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كي لا تكون الآن نكبة
من ذاكرة النكبة: نساء وأطفال من احدى القرى الفلسطينية على درب الهجرة الطويلة (أرشيف مجلّة «تايم»)

فلسطين كمال خلف الطويل

الجمعة 15 أيار 2020

لعلّ من بين كلّ أعوامها السبعين ونيّف، لذكرى نكبة 1948 هذا العام بالتحديد، مذاقٌ مغاير… لماذا؟ نظرة طائرٍ على فلسطين وما حولها، عند ذكراها الحالّة، تُري الناظر حزمة مشاهد كونية وإقليمية ومحلية، فيها من التداخل ما يوجب استدخالها في استشراف طيّات القادم:

1

ــــ شلل «كوروني»، جزئي أو نسبي، لقدرات القوى الكبرى في خوض صراعات حاميةٍ أو حتى فاترة، سواء بينها أم بين حلفائها الإقليميين، وانعكاس ذلك على مسرح الحوادث تهدئةً أو «تباعد» اشتباك.
2

ــــ تداعٍ اقتصادي يعمّ المنطقة، بفعل عاملَي سقوط سعر النفط والوباء الـ«كوروني»… لا يوفّر غنيةً أو فقيرةً من كياناتها، بل ينيخ بكلكله على مستقبلها، القريب منه والبعيد.
3

ــــ ميزان قوىً رجراج في المنطقة، لا يسمح لقوة إقليمية بحسم الصراع لصالحها على حساب غيرها:

إسرائيل، أعجز عن كسر إيران، أو حليفاتها، حتى إن قدِرت على إيذائها سورياً، وقدِرت راعيتها، الولايات المتحدة، على إنهاكها بحصار العقوبات. في المقابل، نراها تتحضّر لالتهام جغرافيا القدس والمستوطنات والأغوار، بالتواطؤ مع الدولة الأميركية الترامبية، تحت اعتقاد أنّ جو الوباء كفيلٌ بشلّ أحدٍ عن فعل صدٍّ أو منعٍ أو كبحٍ.
تركيا، غير قادرة على إنفاذ رغائبها في الشمال السوري، من دون تمكين روسي وسكون أميركي، ناهيك بانكشاف اقتصادها أمام غائلة غارات خصوم الخليج وغيرهم، بسعي ضرب اقتصادها ولَيِّ ذراعها استراتيجياً. في المقابل، نراها تعوّض محدودية نجاحها السوري، عبر العقد المنصرم، بمطاولةٍ عابرةٍ لشرق المتوسط، و«متشاطئة» مع ليبيا غازاً ونفطاً.

السعودية، مكسورة في أعزّ ما تملك: مال النفط؛ مستنزفة بعبثها الحربي في اليمن، قليلة حيلة أمام من تعتبره خصمها التليد: إيران، وخاسرة في الشمال العربي. في المقابل، هي بين بين في الساحة الليبية، وممسكة بأعنة القرار المصري، بالشراكة مع حليفتها الإماراتية.

إيران، محاصَرة حتى الثمالة في معاشها، معوقة سورياً، متساكنة مع شيطانها التليد في العراق، وحتى لبنان، ومحاطة بسوار قواعد أميركية في البر والبحر. في المقابل، عندها من مقدرة المصابرة والدفع ما كسر مشعر غينيس.
طيّب، لنرَ كيف هو المؤثر الدولي عندنا: في الخلفية شبح الوباء المقعِد، للكل. هذا في عموم. أما في خصوص، فلم يعد هناك ما تستطيع الولايات المتحدة فرضه بالقوة، لا بل إنّ عملية إعادة تموضعِ لقدراتها قد بدأت قبل الوباء، وها قد تسارعت بعده، محفّزةً بنتائج ما سبق من فرط تمدد، بدّد 8 تريليون دولار في مجروره، وبدّد معه عشرية بكاملها، هي أولى عشريات القرن. والشراكة الروسية ـــــ الصينية ما زالت أقدر على الإعاقة منها على الفرض، سواء بالاختيار صينياً ـــــ وهو الآن آيل ـــــ أم بالاضطرار روسياً.

كيف ينعكس ذلك كله في، وعلى فلسطين الآن؟ من منظور اليمين الإسرائيلي (وإسرائيل كلّها الآن يمين… لكنّه قبلي ومحترب، فتوراً الآن وربما سخونةً ذات وقت)، ورديفه الترامبي، فشلل الوباء سانحٌ لقفزة ضمٍّ ما فتئ الأول يتلمّظ عليها لعقود، ويعقد الثاني عزمه على نصرته، إنْ من زاوية تمكين إسرائيل وكيلاً إقليمياً، أم لجهة تلبية مطلب بيئته الانتخابية المزمن… هذا في النية. طيّب، ما هي فاعلةٌ الإقليميات الثلاثة، سوى إسرائيل… والكونيتان، سوى الولايات المتحدة… وأضيف، أوروبا؟

برغم إقعاد الوباء العمومي، إلا أنّ الإقليمي الأكثر فعّالية فلسطينياً هو إيران، وعلى مسارح متعدّدة: سوريا ولبنان وغزة. ذلك أنها، ببساطة، من انكبّ ـــــ وما انفكّ ـــــ على بناء منظومة صاروخية، نوعية كما كمّية، عبر الشمال العربي، مع صلةٍ بغزّة، وعبر سنوات سبع ونيّف، صارت توفّر قدرة ردع ما قبل ـــــ متكافئة، وتكاد تشطب قدرة إسرائيل على شنّ حرب هجومية على المحيط. لكنّ إيران وحليفاتها، لم تبلغ بعد حدّ القدرة على كبح نية إسرائيل ضمّ نصف الضفة الغربية. ما الذي ينقص؟ غياب شريك عربي مركزي، واضطراب العلاقة الإيرانية ـــــ التركية سورياً، وافتقاد سند دولي فارق.

أين السعودية اليوم؟ هي تجرّب رفقة طريق مع إسرائيل، بظنّ أنْ تقيها من «غائلة» إيران، في مقامرة غير محسوبة للتيار المتنفّذ في العشيرة الحاكمة، وكفيلةٍ، مع انكسار «رؤية» هذا التيار، بنضوب خزائنه نفطياً وشعائرياً، وبخسائره اليمنية الفادحة، أن تهزّ الأرض من تحته، بغضّ النظر عن أي أثر لغواية اللهو والمِتع بعد طول تضييق. ذات الحال يسري على محيطها، وعلى «مصرها».

وبعلم أنّ تركيا، مِثلها مثل إيران، لا ترتفع مقاماً كقوة إقليمية إلا بخفض مقام إسرائيل، وبه فقط تصبحان «عُظمَيين» لا عاديتين… إلا أنّ إشغال تركيا نفسها في متاهةٍ سوريةٍ من صنع يديها، وبخطايا حساب أحمق أجراه صنّاع قرارها في خريف 2011، قد كفّ قدرتها على أن تكون وازنة كفايةً قبالة إسرائيل فلسطينياً، رغم اشتغالها على الناحية العقارية في القدس وغيرها، وبحساب عونها السياسي والإعلامي. ما تحتاج إليه هو أن تدرك، لتوّها، مركزية تنزيل إسرائيل من عليائها، عن أي شأن مشرقي آخر. لقائل أن يقول: وكيف لتركيا أن تفيق إلى واجبها الفلسطيني وهي مكبّلة بقيود ناتوية؟ والحال أنْ ليس من قيود تكبّل، وصفقة «س 400» شاهدة.

في الكوني، هناك مسألة أقيس عليها ابتداءً: لا ترى إسرائيل في روسيا أو الصين، حليفاً أو شريكاً أو صديقاً. من ينفرد بامتلاك هذه الصفات وأكثر (الراعي)، هي الولايات المتحدة. روسيا والصين، هما عند إسرائيل مشروعا تنافع، وفي حالة روسيا بالذات طرفٌ تدير معه ترتيبات منع اشتباك… ولا تني الولايات المتحدة تذكّر إسرائيل بسقفها الواطئ لمنسوب التنافع. كلتاهما ترى في ضمّ نصف الضفة، تخريباً لحلٍّ في فلسطين طالما تاقتا إليه، وعسفاً وخيماً بظلامة شعبها لن يلبث أن يوقد النار في غرب آسيا. لكن تنطّحهما لدور معيق، يحتّ من جموح الولايات المتحدة، لا يتصلّب عوداً إلا باستناده إلى جدار إقليمي صلد، أي تركو ـــــ إيراني، والذي صار أكثر إمكانية وسط تحديات الوباء واصطفافاته. يُضاف إلى ذلك، توق الصين بالذات إلى تعرّض «إيجابي» للولايات المتحدة، وليس أعزّ من جبهة لها من إسرائيلها، سيما وأمر خسفها الصلة الصينية ــــــ الإسرائيلية صار في التداول. أوروبا الرسمية، في المقابل، لا تجيد إلا الخنوع أمام الأميركو ــــــ إسرائيلي عند الحزّة واللزّة، لكنّ مجتمعاتها في مكان آخر، وسيحفزها في الضغط على رسمياتها شعورها أنّ تماسك المحلّي والإقليمي والأوراسي يتجسّد.

طيّب، هل لقوى الضفة ذاتها من وزن في هذه المعادلة؟ يصح القطع بانعدام ثقة الشعب الفلسطيني في الضفة بقياداتها المتنفّذة، بل وفي ذلك سر تورعه عن إلقاء ثقله في الصراع ثانيةً، طالما تثقل كاهله وتعوق فطرته. شرط عودته ليصبح الرقم الصعب في معادلة الصراع، اضطرارها أن تنزاح عن طريقه، بما فيه نزع قيد أمنها عن رسغه، وإخلاء حاجزه الحارس للاحتلال، وتحوّلها إلى محض سلطة بلدية محلية لا صفة سياسية لها. أول الأوليات، ألا تُترك لتقع في درك غواية الترامبية لها بالتقدّم بمقترح بديل، بل أن تُجبر على التمنّع، ولو اللفظي. إنّ هناك الآن فرصة من أشهر، ألحظ بصددها العوامل التالية:

المؤسسة الأمنية ــــــ العسكرية لإسرائيل خاشية ومحذّرة من عقابيل الضمّ. محميات مصر والخليج تتوسّل براعيها الترامبي، أن يتمهّل في الإذن بالضمّ خشية ما يفرز من عواقب. منظومة الأمن القومي الأميركي تعارض وتُنذر. اليهودية الأميركية منشرخة نصفين، أحدهما معارض. الأردن يتحسّس رقبته. أوروبا تضرب كفّاً بكفّ، فما غرب آسيا إلا رمية حجر. وعليه، فما كان من ضوء أخضر صار أصفر.

طيّب، كيف نحوّل الأصفر إلى أحمر؟ نقطة البداية هي عند «نخب» كلّ فلسطين، فإن التقت على قاسم مشترك أدنى، من دحر الاحتلال واستعادة الضفة، وفق برنامج عملاني، وأطلقت دعوة تقريب «سوري» بين إيران وتركيا يوقف الحرب، وبرهنت لنفسها أولاً، ثم لإيران وتركيا، وخلفهما لروسيا والصين، أنها رافعة داخلٍ وطوق، فتكاملت بها وبهم أساسات سندٍ من فولاذ، صار لزوماً للأطراف الإسرائيلية والأميركية والأوروبية أن تشعل الأحمر.
ولكن… إن أضعنا هذه الأشهر الدانية، فنكون كمن جدّد النكبة.

انقلاب تركيّ على نتائج الحرب العالميّة الثانية

د. وفيق إبراهيم

يضغط الاتراك عسكرياً وسياسياً لتحقيق المكانة المحورية بين المتصارعين للسيطرة على اعماق البحر الأبيض المتوسط وسواحل بلدانه مع بعض امتداداتها الداخلية في البر.

فما يجري أدرك مرحلة حرب ضروس بين قوى دولية من اوروبا وشرقي المتوسط وروسيا واميركا مع بعض النحيب المصريّ الشجيّ والرقص الإماراتي على حبال اميركية متينة.

مدى هذه الحرب واسع جداً لشمولها المياه الإقليمية والدولية للمتوسط في جهاته الشرقية والجنوبية فتشمل سواحل بلاد الشام في سورية ولبنان وفلسطين المحتلة ومصر الى السواحل الجنوبية في ليبيا وتونس والجزائر والمغرب وتضم أيضاً سواحل قبرص من كل جهاتها وصولاً الى اليونان.

هناك اذاً صراع مفتوح على المتوسط يأخذ شكل حرب عسكرية شرسة في ليبيا بين دولتيها المتصارعتين الغربية للسراج الموالية لتركيا والشرقية الجنوبية لحفتر المدعومة من فرنسا وإيطاليا وروسيا وألمانيا وبريطانيا، والأميركيين المكتفين بالتأييد السياسي، انما مع مواصلة الحوار مع الأتراك ورجلهم الليبي الاخواني السراج.

كما يتجسّد هذا الصراع في ارتفاع حدة التوتر بين تركيا واليونان على غاز ونفط قبرص وأعماق البحر. وهذا الموضوع محكوم باعتقاد تركي ان الأميركيين خصوصاً والغربيين عموماً بحاجة اليهم، منذ زمن الاتحاد السوفياتي، لذلك ترك الغرب تركيا تحتل الجزء المسكون من أتراك قبارصة في الجزيرة المستقلة منذ 1974.

بالمقابل تعتبر اليونان أن قبرص هي جزء من تراثها الإغريقي بالاضافة الى انتمائها القومي الى اليونان، فتتصرف اليونان وكأنها صاحبة الحق المبرم في الجزيرة وثرواتها.

لكن هذا الصراع ليس إلا الجزء البسيط من صراع عثماني – يوناني تاريخي، نجح فيه الأتراك منذ قرون عدة بالسيطرة على جزء نهائي من تركيا.

هذه الصراعات في المتوسط وليبيا تدفع نحو صراعات عالمية الطابع ومياهه الوطنية والدولية. وهذا يشمل الخلاف اللبناني مع الكيان الإسرائيلي المحتل عند الحدود البحرية في الجنوب وخلاف كامن تركي سوري على إمكانات كبيرة من الغاز والنفط في أعماق حدوديهما البحرية.

ما هي الخطة التركية؟

تشرف تركيا على مسافة طويلة من سواحل المتوسط بدءاً من حدودها البحرية مع سورية وحتى بحار اليونان، وأضافت دوراً متوسطياً لها بالسيطرة على قبرص التركية وليبيا «السراج» وتطمح من خلال العلاقة مع حزب النهضة التونسي الذي يمسك رئيسه الغنوشي برئاسة مجلس نواب بلاده. تطمح الى ضم تونس الى نفوذها. فتستطيع بذلك ان تمسك بالحدود البحرية والإقليمية لقبرص الواقعة في منتصف البحر المتوسط. وتمتد الى ليبيا براً وبحراً مع مدياتها الاقليمية، هذا بالاضافة الى ان سواحل المتوسط التركية تبيح لها التنقيب في اعماق المتوسط بين اليونان وقبرص وحتى سواحلها المباشرة، وتعتبر تركيا أنها دولة متوسطية اساسية لها كامل الحق والاولوية في التنقيب في اعماق البحر المتوسط قبالة العالم العربي من المغرب وحتى حدودها الإقليمية مع اليونان وبلغاريا، اي ما يعادل خمساً وسبعين في المئة من سواحل البحر المتوسط وبالتالي أعماقه الدولية.

هذا ما يدفع الى السؤال التالي: أين العرب من كل ذلك وأين الغرب وروسيا؟

معظم العرب في الخليج مرتبطون بالمشروع الأميركي المتريث من جهة والمشترك من جهة أخرى في الحرب عبر التورط الاماراتي في حرب ليبيا بالإسناد وبالسلاح والتمويل لقوات حفتر.

اما اوروبا فمنزعجة من الاستيلاء التركي على دولة السراج الليبية فتدعم حفتر إنما من دون السماح له بالحسم النهائي، لان المفاوضات الدولية على اقتسام المغانم في كامل البحر المتوسط لم تصل بعد الى خواتيمها، ما يتطلب تسعيراً للمعارك بدأ يظهر بالسلاح الأوروبي والإماراتي المتدفق الى بنغازي والجنوب مع قوات روسية تابعة لشركات فاغنر الى جانب دعم مصري مباشر بالخبراء والمدربين وبعض الكتائب العسكرية، بالمقابل تقف قوات تركية مع جيش السراج ومجموعات من تنظيمات سورية إرهابية وأخرى من الاخوان المسلمين. اما العرب المجاورون لليبيا، فمصر تخشى من انتصار الاخوان المسلمين الليبيين ومعها تركيا، فينعكس على وضعها في الداخل المصري، حيث لا يزال الاخوان المسلمون فيها القوة الأساسية بعد الجيش المصري. لجهة السودان فلا يزال غارقاً في خلافاته الداخلية، وتطبيق سياسات منصاعة للأميركيين تجعله من مؤيدي حفتر حيناً وصامت في معظم الاحيان.

لكن تونس يتنازعها تياران، الاول من الاخوان المسلمين يؤيد السراج الليبي والآخر من أجنحة رئيسها قيس سعيّد الذي يدعو الى الحياد.

واذا كان باستطاعة قائد الاخوان في تونس رئيس مجلس النواب الغنوشي الذي يترأس ايضاً اخوان ليبيا بجهاديين متطوعين فإن قيس سعيّد عاجز عن دعم حفتر إلا بالدعاء.

على مستوى البلدان العربية غير المجاورة، فسورية منهمكة بالتصدّي لتركيا واخوانها مع احتلال عسكري اميركي الى جانب الإرهابيين، والمغرب لم يعد يأبه للصراعات العربية. وهذا حال كامل العالم العربي الذي تجتاحه تركيا اما بالوسائل المباشرة كحال العراق وسورية وليبيا وحزب الإصلاح في اليمن وبعض اجنحة الاخوان في السودان والجزائر وتونس، وإما بالسياسة. لذلك فإن المشروع التركي يبدو واضحاً بمحاولة الاستفادة من تراجع الدور الاميركي في الشرق الأوسط وتقهقر الدور السعودي في معظم العالمين الاسلامي والعربي لإعادة العثمانية الاردوغانية الجديدة بوسيلتين: السيطرة الاستراتيجية والايديولوجية والاستيلاء على الغاز والنفط.

ألا يشكل هذا الأمر انقلاباً تركياً على نتائج الحرب العالمية الثانية؟

يعتبر الأتراك ان الاميركيين سمحوا لهم باحتلال ثلث قبرص منذ 46 عاماً. وكان هناك عدو واحد لهم هو الاتحاد السوفياتي، اما اليوم فلديهم عدوان اثنان واكثر من منافس هما الصين وروسيا والمانيا واليابان والهند، لذلك تبقى تركيا حاجة اساسية للنفوذ الاميركي العالمي، واي تخلٍ عنها يذهب نحو تدمير كبير للجيوبوليتيك الاميركي. هذا هو صميم المراهنة التركية التي تجزم بأن الاميركيين لن يعترضوا على دور كبير لها في مياه البحر الابيض المتوسط وسواحل بلدانه، لا يفعل أكثر من صد النفوذ الروسي الصيني.

فهل هذا صحيح؟

لن تقبل دول اوروبا المتوسطية في فرنسا وايطاليا بهذه المعادلة. وقد تتمكن اليونان العضو في الاتحاد الاوروبي من جذب المانيا ومعظم دول الاتحاد الى مياه البحر المتوسط للاستفادة من ثرواته، كما ان الاميركيين لن يذهبوا الى حدود إثارة غضب الاوروبيين من اجل ارضاء اردوغان، وقد يذهبون كعادتهم نحو التوفيق بين تحالفاتهم انما على اساس الاولوية للمصالح الاميركية.

يتبقى العرب وعندما يستيقظون من سباتهم تكون المعركة على ثروات المتوسط اختتمت فصولها وانتقلت للسيطرة على بحار جديدة.

AN IN-DEPTH LOOK BEHIND THE SCENES OF SOUTHFRONT CENSORSHIP

An In-Depth Look Behind the Scenes Of SouthFront Censorship

The situation surrounding the censorship of Southfront on Facebook has turned into a display of the stereotypical Big-tech super villain. Facebook has published a report justifying its actions, which is an egregious, textbook example of fake news. The report contains only disjointed accusations under the cover of meaningless words, and without a single example being presented. Special attention should be paid to the fact that in the full 29-page report, there are no mentions of SouthFront itself, besides the baseless accusations at its outset.

Furthermore, in order to label SouthFront as allegedly official Russian propaganda, Facebook first identifies another media site with a similar name, and then proceeds to emphasize the similarity of the brands. The name of this organization is “News Front”, which indeed shares the word “Front” in its name, yet the similarities end there. News Front is an official Russian organization that is located in Crimea and publicly pursues an acute pro-Russian patriotic informational agenda for a Russian speaking audience.

In the case of News Front, to assert that the site is engaged in pushing fake news or disinformation is also nonsense. There are no hidden “trolls” infecting the weak minds of the citizens of Russia or other countries of the post-Soviet space through devious attempts to manipulate and mold their innermost perception. This is a regular Russian patriotic media site with a declared pro-Russian bias. Having a declared and obvious bias is not a crime in a democratic world.

As for the wider, global, non-Russian-speaking audience, News Front has a minimal presence. So why it was necessary to censor this Russian organization? The answer is now obvious, as described above.

The comparison of the audience of southfront.org and news-front.info by Alexa:

An In-Depth Look Behind the Scenes Of SouthFront Censorship

The comparison of the audience of southfront.org and news-front.info by SimilarWeb:

An In-Depth Look Behind the Scenes Of SouthFront Censorship

The catalyst that led to these actions concern mass complaints made by propaganda units created and funded by NATO, the EU and other Euro-Atlantic organizations. A majority of these propaganda units, like Euvsdisinfo, StopFake, or the Atlantic Council, have offices and representatives in Ukraine and Baltic states. They operate with the designated goal of utilizing both formal and informal tools to undermine the work of independent and non-mainstream media. To achieve their goals, the pro-NATO propagandists often exploit the so-called ‘Russian threat’ concept; however, this merely provides a cover for their aggressive actions to silence and discredit opposing opinions and sources of information they deem to be counter to their own interests.

The reason behind their activity is simple – they must justify their existence in reports to their sponsors. They are constantly and fiercely working to engineer ‘successful actions’ regardless of their validity. In order to continue securing funding to expose and defeat an imaginary enemy, they must create imaginary victories, irrespective of reality.

EXAMPLE 1:

An In-Depth Look Behind the Scenes Of SouthFront Censorship

The real title of the article is “COVID-19 – THE FIGHT FOR A CURE: ONE GIGANTIC WESTERN PHARMA RIP-OFF” (source)

This article is written by Peter Koenig and submitted via Global Research. Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization in many parts of the world, including in Palestine, in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; RT; Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; Greenville Post; Defend Democracy Press, TeleSUR; The Saker Blog, the New Eastern Outlook (NEO); and other internet sites. He is the author of “Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed”, a fictional work based on historical fact and over 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (Global Research). Global Research itself is run by a group of authors that have advanced academic degrees from respected academic institutions and teach in universities of the United State and Canada.

So, what kind of ‘fake news’ or ‘disinformation’ did Mr. Koenig push in the article? The article provides a critical look at and addresses the concerns regarding the goals of the global pharmaceutical industry, otherwise known as Big Pharma, in the larger context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Are these global corporations not commercial entities that seek to gain larger revenues and increased profits? Yes, clearly so. So, what is wrong with this logic? Furthermore, Mr. Koenig wrote his article based on official statistics and sources.

For example:

“The vaccine that might eventually be applied to COVID-19, may most likely no longer be valid for the next coronavirus outbreak – which, also according to Mr. Redfield, CDC, will most probably occur. A later virus may most certainly have mutated. It’s quite similar to the common flu virus. In fact, the annually reoccurring common flu virus contains a proportion of 10% to 15% (sometimes more) of coronaviruses.”

This is an obvious scientific fact – a specific vaccine acts against a particular strain of virus. Complex vaccines act against several strains, but the accumulated modern scientific knowledge has yet to invent a vaccine that can act against all the possible strains. The converse statement is a falsehood and is aimed at misleading the public.

A biased critic may label as conspiracy the author’s point of view towards the aggressive advertising of vaccines or the need for electronic IDs; however, this very same point of view has been voiced by various politicians or representatives of big business. Even the term ‘New World Order’ which appears twice in the subject text, was itself widely used by the mainstream political establishment, and even presidents of the United States like George H. W. Bush.

However, this did not stop paid propagandists from labeling the article the work of a conspiracy theorist and thus labelling it as disinformation. One could claim that the author asserted a notion of conspiracy, but there was zero disinformation, as the author’s hypothesis was based on scientist fact and common knowledge.

EXAMPLE 3:

An In-Depth Look Behind the Scenes Of SouthFront Censorship

The real title of the article is “WESTERN MEDIA TALKS UP BIG PHARMA’S SEARCH FOR CORONAVIRUS VACCINE WHILE IGNORING USE OF HIGH DOES VITAMIN C TO SAVE LIVES IN CHINA” (source)

This article is written by a well-known international author, Dr. Leon Tressell. The main assertion of the article is that high dose vitamin C therapy apparently helps to deal with acute respiratory disease and viral pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2. The article clearly shows that the methods of treating the symptoms caused by SARS-CoV-2 share some commonality with the actions taken to treat the symptoms of respiratory disease and viral pneumonia caused by other viruses. There is no correlation between the effectiveness of a particular drug or method of treatment and its monetary cost. This fact is also universally recognized in the scientific community.

Mr. Tressell writes:

  • Clinical trials using high dose vitamin C therapy in China ignored by Western media
  • New York hospitals now using vitamin C therapy to treat coronavirus patients

Are these false statements? No. These points are demonstrably true.

Indeed, the author states that the “mainstream media, and the scientific and political establishments are completely under the spell of big pharma”; however, in the same article he explains this point of view in detail. This remark is based on his personal point of view (protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution) as well as those of scientists quoted in the text. For example:

Dr. Andrew W. Saul, Editor in chief of the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service

Dr. Richard Cheng, an American-Chinese doctor currently based in Shanghai

Dr. Andrew G. Weber, a pulmonologist and critical-care specialist affiliated with two Northwell Health facilities on Long Island

Thus, there is no reason to say that Tressell distributes fake news. In the worst case, the author writes about a valid hypothesis and only once does he make a personal judgment regarding the motives and aims of big pharma. Is this false news or disinformation? Of course it is not. Is some conspiracy theory present here? If one claims “yes”, then that person will have to accept that most of the political establishment of the United States, which also uses the terms the New World Order and Big Pharma are also conspiracy theorists. Surely one statement of the article’s author pales in comparison to the thousands of statements of politicians and top businessmen espousing similar views. How popular does a dissenting view have to become before it is no longer considered a conspiracy theory?

EXAMPLE 3:

An In-Depth Look Behind the Scenes Of SouthFront Censorship

The real title of the article is “WHILE THE WORLD IS IN DISARRAY, COVID-19 IS BREAKING UP RUSSIA” (source)

The article was likely used by the Euvsdisinfo authors either out of a lack of humor, ignorance, or sheer stupidity. This article is a critical review of the political and administrative situation in Russia amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the first part of April 2020. The article provides a critical look at the actions of the Russian government (in particular the Moscow authorities) and points out that, while the COVID-19 pandemic presents a significant public health challenge, the threat of the pandemic may be estimated inaccurately, resulting in the government making poor decisions in dealing with it. The developments in Russia in the second half of 2020 confirmed this analysis. Meanwhile, the article itself regularly refers to scientific and state sources of data and criticizes political and administrative actions of the Russian government. It also looks critically at actions of Moscow mayor Sergey Sobaynin, which at the time went contrary to the Russian legislative system.

Euvsdisinfo labeled the article as conspiracy theory and disinformation. This decision raises some eyebrows. Does NATO really support the actions of the Moscow authorities? If this is the case, perhaps President Putin should consider taking a closer look at the mayor of the Russian capital. Another explanation is that nobody in Euvsdisinfo actually read the article. The aforementioned article regularly refers to publicly available facts and quotes numerous substantiated sources, while providing a critical point of view of the author towards the administrative and political situation in Russia.

The aforementioned articles are all that pro-NATO propaganda organizations have been able to highlight to accuse SouthFront of spreading disinformation. Three articles out of approximately 3,000 published since the start of the year. The attention of such propagandists to SouthFront comes amid the termination of our YouTube channels. These arbitrary and unjustified actions lead us to believe that there is almost no objectivity in the modern world. So, if somebody wants to claim that white is black, he will continue to do so as long as it serves the interests of his sponsors. Nonetheless, in the case of YouTube, the situation is even more surprising. SouthFront released no videos that could be labeled as ‘COVID-19 disinformation’ even theoretically. There were only 3 video infographics on the topic on our YouTube channel. They presented facts and data and did not even feature narration. SouthFront’s YouTube channel had zero active strikes to over 1,900 uploaded videos up until the point of termination.

In this situation, it will be especially interesting to witness how YouTube will react to the developing scandal.

WE CRITICALLY NEED YOUR INFORMATIONAL ASSISTANCE

Please, help us by sharing this message with the global audience. Also, please inform your family, friends, and your social circles about southfront.org as an independent platform covering crucial developments in the Middle East and around the world.

As always, but especially during this uncertain and economically challenging time, your donations are especially important in keeping SouthFront alive.

ألمانيا فعلتها: فمَن بعدَها!

د. عدنان منصور

لم يكن القرار الألمانيّ المنحاز، يوم 30 نيسان 2020، القاضي بوضع الجناح السياسي لحزب الله على لائحة الإرهاب، بعد أن اقتصر التصنيف في السابق على الجناح العسكري للحزب، مفاجئاً لمن يتتبع تطوّرات وملابسات هذا القرار الظالم، بحق حزب مقاوم للاحتلال والإرهاب. إلا انّ القرار الألماني يثير ويطرح بشكل مباشر وغير مباشر أموراً عدة، لا بدّ من تسليط الضوء عليها وأبرزها:

1

ـ مما لا شكّ فيه، أنّ الضغوط المتواصلة، الأميركية والإسرائيلية، واللوبيات الصهيونية العاملة بكلّ قوة داخل ألمانيا، ودول الاتحاد الأوروبي، لم تتوقف يوماً، ومنذ سنوات، من أجل حمل ألمانيا على اتخاذ إجراء صارم ضدّ حزب الله. فاليمين المتطرف المتمثل بنواب، وأحزاب، وسياسيين، وإعلاميين، كان يدفع باتجاه قرار كهذا. كانت الأجواء في الداخل الألماني، مهيّأة لتصبّ في هذا الإطار، خاصة أنه سبقت القرار مناقشة البوندستاغ ـ البرلمان الألمانيّ ـ للمرة الأولى، يوم 6 حزيران 2019، لمقترح تقدّم به حزب «البديل لأجل ألمانيا»، يطلب فيه فرض حظر على حزب الله اللبناني. أحال الحزب الطلب، الى لجنة الشؤون الداخلية والوطنية في البرلمان، لمزيد من النقاش وإبداء الرأي. وقد استند الحزب في طلبه، الى «أنّ حزب الله حزب شيعي إسلامي لبناني، يرفض حق إسرائيل في الوجود»، وأنه «ينشط في قتال مسلح إرهابي ضدّ إسرائيل»، وأنه «يشكل تهديداً للنظام الدستوري لألمانيا»، طالباً من الحكومة الاتحادية، إصدار الحظر وتنفيذه فوراً.

تجدر الإشارة، الى انّ وزير الدولة الألماني فيلز اينان، أعلن في شهر آذار عام 2019، لمجلة «دير شبيغل»، انّ حزب الله لا يزال مكوناً أساسياً في المجتمع اللبناني، وعبّر عن رفض ألمانيا إدراج الحزب في قائمة المنظمات المحظورة، ولو انّ الاتحاد الأوروبي وضع الجناح العسكري للحزب عام 2013 على لائحة المنظمات المحظورة.

2

ـ سبق لبريطانيا التي صنّفت الجناح العسكري لحزب الله، عام 2001 و2008 على لائحة المنظمات الإرهابية. ونتيجة لضغوط الولايات المتحدة و«إسرائيل» واللوبي الصهيوني عليها، اعتبر وزير الداخلية البريطانية، ساجيد جافيد، النائب عن حزب المحافظين الحاكم، وهو من أبرز وأشدّ داعمي وناشطي اللوبي اليهودي المعروف بـ «أصدقاء إسرائيل» (CFI)، ويكنّ عداء مكشوفاً ومطلقاً تجاه إيران وسورية وحزب الله، حيث كال في بيان صحافي له، اتهامات لحزب الله، بأنه يزعزع استقرار الوضع الهشّ في الشرق الأوسط، وأنه يصعب التفريق بين الجناح العسكري والجناح السياسي للحزب، لذلك اتخذ قراراً بحظر المجموعة كلها.

القرار البريطاني هذا، دفع بوزير الخارجية الأميركي مايك بومبيو في شهر أيار، ليحثّ ألمانيا كي تحذو حذو بريطانيا في هذا المجال.

3

ـ تعوّل الولايات المتحدة، ومعها «إسرائيل» واللوبيات اليهودية في دول أوروبا، على تفكيك القرار الأوروبي الموحّد، الذي أدرج فقط الجناح العسكري لحزب الله على لائحة الإرهاب، مستثنياً الجناح السياسي للحزب. فالضغوط ستمارس بشدة، بعد القرارين البريطاني والألماني، على دول فاعلة ومؤثرة داخل الاتحاد الأوروبي، كفرنسا وإسبانيا وإيطاليا وبلجيكا وبولونيا، بحيث إنّ لحاق هذه الدول، بركب أميركا وكندا وهولندا، وأستراليا ونيوزيلاندا، وبريطانيا وألمانيا، في إدراج الحزب كله على لائحة الإرهاب، سيتيح الفرصة في نهاية الأمر للدول الأعضاء في الاتحاد الأوروبي، كي تتبع السلوك البريطاني والألماني حيال الحزب، مما سيتيح المجال مستقبلاً للاتحاد الأوروبي، بأن يتخذ قراراً موحّداً وحاسماً في إدراج حزب الله كله بجناحيه العسكري والسياسي على لائحة الإرهاب. بذلك تكون الولايات المتحدة ومعها «إسرائيل»، قد حققت ما سعت إليه منذ سنوات.

4

ـ هناك موجة سياسية أوروبية عارمة، دأبت على إظهار تعاطفها مع «إسرائيل»، وعدائها المكشوف، حيال دول مشرقيّة مقاومة ورافضة لقوى الهيمنة، مركزة هجومها الدائم على إيران وسورية وحزب الله، وهي تهدف من وراء ذلك، إلى انتزاع قرارات حاسمة ضدّ هذا المحور، تحت غطاء ما يمكن للاتحاد الأوروبي ان يقوم به، من أجل تخفيض التصعيد والتوتر في الشرق الأوسط، وما يستطيع أن يفعله لتحقيق هذا الهدف.

في هذا الإطار، نظم مركز بروكسل الدولي، يوم 11 كانون الأول عام 2019، مع كتلة حزب الشعب الأوروبي، الداعم والمؤيد للكيان الصهيوني، ندوة سياسية في البرلمان الأوروبي، تطرّقت الى أبرز أزمات الشرق الأوسط، وتدخلات الدول الأجنبية فيها. علماً انّ مراكز الأبحاث والدراسات والمنظمات غير الحكومية، داخل البرلمان الأوروبي، لا تقتصر على تبادل المعلومات فقط، وإنما لتكون هذه المعلومات، أساساً لسياسات ومواقف يبلورها مستقبلاً البرلمان الأوروبي بقرارات يتخذها على المستويين الرسمي والسياسي.

كان من بين الحضور في الندوة، Marc Otte، رئيس مركز بروكسل الدولي للدراسات، والسفير الخاص لبلجيكا حول سورية، ودانيال كراندلر من مركز الدراسات في باريس، وغيرهم من الباحثين المختصّين في الشؤون الإيرانية والشرق الأوسط، وشمال أفريقيا، وشؤون شبه الجزيرة العربية والعراق ومنطقة الخليج. وكانت هناك مداخلة للنائبة اللبنانية بولا يعقوبيان، عبر السكايب، بصفتها نائبة في البرلمان اللبناني، وصحافية، وعضواً ضمن الفريق الاستشاري الخارجي للبنك الدولي حول التنوّع والإدماج. ترأس الندوة النمساوي Lukas Mandl، الذي بدأ كلمته مطالباً الاتحاد الأوروبي بحماية وتعزيز أمن «إسرائيل»، معتبراً أنها الدولة الديمقراطية الوحيدة في الشرق الأوسط، وأنّ أمنها امتداد لأمن الاتحاد الأوروبي!

رأت النائبة يعقوبيان أنّ لبنان كان مسرحاً للقوى الإقليمية، وهناك أفرقاء يتصرّفون بالإنابة عن هذه القوى. ومنذ فترة وجيزة، شهدنا كيف انطفأ الدور السعودي في لبنان، وكيف أصبح لإيران تأثير أكبر في السياسة اللبنانية، وكيف أصبح لحزب الله سلطة أكبر في السياسة الداخلية. في السابق كانت سورية تتولى الشؤون السياسية الداخلية في لبنان، أما إيران فكانت تتطلع للقضايا الأكبر كالحرب مع «إسرائيل». أما اليوم، فـ إيران تتدخّل في الشؤون السياسية اليومية عبر حزب الله، الحزب الأكثر قوة على الساحة… ورداً على سؤال حول إمكانية تغيير النظام الطائفي، أجابت يعقوبيان: من الضروري كخطوة أولى، وقف النزاعات الطائفية في المنطقة التي تغذيها بعض الدول التي تتدخل في شؤون الدول العربية، ونذكر هنا إيران وتركيا. وأضافت، انّ «إسرائيل» تلعب اللعبة ذاتها. واعتبرت أنّ سياسات هذه الدول تنافي المصالح الوطنية الأوروبية والقيم الإنسانية، وتؤدّي الى تدمير العالم!

دانيال كراندلر، بدأ كلمته بتوجيه تحية الى النائبة يعقوبيان، على جرأتها في أن تكون موجودة في بيروت، وتتكلم علناً عن حزب الله، معتبراً أنّ مداخلتها سهّلت عليهم، وهم داخل الاتحاد الأوروبي، في قلب أوروبا، والحال ليس كما هو عندما تتحدث من بيروت.

من جهته، اتهم كراندلر إيران بإعادة تسليح حزب الله، في خرق واضح للقرار 1701، واعتبر أنه يستحيل إيجاد السلام، طالما إيران تلعب دور المفسِد من خلال دعمها لحزب الله وحماس والجهاد الإسلامي. واذا أردنا احتواء الحرب، فيجب احتواء إيران. لأنّ سياسة الاتحاد الأوروبي، الذي يتعاطى بليونة حيال الاتفاق النووي مع إيران غير مقبولة. كما دعا الاتحاد الى احتواء سياسة إيران وأذرعها، خاصة حزب الله الذي يهدّد بصواريخه المسيّرة «إسرائيل»، واعتماد ضربة استباقية تفضي لإدانة حزب الله على انتهاكاته الدائمة لحقوق الإنسان، وتدخله في الحرب في سورية، وتكديسه السلاح، تحضيراً لاستخدامه في ايّ حرب مقبلة مع «إسرائيل».

5

ـ انّ العمل على اتخاذ قرار موحد من قبل الاتحاد الأوروبي، تجاه حزب الله، سيوسّع مستقبلاً مروحة الدول المتربّصة بمحور المقاومة في المنطقة، وبالذات حزب الله. إذ سينضمّ الاتحاد الأوروبي، بعد ان تتهافت دوله على وضع الحزب كله على لائحة الإرهاب، الى مجموعة الدول التي سبق ذكرها، والتي سبقت بريطانيا وألمانيا في تصنيف الحزب، مما سيقوّي النزعة العدوانية للكيان الإسرائيلي، ويعطيه الضوء الأخضر للقيام بعدوان عسكري على لبنان، للاقتصاص من المقاومة، في ظلّ غطاء أميركي أوروبي واسع، مدعوم من دول حليفة وصديقة، بعد أن يستند فيها الجميع الى «شرعية القرار» الذي سبق للمجموعة الدولية ان اعتمدته، والذي يعتبر حزب الله إرهابياً، ويجب القضاء عليه، وإنهاء وجوده.

6

ـ ألمانيا التي كانت وسيطاً فاعلاً وموثوقاً في ملفات مهمة ومعقدة، وأبرزها ملف تبادل الأسرى مع العدو الصهيوني، نجدها اليوم بعد تصنيفها لحزب الله بالإرهاب، تزيل عنها صفة الحيادية والصدقية، وستربك العلاقات الثنائية اللبنانية الألمانية. إذ كيف ستتعاطى ألمانيا مع الدولة اللبنانية، بعد القرار المنحاز، وفي داخل حكومتها وزراء يمثلون الحزب الذي تعتبره إرهابياً؟! وهل ستكون الحكومة مطعّمة بالإرهاب وفقاً للمنظور الألماني؟! وهل سينظر إليها على أنها داعمة «للإرهاب» وراضية بوجوده ومنسِّقة معه؟! إنّ القرار الألماني الذي يصنف حزباً يحارب قوى الإرهاب في الداخل وفي المنطقة، ووضعه على لائحة الإرهاب، انما يخدم بصورة مباشرة وغير مباشرة، قوى الإرهاب الحقيقية ورعاتها وداعميها، والتي لقيت وتلقى الدعم المتواصل من دول غربية، تريد تفتيت دول المنطقة المقاومة للاحتلال الإسرائيلي، والمتصدّية لنفوذ قوى الهيمنة والتسلط.

7

ـ إزاء القرارات المتتابعة ضدّ حزب الله، لا يمكن للدولة اللبنانية بعد اليوم أن تظلّ مكتوفة الأيدي، وتكتفي بتصريح من هنا، أو بأسف من هناك. لأنّ الحزب ركن أساسي، ومكوّن هام من مكوّنات الحياة السياسية اللبنانية، وهو إحدى الركائز الضامنة لاستقرار لبنان وسيادته. لذلك انّ القرار الألماني الأخير، له تداعيات سلبية على لبنان ودول في المنطقة، وتأثيره المباشر على الداخل اللبناني، وعلى العلاقات الثنائية بين البلدين، وأيضاً، على العلاقات الألمانية ـ العربية في المنطقة المشرقية، نظراً لما يمثله حزب الله من انتشار ومكانة كبيرة في المنطقة. ولدى شريحة واسعة من الشعب اللبناني، ودوره الرئيس في محاربته ومقاومته لقوى الإرهاب في الداخل والمحيط، ووقوفه بجانب الجيش في الدفاع عن لبنان وسيادته. لذلك، إنّ القرار الألماني لا يمسّ الحزب وحده، إنما يمسّ بالصميم الشعب اللبناني والدولة كلها، حيث حزب الله جزء لا يتجزأ منها، وكرامته من كرامتها، ولا يمكن فصله عنها في الأوقات الحرجة.

8

ـ لبنان، الذي هو أمام قرارات تطاله من خلال مكوّن أساسي من مكونات الدولة، لا بدّ له أن يقف وقفته الشجاعة. فإما أن يرضخ ويقبل بالقرارات الغربية المنحازة ومفاعيلها، وإما أن يبحث عما يحفظ ماء وجهه وكرامته وسيادته. فإذا كان يتوجّس خيفة من التداعيات والخسائر، فإنه لم يبق لديه ما يخسره. فالأبواب كثيرة، والأصدقاء كثر، إذ بإمكانه إقامة نوع من التوازنات والمعادلات في تعاطيه في علاقاته مع دول العالم الصديقة، بدلاً من اعتماده ورهانه على جهة واحدة، تريد ابتزازه، وممارسة الضغوط عليه، للسير في مشاريع سياسية ومالية واقتصادية وقانونية، تصبّ في نهاية المطاف، في صالح العدو «الإسرائيلي»، وصالح رعاته وداعميه.

فهل باستطاعة لبنان، اتخاذ قرار شجاع يحصّن من خلاله وحدة شعبه، ويجنّبه المزيد من الابتزاز والضغوط والتسلّط، أم اننا بانتظار قرارات أخرى مماثلة، تصدر لاحقاً عن دول تمرّ على اللبنانيين ودولتهم مرور الكرام!

*وزير الخارجيّة الأسبق.

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AMERICAN PRAVDA: OUR CORONAVIRUS CATASTROPHE AS BIOWARFARE BLOWBACK?

A

Opinion

Nearly 30,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus during the last two weeks, and by some estimates this is a substantial under-count, while the death-toll continues to rapidly mount. Meanwhile, measures to control the spread of this deadly infection have already cost 22 million Americans their jobs, an unprecedented economic collapse that has pushed our unemployment rates to Great Depression levels. Our country is facing a crisis as grave as almost any in our national history.

For many weeks President Trump and his political allies had regularly dismissed or minimized this terrible health threat, and suddenly now faced with such a manifest disaster, they have naturally begun seeking other culprits to blame.

The obvious choice is China, where the global outbreak first began in late 2019. Over the last week or two our media has been increasingly filled with accusations that the dishonesty and incompetence of the Chinese government played a major role in producing our own health catastrophe.

Even more serious charges are also being raised, with senior government officials informing the media that they suspect that the Covid-19 virus was developed in a Chinese laboratory in Wuhan and then carelessly released upon a vulnerable world. Such “conspiracy theories” were once confined to the extreme political fringe of the Internet, but they are now found in the respectable pages of my morning New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Whether plausible or not, such accusations carry the gravest international implications, and there are growing demands that China financially compensate our country for its trillions of dollars in economic losses. A new global Cold War along both political and economic lines may rapidly be approaching.

I have no personal expertise in biowarfare technology, nor access to the secret American intelligence reports that seem to have been taken seriously by our most elite national newspapers. But I do think that a careful exploration of previous Sino-American clashes over the last couple of decades may provide some useful insight into the relative credibility of those two governments as well as that of our own media.

During the late 1990s, America seemed to reach the peak of its global power and prosperity, basking in the aftermath of its historic victory in the long Cold War, while ordinary Americans greatly benefited from the record-long economic expansion of that decade. A huge Tech Boom was at its height, and Islamic terrorism seemed a vague and distant thing, almost entirely confined to Hollywood movies. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the possibility of large scale war seemed to have dissipated so political leaders boasted of the “peace dividend” that citizens were starting to enjoy as our huge military forces, built up over nearly a half-century, were downsized amid sweeping cuts in the bloated defense budget. America was finally returning to a regular peacetime economy, with the benefits apparent to the everyone.

At the time, I was overwhelmingly focused on domestic political issues, so I only paid slight attention to our one small military operation of those years, the 1999 NATO air war against Serbia, intended to safeguard the Kosovar Muslims from ethnic cleansing and massacre, a Clinton Administration project that I fully endorsed.

Although our limited bombing campaign seemed quite successful and soon forced the Serbs to the bargaining table, the short war did include one very embarrassing episode. The use of old maps had led to a targeting error that caused one of our smart bombs to accidentally strike the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, killing three members of its delegation and wounding dozens more. The Chinese were outraged by this incident, and their propaganda organs began claiming that the attack had been deliberate, a reckless accusation that obviously made no logical sense.

In those days I watched the PBS Newshour every night, and was I shocked to see their U.S. Ambassador raise those absurd charges with host Jim Lehrer, whose disbelief matched my own. But when I considered that the Chinese government was still stubbornly denying the reality of its massacre of the protesting students in Tiananmen Square a decade earlier, I concluded that unreasonable behavior by PRC officials was only to be expected. Indeed, there was even some speculation that China was cynically milking the unfortunate accident for domestic reasons, hoping to ignite the sort of jingoist anti-Americanism among the Chinese people that would finally help bind the social wounds of that 1989 outrage.

Such at least were my thoughts on that matter more than two decades ago. But in the years that followed, my understanding of the world and of many pivotal events of modern history underwent the sweeping transformations that I have described in my American Pravda series. And some of my 1990s assumptions were among them.

Consider, for example, the Tiananmen Square Massacre, which every June 6th still evokes an annual wave of harsh condemnations in the news and opinion pages of our leading national newspapers. I had never originally doubted those facts, but a year or two ago I happened to come across a short article by journalist Jay Matthews entitled “The Myth of Tiananmen” that completely upended that apparent reality.

According to Matthews the infamous massacre had likely never happened, but was merely a media artifact produced by confused Western reporters and dishonest propaganda, a mistaken belief that had quickly become embedded in our standard media storyline, endlessly repeated by so many ignorant journalists that they all eventually believed it to be true. Instead, as near as could be determined, the protesting students had all left Tiananmen Square peacefully, just as the Chinese government had always maintained. Indeed, leading newspapers such as the New York Times and the Washington Post had occasionally acknowledged these facts over the years, but usually buried those scanty admissions so deep in their stories that few ever noticed. Meanwhile, the bulk of the mainstream media had fallen for an apparent hoax.

Matthews himself had been the Beijing Bureau Chief of the Washington Post, personally covering the protests at the time, and his article appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, our most prestigious venue for media criticism. This authoritative analysis containing such explosive conclusions was first published in 1998, and I find it difficult to believe that many reporters or editors covering China have remained ignorant of the truth, yet the impact has been absolutely nil. For over twenty years virtually every mainstream media account I have read has continued to promote the Tiananmen Square Massacre Hoax, usually implicitly but sometimes explicitly.

Even more remarkable were the discoveries I made regarding our supposedly accidental bombing of the Chinese Embassy in 1999. Not long after launching this website, I added former Asia Times contributor Peter Lee as a columnist, incorporating his China Matters blogsite archives that stretched back for a decade. He soon published a 7,000 word article on the Belgrade Embassy bombing, representing a compilation of material already contained in a half-dozen previous pieces he’d written on that subject from 2007 onward. To my considerable surprise, he provided a great deal of persuasive evidence that the American attack on the Chinese embassy had indeed been deliberate, just as China had always claimed.

According to Lee, Beijing had allowed its embassy to be used as a site for secure radio transmission facilities by the Serbian military, whose own communications network was a primary target of NATO airstrikes. Meanwhile, Serbian air defenses had shot down an advanced American F-117A fighter, whose top-secret stealth technology was a crucial U.S. military secret. Portions of that enormously valuable wreckage were carefully gathered by the grateful Serbs, who delivered it to the Chinese for temporary storage at their embassy prior to transport back home. This vital technological acquisition later allowed China to deploy its own J20 stealth fighter in early 2011, many years sooner than American military analysts had believed possible.

Based upon this analysis, Lee argued that the Chinese embassy was attacked in order to destroy the Serbian retransmission facilities located there, while punishing the Chinese for allowing such use. There were also widespread rumors in China that another motive had been an unsuccessful attempt to destroy the stealth debris contained there. Later Congressional testimony revealed that the among all the hundreds of NATO airstrikes, the attack on the Chinese embassy was the only one directly ordered by the CIA, a highly-suspicious detail.

I was only slightly familiar with Lee’s work, and under normal circumstances I would have been very cautious in accepting his remarkable claims against the contrary position universally held by all our own elite media outlets. But other sources he cited completely shifted that balance.

Although the American media dominates the English-language world, many British publications also possess a strong global reputation, and since they are often much less in thrall to our own national security state, they have sometimes covered important stories that were ignored here. And in this case, the Sunday Observer published a remarkable expose in October 1999, citing several NATO military and intelligence sources who fully confirmed the deliberate nature of the American bombing of the Chinese embassy, with a US colonel even reportedly boasting that their smartbomb had hit the exact room intended.

This important story was immediately summarized in the Guardian, a sister publication, and also covered by the rival Times of London and many of the world’s other most prestigious publications, but encountered an absolute wall of silence in our own country. Such a bizarre divergence on a story of global strategic importance—a deliberate and deadly US attack against Chinese diplomatic territory—drew the attention of FAIR, a leading American media watchdog group, which published an initial critique and a subsequent follow-up. These two pieces totaled some 3,000 words, and effectively summarized both the overwhelming evidence of the facts and also the heavy international coverage, while reporting the weak excuses made by top American editors to explain their continuing silence. Based upon these articles, I consider the matter settled.

Few Americans remember our 1999 attack upon the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, and if not for the annual waving of a bloody June 6th flag by our ignorant and disingenuous media, the “Tiananmen Square Massacre” would also have long since faded from memory. Neither of these events has much direct importance today, at least for our own citizens. But the broader media implications of these examples do seem quite significant.

These incidents represented two of the most serious flashpoints between the Chinese and American governments during the last thirty-odd years. In both cases the claims of the Chinese government were entirely correct, although they were denied by our own top political leaders and dismissed or ridiculed by virtually our entire mainstream media. Moreover, within a few months or a year the true facts became known to many journalists, even being reported in fully respectable venues. But that reality was still completely ignored and suppressed for decades, so that today almost no American whose information comes from our regular media would even be aware of it. Indeed, since many younger journalists draw their knowledge of the world from these same elite media sources, I suspect that many of them have never learned what their predecessors knew but dared not mention.

Most leading Chinese media outlets are owned or controlled by the Chinese government, and they tend to broadly follow the government line. Leading American media outlets have a corporate ownership structure and often boast of their fierce independence; but on many crucial matters, I think the actual reality is not so very different from that in China.

I tend to doubt that the Chinese leadership has any overwhelming commitment to the truth, and the reasons for their greater veracity are probably practical ones. American news and entertainment completely dominate the global media landscape and they face no significant domestic rival. So China recognizes that it is vastly outmatched in any propaganda conflict, and so as the far weaker party must necessarily try to stick closer to the truth, lest its lies be immediately exposed. Meanwhile, America’s overwhelming control over information may lead to considerable hubris, with the government sometimes promoting the most outrageous and ridiculous falsehoods in the confident belief that a supportive American media will cover for any mistakes.

These considerations should be kept in mind as we attempt to sift the accounts of our often unreliable and dishonest media to extract the true circumstances of the current global coronavirus epidemic. Unlike careful historical analysis, we are working in real-time with our analysis greatly hindered by the ongoing fog of war, so that any conclusions are necessarily very preliminary ones. But given the high stakes, the attempt should be made.

When my morning newspapers first began mentioning the appearance of a mysterious new illness in China during mid-January, I paid little attention, absorbed as I was in the aftermath of our sudden assassination of Iran’s top military leader and the dangerous possibility of a yet another Middle Eastern war. But the reports persisted and grew, with deaths occurring and evidence growing that the viral disease could be transmitted between humans. China seemed unsuccessful in its initial efforts to halt the spread of the disease using convention methods.

Then on Jan. 23rd and after only 17 deaths, the Chinese government took the astonishing step of locking down and quarantining the entire 11 million inhabitants of the city of Wuhan, a story that drew worldwide attention. They soon extended this policy to the 60 million Chinese of Hubei province, and not longer afterward shut down their entire national economy and confined 700 million Chinese to their homes, a public health measure probably a thousand times larger than anything previously undertaken in human history. So either China’s leadership had suddenly gone insane, or they regarded this new virus as an absolutely deadly national threat, which they must take all possible steps to control.

Given these dramatic Chinese actions and the international headlines that they generated, the current accusations by Trump Administration officials that China had attempted to minimize or conceal the serious nature of the disease outbreak is so ludicrous as to defy rationality. In any event, the record shows that on December 31st, the Chinese had already alerted the World Health Organization about the strange new illness, and Chinese scientists published the entire genome of the virus on Jan. 12th, allowing diagnostic tests to be produced worldwide.

Unlike other nations, China had had no advance warning of the nature or existence of the deadly new disease, and therefore faced unique obstacles. But their government implemented public health control measures unprecedented in the history of the world and managed to almost completely eradicate the disease with merely the loss of a few thousand lives.

Meanwhile, many other Western countries such as the US, Italy, Spain, France, and Britain dawdled for months and ignored the potential threat, consequently now suffering well over 100,000 dead, with the numbers still rapidly mounting. For any of these nations or their media to criticize China for its ineffectiveness or slow response represents an absolute inversion of reality.

Some governments took full advantage of the early warning and scientific information provided by China. Although nearby East Asian nations such as South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore had been at greatest risk and were among the first infected, their competent and energetic responses allowed them to almost completely avoid any major outbreak, and they have suffered minimal fatalities. But America and several European countries largely ignored adopting these same early measures such as widespread testing, quarantine, and contact-tracing, and have paid a terrible price for their insouciance.

A few weeks ago British Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that his own coronavirus plan for Britain was based upon rapidly achieving “herd immunity”—essentially encouraging the bulk of his citizens to become infected—then quickly backed away after his desperate advisors recognized that the result might entail a million or more British deaths.

By any reasonable measure, the response to this global health crisis by China and most East Asian countries has been absolutely exemplary, while that of many Western countries has been equally disastrous. Maintaining reasonable public health has been a basic requirement of functional governments since the days of the city-states of Sumeria, and the sheer and total incompetence of our own government and those of many of its European vassals has been breathtaking. If the Western media attempts to pretend otherwise, it will permanently forfeit whatever remaining international credibility it still possesses.

I do not think these particular facts are much disputed except among the most blinkered partisans, and the Trump Administration probably recognizes the hopelessness of arguing otherwise. This probably explains their recent shift towards a far more explosive and controversial narrative, namely claiming Covid-19 may have been the product of Chinese research into deadly viruses at a Wuhan laboratory, thereby suggesting that the blood of hundreds of thousands or millions of victims around the world will be on Chinese hands. Dramatic accusations backed by overwhelming international media power may deeply resonate across the globe.

News reports appearing in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times are reasonably consistent, and cite senior Trump Administration officials pointing to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a leading Chinese biolab, as the possible source of the infection, with the deadly virus having been accidentally released and then spreading first throughout China and later worldwide. Trump himself has publicly voiced similar suspicions, as did Secretary of State and former CIA Director Mike Pompeo in a FoxNews interview. Private lawsuits against China in the multi-trillion-dollar range have already been filed by rightwing activists and Republican senators Tom Cotton and Lindsey Graham have raised similar governmental demands.

I obviously have no personal access to the classified intelligence reports that have been the basis of these charges by Trump, Pompeo, and other top administration officials. But in reading these recent news accounts, I noticed something rather odd.

Back in January, few Americans were paying much attention to the early reports of a disease outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan, which was hardly a household name. Instead, overwhelming political attention was focused upon the battle over Trump’s impeachment and on the aftermath of our dangerous military confrontation with Iran. But towards the end of that month, I discovered that the fringes of the Internet were awash with claims that the disease was caused by a Chinese bioweapon accidentally released from that same Wuhan laboratory, with former Trump advisor Steve Bannon and ZeroHedge, a popular right-wing conspiracy-website, playing leading roles in backing the theory. Indeed, the stories became so widespread in those ideological circles that Sen. Tom Cotton, a leading Neocon, began promoting them on Twitter and FoxNews, thereby provoking an article in the NYT on those “fringe conspiracy theories.”

I suspect that it may be more than purely coincidental that the biowarfare theories which erupted in such concerted fashion on political websites and Social Media accounts back in January so closely match those now publicly advocated by top Trump Administration officials and supposedly based upon our most secure intelligence sources. Perhaps a few intrepid citizen-activists managed to replicate the findings of our multi-billion-dollar intelligence apparatus, and did so in days while the latter required weeks or months. But a more likely scenario is that the wave of January speculation was driven by private leaks and “guidance” provided by exactly the same elements that today are very publicly leveling similar charges in the elite media. Initially promoting controversial theories in less mainstream sources is supposedly a fairly standard intelligence practice.

Regardless of the origins of the idea, does it seem plausible that the coronavirus outbreak might have originated as an accidental leak from that Chinese laboratory? I am not privy to the security procedures of Chinese government facilities, but applying a little common sense may shed some light on that question.

Although the coronavirus is only moderately lethal, apparently having a fatality rate of 1% or less, it is extremely contagious, including during an extended pre-symptomatic period and also among asymptomatic carriers. Thus, portions of the US and Europe are now suffering heavy casualties, while the means taken to control the spread has devastated their national economies. Although the virus is not likely to kill more than a small sliver of the population, we have seen to our dismay how a major outbreak can easily wreck our entire economic life.

During January, the journalists reporting on China’s mushrooming health crisis regularly emphasized that the mysterious new viral outbreak had occurred at the worst possible place and time, in the major transport hub of Wuhan just prior to the Lunar New Year holiday, when hundreds of millions of Chinese usually travel to their homes for the celebration, thereby potentially spreading the disease to all parts of the country and producing a permanent, uncontrollable epidemic. The Chinese government avoided that grim fate by the unprecedented decision to shut down the entire national economy and confine 700 million Chinese to their homes for many weeks. But the outcome seems to have been a very near thing, and if Wuhan had remained open for just a few days longer, China might easily have suffered long-term economic and social devastation.

The timing of an accidental laboratory release would obviously be entirely random. Yet the outbreak seems to have begun during the precise period of time most likely to damage China, the worst possible ten-day or perhaps thirty-day window. As I noted in January, there seemed no solid evidence that the coronavirus was a bioweapon, but if it were, the timing of the release seemed very unlikely to have been accidental.

If the virus was released intentionally, the context and motive for such a biowarfare attack against China could not be more obvious. Although our disingenuous media continues to pretend otherwise, China’s economy surpassed our own in size several years ago, and has continued to grow much more rapidly. Chinese companies have also taken the lead in several crucial technologies, with Huawei becoming the world’s leading telecommunications equipment manufacturer and dominating the important 5G market. And China’s sweeping Belt and Road Initiative has threatened to reorient global trade around an interconnected Eurasian landmass, greatly diminishing the leverage of America’s own control over the seas. I have closely followed China for over forty years, and these trend-lines had never been more apparent. Back in 2012, I published an article bearing the provocative title “China’s Rise, America’s Fall?” and I have seen no reason to reassess my verdict.

For three generations following the end of World War II, America had stood as the world’s supreme economic and technological power, while the collapse of the Soviet Union thirty years ago left us as the world’s sole remaining superpower, with no conceivable military challenger. A growing sense that we were rapidly losing that unchallenged position had certainly inspired the anti-China rhetoric of many senior figures in the Trump Administration, and sparking the major trade war that they launched soon after coming into office. The increasing misery and growing impoverishment of large sections of the American population naturally left these voters searching for a convenient scapegoat, and the prosperous, rising Chinese made a perfect target.

Despite America’s growing economic conflict with China over the last couple of years, I had never considered the possibility that matters might take a military turn. The Chinese had long ago deployed advanced intermediate range missiles that many believed could easily sink our carriers in the region, and they had also generally improved their conventional military deterrent. Moreover, China was on quite good terms with Russia, which itself had been the target of intense American hostility for several years; and Russia’s new suite of revolutionary hypersonic missiles had drastically reduced any American strategic advantage. Thus, a conventional war against China seemed an absolutely hopeless undertaking, while China’s outstanding businessmen and engineers were steadily gaining ground against America’s decaying and heavily-financialized economic system.

Under these difficult circumstances, an American biowarfare attack against China might have seemed the only remaining card to play in hopes of maintaining American supremacy. Plausible deniability would minimize the risk of any direct Chinese retaliation, and if successful, the terrible blow to China’s economy would set it back for many years, perhaps even destabilizing the social and political system. Using alternative media to immediately promote theories that the coronavirus outbreak was the result of a leak from a Chinese biowarfare lab was a natural means of preempting any later Chinese accusations along similar lines, thereby winning the international propaganda war for America before China had even begun to play.

A decision by elements of our national security establishment to wage biological warfare in hopes of maintaining American world power would certainly have been an extremely reckless act, but extreme recklessness had become a consistent American pattern since 2001, especially under the Trump Administration. Just a year earlier we had kidnapped the daughter of Huawei’s founder and chairman, who also served as CFO and ranked as one of China’s most top executives, while at the beginning of January we suddenly assassinated Iran’s top military leader.

These were the thoughts that came to mind during the last week of January once I discovered the widely circulating theories suggesting that China’s massive disease epidemic had been the self-inflicted consequence of its own biowarfare research. I saw no solid evidence that the coronavirus was a bioweapon, but if it were, there seemed an overwhelming likelihood that China was the innocent victim of the attack, presumably carried out by elements of the American national security establishment.

At that point, someone brought to my attention a very long article by an American ex-pat living in China who called himself “Metallicman” and held a wide range of eccentric and implausible beliefs. I have long recognized that flawed individuals can often serve as the vessels of important information otherwise unavailable, and this case constituted a perfect example of that. His piece denounced the outbreak as a likely American biowarfare attack, and provided a great wealth of factual material I had not previously considered. Since he authorized republication elsewhere I did so, and by the end of January his 15,000 word analysis, although somewhat raw and unpolished, was attracting an enormous amount of readership on our website, probably being one of the very first English-language pieces to suggest that the mysterious new disease was an American bioweapon. Many of his arguments appeared doubtful to me or have been obviated by later developments, but several seemed quite telling.

He pointed out that during the previous two years, the Chinese economy had already suffered serious blows from other mysterious new diseases, although these had targeted farm animals rather than people. During 2018 a new Avian Flu virus had swept the country, destroying large portions of China’s poultry industry, and during 2019 the Swine Flu viral epidemic had devastated China’s pig farms, destroying 40% of the nation’s primary domestic source of meat, with widespread claims that the latter disease was being spread by small drones. My morning newspapers had hardly ignored these important business stories, noting that the sudden destruction of China’s domestic food sources might constitute a huge boon to American farm exports at the height of our trade conflict, but I had never considered the obvious implications. So for three years in a row, China had been severely impacted by strange new viral diseases, though only the most recent had been deadly to humans. Although this evidence was merely circumstantial, the pattern seemed highly suspicious.

The writer also noted that shortly before the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, that city had hosted 300 visiting American military officers, there to participate in the 2019 Military World Games, an absolutely remarkable coincidence of timing. As I pointed out at the time, how would Americans react if 300 Chinese military officers had paid an extended visit to Chicago, and soon afterward a mysterious and deadly epidemic had suddenly broken out in that city? Once again, the evidence was merely circumstantial but certainly raised dark suspicions.

Scientific investigation of the coronavirus had already pointed to its origins in a bat virus, leading to widespread media speculation that bats sold as food in the Wuhan open markets had been the original disease vector. Meanwhile, the orchestrated waves of anti-China accusations had emphasized Chinese laboratory research on that same viral source. But we soon published a lengthy article by investigative journalist Whitney Webb providing copious evidence of America’s own enormous biowarfare research efforts, which had similarly focused for years on bat viruses. Webb was then associated with MintPress News, but that publication had strangely declined to publish her important piece, perhaps skittish about the grave suspicions it directed towards the US government on so momentous an issue. So without the benefit of our platform, her major contribution to the public debate might have attracted relatively little readership.

Around the same time, I noted another extremely strange coincidence that seemed to attract no interest from our somnolent national media. Although his name had meant nothing to me, in late January my morning newspapers carried major stories on the sudden arrest of Prof. Charles Lieber, one of Harvard University’s top scientists and Chairman of its Chemistry Department, sometimes characterized as a potential future Nobel Laureate.

The circumstances of that case seemed utterly bizarre to me. Like numerous other prominent American academics, Lieber had had decades of close research ties with China, holding joint appointments and receiving substantial funding for his work. But now he was accused of financial reporting violations in the disclosure portions of his government grant applications—the most obscure sort of offense—and on the basis of those accusations, he was seized by the FBI in an early-morning raid on his Cambridge home and dragged off in shackles, potentially facing decades of federal imprisonment.

Such government action against an academic seemed almost without precedent. During the height of the Cold War, numerous American scientists and technicians were rightfully accused of having stolen our nuclear weapons secrets for delivery to Stalin, yet I had never heard of any of them treated in such a manner, let alone a scholar of Prof. Lieber’s stature, who was merely charged with technical disclosure violations. Indeed, his treatment recalled accounts of NKVD raids during the Soviet purges of the 1930s.

Although Lieber was described as a chemistry professor, a few seconds of Googling revealed that some of his most important work had been in virology, including technology for the detection of viruses. So a massive and deadly new viral epidemic had broken out in China and almost simultaneously, a top American scholar with close Chinese ties and expertise in viruses was suddenly arrested by the federal government, yet no one in the media expresses any curiosity at a possible connection between these two events.

I think we can safely assume that Lieber’s arrest by the FBI had been prompted by the coronavirus epidemic, but anything more is mere speculation. Those now accusing China of having created the coronavirus might surely suggest that our intelligence agencies discovered that the Harvard professor had been personally involved with that deadly research. But I think a far more likely possibility is that Lieber began to wonder whether the epidemic in China might not be the result of an American biowarfare attack, and was perhaps a little too free in voicing his suspicions, thereby drawing the wrath of our national security establishment. Inflicting such extremely harsh treatment upon a top Harvard scientist would greatly intimidate all of his lesser colleagues elsewhere, who would surely now think twice before broaching certain possible theories to any journalists.

By the end of January, our webzine had published seven articles and columns on the coronavirus outbreak, totaling tens of thousands of words, and probably established itself as the primary English-language source for a particular perspective on the deadly epidemic, with our coverage eventually attracting many hundreds of thousands of pageviews. A few weeks later, the Chinese government began gingerly raising the possibility that the coronavirus may have been brought to Wuhan by the 300 American military officers visiting that city, and was fiercely attacked by the Trump Administration for spreading anti-American propaganda. But I strongly suspect that the Chinese had gotten that idea from our own publication.

As the coronavirus gradually began to spread outside China’s own borders, another development occurred that greatly multiplied my suspicions. Most of these early cases had occurred exactly where one might expect, among the East Asian countries bordering China. But by late February Iran had become the second epicenter of the global outbreak. Even more surprisingly, its political elites had been especially hard-hit, with a full 10% of the entire Iranian parliament soon infected and at least a dozen of its officials and politicians, some of them quite senior, soon dying of the disease. Indeed, Neocon activists on Twitter began boasting that their hatred Iranian enemies were now dropping like flies.

Let us consider the implications of this. Across the entire world the only political elites that have yet suffered any significant human losses have been the Iranians, and they died at a very early stage, before significant outbreaks had even occurred almost anywhere else in the world outside China. Thus, we have America assassinating Iran’s top military commander on Jan. 2nd and then just a few weeks later large portions of the Iran’s ruling elites became infected by a mysterious and deadly new virus, with many of them soon dying as a consequence. Could any rational individual possibly regard this as a mere coincidence?

Biological warfare is a highly technical subject, and those possessing such expertise are unlikely to candidly report their classified research activities in the pages of our major newspapers, perhaps even less so after Prof. Lieber was dragged off to prison in chains. My own knowledge is nil. But in mid-March I came across several extremely long and detailed comments on the coronavirus outbreak that had been posted on a small website by an individual calling himself “OldMicrobiologist” and who claimed to be a retired forty-year veteran of American biodefense. The style and details of his material struck me as quite credible, and after a little further investigation I concluded that there was a high likelihood that his background was exactly as he had described. I made arrangements to republish his comments in the form of a 3,400 word article, which soon attracted a great deal of traffic and 80,000 words of further comments.

Although the writer said that he had absolutely no proof, he said that his experience led him to strongly suspect that the coronavirus outbreak was indeed an American biowarfare attack against China, probably carried out by agents brought into that country under cover of the Military Games held at Wuhan in late October, the sort of sabotage operation our intelligence agencies had sometimes undertaken elsewhere. One important point he emphasized was that high lethality was often counter-productive in a bioweapon since debilitating or hospitalizing large numbers of individuals may impose far greater economic costs on a country than a biological agent which simply inflicts an equal number of deaths. In his words “a high communicability, low lethality disease is perfect for ruining an economy,” suggesting that the apparent characteristics of the coronavirus were close to optimal in this regard. Those so interested should read his analysis and assess for themselves his credibility and persuasiveness.

One intriguing aspect of the situation was that almost from the first moment that reports of the strange new epidemic in China reached the international media, a large and orchestrated campaign had been launched on numerous websites and Social Media to identify the cause as a Chinese bioweapon carelessly released in its own country. Meanwhile, the far more plausible hypothesis that China was the victim rather than the perpetrator had received virtually no organized support anywhere, and only began to take shape as I gradually located and republished relevant material usually drawn from very obscure sources and often anonymously authored. So it seemed that only one side was waging an active information war, and that side was not China’s. The nearly simultaneous launch of such a major propaganda campaign may not necessarily demonstrate that an actual biowarfare attack had occurred, but I think it tends to support such a notion.

When considering the hypothesis of an American biowarfare attack, certain natural objections come to mind. The major drawback to biological warfare has always been the obvious fact that the self-replicating agents employed are not prone to respect national borders, raising the serious risk that the disease might eventually return to the land of its origin and inflict substantial casualties. For this reason, it seems quite doubtful that any rational and half-competent American leadership would have unleashed the coronavirus against China.

But as we absolutely see demonstrated in our daily news headlines, America’s current government is grotesquely and manifestly incompetent, more incompetent than one could almost possibly imagine, with tens of thousands of Americans having now already paid with their lives for such extreme incompetence. Rationality and competence are obviously nowhere to be found among the Deep State Neocons that President Donald Trump has appointed to so many crucial positions throughout our national security apparatus.

Moreover, the extremely lackadaisical notion that a massive coronavirus outbreak in China would never spread back to America might have seemed plausible to individuals who carelessly assumed that past historical analogies would exactly apply. As I wrote a few weeks ago:

Reasonable people have suggested that if the coronavirus was a bioweapon deployed by elements of the American national security apparatus against China (and Iran), it’s difficult to imagine why they didn’t assume it would naturally leak back in the US and start a huge pandemic here, as is currently happening.

The most obvious answer is that they were stupid and incompetent, but here’s another point to consider…

In late 2002 there was the outbreak of SARS in China, a related virus but that was far more deadly and somewhat different in other characteristics. The virus killed hundreds of Chinese and spread into a few other countries before it was controlled and stamped out. The impact on the US and Europe was negligible, with just a small scattering of cases and only a death or two.

So if American biowarfare analysts were considering a coronavirus attack against China, isn’t it quite possible they would have said to themselves that since SARS never significantly leaked back into the US or Europe, we’d similarly remain insulated from the coronavirus? Obviously, such an analysis was foolish and mistaken, but would it have seemed so implausible at the time?

As some must have surely noticed, I have deliberately avoided investigating any of the scientific details of the coronavirus. In principle, an objective and accurate analysis of the characteristics and structure of the virus might help suggest whether it was entirely natural or rather the product of a research laboratory, and in the latter case, possibly indicating whether the source was China, America, or some third country.

But we are dealing with a cataclysmic world event and those questions obviously have enormous political ramifications, so the entire subject is shrouded by a thick fog of complex propaganda, with numerous conflicting claims being advanced by interested parties. I have no background in microbiology let alone biological warfare, so I would be hopelessly adrift in evaluating such conflicting scientific and technical claims. I suspect that this is equally true of the overwhelming majority of other observers as well, though committed partisans are loathe to admit that fact, and will eagerly seize upon any scientific argument that supports their preferred position while rejecting those that contradict it.

Therefore, by necessity, my own focus is on evidence that can at least be understood by every layman, if not necessarily always accepted. And I believe that the simple juxtaposition of several recent disclosures in the mainstream media leads to a rather telling conclusion.

For obvious reasons, the Trump Administration has become very eager to emphasize the early missteps and delays in the Chinese reaction to the viral outbreak in Wuhan, and has presumably encouraged our media outlets to focus on this topic.

As an example of this, the Associated Press Investigative Unit recently published a rather detailed analysis of those early events purportedly based upon confidential Chinese documents. Provocatively entitled “China Didn’t Warn Public of Likely Pandemic for 6 Key Days”, the piece was widely distributed, running in abridged form in the NYT and elsewhere. According to this reconstruction, the Chinese government first became aware of the seriousness of this public health crisis on Jan. 14th, but delayed taking any major action until Jan. 20th, a period of time during which the number of infections greatly multiplied.

Last month, a team of five WSJ reporters produced a very detailed and thorough 4,400 word analysis of the same period, and the NYT has published a helpful timeline of those early events as well. Although there may be some differences of emphasis or minor disagreements, all these American media sources agree that Chinese officials first became aware of the serious viral outbreak in Wuhan in early to mid-January, with the first known death occurring on Jan. 11th, and finally implemented major new public health measures later that same month. No one seems to have disputed these basic facts.

But with the horrific consequences of our own later governmental inaction being obvious, sources within our intelligence agencies have sought to demonstrate that they were not the ones asleep at the switch. Earlier this month, an ABC News story cited four separate government sources to reveal that as far back as late November, a special medical intelligence unit within our Defense Intelligence Agency had produced a report revealing than an out-of-control disease epidemic was occurring in the Wuhan area of China, and widely distributed that document throughout the top ranks of our government, warning that steps should be taken to protect US forces based in Asia. After the story aired, a Pentagon spokesman officially denied the existence of that November report, while various other top level government and intelligence officials refused to comment. But a few days later, Israeli television revealed that in November American intelligence had indeed shared such a report on the Wuhan disease outbreak with its NATO and Israeli allies, thus seeming to independently confirm the complete accuracy of the original ABC story and its several government sources.

It therefore appears that elements of the Defense Intelligence Agency were aware of the deadly viral outbreak in Wuhan more than a month before any officials in the Chinese government itself. Unless our intelligence agencies have pioneered the technology of precognition, I think this may have happened for the same reason that arsonists have the earliest knowledge of future fires.

Back in February, before a single American had died from the disease, I wrote my own overview of the possible course of events, and I would still stand by it today:

Consider a particularly ironic outcome of this situation, not particularly likely but certainly possible…

Everyone knows that America’s ruling elites are criminal, crazy, and also extremely incompetent.

So perhaps the coronavirus outbreak was indeed a deliberate biowarfare attack against China, hitting that nation just before Lunar New Year, the worst possible time to produce a permanent nationwide pandemic. However, the PRC responded with remarkable speed and efficiency, implementing by far the largest quarantine in human history, and the deadly disease now seems to be in decline there.

Meanwhile, the disease naturally leaks back into the US, and despite all the advance warning, our totally incompetent government mismanages the situation, producing a huge national health disaster, and the collapse of our economy and decrepit political system.

As I said, not particularly likely, but certainly a very fitting end to the American Empire…


By Ron Unz
Source: Unz Review

The AngloZionists are launching a strategic PSYOP against China

THE SAKER • APRIL 22, 2020 

Maybe the “the Russians did it” narrative is getting stale. Or maybe the leaders of the Empire have finally figured out that China is even more dangerous to the Empire than Russia. But my personal gut feeling is simply that the AngloZionists are freaking out about the “full-spectrum” loss of face they suffered with their massive mishandling (medically and, even more so, politically!) of this pandemic-induced socio-economic crisis and that they now are pointing fingers pretty much at everybody (including each other).

Russia did play a crucial role here, since it was in its informational war against Russia that the leaders of the Empire came up with what I now call the “Skripal rules of evidence” aka “highly likely”. This latest principle being subserviently accepted by all Europeans in the name of “solidarity” (solidarity with what exactly is rarely specified), it was, shall we say, “naively reasonable” that it would work this time around again. Again, I am personally not so sure about that at all. Much has changed over the past two years: not only did the Europeans eventually find out how utterly stupid and incredible the entire Skripal fairy tale was, but the level of disgust and even hatred with Trump and the US has sharply gone up. Furthermore, China has a lot more to offer to Europe, than the disintegrating (dis-)United States – so why side with the losing party? Last, but most certainly not least, the Europeans will find out (and some already have), that the US literally does not give a damn about not only regular Europeans, but even about the European ruling classes.

A quick study of history shows that when exploiting elites are doing great, they all faithfully support each other, but when things start to go south, they immediately turn on each other. The best recent example of this phenomenon is the schism in the US ruling elites who, since the election of Trump, have immediately turned on each other and are now viciously fighting like “spiders in a can” (to use a Russian expression). In fact, this is so true that it can even be used as a very reliable diagnostic tool: when your enemies are all united, then they are probably confident in their victory, but as soon as they turn on each other, you *know* that things are looking very bad for your opponents. Likewise, we now see how southern Europeans are getting really angry with their northern “EU allies” (Macron seems to be falling in line behind Trump even if he uses a more careful and diplomatic language). Finally, the way the US CIA has one foreign policy, the Pentagon another and Foggy Bottom one of its own (even if limited to sanctions and finger-pointing) tells you pretty much all you need to know to see how deep the systemic crisis of the Empire has become.

While there are very few truly intelligent people left in the US government, there are still plenty of “horizontally clever” ones and it did not take them long to find out that this pandemic gave then a golden opportunity to pin all their own failures and mistakes on China. The elements? Simple really:

  1. Anti-Chinese propaganda has a long history in the US and it was really easy to re-kindle it.
  2. Most Americans have a completely irrational reaction to the word “Communist” so it is really easy for any US propaganda outlet to mention the CCP and “lies” in the same sentence and sound credible, irrespective of what else the sentence claims (like, say, factual evidence).
  3. The US plutocracy is terrified of the Chinese economic and industrial power, hence the vilification of companies like Huawei or DJI which are declared a national security threat to the US. Blame everything on the Chinese and the US oligarchs will love it!
  4. China and Russia are in a relationship which is even far deeper than an alliance. I call it a “symbiosis” while the Chinese speak of a “Strategic comprehensive partnership of coordination for the new era” while the Russians speak of a “crucial alliance”. The terms don’t really matter here, what matters is that Russia and China are standing together ( that is what they mean by “coordinating”) against the Empire and that the (admittedly few and clumsy) US attempts are breaking this alliance have totally failed.
  5. As with any new pandemic, it did take China time to figure out the nature of what was happening and it was extremely easy to accuse China of deliberate obfuscation (while keeping the fact that China did inform the world as early as December 31st is, obviously omitted, as is the presence of a multi-national WHO delegation to investigate this issue. In reality, one might as well accuse China of being TOO open, and allowing various estimates and hypotheses to circulate even before the Chinese government had all the facts established. It is a perfect case of dammed if you do and damned if you don’t.
  6. The US political culture is that 99.99% of Americans will believe literally ANY lie, no matter how self-evidently stupid, about the rest of the world rather than accepting any unpleasant truth about the US. So scapegoating another power, especially a Communist one, gets a knee-jerk reaction of approval from the overwhelming majority of Americans.
  7. When the WHO clearly did not buy into the US propaganda, it was a great move for Trump to defund it. Not only did the US already owe the WHO millions of dollars (50-200, depending on who you ask), so the easy pretext not to pay was to accuse it of being pro-Chinese. It is obvious that Trump has no use for the UN other than as a whipping boy, and this was a prefect way to target it again.
  8. As with any scary event, a true tsunami of completely unsubstantiated and outright silly rumors began as soon as it was clear that this was a major event and all the US propaganda machine had to do was to speak in serious tones about some of these rumors and to make it appear that the media was “just reporting” rather than planting stories.
  9. China is also a major threat to US interests in Asia, and this pandemic provided a perfect opportunity for the US to present reports from Taiwan as reports from China (that is an old trick). As for the Taiwanese government, they were more than happy to find yet another pretext to hate on China, nothing new here either.
  10. Finally, US economists did not take long to figure out that this pandemic would have devastating effect on the “best economy in the history of the galaxy” so preemptively blaming it all on China is the perfect way for Trump and his Neocon masters to deflect the blame from them.

The stories which were then planted were truly magnificent. Here are a few of my personal favorites

There are many more, I am sure that you have seen them too.

Eventually, and inevitably, this strategic PSYOP upped the ante and FOXnews (logically) aired this true masterpiece: “Sen. Hawley: Let coronavirus victims sue Chinese Communist Party“. Truly, this is brilliant. “I lost my job, let the evil Chinese commies pay me back” is music to the ears of most Americans.

Right now, most of the US statements are simply lies, but as China will, with time, eventually release more corrected and accurate information, these corrected/updated statistics will immediately be interpreted as the proof that initially the Chinese were deliberately lying and not as the effect of the Chinese themselves gradually getting a better picture of what actually happened. Again, this is the typical case of dammed if you don’t and dammed if you do.

I should mention that there is another reason which might contribute to the decision of the US to blame it all on China: it is still not clear where this virus came from, but one possibility is that it originated in the US and was brought to China by Americans (whether deliberately or not is not the issue here). As for the reports which claim that the US is deliberately covering up the real magnitude of the disaster in the US, they are ignored.

Furthermore, it is now painfully obvious that the US politicians totally misread the situation and began by saying either that it was a Chinese problem or that it was “no worse than the seasonal flu”, or both. This is just the latest case of what I call the “US narcissistic messianism” leading US leaders to believe in their own propaganda only to find out that reality still exists out there and that it is dramatically different from the delusions held by most Americans.

Now all these US politicians (the Republicrats as much as the Demoblicans) all have to run and cover their collective butts. What better way to achieve that than to blame it all on China?

As I said above, this his clever, but definitely not very intelligent.

The US is already locked in an unwinnable war against Russia (as I always remind everybody, this war is 80% informational, 15% economic and only 5% kinetic). To open a full-scale “second front” makes sense in terms of short term political expediency, especially in an election year, but in the long term it is self-defeating and disastrous. In fact, if there is anything history teaches us, is that opening a second front when you can’t even handle the first one is suicidal. But who cares about history, especially in the “United States of Amnesia”? And, besides, when you are both totally exceptional and totally superior, why would you care about the history of the common “deplorable” people and nations out there? Just call them “shit holes” and wave your (Chinese made) flag. That is what passes for “looking Presidential” these days…

Regardless of anything said above, the momentum of this sinophobic campaign is too big to be reversed or stopped. And since most of the US political class supports it, this will probably continue even after the US Presidential election (assuming it takes place).

Still, all this begs the question: what did really happen? What is the truth?

The truth is that nobody really knows. It will probably take years to get the full picture and, even more so, the correct numbers. What correct numbers? Well, ALL of them: carriers, resistance, age groups, comorbidity, the exact characteristics of this virus (and of its various mutations), how effective the various tests are, which antiviral medication might help, its side effects, whether the BCG vaccine somehow helps the body to fight off the virus, etc.

Right now, I don’t believe that anybody really knows, even the percentage of asymptomatic carriers changes by an order of magnitude depending on whom you ask. Sure, some guesses are closer to the truth than others, by definition, but which ones are closer is still very hard to ascertain.

They key thing to keep in mind now is that most of what we see now has very little in common with any scientific investigation. What we see is an attempt to use this pandemic for political, financial and geostrategic purposes.

And please don’t think that it is only Trump! Just remember what Pelosi was saying as late as February!

https://youtu.be/eFCzoXhNM6c (video to be embedded)

That was almost two months after China had warned the WHO that there was a major crisis developing!

But Pelosi, just like Trump, only thinks about power, money and influence, not the safety of the “deplorables” which the Dems hate so much (as do the Republicans, of course, they just don’t say so openly like Hillary did; but just Trump’s “grab them by the pussy” says all you need to know about his true respect for his fellow human beings!).

Then there is another very real risk: as the situation gets worse and worse for the US and, specifically, for Trump’s reelection, he might well decide to do what many politicians do in such a situation: start a big war. Before the pandemic, the US clearly had no stomach to start a war with Iran, but now that the pandemic is crippling the world economy and that all the ugly sides of the transnational capitalist system are becoming obvious, I would not put it past Trump to start a war with Iran just to deflect the many accusations against him. The Idiot-in-Chief has now ordered USN forces off the coast of Iran to, I kid you not, “shoot down & destroy” any Iranian gunboat which would “harass” the USN. Apparently, he still cannot understand that should any USN ship execute any such order it would soon find itself dealing with a swarm of Iranian anti-shipping missiles. Clearly, messianic narcissism and a rabid megalomania simply don’t allow Trump to understand that the Iranians are for real, that they absolutely mean business and that they, unlike the US, have carefully modeled the consequences of any war between Iran and the US and while they won’t deliberately provoke such a war, they will fight it if needed, with infinitely more staying power than the US.

Like a typical US flag-waving politician, Trump probably thinks that if all goes to hell, the US can nuke Iran and prevail. He is right about the former, but oh SO wrong about the latter. If nukes are used against Iran, then there will be a total and long war to kick both the US and the Zionist entity out of the Middle-East. But that is a topic for another day.

A new mascot for both US parties?

A new mascot for both US parties?

US politicians remind me of a person living in a arctic cabin who decide to burn down the cabin to get much needed heat: sure, this strategy will work, for a while, but only at the cost of a much bigger disaster down the road. This is what pretty much ALL US politicians did with this pandemic, and this is why they will never ever accept any responsibility for anything.

Check out this cute little donkey on the right.

Would he not make the perfect mascot and symbol for both US political parties and for the many US politicians who can think of nothing else than covering him?

There is one more thing I would like to mention here: there are a lot of folks out there who like to carefully note all the instances when somebody predicted that this pandemic would happen. They take these warning statements as evidence of a conspiracy. The truth is that the scientific community and even the general public (at least those few who still read books) fully knew that it was just a matter of time before such a pandemic would happen, because our society made such an event inevitable. Just one example:

In distant 1995 the US journalist Lorrie Garrett published an excellent book called “The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance” in which she explained why and even how a global pandemic would naturally emerge due to the very nature of our modern society. I highly recommend this book in spite of the fact that it is now a quarter of a century old: it is very well written, easy to read, and it makes a very strong case that such pandemics were inevitable (and with no need to appeal to unsubstantiated biowarfare theories).

History will show that we all, our entire planet, did not take this and many other warnings seriously. Ask yourself, what is easier for a politician: to accept that our entire socio-political order is unsustainable and outright dangerous (or “out of balance” to use Garrett’s expression), or to blame it all on the Chinese commies and their “secret biowarfare program”?

I think that the answer is self-evident.

Coronavirus – Macron’s savior. A ‘united Europe’ – France’s murderer

Source

April 22, 2020

Coronavirus – Macron’s savior. A ‘united Europe’ – France’s murderer

By Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog

Paris has been a terrible place to live for over five years now – even tourists can tell.

The Charlie Hebdo attacks in January 2015 (because they just had to draw pornographic pictures of Prophet Mohammad) kicked off a fear-based culture which has culminated in the world’s most over-policed coronavirus lockdown, with over 800,000 citations issued.

But it’s been an endless climb of “culminations” for Parisians:

Installing bulletproof glass around the Eiffel Tower (I used to walk under it going to work each day – impossible now). Did the Bataclan massacre have to result in a state of emergency two years long? Certainly President Emmanuel Macron did not have to legalise it into common police practice. From November 2018 through May 2019 huge swathes of Paris were already on lockdown as every Saturday was an undeclared National Poseur Day: pretending as if lower class protesters weren’t being provoked, gassed, beaten, water cannoned, fined, jailed, crippled and even killed. The marches continued through the failed, record-long General Strike, which collapsed in January.

Trust me when I say that the non-stop police sirens during the two-day manhunt of the Kouachi brothers after the Charlie Hebdo shootings never really ended. In the poor northern area of Paris where I live the sirens became constant – for years everyone complains of “cowboy” police who have been over-empowered, but we have no idea how they could be or if they will ever be rolled back.

And during the Great Lockdown, by everyone’s account, this has gotten even worse… but at least now the rich areas are finally getting a taste of la justice à le cow-boy – that’s the only they’ll ever be rolled back, after all.

It’s not poor-Los Angeles helicopters, but the sirens can be exhausting. As for the “it’s not there” indifference towards all those other culminations – I simply don’t have the acting/posing abilities the aesthetic-minded French have, I guess? But I also don’t have the personal stake in France which – try as they might – the French cannot possibly disguise from themselves? They simply must find it very tiring to live in a country where the government – indeed, the national trajectory – has essentially zero open backers outside the bubble occupied by Parisian elites.

It’s not just the Macron era: Francois Hollande was so unpopular he couldn’t even stand for re-election; when Nicolas Sarkozy left he bitterly said “nobody will hear of me again” because the French so deservedly enjoyed kicking him.

The reality is that – Islamophobia aside – nearly everything I’ve described has been caused by France’s historical insistence on a united Europe.

How long will it take Brussels – and its string of puppets/clients – to kill the ‘French model’?

Anti-Muslim attitude is a problem, sure, but only a class analysis provides a satisfying explanation to the undeniable 21st-century decay of French life: Muslims did not force France to stop being French – collusion among the French 1% did.

(Of course, to avoid regular class analysis discussion the French elite keep insisting: “No, it’s Muslims who are ruining France.” Typical Western fake politics.…)

Ever since Mitterrand made his infamous austerity-embracing U-turn in 1981- on what would have been Western Europe’s most-leftist policy platform ever – France has allowed itself to be fiscally leeched blood-dry over the pan-European principle to try and win over Germany to “more Europe”.

It’s an amazing martyrdom – we shouldn’t denigrate such things completely. And a large part of France’s motivation is also to end the constant German aggression that dates back to 1870.

Recent history is really quite simple: in order to woo Germany away from a neo-imperialist partnership with their Anglo-Saxon American first cousins (which has run from 1945 until today), France keeps fiscally flagellating itself and others in Europe to woo Germany into joining a pan-European project; crucially, this project initially was based on a Gaullist “mixed economy”, but that was jettisoned in favor of Anglosphere neoliberalism, globalisation and hyper-financialisation.

Maybe other Europeans want in on such a project, but Germany does not and should leave: Germany’s role has been entirely negative, their economics entirely Austrian (pro-1%, rabidly anti-socialist), and the groundwork which they have ordered is totally incapable of providing post-corona stability. Few seem to grasp this Washington-Berlin neo-fascist alliance, even though it satisfyingly explains Germany’s essentially 5th-columnist role in the EU.

However, only a blinkered nationalist analysis would stop here. France’s elite is just as 5th-columnist – they have joined Washington and Berlin because that is what neoliberal, globalist capitalism is: an international waging of class warfare.

Macron openly calls to end the French model – he is the new ‘EU patriot’

Because its basis is resolutely neoliberal and thus anti-patriotic (even within its new creation of a misguided “EU patriotism” – the accurate term is “patriotism for the EU’s 1%”), this version of the pan-European project is simply not worth it – all it has done is disregard democratic votes, empower bankers, produce Lost Decades and gut social safety nets. I personally don’t think a united, non-socialist Europe is good for the world, but I know this version of a united Europe is a catastrophe. And I know it is ruining France – I’ve not just lived it but documented it via daily hard news reporting for PressTV.

But Macron is of a new generation whose elite passionately believes that this pan-European project works – it has… but only for Europe’s elite. This unprecedented “neoliberal empire” is thus successfully perpetuating itself.

But it took a lot to get here: Hollande, Sarkozy, privatisation-puppet Chirac, Mitterrand – all of France’s elite kept sacrificing France’s 99% for an ideology of “more Europe”, which was first Gaullist-capitalist then neoliberal. Truly, the same can be said for the elite of all of Europe, but especially Latin Europe – just look at how Germany could afford a corona bailout 10 times the size of France’s bailout.

But since 2015 have no doubt: France’s Lockdown-pre-Great-Lockdown was entirely the result of widespread dissension for Brussels’ fiscal policies – this had to be repressed.

The modern French conviction that discussion-and-even-dissension is more than just tolerable but should be encouraged – this also had to be repressed.

The idea of French workers – foreign to the Anglosphere— that they should have economic stability and political-cultural influence also had to be repressed, thus the endless far-right economic reforms.

As I keep insisting, the global 1% insists that the bad example of the “French model” has to be destroyed and replaced with the US/UK/German model, with all its greater inequality, poverty and dull individual conformities and fears.

The “French model” cannot survive if the 1% is to preserve unaltered this version pan-European project which is resolutely neoliberal. This is proven by the recent diplomatic uproar caused by China’s ambassador to France, who criticised the inequality laid bare by France’s corona response:

You have a new brand of Chinese diplomats who seem to compete with each other to be more radical and eventually insulting to the country where they happen to be posted,” opined a French analyst, but I get it: a person (in this case a diplomat) comes to France and they hear so very much proud talk about liberty, equality and fraternity… but they see that the first has been so distorted by the privileged class so as to totally eradicate the second and third. The Chinese ambassador is both disappointed and fed-up with France. He has become something Westerners cannot be – politically honest and critical of Western policy – without being condemned as a “radical”.

The French 99% tries to incarnate their post-French Revolution values (within the factual context that their revolution did not stand very long), but their elite do not. Foreigners simply cannot see true French values in action because what they are seeing are 1%er, neoliberal, “EU empire” values in action. The French elites’ values are not French but “European empire”; one cannot ever become elite anymore without displaying total allegiance to this empire.

It’s dismaying, and that is exhausting as well.

But while the future now only looks worse for the 99% across France, I imagine Macron couldn’t be happier.

Corona preserves Macron’s re(de)formist gains & wipes his promise-slate clean

Maybe the coronavirus break was just what everybody needed, not only Macron?

Think about it: a historic two-month General Strike had just failed in late January. Now that the pension reform was passed unemployment reform was planned for this fall, because there is simply no constitutional way to stop Macron. The Yellow Vests certainly weren’t going to stop. How can Macron afford to keep generating such public ill will? Was there going to be another General Strike? How can workers afford to do that?

You simply can’t compute all those facts.

Thus, pre-corona France was truly at a breaking point and exhausted. France was like two wrestlers who had each other in a stranglehold, but instead of letting go both decided to suicidally and murderously maintain their grip.

The Great Lockdown preserves in amber Macron’s pension reforms – it’s over. When France goes back to work they will be rushed through Parliament, and likely amid a ban on groups (protests) of more than a few score. The Great Lockdown gives the public a chance to forget about that fight and the elite a “just move on” filibuster to questioning journalists.

But it also ends the possibility of Macron’s autumn plans for similar deforms to the unemployment system. There’s no way that can go on with the state socialistically-shouldering 60% of the Great Lockdown’s lost revenue. However, France’s 1% has been waiting decades for the pension reform – think they aren’t pleased? Think they can’t wait until autumn 2021, when Macron can make unemployment reform his farewell political legacy amid General Strike 2? You must think the 1% doesn’t play tactical class warfare, which is chess, and instead thinks in nationalisms, which is checkers.

The Great Lockdown is also the single-best thing to happen to Macron’s re-election chances.

How can he now be faulted for failing on his signature promise – to reduce unemployment to 7%? How can he be faulted by the right for any economic failure – France simply has to spend their way out of the corona overreaction? How can he be faulted on the left for any economic failure – France spent a lot on the corona overreaction (again, a pittance compared to Germany and also a bailout weighted to the 1%)? Any fiscal policy promise and failure is thus absolved with this corona overreaction-distraction.

Any social policy failure is also old hat – we must focus on a post-corona world. French PM says coronavirus outbreak ‘under control’ but warns ‘life won’t go back to normal after May 11th’ – of course Macron doesn’t want to go back to normal – his popularity was in the toilet for years; his policy, his style, his bizarre and salacious scandals (highlighted by the Benalla affair, which only French people understand) and his constant elitist gaffes ensured it could only worsen.

But election sniping is such a narrow view, even if it is the dominant Western mindset:

Macron’s entire presidency has been an open assault on the French idea of what is “normal”. Destroying the French model – to satisfy and propel the neoliberal & neo-imperial pan-European project he sincerely believes in – has always been his political raison d’être. Macron undoubtedly will view himself as leaving as a hero for all his “deforms”, whenever he departs in ignominy.

I’ve had offers to work in the US: “Why would I want to be a political journalist covering such an atrocious, atrocious political culture?” But France has become nearly identical – instead of righteous, easily-triggered emotionality the French political talk shows rely on an endless reserve of indifference and sang froid (cold blood) to reach the same neoliberal aims; instead of Trump-Putin hysteria they use Muslim-hysteria.

So what is France’s future? It is Macron versus Marine Le Pen in 2022 – they are just as intellectually and culturally exhausted, bitter and hostile as the US. They would rather repeat corporate fascism than be creative.

Must I work on behalf of Le Pen, claiming that she is a “victory via defeat”? I did that, marginally, for Trump, but I didn’t have to cover the guy everyday! More Macron would be an even bigger defeat than Biden – the Ferguson, Missouri, protests weren’t anything like the Yellow Vest repression.

The West may have all the money but they have no good answers anymore. How could corona have uncovered anything but the truth of their underlying morbidity?

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Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!

Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience? – March 22, 2020

Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for? – March 23, 2020

A day’s diary from a US CEO during the Corona crisis (satire) March 23, 2020

MSNBC: Chicago price gouging up 9,000% & the sports-journalization of US media – March 25, 2020

Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s? – March 26, 2020

If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone – March 30, 2020

Landlord class: Waive or donate rent-profits now or fear the Cultural Revolution – March 31, 2020

Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions – April 1, 2020

(A Soviet?) Superman: Red Son – the new socialist film to watch on lockdown – April 2, 2020

Corona rewrites capitalist bust-chronology & proves: It’s the nation-state, stupid – April 3, 2020

Condensing the data leaves no doubt: Fear corona-economy more than the virus – April 5, 2020

‘We’re Going Wrong’: The West’s middling, middle-class corona response – April 10, 2020

Why does the UK have an ‘army’ of volunteers but the US has a shortage? – April 12, 2020

No buybacks allowed or dared? Then wave goodbye to Western stock market gains – April 13, 2020

Pity post-corona Millennials… if they don’t openly push socialism – April 14, 2020

No, the dollar will only strengthen post-corona, as usual: it’s a crisis, after all – April 16, 2020

Same 2008 QE playbook, but the Eurozone will kick off Western chaos not the US – April 18, 2020

We’re giving up our civil liberties. Fine, but to which type of state? – April 20, 2020


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

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