace and security within internationally recognized borders. We will not support an approach that undermines this prospect.”

Michael Hudson: Podcast with Michael Hudson, Steve Keen, Steve Grumbine

July 17, 2022

Posted with Michael Hudson’s permission

Grambine, Macro and Cheese, July 9 2022. https://realprogressives.org/podcast_episode/episode-180-the-end-of-dollar-diplomacy-with-steve-keen-and-michael-hudson/.

https://realprogressives.org/macro-n-cheese-podcast/
For those who would like to hear the recorded conversation

Michael Hudson [intro/music]

A central tenet of the World Bank from the beginning is to convince countries not to grow their own food, but to create plantation agriculture to prevent family-owned farming of food, to grow plantation export crops and they become dependent on the United States for their grain.

[00:00:22.610] – Steve Keen [intro/music]

If you look at just the shipping involved in international trade, it’s something of the order of 20%, I think, of our carbon production comes out of the entire mechanics of shipping goods around the planet. And we realize we’ve massively overshot the capacity of the biosphere to support our industrial sedentary civilization. So, one way to reduce that is by reducing international trade.

[00:01:35.130] – Geoff Ginter [intro/music]

Now, let’s see if we can avoid the apocalypse altogether. Here’s another episode of Macro N Cheese with your host, Steve Grumbine.

[00:01:43.110] – Steve Grumbine

All right. And this is Steve with Macro N Cheese. Another great episode for everyone today. I have two guests, two very good friends, and very happy to have them join me today. Professor Steve Keen and Michael Hudson. You can’t get two better guys than this. And we’re going to have a very action packed conversation.

We’re going to be talking about central banking, the IMF, World Trade Organization, World Bank. And we’re going to be looking at how the US uses the monetary system to bring about its imperial powers that it exerts on the world. And we’re going to look at some of the things that are happening with Russia and Ukraine right now that ship the US control over the global commerce and the behaviors of non US countries.

They’re starting to think for themselves and make some decisions, and we’re watching the facade crack a little bit. Steve Keen, who is the author of the book Debunking Economics and more recently The New Economics: A Manifesto, is joining me, as well as Michael Hudson, who has just recently written the book The Destiny of Civilization: Finance Capitalism, Industrial Capitalism or Socialism. So, without further ado, Michael and Steven, welcome to the show, sirs.

[00:03:04.530] – Michael Hudson

Good to be here.

[00:03:05.800] – Steve Keen

Thank you indeed.

[00:03:06.960] – Grumbine

So the reason why I brought us together, you guys are both phenomenal on your own, but together, I think that we can maybe tackle this. As an MMT advocate, I find myself friends with an awful lot of people, and you gentlemen have been doing this for a long time, and I know that you have some pushback within the MMT community.

In particular, this concept of “imports are a benefit and exports are a cost.” This is a core MMT staple. And some of the concerns that came out as a result of the Covid crisis showed us the resource based failures of a global supply chain and how some of the aspects of our financial system and the shipping of real resources from areas that had high Covid, how it impacted our abilities to take care of life on life’s terms.

It also became quite clear that the US hegemony over the world using dollar diplomacy is starting to show cracks in the foundation as well, as we watch Russia thumb its nose at US sanctions. So, getting into this, Steve Keen, I know that you have taken some issue with Warren Mosler’s prescription that imports are a benefit and exports are a cost.

Taking Warren’s position on this, I believe Warren is saying exports are real goods and services we’re sending out, whereas imports we’re handing pieces of paper to people. And this is a win for the importing nation. And we’ve seen the power of the US dollar and the ability to basically create colonial outposts, colonized communities living and dying off of US dollars. So there’s a power dynamic as well. What is your pushback with Warren’s import/export model?

[00:05:03.270] – Keen

There are quite a few elements to it. First of all, the idea that exports are a cost and imports are a benefit. One term that I’ve seen one Modern Monetary Theory advocate used to explain is to say, the opportunity cost is all theirs. In other words, they have therefore gone by sending a good to us like an automobile to the buyer in return for currency.

They’re doing without the opportunity of the vehicle. And when you take a good look at the manufacturing side of things, the reality for most firms is they have diminishing marginal cost and excess capacity. So the standard thing when you’re competing in a domestic market is you have spare capacity you’re not using, but you can’t get enough demand domestically.

Now, I know MMT can say that should be handled by the government using additional spending power and creating the spending power to absorb the excess capacity. But they don’t at the moment. So what tends to happen instead is that countries will use export-oriented industrialization to use their additional capacity more effectively, which is what’s led to the industrialization of China and in many ways the de-industrialization of America.

Personally, I don’t think the opportunity cost is the right way to think about international trade at all. It’s a neoclassical way of thinking. It assumes neoclassical conditions about production which are empirically false. I don’t think anything in MMT should be based on bad foundations and I think that is a bad foundation.

Then when you see the discussions about monetary sovereignty and saying that countries who don’t have to issue debt in the currency which is not their own currency, they have monetary sovereignty, those who have to issue debt in a currency which is not their own don’t have monetary sovereignty. One way you end up in not having monetary sovereignty is running large balance of trade deficits and not being the reserve currency of the planet.

So I think the advice that exports are a cost and imports are a benefit doesn’t make sense for countries which have been running a trade deficit, are importing more than they’re exporting, so they’re using their own pieces of paper fundamentally, initially, but if they keep on doing it, they’ve got to start using American pieces of paper, and then they’re in deep trouble. So I just think it’s a nice slogan, but I think it’s a bad idea.

[00:07:20.250] – Grumbine

So it makes sense to me given the nature of the pandemic. You and I spoke, I guess it was almost two years ago, about supply chains and pandemics, and we talked at length about how the iPhone is made in some 37 different countries – and countries that were isolated due to the pandemic. It also impacted production in general. Right now I’m in Information Technology, and I work with Cisco, and Cisco being the backbone of the entire Internet globally.

They have lead times even today of up to a year for some of the equipment, partially because of semiconductor shortages. But this is a piggyback to that in that there is the accounting identities of trading paper for goods and services, but then there is the actual functional output of that. And for countries like the United States, we do have Most Favored Nation status in the sense that we are the primary world reserve currency.

And I think part of that has to do with the fact that the price gas and gas purchases are done through US dollars as well. But overall, I think that we have to be aware that we’re not being a very good partner on the planet in general. A lot of the power plays the United States uses to be able to get those goods and services into the US Is done through warfare and sanctions, as we’ve seen all around the world. We use them to great harm in the global South.

However, we saw Russia here recently thumb their nose at us and say, the only thing we’re really lacking is high tech products, and we got China that can hook us up with that. All you’ve done is accelerated our departure from a dollar denominated world, which I guess brings us to you, Michael. Your book talks extensively about this. Can you help piggyback off of what Steve said regarding the supply chains and the impact of that import/export dynamic with what’s going on right now with Russia, China and Ukraine?

[00:09:34.590] – Hudson

Well, MMT has not spent much time talking about the balance of payments. It’s basically a theory of the domestic economy. The problem of the whole discussion that just took place is that trade is not the most important element of the balance of payments. For the United States, the trade balance has been just about in balance for almost 50 years, 70 years, actually.

What’s in balance is America’s military spending abroad. That’s the deficit that is pumping dollars into the world economy. But now to get back to Steve’s point, realizing that we’re dealing with trade, only a small portion of the balance of payments, Steve’s point is, let’s ignore all the other elements of the balance of payments – the debt service and the capital accounts and others.

If you import more than you export, and you have to actually pay cash for the imports and get cash for the export, then you have to borrow money. And once you borrow money, because most trade is denominated in dollars, this means you have to borrow US dollars. You don’t buy imports with your own currency. Now, MMT is all about how sovereign governments can create their own money and create their own currency, but they can’t print their foreign currency.

That’s the problem with having more imports than exports. And once you begin to borrow dollars, you have to pay interest on it. And all of a sudden, they’re running a deficit, it’s going to reduce your foreign exchange rates. Well, let’s look at what’s going to happen this summer as an example. We know that energy prices, oil prices are going way up.

And President Biden just says they’re going to be with us for a very long time because his major contributors are the oil companies, and he’s promised them that he’s going to enable them to make super profits to help raise the Dow Jones average. And the other element is food. Well, America is going to make a killing on oil exports because the United States controls the world oil trade.

The United States is also a major agricultural exporter, and it’ll make a killing because NATO has imposed sanctions on Russia, preventing Russia from exporting oil and food – it’s the largest grain exporter – into the economy. So you’re going to have South America, Africa, and the global South countries all of a sudden running big deficits.

Well, at the same time, there’s an enormous deficit of debt service that they owe to finance all of the trade deficits that they’ve been running ever since they followed neoliberal ideals to open their markets to depend on foreign food and basically US manufacturers. The Federal Reserve has just begun to raise interest rates. And the result of raising interest rates has been the dollar is going way up against the Latin American currencies, the African currencies, the South African rand, the Brazilian currency.

So you’re going to have the global South being in an absolute currency squeeze this summer. What are they going to do? Well, President Putin has said, well, we’re going to offer an alternative in the form of the BRICS bank. Well, it’s true that a bank can’t create foreign currency. The BRICS bank can enable countries to run a deficit in two ways.

Number one, the bank can be fueled by each member giving, say, a trillion dollars or some kind of proportional currency to the bank. So currency swap agreements, just like the United States has been negotiating for the last 50 years. You can all have a currency swap. Also, the BRICS bank can create its version of Special Drawing Rights – IMF SDRs – or what John Maynard Keynes proposed in 1944: “bancors.”

It can create paper gold of its own and distribute to countries. Well, the problem is, Putin said, we’re willing to sell your grain and oil and to take your currency in exchange, but we don’t want to save your balance of payments simply so that now you can afford to pay the debt service that you owe to US dollar bond holders, bank holders, and the IMF and the World Bank that got you into the mess you’re in to begin with.

So the problem is the stability of insulating your trade from the foreign exchange going up and down requires a split of the world into two different economic zones: US/NATO, the white people’s economic zones, and let’s call it the nonwhite economic zones. And remember, the Ukraine say that Russians are not white and racially different. Basically, the Nazi ideology is that any country that’s not neoliberal is not white.

So you’re going to have the world splitting, and we’re really talking about how to create a monetary system for the world splitting. I want to get back to one other thing Steve said about the opportunity cost. If imports are a great advantage to the United States, is it worth having American corporations move to low wage labor abroad, shifting the production abroad so that America is deindustrialized?

Has that been an advantage? Or let’s look at it from Russia’s point of view. Until this last spring, Russia was importing food, cheese, raw materials. And because of the sanctions, Russia has had to all of a sudden develop import substitution. It’s producing its own cheese. It produced its own agriculture that’s thriving.

And President Putin has said that Russia is going to spend more and more of its oil export receipts on funding import-replacing industry. Well, that sounds like a good idea, because we’re really talking about independence. And the balance of payments ultimately determines a constraint on domestic policy. I think that’s what Steve was talking about for opportunity costs.

You can’t just look at the flows on a balance sheet: “Well, we’re getting something for nothing.” If you import more than you export, you’re running up foreign debt, and you’re becoming more and more dependent on foreign countries who are acting in their own interests, not your own interests. So you have to put this whole discussion in the political context.

[00:16:15.210] – Grumbine

So I would see this as a national security issue in that with these essentials – Fadhel Kaboub talks about the spectrum of sovereignty: energy sovereignty, food sovereignty, technological sovereignty, the ability to live without external supports. And each country has varying levels of that. And so each country would have to be looked at differently just based on what they’re even capable of producing.

I guess my question to you, as we think about countries in the global South that have had the kiss of the IMF on them and the debt peonage that they have been laboring under. In Africa, Sankara’s speech talking about “I can either pay you or I can feed my people.” You can see the role that US interests through the IMF have had to import their goods and services into our country.

They don’t have a choice. They are basically colonial states that have the US thumbprint on them. So the United States has exerted this imperial power in this geopolitical nightmare. We are watching them break away from that today.

[00:17:34.050] – Hudson

But you’re leaving one of the real villains in the piece, and that’s the World Bank.

[00:17:38.290] – Grumbine

Oh, yes.

[00:17:39.020] – Hudson

A central element of the World Bank from the beginning is to convince countries not to grow their own food, but to create plantation agriculture, to prevent family-owned farming of food, to grow plantation export crops, and to become dependent on the United States for their grain. Well, if imports are a benefit and imports mean that the United States can put a sanction on you and starve your people like the United States tried to do in China in the 1950s, do you really want to become import dependent on food?

Let’s compare the World Bank to the Chinese Belt and Road and the BRICS bank that’s proposed. The World Bank would only make foreign exchange loans. That meant it would only make loans to countries who would invest in infrastructure that would help its exports. Well, imagine how this works for agriculture.

If you were going to develop your agriculture in the global South countries, you’d do pretty much what the United States did in the 1930s that had the most rapid increase in productivity of any industry in the last few centuries. And that was because the government took the lead in agricultural extension services, seed testing, educating farmers as to seed variety, setting up local farm management organizations.

Before the time that Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland became the great intermediaries in promotion of domestic self-sufficiency for farms, the World Bank wouldn’t make any loans at all for this, even though the World Bank local commissions and reports all said that this is what they need. The World Bank was almost always headed by someone very close to the US Military, starting with John J. McCloy at the beginning and going through McNamara and all of the subsequent Pentagon people who were put in charge of the World Bank.

And above all, they wanted to continue to base America’s export boom in agriculture and to make other countries food dependent. And that is one of the things that has led them into debt. So if you have a country like Chile that has the richest land in the world because it has the richest supply of guano deposits in the world. It also has the most unequal land distribution in Latin America – latifundia and microfundia – not any kind of balanced food production.

So that all of Chile’s exports and copper, by specializing, have been overwhelmed by the costs of importing food that it could have grown all by itself. So the idea of free trade is shaped by what will the international organizations controlled by the US give credit for, ends up to create underdevelopment and dependency instead of development. And that developmental aspect is a different story from MMT money creation. And we’re talking about something else that is part of a much bigger system.

[00:20:43.410] – Grumbine

Steve, based on what Michael just said, I know that you are concerned with the environment and bringing production back home. And around the world, people that are not hip to the US empire are trying to convince countries to look at building bonds between each other to create trade zones that mitigate some of the US power over dominating their countries.

We’ve got a very tiny window to solve climate crisis as well. So all these things are converging at one time trying to deleverage US interests from the world interests and watching as the nonwhite countries are banding together and the white countries are banding together. And it seems like the opportunity to save ourselves from extinction is passing before our very eyes.

In the vein of what he just said, how do we marry some of the ideas that we have, the climate crisis with the geopolitical crisis that we’re battling here?

[00:21:49.110] – Keen

Well, the large part of it is that the focus of neoclassical economics has always been on specialization and doing it with so-called comparative advantage. And what that gives you is an incredibly fragile system, as we’ve seen with Covid, because if you actually distribute production across the planet and you have a long supply chain, then of course that can collapse in an instant with something like Covid coming along.

And equally, if you have a famine, if the major food baskets get wiped out by a famine or a war. We’ve got the war already. The famine may well come by a drought and a crop failure as well. Then suddenly you can’t feed your people and you have no domestic alternative. So I think we have to get away from the focus on efficiency and even in that sense, the gain of swapping paper for goods, which is part of the MMT slogan.

Start thinking: no, we need to be resilient and capable of handling a range of different disturbances which could come our way. And on that basis you need to have your production local.

[00:22:47.310] – Grumbine

So within that space mitigating some of the travel carbon footprint expenses that clearly solves one problem. But where you had smokestacks to create basic amounts of goods and services in one country, now you’re building smokestacks across the globe and I don’t see any meaningful effort to green technology to make those things happen.

I am curious what decentralizing production does in terms of the carbon footprint and how developing local supply chains will in turn impact our ability to stave off climate crisis.

[00:23:30.090] – Keen

Yeah, if you look at just the shipping involved in international trade. It’s something at the order of 20%, I think, of our carbon production comes out of the entire mechanics of shipping goods around the planet, and we realize we’ve massively overshot the capacity to support our industrial sedentary civilization. So one way you can reduce that is by reducing international trade.

I think that’s what’s going to start happening, partly because you have the example of Cisco. You suddenly wait a year to get a piece you used to wait two weeks for because of the breakdown of the supply chain. The same thing will become even, I think, even more extreme when climate change forces us to drastically reduce our production levels.

If you don’t have the domestic production capability, you’re going to lose the possibility of those goods. And in some cases, we have to drastically reduce our consumption of a range of goods. Automobiles is an obvious instance of that. But in others, we want to continue – and food production is one of those. Clearly, you want to produce your food locally.

So, again, I think we’ve been very blase about the physical side of production, and that’s what I would like MMT to start looking at. And in that context, I think it might change the attitude about imports and exports.

[00:24:57.730] – Intermission

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[00:25:49.010] – Grumbine

Michael, in the Russia example, where in one fell swoop they get cut off from the SWIFT system and the US is beating their chest, “We’ve got Putin on the run.” It doesn’t look like Putin is on the run at all right now.

[00:26:02.900] – Hudson

I’m glad you’re bringing up the NATO war against countries resisting neoliberalism, because you use the word “green.” And the European Greens basically are advocating two fuels of the future: coal and cutting down the forests. Germany, by blocking Russia’s gas, they are essentially replacing Russian gas and oil with Polish and Ukrainian coal – and digging down the forest.

I’ve walked very often through German villages, and most houses have whole stacks of cut-down lumber that they essentially burn in their fireplaces for heat. You’re having an enormous deforestation and replacement of gas with coal. And the Green Parties are the advocates for the major polluters in the world, and they’re the advocates for global warming.

And that’s because they’re part of the Cold War attack on Russia. And they say it’s worth having global warming as long as we can fight against countries that resist neoliberalism and resist the American European takeover. So you want to realize the politics – that the Greens of Europe are not friends of the environment.

Now, to get back to your question about the isolating of Russia. Isolating Russia hasn’t isolated it at all. It’s driven Russia together with China, in the first instance, and then China and Russia together have joined with India, Iran, Syria, they’re now joining with Brazil and Argentina all to create an alternative economic order and social order and political order.

And the political order is basically based on the main distinction between the non-neoliberals and the neoliberals, and that is: who will control the money supply. And China is the prime example. Instead of private banking creating the credit to create loans basically for financial reasons, China will create credit to spend into the economy the way that MMTers hope to see credit created.

Namely, spend to hire labor, to make new means of production, hopefully in an environmental way, as opposed to the commercial banks that look at “how do we make money in the short term?” Well, you make money in the short term by cutting down the forest of the Amazon. You don’t look at global warming.

And already you’ve had the heads of American oil companies and investment firms say “what do we care about global warming ten years in the future? We care about the next three months’ earning statement, and the next year. Ten years from now, the sea levels go up. We can deal with it then.” So you’re dealing with two different economic philosophies and as the world divides into these two different economies, this is an important element.

And as Steve just pointed out, neoliberal economics doesn’t take into account the environment because that’s long term. Economists call that exogenous, meaning it’s outside our tunnel vision. And the question is whether you’re going to look at the world economy as the overall system interconnected, which is what Steve and I do, or whether you’re going to say we’re going to just cut the financial sector apart and only look at the corporate and financial sector of how to make money quickly.

That’s really the difference. So obviously Russia was not really troubled very much by being cut off – or even by being isolated. What America is doing is driving Russia together with all of the countries that have refused to condemn it. And America basically is creating an iron curtain, locking these countries – isolating them from Europe and the United States – going their own way, which I don’t think Russia and China are unhappy to see occurring.

[00:29:54.480] – Grumbine

I completely agree with that. The idea that the US thinks they are going to knock these giants down and they’ve just said we’re going to invest in our own country. Instead of being a cooperative society, we see this as a combative society. We decided we have to fight them and create cold wars to isolate them so we can catch up.

But you nailed it with the concept of the private short-term thinking that private collateral, banking, loans, filling short-term needs because we can’t see out as far as those folks because they aren’t living and dying the same capitalist way that we do things here in the United States. They have invested in the public purpose.

China has got the ability to do just about everything. Do you think it’s going to take us getting our proverbial asses handed to us by the rest of the world to wake up? Do you think we’ll ever wake up? Or this is just the way it will always be, at least until tsunamis take us out?

[00:30:56.870] – Hudson

Who is the we? Who’s going to wake up? When you say we, it’s as if you mean American citizens in the population. But we are not the government who makes the policy. We are not the Davos Group and the campaign contributors. Their “we” are the oil industry, the big agricultural monopolies, the other monopolies, and Wall Street. That’s the finance, insurance and real estate sector [FIRE].

And they are going to just continue doing what they want. And you’ve seen from the recent Supreme Court rulings in the United States that the government is not permitted to enforce any climate preservation rules. That has been ruled unconstitutional unless Congress can pass environmental law. And in order for Congress to pass a law, as opposed to just an executive branch joining the environment, you have to have 60 out of 100 votes.

American dual politics doesn’t permit either party to get 60 votes unless there’s a landslide. And the only party that has a prospect of getting 60% would be the Republicans. So basically, even if the people wake up, the government people and their campaign contributors are just going to continue to make money to live in the short term. That’s what differentiates neoliberalism and socialism.

[00:32:17.630] – Grumbine

Very well stated. To me, I think of this as war. Murder. I don’t think of this as some polite gentleman’s disagreement. I see this as wanton death and destruction, all in the name of profit. How do we stop this? Can we stop this? Congress is bought and paid for. Our government, our Supreme Court doesn’t represent the people, and the President has proven to be a feckless neoliberal as well.

I see nothing to feel any sense of hope, and I’m not sure that hope is a requirement. It seems like the only alternative we have is in the street, is to become ungovernable, is to get rid of a government that is no longer representative of the people.

[00:33:04.010] – Hudson

[laughs]  Well, Steve’s gone to Thailand and I’m dealing mainly with China. That’s how we’ve coped. [laughter] Neither of us are going to be President of America.

[00:33:15.690] – Keen

No. The American political system is almost designed to stop anything being done. I was involved in the Australian election recently, as you probably remember. And though my party did extremely badly and money still was obviously vitally necessary to get a political profile, even in countries with good electoral systems, Australia does have a good electoral system, and America has got the best electoral system money can buy, and that’s a disaster.

It’s hard to get away from money enabling parties to have political position to be seen in the media. And that’s actually a great reason for MMT: create money for publicly financed election campaigns rather than having it out of private pockets. But given that, you have an electoral system where you don’t actually vote for anybody, the electoral college piece of nonsense, which itself is crazy.

Every state has got a different system, which is crazy. You don’t have the central bureaucracy handling the voting system, which is crazy. And you have gerrymandering because the boundaries are decided by local political groups, which is crazy. So the extent to which America needs to reform its political structure to approximate a democracy is ridiculous. And that’s partly why money interests can so easily dominate what happens in the American political sphere. And right-wing religious ideology as well.

[00:34:43.950] – Grumbine

Absolutely. The Calvinistic bullshit in this country is over the top. But there’s a tone policing aspect to this. I think there are people out there who don’t understand that this election system that we have in the United States isn’t getting us what we want or need. They think they just need to phone bank harder, vote harder.

Fact is, in my 53 years, I have not seen any meaningful legislation passed. I do not consider the ACA meaningful legislation. I’ve seen a lot of bad legislation pass that hurts us. And this is not really intended to be an America-centric show, except that America seems to be the big bully. It’s creating a lot of the problems. It’s got its own citizens in hell and it’s trying to create hell on earth for the rest of the world.

I spend a lot of time trying to get this information out the door. It’s very important information, but it’s only important in the sense that it’s good to know. I don’t see any of it amounting to a movement, a passing of legislation. We can tell people that if we don’t consider the economy in the world as a superorganism and degrowth, we don’t have anybody thinking this way.

[00:36:00.090] – Keen

There is actually – I don’t know the name of it, but I do know that there’s a political group in America which is campaigning to have Australia’s electoral system adopted by America. Have it include an electoral commission that determines borders between one electorate and another, a single centralized system that counts the votes rather than the crazy range of stuff you have at the state level.

And controls on the size of electorates so they can be no more than 20% larger or smaller than a target – and they should be 10%. And then preferential voting so you don’t just vote for one candidate, like if you vote for the Greens in America, you guarantee the Republicans win the election because the Green votes are taken away from the Democrat.

So have preferential voting, which means you can actually put the party you prefer first and know that the party that’s your fallback will actually get the vote if your first party doesn’t get up. So all these sorts of reforms. I know that there are people who are campaigning about it because the frustration that you’re expressing is very widely felt in America. But of course, try getting that through a Republican-dominated Congress. It ain’t going to be easy.

[00:37:01.170] – Grumbine

No. It does leave you wondering if this is not just political theater. I talked to Warren the other day and Warren asked the question to me. He said, “you ask, are they doing a good job? And I answer back, well, for whom?” Somebody’s doing okay right now. It just isn’t the regular people in society. Somebody’s doing great, though. And I don’t see a path. As much as I want to, I see no path forward.

I don’t want to feel this way, but I don’t see a path forward. Michael, with your international perspective, I guess my question to you, given the fact that you’re focusing on China and you see the US through the lens that we’ve just discussed, do you see an ending to this that is positive for the world, that gets us to a successful conclusion, meaning we survive? Do you see any hope whatsoever in changing that narrative? And if not, what’s next?

[00:38:01.530] – Hudson

There’s no path forward in the way that we’ve been talking about because the suggestions that Steve makes cannot be legislated by Congress. They are limited by the Constitution. And in order to do what Steve recommends – very good ideas – you would need a new Constitutional Convention. The right-wing, the polluters, the monopolists, the bankers, have been preparing for a Constitutional Convention for about 30 years, and it wouldn’t be very nice.

[00:38:32.370] – Grumbine

Yep.

[00:38:32.370] – Hudson

Our Constitution in America was written for the slave owners to permit any states to block any federal power because they worried that the federal power might try to free the slaves. Well, now that element of the Constitution, of state’s rights, is enabling the oil industry, the polluting industry, the banks, the credit card companies to essentially prevent any solution along any lines except those of the ultra right-wing.

But the problem goes beyond America and beyond Europe. Western civilization took a wrong track about 3000 years ago. The Near East and almost all of Asia had a tradition of canceling the debts when they threatened the economy. In Japan, you had revolutions, you had the Near East rulers canceling the debts. That’s what my books are about.

And you had essentially the jubilee years throughout the Near East. And this promotion of economic growth and in effect, prosperity, was always run by a central ruler. There had to be a ruler, the job of divine kingship or undivine kingship, throughout the Near East, Asia, all the way to China. And India. All of these cultures sought to prevent a commercial class and a financial class from emerging and taking over.

And the merchant class was realized as playing an important role, but it was not allowed to dominate society. But around the 8th century BC, when Syrian traders began to move into the Aegean and Mediterranean to Greece and Italy. There weren’t any kings. The west didn’t have kings. They had local chieftains who were a Mafia-type society.

And the result is that ever since Greece and Rome, you had a completely different set of laws and legal philosophy than what you had in the Near East and Asia. You had pro-creditor laws making what is called the security of contracts and the irreversibility of land being forfeited to creditors. And the result is you had creditors oligarchy evolving.

So when President Biden said the current war of NATO against Russia and China is a war of democracy against autocracy, what it means by democracy are Western civilization’s oligarchies. There haven’t been any democracies, really – maybe very briefly in Athens – but the Western cultures are all oligarchies. What he calls an autocracy is a government strong enough to prevent a financial oligarchy from developing and taking over the land and taking over politics and making its own laws for itself.

And it’s a civilizational difference. And both Steve and I have spent a lot of our time talking about how the Western economies cannot evolve further without a debt write-down, without writing down the debts that are of the 99%, they’re owed to the 1%, the oligarchy that’s controlling all of Western politics. Asia has a way to go a different way.

China doesn’t have a financial oligarchy because it treats money and credit as a public utility through the Bank of China. And so the Bank of China, as we said, makes loans to actually develop the economy. And that’s what Russia says it’s going to begin doing, not to create a financial class to make money at the expense of the 99%. So we’re dealing with a civilizational problem.

And the question is, which form of civilization? Can you rescue Western civilization from the wrong track? Well, only by creating an alternative on the right track and leaving Western civilization and say, well, you’re missing out on the development. Do you want to continue in poverty or are you going to have a revolution?

[00:42:31.650] – Grumbine

You’ve seen yellow and blue profile pictures for everybody totally sympathetic to Ukraine. And our government saying “we are not going to abandon them no matter what.” Biden has signaled that we have unlimited money to give to Ukraine, and he can’t possibly write down $2 trillion in student debt. This weird split dichotomy of truth and lies passes right by the average person.

With what you just stated, which side is going to win? Sadly, the bad guys seem to always win. I rarely see the good guys win. Who is “the good guys”? In full disclosure, I’m a socialist. We don’t even have a left party in the United States. There’s no appetite for that kind of thing in the United States. And those of us that want it are the minority. How do you envision this playing out?

[00:43:26.670] – Hudson

I thought I just said it: a different civilization going its own way.

[00:43:31.740] – Grumbine

Well, what you said was the question of good and evil, basically, which one is going to win? I’m asking you, how do you see it playing out? Because the US can’t continue doing what it’s doing and grow. You need the debt jubilee. We’ve chosen not to. Asia has those systems built and they have choices. So the question I’m proposing, given that, do you see any chance of the US coming to grips with itself? Or do you see this being a one-way trip to destitution?

[00:44:03.570] – Hudson

The latter.

[00:44:05.010] – Grumbine

Fair enough.

[00:44:05.830] – Hudson

That’s all I can say. There is no sign at all of a change. The fact that Steve and I can be on your show – we are not published in the major magazines anymore. We’re not on the major network shows. What you call the bad guys always call themselves the good guys. What you call evil calls itself good. So the question is, what kind of good guys you’re going to have?

The good guys that want to blow up the world and impoverish society, which is what neoliberalism says are the good guys or the good guys for the 99%, which America says are autocracies that we have to fight?

[00:44:41.830] – Grumbine

Yeah.

[00:44:42.670] – Keen

I think I might put a bit of a perspective. People often say, “what’s your alternative?” And what they really mean is “what’s your alternative that I’m going to like?” And I think there is an alternative, but as people feel, “I don’t like it” then other people won’t like it as well. And that is that given the scale of the environmental crisis we’re facing and the fact that it’s coming far sooner than we’re being led to believe, because courtesy of believing their classical economists on it.

When it hits, the countries that are most likely to survive will hold together are those that the West calls authoritarian. And the defining feature of those cultures when you’ve actually been inside them, is that, yes, there is a very strong state and yes, it tends to get its own way and people do what they’re told to some extent, but it’s because at the same time they know they’ve benefited from that state.

So back in China, when you talk to people in China, they will be critical of the Communist Party and say at the same time, the industrialization since then has been incredible and their lives have improved radically over that period of time. I know people who were literally in Mao suits in 1969 who are having a very comfortable retirement when they faced far worst terms back under the old strictly communist regime.

But what you have with a country like that is if China decides it has to radically ramp up renewable energy resources, also install nuclear if necessary, it’s going to do it and not face the opposition the German Greens give to new nuclear power stations, for example. So the capacity to have a top down society is more likely to be then you’re going to survive the crisis that comes forward from climate change.

I can’t see countries that call themselves democracies succeeding in that situation because they will not be able to agree on the level of cutback that’s necessary and who it gets imposed upon. We’re a more centralized society. We’re more successful at doing that and more likely to hold together during the downturn the climate will cause.

[00:46:40.110] – Hudson

You need a strong enough government to check the power of an oligarchy and to prevent a creditor landowner oligarchy from developing. And libertarians, while pretending to be for liberty, they’re for a centrally planned economy, but a centrally planned economy by the oligarchy, by the financial sector, and by the real estate owners. So every economy is planned. And the question is, who’s going to do the planning?

[00:47:05.190] – Grumbine

Yes. And with that in mind, I want to read to you some stuff that came out of this NATO 2022 Strategic Concept – just so that people understand exactly how bad it is. Document defines Russia as the most significant and direct threat to the allies’ security while addressing China for the first time and the challenges that Beijing poses towards allies’ security interests and values.

Documents also state that climate change is a defining challenge of our time. Strategic Concept is updated roughly every decade as NATO’s second most important document. It reaffirms the values of the alliance, provides a collective assessment of security challenges, and guides the alliance’s political and military activities. Previous version was adopted at the NATO Lisbon Summit in 2010.

Point I’m making is they’re bringing more countries in and now setting up China and Russia as the bad guys. This has been going on for a long time, I guess Reaganism with the Cold War. And you brought it up, I think it’s worth mentioning, towards the end of the Chinese Revolution and the US efforts back then to do these same things to China then.

All these institutions, World Bank, IMF, the Peace Corps, all these different NGOs, these were brought out as a direct counter to Russia’s communism and a fear that communism would spread to the global South to prevent them from getting in bed with the Russians. But our country, the United States in this case, has been instrumental in setting up these shadow organizations to prevent any kind of socialism or people-led initiatives around the world.

And it seems like this is going to become the next war. If it’s not going to be just another Cold War, it’s definitely going to be some war because they are lining up the Axis and allies already. I guess. Take us out on this note.

[00:49:13.290] – Keen

I think I take it over a different angle and say that the global politics we’ve had over the last 80-100 years, actually, since the dominance of America, which we pretty much say from the end of the Second World War, has been completely oblivious to the impact we’re having on the planet. The biosphere itself. And the biggest political player on the planet is the biosphere.

And that’s going to start determining what the wars are in future. And I don’t think any country in the world is prepared for that battle. China has maybe probably the most effective capacity to respond to the challenges that are coming this way, but there’s no way America or Russia or anywhere in Europe are aware of the threats they face.

This is a warfare against an implacable foe which we’ve created by destroying the sustainability of the biosphere, by expanding human industry to three to four times the scale that the planet could actually support. That’s the real war that is coming our way.

[00:50:08.600] – Hudson

And Steve, you mentioned how global shipping and trade adds to the global warming. Obviously, the military spending is a huge, huge factor. So the Americans and the Green Parties of Europe are on the wrong side of history. They are doing just the opposite of preserving de-development. They are the advocates of more and more global warming. So literally, you have a group, a bloc, wanting to destroy the environment and a bloc trying to protect itself from the Western destruction.

[00:50:40.830] – Grumbine

Yeah, very scary. And then we’ve got a lot of folks that think that they’re going to appeal to their greater sense of reason to get them to suddenly stop all this, vote their way to a Green New Deal, and it’s all just going to go away. Gentlemen, thank you so much for this time. I really appreciate it. It’s rare to have two such phenomenal guests at once, so I really do appreciate this immensely. Michael, tell us where we can find more about your work.

[00:51:07.230] – Hudson

Well, on my website, michael-hudson.com, and on my Patreon account. Steve also has a Patreon account. He got me onto Patreon. And the books that I describe what we’re talking about are available on Amazon. The Destiny of Civilization and Super Imperialism.

[00:51:27.450] – Grumbine

Very good. Steve, I know we got you on Patreon, but tell us a little bit about your books and where we can find more of your work.

[00:51:33.710] – Keen

Okay, well, again, my main recent book is The New Economics: A Manifesto, and that’s published by Polity press. So you can get it through Polity or you can get it through Amazon. There’s more than one way to get a hold of it. And the main thing I’m doing is developing the software package to enable us to think about the economy the way we should think about it, which is dynamically, non equilibrium, monetary and so on.

And that’s Minsky, which people can find at SourceForge, the open source software package site, SourceForge. Search for SourceForge and Minsky together and you’ll find it. But those are my main two things. I’ve also opened up a substack account recently – profstevekeen.substack.com – mainly because Patreon loses a lot of customers by stuffing up their credit cards. So Patreon, Substack and Minsky.

[00:52:18.030] – Grumbine

Very good. All right. And with that, my name is Steve Grumbine. My special guests, Steve Keen and Michael Hudson. This is the podcast Macro N Cheese. We’re out of here.

´Rape Europe´ is next, stupid

July 15, 2022

Source

By Jorge Vilches

useful European idiots

“ Washington and London have drawn ´useful European idiots´ into an economic war against Russia ” – said former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev – adding that “the onset of a systemic crisis in the Eurozone is beginning to come true.” He added that Anglo-Saxons on both sides of the Atlantic conned EU members “like a couple of shell-game tricksters” by drawing them into an unwarranted economic war against Moscow which is actually an Anglo-Saxon project, not theirs. Paraphrasing James Carville, “it´s the Anglo-Saxons, stupid”. The US-UK cabal does not want Europe and Russia to trade, do business, relate, or grow together in any way, shape, or form. So they designed, built and forced upon Europe the current John Bolton-Ukraine war which had plan A (now failed) with Russia as target and plan B as substitute with Europe itself as the intended victim coming next. What Dmitry Medvedev may not know though is that such ”useful European idiots” can be broken down into 3 fairly distinct categories starting with the EU “well-trained career idiots” basically focused on continuously earning salaries and perks way above their capabilities. So they know that (a) the EU system rewards them generously despite their obvious mediocrity and limitations and (b) thus do not dare to question, doubt, let alone defy the EU system or dictats. They all know and feel every day of their lives that the EU ´system´ has a very strict pecking order and what top-cock (or top-hen) says to do or say or think is to be summarily executed without questioning the mandate, even if against European best interests as is the case.

This simplifies the problem from the Washington-London perspective as by controlling a handful of EU leaders (more on that later) the rest just follow the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Furthermore, these EU-captured intellectual simpleton retards are not dumb enough to the extreme of questioning their unequivocal role (they are aware of it) and accordingly constantly strengthen their vested-interests relationship. In sum, they work hard at it.

Then there is a second category of “useful European idiots” grouping the visible top EU leaders – many unelected — who can either be (a) plain corrupt as traditionally allowed for in Europe or (b) perceive themselves as God-chosen to lead Europe to a glorious yet undefined destiny no matter if actively hijacking any representational capacity and values they may have received. For lack of a better term, this “affection” – which pretty much comes with the territory – in medical circles is sometimes also known as “bronzemia” a rare hematological disease that makes the patient believe his destiny is to end up in a bronze sculpture and adored – literally — just like a Greek God of sorts. For example, it is very well known that EU Commission President Ursula von den Leyen abhors British leadership, let alone after the yet un-resolved Brexit due to unconfessable trickery from Perfidious Albion. But she still accepts and follows Anglo-Saxon mandates because of what she perceives to be her role in achieving the still unknown greater European “good”. Go figure… Finally, the third group of “useful European idiots” are regular everyday Europeans that – so as not to abandon their zone of political and economic / financial comfort – knowingly allow their leaders to betray their best interests without getting their feet wet in any way.

C:\Users\Jorge Vilches\Desktop\index.png

Pepe Escobar says in his latest article referenced below: “ The combo in power in Washington actually “supports” the unification of Britain, Poland, Ukraine and The Three Baltic Midgets as a separate alliance from NATO/EU – aiming at “strengthening the defense potential.” That’s the official position of US Ambassador to NATO Julian Smith.

So the real imperial aim is to split the already shattering EU into mini-union pieces, all of them quite fragile and evidently more “manageable”, as Brussels Eurocrats, blinded by boundless mediocrity, obviously can’t see it coming. More on the UK + Australia roles later.

Meanwhile the Austrian Chancellor himself thoughtfully posits that “Alcohol could be our last resort ” and the EU gaslights environmentalists by grossly redefining what ‘green’ energy is. This resembles quite closely former US President Bill Clinton’s dilemma in his grand jury testimony regarding his acknowledged and intense sexual relationship with young White House intern Monica Lewinsky “it depends on what the meaning of the word is is” (sic). No typos in that quote, so say no more…

Ref #1 https://www.rt.com/russia/558846-us-uk-eu-sanctions/ Ref #2 https://www.rt.com/news/558860-austria-chancellor-alcohol-inflation/

Ref #3 https://www.rt.com/news/558790-eu-redefining-green-energy/ Ref #4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinton%E2%80%93Lewinsky_scandal

Ref #5 https://thesaker.is/russia-and-china-havent-even-started-to-ratchet-up-the-pain-dial/

plan A

“Rape Russia” was plan A, by first provoking Russia 24x7x365 into an existential armed conflict, then let´s defeat Russia militarily (ha!) and change the regime, then balkanize the Russian Federation and fragment it into manageable pieces, and then plunder all of Russia yet again just like we did in Yeltsin´s time. Easy does it. Problem is plan A failed miserably on all fronts no matter how much and how well hundreds of Anglo-Saxon experts – the real puppeteers moving the EU-Ukraine strings — planned for it, some of whom still insist it´s only a matter of pressing yet longer and harder. Others say let´s not lose this war, let´s just go nuclear (more on that later). Yet others – probably cool-headed baldy boomers with Cuban missile crisis personal experience – warn that let´s better not try nuclear warfare as Russia, at least today with fully proven hypersonic vector delivery… would also win. Besides, European capitals nearby would be very soft and quick targets, would they not? Furthermore, Russia´s Sarmat ICBM would immediately step into the act able to ´demolish half a continent as the most powerful missile of its class in terms of range and warheads invincible to all existing air defenses´(sic) And also possible unstoppable latest generation UAV drone fleets already under Russian deployment and/or drone-bot or regular submarines could also nuclear-trigger unheard-of massive tsunamis at every targeted coastline in Western seaboards that ´almost´ land-locked Russia does not have… plus EMP mid-air detonations grinding the crowded Western cities to a halt. All politically impossible and Russian very highly-improbable… but let´s just hope and pray that it doesn´t happen by accident either…

At any rate, plan A took several disciplines and many years of design and training probably more than 10 as proudly explained by NATO´s top dog, Jens Stoltenberg. Also, as per the latest public statements made by former White House National Security Adviser John Bolton, it took a lot of hard work, many US and UK agencies and hundreds of experts, think tanks, rivers of ink, and Zettabytes of documents (no pun intended) plans, maps, satellite imagery, logistical research, telecommunications development, and testing, interviewing and questioning of many thousands of Ukraine soldiers and foreign mercenaries, political influencing, and many billions of dollars – skeptics please refer to Victoria Nuland — sending tons of lethal, modern, sophisticated weaponry to Russian enemies … and still plan A failed, and badly at that for reasons explained hereafter. Only Field Marshall Nazi General von Paulus and Napoleon Bonaparte would possibly share the disgusting feeling of such terribly frustrating defeat.

With plan A, even Germany broke its long-standing policy of banning all exports of lethal weapons to a conflict zone the instant it agreed to deliver 1,000 rocket launchers and 500 Stinger surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine. France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and many other states have joined the effort and, led by Germany, have added greater support with whatever including anti-tank, anti-aircraft weapons, howitzers, armored vehicles, body armors, night vision devices, grenade launchers, etc., many/most of which completely uncontrolled and without any oversight actually ended up in the hands of numerous resellers on the “black Internet”, not the Ukraine military. The six EU sanctions “packages” – No. 7 is in the works — did not help plan A at all either and, as a matter of fact, all were badly counter-productive. Neither did the addition of “creative transfers” of truly lethal weaponry from Canada per detailed proposal from The Brookings Institution, probably the most prominent “peace-minded” think tank the US will ever have. So imagine what Hoover or The Heritage Foundation, the Council of Foreign Relations, Cato, CSIS, PIIE, American Enterprise or Rand Corporation might say for that matter. The list goes on and on…

Like many other Western strategic projects, plan A most probably originated and/or picked up critical speed in the keenly Russophobic and always protagonistic UK. Still, the level of US involvement was extraordinary and ever-increasing as plan A kept failing, including sanctions preparation, intelligence sharing, weapons deliveries, and tons of money, bribery included. Add to that the ever-heightening political rhetoric: “The United States is in this to win it… not for a stalemate” as one US Congressman proudly tweeted from Kyiv. Or even claiming that “Supplying Arms to Ukraine is Not an Act of War”… The US has sent many F35 jets to Estonia, yet more to Spain and elsewhere…has increased its military presence with US permanent headquarters and troops in Poland… plus a 10-fold enlarged rapid-response force up to 300,000 with yet additional troops in Romania and the Baltic states… plus yet more destroyers in Europe´s waters and skies. And always of course with the always-instrumental UK helping along as per Foreign Secretary Liz Truss – now confirmed candidate for the Prime Minister position — urging to send more “heavy weapons, tanks, and also airplanes” to Ukraine ASAP “digging deep into our inventories and ramping up production”.

Ref #6 https://www.zerohedge.com/political/americas-path-war-russia Ref #7 https://www.rt.com/russia/558801-ukraine-attacks-city-in-kherson/

Ref #8 https://www.justsecurity.org/80661/supplying-arms-to-ukraine-is-not-an-act-of-war/

Ref #9 https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2022/03/11/mind-the-escalation-aversion-managing-risk-without-losing-the-initiative-in-the-russia-ukraine-war/ Ref #10 https://www.rt.com/news/558088-biden-troop-deployments-nato-europe/

Ref #11 https://www.euronews.com/next/2022/03/04/ukraine-war-these-countries-are-sending-weapons-and-aid-to-forces-fighting-the-russian-inv

Ref #12 https://www.b92.net/eng/news/world.php?yyyy=2022&mm=07&dd=04&nav_id=114046

Ref #13 https://estonianworld.com/security/the-us-sends-more-f-35-jets-to-estonia/

Ref #14 https://www.rt.com/russia/558824-russia-sarmat-icbm-missile-production/

Ref #15 https://www.rt.com/news/558827-iran-russia-drone-claim/

Ref #16 https://www.rt.com/news/558964-russian-foreign-ministry-ukraine-himars-civilians/

short war

Semantics matter. Sure enough, a formal stake-holder agreement or peace settlement or “peace treaty” of sorts may take very long… or even never happen such as still in Korea. And yes, the conflict will go far beyond Ukraine only as a starting point of a new revolution already outlined by Russia´s President Vladimir Putin splitting the world in two very distinct 21st century halves in a “before and after” moment. Still, I insist in that the current shooting “hot war” in Ukraine will be short, with Russia simply winning by European default come 2023 – or even before — as explained already in depth. So such “cease-fire” does not need any official “Peace Treaty” or settlement, just shooting and bombing stopped altogether. Ukraine will simply depose its aggression for lack of European support or else be run down by Russian forces wherever Russia decides. Europe would have had enough, so they just want OUT.

In sum, backfiring EU sanctions on Russia will be the reason for Europe and Ukraine – not Russia — to abandon the shooting battlefield thus ´ending the shooting war´ soon even if the US would still want to go for it… which actually would not as their plan B (more on that later) would kick in immediately against Europe (!!) as soon as the battlefield war stops in Ukraine. So, thanks to their own EU sanctions, by not having enough Russian oil, fuels, nat-gas, food produce, etc., etc., with social unrest and millions freezing and starving to death, regular public-opinion Europeans would demand the EU to stop battlefield support for the provoked Ukraine war and have their leadership revert sanctions on Russia embracing it as the reliable trading partner as it has always been and thus returning to “normal” ASAP. In that sense, it´d be a short war. Formally, diplomatically, it may never actually end. Just saying…

Ref #17 https://thesaker.is/pitchforks-soon-in-europe/ Ref #18 https://www.rt.com/news/558848-truss-uk-contest-leadership/

Ref #19 https://www.politico.eu/article/ukraine-war-russia-germany-still-blocking-arms-supplies/ Ref #20 https://thesaker.is/natos-new-world

the UK role

After Brexit failed, Old Blighty UK more than ever had to overact positing, for example, that the collective West now needs “a global NATO” to pursue geopolitics anew. Or also “ Europe must immediately cut itself completely off from Russian energy supplies oil, gas and coal ”. Actually, the current UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss went yet further by tapping her well-known Rule Britannia Anglo-Saxon exceptionalistic mind-set which now would badly demand a much larger “lebensraum”. By the way, the Rule Britannia lyrics let the world know that “…at heaven’s command…Britons never, never, never shall be slaves”. No way, slaves will exist, but Britons shall make sure they are the owners of such and not any other way around. So now, with strategically located Australia – among the world´s largest LNG and food produce exporters — the AUKUS core concept is “all Anglo-Saxons for one, and one Anglo-Saxon for all”. And do not kid yourself as this is national UK policy from Tories, Lib Dems and also Labour. And per Liz Truss it´d be a flashing new “Network of Liberty” yet global in nature. The time and place of this new “Global NATO” setting Ms Truss says is (1) right now and (2) throughout the whole world. And the “lebensraum” Ukraine would only be the starting point says Foreign Secretary Truss very proud of British colonial history. Actually it´d have to be even far larger than what Adolf Hitler originally foresaw with his Nazi foreign policy dictum left on record in “Mein Kampf”. Unbelievably, and per the Führer´s own description, such “lebensraum” was to be found – oh coincidence — “in the Ukraine and intermediate lands of eastern Europe”… Liz Truss is on record adding that China would face the same treatment as Russia if it doesn’t “play by the rules”. The war in Ukraine is “our war” because Ukraine’s victory is a “strategic imperative for all of us” while denouncing the “false choice between Euro-Atlantic security and Indo-Pacific security. We need to pre-empt threats in the Indo-Pacific, working with allies like Japan and Australia to ensure that the Pacific is protected. In the modern world we need bothWe need a global NATO,” she said. Also, there is this new US strategy seeking to arm Japan against China, also consistent with such policies. Ref #21 https://www.rt.com/news/554925-missile-study-pacific-rand/

Liz Truss Poised to Scrap Northern Ireland Protocol

no-one left behind

In addition, the sitting UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss — now official Tory candidate for Prime Minister of the UK — has emphasized that the West “must ensure that, alongside Ukraine, the Western Balkans and countries like Moldova and Georgia have the resilience and the capabilities to maintain their sovereignty and freedom”. So Ukraine is not enough for her. And according to the top UK diplomat, NATO should integrate Finland and Sweden “as soon as possible” if the two Nordic nations choose to join the military alliance something which they are both definitely pressured to do.

Adding insult to injury, British Armed Forces Minister James Heappey also stated it is “completely legitimate” for Ukraine to use UK-supplied weapons to strike deep into Russian territory. Ms Truss also has said it was “time for courage, not caution”, making it necessary for the West to send warplanes to Kiev to defeat Moscow sounding much like the US State Department´s London office. Furthermore, German lawmakers overwhelmingly voted to send ‘heavy & complex weapons’ to Ukraine, thus making Germany the easiest, shortest and most probable first strike in the event that thermonuclear warfare with Russia is provoked. Germany could not have picked a better way to most unnecessarily place itself in harm´s way right next to London… or even before London was struck.

Ref #22 https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/german-lawmakers-vote-overwhelmingly-send-heavy-complex-weapons-ukraine

The UK lost most of its colonies in the 20th century and economically lost further more with Brexit while the US outsourced most of its manufacturing base in the 21st. So with only their financial and military weapons left, both now are trying to make NATO global. And thus the UK would finally reclaim its universal influence and “take back control” refreshing its natural right to run a financial-military ´Empire on which the sun never sets´. British troops are getting ready for one of their largest deployments in Europe since the cold war, the Defence Ministry (MoD) has said.

Thousands of UK soldiers are going to be sent to countries ranging from North Macedonia to Finland in the coming months to take part in joint drills with their counterparts from NATO, Finland, and Sweden, with British soldiers also training together with US forces in Poland. Also troops from the Queen’s Royal Hussars have just been deployed to Finland, which shares a 1,300-km-long border with Russia, to be embedded in an armored brigade. Convened by US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin, and at the behest of US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, representatives from 40 countries gathered at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, to set the game plan with the rest of the world as pawns.

In practice, a global NATO is already in the making, and the US-led military bloc’s Madrid summit in late June 2022

is the best proof of this. For the first time in NATO’s history, the Pacific states – Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea – were invited; actions were intensified to form ‘quasi-alliances’ such as the QUAD (the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between the US, Australia, Japan and India), AUKUS (the trilateral pact between the US, Britain, and Australia), and the Partners in the Blue Pacific (PBP: AUKUS plus Japan and New Zealand). In contrast to the ‘classical NATO’, which has long been perceived in China as a vestige of the Cold War and intra-Western conflicts, these alliances have an unambiguous anti-Chinese orientation.

Ref #23 https://www.rt.com/news/554705-uk-europe-drills-ukraine/ Ref #24 http://thesaker.is/queen-and-king-set-out-on-the-chessboard/

Ref #25 https://www.rt.com/russia/558819-us-consolidate-west-behind-china/

plan A revised

Since at least 10 years ago, an Anglo-Saxon plan A was proactively deployed for the Ukraine war. It meant having the US + UK fully supporting and pulling the strings from ´behind´ while the EU + Ukraine´s duly bought-out puppets organized a gang-up on Russia from all sides like hyenas on their injured prey. Such plan A by now is obviously failing miserably as the military war is being lost on all fronts and the “sanctions on Russia” have backfired and actually mean terrible “sanctions on Europe” (and “unfriendly” Asians…) with winter rearing its ugly head. Thusly, with plan A failing, Anglo-Saxon plan B is now required. But before getting into its details, let´s first review once more what plan A – or the ´let´s pounce on harmed Russia together´ plan — was all about and how it failed. For Russia was not crushed at all under the weight of sanctions and, actually benefitted in more than one way by collecting ever-larger revenues – due to higher induced prices — for smaller volumes of exports delivered. Furthermore any minute Russia could counter-attack with sanctions of its own regarding many things the West needs besides oil & gas & food & key minerals.

The basic idea behind plan A – not really that “new” by the way — was to prod Russia as much as needed for it to react and then use such reaction to justify a military run-over of Russia. Plan A would take a precise schedule and timing, buying-out whomever wherever, training of the Ukranian military and providing plenty of funding + weapons + intelligence + political coverage + etc. Also there was the requirement to gain time for executing all of the above by actively faking compliance with the Minsk Agreements (shamefully sponsored and led by both Germany & France) which was nothing more than a sham precisely to gain time as readily admitted by former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. So the Western pirating plan was to pounce on Russia hard, produce regime change – despite the “lots of hard work required” per John Bolton former White House National Security Adviser — possibly assassinate Russia´s President Vladimir Putin ( I kid you not ), ruin Russian business capabilities forever, steal Russia´s deposits in Western banks, cut off her trade and finances, “yeltsinize” Russia all over again, fraction down the Russian Federation into weak portions, keep on grabbing Russian resources, just steal all that´s left or buy it on the cheap… and basically schadenfreude it all the way to the bank…

There was nothing to lose as the US & UK productive game of yesteryear was already over and done with, ´Made in USA´ does not exist anymore, the gold-decoupled Bretton Nothing “petro-dollar” standard is in terminal crisis, Brexit did not work out at all as the UK had originally expected, and 75% of the world does not agree with them either. And if while reading this you feel all this is a very unique and peculiar interpretation of facts, I please urge you to (a) take a look at the sources referenced and (b) take into account that if the White House and the worldwide MSM press are willing and able to cover-up today´s US president´s obvious and most dangerous senility, then what other stories are they euthanizing for you not to know about ? Today´s president of the global superpower is permanently confounded by teleprompter and cheat cards telling him what to do and say. Today, the Commander-in-Chief of the by far most powerful military in the world with 790+ military bases spanning the globe and more than 5,000 nuclear warheads, can barely make it through public appearances. Mind you, President Joe Biden wouldn’t pass a driver’s test, unable to distinguish between a pedestrian or a stop sign. But his finger is on the nuclear trigger. Did the MSM press tell you ?

Joe Biden cheat sheet gives detailed instructions to take seat, keep comments to 2 minutes | news.com.au — Australia's leading news site
Commentator-in-Chief Joe Biden is a threat to the West

Ref #26 https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/mar/04/lindsey-graham-suggests-putin-assassination-russia-ukraine

Ref #27 https://www.rt.com/russia/558168-nato-defensive-alliance-global-cop/ Ref #28 https://www.rt.com/russia/558321-rus-pivoting-toward-nonwest/

Ref #29 https://www.rt.com/news/558326-spiegel-eu-economic-war/ Ref #30 https://www.rt.com/russia/558202-jens-stoltenberg-ukrainian-civil-war/

Ref #31 https://www.rt.com/russia/558384-west-failed-support-confrontation/ Ref #32 https://www.rt.com/news/558326-spiegel-eu-economic-war/

Ref #33 https://www.rt.com/russia/558168-nato-defensive-alliance-global-cop/ Ref #34 https://www.zerohedge.com/political/bidens-mental-decay

Ref #35 https://technofog.substack.com/p/bidens-mental-decay Ref #36 https://www.theepochtimes.com/former-white-house-national-security-adviser-john-bolton-says-he-helped-plan-attempted-foreign-coups_4594748.html Ref #37 https://www.rt.com/business/558891-russia-oil-earnings-soar/ Ref #38 https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/climate-mandates-imposed-dutch-farmers-will-ruin-their-livelihoods-war-correspondent Ref #39 https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Germany-To-Halt-Russian-Coal-Imports-Next-Month.html

plan B kicks in

Now Russia is winning on all fronts, be it militarily, geo-politically, strategically, financially, economics or logistics. So in the event that plan A failed – as it is now obviously happening – Anglo-Saxon plan B would soon kick in with Europe and Ukraine the victims, not the victimizers because neither will be able to withstand the tremendous burden that their ´Russian sanctions´ bear upon themselves, not Russia. And who would the victimizers be? Answer: the US + UK pupeteers-in-chief . Please re-read the “ useful European idiots “ paragraph above with very clear statements made by former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev. So the ´Russian sanctions´ will continue to (1) harm Europe and the Ukraine and (2) leave the Russian Federation basically unscathed and just collecting ever larger revenues – due to higher induced prices — for smaller volumes of exports delivered. This benefits Russia in two ways (a) getting paid more by producing less while saving the difference for future sales (b) it allows to finance Russia´s attrition-war strategy forever. There will be violence and massive migrations in Europe for sure as EU leaders are finally realizing.

gold anyone ?

EU politicking though has now stopped in its tracks right at the physical limit which “lite” and uncommitted European consumer economies will not allowed to be crossed thus altering their “comfort zone”. It is becoming ever clearer for European public opinion that without Russian energy, Russian food, and Russian produce at large quite simply Europe cannot survive. So as Frank Sinatra foresaw, the end is now near and Anglo-Saxon+EU joint plans for Russian piracy – plan A — are just about over. Never in their history have Europeans depended so much strictly from Russian produce that very simply cannot stop coming in. All the way to very distant Japan and South Korea, with these Russian sanctions their much-required ´Just-In-Time´ strategy is rapidly becoming ´Just-In-S**t. So now Europeans and Western-compliant Asians would freeze and starve with massive migrations democratically spread out everywhere. That´s why plan B “let´s rape Europe instead” will necessarily kick in soon.

What Anglo-Saxons may do after raping Europe and making it their own for peanuts is to make an energy & produce & resources supply deal with whomever. They´d just get a hold of installed and already built capacity plus expertise and human resources capabilities in Europe. Additionally, they would get the continental internal market in a key and unequaled geopolitical area of the world. The Anglo-Saxons basically just want to change the tide and win at something-anything, so if Russia cannot be defeated they´ll rape continental Europe first and try to make buddies with whomever later, even Latam or Africa… with investments profits on top. And Australia, as an active part of the AUKUS core may also perform a key role regarding “unfriendly” Asians. And beware: if you care to believe the Anglo-Saxons, between Fort Knox and the Bank of England they both pretty much vault everybody else´s gold, Europe´s included. So be carefully aware of the plenty of food for thought before you. Gold is real money as Lawrence of Arabia learned the hard way, and per Liz Truss – possibly the future Prime Minister of the UK — let´s recall that whoever has the gold would make the rules, their rules.

This unexpected self-inflicted slow-motion demolition of sorts was not what Europe had in mind for itself nor understood to be the price they´ll have to pay for fighting – let alone winning — this NATO provoked Ukraine war.

So, if Europeans do not react soon enough and revert course 180 degrees, Europe will continue vassalized depending ever more upon the US and thus self-hurting itself with “Russian” sanctions, not Russia, allowing for the US and London to eventually come in and pick up the pieces and keeping it all for peanuts as per their plan B. And this would mean that the hot shooting Ukraine war would stop. By the way, Russia could just watch the scene also unable to cover the whole globe and being fed-up of so much unjustified past aggression from the EU. And besides just sick and tired of so much nonsense and wasted opportunities during decades of accommodation to European needs. So with or without sanctions, Russia could simply sell ever-lower amounts of oil & gas & food and other strategic commodities to Europe and other Asian “unfriendlies” which are not that easy to find elsewhere as badly needed regarding quality, quantity, price, type, delivery, etc.

This would happen most probably not because Russia wanted to starve and freeze anybody, but rather because she would have simply found new and much better export clients elsewhere and with whom to relate and grow together in every sense, most probably ever-growing BRICS+ Accordingly, Russia would prefer to take better care of such new business, trade and political partners – with different currencies involved, not dollars nor euros — and leaving aside all the great opportunities missed after decades of Russia behaving as an excellent EU business partner to no avail. So, for whatever reasons and without firing a single shot, Russian sanctions could just impoverish Europe and other “unfriendlies” to the point which US and UK investors could step in and buy it out like vulture funds for pennies on the dollar. This outcome would be welcomed by the US & the UK, of course, the real puppeteers pulling the strings of it all and ready to prey upon the impoverished. So unless “Russian sanctions” are reverted 180 degrees, the US & UK would achieve their carefully planned plan B negatively affecting Europe and other “unfriendlies” for having dismissed Russia as a reliable business associate. So the (supposed) “international community” (ha!) is in for some surprises while three more countries are set to join BRICS+.

Ref #39 https://www.rt.com/news/558981-china-international-community-argument/

Ref #40 https://www.rt.com/news/558960-saudi-turkey-egypt-brics/

Ref #41    https://www.goldmoney.com/research/the-collapsing-euro-and-its-implications

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Balancing grenades: To contain China, the US will ignore Russia in India

May 26 2022

To keep India onside, the US will seek to focus on China with New Delhi, and underplay the latter’s close relations with Russia.Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Mobeen Jafar Mir

Divergent policies on Moscow will not get in the way of Indo-US efforts to counter Beijing’s regional influence.

Once referred to as ‘Enduring Global Partners in the 21st Century,’ the strategic alliance between India and the United States has entered a challenging phase since the February launch of Russia’s military operations in Ukraine.

As the only ‘major democracy’ to maintain a neutral position on the Ukraine conflict, New Delhi’s ties with Washington are being tested over disagreements on how to deal with Moscow.

The duo’s ‘Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership’ is based purely on guaranteeing mutual national interests: securing international peace and security through regional cooperation in the Pacific, strengthening ‘shared democratic values,’ policing nuclear non-proliferation, and enhancing cooperation on economic and security priorities.

Today, although New Delhi and Washington are poles apart on Russia’s actions in Ukraine, one area where Indo-US relations remain in lockstep is the issue of containing China’s rising influence.

The Quad squad

This was illustrated in February during this year’s fourth Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) Foreign Ministers Meeting when India signalled its lack of enthusiasm for the Quad’s sharp criticism of Russia.

Initiated in 2007, the Quad is an informal alliance comprising the US, India, Australia and Japan, and was especially formed to collectively stand as a bulwark against Chinese ‘expansion’ in the region.

India, unlike its Quad allies, maintained silence on Ukraine, but continued its alignment with their positions against China’s growing role and ambitions in the Indo-Pacific.

The Leaders’ Meeting held in Tokyo this week comes amid growing concern over whether the US will take military action should China – theoretically emboldened by Russia – decide to invade Taiwan. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also held bilateral talks with US President Joe Biden, with greater emphasis on cooperation between their National Security Councils.

Mutual concerns over China

During February’s Quad meeting for foreign ministers, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also hinted that while punishing Russia for its Ukraine policy was ‘front and center’ of the US’ immediate foreign policy priorities, the long-term challenge was working closely with regional allies to “out-compete” China. In this context, India is a pivotal US ally.

The US and India are thus likely to soft pedal Russia-related differences for the sake of consolidating a ‘maritime rules-based order’ in the Pacific, where the US and its regional allies seek to thwart Chinese influence.

In its effort to bolster India as a potential counterweight to China, the US has inserted itself directly into Indo-Pacific affairs, a political development that has irked the Chinese and Russian leadership alike.

Why did India resist US pressure to condemn Russia?

India’s refusal to sanction Russia over Ukraine is understandable within the context of their decades of close relations, cooperation and commerce. In recent years, Moscow and Delhi have together increased their global clout as members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and BRICS, cooperative political platforms that have proactively advanced more multipolar agendas.

The fact is, while Washington may have pushed New Delhi to adopt a tough stance against Moscow, Russia is still India’s largest defence partner and the country’s weapons are heavily reliant on Russian spare parts for proper functioning.

Security interests for both countries have converged in neighbouring Afghanistan. After the chaotic US withdrawal from the war-torn country, India has also repositioned its priorities there.

After the Taliban’s accession to power in Kabul last summer, both India and Russia have further expanded their cooperation by establishing a ‘permanent bilateral channel for consultations’ on Afghan affairs.

Russia effectively aids India’s engagement with the Taliban-led government. Both countries have been actively engaging on Afghan terrorism and drug trafficking priorities, and bilateral intelligence cooperation between Moscow and New Delhi appears to also be expanding into Central Asia.

Despite the recent strengthening of Russian and Chinese strategic cooperation, competition continues to exist between the two states in Central Asia, the Arctic and the Russian Far East. A politically stable and economically powerful Russia is in Indian interests as it could potentially act as a counterbalance to rising Chinese power in these regions.

To this end, a maritime corridor between India and Russia has already been formalized. The corridor, upon functioning, can improve their mutual economic clout and allow the duo to potentially rival China in the South China Sea and Russian Far East.

A strong Russia is in India’s interests

Tanvi Madan, an Indian foreign policy expert at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, fears that Russia’s excessive reliance on China may damage Kremlin’s political and economic leverage and push it into China’s sphere of influence, thus costing New Delhi a viable mediator in the event Sino-Indian border tensions re-erupt. It is one of the reasons compelling India to oppose the US policy of weakening Russia through economic sanctions.

There are also widespread concerns in New Delhi that growing Chinese influence in Moscow may halt weapons supplies to India and make India vulnerable to any likely assault from Beijing in the future.

During a series of border skirmishes between Indian and Chinese armed forces, Washington issued mere boilerplate statements rather than playing a constructive role in diffusing the crisis. This, among other factors, has convinced Indian policy makers that the Kremlin can be a more reliable partner in resolving any future flare-ups with Beijing.

Indo-US cooperation on China

While the Biden administration remains unsure about whether or not to impose sanctions on India under CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) for purchasing Russian S-400 missiles, both states continue to deepen their strategic partnership on China.

Similarly, against all western expectations during April’s 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue between the US and India, the latter again declined to condemn Russian military operations in Ukraine. India continues to buy oil from Russia at competitive prices and resents the US for admonishing it over this.

Despite US statements on deteriorating human rights conditions in India, increasing disquietness about trade policy matters, and India’s repeat abstentions on US-sponsored resolutions against Russia, their mutual rivalry against China has kept the relationship engaged and afloat.

The Indo-US focus on China has played out in various spheres. During the US administration of Donald Trump, India was granted a sanctions waiver to continue purchasing oil from Iran – part of efforts to support India’s INSTC (International North South Transport Corridor) which New Delhi presents as a counter to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Bilateral trade and investment between the US and India also hit record levels last year.  In their collective quest to contain Chinese economic influence in its own region, both duo appear unanimous in criticizing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a political development perturbing policy makers in Islamabad.

Why is the Sino-Indian rivlary intensifying?

The Indian Ocean Region (IOR) has lately transformed into a major hotspot over the growing rivalry between Beijing and New Delhi, two of Asia’s biggest economic powerhouses. The region’s growing geostrategic importance – connecting energy-rich West Asia to energy-hungry East Asia – has compelled the two to vie for that dominance.

As both China and India are heavily reliant on hydrocarbons to shore up their economic engine, the IOR becomes pivotal for the uninterrupted flow of their seaborne trade and energy imports. The US naval presence in the region, however, has indisputably played a key role in the intensification of hostility between the two Asian giants.

The US considers the region crucial for its economic interests and security as any likely disruption to these seaborne lanes can have serious implications for US hegemony and the global economy at large.

The New Silk Road

In order to contain China’s rise, the US has inserted itself into the region by aggressively consolidating strategic, diplomatic, and military ties with regional allies – in it much-ballyhooed “Pivot to Asia.” Inevitably, this strategic move has heightened tensions between China and allies of the US, notably India.

Washington’s strategy is not necessarily working as seamlessly elsewhere. On Wednesday, the Japanese foreign ministry announced the results of a 2021 ASEAN survey that showed respondents selecting China as the G20’s most important future partner country. Japan slipped to second place for the first time since the survey launched in 2015, with the US coming in third.

To circumnavigate the threats posed to its sea lanes by the Indo-US presence in the IOR, China is diversifying its energy and trade routes. In this regard, the BRI has become an instrument of reducing strategic vulnerabilities through expansion of regional trade and infrastructural investments in areas falling outside the strategic choke point of the Strait of Malacca, a narrow sea area between the Indonesia island of Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula through which China imports more than 80 percent of its oil.

As the rivalry between China and India is not limited to the Himalayan region and has largely become maritime-focused, the expansion of China’s BRI in South and Central Asia is reducing China’s vulnerability to possible future Indian and US attacks in the East China Sea and the South China Sea to disrupt Chinese seaborne trade.

Another relevant component of the BRI, is the aforementioned CPEC, connecting China’s Xinjiang region to Pakistan’s Gwadar seaport. Through CPEC, China aims to solve its ‘Malacca Dilemma’ while simultaneously consolidating its economic and political ties with New Delhi’s nemesis, Islamabad.

A Passage to India…or Bharat

India fears that after the Chinese encirclement of its sea lanes through growing strategic presence in Pakistan, Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka, and Djibouti, the BRI can also pose threats to India’s land trade routes while simultaneously mitigating the impact on China from a combined Indo-US assault on its sea lanes.

The current ‘Hindu nationalist’ government of India, with its own ideologically expansionist designs, has also been responsible for exacerbating the crisis with China. New Delhi’s ties with its neighbours are largely dictated by the idea of Akhand Bharat, a term used by right-wing Hindu nationalists for a vision to restore a unified Indian subcontinent.

By referring to India as Vishwa Guru or ‘teacher to the world’, Modi has convinced his devotees that only he can restore the lost greatness of Hindustan. This expansionist mindset has pitted the country against its many neighbors, while Modi has used the narrative to consolidate his Hindu support base.

Who needs who?

In addition to Washington’s efforts at propping up India as an outsourcing-alternative to China for US companies, the growing Indian middle class are also perceived as a desired and lucrative destination for US exports.

The ‘limitless friendship’ between Russia and China is seen as a threat to US hegemony and may even require India as a bridge to reach out to Russia in the future. In fact, some strategists in Washington even suggest a ‘wedge’ strategy of engaging Russia to prevent it becoming overly dependent on China, and thus fostering a sense of rivalry between these two great-power rivals in their shared Eurasian space.

In this context, India’s partnership with Russia in key parts of Eurasia – such as Afghanistan and Central Asia – make it an ideal bridge to Moscow.

India and the US are likely to compartmentalize their priorities without coercing each other to veer too far from their respective interests. While unhappy about it, the US understands India’s sensitivities towards Russia and will pragmatically tone down its criticism of New Dehli’s positions.

The alternative would drive a wedge between the two allies and compromise their collective effort to contain China. If the US needs India to counter China, India surely needs both Russia and the US to keep China at bay.

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

Gonzalo Lira: The Pentagon Says: Russia No—But China Yes

May 17, 2022

NATO´s new world

May 04, 2022

Source

by Jorge Vilche

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss recently experienced her 15 minutes of glory with a blatant hissy-fit rant policy speech at a London´s Mansion House banquet. She posited that the collective West now needs a global NATO” to pursue geopolitics anew. Publically, Ms Liz Truss tapped her well-known Rule Britannia Anglo-Saxon exceptionalistic mind-set which now would badly require a much larger “lebensraum”. By the way, the Rule Britannia lyrics ´clearly clearly clearly´ let the world know that “…at heaven’s command…Britons never, never, never shall be slaves”. No way, slaves will exist, but Britons should make sure it´s the other way around, see ? So beware… With an AUKUS core, the strategic concept is “all for one, and one for all” just like ´The Three Musketeers´ except that the world´s livelihood is for real, not a novel. Liz Truss is not a cartoon character either, she is today´s United Kingdom Foreign Secretary.

Ukraine & oil + Nazis & Russians

Lebensraum Ukraine would only be the starting point says Truss very proud of British colonial history. Actually it´d have to be even far larger than what Adolf Hitler originally foresaw with his Nazi foreign policy dictum left on record in “Mein Kampf”. Unbelievably, and per the Führer´s own description, such lebensraum was to be found – oh coincidence — “in the Ukraine and intermediate lands of eastern Europe”… Mind you readers this is a historical certainty, unfortunately not fiction. Curiously enough, WW2 ended when Germany´s dictator shot his lover and himself in the temple only four years after the Wehrmacht had invaded Ukraine pursuing its much-needed Caucasus´ oil. So paraphrasing Mark Twain, and relating Nazis to Ukraine and oil …with the Russians defending and finally winning… history doesn´t repeat itself, but it sure does rhyme.

Ref# 1 https://www.britannica.com/topic/Lebensraum

Ref# 2 https://www.rt.com/news/554646-liz-truss-nato-ukraine-taiwan/

Ref #3 https://www.thenationalnews.com/world/uk-news/2022/04/27/britain-to-go-further-and-faster-in-supplying-ukraine-heavy-weapons/

global NATO

But no Sir, what Adolf Hitler conceived 90 years ago today is not large enough at all for NATO, sorry. Per Liz Truss (more on her later) it´d be a flashing new “Network of Liberty” yet global in nature, understand ? The time and place of this new “Global NATO” setting Ms Truss says is (1) right now and (2) throughout the whole world, okay ?

C:\Users\Jorge Vilches\Desktop\nato.png

war not trade

Furthermore, in the meantime and so as not to waste valuable time and resources, Liz Truss urges current (limited) “European” NATO to send more “heavy weapons, tanksand also airplanes” to Ukraine ASAP “digging deep into our inventories and ramping up production”. Her obvious Russo-Europhobic objective is to split Eurasia into fractions according to the very British well-proven ´divide and conquer´ philosophy. Actually, Rule Britannia history indicates that the more fractions and pieces the better it´d be. And per the UK Foreign Secretary eventually the idea is to rebuild the area “along the lines of a new Super Marshall Plan” pretty much like an extension of President´s Joe Biden current print-print-print-and-then-print-some-more “Build-Back-Better” ideology… yet definetly in a far far far grander scale. Of course, amongst the job description tasks included within the UK´s role is worldwide public communications or NATO Press Secretary of sorts. To complete her ignorant nonsense Ms Truss stated that “ Europe must immediately cut itself completely off from Russian energy supplies oil, gas and coal”. Un-believable.

NATO´s Indo-Pacific

Liz Truss added that China would face the same treatment as Russia if it doesn’t “play by the rules”. Whose rules may we ask ? Probably she means by the AUKUS 5%-of-the-world-rules-over-the-remaining-95% rules we should guess. The war in Ukraine is “our war” she says because Ukraine’s victory is a “strategic imperative for all of us”. Yeah, we bet it is. But clear enough her stated ambitions go beyond Europe though, as Ms Truss denounced the “false choice between Euro-Atlantic security and Indo-Pacific security.” “We need to pre-empt threats in the Indo-Pacific, working with allies like Japan and Australia to ensure that the Pacific is protected.”

In the modern world we need both. We need a global NATO,” she said. “And we must ensure that democracies like Taiwan are able to defend themselves” you hear ? Also, there is this new US strategy seeking to arm Japan against China, also consistent with NATO´s 4th Reich. Ref #4 https://www.rt.com/news/554925-missile-study-pacific-rand/

funny Lizzie

Funny enough, as UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss should actually be very well versed in diplomacy, history and geography. But, on the contrary, she is ill-prepared and confuses high school concepts very easily. For example, she loves to explain geographical details of areas of the world she fully ignores, already being TV famous for making multiple gaffes on the matter. She first mistook the Baltic for the Black Sea in a glorious BBC interview providing unheard of intellectual entertainment to a very large world audience, and then fell for a tricky question insisting that London would “never recognize Russia’s sovereignty” over Rostov and Voronezh – Russian regions she mistook for the Donbass Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.

race to the bottom

I mean Russian is a complicated language and we can´t expect a refined Westerner such as Ms Truss to do much better than that. Still, I´m afraid that my old time high school teachers would have declared her to be “unfit for purpose” to avoid calling her a “dunce” I guess. At the very least Liz Truss firmly competes with US Vice-President Kamala Harris for being the least intellectual and most unprepared female Western politician ever. Maybe it´s a draw, who knows. Starting her cabinet career as under-secretary for education and childcare in 2012, Liz has proven to be highly versatile by holding the Environmental Affairs, Justice, Treasury, and International Trade portfolios also. So she must be either a UK very smart kookie or, possibly, very a smart a**.

no-one left behind

In addition, Truss emphasized that the West “must ensure that, alongside Ukraine, the Western Balkans and countries like Moldova and Georgia have the resilience and the capabilities to maintain their sovereignty and freedom”. And according to the top UK diplomat, NATO should integrate Finland and Sweden “as soon as possible” if the two Nordic nations choose to join the military alliance something which they are both definitely pressured to do. Adding insult to injury, British Armed Forces Minister James Heappey told Thames Radio on Wednesday it would be “completely legitimate” for Ukraine to use UK-supplied weapons (of course) to strike deep into Russian territory. Can´t make this stuff up folks. Ms Truss said it was “time for courage, not caution”, making it necessary for the West to send warplanes to Kyiv to defeat Moscow sounding much like the US State Department´s London office. Furthermore, German lawmakers have overwhelmingly voted to send ‘heavy & complex weapons’ to Ukraine, thus making Germany the easiest, shortest and most probable first strike in the event that thermonuclear warfare with Russia is provoked. Germany could not have picked a better way to most unnecessarily place itself in harm´s way.

Ref #5 https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/german-lawmakers-vote-overwhelmingly-send-heavy-complex-weapons-ukraine

Simultaneously Poland announced massive military drills while Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Director Sergey Naryshkin accused Warsaw of getting ready to occupy the western part of Ukraine which Poland considers as “historically belonging” to it. Such potential “reunification” will come by pretending to deploy a “peacekeeping” mission into the country under the pretext of protecting Kiev from “Russian aggression” while supposedly being complicit with the US.

Ref # 6 https://www.rt.com/russia/554683-poland-major-military-drills/

proxy wars worldwide

So nobody should doubt that NATO is essentially going to war with Russia through proxy wars, while it is actively arming Russia’s enemies as its Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated last Monday. So we already have a global US policing the world… but that´s not enough. And as the UK lost most of its colonies in the twentieth century and the US outsourced most of its manufacturing base, then both should join forces and improve NATO making it global. And thus the UK can finally reclaim its universal influence and justify Brexit to “take back control” and refresh its unquestionable right to run ´an Empire on which the sun never sets´. But as the UK is not anywhere near that, and actually risking to become extinct without a healthy Europe next to it, the UK just plays the “me too” role in the US world game.

To complete the scheme Australia steps into the act to keep the “special relationship” cozy amongst Anglo-Saxons. Thus, the AUKUS-led Global NATO´s 4th Reich is born.

Ref# 7 https://www.rt.com/news/554705-uk-europe-drills-ukraine/

British troops are getting ready for one of their largest deployments in Europe since the cold war, the Defence Ministry (MoD) has said. Thousands of UK soldiers are going to be sent to countries ranging from North Macedonia to Finland in the coming months to take part in joint drills with their counterparts from NATO, Finland, and Sweden.

The British soldiers have also been training together with US forces in Poland, the MoD said. It also announced that troops from the Queen’s Royal Hussars have just been deployed to Finland, which shares a 1,300-km-long border with Russia, to be embedded in an armored brigade.Convened by US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin, and at the behest of US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, representatives from 40 countries gathered last Tuesday at Ramstein Air Base to set the game plan with the rest of the world as pawns.

Ref # 8 http://thesaker.is/queen-and-king-set-out-on-the-chessboard/

What is the Collective West?

April 30, 2022

Source

By Batiushka

Introduction

Western State propaganda mouthpieces like the BBC or CNN, their journalists abundantly supplied and rewarded by their spy services, love to talk about ‘the international community’. They substituted this new phrase for the old one of ‘the free world’ in the 1990s. Of course, both phrases are nonsense. What did/do they actually mean?

The Free World

The 1740 Imperialist anthem ‘Rule, Britannia’ has the words ‘Britons never will be slaves’. What it means is that the ruling class of the British Empire, which was founded on genocide, piracy and slave-trading (for instance, the slaver ancestors of former PM David Cameron), ‘never will be slaves’. As for the enslaved plebs of the rest of the world, including those of the nations of Great Britain and Ireland, they will be feudalised, robbed of their land by the Enclosures (= enforced collectivisation, only not run by the State, but by oligarchs) and sent to be exploited in the sadistic factories of Industrial Revolutionary Capitalists, or else forced to emigrate to populate the future Anglosphere. In the same way, this phrase ‘the Free World’ also meant the ruling class of the First World, that is, those who threatened the Second World (the Communist bloc) with nuclear extinction, all the while exploiting the Third World, assassinating anyone who opposed them (Patrice Lumumba, Dag Hammarskjold, John Kennedy etc etc).

The International Community

The International Community is an equally hypocritical phrase which designates the Zionist Anglosphere + Colonies. In other words, it means the Anglo-Zionist elite of the USA, Israel, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand + the EU, Japan and, arguably, South Korea. The latter non-English-speaking countries are simply US vassals, colonies or client-states, occupied by US troops and bases. This ‘International Community’ is dominated by a military wing called NATO (based almost next door to the EU headquarters in Brussels) and an economic wing called the G7, which is heavily influenced by Wall Street and the City of London. However, this ‘Community’ works together with vassal institutions, like the ‘World Bank’, the IMF (International Monetary Fund) or, to a considerable extent, the UN (United Nations), and think tanks and societies like the Trilateral and Bilderberg. It rewards its servants with awards like Nobel Prizes, generously funded by the CIA. However, whatever the acronym, it is all the same greedy clique.

The Collective West

This phrase is now used in Russia to designate all the enemies of the Russian Federation. These enemies are identical to ‘the international community’, i.e, that small but wealthy minority of the world, representing about 15% of the global population. There is nothing new in the reality of this collective enmity of hatred for and jealousy of Russia. For example, in the 13th century the invading hordes of Germanic terrorists, called the ‘Teutonic Knights’, were also a bunch of bandits from ‘the Collective West’. However, to illustrate our point more clearly still, let us look at the five much more recent invasions of the Russian Lands by the Collective West. These invasions have taken place in the last 210 years (exactly once every 42 years on average). They were and are the events of:

1812. The Russian Empire was invaded by the French Empire, the Austrian Empire, the Kingdoms of Italy, Naples, Saxony, Bavaria, Westphalia, Wuerttemburg, Prussia, Spain and Denmark, the Swiss Confederation, the Grand Duchies of Hesse, Berg and Baden and the Duchy of Warsaw. The result? Although the Collective Western forces reached Moscow, they had to retreat with hundreds of thousands of deaths and in 1814 Russian troops liberated Paris from the tyranny of Napoleon.

1853. The Russian Empire was invaded by France, Great Britain, Sardinia and the Ottoman Empire, supported by the Austrian Empire. This war, miscalled ‘The Crimean War’, included the invasion of the Russia through the Crimea, an attempted British invasion of Siberia from the Sea of Japan and the shelling by the British Navy of a Russian monastery from the White Sea. It lasted until 1856. The ending came when the British blew up the Russian dock installations of Sebastopol (Sevastopol), built ten years before by British engineers. For this ‘achievement’, 500,000 human-beings had died as a result of French and British Imperialism, mainly of disease. Another consequence – in 1867 Russia sold Alaska to the then friendly USA, and not to the enemy British Canada.

1914. The Russian Empire was invaded by Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and the German puppet kinglet of Bulgaria. After immense struggles, the enemy advanced only as far as Poland and Lithuania, never even entering Russian territory. The Russian Imperial Army, suffering fewer losses than the French and Germans on the Western Front even though facing twice as many enemy troops, was headed for total victory in summer 1917. However, in early 1917 the Russian Empire was overthrown by a British-orchestrated coup d’etat and implemented by a fifth column of treacherous Russian aristocrats (i.e. oligarchs, in modern language), generals, politicians, journalists and lawyers. We know what happened next.

1941. The Soviet Union was invaded by the troops of Fascist Germany, Romania, Finland, Italy, Hungary, Slovakia, but these were supported by detachments of Nazi troops from a great many Western countries, including France, Belgium and Norway. The result? Despite the slaughter of 27 million Soviet citizens by the genocidal Nazis who treated the Soviet peoples as wild animals to be massacred, in 1945 Soviet troops liberated Berlin, discovering the gruesome charred remains of the suicide Hitler.

2022. Ancient Russian Lands (recently become known as Eastern and Central Ukraine), occupied, attacked and threatened by Nazi forces, trained and equipped by NATO (the North American Terrorist Organisation), consisting of 30 states led by the USA, are being liberated. They are being freed by Russian forces fighting in what is not a Russian war against the Ukraine but a NATO proxy war against the Ukraine.

The Collective West? Nothing new in this concept.

Conclusion: A Word of Warning

27 million dead? Unless you are brain dead, please do not send Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, to intervene in the Russian special operation of liberation in the Ukraine. Her grandfather was a Nazi who as a volunteer became a staff sergeant in the Wehrmacht, led a unit on the Soviet front which hunted down resistance groups, participated in the capture of Ukraine’s capital Kiev and took part in the barbaric September 1941 Babi Yar massacre, in which more than 33,000 Jews were shot in cold blood.

And please do not send Chrystia Freeland, the Canadian Vice-President, to intervene in the Russian special operation of liberation in the Ukraine. Her grandfather was a Ukrainian Nazi, Mykhailo Khomiak, after the war sought by the Polish authorities for his war crimes.

Our words of warning go out to all other Nazis and Fascists who seem to think that V.V. Putin is one of them. He is not. He is an anti-Fascist, whose grandfather, incidentally, was French. Like Tsar Nicholas II a century before him, V.V. Putin is for social justice against the Anglo-Zionist aristocrats/ oligarchs who run the Western world and have attempted to run the Russian world, from which the last oligarchs are currently being expelled.

A West-mandated Russian “default”: who wins and who loses ?

April 23, 2022

Source

By Jorge Vilches

Russia is currently “defaulting” or — in the best of cases — on a very direct and firm path to an inevitable “default”.

Or at least this seems to be what the Western press and international rating agencies are pushing and rooting for, same as specialized academia, think-tanks, the political-financial-military establishment… and pretty much the whole Western Hemisphere including the US and Europe + South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. And it can reasonably be assumed that the above is most probably due to the fact that Western governments have officially and unequivocally dictated that it is not only “fair” but also wise to

(1) freeze and/or eventually “arrest” Russia´s reserve currency stockpiles held in international banking accounts

(2) force Russia to pay its international financial obligations from abundantly solvent banks within Russia

(3) declare that Russian payments in rubles instead of US dollars or euros or yens or GBP are not valid

(4) declare Russia to be “defaulting” on its obligations by not following the above mandates

(5) in case of doubt, Western governments remind us that Russia´s mandated “default” will necessarily be contested in UK Courts… which of course will always decide fully against Russia… undoubtedly and conveniently leaving aside whatever could be left of the once-traditional British “fair play” of yore.

And the West does not beat around the bush regarding this official policy with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell walking out of the recent G-20 meeting as soon as the mike was switched over to the Russian representative. The staged move was also well coordinated with multiple “unfriendly” finance ministers and central bank governors while others present virtually shut off their cameras immediately after the Russian official uttered his first word. And leaving no room for any doubt, White House Press Secretary Jen Saki tweeted in no uncertain terms that “We support her (Janet Yellen´s) steps, and it’s an indication of the fact that President Putin and Russia have become pariahs on the global stage”. By the way, with some notable exceptions, for the same “Ukranian reasons” many of the above have openly proposed to kick Russia out of the G-20 group ASAP.

So, to make a long story short, for all practical purposes Russia will necessarily “default” soon enough per the Western strategy of “we won’t let you pay but you must pay”… or thereabouts.

[ Ref #1 https://www.reuters.com/world/delegate-protests-over-russia-upstage-g20-meeting-2022-04-19/ ]

[ Ref #2 https://www.rt.com/news/554236-g20-summit-boycott-russia/%20%20- ]

Of course, Russia says that (a) the above is false argumentation for an “artificial default” of sorts tailored-made to unnecessarily hurt Russia yet again and (b) it´d be business as usual had the West not frozen Russia´s international banking accounts. Russia adds that the West´s blocking of payments is the real default at hand, leaving on record that the freeze on Russian funds and private companies and individual assets is simple “theft” per Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov´s view of the unprecedented dictats which no one could have foreseen from supposedly civilized and world-leading countries in the 21st. century. [ Ref # 3 https://interfax.com/newsroom/top-stories/75126/ ]

  • In passing, all-important China thinks pretty much along the same Russian lines by leaving on record that “Arbitrary freezes of foreign exchange reserves of other countries constitute a violation of sovereignty and is tantamount to weaponizing economic interdependence”.The Chinese ambassador to the UN, Mr. Zhang Jun, made such remarks at a UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine thus clearly “blasting arbitrary seizures of countries’ assets” (sic).

[ Ref #4 https://www.rt.com/business/554226-china-west-freezing-assets-violation/ ]

So then, actually the real problem that still remains is to analyze the possible consequences of Russia´s 99.99% certain “default” and most specifically if it could possibly lead to yet another Western World self-shooting spree as has happened with other fully-backfiring sanctions temporarily “swept under the rug” so to speak. Accordingly, let´s ask two basic and always ever-important questions since time immemorial, i.e.,

Cui bono ? (who benefits ?) and cui nocere ? (who loses ?)

To find some answers, let´s take a closer look at some of the consequences of the West-mandated Russian “default

  • 1. Absent Russia

Russia currently exports many hundreds of key produce 101% essential for Western countries as we know them today. All hell will break lose the instant Russia trades less or stops trading altogether with – and getting funding from — the 20% of the Western world… while openly trading and funding itself with the remaining 80% without using the dollar/euro financial system but their new Bretton Woods III arrangement instead. As a matter of fact, the US has already banned Russian ships while other Western “unfriendlies” would follow.

[ Ref # 5 https://www.rt.com/russia/554281-us-bans-ships/ ] Meanwhile, Russia´s economic and financial plans

continue steady under Elvira Nabiullina´s very recent renewal as central bank governor for another 5 years.

  • 2. Inflation

The knee-jerk reaction to the above will be further unmitigated money printing with readily visible impact on the Western world while middle-class incomes collapse behind the very thin productive veneer of Western consumer economies. Additionally, think supply-less price increases with Covid impact + Russia sanctions + China´s reaction regarding supply chain disruptions as addressed by the BIS General Manager, the Central Bank of central banks, Dr. Agustín Carstens [ Ref # 6 https://www.bis.org/speeches/sp220405.htm ]

Plus guru David Stockman´s perspective in ”having the US Federal Reserve decades-long experiment in egregious, inflationary money-pumping splattering ignominiously all over the Eccles Building (sic)

[ Ref # 7 https://internationalman.com/articles/david-stockman-on-inflationary-hell-thats-about-to-break-loose/ ] …

  • 3. Non-payment

Investors in Russian defaulted debt (think Western companies & banks) will not get paid a single cent on Russian debt instruments per sé… nor possibly neither from their Credit Default Swap (CDS) hedge they most probably bought for CYA “insurance” purposes. Furthermore, investors would need to make their claims also against the blocking banks thus definetly facing an utterly complex yet most probably unsuccessfull legal road with corresponding expenses. All the while Russia will no longer accept seizable / freezable dollars or euros for its much-needed produce … only rubles or gold bullion from the many Western “unfriendlies”…

[ Ref # 8 https://fortune.com/2022/04/21/russia-debt-credit-default-swap-ruble-payment-sanctions-ukraine/ ]

  • 4. Bye bye SWIFT

Russia has already replaced the SWIFT payment messaging system by its own equivalent SPFS which apparently works just as smooth as 52 foreign organizations from 12 countries have joined.

[ Ref # 9 https://www.rt.com/business/554221-russia-payment-system-members-secret/ ]

  • 5. IPR rights

Russia will take full advantage and make full use of patents, models, intellectual property rights, designs, etc. with no compensation per Presidential Decree No 299, 6 March 2022

[ Ref # 9 https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=39ef25c3-1bf0-4029-bac2-de0ac11965da ]

  • 6. Property rights

The Western financial world has openly declared that property rights are no longer valid so, for example, dollar and euro and other bank accounts anywhere – or other assets — are vulnerable to freeze / seizure.

  • 7. Ukraine claims

Tatiana Orlova — lead emerging markets economist at Oxfo9d Economics — points out that another problem for bondholders and creditors at large is that Ukraine may lay a claim to Russian assets in international courts (a.k.a. UK courts…) to pay for the rebuilding of the country.

[Ref#10 https://www.businessinsider.com/russia-debt-default-us-could-seize-assets-resolution-ukraine-sanctions-2022-4 ]

  • 8. Corporate debt defaults

Tatiana Orlova has also warned about a probable “avalanche” of Russian corporate debt defaults given that the US is taking a hard line and banning American banks from processing payments. There were roughly $98 billion of Russian corporate foreign-currency bonds originally outstanding as the war began in February, according to JPMorgan while Western governments have already frozen at least 50% of the $600+ billion Russian stockpile of foreign reserves.

  • 9. Massive migrations

Europe better react ´efficiently´ (?) to a sudden exposure of many millions of unprecedented & unexpected migrants for which it is not anywhere closely prepared for either politically or economically… if it could ever be.

  • 10. Oil & gas & coal

Not having the “right” Russian grade fuels which EU refineries, power plants and equipment specifically need means seriously upending all manufacturing and production, food, heating, power availability, A/C, tourism, etc. etc. with freezing cold and severe scarcities in Europe for too long a period for even to consider finding valid alternatives, if any exist, in a coming logistical nightmare. Let alone achieving self-sufficiency with relatively climate-friendly fuels all year round. So Europe wants to angrily divorce Russia while conveniently forgetting the many offspring it has to feed. Some pundits are entertaining the idea of $500 dollar oil… meaning that Russia could export less fuels than today but – counter-intuitively — still collect much more.

  • 11. Reserve currency blues

Obviously affecting not only the US dollar de-dollarization process but also the euro, the GBP and the yen.

The idea being that these reserve currencies – with Russia absent – will necessarily lead to implosion as their

underlying economies & finances will keep performing ever worse with no reasonable future in sight.

[ Ref. # 11 https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2022-04-20/euro-weakness-may-lead-to-a-currency-

crisis-if-the-ecb-doesn-t-act-soon ] Case in point: “Israel Dumps The Dollar For China’s Renminbi

[ Ref #12 https://quoththeraven.substack.com/p/king-dollars-demise-israel-dumps?s=w ]… same as Saudi Arabia.

  • 12. US mission impossible

US finances rely on foreigners constantly lending the US huge amounts of ever-growing money non-stop. Full credit to David Goldman´s article per Ref. # 13 below. In sum, since 2008 alone, at negative effective rates the US has borrowed $18 trillion from foreigners… who now might not renew at least some of such loans. Furthermore, foreigners keep about $16 trillion in overseas bank deposits to finance international transactions. And while struggling with highly adverse conditions in the US economy, simultaneously the Federal Reserve also has to be perceived as un-winding a $9 Trillion dollar balance sheet. The US stock market now trades at nearly thirty times earnings with foreigners also having enormous exposure to it and real estate markets also. Please I encourage reading the full Goldman article at Ref # 13 https://americanmind.org/memo/fatal-dependency/

On the other hand, since the get-go Europe´s ECB has found itself constantly defying the laws of gravity. But Europeans have been doing this for decades – Target 2 et al shenanigans included — until they reach the end of the road where the proverbial can-kicking theater stops dead in its tracks with no further gimmicks left.

So, who wins and who loses ? As always, the answer is not perfectly clear-cut although some general guidelines can be inferred albeit depending upon how events unfold. Of course, Europe at large is a very clear loser that at this point in some respects should be considered a US Protectorate. Russia has started a whole new ball game with so far them losing 1 goal to 0 but with the great advantage that (a) this game has just started and (b) it´s played with Russia´s ball — so to speak — which they might take away if they ever wanted to… in which case the score would not matter.

So who wins ? The short answer is, despite enormous difficulties to overcome, in many important senses probably the new Russia-led Bretton Woods III economy & financial system, including China and the BRICS. So who loses ? Again, the short answer seems to be the Western economies & their financial systems at large, most particularly Europe. The post-Brexit UK may find some tricks to enable a temporary better outcome, but not for long as the Brits need a healthy European economy to survive while the Global Britannia project never left the Last Night of the Proms.

What´s probably 100% safe to assume is that Western strategists and its establishment elites — the Davos crowd included — have all acted and reacted to Ukraine events in a very childish & visceral manner and have not thought out the consequences of their respective decisions far enough and well enough. In other words, as cognitive psychology would have it, in traditional Anglian style Europe has unexplainably cut its nose off to spite its face. Go figure…

Here comes China: The world rotated one more time

April 14, 2022

Source

By Amarynth

The world rotated one more time since the last report on China.

So, what do we know?

China is rock-solid behind Russia in all of Russia’s objectives, and in some instances, up ahead.

It almost seems as if an agreement was, if not stated, then understood. Russia will do the shootin’ for now, and China will keep the economic boat afloat. We see consistent commenting such as China is a consistent stabilizing force in a changing world

Overall NATO is feeling the pressure and ‘resetting’ and trying to clone itself as Aukus in the east while trying to strengthen itself in the west. We have Stoltenberg announcing: “What we see now is a new reality, a new normal for European security. Therefore, we have now asked our military commanders to provide options for what we call a reset, a more longer-term adaptation of NATO.”. In this speech, he announced that plans are being worked up to transform NATO into a major force capable of taking on an invading army and states that NATO deepens partnerships in Asia in response to a rising “security challenge” from China.

Yet, in the east, the Quad is one less, given India’s refusal to follow the U.S. regarding Russia.

Japan has been asked to join Aukus as a Japan, US, Australia, UK alliance intending to project a strong regional balance of power against China, Russia (and maybe India then?) in Asia. This Aukus will then have synergy,, they say, with Japanese technologies in areas such as hypersonic weapons and electronic warfare. Somehow I don’t see Japan as a suitable switch out for India, but then again, we’re dealing with desperate last gyrations of a world hegemon here, trying to project that it still has many friends.

A quick look at India. These days, if you see a country being threatened, you know already that they have started decoupling from so-called western democracy and Blinken has just threatened India yet again. He says the US is “monitoring rise in rights abuses in India” So, suddenly the US cares about human rights abuses in India. This bellicose rhetoric is not effective and way beyond its sell-by date.

It is clear that Russia is decoupling from Europe, and this started before sanctions. But did you know that China is decoupling from Britain, Canada, and the US? This is a brand-new trend. China’s top offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC Ltd. is preparing to exit its operations in Britain, Canada, and the United States, because of concerns in Beijing that assets could become subject to Western sanctions. As it seeks to leave the West, CNOOC is looking to acquire new assets in Latin America and Africa, and also wants to prioritize the development of large, new prospects in Brazil, Guyana, and Uganda.

Apparently trying to deal with those three countries has become painful and CNOOC is seeking to sell “marginal and hard to manage” assets. Quoted are red tape and high operating costs in the western climes.

In the Asia region, we also saw the ease with which Imran Khan was relieved of his post as Prime Minister. I don’t believe this is the end of this story, because the citizens of Pakistan are truly unhappy.  https://www.rt.com/news/553734-us-involved-imran-khan-departure/

So if you were thinking that while the Ukraine war is hot, the Pacific is cool, that would be a mis judgement.

The new cry going out is if we’ve censored all the Russian voices, how can we allow the Chinese voices to carry water for Russia. We have to cancel them too! (These people deserve to go and live underground in bunkers!)

Taiwan keeps the war propaganda at a fever pitch by releasing a China Invasion Survival Guide.

Taiwan’s All-out Defense Mobilization unit has released a guide for citizens in the event of a war with Beijing, complete with comic strips and tips for survival, locating bomb shelters, and preparing food and first aid provisions.  The guide has been planned for some time, and comes as local officials look to extend military service beyond the current 4 months. https://t.me/rtnews/23455

Nancy Pelosi was planning to visit Taiwan. China made its displeasure known widely and loudly. And Pelosi immediately contracted Covid and had to suspend her trip.

From the Australian side, the propaganda is flowing strong. Here is a very fine video with Brian Berletic and Robbie Barwick, explaining exactly what happened with the contretemps in the Solomon Islands, as well as the overall trajectory and the speed thereof, of Australia’s belligerence against China. This video contains some interesting statements and supporting data. Seemingly, if Australia interacts with Island Nations like the Solomon’s the idea is to build infrastructure suitable for war, so, building a port must be suitable for US aircraft carriers, and building a road must be suitable for landing US airplanes. If China interacts with these very same Island Nations, the idea is to build infrastructure that can benefit their population and this is now clear among all.

Is it over? No, not by a long shot. Aussie minister pays ‘unprecedented coercive visit’ to Solomon Islands over China security pact. https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202204/1259266.shtml

I’ve come to enjoy China’s spokespeople. They are sharp and do not miss a trick. Acerbic and incisive commentary is the order of the day. This is a good example, and please note the tone of the Western journos .. If you have never spent time on one of these, it is an education. The western journos try and beat the spox to death with repeated questions loaded with innuendo. https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/xwfw_665399/s2510_665401/202204/t20220411_10666750.html

It is quite clear that China is not leaving the issue of Biolabs behind. They have just about daily coverage in various media about it.

SEOUL, April 12 (Xinhua) — U.S. military biological facilities in South Korea are serious threats to local residents’ safety, said a South Korean expert, as the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) continues with a scandalous program involving experiments with living toxic samples. #GLOBALink

https://english.news.cn/20220412/a7d456ef4d5c4b7bab7fa07305aa6333/c.html

China will never forget epithets like “China Virus” and “Wuhan Flu”. Take a good look at this image titled Poison Disseminator.

China had to evacuate +- 2,000 Chinese citizens from the Ukraine. From media, it was a successful evacuation. They have also repeatedly made their stance clear on the Ukraine.

https://www.silkroadbriefing.com/news/2022/03/08/chinas-foreign-ministry-position-on-russia-ukraine/

The main focus is humanitarian. China released a five-point position statement supported by a six-point humanitarian plan

The position statement is:

  • First, we persevere in promoting peace talks in the right direction. We hold that dialogue and negotiation are the only way out, oppose adding fuel to the fire and intensifying confrontation, call for achieving a ceasefire and ending the conflict, and support Russia and Ukraine in carrying out direct dialogue.
  • Second, we persevere in upholding the basic norms governing international relations. We advocate respect for the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, and oppose putting small and medium-sized countries on the front line of geopolitical games.
  • Third, we persevere in preventing the resurgence of the Cold War mentality. We do not agree with the “friend-or-foe” camp confrontation, firmly promote international solidarity, advocate the vision of common, cooperative, comprehensive and sustainable security, and respect and accommodate the legitimate and reasonable concerns of all parties.
  • Fourth, we persevere in upholding the legitimate rights and interests of all countries. We oppose unilateral sanctions that have no basis in international law and call for safeguarding the international industrial and supply chains to avoid harming normal economic and trade exchanges and people’s lives.
  • Fifth, we persevere in consolidating peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. We firmly uphold the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit, and inclusiveness in our neighborhood diplomacy, guard against the introduction of bloc confrontation into the region by the United States through the “Indo-Pacific strategy”, accelerate the promotion of regional integration and cooperation, and guard the hard-won development momentum in the region.

Wang Ji describes the six-point humanitarian plan:

While China is doing its best to create a level playing field and do real humanitarian work, they are not hiding the fact that they hold the US/NATO fully responsible for what they see as an action that was forced onto Russia.

Inside China, it is all about economic miracles. Taking a huge bow now in their theater of urgent needs is seeds: Chinese Seeds, Chinese developed, and Chinese local seeds. The seed companies of the west are unwelcome with the IP registration of their seeds and China will hold its ownership over its seeds.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202204/12/WS6253c2e2a310fd2b29e563d6.html

The Shanghai lockdown provided endless China-bashing opportunities for western commentators. Tucker Carlson jumped on this horse and did his part for the anti-China campaign with a litany of complaints, a bunch of pixellated videos that are propaganda material, never having spoken to anyone actually living in Shanghai, without an idea of China’s principled management of Covid and without understanding the levels of the lockdown – complete political projection of US so-called values.  As we have seen so many times from the USA’ians, trying to fight his political battles on the back of the Chinese (or anyone else, for that matter).  He also perceivably has no idea that the Chinese lockdown supports the people with food and medicines, and it is not like the west. So, he looks at this with western eyes and truly, he has no clue. It is exactly the same that the world complains about .. it is: “We are right and exceptional and we know better.” Because China makes its own rules, Carlson calls it wrong. He is totally committed to the idea of US manifest destiny and his way is the right way.  Carlson is anti a war with Russia for political purposes but show him China as a possible war partner, and he blooms with bloodlust.

It is truly better to listen to those that are actually living there and can actually speak the language.  It is so that people believe the MSM when that very same MSM says something that they like and rail against that very same MSM when they say something that they don’t like.

David Fishman tweets: So it’s CRAZY that we have to do this, it’s also incredibly fascinating from a supply chain/logistics/economics perspective. We are in the process of re-inventing the food distribution network in Shanghai. It’s all based on the newly prevalent concept of Group-Buying.

If you really want to know how people live through a 14 day lockdown, a 14 day lighter lockdown if no Covid presents itself, a closed and open-loop system, and then thereafter no lock down. I would recommend that you click on this tweet and read all the parts:

Let’s hear from someone who is actually right there:

And Jeff Brown weighed in as well. Special explanation to address the many concerns global citizens have about China’s “Zero-Covid” policy, with Shanghai now in the headlines.

https://jeffjbrown.substack.com/p/special-explanation-to-address-the

And so there are to my knowledge hundreds of people reporting that they get their food delivered, they take part in group buying, they mostly get what they want but sometimes not and we see things like this:

The lesson here is that if you want to know what is happening in China, listen to the people in China. Now, they are not brutally suppressed and silenced. Online media is bigger than ever. What is frowned upon and can get you into hot water, is if you are rude and rude to others. State your case, don’t be rude and you will be fine with social media communication.  (Somewhat like the concept of Saving Face).

No, China is not killing 25 million people in Shanghai.

There are thousands of made-up and anti-China video clips breathlessly being passed around by the usual suspects.  I saw one that purports that the Chinese are breaking down their 5G towers.  It was a clip from the umbrella riots in Hong Kong where the rioters were breaking down public infrastructure.

Is everything perfect? Of course not. Are their people struggling? Of course. Was there food distribution problems initially?  Of course.  Is it easy? Of course not. Are most people content with the decision to do a phased lock-in of a city of 25 million people? Most of the ones that I’ve regularly followed are, if not content, they understand the reason and trust the Chinese Zero-Covid policy. Westerners need to start understanding that the Chinese people are part of their government and that they actually believe the government does what is best for the people and they have evidence and proof of this, because they are part of a very inclusive system.

Cyrus Janssen is a regular commentator on China.  He does not like the Shanghai lockdown.  This is his thread, and take a look at what the Chinese actually answered.

The conversation in China is different from the conversation in the west.  Their current concern is future management of Covid.  They have concerns that their Zero-Covid strategy needs to be adjusted.  They are in the process of refining its strategy.  They do not have concerns about their strategy, because they have the numbers.

The last report that I have is as of Saturday.  The Shanghai port STILL operating smoothly, with berthing efficiency better than 2021. The average waiting time for ships in Port is under 24 hours, and all the production units at the port maintain normal 24-hour operations, except in extreme weather. In 2021, the Port moved 47 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), ranking first globally. Throughput of international containers exceeded 6 million TEUs for the first time.

Trade between Russia and China skyrocketed. Paul from the Sirius report states it as follows:  “Western experts fail to grasp that the Global South is around 87% of the world’s population, is in its ascendancy and has a myriad of vertical growth markets now in play and is embracing the multipolar world. West meanwhile is in terminal decline.”

China and Russia trade in Q1 rose 28% to $38.2bn equivalent.

In 2021, trade turnover between Russia and China hit a record high of $146.88 billion, having surged 35.8%. In December, the Russian and Chinese presidents agreed on creating infrastructure to service trade operations between the two nations without third parties.

The ASEAN surpassed the EU to become China’s largest trading partner. China’s imports and exports with ASEAN jumped 8.4% yoy to 1.35tn yuan in Q1 accounting for 14.4% of the country’s foreign trade volume.

Beijing’s economic and trade cooperation with other countries including Russia and Ukraine remains normal.

Beijing has refused to join sanctions against Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine, saying cooperation between China and Russia “has no limits.” The two countries have been switching from the US dollar and the euro to local currencies in trade to avoid possible sanctions.

It’s all digital currency for the years ahead for China. Make a strong distinction in your mind between CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency), Cryptocurrencies and China’s digital currency. They are not all the same.

Russia is increasing its holdings in Yuan. This is explained as underscoring the falling credibility of the US dollar, as the US has been weaponizing the dollar as a financial weapon instead of a trusted international payment currency.  This via Xu Wenhong, a research fellow at the Institute of Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

From the Here Comes China newsletter by Godfree Roberts, we see this:

Cainiao, Alibaba’s logistics arm, rolled out a digital end-to-end e-commerce logistics service that includes pickup, warehousing, supply chain, customs clearance, and last-mile delivery.  You may think this is for China internally and it might well be so, but China has now something like 3,000 warehouses across the world, supporting the products that the belt and road transport, to get to the last-mile delivery.

Earlier I referred to the Quad as well as to the fact that China is doing its own selective decoupling. The Power of Siberia 2 gas pipeline, which runs through Mongolia, is specifically aimed at reducing any Chinese dependence on Quad Members.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Energy/China-turns-to-Russian-gas-to-curb-dependence-on-Quad-members

To conclude before we get to a lighter note, the west has no competitive edge any longer in trade, very little in war if we look at it as of today (they can still wipe us all out and turn us into glass), and have no honor left. They are not serious people and cannot be allowed to try and run our planet any longer, exclusively to their own benefit.

From Godfree’s newsletter about one of China’s minorities that I had actually never heard of. The Naxi, one of China’s 55 ethnic minorities, have long been popular with anthropologists, but its folk music is routinely overlooked. A new album hopes to change that. It might not be your style, but something different and away from war is always welcome.


Many of the data points here are courtesy of Godfree Roberts’ extensive weekly newsletter: Here Comes China. You can get it here: https://www.herecomeschina.com/#subscribe

Sitrep: Operation Z

April 12, 2022

A lot of very big scoops and important updates today.

The biggest news of this cycle is that yesterday was one of the single worst days of the conflict so far for the UAF: in a single day, the UAF lost over 1,100 people total as killed, wounded, or captured.

This is in large part due to massive strikes on various transportation/reinforcement hubs such as Dnipro and Nikolayev, which have taken out an estimated 200-300. As mentioned before due to strict new laws, Ukrainians are not allowed to film or report accurately on this, but on social media channels many “remembrances” from the families of the troops lost have appeared, verifying the damage.

Dnipro has become the major logistics/resupply/reinforcement hub from western Ukraine. Everything going to the cauldron has to pass through there. And Russian reports indicate a lot of the new weaponry and mercenary troops were hit in major Dnipro strikes.

On top of this another estimated 200-300 have surrendered in Mariupol and many more are due to surrender soon. This happened in several phases. Firstly a huge ‘breakout’ was orchestrated by the trapped Marines of the UAF where they took 30-50 civilian vehicles plus some remaining light armor and put ‘Z’ signs on them to try and trick Russian troops, then tried to storm out of Mariupol towards the north as high command in Kiev promised them support if they can just make it towards Zaporizhzhia oblast. But RF had intercepted every part of their plan and captured/killed all of them.

Here Wargonzo shows the destroyed vehicles they used and the aftermath of the escape battle:

https://ok.ru/video/3389452585600

Then, separate from that group, another large group of Marines surrendered. Videos here:

https://www.bitchute.com/embed/bE655cISW7CE/?feature=oembed#?secret=7RJrj3jmud

Not to mention several groups surrendered on the Lugansk axis: https://www.bitchute.com/video/V5CZputaCLJJ/

And dozens of troops were liquidated in battles along the Rubizhnoe / Lugansk axis (graphic 18+)

And Chechens captured/killed a bunch in Mariupol as well:

Meanwhile some of the remaining Marines trapped in the Illych Plant have made videos

https://ok.ru/video/3390640818816

https://ok.ru/video/3390640687744

And here’s a Russian soldier giving more details on the foreign mercenaries

https://mobile.twitter.com/_TheRepublic_/status/1513289253609955335

The most interesting bit of info though, is that we have the first confirmation of foreign mercenaries captured amongst the surrendered in Mariupol. ‘Famous’ British mercenary Cossackgundi, real name Aiden Aslin, who fought for the YPG for years in Syria, had his phone call intercepted where he cried about the likelihood of being ‘used for propaganda’ once he’s captured.

Phone call: https://twitter.com/MapsUkraine/status/1513754839121018887

His relatives running his social media account broke the bad news to his tens of thousands of followers:

COSSACKGUNDI

@cossackgundi

We’ve gotten word from Johnny. “It’s been 48 days, we tried our best to defend Mariupol but we have no choice but to surrender to Russian forces. We have no food and no ammunition. It’s been a pleasure everyone, I hope this war ends soon.””

At the same time, a video featuring an Afghani mercenary has also appeared: 

“With the following information: “#MARIUPOL #NEW 37 Afghan special forces from the Afghanistan Ghani government are embedded with Azov and stuck in Azovstal. After American withdrawal from Afghanistan they were send to Ukraine by the Americans as PMC.

@wargonzoo

reports that the Afghani special forces have requested a safe corridor with the DPR units in Mariupol City, however the Azov militants are withholding the Afghanis from leaving.”

By the way here’s what Wargonzo himself reports on the big breakthrough/escape that the Ukr marines attempted:

“On a breakthrough from Mariupol. There are many rumors and discrepancies. Here’s what the @wargonzo project knows, I’m breaking it down into numbers and numbers.

At the time of the breakthrough, there were about 1,500 neo-Nazis (Azov militants and AFU fighters) at the Ilyich plant.

Of these, about 800 were going to go for a breakthrough in the first column, the rest had to go out along the corridor cut by them.

The column consisted of about 120 pieces of equipment, including automobiles. At the head was a tank, 2 Gvozdika self-propelled guns and up to 10 infantry fighting vehicles, as well as MTLBs, armored cars and trucks.

More than 100 Ukrainian marines surrendered. Including the political officer of the 36th Marine Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

More than half of those who were going to break through retreated back to the plant. Several dozen were destroyed by artillery strikes of the NM DPR. Up to 10 groups of 3-4 people were scattered and tried to seep through the environment. The search and elimination operation continues.

Hence the data on the second smaller breakthrough. We are talking about these wandering groups, which the special forces and fighters at posts enter into battle with if they are detected. Hence, a more thorough check of the car on the Volnovakha-Mariupol highway.

So no panic.”

He also reports about 2 retired American “officers” trapped there. Could this be the general everyone is talking about?

“⚡️”Azov” can eliminate 2 US officers in Mariupol⚡️

According to the @wargonzo project from sources on the Donbas frontline, based on an analysis of radio intercepts of enemy communications, there are at least two high-ranking retired American officers in the air raid shelters at Azov-Stal.

According to our sources, they entered Mariupol together with PMC “Academy” and most likely are not active employees of the Pentagon. However, at the same time they are extremely important persons for Washington.

“These officers are aware of many covert US operations in third countries and are the bearer of information that is extremely sensitive to Washington,” a source familiar with the analysis of radio intercepts told the @wargonzo project.

It is also noted that in order to conceal this “sensitive information”, the American intelligence services are ready to order the Azov militants to eliminate these two officers. Whether they are alive at the moment is not yet known for sure.”

With all this news, the end really seems in sight for Mariupol. Troops continue advancing, having fully captured the port and now in the Primorski district in southwest Mariupol. Pretty much all that is left is the Azovstal factory, the Illych factory north of it in the Kalmiuski district, and this last stretch of city in the SW by the port. It’s likely they will wait until the capture of this final piece before focusing fully on the two factory positions and deciding on how to deal with it or whether it should be smoked out in some way.

Meanwhile Basurin has denied the usage of chem weapons but has stated the DPR forces are instead using ‘flamethrowers’ to burn out the trapped Azovs. Although it appears he’s referring to the RPO-Shmel thermobaric launcher, and not the classic flamethrower most people imagine.

Also this information is unconfirmed but this is the rumor going around:

“The Nazi drowning operation is said to begin today in Mariupol..

At least ten fire engines to be either on the road or already at the factory to start pumping water from the river or sea and pumping water to above-ground ventilation shafts that carry fresh air to the cavernous network of tunnels below the Azovstal metallurgical complex..

If Azov close the ventilation shafts, they will drown within a few days. If they do not close the ventilation shafts, they will drown in a few days. In any case, the siege of the factory will be terminated in such a way that the factory itself can remain intact..”

In other news Russian MOD has announced the destruction of the S-300 system supplied by Slovakia

https://www.rt.com/russia/553662-s300-missiles-ukraine-slovakia/

There are some conflicting reports because they said it was destroyed south of Dnipro, but there are videos of a new S-300 system also destroyed around Kiev that claim a Russian special forces unit destroyed it on the ground: https://www.bitchute.com/video/N0mxvnYVX15z/

Could be part of the same system, or something else, hard to tell for now.

Russian MOD has also announced another use of the Kinzhal hypersonic missile to destroy a very fortified underground command center of the AFU south of Kramatorsk. There have been many debates here whether a hypersonic missile can be used as a bunker buster, but clearly Russia is using it as such successfully.

Kadyrov has also stated that all Ukraine including Kiev will be taken. https://news.yahoo.com/chechen-chief-kadyrov-says-russian-003543233.html

Whether one wants to regard that as simple braggadocio or truth, we must understand that not only is that a distinct possibility but is also likely. Too many people have now been propagandized by the west to believe Russia somehow “failed” and is incapable of taking the western part of the country, but that is not even close to reality. Russia is not capable of taking it all at the same time from 5 different fronts. There’s a huge difference and distinction there. But once Donbass and everything east of the Dnieper is cleared, Russia can and likely will take the rest with concentrated forces. There will likely then be only 2 fronts, one coming up from the south that will cut off Odessa and take Nikolayev and one that returns from the north into Kiev. But we’ll save that for another time as either way that’s far off in the future.

In logistical news, Poland has reportedly begun its shipment of (supposedly) 100 T-72 tanks and Bmp-1s to Ukraine. While Australia ships Bushmasters 

In other interesting news which shows that Turkey’s “closing of the Bosphorous” straits was not what it seemed, and was in fact a more than subtle blow against NATO, Turkish defense minister has confirmed that Turkey is strictly prohibiting any NATO ships from passing the straits as well.

“Turkey will not let NATO warships into the Black Sea,” said Minister of Defense of this country Hulusi Akar. At the same time, he referred to the Montreux Convention and said that the passage would be closed to warships of countries that do not have access to the Black Sea, A Haber TV channel reports.

Akar also admitted that the presence of mines in the sea could be deliberate: they could have been fired as part of a plan to pressure Ankara to let NATO minesweepers into the Black Sea, which is contrary to the Montreux Convention.

“We have a suspicion that the mines were deliberately introduced. Perhaps they were fired as part of some plan to put pressure on us in order to let NATO minesweepers [through the straits] into the Black Sea. But we are committed to the rules of the Montreux [Convention] and do not Let warships enter the Black Sea,” the minister said.

https://www.rt.com/news/553636-turkey-bars-nato-warships-from-black-sea/

So much for NATO solidarity.

Also, the first formal appeal for the following: “In the State Duma of Russia, Crimean deputy Mikhail Sheremet today proposed to unite the Republic of Crimea with the Zaporizhia and Kherson regions into the Tauride province within the Russian Federation. “Residents of the regions do not seem to mind – they raise Russian flags everywhere and complain about the attitude of the Ukrainian authorities.”

This comes on the heels of new revelations of how deeply embedded U.S. and NATO command structures (and troops) are in Ukraine. A French journalist here describes what he saw in his time in Ukraine: https://www.bitchute.com/video/aVZeyycQgXBk/ (video with translations)

In short, he says he was shocked to see American generals running the entire show on the ground, and he says the names of them will be revealed in his new exposé in the French Figaro newspaper this week.

This is further proof that this conflict is truly NATO vs. Russia, and NATO is losing badly.

Another report states: “the United States is moving its advanced headquarters units to the western borders of Ukraine. In particular, the 5th Corps is being relocated. This suggests that it is not the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine that controls military operations, but NATO officers. And we are at war not with some puppet regime in Kiev, but with the collective West.”

Of course as things progress towards a potential showdown, we continue to hear how badly unprepared NATO really is: 

But a new 8 mile convoy of Russian reinforcements is heading towards the northern front:

And other videos pour in of the long lines of Russian reinforcements in preparation for Phase 2

By the way, we were told to believe that these same Russian troops were “out of ammo, fuel, food” etc. Only further proof of the utter laughable propaganda from the west and Ukraine.

And to speak a little more on Phase 2, as continuation of the last report. Here is some further corroboration of things I’ve been saying:

“⚡️⚡️⚡️#Inside

Mi-6 warned the Office of the President and the General Staff that Russia is changing the tactics of warfare, now there will be no deep breakthroughs into the interior of Ukraine, but a methodical sweep of squares with phased campaigns. The new commander of the Russian troops will use the experience of the war in Syria, transforming it under Ukraine, in order to achieve success in specific military operations.”

There is a video that is a must-watch as companion piece to the last SitRep where we discussed the Fort Benning internal U.S. Army report about the superiorities that Russian BTGs have over American equivalent BCTs.

This video is a must watch from about the 27 minute mark to the end 

This army specialist gives a talk to West Point, detailing his discoveries and insights into Russian operations in Ukraine. He basically confirms every single point of the Fort Benning report but in greater detail and with explanatory visual aids, etc.

Some of the highlights of his presentation:

  • Russia has the most advanced and dense, data-linked air defense on earthenware
  • In a war against Russia, U.S. army cannot expect much air assistance for at least the first several weeks. Even stealth aircraft will not be of much use for various reasons he explains
  • Russian EW (electronic warfare) is much more advanced and more ‘combat-ized’ than in the U.S. RF utilizes it in combat squads whereas U.S. barely has any and only at the divisional level
  • Russian EW shuts down all communications in huge areas along the front, no cellphones, military radios etc. They break GPS links with drones, making them useless and can even fry the fuses on artillery shells midflight.
  • U.S. army produces 10x the frequency emissions of a Ukrainian brigade, which would make it extremely visible to all sorts of Russian EW, drones, advanced weapons
  • Russia has far more artillery than U.S. and far greater variety of munition types

And there’s much more.

And here’s another corroboration of what I wrote previously, about how artillery is the only real effective force Ukraine has left, and is how Ukraine has created the vast majority of its kills against Russian forces. Pretty much all the western supplied weapons have been proven near worthless and the legacy soviet artillery systems continue to be the workhorses creating results.  https://voenhronika.ru/publ/vojna_na_ukraine/artillerija_glavnaja_opora_vsu_zachem_na_ukraine_gotovjat_tysjachi_minometnykh_raschetov_dlja_letnikh_bojov_2022/60-1-0-11858

As for NATO and the U.S., many people don’t seem to know that the U.S. is really not as trained or powerful as they’d like you to believe. I’ve previously highlighted how in the past month alone the U.S. has almost suffered more aircraft losses than Russia, and U.S. is not even in a war. Multiple F-22, F-35, F-18s, Awacs, and Ospreys all lost in the last month. Another good example is, the U.S. has held tank competitions in Europe for the past decade called the Strong Europe Tank Challenge

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strong_Europe_Tank_Challenge

You can check the results yourself. The highest that the U.S. team ever scored was 3rd place. Other years they were 6th and 7th place, damn-near last place – bottom of the barrel.

Meanwhile, in Russia’s own Tank Biathlon hosted as part of its International Army Games (over 30 countries), here are Russia’s results for the last few years https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tank_biathlon

Gold in every single year.

And as many of you have probably seen several years ago India, operating the Russian Su-30’s, badly humiliated and dominated the British RAF piloting NATO’s most advanced ‘Typhoon’ jets.

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/indian-air-forces-top-guns-score-wins-in-the-uk-1204336

You can see many articles on this https://www.rediff.com/news/report/defence-news-iaf-sukhoi-vs-raf-typhoon-controversy-in-the-skies/20150811.htm

The most shocking part about the humiliation is the fact that there were different rounds, first 1v1, then 2v2, and then 2v1 of each variety. Not only did India win with a 12-0 perfect score, but even when 1 Indian Su-30mki faced off against 2 simultaneous Eurofighter Typhoons, it beat them both 2 on 1.

But the western public is so propagandized they can’t even imagine that their equipment might be inferior, or worse – that their actual personnel may be inferior to those of other ‘lesser’ countries.

What most people don’t know, and wouldn’t know unless they followed the Ukraine events intimately since the 2014 days, is that when U.S. instructors first started pouring in, in the subsequent years, they were often viewed as laughing stocks by the Ukrainian veterans of the Donbass war. They felt they had nothing to learn from the “elite” U.S. instructors and in fact knew more about combat/warfare than they did.

The fact of the matter is, many Ukrainian troops are much more experienced and trained than even U.S. equivalent troops, AND the Ukrainian troops are better armed. This fact is corroborated by the video posted above in the West Point presentation, where he explains that most U.S. units don’t even have anti-aircraft systems and even Manpads in the modern U.S. army are in fact not widespread. There are videos like this one: https://www.bitchute.com/video/UUidj4zPmDAV/

Which show a Georgian legion in Ukraine, and they are FAR better armed than any U.S. equivalent army combat unit. They have every of the latest weapons, bristling with firepower. There are other photos showing 4 soldiers, each one of them armed with a manpad of a different type. The fact is, Ukraine is so flush with advanced ‘western’ weaponry that many of their teams are simply armed better than any standard western counterpart.

So this goes back to the concept that Russia is truly fighting not only a NATO equivalent force here, but arguably a force stronger than most NATO countries. The only thing Ukraine is missing is the U.S. airforce, which is at the end of the day by far the most powerful and important weapon the U.S. has. In every other category U.S. stands no chance against Russia.

I’ll leave with this map of the Donbass cauldron that can give a good idea of the force dispositions there. The circled red is where the Kinzhal was said to have struck a command bunker by the MOD. If you consider each one of those blue crosses as a company of about 300 men, it would roughly give a disposition of 40-50k in the cauldron. If you believe the higher figures as Basurin himself has stated over 90-100k for the cauldron, then count each blue stroke as a battalion.

The white lines represent breakthroughs, like the one south of Niu York (north of Donetsk city) and near Svitlodark towards Bakhmut by LPR forces. At the NW end where you see Kramatorsk and Slavyansk, Russian forces are pushing in towards Krestyshche. But for the most part not much progress is expected until Phase 2 begins in full. With all the things happening in Mariupol now, that finally seems to be closing in.

The War on Humanity…

March 5, 2022

Eamon McKinney

The Empire doesn’t care about the Ukrainians anymore than they care about the people in their own countries. It is about maintaining control over humanity.

The current situation in Ukraine has once again invigorated the lying Western media and sent them into an anti-Russian frenzy. For the last two years the media has been enthusiastically pushing the genocidal Covid narrative on behalf of the Globalist faction. Whatever doubtful credibility they had prior to Covid they have destroyed with their relentless lies. With an astonishing lack of self-awareness they are now pushing the anti-Russian narrative like the unprincipled mindless hacks that they are. Ignoring both facts and context they are relentlessly promoting war propaganda to justify this hostility to their own beleaguered populations.

The unfortunate reality is that despite unprecedented distrust in the media that propaganda works. Anti-Russian sentiment is rising throughout the West. We have witnessed the same phenomena with the rabid anti-China narrative emanating from Western governments and their client stenographers in the media. The message is clear, unless you are a pliant puppet of the Anglo-American empire, then obviously you are evil and must be destroyed.

The truth of course is deeper, the real war the Globalists are fighting is against the citizenry of every country on earth. As the Covid atrocity is being rapidly exposed the repression of the people is the only option open to the New World Order Davos cabal. As has always been the case, a war abroad is the best excuse to impose tyranny at home. The Western Neo-liberal governments of America, Canada, Australia and most of Europe cannot afford to be removed from power. The full anger of the people will be unleashed full power against those who imposed the Genocidal Covid lie upon them. Trudeau, Macron et al will be held to account (one way or another) for their pivotal roles in this atrocity. They cannot allow that to happen, they have too much to lose.

The tragic and unnecessary conflict in the Ukraine can be viewed as the “Great Reset War”. Although targeted towards Russia for media purposes, its real objective is the further subjugation of the peoples of their own countries. The Western Neo-liberal agenda is failing on every front, economically, socially and morally. The Cabal has destroyed the once prosperous and free societies that they governed. The dystopian future that they have planned for the world is now plain for all to see. It has been on display in Canada and Australia, New Zealand and throughout Europe. It is a prospect that should alarm everybody.

“The Great Reset” is the Cabal’s way of ensuring that the same Globalists who plunged the world into chaos are still in charge after the coming inevitable collapse. The Green agenda and the 4th industrial revolution are about de-industrialising the world and destroying successful industrial competitors such as Russia and China. Not surprisingly, neither Russia or China, along with India and Iran are going along with this insidious plan. They are not alone, many countries from Africa, South America and Asia are also gravitating more towards the Russian/Chinese orbit. All have good reasons to be distrustful and angry at the Empire. The Cabal is weak and failing, it has created powerful enemies who are formidable obstacles to the New World Order and the Great reset. Expect this to embolden other countries to resist the Empire’s plans.

The Empire doesn’t care about the Ukrainians anymore than they care about the people in their own countries. It is about maintaining control over humanity. President Putin is not in essence fighting the Ukraine, he is fighting the N.W.O. And that is everyone’s fight. The battle being waged by the West is for the minds of the Western people so they can justify the imposition of further tyranny. Until recently, President Putin has demonstrated incredible restraint, despite the incessant lies and aggression he has pursued peace and diplomacy. This has not been reciprocated, it has been meet with more lies and provocations. It has been faced with only two options, capitulate or resist, he has resisted. Russia’s fight is the fight of all peoples who value freedom and resist tyranny.

We are all Russians now.

ASPI – The Gov’t-Funded Conspiracist Think Tank Now Controlling Your Social Media Feed

January 20th, 2022

By Alan Macleod

Source

That ASPI is now partially in charge of Twitter’s moderation, influencing what hundreds of millions of people see daily, is a grave threat to the free flow of information, as well as to the chances for a peaceful 21st century. 

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA – Social media giant Twitter raised many eyebrows recently when it announced that it had partnered with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) in its fight against disinformation and fake news. ASPI, Twitter revealed in a blog post, had helped identify thousands of accounts that “amplified Chinese Communist Party narratives” around China’s treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang. These accounts have now been permanently deleted.

This is of concern because the ultra-hawkish Australian think tank is actually the source for many of the most incendiary claims about China and its foreign policy, and, as Australian journalist and filmmaker John Pilger told MintPress, has been a driving force in the ramping up of tensions between China and the West, something he explored in his 2016 documentary, “The Coming War on China.” Pilger stated that,

ASPI has played a leading role – some would say, the leading role – in driving Australia’s mendacious and self-destructive and often absurd China-bashing campaign. The current Coalition government, perhaps the most right-wing and incompetent in Australia’s recent history, has relied upon the ASPI to disseminate Washington’s desperate strategic policies, into which much of the Australian political class, along with its intelligence and military structures, has been integrated.”

Importantly, neither ASPI nor Twitter claimed that the deleted accounts were fake or operated by the Chinese state, strongly implying that merely agreeing with Beijing or questioning bellicose Western narratives was reason enough to be banned.

This is not the first time that Twitter has joined forces with ASPI. In 2020, it announced that, on the think tank’s recommendations, it had shut down more than 170,000 accounts that praised China’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, generally “antagoniz[ed]” the U.S., or amplified “deceptive narratives” about the Hong Kong protests (i.e., ones that did not agree with the State Department or the 44% of Hong Kongers who supported the movement). In the same cull, Twitter also deleted thousands of Russian and Turkish accounts.

That a global social media platform is now in open partnership with ASPI should trouble anyone who is concerned with free speech or peace, as the think tank is funded by the U.S. government and the world’s largest weapons manufacturers, and has consistently agitated for global conflict.

Faux independence

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute describes itself as an “independent, non-partisan think tank” whose mission is to “nourish public debate and understanding” and “better inform” the public, as well as to “produce expert and timely advice for Australian and global leaders.” It insists that it is not identified with any particular ideology and that it is committed to “publishing a range of views on contentious topics.”

Despite claiming to be independent, it also notes that it was established in 2001 by the Australian government, the sole owner of the organization. This represents a PR problem for the think tank, which warns that “the perception as well as the reality of that independence…need to be carefully maintained.” Its annual financial reports reveal that most of its funding comes straight from Canberra, although it also receives hefty donations from other governments including the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan and the Netherlands.

While the lion’s share of its funding comes from various sources within the Australian government, the vast majority of its overseas funding comes from Washington and, more specifically, the Department of Defense (over $700,000 in fiscal year 2020-21) and the State Department (around $430,000 over the same period). In addition, ASPI takes money from American tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, Oracle and Facebook.

For many, including veteran Australian diplomat Bruce Haigh, this foreign cash has fundamentally sullied the organization. Haigh told MintPress:

ASPI is the propaganda arm of the CIA and the U.S. government. It is a mouthpiece for the Americans. It is funded by the American government and American arms manufacturers. Why it is allowed to sit at the center of the Australian government when it has so much foreign funding, I don’t know. If it were funded by anybody else, it would not be where it is at.”

As Haigh noted, ASPI is also funded by a cavalcade of the world’s largest weapons companies, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, QinetiQ and Thales. Perhaps even more worryingly, many of ASPI’s key personnel moonlight as defense contractor executives. Indeed, almost half of its senior council are on the boards of weapons or cybersecurity firms.

Robert Hill is a case in point. As Minister of Defense between 2001 and 2006, he was one of the key figures driving Australia towards war in Iraq. Hill consistently lied to the public, claiming that it was “not in dispute” that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and that the occupation, in fact, saved many Iraqi lives. One former senior defense advisor, Jane Errey, claims she was even forced out of her job after she refused to lie to the media on Hill’s behalf about Iraqi WMDs. Today, he is on the board of Rheinmetall Defense Australia, a company that supplies fighting vehicles and ammunition to the Australian military.

Hill’s successor as defense minister, Brendan Nelson, is also on ASPI’s senior council. Nelson continued Australia’s collaboration in the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, although his loose tongue got him in trouble in 2007, when he casually stated that the reason Australia was in Iraq was not WMDs, as Hill had insisted, but in order to secure a slice of the country’s oil reserves for itself. “Energy security is extremely important to all nations throughout the world and, of course, in protecting and securing Australia’s interests,” he said, in response to a direct question about whether this was a war for oil.

While director of the Australian War Memorial – a monument to those who died in Australia’s wars, Nelson controversially allowed weapons companies Boeing, Thales, Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems to sponsor the institution, a decision critics allege turned it from a sober memorial into a glorification of war. Just weeks after stepping down from that position, he accepted a job as president of Boeing Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, a title he still holds.

Michelle Fahy, an investigative journalist specializing in the Australian arms industry, was particularly concerned by Nelson’s position at ASPI, telling MintPress:

Along with the funding, it is hard to see how this board appointment fits with a claim to being an ‘independent’ organization when Boeing is a multi-billion-dollar, top-five contractor to the Australian Defense Department, the third largest arms manufacturer in the world, and Nelson was formerly Defense Minister in an earlier government of the same political party now in power.”

Thus, a group headed by the individuals who championed the biggest political deception of the 21st century – one that led to the deaths of 2.4 million people – is now in charge of deciding what is real and what is fake news online for the entire planet. This raises a question: if ASPI had similar control over the means of communication in the early 2000s, would voices questioning the legitimacy of the Iraq invasion have been silenced for promoting false narratives?

Lt. Gen. Ken Gillespie was Vice Chief of the Defense Force from 2005-2008 and then Chief of the Army – the highest military position in Australia – between 2008 and 2011. As such, Gillespie was central to Australia’s efforts in both Afghanistan and Iraq. As his own LinkedIn biography boasts, “I led the initial Australian Defense Force contribution into the Middle-East and Afghanistan in the aftermath of the September 11 strikes on the U.S.A. I was a key planner for Australia’s contribution to the Iraq war, and I commanded all Australian Defense Force operations for a lengthy period.” Both Gillespie and fellow ASPI council member Jane Halton are on the board of Naval Group Australia, producer of warships and other combat systems. They both also work for cybersecurity companies; Gillespie is director of the Senetas Corporation, a cybersecurity firm that regularly partners with weapons manufacturers, such as Thales, that have heartily endorsed Senetas’ work. Meanwhile, Halton is chair of the board of directors at Vault Cloud, a defense-minded cybersecurity firm.

Another ASPI council member is former politician Gai Brodtmann. Brodtmann serves on the advisory board of cybersecurity firm Sapien Cyber, a firm that has secured a number of large military contracts and is chaired by former Minister of Defense Stephen Smith. In addition to this, she holds a senior position at Defense Housing Australia, a company that provides a range of services aimed at military personnel.

One of the newest members of ASPI’s council is James Brown, an ex-army officer and son-in-law of former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Brown is chief executive officer of the Space Industry Association of Australia (SIAA), an organization that represents the interests of a number of prominent weapons corporations, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman Australia and Saab Australia.

As Fahy noted in an article in Declassified Australia, many former ASPI council members had similarly questionable connections to the arms industry. Jim McDowell was chief executive of BAE Systems Australia. Fellow politicians Stephen Loosley and Allan Hawke were on the boards of Thales Australia and Lockheed Martin Australia respectively, at the same time as serving on ASPI’s council. Meanwhile, retired Vice-Marshal Margaret Staib was on British aerospace giant QinetiQ’s board.

ASPI’s pro-war teenage growth spurt

ASPI began life 20 years ago as a relatively small think tank with a mandate to produce timely and independent research. However, in recent years, the organization has ballooned in size and now employs dozens of full-time staffers (contrary to its original vision). Its aggressive targeting of funding from a wide range of sources has undermined its credibility in Fahy’s eyes. As she told MintPress:

ASPI’s charter requires it to work to maintain the perception as well as the actuality of its independence. Given the widespread criticism directed at ASPI in recent years due to the perceived excessive influence of the U.S. government and U.S. arms and cybersecurity multinationals on its output, there is little doubt that the perception of its independence has been lost.”

Nevertheless, its ascendancy has led to it carrying inordinate influence within Australian politics and beyond, the organization’s reports being frequently cited in major outlets like The New York TimesThe Washington Post and Fox News. Diplomat Haigh said:

ASPI has supplanted the Department of Foreign Affairs in advice to the government. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, [Marise] Payne, is really very weak, and has been bypassed. So ASPI is feeding straight into the prime minister’s office on matters of foreign policy, particularly as it relates to China…This is part of the militarization of Australia and the Australian public service.”

Unsurprisingly for an organization taking money from weapons contractors, ASPI publishes some of the most crude and relentlessly pro-war propaganda anywhere, and has been a leader in the rush to declare a new Cold War on China and Russia.

This militaristic attitude is exemplified by ASPI’s executive director, Peter Jennings. Last year, Jennings bitterly denounced President Joe Biden and his decision to pull out of Afghanistan, describing it as his “first big blunder” in office. Jennings confidently predicted that Biden’s assessment that the U.S. “could not create or sustain a durable Afghan government” would be proven wrong. “In fact, that is precisely what American, Australian and other forces delivered to Afghanistan: a flawed but functioning democracy, keeping the Taliban at bay and preventing groups such as al-Qaeda from using Afghanistan as a training base from which to attack the West,” he wrote. Later that year, the Afghan government would fall to the Taliban, only days after American troops finally withdrew.

In the same article, Jennings went on to state that Biden’s decision was “an abandonment as complete as the U.S. failure to back South Vietnam…in the face of North Vietnam’s advancing conventional forces in 1974 and 1975,” thereby signaling that he supported the Vietnam conflict as well.

Indeed, it is hard to find a war Jennings has not advocated for. He vociferously backed the Iraq War, even demanding in 2015 that Australia increase its troop numbers. A committed cold-warrior who has argued that “the West is setting the bar for military response too high” and that the world must stop the “Leninist autocracies” of ​​Russia, Iran and Syria, last week he came close to calling for war against nuclear-armed Russia. “America’s credibility is on the line” in Ukraine, he thundered, demanding that Biden back up his talk with “believable military options.”

An arms producers’ Yellow Pages

For a think tank that was supposed to produce nonpartisan, expert advice, it is remarkable how far ASPI strays from this goal, going so far as to run advertisements for weapons manufacturers masquerading as serious analysis. One example of this is a 2020 study, titled “Australia needs to ensure it has the advanced missiles it needs.” Comparing death machines to crucial lifesaving equipment, it states:

Missiles are like a combination of a medical ventilator and the masks health workers need during a pandemic…You need many thousands of them and they can’t be reused. Ordering or holding a few hundred just doesn’t cut any mustard outside peacetime training routines. So, production is key.

“Without such weapons,” the author continues, “Islamic State might still control major chunks of territory in Iraq and Syria.” This claim, of course, ignores the fact that it was largely Iranian forces under Qassem Soleimani that were responsible for destroying ISIS, and that the United States assassinated him in 2020. ASPI chief Peter Jennings appeared to support Trump’s decision, writing that “it’s surely a positive that, after Soleimani’s death, bad actors in the region might pause to wonder if a Hellfire missile on a circling drone has their name and address programmed in.”

Hammering the point home, ASPI claims that “Australia is fortunate in having close relationships with…companies like Raytheon, Rafael, Lockheed Martin and Kongsberg” that can close the country’s supposed “missile supply gap.” “Getting agreement to and support for high-end U.S. missiles, like the long-range anti-ship missile made by Lockheed Martin, to be manufactured in Australia as well as the continental U.S. through co-production, will only happen if the senior leadership of our nations drive it,” it concludes.

If it were not clear that this was a “buy more missiles, says group funded by missile manufacturers” advertisement, ASPI included both Thales’ and Lockheed Martin’s logos on the page. Indeed, every page on ASPI’s website includes a sidebar advertisement for those two companies, complete with links to their websites.

These sorts of practices would be problematic enough if ASPI were a think tank trying to promote orange juice drinking in Australia while being filled with executives from Tropicana and Minute Maid. But it is not fruit ASPI is selling: it is war. It is literally a life-and-death affair.

Red flags, Yellow Peril

Saber-rattling at Russia or running unofficial advertorials for weapons companies are sidelines to ASPI’s main business of hyping up the threat that China poses to Australia and the world. Earlier this month, Jennings took to the pages of The Australian to demand a more formal military alliance with Japan in order to take China head-on. The Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper failed to disclose the fact that Jennings’ organization – and therefore his hefty salary (around $332,000 last year) – is being directly paid in part by the Japanese government. He has also recently called for a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics.

ASPI was the source behind the infamous 2019 documentary “Red Flags,” which aired on state broadcaster ABC. In McCarthyist fashion, “Red Flags” claimed that Australian universities were “infiltrated” with thousands of agents of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), learning Australian secrets and bringing them back to their homeland. ASPI’s report, “Picking Flowers, Making Honey,” insisted that universities were in active “collaboration” with the CCP.

The Canberra-based think tank was also behind the scaremongering that led to the Australian government canceling Huawei’s contract to upgrade the country’s notoriously poor telecommunications infrastructure. Adding to the hype, one ASPI employee even took to the pages of a national newspaper to claim that if the small city of Bendigo went forward with its plans to attach Huawei sensors to their garbage trucks, it would constitute a national security threat.

Jennings hailed the government’s subsequent decision to cancel the nation’s 5G plans as “absolutely the right call,” categorizing those opposing it as simply “the inevitable whining from China’s red brigade of useful idiots.” At no point did he acknowledge that telecom giants who fund ASPI, and on whose boards many of its key members sit, would likely benefit from the decision.

Last summer, ASPI also published a report with the title “China threatens Australia with missile attack.” The basis of the “threat,” was not China, however, but a two-paragraph statement from Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of a Chinese newspaper, The Global Times. Hu wrote that if Australia declared war on China, sent troops to Taiwan, and started killing Chinese soldiers, then China should have the capability to fire back on Australia. The author of the piece, Paul Dibb, the former head of Australia’s equivalent of the Defense Intelligence Agency, surely knew the difference but did not let that get in the way of a good story.

Dibb himself has openly ramped up tensions between the two nations. In 2020, he wrote an article for ASPI entitled “How Australia can deter China.” The article was illustrated simply with a picture of a Lockheed Martin missile. Pilger told MintPress:

ASPI is one of the world’s most blatant propaganda ciphers. If we were back in the old Cold War, it would be the equivalent of Pravda – though my memory of Pravda is that it was honest in its role as a voice of the state whereas ASPI pretends to be independent.”

For a think tank that claims to be a guardian against fake news and disinformation online, ASPI has been at the forefront of mainstreaming conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and China, particularly that of the Wuhan lab leak. In a report called “The Great Covid Cover-up,” ASPI insisted that there has been massive, worldwide collusion on the part of the scientific, academic and medical communities, and even from parts of the U.S. government, all to hide Covid’s true origins and to run interference for China.

Perhaps most importantly, however, ASPI is a worldwide driving force behind bringing the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang to global attention. Their many reports, particularly the ongoing Xinjiang Data Project, have been the basis of hundreds of articles and news segments across the planet. Unfortunately, much of their research is as sloppy as it has been with other projects. As soon as it released an interactive map of the locations of what it claimed were hundreds of Uyghur detention centers, local Chinese people and even just individuals using tools like Google were able to show conclusively that many of these “prisons” were actually schools, government offices, or other more mundane edifices.

Of course, this is not to say that no detention facilities exist, or that a great number of Uyghurs have not been oppressed or imprisoned. Even the Chinese government accepts that it has put large numbers of people through what it describes as deradicalization programs. What it does highlight, though, is the sloppy nature of the scholarship that is being used to justify a worldwide boycott of Xinjiang-linked companies on the grounds of forced labor, something ASPI has helped lead. Thus, ASPI is far from a neutral arbiter in Twitter’s decision to close thousands of accounts on the grounds of stopping misinformation about Xinjiang spreading; in fact, it is serving as the prosecutor, the judge and the executioner all at once.

Ironically, at least 11 of the think tank’s largest financial backers are themselves heavily implicated in using forced labor to produce their weapons, or in human trafficking. Boeing, Raytheon, BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin all make use of forced American prison labor to make their products, while certain national sponsors, including the United States and the UAE, engage in forced labor.

The organization that constantly attacks China was also among the driving forces behind the yearslong RussiaGate conspiracy in the United States. ASPI agents were flown across the world to provide supposedly expert testimony to the U.S. Senate hearings about alleged Russian interference online and in the 2016 election. Remarkably, ASPI’s report, “Hacking Democracies,” claims that only Russia and China interfere in other nations’ elections, blithely ignoring the long history of the American government doing just that.

Facing mounting criticism at home, ASPI has inexpertly attempted to launder its own image online. The organization was caught scrubbing negative information off its Wikipedia page while using an ASPI-registered I.P. address. A number of users editing the page to add positive content and remove negative information were identified as sock puppets (fake accounts controlled by another user to give the impression of a group consensus) and banned by Wikipedia. Journalist Marcus Reubenstein also discovered that another pro-ASPI Wikipedia editor named “Wyvern2604” was originally called “ASPI ORG” before changing their name. This sort of crude online propaganda is exactly what ASPI accuses its enemies of engaging in. Yet, far from being discredited and having its accounts removed, ASPI is now a leader, supposedly, in the fight against disinformation – whether the public likes it or not.

Signing on to Bellum Americanum

Australia’s stance on China has taken a dramatic turn in recent years. Once, it had enjoyed a cordial relationship with Beijing and developed deep economic ties to it. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, in and out of office between 2007 and 2013, even impressed his Chinese counterparts with his fluent Mandarin.

Yet as the United States has turned its eye upon Beijing, Australia has followed suit, joining the U.S.-dominated military organizations like The Quad (U.S., Australia, Japan, India) and AUKUS (Australia, U.K., U.S.), both of which are squarely aimed at preventing China’s further economic rise. To that end, there is a concerted U.S. effort to develop what senior generals have called an “Asian NATO,” sooner rather than later.

Media have worked with ASPI to hype the China threat, while politicians not going along with this dangerous jingoism are labeled “panda huggers.” To that extent, it has had a profound impact on public opinion. As recently as 2018, 82% of Australians saw China as an “economic partner” rather than a “security threat” (12%). However, by 2021, those numbers had radically shifted; 63% considering China a threat, and only 34% describing it as an economic partner. Even Rudd himself has become something of a China hawk, describing the country as “a 1,000-pound gorilla in the front living room.”

Historically, Australia has consistently followed the United States into whatever military endeavor it begins. There were nearly 8,000 Australian soldiers in Vietnam at the war’s peak, the country suffering some 3,500 casualties. It also accompanied the U.S. during the First Gulf War and the two largest post-9/11 campaigns.

This continues to the present day. Late last year, Australia committed to purchasing eight enormous nuclear submarines at a cost of around $64 billion. The announcement was understood on all sides to be a gesture to Washington, showing that Australia will stand by it, come what may. Yet as China is by far and away Australia’s largest economic partner (almost one-third of all Australian exports go to the P.R.C.), any conflict would be devastating. Thus, the enthusiasm with which the government in Canberra has chosen the U.S. over China speaks wonders about what it sees its true role as being. As Pilger put it:

In the words of a senior CIA officer once based in Australia, Australian prime ministers are ‘forever obsequious to us.’ Up until 2015, the relationship with China was pragmatic and businesslike. China is Australia’s biggest, most important trader. The relationship is now a spectacle akin to aiming a pistol at one’s own feet.”

“Australia now has become very much a part of the American confrontation with China,” Haigh said. “The Americans are dead set keen to take on China. It is not a matter of ‘if,’ it is a matter of ‘when,’ because that is what they want to do. They have made their minds up… It’s gunboat diplomacy with aircraft carriers,” he added.

The think tank-social media axis

Twitter’s collaboration with ASPI is part of a growing trend for the biggest social media platforms partnering with hawkish, state-sponsored think tanks. In 2018, Facebook announced it was collaborating with NATO think tank the Atlantic Council, whereby it gave an undisclosed amount of control over users’ news feeds to the group, allowing it to help Facebook decide what posts users saw and which ones were suppressed.

If anything, the Atlantic Council’s connections to state power are even deeper than ASPI’s. The council’s board of directors is a who’s who of powerful state figures – including senior statespersons like Condoleezza Rice and Henry Kissinger; a host of top U.S. generals, including Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis, Wesley Clark, and David Petraeus; as well as no fewer than seven former directors or acting directors of the CIA. Like ASPI, the Atlantic Council receives its funding from Western governments, weapons manufacturers, and big tech companies. As such, it represents the collective consciousness of the American state.

The Atlantic Council, like ASPI, has also been central to the rush towards potential war with Russia or China, the organization constantly putting out highly questionable reports of Russian or Chinese interference in domestic politics. Last February, the Atlantic Council published an anonymous, 26,000-word report outlining its vision for a future China. “The United States and its major allies continue to dominate the regional and global balance of power across all the major indices of power;” it wrote, hoping as well that head of state Xi Jinping will be “replaced by a more moderate party leadership; and that the Chinese people themselves have come to question and challenge the Communist Party’s century-long proposition that China’s ancient civilization is forever destined to an authoritarian future.” In other words, that China has been broken and that some sort of regime change has occurred.

A week later, Facebook hired former NATO press officer and current senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, Ben Nimmo, to “lead global threat intelligence strategy against influence operations” and “emerging threats.” Nimmo specifically named Iran and Russia as potential dangers to the platform.

Another former Atlantic Council hawk turned social media boss is Reddit’s Jessica Ashooh. Ashooh left her job as deputy director of the Atlantic Council’s Middle East Strategy Force to become Reddit’s director of policy – a position for which she was completely unqualified on paper.

A second, highly significant example of Twitter collaboration with state intelligence is the case of Gordon MacMillan. MacMillan is an active-duty officer in the British Army’s 77th Brigade, a unit dedicated to online operations and psychological warfare, yet was somehow appointed to become Twitter’s Head of Editorial. Despite his outing being covered extensively in alternative media (including in MintPress News), only one mainstream U.S. publication – Newsweek – even mentioned the revelations at all. The Newsweek journalist who wrote the story was forced out of the industry only a few weeks later. Yet to this day, MacMillan remains in his important post at Twitter, strongly suggesting the social media company knew of his role before he was hired.

Ultimately, what these incidents hint at is a fusion between social media and the national security state, something that the Twitter/ASPI union underlines. This has long been foreseen, even championed by both entities. At NATO’s 70th anniversary gala in 2019, Admiral James Stavridis, former NATO supreme commander for Europe, declared that his organization would very soon be “far more engaged” with tech and cybersecurity issues. But long before then, executives at Google were pitching their company as a new weapon for the U.S. empire. “What Lockheed Martin was to the twentieth century, technology and cyber-security companies [like Google] will be to the twenty-first,” wrote Eric Schmidt and Larry Cohen in their book, The New Digital Age, a book that came replete with a ringing endorsement from Henry Kissinger on the back cover.

Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are far more widely used and influential than any newspaper or TV network. Whoever controls their algorithms and has the power to promote or delete accounts at will has significant influence over global public opinion; hence the desire to control them. When an organization like ASPI or the Atlantic Council has even some amount of editorial control over social media, that is tantamount to state censorship, but on a worldwide scale.

This power is already being used in a flagrantly anti-democratic manner. Just days before the Nicaraguan presidential election in November, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram worked, seemingly in unison, to essentially wipe the left-wing FSLN Party (a longtime bête noire of the U.S.) from the internet, purging thousands of accounts, channels and pages at the most politically sensitive time. Activists who had been suspended by Facebook for “inauthentic behavior” (i.e., being bots) poured on to Twitter, recording messages stating they were real people who supported President Daniel Ortega. Incredibly, Twitter took the decision to delete virtually all these accounts, too.

That Twitter intends more of these types of operations in the future is made clear by the fact that they announced partnerships with two other organizations at the same time as with ASPI. One is Venezuelan outlet, Cazadores de Fake News, a group that presents itself as a fact-checking organization but appears to be inordinately dedicated to attacking the left-wing government of Nicolas Maduro (another American target). Cazadores de Fake News tacitly endorsed the self-declared president, Juan Guaidó, a favorite of Washington. It was also supportive of the U.S.-backed military coup that briefly brought Bolivia’s Jeanine Añez to power in 2019. The other organization partnering with Twitter is the Stanford Internet Observatory, a group that boasts about training a new generation of (anti-Russian) leaders in Ukraine and whose director, Alex Stamos, is also on the advisory board of NATO’s Collective Cybersecurity Center of Excellence.

While the Australian Strategic Policy Institute might have started out and even operated for years with the best of intentions, it is increasingly clear that its primary role is to create crises – fake or otherwise – to serve their backers’ agendas. Once weapons were manufactured to fight wars; today, wars are often manufactured to sell weapons.

The interests of the U.S. government and of arms companies are not those of either the Australian public or of social media users. Where once the online space was a place where critical information could circulate freely, we increasingly live in an upside down world where a giant government influence operation is being carried out under the guise of protecting us from a similarly large (foreign) government operation.

ASPI has become not only a prime vehicle driving the West to war, but it now also holds considerable power to suppress dissenting opinions, meaning it can simply invent reality. That this organization is now partially in charge of Twitter’s moderation, influencing what hundreds of millions of people see daily, is a grave threat to the free flow of information, as well as to the chances for a peaceful 21st century.

Artists boycott Sydney Festival 2022 over Israeli funding

9 Jan 2022

Net Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen

In response to the Israeli occupation attempting to art-wash its crimes, various acts boycott the Sydney Festival 2022 in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Protesters wave Palestinian flags during a demonstration against “Israel” at the Town Hall in Sydney on May 15, 2021 (AFP)

30 acts, including bands, individual artists, companies, and panel members, canceled their performances or attendance at Sydney Festival 2022 that kicked off in Australia on Thursday.

The cancellations came over Israeli funding of the festival and the festival’s support for “Israel” while ignoring the regime’s oppression of Palestinians on their indigenous land.

The festival’s board accepted some $14,300 in a donation from the Israeli embassy in Australia, which were given in support of a show based on work by an Israeli choreographer and an Israeli dance company.

The Israeli occupation’s donation earned it a listing as a “star partner” on the website’s festival.

Artists withdrew to boycott the Israeli occupation’s crimes against Palestine and Palestinians, highlighting the occupation’s apartheid practices toward Palestinians.

Those who withdrew include Belvoir theatre production of Black Brass, comedians Tom Ballard and Nazeem Hussain, and other local bands, dancers, and performers.

Ballard explained that his decision to withdraw came “after listening to the calls to boycott the Sydney Festival over its decision to accept funding from and partner with the Embassy of Israel.”

“I love to tell jokes,” he said, “But standing up for human rights and standing against a system of apartheid is more important,” calling on the festival to review its decision and return the funding in question.

Musical artist Marcus Whale announced his withdrawal on Monday, clarifying that it was a boycott.

“The Israeli Embassy […] collaborates with Western cultural institutions to pain Israel as a liberal democracy on one hand, while enforcing brutal occupation and apartheid with the other,” the young artist tweeted.

Some acts did not fully withdraw from the festival, but they announced they would be participating independently, i.e. without sponsorship, and those include the acclaimed play Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner and Return to Sender.

“In light of Sydney Festival seeking and accepting funding from the Israeli embassy, Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner has no other choice but to withdraw and boycott the festival,” the cast said.

“We will not be coerced into complicity,” they added, asserting that they came to this decision together to “stand in solidarity with the Palestinian cause and with all Indigenous People’s right to sovereignty and liberation,” they added in an Instagram post while calling “Israel” “another oppressive settler-colony.”

Despite the artist boycott, the Sydney Festival board said it was keeping the show sponsored by the occupation, claiming it “collectively affirms” its “respect for the right of all groups to protest and raise concerns.”

The Palestinian Justice Movement Sydney had called for a boycott in December upon knowing that the board accepted the donation in May. The campaign said the festival was contributing to the normalization of an apartheid state.

They’re Killing Him: Assange’s Stroke Reveals The Western Version Of The Saudi Bone Saw

December 12, 2021

By Caitlin Johnstone

Source

Listen to a reading of this article:

Julian Assange suffered a mini-stroke in October during the hearing for the US appeal of a UK court’s ruling on his extradition case.

“The WikiLeaks publisher, 50, who is being held on remand in the maximum-security jail while fighting extradition to America, was left with a drooping right eyelid, memory problems and signs of neurological damage,” The Daily Mail reports. “He believes the mini-stroke was triggered by the stress of the ongoing US court action against him, and an overall decline in his health as he faces his third Christmas behind bars.”

“Assange was examined by a doctor, who found a delayed pupil response when a light was shone into one eye – a sign of potential nerve damage,” the article reads.

“Julian is struggling and I fear this mini-stroke could be the precursor to a more major attack. It compounds our fears about his ability to survive the longer this long legal battle goes on,” Assange’s fiance Stella Moris told the Daily Mail.

“Assange’s stroke is no surprise,” tweeted UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer in response to the news. “As we warned after examining him, unless relieved of the constant pressure of isolation, arbitrariness and persecution, his health would enter a downward spiral endangering his life.”

Melzer examined Assange with medical experts in 2019 and published a report with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights saying that “Mr. Assange showed all symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture, including extreme stress, chronic anxiety and intense psychological trauma.”

The following year Melzer put it even more bluntly, writing that “Julian Assange displays the typical symptoms of psychological torture. If he doesn’t receive protection soon, a rapid deterioration of his health is likely, and death could be one outcome.”

In October of this year Melzer put it blunter still, saying, “If he should die in prison he has effectively been tortured to death. That’s the reality of it. And I’m not exaggerating. I’ve been working in areas of war. I have a long history of visiting prisoners. I visited Julian Assange, and I had two specialized forensic doctors with me and a psychiatrist evaluating him for four hours, and we all independently from each other came to those conclusions. At that time his life was in danger. And sure enough, a few days after we left the prison he entered a downward spiral.”

They are killing Julian Assange. Experts agree that they are killing him. Assange’s stroke is just another item on the mountain of evidence we already had for this.

The US-centralized power alliance is murdering a journalist, as surely as the Saudi regime murdered Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. The only difference is that Khashoggi was killed quickly by live dismemberment via bone saw while Assange is being killed slowly by lawfare.

The Assange extradition case is just the western version of the bone saw treatment. It’s no less barbaric, cruel, vicious and tyrannical; it’s just more media-friendly and better-suited for the Nice Guy Fascism of the western branches of the globe-spanning empire which rules our world. The US, UK and Australian governments are not hacking Assange to pieces in their coordinated campaign toward his destruction, but they may as well be.

The world recoiled in horror when it learned of Khashoggi’s grizzly end, and it won’t be long before the world begins recoiling in the same way to what has been done to Assange as well. Our society is becoming rapidly more conscious; we’re already ashamed of things we thought were fine just a few years ago. We realize now that men like Harvey Weinstein are predators and the Hollywood starlets people used to criticize for “sleeping their way to the top” were actually victims of assault. We realize now it was wrong to crack jokes about the intern Bill Clinton sexually abused. We realize that the “Leave Britney alone” kid everyone made fun of in 2007 was actually on to something. We realize now that it’s wrong to make people feel bad about their sexual orientation or sexual identity. Many movies made even ten or fifteen years ago are uncomfortable to watch now because of how unconscious they were of power dynamics we all see much more clearly now.

And, whether Assange survives this slow-motion assassination attempt or not, it won’t be long before society fully understands that their government and its allies actively conspired to murder a journalist for telling the truth.

Australia urged to support Assange

Dec 11, 21

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen Net

Australian Prime Minister is under criticism for not calling for the release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after the US overturned a block on his extradition from the UK.

Assange’s lawyers said they will appeal the ruling in the UK’s supreme court.

Australian politicians are urging the government to take a stance and demand the release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

On Friday, the US government overturned a block on the extradition of Assange from Britain to face trial for publishing top-secret documents exposing war crimes perpetrated by the US and its allies across the globe, although options to appeal remain open to his legal team.

Washington presented the challenge after a lower court judge in London ruled in January that the 50-year-old journalist would be at a real and oppressive risk of suicide in the US justice system.

Assange’s lawyers said they will appeal the ruling in the UK’s supreme court.

The Australian federal independent MP Andrew Wilkie called on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to demand the release of Assange and “end this lunacy.”

“Mr Assange should be looking forward to spending Christmas with his two young boys and his fiancee, but instead he’s facing a 175-year jail sentence and the very real possibility of living out his final days behind bars,” Wilkie said.

The independent MP accused the UK of being “a lackey of the United States and that Australia is delighted to go along for the ride.”

Similarly, the Greens senator Janet Rice said “foreign Minister Marise Payne must urgently speak to the US and tell them to drop these absurd charges and end Assange’s torture.”

For his part, UN’s special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer described the ruling as a “politically motivated verdict,” and criticized it.

Melzer told the DPA news agency that “This is a shortcoming for the British judiciary,.” stressing that Assange “is not in a condition to be extradited.”

The decision by a London court to allow Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, to be extradited to the United States is “shameful,” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.

Assange has been in custody since 2019, despite the fact that he had served a previous sentence over breaching bail conditions in a separate case.

He had also spent seven years at the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid his extradition to Sweden.

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