Fearmongering?! Norway Links 13 Deaths to Pfizer Vaccine

Fearmongering?! Norway Links 13 Deaths to Pfizer Vaccine

By Staff, Agencies 

Inoculation with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine began four days before New Year’s Eve in Norway. Since Svein Andersen [67] at the Ellingsrudhjemmet elderly home became the first Norwegian to take the jab, over 33,000 Norwegians have received the vaccine in the subsequent weeks.

It was announced in advance that the vaccine may cause side effects of varying severity, and now the Norwegian Medicines Agency has mapped which ones have occurred in the country. A total of 29 side effects were reported, yet with an alarming share of deaths.

“Of these, there are 13 deaths, nine serious side effects and seven less serious side effects”, medical director of the Norwegian Medicines Agency Steinar Madsen told national broadcaster NRK.

A total of 23 deaths have been reported by the Norwegian Medicines Agency in connection with the vaccination. However, only 13 of these have been assessed so far.

All the surveyed deaths have occurred among frail, elderly patients in nursing homes. All of the dead are over 80 years old and some of them are even over 90.

“It seems that some of these patients get such severe side effects in the form of fever and malaise that it can lead to a very serious illness even, an more serious one, which may lead to death”, Madsen said.

At the same time, Madsen emphasised that these cases are rare and that many thousands of frail people have been vaccinated without a fatal outcome. “Frail” means patients with advanced heart conditions, dementia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other serious diseases.

Madsen said his authority is not worried about the extent of side effects confirmed so far.

“We are not alarmed by this. It is quite clear that these vaccines have very little risk, with a small exception for the most frail patients”, Madsen said.

The nine patients who have had serious side effects complained of allergic reactions, strong malaise and severe fever. The seven less serious side effects included severe pain at the injection site.

Still, the Norwegian Medicines Agency cautioned the authorities to carefully consider the order of vaccination.

“Doctors must now carefully consider who should be vaccinated. Those who are very frail and at the very end of life can be vaccinated after an individual assessment”, Madsen said.

This is in line with the recommendations realeased by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health earlier this week.

Previously, six people died during the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine trials, but only two of them were actually given the vaccine. The other four were given a safe placebo solution of salt and water.

Norway has seen over 57,000 cases of COVID-19 and over 500 deaths.

The War of the Worlds: Ours Against Theirs

By Jeremy Salt

Source

The War of the Worlds 570ad

In H.G.Wells’ science fiction novel of 1898,  The War of the Worlds,  the aliens came from outer space.  Now they are not only among us but they are us.  They might be such a tiny minority that in the great mass of human life on this planet they would be invisible, but few as they are, it is they and not we who have their hands on all the levers of power.  They are predators and we the prey, to be farmed and harvested for our labor and our consumption of their products.  

They have now mobilized for the greatest assault on our freedoms in human history, through the use of the oldest but most powerful weapon ever used against we the people by the kings, the princes, the bishops, the priests and in modern times, the governments, the politicians, the media and the international institutions.  Fear.  

In the medieval world we could not see god or the devil but the priests and bishops knew they were there and threatened us with God’s punishment in the next world if we did not   behave in this one.  The kings and princes added punishment in this life to the one beyond.  Terrorized by the state and the church, the people did as they were told.  Those who did not and refused to recant were taken to the scaffold, burnt at the stake or thrown into a dungeon to rot forever.  The determination to crush dissent when it becomes too dangerous flows on from the Spanish Holy Office of the Inquisition in the 15th century to the English Star Chamber in the 16th, Stalin’s show trials of the 20th and the judicial persecution of Julian Assange in the early 21st. Now we have the virus and the suppression of anyone who chales governments and their selected priest doctors and scientists.  

We have always shared the planet with viruses and people have always died from them, sometimes in enormous numbers but not this time.  In Australia, as of December 31, 2020, 0.003645 % of the population; in Italy, 0.12180 %, in the UK 0.10928 %; in the US, 0.10463 % and France 0.09630 %. 

As much as each death is to be regretted, these are hardly huge numbers.  The Spanish flu epidemic of 1918-20 killed perhaps 50 million people (overall death rate is based only on estimates) out of a global population of slightly under two billion.  By the end of December, 2020, COVID-19 was held responsible for the deaths of just over 1.8 million people out of a world population of 7.794 billion.  

This is not to say that COVID-19 is not to be taken seriously as a health issue, only that the threat and the response have to be kept in context, which is something governments, health ‘experts’ and the media have no interest in talking about.  Put in context, people might start to calm down.

Scientific quicksand

The basis of much of what the people are being told is scientific quicksand.  Infection rates rise or fall depending on how many people a government chooses to test.  The infection might be mild or not even felt at all but ‘infection rate soars’ or ‘new cluster found’ headlines are enough to set off a new round of panic.

Very few people are dying just ‘from’ the virus, as claimed over months by governments and the WHO.  Comorbidities are involved in almost all cases, with the aged (70 and over) worst affected. The underlying cause of death is generally a combination of a body weakened by age and serious disease and finally tipped over the edge by the virus.

According to the official advice given by the World Health Organization (WHO) “a death due to COVID-19 may not be attributed to another disease (e.g. cancer) and should be counted independently of pre-existing conditions that are suspected course of COVID-19.”  However, “specification of the causal sequence leading to death is important … for example in cases where COVID-19 causes pneumonia, sepsis and acute respiratory distress, then pneumonia, sepsis and acute respiratory distress should be included [on the death certificate] … COVID-19 should be recorded on the certificate as a cause of death where the disease caused or is assumed to have caused or contributed to death.”  

In Australia an ‘assumption’ is also the basis of listing COVID-19 on the death certificate as ‘a’ cause or ‘the’ cause of death.  In the UK the doctor can decide the cause of death on “the balance of probabilities.” A distinction is made between a ‘contributory’ cause of death and the ‘underlying’ cause.  The doctor certifying death “can” (not ‘must’) list all causes in the chaIn of events that lead to death, including pre-existing conditions that may have “contributed” to death.

Essentially, however, determining the ‘underlying’ cause of death boils down to the doctor’s judgment.  This surely could be complicated when the patient is already suffering from other illnesses than can cause death from respiratory failure, including influenza, pneumonia, asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, morbid obesity, pulmonary fibrosis and cystic fibrosis.  

Comorbidities and the distinction between ‘contributory’ and ‘underlying’ causes of death are almost uniformly ignored by a media homing in just on deaths ‘from’ COVID-19 and the rising number of infections.  The figures splashed into the headlines are not based on data systematically collected from the population but on the number of people who choose to come foward to be tested.  The number of infections rises or falls accordingly.

Britain’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals that in England and Wales, the overall death rate from all causes in 2020 (531, 829) was only slightly higher than 2019 (530,841) but lower than 2018 (541,589) and 2017 (533, 253).  The 988 additional deaths in 2020 represent an increase of 0.1861 per cent over the figure for 2019.  Yet the official death toll from COVID-19 for 2020, as registered on January 4, 2021, was 75,024.  This is puzzling when the increase in the overall death toll for 2020 over 2019 was so small, but the statistics are all there for the reader to dive in and try to make some sense of them.  

According to the World Doctors’ Alliance (WDA), grouping together 61,258 medical health professionals, doctors in in the UK do not even physically have to see the deceased to sign the death certificate. [1] There are no autopsies and, the WDA says, even the staff in care homes can give the virus as the cause of death. 

A British journalist, Julia Hartley-Brewer, is now being subjected to public abuse for pointing out (not claiming) that according to the National Health Service’s own statistics, “just 377 healthy people under the age of 60 have died of Covid.” In Australia, no one under the age of 20 has died.  Deaths under the age of 60 in Australia are as follows: 20-29, two; 30-39, two; 46-49, two; 50-59, fifteen.   What the historian Geoffrey Blainey has called “the tyranny of distance” has worked well for Australia, an island continent surrounded by a cordon sanitaire of water.  Perhaps this has been far more effective in keeping the spread of infections down rather than masking, closures, lockdowns and other measures that the state governments have used. 

The WDA claims (December 23, 2020) that at no point was Britain’s National Health Service in danger of being overwhelmed in 2020.  In fact, while the number of deaths dropped significantly in summer and early autumn, they rose again as winter set in.  According to the ONS, by December 18 COVID-19 had been “mentioned” on the death certificates of 82,957 people, with 68,000 dying within 28 days of testing positive for the virus.  As the unreliability of the PCR test, resulting in a high number of false positives, has now been widely acknowledged, this connection between positive test results and death is clearly open to questioning.

Again,  none of this is to say that the virus has not been a serious health issue,  the reductio ad absurdum argument used against critics of the mainstream government/media narrative, only that a sharply focussed approach, protecting the elderly and the medically vulnerable, and letting everyone else get on with their lives as far as possible, would surely have been a far more sane way to handle the outbreak than a panic-inducing response which has wreaked social and economic havoc around the world and enabled governments to crush human rights by using the thuggish methods of the totalitarian police state.

These are only some of the issues that need to be kept in mind but the fear deliberately generated by governments and the media is so great that people have been terrorized into silence, with those who dare to ask necessary questions being thrown aside as conspiracy theorists.

Coexisting with viruses

Fear of the virus has been used to blind people to a basic fact   Viruses are as natural a growth on this planet as we are.  We humans have developed an immune system to overcome them.  Impelled to survive just as much as we are, they cope by mutating as soon as an old form is threatened.

Now and then a virus will take root that we cannot control because it is foreign to our environment. Viruses carried around the globe by expanding imperial European states were the footsoldiers of imperialism.  Some viruses are so alien that they overwhelm the human system and can only be overwhelmed by a vaccine.

In the past four decades Ebola, the AIDS virus and SARS have thrown the world into recurrent bouts of panic.  This has been a learning curve for pharmaceutical companies striving to be the first to develop a vaccine.  If the threat of viral infection can be maintained in the public mind, they stand on the brink of harvesting profits comparable to if not even greater than the wealth harvested by the oil corporations during the energy crisis of the 1970s.  Whether a vaccine is really necessary to control the current outbreak is part of the tug of war between governments and pharmaceutical companies at one end and dissident epidemiogists and virologists at the other.  The risks attendant on the use of the COVID-19 vaccines have been drawn out by a number of writers [2] but are rarely discussed in any critical detail in the media mainstream. 

Some of the best virological and sociological research available indicates that many of the measures governments have taken to control COVID-9 on the advice of their health experts, including masking, lockdowns and school closures, are unnecessary, ineffective or counter-productive. 

By August, 2020, even the WHO’s special envoy on COVID-19, Dr David Nabarro, was urging world leaders to stop using lockdowns “as your primary control method,” partly because of the devastating economic consequences. [3]  Although he said the WHO did not advocate them, governments have continued to use them, using the threat of prosecution and police violence to suppress dissent.  

Safe medicines that can suppress symptoms of the virus have been around for decades and have been used successfully by some governments.  They could have been used more widely this time but have been shunned and derided. After all,  if they can be shown to be successful, what will the point be of all those vaccines the governments and the media are telling us we must have?

Playing up, playing down …  

Much of what people might like to know about human life and death on this planet is generally unknown because governments and the media only relay what they want them to know.  This should surprise noone, of course.  Governments have a long history of deceit, dissembling and telling outright lies and the media history of packaging and selling the lies is just as long. 

Not long after 9/11 a team of Scandinavian scientists analysed samples of the dust from the World Trade Centre and found “unreacted thermitic material incorporating nanotechnology and a highly energetic pyrotechnic or explosive material.”[4] The destruction of the twin towers was one of the most shocking events in modern history but the media showed no interest trying to find out where these particles might have come from.  It was similarly disinterested in finding out how it was the ‘dancing Israelis’ were standing by in a car park waiting for the towers to come down.  

Engineers based at the University of Alaska have just proved beyond any doubt that building 7 was not destroyed by fire but by “a global failure involving the near simultaneous failure of every column in the buildng.”[5] Again the media is not interested in trying to find who might have put these explosives there, and why.

Now the media is playing the same game over COVID 19 but dramatizing the threat for maximum effect, not playing the story down to minimal effect.  Medical specialists who challenge the official narrative as relayed by the media are abused and dismissed as cranks, even if their qualifications are as good as or superior to those of the government’s selected experts. Although hydroxychloroquine is a safe drug that has been around for decades and has been used effectively in a number of countries to suppress the symptoms of COVID-19,  Didier Raoult, a specialist in the containment of infectious diseases and one of France’s most senior medical reseachers, is now facing disciplinary action for recommending its use. 

Dissent by members of the public is crushed through the threat of prosecution and/or the use of police force, including the smashing of front doors of houses to get at people protesting against lockdowns on social media or planning demonstrations.     

What was inconceivable before in ‘democracies’ is no longer inconceivable.  Out of fear no questions have been asked of what is absolutely questionable, including the claim that people were dying just ‘from’ the virus, that the young were threatened as well as the old, that masks had to be worn (against the WHO’s recommendation up to about July that masks should not be worn in any circumstances), that schools had to be closed (regarded as damaging to the young at several levels), and that societies had to be locked down.  

Everywhere the foundations of human rights and ‘civil society’ have been undermined in the name of containing the virus. 

Governments have passed emergency decrees allowing them to do whatever they decide without consulting the people: in the name of saving lives, they have destroyed livelihoods, wrecked economies and put lives at risk, but because of the fear they have generated they have got away with it.  People everywhere have closed down their minds, not just because they refuse to think for themselves but because they do not want to think for themselves.  They have huddled together and allowed the state and even one leader to think for them.   With the approval of the state, they have even turned themselves into snitches and informers.  This abject surrender of the individual will is a frightening recrudesence of what we saw in the 1930s.  

Financial ‘Armageddon’

Financial crisis, pandemic, fear and the ‘great reset’ – a coincidence, occurring so close to each other from late 2019 or the outcome of manipulation by hidden hands, pulling the wires that control the public mind, as Edward Bernays wrote in the 1920s?   

The financial crisis in the US was prevented from turning into a full-blown catastrophe only by the inervention of the Federal Reserve.  Pam and Russ Martens, writing in Wall Street on Parade on January 27, pointed out that since September 17, 2019, the New York Federal Reserve had funnelled $6.6 trillion dollars into some of the 24 Wall Street trading houses known as ‘primary dealers.’  Thus the money went not to commercial banks that lend for productive purposes but speculators.

This extraordinary amount of cash was sent even to financial institutions found guilty of malpractice, including J.P. Morgan, which in September, 2020, agreed to pay nearly $1 billion to settle charges of fraud and unlawful trading by traders and other personnel who over nearly a decade had “openly disregarded US laws designed to stop illegal activity,” as the judgment found.

This near collapse in the financial sector followed a decade after the crisis of 2007-8.  According to the Martens’, again, from December, 2007, to July 21, 2010, the Federal Reserve handed out $19.559 trillion to Wall Street trading houses plus another $10 trillion in central bank liquidity swaps, a total of more than $29 trillion.  American taxpayers were entitled to ask where this extraordinary amount of money came from and why corporations profiting in a capitalist market should be saved at their expense.  According to the rules of their own game, they should have been allowed to collapse. 

According to a former governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King (Lord King), speaking on October 20,2019, the world economy was sleepwalking towards a new financial and economic crisis that would have devastating consequences for the “democratic” market system. The US would face a “financial Armageddon” if the Federal Reserve lacked the firepower to head off another sub-prime mortgage sell-off.  “We”, he wrote, had entered the “Great Stagnation” and there was a need for action on many policy levels. 

What the American people would have thought of this second massive bailout in a decade, and what others would have thought of these grim predictions, we don’t know because world attention was almost immediately diverted by a threat not just to homes and jobs as in 2007-8 but to lives.

Meeting in New York on October 18, the Johns Hopkins Centre for Health Security, the Woels Economic Forum (WEF) and the Bill and Melinda Gates had only recently held a pandemic planning exercise (‘Event 201’) when the virus that came to be known as COVID-19 surfaced in China.  The first case was reported in Hubei province on November 17 but by the end of December, world attention had shifted to Wuhan and the alleged transference to humans of a virus from a bat or a pangolin in the city’s ‘wet’ markets.   Soon, however, claims were being made that the virus had also been detected in Italy as early as November.

Claims were also made that the virus had been created in a biological research laboratory, perhaps the one run jointly by the US and China in Wuhan or the lab at the US mlitary base at Fort Detrick, Maryland. Dr Luc Montagnier, the French virologist and Nobel laureate who co-discovered the AIDS virus, believes the virus did not emerge in nature but was produced in a lab.   On the basis of his research, he found that the virus genome has elements of HIV and malaria, which is not possible in naturally-occurring viruses and in his view, had to be the result of external intervention.   

Fear and panic generated by governments and maintained month after month by the media swept the ‘western’ world.  Between the rival claims of state health officials and dissident epidemiologists it was extremely difficult even for those asking questions to understand what was really going on.

Windows of opportunity

Already by 2016 Klaus Schwab, founder of the WEF in 1971 had published a book on the “fourth industrial revolution.” This was to be the foundation of the “great reset”, announced in May, 2020, with Schwab describing the pandemic as “a rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine and reset our world.” Digitalization, nanotechnology, transhumanism, robotics, a cashless society and working from home instead of the office were among the markers of the new society to come.  Small businesses incapable of adjusting would go under, but out of the dross and debris would rise something much more beneficial to humanity at large, to women, to childen, to the sick and those in need and to the environment.  

The ‘great reset’ was immediately embraced by the corporations, the financial institutions and the World Bank.  Goldman Sachs produced a research paper which looked forward to the company filling the ‘’empty spaces’’ left behind by collapsed businesses.  On its front cover Time magazine depicted the ‘great reset’ as a world surrounded by scaffolding on which workmen in overalls reshaped the future. 

This widespread approval at the top was inevitably counterbalanced by the suspicion of skeptical minds at the bottom.  Even without delving into the origins and consequences of the second and third industrial revolutions, had not the same promises of a better and brighter world been made by the same class of people after the first, beginning in the late 18th century?  

Charles Dickens and Friedrich Engels (The Condition of the Working Class in England) described the real outcome.  Enrichment for the few on one hand and on the other, exploitation, child labor in factories and coal mines, slums and the poor house, filth and raw sewage in the streets, impoverishment and execution for petty crimes.  The clan system of Scotland was almost destroyed because the lairds wanted sheep on their land, not people.  An entire rural population was escorted under police guard to the beaches and shipped off to the colonies.

Economists had long seen the second wave of financial collapse coming and believed it would be more destructive than the first.  This close call for the financial institutions was followed by Mervyn King’s warning that the “democratic” market system was rapidly heading towards meltdown.  The inseparability of the two indicated that the system as a whole could no longer be patched up but would have to be reconstructed.  

It is that this point that these seemingly separate but sequential developments appear to be organically linked rather than occurring coincidentally.  Hitler called the Reichstag fire of 1933 “manna from the skies.”   Condoleeza Rice described 9/11 as an opportunity “we” can’t miss. For Klaus Schwab COVID-19 appeared as a “window of opportunity’’ to reshape the world.  The first of these three “opportunities” led to a world war and the second to widespread death and destruction in Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries, so we are entitled to be skeptical about where the third might lead.   Following financial crisis, the appearance of the virus was fortuitous, a key allowing Klaus Schwab to open the “window of opportunity” to his “great reset.”    

There are conspiracy theories but there are also conspiracies. Governments routinely hide the truth in a haystack of lies, determined that we should never find it.  They engage in conspiracies all the time, against each other and against we the people.  Success, if they are never caught out, emboldens them to go even further.   

In the battle between what we believe is our right to know and government determination to hide what it does not want us to know, we have to continue digging for the truth as best as we can.  Who stands to benefit from this virus-ignited ‘great reset,’ we the people or governments, corporations, pharmaceutical companies and international institutions forfeiting their identity to the corporate world?   

The manipulation of a health issue has precipitated the destruction of rights and freedoms on a global scale.  There is no precedent for this outside Orwell.   Having set up unprecedented levels of oppression through fear generated over a viral outbreak, governments have a template for holding us all in bondage for as long as they like, unless and until we the people rise up and say “no.”

This is our world, not theirs, and if we don’t reclaim it, we will lose it.

 Endnotes

[1] www.http//worlddoctorsalliance.com

[2]  See for example https://www.globalresearch.ca/what-not-said-pfizer-coronavirus-vaccine/5729461

[3] See https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/who-official-urges-world-leaders-to-stop-using-lockdowns-as-primary-virus-control-method/ar-BB19TBUo

[4] Niels H. Harrit et. al., ‘Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Centre Cayastrophe,’ The Open Chemical Physics Journal, 2009, 2, 7-341.  

[5] J. Leroy Hulsey,  lead investigator, and others, ‘A Structural Reevaluation of the Collapse of World Trade Centre 7,’ Institute of Northern Engineering, University of Alaska,  Fairbanks.

The Vaccine Race Continues

Source

Several dozens of coronavirus vaccines are being tested worldwide. By mid-December 2020 seven of them were approved for full or limited use worldwide. Here’s a brief overview.

(Click on the image to enlarge)

Israeli minister orders jails not to vaccinate Palestinian security prisoners

Order defies health ministry guidelines that prisoners should be part of second group of Israelis to be vaccinated

Public Security Minister Amir Ohana’s statement did not single out Palestinian inmates, but there are no non-Palestinian security prisoners in Israel (AFP)

By MEE and agencies

Published date: 27 December 2020 15:47 UTC 

Israel’s Public Security Minister Amir Ohana told the country’s prison service late last week not to inoculate Palestinian security prisoners, an Israeli newspaper has revealed.

The order came despite health ministry guidelines that prisoners should be part of the second group of Israelis to be vaccinated against the Covid-19 coronavirus, together with security personnel, Haaretz wrote on Sunday.

The report came as Israel began its third coronavirus lockdown at 5pm (15:00 GMT) on Sunday, with most people forced to stay within 1,000 metres of their home. Covid-19: Gaza resumes screening after receiving nearly 20,000 kits from WHO

Read More »

The office of the minister said that only prison staff should be vaccinated because “there should be no inoculating security prisoners without approval and in line with vaccination progress among the general population,” the newspaper said.

Although the statement referred only to “security prisoners,” a letter on the matter sent by Moshe Edri, the Public Security Ministry’s director general, did not make such a distinction, instead referring to the general prisoner population, Haaretz said.

Although Ohana’s statement did not single out Palestinian inmates, there are no non-Palestinian security prisoners in Israel.

The ministry’s directive contradicts the health ministry’s guidelines regarding the prioritisation of vaccination. 

Haaretz said it was unclear on what authority Ohana can order the prisons service to vaccinate certain inmates and not others.

‘Politically motivated directive’

In response to the Public Security Ministry’s directive, Shas lawmaker Moshe Arbel posed a parliamentary question to Ohana asking him to explain why there is no need to inoculate all inmates in light of the crowding and harsh conditions in Israel’s prisons and the positive pace of vaccination among the general population.

“The state should weigh in on the difficult situation of the prisoners, among the most crowded and vulnerable groups in the country, and act to vaccinate them as soon as possible,” Arbel wrote.

“The minister’s directive contradicts the vaccination guidelines that the Health Ministry issued. 

“We should be making sure that prisoners are given high priority for vaccinations in line with recommendations by health experts involved in the matter, especially in light of worldwide data showing that the risk of infection among inmates is higher than that of the outside population.”

Palestinians left waiting 

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received a Covid-19 vaccine jab, starting a national rollout.

However, the massive vaccination campaign, said to be the biggest in Israel’s history and titled “Give a Shoulder,” will not include millions of Palestinians living under Israeli control despite a recent spike in cases and deaths stemming from the virus.

Israel’s vaccination campaign will include Jewish settlers who are Israeli citizens living deep inside the occupied West Bank, but not the territory’s 2.5 million Palestinians.Palestinians left waiting as Israel rolls out Covid-19 vaccine jabRead More »

They will have to wait for the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority, which administers parts of the occupied West Bank in accordance with interim peace agreements reached in the 1990s, to provide them.

The PA hopes to get vaccines through a World Health Organisation-led partnership with humanitarian organisations known as Covax, which has so far fallen short of the 2 billion doses it hopes to buy over the next years for those in poor countries.

Complicating matters is the fact that the Palestinians have only one refrigeration unit capable of storing the Pfizer vaccine. 

The Palestinian Authority has reported more than 85,000 cases in the West Bank, including more than 800 deaths, and the outbreak has intensified in recent weeks.

The situation is even more dire in Gaza, home to two million Palestinians and which has been under an Israeli and Egyptian blockade since Hamas seized power in 2007. Authorities there have reported over 30,000 cases, including more than 200 deaths.

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“COVID Vaccines” and “Genetically Modified Humans”

By Dr. Carrie Madej and Mark Taliano

Global Research, December 19, 2020

The main video has been removed. This report was first published by Global Research on July 19, 2020

In the following video, Dr. Carrie Madaj questions what “it is to be human”. Why? Because the so-called “COVID” vaccines deploy recombinant DNA/RNA technology that “rewrites” the genetic code much as Monsanto, for example, rewrites the genetic code of numerous seeds (including tomatoes, corn, etc) not to mention the application of genetic bio-technology to animals:

Biotechnology can be classified as the cloning of animals with identical genetic composition or genetic engineering (via recombinant DNA technology and gene editing) to produce genetically modified animals or microorganisms. Cloning helps to conserve species and breeds, particularly those with excellent biological and economical traits. Recombinant DNA technology combines genetic materials from multiple sources into single cells to generate proteins. (Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology)

Genetically-modified organisms can be patented and owned. Monsanto owns the GMO seeds. Once DNA vaccines are used on humans — and it has never been done before — humans could possibly be “owned”. We could in theory be “patented”.

None of this has been discussed at length, and very little about this is known publicly.

No randomized placebo-controlled trials have been conducted. Vaccine manufacturers are exempt from these and many other safeguards.

In 2010, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) admitted that this type of technology can be used to “enhance and subvert” humans at a genetic level.

Hydrogel nanotechnology is injected beneath the skin. It can interface with cell phones and Artificial Intelligence to monitor basically everything within the body, including anxieties, emotions, ovulations, vitamins etc. etc.

Once implanted, the technology spreads throughout the body. Scientists do not know how this affects our DNA.

Recombinant RNA and DNA technology will, argues Dr. Madej, cause permanent and unknown genetic changes in a person’s body.

Will it create a new species and destroy an old one?

Video (Youtube)  Dr. Carrie Madej

Switzerland and the Covid-19 Pandemic in the Second Wave

Switzerland and the Covid-19 Pandemic in the Second Wave

December 18, 2020

by Paul Schmutz Schaller for The Saker Blog

General situation

The SMI (Swiss Stock Market) index is presently about the same as one year ago. This means that the Swiss brokers did loose nothing in the year 2020. The feelings of the broad population however are completely different, most would say that 2020 was really a bad year. Moreover, the SMI sharply dropped twice in 2020, in the end of March and in the end of October. This corresponds to the first and the second wave of the pandemic in Switzerland. However, the SMI fall was much bigger in March while in reality, the second Corona-19 wave is much stronger. Rarely, the big discrepancy between the reality of the most rich and most mighty social class and the reality of the overwhelming majority of the population is so obvious and so easy to see.

The first wave of the pandemic was in March/April while the second started in October. Before the end of the year, about 5% of the Swiss population will be tested positive. 90% of them stem from the second wave. Statistically speaking, around 1.5% of the positive tested persons die because of the new coronavirus; the general excess mortality is almost at this level. Most of the persons who died due to Covid-19 were more than 70 years old. With respect to the data of the WHO (World Health Organization), Switzerland is one of the worst affected countries in the second wave; in very few countries, 5% of the population (or more) have been tested positive.

In spring (with respect to Switzerland), some estimations predicted that over 50% of the population will be infected and that 1% of the population will die. We are still very fare from these numbers. However, if there will be a third wave in the next months, then it is not excluded that these numbers were quite realistic. So, this is a very serious disease.

The worldwide course of the Covid-19 pandemic depends on the regions. The course in Switzerland with a first wave in spring and a much stronger wave in fall is typical for European countries (and also for Canada). On the other hand, South-East Asia and India for example had the most cases in August/September and, until now, there is no second wave. China has more or less no new cases since February. South Africa had a first wave in June/July and now, in December, a second wave seems to begin, but less strong than the first one (all indications from WHO).

Despite the fact that, in Switzerland, the second wave is much stronger than the first one, the authorities took less strong measures. While schools were closed between March 16 and summer, there remained open in fall. Most of small business were closed in spring, but not in fall. Domestic mobility remained high in fall. On the other hand, the wearing of masks is now quite general and is required. One cannot oversee that the reaction of the government and of the Swiss stock market were quite similar. This is juste an objective fact which I will neither comment nor judge.

Social distancing is still strong and so is the financial support for affected (small) business. The newest prognoses see a decrease of the GDP (gross domestic product) in 2020 of 3.3% and an increase of 3.0% in 2021. The unemployment rate was 2.3% in 2019 and is expected to be 3.2% in 2020 and 3.3% in 2021. However, the prognoses are very insecure, due essentially to the fact that the impact of vaccines in 2021 is not clear.

Switzerland is among the countries in Western Europe with the weakest restrictions (however without downplaying the pandemic). This is not so surprising since traditionally, the state is not so strong and the weight of the private sector is high. On the other hand, the Swiss prefer to be be good pupils in Western Europe and they will not risk too much confrontation. Nevertheless, Switzerland has not given in to the pressure coming from Germany and France to close ski resorts.

The vaccine question

Until now, Switzerland has received four demands for a Covid-19 vaccine registration, all coming from Western countries. It is very unlikely that Russian or Chinese vaccine producers will ask for admission in Switzerland; they have enough possible clients elsewhere. Of course, theoretically, Swiss companies could produce Russian or Chinese vaccines in collaboration with the developers, but this also is not to expect. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the vaccine question has been highly politicized in Switzerland and in other Western countries. Only Western developed and produced vaccines are advocated by the authorities and by the media (of course, US vaccines made in Taiwan would also be accepted). Vaccines developed and produced in Russia or China are ridiculed. Moreover, the fact is hidden that other countries such as India, Iran, South Korea, Vietnam, or Cuba are developing their own vaccines. This politicization of the vaccine question is the reason why I have decided to not getting vaccinated (even if I am 69 years old).

It is obvious that the leading class in Switzerland would like to vaccinate the whole population. This would be the easiest and cheapest way in order to bring Covid-19 under control. Their propaganda machine has already started. Of course, they benefit from the fact that getting vaccinated is a reasonable choice for a large part of the population.

Nevertheless, skepticism against Covid-19 vaccines is high in Switzerland, among the highest in the world if we can trust international surveys. This skepticism has some healthy reasons. The confidence that the big companies act for the good of the population has clearly decreased. There is pretty much of mistrust. Moreover, the confidence in sciences and technology has become weaker. Many have lost confidence that every new problem can be solved just by more technology; they rather think that the society as a whole has to get more sane.

This skepticism is violently attacked by the ruling class. The latter classify the skeptical people as anti-scientific, misinformed, conspiracists. I will not deny that such people exist. But these attacks of the ruling class are completely hypocritical. In fact, there are heir attacks against Russian or Chinese vaccines which are utterly anti-scientific and altogether a misinformation.

Having worked as a mathematician for decades, I know quite well the scientific milieu in Switzerland. While I think that my scientific spirit was always and is still high, I lost very much the respect for the Western scientific world. Most Western scientists are not very much interested in the search for truth, they are much more interested in their workplace and in their career. And the degree of independent thinking is rather low. Therefore, when this kind of people attack the population of not thinking enough, then this rather means that the thinking of the population is not servile enough.

I cannot judge by myself the scientific milieu in China or Russia or Iran. But as a whole, these societies are healthier than the Swiss society and because of that, I am confident that their scientific level and spirit is better than in Switzerland.

No bright future in sight

The crisis around the Covid-19 pandemic is a particular one. It is not, as a usual crisis, an escalation of existing conflicts. It is a problem which came from the outside. So, it s a kind of examination for each society.

Sweden’s king said yesterday that the country has failed in protecting the people from Covid-19. This has been interpreted by European media as a criticism of Sweden’s particular strategy in this pandemic. But I think that this interpretation is not justified. Much more probable is that Sweden’s king did not make a political statement, but deplored the too many deaths due to the pandemic in Sweden. In other words, he showed humility. Switzerland has no king. However, the number of deaths has a comparable size than in Sweden. But nobody in Switzerland has the courage and the humility to say that Switzerland has failed in protecting the people.

In spring, unity in Switzerland was quite big and the country managed to pass this first wave more or less without real problems. But now, the situation is quite different. The usual domestic conflicts came to the surface. The government is much more navigating than in spring. Consequently, people are more unsettled.

In my eyes, the main problem is ideological. Switzerland has no project, no aim. There is no collective engagement. There is no clear idea how Switzerland could build a more healthy society. Nearly all efforts have the objective to defend the status of Switzerland as a rich and stable country belonging to the West. This has even got stronger during this crisis. The media concentrate on Switzerland and neighboring countries. The situation with respect to the pandemic in countries in Asia, Africa, or Latin America is just ignored. Or is used for attacks against these countries. An exception is South Korea which was emphasized by Swiss media as a „better“ alternative to the „dictatorial“ China.

It is probable that, during the year 2021, Switzerland will be able to control the new coronavirus, mainly due to vaccines. Then the holiday trips abroad will restart in full force. But I would bet that the enthusiasm is somewhat gone. Even with this pandemic overcome, I cannot see a bright future for Switzerland.

PS: Even if it is not part of the theme, I cannot resist to comment the recent decision of the US authorities to label Switzerland and Vietnam as „currency manipulators“. Certainly, the US authorities have powerful computers for their sophisticated calculations. For the common mortals however, the question is quite simple. „Currency manipulation“ would mean that a country artificially devalue the currency in order to increase exports. In this regard, one observes that one year ago, one US dollar was exchanged for 0.98 Swiss franc. Now, one US dollar is worth 0.88 Swiss franc, hence a devaluation of about 10%. Hence, if one of USA/Switzerland is a „currency manipulator“, then it is clearly the USA.

The Great Divider: COVID-19 Reflects Global Racism, Not Equality

December 18, 2020

‘This iniquity is expected to continue even in the way that the vaccines are made available,’ writes Ramzy Baroud. (Photo: File)

By Ramzy Baroud

The notion that the COVID-19 pandemic was ‘the great equalizer’ should be dead and buried by now. If anything, the lethal disease is another terrible reminder of the deep divisions and inequalities in our societies. That said, the treatment of the disease should not be a repeat of the same shameful scenario.

For an entire year, wealthy celebrities and government officials have been reminding us that “we are in this together”, that “we are on the same boat”, with the likes of US singer, Madonna, speaking from her mansion while submerged in a “milky bath sprinkled with rose petals,” telling us that the pandemic has proved to be the “great equalizer”.

“Like I used to say at the end of ‘Human Nature’ every night, we are all in the same boat,” she said. “And if the ship goes down, we’re all going down together,” CNN reported at the time.

Such statements, like that of Madonna, and Ellen DeGeneres as well, have generated much media attention not just because they are both famous people with a massive social media following but also because of the obvious hypocrisy in their empty rhetoric. In truth, however, they were only repeating the standard procedure followed by governments, celebrities and wealthy ‘influencers’ worldwide.

But are we, really, “all in this together”? With unemployment rates skyrocketing across the globe, hundreds of millions scraping by to feed their children, multitudes of nameless and hapless families chugging along without access to proper healthcare, subsisting on hope and a prayer so that they may survive the scourges of poverty – let alone the pandemic – one cannot, with a clear conscience, make such outrageous claims.

Not only are we not “on the same boat” but, certainly, we have never been. According to World Bank data, nearly half of the world lives on less than $5.5 a day. This dismal statistic is part of a remarkable trajectory of inequality that has afflicted humanity for a long time.

The plight of many of the world’s poor is compounded in the case of war refugees, the double victims of state terrorism and violence and the unwillingness of those with the resources to step forward and pay back some of their largely undeserved wealth.

The boat metaphor is particularly interesting in the case of refugees; millions of them have desperately tried to escape the infernos of war and poverty in rickety boats and dinghies, hoping to get across from their stricken regions to safer places. This sight has sadly grown familiar in recent years not only throughout the Mediterranean Sea but also in other bodies of water around the world, especially in Burma, where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have tried to escape their ongoing genocide. Thousands of them have drowned in the Bay of Bengal.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated and, in fact, accelerated the sharp inequalities that exist in every society individually, and the world at large. According to a June 2020 study conducted in the United States by the Brookings Institute, the number of deaths as a result of the disease reflects a clear racial logic. Many indicators included in the study leave no doubt that racism is a central factor in the life cycle of COVID.

For example, among those aged between 45 and 54 years, “Black and Hispanic/Latino death rates are at least six times higher than for whites”. Although whites make up 62 percent of the US population of that specific age group, only 22 percent of the total deaths were white. Black and Latino communities were the most devastated.

According to this and other studies, the main assumption behind the discrepancy of infection and death rates resulting from COVID among various racial groups in the US is poverty which is, itself, an expression of racial inequality. The poor have no, or limited, access to proper healthcare. For the rich, this factor is of little relevance.

Moreover, poor communities tend to work in low-paying jobs in the service sector, where social distancing is nearly impossible. With little government support to help them survive the lockdowns, they do everything within their power to provide for their children, only to be infected by the virus or, worse, die.

This iniquity is expected to continue even in the way that the vaccines are made available. While several Western nations have either launched or scheduled their vaccination campaigns, the poorest nations on earth are expected to wait for a long time before life-saving vaccines are made available.

In 67 poor or developing countries located mostly in Africa and the Southern hemisphere, only one out of ten individuals will likely receive the vaccine by the end of 2020, the Fortune Magazine website reported.

The disturbing report cited a study conducted by a humanitarian and rights coalition, the People’s Vaccine Alliance (PVA), which includes Oxfam and Amnesty International.

If there is such a thing as a strategy at this point, it is the deplorable “hoarding” of the vaccine by rich nations. Dr. Mohga Kamal-Yanni of the PVA put this realization into perspective when she said that “rich countries have enough doses to vaccinate everyone nearly three times over, whilst poor countries don’t even have enough to reach health workers and people at risk”. So much for the numerous conferences touting the need for a ‘global response’ to the disease.

But it does not have to be this way.

While it is likely that class, race and gender inequalities will continue to ravage human societies after the pandemic, as they did before, it is also possible for governments to use this collective tragedy as an opportunity to bridge the inequality gap, even if just a little, as a starting point to imagine a more equitable future for all of us.

Poor, dark-skinned people should not be made to die when their lives can be saved by a simple vaccine, which is available in abundance.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) and also at the Afro-Middle East Center (AMEC). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

Coronavirus Lessons That Vietnam Could Teach Americans and the World

December 5, 2020

Vietnam May Have the Most Effective Response to Covid-19 | The Nation
American writer and investigative historian

Eric Zuesse

All of the data here can easily be found at the world’s best website for tracking each day’s national and international coronavirus (or covid) cases and deaths: www.worldometers.info/coronavirus.


——

After America hit a world-record high of 204,163 new covid-19 cases on November 20th, that number declined down to 145,576 new daily cases a week later, on November 26th, which was, of course, very welcomed news. Meanwhile, Vietnam, with a population of 97,693,204 as compared to America’s 331,790,984, had only 1 new case on November 20th, and 10 new cases on November 26th. Proportionally, that 10 daily new cases would have been equivalent to 34 daily new cases in the U.S. But, instead, U.S. had 145,576 daily new cases on that date: That’s 4,282 time higher than the proportionally adjusted 34 new cases that a Vietnam with 331,790,984 population would have had. And, yet, America is so haughty as not even to be discussing whether or how it could learn from Vietnam’s experience.

The next day, on November 27th, U.S. had 164,103 new cases, and Vietnam had 8. Pn November 28th, U.S. was down to 143,373, and Vietnam was down to 2.

America is in its second wave, which started rising from a low on September 7th of 25,906, to that high of 204,163 on November 20th. Meanwhile. Vietnam rose from a low of 0 new daily cases on both October 3rd and 4th, to a high of 26 new daily cases on November 11th, and then down to 12 new daily cases on November 18th, and not higher than that number since. Vietnam’s highest-ever number of new daily cases was on July 30th: 50. That was the peak of Vietnam’s second wave, and the 26 new cases on November 11th was the peak of their third wave, which seems now to be subsiding.

How does Vietnam manage to be thousands of times as effective at controlling this disease than America is? Does Vietnam crush its economy by being so uncompromising to reduce the illnesses and deaths from this disease to as low as they can go, and keeping them there? The exact opposite is true. Here are highlights from an article which appeared in the October 20th issue of Britain’s Guardian about Vietnam’s coronavirus experience, written by Tran Le Thuy, the director of the Centre for Media and Development Initiatives in Hanoi, titled “Vietnam is fighting Covid without pitting economic growth against public health”:

Beyond contact-tracing, why has Vietnam been so good at dealing with the pandemic?
The central reason is perhaps the way the government has depoliticised the pandemic, treating it purely as a health crisis, allowing for effective governance. There was no political motive for government officials to hide information, as they don’t face being reprimanded if there are positive cases in their authority area that are not due to their mistakes. I haven’t heard about any religious opposition to the government’s strategy either. With the head of the Hanoi centre for disease control being arrested for suspected corruption in relation to the purchase of testing kits, and small traders getting fines for price-gouging face-masks, the government has also been clear that public health cannot be entangled with commercial interests. …
In January, when Wuhan announced the first death, Vietnam tightened its border and airport control of Chinese visitors. This wasn’t an easy decision, given that cross-border trade with China accounts for a significant part of the Vietnamese economy. … It took precautionary measures above and beyond World Health Organization recommendations. … Preparations for a pandemic were implemented a week before the outbreak was officially a public health emergency of international concern, and more than a month before WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic.
The government also decided to embrace freedom of information on Covid-related matters. … The motto for the first phase was that if we stay alive, the question of wealth and the economy can come later. …
But now the government has shifted its anti-Covid strategy towards the economy. … Lockdown and isolation are more selective. …
For now it looks like Vietnam has seen off the threat of a second wave. … Given that Vietnam is one of the few countries in the world currently experiencing positive GDP growth, the supposed trade-off between the economy and public health, which countries around the world are negotiating, looks to be something of a false choice.

Vietnam’s experience is just an extreme example of correct decisions in the face of a crisis — an epidemic. So, it has been extremely successful. Similarly, America is an example of incorrect decisions in the face of an epidemic; and, so, America has been extremely unsuccessful.

On November 22nd, I wrote at greater length about “Which Coronavirus Policies Succeed, And Which Fail: N.Y. Times Analysis Confirms Mine”, which discussed not only the comparisons of the 200+ nations but of the 50 U.S. states; and the experiences and results in Vietnam and in the U.S. are in line with those of the world’s other countries. Bad polices everywhere produce bad results; good policies everywhere produce good results.

On November 24th, Statista headlined “Has Europe Broken the Second Wave?” and reported that, “A couple of weeks after several European countries went on (at least partial) lockdown once again in the face of surging COVID-19 cases, the tightening of restrictions appears to be paying off.” This was shown there in a graph, which displayed especially that whereas the EU was now declining markedly in those numbers, the U.S. was continuing to soar and was now clearly heading to surpass the EU’s daily coronavirus-intensity, yet again, as it hadn’t been doing ever since September. That same article was republished on November 28th at the popular American Zero Hedge news site, with reader-comments, which were overwhelmingly hostile to this information, such as this string there:

Crazed Smoker
Cardiovascular diseases kill 10x as many people, 16 million/year, than this dud fomented into a mass hysteria.
marketvviz
And ironically since it almost exclusively kills off the elderly and the already sick (comorbidities) it could actually be a long term net benefit to the economy if people ignored it and didn’t freak out or shut down.
JimmyJones
2nd wave broken, it appears the lockdowns worked? Are freaking kidding me, you know what happened, they ran out of Karen’s running to get a test that gives over 50% false positives.

Another interesting comparison is between Vietnam and the world’s most coronavirus-ravaged country, tiny Andorra, a statelet sandwiched between France and Spain. Andorra has been doing everything possible to downplay the severity of its infestation, partly because around half of that country’s economy is tourism. As of November 29th, Andorra had 85,403 cases per million. That is more than twice America’s 41,024, and is 6,100 times Vietnam’s 14. Whereas Andorra has a coronavirus death-rate of 983 per million (nearly one person per thousand), America’s is 821, and Vietnam’s is 0.4. (America’s is nearly as high as Andorra’s because Andorra has a superior healthcare system, and has cured 98.7% of its cases, whereas America has cured 96.7%. Vietnam has cured 97.0%.)

The international, and even the state-by-state, data, have lessons to teach, all of which lessons turn out to be remarkably consistent with one-another, but lots of people, in some countries (such as in the United States), are simply refusing to learn them. Perhaps those lessons don’t happen to fit those persons’ ideology.

UAE stops issuing new visas to citizens of 13 Arab and Muslim-majority countries

By MEE and agencies

Published date: 25 November 2020

There has been no official explanation as to why the countries, which include Turkey, Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, were targeted by the ban

The flags of US, Israel, UAE and Bahrain are projected on the ramparts of Jerusalem’s Old City on 15 September 2020 in a show of support for Israeli normalisation deals (AFP)

The United Arab Emirates has stopped issuing new visas to citizens of 13 mostly Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, Syria, Turkey, Tunisia, Lebanon, Somalia, Yemen and Algeria.

According to Reuters, the decision was seen in a document issued by a state-owned business park, which was sent to companies operating in the park.

The document cited an immigration circular that came into effect on 18 November.

It said applications for new employment and visit visas had been suspended for nationals who are outside the UAE of the 13 countries – which also include Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, Kenya, and Iraq – until further notice.

It was not clear if there were any exceptions to the ban.

The move comes in contrast to the UAE’s decision to waive visas for Israeli citizens following a controversial normalisation agreement signed in September. The agreement was perceived by Palestinian and Arab public opinion as an act of betrayal of the struggle against Israeli occupation. 

The UAE’s Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship had no immediate comment when contacted by Reuters.

A source briefed on the matter told Reuters the UAE had temporarily stopped issuing new visas to Afghans, Pakistanis and citizens of several other countries over security concerns.

The source did not say what those concerns were, but said the visa ban was expected to last for a short period.

Last week, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said the UAE had stopped processing new visas for its citizens and those of some other countries.

It said it was seeking information from the UAE on the reason for the suspension, but that it thought it was related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Pakistani ministry and the source said those holding valid visas were not affected by the new restrictions and could enter the UAE.

Trump, COVID-19, UK Lockdowns, And The Great Reset

By Kevin Smith

Source

No matter what political side you are on, it’s important not to dismiss the likelihood that there has been an assault on democracy in the US and certainly a high probability that it’s already well underway here and elsewhere.

The Evidence For A Global Coup

Earlier this year I wrote an article about assessing evidence.

It was based much on my career of adjudicating disputes and my assessments of important events such as COVID-19, the UK lockdown, and the war in Syria.

With the world at risk of the entering a new dark phase, I thought it was time to revisit this topic again.

There are two current events where an assessment of evidence is crucial to understand them. Both have sharply competing narratives.

The entrance into a second new UK national lockdown, a decision taken by Boris Johnson, and the US Presidential Election, the results which are disputed and likely to be decided in court.

While much of this will be familiar territory, I thought it would be useful to gather these thoughts, as in the next few weeks we’re likely to be overwhelmed with yet more conflicting information and narratives.

Onus Of Proof

As I said previously, the onus of proof is on the person who makes the assertion. So, the onus is on Boris Johnson to present the evidence that COVID-19 represents a serious risk to society and the NHS, and any measures such as lockdown are proportionate to the collateral damage from these measures.

In America, the onus of proof is on President Trump to show that large scale vote fraud took place, which affected the result of the recent election.

Thresholds Of Evidence

Standards of evidence are different depending on the jurisdiction and setting. In my role adjudicating, our assessments were based on ‘balance of probabilities’. In the more adversial, formal courts, the threshold is usually higher, such as ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.

There’s No Evidence” Syndrome

This is how I describe the attitude of the media and many people I see commenting on Twitter and elsewhere. This type of commentary has appeared in much of the UK media regarding Trump’s allegation of election fraud.

I also come across on the other extreme, people saying the evidence is ‘compelling’ and I suppose Russiagate was a good example where people were expressing views in similar terms, just accepting tittle tattle as fact.

In the Trump scenario, it’s quite wrong to say that there is no evidence or he has provided no evidence of fraud. Testimony itself is evidence, even if what Trump is saying is later proven wrong.

Likewise, the many eyewitness or anecdotal accounts of election fraud are also evidence. It’s just unverified at this early stage.

I suspect the main body of evidence will be tested in the near future, which will consist of the apparent voter registration discrepancies, the counting practices in the disputed states, and sudden changes in the number of votes going to Biden in the early hours.

Likewise, there may well be valid explanations, but these will only be determined out of investigation and verification. Therefore, it’s quite wrong for anyone to say there’s no evidence or that there is compelling case at this point.

In recent days, I’ve had several exchanges on Twitter with some saying there is no case to answer or Trump has a slam dunk case. This one demonstrates my point about people jumping the gun.

Circumstantial Evidence

As we all know, this is simply where events and circumstances support a narrative and other evidence such as forensic and documentary. In the US, it’s very rare for a criminal prosecution to succeed on circumstantial evidence only. But it is still a crucial pointer within the whole investigation process. I’ll look at this further below.

Previous Track Record

This is something I covered in my previous article. Although this wouldn’t necessarily be used or be admissible in all evidence-based settings, it nevertheless provides a good initial pointer. The record of dealing with important events in the wrong way or through lying is a good indicator.

Swine Flu and, Bird Flu outbreaks had hopelessly exaggerated predictions of the potential spread of these viruses. The Iraq, Libya, and Syria regime change wars were all based on a false premise. And the Democrat Party’s own candidate election process and Russiagate hysteria are all indicators that we are being sold another lie with COVID-19 and lockdown.

I suppose in the interests of balance we could say Trump’s past record of being economical with the truth might suggest he’s grossly exaggerating election fraud.

But with the above timeline of deception, I take the view that the correct default position is to assume the government is wrong or lying unless shown otherwise.

Barriers To Critical Thinking And Assessing Evidence

Here are a few:

Mainstream Media

It’s currently owned by a small number of conflicted, corrupt press barons, is heavily politicised, dumbed-down, hysterical, and fear generating. In this context, even someone with good critical thinking abilities who researches would struggle. Fear, panic, and the anxiety created serve to overwhelm and confuse the public, so they’re less likely to step back and reflect.

People tend to accept what the media tells them. They seem to think that they are not qualified to research beyond the headlines. Yet most of us have the ability to reason and weigh up evidence.

I’ve had so many conversations with people who’ve simply just accepted a false premise about COVID-19 or lockdown measures and based their entire viewpoint on this information.

Political Bias, Ideology, Tribalism, Distraction

I suspect this was a factor within my Twitter exchange above. People who support a party or ideology tend to have preconceived beliefs. They work the evidence to fit in with their views rather than allowing the evidence to lead to its natural conclusion.

Tribalism too is a factor where people identify with groups and act in a herd-like fashion and simply accept what their peers tell them.

Distraction which is partly media generated pushes people towards other events or narratives so they lose sight of the all-important big picture. For example, in the Trump scenario, they may focus on one testimony video clip regarding alleged election fraud to reach a conclusion on the entire election.

Denial

I regularly come across people who might have concerns for the future but don’t wish to look into it further out of fear of what they may find. Or the reality may be too shocking to accept. I suppose the child abuse scandals are good examples where people have turned the other way. Although I’m naturally cautious when reviewing evidence, I may be guilty of this myself to some extent in the evolvement of my COVID-19 thinking.

For some time, I accepted the most likely scenario was that the decision making and measures were based on stupidity and incompetence. Perhaps denial prevented me from seeing a large body of mainly circumstantial evidence that there was something more deliberate and sinister behind things.

Perception

This is partly tied up in the above points. Perception is something I’ve written about before. What I find common is people who can accept an alternative narrative but then don’t think through the implications.

For example, I’ve met people who accept that the alleged Douma, Syria incident was staged. Yet, they don’t seem to be able to get their head around the fact that civilians might have been murdered to facilitate the event and the grave risks this incident had on world peace at the time.

I find this in many people when they judge many different events. It’s like criminal behaviour, incompetence, lying, or corruption by the elites in society has become almost normalised within people’s minds.

Conflict Of Interest

Both COVID-19 and the Trump election narratives are riddled with conflicts of interest. “Follow the money” is a good saying. Since I’ve studied the science and COVID-19, I’ve been amazed at the sharply contrasting scientific viewpoints. I think much of the explanation is scientists and big research projects (e.g climate change) are funded by governments and philanthropists to reach a pre-determined outcome. If they follow the correct science to its logical conclusion, they will lose their funding streams.

Personally, I have been quite shocked to witness so much of this in the field of medicine. I suppose the classic quotation for this situation is:

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

The obvious observation I have when looking at many fields, including science, is that most whistleblowers who speak the truth are those who’ve retired or no longer hold a financial interest. As an example, it will be the retired general spilling the beans on wars of regime change and talking the most sense.

Education

The quote I often hear is “education teaches you what to think, not how to think”. I think this is very true as I see many young people who are intelligent and academically gifted but lack a critical or enquiring mind. I think this explains why people simply don’t understand how evidence works and they will take a view on their predetermined bias combined with other factors I’ve mentioned. I previously wrote about education in this context here.

These are my evidence-based conclusions over these events, which I think will define our future.

Trump Election

As I said, the onus is on Team Trump to supply the evidence needed to demonstrate that large-scale election fraud occurred, plus was a likely deciding factor in the result of the election.

On the face of it, he has provided a body of evidence worthy of further investigation, certainly in terms of possible anomalies in voter registrations, deceased people votes, and the decisions to stop counting in some states before they swung in Biden’s direction. The track record of the Democrats in their own candidate selection, their role in Russiagate, and the overwhelming bias of the media and ‘Deep State’ towards Biden should set off alarm bells.

The evidence threshold may well be high in the courts but a fair way of dealing with the concerns following an initial investigation might be a ‘balance of probabilities’ test followed by a robust examination of the evidence in the courts. To dismiss the evidence at this point, or say it is compelling at this early stage would be nonsensical, a symptom of the causes listed above.

COVID-19 And Lockdown

As I have mentioned, the onus is on Johnson and his government to prove that lockdowns and social distancing measures work. And we are now 8 months down the line and the picture is clearer.

The statistics show that this virus has a mortality rate comparable with the flu. There has been no evidence which shows that lockdown measures such as social distancing or masks have had any effect. And numerous scientists confirm that the pandemic ended in late spring and there is no ‘second wave’. The government is conducting huge numbers of PCR tests with false positive rates which cast doubt over their use.

These tests are identifying more ’cases’, the majority of which have no symptoms or are picking up other remnants of virus in our bodies.

My judgement is that Johnson and his government have not discharged the onus of proof at any level since the virus took hold in early spring. In fact, the sheer volume of evidence which has been produced since has made a mockery of the government’s data, its interpretation, the ‘science’, and perhaps most crucially in terms of the totally disproportionate effect on physical and mental health, education, and the economy.

In summary, the government hasn’t produced a bare morsel of evidence and at times their arguments have been akin to saying the moon is made of cheese and expecting everyone to believe it, this illusion sustained by the fear and panic they’ve created. Even if their figures stood up to proper scrutiny, the effects of the measures in terms of collateral damage far outweigh any benefits the measures have had. Put simply, it is a scandal on a scale never seen before.

The Great Reset

The Great Reset is an agenda which promotes a social and economic ‘reset’ in countries around the world. It’s a not a new agenda and this is not meant to be some new revelation. The question is, does the evidence now suggest this agenda is currently being implemented under the guise of a pandemic?

Following a more recent look at the so-called ‘reset’ agenda, for me the puzzle pieces have now slotted in place.

Earlier on, I believed that gross stupidity, incompetence. and trying to find an exit strategy without exposure were the most logical reasons behind the COVID-19 decision making.

Initially, I couldn’t reconcile the differences in states in the world and measures taken by each government towards even a loosely co-ordinated agenda of economic and social reset.

The first reason I believe we are heading towards some type of economic and social reset promoted by unelected billionaires and other technocrats is because after 8 months it is now too much of a stretch to accept repeated stupidity and incompetence as reasons. The decision-making at every turn has been the opposite of what would have made the most sense when dealing with a pandemic.

My view is that they have used COVID-19 as a convenient vehicle to push through the reset agenda.

The mainly circumstantial but I think strong evidence concerns the agenda of the World Economic Forum (WEF), particularly (Klaus Schwab, who resembles a James Bond villain. This organisation makes no secret of the reset and the discussions it held at previous events attended by world leaders.

Biden and Johnson have adopted the same slogans of this organisation, such as ‘build back better’. The agenda is presented as dealing with climate change and other challenges such as sustainability, wealth distribution, and social justice. But it is all very sinister when you realise who might be involved and what the likely details are.

The World Health Organisation, the United Nations, and unelected billionaires like Bill Gates and Prince Charles seem to be driving this agenda.

As many of us will be aware, the state-affiliated giants Twitter and Facebook are censoring and banning people, including scientists who dispute the COVID-19 narrative and question lockdowns.

The BBC and mainstream media have taken it upon themselves to ‘fact-check’ the more outlandish theories about COVID-19 while ignoring valid concerns over the accuracy of government data and proportion. Therefore, the impression is created that all people who oppose lockdowns are anti-vaccine or conspiracy theorists. This coverage is now very noticeable for its bias, suggesting co-ordination between state and media.

The many references to COVID-19 by the WEF and administering vaccines and talk of issuing health passports are probably one of the most disturbing aspects and resemble China’s social credit system, a system which operates on social control, compliance, and sanctions.

This so-called ‘New World Order’ seems to be geared towards transferring wealth to the elites running it in exchange for debt relief and eventually to a society where individuals don’t own property.

In order to create this new world and get people’s acceptance, I believe a climate of fear, control, and dependence on the state is their early goal. Small businesses have been destroyed and health ruined under the cloak of a false ‘second wave’ pandemic. The constant exaggeration and misrepresentation of the data and science by the government is to keep the fraud going towards implementation of these plans.

The global elites haven’t yet fully declared their hand. But the subtle messages appearing all around us and collective material about the reset are there in plain sight for those who care to look. The circumstantial evidence, including how the COVID-19 pandemic has played out to fit in with this agenda, is too substantial to ignore.

In summary, if this is the agenda, then it is nothing less than a global coup.

Conclusion

In my previous article, I suggested that the general public should take time to calmly reflect on the evidence. Since then, there has been an awakening with more people calling out the faulty science and destructive measures.

But as we move into a worrying new phase, I think we need to put the message out that a sinister agenda seems to be playing out in the shadows. Our economy, health, and lives have been deliberately wrecked in its pursuit. I don’t believe this is about COVID-19, if it ever was.

The questions which remain for me are how far developed is this plan, how powerful are those behind it, and how far have their tentacles spread within the corridors of power and state institutions?

Once these plans become more obvious to us through awakening and realisation or through implementation, the question will then be whether it can be stopped in its tracks or if mass civil unrest be the scenario?

I believe the US election is tied into the COVID-19 pandemic. If Biden steps into power, then the reset could be a reality. With Trump, there’s perhaps a chance it can be stopped.

It wouldn’t surprise me with this going on that the forces which have been trying to remove Trump for 4 years have massively rigged the election.

No matter what political side you are on, it’s important not to dismiss the likelihood that there has been an assault on democracy in the US and certainly a high probability that it’s already well underway here and elsewhere.

Who is Behind “Fake News”? Mainstream Media Use Fake Videos and Images

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, November 07, 2020

First published on November 24, 2016

Author’s Note

Independent media is under attack. 

Censorship is now routinely applied. 

Readers on social media are warned not to go onto certain sites.

Those who say the truth are tagged as “conspiracy theorists”.  

In relation to the corona crisis, the media is involved in sustaining a Worldwide fear campaign. 

Several medical doctors who have spoken out against the official Coronavirus narrative have been fired.

Globalresearch.ca has been tagged by Canada’s media as a source of disinformation.

Our analysis confirms that the mainstream media are routinely involved in distorting the facts and turning realities upside down. 

They are the unspoken architects of “Fake News”.  The Lie becomes the Truth. 

One area of routine distortion is the use of fake videos and images by the mainstream media. 

Michel Chossudovsky, October 26, 2020

***

Four Notorious Cases of  Media Distortion

These are four examples and there are many more. The manipulation of videos and images is routine. In some cases, these manipulations are revealed by readers, independent media and social media. In most cases they go undetected. And when they are revealed, the media will say “sorry” we apologize: they will then point to technical errors. “we got the wrong video”.

What is important to emphasize is that these media distortions are invariably deliberate.

1. Coverage of CNN 2008 Riots in Tibet

Chinese Cops with khaki uniforms and Indian Style Moustaches

The video footage, which accompanied CNN’s John Vause’s 2008 report, had nothing to do with China. The policemen were not Chinese, but Indian cops in khaki uniforms from the Northeastern State of Himachal Pradesh, India.
Viewers were led to believe that demonstrations inside China were peaceful and that people were being arrested by Chinese cops.

Chinese Cops in Khaki Uniforms?

1′.27-1′.44″ video footage of “Chinese cops” and demonstrators including Buddhist monks. Chinese cops are shown next to Tibetan monks

Are these Chinese Cops from Gansu Province or Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, as suggested by CNN’s John Vause’s Report?

REPORT ON CHINA, MARCH 14, 2008

ScreenScreenshot from above CNN video

Alleged Chinese cops in khaki uniforms repressing Tibet demonstrators in China, CNN, March 14, 2008  1’38”, 1’40″ (image above)

Their khaki uniforms with berets seem to bear the imprint of the British colonial period.

Khaki colored uniforms were first introduced in the British cavalry in India in 1846.

Khaki means “dust” in Hindi and Persian.

Moreover, the cops with khaki uniforms and moustache do not look Chinese.

Look carefully.

They are Indian cops.

The videotape shown on March 14, 2008 by CNN is not from China (Gansu Province or Lhasa, Tibet’s Capital). The video was taken in the State of Himachal Pradesh, India. The videotape of the Tibet protest movement in India was used in the CNN report on the Tibet protest movement within China. CNN got its countries screwed up.

For the full report on Global Research click Here

2. BBC Coverage of the War on Libya, 2011

Green Square Tripoli. Libyans Celebrating “Liberation” and the Victory of Rebel forces over Gadaffi waving Indian Flags

Examine the footage: It’s not Green Square and it’s not the King Idris Flag (red, black green) of the Libyan Rebels.  

Its the Indian flag (orange, white and green) and the people at the rally are Indians.

Perhaps you did not even notice it.

And if you did notice, ”it was probably a mistake”.

Sloppy journalism at the BBC or outright Lies and Fabrications? Recognize the flags?

Indian Flag  (see right)

Libya’s Rebel Flag (King Idris)

Terrorists “celebrating” in Green Square

There was no celebration. It was a NATO sponsored massacre which has resulted in several thousand deaths. (2011)

But the truth cannot be shown on network television. The impacts of NATO bombings have been obfuscated.

The rebels are heralded as ”liberators”.

NATO bombing is intended to save civilian lives under The Alliance’s R2P mandate.  But the realities are otherwise: the civilian population is being terrorized by the NATO sponsored Rebels.

The images must be switched to conform to the “NATO consensus”.

Death and destruction is replaced by fabricated images of celebration and liberation.

See the full report on Global Research

3. CNN and BBC on 9/11.

The Report on the Collapse of WTC Building Seven Occurred Prior to the Collapse

Fake News regarding the Collapse of WTC Building Seven

The most grotesque lie pertains to the BBC and CNN announcement in the afternoon of September 11, that WTC Building Seven (The Solomon Building) had collapsed.

The BBC report went live at 5.00pm, 21 minutes before the actual occurrence of the collapse, indelibly pointing to foreknowledge of the collapse of WTC 7.

CNN anchor Aaron Brown announced that the building “has either collapsed or is collapsing” about an hour before the event.

See the images below: WTC Building Seven is still standing.

(See WTC7.net the hidden story of Building 7: Foreknowledge of WTC 7′s Collapse)

The Collapse of WTC Building Seven.

“CNN anchor Aaron Brown seems to struggle to make sense of what he is seeing one minute after announcing that WTC Building 7, whose erect facade is clearly visible in his view towards the Trade Center, has or is collapsing.” (see below)

See the complete Global Research article

4. The March 2016 Brussels Terrorist Attacks.

Belgian Media Used Video of a 2011 Moscow Airport Terrorist Attack

Brussels News media Dernière Heure at dhnet.be as well as La Libre reported on the terror attacks by providing a CC Camera Airport Surveillance Video of the terror attacks. 

The published video footage was fake as documented by a blog posting on Media Part

The video pertains to a terror attack at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport on 24 January 2011 (posted on youtube in November 2013).

The  report of DHnet.be on the Brussels airport attack used the video of the Moscow 2011 attack with the date of the Brussels attack: (22/03/2016) pasted onto the Russian video.

Below is the screenshot of DH’s report.

And the screenshot of  La Libre at http://lalibre.be,

And here is a screenshot of the January 2011 terror attack at Moscow’s Domodedova International Airport published on youtube in November 2013 followed by the full youtube video of the Moscow attack:

According to the BBC (January 24, 2011) report (which includes the video), the Moscow 2011 airport attack  resulted in 35 dead.

Screenshot of BBC Report January 2011 report

Coincidence? That Same Day, There was A Second Fake Surveillance Video at Brussels Maelbeek Metro Station 

The terror attack in the afternoon of March 22 2016 at Brussels Maelbeek Metro station was reported by mainstream media including CNN.

In these reports, video footage from a 2011 terror attack in Minsk, Belarus was used by network TV and online media to describe what was happening in the metro station at the time of the attacks.

According to the Independent:

CCTV footage that was shared after the Brussels attacks, believed to show video from inside Maelbeek Metro station, has been proven fake.

As news emerged of the third explosion in the Belgian capital, which targeted the station situated near EU offices, many began sharing what they believed to be footage of the bombing.

However it was soon discovered that the video in fact came from the Minsk Metro bombing of 2011 that killed 15 and injured over 200 people.

The Independent’s report is based on a fallacy. It was the mainstream media that published the Moscow and Minsk video footages. It was thanks to incisive social media blog reports that the use of fake videos by the mainstream media was revealed.

The more fundamental question: two cases of fake videos:

Can we trust the mainstream media reports concerning the Brussels terror attacks?

Comparisons: Brussels, 22 March 2016 versus Minsk, 11 April 2011. Same video footage

Here is a screenshot of  video footage broadcast on network TV and on the internet depicting the explosion in the Metro in Brussels, March 22, 2016

The alleged video footage of the CCTV surveillance camera, Brussel Maelbeek Metro Station (subsequently removed).  The CC surveillance camera is under control of the Metro security authorities. (screenshot above)

Now Compare the above to the screenshot of  the Minsk April 2011 attacks followed by full-length video.

 Full video of the Minsk Attack

Read Complete article on Brussels Fake Videos

Concluding Remarks

The lies and fabrications of the MSM are not the result of “sloppy journalism”.

They are deliberate and are intended to mislead the public.

The mainstream media routinely uses fake images and videos in its coverage of the war on Syria.

The campaign against alternative and independent media seeks to limit freedom of expression.The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2020

COVID and Its Man-Made Gigantic Collateral Damage: The Great Reset – A Call for Civil Disobedience

By Peter Koenig

Global Research, November 03, 2020

The going narrative in the west is: “Covid is on the Rise – we are entering the second wave – we must protect our people.”

The offered recipe is testing-testing-testing – it is the instrument for increasing “cases”. The more you test, the more cases you have. Is that so difficult to understand? If tomorrow the world stops “testing”, covid is gone. Finito. Back to life. That’s what they don’t want, though. “They”, the higher-ups. Let me call them the diabolical Deep Dark State.

However, testing and the testing results are never analyzed. How many positives are asymptomatic, who are the “positives’, what are their age groups? According to all those doctors around the world who have stepped out of the Matrix and formed associations of medical professionals and related scientists, most of them call themselves Doctors for the Truth, in Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Switzerland, Austria, Netherlands, Denmark, Peru, the USA and more – more than 80% of the “positives” are asymptomatic, meaning asymptomatic people feel nothing and never get sick.

About ten to fifteen percent have slight to more serious symptoms, but do not need hospitalization – and the rest who may be hospitalized is above 75 or 80 years of age almost all of them with one to several comorbidities. Of those who die, most die from a medical pre-condition – coronary disease, diabetes, cancer – with “tested” covid-19, but not from covid-19.

According to the various associations of Doctors for the Truth, concluded based on their experience, more than 50% of the so-called RT-PCM (Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) deliver “false positives”. Of course, the labs, hospitals and doctors who perform them are aware. But they are silenced with a carrot or a stick. And the “false positives” conveniently help drive covid statistics through the roof.

But who would have an interest in that?

***

Curiously, very curiously – in the northern hemisphere – also called the Global North- the hundreds of years-old common flu has literally disappeared. From one year to another. We have just entered the season of the common flu, or “influenza”. Fall and winter are typical for the annual flu and cold. But nobody talks about it. Suddenly the flu has evaporated. – No flu statistics. No mainstream media, no coopted doctors, hospitals or Covid Task Force, and, of course, no government officials, especially not those from the sacrosanct Health Authorities, would ever mention the word flu or “influenza”. – Why? They don’t think that We, the people could get the idea. Or do they?

The Second Wave – Peter Koenig and Prof. Michel Chossudovsky from Global Research on Vimeo.

Is it possible that the flu has been adopted, integrated into covid? This is just an innocent question, of course. One ought not to speculate with things that could put authorities in a corner, or worse, imply that they have been lying to the people who elected them, to the very people who pay their salaries.

And why would they do that? Do they have an obscure reason? Someone, something high-high above them, who tells them, all 193 UN nations at once, they have to cheat their people, because these high-high above them, sinister dark un-people have an agenda to implement? Perhaps Bill Gates’ Agenda ID2020, accompanied by WEF’s Klaus Schwab’s “Covid-19 – The Great Reset” (July 2020, available on Amazon and everywhere)?

It is indeed, possible, that governments around the globe have been coopted, by carrot or by stick (to put it benignly), to drive up covid statistics, covid “cases”; and what’s more convenient in the fall-winter season than converting the common flu which in any case, when tested, will show corona viruses. The flu and covid viruses are very-very similar; they are practically undistinguishable in a test.

Ask the doctors who stepped out of the Matrix, the doctors for the truth, virtually all flu viruses contain a proportion of corona viruses, as high as 17% to 20%. So, telling what is what is almost impossible, and even less so, if the mix-up can be favorable for covid – and help drive the covid statistics up and up and up.

But who would be interested in making the pandemic look worse than it already is? Isn’t it, that everybody wants to “flatten the curve”? At least that’s what they said during the first wave. It justified the first lockdown. Why would it be different in the second wave? And yes, we are suddenly in the midst of the second wave. But nobody dares talking again about flattening the curve.

Virtually all governments have assured their people – frankly, we are more subjects, than people for them, subjects that are manipulated with lies and masks and social distancing, separated from their loved ones through senseless quarantines – these potentially resisting subjects, WE, were assured that there will be no second lockdown, that the countries, the world, could not afford a second lockdown. However, gradually but with giant steps, these dictatorial governments, almost all of whom have quietly and without consultation of the people, adopted “Health Emergency Laws” – a close equivalent to Martial Law – have closed all the windows and doors, so that “bang” another lockdown is on the plate. And again, nowhere to escape.

Open Letter to the COVID-Corrupted Media. Non-stop Reporting, Alarming and Fearmongering

Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Portugal, Greece, the UK, and so far, partly Switzerland – have just declared within the last 48 hours a lockdown, or a quasi-lockdown, with curfews and “house arrests” – isolation at home, shop closings, work-from-home rules, and more.  Worse may follow. People take it. Benign protests only. But no steadfast and unrelenting resistance yet.

(French second full lockdown protest, initially until end November 2020 – AP Photo, Daniel Cole). Others governments are weighing in, rather “when” than “if” – they want to take this draconian step, eviscerating the last shred of the remaining economy, and causing detrimental damage to humanity, social damage, from isolation, social distancing – not being able getting together with family and friends. In some countries like Canada, the tyrannical Trudeau government has already announced that this year “Christmas may be cancelled” – meaning, no visits with families and friends. Others may follow suit. Can you imagine!

In a recent interview with RT, Stanford University Professor, medical doctor and President Trump’s Covid advisor, Scott Atlas, called the lockdown policies an “epic failure” and argued they are “killing people,”. Atlas added, “The public-health leadership have failed egregiously, and they’re killing people with their fear-inducing shutdown policies.” And further, “The lockdowns will go down as an epic failure of public policy by people who refuse to accept, they were wrong.”

Atlas then pointed to job losses, rising suicides, rising drug abuse and the harm being done to young people, tying the issues to the Covid-19 restrictions put in place. He referred to a study showing that 25 percent of Americans aged 18 to 24 thought about killing themselves in June “due to the lockdown,” he said. And what’s maybe worse, We’re creating a generation of neurotic children, forcing them to wear masks and be six feet apart from their friends, or not even have school in person.”

People do not take it! Resist!

France, under President Macron, is already considering a third wave. RT reports, “France’s minister of solidarity and health, Olivier Veran, has said he cannot rule out a third wave of the coronavirus, as the country enters a second national lockdown.

As they battle a new spike in Covid-19 cases, French officials are already concerned about the threat of a third wave. Discussing the situation on France Info radio, Veran told listeners that, due to the severity of the virus and the speed at which it’s spreading, it’s not possible to rule out a third wave, even if the second peak is brought under control.

Defending the government’s decision to implement a second national lockdown, which comes into effect at midnight on Thursday (29 October), Veran claimed that it’s “nobody’s failure,” but said there are challenges with containing the spread, as they are dealing with an “invisible enemy.”

A second wave, worldwide, was already predicted in May 2020 – because those who call the shots on the “innocent” people knew exactly that the flu season will come, as it does every year.

Now, the flu is blended in with covid, mixed up and adding to the dramatic hike of covid “cases”, covid statistics. This and the media hype will create more FEAR, more – or rather – THE justification for a second lockdown – and obedience, yes, the scared are weak and vulnerable, they are manipulable – especially when threatened at the same time with disproportionately huge fines for disobedience. FEAR is the strongest weapon of these tyrants.

The FEAR factor, makes new parents accept that hospitals impose upon them to wear masks when receiving their newborn. Faceless parents, fearsome world. Their newborn and later toddlers and children will know their parents with masks. Facial expressions are hidden.

The child is being isolated in plain sight from their parents.

That’s what this monstrous dictatorship, to which every government of this world is submissive, wants. Alienated children – a generation that grows up in a faceless society.

This is a sinister form of child abuse that may destroy an entire generation.

But that’s what the eugenists behind this covid cum 5G atrocity want – heartless, emotionless people, who may easily become dispensable. The dispensable people – is not a new term. It has been used regularly in the circles of the current US Administration – to designate people who are in their views worthless for society.

This reminds of an infamous Henry Kissinger saying,

Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world. These words were spoken already in the 1960s, by a eugenist. That’s what Kissinger is, a Rockefeller protégé, sharing his Master’s deepest thoughts, and he is joined, by whom else, Bill Gates, who doesn’t make a secret of wanting to reduce “drastically” the world population. It would therefore not come as a surprise, if the Great Reset also had in mind reducing food supply to certain “lesser populations”.

Even without disrupting food supplies, the poor will have no money to purchase food.

They will enter a painful phase of famine, parents seeing their children starve – and many will succumb to famine, death by famine.

This is the natural consequence of what’s already happening – bankruptcies abound, unemployment rises into unheard dimensions. The International Labor Office (ILO) predicts by end 2020 to mid-2021 that up to half of the world’s workforce may be out of work – most of them in the Global South, where about 70% of labor is “informal”, meaning no social safety nets, no pensions, no unemployment benefits, nothing.

Simultaneously, The World Food Program (WFP) predicts a Famine Pandemic – the consequences of which are far more disastrous than those of the so-called “covid-pandemic”. The WFP reports that today already 821 million people go to bed hungry every night, and an additional 135 million people facing crisis levels of hunger or worse. That means 135 million people on earth are marching towards the brink of starvation.

WFP predicts that Covid-19 will likely add another 130 million, who could be facing starvation by the end of 2020. That’s a total of 265 million people on the brink of death from starvation by the end of 2020. (See this)

The world’s governments – and all 193 UN members participate in one way or another – they are genocidal, since they know exactly what they are doing.

Enter the Great Reset, referred to above. It presents a disaster plan of total destruction – the 4th Industrial Revolution, based on IT, algorithms, robotism, transferring assets from the bottom to the top, what’s left of them, converting them in an “eco-friendly” way into a new capitalism, painted green, The New Green Deal. Will people fall for it? Propaganda is strong. Propaganda had already started with the 1992 Environmental Conference in Rio (The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), from 3-14 June 1992. This conference set the pace for the climate hype that ensued and to which by now almost the entire world is enslaved, leading to “How Dare You” Greta – and now the New Green Deal.

In this 4th Industrial age, where robots call the shots, we the surviving people, other than the commanding elite, of course, would become tele-commanded obedient servants, a bit like Aldous Huxley’s futuristic “Brave New World”.

We can resist. Peacefully of course. For example, no more testing. Nobody goes “testing” – and within no time the covid figures would decline. Covid would actually stop. And the common flu, as it does every year, would bother us a bit. But no reason for fear, because there ae plenty of remedies – but NO Vaccines.

We have to peacefully engage in dialogue with the police and military, explain to them what’s at stake – they must understand that they are only the obedient servants of an abject rich elite’s agenda that has nothing to do with protecting public health, that, to the contrary, they are destroying public health and humanity. Police and military are just like us, We, the People. Once this dark sinister elite reached their goal of total control and take-over, police and military will be discarded and replaced by robots. That’s already in the books.

We have to talk to medical personnel in hospitals, clinics and medical practitioners, as well as to teachers from Kindergarten to primary school, all the way to universities – explain to them “sinister plan”- and what it has already done to humanity, to the world’s socioeconomic fabric.

And finally, we have to engage with the numerous country-associations of thousands of medical doctors, virologists, immunologists and other scientists in the bio-medical field, who have stepped out of the matrix and sided with the people, often at the detriment of their careers – and worse.

No more testing – and covid will be gone. And no vaccines.

Only in unison we are strong and can overcome. And overcome we shall.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for online journals such as Global Research; ICH; New Eastern Outlook (NEO) and more. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Peter Koenig, Global Research, 2020

الفائز بِكُرة من لهب

أميركا 2020: الإمبراطورية كما لم تُرَ من قبل!

الأخبار

 وليد شرارة 

الثلاثاء 3 تشرين الثاني 2020

الفائز بِكُرة من لهب

المرشّح الفائز في الانتخابات الرئاسية الأميركية، أكان جو بايدن أم دونالد ترامب، سيواجه تحدّيات وصعوبات داخلية وخارجية، نُدِر أن واجه مثلها رئيس أميركي منذ نهاية الحرب العالمية الثانية. فالذي سيتربّع على مقعد رئاسة الإمبراطورية الأميركية المنحدرة سيجد نفسه أمام شرخ داخلي لا سابق له بين «أميركتين» يخشى الكثيرون أن يفضي إلى نزاعات أهلية دامية ومديدة، وأمام مشهد دولي تتسارع فيه ديناميات صعود المنافسين، مع ما تحمله من تهديدات بالانزلاق الى صدامات مباشرة معهم يصعب التنبّؤ بنتائجها، بالتوازي مع مسار تفكّك التحالفات الموروثة من حقبات سابقة، وتصاعد الصراعات بين أفرقاء إقليميين ودوليين تتراجع قدرة الولايات المتحدة على التحكّم فيها. الفوز في الانتخابات الرئاسية، في مثل هذا السياق العام، قد لا يكون أكثر من «هدية مسمومة»، تمثّل مقدمة لسلسلة من الانتكاسات والإخفاقات سيتحمّل مسؤوليتها رئيسٌ سيجد نفسه مضطراً إلى الأخذ بخيارات أحلاها شديد المرارة.


نُذُر النزاعات الداخلية
معدّلات المشاركة المرتفعة والمفاجئة في الانتخابات الرئاسية مفاجأة غير سارّة بالنسبة إلى دونالد ترامب. سبق لهذا الأخير أن حذر، خلال مهرجان انتخابي يوم السبت الماضي، من وقوع «أحداث شديدة السوء» في حال إعلان هوية الفائز يوم 3 تشرين الثاني، متوقعاً أن تَعمّ الفوضى بلاده. لَمّح ترامب، في أكثر من مناسبة في الأسابيع الماضية، إلى احتمال وقوع عمليات تزوير بسبب التصويت عن بعد، وهو احتمالٌ نفاه مدير «أف.بي.آي» المُعيّن من قِبَله، كريس وراي. هو يعلم أن نقطة ضعفه الأبرز، التي استغلّها منافسه الديمقراطي بقوة، هي إدارته الكارثية لجائحة كورونا وتداعياتها المُروّعة إنسانياً واقتصادياً واجتماعياً في الولايات المتحدة، والتي أدت إلى تعبئة قطاع وازن من الرأي العام ضدّه. «مجموعة الأزمات الدولية»، التي تُعنى عادة بتحليل خلفيات النزاعات في البلدان «النامية» واقتراح آليات لحلّها سلمياً، أصدرت، في خطوة وُصفت بـ»الاستثنائية» من قِبَل رئيسها روبرت مالي، تقريراً يشير إلى احتمال وقوع «اضطرابات وأعمال عنف واسعة» في الولايات المتحدة على خلفية الانتخابات والتشكيك في نتائجها من قِبَل كتل وازنة من الأميركيين. التقرير، الذي نشرت «الأخبار» يوم الإثنين أهمّ ما ورد فيه، يُركّز على أن رفض ترامب لنتائج الانتخابات واحتمال إقدامه على الطعن في نتائجها أمام القضاء، إضافة إلى عوامل أخرى: «غرق الولايات المتحدة بالأسلحة وسجلها السوداوي السابق في الحروب الأهلية، والقتل العشوائي، إضافة إلى الصراع الطبقي الحادّ والعبودية وغيرها، وتنامي الحركات المنادية بتفوّق العرق الأبيض في عهد ترامب، وتزايد الظلم العنصري ضدّ السود ووحشية الشرطة، جميعها أسباب تُرجّح إمكانية حدوث أعمال عنف».

ستدخل الولايات المتحدة في فترة طويلة من غياب الاستقرار السياسي


وحتى إذا نجح الفريق المنتصر في الانتخابات في تجاوز مرحلة من الصراع الداخلي المحموم، فإنه سيجابَه خلال سنوات حكمه بمعارضة داخلية عنيدة من قِبَل قطاع وازن من المجتمع والنخبة السياسية الأميركيَّين. يصحّ هذا الكلام على ترامب وبايدن على حدّ سواء. المنتصر بينهما سيُتّهم بعدم تمثيل الإرادة الشعبية «الحقيقية»، وبـ»التضحية» بالمصالح الوطنية على مذبح مصالحه الخاصة ومصالح القوى السياسية والاجتماعية الداعمة له. ستترتّب على هذا الاستقطاب الداخلي العميق مساعٍ من الفريق المعارض لإفشال السياسات التي يعتمدها ذلك المنتصر بغية إضعافه وإلحاق الهزيمة به في المستقبل. بكلام آخر، ستدخل الولايات المتحدة في فترة طويلة من غياب الاستقرار السياسي، «الضروري لحسن سير النظام الديمقراطي» بحسب تعبير مُنظّريه، وتزايد للتناقضات الداخلية ستكون له انعكاسات سلبية على موقعها الدولي.

خطر الانزلاق إلى حرب مع الصين
العداء المستشري والمتزايد للصين في النخبة السياسية الأميركية، بجناحَيها الديمقراطي والجمهوري، وارتفاع مستوى التوتر معها في جوارها المباشر، في بحر الصين وحول تايوان، والإصرار على تشديد الضغوط والعقوبات التجارية والاقتصادية عليها بحجة انتهاكها لحقوق الإنسان في هونغ كونغ والسين كيانغ، جميعها عوامل تجعل من إمكانية الانزلاق نحو صدام مفتوح معها فرضية واقعية. قبل تناول المعطيات التي قد تدفع في هذا الاتجاه، لا بدّ من إدراك أبرز سمة في الوضع الدولي الراهن، وهي الانتقال من هيمنة أحادية إلى انتشار وتوزّع القوة على الصعيد الدولي، مع صعود دور أطراف جدد، وفي مقدّمتهم الصين، وتحوّلها إلى منافس من المستوى نفسه، ورفض القطب المهيمن سابقاً، وهذا هو الأهمّ، التسليم بالانتقال المذكور. مثل هذا السياق هو الذي يؤسِّس تقليدياً للنزاعات والحروب.
يرى كريستوفير لاين، أستاذ العلاقات الدولية في جامعة تكساس، في مقال لافت في العدد الأخير من «فورين أفيرز» بعنوان «العواصف القادمة»، أن فرضية استحالة الصدام المباشر بين القوى العظمى، والتي سادت بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية، أساساً بسبب خطر الإفناء المتبادل الناتج عن امتلاك كلّ منها للسلاح النووي، باتت غير مطابقة للوقائع الراهنة، وأوّلها التطور الهائل الذي تمّ في مجال الأسلحة النووية التكتيكية، والذي يتيح المجال لاستخدامها بشكل محدود، ومن دون الذهاب إلى درجة الإفناء المتبادل. الحُجّة الثانية التي تورَد أيضاً من أنصار استحالة الصدام المباشر هي تداخل المصالح الاقتصادية بين الأطراف الدوليين، وفي حالتنا هذه بين الولايات المتحدة والصين. يؤكد لاين ما سبق أن أشار اليه العديد من الباحثين، من أن مسار فسخ للشراكة بين البلدين قد بدأ في السنوات الماضية، وأن تفكيك شبكة المصالح الضخمة المشتركة يتسارع في الآونة الأخيرة، وبقرار من قيادتَيهما. علاوة على ذلك، فإن وجود مصالح مشتركة وروابط اقتصادية وثقافية عميقة لم يمنع الحرب بين بريطانيا وألمانيا في 1914، على رغم غياب أيّ أسباب مباشرة لها، كالنزاع الحدودي أو التنافس للسيطرة على بلد ما، بينهما. يردّ الأكاديمي الأميركي الدافع الرئيس للحرب إلى تعاظم القدرات العسكرية، خاصة البحرية، لألمانيا، وكذلك الاقتصادية والصناعية، وما مَثّله من تحدٍّ لقوة مهيمنة كبريطانيا، بدأت تشعر في تلك الحقبة بتراجع قدراتها. وهو يعتبر أن «هذه المسارات الانتقالية من النادر أن تتمّ بشكل سلمي. القوة المسيطرة عادة ما تكون متغطرسة، وتعطي دروساً لبقية دول العالم حول كيفية إدارة شؤونها، وتتجاهل مخاوفها وتطلّعاتها. مثل هذه القوة، بريطانيا في الماضي، أميركا اليوم، تقاوم بعناد انحدارها، والقوة الصاعدة متلهّفة للحصول على ما تعتبره حصتها العادلة من المغانم، أكانت في ميادين التجارة أم الموارد أم مناطق النفوذ». الرئيس الأميركي المقبل سيكون أمام تحدّي إدارة الصراع مع الصين، مع ضبط سقفه للحؤول دون الانزلاق نحو الحرب معها.

مسار تفكّك التحالفات
يُلام ترامب باعتباره مسؤولاً عن إضعاف تحالف الولايات المتحدة مع بقية الديمقراطيات الغربية بسبب تعريفه الضيّق للمصالح الأميركية ورؤيته «المركنتيلية». في الحقيقة، فإن الخلافات الاقتصادية والتجارية بين واشنطن وشركائها الأوروبيين، والتباينات المتزايدة في المصالح، ظهرت بوضوح للعيان منذ رئاسة أوباما، وتفاقمت بطبيعة الحال مع ترامب. في حال بقاء الأخير في السلطة، فإنها مرشّحة للمزيد من التفاقم، مع ما يستتبع ذلك من تداعيات على التحالف. في حال انتصار بايدن، وعلى رغم إعلانه نيّته «ترميم» العلاقات مع هؤلاء الشركاء، فإن طموحه إلى اتباع «سياسة خارجية لصالح الطبقة الوسطى» يعني التشدّد في مفاوضاته التجارية والاقتصادية معهم، والسعي إلى منع نموّ علاقاتهم مع منافسيه الدوليين كروسيا والصين. وتأتي النزاعات بين الدول الأعضاء في «الناتو»، كتلك الدائرة في ليبيا أو شرق المتوسط، لتُضاعف من صعوبة الحفاظ على تماسك الحلف في ظلّ التناقضات المتنامية في مصالح بعض أعضائه.
حقيقة الشرخ الداخلي في الولايات المتحدة، ومخاطر التدحرج نحو نزاع مدمّر مع الصين والاتجاه إلى تزايد الصراعات والنزاعات بين العديد من اللاعبين الدوليين، وحتى غير الدوليين، في أنحاء مختلفة من العالم، ستجعل من الفائز في الانتخابات الأميركية كَمَن فاز بِكُرة من لهب.

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من ملف : أميركا 2020: الإمبراطورية كما لم تُرَ من قبل!

New COVID-19 Security Measures Will Make Health a Prerequisite for Travel

By Raul Diego

As the multi-sector, global response to the coronavirus tightens the noose around civil liberties, CommonPass stands out as one of the most appalling and dangerous attacks on basic human rights in the name of public health.

Source

Imagine standing at a TSA security checkpoint on your way home for the holidays. You’re getting ready to go through the awkward travel procedures instituted almost immediately after 9/11 when the Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) was created and air travel in the United States morphed into a search and seizure operation with the implied possibility of your detention and interrogation.

The initial outrage such expressions of implicit state violence caused early on eventually gave way to begrudging acceptance. But now, a new layer of “security,” that could restrict freedom of movement even further, is being rolled out at several ports of entry in partnership with health technology industry leaders, academic institutions, and government health entities in more than three dozen countries.

A new digital certificate called CommonPass, designed to serve as a clearance mechanism for passengers based on a health diagnosis underwent its first transatlantic test on October 21 under the watchful eye of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at Heathrow Airport in London. There, a group of select participants embarked on United flight 15 to Newark, New Jersey after being screened and tested for COVID-19 at the point of departure in a largely ceremonial exercise that included initiative co-founders, Paul Meyer and Bradley Perkins.

The app’s first trial run took place with much less media fanfare last month on a Cathay Pacific Airways flight from Hong Kong to Singapore and marked the beginning of the CommonPass pilot project launched by The Commons Project non-profit organization in-tandem with the World Economic Forum.

Travel industry insiders claim that CommonPass will allow international travel to resume before a COVID-19 vaccine is made widely available by applying standard methods for certification of lab results and vaccination records of travelers through the CommonPass Framework, based on criteria set by the governments of each port of entry.

A graphic from a Commons Project presser lays out the basics of the CommonPass

J.D. O’Hara, CEO of one of the world’s largest travel services companies and one of the participants at Wednesday’s CommonPass trial run, hailed the app’s ability to “verify health

information in a secure, verified manner,” while Roger Dow of the U.S. Travel Association released a statement praising it for paving a “way forward” for the global economy in the wake of the pandemic.

As the multi-sector, global response to the coronavirus tightens the noose around civil liberties, CommonPass stands out as one of the most appalling and dangerous attacks on basic human rights in the name of public health and is rife with a potential for abuse so great, that it behooves us to find out more about the people and interests behind it.

Feudal revivalists

In medieval times, the ‘commons’ denoted the de facto and collective ownership of land, which peasants used to plow, sow and harvest or raise sheep and cattle. The rise of the land-owning classes in post-Magna Carta Europe, and England in particular, slowly eviscerated this form of communal privilege through the enclosure system, which redistributed the commons to the proto-capitalist class in partnership with the monarchies and create the system of oppressive labor exploitation known as feudalism.

Starting in 1604, the Enclosure Acts of England created legal property rights for land that had belonged to the farmers and shepherds, forming the basis of modern-day capitalism. Today, that scene is being repeated as the Internet, an information ‘commons’ is being carved out by Big Tech and led by organizations like The Commons Project, which avails itself of a name that connotes the total opposite of its purpose.

Co-founders Paul Meyer and Bradley Perkins are the non-profit’s CEO and Chief Medical Officer, respectively. Perkins began his career over thirty years ago at the Center for Disease Control and, for nearly a decade, worked at the RAND corporation’s health care policy division, RAND Health Advisory Board. Meyer, for his part, is a Yale law school graduate, who was writing President Clinton’s speeches years before receiving his graduation diploma from the storied institution. Both have extensive career histories in the fields of health and technology, though in very different areas and with strange bedfellows along the way.

In 2009, Perkins became the Chief Technology Officer for a publicly-traded cross-national operator of hospitals and clinics called Vanguard Health Systems. Vanguard had been established with funding from Morgan Stanley and controlled by the Blackstone Group since 2004, maintaining control all though the company’s IPO in 2011. Two years later, Vanguard was acquired by Tenet Healthcare, creating the third-largest investor-owned hospital company in the United States with a total of 65 hospitals nationwide and over 500 healthcare facilities.

Paul Meyer, center, is pictured in a screenshot of a media briefing touting CommonPass

Besides being one of the biggest healthcare companies in the United States, Tenet is also one of the most notoriously corrupt. The same year it bought Vanguard, it was slapped with a major whistleblower complaint that disclosed the company’s fraudulent practices. That lawsuit resulted in a $514 million settlement. A more recent case involving a conspiracy between Oklahoma orthopedic surgeons at one of its facilities was settled for $66 million in 2019. But, Tenet’s problems go back even further to the early 2000s when fraud and performing unneeded surgeries led to a multitude of lawsuits and even a Senate investigation.

The Vanguard deal marked the end of Perkins’ tenure there, who chose to take a $1.9 million package instead of joining the newly merged conglomerate like its CEO and much of its staff did. He would move on to create a company of his own called Sapiens Data Science; a health tech platform that provides access to “credible scientifically validated data algorithms” and looks to create a “new revolutionary health ecosystem.”

Meyer’s background is more complicated, and his arrival on the healthcare scene runs through different channels linked to American intelligence cover operations dating back to NATO’s war in Kosovo and the former Yugoslavia during the early Clinton years. It is his involvement with an infamous human-trafficking outfit known as the International Rescue Committee or IRC, that should be cause for concern given his role in The Commons Project and flagship CommonPass app.

The Meyer of Kosovo

Before he was named Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum or Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute, and even before becoming a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and receiving MIT’s 2003 Humanitarian of the Year award, Paul Meyer found himself in war-torn Kosovo installing a new Internet infrastructure system to replace the one destroyed in the war, only days after NATO bombs had stopped shelling the Serbian people.

Barely out of law school and having spent two years writing President Clinton’s speeches as the conflict in the former Yugoslavia was transpiring, Meyer was tapped by the IRC to lead a UN and private relief effort called the Internet Projekti Kosova (IPKO) or Kosovo Internet Project, with tech-savvy local Akan Ismaili to handle the complex technical issues and Teresa Crawford from the Advocacy Project to “uplink” satellites in the region with the stated purpose of reuniting displaced Albanian families. The system was set up atop a building used by the British KFOR Civil-Military Cooperation CIMIC and British Royal Engineers were also brought onto the project, among others.

Eventually, the IRC gave the project to a non-profit organization “dedicated to providing wide access to the Internet in Kosovo.” IPKO is today the largest telecom, internet, and cable TV company in Kosovo. Meyer remains involved through the IPKO Foundation, which he co-founded to provide “free technology education” to Kosovar students.

By the 1950s, the IRC was known to be an “integral link” in the CIA’s covert network led by Tony Blair protégé and former British Foreign Minister, David Miliband since 2013. In 2018, the IRC was embroiled in a child-sex trafficking scandal dubbed the “sex-for-food scandal” covered extensively by Whitney Webb in a recent article. The organization’s cover-up of dozens of sex abuse, bribery and fraud allegations resulted in the U.K. government withdrawing its funding from the organizations. However, no IRC employees were prosecuted over the 37 incidents detailed in the report.

Currently, the IRC is very involved in the implementation of a biometric ID system for refugees of the ongoing conflict in Myanmar, a project funded by the Rockefeller Foundation-backed ID2020 Alliance, which also funds The Commons Project. IRC’s Mae La initiative, however, receives most of its funding through the notorious CIA-cutout USAID and intends to create a “blockchain-based digital identification” system using iris recognition technology to give refugees access to IRC’s services in Thailand. Long term goals include rolling health, work and financial data together into a single ID system, that will determine access to food, healthcare and mobility.

We want your DNA

The difference between IRC’s Mae La project and The Commons Project is a question of class. Class status, to be specific. But, it is essentially the same idea and covers the same interests of the groups and individuals who form part of the Commons Project’s board of trustees; many of whom have been part of the digital tracking and healthcare technology space for years.

People like Linda Dillman, who ran Wal-Mart’s implementation of RFID employee tracking technology as the retail giant’s CIO or the former Chief Technology Officer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Bryan Sivak, who is now a Managing Director at Managing Director at Kaiser Permanente, one of the largest healthcare insurance plan providers in the nation. Other trustee affiliations stand out, as well, such as Will Fitzpatrick, General Counsel to the Omidyar Network and George W. Bush’s Assistant Secretary of Defense, Health Affairs, Dr. William Winkenwerder, Jr.

At the core of these efforts is the desire to create a DNA-based population screening agenda, which people like Perkins and Meyer are forcefully pushing forward. Perkins worked as the CMO at a company called Human Longevity, Inc., which “combines state-of-the-art DNA sequencing and expert analysis with machine learning, to help change medicine to a more data-driven science.”

Microbiologist Heather Carleton pulls up results of Listeria bacteria DNA while demonstrating a whole-genome sequencing machine called a MiSeq in a foodborne disease outbreak lab at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Monday, Nov. 25, 2013, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Meyer developed a precursor to CommonPass in 2016, when he merged his mobile health services company, Voxiva, which implemented the “first nationwide digital disease surveillance systems in Peru and Rwanda” in partnership with the CDC, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with Sense Health to form a health messaging service called Wellpass Meyer described as “an integrated platform… [that] helps overcome the challenges of deploying fragmented engagement and population health solutions.”

Dubious technology

The reliability of the DNA-based, algorithmically-deduced health diagnoses used for the CommonPass trial run must also be called into question given the history of the company furnishing the technology. Prenetics, Ltd is the Hong Kong-based, Alibaba-funded company that also performed the COVID-19 testing for the UK’s Premier League’s Project Restart, which used a similar health status app calledCovi-Pass, covered by this author in June.

Prenetics’ COVID tests rely on DNA-based technology it acquired in 2018, when it purchased DNAFit; a company founded by South African businessman Avrom “Avi” Lasarow, who came on board after the merger as Prenetics’ Chief Executive Officer for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Lasarow, who also heads the Premier League’s coronavirus testing program, just settled a civil case against him in the U.S. last May for nearly $60,000 surrounding allegations of “deceptive health claims”.

Lifestyle genetics pioneer” Lasarow has a long track record of settling out of court over such issues, including a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in 2015, which accused Lasarow Healthcare Technologies Ltd., aka L Health Ltd., and two other defendants of making false or unsubstantiated claims regarding a “melanoma detection” app. As part of that settlement, Lasarow was “prohibited from making any misleading or unsubstantiated claims about the health benefits or efficacy of any product or service.”

Prenetics has been reportedly working on establishing a partnership with VSTE Enterprises, the same company that developed the V-Code technology that underpins Covi-Pass, since May. Nevertheless, such red flags pale in comparison to the individuals and organizations that are behind CommonPass, itself, who have plans for a much vaster digital enclosure based on DNA population screening technologies through initiatives like the The Commons Project, which aims to fundamentally transform medicine and impose new limits on our freedom of movement as the CommonPass rollout is slated to quickly expand to other routes across Asia, Africa, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East.

A common thread

Just as Bush’s Aviation and Transportation Security Act opened the doors for certain technology and security sectors to flourish in the wake of 9/11, this novel health-focused expansion of the national security state has bypassed all levers of democratic power to allow for the entrenchment of a far larger and more dangerous group of entities, within the health, technology and life sciences industries together with an increasingly more powerful clique of federal health agencies and officials, like Robert Kadlec, who are pushing for a full spectrum surveillance society.

Taking your shoes off at the airport and exposing your body to radiation has become routine now at every airport in the nation and most ‘temporary’ laws passed through emergency legislation remain on the books nearly two decades later. Precedent demands that we assume the same will occur with the majority of the new restrictions on our freedom of movement and quality of life currently being implemented throughout the country and the world.

Rolling back these draconian measures is not in any of their plans, as promised by the president of the U.S. Travel Association, Roger Dow, who confidently asserted after Wednesday’s successful CommonPass trail run, that the app will let us “navigate out of the crippling economic fallout of COVID-related travel restrictions and quarantine requirements,” adding that it will “pay further dividends for more seamless and convenient travel even once the pandemic has subsided.”

American Militarism Marches On: No Discussion or Media Coverage of Washington’s War Against the World

Philip Giraldi October 22, 2020

Nearly everyone has heard the comment attributed for former Clinton consigliere Rahm Emanuel that one should never let a good crisis go to waste. The implication of the comment is that if there is a major crisis going on the cover it provides permits one to do all sorts of things under the radar that would otherwise be unacceptable. That aphorism is particularly true in the current context as there are multiple crises taking place simultaneously, all of which are being exploited to various degrees by interested parties.

One of the more interesting stories carefully hidden by the smoke being generate by civil unrest, plague and personal scandals is the continued march of American militarism. The story is particularly compelling as neither main party candidate is bothering to talk about it and there is no discussion of foreign policy even planned for the final presidential debate. Last week eccentric multi billionaire Elon Musk announced that he and the Pentagon are developing a new 7,500 m.p.h. missile capable of delivering 80 tons of military cargo nearly anywhere in the world in under an hour. It would undoubtedly be a major advanced capability catering to those military planners who envision continued U.S. intervention worldwide for the foreseeable future.

Meanwhile, agreement on a new START treaty that would limit the proliferation of some hypersonic weapon systems is stalled because the White House wants to include China in any deal. Beijing is not interested, particularly as Donald Trump is also claiming that Beijing will pay for the multi-trillion dollar stimulus packages that the United States will ultimately require to combat the coronavirus “… because this was not caused by our workers and our people, this was caused by China and China will pay us back in one form or another. We’re gonna take it from China. I tell you now, it’s coming out of China. They’re the ones that caused this problem.”

Indeed, China and Russia continue to be the boogeymen trotted out regularly to scare Americans. Last week Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s State Department issued a statement warning that “some foreign governments, such as those of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Russian Federation, seek to exert influence over U.S. foreign policy through lobbyists, external experts, and think tanks.” Why the statement was issued at this time, so close to elections is unclear, though it is possibly an attempt to line up possible scapegoats if the electoral process does not produce results acceptable to whomever loses. In fact, Russia and China hardly find a place on the list of those who fund lobbyists and think tanks.

Also of interest is another story about how Washington has chosen to interact with the world, one involving both enemy du jour Iran and Venezuela. Readers will undoubtedly recall how the United States seized in international waters four Greek owned but Liberian flagged tankers loaded with gasoline that were bound for Venezuela. The tankers were transporting more than a million gallons of fuel to economic basket case Venezuela, a country which is in its sad condition due to sanctions and other “maximum pressure” imposed by Washington, which has also sanctioned Venezuela’s own oil industry. The fuel was seized based on unilaterally imposed U.S. sanctions on Iranian sale or export of its own petroleum products, a move intended to strangle the Iranian economy and bring about an uprising of the Iranian people. As the sanctions imposed by Washington are not supported by the United Nations or by any other legal authority, the seizure is little more than exercise of a bit of force majeure that used to be called piracy.

Even though foreign and national security policy has not really been discussed in either the Biden or Trump campaign, there is general agreement in both parties that Venezuela is a rogue regime that must be replaced while Iran is an actual, tangible threat due to its alleged misbehavior in the Middle East. It has been dubbed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo the “number one state sponsor of terrorism in the world.” Saner voices have observed that neither Venezuela nor Iran threaten the United States in any way and that the U.S. and Israel continue to kill many more civilians than Iran ever has, but they have been drowned out by the media talking heads who constantly spout the established narrative.

Well, the alleged Iranian fuel has arrived in New Jersey and a legal battle for custody of it has begun.  The fuel had been removed from the Greek tankers and transferred to other tankers for removal to the United States but the complication is that the Trump administration must now prove its case for forfeiture before the oil can be sold. The U.S. justification for seizing the cargoes is the claim that the fuel was an asset of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which the Treasury, Justice and State Departments have conveniently designated a foreign terrorist organization. But that contention is disputed by the cargoes’ owners, who claim to have nothing to do with the IRGC. They include other energy exporters and shippers in the Middle East, namely Mobin International Limited, Oman Fuel Trading Ltd and Sohar Fuel Trading LLC FZ. They have filed a motion for dismissal and are seeking return of the fuel plus additional compensation for the losses they have suffered. One has to hope they win as it is the United States that is in the wrong in this case.

The entire saga of the tankers and the fuel is symptomatic of the undeclared economic warfare that the United States now prefers to use when dealing with adversaries. And there is considerable evidence to suggest that Washington is trying to goad Iran into responding with force, providing the U.S. government with a plausible rationale for responding in kind. President Trump has directly threatened Iran in an October 9th public statement in which he promised the Iranians that “If you fuck around with us, if you do something bad to us, we are gonna do things to you that have never been done before.”

So, Washington’s aggression directed against much of the world continues with a national election less than two weeks away but no one is talking about it. That would seem odd in and of itself, but the sad part is that it is deliberate collusion on the part of government and media to make sure the voting public remains unaware the extent to which the United States has in reality become a pariah, a full-time bully in its foreign relations.

Behind the Masquerade

By David Macilwain

Source

Masquerade f5c01

Since the beginning of this year – of infernal subterfuge and chaotic transformation of civilised society – one of the few ways to assess the truth of what is happening, what is being done and by whom, is in a resort to “science”. While science in its broader sense merely means “knowledge”, I’m restricting my assessment to strictly scientific matters where there is only one truth.

I have long believed in such a scientific principle, that despite varying and opposing views on a certain matter, there can only be one single objective truth; black cannot be white, even though it may be subjectively perceived as it. We do not live in a “post-truth world”- at least where physical, chemical and biological sciences are concerned.

While all “scientists” should subscribe to this principle, and must do so if scientific truth is to have any meaning at all, it is self-evident that a range of interpretations can be applied to a single issue. Statistics is notorious for such variations, despite its ability to draw definitive conclusions from a mass of data. The conclusion that something is “beyond reasonable doubt” is hard to argue with, though some unreasonable people will always maintain that the 0.1% of doubt remaining cannot be dismissed. Media somehow also have a habit of focusing excessively on these exceptions that prove the rule, magnifying them out of all proportion in the minds of their audiences.

One could cite many cases of this phenomenon in the general presentation of the Coronavirus epidemic, but one stands out – the claim that catching the virus does not make you immune to catching it again. For months this claim was based on the reporting of one person who had allegedly caught it twice, but just recently I heard it said that there were five cases of apparent re-infection recorded. Out of 35 million cases around the world, that equates to a chance of one in seven million of suffering re-infection.

This may seem like an idiotic abstraction, but its seriousness is in the way it has worked to twist the whole narrative about the development of natural immunity following infection with Sars-CoV-2. In any discussion about immunity to the virus, doubts are raised about whether such immunity is actually created by infection, based entirely on these alleged cases of re-infection. Scientifically there is little reason to suppose that this virus would not produce an immune response, and that consequently a vaccine would not work. The clinical effects of the immune over-reaction or cytokine storm are all too well documented.

The issue is not straightforward however, even if an incredible amount is known about the mechanisms of immunity and the genetics and properties of the virus. Similarly it may be difficult to prove the case on infection-fatality rates when comparing the novel Coronavirus with other respiratory illnesses, and when assessing the seriousness of the current “second wave” in Europe, which is quite evidently far less lethal than the initial epidemic. 

So while the political manipulation of statistics on infections and deaths leads the way in spreading fear and false narratives about the danger of the SARS-2 virus, prosecuting a clear scientific case on the true situation facing us is not straightforward. Better to do so on an issue where the science is straightforward and clear-cut, and where governments’ dishonesty and misrepresentation of that science can be exposed as a pointer to its overall credibility and possible hidden agendas. And it is the issue of masking that defines this scientific credibility gap as clearly as any.

Simply put, the pure science on masks is clear cut, putting them on the front line in the Coronavirus disinformation war. That the cartoon heading this article was pulled from the relatively liberal Melbourne Age illustrates how this issue has created new fault lines that cut across the normal political divide. This is also evident in the way that masking is now being put at the forefront of “messaging” about controlling the virus in countries around the world, and none more so than here in Victoria, Australia.

As noted before, Australia has functioned as something of a test case for the Coronavirus epidemic, taking measures to control and prevent its spread way beyond the apparent necessity. Those measures bore fruit in the recent budget, which forecast a breathtaking $1.2 Trillion of debt and a deficit of several hundred billions. It is an indication of the extraordinary times we live in that the announcement of this economic apocalypse barely caused a ripple on share markets, nor induced the expected apoplexy amongst economists.

The Coronavirus epidemic is pretty well over here, as Melbourne’s “second wave” that led the world slowly peters out. It seems especially perverse that just at this point we should be told (in Victoria) we must wear masks, and no longer – from this week – just any old mask, scarf or bandanna. Those who won’t or can’t will be fined, or will be victims of vigilante actions from indignant members of the public, who believe that their three months of penitence will be squandered by the “selfish and stupid” actions of the “law breakers”. We must do this because otherwise the Virus will come back, and all our sacrifices will be for nothing.

As we see the introduction of mandatory mask wearing in countries around Europe now purportedly suffering “second waves” like Victoria, and the public’s acceptance of it, it becomes harder than ever to persuade people that this is all a masquerade. The recent declaration from the head of the US CDC that masks may be even more effective than vaccines in controlling the Virus is so extreme and such complete nonsense that it should have broken the spell. Instead most media have picked on Donald Trump’s antics as further confirmation that his disdain for masks was why he caught the virus.

But the science is clear – masks don’t work, because they can’t; if you can breathe through a mask then virus particles can pass through it too. Amongst the many “Emperor’s New Clothes” events of recent years this must be the most extravagant, as in some strange act of mass global hypnosis leaders and people around the world mandate and adopt mask-wearing in an imaginary fight against the virus.

People who were only recently railing against the veil and the niqab for denying the rights of women, or rallying under the banner of “I can’t breathe” for Black Lives Matter, now voluntarily muzzle and asphyxiate themselves in the name of “law-abiding citizens”, and turn on dissenters as if they were the plague.

It seems almost too late to change now; the science has been rendered meaningless in the face of false belief and fear, sentiments beautifully encapsulated by Michael Leunig in several cartoons illustrating his disdain for masks and the effect they have on social relations. That his acute social commentary on such an apparently apolitical matter has drawn abuse and censorship simply confirms the message, and the belief that “masking” is a political tool unrelated to infection control.

The science of respiratory protection was brilliantly explained recently by two American Occupational Health and Safety specialists, interviewed by an independent TV host Del Bigtree after a short video the women posted on social media went viral. They have become concerned at the increasing recommendation and mandating of masks not simply because they see them as ineffective against airborne viruses, but because wearing masks is actually a health hazard.

Even lightweight masks restrict your breathing, causing a rapid build-up of carbon dioxide and reduction of oxygen in the air under the mask, which leads to headaches, tiredness and other serious effects, particularly if worn for longer periods. These effects are well known and included in advice for workers using masks against dust and allergens, but are equally applicable to healthcare workers’ protection against infective organisms.

Compounding the danger, masks not only fail to protect the wearer or those around from airborne virus, but also reduce their resistance to infection. Should you be in an environment where virus particles are actually present in the air, conditions inside the mask will increase your susceptibility to infection.

Given the simple science on the physics of mask materials, and their demonstrable inability to stop virus particles and droplets from being breathed in or out by the wearer, we must ask why scientific and health advisors have recommended their use, and why occupational health and safety specialists have not questioned this potentially damaging recommendation. As I have observed before, some experts actually have done so – none more so than Raina Macintyre, who studied the efficacy of surgical masks amongst health workers during the flu season in Beijing and found them of no use whatsoever in preventing infection. It is astonishing that Macintyre seems to have forgotten this research and now helps to promote mask wearing by both public and health-care workers.

But Macintyre’s change of heart echoes that of the WHO, which now seems to recommend mask wearing by the public – as described by its new “special envoy” David Nabarro in a recent interview. Earlier in the year the WHO was less equivocal, and advised against the wearing of masks by the public:

 “In guidance issued on 6 April,5 WHO said that medical masks should be reserved for health workers. Most spread of the covid-19 virus is from known cases and requires contact with droplets from a cough or sneeze or infected surfaces. It said that “there is currently no evidence that wearing a mask (whether medical or other types) by healthy persons in the wider community setting, including universal community masking, can prevent them from infection with respiratory viruses, including covid-19.” Wearing masks in the community can also give people a false sense of security, it said, and lead to them neglecting other measures, such as hand hygiene and physical distancing.”

What the WHO failed to say, then and now, is that wearing masks makes normal friendly human relations impossible, and should be adopted only in the most extreme of situations – and where masks actually work, such as in a bushfire to prevent inhalation of burning particles. The science of behavioural psychology may not be as precise or certain as simple physics, but we should hardly dismiss this vital aspect of mandatory masking. While the effects of COVID19 infection are limited and mostly minimal for children, the psychological effects of growing up in a world without “face to face” contact may be devastating and long lasting.   Just ask the specialists from “SPI-B” who advised the UK government on how to use the “fear factor” to encourage public compliance.

But for a less scientific and more human look at the psychology of health and immunity, advice from the holistic health centre associated with the Marseilles Infection unit of Prof Raoult inspires us to realise we can fight this masquerade, without masks and without fear. (Sadly just in French)

Russian President Putin Delivers Speech at Valdai Discussion Club -2020 – Update

Source

The Transcript follows.

Update : October 24th

The formal transcript is now complete

Update : October 23rd

Note that it is not quite complete and we are waiting for the Kremlin resources to complete (as usual correct and accurate) the complete transcript.  Yet, most of it is here, and the most interesting details are in the Questions and Answers.  (Settle in, it was a 3 hour session and nobody wanted to let Mr Putin go, even after 3 hours!)

Fyodor Lukyanov: Friends,

Guests of the Valdai Club,

I am delighted to welcome you to the final session of the 17th annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club. It is my special honour and pleasure to welcome our traditional guest for our final meetings, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues, friends,

Participants of the 17th plenary meeting of the Valdai Club,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to welcome you all to our traditional annual meeting. We are meeting in an unusual format this time; we are videoconferencing. But I can see there are also people in the room. Not as many as usual of course, but nevertheless there are people present, and, apparently, you have had an in-person discussion, and I am delighted that you have.

We are certainly aware, we can see that the coronavirus epidemic has seriously affected public, business, and international affairs. More than that – it has affected everyone’s routine rhythm of life.

Almost all countries had to impose various restrictions, and large public gatherings have been largely cancelled. This year has been challenging for your Club as well. Most importantly, though, you continue to work. With the help of remote technology, you conduct heated and meaningful debates, discuss things, and bring in new experts who share their opinions and present interesting outside-the-box, sometimes even opposing, views on current developments. Such an exchange is, of course, very important and useful now that the world is facing so many challenges that need to be resolved.

Thus, we still have to understand how the epidemic affected and will continue to affect the present and future of humanity. As it confronts this dangerous threat, the international community is trying to take certain actions and to mobilize itself. Some things are already being done as collaborative efforts, but I want to note straight away that this is only a fraction of what needs to be done in the face of this formidable common challenge. These missed opportunities are also a subject for a candid international discussion.

From the onset of the pandemic in Russia, we have focused on preserving lives and ensuring safety of our people as our key values. This was an informed choice dictated by our culture and spiritual traditions, and our complex, sometimes dramatic, history. If we think back to the great demographic losses we suffered in the 20th century, we had no other choice but to fight for every person and the future of every Russian family.

So, we did our best to preserve the health and the lives of our people, to help parents and children, as well as senior citizens and those who lost their jobs, to maintain employment as much as possible, to minimise damage to the economy, to support millions of entrepreneurs who run small or family businesses.

Perhaps, like everyone else, you are closely following daily updates on the pandemic around the world. Unfortunately, the coronavirus has not retreated and still poses a major threat. Probably, this unsettling background intensifies the sense, like many people feel, that a whole new era is about to begin and that we are not just on the verge of dramatic changes, but an era of tectonic shifts in all areas of life.

We see the rapidly, exponential development of the processes that we have repeatedly discussed at the Valdai Club before. Thus, six years ago, in 2014, we spoke about this issue when we discussed the theme The World Order: New Rules or a Game Without Rules. So, what is happening now? Regrettably, the game without rules is becoming increasingly horrifying and sometimes seems to be a fait accompli.

The pandemic has reminded us of how fragile human life is. It was hard to imagine that in our technologically advanced 21st century, even in the most prosperous and wealthy countries people could find themselves defenceless in front of what would seem to be not such a fatal infection, and not such a horrible threat. But life has shown that not everything boils down to the level of medical science with some of its fantastic achievements. It transpired that the organisation and accessibility of the public healthcare system are no less, and probably much more important in this situation.

The values of mutual assistance, service and self-sacrifice proved to be most important. This also applies to the responsibility, composure and honesty of the authorities, their readiness to meet the demand of society and at the same time provide a clear-cut and well-substantiated explanation of the logic and consistency of the adopted measures so as not to allow fear to subdue and divide society but, on the contrary, to imbue it with confidence that together we will overcome all trials no matter how difficult they may be.

The struggle against the coronavirus threat has shown that only a viable state can act effectively in a crisis – contrary to the reasoning of those who claim that the role of the state in the global world is decreasing and that in the future it will be altogether replaced with some other forms of social organisation. Yes, this is possible. Everything may change in the distant future. Change is all around us, but today the role and importance of the state do matter.

We have always considered a strong state a basic condition for Russia’s development. And we have seen again that we were right by meticulously restoring and strengthening state institutions after their decline, and sometimes complete destruction in the 1990s.

Then, the question is: what is a strong state? What are its strengths? Definitely, not total control or harsh law enforcement. Not thwarted private initiative or civic engagement. Not even the might of its armed forces or its high defence potential. Although, I think you realise how important this particular component is for Russia, given its geography and the range of geopolitical challenges. And there is also our historical responsibility as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council to ensure global stability.

Nevertheless, I am confident that what makes a state strong, primarily, is the confidence its citizens have in it. That is the strength of a state. People are the source of power, we all know that. And this recipe doesn’t just involve going to the polling station and voting, it implies people’s willingness to delegate broad authority to their elected government, to see the state, its bodies, civil servants, as their representatives – those who are entrusted to make decisions, but who also bear full responsibility for the performance of their duties.

This kind of state can be set up any way you like. When I say “any way,” I mean that what you call your political system is immaterial. Each country has its own political culture, traditions, and its own vision of their development. Trying to blindly imitate someone else’s agenda is pointless and harmful. The main thing is for the state and society to be in harmony.

And of course, confidence is the most solid foundation for the creative work of the state and society. Only together will they be able to find an optimal balance of freedom and security guarantees.

Once again, in the most difficult moments of the pandemic, I felt pride and, to be honest, I am proud of Russia, of our citizens, of their willingness to have each other’s backs. And of course, first of all, I am proud of our doctors, nurses, and ambulance workers – everyone, without exception, on whom the national healthcare system relies.

I believe that civil society will play a key role in Russia’s future. So, we want the voice of our citizens to be decisive and to see constructive proposals and requests from different social forces get implemented.

This begs the question: how is this request for action being formed? Whose voice should the state be heeding? How does it know if it is really the voice of the people and not some behind-the-scenes messages or even someone’s vocal yelling that has nothing to do whatsoever with our people and that at times becomes hysterical?

Occasionally, someone is trying to substitute self-serving interests of a small social group or even external forces for a genuine public request.

Genuine democracy and civil society cannot be “imported.” I have said so many times. They cannot be a product of the activities of foreign “well-wishers,” even if they “want the best for us.” In theory, this is probably possible. But, frankly, I have not yet seen such a thing and do not believe much in it. We see how such imported democracy models function. They are nothing more than a shell or a front with nothing behind them, even a semblance of sovereignty. People in the countries where such schemes have been implemented were never asked for their opinion, and their respective leaders are mere vassals. As is known, the overlord decides everything for the vassal. To reiterate, only the citizens of a particular country can determine their public interest.

We, in Russia, went through a fairly long period where foreign funds were very much the main source for creating and financing non-governmental organisations. Of course, not all of them pursued self-serving or bad goals, or wanted to destabilise the situation in our country, interfere in our domestic affairs, or influence Russia’s domestic and, sometimes, foreign policy in their own interests. Of course not.

There were sincere enthusiasts among independent civic organisations (they do exist), to whom we are undoubtedly grateful. But even so, they mostly remained strangers and ultimately reflected the views and interests of their foreign trustees rather than the Russian citizens. In a word, they were a tool with all the ensuing consequences.

A strong, free and independent civil society is nationally oriented and sovereign by definition. It grows from the depth of people’s lives and can take different forms and directions. But it is a cultural phenomenon, a tradition of a particular country, not the product of some abstract “transnational mind” with other people’s interests behind it.

The duty of the state is to support public initiatives and open up new opportunities for them. This is exactly what we do. I consider this matter to be the most important for the government’s agenda in the coming decades – regardless of who exactly will hold positions in that government. This is the guarantee of Russia’s sovereign, progressive development, of genuine continuity in its forward movement, and of our ability to respond to global challenges.

Colleagues, you are well aware of the many acute problems and controversies that have accumulated in modern international affairs, even too many. Ever since the Cold War model of international relations, which was stable and predictable in its own way, began to change (I am not saying I miss it, I most certainly do not), the world has changed several times. Things in fact happened so quickly that those usually referred to as political elites simply did not have the time, or maybe a strong interest or ability to analyse what was really going on.

Some countries hastily ran to divide the cake, mostly to grab a bigger piece, to take advantage of the benefits the end of the cold confrontation brought. Others were frantically looking for ways to adapt to the changes at any cost. And some countries – recall our own sad experience, frankly – just fought for survival, to survive as a single country, and as a subject of global politics, too.

Meanwhile, time increasingly and insistently makes us question what lies ahead for humanity, what the new world order should be like, or at least a semblance of one, and whether we will take informed steps forward, coordinating our moves, or we will stumble blindly, each of us just relying on ourselves.

The recent report of the Valdai Club, your club, reads: “…in a fundamentally changed international setting, the institutions themselves have become an obstacle to building a system of relations corresponding to the new era rather than a guarantee of global stability and manageability.” The authors believe that we are in for a world where individual states or groups of states will act much more independently while traditional international organisations will lose their importance.

This is what I would like to say in this respect. Of course, it is clear what underlies this position. In effect, the post-war world order was established by three victorious countries: the Soviet Union, the United States and Great Britain. The role of Britain has changed since then; the Soviet Union no longer exists, while some try to dismiss Russia altogether.

Let me assure you, dear friends, that we are objectively assessing our potentialities: our intellectual, territorial, economic and military potential. I am referring to our current options, our overall potential. Consolidating this country and looking at what is happening in the world, in other countries I would like to tell those who are still waiting for Russia’s strength to gradually wane, the only thing we are worried about is catching a cold at your funeral.

As a head of state who works directly in an environment that you and your colleagues describe from a position of expertise, I cannot agree with the assumption that existing international structures must be completely rebuilt, if not dismissed as obsolete and altogether dismantled. On the contrary, it is important to preserve the basic mechanisms of maintaining international security, which have proved to be effective. This is the UN, the Security Council and the permanent members’ right to veto. I recently spoke about this at the anniversary UN General Assembly. As far as I know, this position – the preservation of the fundamentals of the international order established after World War II – enjoys broad support in the world.

However, I believe that the idea of adjusting the institutional arrangement of world politics is at least worthy of discussion, if only because the correlation of forces, potentialities and positions of states has seriously changed, as I said, especially in the past 30 to 40 years.

Indeed, like I said, the Soviet Union is no longer there. But there is Russia. In terms of its economic weight and political influence, China is moving quickly towards superpower status. Germany is moving in the same direction, and the Federal Republic of Germany has become an important player in international cooperation. At the same time, the roles of Great Britain and France in international affairs has undergone significant changes. The United States, which at some point absolutely dominated the international stage, can hardly claim exceptionality any longer. Generally speaking, does the United States need this exceptionalism? Of course, powerhouses such as Brazil, South Africa and some other countries have become much more influential.

Indeed, by far not all international organisations are effectively carrying out their missions and tasks. Called to be impartial arbiters, they often act based on ideological prejudices, fall under the strong influence of other states, and become tools in their hands. Juggling procedures, manipulating prerogatives and authority, biased approaches, especially when it comes to conflicts involving rival powers or groups of states, have unfortunately become common practice.

The fact that authoritative international organisations following in the wake of someone’s selfish interests are drawn into politicised campaigns against specific leaders and countries is saddening. This approach does nothing but discredit these institutions, and leads them towards decline and exacerbates the world order crisis.

On the other hand, there are positive developments when a group of interested states joins forces to resolve specific issues, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, which for almost 20 years now has been contributing to the settlement of territorial disputes and strengthening stability in Central Eurasia, and is shaping a unique spirit of partnership in this part of the world.

Or, for example, the Astana format, which was instrumental in taking the political and diplomatic process regarding Syria out of a deep impasse. The same goes for OPEC Plus which is an effective, albeit very complex, tool for stabilising global oil markets.

In a fragmented world, this approach is often more productive. But what matters here is that, along with resolving specific problems, this approach can also breathe new life into multilateral diplomacy. This is important. But it is also obvious that we cannot do without a common, universal framework for international affairs. Whatever interest groups, associations, or ad-hoc alliances we form now or in the future – we cannot do without a common framework.

Multilateralism should be understood not as total inclusivity, but as the need to involve the parties that are truly interested in solving a problem. And of course, when outside forces crudely and shamelessly intervene in a process that affects a group of actors perfectly capable of agreeing among themselves – nothing good can come of that. And they do this solely for the purpose of flaunting their ambition, power and influence. They do it to put a stake in the ground, to outplay everyone, but not to make a positive contribution or help resolve the situation.

Again, even amid the current fragmentation of international affairs, there are challenges that require more than just the combined capacity of a few states, even very influential ones. Problems of this magnitude, which do exist, require global attention.

International stability, security, fighting terrorism and solving urgent regional conflicts are certainly among them; as are promoting global economic development, combatting poverty, and expanding cooperation in healthcare. That last one is especially relevant today.

I spoke in detail about these challenges at the UN General Assembly last month. Meeting them will require working together in a long-term, systematic way.

However, there are considerations of a more general nature that affect literally everyone, and I would like to discuss them in more detail.

Many of us read The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry when we were children and remember what the main character said: “It’s a question of discipline. When you’ve finished washing and dressing each morning, you must tend your planet. … It’s very tedious work, but very easy.”

I am sure that we must keep doing this “tedious work” if we want to preserve our common home for future generations. We must tend our planet.

The subject of environmental protection has long become a fixture on the global agenda. But I would address it more broadly to discuss also an important task of abandoning the practice of unrestrained and unlimited consumption – overconsumption – in favour of judicious and reasonable sufficiency, when you do not live just for today but also think about tomorrow.

We often say that nature is extremely vulnerable to human activity. Especially when the use of natural resources is growing to a global dimension. However, humanity is not safe from natural disasters, many of which are the result of anthropogenic interference. By the way, some scientists believe that the recent outbreaks of dangerous diseases are a response to this interference. This is why it is so important to develop harmonious relations between Man and Nature.

Tensions have reached a critical point. We can see this in climate change. This problem calls for practical action and much more attention on our part. It has long stopped being the domain of abstract scientific interests but now concerns nearly every inhabitant of the planet Earth. The polar ice caps and permafrost are melting because of global warming. According to expert estimates, the speed and scale of this process will be increasing in the next few decades.

It is a huge challenge to the world, to the whole of humanity, including to us, to Russia, where permafrost occupies 65 percent of our national territory. Such changes can do irreparable damage to biological diversity, have an extremely adverse effect on the economy and infrastructure and pose a direct threat to people.

You may be aware that this is very important to us. It affects pipeline systems, residential districts built on permafrost, and so on. If as much as 25 percent of the near-surface layers of permafrost, which is about three or four metres, melt by 2100, we will feel the effect very strongly. Moreover, the problem could snowball into a crisis very quickly. A kind of chain reaction is possible, because permafrost melting will stimulate methane emissions, which can produce a greenhouse effect that will be 28 times (sic!) larger than in the case of carbon dioxide. In other words, the temperature will continue rising on the planet, permafrost will continue melting, and methane emissions will further increase. The situation will spiral. Do we want the Earth to become like Venus, a hot, dry and lifeless planet? I would like to remind you that the Earth has an average surface temperature of 14°C while on Venus it’s 462°C.

Another subject, completely different. I would like to say a few words on a different subject. Let us not forget that there are no longer just geographical continents on Earth. An almost endless digital space is taking shape on the planet, and people are mastering it with increasing speed every year.

The restrictions forced by the coronavirus have only encouraged the development of remote e-technology. Today, communications based on the internet have become a universal asset. It is necessary to see that this infrastructure and all cyberspace operates without fail and securely.

Thus, remote, distance work is not just a forced precaution during a pandemic. This will become a new form of organising labour, employment, social cooperation and simply human communication. These changes are inevitable with the development of technological progress. This recent turn of events has merely precipitated these processes. Everyone appreciates the opportunities and conveniences provided by new technology.

But, of course, there is a reverse side as well – a growing threat to all digital systems. Yes, cyberspace is a fundamentally new environment where, basically, universally recognised rules have never existed. Technology has simply moved ahead of legislation and thus, judicial oversight. At the same time, this is a very specific area where the issue of trust is particularly urgent.

I think that at this point we must return to our historical experience. What do I mean? Let me recall that the established notion of “confidence-building measures” existed during the Cold War. It applied to relations between the USSR and the US, and between the Warsaw Pact and NATO, that is, military-political relations.

That said, let me emphasise that now, competition is usually “hybrid” in character. It concerns all areas, including those that are just taking shape. This is why it is necessary to build confidence in many areas.

In this sense, cyberspace can serve as a venue for testing these measures, like at one time, arms control paved the way for higher trust in the world as a whole.

Obviously, it is very difficult to draft a required “package of measures” in this area, cyberspace. However, it is necessary to start on it. This must be done now.

As you may be aware, Russia is actively promoting bilateral and multilateral cyber security agreements. We submitted two draft conventions on this subject at the UN and established a corresponding open-ended working group.

Recently, I proposed starting a comprehensive discussion of international cybersecurity issues with the United States. We are aware that politicians in the United States have other things to focus on now because of the election campaign. However, we hope that the next administration, whatever it may be, will respond to our invitation to start a discussion of this subject just like other items on the Russia-US agenda such as global security, the future of the strategic arms reduction treaty and a number of other issues.

As you are aware, many important matters have reached the point that they require candid talks, and we are ready for a constructive discussion on an equal footing.

Of course, the times when all important international matters were discussed and resolved by essentially just Moscow and Washington are long gone, lost to the ages. However, we see the establishment of a bilateral dialogue, in this case on cyber security, as an important step towards a much broader discussion involving many other countries and organisations. Should the United States choose not to take part in this work, which would be regrettable, we will still be willing to work with all interested partners, which I hope will not be lacking.

I would like to point out another important aspect. We live in an era of palpable international shocks and crises. Of course, we are used to them, especially the generations which lived during the Cold War, let alone World War II, for whom it is not just a memory, but a part of their lives.

It is interesting that humanity has reached a very high level of technological and socioeconomic development, while at the same time facing the loss or erosion of moral values and reference points, a sense that existence no longer has meaning and, if you will, that the mission of humankind on planet Earth has been lost.

This crisis cannot be settled through diplomatic negotiations or even a large international conference. It calls for revising our priorities and rethinking our goals. And everyone must begin at home, every individual, community and state, and only then work toward a global configuration.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which we have all been dealing with this year, can serve as a point of departure for such a transformation. We will have to reassess our priorities anyway. Trust me, we really will have to do it, sooner or later. All of us are aware of this. Therefore, I fully agree with those who say that it would be better to start this process now.

I mentioned history and the older generations who went through all the trials of last century for a reason. Everything we are discussing today will soon become the responsibility of young people. Young people will have to deal with all of the problems which I mentioned and you discussed today. Speaking about Russia, its young citizens, who are still growing up and gaining experience, will have to do this as soon as in the 21st century. They are the ones who will have to confront new and probably even more difficult challenges.

They have their own views on the past, present and future. But I believe that our people will always retain their best qualities: patriotism, fortitude, creativity, hard work, team spirit and the capacity to surprise the world by finding solutions to the most difficult and even seemingly insoluble problems.

Friends, colleagues,

I touched on a wide range of different issues today. Of course, I would like to believe that despite all the current difficulties the international community will be able to join forces to combat not imaginary but very real problems, and that we will eventually succeed. After all, it is within our power to stop being egoistical, greedy, mindless and wasteful consumers. Some may wonder if this is utopia, a pipe dream.

To be sure, it is easy to wonder if this is even possible considering what some individuals are doing and saying. However, I believe in reason and mutual understanding, or at least I strongly hope that they will prevail. We just need to open our eyes, look around us and see that the land, air and water are our common inheritance from above, and we must learn to cherish them, just as we must cherish every human life, which is precious. This is the only way forward in this complicated and beautiful world. I do not want to see the mistakes of the past repeated.

Thank you very much.

Fyodor Lukyanov: Mr President, thank you for this detailed statement. You have said that COVID-19 can serve as a point of departure for a reassessment. I can see that you are indeed reassessing things, because it is not everyone who speaks now about trust, harmony, the meaning of life and our mission on the planet Earth, and it was rarely so in the past as well.

I would like to say a few things in follow-up to what you have said. Of course, such a rethinking is ongoing, and we are trying to contribute to this process at the Valdai Club. However, the shocking spring developments, when we thought that the world would never be the same again, were followed by a degree of stabilisation. When global politics awoke from the mental torpor, it turned out that the agenda has hardly changed at all: we are facing the same problems, the conflicts are back and their number has even increased. But you continue with your active work despite the strained situation in global politics. Do you think that this shock had any effect on us? Do you feel any change in the sentiments of your counterparts at the top level?

Vladimir Putin: You said that the conflicts resumed when the situation improved a bit. In fact, they never abated. There is much talk about a second wave, and that the situation is back to where we were in the spring. But just look at what is happening in Nagorno-Karabakh: the conflict is still with us. And it is not just the conflicts that matter. I believe that no matter how the necessity to combat the pandemic can rally the international community, we still need to take systemic measures to settle recurring problems. This concerns the Middle East, the Syrian crisis, Libya and a great number of other problems, including terrorism and the environment. In other words, the pandemic will not help us to deal with them.

However, the pandemic is playing into our hands when it comes to raising our awareness of the importance of joining forces against severe global crises. Unfortunately, it has not yet taught humanity to come together completely, as we must do in such situations. Just look at the crises I have mentioned. We have already proposed, at the UN, among other places, that all economic and cultural restrictions be lifted for humanitarian reasons, at least temporarily.

I am not referring now to all these sanctions against Russia; forget about that, we will get over it. But many other countries that have suffered and are still suffering from the coronavirus do not even need any help that may come from outside, they just need the restrictions lifted, at least in the humanitarian sphere, I repeat, concerning the supply of medicines, equipment, credit resources, and the exchange of technologies. These are humanitarian things in their purest form. But no, they have not abolished any restrictions, citing some considerations that have nothing to do with the humanitarian component – but at the same time, everyone is talking about humanism.

I would say we need to be more honest with each other and abandon double standards. I am sure that if people hear me now on the media, they are probably finding it difficult to disagree with what I have just said, difficult to deny it. Deep down in their hearts, in their minds, everyone is probably thinking, “Yes, right, of course.” However, for political reasons, publicly, they will still say, “No, we must keep restrictions on Iran, Venezuela, against Assad.” What does Assad even have to do with this when it is ordinary people who suffer? At least, give them medicines, give them technology, at least a small, targeted loan for medicine. No.

Therefore, on the one hand, it seems like there is a tendency to unite, but, frankly speaking, by and large, I do not see any practical steps to bring it to reality. Although this trend does exist.

As for technology, it is another side of the matter. As for technology, of course, online education, telemedicine and other advanced solutions – all the modern digital technologies that had been increasingly penetrating all spheres, of course, with the pandemic have made a breach in the existing regulatory systems. They are forcing politicians, legal professionals, and administrative regulators, to move towards decision-making at a faster pace than they used to. And this is certainly, definitely changing the world.

Fyodor Lukyanov: Thank you.

Here is one more question related to what you have said.

Speaking about the strategy of combating the epidemic, you clearly and unequivocally stated that people’s life and safety are the main values. This strategy is understandable, but tactics differ. Last spring, the countries that chose a different path were sharply criticised.

For example, Sweden and Belarus did not introduce an economic lockdown or a tight quarantine. There were many pro and contra arguments. Six months later, we can see that the world is largely following in the footsteps of these countries instead of doing what we did in spring. I believe that you also said yesterday that there would not be any economic lockdown.

Does this mean that the balance is changing and that the balance should sometimes change in favour of the economy?

Vladimir Putin: I would say that nothing is changing in our country. I do not know about Sweden. On the other hand, I do know some things, and I will say a few words about them. The same is true about Belarus and other countries, where the decisions are made by their leadership. As for us, nothing has changed: people’s lives and health remain our priorities, without a doubt.

On the other hand, life and health are directly connected to healthcare, which must receive serious support from the federal and other budgets. For these budgets to be replenished, we need a working economy. Everything is closely interconnected. One needs to find a balance. I believe that we found this balance at the very beginning. We took a number of serious steps to support the economy. This support amounted to 4.5 percent of the GDP. Some other countries allocated even more funds for this purpose.

The point is actually not so much the amount of allocated funds but their effective use. I believe (we discussed several related issues with the Government today) that we disposed of these funds quite effectively, in a selective way and using the considerable resources we accumulated in the past years, as well as relying on the macroeconomic health of our economy, macroeconomic indicators and all the other positive achievements of the past years, to support our people, families with children, small and medium-sized businesses, and even large companies and whole industries.

Overall, there is no need in the current situation, at least in Russia, to reintroduce such restrictions as we had in spring, when we sent our people on paid leave and closed down whole enterprises. There is no need for this also because our healthcare system performed quite efficiently. We have also built up reserves, including a reserve of hospital beds, created new medicines and developed treatment guidelines. Our medics have learned how to deal with this disease, they know what and when needs to be done. In other words, we have become confident that we can deal with these problems. This is the first thing I wanted to say.

The second thing. We said from the beginning – I would just like to remind you, keeping in mind the vastness of our territory – that we were handing down a considerable part of authority for decision-making to the level of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation. Incidentally, all major countries, have, in fact, followed this path somewhat later. This has proven to be the right approach.

There is no such need today. The economy is recovering. The processing industry is recovering, the agro-industrial sector is performing quite well and is even growing, exports are recovering… Yes, we have issues that we should target. But look, we have basically acceptable macroeconomic indicators. Russia’s second-quarter economic contraction was 8 percent, and, say, the US economy, declined by 9 [percent], and the Euro zone, if I am not mistaken, by 14.5 – 14.7 [percent].

You have mentioned Sweden that imposed no restrictions, but they also happened to face an economic downturn. At first, they went public with the figure of 8.3 [percent], which was later adjusted to less than 8 [percent] – 7.7 [percent], if my memory serves me correctly. Here we go: they have introduced no restrictions, nor have they done what we have in supporting people and the economy, but their result is the same as ours. The modern world is extremely interconnected. But an economic decline is inevitable, the first thing to do is to take care of the people. This logic is immaculate. I am certain that you will agree on this point.

Now, regarding Belarus. President Lukashenko – I had many conversations with him – is fully aware of the COVID-19 threat. But Belarus has no comparable gold and currency reserves, nor such a diverse economic landscape, and he, as he says, simply had to keep the economy viable. But on the whole, the situation there is not worse, in fact, than in many other countries.

Therefore we face – and faced – no choice of this sort; our priorities are people, health, and life. We are not going to impose tough restrictions, there is no such need. There is no need to close businesses. What is needed is to adjust support for certain sectors, for example, for small and medium-sized businesses. Certain parts of this work require additional support, maybe the extension of tax benefits and some other measures that are due to expire shortly. It is necessary to take a closer look at transportation, the transport sector, and the services. We are aware of all this, we see this, and we will continue to work in these areas, no matter how difficult this might be. As I have repeatedly said, we will get through this difficult period together, with the people’s support and trust.

Fyodor Lukyanov: Colleagues, we are moving on to our traditional conversation. This time the setup of this discussion will be quite complex, since we have people sitting in the audience here, and I am also receiving questions from those who are watching online, and some of our colleagues will be able to ask their questions in person. Therefore, I will try to act as an impartial moderator and manage this conversation, and I apologise for any possible hiccups.

Let us begin. Timofei Bordachev, our colleague from the Valdai Club.

Timofei Bordachev: Good evening, and thank you for this unique opportunity.

Mr President, there has been much talk and debate, in the context of the global economic upheavals, about the fact that the liberal market economy has ceased to be a reliable tool for the survival of states, their preservation, and for their people.

Pope Francis said recently that capitalism has run its course. Russia has been living under capitalism for 30 years. Is it time to search for an alternative? Is there an alternative? Could it be the revival of the left-wing idea or something radically new? Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: Lenin spoke about the birthmarks of capitalism, and so on. It cannot be said that we have lived these past 30 years in a full-fledged market economy. In fact, we are only gradually building it, and its institutions. Russia had to do it from the ground up, starting from a clean slate. Of course, we are doing this taking into consideration developments around the world. After all, after almost one hundred years of a state-planned economy, transitioning to a market economy is not easy.

You know, capitalism, the way you have described it, existed in a more or less pure form at the beginning of the previous century. But everything changed after what happened in the global economy and in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s, after World War I. We have already discussed this on a number of occasions. I do not remember if I have mentioned this at Valdai Club meetings, but experts who know this subject better than I do and with whom I regularly communicate, they are saying obvious and well-known things.

When everything is fine, and the macro economic indicators are stable, various funds are building up their assets, consumption is on the rise and so on. In such times, you hear more and more that the state only stands in the way, and that a pure market economy would be more effective. But as soon as crises and challenges arise, everyone turns to the state, calling for the reinforcement of its supervisory functions. This goes on and on, like a sinusoidal curve. This is what happened during the preceding crises, including the recent ones, like in 2008.

I remember very well how the key shareholders of Russia’s largest corporations that are also major European and global players came to me proposing that the state buy their assets for one dollar or one ruble. They were afraid of assuming responsibility for their employees, pressured by margin calls, and the like. This time, our businesses have acted differently. No one is seeking to evade responsibility. On the contrary, they are even using their own funds, and are quite generous in doing so. The responses may differ, but overall, businesses have been really committed to social responsibility, for which I am grateful to these people, and I want them to know this.

Therefore, at present, we cannot really find a fully planned economy, can we? Take China. Is it a purely planned economy? No. And there is not a single purely market economy either. Nevertheless, the government’s regulatory functions are certainly important. For example, consider major industries such as aircraft construction. Without some regulatory function from the top – or from the left, right, bottom, for that matter, whether this regulatory function is visible or not – without it, it is impossible to operate in this market. And we can see that all the countries that claim respect as aircraft-building powers (contextually, I would say), their governments provide assistance to their aircraft manufacturers, all of them. And there are plenty of support methods.

By the way, the situation is much the same in the automotive industry, and in other industries. We just need to determine for ourselves the reasonable level of the state’s involvement in the economy; how quickly that involvement needs to be reduced, if at all, and where exactly. I often hear that Russia’s economy is overregulated. But during crises like this current pandemic, when we are forced to restrict business activity, and cargo traffic shrinks, and not only cargo traffic, but passenger traffic as well, we have to ask ourselves – what do we do with aviation now that passengers avoid flying or fly rarely, what do we do? Well, the state is a necessary fixture, there is no way they could do without state support.

So, again, no model is pure or rigid, neither the market economy nor the command economy today, but we simply have to determine the level of the state’s involvement in the economy. What do we use as a baseline for this decision? Expediency. We need to avoid using any templates, and so far, we have successfully avoided that. As I have said, the so-called developed economies, in Europe, have seen their GDP plummet by more than 14 percent. How high has unemployment grown in the eurozone? As far as I know, by over 10 percent. Ours has grown, too, but only by 6.3 percent. This is the result of government regulation. Or take inflation. We have been fighting it desperately. Is this not a regulatory function of the state?

Of course, the Central Bank and the Government are among the most important state institutions. Therefore, it was in fact through the joint efforts of the Central Bank and the Government that inflation was reduced to 4 percent, because the Government invests substantial resources through its social programmes and national projects and has an impact on our monetary policy. It went down to 3.9 percent, and the Governor of the Central Bank has told me that we will most likely keep it around the estimated target of around 4 percent. This is the regulating function of the state; there is no way around it. However, stifling development through an excessive presence of the state in the economy or through excessive regulation would be fatal as well. You know, this is a form of art, which the Government has been applying skilfully, at least for now.

Fyodor Lukyanov: Mr President, since you mentioned greed, I have to ask you the following. A lively discussion began the other day on the Finance Ministry’s proposal to reduce the staff at security-related agencies and to adjust their salaries and pensions. Is this a good time for this proposal? Or is it that the crisis is forcing us to cut expenses?

Vladimir Putin: The Finance Ministry regularly makes such proposals, crisis or no crisis. It is always in favour of reducing expenditure. In general, nearly all finance ministries in other countries do this as well. There is nothing unique in the proposal of the Russian Finance Ministry.

We do not envisage making any decisions yet. We have no term reduction or extension plans. It was just one of the Finance Ministry’s proposals. It has not even been reported to me yet. It is still at the level of discussion among Government agencies. When we need to make a final decision, I will take into account the economic realities and the real situation regarding people’s incomes, including in the security and military spheres, and a comparison of the levels of income in the country’s military and civilian sectors. There are many factors we need to take into account to prevent an imbalance on the labour market, and so on. I would like to repeat that these issues have not been discussed on the practical level. These discussions are ongoing within the framework of the Government.

Fyodor Lukyanov: Great. Our meeting has produced at least one result: the military can breathe out.

I would like to give the floor to our long-time friend who has been helping the Valdai Club a lot. Please meet Sam Charap from Washington, D.C. Usually, we had him here, but now he is at his workplace. We can get him on air now.

Sam, please.

Sam Charap: Hello, Mr. President,

I would like to return to your initiative to restore trust in cyberspace, which you mentioned in your remarks. Many argue whether there is trust in the outcome of the talks or the premises for holding them. It is not only about the election campaign, but the firm belief of many in Washington (and outside of it) that Russia is actively interfering in this area, and so on.

Can we ponder some kind of truce in this sphere in order to create proper grounds for talks and a minimum level of trust as a prerequisite for achieving more during ensuing talks? How do you think such a digital truce, so to say, may look like?

Vladimir Putin: Listen, as far as cybercrime is concerned, it always went hand in hand with digital technology and will probably always be there just like other offences. However, when we talk about relations between states, it is no coincidence that in my opening remarks I mentioned the dialogue on limiting offensive arms between the Soviet Union and the United States.

We agreed among ourselves to keep these weapons at a certain level. We propose reaching agreements in the sphere that is taking shape now right before our eyes and which is extremely important for the entire world and our countries. We need to discuss these matters in a broad context and come up with solutions.

I am not quite sure what kind of truce you are talking about. I believe it is already in place. You said that Russia is actively interfering. But I say: “We are not interfering in anything.” Moreover, the official probes conducted in the United States, including with the involvement of a special counsel, did not bring any results. They led to admitting the fact that there was no evidence of Russia’s interference. Therefore, I believe there is no need to set any preliminary conditions for us to start this dialogue. We must immediately sit down and talk. What is wrong with that approach? We are not proposing anything that does not meet our partners’ interests. If someone thinks that someone else is interfering in their affairs, well, let us come up with some general rules and develop verification tools to monitor compliance. Frankly, I do not understand where this persistence is coming from.

During the last months of President Obama’s presidency, his administration sent us a message to the effect that, indeed, it had taken them a while to review this matter, but they are now ready for a dialogue. Unfortunately, this ended quickly, and another president came to office. We started from centre-field with the new administration. Again, almost four years later now, we have not accomplished much.

I strongly hope that when the elections are over, our partners will return to this issue and respond positively to our proposals.

Fyodor Lukyanov: Thank you.

Fyodor Voitolovsky, Director of IMEMO, our flagship institute of international relations. Please.

Fyodor Voitolovsky: Mr President, in your statement today you mentioned one of the most burning issues of global politics, arms control. During the Cold War and especially at its final stage, the Soviet Union and the United States both applied a huge amount of efforts to create a network of treaties and a system of confidence-building measures, which limited the quantitative growth of their arsenals and reduced the risk of a conflict. Over the past 20 years, our American partners have consistently and very easily dismantled this system: first the ABM Treaty, and then the INF and Open Skies treaties. As of now, there are problems with extending the New START Treaty. Hence my question. Do you think the arms control system has a future? What new moves can be taken in this sphere?

Thank you.

Fyodor Lukyanov: I would like to add that we have a great number of questions about strategic offensive arms and especially the latest initiative advanced two days ago, and also a great deal of bewilderment over what this may mean and whether Russia has made excessive concessions.

Vladimir Putin: You asked if such arms control treaties have a future. I think that the world will have no future unless limits are put on the arms race. This is what all of us should think about, and this is what we are urging all of our partners to think about.

All of us are well aware of the problem, and you have mentioned this just now: withdrawal from the ABM Treaty, the INF Treaty and the Open Skies Treaty (the United States has not officially pulled out of it yet, but it has stated that it had launched the withdrawal process). Why? What is the reason for this decision? They do not even try to explain. They simply do not explain. Our European colleagues tell us, “Let them withdraw, but you should not do the same.” I reply, “All of you are NATO members, and so you will make flights and forward the data you collect to the Americans, while we will be unable to do this because we will remain committed to the Treaty. Let us not play dumb. Let us be honest with each other.” In fact, as far as I am aware, the United States’ European partners would like it to remain a member of the Open Skies Treaty, to keep it intact.

With regard to the INF Treaty, we have spoken about it many times, and I do not want to go over it again. When withdrawing from the ABM Treaty, the United States acted openly, directly and bluntly, but honestly. Here, though, they came up with an excuse and accused Russia of some violations, and then withdrew from the Treaty. If this were the case, if everything were just like our American partners are saying, they could also go ahead and violate it without much ado. Who was stopping them? Instead, they took this step publicly for everyone to see.

Just do not tell me that they are white and fluffy goody two-shoes who are not into underhand dealings. We are aware of what is happening with verification, in the sphere of nuclear weapons among other thing, where they weld the lids or tamper with the aircraft. They get away with it and do not let us in there. Okay, we keep quiet, but the experts know what I am talking about. They just made it a point to take these steps, and to do so publicly, with broad coverage. Clearly, they are pursuing a political goal. I just do not see any military purpose here. But the best solution is for the verification and monitoring to be implemented by all contracting parties, so that our agreements are reliably protected by these monitoring systems.

Now, START-3.We took account of all the problems when we were negotiating these issues. Only one thing was left out. It is what Russia acquired in response to the United States withdrawing from the ABM Treaty. Precisely in response to the withdrawal. I am referring to our innovative high-precision hypersonic weapons. Indeed, neither the United States nor other countries have access to such weapons, although they are working on it, and someday they will have them as well. They are telling us, “You have it, we do not, so we must take this into account.” Well, we do not mind, let us take it into account. Both regarding the number of carriers and the number of warheads. We do not mind.

There are other issues that we can discuss. But what choice do we have? The treaty expires in February. After all, my proposal is very straightforward. It lies on the surface. Nothing will happen if we extend this agreement, without any preconditions, for one year and persistently work on all the issues of concern both to us and the Americans. We will work on it together and look for solutions.

After all, the trick is that we have had hardly any constructive discussions about this so far. Our partners, to put it bluntly, shied away from a direct and substantive professional discussion. The treaty will expire in February 2020, and that is all we have left now.

Question: What is better: to preserve the current treaty as it is, to start discussing it in detail and try to find some compromise during the year or to lose it altogether and leave us, the US and Russia, and the entire world practically without any legal foundation that limits the arms race? I believe the second option is much worse than the first.

I think it is simply unacceptable but I have said, and I want to emphasise it once again, that we are not holding on to this treaty. If our partners decide it is not necessary – all right, let it be, there is nothing we can do to prevent them. Our security, Russia’s security will not be damaged by this, especially because we have the latest weapons systems. This is the first part.

The second part boils down to making these agreements multilateral by including our Chinese friends in them. But are we against this? Russia is not against this but just do not shift on us the responsibility of making this treaty multilateral. If someone wants to do this, it is fine to try to achieve this. We do not object to this. Are we an obstacle on this road? No.

But the arguments quoted by our Chinese friends are very simple. China is an enormous country, a great power with an enormous economy and 1.5 billion people. But the level of its nuclear potential is almost twice, if not more lower than that of Russia and the US. They are asking a lawful question, “What will we limit? Or will we freeze our inequality in this area?” What can you reply to this? It is the sovereign right of a 1.5 billion strong nation to decide on the best way of building its policy on ensuring its own security.

Of course, it is possible to turn this into a subject of an argument or discussion and simply block any agreement. But may I ask why would only China be pressed to be involved in this process and in signing this treaty? Where are the other nuclear powers? Where is France that, as the press reports, has just tested another submarine-launched cruise missile? Great Britain is also a nuclear power. There are other nuclear states that are not officially recognised as such, as it were, but the whole world knows that they have nuclear arms. So, are we going to behave like ostriches? Hide our heads in the sand and pretend that we do not understand what is going on? What we need is not a checkerboard pattern on our car. We need to drive it, therefore we need to ensure security. So, let us get them involved as well. Let us do it. We are not against this. The only question is whether there is any reason for this, a goal to strive for, whether there is any positive example to follow such as the agreements between the US and Russia? Or is there nothing at all?

We are ready to work from scratch, from centre-field, fine. If you ask about our position, I believe it is better not to lose what was achieved before, to move forward from the positions that have already been reached by previous generations, by the leaders of our countries. However, if our partners decide on something different, we are willing to work in any format and on any of these tracks.

Fyodor Lukyanov: Thank you.

Anatol Lieven, another one of our veterans, who could not come to this meeting but is taking part in it via videoconference. Please.

Anatol Lieven: Thank you very much, Mr President, for speaking to us. And I would also like to thank you personally for your very strong statement on climate change and the environment.

My question, however, relates to the new outbreak of conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. Russia, like other members of the international community, has been trying very hard to bring about a peaceful solution to this conflict, but so far these efforts have failed. If they continue to fail, given Russia’s old historic links and given Russia’s military alliance with Armenia, will it be necessary in the end for Russia to take sides against Azerbaijan and Turkey?

On the other hand, could this perhaps provide a positive opportunity for Russia, given the increasing confrontation which we see between France and Turkey over Turkey’s claims in the Eastern Mediterranean? Could this perhaps be an opportunity for a rapprochement between Russia and France and other West European countries? Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: I did not quite understand the last part of the question. What does the [Nagorno-Karabakh] conflict have to do with this?

Fyodor Lukyanov: Maybe he meant the possibility of rapprochement with France and Europe, since Turkey is now opposed to both them and, to a degree, to us?

Vladimir Putin: I see.

Let us begin at the beginning, with Nagorno-Karabakh and who to support in this conflict. You said that Russia has always had special relations with Armenia. But we have also always had special ties with Azerbaijan as well. There are over 2 million Armenians and some 2 million Azerbaijanis living in Russia, both those who have come to Russia in search of jobs and those who live here permanently. They send billions of dollars to their families back home. All these people have stable and close ties with Russia at the humanitarian level, person-to-person, business, humanitarian and family ties. Therefore, Armenia and Azerbaijan are both equal partners for us. And it is a great tragedy for us when people die there. We would like to develop full-scale relations with both Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Yes, there are some individual elements in each case, and some things in our relations with one partner differ from our relations with the other partner. In the case of Armenia, it is Christianity. But we also have very close ties with Azerbaijan in other spheres.

Speaking about religion, I would like to point out that nearly 15 percent of Russian citizens are Muslims. Therefore, Azerbaijan is not an alien country to us in this sense either.

But what we certainly cannot forget is what happened in the destiny of the Armenian people, the Armenian nation during World War I. This is an enormous tragedy for the Armenian people, This is the second part.

The third part is based on the fact that this conflict broke out not just as an interstate conflict or struggle for territories. It started with ethnic confrontation. Regrettably, it is also a fact that violent crimes against the Armenian people were also committed in Sumgait and later in Nagorno-Karabakh. We must consider all this in a package.

At the same time, we understand that a situation where Azerbaijan has lost a substantial part of its territory cannot continue. Over the years, we have suggested many diverse options for settling this crisis with a view to stabilising the situation in the long-term historical perspective.

I will not go into detail at this point but believe me, this was intensive work on bringing the positions of the parties closer. Sometimes it seemed like a bit more effort, another small step and we would find the solution. Regrettably, it did not happen, and today we are seeing the worst-case scenario in this conflict. The death of people is a tragedy. There are heavy losses on both sides. According to our information, there are over 2,000 dead on either side. The total number of victims is already approaching 5,000.

Let me emphasise that the Soviet Union, the Soviet army lost 13,000 people during the ten years of war in Afghanistan. Now the toll is almost 5,000 in such a short span of time. And how many are wounded? How many people, how many children are suffering? This is why it is a special situation for us.

Yes, the Minsk Group was established, I believe, in 1992. As its co-chairs, Russia, France and the US are responsible for organising the negotiating process. It is clear, and I am 100 percent confident of this, that all participants in the process are sincerely striving to settle the situation. That said, nobody is interested in this as much as Russia is, because this is a very sensitive issue for us. This is not just happening before our eyes, but in a broad sense, it is happening with our people, our friends and our relatives. This is why we are in a position that allows us to be trusted by both sides and play a substantial role as a mediator on the rapprochement of positions in settling this conflict. I would very much like to find a compromise here.

As you may be aware, I maintain close contacts with both President Aliyev and Prime Minister Pashinyan. I speak to them on the phone several times a day. Our respective foreign ministers, defence ministers and heads of special services are constantly in contact. Foreign ministers of both countries came to us again. Today, or rather on October 23, they will have a meeting in Washington. I strongly hope that our American partners will act in unison with us and promote a settlement. Let us hope for the best. This covers the first part.

The second part concerns disputes within NATO between Turkey and France. We never take advantage of frictions between other states. We have good and stable relations with France. I would not say they are full-fledged, but they hold a lot of promise and, in any case, have a good track record.

Our cooperation with Turkey is expanding. Turkey is our neighbour, and I can tell you in more detail how important interaction between our states is for both Turkey and Russia.

I do not think anyone needs our mediation. Turkey and France are perfectly capable of regulating relations between themselves. No matter how tough President Erdogan’s stance may look, I know that he is a flexible person, and finding a common language with him is possible. Therefore, I hope the situation will get back to normal here as well.

Fyodor Lukyanov: Mr President, a follow-up if I may, since it is a hot topic.

Still, Turkey’s much more active role than ever before is what makes the current crisis in the South Caucasus different. You said President Erdogan is flexible. That may well be the case as you spent a lot of time with him. However, many experts believe that Erdogan’s policy is actually about expanding his zone of influence to the borders of the former Ottoman Empire. These borders stretched far and wide, as we know, and they enclosed a lot of territory, including Crimea, which was part of it at some point. It was a long time ago, but nonetheless.

Should we not fear that if this becomes a consistent policy, we would have certain differences with Ankara?

Vladimir Putin: Russia is not afraid of anything. Thank goodness, we are not in a position where we should be afraid of anything.

I do not know about President Erdogan’s plans or his attitude towards the Ottoman legacy. You should ask him about it. But I know that our bilateral trade exceeds $20 billion. I know that Turkey is really interested in continuing this cooperation. I know that President Erdogan is pursuing an independent foreign policy. Despite a lot of pressure, we implemented the TurkStream project together rather quickly. We cannot do the same with Europe; we have been discussing this issue for years, but Europe seems unable to show enough basic independence or sovereignty to implement the Nord Stream 2 project, which would be advantageous to it in every respect.

As for Turkey, we implemented our project quite quickly, despite any threats. Erdogan, who was aware of his national interests, said that we would do it, and we did it. The same is true of our ties in other areas, for example, our military-technical cooperation. Turkey decided it needed a modern air defence system, and the world’s best is the S-400, a triumph of Russian industry. He said he would do it, and he bought it. Working with such a partner is not only pleasant but also safe.

As for aspirations, regarding Crimea or anything else, I know nothing about them, and I do not care about them because the interests of Russia are reliably protected, take my word for it. I am sure that our other partners are fully aware of this.

Regarding Turkey’s refusal to recognise Crimea as part of Russia, well, we do not see eye to eye on all subjects. For example, we are not always on the same page regarding the situation in the South Caucasus. But we also know about the positions of Europe and the United States. They claim to be true dyed-in-the-wool democrats, but they do not even want to hear about the people of Crimea voting for their future in a referendum, which is the highest form of direct democracy.

As I said, they adopted sanctions against the Crimean people. If Crimea was annexed, then they are the victims. Why are sanctions adopted against the victims? But if they voted freely, it was democracy in action, so why are they being punished for democracy? This is all rubbish and nonsense, but it is also a fact of life. So why point the finger at Erdogan? Just take a look at what is happening in other countries.

This is a consistent stand: he does not recognise Crimea, and he does not recognise Nagorno-Karabakh. What should we do? We must continue working with everyone and remain calm. This is exactly what we have been doing: trying to prove that our position is correct, and we will continue to uphold it, and when positions diverge, we look for compromise.

For example, as far as I know, our views on the developments in the South Caucasus do not coincide, because we believe that conflicts should be settled diplomatically at the negotiating table rather than with the use of armed force. Of course, one could say that talks have been ongoing there for 30 years, but to no avail. Well, I do not see this as a reason to start shooting.

Fyodor Lukyanov: Thank you very much.

Of course, Mr Erdogan has been consistent. For example, he recognises Northern Cyprus. But this is perhaps part of the flexibility that you were talking about.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, you are right. I agree. I was supposed to say this but it slipped my mind. But you are correct. Northern Cyprus, yes. However, as far as I know, Turkey does not object to the country finally being unified. The principles of this unification are the problem. But, overall, you are right.

Fyodor Lukyanov: Thank you.

Anatoly Torkunov, President of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.

Anatoly Torkunov: Mr President,

Although there are still more than two months left in 2020, I think all of us see this year as one of very dramatic and unpredictable events. So of course, there is a joke that goes, if by the end of the year we encounter aliens, nobody will be surprised.

Never mind the aliens, we will see how it goes. My question is, of course, not about them. It is related to the developments around our borders. Thank you for such a detailed and interesting account. As an expert, I was very curious to hear your remarks on the South Caucasus.

But in general, developments around our borders seem to be rather dramatic. Let us take the events in Kyrgyzstan. The elections in that country have always prompted some kind of turbulence, although this year the civil disturbances have been particularly rough. The situation in Belarus is somewhat complicated. There is also the problem of Donbass. I understand that you must be tired of talking about this. We know your firm and consistent stance on this issue.

My question is what are Russia’s current fundamental foreign policy goals in the post-Soviet space, considering that it directly concerns our security and humanitarian links? Today you have stressed several times that these people are not foreigners to us – meaning the Caucasus but also our friends in Central Asia and our friends in Belarus and Ukraine.

Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: You know this better than anyone else, you are a very experienced person and a professional with a capital “P”. Our policy in the post-Soviet space within the CIS framework is the main component of our overall foreign policy. This is obvious because all the countries you listed and every other country with which we have good, very good multilateral relations, as well as those with whom our ties seem to be in a stalemate in some cases – they are not foreign countries to us all the same. These are not remote countries somewhere overseas about which we know little.

It is obvious that we lived in a single country, and not just for many years but for centuries, We have strong ties and very deep cooperation in the economy, humanitarian ties. We all speak a common language. In a sense, to a greater or lesser degree, we are essentially people of the same cultural space, not to mention our history. We have a common history and a common victory over Nazism. Our predecessors – our fathers and grandfathers – validated our special relations with their blood.

Regardless of the current events and today’s political environment, I am sure that this community of interests will eventually pave the way to the restoration of our ties with all these countries, no matter how difficult our ties with them are.

At the same time, and this is also an obvious fact, when our common state, the USSR began disintegrating, the people who dealt with this did not think about the consequences this would lead to, something they should have thought about. But it was clear that our neighbours did not always have identical interests. Sometimes their interests diverged and rope pulling was always possible. I believe we must and will find solutions to complicated issues in any way we can, but we need to avoid fueling or exaggerating anything or emphasising disputed issues. On the contrary, we must look at what can and must unite us and what does unite us. What is this? Our common interests.

Look, with respect to economic integration, who is not interested in this? Only our competitors. And the post-Soviet countries are bound to understand, at least smart people are bound to understand that a concerted effort, considering we have a common infrastructure, common transport and energy system and a common language that unites rather than divides us, etc., is our distinct competitive advantage in achieving the things for which some economic associations and structures have been fighting for decades, while we have received all this from our predecessors. We must use this, and this brings benefits to all of us. It is absolutely obvious that this is simply beneficial.

Look, Ukraine saw a revolution in 2004, and then in 2014 another revolution, a state coup. What happened as a result? Read the statistics published by the Ukrainian statistical services: shrinking production, as if they had more than one pandemic. Some of the local industries, ones the entire Soviet Union and Ukraine itself were proud of – the aircraft industry, shipbuilding, rocket building – developed by generations of Soviet people, from all Soviet republics, a legacy Ukraine, too, could and should be proud of – are almost gone. Ukraine is being de-industrialised. It was perhaps the most industrialised Soviet republic, not just one of them. There was of course the Russian Federation, Moscow, St Petersburg, Siberia, the Urals – all right, but Ukraine still was one of the most industrialised republics. Where is all this now and why is it lost?

It was just the stupidity of those who did it, just stupidity, that is all. But I hope that these common interests will still pave the way for common sense.

You just mentioned Belarus – indeed, we have witnessed these turbulent processes there. But there is something I would like to highlight As you may have noticed, Russia did not interfere in what was happening there. And we expect no one else to interfere either. No one should be stirring up this conflict to promote their own interests and impose any decisions on the Belarusian people. I already said in my opening remarks that nothing introduced from the outside without taking into account the peculiarities, culture and history of the people will ever work for that culture, those people.

The Belarusians themselves should be given the opportunity to calmly handle their situation and make appropriate decisions. The decisions they will make could pave the way for amending the country’s Constitution or adopting a new Constitution. President Lukashenko said this publicly. True, people can say, well, he will just write something for his own benefit, this kind of constitution will have nothing to do with democracy. But, you know, it is possible to slander just about anything, and there are always sceptics. But I already said this, so I will not go into more detail.

But what happened in Belarus compares favourably with what happened on the streets of some big cities in developed democracies, do you see that? There has been some harsh action indeed, I give you that, and maybe even unjustified, but then, those who allowed it should be made responsible. But in general, if you compare and look at the pictures – in Belarus, no one shot an unarmed person in the back, that is what I mean. So let us just calmly deal with this.

The same goes for Kyrgyzstan. I think current developments there are a disaster for Kyrgyzstan and its people. Every time they have an election, they practically have a coup. What does this mean? This is not funny. It means that many of these countries are taking the first steps towards their own statehood and the culture of state development.

I have told my colleagues many times that the post-Soviet countries should be treated with special attention, and we must carefully support these new sprouts of statehood. In no case should we be pressing advice or recommendations on them, and even more so, avoid any interference, because this will destroy the fragile, nascent institutions of sovereignty and statehood in those countries. It is necessary to give these nations the opportunity to carefully build these relations within society leading by example, but not acting like an elephant in a china shop with advice and piles of money to support one or the other side.

I strongly hope that we have helped Kyrgyzstan, as a member of the CSTO and the EAEU, to get on its feet, invested hundreds of millions of dollars to support the Kyrgyz economy and various industries and to help Kyrgyzstan adapt so it can join the EAEU. This also goes for phytosanitary services, customs systems, individual sectors of the economy and enterprises. We have recently implemented projects valued at up to $500 million. I am not even talking about grants that we provide annually in the amount of tens of millions of dollars.

Of course, we cannot look at what is happening there without pity and concern. Please note that we are not pressing our advice or instructions on them. We are not supporting any particular political forces there. I strongly hope that things in Kyrgyzstan will get back to normal, and that Kyrgyzstan will get on the path to progress and we will maintain excellent relations with them.

The same goes for Moldova. We can see the developments related to Moldova, and we know the Moldovan people’s needs for promoting democracy and economy. But who is buying Moldovan wine? Will France buy Moldovan wine? Who needs it in the European markets? They have more than enough of their own. When they ship wine from country to country, even within the European Union, the farmers dump it into ditches just to get rid of the cargo.

This is not just about wine. Other sectors of the economy are so closely tied to Russia that they simply cannot exist without it, at least for now. They can only sell their products in Russia. This is exactly what happened to Ukraine. Therefore, we hope that during the next election in Moldova, the Moldovan people will appreciate the efforts that the current President of the republic is undertaking to build good relations with Russia.

Fyodor Lukyanov: Thank you very much.

Hans-Joachim Spanger has joined us from Frankfurt.

Hans-Joachim Spanger: Mr President,

Allow me to turn to an issue which is connected with a person whose name reportedly is not really used in the Kremlin, at least not in public – Alexei Navalny.

A renowned Russian scholar, Dmitry Trenin, the director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, recently stated, let me quote: “The poisoning of the opposition activist Alexei Navalny has become a turning point in Russo-German relations.” And this, according to him, essentially means that, another quote, “this special role performed by Germany and its Chancellor in recent years is now a thing of the past. From now on, Germany will have the same attitude to Russia as all the other countries in Western Europe.”

My question is whether you share this view that a) there was such a special role of Germany in bilateral German-Russian relations, and b) whether you also detect such a turning point now, and if so, what Russia can do to avoid it happening, or, conversely, to turn the turning point around again? Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: I will start with the first part of your question, about the poisonings. First, we have heard about poisonings here and there many times. It is not the first time.

Second, if the authorities had wanted to poison the person you mentioned or to poison anybody, it is very unlikely they would have sent him for medical treatment to Germany. Don’t you think so? As soon as this person’s wife contacted me, I immediately instructed the Prosecutor General’s Office to see if it was possible to allow him to travel abroad for medical treatment. They could have prohibited it because he was under restrictions due to an investigation and a criminal case. He was under travel restrictions. I immediately asked the Prosecutor General’s Office to allow that. And he was taken to Germany.

Then we were told that they found traces of this infamous Novichok that is known around the world. I said, “Please give us the materials.” Primarily, the biological material and the official report so that we can do more research that can give us official and formal legal grounds for initiating criminal proceedings. What was unusual about this request? Our Prosecutor General’s Office, in keeping with the agreements we have with Germany, has repeatedly forwarded official requests for these materials. Is this unusual? In addition, in a conversation with a European leader, I suggested that our specialists go to Germany and together with French, German and Swedish experts work on site to obtain the necessary materials, which we could use to initiate criminal proceedings and, should this incident prove to be a crime, investigate it. But they would not give us anything. How can you explain why? There is no explanation, there is just no explanation. This all looks strange.

Well, they said that they had found traces of Novichok. Later they passed whatever they had on to the OPCW – the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Then quite unexpectedly, they said, it is not Novichok – it is something else. So, is it Novichok or not? This has cast doubt on what was said before. Well, let us investigate the incident together. I say, as I have said several times, that if this is really true, we will definitely conduct an investigation. Unfortunately, there have been attempts on the lives of public figures and businessmen in our country. These cases were investigated in Russia, the culprits were found and punished and, what is important, all of them were punished. We are prepared to spare no effort in this case as well.

As for specific individuals, we have quite a few people like Saakashvili, but I do not think that currently these people have influence to speak of… They may also change, why not? They may undergo some transformation – which, in principle, is not bad – and will also get involved in realpolitik instead of making noise in the street. Take Occupy Wall Street – where is it? Where? Where is all the informal opposition in many European countries or the United States, for that matter? There are many parties there. Where are they? Two parties dominate the political stage and that is it. However, look what is going on in the streets.

This is why we are developing the Russian political system and will continue to do so, offering all political forces – seriously-minded, sincere and patriotic ones – the opportunity to work in compliance with the law.

Now, regarding Germany’s role. We have had very good relations with Germany in the post-war years. I think this was largely due to the German Democratic Republic, the GDR, which was the Soviet Union’s key and main ally in Europe, at least during the time that state existed. We have developed very good relations at the personal and political levels, and in the economic sphere. I know there are still a lot of people there now who sympathise with Russia. And we appreciate that.

Incidentally, the Soviet Union did play a decisive role in the reunification of Germany. It was indeed a decisive role. Some of your current allies, allies of Germany, in fact, objected to the unification of Germany, no matter what they said. We know this; we still have it in our archives. While the Soviet Union played this role. I personally believe that it was the right thing to do, because it was wrong to break a single whole into parts, and if the people there really want something, in Germany’s case they wanted unity, reunification, their pursuit should not be contained by force, as it will not do anyone any good. As for building relations between East and West Germany – this should be up to the Germans, of course. Has Germany played any special role, say, as a mediator between Russia and the rest of the world or Russia and the rest of Europe? I do not think so. Russia is a country that does not need intermediaries.

At the same time, we have always had very special economic, and even humanitarian ties with Germany. Why? Because Germany wanted to play a special role? Well, no, I think it had more to do with Germany’s own interests. Even now, Germany is Russia’s second largest trade partner, in gross volume. It used to be the first, by the way, but it is second to China now, as our trade with China is twice the volume it is with Germany. Nevertheless, there are more than 2,000 companies with German capital in our market. We have a fairly large volume of German investment and German businesses are interested in working in Russia. We are happy about this, because we know these are sincere people interested in expanding ties with our country. I regularly meet with representatives of German business; they are all our friends, or I would like to think so, anyway. This cooperation provides millions of jobs in the Federal Republic of Germany as well, because goods produced by German enterprises go to the Russian market; they enjoy demand here, which means jobs there.

Incidentally, many industries have been seeing a high level of cooperation in recent years. All the above are manifestations of the special nature of our relations, of a mutual interest, I would say. Mutual interest is at the heart of this relationship – not an ambition to play some special role. And this mutual interest will not go away, regardless of the current political situation, and we will maintain such relations, no matter what anyone does.

Fyodor Lukyanov: Thank you very much.

We will stay in Europe for now.

Nathalie Tocci from Rome has joined us. Nathalie, please go ahead.

Nathalie Tocci: Thank you, Mr President, for your extremely candid remarks.

You spoke very eloquently about the importance and centrality of the state, but at the same time the importance of international cooperation, and, in particular, highlighted areas like security as well as climate, which I would associate also with energy transition.

Now, when it comes to security, perhaps a follow-up question on the Caucasus and the resumption of war between Armenia and Azerbaijan. At some point, hopefully very soon, there will be a new ceasefire. At the same time, the conflict itself won’t be resolved. Given that the current configuration of the three Minsk Group co-chairs has been unable to deliver a settlement in all these 26 years, does Russia think that this is the setup that should be reconsidered?

And then, perhaps, if I may, a question on climate change and, in particular, energy transition. Now, energy transition requires funding. The European Union, for instance, will dedicate approximately 40 percent of its next-generation new fund to the Green Deal. Now, when it comes to Russia, it is clear that, being a country that has depended quite importantly on its fossil fuel exports, stabilising energy markets is obviously going to be key for Russia in order to obtain the funds to move forward.

In your speech you highlighted the importance OPEC Plus had in that stabilisation of the market, and I think Russia itself played an extremely important role in ensuring that supplies were cut so as to stabilise prices. But at the same time, we are now in a second wave of the pandemic, and we are likely to see demand continuing to be rather sluggish. Would you expect, or would you like to see in 2021, a further cut in supplies to ensure a further stabilisation of prices?

Vladimir Putin: I will start with the first part of your question regarding the Minsk Group negotiation format and whether it should be changed. Unfortunately, Nathalie, I cannot answer your question. This is for a number of objective reasons, not because I want to emphasise Russia’s role, we all understand that Russia is where it is, nearby. These are our neighbours, and we have special relations with these countries and these peoples. The influences are very strong. I have already said that 2.4 million Armenians and about 2 million Azerbaijanis live in Russia. They wire tens of billions of dollars to support their families. But this is just one factor. I am not even mentioning many others, including the use of markets, cultural ties, and so on. That is, in our case, the situation is very different from relations between the United States and Armenia, or the United States and Azerbaijan, or even Turkey and Azerbaijan. Therefore, of course, we bear special responsibility and must be very careful in what we do.

In this context, the support of the United States, France and other members of the Minsk Group – 10 or 12 countries – matters a lot to us. There are European countries there, and Turkey as well. Do we need to change anything in this regard? I am not sure. Maybe the format could be tweaked a little, but it is imperative to find constructive and acceptable compromises for both sides.

To reiterate, for many years we have been looking for these compromises. We have proposed, believe me, very persistently, a variety of compromises, down to minute details and kilometres, to tell you the truth. All sorts of “corridors” were suggested, as well as an exchange of territories. All the things that were suggested… Unfortunately, we were unable to identify a solution, which eventually led to this tragedy. I hope these hostilities will come to an end soon. I agree with those who believe, including you, that the first thing is to immediately stop the hostilities. We, in fact, agreed to this during the meeting in Moscow. Unfortunately, we were unable to avoid this situation. We will continue to strive for this.

Now I would like to say a few words about oil and everything connected with it, the demand for oil and so on. We are working on alternative energy sources ourselves. We are one of the richest countries in hydrocarbons, oil and gas, but this does not mean at all that we should not think about the future. We are thinking about it and about solar energy and hydrogen energy. We are working on this. Moreover, we are working on this with a view to improving the current situation.

You know for sure that we have adopted a decision in line with which in 2022 we must make our 300 largest contaminators, that is, 300 major companies that are the biggest emitters of these gases, switch to the most accessible, latest technology that would minimise emissions into the atmosphere and into the environment in general of any pollutants, and reduce these emissions by 20 percent by 2024. But we understand that by dealing with these 300 companies and 12 cities where most of them are located, we will not drastically improve the situation. Our strategy in this respect is aimed at halving all anthropogenic emissions by 2030. We must move towards this goal. We have set it for ourselves and will pursue it consistently. We will work on it.

That said, I do not think it will be realistic, provided every country wants to be competitive, to abandon hydrocarbons in the near future. I believe the near future embraces several decades: 30, 40 and 50 years from now. This is simply unrealistic.

Therefore, when we hear about European novelties on hydrocarbons and relevant restrictions, I do not know on what basis these proposals, conclusions and decisions are made. Are they explained by domestic political struggle? Later they are followed by restrictions in international trade and cooperation, right? I do not think this will lead to anything good. It is necessary to achieve a result in this respect not through restrictions but through cooperation and a striving to reach common goals.

We have done what we ought to do under the Kyoto agreement. We have fulfilled everything we did. We are active participants in the Paris agreement and intend to do all this. We are not shutting down from it. On the contrary, we think this is the way to go.

I spoke in my opening remarks about the speed at which permafrost is disappearing and the consequences this may have for all humankind. And what about us? We have a lot of transport systems in this zone: oil and gas pipelines and railways. Our residential districts and whole cities are located on this territory. This is a huge problem for us, and that is why we are willing to work and will work, both ourselves and at the international level, for a clean environment and a reduction in anthropogenic emissions. That said, it is impossible to do without hydrocarbons.

But there is also natural gas as a hydrocarbon source. It is actually the cleanest of hydrocarbons. And what about nuclear energy? Despite what anyone says or the scare tactics around nuclear power and nuclear power stations, it is one of the cleanest kinds of energy. So what are we talking about? Take automobiles, what is the primary energy source there? Even now, Europe and the entire world still use coal to produce electricity. Yes, coal’s share is falling but it is still used.

Why should any fiscal constraints be placed on using natural gas and even diesel fuel? By the way, it can be made to be extremely clean with modern purification and usage standards. So what is the point? To give competitive advantages to certain sectors of the economy in this or that country, with politicians standing behind it. That is the only way I can explain it, not as a simple desire to improve the environment. Nevertheless, I hope sound decisions will be taken here and we will be able to find a proper balance between environmental and economic interests.

As for the demand for oil and work within OPEC+, we maintain contacts with all our partners – both the Americans and the Saudis. We do so regularly at the ministerial level. Literally just the other day I spoke to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, we consult with one another. We believe there is no need to change anything in our agreements as of yet. We will be closely tracking the recovery of the market. You said it was sluggish. It was but is recovering, I will note, it is growing.

The world economy did indeed contract due to the pandemic but consumption is on the rise. That has something to do with our decisions as part of OPEC+. We are of the opinion that nothing needs to change right now. However, we are not ruling out either maintaining existing production limits or not lifting them as soon as we had intended earlier. And if necessary, we will make further reductions. But currently we do not see the need. We have agreed with all our partners that we will closely monitor the situation.

Russia is not interested in higher or lower prices necessarily. Here, our interests overlap with those of our US partners, perhaps primarily with them, because if oil prices drop significantly, shale production will experience great difficulties, to put it mildly. However, although it did not join the OPEC+ deal in a meaningful way, the United States has, in fact, reduced output.

So, almost all market participants, all players have close or overlapping interests, as diplomats say. We will proceed based on the actual situation so as not to make a negative impact on the market. As you are aware, it is important not to impact geological exploration and the preparation of new wells. If we treat the energy sector like a stepchild and keep saying it is not good enough and does nothing but pollute, investment will dry up, and prices will skyrocket.

That is why it is necessary to act responsibly and not politicise this issue or chatter idly, especially for those who know nothing about it, but to act based on the interests of the global economy and their own countries’ interests and find a compromise between protecting nature and growing the economy, so our people can earn enough to support themselves and their families. We will succeed only if we manage to balance these interests. Anything less will lead to ruin.

Fyodor Lukyanov: Mr President, we at the Valdai Club have the pleasure to meet with you regularly and so we have a basis for comparison. If I may say so, I think you have learned something from the pandemic. You sound at peace when you talk about it. I have to ask. You speak so well of Europe, but does it bother you that you are considered almost a murderer there, that those closest to you in government are sanctioned and you are always called on to justify something? And yet I can hear absolution in what you say.

Vladimir Putin: You know, there is little that bothers me, because to a certain extent, when I carry out my official duties, I become the function of protecting the interests of the Russian people and the Russian state. Everything else I try to shut out, so that it does not interfere with the performance of this function. I have had a long time to get used to these attacks, since 2000, when we fought international terrorists in the Caucasus. I heard and saw everything. They portrayed me with fangs and in every other way imaginable. So, it has no effect on me.

Fyodor Lukyanov: Thank you.

Let us jump to the other side. Zhao Huasheng, Shanghai.

Zhao Huasheng: Good afternoon, Mr President.

Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon.

Zhao Huasheng: Thank you very much for this great opportunity.

This year’s theme at this Valdai Club session is The Lessons of the Pandemic and the New Agenda: How to Turn a World Crisis into an Opportunity for the World. I will paraphrase this: how can we turn a world crisis into an opportunity for Sino-Russian relations?

The world is rapidly changing now. Given these conditions, how do you think Sino-Russian relations should develop? I am referring to political and economic ties and regional and international cooperation. What new approaches can be expected? Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: I would give a very brief answer to the question on how to further develop Sino-Russian relations: the same way we have been doing it and are doing it now. Russian-Chinese relations have reached an unprecedented level.

I am not even mentioning the term “specially privileged” relations, etc. What matters is not the name but the quality of these ties. As for the quality, we treat each other with deep trust; we have established durable, stable, and most importantly, effective ties across the board.

My friend – and I have every reason to call him a friend –President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping and I continuously consult each other on what and how things need to be done based on what has already been achieved, but we always find a way to move forward.

You know that we are working together in aviation and nuclear power engineering, as I have just mentioned, and further developing trade ties. Last year, our trade was over 111 billion. This is far from the highest figure that we can achieve. We will certainly achieve more.

We are developing infrastructure, building bridges that unite us in the literal meaning of the word. We are developing humanitarian ties and seeking implementation rather than simply planning large projects in the areas where we supplement each other effectively, including energy.

China is a big shareholder in a number of large Russian projects on gas production, and later, on liquefaction (LNG). Where are these projects carried out? Not on the border with China but in the north of the Russian Federation. We work together in a variety of other areas. And, as we have said many times, there is no doubt that international cooperation is a very important factor in stabilising world affairs; this is absolutely obvious.

To say nothing of our military and defence industry cooperation. We have traditionally maintained relations in this area on a significant scale. I am not only talking about buying and selling, I also mean the sharing of technologies. We hope to maintain this working relationship with our Chinese friends – a friendly relationship based on mutual respect, oriented toward achieving the best results for the people of both China and Russia.

As for Shanghai, it happens to be a sister city of St Petersburg, where I am from. I have been to Shanghai on more than one occasion. It is a magnificent and beautiful city, and I wish the people of Shanghai all the best.

Fyodor Lukyanov: Thank you.

Here is a follow-up question from China to clarify a bit what you just said. Professor Yan Xuetong wants to ask you a very simple and straightforward question: Is it possible to conceive of a military alliance between China and Russia?

Vladimir Putin: It is possible to imagine anything. We have always believed that our relations have reached such a level of cooperation and trust that it is not necessary, but it is certainly imaginable, in theory.

We hold regular joint military exercises – at sea and on land in both China and the Russian Federation – and we share best practices in the build-up of the armed forces. We have achieved a high level of cooperation in the defence industry – I am not only talking about the exchange or the purchase and sale of military products, but the sharing of technologies, which is perhaps most important.

There are also very sensitive issues here. I will not speak publicly about them now, but our Chinese friends are aware of them. Undoubtedly, cooperation between Russia and China is boosting the defence potential of the Chinese People’s Army, which is in the interests of Russia as well as China. Time will tell how it will progress from here. So far, we have not set that goal for ourselves. But, in principle, we are not going to rule it out, either. So, we will see.

Anyway, we are satisfied with the current state of relations between Russia and China in this area. Unfortunately, we have to confront new threats. For example, the intention stated by our American partners to possibly deploy medium- and short-range missiles in the Asia-Pacific Region, of course, raises alarm, and we undoubtedly will have to take reciprocal steps – this fact is self-evident.

Of course, before it comes to that, we have to see what if anything is going to happen, what threats it will pose to us, and, depending on that, we will take reciprocal measures to ensure our security.

Fyodor Lukyanov: Thank you.

Piotr Dutkiewicz from Canada, please.

Piotr Dutkiewicz: Mr President, thank you so much for this unique opportunity to talk to you.

You mentioned in your speech that the youth will have to push the future of Russia, the development of Russia forward. But young people are very unhappy with the world. Look at what is happening in the US, France and Israel. They are saying we have shut the door to a good future for them. According to international opinion polls, over half of young people think they will live worse than their parents do. But they are not impressed by any of this. So, I would like to ask you as the President of the Russian Federation, what you can advise and offer to Russian youth?

Vladimir Putin: I touched on this in my opening remarks, but I can say it again. Of course, the future belongs to the youth, This is the first thing.

Second, young people are usually discontent not with what is happening but with what they have achieved for today, and they want more. And this is right, this is what underlies progress. This is a foundation for the young people to create a better future than the one we have built. And there is nothing surprising or new in this idea. We can understand this from classic Russian literature. Read Fathers and Sons, it is all there.

But what can we offer? We believe we will give young people more opportunities for professional growth and create more social lifts for them. We are building up these instruments and creating conditions for people to receive a good education, make a career, start a family and receive enough income for a young family.

We are drafting an increasing number of measures to support young families. Let me emphasise that even during the pandemic, most of our support measures were designed for families with children. What are these families? They are young people for the most part.

We will continue doing this in the hope that young people will use their best traits – their daring striving to move ahead without looking back at formalities that probably make older generations more reserved – for positive, creative endeavours. Eventually, the younger generation will take the baton from the older generation and continue this relay race, and make Russia stronger.

Fyodor Lukyanov: Thank you.

We have an unusual connection with Australia today. I do not remember anything like this before.

Anton Roux, Please, go ahead.

Anton Roux: Thank you, Mr President, for the opportunity to ask you a question. I really appreciated your insightful, heartfelt and considered remarks during your speech; and I come to you from our second state lockdown in Melbourne, Australia, which is also a sister city to St Petersburg. I embrace also your urging to cast aside silo mentalities.

My question is the following: How do you want to be remembered? What do you want your legacy to be as a world leader and the President of the Russian Federation during the first half of the 21st century? How would you like international historians across the world to write about you and your legacy as a leader, a man and a human being at the end of the 21st century? And how might you shape this any differently during the next phase of your leadership as President of the Russian Federation?

Vladimir Putin: If the translation is correct, you said “who lived in the 21st century.” But, thank God, we are alive and keep living in the 21st century. To be honest, I never think in terms of the areas you mentioned. I do not think about my role in history; those who are interested can decide. I never read a single book about myself.

I just keep working day in, day out, trying to resolve current issues and looking into the future so that these current issues do not stand in the way of achieving our strategic goals. It is, in fact, routine work. I proceed from what I must accomplish today, tomorrow, this year, or in three years given that we plan the budget of the Russian Federation three years in advance.

Of course, as I have said, we do consider strategic goals; this is why we have drafted and continue pursuing national development plans and national projects. But this totally unrelated to any desire to mark my place in history in some way. It is related to something completely different – ensuring the interests of the Russian people, the Russian state, strengthening Russia.

How I will be seen by future generations, I would rather leave to them and their judgment. But then, I do not think I would be interested in these judgments when they are made. In this sense I am a pragmatic person, and I am trying to work not for my image as a world leader, and I do not think I am one (I do not think I am any different from my colleagues – the heads of other states), I work to strengthen my country. This my priority and the meaning of my life.

Fyodor Lukyanov: Thank you. I remember your interview a few months ago, ahead of the constitution referendum, when you openly said that an opportunity to remain in office after 24 years is a guarantee against bureaucratic intrigue, the people around you, so they would not look around in search of a successor.

But if this is true, it is an endless circle; they will always be searching, even while you remain in office.

Vladimir Putin: No, it must definitely end one day, I am perfectly aware of that. And the changes in the Constitution you mentioned are aimed not only at granting the incumbent head of state the right to be elected in 2024 and later, but these amendments are basically aimed at reinforcing the sovereignty of the Russian Federation, outlining our development prospects and building up the fundamental constitutional foundation for progress in the economy, the social sphere and enhancing our sovereignty.

I expect it will all work.

As to what will happen in 2024 or later – we will see when the times comes. Now we all just have to work hard like St Francis, everyone at his or her place.

Fyodor Lukyanov: Thank you.

Alexander Rahr, please.

Alexander Rahr: Mr President, my question is about nostalgia as well. I remember your historical speech at the German Bundestag 20 years ago, where you actually proposed building a common space from Lisbon to Vladivostok. Do you regret that?

Here is my point. The French and the Germans supported the idea. The Eastern Europeans did not. America will not, either. Actually, that keeps us from building our relations with Russia, which, I think, many Europeans would like.

If you had the opportunity to address the Bundestag again, would you also propose working together in the digital sphere or, perhaps, the environment, which would unite Europe and Russia in terms of energy? I think this is a promising idea for the future.

Vladimir Putin: Regarding what I would say if I were speaking there now, here is what happened back then.

At that time (it was 2007, correct?), many of my colleagues told me it was a bit harsh and it was not very good.

What did I actually say? I will refresh your memory. I said it is unacceptable for one country to extend its law beyond its national borders and try to subject other states to its regulations. Something along these lines.

What is happening now? Is it not Western European leaders who are saying that secondary sanctions and extending US jurisdiction to European companies are unacceptable?

If only they had enough guts to listen to what I said back then and to try to at least change the situation, do it carefully, without destroying Atlantic solidarity or the structural arrangement in NATO or elsewhere. I was not talking about that, but about the fact that it is unacceptable and bad for everyone, including those who do this.

Back then, our European partners seemed not to care and everyone looked the other way. Here again, what happened then is happening now. I am saying that this is still bad for everyone, including those who are pursuing or trying to pursue a policy of exceptionalism, because this actually destroys relations and interaction between Europe and the United States, and ultimately causes damage to the United States itself. Why do this?

This fleeting tactical gain that the United States is seeking may lead to negative strategic consequences and the destruction of trust. This is not my business, but since we are having an exchange at the discussion club, I will go ahead and philosophise. This is an absolutely obvious thing.

So, I did not say anything unusual, harmful or aggressive in Munich in 2007. But if I were to speak there now, I would not, of course, say I told you so. I would not do that just out of respect for my colleagues. I am fully aware of the realities back then and today. We do not live in a vacuum, but in real life conditions, our relationships are real and our interdependence is strong.

We understand everything perfectly well, but we need to change things. We are talking about a new world order, so these realities must be taken into account when building modern international relations, which must, of course, be based on consideration for each other’s interests and mutual respect, and respect for sovereignty.

I hope we can build our relations carefully and calmly, without destroying what has been created over previous decades, but while taking into account today’s needs. These relations will meet present requirements and the interests of all participants in international communication.

Fyodor Lukyanov: Alexei Yekaikin. Since we have talked a lot about ecology today, we cannot go without this.

Vladimir Putin: What time is it?

Fyodor Lukyanov: Yes, we are finishing up, Mr President. We feel we have already exceeded our time, but we cannot do without ecology in the end.

Vladimir Putin: No, we cannot. I agree.

Alexei Yekaikin: Thank you, Fyodor.

Good evening, Mr President.

Maybe, this question will seem a bit surprising to you although we have met several times over the years and talked about this. I would like to raise it again. It is about the Antarctic. We spoke about this at the climate session and, in general, this is an anniversary year for us – 200 years since the discovery of the Antarctic.

This is what my question is about. Russia has adopted or is adopting a strategy for developing activities in the Antarctic. A new Vostok station is under construction in the Central Antarctic as part of this strategy. You know this.

It would seem that everything is fine, investment in the infrastructure and the like. So, you may get the impression that we are doing well in the Antarctic. Alas, this is not the case, because the policy is about infrastructure but does not say a word about science. This is a fairly paradoxical situation. I would call it strange because we invest in the infrastructure whereas the main goal for which we need it, that is, science, remains somewhere backstage.

At our Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, we have prepared a draft federal programme for studying the area around the Vostok station for the next 15 years. It has been drafted in detail. It consists of two main themes. The first is the study of the past climate based on ice core data, and this study is very closely connected with the climate theme. Yes, this is drilling the ice, that is right.

The second theme concerns the subglacial lake Vostok. You also know about this. It is one of the most unique phenomena on the planet.

These are two subjects in which we, Russian scientists, are generally strong; we are not trying catch up with anyone in this respect. We are at the proper level and even ahead of some of our colleagues. Nonetheless, there is no government support for research in the Antarctic. I find this strange.

We sent this draft programme to the Ministry of Natural Resources, our relevant ministry. I do not know where exactly it is now. We do not know what happened to it. My question is very simple: does the Russian Government have the opportunity to support our efforts to study the Antarctic or will this topic go down the drain?

After all, it would be a pity to lose our priority in this area.

Thank you very much.

Vladimir Putin: Alexei, first of all, the fact that your colleagues and you made it to Lake Vostok and made this discovery, got to this water that is thousands of years old and that was not connected in any way with the world, remaining under the ice, this, of course, is of great interest to people like you, researchers, who study what eventually became the Earth and how the climate was changing.

I saw this; they brought me the core samples and the water. It is exciting. However, the fact that the infrastructure is being created means that preparations for research are underway. I do not know the plans regarding the allocation of funds for these purposes. You said that money was allocated for the infrastructure, but not scientific research. I doubt this is a lot of money. If the Ministry of Natural Resources …unfortunately, budget cuts are underway, which are caused by certain economic difficulties.

I am not sure if it was necessary to cut the already small expenses associated with Antarctic research. I promise I will look into it. We will punish anyone who made a mistake.

Fyodor Lukyanov: Mr President, you mentioned in your speech that you do not miss the Cold War. Do you miss anything at all?

Vladimir Putin: My children, I rarely see them.

Fyodor Lukyanov: We at the Valdai Club miss the opportunity to get together in person. With all the great advances in technology that allow us to hold almost complete meetings, we would still very much like to talk in person to you and each other next year.

We have not broken the record; there was a forum where the President spent more time with us, but we are close. We talked with the President of the Russian Federation for almost three hours, for which we are sincerely grateful.

Thank you very much. We will try to quickly get back to our normal schedule, and we look forward to seeing you next year.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much for hosting this.

I want to address all members of the Valdai Club, the analysts, politicians and journalists who work with this entity. It is an entity, because it has been operational for many years now. I hope you find it interesting and useful.

I am grateful to you for showing interest in Russia, in our development plans, in us today and in our history. This means that you are engaged, and it is important for us to know your opinion.

I am saying this sincerely, because by comparing what we are doing, by comparing our own assessments of our progress and our economic and political plans, comparing them with your ideas about what is good and what is bad, we find the best solutions and can adjust our plans.

I want to thank you for this and to wish you every success. I also hope for a personal meeting next time.

Good luck to you. Thank you very much.

Fyodor Lukyanov: Thank you very much. Good-bye.

Vladimir Putin: Good-bye.

The Covid-19 Numbers Game: The “Second Wave” is Based on Fake Statistics

By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

Source

Image CTV report, September 

“Red zones”, travel bans, quarantines, “red lists”. A “Second Wave” has been announced. 

The fear campaign has gone into overdrive. Millions of people are lining up for Covid-19 testing.

Drastic state measures are contemplated, including restrictions on social gatherings, marriages, funerals, the closing down of restaurants and bars, the outright paralysis of civil society. 

Coming to the rescue of our citizens. What is the justification? 

This article focusses on the “Numbers Game”.  How statistics and “estimates” are used by politicians to justify the closure of the national economy and the derogation of fundamental civil rights.  

From the onset of the Covid crisis in January 2020, far-reaching decisions taken by the WHO and national governments have been justified by citing “estimates” of the Covid-19 disease as well “statistics” pointing to a  Worldwide spread of a new deadly coronavirus originating in Wuhan, China. 

Scientific analysis confirms that these estimates of “confirmed cases” tabulated by the WHO and the CDC are flawed. The tests do not detect or identify the virus. The figures are often manipulated to justify political decisions. Moreover, official studies confirming the identify of the SARS-CoV-2 virus have not been released. 

Both the concepts as well as the test results do not point to the existence of a Worldwide Covid-19 pandemic. Nor do they justify social distancing, the face mask and the closing down of the global economy.

Corruption prevails at the highest levels of government as well within the upper echelons of the United Nations system. The entire state apparatus as well as inter-governmental organizations are controlled by powerful financial interests. 

Millions of people are now being tested which contributes to increasing the number of so-called “confirmed” Covid positive cases Worldwide. These statistics are then carefully tabulated.  The governments need those numbers to justify their totalitarian measures.

What’s the Big Lie? What’s the Smoking Gun?

SARS-CoV-2 is NOT A “KILLER VIRUS”. The fear campaign has no scientific basis. (See analysis below)

The standard RT-PCR test used to “detect” the insidious Virus, “cannnot identify the Virus”. 

The governments which claim “to be protecting us” are using meaningless and manipulated statistics to justify the imposition of Covid-19 “Code Red”. 

The Virus

In early January 2020, a so-called novel coronavirus  entitled SARS-CoV-2 , which causes “coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19” was identified. It was given a similar name to an existing coronavirus, namely SARS-CoV, i.e. the beta coronavirus that causes the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)

According to renowned immunologist Dr. Beda Stadler of Bern University,

“this so-called novel virus is very strongly related to SARS-1 as well to as other beta-coronaviruses which make us suffer every year in the form of colds.”

Stadler also begs the question: Is this a new virus or the mutation of an existing virus, “similar to the corona beta cold viruses”.

According to a recent study by Tsan-Yuk Lam, Na Jia, et al (Joint Institute of Virology, Shantou and Hong Kong universities):

…the [SARS-2] virus [is] most closely related (89.1% nucleotide similarity) to a group of SARS-like coronaviruses (genus Betacoronavirus, subgenus Sarbecovirus) (Nature, April 2020).

Moreover, the studies of Dr. Anthony Fauci et al in the New England Journal of Medicine as well as the WHO acknowledge that Covid-19 has similar features to seasonal influenza (Viruses A and B). (For further details, see Michel Chossudovsky, September 2020)

What these scientific statements convey is that SARS-2 (which causes Covid-19) is not a killer virus. In fact quite the opposite.

But neither the governments nor the media have reassured public opinion.

The fear campaign not only prevails, it is gaining momentum.

At this juncture of the Covid-19 crisis, governments are envisaging the launching of extreme measures in response to a so-called “Second Wave”. In turn, several media are now spreading stories that this Second Wave is comparable to the 1918 Spanish Flu:

At this point in the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 32 million infected and more than 980,000 dead worldwide, describing this time as “unprecedented” may sound like nails on a chalkboard. This pandemic, however, actually isn’t without precedent: The last time we dealt with a pandemic so mysterious, uncontained and far-reaching was in 1918, when influenza devastated populations around the globe. (CNN, September 25, 2020)

Flashback to March 11, 2020: The Launching of the WHO Pandemic 

On March 11, the WHO officially declared a Worldwide pandemic at a time when there were 18,000 confirmed cases and 4291 deaths out of a total World population outside China of the order of 6.4 billion people.  What do these “statistics” tell you? Most of these confirmed “positive cases” were estimated using the RT-PCR test which does not detect or identify the virus. (See our analysis below)

Immediately following the March 11 WHO announcement the fear campaign went into high gear. Confinement instructions were transmitted to 193 member states of the United Nations. The outright closing down of national economies was upheld as a means to resolving a public health crisis.

Politicians are the instruments of powerful financial interests. Was this far-reaching decision justified as a means to combating the Virus? Did the “numbers” (of confirmed cases) justify a Worldwide pandemic?

Unprecedented in history, applied almost simultaneously in a large number countries, entire sectors of the World economy were destabilized. Small and medium sized enterprises were driven into bankruptcy. Unemployment and poverty are rampant.

In some countries famines have erupted. The social impacts of these measures are devastating.

The devastating health impacts (mortality, morbidity) of these measures including the destabilization of the system of national health care (in numerous countries) far surpass those attributed to Covid-19.

The Rush to Get Tested

In a large number of countries, simultaneously, people are encouraged to get tested which in turn contributes to increasing exponentially the number of so-called confirmed  Covid-19 “positive cases”. Facilities are set up all over the country.

Screenshot, Daily Express

Panic prevails. national authorities establish testing facilities, do it yourself testing kits, etc.

People stand in line to get tested. The estimates are often manipulated.

In England “People stand in drive-thru lines as testing centres hit capacity”

CBC News Screenshot

Screeshot Reuters. Test at German airports

With increasing numbers, as of early June, the health authorities in several countries have pointed to an imminent “Second Wave”.

What is the intent of the Second Wave?

To postpone “normalization”? To prevent the reopening of national economies? To trigger more unemployment?

Currently, national economies have partially reopened.  This Second Wave constitutes the “second phase” of a bankruptcy program, targeting the services economy, air transport, the tourism industry, retail trade, etc.

Social distancing prevails. Schools, colleges and universities are closed down, social gatherings and family reunions are prohibited.

The face mask is reimposed despite its negative health impacts. We are told that it is all for a good cause. Combat the transmission of the virus.

These far-reaching decisions which derogate fundamental civil rights, are based on the “estimates” of Covid-19 positive cases, not to mention the manipulation of the test results.

Video; The Covid-19 Numbers Game with Michel Chossudovsky
https://www.youtube.com/embed/43VdZOhe-5s

The Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction Test (RT-PCR)  

The standard test used to detect / identify SARS-2 around the World is The Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction Test (RT-PCR) which is used to estimate and tabulate the number of confirmed positive Covid-19 cases. (This is not the only test used. Observations below pertain solely to the standard PCR).

According to Nobel Laureate Dr. Kary Mullis, who invented the PCR test:

“PCR detects a very small segment of the nucleic acid which is part of a virus itself. The specific fragment detected is determined by the somewhat arbitrary choice of DNA primers used which become the ends of the amplified fragment.”

The PCR test was never intended to identify the virus.

PCR detection of viruses is helpful so long as its accuracy can be understood: it offers the capacity to detect RNA in minute quantities, but whether that RNA represents infectious virus may not be clear” (see also Lancet report)

The standard PCR Test applied in relation to Covid-19 does not detect or identify the virus. What it detects are fragments of several viruses. According to renowned Swiss immunologist Dr B. Stadler

So if we do a PCR corona test on an immune person, it is not a virus that is detected, but a small shattered part of the viral genome. The test comes back positive for as long as there are tiny shattered parts of the virus left. Even if the infectious viri are long dead, a corona test can come back positive, because the PCR method multiplies even a tiny fraction of the viral genetic material enough [to be detected].

According to Dr. Pascal Sacré, “these tests detect viral particles, genetic sequences, not the whole virus”

What this means is that the PCR test cannot detect or identify SARS-CoV-2. What it detects are fragments, which suggests that a standard “PCR positive” cannot be equated to a so-called Covid-19 Positive.

The PCR test will pick up fragments of several viruses including corona viruses as well as influenza (flu viruses A and B)

While SARS-2 which causes Covid-19 is considered to be similar to SARS-CoV-1, it has similar symptoms to seasonal influenza (Viruses A and B). Moreover, some of its milder symptoms are similar to those of the common cold corona viruses. According to the CDC: “Sometimes, respiratory secretions are tested to figure out which specific germ is causing your symptoms. If you are found to be infected with a common coronavirus (229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1), that does not mean you are infected with the 2019 novel coronavirus.”

According to the CDC  there are “seven [human] coronaviruses that can infect people” the first four of which (alpha, beta) are associated with the common cold.

229E (alpha coronavirus)

NL63 (alpha coronavirus)

OC43 (beta coronavirus)

HKU1 (beta coronavirus)

MERS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS)

SARS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS)

In the above context, what this means is that a PCR test will pick up fragments of corona as well as influenza viruses. It will not be able to identify individual viruses including SARS-2.

“Fragments of viruses positive” does not mean “SARS-2 positive” (or Covid-19 Positive). The PCR test may pick up fragments of influenza viruses (A, B) as well as common cold beta coronaviruses (e.g. OC43, HKU1).In other words, the published estimates of COVID-19 positive (resulting from the standard PCR test) in support of the Second Wave hypothesis are often misleading and cannot be used to measure the spread of SARS-2..There are currently, at the time of writing (according to WHO statistics) almost 33 million so-called “confirmed cases” and 1 million deaths. Are these alleged “Covid-19 positive” estimates which are in large part based on the RT-PCR test reliable? Global Research has published numerous reports on theses issues..In addition to the issue of false positive (which has been amply documented), a person with a bad cold or a flu, could be categorized as SARS-2 (Covid-19) positive, allegedly a dangerous virus.

What governments have done is to give the PCR positive test a single label namely Covid-19, when in fact the PCR positive test could be the result of other viruses including those pertaining to influenza or coronavirus common cold, which (according to the CDC) have similar symptoms to Covid-19.

Once the Covid-19 Positive label is established and accepted, it is then subject to numerous forms of manipulation, not to mention the falsification of death certificates.

These fake figures are then used to sustain the fear campaign and justify political decisions by corrupt national governments.

The public is led to believe that there is a “Second Wave” and the government is there to save lives through social distancing, the face mask, the closing down of economic activity, the paralysis of the national health system and the closing down of schools and universities.

There is a circular causal relationship. The more people get tested as a result of the fear campaign, the more PCR positive cases. …

It’s a Big Lie.

When the Lie becomes the Truth, there is no moving backwards.

Netanyahu Has No Option but to Wait for Trump’s Win ضيق الخيارات يحاصر نتنياهو: لا مخرج إلّا بفوز ترامب!

Netanyahu Has No Option but to Wait for Trump’s Win

By Ali Haidar – Al-Akhbar Newspaper

Translated by Staff

Netanyahu finally noticed the threat caused by his failed performance in fighting the coronavirus pandemic; and it doesn’t seem that he has various options. As many obstacles obstructed his plan to form a purely right-wing government, polls showed that a lot of risks would threaten his position in case he proceeded to conduct early elections. Accordingly, Netanyahu is now trying to restore the confidence of his constituents, while waiting for the results of the American elections, in the hope that his ally, Donald Trump, wins these elections, which would positively impact Netanyahu’s position.

It is worth giving attention to the economic and media discourse of the Prime Minister of the enemy entity, Benjamin Netanyahu, since besides reflecting priorities of the entity in different areas, it shows the political and personal interests that occupy his thoughts as a Prime Minister who is accused of corruption and bribery. Based on this, the “Israeli” Haaretz newspaper observed the transformation in Netanyahu’s discourses, as he stopped mentioning normalization deals with the UAE and Bahrain after being too proud of this “exploit”. He also stopped mentioning his trial as well as criticizing law enforcement agencies. The newspaper considered that the reason behind this transformation was the sharp decrease in Netanyahu’s popularity due to the worsening of both health and economic crises, which obliged him to modify his media discourse in a way that it becomes suitable for the interests of the “Israeli” audience.

The results of the polls are perhaps one of the most significant indicators of this decline as they showed that “Likud” -the “Israeli” party- would decrease to 26 seats, while “Yamina” -the “Israeli” alliance- would increase to 23. A few months earlier, polls results had shown that “Likud” would pick up more than 30 seats, while “Yamina” would win about 10.

The importance of this unsurprising development is that it had a considerable impact on Netanyahu’s choices concerning the future of the government, which is -based on the current realities- not expected to stay till the end of its period, in order to avoid the scenario in which Netanyahu would step down as a Premier in one year, in conformity with the convention that imposes the alternation with his “partner but adversary” Benny Gantz, which he sees as the beginning of the end of its political life. Accordingly, Netanyahu has two choices: either reproducing a right-wing government that confirms him as unrivalled Premier and provides him with the parliamentary guarantees for the legislation that would protect him and allow him to continue in his position, or proceeding to conduct early elections whose date depends on various internal changes, and perhaps even external ones.

The best scenario for Netanyahu is the one where a right-wing government would be formed to free him from the limits that the partnership with the “Blue and White” party had imposed.

Theoretically, the right-wing camp, the closest to Netanyahu’s directions, has a majority that would allow Netanyahu to form a right-wing government [54 Knesset members]. In order to materialize his expected scenario, Netanyahu needs two of the three following blocs to join his camp: “Derekh Eretz” party which includes two Knesset members who broke away from the party of Moshe Ya’alon, “Yamina” alliance headed by Naftali Bennett, and “Yisrael Beiteinu” party headed by Avigdor Lieberman.

Concerning the latter, Lieberman proved -in practice- that he had no intention to join a government headed by Netanyahu. If this scenario had a considerable probability, the Prime Minister wouldn’t have needed to conduct three electoral campaigns during 2019 and 2020. Furthermore, till now, there are no signs that Lieberman would change its stance. As for the “Derekh Eretz” party, it has previously promised Gantz that it would not join a government without him, and that would be headed by Netanyahu. The two Knesset members who constitute this party proved their practical commitment concerning this advanced stance. However, “Yamina” that supports Netanyahu is supposed to be the most concerned with the continuity of the right-wing government. Consequently, it wouldn’t mind joining any attempt to form a right-wing government. Nevertheless, the success of this attempt depends on the alliance between “Yamina” and one of the two parties: “Derekh Eretz” and “Yisrael Beiteinu”, since without either of them –in the light of the current parliamentary map- the parliamentary majority wouldn’t be available.

Here, attention is drawn to that an additional factor that emerged might highly affect the thoughts of the head of “Yamina”, which is the polls that gave this party 23 seats, while it had 5 only, bearing in mind that this expected progress would be at the expense of “Likud”, which seemed weakening given the polls results, although it is still in the lead of the right-wing and other parties.

All these factors constituted a strong indicator that Netanyahu was not likely to succeed in forming a right-wing government in the light of the current realities. However, this remains possible in case new developments emerged in the stances of some parties, leading to a change in their estimations under the influence of the health and economic crises.

Accordingly, the most likely scenario is conducting early elections. Yet, Netanyahu was highly criticized for its management of the coronavirus pandemic crisis that resulted in unprecedented economic repercussions, as well as about a million unemployed. Apparently, the Prime Minister refocused on the health crisis because of these outcomes, at the time when his advisors were trying to convince him to remove the Minister of Environmental Protection, Gila Gamliel, who rudely breached the coronavirus instructions, and was accused of lying while being interrogated by the investigators of the Ministry of Health. Sources close to Netanyahu said that the “Likud” party was badly affected because of his performance regarding the outbreak, and that winning any elections depends on restoring the confidence of its constituents, as some of them joined the “Yamina” party. Moreover, “Blue and White” leaders saw that Netanyahu wouldn’t dare to conduct elections in the current situation. In order to strengthen their popular position, they are trying to differentiate themselves from him by criticizing his performance and showing their conflicts with him regarding different issues.

Accordingly, it is obvious that all the available scenarios for Netanyahu are full of risks and restrictions that increase with the aggravation of the health and economic situations. Although the majority of parties are not concerned with early elections, all the signs outweigh the mentioned scenario. However, the question remains as to when would it take place, and under which slogans and titles. In this context, the “Israeli” Haaretz newspaper considered that if the American President Donald Trump won a second term, this would encourage Netanyahu to conduct early elections and help him divert the attention of the “Israeli” public opinion to topics that aren’t exhausting for him. However, if the Democratic nominee Joe Biden won, and the democratic majority controlled the Senate, this would cause a political shake whose political consequences in “Israel” are difficult to expect. Thus, it is clearly shown how the internal factors and Netanyahu’s position in the polls highly affected the political discourse of the enemy Prime Minister, whose biggest concern is how to survive his trial and stay in his position. That is why he modified his political discourse that had been focusing on the “exploit” concerning the “Peace Deals” with the Emirati and Bahraini regimes, while all what he is worried about is Trump’s destiny in the expected elections.

ضيق الخيارات يحاصر نتنياهو: لا مخرج إلّا بفوز ترامب!

علي حيدر

الجمعة 9 تشرين الأول 2020

ضيق الخيارات يحاصر نتنياهو: لا مخرج  إلّا بفوز ترامب!
تتكاثر الانتقادات المُوجّهة إلى نتنياهو على خلفية أدائه حيال أزمة «كورونا» (أ ف ب )

لا تبدو الخيارات كثيرة أمام بنيامين نتنياهو، الذي يبدو أنه التفت أخيراً إلى حجم العاصفة التي تواجهه جرّاء أدائه الفاشل في مواجهة أزمة «كورونا». وفيما يعترض العديد من العقبات خطّته لتشكيل حكومة يمينية صافية، تُظهر استطلاعات الرأي مخاطر كبيرة محدقة بمكانته في حال التوجّه إلى انتخابات مبكرة. من هنا، يسعى نتنياهو، حالياً، إلى استعادة ثقة ناخبيه، في وقت يترقّب فيه نتائج الانتخابات الأميركية، التي يأمل فوز حليفه، دونالد ترامب، بها، بما ينعكس إيجاباً على موقفه هوليست أمراً ثانوياً متابعة الخطاب السياسي والإعلامي لرئيس حكومة العدو، بنيامين نتنياهو؛ فهو إلى جانب كونه يعكس أولويّات الكيان في أكثر من ساحة، فإنه يؤشر أيضاً إلى الاهتمامات السياسية والشخصية التي تحتلّ وعيه كرئيس حكومة متّهم بالفساد والرشوة. انطلاقاً من ذلك، رصدت صحيفة “هآرتس” التحوّل الذي استجدّ على خطاب نتنياهو، بعدما امتنع خلال الأسبوعين الأخيرين عن التطرّق إلى اتفاقيتَي التطبيع مع الإمارات والبحرين، وهو الذي كان قد ملأ الشاشات متباهياً بهذا “الإنجاز”، وأيضاً عن التطرّق إلى محاكمته وانتقاد أجهزة تنفيذ القانون. وأرجعت الصحيفة التحوّل المذكور إلى التراجع الكبير في شعبية نتنياهو بفعل تفاقم الأزمتين الصحية والاقتصادية، واضطراره إلى تعديل خطابه الإعلامي، وتحويله إلى ما يهمّ الجمهور الإسرائيلي.

ولعلّ من أبرز المؤشّرات على ذلك التراجع، نتائج استطلاعات الرأي التي أظهرت تراجع حزب “الليكود” إلى 26 مقعداً، في مقابل صعود تحالف “يمينا” إلى 23 مقعداً، بعدما كانت النتائج قبل أشهر قليلة تشير إلى فوز “الليكود” بأكثر من ثلاثين مقعداً، بينما راوحت كتلة “يمينا” حول العشرة مقاعد. أهمّية هذا المستجد غير المفاجئ، أن له أثراً كبيراً على خيارات نتنياهو في ما يتعلّق بمستقبل الحكومة، التي يُرجّح، في ضوء المعطيات القائمة، أنه لن يسمح باستمرارها إلى آخر عهدها، تلافياً لسيناريو تنحّيه عن رئاستها بعد نحو سنة التزاماً باتفاق التناوب مع الشريك – الخصم، بني غانتس، وهو ما يرى فيه بداية نهاية حياته السياسية. وعليه، يبقى أمام نتنياهو خياران: إمّا إعادة إنتاج الحكومة وفق تركيبة يمينية تُكرّسه زعيماً أوحد لها، وتوفّر له الضمانة البرلمانية لسنّ القوانين التي تُحصّنه، وتتيح له الاستمرار في المنصب؛ أو الذهاب نحو انتخابات مبكرة، يرتبط موعدها بأكثر من متغيّر داخلي، وربما خارجي أيضاً.
السيناريو الأفضل لدى نتنياهو يتمثّل في تشكيل حكومة يمينية تُحرِّره من القيود التي فرضتها عليه شراكته مع حزب “أزرق أبيض”. من الناحية النظرية، لدى معسكر اليمين، الأقرب إلى توجّهات نتنياهو، أغلبية تسمح له بتشكيل حكومة يمينية (54 عضو كنيست). على أنه من أجل تحقّق السيناريو المؤمّل لديه، يحتاج نتنياهو إلى انضمام كتلتين من الكتل الثلاث التالية إلى معسكره: كتلة “دِرِخ هآرتس /طريق البلاد” وتضمّ عضوي “كنيست” انشقا عن حزب موشيه يعلون، وكتلة “يمينا” برئاسة نفتالي بينت، وكتلة “إسرائيل بيتنا” برئاسة أفيغدور ليبرمان. في ما يتعلّق بالأخير، أثبت ليبرمان، بالممارسة، أنه ليس في وارد الانضمام إلى حكومة برئاسة نتنياهو، ولو كان هذا السيناريو يملك أرجحية معتبرة، لما احتاج رئيس الحكومة إلى خوض ثلاث حملات انتخابية خلال عامَي 2019 و2020، فضلاً عن أنه لا مؤشّرات حتى الآن على تحوّل في موقف ليبرمان. بالنسبة إلى كتلة “درخ هآرتس/ طريق البلاد”، فقد سبق أن التزمت مع غانتس بأن لا تشارك في حكومة من دونه ويرأسها نتنياهو، وقد أثبت عضوا “الكنيست” اللذان يشكّلان الكتلة التزامهما العملي بالموقف المتقدّم. أمّا بالنسبة إلى كتلة “يمينا”، التي تتموضع على يمين نتنياهو، فيفترض أن تكون الأكثر اهتماماً باستمرار حكومة اليمين، وبالتالي فهي لن تمانع الانضمام إلى أيّ محاولة لإنتاج حكومة يمينية. لكن نجاح تلك المحاولة يظلّ مشروطاً بانضمام إحدى الكتلتين: “درخ هآرتس” أو “إسرائيل بيتنا”، إليها؛ لأنه بدون أيّ منهما – في ظلّ الخريطة البرلمانية الحالية – لن تتوفر الأغلبية البرلمانية. على أن ما يجدر التنبّه إليه، هنا، هو أن عاملاً إضافياً استجدّ قد يصبح أكثر حضوراً في حسابات رئيس “يمينا”، وهو استطلاعات الرأي التي تمنحه 23 مقعداً، في حين أنه يملك الآن 5 مقاعد، علماً بأن تقدّمه المتوقع يأتي على حساب “الليكود”، الذي تظهر الاستطلاعات نفسها تراجعه، على رغم محافظته على تقدّمه على بقية الأحزاب اليمينية وغيرها. هذه الاستطلاعات قد تغري بينت بالتمسّك بخيار الانتخابات المبكرة، على أمل التحوّل إلى حزب رئيس ومنافس لـ”الليكود” في أيّ حكومة لاحقة.

كلّ السيناريوات أمام نتنياهو محفوفة بمخاطر وقيود تتغذّى بتفاقم الوضعين الصحي والاقتصادي


تشكّل تلك العوامل، مجتمعة، مؤشّراً قوياً إلى استبعاد نجاح نتنياهو، في ظلّ المعطيات الحالية، في تشكيل حكومة يمينية. لكن يبقى هذا الاحتمال وارداً في حال بروز مستجدّات في مواقف بعض الكتل، تؤدّي إلى تغيير تقديراتها على وقع الأزمتين الصحية والاقتصادية. وعليه، يصبح السيناريو الأكثر ترجيحاً هو إجراء الانتخابات المبكرة. لكن نتنياهو يتعرّض لانتقادات شديدة بسبب إدارته لأزمة “كورونا”، التي ولّدت تداعيات اقتصادية غير مسبوقة، وأدّت إلى نحو مليون عاطل عن العمل. ويبدو أن رئيس الحكومة أعاد، نتيجة هذه المعطيات، التركيز على الأزمة الصحية، في وقت يحاول فيه مستشاروه إقناعه بإقالة وزيرة حماية البيئة، غيلا غمليئيل، التي خرقت تعليمات “كورونا” بشكل فظّ، واتُّهمت بالكذب لدى استجوابها من قِبَل محقّقي وزارة الصحة. ويؤكّد مقرّبو نتنياهو، أيضاً، أن حزب “الليكود” تَضرّر كثيراً نتيجة أدائه حيال التفشّي الوبائي، وأن فوزه بأيّ انتخابات مقبلة مرهون باستعادة ثقة ناخبيه، الذين انزلق جزء منهم نحو كتلة “يمينا”. على أن قادة “أزرق أبيض” يرون أن نتنياهو لن يجرؤ على التوجّه إلى انتخابات في الوضع الحالي، وهم يحاولون، من أجل تعزيز مكانتهم الشعبية، التمايز عنه، عبر توجيه الانتقادات لأدائه، وتظهير خلافاتهم معه حول قضايا عديدة.
الواضح، بالنتيجة، أن كل السيناريوات أمام نتنياهو محفوفة بمخاطر وقيود، تتغذّى بتفاقم الوضعين الصحي والاقتصادي. ومع أن أغلب الأحزاب غير معنيّة بانتخابات مبكرة، إلا أن جميع المؤشرات ترجّح السيناريو المذكور. ولكن يبقى السؤال: متى؟ وتحت أيّ شعارات وعناوين؟ في هذا السياق، اعتبرت صحيفة “هآرتس” أن فوز الرئيس الأميركي، دونالد ترامب، بولاية ثانية، من شأنه أن يُحفِّز نتنياهو على التوجّه إلى انتخابات مبكرة، ومساعدته على صرف أنظار الرأي العام في إسرائيل إلى مواضيع مريحة له. لكن فوز المرشح الديموقراطي، جو بايدن، وسيطرة أغلبية ديموقراطية على مجلس الشيوخ، يمكن أن يؤدّيا إلى هزّة سياسية، يصعب توقّع تبعاتها السياسية في إسرائيل. هكذا، يتجلّى بوضوح كيف أن العوامل الداخلية، ومكانة نتنياهو في استطلاعات الرأي، تؤثر بنسبة كبيرة جداً على الخطاب السياسي لرئيس وزراء العدو، الذي يبدو أن أكثر ما يهمّه كيفية النجاة من المحاكمة ومن إطاحته من منصبه، ونتيجة ذلك عَدّل في خطابه السياسي الذي كان يركّز على إنجاز “اتفاقيات”السلام” مع النظامين البحريني والإماراتي، في وقت يُبقي فيه عينه وقلبه متعلّقين بمصير ترامب في الانتخابات المقبلة.

Like 2017 France, will voters choose Trump just to end a fake-leftist party?

Like 2017 France, will voters choose Trump just to end a fake-leftist party?

October 04, 2020

By Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog

Since 1996 Americans have proven that they know their own country: polls show they have correctly picked the winner of the popular vote every time. Even though Trump’s approval rating is under 50% and poll aggregates show he trails by 8%, Gallup just asked who they think will win and 56% of Americans picked Trump, including 24% of Democrats, while just 40% picked Biden.

That’s a big spread, but it confirms what everybody tells me from small towns to Chicago, and I ask everyone. It’s pretty pathetic to see the fear in the eyes of some Biden supporters – you aren’t Afghans planning a wedding party during the Obama era, ok?

Given the extraordinary economic disaster and mass unemployment (in a country with no social safety net) it seems totally impossible for any incumbent to survive, but we should not forget that Democrats are the half of the duopoly which is paid to lose: they are here to provide a safety valve against real leftism (they are Bernie Sanders writ large), and to divert people away from leftist solutions to America’s lack of a social safety net with fake-leftist divisiveness.

Trump has caught coronavirus, and – I’m sure he’s saying – it’s the biggest, most stupendous, most world-famous case of corona ever! It is – Trump is finally not over-selling. But so will be the recovery, no? A recovered Trump (and a 74-year old man has just a 3% chance of dying after contracting corona) who doesn’t make Biden’s willingness for even more devastating, unbearable, technocratic lockdowns a top-two issue would prove that corona does indeed cause lasting brain damage.

The Deep State and their proxies have obviously done everything – fair or foul – they could to stop Trump, and yet I haven’t seen anyone discuss the idea that the White House corona outbreak was injected there on purpose? If anybody could and would do it – and then see Trump survive and overturn their best-laid plans – it would be US Democrats, no?

Trump has the good fortune of running against a Democratic Party which – the ousting of Bernie Sanders and the elevation of Kamala Harris shows – is dominated by a tiny cabal of well-connected Clintonistas, the corporate board members residing in one of the world’s biggest tax havens (the state of Delaware, home of Biden) and Hollywood media liberals who will get incredibly upset at my upcoming use of the term “Frenchmen” instead of “Frenchx”.

Indeed, the biggest achievement of US liberals since 2016 may merely be forcing people to use “Latinx” instead of “Latino/a”. At the “China: Isn’t It Time to Turn To Us?” first presidential debate I don’t recall Biden uttering the word “impeachment”, and he definitely didn’t talk about Russiagate – Democrats can’t possibly run on their own pathetic record?

Yes, the US is such a politically-ignorant country that Trump can accuse “Corporate Joe” Biden of being a “radical socialist” and actually find believers, but Western fake-leftist parties are increasingly being punished by voters for their “right-wing economics and right-wing foreign policy but with political correctness” platform.

It’s amazing that the Clintonista faction wasn’t forced from power after stunningly losing to a reality show star in 2016, but if they snatch defeat from the jaws of victory again will there finally be a fair reckoning?

Could defeat in November break up the ossified, out-of-touch and certainly ineffective Democratic Party?

There is a recent Western precedent for such an abrupt exit: the Socialist Party of France.

In 2017 they were rejected so emphatically that their perpetual post-WWII duopoly-dominance became quickly irrelevant; the fact that in 2012 they won both the presidency and 36% more seats than any other party in Parliament became quickly irrelevant. What cost the Socialist Party was the patsy Francois Hollande’s appalling backtracking on his campaign promise to end austerity – it finally became totally clear to Frenchmen that the Socialist Party should be called the “Neoliberal Party of Brussels”.

The French left remains in total disarray, as they should be, given how they refused to listen to their constituents and how they proved themselves to be elitist, duplicitous and amoral technocrats. The trend in France is for the Green Party to be given a chance next, as they are the only other not-yet-discredited option other than the tiny true left and the “paper tiger” far-right.

Yes, unlike the US the French political spectrum contains more than just two parties, but the bigger difference is that the French voter was smart enough to be out for blood in 2017: the #1 reason people voted for Emmanuel Macron was to block Marine Le Pen, but the #2 most-stated reason was to sweep both mainstream parties out from entrenched power – it worked spectacularly well against the Socialist Party.

The United States is far more more prone to hysterical fear-mongering than the cool and politically-experienced French, and “never Trump derangement syndrome” does help explain why there isn’t a similar “cast your vote to kill the mainstream party” movement like France had in 2017. Of course, votes for Trump in the 2016 Republican primaries were made for precisely this reason – this is totally forgotten/covered-up/ignored/misunderstood in 2020 USA.

Such a movement is certainly good sense (which American leftists rarely have), though, as well as political justice.

Yet it seems impossible to imagine someone like Nancy Pelosi – eating her $13 ice cream while getting an illegal high-class haircut – wouldn’t be made the fall-guy (“fall-guyx”?) for yet another Democratic debacle, but was there any change whatsoever after Hillary’s loss?

Is there any doubt that a Biden win wouldn’t see Hillary taking a top cabinet post, replete with royal re-coronation media coverage? Hillary’s certain return is never, ever discussed here because it would obviously turn many voters away from the Democrats in disgust, even though she’s already said she’s ready to join Biden’s administration. A vote for Biden is indeed a vote for Hillary.

But when did Democratic Party leadership ever care about being popular among the masses?

They don’t have to care because the reality is that the American system is incredibly undemocratic at the upper level. Maybe at the local levels we can talk about a face-off between a small town’s two richest lawyers as being a marginally democratic election, but at the top the American system is a most-rigid Politburo dominated by politicians, lobbyist-connected generals and billionaires who never even paid lip service to ideals which weren’t grasping Western individualism, self-righteous arrogance and realpolitik greed.

Forty years ago Democrats in Detroit and in the farming Delta may have said things which condemned those obvious flaws in the neo-aristocratic (bourgeois) US model, but now Democrats only say such things at election time. Take, for example, the discussions about African-American reparations during the Democratic primaries – LOL, no top Democrat has talked about that since Biden’s victory, and they won’t again… until 2024.

Cynically insist all you want that the Democratic Party, the oldest voter-based party in the world, is too entrenched, too privileged and has had too long to game the system in order to ever pay the price for such phony politics, but history says otherwise – just ask France’s fake-leftists.

Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

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