Western Foreign Policy Created Ukraine Crisis, is Creating Crisis with China

June 09, 2022

From Brian Berletic on New Eastern Outlook

https://journal-neo.org/2022/06/08/western-foreign-policy-created-ukraine-crisis-is-creating-crisis-with-china/

Two recent events, both overshadowed by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, help illustrate how the same problematic aspects of Western foreign policy driving the Ukrainian conflict are hard at work in provoking conflict with yet another global power, China.

Western complaints about an alleged naval base China is accused of building in Cambodia and an altercation between Chinese and Canadian patrol aircraft in the North Pacific reflect growing tensions between an inflexible and declining Western unipolar order and a rising China that increasingly refuses to subordinate or explain itself to the West upon the global stage.

While peaceful coexistence would not only be possible but preferable in regards to global peace, stability, and prosperity, the US-led “rules-based international order” has openly declared its intentions of inhibiting China’s rise and has demonstrated just how far in terms of disrupting global peace, stability, and prosperity the US and its allies are willing to go to achieve this.

China’s “Secret Navy Base” 

The Washington Post in an article titled, “China secretly building PLA naval facility in Cambodia, Western officials say,” would claim:

China is secretly building a naval facility in Cambodia for the exclusive use of its military, with both countries denying that is the case and taking extraordinary measures to conceal the operation, Western officials said. 

The Washington Post already reported that:

The establishment of a Chinese naval base in Cambodia — only its second such overseas outpost and its first in the strategically significant Indo-Pacific region — is part of Beijing’s strategy to build a network of military facilities around the world in support of its aspirations to become a true global power, the officials said.

The unnamed Western officials failed to point out just how far China actually has to go to become a “true global power” in terms of building military installations abroad. A 2021 Al Jazeera article titled, “Infographic: US military presence around the world,” noted that, “The US controls about 750 bases in at least 80 countries worldwide and spends more on its military than the next 10 countries combined.”

The notion that China’s activities in Cambodia are “secret” is also questionable. Both China and Cambodia are surely aware of the full extent to which China is or isn’t involved at Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base. Neither nation is required to provide an explanation to the United States whose own shores are located thousands of miles away.

While the Washington Post accuses China of using  “a combination of coercion, punishment and inducements in the diplomatic, economic and military realms,” to “bend” nations to Beijing’s interests, it is actually the United States who threatens not only Cambodia, but nations throughout Southeast Asia, all of whom seek to cultivate constructive ties with China.

Late last year, according to AP in their article, “US orders arms embargo on Cambodia, cites Chinese influence,” Cambodia was openly penalized simply for its growing ties with China. The article would claim:

Beijing’s support allows Cambodia to disregard Western concerns about its poor record in human and political rights, and in turn Cambodia generally supports Beijing’s geopolitical positions on issues such as its territorial claims in the South China Sea.

The construction of new Chinese military facilities at Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base is a point of strong contention with Washington.

Clearly, US claims about Chinese foreign policy is pure projection. The US would be pressed to cite specific “punishments” China has dispensed to nations simply for cultivating ties with the US. The US, on the other hand, not only imposed various economic penalties on Cambodia’s government, Washington has also sponsored opposition forces who openly aim to overthrow the current Cambodian government.

In a 2017 Phnom Penh Post article titled, “Sokha video producer closes Phnom Penh office in fear,” a senior Cambodian opposition leader – Kem Sokha – would be quoted as saying:

“…the USA that has assisted me, they asked me to take the model from Yugoslavia, Serbia, where they can change the dictator [Slobodan] Milosevic,” he continues, referring to the former Serbian and Yugoslavian leader who resigned amid popular protests following disputed elections, and died while on trial for war crimes. 

He would also claim:

“I do not do anything at my own will. There experts, professors at universities in Washington, DC, Montreal, Canada, hired by the Americans in order to advise me on the strategy to change the dictator leader in Cambodia.” 

If Cambodia, whose constitution prohibits the presence of foreign military facilities on its territory, is willing to risk public backlash for allowing China to construct a “secret base” there, it might be as a means of preventing the country from becoming the next Ukraine.

Canada’s “Global Jurisdiction” vs Chinese Sovereignty 

Also in the headlines recently is a row growing between China and Canada over the latter’s air patrols “monitoring” North Korea.

A Reuters article, “China warns Canada over air patrols monitoring North Korea sanctions busting,” would claim:

China’s foreign ministry warned Canada on Monday of potential “severe consequences” of any “risky provocation,” after Canada’s military last week accused Chinese warplanes of harassing its patrol aircraft monitoring North Korea sanctions busting.

“The UN Security Council has never authorized any country to carry out military surveillance in the seas and airspace of other countries in the name of enforcing sanctions,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a media briefing. 

And indeed, the UN has not authorized Canada or any other nation to fly air patrols to enforce sanctions on North Korea. The Canadian patrol aircraft are so far from Canada’s own territory, they are actually based in Japan throughout the duration of these “monitoring” missions.

The United States’ self-appointed role as arbiter of who can and cannot construct military bases around the globe and Canadian patrol aircraft assuming global jurisdiction including off China’s own shores and around its neighbor’s shores, are illustrations of American exceptionalism (and by extension, the exceptionalism of their closest allies).

This exceptionalism led to the crisis in Ukraine which followed the US overthrow of the elected Ukrainian government in 2014.  The US began a process of militarizing the nation which shares a substantial border with the Russian Federation. Whereas the US was allowed to send its military to Ukraine to train forces for an eventual war with Russia, the US and its allies decried Russian military deployments within Russia’s own territory to put in check the growing threat Ukraine was being transformed into.

Whereas the US was able to interfere deeply in Ukraine’s internal political affairs, Russia was accused of backing separatists in the Donbas region and thus of fuelling the 8 year war that precipitated ongoing military operations in Ukraine today.

Likewise, the US is able to maintain hundreds of military bases around the globe, including those constructed as part of illegal wars of aggression and subsequent occupations. China, however, is apparently “wrong” for the potential use of part of an existing Cambodian naval facility, with Cambodia’s consent.

US allies like Canada are able to fly “patrol aircraft” thousands of miles from their own shores to “monitor” territory near Chinese shores and those of their neighbors, but China is unable to scramble its own aircraft to intercept and monitor these “patrols.”

In the past, this exceptionalism went unchecked. Because of China’s rise, there is a growing sense of balance being reintroduced into what has been until now a unipolar world order. While the US government and the Western media will complain about China’s growing ties both economically and militarily throughout the Indo-Pacific region, there is little the US can do to stop it. Its increasingly coercive and aggressive policies to punish nations seeking to do business with China may disrupt whatever balancing act many nations have been performing between East and West, driving them deeper into partnership with China and thus only succeed in isolating the US itself.

Only time will tell if the US continues down this increasingly destructive path, Ukraine being only the most recent victim of American exceptionalism, or if the US begins finding a constructive role within the emerging multipolar world.

Brian Berletic is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Whose Lies Can You Trust?

May 29, 2022

Source

by James Rothenberg

I read that we’ve entered a “post truth” age. I dislike the term because it seems too sure of itself, as if it encompasses all there is to encompass. As if it should come to mean the same thing to everyone. The worst is “holocaust”, a word I’ve forbidden myself to use for the reasons just mentioned.

Sure, something’s been accelerating. It’s hard to miss the competitive manipulation taking place in the “information age”, another shorthand though with more authenticity. At a certain point in his presidency, the Washington Post catalogued 10,000 of Donald Trump’s lies. They were practically giddy about it. “Now we’ve got him!”, they seemed to be saying. “10,000!”.

Isador Feinstein Stone published the newsletter, I. F. Stone’s Weekly, from 1953-1971. Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, and Eleanor Roosevelt were among the first subscribers. (If the reader is unimpressed, this is a good place to stop.) As an investigative journalist, Stone’s bedrock principle was that all governments lie. It’s tempting to say that we find too few like him today. More to the point, there are always and everywhere too few like him. They are the anti-authoritarians.

Once we accept as a given that all governments lie, it reduces to, whose lies can you trust? The answer is easy. You’ll trust the lies of your own country before any other. An example of “post truth”? No, the truth about the lies.

To lie is to be at cross-purposes with the target of the lie. It exposes an adversarial relationship between the two. The unavoidable conclusion is that government is in an adversarial relationship with its own people. How do these cross-purposes come to exist between our government and the people it lies to?

First we should define the sides in this internal conflict because it’s not just government on one side. Multinational corporations have become such a potent force that government must consult with them, and vice versa. Their symbiosis is based on capitalism with a revolving door existing between the public and private sector. When you’re high up in one, you’re not far from the other.

We wouldn’t know we were being lied to without government’s microphone, the mega corporations that disseminate information to us, also a potent international force. And then, easy to overlook, what is government but the only two competing political parties in America, “both sides of the aisle”. There is an aisle, and Democrats and Republicans do sit on opposing sides. And they do have their differences. Otherwise you couldn’t tell them apart. But these differences largely run along cultural lines, and increasingly so.

Not that these are unimportant. They’re very important, but the parties come to be identified mainly by their stances and clashes on sexuality, civil rights, reproduction, religion, immigration and skin color to the exclusion of what could be the most crucial area to disagree on, but isn’t.

Are we to assume that because they differ so strongly on certain things, that their agreement on other things is a good indication of their virtue? I think not because such conformity is less a sign of reasoned judgment than of subordination to larger interests. The result of their general agreement is that we have no major political party independent of capitalist imperialism as promulgated by Wall Street, the Pentagon, the State Department, and the intelligence/security industry.

This is where the “national interest” is manufactured, the great secret plans that are hammered out for our own good. Ordinary people cannot be entrusted to determine the interests of their own country because they might be at odds with the manufactured kind.

Imagine if the public had had a say over the question, in 2003, of whether or not we should invade Iraq. No, forget that. That’s not a good example. The public was in favor of it. But why? For months we were the target of an intense propaganda campaign to sway our support for a decision to attack that had already been made. If you convince people that we’re fighting them “over there” so that we don’t have to fight them “over here”, well, that figures to be enough to win them over.

Now go back to 1991 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Much talk about a “peace dividend”. Nice ring to it. The United States has had the lion’s share of the world’s wealth since WW2, and now it had the wealth and no viable rivals anywhere in sight.

However, it was considered to be in the “national interest” to expand NATO, an alliance solely formed to counter the communist menace of the Soviet Union, which no longer existed. There was to be no peace dividend. It’s a made-up thing anyway.

Since then, 13 countries have joined NATO pushing east toward Russia’s borders. Russia’s leadership regards it as a provocation. You can argue against this but only if you wouldn’t consider it a provocation if Russia had formed a military alliance with Cuba, Mexico, and Canada, or any of the three. I suspect patriotic Americans will reject this dialectic.

Imagine if the public had had a say over the question, in 1991, of whether or not we should expand our military alliance with its attendant costs, or whether we should reap the dividend by seeking a more cooperative relationship with the whole of Eurasia including the Middle East. Missing was the propaganda campaign to win our support for a peace dividend so that we could spend “over here” instead of “over there”.

People will instinctively choose peace over war. We are naturally possessed of that much empathy for others. You have to be marshaled into killing. That we identify with peoples’ suffering is evident in all the Ukrainian flag flying. That’s people, not states. States deal in straight power concepts. It is in the anarchist spirit to resist this.

To declare that Ukraine is a pawn in a great-power game greatly overstates the country’s role. A pawn can force a win by checkmate or through progression. A better metaphor is Ukraine is the board the game is being played on. The main players are the United States and Russia.

The US-led NATO contingent would like to diminish Russia as a regional power so that it can fully concentrate on its primary target, China. Russia would like to diminish NATO and expand its influence throughout Eurasia.

On February 4, Russia and China formally announced a strategic partnership, essentially declaring their intention to remake the world order. This wouldn’t have come as a surprise to the United States because it sits atop the existing world order — precariously — and knows perfectly well about the threat China poses to its hegemony. Russia needs China. China doesn’t need Russia, but finds it useful. This accounts for its “hands off” policy in Ukraine.

Putin seems to have calculated, correctly, that the United States has no appetite for a direct military clash over Ukraine. The partnership building with China was likely decisive in ordering the strike. The United States is in full-hypocrisy mode when Nancy Pelosi pledges, “to help the Ukrainian people as they defend democracy for their nation and for the world.”

You’re supposed to be oblivious to the United States orchestrated coup, in 2014, that removed a democratically elected Ukrainian president because he was not sufficiently pro-West. The script never changes. But you can trust it.


James Rothenberg writes on U.S. social and foreign policy.

“Israel”, the United States and the internationally accepted genocide

17 May 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Atilio A. Boron 

How long will Washington’s double discourse last?

“Israel”, the United States and the internationally accepted genocide

Israeli government troops assassinated Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, 51, one of the leading figures of Al Jazeera TV network. Yet, Washington and the Western media and governments remain silent in complicity against this unspeakable crime, not only for the murder itself but also for the vicious attack on freedom of the press. Can you imagine how these governments and their dependent press would have reacted if this crime had been committed against a Venezuelan-American journalist in Venezuela? This news would have been the cover of all the newspapers in the West and the subject of all the radio and television programs, denouncing the brutality of the Maduro “regime”. But, since the crime was committed by the Israelis, what prevails is silence and concealment of the information. Again, the damn double standard of the empire!

Shireen Abu Akleh, was shot dead while covering an Israeli army incursion into the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. A Palestinian colleague of the murdered journalist, Ali Samudi, was also attacked by Zionist bullets and was shot in the back, fortunately not causing fatal injuries. The “Israel” Defense Force confirmed that it carried out an operation Wednesday morning in the Jenin refugee camp, but denied that they have shot at journalists present at the scene. However, Israeli army sources assured that there was an exchange of fire on the ground and Defense Minister Benny Gantz himself told the foreign press at night that the army “was not sure how the journalist died. Maybe it was a Palestinian who shot her, the shot could also have come from our side, we are investigating,” Gantz said. Nevertheless, one of the photographers from the French news agency AFP said that Israeli forces were firing in the area and that he saw the body of the Al Jazeera reporter on the ground. In addition, he said that there were no armed Palestinians in the area.

Al Jazeera called on the international community to hold “Israel” responsible for the “intentional” death of the journalist. “In a flagrant murder that violates international laws and norms, the Israeli occupation forces cold-bloodedly murdered the Al Jazeera correspondent in the Palestinian territories,” the channel said. Qatari Foreign Minister Lolwah Al Khater said on Twitter that the correspondent was shot “in the face” and called the act “Israeli state terrorism.” For its part, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), the autonomous Palestinian government based in the West Bank, described the journalist’s death as an “execution” and as part of the Israeli effort to hide the “truth” of its occupation of the West Bank. Unfortunately, it is very unlikely that these protests will find an echo in the Western press, completely controlled by US imperialism and its European lackeys.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid assured that his country wanted to join an “investigation into the sad death of the journalist Shireen Abu Akleh” and stressed that “journalists must be protected in conflict zones”, for which “Tel Aviv” has “the responsibility to get to the truth.” The US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, called for the facts to be investigated by “both parties” in a transparent manner. In a completely hollow speech the diplomatic stressed that the “absolute priority” of the United States is “the protection of American citizens and journalists”, something blatantly false. Beautiful words, devoid of any substance because the United States and Western countries have been endorsing the genocidal policies of the state of “Israel” since 1948, and there is nothing to suggest that this policy will be changed in the near future, especially in the context of the Ukrainian war.

For its part, Amnesty International (AI) pointed out that the “increase in unlawful killings” in recent times is one more example of the need to put an end to “Israeli apartheid against the Palestinians.” In an unusually harsh public statement, the organization denounced what could be “extrajudicial executions” against Palestinians. It also said that “the murder” of the journalist “is a bloody reminder of the deadly system in which “Israel” locks up Palestinians. “Israel” is killing Palestinians left and right with impunity. How many more must die before the international community acts to hold “Israel” accountable?” questioned AI’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, Saleh Higazi. This statement is in line with a recent declaration by Noam Chomsky, who accused the Israeli government of practicing genocidal policies in Gaza, the largest open-air prison in the world according to his words. The sad culmination of this policy followed by the neo-Nazi government of “Israel” was the scandalous repression that occurred during the funeral of Abu Akleh, which offends the most basic canons of human rights. However, despite these brutal transgressions and “Israel”‘s escalation of repression in recent weeks -in which at least 31 people were killed- the American government continues to monolithically support the slaughterers of the Palestinian people.

How long will Washington’s double discourse last? How is it that Biden, who claims to be recognized as a champion of human rights, supports a regime like the Israeli one that, since its foundation, has systematically violated the human, social and economic rights of the Palestinians stealing their land, destroying their houses and condemning them to a trickle-down genocide?

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Can Europe overcome hatred, racism, embrace universalist spirit of refugee convention?

April 17 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

Ruqiya Anwar 

The hardship of white Ukrainian refugees was humanized by the United States and Europe, while the West showed racism and double standards when it came to hosting refugees from the global south that were escaping western funded wars in the first place.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov described Ukrainian refugees as Europeans concluding “These are intelligent individuals”

The Ukraine crisis has caused one of Europe’s greatest and fastest refugee migrations since World War II ended. A massive amount of people had fled to neighboring countries. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as many as four million people could evacuate the country in the next weeks. The European Union (EU) estimates that there will be seven million refugees by the end of the year. 

It has revealed significant disparities in the treatment of migrants and refugees from the Middle East and Africa, particularly Syrians who arrived in 2015. However, Europe’s radically divergent responses to these two crises serve a warning lesson for those seeking a more humane and generous Europe. The distinctions also explain why some of those fleeing Ukraine, particularly African, Asian, and Middle Eastern, are not receiving the same lavish treatment as Ukrainian citizens (Tayyaba, 2022).

However, we are aware that this is not how the international protection regime has worked in Europe, particularly in countries now hosting Ukrainian refugees. Racist and xenophobic language towards refugees and migrants, particularly those from Middle Eastern nations, pervades public discourse in Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania, and hostile actions such as border pushbacks and draconian detention measures have been taken in the past.

Notably, Hungary, since the 2015 refugee crisis, the country has refused to accept refugees from non-EU countries. Non-European refugees, according to Prime Minister Victor Orbán, are “Muslim invaders” and migrants are “a poison”, and Hungary should not welcome refugees from diverse cultures and religions to preserve its cultural and ethnic unity. 

More recently, in late 2021, the atrocious treatment of refugees and asylum seekers stranded on Belarus’s borders with Poland and Lithuania, most of whom were from Iraq and Afghanistan, provoked an outcry across Europe. Belarus has been accused of turning these people’s misfortune into a weapon by luring them to Belarus to travel to EU countries in retribution for EU sanctions.

Whereas hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian migrants pour into neighbouring nations, clutching their children in one arm and their valuables. And leaders from nations like Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Moldova, and Romania have greeted them.

While hospitality has been praised, it has also brought significant disparities in the treatment of migrants and refugees from the Middle East, particularly Syrians who arrived in 2015. Some of them claim that the language used by politicians currently welcoming refugees is upsetting and cruel.

According to Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, “These are not the refugees we’re familiar with. These are Europeans. These are intelligent individuals. They are well-educated individuals. This is not the type of refugee surge we’ve seen before, with people whose identities we didn’t know, people with murky pasts, and even terrorists”.

However, when over a million individuals walked into Europe in 2015, there was initially a lot of support for refugees fleeing crises in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. There were also instances of animosity, such as when a Hungarian camerawoman was caught on camera kicking and potentially tripping migrants near the country’s Serbian border (CNC, 2022)

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the Arab Uprisings of 2011 increased the number of refugees attempting to enter Europe. Even Turkey, which already hosts over 4 million migrants and asylum seekers, including 3.6 million Syrians, could not effectively accommodate them. However, the reception of these minority refugees in European countries has been overwhelmingly unfavourable.

Hundreds of Afghan, Syrian, Iraqi, and other asylum seekers were stranded in Poland-Belarus woodlands and marshes in 2021, without shelter, food, or water in subzero temperatures and facing constant assaults from Polish and Belarusian border authorities. At least a dozen people were killed, including children. Yet, the European Union refused to open the border.

Significantly, although walls are an inadequate means to handle the movement of refugees and migrants, wall-building has been on the rise in the region since the 1990s. Then, the European continent celebrated the fall of the Berlin Wall. According to a 2018 Transnational Institute analysis, the primary goal of these walls is to dissuade refugees and asylum seekers from the Global South.

Greece finished building a wall along its border with Turkey in 2021 to keep Afghan asylum seekers out. The Spanish government now intends to construct the world’s tallest wall in northern Morocco, where it claims the power to block migrant access into Spain, which is only 250 miles away.

Lithuania has been constructing an 11-foot-high steel fence with 2-inch-thick razor wire on its border with Belarus since 2021 to prevent migrants from the Middle East and North Africa from entering the country. EU states have agreed to accept Ukrainian refugees for up to three years without requiring them to seek asylum. Poland has stated that it will absorb 1 million Ukrainians. Lithuania, Hungary, Latvia, Romania, Moldova, Greece, Germany, and Spain are among the countries that have already opened their borders.

Unfortunately, these double standards have shown in the attitude of non-Ukrainians leaving Ukraine’s conflict. Students and refugees from the Middle East have been subjected to racist abuse, obstruction, and violence while attempting to exit Ukraine in increasing numbers. Many others said they were barred from boarding trains and buses in Ukrainian cities because Ukrainian nationals were given precedence; others said they have violently moved aside and halted by Ukrainian border guards when attempting to pass into neighbouring countries.

There were tales about non-white refugee communities that had gone unrecorded and unpublished. Despite their huge number and agonizing battles across countries and continents, millions of Syrian refugees remained anonymous and blankly depicted in the media. While standing in line at the border and seeking to get crucial services, a number of non-Ukrainians of colour, including Africans, Afghans, and Yemenis, have experienced prejudice.

The astonishing double standards were on full display in the aftermath of the Ukraine crisis and the early phases of the conflict that followed. The hardship of white Ukrainian refugees was humanized by the United States and Europe, as well as their different political spectrums. When the refugees were Arabs or Muslims, Black or Brown, however, it remained vehemently divided.

Moreover, the Polish authorities detained people and refused them to enter the country. The refugee crisis in Ukraine provides Europe with not only an important opportunity to demonstrate its generosity, humanitarian values, and commitment to the global refugee protection regime, and it also provides a critical opportunity for reflection, Can Europe’s people overcome widespread racism and hatred and embrace the universalist spirit of the 1951 Refugee Convention? All member states must apply the provisions of this Convention to refugees without discrimination as to race, religion, or country of origin.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Bahrain: The Regime Is Being Bullheaded, While the Opposition Is Determined

April 13, 2022

By Latifa al-Husseini

Those who have kept pace with Bahrain’s pro-democracy uprising, which started in February 2011, may be under the mistaken impression that the movement is letting up or perhaps that it died out. And while it’s true that its leading figures are unjustly and arbitrarily imprisoned, the demands remain unchanged.

These demands are yet to be achieved. Political rights, social justice, and economic transparency are what Bahrainis are calling for. But these calls are falling on the regime’s deaf ears as the struggle continues.

Eleven years of domestic and international appeals demonstrate that the passage of time didn’t turn the page on the conflict. The Al Khalifa regime is proving that it is resistant to change and development. Despite all the changes in the world, the regime maintains its arrogance. It does not think about development and taking the initiative to solve the severe crisis. The people lack confidence in the government, and there is no solution looming on the horizon. Talking today about a positive step toward a comprehensive political solution is unrealistic, as common ground on key issues is inexistent. The people have not yet obtained guarantees that reassure them that tomorrow will indeed be better.

The former deputy for Bahrain’s Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society and prominent opposition leader Ali Al-Aswad tackles the details of the deepening crisis in a comprehensive interview with al-Ahed News.

Al-Aswad argues that the main reason for the crisis is the authorities’ lack of awareness regarding the unmet demands of the people, who want to be part of the political and economic decision-making process.

Meanwhile, the ongoing imprisonment of Al-Wefaq’s Secretary General Sheikh Ali Salman, remains a key focus for the opposition group. Al-Aswad claims that Al-Wefaq has options that might help close this file.

Regarding Manama’s normalization with “Israel”, Al-Aswad offers assurances that the move won’t be embraced in Bahrain, as the people completely reject the idea of occupation.

Below is the full text of Al-Aswad’s interview:

* Can the opposition abroad relate to the concerns of the citizens at home?

The opposition abroad has become a fait accompli. After Al-Wefaq was dissolved in Bahrain, it had to work abroad. We started working in London in 2011, and this has continued in many Arab capitals, Europe, and America. All the efforts made by the opposition, whether political or in the field of human rights, are in the interest of our people at home, and we are their voice after they had their voices stifled.

* In light of the growing tyranny: suppressing opposition voices and imprisoning their leaders, citizenship revocations, rising unemployment and the hiring of foreigners, and normalization, how will reform be achieved? How is the regime responding to the demands of the people?

I do not think that the authorities in Bahrain are aware of the nature of these demands. They believe that these demands are directed against the survival of the ruling family, while the people of Bahrain see that they are in the interest and future of the country. There is a misunderstanding between the two sides. There is concern on the part of the ruling family that if these demands were fulfilled, their existence will weaken or disappear. The main idea of these demands is for us to be partners in the homeland.

* The opposition today is completely absent from the political and economic decision-making process. Is its presence, at the very least, in the legislative authority necessary, or should it remain outside this system?

The presence of the opposition in the legislative authority without any political project or any dialogue or settlements does not serve the political process. Rather, it will be a sham or a silent role, as is the case with the current parliament or the Shura Council.

* The budget deficit in Bahrain is substantial, and there is constant talk of corruption and unconvincing state revenues. To what extent can we say that the regime is corrupt? What is the extent of this corruption?

The public debt is 15 billion dinars [$40 billion], which is too huge for oil imports or revenues. A country that depends mainly on more than 80% on oil cannot achieve sustainable development or a free and fair economy without transparency. The stealing is ongoing and being done in one way or another. The money is going to influential figures in the state. The issue of the stolen lands that the opposition talked about in the 2006 parliament remains unresolved and the lands have not been returned to their owners. All the state property mentioned in the famous report in parliament has not been recovered. Rather, there are more lands that are being seized by those in power. The country’s resources are also being taken and the Bahraini environment is being destroyed, without any deterrent to these actions. The presence of a strong parliament and an effective opposition on the ground may open such files.

* On the opposite side of deficit, we often hear about percentages of non-oil revenues. For example, the growth rate of the non-oil economy reached 2.8%. Are these numbers really correct?

Non-oil growth does not depend on taxes imposed by the state on citizens, but the Bahraini regime calculates this growth from tax revenues on citizens. There is no clear economic plan in Bahrain that pushes the wheel of development forward and increases the rate of growth that can only be achieved in a fair and free economy, in parallel with transparency, accountability, political stability, and human rights that make this country a haven for investors. This increases the internal growth rates. There is no external money being pumped into the country now. Bahrain depends on oil money and aid. We have not heard of any major investors who brought billions to Bahrain for a number of reasons, the most important of which is the political instability and the country’s exposure to many shocks. Not achieving this is in the interest of the authorities in terms of obtaining Gulf aid without any trouble, aid for armaments, and others relating to the royal court. Everything is under the pretext that we are exposed to dangers from neighboring countries.

* Does Al-Wefaq affect in some way the decisions taken by the authorities?

We have no doubts about this. There is a very clear effect of Al-Wefaq. Even if the association, registered and licensed by the Ministry of Justice, was absent, the authorities know that the majority of the Bahraini people who voted in the 2006 and 2011 elections are from Al-Wefaq.

Even at the present stage, if Al-Wefaq is not represented in Parliament, it has wide support that has influence on the ground, whether it rejects the state’s internal or external policies.

* After the former Qatari Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim’s statement regarding the issue of Al-Wefaq’s Secretary General Sheikh Ali Salman, did you sense any intention to move this file and free His Eminence?

We are trying to get Sheikh Ali out of prison. The case is malicious, and it is being proven everyday through the emergence of new evidence, the latest of which is the statement of the former Qatari foreign minister. He confirmed that what he discussed with Al-Wefaq’s Secretary General on the phone was done in the presence of the King. This is the most important point on which the authorities relied to say that Sheikh Salman and the two deputies, Sheikh Hassan Sultan and Ali Al-Aswad, were plotting against the authorities. The accusation has been discredited. From the beginning, it was not true. It was an idea within a Gulf initiative announced by Al-Wefaq and international and Gulf parties concerned with this matter at the request of Saudi Arabia.

Al-Wefaq welcomes any international or local effort, and it has been working since the announcement of the last interview in order to find correct, legal and political ways to help solve this file and close it.

* In your opinion, does the recent request of US President Joe Biden from the State Department to provide a report on political detainees in Bahrain have a serious impact in your opinion?

The media influence is perhaps stronger. There is a request from the US administration. We want more action than what the US administration, which is selling weapons to Bahrain at the same time, is saying.

It stopped punishing the Bahraini authorities for their human rights violations by allowing an arms deal recently! Bahrain does not need that. Perhaps the authorities are doing this as a price to buy America’s silence about the dire political and legal reality.

* Here, we are asking about the goal of Manama’s permanent armament, sometimes through “Israeli” military systems and sometimes through American launchers?

There are no military benefits to Bahrain. The United States views the Gulf states as a market for selling weapons, and this is what former US President Donald Trump said in his talk about Bahrain’s abundant money.

* What about the recent positions of the great national authority, Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassem, and him stressing on the importance of the opposition’s unity and the Islamic mentality’s rejection of the ongoing normalization? According to your assessment, is there a plan to breach the opposition’s ranks?

The opposition really needs to organize its relations, and I think it is capable of that. The division is not in its favor, and it is now in a much better situation than before. The demand Al-Wefaq and Waad are calling for is constitutional monarchy, while the unregistered political organizations are calling for other demands.

There are those who are talking about overthrowing the regime, about a republic, and other options. Some see them as unrealistic demands that cannot mature or be correct. It is the right of all the people to think about the form of the system, but we are talking about realistic matters. Bahrain, as a constitutional monarchy from the Al-Wefaq perspective, can serve as a successful model.

For us, implementing a constitutional monarchy is possible, but for the authority, it takes from its powers. The models that were promoted after the National Action Charter were European and far from logical. Perhaps, the authorities wanted to say we have a constitutional monarchy with an authoritarian regime above it. This problem that we objected to. We have repeatedly called for an amendment that would allow the people of Bahrain to implement the real articles of the constitution and that the people are the source of the authorities. This is what Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassem is talking about. As for the idea of splitting the ranks, there is no doubt that the authorities are trying to do so.

The real people of Bahrain have had a worry throughout history that the authorities are buying time and wasting it without any results. This is why we find different and high ceilings. Accordingly, we say that the opportunity for the authorities today is better than tomorrow to achieve the demand for a constitutional monarchy.

* The last attempt by the regime, at least in the media, was the meeting that brought together His Eminence Sayyed Abdullah Al-Ghuraifi with King Hamad bin Isa. Can we say that the political dialogue is completely frozen?

Undoubtedly, a number of local files and issues were discussed during this meeting. His Eminence Sayyed Abdullah Al-Ghuraifi’s desire for the authority to solve local political and humanitarian issues was very clear, but we did not see any positive development after the meeting or any initiatives to resolve the political crisis or even the human rights file.

* Will the upcoming parliamentary and municipal elections in October be a formalism or is it possible for Al-Wefaq to support candidates in some way?

Elections in the presence of a political isolation law do not mean anything. This law prevents associations that were dissolved by the authorities after the 2011 movement, such as Amal, Waad, and Al-Wefaq, from taking part. When the opposition is not represented in Parliament, the latter will be a formality. There is no opposition in the current parliament. It is completely silent and agrees with everything the authority is doing. It was unable to open a basic file after the Manama authorities decided to normalize with the Zionist entity. The Bahraini parliament was not allowed to speak as the “Israeli” Knesset did. Bahrain, basically, did not endorse the Abraham Accords through the councils. Rather, the authority made the decision unilaterally and warned those who would talk about the matter by questioning them. It limited the matter to the state and its higher authorities. The authority did not even allow any member of Parliament to wear anything that symbolizes Palestine or reminds people of the cause. It even took the initiative two days ago to condemn the heroic Tel Aviv operation, ignoring the right of the Palestinian people and all the violations they are subjected to.

* How does normalization affect the daily lives of Bahrainis?

Normalization did not enter any Bahraini home. The people completely reject the idea of normalization and the existence of the occupation. They cannot stand talking about “Israel”. They take part in night rallies that have consistently rejected the authority’s projects since the first Manama conference in 2019, which was a prelude to the normalization project. Normalization is clear between the authorities and the occupation. Bahrainis, Sunnis and Shiites, will not agree to normalization, and if there is an opportunity to express their opinion today, even if the demonstrations are unauthorized, they will be widely expressed. The people of Bahrain have been reviving the International Quds Day every year on the last Friday of the month of Ramadan, and they continue to mark it. We call on the people of the country to commemorate this great occasion that honors and expresses their mentality rejecting this Zionist occupation.

They Saw and Heard the Truth — Then Lied About It: Media on Donbass Delegation Omitted Mention of Ukraine’s 8 Year War on the Autonomous Republics

 

Photos from site of Ukraine’s March 14 missile attack on Donetsk. Photo: Eva Bartlett, March 24, 2022.

Source

-by Eva K Bartlett, April 5, 2022

*Following is a lengthy overview of my recent re-visit to the Donbass, on a two day media delegation, with a brief critique of some of the media’s slanted reporting. It is also a follow up from my 2019 visit to hard hit areas of the Donetsk People’s Republic. It is now 8 years of Ukraine’s war on the people of the Donetsk & Lugansk Republics.

Point of impact of March 14 Ukrainian missile attack on Donetsk. Photo: Eva Bartlett, March 24, 2022.

In the last week of March, I stood on a central Donetsk main street next to two of the impact points of a Ukrainian missile attack that had killed 21 civilians and injured nearly 40 more on March 14. The Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) maintains that their military intercepted Ukraine’s Tochka-U ballistic missile, and that not all of the cluster munitions inside had exploded in the city streets, thereby lessening the already terrible bloodshed it caused. Indeed, if all of the munitions had exploded, it would have been a bloodbath more horrific than the 21 killed.

Photo: Eva Bartlett, March 24, 2022.

Near the ATM, there were flowers and candles laid in memory of the civilians murdered that day, with haunting photos nearby depicting the aftermath of the bombing, the grisly scenes of the dead and the maimed—scenes you will generally never see blasted across Western corporate media, just as the same media were silent when terrorism struck civilian areas in Syria.

I’m intimately familiar with war zones, and with Western corporate media’s white-washing of the perpetrators’ crimes (Israeli crimes against Palestinians; Western-backed terrorists’ crimes against Syrians; Ukrainian military and Nazi crimes against the civilians of the Donbass—and also against Ukrainians proper), so the lack of media coverage on this recent Ukrainian war crime doesn’t surprise me.

They don’t report on it, or the myriad Ukrainian war crimes prior, because it doesn’t suit their narrative, a narrative that erases the eight years of Ukraine’s war against the four million people of the Donbass republics, killing at least 14,000 people, to give a modest estimate.

War crimes investigator, Ivan Kopyl, spoke about Ukraine’s March 14 attack, noting, “The warhead of a Tochka-U missile contains 50 cassettes of cluster munitions. We managed to find 28 traces of cluster explosions on the soil…A Tochka-U missile changes its orientation just before landing, so after it flies on a trajectory it makes a turn and falls vertically down before detonating at a certain height. The fragments then shower the surface in a radius of approximately 150 meters.”

I have one of those cluster fragments, a twisted and jagged square-shaped piece of metal—seemingly harmless looking on its own, but deadly when flying through the air at high speed, in great numbers.

The attack occurred around noon, when this central city street—not a military area, but a civilian one—would have been busy. Photos show a gutted bus and gutted cars. Pensioners, Koply noted, would have been lined up at the ATM right where the blasts occurred. “There was also damage to a yard where there are two kindergartens – there were several craters there,” he noted.

The strike on the heart of the city is among the latest in Ukraine’s litany of war crimes.

Ukraine again bombed Donetsk following the March 14 attack. Donetsk News Agency reported on March 30 that the Ukrainian forces’ bombing had killed one person and seriously injured four others. One of the girls injured in that attack fell into a coma, the DPR Ombudsman noted.

And just now, there’s been news of another Ukrainian Tochka-U attack. According to RT, at least 50 people (including 5 children) were killed at a railway station in Kramatorsk, where thousands of people were waiting for evacuation trains. Eduard Basurin, a representative of the DPR People’s Militia, stated that the attack was a missile containing prohibited cluster munitions.

Gonzalo Lira writes:

“This is a fragment of the missile that hit the Kramatorsk train station…The AFU has blamed the Russians, but this picture of the missile shows that it is indisputably a Tochka-U rocket — used exclusively by the Ukrainian side. It’s the same kind of missile that two weeks ago hit the center of Donetsk and killed 27 civilians.

What’s that saying? Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times . . .”

As of March 31, the Ombudsman reported that there’s been 6,010 deaths, including 96 children, since Ukraine’s war began in 2014. And that’s only with regards to the DPR. In the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), which has also been under Ukrainian fire since 2014, as of late February, 1,762 civilians had been killed, including 35 children.

During my 2019 visit to the DPR, I went to the northern city of Gorlovka, of which I wrote:

“Gorlovka was hardest hit in 2014, especially on July 27, when the center was rocked by Ukrainian-fired Grad and Uragan missiles from morning to evening. After the dust settled and the critically-injured had succumbed to their wounds, at least 30 were dead, including five children. The day came to be known as Bloody Sunday.

A monument commemorates the Gorlovka victims of Ukrainian bombings and sniping from 2014-2017. Near a sculpture of an angel, over 230 names fill the marble slabs, the first dedicated solely to children, 20 of them.”

Photo: Eva Bartlett, March 24, 2022.

At the site of the March 14 bombing, DPR head Denis Pushilin spoke, outlining the chronology the last 8 years, from the violent coup in Ukraine and subsequent increase in radical Ukrainian nationalism, to the two republics’ decision to push for autonomy, to Ukraine unleashing hell on the 4 million people and continual violations of the (2014 & 2015) Minsk Agreements and the massive amounts of weapons pumped from the West to Ukraine (see also). [*Note: I’ll be adding a subtitled clip of his words in the next day or two.]

School and Hospital shelled by Ukrainian forces

The town of Volnovakha—on the road between Donetsk and Mariupol further south—was secured by DPR forces nearly two weeks prior to our visit. Entering the town, we passed destroyed homes and buildings, which was expected, as there was heavy fighting to liberate the area held by the Ukrainian forces.

As they did in their copy-paste reporting on liberated areas of Syria, most Western media reports on Volnovakha focus on the destruction, without any context as to why it occurred—these residential areas were occupied by Ukrainian forces, and not all of the destruction was from DPR forces’ fighting against the Ukrainian forces: the Ukrainian forces themselves fired on homes, and according to hospital staff, on the hospital itself.

In addition to not giving this context, most Western media in general depict the liberating forces as deliberately and wantonly destroying everything in sight. Some media went as far as to claim that Putin himself had destroyed the town. This cartoonish narrative, so prevalent in Western reports whitewashing terrorism in Syria and now in whitewashing Ukrainian forces’ crimes, unfortunately does achieve its intended effect: duping Western viewers into believing the opposite of reality–that the liberators are the war criminals.

Again, just as terrorist factions in Syria occupied schools and hospitals, so too do Ukrainian forces, including in Volnovakha. When DPR forces had liberated the city, they found foreign weapons used by Ukrainian forces inside the hospital. [See also: Western Media Quick to Accuse Syria of ‘Bombing Hospitals’ – But When Terrorists Really Destroy Syrian Hospitals, They Are Silent]

In a central area of Volnovakha, Russian soldiers handed out humanitarian aid to lines of residents, including: bags of canned goods, fresh bread, water.

According to Alexander Yurievich Kachalov, the interim mayor, Ukrainian forces used civilians as human shields. “They made sure to destroy as much infrastructure as possible. They bombed buildings in order to leave ruins after they left, to make it harder for us to restore.”

This was common in Syria. Terrorist factions destroyed buildings and vehicles when fleeing, while leaving mines and booby traps on streets and in houses, to kill still more civilians and soldiers.

A woman waiting in line for humanitarian aid said, “They say Russia did this. This wasn’t Russia, Ukraine did it, destroyed everything here! They shot at our hospital. I work there. The new children’s and infection units have been destroyed. The outpatient clinic was destroyed. And then they left. They took the medical staff’s car and went away.”

At the destroyed hospital, Chief Physician, Viktor Fedorovich Saranov, said:

“[The Ukrainian Army] were there. There were tanks on our territory. There were guns and Grads outside the territory.  I asked them to act in accordance with the Hague and Geneva conventions. I asked them to leave the hospital. They said it was war.

Many people come to us from nearby houses under fire. About 500-600 people came to our basement. We gave everyone three meals a day.

The second and third floors were occupied here. We were preparing for a long siege, and then it turned out like this: they conducted an attack. They evacuated the soldiers. And they mined the entrance to the intensive care unit. On the last day, when they were leaving, they shot at the intensive care unit.” The ICU, he said, had already been evacuated.

A woman who said she had worked at the hospital as a nurse for nearly 58 years said:

“On the 28th I was home alone. They soon started shelling. How can they do it with their local hospital? With patients here. They were laying in corridors, as they had been evacuated. They said there was no one in the hospital, no staff, no patients. This is a lie.”

Later, researching, I came across this news (*warning, graphic video at the link):

“Foreign mercenaries who were wounded in the Volnovakha hospital were shot by their own before leaving the city so that they could not tell anything. All the wounded have a control shot in the temple or the back of the head.”

On the road back towards Donetsk, we stopped at a school that had been shelled in late February.

According to Victoria Terichenko, head of the Dokuchaevsk city administration’s Department of Education, the shelling was by Ukrainian forces.

“Of course, Ukraine. There were only Ukrainian troops there. We had no military here, we were only civilians here.”

Fortunately, children weren’t at school at the time of the shelling, but Terichenko said a nursery school in the area had been shelled, with children inside, but again, fortunately, not on the side of the building shelled.

Horrors of Ukraine’s War on the People of the Donbass Republics

Ukraine’s relentless bombing and sniping of the people of Donbass is bad enough, along with it being ignored by Western press and politicians.

But in its eight years of warring on a people who rejected the rule of ultra-nationalists and Nazis, who just wanted to live autonomously, speak their own language, remember their history (Ukraine has rewritten history to glorify Nazis and Nazi collaborators and to vilify those who defeated Nazism, namely the Soviets), Ukraine has committed war crimes as heinous as ISIS and their co-terrorists in Syria, with more and more testimonies coming out of mass graves, rapes, torture of civilians and Donbass soldiers, beheadings. None of this shocking given the crimes these extremists commit against even Ukrainian civilians and journalists.

Along a sidewalk flanking a central park, there is a row of photos containing incredibly disturbing images of murdered LPR civilians.

Elders slaughtered on benches and in wheelchairs, the corpse of an infant, mass graves, a room used to imprison and torture people, the insignia of the notorious rapists and murderers of the “Tornado” battalion.

One photo shows Nazi graffiti left on a wall.

These are similar to the graffiti I saw in January 2009 left by Israeli soldiers who occupied the home of a Palestinian family, half of which had been killed by Israeli-fired White Phosphorous. One of the slogans written in Hebrew was: “Next time it will hurt more.” This, to the family whose infant had burned alive due to the White Phosphorous bombing, and whose surviving family members were badly mutilated from the prohibited weapon. In another house in eastern Gaza, likewise occupied and desecrated by Israeli soldiers, more hate and death graffiti had been left for the traumatized inhabitants.

Different people and places–same violent hatred of the population being targeted.

In the same park area, there is a monument to two journalists killed in 2014 by Ukrainian forces. Had these journalists been killed by Russia or Syria, their names would have been on the front pages of news sites and TIME magazine covers. In Syria, dozens of journalists have been killed by terrorist forces, to the silence of not only Western media but also of the groups supposedly advocating for journalists’ rights and safety.

In Shchastia, north of Lugansk, more civilians received humanitarian aid in the liberated town.

Humanitarian aid being handed out in Shchastia, a town north of Lugansk, liberated in early March.

Western Delivered Weapons on Display

In the two republics, we saw some of the vehicles and weapons captured from Ukrainian forces. Telesur journalist Alejandro Kirk spoke to me about these captured weapons and vehicles, noting the many foreign made weapons sold to Ukraine. Western countries continue to sell weapons to Ukraine.

On March 20, journalist Alexander Rubinstein wrote of the West’s exorbitant shipping of billions of dollars in weapons to Ukraine over the years. He noted:

“At least 32 countries have announced their intention to ship billions of dollars in weapons into Ukraine for use against Russian forces in Ukraine. Photographic evidence shows that these weapons have already ended up in the hands of neo-Nazi paramilitaries – units which have already received training and arms the US and its NATO allies.

All of this builds on $3.8 billion in military aid from the United States to Ukraine, the training of 55,000 Ukrainian soldiers by Canada and the United Kingdom, and a longstanding CIA program aimed at cultivating an anti-Russian insurgency.

…weapons furnished by NATO allies have been placed in the hands of the Azov Battalion, a neo-Nazi former paramilitary organization incorporated into the Ukrainian National Guard.

The governments of Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom have presided over a massive program to train and equip Ukrainian soldiers for a full-scale war with Russia. Trainees have included top commanders of the Azov Battalion.

In late February, the European Union opened the floodgates of weapon shipments to Ukraine, approving financing through the aptly-named “European Peace Facility” to reimburse countries sending weapons to the country to the tune of $500 million USD. Another $55 million USD is earmarked for non-lethal military aid.

This February, the State Department announced $350 million in additional military aid to Ukraine, bringing “the total security assistance the United States has committed to Ukraine over the past year to more than $1 billion.”

Another $200 million was sent in early March, and following Zelensky’s March 16 appeal to Congress for more weapons, Biden is reportedly set to dole out another $800 in military aid including 800 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, 9,000 anti-tank systems, 5,000 rifles, 1,000 pistols, 400 machine guns, 400 shotguns, 400 grenade launchers, 20 million rounds of ammunition, 100 tactical drones, 25,000 sets of body armor and 25,000 helmets. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

These figures add to the $2.5 billion in military aid the US delivered between 2014 and the summer of 2021, bringing the total to $3.8 billion.”

Missing Context: What the Donbass People Have Endured In 8 Years of Ukraine’s War

After my September 2019 visit to the DPR, I wrote about the mostly elderly civilians I met who were living in battered homes damaged by Ukrainian shelling and heavy machine gun fire just 500 meters and 600 meters from Ukrainian forces. They remained there, they told me, mostly because they had nowhere else to go. Some spoke to me on camera, others were afraid of Ukrainian retaliation were they to be interviewed.

But their stories were all pretty much the same: at night, when the observers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) left, the Ukrainian terrorizing began, with shelling throughout the night.

I also met a couple who had been living for 6 years in the stinking, dank, basement of a battered school, after Ukrainian bombing destroyed their home.

The DPR press officer who accompanied me and provided translations, spoke of how Ukrainian forces used weapons prohibited under the Minsk Agreements.

Irina Dikun, head of the administration of Zaitsevo, another frontline village, spoke at length on the Ukrainian bombing that erupted nearly every night.

“They are destroying street by street in the town. They take one street and destroy it house by house. Then they turn to another street. There was a school, and a nursery school, before, but they were both destroyed by Ukrainian artillery.”

As in Syria, when schools and hospitals are actually destroyed (in Syria by terrorist factions), the same media that howls over militarized hospitals being targeted, the same media that also manufactures stories that never even occurred, is silent when the destroying is actually done, by Ukrainian forces.

In Zaitsevo, Irina explained fire trucks and medics couldn’t reach targeted homes, because the ambulances themselves became targets for Ukrainian forces (as happens in Gaza, where medics are targeted by Israeli forces, as I myself witnessed).

During that 2019 visit, I also interviewed some of the defenders of the DPR, painted by Western media as “separatists”, “pro-Russian forces” and other such descriptions meant to dehumanize. The same Western media so quick to humanize terrorists, including one who chewed the organ of a dead Syrian soldier.

One more relevant note from that visit: Dmitri asked what people in the West think about the fact there is a Nazi state in Europe. I replied that most people don’t know, because of the media whitewashing.

Which brings me to my recent return to the Donbass: I was curious to see whether the journalists on the same delegation as me would report truthfully, partial truths, or fabricated lies. As it turned out, my skepticism was warranted.

Distortions and Omissions of Some Western Media on the Ground in the Donbass

Telesur’s report gave the historical context needed to understand the present, including the coup in Ukraine, the active neo-Nazis in Ukraine (many of whom re entrenched in the Ukrainian army), the past eight years of Ukraine’s war on the Donbass, the 14,000 killed during these years, and the media blackout on the suffering of the Donbass people.

Sky News’ report was good, mentioning the civilians killed in Donbass by Ukraine’s war, including the March 14 attack and the school shelling, while also giving air time to the DPR’s Pushilin.

Neither of the two French channels’ (FranceInfo and TF1Info) reports on the delegation’s visit mentioned the March 14 Tochka-U attack, even though we visited the site & Pushilin spoke of it at length, much less the roughly 8,000 civilians killed in the two republics alone. I couldn’t find mention of the Azov or other Nazi battalions participating in the atrocities against the Donbass people, even though we heard about them and saw the graphic photo display in Lugansk. Their reports were framed as, “this is what Russia wants us to see,” regarding the humanitarian aid and reclaimed towns.

And of course, they focused greatly on the destruction, but not on the reasons for it, the implication being that the Russians and the “pro-Russian separatists” were responsible.

The chief physician of the hospital in Volnokava spoke at length and did specifically state the Ukrainian army had occupied the hospital, as did the nurse I cited, both of whom addressed the group of journalists.

FranceInfo’s mention of the hospital was framed as, “The Russians accuse the Ukrainians of having bombed it.” They included a few seconds of the chief physician saying he didn’t know who had done it, there were soldiers in the area, he didn’t know who.

But actually, the physician spoke to us for about several minutes, during which—as I wrote earlier—he did specifically talk about the presence of the Ukrainian army in the hospital.

One journalist asked: “Why did such destruction happen?” To which the chief physician replied, “I don’t know. They were military. And who they were: military, national battalions, army? I don’t know.”

That’s the bit France TV cherry picked, omitting his previous words about the Ukrainian army occupying the hospital, as well as omitting what he said afterwards: “There was Ukrainian territory on that side and the rockets were from that side. They mined the entrance to the intensive care unit. On the last day when they were leaving, they shot at the intensive care unit.”

Likewise, TF1Info included just a few seconds of the physician’s words on the Ukrainian cannons and machine guns at the hospital, but then followed up with the presenter’s caveat: it is one of the arguments often presented by the Kremlin—in spite of the fact that not only he, but the nurse and many people I encountered in the town specifically blamed the Ukrainian army for occupying the hospital and attacking it themselves when leaving.

If there were any further TF1Info reports from their journalist’s visit which might have included mention of Donbass’ dead, I couldn’t find them. Likewise, of FranceInfo.

This tactic of cherry picking quotes and omitting information is a standard corporate media war propaganda tactic and, unfortunately one seen over and over in Syria and elsewhere.

Journalist Vanessa Beeley wrote of one particularly horrific and sadistic terrorist massacre of 200 Syrian civilians, including 116 children, in April 2017, killed by an explosion as they were being evacuated from their terrorist besieged villages. She wrote of one traumatized woman who lost 20 family members (10 dead, 10 missing) having witnessed the attack.

“Then, after the filming session (by various agencies, including Dubai based Orient News & Qatari Al Jazeera) which lasted approximately ten minutes, she and the other parents were forced back onto the buses, at gunpoint, and locked inside. They had to watch, while the armed militia collected the dead, dying and mutilated bodies of their community’s children and flung them in the back of trucks and Turkish ambulances, before driving them away from their families in Rashideen.

Not one western media outlet questioned why these injured, dying and disoriented children were being piled on top of one another in the back of a truck that obviously belonged to Nusra Front.”

In fact, as they did routinely in their Syria coverage, media essentially relegated these dead civilians as unimportant, because their deaths didn’t fit the corporate narrative, even when civilians were repeatedly targeted by horrific terrorist bombings, mortars and missiles.

Global Media Abusing the Suffering of the Donbass to Further Anti-Russia War Propaganda, Just as They Did in Syria…

It is already bad enough that Western media generally don’t report on Ukraine’s relentless shelling of the Donbass, but all the more disgusting when it depicts a scene from the March 14 bombing of Donetsk as if it was a bombing of Lvov by Russia.

“The aftermath of the bombing of Donetsk by Ukrainian “Tochka-U” missile, used by Italian newspaper “La Stampa” as an image from Lvov
*Propaganda noted in this article: The Hard Facts about Ukraine and Donbass
At the site of the Tochka-U missile attack in Donetsk, photos of the moments after the bombing, including the scene depicted in Western media as in Lvov. Photo: Eva Bartlett, March 24, 2022.

This isn’t the only instance. More recently, various Western media have used footage showing a multi-story apartment building in Donetsk that was bombed by Ukraine on March 30 to infer that the scene depicted was actually of Ukrainian areas that had been bombed by Russia. If you followed the war propaganda around Syria, you would be aware that this practice is common, not accidental.

New York post using Donetsk bombing photo to infer the scene was Kiev or elsewhere, under Russian bombing. The article has since been updated, photo removed. They would say it was a mistake. With corporate media, it never is. Luckily, at the time, some observers caught the lie.

And as with war propaganda on Syria, some media will use footage not even from Ukraine:

I could add paragraphs of examples of how Western media did this in Syria, but for the sake of brevity will state simply that this is one of many deceitful and deliberate propaganda tactics used to both downplay the hell civilians are suffering under Ukraine’s bombing, and instead to pretend Ukraine is the victim. How the journalists that propagate such lies live with themselves, I’ll never understand.

Finally, a word to some in independent media who feel the need to denigrate Russia’s denazification operation in Ukraine by snidely putting “special operation” in quotation marks, or others who took to social media to tell the world they don’t like war, and denounced Russia for its military operation (to stop a war): The people of the Donbass don’t like war, they didn’t ask for Ukraine to unleash hell upon them. Such posturing disrespects the at least 14,000 killed by Ukraine’s war.

As journalist Roman Kosarev, who has covered the war eightyears, said: “Russia isn’t starting a war, Russia is ending one.

Fabricating Putin Quotes, Banning Paraplegic Athletes to Undermine Russia: How Low Can the West Go?

April 10, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

Rick Sterling 

There has been massive and widespread publicity about Ukraine. It is a simple Hollywood script:  Ukraine is the angel, Russia is the devil, Zelensky is the hero and all good people will wear blue and yellow ribbons. 

Fabricating Putin Quotes and Banning Paraplegic Athletes to Undermine Russia: How Low Can the West Go?

Mobilizing a population to vilify and hate a targeted enemy is a tactic that leaders have used since before the dawn of human history, and it is being used to demonize Russia and Vladimir Putin in the current conflict. If we want to join the march to war, we can join the hate fest.  But if we want a more objective and honest assessment of events, we must rely upon facts that our government and its cheer-leading mainstream media are not anxious for us to view. 

In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, all things Russian are being punished. Russian athletes, including paraplegics, are barred from international sports competitions. Century-old Russian writers and musicians such as Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky are being removed from bookshelves and concerts. Even Russian bred cats are not exempt. 

If such actions are justified, why was there no such banning of US athletes, musicians, or writers after the US invasion of Iraq?  Moreover, why are so few people outraged by the bombing and killing of 370,000 Yemeni people?  Why are so few people outraged as thousands of Afghans starve because the United States is seizing Afghanistan’s national assets which were in western banks?   

Why Ukraine?

There has been massive and widespread publicity about Ukraine. It is a simple Hollywood script:  Ukraine is the angel, Russia is the devil, Zelensky is the hero and all good people will wear blue and yellow ribbons. 

Maintaining this image requires propaganda to promote it, and censorship to prevent challengers from debunking it. 

This has required trashing some long-held western traditions. By banning all Russian athletes from international competition, the International Olympic Committee and different athletic federations have violated the Olympic Charter which prohibits discrimination on the basis of nationality. 

Censorship

The West prides itself on free speech yet censorship of alternative viewpoints is now widespread in Europe and North America. Russia Today and other Russian media outlets are being blocked on the internet as well as cable TV. Ironically, numerous programs on RT were hosted by Americans, for example, journalist Chris Hedges and comedian Lee Camp. The US is silencing its own citizens.  

Censorship or shadow banning is widespread on social media. On April 6, one of the best informed military analysts, Scott Ritter @realScottRitter, was suspended from Twitter. Why?  Because he suggested that the victims of Bucha may have been murdered not by Russians, but rather by Ukrainian ultra-nationalists and the US and UK may also be culpable. 

The 2015 Netflix documentary titled “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom” deals with the Maidan (Kiev central square) uprising of 2013-2014.  It ignores the most essential elements of the events: the management provided by the US and the muscle provided by ultra-nationalists of the Right Sector and Azov Battalion. The attacks and killing of Ukrainian police are whitewashed away.  

By contrast, the 2016 documentary “Ukraine on Fire” provides the background and essential elements of the conflict.  It is not available on Netflix and was banned from distribution on YouTube for some time. 

Most people in the West are unaware of the US involvement in the 2014 Kiev coup, subsequent US funding and training of ultra-nationalist and Neo Nazi battalions, and the eight-year war in eastern Ukraine resulting in fourteen thousand deaths. 

Sensational Accusations 

Backed by US and UK intelligence agencies, Ukraine knows the importance of the information war. They make sensational accusations that receive uncritical media coverage. When the truth eventually comes out, it is ignored or buried on the back pages. Here are a few examples: 

– In 2014, eleven civilians were killed in eastern Ukraine when an apartment was hit in rebel-held territory.  Ukraine tried to blame Russia even though no bombs were coming from Russia and the population is ethnically Russian. 

– At the beginning of the current conflict, Ukrainian President Zelensky claimed that soldiers on Snake Island died heroically rather than surrender. Actually, all the soldiers surrendered. 

– Ukraine and western media claim a maternity hospital in Mariupol was bombed by Russia. Evidence shows the hospital was taken over by Ukrainian military forces on March 7, two days before the bombing on March 9.  

– The latest sensational accusations are regarding dead civilians in Bucha, north of Kiev. Again, there is much contrary evidence. The Russian soldiers left Bucha on March 31, the mayor of Bucha announced the town liberated with no mention of atrocities on March 31, the Azov battalion entered Bucha on April 1, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry published a video of  “Russian” atrocities on April 3. 

In most cases, western media does not probe the accusations or use simple logic to ask if they make sense.  However in the case of Bucha story, the NY Times had to acknowledge they were “unable to independently verify the assertions by Ukraine’s Defense Ministry.” 

Self Censorship 

In addition to actual censorship, there is widespread self-censorship. Instead of reading what the Russians are saying, western political “analysts” engage in outlandish amateur psychology and speculation. With no factual basis, they speculate about what Putin wants and his mental state. 

This is convenient if one does not want to deal with real issues and arguments. 

Most western analysts and journalists are afraid or unwilling to read or listen to what the Russian leaders say. That is unfortunate because those speeches are more clear and direct than those from western politicians who rely on public relations, spin, and platitudes.   

Fabricating quotes 

Ignorance of Russian foreign policy is such that Truthout online magazine recently published an article that contains a sensational but completely invented quote from Putin. It says,

Putin here is clear enough: “Ukraine has no national rights that Russians are bound to respect. Prepare for reunification, reabsorption, or some other euphemism for subaltern status with Mother Russia.”

Putin said no such thing and any moderately knowledgeable person would recognize this to be fake. 

When I emailed the co-author, Carl Davidson, asking where the quotation came from, he admitted inventing it. This is significant because the statement goes to the core of what the conflict is about. Is Russia trying to absorb all of Ukraine? Do they intend to occupy Ukraine?  Anyone who reads the speeches of Putin and Lavrov, such as here and here and here, knows they do not. Davidson’s fabricated quote suggests he has not read the speeches himself.

Ukraine in the Global Context 

The article with the made-up quote contends that “Putin is part of a global right-wing authoritarian movement that seeks to ‘overthrow’ the 20th Century.”  This analysis is close to that of the US Democratic Party, which sees the major global division being between “authoritarianism” vs “democracy”.   

It is highly US-centered and partisan, with Putin somehow lumped with Trump. It is also self-serving, with US Democrats as the embodiment of “democracy”.  It is completely contrary to a class analysis. 

This faulty analysis has major contradictions. It is well known that Biden is unpopular. Biden’s latest approval rating is under 42%. It is less well known in the West that Putin is popular in Russia. Since the intervention in Ukraine his approval rating has increased to over 80%.  

Also largely unknown in the West, most of the world does NOT support the Western analysis of the Ukraine conflict.  Countries representing 59% of the global population abstained or voted against the condemnation of Russia at the UN General Assembly. These countries tend to see US exceptionalism and economic-military domination as a key problem. They do not think it helpful to demonize Russia and they urge negotiations and a quick resolution to the Ukraine war.  

Cuba said, “History will hold the United States accountable for the consequences of an increasingly offensive military doctrine beyond NATO’s borders which threatens international peace, security and stability…. Russia has the right to defend itself.” 

South African President Ramaphosa blamed NATO saying, “The war could have been avoided if NATO had heeded warnings from amongst its own leaders and officials over the years that its eastward expansion would lead to greater, not less, instability in the region.”

The Chinese representative said, “The final settlement of the Ukraine crisis requires abandoning the Cold War mentality, abandoning the logic of ensuring one’s own security at the expense of others’ security, and abandoning the approach of seeking regional security by expanding military blocs.” 

Many western anti-war movements are critical of Russia’s invasion. Others, such as the US Peace Council, see the US and NATO as largely responsible. However they all see the necessity of pressing to stop the war before it gets worse.  

In contrast, the western military-industrial-media complex is fueling the war with propaganda, censorship, banning, demonization and more weapons. It appears they do not want a resolution to the conflict. Just as they supported NATO pushing up against Russia, knowing that it risked provoking Russia to the point of retaliation, they seem to be pushing for a protracted bloody conflict in Ukraine, knowing that it risks global conflagration.  Yet they persist, while crying crocodile tears.  

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Youtube Censors Truth on Bucha

April 5, 2022

By  VT Editors

https://www.bitchute.com/embed/Mn4ht0GfZe3f/

and the censored version from youtube..

VT Editors

VT Editors is a General Posting account managed by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duff. All content herein is owned and copyrighted by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duff

Ian Williams: Deterioration of Intl. Human Rights Mechanisms Blamed on “US Defense of Israel” (VIDEO)

April 1, 2022

Mark Seddon and renowned journalist and President of the Foreign Press Association – New York City, Ian Williams, shine a light on the ongoing crises in Palestine and Ukraine. (Photo: Video Grab, Supplied)

By Palestine Deep Dive

In a lively and illuminating discussion with Palestine Deep Dive (PDD), Mark Seddon and renowned journalist and President of the Foreign Press Association – New York City, Ian Williams, shine a light on the ongoing crises in Palestine and Ukraine.

The show titled “Occupation of Ukraine – Occupation of Palestine: International Law & the Cry for Consistency” pays special attention to exposing the hypocrisy of the global community when it comes to upholding the so-called “international rules-based” order.

Highlighting the creeping-prolonged injustice Palestinians have been exposed to, and how it has become normalized to those removed from it, Williams says:

“It’s like the frog in the pan as the water warms up and they don’t notice. It’s too late when its skin starts searing off. If you plunge the frog into the hot water, it tends to notice right away and jump… Of course, the Palestinians have noticed that their skin is falling off with the heat, but the rest of the world hasn’t because the rest of the world has gone along with it incrementally.”

Praising Ukrainian resistance, Williams ponders whether Palestinians would be in a better position had they received similar levels of Western support:

“I have to say that the Ukrainians surprised everyone with their resistance. Maybe if the Palestinians had been armed in 1967 and their governments had trusted them, then there might well have been a different ending… The real fact is that the Israelis have lied through their teeth for years and the West has chosen to believe them because the alternative, doing something about it, was too much. We’ve discussed the reason for that in this. There’s domestic lobbies, there’s geopolitical things.”

Expanding on the double standards in the Western response to Ukraine compared to Palestine, Seddon remarks:

“Of course, the Russian invasion was an absolute shock, not least to the Ukrainians, many of whom didn’t believe that it would happen, and part of their country is now being occupied… Of course, people in the West Bank, Jerusalem, Golan, which is an outright annexation, will say, well, hold on a minute, we’ve been occupied for 50 years, and if we start calling for sanctions, people say, oh no, you can’t call for sanctions and boycotts and divestments…”

Williams responds by arguing that Palestine advocates should be drawing parallels between Ukraine and Palestine wherever possible:

“Well, the worst thing we could do, or the Palestinians and their supporters could do, is to say, well, we are not interested because there’s no case there because we’re suffering. They should immediately try to associate at every level… These comparisons are invidious and must be made often over and over. The legalities are there. You hit upon it there. It’s indisputable for everyone concerned that the Golan was the acquisition of foreign territory by force”

Seddon was also keen to emphasize the duplicity of the corporate media:

“By the way, we don’t mind showing video footage of brave Ukrainians making Molotov cocktails, they’re freedom fighters, but if it comes to Palestinians making Molotov cocktails or Western Saharans, well, they’re terrorists. This grotesque double standards, isn’t it, really that sticks in a lot of people.”

Williams also expressed disappointment in Western media for its lack of meaningful reporting on Palestine:

“Most people have an infinite tolerance for the sufferings of others over a long period, and that’s what’s been happening with the Palestinians. The stuff doesn’t get into the media.”

Looking more closely at recent events at the United Nations, Seddon reported on Thursday’s United Nations Human Rights Committee vote supporting accountability for Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights in the occupied territories. The U.S. voted against it.

With UK and Ukraine abstaining, Seddon said it is, “disappointing given the fact that most Ukrainians, if they knew what was happening in Israel-Palestine, would immediately identify with the Palestinians.”

This week at the UN’s Human Rights Council, Zainab Al-Qolaq, a survivor of an Israeli airstrike on Gaza in May which killed 22 members of her family, delivered a speech asking the international community whether “real actions” will be taken to prevent similar atrocities from taking place.

Questioned whether he thinks the UNHRC will indeed take much notice of her powerful contribution, Williams responded: “It depends on the rest of us whether we keep it going.”

Seddon goes on to probe Williams on the reasons for today’s apparent lack of authority in institutions such as the International Criminal Court (ICC). Williams responds arguing the United States, by shielding Israel from legitimate accountability, has eroded the potential of such institutions in being a genuine force of authority:

“…there is no doubt whatsoever that the US defense of Israel at all costs over the years has led to a profound deterioration of international human rights mechanisms. The fact that anytime action is taken, the US springs up regardless of the facts to defend Israel, means that everybody else in the world say, “If not Israel, then why them.” If you don’t get Netanyahu, why you’re getting Milošević. It has allowed every crook genocidal maniac and kleptomaniac in the world to get out of jail free card or get out of jail cheap card because, if Israel can do it, so can we.”

He also emphasized Biden’s continuation of many of Trump’s policies over Palestine and beyond:

“There’s the US, as you say, it denounced Putin, said he’s a war criminal, but they still– Joe Biden still maintains Trump’s sanctions against the International Criminal Court justices. They’re not allowed in America, and why is that? Israel.”

Ending the show with a rousing call for meaningful action by state actors against Israeli apartheid and ongoing human rights violations against Palestinians, Williams declares:

“We should be calling for government sanctions against Israel until it abides by international law… Sanctions is the way to go. That’s how it worked with South Africa.”

(Palestine Deep Dive)

Palestine’s Land Day: In 2018 mass protests, in 2022 armed struggle

March 30 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Robert Inlakesh 

This 30th of March may more symbolically represent something very different for the youths of Palestine today than it did for those of past generations.

Land Day, first started in the 1948 territories of occupied Palestine, was revived again in 2018 and has shaped the way Palestinian youths are today opposing the occupation of their lands. Whilst mass demonstrations were used a few years ago, today we see a shift towards the use of armed struggle in order to oppose “Israel’s” settler colonialism.

In 1976 Palestinian demonstrations erupted in the Galilee, in addition to areas such as Wadi Ara and al-Naqab (the Negev). The protests inside the 1948 territories of Palestine came as a reaction to the Zionist entity’s expropriation of thousands of dunams of Palestinian land, resulting in Zionist forces killing 6 Palestinians and injuring of hundreds of others. Every year since, Palestinians have marked Land Day on the 30th of March, in order to remember the resistance of their people to “Israel’s” settler-colonial regime.

The 30th of March, however, may more symbolically represent something very different for the youths of Palestine today, than it did for those of past generations. This is also the date on which the ‘Great Return March’ was launched in 2018, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinian demonstrators in the Gaza Strip protested against the separation fence/wall between them and their lands from which over 70% of the population are originally from and are forbidden to return to. The Palestinian refugees and native Gazans hoisted up banners calling for the implementation of United Nations General Assembly resolution 194, which demanded the Palestinian right of return to their homelands. 

The Great Return March continued for over a year, it was overwhelmingly non-violent and resulted in no deaths of Israeli soldiers or settlers. Many international observers thought that this was it, the international community was finally going to be forced to break its silence and the blockade on Gaza would be put to an end. They were unfortunately wrong. The nonviolent protest movement, one of the largest in history – in terms of the percentage of the population in question – only gave Israeli snipers the opportunity for mass murder. Over 300 Palestinian civilians were massacred, more than 30,000 were injured. The international community remained silent, the Western media and governments defended “Israel”, barely even paying attention to the suffering of Gaza’s demonstrators. Women, children, infants, medical workers, journalists, disabled persons, and elderly were amongst the dead and injured, overwhelming Gaza’s already brittle health sector. 

The world sat by and did nothing as the Palestinian people did exactly what is always asked of them, nonviolent resistance, quoting international law, and asking for their rights. Not only did the world media sit by and underreport the demonstrations, when they did touch on the subject they described them as “clashes” and “border riots”. This was despite the fact that no such “border” exists between Gaza and “Israel”. As for the allegation that there were clashes; if so, where are the dead Israelis? Where are the injured Israelis? What really occurred is that a heavily militarized force sat behind mounds of dirt or military towers, behind layers of barbed wire, on top of militarized fences/walls, and shot at defenseless Palestinians like fish in a barrel, often with banned explosive bullets. This was not just the likes of Fox News that reported on the demonstrations like this, it was the BBCCNNThe New York Times, and just about every other mainstream Western news outlet you could think of.

Land Day in 2018 should have been, according to the liberal pundits who preach nonviolence for the Palestinians – but not for Ukrainians against Russia’s military of course – that ended all their oppression. Instead, it was the beginning of a massacre, a catastrophe. 

On this Land Day, the Palestinian people prepare for the month of Ramadan ahead of them, where fascist Israeli settler mobs threaten to raid Al-Aqsa Mosque, they do so in a very different environment than the one we saw in 2018. The world lied to the Palestinians when they told them they could take back their rights through nonviolent resistance, and saw last May, that the only time they can extract a win against their occupiers is through armed struggle. The younger generations are tired of the lies and a Palestinian Authority that collaborates with the Zionist occupier through security coordination, they see that there is no hope in waiting on the Oslo process. The armed struggle is now rising inside the 1948 territories, the West Bank, Al-Quds, and is no longer isolated to the ‘Joint Room’ of resistance factions in the Gaza Strip. 

The Palestinian armed struggle is undergoing a new revival and this time it will take more than empty promises to stop it. A United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) report, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch (HRW), B’Tselem, and many more have declared “Israel” an Apartheid regime and this system of injustice will be confronted by any means necessary.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

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“Israel” or the wolf disguised as a sheep

29 Mar 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

Mikhael Marzuqa 

“Israel” tried to disguise itself as an honest mediator between Russia and Ukraine, but honesty is a trait that is hard to come by once the occupation’s history is full of atrocities and war crimes.

Chile and other Latin-American countries that subscribe to the UN Charter and its resolutions, as well as international law organizations, including the ICJ, must commit themselves to their own actions

The Russian-Ukrainian conflict comes to revalue the need for the rule of International Law and a renewal of the commitment of the entire international community to subscribe to it.

The defense of the sovereignty of Ukraine revives the neglected relevance of promoting the sovereignty of Palestine based mainly on:

– The withdrawal of the Israeli army from the Palestinian territories declared in resolution 181 of the UN General Assembly of November 29, 1947, that “recommended” the partition of Palestine into two States, but without “Israel” allowing the consolidation of the Palestinian State.

– Allow the return of Palestinian refugees expelled from their homes by “Israel”, according to resolutions 194 of December 11, 1948, and 3236 of November 22, 1974, recognizing the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people.

– Israeli withdrawal from Occupied Palestine, including the Eastern part of occupied al-Quds, is based on Resolution 2334 of December 23, 2016, of the UN Security Council, which emanates from this body and is binding.

– End of colonialism and Israeli apartheid considered a form of racial discrimination according to Resolution 3379 of the UN General Assembly in 1975.

– End of the colonial expansion based on settlements of settlers brought from other nations to Palestine, based on Resolutions 446 of March 22, 1979 and 2334 of December 23, 2016 of the UN Security Council (both binding resolutions).

– Demolition of the Separation Wall or “Shame” that penetrates into Palestinian territory expropriating more territories, declared illegal by the International Court of Justice on July 9, 2004

Since 1948, and even before, with the action of the Zionist terrorist organizations, which later became the Israeli army, “Israel” has systematically invaded Palestine, expelling its original population, periodically bombing and committing crimes against the civilian population, selectively assassinating the political leaders of the Palestinian people including their former president Yasser Arafat, demolished their homes and farm fields, seized water sources, turned the West Bank into a huge concentration camp, violently expelled the residents of al-Quds and other Palestinian cities, changed the names and in general the legal status of the territory, prohibited free expression and the operation of NGOs for the defense of Human Rights, converted Gaza into the largest extermination camp and, ultimately, undermined the possibilities of installing a Free and democratic Palestinian state as declared by the national charter of the Organization for the Liberation of Palestine.

It is ironic to see how “Israel” first offered itself as the venue for negotiations between Russia and Ukraine and currently offers itself as a mediator since it is the state most condemned by the UN and international human rights organizations and one of the key suppliers of weapons to Ukraine. Therefore, ending this international hypocrisy is imperative today, since we run the risk of widening the lock gates of more flagrant inconsistencies and violations of the norms that regulate coexistence among peoples.

Chile and other Latin-American countries that subscribe to the UN Charter and its resolutions, as well as international law organizations, including the ICJ, must commit themselves to their own actions, as well as promote in the regional economic and political organizations of Latin America and The Caribbean, initiatives that lead to oblige “Israel” to cease its violations, respect international laws and adopt UN resolutions without conditions.

It is appropriate that those who have an international tradition to respect and promote international human rights. Along these lines, they are compelled to adhere to the reports of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International and promote the existence of all the facilities for the investigation of the International Criminal Court on war crimes committed by “Israel”.
 
It is important that the Latin American countries deploy a diplomatic crusade at the international level so that the United States, Great Britain and the European Union, mainly, are consistent between their speech and their international action so that, just as they have deployed innumerable and forceful sanctions against Russia, similarly condemn and promote condemnation and similar sanctions against the Israeli regime so that it respects international law. It is pertinent that governments that set themselves up as defenders of democracy, do not jeopardize their declared values ​​of respect for peace, justice, sovereignty, and self-determination, that they assume the moral obligation of consequence between their words and actions and honor the reputation of the states those they represent so as not to be condemned by history as only defenders of interests of power and hegemony.

Promoting the peaceful and respectful coexistence of the legality that the international community has imposed on itself is today transcendent for the world that we are bequeathing to future generations.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

France Throws Hypocritical Hissy Fit over Russian Satirical Cartoon

MARCH 26, 2022

MIRI WOOD

France has thrown a hypocritical hissy fit over a satirical cartoon, ”L’Europe en 2022.” So exceptionally exquisite are the decent sensibilities of the French Foreign Ministry, that the Office summoned Russia’s ambassador to France, to whine that the tweeted caricature was “unacceptable,” in its reputed mockery of Europe.

Per Reuters, France’s European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune described the cartoon as a “disgrace,” apparently particularly painful once given that “We [France] are trying to maintain a demanding channel of dialogue with Russia and these actions are completely inappropriate,” according to the Reuters report.

France’s Macron had a much more liberal view of free speech during his second trip in less than one month, to soothe “traumatized Lebanon” after the massive and deadly explosion which destroyed the Beirut Harbor.

France's Macron took a different stance on "free speech" when in Lebanon.
France’s Macron took a different stance on “free speech” when in Lebanon.
France’s Macron took a different stance on “free speech” when in Lebanon.

In a speech during his 1 September 2020 visit — related to Charlie Hebdo, and to a Muslim-majority audience — he stated: “It’s never the place of a president of the Republic to pass judgment on the editorial choice of a journalist or newsroom, never. Because we have freedom of the press…[T]here is in France a freedom to blaspheme which is attached to the freedom of conscience. I am here to protect all these freedoms. In France, one can criticize a president, governors, blaspheme.”

He did not explain how he was in Lebanon to protect Lebanese freedoms (though there remains a sulfuric stench Sykes-Picot residual).

Perhaps an entitled, imperialist mindset is required to consider a series of humorless, baseless, and vile caricatures which seem to have the intention of inciting anger decent and proper free speech, while one based in accuracy demands universal condemnation.

According to Macron in Lebanon, politicians can be criticized, and the rudest blasphemy is doubleplusgood.

Also according to Macron in NATO Brussels, an honest cartoon is ‘false propaganda,’ and completely “unacceptable.”

Reuters did not include the ‘mocking’ caricature of NATO and the US destroying Europe in its report, maybe fearing it would be sanctioned by the regime that selectively promotes freedom of speech.

France’s hypocritical hissy fit over Russia’s concise polemic is a call to political cartoonists to up the ante.

— Miri Wood


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Selective humanity; who stood with Yemen?

March 26 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Lea Akil 

The camera frame and social platforms have become the most important political tools in our modern age. How did the international community keep Yemen out of the camera focus?

Selective humanity; who stood with Yemen?

Seven years ago…

At 1 am, the first Saudi airstrike shook Yemen and plunged the country into what has been designated as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Seven years of aggression led to 46,262 casualties, martyrs and wounded.

Seven years later…

The world continues to maintain silence on Yemen, Western powers didn’t halt any arms sales to the bloody coalition, and millions of Yemenis are still at the brink of starvation. Today, the people of Yemen learned the truth in the hardest way: Humanity is selective and the war on Yemen is not a choice.  

After Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine, which just turned one month old, the international community was quick to launch funding campaigns, Western powers imposed all-out draconian sanctions and banned Russia from all international events, all with the aim of completely isolating the country. Doing so, the international community aimed to halt the military operation.

Read more: US Arms in Saudi’s Pool of Blood: The Yemeni Massacre

Now ask yourself, why didn’t the international community put the same effort into Yemen? Instead of sanctioning Saudi Arabia, the international community heavily armed it. Instead of securing humanitarian corridors and humanitarian aid, the international community preached empty statements in false solidarity with the children of Yemen. 

Despite all the atrocities in Yemen, Western media remained silent on the aggression. Reports indicate that mainstream US media have aired an approximate cumulative of 92 minutes of coverage since the beginning of the war; that is, a war of seven years so far. If this major humanitarian crisis fails to make the news, what do US news outlets deem newsworthy and headline material?

How does media shape the war?

The modern age relies desperately on the media and social platforms to keep up with global events. As a weapon, the camera can be used in favor of or against the oppressed and oppressor. Media bias is inevitable in a world of so many opinions, but the question here is – is humanity a matter of opinion?

The power of the media relies on what content is broadcasted and what is not. 

The extremely limited international attention directed toward Yemen can mean two things; the war on Yemen is not important or the international audience is not be informed of what is happening in the other part of the world. That said, the narrative on Yemen cannot be easily criticized by Americans without implicating themselves. Considering that the United States backs the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, how would it justify its intervention there, noting that Saudi Arabia is responsible for high civilian death tolls and a list of war crimes?

Political US coverage

Structurally, the media carefully broadcast content to avoid touching on the United States’ longstanding relationship with a country like Saudi Arabia, which would expose the US’ bloody intervention. That is why it would rather ignore the Yemen situation altogether.

Did you know that since Saudi Arabia declared war on Yemen in 2015, it was listed as the World’s largest arms importer from 2015 through 2019? According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, its imports of arms increased by 130% compared to the previous five-year period. In numbers, the US exported a total of 73% and the UK a total of 13% of these arms to Saudi Arabia. 

Moreover, US arms sales amounted to $3 billion in five years from 2015 till 2020, also agreeing to sell over $64.1 billion worth of weapons to Riyadh, which is around $10.7 billion annually. 

Read more: Yemen, graveyard of US-Saudi bloody alliance

On the other hand, during Trump’s administration, the collaboration between Fox News and the Republican Party could explain a thread of the network’s negligence to highlight the current administration’s foreign policy failings, however, other opposing networks were equally silent because of Obama’s involvement in the war. 

Media outlets can’t use the US support of Saudi’s atrocities in Yemen because of the consequences that would be bestowed upon the administration.

Yemen 

Seven years of raging war on Yemen exhausted the population’s capacity to cope, and the global attention shifted toward Ukraine following Russia’s military operation. The darkest forms of irony have been heard by officials concerning Ukraine with complete disregard for Yemen. Simply, the core players fuelling the Saudi war on Yemen have taken a stand in solidarity with Ukraine. 

In numbers, so far, there are 17,734 martyrs, including 4,017 children, 2,434 women, and 11,283 men, while the number of the wounded reached 28,528, including 4,586 children, 2,911 women, and 10,032 men. 

In the latest international campaign, #EndTheSiegeOnYemen was trending in solidarity with Yemen. Activists, human rights advocates, and media professionals around the world launched a wide international campaign on social media demanding ending the siege on Yemen which caused the country to plunge into the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.

The campaign was launched under the title “End the Siege on Yemen” to shed light on the forgotten suffering of the Yemeni people as a result of the blockade imposed by the Saudi-led coalition on the country and to mobilize efforts to end it right now.

Many activists interacted with the campaign on Twitter under the hashtag #EndTheSiegeOnYemen. Some highlighted the world’s selective humanity when it came to the hype for Ukraine and negligence for Yemen. 

Media’s “less global” shift

It is as simple as that, the United States and its Western allies have rediscovered the importance of international law when it comes to Ukraine but continue to turn a blind eye to Yemen. 

Russia’s special operation in Ukraine, unlike similar incidents in times past, has taken the social media platforms by storm, with memes, misinformation campaigns, and scams all adding to the growing maelstrom of information, which can confuse and cloud what’s actually happening. 

Meta’s Facebook is censoring all state news, accusing any Russian outlet of spreading misinformation. In return, the social platform is actively working in solidarity with Ukraine. But one can’t help but ask, did platforms like Facebook ever closely monitor misinformation or any information about war-torn states in the world? 

It also announced that it will restrict access to content from Russian state-affiliated media outlets RT and Sputnik in response to requests from EU officials, suppressing all claimed notions of freedom of expression. 

Palestinian Ahed Tamimi is depicted as a Ukrainian girl. 

Moreover, social media platforms chose to selectively censor fake news, keeping misinformation that hail Ukraine on the internet. Ahed Tamimi was a Palestinian girl, depicted as a Ukrainian girl, for global sympathy. 

Double standards in censorship were highlighted when the all-Yemeni Ansar Allah resistance movement in Yemen was censored, but all mercenaries in Ukraine were being promoted. That made the reach on Yemen minimal, while news on Ukraine witnessed overwhelming worldwide traffic. 

Moreover, the internet was widely active in promoting an anti-Russian campaign, which triggered Russophobia, to feed the Western agenda in Eastern Europe. 

Ukraine is a “top priority”, but what about Yemen?

Social platforms have become powerful tools to recruit international “volunteers” to fight in Ukraine in the face of Russia. In a first of its kind, the White House held a special briefing on the Ukraine war with TikTok stars such as 18-year-old Ellie Zeiler, who has more than 10 million followers. The US has adopted a new approach to grab the younger generation and recruit them against Russia. 

Earlier this month, up to 20,000 “international volunteers” have traveled to fight Russia in Ukraine, mostly coming from European countries, according to a Ukrainian top official on Sunday. 

“This number is around 20,000 now. They come from many European countries mostly,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told CNN. “Many people in the world hated Russia and what it was doing in recent years, but no one dared to openly oppose and fight them.”

This comes alongside the 16,000 foreign mercenaries whom Zelensky announced will be fighting in Ukraine. 

The conflict in Ukraine shed major light on social media’s political role as a tool. Its part in broadcasting the conflict highlighted the importance of media in shaping the internet forever. 

It is worth noting that Russia had launched a special military operation for several reasons, such as NATO’s eastward expansion, the Ukrainian shelling of Donbass, and the aggression of Ukrainian forces against the Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic, which has been ongoing since 2014, as well as de-nazifying and demilitarizing Ukraine.

United Nations

The UNSC is expected to prevent war, but it has instead backed the US-Saudi-led military coalition against the country. 

At the end of last year, the UN Special Envoy Hans Grundberg filed an empty and useless report that read “frustration” regarding the war on Yemen. 

However, his statement isn’t the first or last of empty promises to fight for Yemen and against the humanitarian crisis. Nevertheless, Washington’s disguised backing of the coalition remains behind the curtains.

The UNSC remains in favor of the government under “conflict resolution”, but what the UNSC is doing is betray the Yemenis day by day. It is no longer a “conflict” with the government, it is a full-scale war by the Saudi-led coalition against the people of Yemen. 

Yemen in the shadows 

Recently, the UN said the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen risks being forgotten as the world focuses on the war in Ukraine. And according to experts, that conflict is also likely to directly impact Yemen’s already stricken food supply.

Apart from drawing attention away from the war on Yemen, the war in Ukraine threatens to worsen the humanitarian situation in the Arab nation, with 22% of the country’s wheat coming from Ukraine and Russia.

In 2020, the UN Security-General released his annual “list of shame,” which included several violations against children committed in 2018, in which at least 729 children were killed or maimed.

However, the Security-General chose to list the Saudi-led coalition as a party that is improving the situation in Yemen, despite the overwhelming evidence that proves otherwise.  

In addition, Security Council members call for a ceasefire in Yemen and go ahead with providing arms to prolong the war, instead of suspending all arms sales. In other words, the Council has offered nothing but empty statements regarding the war. 

Who is looking behind the curtains? 

Media outlets are dedicated to broadcasting global events and issues around the world. US media coverage is also dedicated to covering global issues, especially ones that help spread its agenda across the map. However, the tragedy of the people of Yemen, in the meantime, is completely shadowed, as the international community continues to turn a blind eye to the ongoing atrocities. 

The lack of mainstream coverage for Yemen raises many questions on where the media’s priorities stand: Is the US hiding the atrocious crimes in Yemen to protect its relations with the Kingdom? Are the billions in arms sales fuelling the US economy more important than thousands of human lives? Keeping Yemen in the shadows will spare the US the need to justify its interference and its intimate relations with the Gulf.

With all eyes focused on Ukraine, who is willing to take one look farther to behold the sufferings the Yemeni people have been undergoing for full seven years? 

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هل السرعة معيار نجاح موسكو عسكرياً؟

  الثلاثاء 22 آذار 2022

 ناصر قنديل

منذ بدء العملية العسكرية الروسية في مواجهة تقدم حلف الناتو نحو الحدود الروسية، وتحول أوكرانيا إلى ساحة حرب، وتحول الشعب الأوكراني والجيش الأوكراني والاقتصاد الأوكراني إلى وقود لحرب ميؤوس منها، وتفاديها وقف على قبول صيغة الحياد بدلاً من وهم الانضمام إلى حلف الناتو الذي تقوم عقيدته على إعلان روسيا عدواً أول، ويعني انضمام أوكرانيا إليه اعلان حرب على روسيا، وخطة الناتو تقوم على خوض حرب إعلامية على جبهتين بدلاً من الحرب العسكرية التي يخشى خوضها، الجبهة الأولى هي إقناع الأوكرانيين بمواصلة القتال وحدهم رغم تخلّي الناتو عنهم، والتوهم بأن العقوبات المفروضة على روسيا من جهة، والأسلحة والأموال التي يتم شحنها عبر الحدود إلى أوكرانيا من جهة أخرى، تكفيان لإفشال العملية العسكرية الروسية. أما الجبهة الثانية فهي موجهة للعالم وللأوكرانيين معاً، ومضمونها إقناع الرأي العام بأن معيار النجاح والفشل، ليس التقدم في الجغرافيا، ولا تجاوز تأثير العقوبات، بل عدم تحقيق ذلك بسرعة، ومعيار السرعة وضعت له معادلة النجاح بدخول كييف في يومين أو ثلاثة، وهو أمر يحتاج لإثبات واقعيته قبل تسويقه، لكن تسويقه هو المهم، للمضي قدماً في الحديث عن الفشل، ومن بعده الدخول في حرب نفسية مضمونها تفسير الفشل، الذي لم يقع إلا في الإعلام، لكنه صار حقيقة في وعي الكثيرين، وصار ممكناً نقلهم للتساؤل عن السبب وتقديم سردية مناسبة للتلاعب بعقولهم حول سبب وقوع الفشل.

القطبة المخفيّة كلها في جملة نسبت زوراً للرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين، الذي قال نبدأ عملية عسكرية خاصة في أوكرانيا، فأضيفت إليها من مكان مجهول معلوم كلمة سريعة، وسرت كالنار في الهشيم، وصار الحديث عن سريعة قبل أي شيء آخر، ثم صارت السريعة بيومين او ثلاثة، فهل توقع العملية السريعة واقعي بالأساس، كي يقبل الاستنتاج بأن تسويقها لم يكن ضمن خطة مبرمجة لخوض حرب إفشال العملية العسكرية في عقول الرأي العام من بوابة هذه الفرضية المستحيلة، حتى لو نجحت في الواقع الميداني، والمعيار للقياس هو ببساطة، حيث واجهت أميركا التي تعتبر أنها قوة عظمى أشد قوة من روسيا، خصماً مشابهاً أقل قوة من أوكرانيا، وأخذ الزمن الذي احتاجته أميركا لفرض سيطرتها قياساً لما يحدث مع روسيا، التي امتلأت الصحف والتقارير الغربية والقنوات الفضائية الأجنبية والعربية بتحليلات الخبراء، والضباط المتقاعدين الفاشلين عسكرياً، ليبيعوا نظرية الفشل، ويدخلوا في استصناع أسباب مفترضة له، مستنسخة عما كتبه خبراء البنتاغون، مرة بالحديث عن مشاكل لوجستية، وأخرى بالحديث عن ضعف السيطرة والقيادة، وثالثة بالحديث عن نقص المحروقات، ورابعة عن ضعف استخباري، ودائماً بفعل المقاومة الأوكرانية، وصولاً لآخر المبتكرات بالحديث عن نقص في عدد الجنود الروس اللازمين للفوز بالنجاح، وكلها عناصر يمكن قبول نقاشها اذا ثبتت القطبة المخفية الأصلية، وهي أن العملية العسكرية الروسية فشلت، وأن معيار الفشل هو السرعة؟

بالقياس أمامنا تجربة أميركية في حرب يوغوسلافيا، عام 1999، بعد عشر سنوات حرب أهلية مدمّرة، لبلد مساحته لا تعادل 15% من مساحة أوكرانيا، وعدد سكانها كذلك 15% من عدد سكان أوكرانيا، وليس لها حدود مع أي دعم تتلقاه، وحكومة معزولة سياسياً داخل أوروبا وخارجها، وفي زمن السطوة الأميركية الأحادية على العالم، وفي ظل غطاء نسبيّ من قرار أممي بفرض وقف النار وحماية المدنيين، ولم تحسم معركة بلغراد العاصمة الصربية واليوغوسلافية أساساً، إلا بعد 78 يوماً من القصف المدمّر، ما يعني ان الخبرة الأميركية اذا قامت على اعتبار روسيا بالقدرة الأميركية ذاتها وبوضعيتها ذاتها في ظل الأحادية، واعتبرت أن أوكرانيا في ظروف دولية وداخلية مشابهة لظروف صربيا، وحصرت المقارنة بالمساحة وعدد السكان، فإن المدة التي يجب أن تحاسب روسيا على أساسها في حسم معركة كييف يجب أن تكون ستة اضعاف الـ 78 يوماً، اي سنة ونصف، وهناك تجربة أخرى خاضتها أميركا وهي في ذروة سطوتها، بغزو أفغانستان والعراق، ونجحت خلالها بدخول كابول بعد شهرين وبغداد بعد عشرين يوماً، وأعلن الرئيس الأميركي نهاية العملية العسكرية في العراق بعد 40 يوماً، وكانت الحصيلة الاعتراف الأميركي بعد أقل من سنة عن فشل ذريع، وعن تحول العراق الى مستنقع يغرق فيه الأميركيون، وصولاً للقبول بالانسحاب دون تحقيق الهدف، أي بناء نظام حكم حليف لواشنطن، او كما قال الرئيس جو بايدن عن مبررات الانسحاب من أفغانستان بعد عشرين عاماً، رغم إعلان النجاح بعد عشرين يوماً، أنه لو بقينا عشرين عاماً اخرى فلن يتغير شيء، سنفشل، لكننا سندفع آلافاً أخرى من الضحايا وتريلينوات أخرى من الأموال.

بالمقارنة يبدو واضحاً أن الأميركيين بخوضهم حربا إعلامية تحت عنوان «السرعة معيار النجاح»، يريدون عبرها للروس مصيراً لعمليتهم مشابهاً لمصير العمليتين الأميركيتين في العراق وأفغانستان، الغرق حتى الأذنين بالفشل، وسلوك الطريق الذي سلكه الأميركيون، وهو البحث عن نصر سريع عنوانه احتلال العاصمة وتنصيب حكم بديل تابع، والدخول في مواجهة مقاومة شعبية تنطلق من رفض الاحتلال، بينما يحرص الروس على خوض عملية عسكرية تنتهي باتفاق سياسي مع الحكم الأوكراني الحالي، تعرف موسكو أنه لن يحدث إلا إذا اقتنع الغرب بلا جدوى حملاتهم المالية والإعلامية ومساندتهم العسكرية للحكومة الأوكرانية، لجعل روسيا تقع في فخ القطبة المخفية، وتتحول الى قوة احتلال لا تعرف ماذا تفعل بالدولة التي تحتلها، ولا كيف تحمي نظاماً تابعاً تقيمه فيها، وموسكو تعرف كيف تدير عناصر اليأس الغربي، انطلاقاً من النجاح في احتواء الصدمة الأولى للعقوبات، وتمتين تحالفاتها مع الصين وإيران، ومواصلة التقدم الثابت والهادئ في الجغرافيا الأوكرانية، مع الحذر الشديد من التورط في أعمال قتل جماعيّ للمدنيين، ومواصلة السعي التفاوضي لجعل خيار الحياد الأوكراني نموذجاً لمناطق عازلة تفصل روسيا عن حلف الناتو منعاً للاحتكاكات التي يمكن أن تؤدي لنشوب حرب عالمية.

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Today’s Ukraine War was Made in the West Yesterday

March 19, 2022

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the US Congress. (Photo: via MEMO)

By Issa Khalaf

War is the dark side of the human species, its rationalizations and justifications ubiquitous. Ukraine seems like a victim, the asymmetrical underdog. Those who care about Palestine (and elsewhere) have a deep knowledge of violent oppression and injustice, of innocent anguish.  Upon critical scrutiny, virtually no war can be judged to be just.  All of us, seeing the victim’s humanity in ourselves, instantly, emotionally side with the little guy and our outraged disgust rises at this activity of collective, organized violence.

These emotions, however, can be particularly misleading and exclude a whole set of critical analyses.  There are legal, political, historical, philosophical and moral dimensions to any conflict or dispute; favorable moral and legal comparison of Ukraine and Palestine not only do not comport to definitive observation, analysis, and conclusion, but the prevailing Western narrative towards Russia is vehemently iniquitous and completely out of touch with reality.

The nauseating hypocrisy of those who’ve ruled the world in the “modern period” is clearly on display for the vast majority of peoples and most states in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, who sense the disarray, even crumbling, of the Western-dominated international order.  They are not alone: US intelligence analyses see the impending great shift in power centers from West to (Eurasian) East and even give a prognosticative date of 2030.

In this article, I will discuss only the Russia/Ukraine/West war.  I plan the following one that will argue the case that, in fact, Ukraine is neither morally nor legally equivalent to Palestine, support for Ukraine and Palestine is not required to maintain consistency of political, legal and moral principles and does not undermine advocacy for Palestine, on the contrary.

The war in Ukraine, like any war’s attendant horror, upheaval, unpredictability, and civilian anguish, should not have happened and could have been avoided even until recent months.  Factually, Russia did not want it, has no ambitions or capacity for a rebooted Soviet Union, contrary to what many puerile, propagandistic Western detractors assert, but has repeatedly warned and entreated about US/NATO expansion eastward. (Yes, Moscow emphatically desired a stable, secure, normal Europe.)  This expansion and its ramifications absolutely pose an existential threat to Russia.  Unlike the warring by others against fragile states and vulnerable societies in faraway lands on the pretext of national security threat, Russia’s fears are not a fantasy or a diabolical pretext, and its national security peril is literally at its doorstep.

The Ukrainian state is US/Western controlled and, in its alliance and arming, is effectively NATO-like.  Washington, according to coup-happy Victoria Nuland in 2014, pumped some $5 billion into Ukraine since the Western-intelligence induced “Orange” revolution in 2004; an additional $15-$18 billion in arms, loans, and grants (from the US and EU) were poured into Ukraine since the 2013-2014 CIA-backed, far-right enforced regime change of the democratically elected Ukrainian government and until before the war began.

With on-the-ground CIA direction, power in Ukraine was consolidated among a small sociopolitical base of venal Russophobes, political pluralism representing genuinely alternative visions to the essentially nationalist, ultranationalist, pro-NATO parties disbanded.  The Ukraine army, neo-fascist death squads, and small, Nazi-throwback extreme right-wing parties, celebrated by the new leaders and incorporated into the Ukrainian state, went on a repression spree, a terror campaign, to crush protests and dissent against those who were unhappy with what transpired and to erase all things Russian, including an eight-year shelling and sniping war on civilians designed to create terror and ethnic cleansing in eastern Donbass.  This was not a democracy but a monopoly on power to consolidate a vociferously, fanatically anti-Russian state.

Ukraine is (or now, was) merely a platform for a Western proxy war against Russia, a forward operations base, a front line state, its “foreign policy” directed by the American proconsul, its institutions “advised” by American/Western intelligence functionaries and embassy officials, whose job since 2014 was to ensure continuing aggravation and antagonism in Donbass to elicit, in fact, a Russian response justifying long-prepared sanctions, escalation and pretext for “confronting” Russia.

Rather than seeking good relations with both Russia and the West to achieve neutrality, stability, and prosperity, remain free of geopolitical blocs and nuclear capability, reduce suspicions and hatreds, the deeply corrupt and fragile Ukrainian state since the 2014 coup eagerly went along with the West.  In all of its glorious irrationality and myopia, the regime miscalculated miserably, believing the US actually cared about Ukraine other than a forward base for its own ends and that NATO would risk war with Russia over it.

Rather than seeking and facilitating, finally, a secure, stable, prosperous Europe after the Cold War by transforming European security to include Russia and attenuating historical animosities and suspicions between Russia and both its Eastern and Western European neighbors, the US would have none of it.  The US and Russia do not share European-like historical, cultural and psychological pathologies towards each other and potentially could have had very good relations.  Instead, we were led to the bankrupting, empire-exhausting chimerical caprice of unipolarity, exceptionalism, and full-spectrum dominance.

Today is the result of such arrogance, vanity and folly.  The “collective” West essentially caused this horrible war.  The objective threat that ignited it was not Russia to Ukraine or Eastern Europe, but NATO (i.e., the US) to Russia.  Lest we forget, Russia is a great power, and it should be clear to any neutral observer, it will not tolerate such an imminent threat, and further, has been the recipient of Western invasions, via the Ukrainian plains, that, in the case of the German onslaught, cost 25-30 million Russian lives, the vast majority civilian, and untold suffering and destruction.  In the Russian memory and psyche, this will never be allowed to happen again.

The Russian offensive, therefore, occurred for a much more ominous reason than the Ukrainian state terrorism visited upon eastern Donbass: the US/West’s wordless wish is no less than demoralizing, weakening, bankrupting, and territorially fragmenting the Russian Federation, controlling its markets and resources, indebting its people and rendering them dependent on US-dominated financial institutions, and bringing Russia under American dependency.

A pivotal principle of American hegemony is to obstruct and destroy friendly, normal ties, much less integration, between Russia and Europe, Germany being the fulcrum.

More simply, the strategic US/CIA goal is to ensnare Russia in a protracted war, deplete it, damage it, regime-change it, install a supine leader—all as a prelude to the big fantasy: bringing down China.

The multifaceted war on Russia has been ongoing since at least the late 1990s, but really, it never stopped with the Soviet state’s disappearance.  This veiled hostility and aggression certainly existed when Boris Yeltsin was in power (a good vassal according to Washington, this silly and funny man that made Bill Clinton laugh) but took off around 2005, after Washington understood that Vladimir Putin was putting Russia on an independent course, reversing the conditions overseen under the preceding, deplorable Yeltsin era, including steep economic, social, military, and developmental decline and the immiseration of the vast majority of the population, looting oligarchs, and economic “liberalization” designed in Washington.

From Bill Clinton to George W. Bush to Barak Obama to Donald Trump, Central and Eastern European states were gathered into the offensively retooled NATO, aggressive wars were initiated ranging from southeastern Europe to the Middle East and North Africa, arms control agreements were systematically dismantled, missiles deployed as far east as Romania and Poland aimed at Russia, and a client regime was installed in Ukraine.

Damn the continuous Russian protests, requests, warnings for the last twenty-five years about erosion of mutual trust.  Examples of provocations in recent years: 2003 “Rose” revolution in Georgia, its military offensive in 2008.  Incessant air (including B-52s) and naval incitement on Russia’s Black Sea coast in recent years, threats to Russia’s Black Sea fleet at Sevastopol, in the Crimea.  Unrelenting savagery against Donbass.  Dismissal, scoffing at Russia’s final effort for sanity, the late 2021demands for legal indivisible security guarantees in Eastern Europe, among other aspects.

The Russian responses at each of these critical junctures were predictable and desired by the US: Georgia was beaten back; the 2014 overthrow in Ukraine led to Crimea’s accession to Russia; and the Kiev regime became ever-more aggressive, militarized, and in breach of its neutrality commitments, its leader, under American tutelage, hinting at acquiring nuclear weapons at the most recent Munich Security Conference, leading to the offensive against Ukraine.

Of course, this is not just Russia reacting; it’s also Russia playing the long game to correct, no less, than the strategic imbalance of power, the historic Western political and economic domination.

At stake here is the potential Western subjugation of the Middle East for generations and the complete extinguishing of freedom for Palestine.

What the US has done since the Cold War’s end is characterized as a foreign policy blunder, as misguided, mistaken, perhaps reckless and irresponsible, even violating the tenets of realist politics, but benign, well-intentioned.  This logic is deficient, inconsistent with actual behavior.  The US has deliberately, unrelentingly, knowingly pushed eastward, moving Europe with it.

Take away, renege, refuse to renew the incredibly important security infrastructure and nuclear treaties, including those that protect Europe itself (e.g., the INF), indulge in illegal wars with impunity, violate the UN Charter, international law and international humanitarian law, severely degrade diplomacy, negotiations, genuine peacemaking and render the world into a frightfully, recklessly, unstably dangerous place, is no problem when practiced by the West.  Clearly, the ensuing conditions are the inevitable result of laws of the jungle foisted by those who claim to be the paragons of peace, human rights, freedom, democracy, virtue, and so on.

Russia has literally allowed itself to be cornered since 2014, though it needed time to achieve a conventional and nuclear deterrent.  It’s not hard to see reality: Russia is given no quarter, no voice, its real concerns and grievances dismissed, its leader demonized, its marginalization doggedly pursued at every level of international and bilateral social and cultural interactions.  No appeal to reason, to international law, to security, to evidence will do for the West, no amount of patient legal argument, explanation of Russian concerns, appeals, professional warnings, consummate diplomacy and transparency of Russian interests made an impression.  Instead, the Western response was and is always to double down.

For Russia, its offensive is protecting itself against external threats, imminent within the next few years at most.  What should it do?  Wait until the Ukrainian regime initiated its planned offensive in the southeast (having amassed over 60,000 troops there) by the end of February?  Until hypersonic Pershing II missiles are deployed literally at Russia’s western borders?  Until nuclear weapons are deployed, with US help?  Until Russia’s attacked?  Undertake a limited operation in Donbass and simply allow pretext for NATO/Ukraine regime to deploy vast forces/lethal weaponry at the front lines?

With decades of particularly US/UK cheating, lying, prevarication and intolerable gamble.

What better argument to American/Western publics—especially a timid Germany that, because of its Nazi past, is forever insecure to demonstrate its civilized, Western cultural bona fide in relation to the Other, the European east—for standing up to “Putin’s aggression” than this?

Why this insanity?  The neoliberal economic system is in deep trouble and Western power is in relative decline, hence the frenetic US-led Western activity to arrest its deterioration.  It seems to me that Russia (or China for that matter) seeks a world in which a new security architecture (and global economic development and prosperity for all) is implemented in Europe and worldwide and that respects the security needs of all parties.

Finance capitalism, the system of speculative bubbles, derivatives, debt, declining standards of living, and hyperinflation, is ruining Western economies, states and societies, destroying the middle classes. The US cannot tolerate Eurasian integration and China’s Belt and Road Initiative, determined to stop any alternative development model to hyper-capitalism enriching the few, cannibalizing the many; that reduces the US to one of a handful of important multipolar players.

Washington’s grave mismanagement of international relations, its self-defeating policies, has actually weakened genuine American interests and national security and the well-being and safety of the American people, a phenomenon that cannot be naively attributed to Democrats or Republicans, this or that president. Instead, the war-state is deeply embedded in the American political economy, in factions such as the “intelligence community,” the military-industrial complex, influential establishment neo-cons, and liberal interventionists, all living in a world of yesterday.

We are rushing headlong into extremely dangerous times in which facts are a threat to the state narrative and any dissent or differing opinion is treachery. Fascism does not come from below, always from the top.

-Issa Khalaf has a Ph.D. in political science and Middle East Studies from Oxford University. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

Here comes China (and they don’t stop!)

March 19, 2022

Source

By Amarynth collaborating with Godfree Roberts’ Newsletter, Here Comes China

Biden / Xi Summit.

In perfect Chinese diplomatic terms, it looks like business as usual. Taken outside of the perfect diplomatic terms, it is a true spanking.

Let’s take one paragraph only and remember a few things first:

Washington, as usual, threatened and danced something like the haka and warned Xi not to support Russia in any way or the consequences would be dire for China. Washington threatened with equally applied sanctions and other dire unmentionables.  Apparently, Washington can support who it wants, but China is in some form prohibited from exactly that.  Hypocritically they want it both ways.  That era is over.

A few hours before the ‘summit’, China had a perfectly normal sail-by through the Taiwan Straits of their aircraft carrier Shandong.  Yes, this is ‘likely routine’ says their spox.  Sure, it was highly likely just routine.  It must have been a wonderful day for the Shandong to take a little sail through the Taiwan Straits.

A few hours before the ‘summit’ Global times had an interview with an unnamed official.  (Is China playing the US game here by not naming the official?).  This is the take-away:  “The international community can fairly judge who is frank and open and who is up to something, who is easing the situation and who is aggravating tension, who is promoting peace talks and who is pouring fuel on the fire, and who is maintaining peace and stability and who is provoking confrontations between blocs.”

Xi Jinping made a pre-summit statement: Countries should not come to the point of meeting on the battlefield. Conflict and confrontation are not in anyone’s interest. Peace and security are what the international community should treasure the most.

So, this is the milieu that Biden walked into at the online summit.  We must know by now what this is all about.  None of the boring line-up of US representatives could bend China to their will to support sanctions against Russia, so, time for a Presidential Summit to yet again attempt to split China and Russia.  This is how perfectly ridiculous this attempt is:  Can you help me fight your friend so that I can concentrate on fighting you later?

Here is how it went:

President Biden expounded on the US position and expressed readiness for communication with China to prevent the situation from exacerbating.

Simply said:  How can we make a deal so that the US/Nato alliance remains a unipolar world and all others must be subservient.

President Xi pointed out that China does not want to see the situation in Ukraine to come to this. China stands for peace and opposes war. This is embedded in China’s history and culture.

Simply said:  Hey Biden, mistake number one!  You do not know who you are talking to, but now I’m going to tell you

  • China makes a conclusion independently based on the merits of each matter.
  • China advocates upholding international law and universally recognized norms governing international relations.
  • China adheres to the UN Charter and promotes the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. These are the major principles that underpin China’s approach to the Ukraine crisis.
  • China has put forward a six-point initiative on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine, and is ready to provide further humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and other affected countries.
  • All sides need to jointly support Russia and Ukraine in having dialogue and negotiation that will produce results and lead to peace.

Simply stated:  This is the crux of the matter and seemingly you are unable to grasp it!

  • The US and NATO should also have dialogue with Russia to address the crux of the Ukraine crisis and ease the security concerns of both Russia and Ukraine.

Message:  Go away and take your position and money with you!  You had your opportunity and you became a warmaker, coercing others to your will.  Enough is enough!  We have principles, law and morals and ethical standards.  You hold on to ‘positions’ favorable to you only.

China is active in the EU as well and the discussion does not remain dry and diplomatically correct. 

China is playing into its strengths, saying what is correct in terms of its own national interest and it happens to co-incide with that of the non-insane world.   The spokespeople are highly educated, clear, exceptionally well-spoken, and smart.   They also mercilessly dig in the knife when opportunity shows.  In a recent press conference:

CCTV: US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said that the US is concerned about Russian attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure which caused civilian casualties. However, China has yet to state its position explicitly. How does the foreign ministry view such criticism from other countries on China?

Zhao Lijian: Human lives are precious. Civilian casualties under all circumstances are heart-rending and lamentable. China has all along called for every effort to avoid civilian casualties. We still remember that in March 1999, the US-led NATO, without the Security Council’s mandate, flagrantly unleashed a ruthless bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for 78 days, killing at least 2,500 innocent civilians and injuring around 10,000 people, most of them civilians. Over the past two decades or so, the US conducted tens of thousands of air strikes in places like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia. The number of innocent civilians killed can be anywhere between 22,000 and 48,000. When professing its concern for the welfare of the Ukrainian people, shouldn’t the US first express concern over the civilian casualties caused by all these military operations?

I particularly enjoyed this vignette:

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that any support to Russia, military or any other type of support, would actually help Russia conduct a brutal war against an independent sovereign nation, Ukraine, and help them to continue to wage war which is causing death, suffering and an enormous amount of destruction.

This was the comment of the Chinese spokesperson:

Chinese people can fully relate to the pains and sufferings of other countries because we will never forget who bombed our embassy in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.  China does not need a lecture on justice from the abuser of international law. As a Cold War remnant and the world’s largest military alliance, NATO continues to expand its geographical scope and range of operations. What kind of role has it played in world peace and stability? NATO needs to have a good reflection.

Currency

Against this backdrop, the news filtered out about The Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) and China designing a new monetary and financial system bypassing the U.S. dollar, supervised by Sergei Glazyev and intended to compete with the Bretton Woods system which is now less than 50% of the currency flow in the world.  While news is still very scarce on this front, it fulfilled the purpose of telling Biden once again to go away if US/NATO cannot be a serious contender to building a peaceful and prosperous world.

Godfree Roberts, in his last newsletter, did an overview of the major historical milestones.  I am not sure if the concept of a special drawing rights fiat currency revaluated regularly against a basket of currencies will be the way this rolls out.  Stand by!  Much more incoming!  We will see.

DOLLAR’S END – Farewell, Inordinate Privilege

  • Credit Suisse analyst Zoltan Pozsar says Ukraine triggered a perfect storm in commodities that could weaken the Eurodollar system, contribute to inflation in Western economies, and threaten their financial stability. Pozsar said China’s central bank is uniquely placed to backstop such crisis, paving the way for a much stronger yuan. Reuters, Mar. 13, 2022.
  • Saudi Arabia Considers Accepting Yuan Instead of Dollars for Chinese Oil Sales: Talks between Riyadh and Beijing have accelerated as the Saudi unhappiness grows with Washington. WSJ, Mar. 14, 2022

–o0o–

In 2009, after helping to rescue the US from the GFC, Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor of the Peoples Bank of China, said, “The world needs an international reserve currency that is disconnected from individual nations and able to remain stable in the long run, removing the inherent deficiencies caused by using credit-based national currencies.”

After helping rescue America from the GFC, PBOC Governor Zhou Xiaochuan observed, “The world needs an international reserve currency that is disconnected from individual nations and able to remain stable in the long run, removing the inherent deficiencies caused by using credit-based national currencies.”

Zhou proposed SDRs, Special Drawing Rights, a synthetic reserve currency dynamically revalued against a basket of trading currencies and commodities. Broad, deep, stable, and impossible to manipulate. Nobelists Fred Bergsten, Robert Mundell, and Joseph Stieglitz approved: “The creation of a global currency would restore a needed coherence to the international monetary system, give the IMF a function that would help it to promote stability and be a catalyst for international harmony”.  Here’s what’s happened since:

2012: Beijing began valuing the yuan against a currency/commodity basket

2014: The IMF issued the first SDR loan

2016: The World Bank issued the first SDR bond

2017: Standard Chartered Bank issued the first commercial SDR notes.

2019: All central banks began stating currency reserves in SDRs

Mar. 14, 2022: “In two weeks, China and the Eurasian Economic Union – Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan – will reveal an independent international monetary and financial system. It will be based on a new international currency, calculated from an index of national currencies of the participating countries and international commodity prices”.

The currency resembles Keynes’ invention Special Drawing Rights.SDRs are a  synthetic currency which derives its value from a global, publicly traded basket of currencies and commodities. Immense beyond imaging, and stable as the Pyramids. Everyone gets a seat at the table and a vote. It may eventually be administered by an arm of the UN.

SDRs pose a serious alternative to the US dollar, both for the EAEU, the BRI’s 145 member states, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), ASEAN, and the RCEP. Middle East countries, including Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, are keenly interested.

Less well known is that the EAEU, the BRI, the SCO, ASEAN, and the RCEP were discussing a merger before the currency news hit.

It is reasonable to expect them to join this new, cooperatively managed, stable reserve currency regime in which they can settle their trades in stable, neutral, predictable SDRs.

Biological labs

China is not losing any opportunity to bring this front and center.  This is their last list of questions:

  • If the concerns are “disinformation”, why doesn’t the U.S. release detailed materials to prove its innocence? – Question by Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian on U.S.-funded biolabs in Ukraine.
  • What did the U.S. spend the $200 million on? – Question by Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian on U.S.-funded biolabs in Ukraine.
  • What kind of research has the U.S. conducted on which pathogens? – Question by Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian on U.S.-funded biolabs in Ukraine.
  • What is it trying to hide when the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine deleted all relevant documents on its website? – Question by Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian on U.S.-funded biolabs in Ukraine.
  • Why does the U.S. insist on being the only country in the world to oppose the establishment of a multilateral verification mechanism though it claims to abide by the Biological Weapons Convention? – Question by Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian on U.S.-funded biolabs in Ukraine.
  • This is quite an amazing poster detailing the biolab web, which is too large to load here.  But take a look at the depiction of these US biolabs.  https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202203/1255055.shtml

Economic goals in a nutshell

What is happening with Belt and Road?  About the data: On January 21, 2022, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) released its data for “China’s investments and cooperation in countries along the Belt and Road” covering the period of January to December 2021. According to these data, Chinese enterprises invested about US$20.3 billion in non-financial direct investments in countries “along the Belt and Road”. Furthermore, there were 560 newly signed projects with a contract value of over US$100 million. The MOFCOM data focus on 55 countries that are “along the Belt and Road” – meaning on a corridor from China to Europe including South Asia. For this report, the definition of BRI countries includes 142 countries that had signed a cooperation agreement with China to work under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative by the end of 2021. To analyze investments in these countries, we base our data on the China Global Investment Tracker and our own data research at the Green Finance & Development Center affiliated with Fudan University, Shanghai. As with most data, they tend to be imperfect.

Chinese joke

On a somewhat of a lighter note:  The Chinese Netizens are in the majority siding with Russia so completely and so enthusiastically, that China’s WeChat and Douyin had to crack down on vulgar jokes and netizens were told in no uncertain terms that they cannot make fun of international news events.  The very high support for Russia is becoming a clear talking point despite the somewhat muted and correct Chinese diplomatic statements.

So, here is a joke for you.

Bear and Dragon take a walk in the gardens.  Bear is a little overcome with his serious responsibilities in the world and presents emotionally somewhat tired and despondent.  As the walk proceeds, Dragon says to Bear .. Out with it!  What has you so despondent?  Bear thinks a moment and says:  We’ve been friends for a long time.  So, if I need a very large amount of money very quickly, will you give it to me?

Dragon, known for taking time to ponder the imponderables, walks on for a while and then comes to a firm stop.  NO, says Dragon, I will not give it to you!

Bear’s shoulders fall .. but Dragon continues:  I will lend it to you.  1.5 trillion the moment you ask for it, no interest, no repayment terms, pay me back when you can.

‘Hypocrisy Does Not Begin to Describe It’: Baroud on the Ukraine Crisis and the Changing Global Order (VIDEO)

March 17, 2022

Watch Ramzy Baroud’s full interview with Mark Seddon below. (Photo: PDD, Supplied)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

In a wide-ranging interview with Palestine Deep Dive (PDD), Mark Seddon discusses with distinguished Palestinian journalist and author, Dr. Ramzy Baroud, the unfolding crisis in Ukraine through the eyes of the Palestinian people.

While examining what seems to be emerging on the global geopolitical stage, Baroud also highlighted the hypocrisy of the international community, as well as the mainstream media in their response to Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine in comparison to their response, or lack of it, to Israel’s ongoing 74-year occupation of Palestine.

“People have the right to defend themselves against military occupation, period. Under any circumstance, regardless of the geopolitical nature of that conflict, and regardless of who’s involved in that conflict,” Baroud said. 

“We are still buried in this massive dichotomy in which we Palestinians can’t even protest without being accused of being anti-Israel or anti-America or anti this or that, compared to what is happening in the Ukraine within the matter of hours. In fact, even before the invasion took place. When the Russian forces were amassing at the Russia-Ukraine border, the condemnations were coming from all over Europe, all over North America. Of course, we have to face the reality that the international community does not have fair and just standards in its view of international conflicts.”

Commenting on the United Nations General Assembly vote, which saw 35 member states, including South Africa, India and China, abstaining from condemning Russia’s actions, Baroud said:

“I think geopolitics has a lot to do with it. (…) To give you an example, I was in Africa quite recently, and I visited several countries and became somewhat familiar with the political tussle that is happening in Africa itself.(…) African countries are very, very wary of the nature of the fight that is underway in Africa. South Africa, Nigeria, Algeria, and other countries do not want to see this happening. They want a more balanced bipolar world.”

When asked about the possibility of a new Cold War situation in Europe, with a revival of the Non-Aligned Movement, Baroud said:

“I think it’s very possible. Of course, we understand that there are so many moving pieces here, but if indeed, even if a stalemate is achieved, in other words, if NATO does not get its way in Ukraine and in Eastern Europe, and some kind of a compromise is made, will definitely embolden other countries to start negotiating (for themselves) a new political contract.”

Regarding the double standards currently displayed by Western politicians and media, Baroud said: 

“I think we need to revisit the term double standards or hypocrisy. It just does not even begin to tell half of the story regarding what’s happening in Palestine. What the West, what the Americans are condemning right now regarding Russia’s military action is exactly what Israel has been doing as a matter of course, in Palestine every single day. What’s happening in Yemen. These millions of poor people are starving, fighting cholera, fighting bombs falling on top of them.”

Baroud went on criticizing social media censorship of pro-Palestinian content, and describing the double-standards by international institutions, such as the International Criminal Court, FIFA or the International Olympic Committee. 

In highlighting the inherent racism in Western media coverage on Ukraine, Baroud said: 

“That’s really the mindset of the racist. I know that this is a term that people are very careful using, but if this is not outright racism, I don’t know what is. The thing about a racist mentality is that you never see your own fault, and you always project that on someone else.”

(The Palestine Chronicle, PDD)

The West and Hypocrisy: I Wish I Had the Bluest Eyes!

March 17, 2022

By Fatima Haydar

To begin with, not a single person deserves to go through the horrible atrocities of war, regardless of their nationality, race and religion. My heart goes out to all the people in Ukraine – as it does first and foremost to the persevering people in Yemen, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia – hoping they would find safety and security.

Beirut – The conflict in Ukraine has been the talk of the town, with masses and politicians in the west showing their undivided support to the people in Ukraine. Statements of solidarity from western leaders outpoured. But what catches one’s attention is the hypocritical way the conflict has been dealt with.

Since day one of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Western media hypocrisy has been the bone of contention. Three weeks have passed since the conflict began, and corporate western media has relentlessly continued its double-standard coverage of the events.

The hypocrisy of the media coverage of the Ukrainian conflict is so obvious that many news outlets have written on the matter over the past weeks, highlighting that to the West, having blue eyes and blond hair is the criteria by which victims of conflicts are worthy of the international community’s sympathy. 

As the conflict prolongs, the dark and ugly side of western media unfolds and the aforementioned criteria solidifies the notion that our looks and economic factors play a role in determining whether the war is somehow normal and expected in areas of the world and not in others; that: it’s ok when non-blue-eyed people get killed!

A quick search on the definition of HYPOCRISY discloses that it is “the practice of engaging in the same behavior or activity for which one criticizes another or the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform.”

To put it in clearer and simpler words, hypocrisy is when western media wants the world to treat the situation in Ukraine “equally” to the way other conflicts are being treated, when “western democracies” themselves don’t.

Let’s take the refugee crisis as an example. The West wanted the world to welcome with open arms the refugees from Ukraine and denounce what it called a “Russian invasion”, while it launched a calumnious attack on the Indian government over the Citizenship Amendment Act [CAA] and the riots, deported African migrants from its shores in Italy and Spain, and turned away Syrian refugees from its borders in Poland and Denmark; regardless of the fact that it turned a blind eye on the wars backed or waged by the United States and its allies in every corner of the globe.

And the list goes on.

Recently, in a small multireligious Middle Eastern country on the Mediterranean Sea called Lebanon, a Lebanese woman has been targeted by US sanctions. Mrs. Abir Khalil, mother of martyr Mohammad Tamer who was gunned down during last October’s massacre in the Tayouneh neighborhood of Beirut, says she has been banned from social media, including Whatsapp, and her travel and tourism company has been sanctioned.

The West and Hypocrisy: I Wish I Had the Bluest Eyes!
Mrs. Abir Khalil and her son martyr Mohammad Tamer

Mrs. Khalil explained that she was first blocked from using her and her martyred son’s Facebook pages, until they banned the pages and now both pages do not exist.

Regarding her business, she can no longer send or receive money to and from her customers via Western Union. Afterwards, she used her daughters name in her business’ monetary transactions, but after a couple of money transfers, they were banned again.

Mrs. Khalil says that on February 25, she was banned from using Whatsapp for violating the Terms of Service over allegations of violence and terrorism. “The funny thing is,” she says, “I just use the application to post pictures of martyr Mohammad. I’m not waging a war or anything and I don’t post pictures of weapons!”

As she details the incidents, she sheds light on the hypocrisy of western media coverage of the double-standard measures by “western democracies” headed by the US.

“This weakness and cowardness of the US government… they are intimidated by the simplest word we write, picture we post or voice we utter that they attempt to silence us by silencing these, but they will not be able to silence the word of God in us! We will be stronger than ever and nothing will stop us from striving,” she explains.

Regarding the US sanctions, Mrs. Khalil says, “Those who have sacrificed their most precious for the sake of this path, will not yield to trivial sanctions.”

What is worth mentioning is that martyr Mohammad Tamer was a civilian and is not a member of the Lebanese Resistance movement Hezbollah, and yet his mother has been targeted by US sanctions just because she “persists on proving the injustice against the fallen martyrs”.

Here the hypocrisy is two-folded; double-standard on the part of the US which claims to be a “western democracy” and the other by western media that claims to report news objectively.

First, the US did not practice what it preached. In the US constitution, people are protected by The First Amendment which guarantees the right to free expression and free association, which means that the government does not have the right to forbid anyone from saying what they like and writing what they like. Under the constitution, people can form clubs and organizations, and take part in demonstrations and rallies.

This is hypocrisy in action! So, it is OK for Americans to express themselves freely, but it’s not OK for other nationals to do so!

Where is the media coverage on this? Why aren’t more people talking about it?

Mrs. Khalil’s story has not been mentioned, neither was the actual incidents of the martyrdom of her son. And if the incident was spoken about, then it was manipulated to suit the interests of the west.

The western world seems to care the most when the country suffering is full of white people, because it only matters when those suffering are Europeans.

This war has highlighted the hypocrisy and the double-standards of the West where suffering does not warrant empathy but skin color and interests do.

Non-Stop Crimes against Muslims

14 March 2022

By: Hamid Reza Naghashian

For years Zionist regime has been busy with committing crimes against Muslims, mainly Palestinians, and its crime has gone unnoticed by the international bodies and recently Saudi-led coalition has joined the Zionist wagon to commit crimes against Yemenis with no concern about getting due punishments from the international bodies or countries.

TEHRAN (Iran News) –  For years Zionist regime has been busy with committing crimes against Muslims, mainly Palestinians, and its crime has gone unnoticed by the international bodies and recently Saudi-led coalition has joined the Zionist wagon to commit crimes against Yemenis with no concern about getting due punishments from the international bodies or countries.

In recent days while the world and especially the United Nations have been mobilized against Russia to punish this country regarding Ukraine war, Zionists and Saudi-led coalition forces  continue their crimes comfortably without getting any even small condemnation from the UN.

It seems crimes against Muslims will continue non-stop mostly by Zionists and by some so-called Muslim states while the world is indifferent towards Muslims’ condition in Palestine and Yemen.

On Tuesday, the secretary general of Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement sharply criticized the United States for exercising double standards on human rights, saying Washington has remained silent on decades of Israeli atrocities against Palestine as well as the horrendous criminal acts that the Saudi-led coalition is perpetrating in war-torn Yemen.

“While U.S. officials accuse Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine, they tend to turn a blind eye to the atrocities committed against civilians in all their wars. The United States has carried out crimes worldwide, spanning from Japan to Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Somalia. U.S. warplanes have bombed Afghan weddings, turning them into funerals,” Sayed Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech broadcast live from Beirut.

He added, “What can Americans say about the massacres being perpetrated by Zionists in Palestine and Israel’s war crimes? What can they say about the siege of the Gaza Strip? What can they say about the massacres of the Saudi-American aggression in Yemen? What can they say about the blockade of Yemen?”

The Hezbollah chief noted that thousands of trials should be held to bring American and European military officials to justice for crimes committed in Algeria, Libya and elsewhere in the world.

He also lambasted the international community’s apathy towards Friday’s attack on a Shia mosque in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar, which killed at least 61 people and injured another 196, stating that the bombers who carried out the attack were US creations and instructed to play out the scenario.

Hezbollah’s leader warns that the Russia-Ukraine conflict can lead to repercussions that would be very dangerous to the whole world.

What Nasrallah said is just a small portion of many crimes which are committed in the world which go unpunished and even unnoticed.

“Trusting Americans translates into stupidity, foolishness and ignorance,” Nasrallah said, adding, “Ukrainians have been let down by those who they counted on, and they have started to announce their readiness for discussions with Moscow,” Nasrallah said.

“The treatment of the recent wave of refugees from Ukraine exposes discrimination based on religion, race, and color. Is this the Western civilization?” he said.

The double standard approach towards different issues by the West and the international bodies hurts the nations in the world especially when it comes to the Muslim states or anti-West countries, this approach widens so that ever body can see and feel the double standard regarding the mentioned states.

The strange thing is that Muslim states help the Zionists and the West to get bolder action against Muslim states because they know that Muslim states are divided and they will not take a united action against the committed crimes.

As Nasrallah said, the U.S. and mainly the West cannot be trusted and even Ukrainian people saw it in practice that the U.S. and Europeans are not ready to fight for them when they need it. Ukraine war has taught us many lessons and especially to the Muslim countries.

One of the main lessons is that Muslim countries should not rely on assistance of other countries and they themselves should fight for success and prosperity. The second lesson is that they should fight for their cause as Ukrainians do for it because they have realized that Western countries prefer to talk rather than to act.

So it is up to Muslim nations whether to accept suppression by their enemies or to stand against it because as long as they wait for the international bodies’ reaction to crimes against Palestine and Yemen or even other Muslim country like Sudan, it will be waste of time because the non-stop crimes against them will continue without getting due reaction and punishment.

Muslim nations need leaders like Seyed Ali Khamenei and Sayed Nasrallah to stand against arrogant states otherwise they have to seat and watch crimes against them going on. Lack of the brave leadership is the missing link in Muslim states which hurts them and makes happy the hostile nations.

Ukraine Is Not A Victim–It is Part of NWO Agenda

Come on, people. What would America do if Russia or China was attempting to build military bases on our Canadian and Mexican borders? What do you think would happen?

 March 12, 2022

By  Jonas E. Alexis, Assistant Editor

By Chuck Baldwin

As a political analyst and more importantly as a spiritually-minded student of the Scriptures, I am absolutely convinced of this: When the major establishments all pounce on one subject, collectively decide who is a victim and who is a villain and beat the same drum every day over and over in total unison, the narrative that is being presented is one hundred percent upside down.

And right now the power establishments have decided to bewitch us with an anti-Russia, pro-Ukraine agenda. But as with all establishment propaganda, the narrative is a big, fat lie.

I begin with Ron Paul’s excellent commentary:

When the Bush Administration announced in 2008 that Ukraine and Georgia would be eligible for NATO membership, I knew it was a terrible idea. Nearly two decades after the end of both the Warsaw Pact and the Cold War, expanding NATO made no sense. NATO itself made no sense.

Explaining my “no” vote on a bill to endorse the expansion, I said at the time:

NATO is an organization whose purpose ended with the end of its Warsaw Pact adversary… This current round of NATO expansion is a political reward to governments in Georgia and Ukraine that came to power as a result of US-supported revolutions, the so-called Orange Revolution and Rose Revolution.

Providing US military guarantees to Ukraine and Georgia can only further strain our military. This NATO expansion may well involve the US military in conflicts unrelated to our national interest…

Unfortunately, as we have seen this past week, my fears have come true. One does not need to approve of Russia’s military actions to analyze its stated motivation: NATO membership for Ukraine was a red line it was not willing to see crossed. As we find ourselves at risk of a terrible escalation, we should remind ourselves that it didn’t have to happen this way. There was no advantage to the United States to expand and threaten to expand NATO to Russia’s doorstep. There is no way to argue that we are any safer for it.

NATO went off the rails long before 2008, however. The North Atlantic Treaty was signed on April 4, 1949 and by the start of the Korean War just over a year later, NATO was very much involved in the military operation of the war in Asia, not Europe!

NATO’s purpose was stated to “guarantee the safety and freedom of its members by political and military means.” It is a job not well done!

I believe as strongly today as I did back in my 2008 House Floor speech that, “NATO should be disbanded, not expanded.” In the meantime, expansion should be off the table.

Hear, hear, Dr. Paul.

I also encourage you to read this terrific column by Attorney John Whitehead entitled Perpetual Tyranny: Endless Wars Are The Enemy Of Freedom.

In this column Whitehead wrote,

As long as America’s politicians continue to involve us in wars that bankrupt the nation, jeopardize our servicemen and women, increase the chances of terrorism and blowback domestically, and push the nation that much closer to eventual collapse, “we the people” will find ourselves in a perpetual state of tyranny.

It’s time for the U.S. government to stop policing the globe.

This latest crisis—America’s part in the showdown between Russia and the Ukraine—has conveniently followed on the heels of a long line of other crises, manufactured or otherwise, which have occurred like clockwork in order to keep Americans distracted, deluded, amused, and insulated from the government’s steady encroachments on our freedoms.

And so it continues in its Orwellian fashion.

Two years after COVID-19 shifted the world into a state of global authoritarianism, just as the people’s tolerance for heavy-handed mandates seems to have finally worn thin, we are being prepped for the next distraction and the next drain on our economy.

Yet policing the globe and waging endless wars abroad isn’t making America—or the rest of the world—any safer, it’s certainly not making America great again, and it’s undeniably digging the U.S. deeper into debt.

War has become a huge money-making venture, and the U.S. government, with its vast military empire, is one of its best buyers and sellers.

What most Americans—brainwashed into believing that patriotism means supporting the war machine—fail to recognize is that these ongoing wars have little to do with keeping the country safe and everything to do with propping up a military industrial complex that continues to dominate, dictate and shape almost every aspect of our lives.

Consider: We are a military culture engaged in continuous warfare. We have been a nation at war for most of our existence. We are a nation that makes a living from killing through defense contracts, weapons manufacturing and endless wars.

The United States is the number one consumer, exporter and perpetrator of violence and violent weapons in the world. Seriously, America spends more money on war than the combined military budgets of China, Russia, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Saudi Arabia, India, Germany, Italy and Brazil. America polices the globe, with 800 military bases and troops stationed in 160 countries. Moreover, the war hawks have turned the American homeland into a quasi-battlefield with military gear, weapons and tactics. In turn, domestic police forces have become roving extensions of the military—a standing army.

The American Empire—with its endless wars waged by U.S. military servicepeople who have been reduced to little more than guns for hire: outsourced, stretched too thin, and deployed to far-flung places to police the globe—is approaching a breaking point.

Come on, people. What would America do if Russia or China was attempting to build military bases on our Canadian and Mexican borders? What do you think would happen?

Plus, the leader of Ukraine is anything but a hero. He gladly participated in allowing the banks of Ukraine to be used as money launderers for rich businessmen and politicians and for influence peddling in U.S. politics.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (a Zionist Jew) is also accused of barbaric—even genocidal—treatment of the people living in the two breakaway provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk—which have a Natural right under God to separate from Ukraine and who appealed to Russia for protection. (Tell me, did Iraq and Afghanistan invite America to send our military to their countries before we invaded them?) Is it any wonder that Ukraine is looking to Israel for military assistance? After all, Israel is extremely proficient at ethnic cleansing and genocide.

Let’s also not forget that Ukraine is home to over a dozen U.S. biolabs that are sponsored and financed by the Pentagon. In other words, those labs are there for potential military operations. Again, what do you think America would do if Russia had built a dozen military biolabs just across our borders in Canada and Mexico?

Ukraine is NOT a victim. It has been up to its proverbial neck in global (especially anti-Russian) subterfuge, theft, acts of inhumanity and war crimes for years. Ukraine is no friend of freedom or the United States. But it is a friend to corrupt politicians and businessmen.

Whatever is really going on in Ukraine has nothing to do with the narrative being propounded by the major establishments.

1) Let me ask you something: If the United States felt justified in launching preemptive invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan—including long-term occupations—a half a world away from our borders against small backwards nations that posed zero threat to America, how is Russia not justified in launching a preemptive campaign to protect itself from a serious formidable military expansion at its border—especially when its protection is sought from legitimate independent states? (Remember, America was once a breakaway country.) Please read Dr. Paul’s commentary referenced above about why the real villain in this situation is NATO, not Russia. Again, what would we do if we were in Russia’s shoes?

If Russia really wanted to conquer Ukraine, it could easily do so. Ukraine is totally incapable of successfully resisting the Russian military, if Russia truly desired military conquest (which it doesn’t). Russian leader Vladimir Putin told the world exactly why his actions were being taken, what his actions in Ukraine were designed and not designed to do—including NOT occupying Ukraine—and how they would be conducted. I think you should read what he said.

2) Were the U.S. biolabs an important objective? I understand that the labs may have been destroyed early in the operation. If so, that is a VERY GOOD thing.

3) Now that the American people have made it known that they have had it with the phony Covid narrative and the fear factor is totally gone, are the totalitarian elite now using the threat of global war to again consume people’s hearts with fear? As Whitehead said, “Endless wars are the enemy of freedom.” (I’ve been saying that for years.) Fear is also a tool to enslave us. Early in the Covid charade, I brought a message to this regard.

4) Is this a diversion to take our attention away from the National Vaccine Pass (and other attempts by our own central government to trample our liberties) that is being rolled out, supported by both Democrats and Republicans?

5) Is this another manipulation of world affairs from within the backrooms of the CFR and Bilderbergs for the purpose of achieving their overall objective of global governance?

Of course, Scofield futurists are all over the place screaming about “end times prophecy.” What Balderdash! One would think that Christians would start using their brains a little bit and stop listening to these phony prophecy sensationalists who make bank (and fools out of themselves) with false prophecies about the end of the world.

Whatever the real story in Ukraine is, I can tell you this: It is NOT what the major establishments are telling us. And Ukraine is NOT a victim.

Dr. Chuck Baldwin is an American politician and has been involved in at least 12 full-length documentary films. He was the presidential nominee of the Constitution Party for the 2008 U.S. presidential election and had previously been its nominee for U.S. vice president in 2004. He is also a pastor of Liberty Fellowship in Kalispell, Montana.

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