EU politicians summoned to The Hague over illegal pushback of refugees

December 1, 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

EU politicians are accused of conspiring with Libyan coastguards to push refugees back to Libya only to be placed in detention camps.

NGO rescuers at sea (via Twitter @CaoimheButterly)

German NGO European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) filed a formal complaint to The Hague accusing several high-ranking EU and Members of State officials of “atrocious crimes committed against migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers,” an ECCHR executive summary of a Communication to the International Criminal Court reads.

The charges specifically involve EU politicians conspiring with Libyan coastguards by intercepting refugees and preventing them from reaching Europe by sea and forcing them to return to Libya only to be placed in detention camps.

According to the summary, the illegal pushbacks took place between 2018 and 2021 but initially began in February 2017 when the Italian government struck a deal with Libya to intercept refugees at sea.

Among the suspects include EU’s former foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, the Italian Interior Minister at the time of the deal, Marco Minniti, as well as some co-conspirators, namely Matteo Salvini, the far-right leader who served as Interior Minister in 2018-2019 and his then chief of staff, and Matteo Piantedosi, who is now Interior Minister.

Former and current prime ministers of Malta are also included in the complaint, namely Malta’s current Prime Minister, Robert Abela, and his predecessor, Joseph Muscat.

The former executive director of European border agency Frontex Fabrice Leggeri is also listed.

Read more: UK coastguard failed to prevent migrant drowning disaster: Independent

According to The Guardian, Minniti said he had no idea about the complaint, adding that he will “evaluate it, like the other interior ministers from 2017 until today.”

“At the time, the agreement was signed by the Italian prime minister, [Paolo] Gentiloni, and his counterpart, [Fayez] al-Sarraj. So, from all the records, it appears that I am not the signatory,” he added.

The deal was successful at reducing 81% of migration in Italy’s southern shores during the first half of 2018 compared with the first half of 2017.

It was renewed in 2020 and again earlier in November for one year.

The renewal cost Italy a total of €13m.

“The Communication details 12 exemplary incidents of the interception of migrants and refugees at sea and their return to and detention in Libya between 2018 and 2021. The incidents present a particularly clear and detailed picture of the cooperation between European Union agencies (particularly the European Commission, EUNAVFOR MED, and Frontex) and Member States (including Italy and Malta) with Libyan actors, on both the policy and operational levels, with regard to the interception of migrants and refugees at sea for the purpose of their return to and detention in Libya,” the ECCHR summary reads. 

Christopher Hein, a professor of law and immigration policies at Luiss University in Rome, claimed that the “deal is totally in line with the policy of the EU.” 

“It is a bilateral agreement, but it is supported and co-financed by the EU,” Hein said, adding that “tens of thousands” of people had been intercepted and brought back to Libya since 2017, with 35,000 intercepted so far this year.

Read more: EU: New migrant plan approved after France-Italy spat

For years, Brussels has been struggling to agree on and implement a new policy for sharing responsibility for migrants and asylum seekers, but the row has brought the issue to the fore.

Italy’s new government under the far-right leader, Georgia Meloni, refused to allow earlier this month a Norwegian-flagged NGO ship with 234 migrants on board rescued from the Mediterranean to dock.

The Ocean Viking eventually arrived in France, where authorities reacted angrily to Rome’s stance, canceling an earlier agreement to accept 3,500 asylum seekers stranded in Italy.

The row jeopardized the EU’s stopgap interim solution, prompting Paris to convene an extraordinary meeting of interior ministers from the 27 member states on Friday.  “The Ocean Viking crisis was a bit of improvisation,” Schinas admitted, defending the new plan from his commission to better coordinate rescues and migrant and refugee arrivals.

“We have twenty specific actions, we have an important political agreement, everyone is committed to working so as not to reproduce this kind of situation.”

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin stated that France has no reason to accept migrants relocated from Italy if Rome “does not accept the law of the sea.”

In addition, Darmanin’s Italian opposite number Matteo Piantedosi played down the Ocean Viking incident, saying the meeting was “not dealing with individual cases or operational management.” He stated that he had shaken hands with the French Minister and that there was a “convergence of positions” that would allow the ministers to resume discussions at their meeting on December 8.

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The End-Game

October 18, 2022

Source

By Batiushka

It is now dawning, even on self-deluded Western politicians and their presstitute media, that the situation just cannot go on like this. Let us take just the news headlines from 18 October.

The US publication National Interest reports that the Ukraine could only last one month without US aid.

https://news.mail.ru/incident/53516988/?frommail=1

The governor of the province of Kherson, Kirill Stremousov, has announced on the Russian Channel One that Kiev Forces have lost 9,800 soldiers in six weeks, together with 320 tanks, 250 infantry carriers, 542 armoured cars, 36 aircraft and 7 helicopters. They fell into the Russian trap, allowing them to advance through the open countryside.

https://news.mail.ru/incident/53510849/?frommail=1

Pictures of the Nordstream pipeline have been published in the Swedish newspaper ‘Expressen’. It was clearly sabotage. Now, who would be interested in doing that? Perhaps the same as those who downed MH 17 in 2014?

https://news.mail.ru/incident/53519325/?frommail=1

The partial mobilisation of 300,000 Russian reservists is nearly complete. Their presence in Donbass will free up the regulars to advance further, although some of the land taken by Kiev forces in September has already been taken back and more is liberated every day.

After seven days of aerial attacks (only two days of them reported in the Western media) on Ukrainian infrastructure, especially on power supplies, even Zelensky has today admitted that 30% of the Kiev regime power stations have been destroyed throughout the Ukraine. This is all in response to his terrorism in Zaporozhye, Donetsk, Belgorod, Moscow (Daria Dugina), and on Nordstream and the Crimean Bridge. What else did he expect?

France is on strike.

Italy is fed up and wants arms deliveries to the Kiev Neo-Nazis to stop.

In the bankrupt UK, to the amazement of all, Truss is still ‘present’, but the Daily Mail website reports that many pubs will have to close for the winter. The landlords cannot afford to pay for heating bills.

In Germany, the Health Minister, Karl Lauterbach, has warned of the risk of even hospitals having to close because of the energy crisis.

Some ask: But why did the Russian Federation not start the liberation campaign last February by turning up the pain dial there and then? The answer is simple. It is not just that the Federation underestimated the utter stupidity of NATO and the Kiev junta. It is much more than that, it is quite simply that Russia never did wanted to inflict pain on ordinary Ukrainians and on its own Union soldiers. Ordinary Ukrainians have NEVER been the enemy. Russian targeting has always been of the NATO-supplied and NATO-trained Kiev military. Russians are not Americans who spray the bushes with machine gun bullets and the trees with Agent Orange, or who blast Hamburg and Dresden off the map like the British. They target. They are not terrorists.

Have you not read President Putin’s 30 September speech? Please listen again:

‘I want the Kiev authorities and their true handlers in the West to hear me now, and I want everyone to remember this: the people living in Lugansk and Donetsk, in Kherson and Zaporozhye have become our citizens, forever.

…We call on the Kiev regime to cease fire and all hostilities immediately; to end the war it unleashed back in 2014 and to return to the negotiating table. We are ready for this, as we have said more than once. But the choice of people in Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson will not be discussed. The decision has been made, and Russia will not betray it.

…We will defend our land with all the forces and resources we have, and we will do everything we can to ensure the safety of our people. This is the great liberating mission of our nation.

….Today, we are fighting so that it would never occur to anyone that Russia, our people, our language, or our culture can be erased from history. Today, we need a consolidated society, and this consolidation can only be based on sovereignty, freedom, creation, and justice. Our values ​​are humanity, mercy and compassion.

If you do not believe these last words about values, then look into the eyes of the great Russia saint, St Xenia of St Petersburg:

18 October 2022

How the Western Media Spread Islamophobia

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360°

David Miller

Mainstream media reporting on Islam, and especially on “security threats” linked to Muslim actors, are often criticized for their bias and the way they promote Islamophobia.

All studies on media reports on Muslims and Islam show, to a greater or lesser extent, that the mainstream media across Europe are often biased against Muslims and involved in spreading Islamophobic ideas, especially the alleged relationship between Muslims and extremism and radicalization.

Why are the media racist?

But what causes this? The new report of which I am a co-author analyzes in detail the factors that cause the widespread dissemination of anti-Muslim reports in the media. In general, academic studies agree that reports are influenced by the pressures of advertising and marketing, the political orientation of publishers, and especially, from the owners of the media. Another key influence on reporting is journalists’ dependence on a narrow range of apparently authoritative sources.

Mastery of “official” sources

Research shows that these “official” definitions of the “problem” of “radicalization” and “extremism” dominate the media. Actors who enact these views can be called “primary definitions” of problems. The phrase was coined by Stuart Hall and his colleagues in the 1970s. He sees the media as “secondary” definers, who are in “structured subordination” to “primary definitions.

But who are these “primary” definers in the case of Muslims? First, the state anti-terrorist apparatus; police, intelligence services, and a wide range of other “counterterrorism” officials. They are supported by neoconservative and anti-extremism pressure groups and expert groups.

The report examines how Islam is treated in the press in five European countries: the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy. A long sample period of twenty years was able to detect changes in the reports and if they were related to policy changes, to verify/falsify the thesis that official sources were the most important influence.

The evolution of anti-terrorism policy

The United Kingdom adopted a “Prevention” policy on the fight against terrorism in 2003. This was quickly followed by the EU and the Netherlands in 2005. France ( 2014 ) and Spain ( 2015 ) took another decade to introduce similar policies. Only Italy did not adopt a “prevent” style policy at the time of the study. One was almost approved in 2016 / 7, but the government collapsed before it was enacted.

Coverage of “extremism” and “radicalization” in Europe

The first significant spike in coverage of “extremism” in the UK occurred in 2005 – 2006. 2005 was the year of the London bombings on 7 July, after which Prime Minister Tony Blair said “the rules of the game are changing” and at that time the “Prevention” policy was already in force . A second peak from 2011 corresponded to a later iteration of “Prevenir”, which was a significant movement in a neoconservative direction.

French reports show an increase in attention to “radicalization” from 2012 when a political debate on radicalization began to emerge, followed by an exponential increase in 2016. This process preceded the attack in France against Charlie Hebdo ( January 2015 ) and the Bataclan ( November 2015 ). ) and is more obviously related to the launch of the new anti-terrorism strategy in April 2014.

Spanish data shows that coverage started later and peaked in 2017, one year after France. The beginnings of the increase go back to the discussion and subsequent launch of the new anti-terrorism strategy in January 2015.

Italian data shows the inverted relationship, with reports of “extremism” always higher than those of “radicalization. Given that the term “radicalization” is particularly associated with official anti-terrorism policy, this trend possibly reflects the relative lack of such a policy in Italy. The start of the “radicalization” increase in 2014 coincides with the publication of reports by neo-conservative expert groups, with an exponential increase during the attempt to approve the “Prevent” bill.

What official sources are cited in the media

But what sources were cited in the twenty-year sample? In the UK, the data showed the prominence of intelligence agencies. MI5, the national intelligence agency, and MI6, the foreign agency, stood out. Together they totaled almost six percent of the total appointments of the top one hundred.

The think tanks they were prominent in the UK, with the Quilliam Foundation, often criticized for its proximity to the British state, and the Henry Jackson Society, often described as “Islamophobic, that was presented regularly.

Civil rights organizations such as the Islamic Commission on Human Rights, ranked 96, or Cage, which is not among the top 100, were cited very little. This reflects his critical position on anti-terrorism policy and the UK government’s “radicalization” approach.

France – Intelligence-led coverage with Muslim groups captured by the state

In France, the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Intérieure ( DGSI ), the national intelligence agency, was the most cited. Its external equivalent, the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure ( DGSE ), was presented at 28. Government ministries obtained a relatively high ranking and generally, ( were cited more widely with 26 percent of citations ) than the EU ( 17 percent ) or the UN ( eight percent ).

Muslim civil society groups were relatively prominent with six percent of the appointments in total. On closer inspection, each of them was effectively a government spokesperson. By contrast, genuine Muslim civil rights organizations such as “Le Collectif Contre l’islamophobie” in France were not among the hundred most cited groups.

Spain – Official sources and think tanks neoconservatives

In Spain, the Ministry of the Interior is the second most cited body. It should be noted that the neoconservative think tank Fundación Real Instituto Elcano was one of the most cited organizations, standing above the think tanks of the rest of the countries. The Neo-Conservative Foundation for Social Analysis and Studies ( FAES ) also featured prominently, receiving more appointments than any Muslim civil rights organization in Spain. The president of FAES is José María Aznar, former president of the Government of Spain. Aznar is also NewsCorp director for Rupert Murdoch, responsible for a number of Islamophobic news media around the world, as well as being involved with various Zionist groups.

Italy: lack of official Italian sources

In Italy, unlike the other countries, the highest Italian ministry cited was the Ministry of Economy and Finance ( 11o ). He was cited less frequently than six international government organizations: the European Union, the United Nations, NATO, Europol and the European Commission. This shows that if the Italian state did not promote the perspective of “radicalization”, the Italian media would resort to other official international sources. US intelligence agencies – the CIA and the FBI – were more cited than the Italian national intelligence agency, Dipartimento delle Informazioni per la Sicurezza ( DIS ), not listed at all in the sample. Italian data also included some quotes from neoconservative organizations.

Official sources as holders of power

In general, the role of the security state is absolutely central to the way the media operates on issues related to Muslims and security. In each case, we examine what this was, unlike media factors such as ownership, editorial control, or “reality” ( world events ), which provided the main impetus for the direction and tone of the coverage.

Changes in anti-Muslim reporting date back to the adoption of “Prevent” style policies. This reflects the crucial role of official sources, specifically government institutions associated with the anti-terrorist apparatus and intelligence agencies, in determining what is being reported and how. This was particularly key in the dominance of intelligence sources in the French and British reports. The role of neoconservative think tanks and against extremism was also significant as defenders of the security state, for example in Spain and the United Kingdom.

The “primary definitions” of Islamophobic news media coverage are, therefore, the central institutions of the security state in relation to which the media are in structured subordination as “secondary” defining.

In terms of politics, the bottom line is that problems of racism or media bias cannot be solved only at the level of media reform. Reform of the State and anti-terrorism policy is also necessary.

Rhetoric Versus Reality

OCTOBER 6, 2022

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

Bouthaina Shaaban

What we are witnessing today is a natural reaction to the level to which Western systems and Western media have used ordinary people and their lives, their well-being, and even their subsistence in order to launch wars.

When the General Assembly was in session, the Italian elections came to prove that the Western rhetoric at the UN, especially that of Joe Biden and Liz Truss, has nothing to do with the reality and aspirations of their people.

Western rhetoric tried to show that the West is absolutely united and that the path they are treading is the one that their people want and are determined to tread. However, the Italian elections, preceded by elections in other European countries, proved that Western officials are in one place, and their people, who they are supposed to represent, are in a totally different place.

A lot of narratives and counter-narratives will prevail in the following weeks about the ascent of the right in Europe. Of course, the ruling oligarchy is trying to describe the right as the far right, the extreme right, perhaps verging on calling the right the terrorist right in an attempt to frighten people from the rise of right movements in Europe. These are nationalist movements saying that the aspirations and the lives of our people should precede liberal doctrine and liberal ideas, which have a frightening social agenda that may prove to be incompatible with the rights and happiness of people.

We all saw the danger of neo-liberalism, especially in the last two years, trying to define human nature by spreading concepts, arguments, and narratives that have nothing to do with the spontaneous lives and feelings of people everywhere. Besides, Covid-19 proved to most people that the solidarity required from them during wars to pay for armaments and to pay for raging wars anywhere in the globe is not matched by the solidarity these people receive at times of plague. Italy, in particular, was struck hard by Covid-19 but received hardly any help either from the US or from other European countries, with whom it is aligned at times of wars of aggression. In the meantime, it received great help from Cuba, China, and Russia. So the Italian people see and understand what is happening to them.

This was aggravated by the economic difficulties caused by the proxy war these countries are fighting in Ukraine against Russia and against the emergence of a multipolar world. Western reports show that inflation is rife and people are getting impoverished and suffering from huge expenses exacerbated by an unprecedented rise in prices and fall in their currencies. Why? Because they are required to feed a nonsensical war in Ukraine and destroy a country, which they have nothing to do with, in order to preserve the American hegemony on other countries and other people

So, for the first time, probably since the second world war, we are witnessing today a real rift between Western people and their true interests on the one hand and those who are supposed to represent them, on the other. In order to fight this trend, and perhaps to corner it, Western media, of course, dictated by Western policymakers, is giving these national trends in most European countries titles that have negative connotations with the aim of frightening people from these movements. They are accusing them of hatred of Muslims, hatred of refugees, wanting to establish Christian states, and being only interested in white and Christian countries. The funny thing about these claims is that they make it seem as if Europe now stands as a paradise for refugees and for Muslims and as if equality is absolutely prevalent and no racism can be traced whatsoever in Europe. When the Ukrainian refugees started to flee into Europe, European commentators and program anchors were saying: those are not Syrians, they are not Iraqis; those are white people with blue eyes. If this is not racism, I don’t know what is?!

I am not saying that the rising movements in Europe or right-wing movements or national movements in Europe do not have a negative attitude toward Arabs and Muslims, but I am saying even if they have, which is regrettable of course, there will be nothing new in that. We have been suffering from these attitudes for decades. But the difference between what Giorgia Meloni, the new Italian representative, and Liz Truss and Joe Biden, for example, is that the Italians say things as they are; honestly, clearly, and straight to the point; whereas Liz Truss and Joe Biden have a double-faced, hypocritical rhetoric that is supposed to address one reality, while brushing under the carpet a very different reality concerning the lives of people, both in the West and across the world.

When I read the Western narrative that is meant to frighten everyone from the emerging national movements in Europe, I remembered the importance of naming, and how sometimes naming things or trends or movements is meant to hide the essence of these entities rather than to express their real nature. I remember when I got my MA, I was offered a place to do my Ph.D. at Warwick University in the UK, where I met the head of the English Department. He asked me, “What is the subject you want to work on for a Ph.D.?” I said, “I want to work on the influence of Romantic poets, particularly Percy Bysshe Shelley on the Chartist Movement.” He was shocked and he immediately retorted: “What the hell do the Romantic poets have to do with the Chartist Movement?!” I said, “Well, that is what I want to find out.” The Chartist Movement is the first working-class movement in the world in 1848. It took place about 20 years after the death of Romantic poets; particularly: Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron.

Through four years of research in newspapers, books, philosophy, literature, and politics, I discovered that the name romantic has nothing to do with the reality of those poets, who were extremely active in the political domain. Lord Byron was killed fighting a war in Greece to liberate it from the Ottoman occupation, and Shelly spent his life trying to liberate Ireland from British rule. Shelly’s poem “Queen Mab” was called “The Chartist’s Bible.” I am relating this incident to show how important naming is and how much the West, particularly the UK, uses naming things or trends or people in order to project the reality it wants rather than the authentic reality that these names should truly reflect.

The war that is still raging in Ukraine is causing the impoverishment of Western people; it is causing great hardships for the majority of Western people. But there are beneficiaries of this war: arms industrialists and senior officials in all domains; whether army, intelligence, or politics… they are the ones who are increasing and multiplying their financial fortunes. Thus, what we are beginning to witness with the rise of the right movements or national movements in Europe are the first indications of real rebellion against these unfair and authoritarian autocratic systems that are calling themselves democracies. The upcoming winter may generate different means that people in Western countries are going to use in order to reach their objectives.

Besides Covid-19 and besides the war in Ukraine, I think that there is a third factor that is motivating people to think deeply about their lives, about the future of their children and their grandchildren. The third factor is the narrative of neo-liberalism that is ignoring all real issues – issues of families, working women, elderly people, poverty, education, childhood, and health – and focusing instead on issues that are almost invented and fabricated by a certain interest group for reasons that have nothing to do with the real lives of people. We all followed the huge concentration in the Western narratives on gay and lesbian relations and same-sex marriages, which in essence contradict human nature. Perhaps there are some people who find themselves in a different boat from most people, but to project this as a necessity and a subject to be forced on the throats of nine-year-olds at schools is something sinister and vicious.

There is no doubt that the destruction of the family nucleus in the West is a huge social problem that most people are suffering from, while yearning to restore the feeling of family and the normal feeling of affection and care among family members. This should be the case instead of putting such a huge stress on the individual and ignoring that the individual is always much happier and performs much better when he/she is raised by a loving family and a loving community and by a social matrix that provides him/her with all the support, love, and affection that help these individuals excel in their lives.

So, what we are witnessing today is a natural reaction to the level to which Western systems and Western media have used ordinary people and their lives, their well-being, and even their subsistence in order to launch wars and make the arms industry the best-thriving industry in the West, through conquering other countries and stealing their resources.

The antithesis for all this is what we read and hear of narratives coming from the East; from China, Russia, Iran, the BRIKS, member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, especially the narrative expressed and confirmed by Xi Jinping over the last decade that we are all living on one planet and that we have to share the resources of this planet and jointly be responsible for the welfare of this planet, without any of us trying to impose things on the other. We have to establish security for all, integrity for all, and prosperity for all because we all share this earth and we should join ranks in order to make sure that people on this earth live well and have the right opportunities to express themselves, build their future, and work hand in hand for the welfare of everybody everywhere.

Of course, this does not suit systems that encourage apartheid and occupation in Palestine and elsewhere… this doesn’t suit racist systems that see white-skinned men and women as superior to black- or brown-skinned people and want to use brown or black-skinned people as slaves; i.e. modern slaves for accumulating more wealth at the expense of other people and other countries.

So, what most people in the world aspire to is a welfare system; a truly fair system. The people crave for justice and not for claims of democracies that have no positive effect on their lives. Democracies had been used as slogans in order to suppress both peoples of these countries and people of other countries as well. Perhaps the cycle of history has reached a point where change is absolutely imperative. People have reached a conviction that this road, which has been charted by Western powers, is an extremely dangerous road, and has led to a dead-end. So, we better stop here and make a U-turn in order to ensure that we restore the balance; the logical balance to human lives.

Hold Your Breath. Europe Is at the Tipping Point, As the Abyss is Closer Than We Think

July 28, 2022

Source

By Martin Jay

It’s Italy which will fire the starter’s gun on a turnaround on the EU’s policy on Russia and the Ukraine war.

It might well be Italy which marks the starting point of a demise of sorts of the EU, as the coalition government collapses. Mario Draghi, who might be remembering interest rate hikes like the ECB’s this week, which only happened previously when he was the boss overseeing the eurozone crisis, is out.

By resigning his post as PM, he must be that he sees the writing on the wall and that we are heading towards another eurozone crisis.

Right now, the euro has already slumped to parity with the dollar and Eurozone inflation averages about 8.6 per cent (although it’s now 10 per cent in Spain, 12 per cent in Greece and a thundering 20 per cent in Estonia). Have a heart for Croatia which is planning on joining the eurozone soon.

But it’s Italy which will fire the starter’s gun on a turnaround on the EU’s policy on Russia and the Ukraine war. In September a snap election is almost certain to put in power as a coalition two of Italy’s far-right groups, whose leaders both have an admiration for Putin.

Once this happens, others in the EU will see how ludicrous it is to continue the so-called punishment of Putin, which in reality destroys economies and ruins lives across the EU 27-member bloc. Other EU countries will see that Italy’s desperate situation of having debt at 150 % of its GDP and double-digit inflation can only be rescued by a radical political change. Elites in other EU countries will be scared that populist uprisings which throw out incumbent mainstream parties are heading their way once they see the Italian economy go from boiling to a gentle simmer. And once the Italian coalition is in place, dialogue — something which we haven’t seen yet from the EU — will begin with Putin.

Putin is laughing all the way to the bank in Ukraine with this present crisis that Europe has created for itself. There is no urgency on his side to really do anything. The EU is lowering itself into an acid bath all by itself and all he needs to do is watch it like watching a comedy on TV.

The Italian change in politics will be a huge blow to the EU as well, which is really spiralling out of control. Who could have imagined that a political has-been like Ursula von der Leyen would be quite as useless as she has turned out to be. By definition — and tradition — European Commission presidents are supposed to be pretty inept and servile to their masters France and Germany. But few could have guessed how Ursula would have messed up so badly on Brexit, Covid, Russia and soon the eurozone itself.

The EU is only as strong as the three giants of Europe — Germany, France and Italy — which it is supposed to protect. Yet for the first time in 30 years, Germany has a trade deficit and it talking about energy rationing with many factories in the country expected to close down or run on half production soon.

All the pressure will be in the ECB as another eurozone crisis looms when Italy is forced to pay back higher rates to its debtors due to the ECB slowing down printing of new currency. This is extremely dangerous for Italy and could bring about a total collapse of its economy like Greece. The difference is that Italy is a founding EU country and it is too big to collapse, which means that France and Germany will have to keep it on a life support machine. It is hard to imagine this scenario without a change of heart from Macron and Scholz with regards to the war in Ukraine and the EU’s view in general towards Putin. Germany has just recently started to show signs of wanting to take a different tact on Putin. Recently, it was revealed that an aid package of 9 bn euros, destined for Ukraine, was held up by Berlin, coupled with the Germans failing to resupply countries supporting Ukraine with tanks which it earlier promised. These are not ‘cracks’ appearing. These signs are more prolific than this and we are more likely to see squabbles soon between Scholz and von der Leyen in Brussels, with Macron intervening to look for a new dialogue with Putin.

The once golden relationship between the U.S. and the EU is also grinding to a halt. The EU will soon be more divided than ever about the war in Ukraine and Biden’s almost certain self-destruction at the midterms in November will see to a great reduction in the U.S. role of supplying arms to Zelensky. There will be a blame game which will be crafted carefully for weeks in the media beforehand which points to endemic corruption in the Ukrainian elite and the illegal sales of much of the U.S. hardware to Syrian jihadists. This has already started in fact, but has not yet shifted into top gear, which should be expected over the summer period before the Italian elections. The West needs to get out of the war in Ukraine and it needs a gilt-edged reason for the U-turn. Zelensky, as ever, will provide them with the perfect excuses, as he never fails in his primary role of useful idiot — that is of course if he survives assassination attempts from his own cabal who want a larger slice of the cake. The Left’s preposterous notion of fighting a full-on war in Ukraine with NATO forces will be nipped at the bud by fascists in Italy who believe in the power of feeding people and giving them public services rather than the folly of geopolitical chest-beating and the foibles which accompany such nonsense. Who would have thought that the descendants of Mussolini would direct the EU away from the abyss which it is hell bent on throwing itself over?

On the Future of Europe: A Proposition from 1 January 2023

July 24, 2022

By Batiushka for the Saker Blog

Almost one thousand years of Western Imperialism are coming to a shameful and self-inflicted death, one way or another

As schoolchildren will tell you, the names of the continents begin and end with the same letter, A: Asia, Africa, America, Australia, Antarctica. There is one exception: Europe, which though still beginning and ending with the same letter, the letter is not A, but E. Why the difference? Is it perhaps because Europe is not really a Continent? After all, it is not a vast landmass surrounded by an ocean (if it were a small one, it would be called an island). Its borders are arbitrary, having frequently changed, were only relatively recently pushed to the Urals, and are still much disputed. In reality, surely Europe is the artificially isolated north-western peninsula of Asia? It is not a geographical Continent at all, it is an ideological construct. That is why the slogan of so many EU-fanatics, like the former French President Chirac, was: ‘Faisons l’Europe’ – ‘Let’s Create Europe’.

We ask the above question because in this winter of 2022-2023 the old EU and Non-EU Europe has had to face a new reality following the war that the US/NATO lost in the ‘Ukraine’, as it used to be called. Europe-wide, indeed worldwide, food riots with looting of supermarkets and ‘bill boycotts’ (the wave of civil disobedience with the refusal/inability to pay soaring fuel bills) made this clear. Obviously, a worldwide reconfiguration is coming. Already the new world is becoming multipolar, with several main centres within the old BRICS, Russia, China, India, Brazil, South Africa, and now more to come, perhaps Iran, Türkiye, Argentina, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Mexico, Lebanon and Indonesia. In general, all Asia, Africa and Latin America now at last have their own future.

Not only are the old, thoroughly corrupted international organisations like the UN, WTO, WEF or IMF rightly disappearing into the sewers of history along with their discredited puppet-master, the US elite, but so too are pro-US regional groupings, like its European political and economic arm the EU and its European military arm, NATO. And here precisely, we ask where does the US/NATO defeat in the Ukraine leave the European peninsula, both the EU part of it and the rest of it, outside the EU? After World War I Europe had to be reconfigured, and again after World War II. Now, after whatever you call the 2022 Western rout in the Ukraine (World War III, or World War I, Part III), what is its destiny?

Surely the greatest revelation of the US proxy war in the Ukraine is Europe’s dependence on Russia. Without Russia, it simply cannot survive – though Russia can survive without it. The fact is that for the last few centuries, the largest European country has been Russia for surface area and, over the last century and a half, for population. The most common European language in Europe is Russian, the second German, the third French, the fourth English, the fifth Italian. As regards natural resources, whether agricultural or mineral, and as regards military power, the most important country, once again, is Russia.

Having said that, it must be admitted that part of Russia’s might, on which Europe depends, comes from Asia, which forms the majority of Russia’s territory. Thus, Russia is also Asia, specifically the northernmost third of the Asian landmass, whereas Europe is just the tiny north-western tip of that same landmass. As for Europe’s peoples, they too came from Asia, and mostly speak ‘Indo-European’, that is, Northern Indian, languages. As for Europe’s traditional religion, it too is Asian, for Christ, who appeared on earth as a coffee-coloured man who certainly never wore trousers, lived in Asia, specifically in the Middle East. It seems obvious to anyone with even the most basic geographical and historical knowledge that the destiny of Europe, now divorced from its former landgrab colonies in Africa, America and Australia, is with Russia, which is its link to Asia.

The territory of the four largely East Slav Union States, the Russian Federation, Belarus, Malorossiya and Carpatho-Russia (the last two formed from the old, ill-fated US vassal, the ‘Ukraine’), dwarves the rest of Europe. Similarly, with a population of 200 million, the Four Union States are far larger than any of the European Regions in population. The future European Regions are still independent, if integral, parts of Eurasia, within the Russian resource and security umbrella, on which they depend. Non-Russian Europe has its own personality and culture, which varies amongst its members. Geographically, historically and linguistically, the 450 million people of the old EU and non-EU Europe can be divided into eight European Regions. What are they, in order of population?

1. Germania (122 million):

Germany, Austria, the South Tyrol, the Netherlands, Flanders (Northern ‘Belgium’), German-speaking East ‘Belgium’, Luxembourg, German-speaking Switzerland and Liechtenstein. These countries, with about twice as many people as most of the other European Regions, have all been influenced by the same culture of Germanic organisation, order and productivity. This could provide direction to the way out of their present black hole.

2. Francia (74 million):

France, Wallonia and Brussels, French-speaking Switzerland and Monaco. All share in the same Catholic and post-Catholic French-speaking culture. A return to ancient roots and historic cultural heritage could give direction to this Region in the future.

3. The Anglo-Celtic Confederation (73 million):

England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Though geographically clearly one, these thousand islands and their four nations have in history been much perturbed by the centralising, unionist spirit imposed by force from alien ‘British’ London. (Between the Imperialist Romans and equally Imperialist Normans, the English Capital had been Winchester). If some equitable, confederal settlement can be reached between all four by the rejection of everything Britain and British, there is a future here. Could the acronym, IONA (Isles of the North Atlantic) provide clues to that future?

4. The Visegrad Group (66 million):

Poland, Lithuania, Hungary, the Czech Lands, Slovakia. Lithuania is not usually included in the ‘Visegrad Group’, but it has so much in common with Poland and national Catholicism, that it must belong to this group. All share in a common West Slav/Central and Eastern European, largely Catholic nationalist, culture.

5. South Eastern Europe (65 million):

Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, North Macedonia, Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, Greece and Cyprus. Although very varied in culture, mainly Orthodox, but also Catholic and Muslim, and spreading as far as the Romanian Carpathians as well as the Greek Islands and the island of Cyprus, the centre of this group is a common, though often so far tragic, South-East European history.

6. Italia (62 million):

Italy, San Marino, Ticino and Malta. All have a common Italian culture, which can provide the strength for political, economic, cultural and social renewal.

7. Iberia (57 million):

Spain, the Canaries, Catalonia, the Basque Country, Gibraltar, Andorra, Portugal, the Azores, Madeira. All share in a common Iberian culture. With decentralisation, they could work together to find a way out of the present crisis.

8. Nordica (30 million):

Iceland, Norway, Denmark, the Faeroes, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Latvia. With a largely Lutheran and post-Lutheran common cultural heritage, these countries, with only about half the population of most of the other European regional groups, could work together to provide a direction away from the suicide to which they have come so perilously close in recent decades.

Many are at present profoundly pessimistic about the future of the European Peninsula. The EU is collapsing and has for some time been collapsing for all to see. However, we see no long-term reason for such pessimism. Once ‘Europe’ has reconnected with its geographical and historical roots in Asia, it will have a future again. In time, we are convinced that history will come to see Europe’s previous thousand years as in many ways a deviation from and a distortion of its historic destiny, which is as an integral, if idiosyncatic, part of the Asian landmass.

‘Nothing Will Be As Before’

June 20, 2022

Source

By Batiushka

Western Europe and North America are now in dire economic straits. Four EU leaders, from Germany, France, Italy and Romania, have just been to Kiev to plead with Zelensky to start negotiating again and make territorial concessions. The Western media did not much report on the fourth Romanian/German leader, Klaus Iohannis, and showed few photograph of him; possibly because the racists who work in the Western media despise Romania (https://www.bing.com/news/search?q=Romanian+Leader+In+Kiev&qpvt=romanian+leader+in+kiev&FORM=EWRE). What they all forgot to mention is that Russia has no need to negotiate and, given the way that it has been treated since 2014 (indeed, since 1991), it is not going to make concessions.

The EU leaders once more made the illusory promise that the Ukraine might soon become a candidate for EU membership (despite the Dutch veto), if it restarts negotiations. This old carrot dangled before the Ukrainian donkey is irrelevant. The EU has more than four countries and four leaders, whatever promise that the Ukraine may become an EU member in 20 years time. Long before that, there will be no Ukraine and probably no EU. The day after their visit, the Johnson clown went to Kiev too, though we do not know what he spoke of. Presumably, he just wanted to show that the UK is a ‘Great Power’ – like the EU?

It is all too late. Negotiations on the Donbass failed for eight years because the West forbade them. They failed again last March in Belarus and Istanbul, for the same reason. The West in its arrogance believed that it could crush Russia using its Ukrainian cannonfodder. This has been displayed for nearly four months now by the reports of State propaganda mouthpieces like CNN, the BBC etc. with their nonsense that President Putin is dying and that Russia is running out of fuel and ammunition! Wishful thinking all the time. Originally Russia just wanted to liberate the Donbass. However, pig-headedness in Kiev means that they will now be forced to take control of the whole country – and perhaps more, if aggression from outside the Ukraine continues. It was all so unnecessary…

The West cannot go on with its suicidal and illegal sanctions against Russia – or rather against itself. The lack of oil, gas, fertilisers and essential raw materials is biting. Inflation is taking off all over the West. In the UK a wave of strikes is threatened. The incredibly unpopular Johnson’s days are numbered. The only problem for Russia is that the rouble keeps rising. Despite interest rate cuts from 15% to 8.5%, the rouble is again at 56 to the dollar. Clearly, further Russian interest rate cuts are, forgive the pun, in the pipeline. Meanwhile, African and Asian leaders have told Zelensky to stop fighting. They want grain (https://news.mail.ru/politics/ 51814770/ ?frommail=1).

Of course, it is true that many of the West’s woes began well before this year, not least with the absurd and totalitarian ‘covid’ restrictions from 2020 on, which bankrupted many companies and led to it printing ever more money and to ever higher and unpayable debts. The West is desperate for the conflict in the Ukraine to end before the autumn cold sets in. Otherwise there are going to be popular revolts in Western countries, with scenes of looting on the streets.

Western arms, usually third-rate from stocks anyway, are making hardly any difference in the Ukraine. Most, together with munitions, get destroyed before they can be used. Much that has been promised cannot be used because it will take months to instruct Ukrainians on how to use them. The rate of attrition of the Kiev Army, up to 1,000 a day according to Kuleba, the Kiev Interior Minister, is simply unsustainable. Once the fortifications in the Donbass, built by Kiev and NATO over the last eight years, have been overwhelmed, there will be a clear run to Odessa, Transdnestria, Kharkov and Kiev or indeed anywhere that Russia wants. This could happen soon.

Yesterday, the Russian Ministry of Defence released figures on mercenaries (https://news.mail.ru/incident/51803470/?frommail=1). The picture is dismal for the Ukraine. Of some 6,000 mercenaries in the Ukraine from 64 different countries, some 2,000 have been killed and some 2,000 have fled. Perhaps they thought that they were going to fight in a Third World country, where the enemy just had Kalashnikovs and not world-beating hypersonic missiles? How long the remaining 2,000 or so will remain alive remains to be seen.

Poland supplied the greatest number of mercenaries, with 1,831. Presumably as with other countries like Canada (601 mercenaries), USA (530), Romania (504), Germany and France, the majority of these were actually Ukrainians who have lived outside the Ukraine for some years, rather than native people. In third place for mercenaries from Europe comes the UK with 422, of whom 102 have been killed and 98 have fled. According to General Konashenkov who released the figures, the number of mercenaries coming has stopped and indeed been reversed. It is too dangerous to stay and get killed in the Ukraine.

This leaves the two foolish British mercenaries, not killed in action with the 102 others, but taken prisoner. And also it leaves two captured US mercenaries. There is speculation that the British might plea for their release in exchange for Julian Assange. That would upset the Americans. On the other hand, the British mercenaries, Eslin and Pinner, have already been sentenced to death. If that sentenced is carried out, it is going to make Johnson even more unpopular than he already is. Perhaps that is why Johnson went to Kiev to plead.

Thus, the first or military stage is coming to an end and should be over later this summer. However, this is only the start. The New Ukraine has to be formed. Then there is the demilitarisation and denazification of the rest of Eastern Europe. And there is the economic war, declared by the West, to be finished. On 17June at the International Economic Forum in his native Saint Petersburg, President Putin said:

‘After the Cold War the USA declared itself to be the emissaries of God on Earth, without any responsibility, only with interests….Today’s changes in economics and in international politics are tectonic and revolutionary. The Western elites are in a state of delusion, clinging on to the shadow of the past and denying changing reality…Nothing will be as before…The EU has definitively lost its political sovereignty. The current situation in Europe will lead to an outburst of radicalism and in the probable future a change of elites’.

Here is the future.

The ‘Counter-Revolutions of 1848’ stillborn child: Western Liberal Democracy

April 07, 2022

Source

by Ramin Mazaheri

(This is the fourth chapter in a new book, France’s Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West’s Best Values. Please click here for the article which announces this book and explains its goals.)

The primary cause of the Revolutions of 1848 was the fact that it took 50 years for the sociopolitical ideas of the French Revolution to spread in a Europe dominated by autocratic monarchs. That’s how radical 1789 was, and how slow political history moves.

The secondary cause was the economic changes caused by the refusal to end feudal mindsets anywhere in Europe but in France, and amid the start of industrialisation. 1789 had changed all Europeans, but all monarchs – including the two dynasties in post-Napoleonic France – refused to govern according to the entirely new needs and demands of their citizens. It’s expressed in the primary slogan of 1848, “Bread and work, or lead!”

The primary result of the 1848 Revolutions was total failure everywhere but France. 1848 provided new upheavals to replace Europe’s memories of the Seven European Wars Against the French Revolution (1792-1815), and what replaced them was even worse absolute monarchies. Political gatherings and demonstrations were outlawed, censorship was not just rampant but total – in short, all European political life was back to where it was in 1847: underground, publicly nonexistent and ruthlessly repressed. There was no revolution – an accurate reading of European history would call this period the “Counter-Revolutions of 1848”.

So why isn’t it called that? For the same reason behind this long historical preface before an analysis of the achievements of the Yellow Vests: Western mainstream history and education is a catastrophe of elite bias and propaganda.

The secondary result of the Revolutions of 1848 was the very first establishment, and immediate popular rejection, of what we can finally start calling Western Liberal Democracy. It would last just three years before a coup against it was popularly approved 11 to 1 in what was then the largest democratic vote ever in history. It took just three years for Western Liberal Democracy to prove to voters its total, eternal inability to care for the masses and not for an elitist oligarchy.

This chapter will make that conclusion perfectly clear not only because we have 175 years of hindsight, but because we have the world-shattering journalism and analysis of one Karl H. Marx. His on-the-ground analysis of the actions of 1848 would shape politics for over a century, and inspire both true socialists and socialists-turned-fascists into breaking with Western Liberal Democracy.

Napoleon always draws the crowds – his nephew? Few even know he had one who was important. In between Napoleon’s demise and World War One there is an abyss of historical understanding in the West. In fact, they are instructed to not think of this era as significant at all – this chapter hopes to explain why.

Marx on France: The only country that mattered in 1848… and 1849

Simply look at the results:

Italy carried the torch of 1789 the most. After initially giving false hope, the Pope openly said that the Papacy could not be the leader of a unified Italian state. His refusal to mix religion and politics, even in a country which was so overwhelmingly of the same religion, was a major error. After 1848 the Papacy became totally anti-liberal, anti-national and supportive of absolutist regimes.

Hungary gave up after their ethnic-based revolt failed to take root – unsurprisingly – with the rest of the extremely multiethnic Hapsburg empire. Indeed, many seem to think that Germanic racial elitism was founded by Adolf Hitler?

Revolutionary France had ended the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, but the autocratic Hapsburgs held on after 1848 – the counter-revolutionary victory was primarily theirs… it’s a common theme.

Tsarist Russia was not affected by 1848. They would, in large part to keep Prussia weak, prop up their Austrian autocratic brethren.

Just like in the aftermath of Russia’s 1917 success, and the 1930s, and the Great Recession, Germany totally disappointed. The Germans were especially brutal in repressing their revolutions, and it would require World War One to finally end German despotism, at least in the monarchical form.

Yellow Vest: “We were so numerous in the beginning, but when people began to see how violent and ferocious the government repressed the Yellow Vests, then many got too scared to protest. The government did everything they could to make us disappear, just so they can govern us according to their selfish whims.”

(Note: this book intersperses over 100 quotations taken from actual, marching Yellow Vests which were originally published in news reports on PressTV.)

The broad outline of what happened across Europe in the year of 1848 is simply this: The nouveau riche, professional, and managerial classes were always quite content with mere liberal reformism, which was opposed by the monarchists. Those three groups initially allied with the artisans and students to push back against Anglo-Germanic-Russian enforced absolutism and repression. When this “bourgeois” triumvirate got the mild reformism they wanted (i.e. rights for themselves) these “liberal reformists” would no longer support the artisans and students – of course they never wanted to ally for long with the peasants and proletariat. They instead supported repression of the artisans, students and lower classes, and thus we have the Counter-Revolutions of 1848. These liberal reformers never wanted a revolution, but merely a bill of rights for rich people against autocratic monarchy. As all mere reformists do, they refused to incarcerate, confiscate or execute the counter-revolutionaries, and thus the counter-revolution won, as it always will when facing half-hearted reformism. 1848 stands as proof that the alleged heroes of liberalist reformism are actually right-wingers opposed to actual democracy.

The tertiary result of 1848 was the growth of nationalism, but rarely pointed out in the Anglo-Saxon world is that this nationalism was required to expel Anglo-Germanic theocratic autocrats. We certainly can’t blame the French revolutionaries who departed decades ago, but after planting the seed of anti-feudalism, anti-monarchism and patriotic pride. The rebellions across Europe were against the poor governance of the aristocratic oligarchies who had colluded to wipe out 1789. Some leftists see this rise of nationalism as a bad thing, but they have totally lost the thread.

1848 addressed the “political question”, of how governance should be arranged, and everywhere but France failed to install something which anyone could call “progressive”. Furthermore, France’s revolutionary victory also allowed for the first political discussions of the “social question” – how shall we transfer socially from feudal monarchy: liberal capitalism or socialism? – to be addressed and fought out in their new political structure. At least it was assumed at the start of 1848 that this would be a fair fight!

It took France 33 years (the length of a human generation), from the fall of Napoleon until 1848, for the French to get rid of an unelected executive – once again they were alone in this achievement. Universal (male) suffrage was also spectacularly achieved for the first time, as was the founding of a “right to work”. While all other Europeans gave up achieving any move away from pathetic monarchy France founded the 2nd Republic.

French history from the fall of Napoleon, and thus the end of the French Revolution, until 1848 can be quickly summarised: In 1815 Napoleon was imprisoned on St. Helena, and the Bourbons returned after having fled, again. The Bourbons only ruled until 1830, when Louis Philippe I of the House of Orleans was installed during that year’s “July Revolution”. For France 1848 was the result of 18 years of awful neglect from the Orleanists, who cared only about bleeding the country dry at the behest of the burgeoning financial elite, as it was this “bourgeois” who helped push the House of Orleans into power. 1848 deposed the House of Orleans, and France looked forward this new system we term “Western Liberal Democracy” – they would be disappointed.

In a country with universal male suffrage you would think the new parliament would endeavour to represent the interests of the masses, no? If so, you misunderstand who Western Liberal Democracy aims to serve. Marx summarised the Second Republic thusly, and according to his ideas of political progression: “Under the bourgeois monarchy of Louis Philippe only the bourgeois republic could follow; that is to say, a limited portion of the bourgeoisie, having (from 1830-48) ruled under the name of the king, now the whole bourgeoisie was to rule under the name of the people.

Western Liberal Democracy inevitably turns out that way, but the revolutionaries of 1848 had certainly expected some power and wealth to be devolved to them. In a truly post-feudal France former serfs now had higher opinions of their value to society, their right to earn bread to eat, wanted the necessary stability provided by central planning, social welfare, etc. However, while the souls of the French serfs had grown, the power of the new financial-oriented class had grown at a usurious rate! This is thanks to the start of industrialisation, but also to the usurious abuses of the serfs-turned-sharecroppers. I say “start of industrialisation” because at the time of Napoleon the average workshop had just four workers and the only large businesses were arms manufacturers – not so 30 years later.

As the short-lived 2nd Republic progressed it became clear that this new form of governance was only there to benefit the old landed royalists, the post-1492 corporate trading enterprises and these new “bourgeois” industrialists and rentiers. The 2nd Republic is the start of when powers began to slowly stop being royal and start being monetary powers – when power became corporatised. This is what makes 1848 France so vital to understanding the 21st century.

Yellow Vests: “Our system has become totally rotten. They make the laws to suit their own needs, or the needs of corporations, and they have done nothing to resolve the huge problems of the average person. This is why the Yellow Vests will keep marching in the streets.”

It took the French three years to learn this, then to clear a path for 1848’s popularly-elected president to bloodlessly abolish the always-oligarchical parliament of Western Liberal Democracy. That president was Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, whose father was Louis “the Good” Bonaparte, who was appointed King of Holland in 1806 in a failed bid to make the Batavian Republic less subject to monarchical attacks.

The above analysis which condemns Western Liberal Democracy is why this chapter is needed: The mainstream historical analysis of 1848-52 France places way too much emphasis on economic changes – i.e. the industrial revolution – and the alleged dictatorship of a guy who was elected because stupid French hillbillies thought an elderly Napoleon had broken free from St. Helena. This faulty analysis exists because it allows for the sidestepping of what actually happened politically: the mismanagement of France’s first Western Liberal Democrats, their obvious bias against the bottom 90%, and the eventual rejection of this form of governance which only entrenched inequality and created regular crises.

On the social level what they were pushing for in 1848, but what the 2nd Republic failed to legislate, is what postwar Europe looks like! The revolutionaries of 1848 were proven right, and that can’t be disproven.

1848-1948 was an awful century for the European masses, but also the masses everywhere else – European imperialism created the tragedies, famines and inequalities which literally moulded a new “Third World”: prior to 1848 a peasant in Europe was in the same socioeconomic condition as a peasant in India, China, Latin America, etc.

Yellow Vest: “The movement will hold firm in the future. It will not disappear because their demands are so very solid and true. There are real reasons for a revolution in France, and we will always continue to play our part.”

Learning how the 1848 Revolution got off-track in the country where it had its greatest success is a major key to understanding governments of today, because it is this form of government which has ultimately prevailed despite instant and lasting popular disapproval!

Thus, the ‘Counter-Revolutions of 1848’, indeed.

Marx’s genius: tying together 1848 and 1789, which is the only way to understand 1848

There are three critical contributions Marx made to the understanding of France’s 1848-52 period. They are so critical because they illustrate how Western Liberal Democracy starts with fake-leftism and ends in oligarchy over and over and over. It should be considered quite important that the complaints of the 2nd Republic are the exact same as the ones heard today!

Firstly, Marx condensed the economic evolution of France in a time when society and economics were changing rapidly even without the complications of a successful 1848 revolution. He laid out how class economic interests twisted the 2nd Republic into something which nobody who was actually at the barricades would have fought for.

Shortly after the February Revolution of 1848 forced the abdication of the House of Orleans the “June Days” uprising scared the royalists and bourgeois republicans (i.e. anti-monarchists) to unite into the “Party of Order”. The Bourbons – who represented the power of landed property, the oldest basis of money – finally ended their royal squabbles with the Orleanists – who were installed to defend the increased power of nouveau riche industrial/financial property. This new unity is what Marx meant by writing, “…landed property has become completely bourgeois through the development of modern society.” Gone were disputes of old or nouveau – it was just riche versus poor. Thus, 1848 in France is the birth of modern class warfare – and the rich started it!

Secondly, Marx condensed what actually took place in the hectic few years after the 1848 Revolution, which culminated in the popular vote which sanctioned the coup of Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte against the unicameral National Assembly. Marx’s charted the lifecycle of this new political structure, and how it discredited itself via the same oligarchical flaws which are eternally apparent in this system.

Thirdly, Marx showed how the new professional politicians, doctors, small-town lawyers, bank managers and other professional-types, who are the cadres in this new Western Liberal Democracy, joined with the richer categories of wealth (royalist, usurious, landed wealth and financial, means-of-production wealth) to engage in a style of governance which put all their own interests first and demonised the interests of anyone else as “socialism!”. Yes, as epitomised in the awful politics of the United States 175 years later, Marx was flabbergasted to see even calls for the most basic reforms and moves to reduce inequality tarred as “evil socialism” at the very first implementation of Western Liberal Democracy. Marx goes even further to permanently indict Liberal Democracy as being far inferior to Social Democracy. This is an old debate, and it should have been decided in the latter’s favor by 1852 France.

By succinctly condensing – in just the one paragraph below – Marx’s summary of the events from 1848 to the voter-backed coup of Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte in 1852, all three historical contributions will be made clear.

An uprising truly led by the people (i.e. a popular revolution) in February 1848 forced out King Louis Philippe of the Orleanists, but the modern leftist demands of the people would be betrayed by June. The people’s hopes for a “Democratic and Social Republic” were sold out by the Social Democrats, mostly the small traders who were content with cementing the unprecedented achievement of universal male suffrage. However, the Social Democrats were soon sold out by the bourgeois republicans – those richer cadres of Western Liberal Democracy – who don’t really want universal suffrage but merely liberal rights for the upper class only. However, the republican bourgeois are sold out by the “Party of Order” coalition in parliament, half of which still wants a royalist restoration and the other half of which wants a republic but cares not much for liberal rights, and especially universal suffrage. This faction prevails and eventually guts universal suffrage, and votes the subordination of the constitution to the majority decisions of the parliament – i.e. a true legislative coup against the people. Good news! After three years of inefficiency, grandstanding and state-sponsored looting of the country’s natural, social and labor resources the “Party of Order” is sold out by the Bonapartist party – the National Assembly is dissolved, and what is restored is a Bonapartist idea of a popularly-elected emperor who puts the will and good of the nation first.

This is why Marx famously wrote his opening lines in The 18th Brumaire of Louis Napoleon (18th Brumaire is the French revolutionary calendar date for the coup of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799of history repeating itself as farce: instead of the revolution trending upwards in the first several years with leftist successes, as in 1789-94, a similar time period in 1848 sees sees failure. “Accordingly, the revolution moves on a downward line. It finds itself in this retreating motion before the last February-barricade is kicked away.… ”

Having condensed Marx’s timeline of 1848, his comparison with the timeline of 1789 will be especially illuminating of both 1789 and 1848. This book does not dissect the pre-Napoleonic events of 1789-94, in large part because they have been perfectly analysed by Marx in one paragraph. I include in parenthetical my explanations of key 1789 terms/parties which may not be fully known by the average reader (Marx is in bold)

In the first French revolution, upon the reign of the Constitutionalists (i.e., the start of the French Revolution via forcing the king to accept a constitution and to renounce total autocracy. Napoleon Bonaparte’s commitment to constitutionalism is precisely what made him a true political revolutionary of his day.) is succeeded by the Girondins (Truly the early martyrs of today’s Western Liberal Democrats. Most were from the department of Gironde, home of France’s slave-trade capital – Bordeaux -, and were committed to the free market, decentralisation and imperialist war. It’s decapitating them which Westerners call the “Reign of Terror”, precisely because neo-Girondins are what still rule in the West in the modern era. Napoleon Bonaparte clearly supported the Jacobins’ right to govern, fought against these rebels for years, was friends with Augustin Robespierre, etc.) and upon the reign of the Girondins follows that of the Jacobins. Each of these parties rests upon its more advanced element. … Just the reverse in 1848.”

It’s clear why outside of France the “Revolutions of 1848” are such a failure, but why is the French Revolution of 1848 such a failure for Marx? It’s because he was so very anti-Bonapartist. Marx was living in Paris during this era, after all, so we can understand his bias – we, however, do not. In 2022 it seems like a major mistake which loses the thread of political history: moving away from autocracy. I’ll deeply criticise his overly-strong condemnation of Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte in the next chapter, but what’s needed first is his analysis of France from 1848-52 – it’s critical because it is so reminiscent of Western politics today!

Both revolutionary eras fought against the very same political principle: autocracy, anti-democracy and the rule of an aristocratic elite. The Yellow Vest fight in the exact same way, even if the autocracy is only slightly less barbaric, although you should tell that to one of the many mutilated Yellow Vests.

What happened to France’s progressive revolution of 1848, then? Western Liberal Democracy happened!

The short answer is that Marx places the blame for the failure of 1848 on the half-revolutionary actions of France’s left wing in 1848, as well as the role played by Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte.

In the above section I related in one paragraph Marx’s summary of the events from 1848 to the popular coup of Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte. A bit more information is needed on the major political events in between that start and finish.

The February Revolution of 1848 re-ended monarchy, but April’s voting results saw the new constituent (temporary) Assembly filled with royalists, elite and professionals who did not incarnate the socialistic demands which had propelled the popular revolution: the opposition to free markets and the demand for government works to create jobs. National Workshops had been immediately created in 1848 in order to fulfil the “right to work” and thus introduce governmental central planning into the economy.

So one should imagine the hundreds of thousands of workers now trying to ply a trade in Paris while, concurrently, the new temporary parliament to draw up a new constitution is full of capitalistic Western Liberal Democrats. Naturally, the people saw they were getting left behind. On May 15 a leftist demonstration entered and dissolved this temporary National Assembly. The National Guard – which had always played the decisive role in French revolutionary affairs – sided against the protesters. The ardent republicans and protest leaders were arrested; a banker would be installed as the new Paris Chief of Police; a lawyer would now head the restored Assembly.

In June the conservative National Assembly announced that the National Workshops would be closed, and the newly-unemployed workers could either join the army or go back home to the provinces – this sparked the June Days uprising. We see here how Western Liberal Democracy is never – not from it’s very earliest days – going to allow anything but an “invisible hand” to guide the economy, and also that imperialist war (which is not at all revolutionary war) is its primary answer to the economic question. Over 10,000 people were massacred, or 60% as many as were guillotined during the “Reign of Terror” (but without any trial). It also marks the last time French Catholic clergy tried to play a role in elections: The Archbishop of Paris literally entered into the Paris street fray as a mediator – he was shot, almost certainly by the conservative forces. The popular revolution was thus ended: death, prison and exile to Algeria for the leftists.

Yet the trader-class Social Democrats did not condemn the repression – they threw their weight behind November’s Constitution of 1848, which granted universal male suffrage. Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte was elected in December, and like his uncle he took a middle-of-the-road pro-revolutionary approach: he was neither like the leftist socialist candidates, nor the anti-socialist/pro-republican army chief who led the June Days repression, nor a liberalist lawyer. Marx was unwilling to reconcile with Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, who was also a leftist writer – his most famous book was the pro-working class The Extinction of Pauperism, which undoubtedly helps explain his massive victory.

After Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte was elected 1850-onwards was an ineffective and nation-destroying combat between the executive and the legislative branch:

The legislative branch – as it will always do for the next 175 years – lost all popular support by rejecting to represent the populace and not just the upper class. The popular, bloodless coup of Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte would be deemed “fascism installed by country rednecks”, and Marx’s own analysis is very similar to that, sadly.

The executive branch – as it will always do for the next 175 years – would jealously fight to acquire as much autocratic, dictatorial powers as it could, and employ jingoistic, imperialist wars to win popular opinion while mostly advancing the needs of the elite.

It took only three years to realise such a system was unworkable, and yet is this not still the alleged apex of governmental structure and efficiency for Western Liberal Democrats of today?

Yellow Vest: “After three years nothing has changed, except for the fact that things have gotten even worse for the average French person. Life has gotten so much more expensive, but Macron doesn’t care. Macron doesn’t see the demands of the Yellow Vests, or even the French people, as worthy of his attention.”

Weak leftism against a strong executive – France has the same problem today

In May 1849 the first National Assembly of the 2nd Republic was officially seated. This Assembly would eventually go on to approve total non-support for any other popular revolution sweeping Europe; to ban the reborn Sans-Culottes and other political parties; similar to Macron today, they would end the longtime practice of the National Assembly hearing petitions from grassroots special interest groups.

Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte would immediately use foreign war to establish to the “Party of Order”, which had 64% of seats, that he, too, was a mighty man of (executive) “Order”. Even before the new parliament sat he violated the new constitution’s prohibition of military interference in the freedom of other nations by bombarding Rome to prop up an exiled Pope. This was at the expense of the nascent but doomed Roman Republic, which did not have popular support – it would have been nice if the Marxists had won, but it just wasn’t possible until 1917. This does not make either Bonaparte the equivalent of an absolute monarch, one must point out. France had arrived expected to be received as liberators, and also sought to prevent an invasion by Austria.

The opposition Mountain Party, with 26% of seats, who were republicans and neo-Jacobins, boldly voted to impeach Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, who had been elected by a whopping 75% landslide. Propping up the Pope was popular among the average person, and now France’s “left party” (though actually petit-bourgeois small traders and minor professionals) were taking on an extremely popular president?

What cannot be disputed is how ineffectually the Mountain Party fought their fight. Marx’s superb analysis will remind people of the halfhearted, non-revolutionary struggle of fake-leftist parties across Western Liberal Democracy. We should remember that Marx was living in Paris at this time. He surely must have hoped that the Mountain were genuine leftists – after all, “fake-leftism” in a Western Liberal Democratic context had not yet ever been seen!

Following the Mountain’s impeachment vote the unarmed protests of June 1849 were held. The National Guard was there – in uniform, but unarmed. This pacifistic decision was fatal: they had no way to defend themselves from the subsequent army attack. The demonstration ended in total failure – it was the last “Revolutionary Day” of the 2nd Republic – and there were no casualties. Marx writes: “The chief error of the ‘Mountain’ was its certainty of being victorious.” (emphasis his). I don’t think France has had an official “Revolutionary Day” since, and probably because most French don’t know this history either?

Marx saw that the real leftism had been chopped out of the Mountain by the June Days of 1848 and replaced with smug, ultimately conservative, sense of false certainty. He saw these fake-leftists were doomed precisely because they accepted Western Liberal Democratic terms:

“If the Mountain wished to win in parliament, it should not appeal to arms; if it called to arms in parliament, it should conduct itself in a parliamentary way in the street; if the friendly demonstration was meant seriously, it was silly not to foresee that it would meet with a warlike reception; if it was intended for actual war, it was rather original to lay aside the weapons with which war had to be conducted. But the revolutionary threats of the middle class and of their democratic representatives are mere attempts to frighten an adversary….”

This certainly describes France’s union-led demonstrations and the “walks in a park” which are other European Social Democrat-led demonstrations. This same entrapping logic is what the Yellow Vests are told to submit to and what they still so bravely faced down Saturday after Saturday.

Yellow Vests: “France is waking up. The government continues to accuse all of us of being Black Bloc or thugs to make the country turn against us. But we are all united to prevent the destruction of France, and this unity will continue to increase.”

The “superstitious spell” the National Guard had on the French imagination – i.e. its ability to sway the army to back the people and the elite – was crucially broken here. They would be suppressed under Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte and then banned at the start of the Third Republic in 1871, when Western Liberal Democrats would wrest back control from the Louis-Napoleon and the Bonapartists, who also existed in the interim between the two Bonpartes.

A clear difference between imperialist Liberal Democracy and anti-imperialist Social Democracy: the former clearly uses foreign war to gut the possibility of a marital spirit which would protect the rights of the people domestically. It also uses perpetual imperialist war to insist that such domestic rights are not convenient, and that such discussions certainly cannot involve anything but words.

The subsequent crackdown caused the remaining true leftist politicians, including many in the Mountain Party, and journalists to be arrested or go into exile – Marx went to London. With the real left gone the new Mountain Party was no opposition. The National Assembly embarked on a series of right-wing measures which turned everyone against them.

On June 13, 1848 they voted the subordination of the constitution to the majority decisions of the parliament – it was a coup against the constitutional rights of the people.

So, indeed, did the republic understand it, to-wit, that the bourgeois ruled here in parliamentary form, without, as in the monarchy, finding a check in the veto of the Executive power, or the liability of parliament to dissolution. It was a ‘parliamentary republic’, as Thiers styled it.”

Thus we see the true emergence of the unstated dream of Western Liberal Democracy: a country ruled by a parliament of the rich; an expansion of absolute monarchy to a tiny coterie of aristocratic elite.

The last straw would come on May 31, 1850, when the assembly would vote to drastically undermine universal suffrage by millions of voters. Marx wrote, “The law of May 31, 1850, was the ‘coup d’etat’ of the bourgeoisie.” Against the voters, he means.

Thus the first coup in the 2nd Republic was actually made by the parliamentarians and not Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte! Bonaparte would restore universal suffrage, to his great credit.

Those two crucial facts are always left out of any discussion of the 2nd Republic and Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte’s “self-coup” (a coup where a legally-elected executive dissolves the legislative branch). In 2022 they should drastically change our assessment of him, and break from Marx’s negative, rather biased view.

That requires the next chapter – Louis-Napoleon: Confirmation of the revolutionary difference between Bonapartism & Western Liberal Democracy.

From the beginning Western Liberal Democracy showed what it wanted: A country ruled by a parliament of and for the rich

Marx writes in summation of the political discussion permitted in the first Western Liberal Democracy:

“Whether the question was the right of petition or the duty on wine, the liberty of the press or free trade, clubs or municipal laws, protection of individual freedom or the regulation of national economy, the slogan returns ever again, the theme is monotonously the same, the verdict is ever ready and unchanged: Socialism! Even bourgeois liberalism is pronounced socialistic; socialistic, alike, is pronounced popular education; and likewise, socialistic national financial reform. It was socialistic to build a railroad where already a canal was; and it was socialistic to defend oneself with a stick when attacked with a sword.

This was not a mere form of speech, a fashion nor yet party tactics. The bourgeois receives correctly that all the weapons which it forged against feudalism thorn their edges against itself; that all the means of education which it brought forth rebel against its own civilisation; that all the gods which it made have fallen away from it. It understands that all its so-called citizens’ rights and progressive organs assail and menace its class rule, both in its social foundation and its political superstructure – consequently have become ‘socialistic’. It justly scents in this menace and assault the secret of Socialism, whose meaning and tendency it estimates more correctly than the spurious so-called Socialism is capable of estimating itself and which, consequently, is unable to understand how it is that the bourgeoisie obdurately shuts up its ears to it, alike whether it sentimentally whines about the sufferings of humanity; or announces in Christian style the millennium and universal brotherhood; or twaddles humanistically about the soul, culture and freedom; or doctrinally matches out a system of harmony and well-being for all classes. What, however, the bourgeoisie does not understand is the consequence that its own parliamentary regime, its own political reign, is also of necessity bound to fall under the general ban of ‘socialistic’. (Emphasis mine)

If you still believe in Liberal Democracy, may I suggest you read that again.

Not only does Marx show that Western Liberal Democracy refuses to protect the rights which Western Liberal Democracy claims to have created and to believe in, but that Western Liberal Democracy is a phoney “third way”: there is either socialism or autocracy/oligarchy/fascism.

“Accordingly, by now persecuting as Socialist what formerly it had celebrated as Liberal the bourgeoisie admits that its own interest orders it to raise itself above the danger of self government….” Western Liberal Democracy is not a resolution to class warfare, like Socialist Democracy claims to be, but the permanent institution of class warfare with the express goal of government by an elite.

“The parliamentary regime leaves everything to the decision of majorities – how can the large majorities beyond the parliament be expected not to wish to decide?” The parliamentarianism of Western Liberal Democracy is false and unrepresentative, culminating in rule by parties which are controlled by the elite. This is unlike the parliaments in Socialist Democracy, where cobblers become parliamentarians, as in Cuba’s 2018 legislative vote.

No wonder Western schools don’t want to discuss this era!

By examining the era of 1848-52 we see that Western Liberal Democracy totally discredited itself out of the gate, and that we have the same problems as we did 175 years ago: it is autocracy improved into aristocratic rule, but never popular rule. Western Liberal Democracy is so undemocratic that it is not even worthy of the moniker “Western Liberal Democracy”!

Thus the Revolution of 1848 in France was a success – ouster of an unelected king, universal male suffrage, installation of a new political system. It culminated in the 1852 referendum on Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte’s “self-coup” against parliament, and the replacement of the 2nd Republic with the 2nd Empire, to be headed by the new “Napoleon III”. It was approved by 97% of voters with 80% turnout. Over 8 million Frenchmen wanted to vote, and they only could in 19th century France by agreeing that the Bonapartist vision of the French Revolution was the only way to maintain the gains of the French Revolution amid a continent of absolute monarchy and failed revolutionaries AND by rejecting the Western Liberal Democracy of the 2nd Republic.

1848 succeed in France precisely because voters rejected Western Liberal Democracy entirely. Four years to figure it out is not so bad at all?

Thus the period between the 2nd and 3rd Republics is falsely slandered as being equivalent to all the other monarchies of the time. We have been through this before: we are talking about an elected Bonaparte, who naturally was detested by his autocratic contemporaries everywhere else in the region. History is repeated as farce in the modern leftist rejection of both Bonapartes, not in the difference between 1789 and 1848.

Without embracing the will of the inherently progressive French electorate – inherent because there was no other mass electorate at this time – and their eventual selection of the Bonapartes, we are stuck with siding with awful absolute monarchs or awful Liberal Democrats.

Absolute monarchy reigned long after 1848. The slighted Western Liberal Democrat, with all their arrogance, remained non-plussed, as Marx noted: “At all events the (social) democrat comes out of the disgraceful defeat as immaculate as he innocently went into it….” In 1871 the collusion of these two forces with Germany against both Social Democracy and Bonapartism/French Revolutionism led to the traitorous sieging of Paris (the Paris Commune) and then the restoration of Western Liberal Democracy, sadly.

However, in 2022 we must reject Marx’s condemnation and consider the Revolutions of 1848 a success in France. The preservation of universal male suffrage was a spectacular advance from the rest of Europe. This advance alone allows us to clearly see that the ideals of 1789 and the movement away from autocracy still progressed.

But 1848 was an advance for an even greater reason: it allowed the first implementation of modern Western Liberal Democracy… and its endemic flaws were immediately revealed. It became clear that Socialist Democracy was the only true solution – thus the Paris Commune – if one wants broad prosperity, stability and equality for the average person. Those who don’t realise that are stuck in a useless doom loop of 1849-52.

The rise of Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte is not as thrilling as that of his uncle’s – the former merely came to power via the vote. He is a modern politician, with plenty of flaws, but the French at the time knew he was a progressive option compared to absolute monarchy or Western Liberal Democracy.

The Algeria section

Before we get into Marx’s failure to appreciate the achievements of France’s 1848 Revolution and the rule of Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte in opposition to Western Liberal Democracy, we must briefly analyse Marx’s failure to take account of the role the conquest of Algeria played on the French mainland’s politics in 1848.

Marx’s focus was more on banking and industrial systems, instead of imperialism. It’s a significant omission: the treasures, resources and stolen wages of imperialism are enormous – we are talking of the gains of impoverishing an entire country. But where Marx really failed was in not noting the enormous political-cultural impact of being a coloniser.

What the events of 1848 proved, and which Marx failed to note, was how Western Liberal Democracy works hand in hand with militaristic imperialism to repress their nation’s own masses. This is an incredibly important analysis to take from 1848 because the French army went from being a Revolutionary Army in 1789 to an imperialist army in 1830.

The colonisation of Algeria was of an entirely different order than the colonisation of the New World, and we must delineate this difference: the colonisation of a Mediterranean space which saw Marseilles and Algiers socially interact for over two millennia is not at all the same thing as a (ignorant) Western perception of heathen savages who need to be converted. Yes, France had other imperialist domains but we cannot underestimate the power of French Algeria in French history from 1830 until today.

Algeria was invaded in 1830 to distract from and eventually legitimise the take-over by the House of Orleans, which ended the Bourbon Restoration since 1815 – this invasion happened at precisely the same time as the fall of Algiers. The finances and internal prestige of Louis Philippe I was enormously supplemented domestically by the occupation of Algeria. This new “imperialist class” was too ignored by Marx in the French events of 1848.

A proof of the political-cultural impact of this new “imperialist class” is found in the person of Louis-Eugène Cavaignac, who went directly from being governor of Algeria to quelling the June 1848 uprising. He was as vital a player in 1848 and beyond as anyone save Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, to whom he finished second in the 1848 presidential election. As Marx noted: “Cavaignac, the General of the bourgeois republican party, who commanded at the battle of June, stepped into the place of the Executive Committee with a sort of dictatorial power.” The election of Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte in December would end this dictatorship, but not before the imperialist Cavaignac ruled over the drafting of the November constitution which gave the elite class ruling power over France. This is not a small thing!

The person of Cavaignac thus represents the new capitalist-imperialist rot which would turn against its own people, like a CRS riot cop who aimed his rubber bullet gun at the faces of Yellow Vests. Marx fails to emphasise that it is the imperialism against Muslim Algeria which provided this muscle to topple 1848. Or that the beloved National Guard was sapped by this imperialist deployment. Or that French culture had certainly become hardened by a war which was not waged at all for progressive revolution.

Romaric Godin, economics reporter at top French media Mediapart, in his book La guerre social en France (The Social War in France) recognised Cavaignac’s import (even if Godin does not recognise the importance of imperialism) as both a new type of politician and its clear parallel with Emmanuel Macron. Godin wrote: “Democratic authoritarianism is that of Cavaignac in 1848 and Adolphe Thiers (the future president of the 3rd Republic who colluded with Bismarck to siege Paris) of 1871: that which uses the entire legislative capacity to repress opposition. This sort of abuse is sanctioned by the law and thus is perfectly legal.”

Western Liberal Democracy actually begins with Cavaignac, who suppressed those calling for Socialist Democracy, the National Workshops and a role for the peasants and the proletariat in politics in June 1848. We can draw a straight line from him to Macron’s crushing of the Yellow Vests, and both men are garlanded by Western Liberal “Democracy”.

Indeed, more and more seem willing to call 21st century France “democratic authoritarianism”. Muslim Algerians knew it back in 1830, and by 1848 everyone knew that authoritarianism is what Western Liberal Democracy has always truly been.

<—>

Upcoming chapter list of the brand-new content in France’s Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West’s Best Values. The book will also include previous writings from 2018 through the 2022 election in order to provide the most complete historical record of the Yellow Vests anywhere. What value!

Publication date: June 1, 2022.

Pre-orders of the paperback version will be available immediately.

Pre-orders of the Kindle version may be made here.

Pre-orders of the French paperback version will be available immediately.

Pre-orders of the French Kindle version may be made here.

Chapter List of the new content

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

Why are Italian Students Protesting Israeli Ambassador’s Visit to L’Aquila University?

March 3, 2022

Italian students hold a sit-in against Israeli ambassador’s visit to L’Aquila University. (Photo: Supplied)

By Romana Rubeo

Italian students held a sit-in on Thursday to protest the decision by the University of L’Aquila to host the Israeli Ambassador to Italy, Dror Eydar. 

Eydar was invited to deliver a 30 minutes conference about the so-called Abraham Accords, titled “Diplomacy in the Middle East and the Abraham Accords paradigm shift”.

Students were urged to take part in the conference, which did not include a debate or a Q&A session.

The sit-in was organized by several groups, including political movement Potere al Popolo (Power to the People), UDU L’Aquila (Union of Students), Abruzzo Crocevia and Spazio Praxis.

The sit-in was organized by several groups, including political movement Potere al Popolo (Power to the People), UDU L’Aquila (Union of Students), Abruzzo Crocevia and Spazio Praxis.

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“We were extremely disappointed when we learned that the University organized such an initiative,” Francesco Pezzuti, the representative of Potere al Popolo, said during the protest. “We believe that academic institutions should not invite official representatives of a state that has systematically oppressed the Palestinian people for decades.”

“We are also surprised by the double standards,” Pezzuti added. “While they show solidarity to the Ukrainian people, and rightly so, our institutions do not show the same kind of sensibility towards the various forms of popular resistance enacted by other oppressed people around the globe, such as in Palestine.”

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“The same initiative has been promoted in other Italian regions, with the same exact keywords, trying to promote the so-called Abraham Accords as a new paradigm,” said Luca D’Innocenzo, representative of Abruzzo Crocevia. 

“We have to be aware that this is mere propaganda. Israel’s propaganda uses the Accords to hide ongoing policies of colonialism and apartheid in the Palestinian territories,” D’Innocenzo added.

“That’s what we should talk about inside an academic institution: of the apartheid policies that are systematically implemented against the Palestinian people.”

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“We are not alone in this fight,” said Matteo Poletti, from UDU. “We fight along with other students that, across the globe, are boycotting similar initiatives aimed at normalizing relations with a country that despite the continued and reiterated violations of human rights, has never been held accountable by the international community.”

The students in L’Aquila received solidarity and support from the national group Giovani Palestinesi d’Italia (Young Palestinians of Italy), which shared posts on social media and sent a message that was read during the sit-in.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

– Romana Rubeo is an Italian writer and the managing editor of The Palestine Chronicle. Her articles appeared in many online newspapers and academic journals. She holds a Master’s Degree in Foreign Languages and Literature and specializes in audio-visual and journalism translation.

أسئلة شديدة الملوحة حول تفجير مرفأ بيروت؟؟؟

 الأربعاء 4 آب 2021

 ناصر قنديل

يدور النقاش اللبناني الداخلي وما يواكبه من نقاش خارجي حول من يجب ان يُلاحق بموجب التحقيق الجاري حول تفجير مرفأ بيروت، ولا يخفي نقاش الحصانات، سواء بدعوة رفعها عن الجميع، أو بالتحصّن خلفها من الجميع، أو بتمييز البعض عن البعض، وسواء ما يصدر عن القوى السياسية او عن المحقق العدلي او عن الهيئات الحقوقية الخارجية والداخلية، أن الأصل في النقاش هو السياسة، وفي هذا توظيف لدماء الشهداء ولشعاري الحقيقة والعدالة، لأن الأصل في تحرك من ينشد الحقيقة والعدالة ليس البحث عمّن يمكن تحميله المسؤولية وتقديمه على مذبح الحقيقة والعدالة، فالأصل هو البحث عن الحقيقة ثم إقامة العدالة، لأنّ البحث عن العدالة يعني البحث عن قصاص يعادل سقوط أرواح غالية ودمار وخراب لحقا بأملاك الناس وتشويه أصاب وجه المدينة الجميلة، والبحث عن قصاص يعادل الجريمة قد لا ينسجم مع السعي للحقيقة التي تبدأ من طرح الأسئلة الحقيقية، قبل الحديث عن المسؤولية، وتبحث عن توصيف الجرم قبل الحديث الجريمة والمجرمين.

الأسئلة التي توصل الى الحقيقة لا يجب ان تعرف المجاملة، ولا السعي لتجنب الإحراج، ولا التوجيه السياسي، والأجوبة على هذه الأسئلة يجب ان توضع في تصرف الرأي العام ليُبنى عليها الإتهام، وفق التوصيف الجرمي الذي توفره الحقيقة وحدها، وما دامت الحقيقة غائبة أو مغيبة، يبقى كل اتهام وكل توصيف جرمي سياسة، ولو رافقته سياقات مدبجة قانونا، وتبقى كل حصانة سياسة أيضاً ولو رافقتها سياقات مدبّجة قانوناً، والصراع بينهما صراع سياسي بغلاف قانوني، لأنّ الفريقين الإتهامي والمتحصن، لا يقدمان أولوية البحث عن الحقيقة، بل يدخلان فوراً في النقاش الجرمي والإتهامي، مع إيهام الزعم ان في ذلك سعياً للعدالة.

نحو الحقيقة يجب ان نعرف بداية، هل ان النقاش يدور على قاعدة التسليم بأن لا عمل جرمياً وراء جلب النترات، وأن لا عمل جرمياً وراء استبقائها، وأن لا عمل جرمياً وراء تفجيرها، وانّ كلّ المعنيين أبرياء من هذه الزاوية، والنقاش محصور بتوصيف جرم الإهمال وحدود المعرفة بالخطر الناتج عنه، وهذا هو معنى القتل بالقصد الاحتمالي قانوناً، فلماذا لا يقول لنا التحقيق أولاً إنّ الفرضيات الجرمية القائمة وراء جلب النترات واستبقائها وتفجيرها، ساقطة، وإنّ لديه سردية تقول إنّ كلّ شيء تمّ عفواً وبالصدفة، وسقط الشهداء وتخرّبت المدينة لأنّ المسؤولين لم يقوموا بما كان يمكنهم القيام به لتجنب الكارثة، تماماً كما هو التوصيف الرائج لسردية الانهيار المالي، القائمة على نفي وجود جريمة الاستدانة المفرطة، والفوائد المفرطة، والأرباح المصرفية المفرطة، والتحويلات المفرطة، والإنفاق العام المفرط، وانّ كلّ القضية انّ المسؤولين نسوا أن ينتبهوا لما يجب فعله لمنع الإنهيار!

الأسئلة نحو الحقيقة تبدأ من تقديم جواب مقنع ورسمي من اليونيفيل حول كيفية تعاملها مع ملف النترات، وهي الجهة الأمنية المزوّدة بأحدث التقنيات، والموجودة للتشدّد في مراقبة كلّ ما يقع تحت تصنيف عسكري او شبه عسكري في البحر ويحاول دخول المياه اللبنانية، من دون مزحة المانيفست، لأن الألمان والطليان والفرنسيين ليسوا موجودين لمنع تزوّد حزب الله بالسلاح من خلال مراقبة ما اذا كان يجلب السلاح مصرحاً عنه وفقاً للمانيفست، بل لتجاوز المانيفست ومعرفة المخفي والمخبّأ ووضع اليد عليه، فما هي معلومات البحرية الدولية عن النترات، وكيف تفسّر تسامحها مع دخولها ومع بقائها، وكيف تفسّر ما هو أخطر الحديث عن استعمالها، خصوصاً انّ الإتهامات الرائجة توجه نحو حزب الله الذي وُجدت هذه البحرية الدولية لمراقبة ما هو أقلّ ومنع وصوله، فهل يعقل ان اليونيفيل البحرية كانت علم خلال ست سنوات وتصمت على تخزين حزب الله للنترات واستجرارها نحو سورية او غيرها، وربما في وجهات أوروبية كما يقول خصوم حزب الله، فماذا تقول اليونيفيل عن كلّ ذلك، ولماذا لم يسألها مجلس الأمن الذي انتدبها لمهمة واضحة وحاسمة، عن تبريرها لهذا الانتهاك الخطير لمهمتها، وهل قام المحقق العدلي بمراسلة من تعاقبوا على قيادة هذه القوة البحرية واستدعاهم للتحقيق، لأنّ جوهر مهمتهم وفق القرار الأممي هو مساعدة البحرية اللبنانية على ضبط السواحل اللبنانية ومنع دخول أيّ مواد عسكرية وشبه عسكرية، لغير الجهات العسكرية الشرعية للدولة اللبنانية؟ وان لم يفعل فلماذا؟

الحلقة الثانية من الأسئلة تطال زيارات متعددة تمّت لبوارج حربية أميركية وبريطانية وفرنسية، الى مرفأ بيروت، آخرها كانت زيارات البارجة الأميركية يو اس اس راماج في شهر أيلول 2019، وبعدها حاملة الطائرات الفرنسية تولون في آب 2020، وقبلهما حاملة الطائرات البريطانية أوشن في شهر آذار 2017، وقبل هذه الزيارات زيارات أخرى، تمت لمرفأ بيروت، من سفن حربية غربية، ومعلوم عند أبسط الخبراء الأمنيين أنّ مسحاً أمنياً تفصيلياً يتمّ لمدى جغرافي لعدة كيلومترات، بواسطة معدات تقنية عالية الدقة، تهتمّ اصلاً بوجود المواد المتفجرة، في دائرة قريبة، وكلّ هذه الزيارات وما سبقها من مسح أمني جرت في فترة إقامة النترات في المرفأ، فماذا قال الخبراء وكيف صنفوا وجودها ودرجة خطورتها، ولماذا تغاضوا عنها، وكلّ الخبراء يقولون انه يستحيل الا تكون قد ظهرت على شاشات أجهزتهم، أو ان يكون قد فاتهم حجم خطورتها، وانّ التفسير الوحيد للتغاضي هنا هو وظيفة متفق عليها ومعلومة من المعنيين في الغرب وبعض نظرائهم في لبنان لمهمة النترات واقامتها، لأنّ القول بالعكس بالنسبة لعمليات التفتيش العسكرية كما بالنسبة لليونيفيل يعني ضمنا تبرئة المسؤولين اللبنانيين العسكريين والأمنيين، الذين لا يمكن اتهامهم حتى بالتقصير ان كان كبار خبراء الغرب العسكريين لم يعتبروا ان وجود النترات مصدر خطر، فكيف من هم أقلّ مسؤولية وخبرة من وزراء ومدراء لهم صفات ادارية!

الحلقة الثالثة من الأسئلة التي تقودنا للحقيقة، هي لبّ القضية، فهل تمّ استقدام هذه النترات لاستعمالها، والوجهة المنشودة كانت الحرب السورية، ولحساب من في سورية، وإذا ثبت سواء لجهة الاستقدام المتعمّد لهذه الغاية، او استثمار بقاء النترات وإطالة أمد بقائها عمداً، سيكون سهلاً معرفة الجهة اللبنانية الإدارية والسياسية والأمنية التي ارتكبت جرم التواطؤ من خلال معرفة جهة الإستخدام السورية، خصوصاً انّ التقرير المسرّب عن الـ «أف بي أي» يقول إنّ الكمية التي تفجرت هي أقلّ من ربع الكمية الموجودة نظريا وعلى الورق، وتبعه محامي القائد السابق للجيش اللبناني، المتهم بالتقصير في الملف، العماد جان قهوجي، يقول انّ حزب الله كان يهرّب هذه النترات الى سورية، ولأنّ الحقيقة هي الحقيقة، وجب على المحقق العدلي ان يسير بفرضية واحدة يمكن الحديث معها عن جرم عمد، هي جلب أو استبقاء النترات بهدف ارسالها الى سورية، وتتبّع هذه الفرضية لنفيها او تأكيدها، وإن تأكدت تحديد وجهة الإستخدام، ليسهل تتبّع جهة التسهيل اللبنانية، وبالمناسبة قد يفيد التذكير بأنّ سورية من الدول الأولى في العالم بإنتاج نترات الأمونيوم، وأنّ مصنعاً واحداً تملكه الدولة السورية قرب بحيرة قطينة بجوار حمص ينتج 250 ألف طن من النترات سنوياً وموجود منذ السبعينيات من القرن الماضي وكان يصدّر الفائض من إنتاجه للخارج، وبقي تحت سلطة الدولة السورية، وتمّ تخفيض إنتاجه خلال سنوات الحرب لتراجع الطلب داخلياً وصعوبة التصدير للخارج بسبب ظروف الحرب ومصاعب العلاقات الدولية الناتجة عنها ما ينفي حاجة الدولة السورية للنترات، لكن بكلّ حال على المحقق ان يتتبّع خيوطه ويطرح أسئلته ويبحث عن الأجوبة، حتى يجد ما يقنعه ويخرج به على اللبنانيين طالبا اقتناعهم؟

اذا كانت الخلاصة التي تختصر حقيقة التحقيق هي ما بُنيت عليه الاتهامات، فهي تقول ان لا جرم ولا جريمة، وان القضية هي انّ هناك من عرف بوجود النترات وخطرها ولم يفعل ما كان ينبغي فعله، وهؤلاء قصّروا ويجب ان يحاسبوا على تقصيرهم، وهذا معنى القتل بالقصد الاحتمالي، وان ثبت هذا فالاستنتاج صحيح، لكن قناعة المحقق بهذه الحقيقة يجب ان تقال بصراحة ووضوح، وله أن يمضي في توزيع المسؤوليات بعد ذلك، وفقاً لمعادلة درجة المسؤولية عن واجب المعرفة، ودرجة المسؤولية وفقاً لموجب القدرة على التحرك، ومن يجب ان يعرف ولم يعرف لا ينال البراءة، ومن ضمن صلاحياته التحرك ولم يتحرك لا يمنح صكّ البراءة لأنّ أحداً لم يراجعه، فوفقاً للصلاحيات ثمة من اطلع عرضاً وليس من مهمته المعرفة ولا من صلاحياته التحرك، وثمة من عليه ان يعلم وعليه ان يتحرك، وهؤلاء في مقدمة من يجب ان يتحمّل المسؤولية، ووفقاً للقوانين اللبنانية ثمة ثلاث جهات لبنانة يجب ان تعلم ويجب ان تتحرك، هي الجمارك، والنيابة العامة وقيادة الجيش، وقبلها جميعاً قيادة اليونيفيل البحرية!

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Road to Nowhere – Talking Heads

Road to Nowhere – Talking Heads

December 22, 2020

By Francis Lee for the Saker Blog

The referendum on Britain’s vote to Remain or Leave the EU – Brexit – has raised deeper issues than simply whether or not the UK retains its European membership. The real issue is that of the whole Transatlantic bloc from Seattle to Warsaw, its, culture, institutions, politics, and economics has also been undergoing deep structural changes – not necessarily for the good.

The victory of the Leave majority in the first UK Brexit referendum in 2018 and a rerun, which should never have been allowed, of the Remain campaign in the general election of 2019 – both in the face of a massive establishment propaganda blitzkrieg was quite remarkable. The centrist coalition of the centre-right Conservative business class and the still deeply Blairite and third-wayist faction of the overwhelming majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party, the Trades Union Congress (TUC and most of its affiliated unions) and tens of thousands of rank-and-file woke militants, threw everything but the kitchen sink into their campaign but lost. But even then, the issues had not been settled – that is for the self-appointed, London based, middle-class, parvenues who imagined themselves as carrying the torch for civilization. After what was a definitive verdict – which in both instances was a ‘NO’ to the continued membership of Britain in the EU – there was a vicious counter-attack. It started from the premise that EU membership is an absolute good, the absolute truth, and that any opposition is racist, homophobic, xenophobic, misogynist … and so on and so forth. The fuddy-duddy notion of national sovereignty was of course considered completely de rigueur. Therefore, there is not, nor can there be any legitimate critique of the EU. Argument closed: no engagement or discourse on the subject, just hysterical ranting, and mass cancellation. Sound familiar?

In fact the EU before, during, and after the referendum was hardly the Shangri La imagined by the ‘Remainer’ constituency. At that time, their political and cultural love object was the EU of Manuel Barroso, ex-Maoist, ex-President of the European Commission, now working for Goldman Sachs, Merkel’s pet Russophobe, Donald Tusk, and not forgetting Jean-Claude Juncker, at that time President of the European Commission, who was incidentally involved in a tax avoidance scandal in Luxembourg where he was one-time Prime Minister, and then a litany of other self-serving political mediocrities on the make. The EU is also an economic dead zone (particularly in the peripheral areas of Eastern and Southern Europe) with unemployment rates higher than the UK and growth rates lower.

A veritable economic and political Shangri-la? Yeah, right. Like Lord Nelson at the Battle of Copenhagen* the Remainers are putting the telescope to their blind eye: I see no economic and political dead-zone! Maybe they should have gone to Specsavers!

These sentiments are not just conservative, they are downright reactionary and anti-democratic. And the ex-centre-left has played an insidious part in this development. The glaring contrast between the people’s vote for leaving and the vote of the PLP and TUC institutions which supposedly represent them, for remaining, prompted even left observers to conclude that the people, like sheep, had gone astray and handed racist xenophobes a shameful victory. This was the liberal centre-left’s great Brechtian moment when ‘the people should be dissolved and a new one elected.’ The famous German playwright, Bertolt Brecht, was of course making a sardonic comment on the actions of the East German Communist regime in 1953 when it suppressed the workers uprising. It bears a striking similarity to the response by our own neo-totalitarians in 2016. Additionally, the procrastination of the establishment Remainers, which was slowing down the whole exit project, can be thought of as the establishment’s Augustinian moment. St. Augustine ‘’God give me chastity and celibacy, but not yet.’’ the Remainer-speak version being God give me Article 50 but not yet.

In sociological terms the upper-echelons of the liberal class who think that they have the divine right to set the political agenda, represent a sub-hierarchy below the real policy makers and shakers. The 20% beneath the 1%. They tend to be ensconced in the media, academia, professions such as law and medicine, middle-management, financial planners, economists, computer programmers, aerospace designers, and the entertainment business. Quite a number, particularly in business, government, both local and central, advertising, telemarketing, public relations, could be considered to be ‘bullshit jobs’ (in the late) David Graeber’s insightful observation. As a whole this particular social and occupational stratum, look up rather than look down, they serve power not the people. They are Orwell’s Outer party in his 1984 novel, sandwiched between the Inner party and the Proles. Knowing which side their bread is buttered on they identify with and support the Power Elite.

An avant garde leading from the rear, yes. Trahison des Clercs, most certainly but more politically and culturally homogeneous today than as was once the case.

This shell of a once fighting left (now unrecognisable from their previous political and ideological moorings) now embraces the culture of identity but excludes the entity of class. As a result poverty has become the P-word, and the poor the pariahs of neoliberal dystopic utopia. When we talk about class in a Marxist, materialist sense, we are talking about a relation of power, specifically about who does and who doesn’t have power to shape society. Identity politics makes this conflict of interests in society invisible. Neoliberal economics, however, is quite simply class war. It has advanced in part because identity politics depoliticized the public. Is it mere coincidence that the melange of post-Marxism, identity politics, and neoliberal economics saw the light in the same post-sixties decades? Together, they form the heart of the reaction, which is the take-back by the economic elite in the last four decades of every gain the fighting left loosed from the fist of capital before and since World War II. The rapacity of contemporary capitalism is enabled by the weakness, dishonesty, and cowardice of the flaccid and collaborationist left.

On the American side of the pond the same (albeit worse) diseased and morbid social tendencies began to emerge from a decaying body-politic circa 2001 and maybe even before, but the 9/11 was the pinnacle, which was of course no accident. For one of the persistent strands in American political life is a cultish extremism that approaches fascism. This was given expression and  reinforced during the two terms of Barack Obama. “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fibre of my being.” said Obama, who expanded America’s favourite military pastime, bombing, and death squads (“special operations”) as no other president has done since the Cold War.

The American political and social-theorist, Christopher Lasch, now unfortunately no longer with us, succinctly identified the political/cultural shifts in the American polity in the late twentieth-century. (1) America has undergone a profound structural, cultural, and political transmutation: it is not the masses or working class, so much as an emerging sub-elite of professional and managerial types who constitute the greatest threat to democracy, according to Lasch. The new cognitive sub-elite is made up of what Robert Reich called “symbolic analysts’. This middle-class occupational stratum – in the British rather than the American sense – traffics in information and manipulates words and numbers for a living. They live in an abstract world in which information and expertise are the most valuable commodities. Since the market for these assets is international, the privileged class is more concerned with the global system than with regional, national, or even local communities. In fact, members of the new sub-elite tend to be estranged from their communities and their fellow citizens. “They send their children to private schools, insure themselves against medical emergencies … and hire private security guards to protect themselves against the mounting violence against them,” Lasch writes. In effect, they have removed themselves from the common life and have moved offshore.

These tendencies, however, have been observable even before Lasch’s observations. Way back in the middle to late 1950s, the great American theorist C Wright Mills, produced powerful polemics concerning the structure and direction in which the Republic was headed. These tendencies were recognised as early as the 1950s. (2)

He argued:

‘’We cannot assume today that men (sic) must in the last resort be governed by their own consent. Among the means of power that now prevail is the power to manage and manipulate the consent of men … and many people are neither radical nor reactionary, they are simply inactionary. If we accept the Greeks definition of an idiot as an altogether private man then we must conclude that many citizens of mass societies are indeed idiots … History making may well go by default, men may well abdicate its continual making and so merely float along as corks in a bottle of an Ocean drift. The implication of this, however, is that history will indeed be made – but by narrow elite circles without effective responsibility to those who must try to survive the consequences of their decisions and of their defaults.’ (3)

A more recent American social critic, Morris Berman, has also been cognisant of the cultural decline and disintegration of America; indeed it would have been difficult to miss. His caustic analysis on the current state of American Culture – The Twilight of American Culture (4) – makes particularly compelling reading for the English-speaking world. Mr. Berman argues provocatively and incisively that the direction of American civilization is locked into a path which will lead nowhere except into its own demise. The American empire has now borne witness to the passage of its most fruitful and triumphant years and its approaching the future – if it hasn’t already got there – and a period of social and political chaos from which there doesn’t appear to be an exit, or at least a controlled exit. So the controlled exit is about the best route on offer, though only 50/50 at best.

‘’For when a population becomes distracted by trivia, and when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of ‘baby-talk’, when in short, a people become an audience and their public business becomes a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture death is a near (extremely near) possibility.’’(5)

CONCLUSIONS:

The fault-lines, stresses and cleavages in the Transatlantic bloc are becoming increasingly clear both within nations and between nations. In Europe the exit of Britain from the EU and Europe, and the possible defections of Hungary, Poland and Italy. In the United States the strain on the Republic with an increasing and assertive emergence of the South and possible mid-west as well as the drift of coastal America away from flyover America. It could be said that these are simply speculative guesses, but these future possibilities are a little more than simply straws in the wind. For better or worse, big changes are on the way.

Interesting times.

NOTES

(1) Christopher Lasch – The Revolt of the Elites – published posthumously in 1994. The title of the book was taken from the name of a book “the Revolt of the Masses” by the elite theorist Jose Ortega Y Gasset in 1930.

(2) The Power Elite, 1959 and The Sociological Imagination 1956.

(3) C Wright Mills – The Sociological Imagination – Ibid – pps. 51, 195

* The naval Battle of Copenhagen (1801) occurred during the War of the Second Coalition when a British naval fleet commanded by Admiral Sir Hyde Parker defeated a Danish fleet anchored just off Copenhagen. Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson led the main attack. During the battle, he famously is reputed to have disobeyed his senior officer, Sir Hyde Parker’s, order to withdraw by holding the telescope to his blind eye to look at the signals from Parker. The signals had given Nelson permission to withdraw at his discretion. Nelson then turned to his flag captain, Thomas Foley, and said ‘You know, Foley, I have only one eye. I have a right to be blind sometimes.’ He raised the telescope to his blind eye saying, ‘I really do not see the signal.’ Copenhagen is often considered to be Nelson’s hardest-fought victory.

(4) Morris Berman – The Twilight of American Culture – published in 2000.

(5) Berman – Ibid., -Introduction.

Lebanon’s FM Vehemently Condemns Interception of Civilian Airliner by American Jets

Lebanon’s FM Vehemently Condemns Interception of Civilian Airliner by American Jets

By Staff

Beirut – In his first comments on an incident involving two US fighter jets that intercepted an Iranian civilian aircraft with Lebanese nationals on board, Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Nassif Hitti expressed his condemnation of the dangerous episode to Al-Ahed News.

Hitti blasted and protested the harassment of a civilian passenger aircraft because it endangers the safety of civilians.

He described any attempt to intercept a civilian plane with a military aircraft as unacceptable, noting that Lebanon adheres to and respects international norms and laws.

Moreover, Lebanon’s top diplomat condemned and rejected all attempts to intercept civilian aircraft.

“Even if there were no Lebanese on board, we would still protest,” Hitti added and noted that the presence of Lebanese nationals only reinforces the existing position. The issue, in Hitti’s view, is not political but rather related to international standards and norms.

In response to a question about whether Lebanon lodged a complaint or made international contacts due to the presence of Lebanese passengers on board, Hitti indicated that the airliner has the right to make the calls.

The foreign minister also shed light on the issue of extending the stay of UNIFIL forces operating in southern Lebanon until the end of next August. He affirmed that there are attempts by some to redefine the tasks of the peacekeeping forces in the south, and “we confirm our position that we do not want to change their numbers and reject any attempt to change UNIFIL’s task.”

“We have received support from some countries in this context, including Italy, where the Italian foreign and defense ministers assured us that the Italian force is committed to not compromising the tasks,” Hitti added.

“It is true that maintaining security and stability in the south is in Lebanon’s interest, but also in the interests of the region and the world. We welcome UNIFIL, and there is continuous coordination between it and the Lebanese army.”

Hitti also underscored Lebanon’s commitment to both Resolution 1701 and the current framework that UNIFIL operates in. 

On a separate topic, Hitti expressed his concerns regarding the annexation of the Jordan Valley, an issue he labeled as important.

In his opinion, this is one of the top issues, and the attempt by “Israel” to annex even a part of the Jordan Valley has not been halted, but postponed.

“This matter has great repercussions on the region, and we must be alert,” Hitti warned and stressed the need for caution about this matter because the danger of annexation still exists.

“We all need to be alert about this flagrant violation and its repercussions, and this is not new, as all ‘Israeli’ policies are based on breaching international resolutions and legitimacy.”

NATO 2020: A COALITION OF THE UNWILLING

 25.07.2020 

Written and produced by SF Team: J.Hawk, Daniel Deiss, Edwin Watsont

The problem with alliances is that they ultimately either become victims of their own success, or cannot figure out what to do with themselves once the original rationale disappears. The original Cold War-era NATO was a relatively cohesive entity led by one of the two superpowers, with most of its members being the industrialized democracies of Western Europe, with West Germany being its eastern-most European member, and alliance planning revolving around USSR. But even then there were cracks in the alliance. Italy, for example, had nearly no role to play as it did not border any Warsaw Pact country and did not practice deploying its forces to West Germany to practice its defense against the anticipated Warsaw Pact invasion. And while Greece and Turkey were ostensibly part of that alliance as well, in practice they spent more time clashing with one another than planning for joint action against USSR.

The end of the Cold War made the problem of alliance cohesion far worse, for two reasons. One, it quickly added as many members as possible thus greatly expanding its geographical extent, and two, it lost that single unifying factor in the form of USSR. Today’s NATO is a patchwork of mini-alliances revolving around the United States which is determined to replace the alliance aspect of NATO which assumes that all members have interests that are to be taken into consideration, by patron-client relationships.

Not to put too fine a point on it, the goal of the United States is global domination. This goal is shared by the entire political elite and major portions of the population, though it is nearly never discussed openly or directly. Instead, it is framed in terms of “American Leadership”, “New American Century”, and of course “American Exceptionalism” which is used to justify any policy that violates international law, treaties, or agreements. Given that every country which has not recognized “American Leadership” is described as a “regime”, there is no indication the US elite is interested in anything resembling peaceful coexistence with other sovereign states.

NATO plays a double role in achieving that goal. First, it is a military alliance that projects military power against anyone refusing to accept “American Leadership”. Military contributions by European member states are certainly important, not least by giving America the veneer of international legitimacy, but the presence of US bases on the European continent is far more so. US forces stationed in or staged out of European naval, air, and land bases are indispensable to its efforts to control the MENA region and to promote the US policy of driving a wedge between Europe on the one hand and Russia and China on the other. Secondly, a European country’s membership in NATO means a sacrifice of considerable portion of its sovereignty and independence to the United States. This is a wholly asymmetrical relationship, since US bases its forces in European countries and sells its weapons to them, not the other way around. The penetration of a European country thus achieved allows US intelligence service to develop agent networks and to employ the full range of lobbying techniques which have been particularly visible in the US efforts to press F-35 aircraft into the hands of NATO member states.

America’s self-appointed task is made not easier or harder by the fact that today’s NATO is therefore fragmented along both geographic and national power lines. The geographical divide is plainly easy to see: Norway and Denmark mainly care about the Arctic, Poland and Romania obsess about Russia, Mediterranean countries freak out about what’s happening in North Africa. The wrangling over sending more troops to Mali or to Estonia is the reflection of the differing security concerns of individual members of the far-flung pact. The power divide is less easy to see but more problematic for Washington. V_3 (A2) Of the European powers, only four—Germany, France, Italy, and Great Britain—may be considered to be powerful and independent political actors with which the US has to contend on anything like an equal basis. The first three form the core of the European Union, whereas Great Britain opted for Brexit, likely in part because of the looming big power struggle between the US and the EU that has the potential of degenerating into a destructive trade war. It is doubtful that the skirmishes over Huawei and North Stream 2 are anything but the opening salvoes in the confrontation over whether the EU will emerge as a political actor independent of the US, or be reduced to a collection of client states. Unfortunately, America’s task is made easier by the fact of the intra-European divisions mentioned above.

United States is pursuing development of several hypersonic missile systems with the aim of ultimately fielding very large numbers of them in order to be able to launch disarming first strikes against Russian and Chinese nuclear arsenals. Since the weapons themselves are relatively short-ranged (though that may change once the US allows New START to lapse), they require basing close to their intended targets. That means having to find countries willing to base them in Europe, where it is liable to provoke a  political debate of the magnitude comparable to that of the original Euromissile controversy of the 1980s. Since Germany is not interested in being reduced to the status of a US client, it has resisted the US on a variety of fronts, including the North Stream 2, the refusal to buy F-35s, and now also the lack of desire to host the new US missiles. Even the German defense spending increases are intended at least as much to counter US influence in Eastern Europe as the supposed Russian threat to NATO. The United States has responded using the usual array of tools: economic sanctions on any and all European entities participating in the project and even using the gas, apparently launching a cyber-attack that US-friendly German intelligence promptly blamed on Russia, and also threatening to move US troops out of Germany and possibly to Poland. There is even discussion and rumors that US nuclear weapons stationed in Germany might be moved to Poland.

The outcome of this so far is a power struggle between two NATO allies, US and Germany, over the political alignment of a third—Poland. While Germany has the power of EU institutions on its side and massive economic gravitational pull, US has cultivated a cadre of friends, possibly intelligence assets, as a result of post-9/11 collaboration in Afghanistan, Iraq, and in the realm of intelligence-sharing. This has produced a government more than willing to deploy US troops, missiles, and even nukes on Poland’s territory. The power of US influence is visible in Poland’s weapons procurement: Patriot, Javelin, HIMARS, F-35, and not a single comparable European system in recent years. The US weakness in this confrontation consists of the unwillingness to subsidize Poland economically which, combined with the ruling party’s fiscal irresponsibility, will make it difficult for the country to maintain its anti-German course in the longer term.

While in Eastern Europe US national security state is using Poland as a proxy against Germany, in the Mediterranean it has adopted Turkey as a proxy against France and Italy. After some hemming and hawing, the US hawks dropped the Kurds yet again, with Trump happily taking the blame, in order to piggy-back on Erdogan’s Libya ambitions to curtail French and Italian interests there. To be sure, Turkey retains far more autonomy in the relationship than Poland, which was unable or unwilling to play US and Russia and EU against one another in order to secure a measure of freedom of action. But the US Congress measures to allow the purchase of S-400 weapons from Turkey is an indicator that Turkey’s behavior is once again useful to the US. And even though Turkey was excluded from the F-35 program, its firms continue to make components for various assembly plants. The result has been a number of stand-offs between Turkish warships on one hand and French and Italian on the other off the coasts of Libya. And whereas France and Italy are backing the Marshal Haftar’s LNA, Turkey’s preferred proxy is the GNA, leading to a veritable “anti-Turkey” alliance being formed that includes Turkey’s old time NATO adversary Greece. While the US is officially aloof of the entire situation, in practice controlling Libya’s oil is part of the Washington strategy of “energy dominance” every bit as the North Stream 2 sanctions are.

The remarkable part of these two sets of conflicts among NATO powers is that in both cases Russia has sided with Germany and France against the US in both cases. It is Russia’s policies that are more beneficial to French and German interests than America’s, since Russia is not actually seeking to monopolize energy supplies to Europe in the way that the US clearly and openly is.

So far the US strategy consisted of steadily ratcheting up pressure through sanctions and proxies and occasional intelligence-generated anti-Russia provocations (sometimes helpfully delivered by British agencies), trying to find that happy middle of policies that actually force Germany, France, and Italy to change their policies and which do not force a permanent breach in the trans-Atlantic relationship. But the cracks in the relationship are clearly visible and they are not attributable to Trump’s erratic and brusque manner. It is the US Congress which passed the successive rounds of anti-North Stream 2 sanctions, with strong partisan majorities. It means the assertion of US control over European major powers is part of the US agenda. Since that agenda is motivated by a US political and economic crisis of a magnitude not seen since the 1930s, there is little likelihood Biden’s presidency would represent a radical departure from the current trend.

Of course, for Germany, France, and Italy to successfully resist US encroachment they would first need to transform the EU into something closer than a federation. The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic crisis already providing considerable impetus for such a transformation, America’s insatiable appetites might provide the rest.

7,000-year-old artifact returned to Iraq from Italy

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By News Desk -2020-07-250

The statue of the Mother Goddess at the ceremony in Rome.

BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:45 P.M.) – The Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ahmed Al-Sahaf, announced on Friday, that his country has received the statue of the “Mother Goddess” from Italy.

He said in a press statement, “The Embassy of the Republic of Iraq in Rome received the statue (the Mother Goddess) from the Italian government within an official ceremony that took place in the Italian Ministry of Property and Cultural Activities.”

He added, “The Iraqi ambassador to Rome, Safia Al-Suhail, attended the ceremony in addition to the Italian Minister of Culture.”

The statue of the Mother Goddess is an Iraqi artifact that dates back to prehistoric times (5000 years BC), and symbolizes motherhood and fertility.

70 Years Of NATO: Is It A High Time To Retire?

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70 Years Of NATO: Is It A High Time To Retire?

NATO is a military and political alliance, a security community that unites the largest number of States on both sides of the North Atlantic. During its existence, NATO has expanded 2.5 times. It accounts for 70% of global military spending. It is rightfully considered the most powerful military association of States in the entire history of mankind in terms of combined armed power and political influence. The fact that this year NATO turned 70 years old, which is more than the independent existence of some of its member States, proves an incredible success of this project. However, while the Alliance has successfully resisted external enemies in its history, today it is experiencing significant internal divisions that threaten its existence more than ever.

The founding date of NATO is April 4, 1949, the day 12 countries signed the Washington Treaty. NATO became a “transatlantic forum” for allied countries to consult on issues that affect the vital interests of participating countries. The organization’s primary goal was to deter any form of aggression against the territory of any member state, as well as to protect against these threats. The principle of collective defense, enshrined in article 5 of the Washington Treaty, implies that if one NATO member state is the victim of an armed attack, all other member States of the Alliance will consider this act of violence an armed attack on all NATO countries and will take actions that the organization deems necessary. At the end of the 20th century, the real threat to the West was the Soviet Union.

70 Years Of NATO: Is It A High Time To Retire?

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the question arose about the existence of NATO, as an Alliance created to protect against the Soviet threat. The disappearance of the external threat has led to a process of transformation that has been going on for 30 years. Each stage of transformation is directly related to the adaptation of the Alliance to certain changes taking place in the international arena and affecting the stability of the security system in the Euro-Atlantic and the world as a whole. In addition to the collapse of the Soviet Union, one of the key events that affected the development of the Alliance was the terrorist attack of 11.09.2001, which actually allowed the Alliance to be preserved, since then there was a common external threat to the member countries.

Traditionally, NATO’s transformations are considered in the following three areas: geographical changes, political transformations, and processes in the military-technical sphere.

Important political transformations are manifested in adapting to changes in the international arena, which are represented primarily by the disappearance of block opposition. The Alliance remains committed to the principle of collective defense, as set out in article 5 of the Washington Treaty. The main command structures also remain the same. The main transformations are expressed in the form of declarations of new NATO functions: maintaining peace and stability not only on the territory of the member States, but also outside the area of responsibility of the Alliance. The operations carried out in these territories are aimed at maintaining local and regional stability, eliminating ethnic and religious conflicts, maintaining respect for human rights and various national minorities, and, most importantly, fighting international terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The “new NATO” is being transformed from a regional organization into a guarantor of global stability, taking responsibility for stability in regions outside its own territories and in situations not covered by article 5 of the Washington Treaty. Assuming global responsibility, NATO is forced to maintain the necessary level of military power, participate in collective planning for the organization of nuclear forces and their deployment on its own territories. New threats encourage NATO to expand geographically.

The expansion of NATO, which implies the inclusion of former members of the Warsaw Pact And the full-scale advance of military infrastructure to the East, represents a change in geography.

Changes in the military-technical sphere imply a General reduction of the Alliance’s collective military forces, their relocation, etc. The main form of transformation of the armed forces was the transition from ” heavy ” military associations to more flexible and maneuverable groups in order to increase their effectiveness in the fight against new threats. The beginning of the economic crisis in autumn 2008 revealed the urgent need for reforms. Member States were forced to reduce their military budgets, which meant abandoning programs involving the development and purchase of precision weapons. In 2010 the plan of the NATO Secretary-General A. Rasmussen’s plan to optimize the budget, and in 2012, the Chicago summit adopted the “smart defense package”, which implies a parallel reduction of funds and increased efficiency.

However, despite all the reforms carried out within the Alliance, today the new missions do not have the same clarity as during the cold war. Options for the purpose of NATO’s existence after the collapse of the USSR vary: the fight against terrorism, assistance in the spread of democracy, nation-building, “world police”, the fight against “soft threats”, the fight against a resurgent Russia. But the main problem of the Organization is that none of the options is universal for all member countries. None of the considered “enemies” unites NATO.

After various stages of transformation, NATO turned out that the condition for its perfect functioning was precisely the situation of structured confrontation. The current unstructured confrontation, which implies that all member countries have different primary threats, makes it meaningless to have a cumbersome and generally rather inert organization.

70 Years Of NATO: Is It A High Time To Retire?
Illustrative Image

In 2014, NATO had another opportunity to create a common external enemy, the role of which was approached by Russia. The summit held in Wales in 2014 radically changed the agenda of the entire Alliance. The main topic of discussion was the Ukrainian crisis, which led to the conclusion about the need to contain Russia. The final Declaration of the summit notes that ” Russia’s aggressive actions against Ukraine have fundamentally called into question the vision of a whole, free and peaceful Europe”. “The illegal self-proclaimed annexation of Crimea and Russia’s aggressive actions in other regions of Ukraine” were highlighted as special threats among the spread of violence and extremist groups in North Africa and the Middle East.

The appearance of a ” dangerous external enemy ” entailed not only political transformations. There have also been reforms in the military sphere of NATO. Among the new security challenges were “hybrid wars”, that is, military actions involving an expanded range of military and civilian measures of an open or hidden nature. The adopted Action Plan, which includes the concept of “hybrid war”, was primarily aimed at countering the tactics of warfare used by Russia. Thus, a number of measures included in the Declaration were directed against Russia.

NATO was forced to return to the role of a guarantor against severe security threats, which significantly increased costs for the organization. At the 2016 NATO Warsaw summit, it was decided to further deploy 4 battalion tactical groups to existing military bases in Poland and the Baltic States. In addition, more than 550 tanks and an armored unit of the United States have been transferred to the region. These units are deployed on a rotational basis, which does not contradict the NATO-Russia Founding act of 1997. In the Declaration of the 2018 Brussels NATO summit it is recorded that the “enhanced presence in the forward area” of tactical groups includes a total of 4,500 military personnel, which is approximately equal to one brigade.

70 Years Of NATO: Is It A High Time To Retire?
Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP

At the same time, it is clear that Russia does not pose a real threat to NATO. Real foreign policy practice proves that Russia will not threaten Western countries in the next 50 years. The only point of instability today is the Ukrainian conflict, which had no preconditions until 2014, and was in turn artificially created by the American establishment in partnership with Brussels. Russia, for its part, even in this conflict does not seek to expand its influence, and also observes the Minsk agreements that are unfavorable to It.

“The main reason why the United States has assumed the role of arbiter of the fate of Ukraine and its citizens is the allegedly increasing threat from Russia not only to Kiev, but also to Europe and the rest of the world. And this is despite the fact that it was with the help of the United States that mass protests were organized and the elected government of Ukraine was overthrown in 2013-2014, which led to the war that has now unfolded in the heart of Eastern Europe,” writes geopolitical columnist Tony Kartaluchi in the new Eastern Outlook.

In 2016, the RAND organization conducted a study that showed that in the event of a Russian invasion of the Baltic States, Russian troops can be on the approaches to the capitals of Estonia and Latvia within sixty hours. The study showed that NATO forces are not sufficient to repel the Russian attack. In an interview, NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller said that the main goal of deploying additional forces in Eastern Europe and Poland is to demonstrate the unity of the Alliance, and to maintain its members ‘ commitment to article 5 of the Washington Treaty. Thus, NATO adheres to the policy of declarative deterrence of Russia, in fact, its forces are not enough to respond to a potential attack from Russia. The NATO administration is well aware that the likelihood of a military conflict with Russia is minimal, but it continues to maintain the image of Russia as an aggressor in order to unite the member countries.

70 Years Of NATO: Is It A High Time To Retire?
U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Poland’s President Andrzej Duda, leave at the end of a joint press conference in Warsaw, Poland, in June 2017. (Czarek Sokolowski/AP)

Moreover, maintaining the image of a dangerous enemy gives the United States the opportunity to promote its own interests in Europe and manipulate its “partners”.

On June 25, Donald Trump finally confirmed that part of the American military contingent in Germany would be transferred to Poland. In the end, the American contingent in Germany will be reduced from 52 thousand people to 25 thousand. According to official data, in Germany there are about 35 thousand US military personnel, 10 thousand civil servants of the Pentagon and about 2 thousand contract workers. Some of the US military will return to America, some will go to Poland to strengthen the deterrence of the “Russian threat”. In addition, according to media reports, Polish President Andrzej Duda and Donald Trump discussed the possibility of transferring 30 f-16 fighters.

“They [Germany] spend billions of dollars to buy Russian energy resources, and then we are supposed to protect them from Russia. It doesn’t work that way. I think this is very bad, ” said Donald trump, accusing Berlin of supporting the Nord Stream 2 project.

When asked whether the US administration is trying to send a signal to Russia, Donald Trump stressed that Moscow was receiving a “very clear signal”, but Washington still expected to normalize their relations. This only underscores the fact that the US is taking advantage of the perceived Russian threat to NATO.

The American leader, by undermining cooperation between Moscow and Berlin in the energy sphere, not only prevents Russia, as one of their enemies in the international arena, from developing a profitable project. The US is also interested in weakening the leading European industries, primarily Germany. The United States does not tolerate strong enemies, but it also does not accept strong allies. It is in the interests of the Americans to prevent the redevelopment of Europe as a self-sufficient and independent center of power in the international arena.

70 Years Of NATO: Is It A High Time To Retire?
Defense spendings in relation to GDP of NATO member countries

Therefore, Donald Trump is strongly calling on Germany to reimburse the billions of dollars it owes the White House. Trump is dissatisfied with the fact that Berlin does not comply with the promise made by all NATO members to increase defense spending to 2% of GDP. At the same time, Germany has already followed this path, increasing funding to 1.38%. In its turn, the US spends 3.4% of the state budget on the needs of the Alliance.

The problem of NATO funding is very often the main criticism of Berlin. However, in addition to this issue, new problems are emerging in US-German relations.

Washington is very dissatisfied with Berlin’s interaction with Beijing. The White House, which has strengthened the anti-Chinese vector of its policy, blaming the PRC for the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and accusing the Chinese side of “controlling” the World Health Organization (WHO), did not receive sufficient support in Europe, and Germany criticized.

Moreover, Berlin does not support Washington’s sanctions policy on Chinese Hong Kong, which Beijing allegedly takes away its independence from.

The US is particularly dissatisfied with the EU’s desire for a major investment agreement with China. Germany is the main ideologue of this process and seeks to close the deal during its six-month presidency of the EU Council.

70 Years Of NATO: Is It A High Time To Retire?
“One Belt, One Road” Initiative

China today, of course, is the main competitor of the United States in the struggle for world hegemony. China also raises considerable concerns among European countries, which is primarily due to economic expansion and the successful development of the large-scale Chinese initiative “One belt, one road”. European leaders are also competing with China for resources in third world countries in Africa and Southeast Asia. In addition, there are ideological differences between the two world regions. However, China does not currently pose a military threat to Europe, which does not allow the use of NATO forces against it.

While Western countries see Russia and China as the main threats, strategically they are primarily concerned about Iran and North Korea. These countries are also a threat primarily to the United States, but their European partners are not ready to conduct active military actions against them at the moment.

The only real dangerous factor that unites almost all NATO member countries remains international terrorism, in the fight against which Western countries act as a united front.70 Years Of NATO: Is It A High Time To Retire?

The current military and political course of the European Union is determined by the clear desire of its leadership to transform the military and political organization into one of the world’s leading centers of power. The aggravation of political and economic differences with the United States is the main incentive for the implementation of this goal. Thus, the EU’s focus on increasing independence in crisis management in the area of common European interests has had a decisive influence on the development of the common security and defense policy. In order to reduce dependence on the United States and NATO for conducting operations and missions within the framework of “force projection”, the leadership of the Association has stepped up activities to develop its own military component.

France and Germany are the main engines of this process, and are promoting the initiative to create the so-called European Defense Union. However, despite active efforts to expand military and military-technical cooperation within the EU, the declared goals of creating a “European army” with collective defense functions that duplicate the status and activities of NATO seem difficult to achieve in the foreseeable future. This situation is due to the reluctance of the majority of EU member States to transfer control over their armed forces to the supranational level. Moreover, the US opposition to the process of forming the European Defense Union and the limited resources available due to the absorption by NATO structures of the major part of the defense potential of European countries, most of which are simultaneously involved in two organizations, do not allow the full implementation of EU political decisions on military construction. In this regard, it is only possible to talk about giving a new impetus to military cooperation in order to increase the collective capacity to protect the territory and citizens of the States of the region.

Given the lack of forces and resources for conducting operations and missions, Brussels is interested in the practice of involving military formations of third countries in its anti-crisis actions on the basis of bilateral framework agreements. Currently, such agreements have been reached with Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and a number of other States.

Currently, the European Union conducts 16 military and mixed operations and missions in various regions of the world, involving about 4,500 people. The greatest attention is paid to the “zones of instability” in North and Central Africa, the Middle East, the Balkans and the post-Soviet space.

70 Years Of NATO: Is It A High Time To Retire?
NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg

Thus, NATO today has to do everything possible to support the unity and coherence of actions of all its member countries, which are more than ever under threat. The main European leaders are no longer ready to support US policy and continue to sacrifice their own national interests. If in the case of Germany, this is manifested primarily in support of the Nord stream 2 project, despite the threats of the United States. France today supports its own interests in Libya, which contradict the interests of other countries-members of the Alliance: Turkey and Italy. Certainly, Turkey and Italy have different positions and aspirations in Libya. Italy was previously a traditional ally of France and does not actively intervene in the military conflict. However, now, given the current predominance of Turkey in Libya, Italy is trying to sit on two chairs. On the one hand, Italy, while supporting Tripoli, does not actively help them. On the other hand, in political terms, it clearly stands on the side of Tripoli and Turkey, thereby trying to ensure its share of participation in the next division of Libyan natural resources after the supposed victory of the Turkish-Tripolitan Alliance.

Summing up, today the imaginary Russian threat no longer allows US to unite the Alliance members, but only serves as a method of implementing US interests. The White House, which has always played a leading role in NATO and retains it thanks to the largest percentage of investment in the Alliance, allows itself to more openly abuse its leading position and promote its own national interests and the interests of its elites through the North Atlantic Alliance to the detriment of the interests of partner countries. Thus, article 4 of the Washington Treaty, which implies decision-making by consensus and is the basis of NATO itself, is of less and less importance in practice. The United States cannot renounce its membership in NATO and is interested in preserving it, because it is the Western Alliance that allows the US to give at least a small share of legitimacy to its military actions. A kind of neo-colonial policy, that the United States is used to employ in relation to European countries, and the current significant shift in the political paradigm within the US itself do not allow us to hope that the American leadership will be able to strengthen its position in Europe in the coming years.

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Race, Economy and Viruses

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June 28, 2020

Race, Economy and Viruses

By Jimmy Moglia for the Saker Blog

Whatever busies the mind without corrupting it has at least this use, that it rescues the day from idleness, and he that is never idle will not often be vicious.

The previous unnecessary remark is intended as a pre-emptive application for absolution from the reader whose views expressed hereafter may not mirror his. We live in explosive times and some believe that diseases desperate grown should by desperate measures be relieved or not at all. Furthermore, historically, some of the deadliest conflicts centered on metaphysical disputes. And some of the current arguments may border, if not with metaphysics, at least with what is invisible to most of us.

An alleged pandemic affects, has affected and/or may continue to affect the world, from the most populous and largest countries to the remotest and tiniest, such as, for example, the Faroer Islands or St. Helena.

Not an exaggeration. A few weeks ago a plane flew from England to St. Helena, to drop a load of masks and swabs for her 4000 inhabitants. Who may be somewhat perplexed at how and when a virus (many millions of which are needed to make up an inch) could purposely drift or float or fly and reach unaided a faraway island in the middle of the South Atlantic. A proposition that, if not endorsed by theological medicine, would appear extravagantly fanciful and ineffably imaginative.

Overall I think we are living with a curious phenomenon that our calmer reason may style a pan-sociological experiment, involving a perplexing physical virus, now suddenly coexistent with a sudden, endemic and equally perplexing social virus, namely racism. But on this later.

I do not intend to tire the reader with disputes about the validity, let alone the accuracy of statistics on infections, deaths and survivors of the coronavirus. Suffice to say that the collective perception would probably change, if the grim and harsh statistics of death included the average age of the deceased, namely 80 years.

To be clear, this number only reflects what I could obtain from official statistics related to a country I followed (Italy). Though there is plausibly reliable and apparently consistent similar information regarding other countries.

It is uncontested, however, that mass information outlets have, since the inception of the pandemic, aimed heavily at inducing panic, hysteria and consternation among their audience.

Italy was the first country in the headlines as the European target of the virus, with the highest number of related deaths. In the city of Bergamo military trucks were repeatedly shown on TV carrying coffins away from the hospital as the local facilities were overwhelmed.

It now appears that the main hospital of the city became the collection point of all dead bodies from the surrounding districts, that funeral homes shut down due to panic, and that the hospital had minimal facilities for cremation. Added to this, the famous ventilators, early deemed instruments of salvation, actually contributed to the demise of the patient, for reasons that the interested reader can easily find online.

And one of the most eminent among the eminent specialists in infectious diseases said recently that the statistics provided by the media were/are “like the numbers of a lottery” and that, due to expediency or collective mesmerism many hospital deaths were summarily attributed to the coronavirus. A point broadly confirmed by the director of the main hospital of Milan.

All this proves that seemingly unquestionable medical authority can drive millions into the pale of questionable beliefs. And it is patently undeniable that medicine has since long contracted a dubious and unorthodox alliance with power, implicitly accepting the idolatrous monotheism of the market as the only allowed religion.

Not an exaggeration. Even the Pope has adopted the language of immunization and metaphysical vaccination. Here is one of his very recent tweets,

“The Lord knows that evil and sins are not our identity; they are illnesses, infectious diseases and He comes to cure them with the Eucharist, which contains antibodies for our memory sick of negativity. With Jesus we can immunize ourselves from sadness.”

Sometimes words say more than they appear to mean. Here they represent the latest of several instances, showing how the Church has surrendered to the new scientific and medical theology. A theology that, in the times of the coronavirus, has become a new doctrine, both therapeutically and politically correct.

Considering also that the Pope, against the will of the Episcopal Conference, has quietly accepted, in the name of the emergency, all the restrictive measures concerning the Catholic Mass and most other rites.

He says that Catholics must ‘obey’ the government – which, in the instance, means the suspension of the freedom of religion. There is/was online the video of a rebellious priest in Italy celebrating the Mass, with irrupting policemen halting the ceremony and taking him away.

Furthermore, ‘obeying’ is a revealing word, showing how the Church has essentially bowed to the relativistic nihilism of the victorious market civilization.

Bergoglio metabolizes the lexicon of medical theology, the syntax of a therapeutically correct world and the language of a new scientific theology. Today Capital accepts Christianity only if it becomes a religion of individual concern, a privatized cult practiced in one’s own private sphere. Or it is tolerated in the public domain if it renounces transcendence and becomes a simple secular agency for the administration of the world order.

Bergoglio’s words are interesting, for they reveal the metabolization by the Church of a new and therapeutically correct language. Sins become diseases and infections, the Eucharist becomes the equivalent of rescuing antibodies, and Jesus Christ becomes the great vaccine – a transfiguration of dubious taste, converting the Christian into a medical discourse.

A medical discourse supported, sponsored and promoted by power. But power does not believe the fables it spreads and defends. For it owns the instruments of fear and denies those of knowledge through an infernal noise inescapable by its victims and even by its perpetrators.

That the coronavirus has raised the prospect of a pecuniary bonanza for a few and of calamities for many others needs no demonstration. The few are those who will gain and are already gaining from the prospect of one or more coronavirus vaccines. The others are those, for example, who lost a job, a business or their livelihood.

Still, the fierce debates and confrontations among authorities in virology and related sciences may also prompt us to examine the very meaning of knowledge, somehow forgotten in the current disputes and diatribes among experts.

Knowledge is essentially the awareness of its boundaries. The phases of development in modern science reflect and correspond to the capability of questioning its limits. Whereas, during the primitive phases of human development man thought that magic explained the world, and that by explaining it he could control it.

The phenomenon is not new, though it appears in different disguises. Just think of the many officially approved and heavily promoted drugs, scientifically branded as salvific medicines and shown in proof but deadly poisons. The coronavirus pandemic has only raised the stakes to a new and higher level.

The sum of the preternaturally disturbing events that have accompanied the “pandemic” of the Covid/19, during this first half of 2020, must cause us to reflect on the origins, the unfolding and the end goal of this veritable “pandemonium.” In which, under the pretext of the physical health of man (that replaced the health of his mind and/or soul), we witnessed a real coup d’etat on a world scale, to establish an absolutist and totalitarian tyranny under therapeutic/eugenic disguises.

This coup attacks the very nature of man by limiting his freedom, which is his essential mark, and without which he ceases to be himself, as in Aristotle’s definition of a ‘rational and free creature.’ And by isolating him the coup renders man a-social, again quoting Aristotle’s words.

It represents the beginning of that New World Order that recently has been more openly spoken-of. For, with the compulsory delivery of vaccines and pandemic-monitoring APPs, the New World Order will remotely control, direct and dominate not only the public, but also the private life of humanity.

The 1968’s Cultural-Marxist upheaval had already revolutionized man’s mental interiority, especially the soul of the young, through drugs, psychedelic music and the Freudian unfettered freedom of passions. Yet they were phenomena still external to man, whom intelligence and free-will could save or preserve – at least those who did not buy into the tenets of the Frankfurt School.

The new world order, instead, wants to install into our body, brain and/or DNA sundry technological transmitters and markers that will force man to do what the Kalergian Owners of the World want him to do. All under the guise and objective of maintaining his bodily health.

The plan is diabolic and well planned. After all, already in 2012, Jacques Attali, hyper-Zionist and mentor of Manuel Macron of France said that, “A little pandemic will enable to install a World Government.” We now directly witness its progress, starting at the end of 2019 and especially with the beginning of 2020. Until a few months ago, nobody would have believed it.

From what I could gather, there are actually two competing factions in the rush to implement the Judaic-Masonic Globalist charter. One is the radical wing, trans-national and trans-religious. Names associated with the faction are Soros, Rothschild, Rockefeller, Gates, (the ‘Deep State’), and Pope Bergoglio (the ‘Deep Church’). This faction supports China, which is ultraliberal in economics and communist in politics.

The other faction is public, somewhat esoteric, political, national, parliamentary, democratic and moderate in a modern sense. It includes Trump, perhaps even Putin, and would support the North American nation, allied with Russia, in an anti-Chinese function.

Patently missing is a counter-revolutionary force, anti-Zionist and anti-masonic. This responsibility once fell on the Catholic hierarchy, now completely adrift, socially and theologically, after the second Vatican Council.

Ex US nuncio Cardinal Vigano’, – who represents the hub of the Catholic anti-Bergoglio opposition – recently wrote an open letter to Trump, from which I quote,

“In recent months we have been witnessing the formation of two opposing sides that I would call Biblical: the children of light and the children of darkness. The children of light constitute the most conspicuous part of humanity, while the children of darkness represent an absolute minority. And yet the former are the object of a sort of discrimination, which places them in a situation of moral inferiority with respect to their adversaries, who often hold strategic positions in government, in politics, in the economy and in the media. In an apparently inexplicable way, the good are held hostage by the wicked and by those who help them either out of self-interest or fearfulness.

These two sides, which have a Biblical nature, follow the clear separation between the offspring of the Woman and the offspring of the Serpent. On the one hand there are those who, although they have a thousand defects and weaknesses, are motivated by the desire to do good, to be honest, to raise a family, to engage in work, to give prosperity to their homeland, to help the needy, and, in obedience to the Law of God, to merit the Kingdom of Heaven. On the other hand, there are those who serve themselves, who do not hold any moral principles, who want to demolish the family and the nation, exploit workers to make themselves unduly wealthy, foment internal divisions and wars, and accumulate power and money: for them the fallacious illusion of temporal well-being will one day – if they do not repent – yield to the terrible fate that awaits them, far from God, in eternal damnation.

In society, Mr. President, these two opposing realities co-exist as eternal enemies, just as God and Satan are eternal enemies. And it appears that the children of darkness – whom we may easily identify with the deep state which you wisely oppose and which is fiercely waging war against you in these days – have decided to show their cards, so to speak, by now revealing their plans. They seem to be so certain of having already everything under control that they have laid aside the circumspection that until now had at least partially concealed their true intentions. The investigations already under way will reveal the true responsibility of those who managed the Covid emergency not only in the area of health care but also in politics, the economy, and the media. We will probably find that in this colossal operation of social engineering there are people who have decided the fate of humanity, arrogating to themselves the right to act against the will of citizens and their representatives in the governments of nations.

We will also discover that the riots in these days were provoked by those who, seeing that the virus is inevitably fading and that the social alarm of the pandemic is waning, necessarily have had to provoke civil disturbances, because they would be followed by repression, which, although legitimate, could be condemned as an unjustified aggression against the population. The same thing is also happening in Europe, in perfect synchrony.

…. it will not be surprising if, in a few months, we learn once again that hidden behind these acts of vandalism and violence there are those who hope to profit from the dissolution of the social order so as to build a world without freedom.

… Although it may seem disconcerting, the opposing alignments I have described are also found in religious circles. There are faithful Shepherds who care for the flock of Christ, but there are also mercenary infidels who seek to scatter the flock and hand the sheep over to be devoured by ravenous wolves. It is not surprising that these mercenaries are allies of the children of darkness and hate the children of light: just as there is a deep state, there is also a deep church that betrays its duties and forswears its proper commitments before God.”

end of quote

The reader may guess who are the “children of darkness holding strategic positions in government, in politics, in the economy and in the media,” the “offspring of the serpent,” the “ravenous wolves,” “those who serve themselves and do not hold any moral principles who have decided the fate of humanity,” and “those who hope to profit from the dissolution of the social order so as to build a world without freedom.”

The historian who will review with an impartial eye the events of Winter, Spring and Summer of 2020, may wonder in awe at the almost seamless transition and smooth blending between the viral pandemic – possibly questionable, at least in the eye of some – and the definitely questionable pandemic of destruction prompted by alleged racism. Even a Cardinal of the Catholic opposition sees a connection between the two phenomena. Which may prompt a reflection by those who brand interpretations of events not sanctioned by authorities as conspiracy theories or phantoms in the clouds.

The coronavirus has equally produced a worldwide economic pandemic, caused by measures that placed entire nations under house arrest. It has been (is) a global social earthquake aimed at destroying the middle class. For even in this we may note a continuity with the dominant lines of globalization, now advanced and accelerated thanks to the coronavirus.

We are dealing with an authoritarian turn that guarantees to the dominant class dominion without consent. A move that also accelerates the fusion of the shrinking middle class with the proletariat, into one amorphous social body, with limited rights and limited options for redress.

But even in these conditions, the signs of solicitude and of a struggle to escape are never completely absent. This new social body, however timidly and tentatively, is becoming aware of the global trick it has been the victim of – given also the hyperbolic inequality, the billionaires who idly prosper in the eye of wealth and the millions who struggle with distress in the elusive search for a decent life, or at least for some degree of economic safety.

This awareness would or could turn into a proper class struggle against the novel therapeutic and authoritarian capitalism – a capitalism that uses the coronavirus to create a new political model based on unquestionable and repressive authority.

The owners of the world are not exempt of fear. Fear produces vigilance and vigilance prudence. For revolts and revolutions are like a snow-ball on a deep slope. It is difficult to get it started, but when it does it cannot any longer be controlled.

To prevent being victims of an avalanche, the owners of the world have started and re-directed it. The controllers of the discourse, the administrators of the superstructures and the managers of consensus have launched and resorted to the well-tested, ever-ready and useful issue of racism.

And here the paradoxes pile on top of each other. The new ’anti-racists’ are the same that, as of yesterday, were the most racists (capitalist-wise) ever since man began to buy, sell and exploit.

And here is another paradox. This is what Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – a US Congress representative and by ethnicity a natural member of the revolting minority – wrote in a recent tweet: “It’s critical that governors keep restrictions on businesses until after the November election, because the economic recovery will help re-elect Trump. Some closures or job losses are a small price to pay to be free from his presidency.”

“A small price to pay?” BS is a more decent rather than a less but more spontaneous response. It shows how those who most vocally claim that “black lives matter” couldn’t give a damn about the actual lives of blacks (and, by inference, of all the people that don’t count).

The Ocasio-Cortez(es) of this world are the voice of those who, overseas, do not hesitate to starve entire peoples to change regimes they don’t like. Power does not believe the fables it spreads and defends. For it owns the instruments of fear and denies those of knowledge via censorship applied to all popular means of communication. Indeed, the tweet fully exposes the gears of the media trick-machine and the undeclared intentions on which the pandemic narratives were built.

But the trick is/was useful and effective. Move the target of the struggle from the real problem – caused by the economic pandemic and by sanitary capitalism – to the problem of racism. Get the blacks to hate the white, particularly the less affluent or poor, so as to convert the class into a phony race struggle. In the end and in the current circumstances, racism is a permanent alibi for mass distraction from the class struggle.

Besides, most of us also would agree that racism is a convenient label for hiding true, serious problems left untouched and unspoken. Nor I intend to task any further the reader’s patience. But just to give some perspective and using the most recently available US statistics, in 2018 the number of crimes committed by black on whites were 547,948. The number of crimes by whites on blacks 59,778.

Can we explain all this concentrated defiance of logic, of numbers and of common sense? Probably not. For ours is the age of endless growth and triumphant turbo-capitalism. And though endless growth is physically impossible, the owners of the world disagree. Which means that turbo-capitalism represents the metaphysics of limitlessness, the idolatrous monotheism of the market, and the theology of the market economy as the only allowed religion.

But this extreme capitalism, unlike its previous externations, does not need stability. In order to survive and grow it needs rather a state of continuous crisis. Which, as it burns a bit of wealth to fuel the engine of speculation, it also prevents the coalescence of social forces to fight against the massacres of rights, of wages and of the future.

As of now, if there is a light at the end of the tunnel, I’d say it’s a train coming towards us. For we are still far away from learning to realign those elements in our human action that are most difficult to align: goodness without universal toleration, courage without fanaticism, intelligence without apathy, and hope without blindness.

Italy’s worst virus? Its ultracasta

Italy’s worst virus? Its ultracasta

June 02, 2020

by Postfataresurgo for the Saker Blog

Years ago, as Italy’s real estate market was spiraling upward after the euro came into effect, I strived to be of assistance to a couple of friends from the Bay Area who had set their minds on becoming home owners in Tuscany. After reading what had become a popular book among Tuscany cognoscenti about a lady who buys an abandoned home in southern Tuscany and embarks on the project of bringing it back to life, with all related challenges of living in a foreign country and dealing with the locals without speaking the language, my friends had at least half a dozen real estate agencies scouting all corners of Tuscany searching for the right place.

In the book eventually the lady succeeds in her project, despite the plethora of misunderstandings, setbacks and cultural differences. The property she had chosen had been neglected for many years because of a not so favorable position which made it rather unattractive at first sight. That was not the case for the property my friends fell in love with, a hilltop farmhouse with sweeping views of the Tuscan countryside plus several hectares of adjacent farmland. The property had been highly recommended by one real estate agency who claimed to have the exclusive right of sale by the owner, a Swiss who had owned it for only two years, started the restoration project, and then stopped altogether.

The asking price seemed to be reasonable, in fact so reasonable I volunteered to pay a visit and have a friendly chat with the agent before my friends would take the next flight to Tuscany to make a written offer. The real estate agency was in one of those quaint medieval Tuscan towns still avoided by throngs of gelato licking day tourists where locals know something about everybody else. The conversation with the agent only lasted a short time, as I sensed there was more to be told about this property from someone not directly involved in the sale. As for my direct question about the motives of the sale by the Swiss, the agent remained rather ambiguous and sibylline, as for a meaningless detail not even worth talking about: he had had some “health issues” that eventually prevented him to continue on his initial project of an upscale agriturismo.

I decided to have lunch in a local trattoria which appeared to be also the local hangout, and where I was sure I’d get some answers to my queries. Those answers came in the form of the sardonic looks the locals gave each other when they heard the property mentioned: “ nemmeno lo Svizzero ha resistito con quel vicino” quipped an older fellow. Even the Swiss didn’t make it with such a neighbor. So the Swiss was the last of a long list of owners who – over the years – had bought the property, started all kinds of restoration projects, and gave up, eventually losing a great deal of money.

So, who was this dreary neighbor who made it to turn away all who tried to live a peaceful and serene existence in quintessential Tuscany? It reminded me of the so called Innominato, a character from Alessandro Manzoni’s The Betrothed, who refers as to someone so powerful it could not even be called by his real name. The Innominato in this case was a powerful judge of Italy’s Supreme Court, who apparently had used his discreet power over the years for the very simple reason he didn’t want any ongoing restoration works to bother him when he would be present in his adjoining estate, about a kilometer away, much less other tourists to drive back and forth on the same dirt road he considered his own.

How did he use his power? Quite simply, having Italian notoriously mind boggling burocrazia to its fullest extent. When the hapless new owners started the lengthy and complicated process of applying for all necessary restoration and – in the case of the Swiss – agriturismo permits, they encountered all sorts of difficulties, inconveniences, delays, you name it. Especially in rural areas, unless you are a simple tourist, life in Italy can be complicated. Unless, of course, you know the right people, or strings to pull.

And strings to pull the powerful roman judge must have had quite a few, as no one succeeded in their projects, after seeing their requests turned down by unfathomable and incomprehensible technicalities, or countless inspections by all sorts of state and local agencies checking every potential irregularities with either the project or the workers present on the site, threatening both owner and contractors on site with stiff fines and/or immediate halting of the project altogether.

This anecdote is just a petty example of how ugly life can become if all of a sudden you are dealing – as a potential victim – with Italy’s judiciary system, in any of its forms, may that be, like in this case, a single judge. Anyone who has had anything to do with Italy’s courtrooms in search of “justice” will invariably dispense this lapidary comment: “stay away, period.”

A reliable edition of an English language dictionary quotes – among others – the meaning of the word caste as follows: “a division of society based on differences of wealth, inherited rank or privilege, profession or occupation “. No better word could describe Italy’s judicial system, or, better yet, the mother of all castes. A true state within the state, a formidable apparatus of power with no other apparatus able – or willing – to have any check or balance upon it. In Italy is absolutely irrelevant who wins the elections, as long as you can pull the strings of this ultracaste no one has ever been able to control, or bring down to reality.

Italy’s justice system has been repeatedly classified by international and reliable statistics as the least efficient and most expensive in the western world. In terms of efficiency it ranks along with sub-Saharan African countries. But in terms of costs and privileges to its members it is undoubtedly the best in the world, no questions asked. And the headquarters of this infamous system are to be found in its Consiglio Superiore della Magistratura, or CSM. You can be a popular elected politician elected with a wide mandate, but if you are on someone’s black list within the CSM your days are counted, and, just like a foreign homeowner in Tuscany, you will eventually throw up your arms and resign.

The CSM is, in short, the real power within Italy’s judiciary, and the last word should be a prerogative of the President of Italy, as per art. 104 of the Italian Constitution. The President should therefore be aware of what’s going on with Italy’s justice system, but obviously he’s too busy with all other state affairs to bother with such minor details such as the integrity of Italy’s judiciary, especially its absolute fairness.

These days Italy’s mainstream media is doing its best in downplaying – or not mentioning altogether – a story that would make headlines in any other (normal) country or have any law abiding citizen worried about the integrity of the country as a whole. The story is about a powerful magistrate – much like the Innominato – who has been wiretapped on his cell phone and appears to be the main character in a story that did make the headlines in the summer of 2018. Matteo Salvini, then Interior minister of Italy, is formally accused by Agrigento’s prosecutor Luigi Patronaggio for a variety of heinous crimes – including kidnapping of minors – because of his refusal to allow ashore “migrants rescued at sea” by one of the many vessels whose task is to ferry “migrants” from Libya to Italian shores, in this case the German NGO Seawatch, which was receiving orders nonetheless than from the German government, as admitted by a former director of German intelligence.

But this time the wiretapped Innominato has a name, and is widely recognized as a forefront mover and shaker within the apparatus, with a glamorous career and – most important – an impressive network of connections with politicians within the PD (Democratic Party): his name is Luca Palamara.

When Salvini in the summer of 2018 was becoming increasingly popular among Italians, Palamara is “assigned the task” of attacking him, no matter what. When another magistrate – in the wiretapped recordings – objects that Salvini is simply doing his job as minister of the interior, applying existing laws, therefore not breaking any of them, Palamara’s answer is: “I know that, but we have to do it anyway, we have to stop him”. Just imagine hell breaking loose if Salvini, or any politician for that matter, would have been caught making such remarks toward a judge. But that is but a tiny fraction of what emerges out of this story. The whole picture sounds like a tale in which even a child can easily perceive that Palamara feels nothing short than omnipotent, navigating between his wife, his mistress, other magistrates who ask him all kinds of favours and what not.

Technically, in a normal country, you’d expect a shred of official reaction – or actions – from Palamara’s direct superiors, namely the Ministry of Justice and the President of Italy. But that isn’t happening, as both of them seem to be interested in other matters. Italians would like to know – among many other things – who Palamara is referring to, when he says “we have to stop him”. Does the “we” in this case refer to magistrates affiliated to the PD (Democratic Party of Italy)?

Incidentally, three of the “migrants” allowed ashore and admitted as “asylum seekers” thanks to the services of German directed NGO Seawatch, have just been charged with a string of crimes such as conspiracy to smuggle and enslave human beings, rape, torture, murder. But the gracious German captain Carola Rackete was so busy in her noble endeavor to save lives and incidentally ram an Italian police vessel standing in her way, how could have she noticed such nice fellows?

If you think this is something new in Italy’s political scene, think again. As stated before, the real movers and shakers behind the curtains – external powers – know all too well who is to control in Italy. Even if a political movement temporarily seizes power toward a possible change, as long as Italy’s judiciary is on your side, nobody can beat you, no matter how popular. In countries like Italy, a politician’s fortune can change like the wind, as history repeatedly shows us.

Italy’s economy in the early 1990s was robust and growing, despite widespread corruption of its politicians, in fact so robust it must have become quite attractive to someone in the world. The complete annihilation of an entire generation of politicians was flawlessly executed by a team of incorruptibles, and the end of the so called Prima Repubblica was achieved. Ultimately, the master plan was to take possession, at sale price, of Italy’s state assets just like it was done with Yeltsin in post-soviet Russia, or with Menem in Argentina. Dèja-vu with Berlusconi who was finally forced to resign in 2011, after almost two decades of tireless attacks by the judiciary. When you have at your disposal an ultracaste of untouchables that is sure it won’t lose in any case its privileges and benefits no matter how much the country is suffering, you are sure to control Italy.

Corona Crisis: a Viral Episode or a Half-Life Nightmare*

 BY GILAD ATZMON

radioctive CV19.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

Herd Immunity Ratio

As an intellectual exercise let’s think of an imaginary state, “State A.” Our fictional State A is devastated that 100 of its citizens are infected with Covid-19. For this exercise, we accept that these 100 citizens are representative of State A‘s demography, classes, ethnicities and so on. Apparently, State A’s nightmare is just the beginning because out of its 100 Covid-19 carriers, not one survives the next three weeks.

Let’s now imagine another case, we will call “State B.” State B is similar to state A in terms of its size, population, geography, climate, culture, ethnicity, nutrition, etc. In State B 100 citizens also tested positive for Covid-19. Following the experience of State A, State B braces itself for the possibility that all its infected citizens may perish but then for reasons that are not yet clear to us, no one in state B dies. And if this is not different enough, hardly any of the 100 develop any symptoms.

The crude difference between State A and B may tell us something about the herd immunity in States A and B. It is easy to detect that the ratio created by the number of fatalities (F) divided by the number of those infected (I) is an indication of the level of immunity or ‘herd immunity’ in a given region or a state.

State A: F/I = 100/100=1
State B: F/I = 0/100=0

State A’s immunity ratio equals 1. This means that anyone who contracts the virus in State A will likely die. In state B, on the other hand, one is likely to survive the virus. In fact, they may, without knowing it, have already survived.

But let us now consider some more realistic cases. In “State C,” again, a state similar to A and B, out of 100 who tested Covid-19 positive, 10 people died within the next few weeks.

State C: F/I=10/100=0.1

The herd immunity ratio in State C is 0.1. In terms of herd immunity, State C is far better off than State A as a virally infected subject may benefit from a 0.9 chance to survive. But State C’s situation is not as good as in State B where no one is expected to die as the F/I ratio in State B is O. We can see that the smaller the F/I ratio is, the greater is the herd immunity in a given state or a region.

But let us look at another realistic case. In “State D” out of 100 patients only 1 died within a few weeks.

State D: F/I=1/100=0.01.

This means that in State D the herd immunity is close to perfect. Someone who contracts the Covid-19 virus has only a remote chance that he will lose his life. In other words, the survival rate is 0.99

State C and D are not completely imaginary cases. The F/I ratio in State C is a good representation of the numbers we saw in Northern Italy, NYC, Spain, UK and other vulnerable regions that have suffered heavily in the last few weeks. The ratio in State D is very similar to South Korea and Israel. Though many people are identified with Covid-19 in these two states alone, very few have died.

Such a methodical search for herd immunity ratio may help to identify the survival rate in different states, regions and cities. It may help us to determine policy; to decide who, what and how to lockdown or maybe not to lockdown at all. It can also help to locate the origin and the spreaders of the disease as we have a good reason to believe that the regions with the most immunity to a given viral infection have likely experienced the disease in the past and have developed some form of resistance.

In reality, this model is problematic for many reasons and can hardly be applied. As things stand (in reality), we are comparing data that was collected under different circumstances and using various procedures designed with completely different strategies and philosophies. Both Israel and South Korea, for instance, conducted testing on mass scale and hence, identified many more carriers. More crucially both Israel and S. Korea made a huge effort to identify super spreaders and applied strict isolation measures to those spreaders and those who were infected by them. Britain, USA and Italy on the other hand conducted limited testing and have generally tested those who developed symptoms or were suspected of being infected.

Dr. Erickson COVID-19 Briefing – “millions of cases, small amount of death, millions of cases, small amount of death..”

But there is a far greater problem with the above herd immunity ratio model. It assumes that we know what we are dealing with i.e., an infectious viral situation, while the evidence may point otherwise.


The Radioactive Clock

It has become clear that the health crisis we are facing isn’t consistent with anything we are familiar with. Those who predicted a colossally genocidal plague weren’t necessarily stupid or duplicitous. They assumed that they knew the root cause of the current crisis. They applied recognized models and algorithms associated with viral pandemics. They ended up eating their words, not because their models were wrong but because they applied their models to the wrong event. While no one can deny the alarming exponential growth of the disease, it is the unusual ‘premature’ curve-flattening point and then the rapid decline of infections which no one explained. In fact, some still prefer to deny it.

Many of us remember that our so-called ‘experts’ initially tended to accuse China of ‘hiding the real figures’ as no one could believe that the virus, all of a sudden, pretty much ran out of steam. Some also claimed that Iran was faking its figures to make its regime look better. Then came South Korea and the scientific community started to admit that despite its initial rapid exponential growth, for an unexplained reason, the ‘virus’ seems to run out of energy in an unpredictable fashion: the curve straightens out almost abruptly and starts to drop soon after, almost literally disappearing to the point where even a country as enormous as China passes days without diagnosing a single new Covid-19 carrier.

When Italy experienced its Corona carnage, every health ‘expert’ predicted that when the ‘virus’ slipped out of the rich Lombardy region and made it to the poor south, we would see real genocide. That didn’t happen.

Rarely we see scientists sticking their necks out telling the truth. This interview with Swedish Prof. Johan Giesecke is a must watch!

We have also started to notice that lockdowns have not necessarily saved the situation and that adopting relatively light ‘lockdown’ measures doesn’t translate into a total disaster as Sweden has managed to prove. The ‘virus,’ appears to stop spreading according to its own terms rather than the terms we impose upon it.

dailyincreaseGA.jpg

Thinking about the anomalies to do with the virus in analytical mathematical terms, as opposed to seeing the virus in biological or medical terms, has made me believe that a paradigm shift may be inevitable. We seem to have been applying the wrong kind of science to a phenomenon that is not really clear to us. This may explain what led a British ‘scientist’ to reach a ludicrous and farfetched estimate that Britain could be heading towards an astronomic death figure of 510.000. Following the same flawed algorithm, Anthony Fauci advised the American president that America could see two million dead. Both scientists were wrong by a factor of 25-40 times. Such a mistake in scientific prediction should be unforgivable considering the damage it inflicted on the world’s economy and its future. One might say that the good news is that our governments are finally listening to scientists, the tragedy, however, is that they are listening to the most idiotic scientists around.

Looking at the tsunami of raw data regarding worldwide spread of Covid 19 reveals a lot, perhaps more than we are willing to admit at this stage. The numbers, the shape of the Corona growth curve and the manner in which it flattens and declines suggests to me that something different may be at play. It seems as if the disease is shaped by an autonomous internal clock that determines its time frame and that it is not impeded by any form of organic resistance such as antibodies or herd immunity. The curve’s rise toward that flattening instant is indeed characterized by consistent and exponential growth. But then, in a seemingly arbitrary manner, the disaster stops its increase and the numbers of those infected by Covid-19 starts to drop.

Looking for such a pattern that produces an exponential growth that comes to a sudden end calls to attention the concepts of radioactivity in general and of the half-life in particular.

Each radioactive isotope has its own decay pattern. The rate at which a radioactive isotope decays is measured in ‘half-life.’ The term half-life is defined as the time it takes for one-half of the atoms of a radioactive material to disintegrate. Radioactive decay is the disintegration of an unstable atom with an accompanying emission of radiation. The change from an unstable atom to a completely stable atom may require several disintegration steps and radiation will be given off at each step.

Half-life is a measurement of time (set by the radioactive isotope) that involves a repeated release of radiation. Each time radiation is released the radioactive isotope is splitting in half, this repeats until it either reaches stability or maybe becomes ineffective. If you bear the half-life dynamic in mind you can see how one person can ‘infect’ or shall I say, radiate an entire stadium a few times over during a two hour football match. All it takes is a radioisotope with a half-life cycle of a few seconds.

Once the atom reaches a stable configuration, no more radiation is given off. For this reason, radioactive sources become weaker with time, as more and more unstable atoms become stable atoms, less radiation is produced and eventually the material will become non-radioactive. I wonder whether this could provide an explanation for the abrupt curve flattening that is associated with Covid-19

What may be possible is that Covid 19 is not the root cause of the current disease, it may instead be a by-product of a radioactive interaction. I am not in any position to substantiate this theory. Instead, I offer an alternative way of thinking about the problem that may shed light on the situation. If Covid-19 is a by-product of radiation, then the sudden decrease in radioactivity due to the nature of half-life reactions can explain why the virus loses its growth energy when it seems as if it has become unstoppable.
If this theory has any merit, then we are misdiagnosing the Corona crisis, misapplying the science and implementing the wrong strategies. It may also indicate that herd immunity won’t work, as we are not dealing with a viral infection but instead becoming ourselves, a source of radiation.

This theory may help explain why Israel and South Korea (State D) were so successful in combating the crisis. It wasn’t the lockdown that saved these countries. It was their aggressive search for and quarantine of super spreaders and those who were potentially radiated by them. Consciously or not, rather than stopping the virus they isolated the catalysts that were leading to the creation of the virus.

Our world is in a grave crisis and could benefit from thinkers who are slightly more creative, sophisticated and responsible than the characters who currently occupy the World Health Organisation, the CDC and London’s Imperial College. But more than anything else, I reiterate once again: we need to escalate our response to the Corona crisis into a criminal investigation so we can figure out every possible error or malevolent act that led humanity into the current grim situation .

Source: https://www.unz.com/gatzmon/corona-crisis-a-viral-episode-or-a-half-time-nightmare/

Corona at a Time of War

Source

Wednesday, 22 April 2020 

In late January China sealed off Wuhan an industrial centre of about 11 million people . Though the Chinese government’s actions have been described as “Draconian” by some, with the passage of time they have also proven to be right.

As corona virus spread many countries tried to follow in China’s footsteps but were unable to and so the virus raged that the world might witness an immense corona virus explosion as reports indicate that in some poorer countries corona virus remains undetected or if detected has not been treated with the seriousness that it deserves.

The effects of the pandemic have not been limited to the health sector only but have had a volcanic effect on the world as we know it.

It revealed weaknesses in both countries and individuals  where so many countries hid behind the glamour of their state of the art technologies and their capitalist systems, corona came forcing them into the nude and depriving them of what they had thought of as “inalienable rights”. Maybe corona will change world order and countries that consider themselves in the lead will reconsider that claim. For to be in the lead is not only to have an abundance of guns and bombs, neither is it the ability to bully other countries into submissiveness but it is to have the backbone to stand straight in times of duress. It is never to forget our human compass, but foremost it is the ability to hold on to our principles, our ethics and our morals.

 With the rise of corona crime has in general plummeted. However, insecure and afraid people  have resorted to theft to secure their needs. Malls have been broken into and their goods stolen (Providence Mall, U.S.A. March23). Panic buying has led to many buying far more then their needs require, thus depriving others. But it is a more serious crime that should be looked into, for it seems that piracy has retuned to the forefront of the crime list. Countries have resorted to committing acts of piracy, stopping ships loaded with medical equipment and stealing what is on board. The U.S. was accused of diverting a shipment of masks intended for the German police. Others ships destined for particular countries never docked in the ports of these countries and their cargo was stolen.

Blame was distributed and distributed unjustly – China was blamed for the spread of corona when in reality the response of  European countries and the U.S.A was sluggish almost slow motion. Panic spread like wildfire and attacked health systems that were unprepared for the onslaught. The U.S. and the E.U. blamed each other and Trump’s decision to ban travel to the European Union (except for the UK, which has a rising number of infections) created an antagonistic atmosphere.

Bitterness spread amongst the countries of the E.U. Spain and Italy felt that they had been betrayed by the rest of the E.U. Italy witnessed the burning of EU flags on its streets, as well as Spain.

Russia and China however have rushed into help with China sending shipments of necessary medical supplies to European countries and even to the United States (though Trump has unceasingly referred to corona virus as the “Chinese Virus”).

The actions of both Russia and China have clearly portrayed to western countries that stereotyping is downright wrong and that they should, post corona, re think major aspects of intra European countries and should also specifically re think their strained relations with Russia and China. In this particular aspect capitalism has lost the war.

In the Middle East dealing with corona was never prioritized until late March. With so much fighting and confrontations going on, corona was dealt with as if it were a hazy danger one that couldn’t possibly be more threatening than all the shooting, killing and explosions that were already happening.  As a young reporter from Aleppo (Lama Al Khaly) put it “we have witnessed so much horror, seen so much bloodshed, prayed so much for our kidnapped ones and wept endlessly over our martyred loved ones that it has become so difficult to grapple with the idea of fighting an invisible enemy like the corona virus”. The idea of self isolation for Syrians who have lost their homes due to terrorism is sadly almost laughable. Many large families are cramped into one room with almost no help from UN humanitarian organizations and so the idea is simply not workable.

However the Syrian government took the necessary precautionary methods thus  reducing the risk of corona virus infections. It imposed a curfew, reduced the work load, banned all kinds of gatherings whether for joy or sorrow and suspended prayers. It will be a shy Ramadan this year for the Syrian lacking in its usual celebratory style. Even the ritual of Haj has been suspended this year (Haj is approximately two months and ten days after the end of Ramadan). Though banning Friday communal prayer and Sunday mass are thorny issues for most Syrians, they were accepted as they came within the package of precautionary measures in the fight against corona.

However for Syria the problem of fighting corona is for more complex and requires much more than imposing a curfew or a ban. Heavy sanctions imposed on Syria including ones in the pharmaceutical- field have led to shortages in many medicines (not forgetting that many factories that were specialized in the manufacture of medicines, mainly located in Aleppo were either dismantled and transported to Turkey or simply destroyed by the war. Syria prior to the war covered 97% of its own medical needs, even exporting to Arab and foreign countries). The U.S. and western medical sanctions on Syria have resulted in Syria having fewer ventilators then the bare minimum required- fewer raw medical supplies from which to produce effective medicine and fewer medical instrument. These sanctions are pointless as they have in no way affected the flow of the war but they have hit civilians hard-which makes them coercive and downright cruel. This collective punishment of a whole population during a pandemic is simply barbaric. Even the passage of aid ships to Syria has been forbidden.

There have been many calls made by Syria’s representative to the U.N to lift off international sanctions against Syria as they obstruct the country’s efforts to fight the corona virus.

Others joined in call for lifting the sanctions against Syria. Like Chine, Russia, the EU parliament and many other countries. The World Health Organization has also asked that sanctions be lifted off Syria. Up till now all these calls have fallen on deaf ears, as corona continues to spread worldwide.

Like all counties in the world the economy of Syria has been adversely affected. Many Syrians are day laborers and that pay has stopped with the current Corona. Businesses have shrunk and restaurateurs are out of work as all restaurants, coffee shops and eateries have been closed more than a month. Gingerly, Syria is reopening again, but the situation on the ground remains tense and Syrians are in need of a solution that is hard coming- a solution not only related to the corona virus but one that will ease their lives and allow them the medicaments they deserve to lighten the suffering of the ill.    

Editor in Chief

Reem Haddad                                   

كورونا والأزمة الكاشفة ….بقلم د بثينة شعبان

المصدر

أول ما يجب الاعتراف به في الحديث عن أزمة  كورونا العالمية هو أن هذه الأزمة كاشفة بامتياز، كاشفة لحقيقة قوّة البلدان وأولوياتها وقدرة القيادة في هذه البلدان وعلاقتها بالشعب الذي تحكمه، ومدى تجاوب هذا الشعب مع أوامر قيادته واقتناعه بها.

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 فقد قسّمت هذه الأزمة العالم وفق خطوط غير تقليدية أبداً وغير معروفة من قبل، وطرحت معادلاتٍ جديدة على الساحة الدولية، لا بدّ وأن تؤخذ بعين الاعتبار كي يتمّ إرساء الأسس السليمة للمرحلة المستقبلية المقبلة. فمن كنا نعتقد أنه قويّ أظهر علامات ضعف مؤكّدة لا جدال فيها، ومن كنّا نعتقد أن تصنيفه يأتي في آخر السلّم قفز إلى أعلى السلّم بقدراته التي لم نكن نعرف عنها شيئاً.
ولا شكّ في أنّ الإعلام الغربي المضلّل يتحمّل جزءاً كبيراً من مسؤولية هذه المفاجآت لأن الإعلام الغربيّ ما فتئ يكرّر مفاهيم لسنوات طوال حتى آمن الناس بأنّ هذه المفاهيم هي الحقائق بعينها إلى أن اصطدمت هذه المفاهيم اليوم بوقائع مغايرة تماماً على الأرض فتهشّمت. وهذا أيضاً مصدر أساسيّ من مصادر المفاجآت الكاشفة التي تتعرّض لها البشرية اليوم. فقد كان معظم البشر يعتقدون أنّ #الولايات المتحدة، والتي ما زالت البلد الأقوى عسكرياً واقتصادياً، هي الأقدر اليوم على مواجهة أيّ جائحة أو وباء، وأنّ مؤسساتها وأساليب عملها ستكون النموذج الأهمّ في العالم، ولكنّ الواقع الحقيقي أظهر أنّ هذه الدولة القويّة ذات القواعد العسكرية المنتشرة في العشرات من دول العالم لا تملك إلّا نسبة ضئيلة مما تحتاجه من الأقنعة #الطبية مثلاً، ولا تملك الألبسة الطبية لممرضيها، ولا اختبارات كافية لهذا الفيروس الذي ينتشر كالنار في الهشيم، فضلاً عن الأزمة الاقتصادية الخانقة التي سبّبها الحجر، وتسريح العمال والموظفين من أعمالهم، وتضخّم دائرة الفقر والعَوَز في بلد يعتبر من أغنى بلدان الأرض.

كما أنّ إيطاليا و إسبانيا قد فاجأتا العالم بعجز النظام الصحي في كلتيهما، وارتفاع نسبة الوفيات فيهما وفي الولايات المتحدة بشكل أثار دهشة العالم واستغرابه. بينما أبلت البرتغال واليونان مثلاً بلاءً ممتازاً نتيجة الإجراءات الاستباقية التي اتخذتاها، وتكاتف الحكومة والمجتمع لمواجهة هذا الخطر الداهم على الجميع.

وفي هذا المجال برهنت ألمانيا أيضاً اختلاف نظامها عن النظم الغربية من خلال تقديم الفحص مجاناً للجميع؛ الأمر الذي ساعدها على تخفيف حدّة الإصابات، واحتواء الجائحة إلى حدّ بعيد. ولكن ولا شكّ، فإنّ النموذج الأبرز والأهمّ في التصدّي لهذا الفيروس بخطوات متناسقة بين الحكومة والشعب والمؤسسات والعمل الطوعي هو الأنموذج الصينيّ، والذي أدهش العالم أولاً بحرص القيادة الصينية على وضع إنقاذ حياة البشر فوق كلّ اعتبار مهما كلّف ذلك الدولة من أعباء، كما أدهش العالم بالتقدم التكنولوجي الذي وصلت إليه  الصين، والذي تمّ استخدامه بذكاء ومهارة بالغَين لاكتشاف انتشار الفيروس وحصر الحالات وتضييق دائرة الانتشار.

كما أدهشت الصين العالم باستعداد شعبها للتطوّع والتضحية ووضع المصلحة العامة فوق كلّ اعتبار، وكذلك بتصرّفها المسؤول دولياً؛ بحيث وضعت نتائج أبحاثها في متابعة الأصول الجينية لهذا الفيروس في خدمة علماء العالم من أجل توفير الوقت واستكمال الأبحاث التي توصل العالم إلى اختراع اللقاح أو الدواء. وكانت الخطوات الصينية المتّخذة دائماً متاحة للجميع كي يتعلّموا منها، كما منعت السفر إطلاقاً خارج البلاد.

وحين انتشر الوباء في إيطاليا وإسبانيا وغيرها قدّمت الصين و روسيا و كوبا المساعدات السخية لهذه البلدان لمساعدتها على احتواء الجائحة والحدّ من انتشارها. لا شكّ في أنّ هذا المسار للأحداث قد كشف للعالم أجمع شخصية جمهورية الصين كبلد متقدّم حديث، ومع ذلك محافظ على إنسانيته وعلى دوره على الساحتين الإقليمية والدولية كعامل مساعد للأسرة الدولية وكعنصر فاعل فيها لمواجهة هذا الخطر القاتل.

ولا شكّ في أنّ الناس في كلّ أنحاء المعمورة بدأوا بإجراء المقارنات بين القوة العظمى، وهي الولايات المتحدة والتي تحاول دائماً تشويه صورة الصين، وبين الصين التي تظهر للمرّة الأولى على الساحة الدولية بكلّ مقدّراتها، ليس فقط الاقتصادية وإنما التعبوية والإنسانية والأخلاقية والقيمية التي تحكم كلّ تصرفاتها وأعمالها. بالمقابل، فإنّ الولايات المتحدة وإلى حدّ اليوم لم تستجب لنداءات العالم لرفع العقوبات عن الجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية، وعن الجمهورية العربية السورية، ودول أخرى أيضاً لتمكين هذه الدول من مواجهة هذا الوباء.

ومع أنّ المسؤولين في الولايات المتحدة يمارسون قوّتهم وسلطتهم لمنع الدواء عن هذه الدول، فهم لا يعلمون مدى خسارتهم الأخلاقية والقيمية، إذ لا يوجد عاقل في العالم يمكن أن يؤيدهم في استمرار هذه الإجراءات العقابية الظالمة أصلاً في الوقت الذي يعرفون فيه أنهم يسبّبون الموت لأناس أبرياء. وفي هذه الحال، وحالات لا تُحصى يُدرك الجميع في قرارة أنفسهم أنّ النظام الليبرالي يعيش أسوأ أزمات حياته وتاريخه، وأنّ الإعلام الغربي الذي كان يمجّد هذا النظام قبل كورونا لن يتمكّن من فعل ذلك بعد كورونا، وأنّ زمن كورونا قد يكون الإنذار الحقيقي لصلاحية الأنظمة الليبرالية، والتي برهنت خلال هذه الفترة أنها غير جديرة بأن تكون مؤتمنة على حياة البشر، وخاصةً الفقراء منهم.
ولعلّ إدراك مراكز الأبحاث الغربية لعمق هذه الحقيقة وأهميتها والتي ستزداد حضوراً في كلّ الساحات العالمية، هو الذي دفعها إلى تحويل الأنظار عمّا يجري في بلدانها، واختلاق التهم للصين، ورفع الدعاوى القضائية على الصين بذرائع وحجج واهية لا تصمد أبداً أمام المنطق السليم. وبدلاً من التركيز على نقاط ضعفها، والتي جعلت الولايات المتحدة الرقم الأول في عدد الوفيات، تلقي بأخطائها على الآخرين، وتحاول التعرّض للصين من خلال مسارين،الأوّل هو اتهام الصين بالمسؤولية عن انتشار الوباء، والثاني هو محاولة سحب الصناعات الأميركية من الصين كي يسهل استهدافها، وفي الحالتين وقبلهما بكثير، من الواضح أنّ مسؤولي الولايات المتحدة قلقون، وعلى مدى السنوات الأخيرة من التقدّم المطّرد الذي تحققه الصين في المجالات كافة، وخاصة في مجال التطوّر التكنولوجي والـ 5G على وجه التحديد. والسجالات الأميركية مليئة بمقولة: الصين هي العدوّ. وحتى حين تتمّ مقابلة مسؤول في  الكونغرس السؤال عن الصين هو سؤال أساسي لمعرفة موقفه من هذا الموضوع الأساسي الذي يشغل بالهم.

لا شكّ في أنّ البشرية اليوم على مفترق طرق، وفي الوقت الذي يصارع فيه معظم دول العالم للتخلّص من هذا الوباء، فإنّ الأمر الذي لا يقلّ أهمية هو إلى أين يتّجه العالم بعد القضاء على هذا الوباء؟ هل سيتّجه إلى الإفادة من الدروس التي وفّرتها هذه الأزمة، بحيث يعكف كلّ بلد أو طرف على معالجة نقاط ضعفه، وترميم جدرانه التي توشك على الانهيار؟ أم سيحاول إنكار الواقع والعودة إلى المكابرة والتضليل الإعلامي والذي دفعت البشرية ثمنه أرواحاً بريئة وفي أكثر من مكان، وإلقاء عبء المسؤولية على الآخرين، والدفع باتجاه حروب كي تغطّي نقاط الضعف هذه، وتشغل أذهان العالم بمعارك مصطنعة هدفها الهروب من الواقع وعدم مواجهته؟ إذا كانت المراجعة ضرورية في هذه المرحلة، فيجب أولاً مراجعة قرارات الحرب غير المشروعة، والتي دمّرت بلداناً بكاملها من أفغانستان إلى العراق وليبيا واليمن.

وإذا كان هناك من عدالة على الأرض، فيجب أن نرى هذه الشعوب البريئة والتي لم تقترفْ ذنباً تنال حقّها، كما يجب أن نرى وقف أسلوب العقوبات وتهديد سيادة الدول وسلامتها، سواء من خلال أدوات إرهابية مصطنعة، كما كانت الحال في سوريا وليبيا واليمن، أم من خلال التهديد المباشر لفنزويلا دولة وحكومة وشعباً اليوم، وللجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية أيضاً. وعلى الولايات المتحدة دفع تعويضات لضحايا حروبها الإرهابية والاقتصادية على سوريا والعراق وليبيا واليمن وكوبا وإيران وفنزويلا.

إذا كانت هناك دروس مستفادة يجب أن نستخلصها من أزمة كورونا الكاشفة، فهي أولاً وقبل كلّ شيء دروس يجب أن تعيد الاعتبار إلى كرامة الإنسان وإلى المنظومات القيمية والأخلاقية التي تعزّز سيادة الدول وكرامتها، وأن تُنتزع القدسيّة عن الإعلام الغربيّ الذي ينشر الأوهام عن النظم الليبرالية الغربية، والذي برهن خلال هذه المحنة أنه لا يتقن إلّا فنّ صناعة الثروات، وأنّ البشر والذين هم خلائف الله على الأرض يقعون في أدنى سلّم اهتماماته. في الوقت الذي أشرقت فيه شمس الصين على العالم من خلال هذه المحنة، وأظهرت التزاماً أخلاقياً ومجتمعيّاً، وتقدّماً مهنياً وتكنولوجياً، ومواكبة عراقة الحضارة لتسخير آخر مبتكرات الإنسان لإنقاذ حياة البشر وتأمين صحتهم وسلامتهم، لن يتمكّن أحد من إطفاء هذا الضوء الساطع. ومن العبث الانشغال بترّهات محاسبة أو محاولة تهميش ما أثبت الواقع أنّه حقيقة أكيدة ومقنعة، وفي هذا الإطار تبدو الحاجة ماسّة إلى تعاون دولي غير مسبوق يناقش كلّ هذه المعطيات والمستجدات، ويرسم خارطة طريق لتعاون دولي مستقبلي يستند إلى الرّكائز الواقعية التي أفرزها زمن كورونا بعيداً عن الإعلام الغربيّ المضلّل، وادّعاءات الديمقراطيات الليبرالية الغربيّة، التي استنزفت أسباب وجودها، وأصبحت الحاجة ملحّة اليوم إلى اجتراح نظام عالمي  جديد تسوده  الحكمة و  الإنسانية، وليس  المال والثروات المادّية.
 
   ( الاثنين 2020/04/13 SyriaNow)  

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