هل أصبحت أوروبا جاهزة؟

 د. وفيق إبراهيم

الثلاثي الأوروبي فرنسا والمانيا وبريطانيا في وضعية دقيقة بوسعه من خلال التدحرج نحوها، التمركز في وضعية دولية متقدمة.

هذه الوضعية هي نفاد مدة العقوبات الاقتصادية على إيران وحقها في بيع السلاح وشرائه.

هذه المرحلة القاسية تبتدئ من الشهر الحالي من 2020 بعد 13 عاماً من عقوبات ابتدأت أميركية وأوروبية في 2007 واصبحت صادرة عن مجلس الامن الدولي منذ 2015 بعد التحاق روسيا والصين اليها، والمانيا من خارج اعضاء هذا المجلس.

بذلك تكون الجمهورية الإسلامية أنهت بنجاح العقوبات المفروضة عليها بما يؤهلها للانطلاق اقليمياً وعالمياً. وهذا ما أعلنت عن نيتها بتنفيذه فوراً خصوصاً لجهة بيع السلاح وشراء الحديث منه لتزويد ترسانتها المصنعة داخلياً بنماذج أكثر تقدماً.

وهذا ما وافقت عليه روسيا والصين معلنتين عن استعدادهما للتعاون المفتوح مع إيران في كل المجالات.

اما الأميركيون فأعلنوا عن استمرارهم بالعقوبات على إيران مهددين كل دولة تتعاون معها بعقوبات قاسية، مؤكدين انهم يستهدفونها لبرنامجها النووي – الصاروخي المهدد للأمن العالمي.

هذا ما أصاب الثلاثي الأوروبي بقشعريرة هزت اندفاعتهم نحو التحرّر من الهيمنة الأميركية التي تأسرهم منذ ستينيات القرن الماضي.

هنا إذاً تكمن المشكلة لأن الأوروبيين يرون ان إيران نفذت ما عليها من عقوبات بإشراف من وكالة الطاقة النووية ومراقبة دولية شملت كل قطاعاتها.

فاستنتجوا ان الاستعداء الأميركي لإيران له علاقة بالصراع السياسي الاستراتيجي بينهما في الشرق الاوسط، بما ينفي عن إيران أي شبهة في مسألة سباق نووي او غيره.

لكنهم ادركوا هذه المرة ان استمرار الأميركيين بعقوباتهم له أبعاد اخرى تتعلق برغبتهم بمنع قيام تفاعلات اقتصادية خارج نفوذهم المباشر، خصوصاً بين أوروبا وإيران، وبالتالي مع روسيا والصين.

بذلك يرى الثلاثي الأوروبي نفسه أمام فرصة استراتيجية تتيح له استعادة مستواه العالمي المفقود، وذلك بالتعامل الاقتصادي مع بلدٍ كإيران يمتلك كل انواع الموارد ويحتاج لتحديث بنيته القديمة الداخلية نتيجة لتعرضه لحصار منذ اربعة عقود على الأقل.

كما ان إيران قطب اقليمي وازن تفتح لأوروبا وروسيا والصين مدى واسعاً بالإمكان التعاون معه اقتصادياً، وأوروبا تعرف أن الصين تريد لمشروع الحرير الخاص بها ان يسير على خط القوقاز وصولاً الى إيران فالعراق فسورية فلبنان أهم خط جيوبوليتيكي معاصر له أبعاد اساسية في الاقتصاد والقطبية العالمية.

أوروبا اذاً وسط صراع بين رغبتها العميقة بالذهاب الى إيران وبين التهديد الأميركي بمعاقبتها، وهو تهديد اقتصادي، لكنه يحمل تداعيات في الداخل الأوروبي السياسي، لجهة الدعم الأميركي المحتمل لخطوة أوروبية داخلية معارضة للسلطات الحالية ما يؤدي الى تأزيم اوضاع الثلاثي فرنسا المانيا انجلتره على نحو دراماتيكي مخيف.

فإذا كانت روسيا والصين قادرتين على تحدي العقوبات الأميركية فلا يبدو ان هذا الأمر مسهّل على دول القارة القديمة.

لذلك، فإن هذا الثلاثي يتجه الى سياسة التريث والانتظار حتى تمهد الصين الطريق الى إيران بشكل نظامي مع إطلاق عجلة مفاوضات مع إيران غير مرئية تؤكد لها فيها انها لن تتأخر كثيراً في التعاون الاقتصادي معها.

هناك نقطة أخرى مخفية يترقب الثلاثي الأوروبي تحققها وتتعلق بخسارة الرئيس الأميركي الحالي ترامب للانتخابات الرئاسية في تشرين الثاني المقبل، فيصبح التفاوض مع منافسه الديمقراطي بايدن أقل حدة وصراعاً مع احتمال التوصل الى حلول وسطى.

لكن هذا الاحتمال ليس مؤكداً فقد يفوز ترامب بالانتخابات. وهذا يعني بموجب هذا التحليل خسارة أوروبا أهم فرصة تاريخية تستطيع ان تعيدها الى قيادة العالم في اطار قطبية متعددة قال الرئيس الفرنسي ماكرون في وقت سابق إنها رباعية وتضم الصين وروسيا وأميركا وأوروبا.

المرجّح اذاً أن تدافع أوروبا عن طموحاتها في اسوأ الاحتمالات.

بما يجعلها تعوّل على اشتداد سعير الصراع الروسي الصيني الإيراني من جهة مع الأميركيين من جهة ثانية، بما يؤدي الى انكسار العقوبات الأميركية فيعود الثلاثي الفرنسي الالماني الانجليزي الى الشرق الاوسط على متن نوعين من العلاقات: الأولى خليجية ترى في أوروبا نصيراً دائماً لها والثانية إيرانية لديها افق اقليمي واسع.

بذلك تلعب أوروبا دوراً وسيطاً بين الخليج وإيران وتتمتع بعلاقات اقتصادية مع الطرفين في إطار جيد، فهل هذا ممكن؟

الأشهر المقبلة تحمل في مضمونها الجواب الشافي للصراع على تجديد القطبية العالمية.

Short Armenia vs Azerbaijan war update

Short Armenia vs Azerbaijan war update

October 15, 2020

The Saker

As was predicted by many, in spite of the agreement signed in Moscow, thing on the ground in the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan  have escalated: the Armenians have claimed that Azeri drones have attacked Armenian tactical ballistic missiles on Armenian soil and the Azeris have confirmed this, saying that this was both a warning and a preemptive attack to protect Azeri civilians.

Bottom line is this: Azerbaijan has now officially attacked Armenian soil (as opposed to Karabakh soil) and Armenia now has the right to appeal to the CSTO.  So far, the Armenians have not done so, but now they can and, I believe, probably will do so.

Another interesting development is that the USA has accused Turkey of being involved in this war.  This means that by now all three countries Russia, France and the USA are now declaring that the Turks (and or their “good terrorist” proxies from Syria) are involved.  Aliev is outraged and accused everybody of lying.

Finally, Azeri and Turkish outlets have claimed the Kurds are now fighting on the Armenian side.  However, there have been no verifiable sources for this probably false rumor.

As for the Armenian leader Pashinian, he has accused Aliev of being “Hitler”.

What does all this mean?

Well, for one thing, it was inevitable that the very first ceasefire agreement would be broken.  In such situations, they typically are.

The real risk now is that Russia will have to intervene.  There are three most likely scenarios for such an intervention:

Peacekeeping operation: that would only be possible if all sides to the conflict agree to such an operation.  At this point in time, this is still unlikely, but that could change fairly quickly.  However, Russia will only send peacekeepers if the parties agree on a long term political solution to this conflict.  Right now, they prefer fighting down to the last bullet, but this will soon change for both parties.

Peacemaking operation: for this to happen, the UNSC should agree to give a mandate to Russia under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.  While it appears that Turkey currently has no backer in the UNSC, the US and UK hate for everything and anything Russian will probably secure a double veto (with a possible French veto to boot!) just to avoid Russia succeeding at anything, including bringing peace to the region.

CSTO military intervention: in other words, Russia would strike at Azeri forces and assets to stop the Azeri aggression on Armenia.  This is something Russia absolutely will avoid, if at all possible since Russia has absolutely no desire to destroy her excellent partnership with Azerbaijan and her very tenuous and unstable partnership with Turkey (say, in Syria).

It is obvious what Russia will do next: using overt and covert means, she will try to affect the situation on the ground in such a way as to basically force both sides to agree to a Russia-led peacekeeping operation.

The main problem right now is Erdogan who is spending most of his time making inflammatory statements and who is demanding that Turkey be included in any negotiations.  The way the Turks want this is to have Turkey negotiate on behalf of Azerbaijan and Russia negotiate on behalf of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.  So far, Russia has categorically refused this option.

So where do we go from here?

Well, things are probably going to get worse before they get better.  Either that, or they will get worse before they get MUCH worse.  I hope for the first option, but if Turkey and/or Azerbaijan continue to strike at Armenia or if Armenia recognizes “Artsakh” then all bets are off.  We better pray that cool heads prevail on both sides and that Russia can make Erdogan an offer he won’t be able to refuse.  For example, the Russians might declare that the Russian contingent in Armenia will now protect the Armenian airspace with Russian air defense systems (ground or air based).  If, for no apparent reason, Azeri and/or Turkish start falling out of the skies, Erdogan might reconsider.

We shall soon find out.

Related Posts

Saudi Arabia Biggest Buyer of UK Arms in West Asia

Saudi Arabia Biggest Buyer of UK Arms in West Asia

By Staff, Agencies

A new report by the British government indicated that the United Kingdom is the second-largest arms exporter over the past decade and the biggest buyer of these weapons is West Asia, especially Saudi Arabia.

The UK has been the world’s second-biggest arms exporter after the US for the past decade, according to government figures, the Independent reported.

Last year, UK companies signed £11bn worth of contracts for military equipment and services, down from £14bn in 2018; making it the second-highest year for UK arms sales since 1983.

It meant the UK had a 16 percent share of the global arms trade in 2019.

The Campaign Against the Arms Trade [CAAT] accused the British government of “arming and supporting repression around the world.”

However, the UK government claimed its arms deals to generate thousands of high-skilled jobs and help keep the country safe.

Since 2010, the UK government has signed £86bn worth of contracts, with 60 percent of those going to the Middle East, according to data from UK Defense and Exports. Saudi Arabia was the largest buyer by far.

Aerospace accounted for 88 percent of sales and contracts, including radars and missiles as well as aircraft.

The major buyers of UK-aerospace equipment include Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Oman, the USA, and Qatar.

The UK had a 16 percent share in the global arms trade in 2019, compared to the estimated US share of 47 percent and Russia and France, which have an 11 and 10 percent share respectively.

Andrew Smith, a spokesperson for CAAT said “Arms dealers will be celebrating, but these figures should be a source of great shame.”

“Boris Johnson and his colleagues are always talking about ‘Global Britain’ and the importance of human rights and democracy, but they are arming and supporting repression around the world,” he said.

“These sales are not just numbers on a spreadsheet: for people around the world they could be a matter of life and death.”

He added, “UK-made weapons have played a devastating role in the Saudi-led bombing of Yemen, helping to create the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.”

“Wherever there is conflict there will always be arms companies trying to profit from it. This profiteering does not just enable war, it actively fuels it.”

He concluded that the sales being approved today could be used in atrocities and abuses for many years to come.

Understanding the Concepts of Imamat and Wilayat in Shi’a Islam: Iranian Revolution and Constitution, Part I

Understanding the Concepts of Imamat and Wilayat in Shi’a Islam: Iranian Revolution and Constitution, Part I

October 01, 2020

by Mansoureh Tajik for the Saker Blog

Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim, “In the Name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Who is qualified to be in the position of governing and based on what rules are two of the most essential questions with which human societies continue to wrestle. We are currently witnessing at the global stage how the fate and wellbeing of nations are tightly linked to the quality of, or lack thereof, the people in charge of their affairs and the quality of the rules with which they are governed. There is now multitude of nations and leaderships globally that operate based on many ideological shades and hues. From among them, one could choose a few systems to dissect, compare, and contrast to have a sober understanding of which system could offer the wisest framework for a given nation, why, and how. Here, I will focus on one specific form within Shi’a Islam frame of reference, that of Imamat with its extension Wilayat Faqih.

Admirers of secular and other non-secular persuasions could have their own picks and explain their version of things. While they are at it, they could also explain how theirs is working out for them but we request that they do so with intellectual honesty and solid evidence.

Happily, time is almost up for two specific groups of people who have actually been enablers of one another’s dysfunctions, true colleagues, if you will: 1) Religious hypocrites who have duplicitously used religion as a shield to further their selfish lusts and corrupt ways. 2) Non-believing seculars who have made misuse of religion by the first group a scapegoat for their ignorance, arrogance, and incompetence. They are in fact two blades of the same scissors, a match made in hell.

A genuinely interested and intellectually honest and fair person nowadays could examine all evidence about particular leaderships and nations that claim a given religion or ideology as their frame of reference and distinguish the real from the fake. Quite a few rulers around the world, for example, claim Islam as their frame of reference—let’s say, like Iran or Turkey or Saudi Arabia or Egypt or Pakistan or any other— but an impartial thinker could examine all the evidence and reach a reasonable conclusion that these nations have decidedly different systems of words and deeds even though they all claim Islam as the overarching framework. When, for instance, Ayatullah Khamenei of Iran speaks about which direction Iran and the Iranians should be, would be, and are taking, a diligent truth seeker has enough tangible, measurable, and truthful evidence to determine that this man is speaking and behaving as an honest, forthright, and God-fearing leader. In contrast, when the Sultan Al-junior Rajab Tayyib Erdogan of Turkey speaks of Islam, Muslims, and Quran, a fair person can clearly conclude based on real and tangible evidence that s/he is witnessing an Effendi Charlatan in operation.

Questions (be they real, cynical, or rhetorical) forming in the mind of those without real familiarity with Quran and Islam might include the followings: If Islam as a religion and Quran as a Book of God have qualities that they could produce such contrary products and opposite leaderships as a wise leader like Ayatullah Khamenei and a weasel like Sultan Erdogan Junior, then what good is such religion and of what use is such Book?! Random and lottery picking could have a 50/50 chance of either of the two outcomes, too. So, why bother with God, Islam, the religion, and the Book?

These are rational questions and I am glad that some are asking them, albeit with their inner voices. The short answer to these questions is that the two are not both products of the same religion and Book. They are the products of the degree to which they stay on or astray from the Right Path as set by this religion and this Book. The Leader is an example of someone who is genuinely striving to be on the Right Path to the best of his abilities. The weasel is an example of someone who has willfully deviated from the Right Path in deeds but is pretending to be on it in his ramblings. The long answer and evidence and documents supporting it constitute the core of these writings.

For the sake of transparency and for those who may be new to my essays, I must state once again that I am a Shi’a Muslim Twelve-Imami and a believer in Wilayat Faqih, the current system of governance in Iran. An important task before me here as I see it, is not to get anyone to accept or approve of this system of Imamat and Wilayat Faqih. Rather, I hope to provide enough and clearly enough explanations and examples to disentangle and clarify complex and at times decidedly contentious historical and religious facts and concepts in order to correctly convey the wisdom and the reasoning behind this particular system of leadership and governance to those who are interested and/or have an intellectual curiosity about the subject.

I am certain I cannot pack into one moderately-sized essay everything I ought to say to do a decent job of explaining without making this difficult article so lengthy that by the time people reach the middle, they will have already forgotten the beginning. Therefore, in as much a synopsis form as possible, I will Inshallah explain in this and most likely one or two follow-up essays how a delegated system of governance by God based on God’s rules as revealed in Quran and interpreted by scholars of Shi’a Twelve-Imami has worked both in theory and in practice. We shall see. I will also use historical examples from Islam and Iran in addition to relevant concepts to make the text less abstract and more comprehensible. We shall see as well how things have been working out for us the non-seculars specifically the Shi’a Muslims under Imamat and Wilayat Faqih, as operationalized in the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is not going to be an easy ride. So, do please bear with me and the essays.

“Islamic Republic, Not a Word More, Not a Word Less”

Fifty days after the victory of the Iranian Revolution in 1979, through a nation-wide referendum in which 98 percent of eligible voters participated, 99.25% of the participants voted “yes” to an Islamic Republic system of government in Iran[1] replacing a system of monarchy based on an inherited position transfer from a king to his eldest son.

The ballots were worded rather simply (See the image below): “The change from previous regime to Islamic Republic the constitution of which will be put to the nation’s vote for approval.” The “Yes” ballots were in crimson text on a green background. The “No” ballots were in red lettering on a beige background.

No gimmicks. No play on words. No deceptive tactics. It was on persistent urging of Imam Ruhullah Khomeini the referendum was held in the first place. Many were insisting that he, as the uncontested Leader of the Revolution, should just make a public announce about the change in Iran’s political system since the majority in the population was wholeheartedly supporting him anyway. Why mess with a referendum?

Imam Khomeini begged to differ. He insisted on a real tangible and measurable participation by the people of Iran. The people of Iran must put their choice into writing. A choice in which there is obligation and responsibility for their life on earth and for the Hereafter. Their decision had to be clearly documented and witnessed by themselves first and foremost, by the world at large, by the future generations, and above all, by God. A majority “yes” vote in this context could be thought of as a written Bey’at, or a written covenant of allegiance, to the very principles of Islam as the overarching framework of governance. The governed does not just consent. The governed enters into a contract to never desert the scene and to remain ever-vigilant and ever-present at war or at peace or wherever the battle is. For the past 40+ years, majority of the Iranian people, by Grace of God Almighty, have been in the scene.

It is useful to go into a bit more details about the events surrounding the referendum since it gives us an inside look into how things were back then at the beginning. Also, I might need to refer back to some segments later on in the essays. Late Sadiq Tabatabai, the spokesperson for then the transitional government, writes the details in his memoires as follows:

We were in the middle of Esfand (the 12th month in the Iranian calendar, March 1979) when Ahmad Agha (Imam Khomeini’s second son) called me from Qom. He said, “Agha says you must hold a referendum.”

I said, “That’s all good but I am not in charge!”

He said, “You should talk to the State Minister and tell him Imam says a referendum must be held.” I went to Agha Ahmad Haj Seyyed Javadi and relayed Imam’s message. He said, “A referendum needs tools. It requires provincial and regional governors. When we have none of these, how could we hold any referendum?! The State Ministry used to have a major office of elections but that is not currently active either.”

So, I called Ahmad Agha and told him what the State Minister had told me. An hour later, Ahmad Agha called again and said that Agha was asking how the referendum’s situation was progressing. I said, “Ahmad jan, this is not some dyeing barrel [an Iranian expression meaning it is not that easy].”

He said, “You know Agha and I know him, too! I am not going to go back to him a second time and say no! If you want, you come and tell him yourself.”

Immediately, I headed to Qom and went to see Imam. I said, “Agha, why a referendum? You should just make an announcement about it. The whole world knows that the entire population is behind you if you just announce that Islamic Republic is now our political system, all the people will be behind you and support you. Besides, a referendum is going to show exact same thing as well. Right now, we have no resources.”

He said, “You are not understanding things. Right now, it is as you say. But fifty years from now, they are going to turn around and say that they stirred people’s emotions and they just forced the system they wanted on them. They manipulated the public’s sentiment and had them say what they themselves told them to say. So, voting must be done and the precise number of people for and against it must be officially determined and publicly announced.”[2]

Those of us who observe on a regular basis what is spewed out of the media outlets of hostile regimes in the UK, the US, the Zionist entity in Occupied Palestine, and their regional oil wells with flags, we could see quite vividly how they are trying so desperately to distort and falsify the Iranian history and the history of our revolution. So, we find ourselves always remembering to salute Imam Khomeini for his prudence and foresight.

Within less than three weeks from the majority “yes” vote to change to an Islamic Republic, another nationwide election was held and 73 members of Majlis Khubregan-e Qanon Asasi, the Assembly of Experts for Constitutional Laws were elected directly by the people. This assembly formulated the first constitution of the Islamic Republic with Wilayat Faqih, or the Guardianship of Faqih, as its core custodial authority and stewardship through some 67 public and open sessions.[3]

The final draft of the constitution was once again put to a nationwide vote on November 22, 1979, just as it had been promised by Imam Khomeini and was clearly written on the ballots for the very first referendum (See above). Again, there were quite a few people who were insisting the constitution not to be put into another direct vote by the people. However, Imam Khomeini insisted once again on proceeding with another nationwide referendum so the people of Iran could cast their votes regarding the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The constitution was approved by nearly 95% of the eligible participants who voted positively.

Now, from among all existing systems of government, why this system and how is it different from other Islamic countries in the world? Why did it happen in 1979? Why in a Shia-majority Iran? What does “Wilayat” mean? What are the indicators of “Wilayat”? What does “Faqih” mean? What are the attributes of a “Faqih”? Why should a “Wali Faqih” become the supreme steward of the entire system? Where did this system and its principle concepts come from and why? Where is it headed, how, and why?

We will get to all these questions and more. But it is important to first contextualize the formation of this decidedly religious system by examining the global socio- and geo-political context in which it was being established during the last quarter of the 20th Century. I apologize for zigzagging back and forth through time. It is a necessary tactic here to get to some significant events.

The Iranian Islamic Revolution in a Global Context

Written in blood-red color and pasted on a solid black background a rhetorical question was plastered on the cover of Time magazine on April 8, 1966, about thirteen years before the victory of the Iranian Revolution. At the cost of 35 cents per issue, a willfully ostentatious question read: “Is God Dead?”[4] The cover, for the first time ever, used no figures, photographs, or drawings. Dismissal of a deeply-rooted system of belief in God was gleefully advertised. No need for any distractions and pictorial bells and whistles. The title aimed to rehash a rhetoric of Nietzsche from eight decades earlier written in The Gay Science:

“After Buddha was dead, people showed his shadow for centuries afterwards in a cave,—an immense rightful shadow. God is dead: but as the human race is constituted, there will perhaps be caves for millenniums yet, in which people will show his shadow.—And we—we have still to overcome his shadow.”[5]

A shadow play, heh?! In the Time article, the author had not failed to overestimate the power of the self-proclaimed liberals of the West. Nor had it faltered to underestimate God and men of God. He wrote, “Secularization, science, urbanization all have made it comparatively easy for the modern man to ask where God is and hard for the man of faith to give a convincing answer, even to himself.” He was, after all, catering to his bosses’ greed to sell a few more copies of the magazine at 35 cents a piece. His boss was catering to the greed of his masters at Meredith Corporation to keep his job. Meredith Corporation in turn was catering to the greed of its shareholders at New York Stock Exchange to show a noticeable rise in their stock price. Greed, a deadly Sin? Says who?

The harbingers of the self-declared liberal West intoxicated by a feeling of intestinal fortitude failed to see, or more accurately refused to believe, what was going on right under their aloofly laic noses in their most precious puppet kingdoms. While the West was busy closing the file on anything God might say about the governance and rulership of people and societies in the West itself and around the world, Imam Ruhullah Khomeini, a man of God in his sixties then, who was sent to exile in Najaf by Shah’s regime was hard at work to bring the Word of God into the governance of the people who believed in God, and in Iran of all places.

Around the time the Time article was being circulated in April 1966, Imam Khomeini gave a mission to his first son, Agha Mostafa Khomeini to take part in Hajj and make connections with other Muslim activists and inform them of the aims and the progress of the Islamic movement. Shah’s SAVAK (National Intelligence and Information Agency) in close collaboration with Istikhbarat (Information Ministry) in Iraq and Saudi Arabia is following the movement. A memo from the central office of Shah’s SAVAK that was forwarded to a local office of SAVAK in Qom (See the image below) reads:

“Information obtained indicates Mostafa Khomeini, the son of Ayatullah Khomeini, who in the current year went to Mecca, has had contacts with a few radical elements including Majdiddin Mahllati, one of the opposition clerics in Shiraz. They have made some decisions for the months of Muharram and Safar. Since it is probable that these types of people, upon their return to Iran, create incitements, you must order a complete surveillance of the known entities and make necessary arrangements and announce the outcome.”[6]

Iran was a country that was groomed by the lords of the West and through overt and covert operations and a major coup d’etat to become its most darling puppet secular regime and Gendarme in Persian Gulf. It was to be Shi’a only in name and a great model for the region. Even up until two years before the victory of the Iranian Revolution, Jimmy Carter referred to it as an “Island of Stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world.” How boorishly unschooled. (To be continued.)

References

[1] The Center for Islamic Revolution Documents, “Media Narrative Regarding the Islamic Republic Referendum on Farvardin 12, 1358.” News Code: 4822. Published online at 12:19, Farvardin 12, 1398 (April 1, 2019). Accessed online through the Center’s site: http://irdc.ir/

[2] Tabatabai S. “Social and Political Memoires of Dr. Sadeq Tabatabai.” Vol. 3, Pages 269-276. Translated from Farsi.

[3] Madani, Seyyed J (1382). “A Review of the Formation of the Islamic Republic’s Constitution.” Portal of Comprehensive Social Sciences, Zamaneh, No. 16. Social Sciences and Cultural Studies Research Center, Article Number: 9644. Online at: Insani.ir

[4] Time. Available online at: http://content.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,19660408,00.html

[5] Friedrich Nietzsche (2001). “The Gay Science.” Willimas B., the Editor; Nauckhoff J., the Translator. Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, UK. Available online at: http://www.holybooks.com/the-gay-science-friedrich-nietzsche

[6] SAVAK Memo #1432600011 to Qom’s SAVAK. Central Office of National Intelligence and Security Agency, Prime Minister’s Office, Farvardin 25, 1345 (April 14, 1966).

The World Has Gone Absolutely Insane!

THE SAKER • SEPTEMBER 25, 2020

We all know that we are living in crazy, and dangerous, times, yet I can’t help being awed at what the imperial propaganda machine (aka the legacy ziomedia) is trying to make us all swallow. The list of truly batshit crazy stuff we are being told to believe is now very long, and today I just want to pick on a few of my “favorites” (so to speak).

First, of course, comes the “Novichok Reloaded” scandal around the alleged poisoning of the so-called “dissident” Alexei Navalnyi. I already mentioned this absolutely ridiculous story once, so I won’t repeat it all here. I just want to mention a few very basic facts:

  • Navalnyi is pretty much a discredited non-entity in Russia. “Putin” (because this is how the imperial propaganda machine always personalizes the evils of Russia: “Putin” did this or that, as if Putin was personally in every alleged Russian evil deed) had absolutely and exactly zero reasons to harm Navalnyi in any way. I would even add that IF Navalnyi was poisoned in Russia (which I do not believe) then the FSB screwed up by not offering him 24/7 protection, especially in the current political climate (i.e. struggle for the completion of North Stream 2).
  • The Empire always likes to produce a “sacrificial lamb” to symbolize the putative evil of the nation which dares to resist. In Iran it was Neda, in Kuwait the infamous “incubator babies”, in Syria anonymous kids killed by Russian gas, and in Russia it was Nemtsov (did not really work) and now Navalnyi (I wonder who the sacrificial lamb will be in Belarus (Tikhanovskaia?). The FSB should have seen this coming, especially after Nemtsov.
  • There is exactly zero evidence that the mineral water bottle which the Germans claim contained traces of, what else, “Novichok”, ever was anywhere near Navalnyi or even that it ever was in Russia. No such bottle was found by, or mentioned to the Russian investigators. This bottle was, allegedly, hidden from the FSB by Navalnyi supporters, and secretly brought to Germany. What that means in terms of “chain of custody” is self-evident.
  • As I have mentioned in my past article, if what the German authorities are claiming is true, then the Russians are truly the dumbest imbeciles on the planet. Not content to use this now famous “Novichok” gas against Skripal in the UK and after failing to kill Skripal, these stupid Russians decided to try the very same gas, only “improved”, and they failed again: Navalnyi is quite alive and well, thank you!
  • Then there is this: according to the imperial propaganda machine, Novichok was so horribly dangerous, that the Brits had to use full biosuits to investigate the alleged poisoning of Skripal. They also said that they would completely destroy the dangerous Skripal home (though they never did that). The self same propaganda machine says that the Novichok used on Navalnyi was a more powerful, improved version. Okay. Then try to answer this one: why did the Russians NOT put on biosuits, why did not a single passenger suffer from any side effects (inside a closed aircraft cabin!)? How is it that this super-dooper Novichok not only failed to kill Navalnyi (who, allegedly, ingested it!) but also failed to even moderately inconvenience anybody from the many people Navalnyi was surrounded by on that day?

I could continue to deconstruct all this nonsense, but that would take pages. I will mention two thing though:

First, the Russians have requested any and all evidence available to the Germans and to the Organization for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons – but they got absolutely nothing in return. Yet the EU is demanding an investigation (which is already under way in Russia anyway!) as if the Russians did not want the exact same!

After being exposed to an improved Novichok and after weeks in coma in intensive care, here is Navalnyi trotting down stairs feeling great

After being exposed to an improved Novichok and after weeks in coma in intensive care, here is Navalnyi trotting down stairs feeling great

Second, Navalnyi apparently has an immunity to otherwise deadly Russian biological agents, just take a look at him on this post-Novichok photo:

[By the way, the first time around the Brits also never gave the Russians any information, nevermind any kind of evidence. Apparently, to hide some super-secret secrets. Yeah, right!]

Next, I absolutely have to mention the absolutely insane situation around Belarus.

To make a long story short, the EU wants to sanction Russia for intervening in Belarus while that self-same EU is intervening in every possible imaginable manner: from the Poles who treat Tikhanovskaia as a modern False Dmitri the Fifth (see here for a summary of Polish-run False Dmitris), to the promise of a special “Marshall Plan for Belarus”, to the coordination of all the protests from Poland. The EU refuses to recognize Lukashenko as the winner (in spite of the fact that there is exactly zero evidence suggesting that Lukashenko lost) and refers to Tikhanovskaia as the “Leader of Belarus” (whatever that means).

As for our US American friends, having learned exactly nothing from the abject failure of their Guaido coup in Venezuela, they now want to repeat exactly the same with Tikhanovskaia in Belarus. As a result, Tikhanovskaia has been re-christened “Juanita Guaido”

But the worst are still the Europeans. Not only are they prostituting themselves to the leaders of the Empire, the following countries were the first to declare that they will not recognize Lukashenko as the leader of Belarus: Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia (which is no surprise, they all compete for the title of most pro-US colony on the planet), but also putatively mentally sane countries such as Germany, Czechia, Slovakia, Denmark. The case of Germany is particularly amazing, because Germany will now be placed under immense pressure to cancel North Stream 2, something which the entire German industry opposes. Eventually, the US, Canada, the Ukraine, the UK and the entire EU joined in and also refused to recognize Lukashenko as the leader of Belarus.

What is especially amazing to me is that these EU imbeciles apparently don’t care that without North Stream 2 they will have to purchase US gas, at much higher prices, which will make the EU economy less effective than the US one. And I thought that prostitutes are always acutely aware of the money they can make: not the European ones, apparently.

Still, I think that the “top honor” in this category goes to Poland which, while condemning some undefined Russian intervention in Belarus, runs the NEXTA Telegram channel which runs videos like this one: (in Russian – no, not in Belarusian, they know that 99.9999% Belarussians speak Russian):

Oh, but it gets better.

NATO seems to be trying to frighten Russia with maneuvers in Poland and B-52 flights over the Ukraine and the Black Sea (see here for a full analysis). As for the Poles and Ukronazis, they apparently believe that the Russian bear covered himself in poop and ran away at full speed.

What I am going to say next is not a secret, every military person who looked into this issue knows and understands this: NATO, and I mean the combined power of all NATO member states, simply does not have the hardware needed to wage a war against Russia in Europe. What NATO does have is only sufficient to trigger a serious incident which might result in a shooting war. But once this war starts, the chances of victory for NATO are exactly zero. Why?

Well, for one thing, while coalitions of countries might give a thin veneer of political legitimacy to a military action (in reality, only a UNSC resolution would), in purely military terms you are much better off having a single national military. Not only that, but coalitions are nothing but the expression of an often held delusion: the delusion that the little guy can hide behind the back of the big guy. Poland’s entire history can be summarized in this simple principle: strike the weak and bootlick (or even worse!) the powerful. In contrast, real military powers don’t count on some other guy doing the heavy lifting for them. They simply fight until they win.

Yes, the Europeans, being the cowards that they are, do believe that there is safety in numbers. But each time these midgets gang up on Russia and start barking (or, to use Putin’s expression, start oinking) all together, the Russians clearly see that the Europeans are afraid. Otherwise, they would not constantly seek somebody to protect them (even against a non-existing threat).

As a direct result of this delusion, NATO simply does not have the equivalent of the First Guard Tank Army in spite of the fact that NATO has a bigger population and much bigger budgets than Russia. Such a tank Army is what it would take to fight a real war in Europe, Russia has such an Army. NATO does not.

The other thing NATO does not have is a real integrated multi-layered air defense system. Russia does.

Lastly, NATO has no hypersonic weapons. Russia does.

(According to President Trump, the US does have super-dooper “hydrosonic” weapons, but nobody really knows what that is supposed to mean).

I would even argue that the comparatively smaller Belarusian military could make hamburger meat of the roughly three times larger Polish armed forces in a very short time (unlike the Poles, the Belarusian are excellent soldiers and they know that they are surrounded by hostile countries on three sides).

As for the “armed forces” of the Baltic statelets, they are just a sad joke.

One more example: the Empire is now sending ships into the Black Sea as some kind of “show of force”. Yet, every military analyst out there knows that the Black Sea is a “Russian lake” and that no matter how many ships the US or NATO sends into the Black Sea, their life expectancy in case of a conflict would be measured in minutes.

There is a popular expression in Russia which, I submit, beautifully sums up the current US/NATO doctrine: пугать ежа голой задницей, which can be translated as “trying to scare a hedgehog with your naked bottom”.

The truth is that NATO military forces currently are all in very bad shape – all of them, including the US – and that their only advantage over Russia is in numbers. But as soon as you factor in training, command and control, the ability to operate with severely degraded C3I capabilities, the average age of military hardware or morale – the Russian armed forces are far ahead of the West.

Does anybody sincerely believe that a few B-52s and a few thousand soldiers from different countries playing war in Poland will really scare the Russian generals?

But if not – why the threats?

My explanation is simple: the rulers of the Empire simply hope that the people in the West will never find out how bad their current military posture really is, and they also know that Russia will never attack first – so they simply pretend like they are still big, mighty and relevant. This is made even easier by the fact that the Russians always downplay their real capabilities (in sharp contrast to the West which always brags about “the best XYZ in the world”). That, and the fact that nobody in the Western ruling classes wants to admit that the game is over and that the Empire has collapsed.

Well, they apparently can hide these truisms from most of their public opinion: Trump promises super-dooper missiles and big red buttons, and his supporters immediately wave (Chinese made) US flags! But I assure you that the Russians (political leaders and even the general public) know what the real score is.

Yet the Empire still refuses to deal with Russia in any other way except insults, bullying, threats, accusations, sanctions, and constant sabre-rattling. This has never, and I mean never, worked in the past, and it won’t work in the future. But, apparently, NATO generals simply cannot comprehend that insanity can be defined as “doing the same thing over and over again, while hoping to achieve different results”.

Finally, I will conclude with a short mention of US politicians.

First, Trump. He now declares that the Russians stole the secret of hypersonic weapons from Obama. This reminds me of how the Brits declared that Russia stole their vaccine against the sars-cov-2 virus. But, if the Russians stole all that, why is it that ONLY Russia has deployed hypersonic weapons (not the US) and ONLY Russia has both two vaccines and 2 actual treatments (and not the UK)? For a good laugh, check out Andrei Martyanov’s great column “Russia Steal Everything”.

And then there is Nancy Pelosi who, apparently, is considering, yes, you guessed it – yet another impeachment attempt against Trump? The charge this time? Exercising this Presidential prerogative to nominate a successor to Ruth Ginsburg. Okay, Pelosi might be senile, but she also is in deep denial if she thinks impeaching Trump is still a viable project. Frankly? I think that she lost it.

In fact, I think that all the Dems have gone absolutely insane: they are now considering packing both the Supreme Court and the Senate. The fact that doing so will destroy the US political system does not seem to bother them in the least.

Conclusion: quos Deus vult perdere prius dementat!

We live in a world where facts or logic have simply become irrelevant and nobody cares about such clearly outdated categories. We have elevated “doubleplusgoodthinking” into an art form. We have also done away with the concepts of “proof” or “evidence” which we have replaced with variations on the “highly likely” theme. We have also, for all practical purpose, jettisoned the entire corpus of international law and replaced it with “rules-based international order“. In fact, I can only agree with Chris Hedges who, in his superb book the “Empire of illusions” and of the “triumph of spectacle”. He is absolutely correct: not only is this a triumph of appearance over substance, and of ideology over reality, it is even the triumph of self-destruction over self-preservation.

There is not big “master plan”, no complex international conspiracy, no 5D chess. All we have is yet another empire committing suicide and, like so many before this one, this suicide is executed by this empire’s ruling classes.

As His Extradition Trial Drags on, Media and Rights Groups Are Still Ignoring Julian Assange

By Alan Macleod

Source

Many mainstream rights groups and media organizations have a mixed history when it comes to opposing Washington’s agenda. The case of Julian Assange has been no exception.

The extradition case of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange continues in London. The U.S. government is indicting the Australian living on the other side of the world under its own Espionage Act, with the case widely seen as setting an important precedent for freedom of speech and of the media worldwide.

Yet as the case reaches its pinnacle, a number of press freedom groups have gone silent on the matter. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has not mentioned Assange in months, on either its website or its Twitter account. London-based PEN International has only one article this year on the Australian and appears to have gone quiet since July. The CPJ has also refused to include him among its list of jailed journalists, arguing that Wikileaks’ role is more that of a publisher. While this could be debatable, the omission of by far the most famous and influential of the world’s 248 imprisoned media figures could be seen as a politically calculated decision.

Big media outlets seem just as uninterested in the U.S. government’s attempts to capture the man who released hundreds of thousands of documents detailing American war crimes, including the deliberate killing of two Reuters journalists. The New York Times, for instance, has published only two articles on the subject, and nothing in eleven days. But the Times’ coverage is better than most outlets, with nothing whatsoever in CNN, and MSNBC’s entire coverage amounting to one sentence, which discussed the DNC hacks, but not the hearing.

To be fair to the media, the conditions the U.K. government has set for the case make it absurdly difficult for journalists to follow. The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that public access is highly restricted, while only a small handful of journalists are allowed into the courtroom every day. Journalists wishing to watch live proceedings must register as journalists and log in between exactly 9:30 and 9:40 a.m. If they miss the time, they cannot access the session, and if they disconnect at any time, even because of a momentary lapse in wifi, they are shut out of the system. Journalists have complained throughout Assange’s cases of poor connections and an inability to hear anything during proceedings. That has not stopped the committed, however, with smaller organizations continuing to report the proceedings live.

In recent days the argument between the prosecution and the defense has revolved around Assange’s mental state. A psychiatrist on the U.S.’ government’s side told the Old Bailey yesterday that he believes Assange to be a “resilient” character with only “mild clinical depression” and would therefore be able to “resist any suicidal impulse” were he to be sent to the U.S. Assange is facing up to 175 years in a Colorado supermax jail, sometimes described as one of the few blacksites on American soil. Inmates at the center are regularly force fed and are barred from sharing their stories.

On the other hand, a doctor who treated him while he was forced to live in the Ecuadorian embassy in London stressed her dismay at his deterioration while being held in Belmarsh Prison. “I think Mr. Assange is at very high risk of completing a suicide if he were to be extradited,” she told the judge.

FILE – In this Sunday, June 16, 2013 file photo, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, left, appears with Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, file)

The Assange case has enormous ramifications for the future of press freedom. The government has included a great many standard journalistic procedures — such as protecting sources’ names, using encrypted files, and encouraging sources to leak more to them — among its reasons for indictment. This, many have argued, would essentially criminalize investigative journalism. Trevor Timm, a co-founder of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, told the courtroom that if Assange is prosecuted, then every journalist who has possessed a secret or leaked file — the lifeblood of the industry — could be charged.

Speaking to German filmmakers, ex-CIA Director Leon Panetta was remarkably blunt about the U.S.’ goal: “All you can do is hope you can ultimately take action against those that were involved in revealing that information so you can send a message to others not to do the same thing,” he said, strongly implying that the indictment is politically motivated and a warning to others who might challenge the empire.The Cost of ResistanceWhere will Julian Assange end up if his extradition is successful and Roger Hallam and the end of the revolutionary initiative.

Unfortunately, many of the mainstream rights groups that the world relies on to lead on matters of importance have a mixed history when it comes to directly opposing Washington’s agenda. Human Rights Watch (HRW), for instance, carried water for the U.S.-backed coup in Bolivia last year, its director, Kenneth Roth, describing it as a “transitional moment” and an “uprising,” rather than the manifestly more appropriate word, “coup.” HRW also described the new military government’s law giving all security forces complete immunity from prosecution merely a “problematic decree,” rather than a license to massacre, which is exactly what they did immediately.

HRW has not discussed Assange for nearly 18 months, the most recent result on its website dated May 2019 (although this was a clear defense of his rights). Amnesty International, on the other hand, has forcefully condemned the U.S. attempt and has been repeatedly blocked in its attempts to have its fair trial monitors enter the courtroom. “This hearing is the latest worrying salvo in a full-scale assault on the right to freedom of expression,” said Amnesty’s Europe Director, Nils Muižnieks.

Jaafari to UNSC: US, Turkey, White Helmets Plot Chemical Attack in Idlib

September 11, 2020 Miri Wood

Syrian Ambassador to the UNSC Bashar Jaafari
H.E. Bashar al Jaafari

Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, His Excellency Dr. Bashar al Jaafari dropped another bombshell at the 84th meeting of the UNSC on the ‘Syrian chemical weapons’ file since the passage of UNSCR 2118 (2013), noting that a certain American envoy recently visited Turkey to plot out a new chemical weapons attack in Idlib.

This meeting of 10 September was one of the most tediously repetitious in terms of the same strident, criminal lies of the NATO klansmen running the United Nations. Even the normal cacophony of the House Servant echolalia was a bit more annoying than usual.

UNSC: Mostly NATO klan & underlings.

A simple synopsis of the NATO Security Council members as follows: UK, liar; France, liar in French; US, liar by weary enough to emit the parapraxis of “damned findings” instead of “damning” something or other; Germany, liar; Belgium, liar; Estonia, liar auditioning for future penholder gig.

H.E. Bashar al Jaafari noted UNSC being turned into a platform for North Atlantic Treaty Organization to support Turkish aggression against Syria. [Archive]
H.E. Bashar al Jaafari noted UNSC being turned into a platform for North Atlantic Treaty Organization to support Turkish aggression against Syria. [Archive]

Additionally, all of the lies told by the liars were based on the lies of the ignoble OPCW, which traded its once noble goals in a Mephistophelean pact with Dick Cheney, to eject Jose Bustani from its leadership.

Not only are its reports on Ltamenah and Khan Sheikhoun criminal lies against Syria — based on lies from al Qaeda, including the stethoscope-less White Helmets — its very reports admit that investigators did not enter either place because the safety of the investigators in the midst of al Qaeda havens could not be guaranteed.

syria - Terrorists of Ltamenah. Archive.
Medics of Ltamenah, . Archive.

His Excellency Vassily Nebenzia was on righteous fire. The videos of his statement and his exchange with the German liar who persisted in deviating from the lying topic of the OPCW lies against Syria, to lie that Russia had poisoned some silly ‘opposition’ guy that nobody ever heard of until he allegedly keeled over in flight, will be added to this report when they become available.

H.E. Vassily Nebenzia, Russia's Permanent Representative to the UNSC
H.E. Vassily Nebenzia, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UNSC

The UK liar chimed in to disgustingly reaffirm her country’s complete support of the organ trading, kidnapping, necrophiliac, pedonecrophiliac, criminally insane murdering White Helmets — who are also likely engaged in marketing abducted Syrian children on the dark web.

White Helmets humanitarians on the corpses of murdered Syrian soldiers whose boots have been stolen.
white-helmets
Snuff porn, war porn, pedonecrophilia. Courtesy, White Helmets.
alqaeda-white-helmets
White Helmets abusing corpses of murdered Syrian soldiers in Daraa. [Archive]
White Helmets
How did a White Helmet come into possession of a dead fetus & why does this pervert play with the body?
femicide Now soaked boy wipes water from his eyes. Baby on bed is soaked & shivering.
Now soaked boy wipes water from his eyes. Baby on bed is soaked & shivering.
Two White Helmets with Syrian soldiers kidnapped in Khan Touman, 7 May 2016.
femicide Hollywood elite excludes Syrian women captives from #MeToo!
Kidnapped Syrian women put into cages are not considered part of the #MeToo movement.
afp
Syrian boy tortured for two Helmet photo op ‘rescues.’

Just as Ambassador al Jaafari was about to speak, the French liar rudely interrupted and in English snarled her support of the criminal lies of the German, that had been hurled against the Russian ambassador.

As always, H.E. Jaafari threw pearls before swine.

As always, the noble diplomat used his intellect as a boxer uses his fists.

— Miri Wood

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Russia – Nord Stream 2 vs. Poisoning of Alexei Navalny

By Peter Koenig

Global Research, September 07, 2020

Wednesday, 2 September – all German TV channels – mainstream media were focused unilaterally on the alleged Novichok poisoning of Russian opposition critique, Alexei Navalny. This “breaking-news” poison discovery was made in Germany two weeks after he has been flown from Tomsk in Siberia to Moscow, when he fell ill on the plane and the airliner had to return to Tomsk for an emergency landing.

Navalny was hospitalized in Tomsk, put in an artificial coma and closely observed. His family wanted him immediately to be flown out of Russia to Berlin, Germany, to get western attention and western treatment. So, the story goes. At first the medical staff at Tomsk hospital said that Navalny’s health was not stable enough for a transport of this kind. A few days later they gave the green light for flying him to Germany. Berlin sent a hospital plane – at German taxpayer’s cost – to fly the “poisoned” political patient to Berlin, where during the last 14 days he has been in an artificial coma in Berlin’s University Hospital “Charité”. At least that’s what the government reports.

After 11 days, finally “scientists” – supposedly military toxicologists, have discovered that Navalny was poisoned with military grade nerve gas Novichok.

Military grade! – It reminds vividly of the other bizarre Novichok case – Sergei and Yulia Skripal, father and daughter, who were found on March 12, 2018 on a park bench in Salisbury, Britain, unconscious. The location was about 12 km down the road from the British top-secret P-4 security military lab Porton Down in Wiltshire, one of the few labs in the world that still are capable to produce Novichok. The immediate reaction of Britain and the world was then, like today: Putin did it! Sergei Skripal was a Russian double agent, who was released from Russia more than a decade earlier and lived peacefully in England.

What interest would Mr. Putin have to poison him? However, the UK and Big Brother Washington had all the interest in the world to invent yet another reason to bash and slander Russia and President Putin. The same as today with Alexei Navalny.

Isn’t it strange that the Skripals as well as Navalny survived? And that after having been poisoned with what military experts claim to be the deadliest nerve agent ever? Although nobody has seen the Skripals after they were hospitalized 2 years ago, it seems they are still alive. Were they perhaps given US-British shelter under the guise of the so-called US-witness protection program – a full new identity, hiding in plain view?

The immediate question was then and is today, why would Mr. Putin poison his adversaries? That would be the most unwise thing to do. Everybody knows much too well that Mr. Putin is the world’s foremost perceptive, incisive and diplomatic statesman. Alexei Navalny wasn’t even a serious contender. His popularity was less than 5%. Compare this with Mr. Putin’s close to 80% approval rating by the Russian population. Navalny is known as a rightwing activist and troublemaker. Anybody who suggests such an absurdity, that the Kremlin would poison Navalny, is outright crazy.

If there would have been a plot to get rid of Navalny – why would he be poisoned with the deadliest nerve gas there is – and, as he survives, being allowed to be flown out to the west- literally into the belly of the beast? That would be even more nonsensical.

Yet the mainstream media keep hammering it down without mercy, without even allowing for the slightest doubt – down into the brains of the suspected brainwashed Germans and world populations. But the German population is the least brainwashed of all Europe. In fact, Germans are the most awaken of the globe’s wester populace. It clearly shows when they resist their government’s (and the 193 nations governments’ around the world) covid tyranny with a peaceful Berlin protest of 1 August of 1.3 million people in the streets and a similar one on 29 August.

Nevertheless, Madame Merkel’s reaction was so ferocious on September 2 on TV and with the media, as well as talking to leaders from around the world on how to react to this latest Russian atrocity and how to punish and sanction President Putin, that even conservative politicians and some mainstream journalist started wondering – what’s going on?Navalny Poisoning – The Real Target Is Russian-German Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

It’s a debateless accusation of Russia. There is no shred of evidence and there are no alternatives being considered. The simplest and most immediate question one ought to ask in such circumstances is “cui bono” – who benefits? – But no. The answer to this question would clearly show that President Putin and Russia do not benefit from this alleged poisoning at all. So, who does?

The evolving situation is so absurd that not a single word coming out of the German Government can be believed. It all sounds like a flagrant lie; like an evil act of smearing Russia without a reason, and that exactly at the time when Europe, led by Germany was about to improve relations with Russia. The gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 is a vivid testimony for closer relations between Germany, and by association Europe – with Russia – or is it?

One of Joseph Goebbels (Hitler’s propaganda Minister) famous sayings was, when a lie is repeated enough it becomes the truth.

Peculiarly enough, and without any transit-thought, the German rightwing, the CDU-party in particular, came immediately forward with recommending – no, demanding – an immediate halt of the Nord Stream 2 project – canceling the contract with Russia. The “biggest punishment” for Putin. “It will hurt Russia deep in their already miserable down-trodden economy”, were some comments. Those were angry anti-Russian voices. Another lie. The Russian economy is doing well, very well, as compared to most western economies, despite covid.

What do Russian health and toxicology authorities say, especially those who treated Mr. Navalny in the hospital of Tomsk?

RT reports, according to Alexander Sabaev, the chief toxicologist who cared for him in Siberia, if Alexey Navalny’s condition were caused by a substance from the ‘Novichok’ group, the people accompanying him should also be suffering from the fallout. Instead, Dr. Sabaev believes that Navalny’s condition was caused by an “internal trigger mechanism.” Novichok is an organophosphorus compound, and, due to its high toxicity, it is not possible to poison just one person. He explained, “As a rule, other accompanying people will also be affected.”

Doctors in the Tomsk Emergency Hospital, where activist Navalny lay in a coma for almost two days, found no traces of toxic substances in his kidneys, liver, or lungs, Alexander Sabaev, leading the investigation, concluded that Navalny was not poisoned.

So – why was Dr. Alexander Sabaev not interviewed on German TV – or by the western mainstream media?

Neither were members of other German parties interviewed, for example Die Linke (the Left), or the SPD – the Social Democratic Party. None. None of the medical doctors or “scientists” who were treating Alexei Navalny at Charité, and who allegedly discovered the deadly poison (but not deadly enough) in Navalny’s body, were interviewed.

Nor was the former Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder (Ms. Merkel’s predecessor, 1998-2005) interviewed about his opinion. Schroeder, a member of the SPD, is one of the master minds of Nord Stream 2 and is currently the chairman of the board of Nord Stream AG and of Rosneft. Would he think that Mr. Putin was as foolish as to kill this German-Russia unifying project by poisoning a right-wing activist, a non-adversary?

Of course not.

Therefore, who benefits?

The United States has for years been objecting vividly and voraciously against this pipeline. Trump: “Why should we pay for NATO to defend Germany, when Germany buys gas from Russia and makes herself dependent on Russia?” – He added, “We offer Germany and Europe all the gas and energy they need.” Yes, the US is offering “fracking gas” at much higher cost than the Russian gas. There are countries in Europe whose Constitution would not allow buying fracking gas, due to the environmentally damaging fracking process.

Is it possible that this was another one of those brilliant acts of the CIA or other US intelligence agencies? – Or a combination of CIA and the German Bundesnachrichtendienst (German Federal Intelligence Service) – or an EU-NATO trick? By now it’s no longer a secret that NATO runs Brussels, or at least calls the shots on issues of US interests concerning the European Union or its member states.

Is it possible that Angela Merkel was chosen by the deep-deep state to combat President Putin and Russia? This time by bashing and smearing them with lies – lies as gross as poisoning an opposition activist? To kill the pipeline? What will it be next time?

Today, the first time, official Germany through Mr. Heiko Maas, Foreign Minister, has questioned and threatened the Nord Stream 2 German-Russian joint venture – “if Moscow does not collaborate.” Mr. Haas knows very well, there is nothing to collaborate, as Russia was not involved. It is the same argument, if Moscow does not collaborate (in the case of the Skripals) that was used by Theresa May, then British PM, to punish Russia with further sanctions.

Indeed, all is possible in today’s world, where the Washington empire is faltering by the day and the Powers that Be are desperate that their international fraud base – the US-dollar – may be disappearing. Because, not only are Nord Stream 1 and 2 delivering Russian gas to Germany and Europe, but the gas is traded in euros and rubles and not in US-dollars.

Think about it. Killing (or – so far – poisoning) a Russian opposition leader to demolish the German-Russian Nord Stream 2 project? – This is certainly a crime within the realm and “competence” of the US Government and its western allies.

*

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This article was originally published on New Eastern Outlook.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; New Eastern Outlook (NEO); RT; Countercurrents, Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; Greanville Post; Defend Democracy Press; The Saker Blog, the and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

Featured image is from Land Destroyer ReportThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Peter Koenig, Global Research, 2020

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Relentless March

August 30, 2020

Relentless March

by Katerina for the Saker Blog

I left Russia at the tender age of 24, left not because I wanted to leave my country, just simply happened to marry a foreigner who was there at the time and for several years now been living and working in three very different countries, including Scotland and England. Now I am living in yet another English-speaking country that is equally unique and different. I like to think that my experience of these four different cultures, outlooks, attitudes, not to mention systems, had most definitely expanded my horizons. I also want to think that such experience had allowed me to make certain assessments and analysis which hopefully could be translated into informed opinions.

I have been coming to this site for over two years now since it is rather “pro Russian” and therefore my interest was obvious. I have been reading Saker’s and his contributors posts with great interest, although reading some comments was at times bewildering. There are of course some very intelligent analytical comments and commentators on Saker’s blog, after all that is one of the reasons why we want to come here – for the knowledge we might not yet have, for the insight, for an intelligent analyses by someone who took the trouble and for someone’s else point of view that perhaps can make us think – that’s how I see this blog, and I am sure so does Saker. What compelled me to write this piece, a belief that most people coming to this blog are also looking for that same thing, otherwise why bother. On the other hand some of their expressed comments are not opinions but attitudes. Let me explain the difference. Opinion is something that is based on knowledge and at least some research, an attitude is something that expresses a person’s individual take on some particular issue, which has been shaped by picking up some information possibly from MSM, or from social media or wherever without really ANALYZING it but accepting it because it fits with that person’s mentality. See the difference?

I also see in some comments an understandable ignorance of things Russian and I cannot blame them for that, at least they are interested enough to be on this site, which is commendable. Except some obvious troll like creatures, who try to have some facade but most people here I think are a fairly intelligent lot and can see thru that.

In this my small contribution I would like to try and help with a bit more understanding of Russian side of things, which I suppose is rather difficult for people in the West to really understand, as we have lots of pervasive Western media that does not give one a true picture of Russia. Also, I would endeavor to provide some analysis or at least some explanation on the seemingly ingrained animosity of the West towards Russia and it’s possible origins.

So, let’s start.

“Things Russian”. Here I can try to give you some information that you will not get in your Western MSM, for sure. Having Russian as your first language is a great advantage when you can watch, read and listen to what is happening in Russia at present, what is the general mood that comes across, what worries and concerns them, what they think. One can get a pretty clear picture of all of that through their news channels, daily talk shows, expert’s opinions, people’s comments, etc on practically a daily basis. My knowledge on the subject, I can assure you, is up to date.

First, here are some myths that I want to blow apart for some people – Russia and Russians are NOT that greatly enamored with the West that they are so desperately wanting to be “accepted” and “approved” by this West. FAR FROM IT!

Lots of them, having seen the West’s insane, reckless and criminal behavior such as what it has done to Ukraine, hysterics regarding Crimea going back to Mother Russia, MH17 hideous crime, made-up Scripal garbage, expulsion of Russian Diplomats, criminal seizing of Russian diplomatic property, endless sanctions and relentless demonization of Russia and it’s President – feel it’s enough to start a war! No, whatever warm feelings they might have had in the past towards the West after break- up of USSR and hopes of being friendly at last – all these feelings have been killed and long gone. Now, just as it was back in history, they want to keep the distance. Some of the Western poison seeps thru occasionally but that does not get much traction. The so called “opposition” in Russia mostly survives on Soros’s grants and in Russia they even have a name for them -“sorosyata”, which roughly translates as a Soros’s little piglets. These who join them in their various protests are usually mindless youth looking for a bit of excitement. Too much of that excitement can land them with a heavy fine or expulsion from whatever learning establishment they attend. That cools a lot of hot heads. So, whatever one reads in western media regarding strong Russian “opposition” to Putin’s “dictatorship”, bear in mind he has as much fear of this opposition as an elephant of a flea on it’s back. Besides, if he was such a dictator this lot would not be allowed even to exist as an “opposition”, but they even have their own media channels – I reckon the government sees that as the best way to keep an eye on them.

No, there are no censorship, dictatorship or any other “ship” in Russia that does not allow people, however deluded, to express themselves, but in a civilized fashion. Cities are spotlessly clean, excellent infrastructure, every restaurant you could wish for, great bars and nightclubs, same make of cars on the roads as in any European city, friendly people and no homeless on the streets. Those football fans that arrived in Russia from all over the world for the World Cup couple of years ago, had to “pick their jaws off the pavement”. They could not believe what they were seeing as it was so totally different to what they were expecting from the images shaped for them by western media.

This is modern Russia.

In the last 25 years lots of Russians have traveled around Europe, UK, States, etc – something they could not do so easily before – they had a look, and what most of them discovered is that the grass definitely wasn’t greener on the other side. They were interested to have a look and quite content to get back home.

There were some who fled Russia during the terrible 90s when what was going on in Russia at the time was hell on wheels, as it was being robbed and pillaged by the West, whose wet dream at last came true, unfortunately for them only for a brief moment. Quite a number of Russians who left Russia at the time are now returning back home. The West now has got it’s own version of hell on wheels, so let’s call it KARMA.

What Russians also find distasteful are bad manners on the part of the West, showing up in rather unpleasant and uncalled for displays of arrogant lecturing and attempts to show some inexplicable “superiority” with regard to Russia. I have experienced this myself when in England, but NEVER in Scotland, I will hasten to add. Scotland and Scots for me were always “home from home”.

I was buying a train ticket at the Waterloo station in London and the ticket seller, an Englishman in his 40s, seeing my name, muttered under his breath “bloody Russian”. I was looking at him and wondering what made him say that. Here was someone who probably hardly finished secondary school, selling a ticket to someone who is a highly qualified professional, with two degrees, one of which is Masters, attained from one of the best Scottish Universities (writing a dissertation in second language is not easy, believe me!) and yet, he felt somehow “superior” to this Russian and that compelled him to mutter these words. And I suddenly realized that it was CONDITIONED in him, he didn’t even pause to think, it came out because he couldn’t help it. Attitude!

This negative conditioning in the West towards things Russian obviously had roots at some stage and later, reflecting on it I could see how it might have come about. We will leave religion aside for the moment, although it does play some part. The main culprit in my opinion, is the colonial mindset, combined with actual ignorance. To people in the West, meaning Western Europe and Britain, throughout centuries Russia has always been something dark and unknown and therefore to be feared and distanced from. There were few very sparse contacts but on the whole Russia and the West kept themselves to themselves. And until Peter the Great came along, that arrangement absolutely suited Russians as well. They regarded the West as heinous and un-Godly and much preferred to keep that distance. Tsar Peter has changed all of that in his drive to “open a window into Europe” as he put it.

What is not widely known about “superior” Europe of these days and that includes Britain, is that people there never bathed, fearing that it would kill them. When Tsar Peter arrived there with his entourage for their big Euro tour, they were absolutely shocked at the smell and stink of unwashed bodies, even in the palaces. Russians, before baths and showers were ever invented, for centuries had a wonderful tradition of having a “banya” once a week. Sort of like a nice steamy sauna but with an addition of hot water to actually wash yourself. Now, tell me, what nation is more civilized here?

The Russian Tsar, on the other hand was viewed in the West as some strange and fascinating curiosity. When the average person height in those days was shorter than it is now, Tsar Peter, being a young man, virile, handsome, did not wear wig, full of energy AND at 6’8” tall, of course, towered above everyone. At least now the West had a real chance to see a real Russian.

The tour was a great success. Tsar Peter brought back with him some craftsmen, some interesting new inventions, like the sextant and some experienced boat builders. His burning ambition was for Russia to have a Navy, although at that time it was totally landlocked from both Baltic and Black seas.

At some stage Peter also had to fight and defeat the Swedish King who at the time was trying to expand his kingdom into the rest of Europe. Peter had to get him off the land where he wanted to build his new capital, St Petersburg (he never liked Moskva) and that, of course, gave him an access to the Baltic Sea. In the process he also liberated these parts of Europe that the war-addicted Swedish King had managed to grab. Sweden still cannot forgive Russia for that. Afterwards the energetic Russian Tsar set out to build his new capital, laid foundations for his Navy and among many other things made his Boyars in court shave their beards and wear European attire, complete with powdered wigs. Those who refused to obey and shave Tsar himself did it for them and then fined them heavily. One does not trifle with Imperial orders! Eventually he got himself named an “anti-Christ” by the Russian Church, that passionately believed that Russia should not be “westernized”, that it had it’s own destiny and it’s own path. I tend to agree with them there. Meanwhile Europeans had discovered that they had nothing to fear from Russia and that bathing did not kill them after all and everything went rather swimmingly for a while between Russia and the West.

Until the start of the Industrial revolution.

The West suddenly realized that for such one needs lots of resources, which the West did not have but others did. Everyone went busily sailing around the world looking whom they can easily colonize and loot. Britain, one has to say, outdid every other European rival in those pursuits. Then, when the supply of countries to loot started to dwindle, the collective West turned it’s gaze upon… Russia. And this, in my opinion, was the moment when that animosity had taken root. Here was a country, with hardly any population to speak of, occupying huge territory and not just that, full of everything one can only dream about, every great resource imaginable, including gold and diamonds…

There was only one problem. Those “bloody Russians” in the way!

So, that was the start of it – fueled by greed, envy, resentment and hatred. The rest we all know. The “relentless marches” on Russia, mostly in gangs. Both Napoleon and Hitler had lots of willing European accomplices, all wanting a share of the spoils. Well, they all got what they deserved and here we are now, in 21st century and they are STILL at it! Lessons not learned. Only this time they got themselves a big bully that they can all hide behind but unfortunately for them this bully cannot fight. At least not a serious opponent. Some little helpless nations around the world, no problem, drop few bombs, show up with one of your “carrier groups” and it’s all honky dory. Here, it is facing RUSSIA, a nation that NEVER lost a war.

And now we have this NATO – another gang, controlled by this bully. The problem for them is that NONE of them can really fight, even as a gang and so, what we now have is a circus show, called exercises, each one with more ferocious name than the last. Russia is watching these clowns prancing on her borders and has left them in no doubt whatsoever that just one step over that border and there will be nothing left of them, INSTANTLY. They can also install their missile bases in Romania and Poland, or in any other little euro vassal, sorry, NATO ally, that wants to make itself a prime target – anything fired from those will be immediately shot down and the place from where it was fired will be just one large smouldering crater, several kilometers in diameter. No, Russia does not consider NATO a big threat. Just a nuisance. The game that is being played here is as follows: “we”, NATO allies have to scream very loud and very often about “Russian aggression” and “Russian treat”- failing that this NATO becomes irrelevant and the big MIC will not be able to suck up trillions of taxpayers money to line some very, very deep pockets. And while we are at it, we will force our “allies” to buy our military junk at exorbitant prices. So, here you have it.

I think people in the West hearing this Russophobic propaganda garbage 24/7 start believing it and start imagining that perhaps all of this is true, but remember what Goebbels, Hitler’s chief of propaganda advocated – keep repeating a lie often enough and they will eventually believe you.

Russia is not your enemy. All it wants from the West is to be left alone and also to be shown some respect. This arrogant, talking down to, insulting approach has no place in dealings with an old civilized and cultured nation like Russia, which is also extremely well-armed. That attitude actually reflects very badly on the West and on state of mental midgetry of their politicians, who do not seem to have any grasp that such approach will lead them nowhere. Most of course are puppets, just doing what Uncle Sam is telling them but here is a word of warning – following Uncle Sam might lead one to the cliff edge…

Another bit of info that you will not find in western MSM – RF (Russian Federation) Immigration Services are inundated with applications from people in the West, including USA, (and I am not talking about expats), who want to move to Russia. These people see it as some kind of Noah’s Ark, compared to what is coming to their countries. Living in Russia they feel they can be free to be a normal family with normal family values, not parent1 and parent2, but Mum and Dad and where their children can grow up in a normal environment, without being subjected to creepy gender selections.

In conclusion I will say this – in my experience most people are not that different from each other, after all we are ALL human and we all want the same in life – love, appreciation, family and a future for our children. It’s not that hard to get along if you want to. But what we also have in common is a common enemy that hates humanity and wants us culled (their expression) and what’s left, subjugated. So, rather than facing each other with hands in a fist, how about we direct our attention and all our energies to fighting THAT evil, the one that wants to destroy us all.

Video Shows British Soldier Being Arrested for Opposing UK Arming of Saudi Arabia

By Alan Macleod

Source

A British soldier has been arrested for opposing the United Kingdom’s role in the Saudi-led war against Yemen. Video shows Lance Corporal Ahmed Al-Babati of the Royal Signals being led away by military police from his protest outside Britain’s Ministry of Defense in London.

Al-Babati earlier released a video explaining his decision to risk his freedom rather than participate in what he feels is a grossly immoral war. “Our government continues to arm and support Saudi Arabia,” he said. “We tried to make our voices heard by protesting in London, Manchester, Liverpool and many other cities. We’ve even tried to email our MPs, but clearly our words mean nothing to [Prime Minister] Boris Johnson.”

I joined the army in 2017 and took an oath to protect and serve this country, not to be part of a corrupt government that continues to arm and support terrorism. What made this decision so easy for me and why I choose to sacrifice a lot of things including possibly my freedom is for the simple fact that me, myself as somebody that was born in Yemen, I could have easily fell victim to one of those air strikes or died out of hunger. I’ve seen enough not to speak out and I’d rather sleep peacefully in a cell than stay silent for a paycheck.”

https://twitter.com/5Pillarsuk/status/1298571129838338048?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1298571129838338048%7Ctwgr%5E&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mintpressnews.com%2Fvideo-british-soldier-ahmed-al-babatia-arrested-uk-arm-sales-saudi-arabia%2F270787%2F

Yemen is suffering through what the United Nations calls “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” the organization estimating that 14 million people — over half the country’s population — are at risk of famine, and 20.5 million need help accessing drinkable water. The situation is largely the result of the five year conflict, misleadingly labeled the Yemeni Civil War, which, in reality, is largely a Saudi-led struggle against the Houthi rebels, situated in the west of the country. Between 2014 and 2015, the Houthis overthrew the government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, with the Saudi government spending five years attempting to reinstall him as the leader of a united Yemen.

Eschewing diplomatic solutions or boots on the ground, however, the Saudis have largely resorted to sustained bombing campaigns, which have destroyed the country’s already limited infrastructure. A recent report from Oxfam calculated that there had been almost 200 air raids on hospitals, clinics, wells or water tanks since the conflict began in 2015, around one every ten days. As a result, Yemen is beset with twin epidemics of COVID-19 and cholera, their stretched medical system unable to cope with either. The war is estimated to have killed almost a quarter of a million people to date.

“It is clear this government has blood on their hands, so with that being said I refuse to continue my military service until the arms trade with Saudi Arabia has been put to an end. It is reported that a child dies every 10 minutes in Yemen, so I’ll be standing outside 10 Downing Street blowing a whistle every 10 minutes so that they can hear every time a child dies due to a war they continue to arm and support,” Al-Babati said. He was reportedly arrested after protesting for 9 hours and 30 minutes, blowing his whistle 57 times during that period.

The British role in Yemen’s anguish is well documented. The United Kingdom is a key ally of the Kingdom, supplying it with billions of dollars worth of military equipment. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Saudi Arabia is by far Britain’s most important arms customer, responsible for 49 percent of total weapons purchases, buoying the booming industry. In addition, Britain has around 200 military personnel in the country, responsible for training, repairing and maintaining the Saudis’ costly warplanes, keeping the conflict going. Former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn had promised to put an immediate end to U.K. sales to Saudi Arabia if elected. However, the Conservative victory in the December elections effectively put an end to the debate, sending the stocks of British weapons manufacturers soaring.

Al-Babati has now not been seen for two days, with the Army refusing to discuss the matter with the media. His fate remains unknown. However, Al-Babati clearly did not make the decision lightly and knew what his fate could be. In 2010, British soldier Joe Glenton was sentenced to 9 months in prison after he refused to return to Afghanistan on conscientious grounds. Whether Al-Babati is given the same treatment remains to be seen.

How the UK Government Provides Cover for Israel’s Crimes

By Stuart Littlewood

Source

 

Boris and Bibi 5eb6a

MP Alister Jack has finally replied to my question asking where he and the UK government stand on the threat by Israel to annex more Palestinian territory known as the West Bank. It seems the Government has urged them not to do it.

I doubt if his letter reproduced here, is his own work. It is sprinkled with the humbug and deceit repeated for decades by Tory and Labour governments and was likely penned at least 20 years ago by a Foreign Office scribbler vaccinated with an Israeli embassy gramophone needle. It is still used as a reply template by MPs and ministers who dare not speak their own minds or are plain clueless.

MP Jack letter p1 30c70

MP Jack letter p2 7a38b

As usual, Her Majesty’s Government wants “a safe and secure Israel” but only “a viable and sovereign Palestinian state”. What a deplorable statement. Viable means workable in the most meagre sense. And when it comes to safety and security why can’t Mr. Jack be evenhanded? His words (if they are indeed his) express clear racial prejudice favouring the wellbeing and prosperity of one people at the expense of another which, I’d have thought, deserves a sharp rap on the knuckles.

He says there can be no changes to the status quo without a negotiated agreement between the parties. Mr Jack is surely aware that the status quo is itself illegal and breaches umpteen UN resolutions. And why does he feel the Palestinians must ‘negotiate’ their freedom? Picture the scene with the invader holding a gun to the head of the victim whose land the invader has occupied under brutal military control and in defiance of international law for 70+ years. Why is Mr Jack joining his colleagues in calling for more lopsided negotiations instead of pushing for law and justice?

‘Nothing shall be done to prejudice the rights of non-Jewish communities….’ Sorry, forget that.

So many experts are saying that a negotiated two-state solution is impossible. Does anyone seriously think the Israelis will voluntarily give up their ill-gotten territorial gains which are crucial to their Greater Israel dream? The only peaceable way to change their mind is through the persuasive power of BDS and other sanctions. For that reason BDS is under relentless Zionist attack and is fiercely opposed by the servile UK Government. The reason why the West endlessly woffles about ‘negotiations’ is their cowardly failure ever since 1948 to confront Israel’s greedy ambition for expansion and domination. That inconvenient bit in Britain’s 1917 pledge to Rothschild and the Zionist Federation about “it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine” is best forgotten. It’s so much easier for the UK Government to say and do nothing while their Zionist ‘friends’ surreptitiously complete their programme of creeping annexation. And never mind the 70+ years of grief this has caused innocent Palestinians.

Mr Jack refers to Boris Johnson’s article in Yedioth Ahronoth which appeared on the very day Netanyahu was supposed to be carrying out his crazed threat. “Annexation would represent a violation of international law…. I profoundly hope that annexation does not go ahead,” he wrote. “If it does, the UK will not recognize any changes to the 1967 lines, except those agreed between both parties.” But Israel has repeatedly violated international law and repeatedly been rewarded, so why should it care what the UK thinks about boundary changes? They have been changing all the time. Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem (including the Old City) in 1967 was a flagrant breach of international law, and what did the UK or anyone else do about it? “I want to see an outcome that delivers justice for both Israelis and Palestinians,” says Johnson absurdly. He has no interest in justice otherwise he’d be leading the charge for implementing international law and UN resolutions which have already ruled on the issue.

As for Israel’s annexation misfire, it looks like world hostility gave Netanyahu cold feet and he and Trump cast around in desperation for a face-saver. They found it the United Arab Emirates’ ‘MBZ’ with whom they cobbled a deal for full diplomatic relations between Israel and the UAE provided Israel suspended annexation, and this is touted as a triumph. No-one of course insisted on actually abandoning annexation and you can bet the piecemeal ethnic cleansing, destruction of Palestinian homes and confiscation of their lands will continue unabated.

Mr. Jack then says he’s proud that the UK supports UNRWA and is providing £34.5 million funding this year.  If the Palestinians were allowed their universal right to freedom of movement and self-determination in their homeland there’d be no need to keep throwing our tax money at agencies like UNRWA. It’s scandalous that money for our own schools and hospitals has been diverted to subsidise Israel’s long-running programme of thieving, collective punishment, dispossession and the trashing of the Palestinian economy.

Mr Jack goes on to say: “The UK’s position on Israeli settlements is clear.” Well no, it isn’t. They are illegal and even constitute a war crime yet the UK Government doesn’t mind if companies or individuals profiteer from using and endorsing those squats to the detriment of the Palestinians. And he seems to agree with his government’s opposition to the UN’s business and human rights database. Back in March 2016, UN Human Rights Council resolution 31/36 mandated the High Commissioner’s Office to produce a database of all businesses engaged in activities related to Israel’s settlement enterprise and having implications for the rights of the Palestinian people. Fair enough, you might think. But a year ago 103 local, regional and international organizations felt it necessary to call on the High Commissioner to release the Database expressing deep concern that the document and names of the companies facilitating the settlement programme had been withheld from circulation for 3 years due to political pressure. In the meantime the Israeli government had escalated the construction of new squats and broadcast its intention to formally annex parts of the West Bank in further violation of international law.

“The Database will bring an important degree of transparency on the activities of businesses which contravene rules and principles of international humanitarian and human rights law as a result of their operations in or with illegal Israeli settlements,” they said.

Amnesty International commented: “Naming the businesses which profit in the context of this illegal situation sends a clear message from the international community that settlements must never be normalized. These companies are profiting from and contributing to systematic violations against Palestinians.”

And Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights said: “The UK Government abstained on the vote of this Human Rights Council resolution in March 2016…. It was the only state to declare that the database was ‘inappropriate’ and that ‘it would not co-operate in the process’ of its implementation.” LPHR felt that the reasons given for the Government’s position “did not individually or cumulatively amount to an adequate basis for justifiably opposing the UN Database”. One such reason was that the UK Government thought the Human Rights Council should focus on states rather than private companies. LPHR says this contradicts the UK’s earlier agreement, along with the rest of the international community, that companies as well as states have vital responsibilities in protecting and advancing respect for human rights.

I won’t trouble Mr Jack for an explanation for all this. It’s enough that voters and campaigners are aware of the skullduggery.

Is Britain avoiding justice for possible assets who ‘joined’ ISIS in Syria? — The Wall Will Fall

A recent report in Military Times details the case of two British extremists who were members of a brutal ISIS cell nicknamed “The Beatles” believed to have been involved in various crimes including kidnapping, executions and murder of against British and American citizens in Syria. They are possibly linked to the murder of British “aid-worker”, Alan Henning.

via Is Britain avoiding justice for possible assets who ‘joined’ ISIS in Syria? — The Wall Will Fall

In Defence of Sovereignty

August 18, 2020

By Francis Lee for the Saker Blog

In Defence of Sovereignty

For the benefit of Frau Merkel & Nordstream-2

No sovereignty = No democracy: If a State is subordinate to another State or group of states it is no longer sovereign. That is to say if it ceases to exercise control over its vital policies, economic, political, social and cultural. Moreover it follows that if it is not sovereign it cannot be democratic since the key policies it might wish to enact and carry out are decided elsewhere.

The increasingly unbalanced assessment regarding the UK’s eventual exit from membership of the EU (if indeed it ever really happens) seems predicated on a series of fixed, cliché-ridden political positions which haven’t changed since the whole issue became live. The great national ‘debate’ seems to be an emotionally charged affair with little attention to facts and more focused upon personalities and taken-for-granted assumptions of the ‘everybody knows’ type. This presumably is post-modern politics I suppose. But at the heart of the debate is the issue of sovereignty.

Let us firstly consider the international economic issues involved according to the conventional wisdom of the hyper-globalists. It is argued that both nation states and the whole concept of national sovereignty is now defunct. Their reasoning is based upon the following premises. 1. Most products have developed a very complex geography – with parts made in different countries and then assembled somewhere else, in which case labels of origin begin to lose their meaning. 2. Markets when left unfettered will arrive at optimal price, allocative, and productive efficiency. 3.This means that capital, commodities and labour should be free to move around the globe without let or hindrance to achieve these goals. 4. Any barriers to this process – capital controls, trade unions, exchange rate controls, welfare expenditures, minimum wage legislation, wages and even public goods – will give rise to price and allocative distortions. Q.E.D. Apart from point 1., the rest of these claims are in fact highly contestable and could easily be shredded by reference to historical experience and empirical testing, but hey, if the theoretical paradigm is sound who cares about historical experience and empirical testing.

Such globalization has come to be seen and defined by its proponents as the ‘natural order’ of things, almost a force of nature. This, it is further argued, will be an inexorable process of increasing geographical spread and functional integration between economic and political activities. This current orthodoxy goes by various names, Washington Consensus, Market Liberalisation, Neo-liberalism, Globalism and so on and so forth. In fact, there is nothing ‘natural’ about this stage of historical development since the whole phenomenon has been politically driven. From the outset there has been a coalition of globalist oligarchs, technocrats and heads of state et.al working through global institutions the IMF, World Bank, BIS, WTO, NATO, the EU, CIA – the list is extensive. They control the economic, political and military superstructures which form the ruling global system and constitute the vanguard of the whole process.

Turning to the EU as the regional prototype for the globalization, anti-state project, it was Patrick Buchanan, an American conservative who once correctly stated in ‘The American Conservative’ that the US Congress ‘‘is an Israeli occupied zone’’ by which he meant of course that Israel and the Israeli Lobby, both external and internal, has had a huge input into the framing and operation of US foreign policy. In a similar vein the EU is also occupied territory under the occupation and control of US imperialism. (This process of blatant meddling in European affairs by the US-CIA started with Operation Gladio in the late 1940s at about the same time as Operation Mockingbird and Operation Paperclip.) However, the perceived enemy was not merely Soviet communism, but also sotto voce, European social and political theory and practice, namely, Gaullism and social-democracy. These latter political groupings have long since been politically cleansed with the EU being reconfigured as neo-liberal, and, since the alignment of the EU security structures with NATO, as neo-conservative vassal states overseen and represented by odious little Petainist/Quisling occupation regimes. This is only too apparent when the fawning behaviours of Johnson, Macron and Merkel vis-à-vis the US are observed. Whenever the US master says jump, the Europeans will reply ‘how high’ And this is even more pronounced by the newly arrived Eastern European states. A group which Dick Cheney once described as the ‘new Europe.’ By which he meant the political force which was operationalised to fundamentally change the political direction of the EU in the late 20th century. Euro-widening was meant to prevent euro-deepening, and it worked a treat.

Perhaps the most salient (and bogus) claim deployed by the pro-Globalization camp is the use of the time-honoured TINA ‘there-is-no-alternative’ Varoufakis approach. This is invariably deployed to shut-down any genuine discussion. Of course it was Mrs Thatcher who pioneered this method of political discourse, with, it should be added, considerable success. Reading the editorials in the ‘leftist’ publications, I couldn’t help being reminded of those little Thatcherite homilies trotted out by the Tory press during the Thatcher ascendency.

But now, not to be outdone, the centre-left has taken upon itself the mantle of ‘progress’ and ‘modernity’ providing the ideological rationale for the globalist tendency. This has involved a 180 degree turn and is apparently using the same language and political orientation as the Globalists. Try this one on: ‘’Nations are increasingly irrelevant when it comes to effective action on the environment and social and immigration policies …’’ This was taken from a centre-left publication. Yep, distilled, undiluted globalization – TINA. That could have been George Soros speaking. As if sovereign nations could not pool their resources, enter into bi-lateral agreements, engage in trade and diplomacy, enter into negotiations with others precisely to confront common issues such as the aforementioned environmental, immigration and social issues.

But in this ‘stateless’ or seemingly becoming ‘stateless’ world I do feel obliged to point out that the United States as a nation is sovereign and has every intention of remaining so. Contrary to the globalist patter, however, this super-state shapes and formulates both economic and foreign policy for itself and its vassal states in Europe and East Asia, but of course these vassal states are not fully sovereign and are subject to the rule of the one that is – the USA. The reality we have in the EU consists not of a unified assemblage of sovereign states but a de facto occupied zone of a political, economic and military empire, under both US aegis and control.

As the late Egyptian Marxist, Samir Amin, put it:

‘’Conceived of at the end of WW2 the ‘European Project’ was born as the European part of the Atlanticist project of the United States, much in the spirit of the first Cold War initiated by Washington and given voice by Churchill’s speech in Fulton Missouri in 1946 in which he intoned. “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent.”  This has been a project which the European bourgeoisies – at that time weak and afraid of their own working classes – adhered to practically without conditions. This is still largely true, as seen in the choices put into effect by the ruling classes and political forces of the right and majority left, at least in certain European countries, above all in Great Britain, where it has been done clearly and ostentatiously. In other countries there is perhaps a small piece of hesitation, whilst in Eastern Europe the process is managed by political classes formed in the culture of servility … There is no longer, at present, a European project … A North Atlantic project under American command has replaced it

Thus the European ‘project’ is not moving – or not moving fast enough, or not moving at all – in the direction that is needed to bring Washington to its senses. Indeed it remains a basically ‘non-European’ project, scarcely more than a European part of the American project. The European’s Constitution is for a Europe which is settling – has settled ? – its dual and Atlanticist option. Hence the potential contained in the clash of political cultures, which could theoretically lead to an end of Atlanticism which remains mortgaged to social-liberalism of the majority sections of the left (electorally speaking, the European socialist parties). But social-liberalism is a contradiction in terms, since liberalism is by its nature non-social or even anti-social … a stable and generally multipolar world will be socialist or it will not exist at all. (2)

Inter-governmental policy is perfectly possible, however, without the surrender of national sovereignty to an imperial hegemon. However, If the European Vichy regimes choose to accept the imposition of US policy imperatives that is their choice – a political choice, not an iron law of political development.

The fact is that nation states unquestionably remain the most significant force in shaping the world economy – this in spite of the hyper-globalist rhetoric coming from the Bilderbergers and neo-liberal/Washington consensus proponents. The nation state has always played a fundamental role in the economic development of all countries and indeed in the process of globalization itself. In fact, the more powerful states have used globalization as a means of increasing their power vis-à-vis the weaker states. The US and the G7 design and establish, international trade agreements, organizations, and legislations that support and govern trans-border investments, production networks, and market penetration, constitutive of contemporary economic globalization. Advanced capitalist states, in particular, use these political instruments to shape international decision making and policy in their own interests.(3)

A contemporary example of this is the US – qua sovereign hegemon – forcing policies, such as membership of NATO, down the throats of their (apparently willing) ‘allies’ (read vassals) and ‘partners’ in order to carry out the US’s geopolitical policies by mobilizing their Quisling regimes in both Europe (particularly Eastern Europe) for possible conflict with Russia, China and Iran (which are de facto sovereign states). It can be seen that the sovereignty of Europe is limited by the Transatlantic hegemon to the extent that Europe lacks both military, political and key areas of economic decision making to individual European G7 states. The fact that these semi-sovereign euro states are forced – as is everyone else – to use the US$ as the global currency means they do not really control their own economies. Let us assume for the sake of argument that Sweden has a trading surplus with the US; this means that it is exporting more than it is importing in terms of US goods. This means that the Swedish currency – the Krona – will appreciate against the US$. But the Swedish government may not want its currency to appreciate by being palmed off with US Treasuries which will never be redeemed. In order therefore to stop its own currency appreciating against the dollar it will have to buy US dollars or dollar denominated assets, (usually Treasury Bills) to keep its own currency at a lower exchange rate to the dollar. This results in an appreciating dollar which means the US can buy more stuff on world markets without producing any additional goods and services! Great deal if you can get it! Moreover by accepting the US$ and Treasuries as a means of payment for goods produced in Europe these semi-peripheral states are on the wrong end of what the French politician Valery Giscard D’Estaing once termed an ‘exorbitant privilege’. Such is the position of sovereign states, semi-sovereign states, and non-sovereign states.

In geopolitical terms it should be understood that the abasement of Europe to American interests is frankly abject. Europe has become a forward base for the Pentagon, military industrial complex, and neo-con infested State Department to play their war games against Russia and latterly against China. If there is a war with Russia, please note it is intended to be carried out on European soil not American.

In terms of present and future membership not only was the admission of the Eastern European periphery a massive error for individual European states, but future membership bodes even worse for the EU ‘project’. Turkey is not only authoritarian, a US proxy and a member of NATO, which is bad enough, but it also funds and arms our most inveterate enemies, ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Jabhat Al Nusra, and various other jihadist alphabet soup grouplets. This same state was at that time mooted for membership of the EU by both the UK and Germany. Moreover, future candidates for EU/NATO status include Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. None of these states could be considered to be even remotely sovereign and/or democratic and generally are totally and openly corrupt. It is all part of the long march toward Russia’s western frontier by NATO/EU, a process begun by Clinton (Mr) in the 1990s. But apparently this is of no consequence to the contemporary ‘left’ which doesn’t seem unduly worried by these developments.

As for the EU/NATO, do we really want to belong to an organization who has these people as members/applicants? It’s a bit like Groucho Marx’s famous witticism – ‘’I wouldn’t want to belong to a club which would have me as a member.’’ More important in this respect does the EU/NATO even allow us a choice in the matter?

One final point. Okay it is argued that if we – the UK – leave the EU the roof falls in, of course that is a complete non sequitur, but let’s run with it for a moment. Membership is therefore imperative! Really?

Well in 1946 due to costs of the WW2 the UK was flat broke. Lord Keynes was despatched to Washington and negotiated a loan from the Americans. Of course there were strings, or in IMF/World Bankspeak, ‘conditionalities.’ 1. Britain had to end the system of imperial preference of intra-empire trading, mainly because the Americans wanted to get into this lucrative market. 2. The British empire had to be wound up, and the Americans would then carry the baton for the Anglo-Zionist empire, with all the costs but mostly advantages that accrued from this position. The UK’s long retreat from East of Suez began with Indian independence in 1947 and continued well into the 1960s.

The roof did not fall in, however, Britain, in spite of continuing imperial delusions of grandeur, adjusted to its new position in the world. There was, after all, an alternative to imperial nostalgia, maybe it never quite worked out as planned, but it happened, nonetheless.

Thus the TINA hypothesis is basically invalid. There are – pace the globalist dogma – always alternatives, you may not like them, but to deny their existence is neither a serious nor honest position to take.

NOTES

(1) Samir Amin – The Liberal Virus – p.86 p.89.

(2) Samir Amin – Beyond US Hegemony – p.148.

(3) Peter Dicken – Global Shift – The State Really Does Matter, Chapter 6

Foreign Interference in Elections: Is it Real or Just Political Noise?

Foreign Interference in Elections: Is It Real or Just Political ...

Philip Giraldi

July 30, 2020

A recently concluded British Parliamentary inquiry has determined that Russia may have interfered in the 2016 Brexit referendum, which resulted in the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union. But, ironically, it also concluded that Russia might not have interfered given the fact that the British government never bothered to try to find out if there had been any attempt made by the Kremlin to manipulate the voting.

The Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee is reportedly perplexed by the lack of official interest in what might have been a foreign intelligence operation that had major impact, all too plausible given that it is assumed that Moscow would have welcomed Brexit as a first step that will eventually put an end to European political and economic unity.

So, no one knows if Russia or anyone else interfered in Britain, which is perhaps just as well as inquiries into voting in the U.S. also in 2016 have likewise created nothing but confusion and no smoking pistol. And, of course there is a question of definitions of interference. Millions of pounds were spent on advertising by those pro- and con-Brexit, just as billions were spent in political adverts in the United States. Much of the “information” provided in that fashion was deliberately misleading, often fearmongering, both in the U.K. and the U.S., suggesting that the problem is much bigger than one country’s possible attempt to influence the vote, if that even took place.

There were similar claims about Russian generated fake news and “a massive hacking attack” in the French presidential election in 2017, while Germany’s Federal Election was notable for a lack of any identifiable Kremlin interference in spite of warnings from some observers that Berlin would be targeted.

So, while claims of Russian interference in elections are fairly common, they are difficult to prove in any serious way. And one should recognize that the “victimized” governments and political parties have strong motives to conjure up a foreign enemy to explain to the public why things are going wrong, be it for coronavirus fumbling or for general political ineptitude. To be sure, as the allure of blaming Russia has faded China is increasingly being targeted by American politicians as a scapegoat, indicating that there must always be a foreigner available to blame for one’s problems.

The most recent nugget to come out of the U.S. Congress on foreign interference in elections originates with Adam Schiff, the sly head of the House Intelligence Committee. In an interview with MSNBC, Schiff revealed that U.S. intelligence has obtained information suggesting multiple nations could be trying to meddle in the 2020 U.S. elections, to include feeding or “laundering” possible disinformation through Congress.

Schiff explained how various nations us different tactics to get “fake news” messages through to the American voters. Some governments openly support a particular candidate or policy, while others like the Chinese provide misinformation during their trade negotiations with Washington. He observed that “The Russians may get involved in hacking and dumping operations or social media campaigns. The Iranians may have their own tactics and techniques like the North Koreans may have theirs.”

letter signed by Schiff, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Senate Intelligence Committee ranking member Mark Warner, D-Va has asked for a counterintelligence briefing for Congress regarding foreign efforts to interfere in the upcoming election. It includes “We are gravely concerned, in particular, that Congress appears to be the target of a concerted foreign interference campaign, which seeks to launder and amplify disinformation in order to influence congressional activity, public debate, and the presidential election in November.”

Democratic Party presidential candidate presumptive Joe Biden also has confirmed that he has received briefings about Russian alleged plans to interfere in November saying “The Russians are still engaged in trying to delegitimize our electoral process. China and others are engaged as well in activities that are designed for us to lose confidence in the outcome.”

Of course, there are a number of things to say about the claims that other nations are possibly planning to meddle in the voting. First, the list of possible players being presented by Schiff and others is all too convenient, kind of like a Congressional dream list of bad boys. Russia pops up because of longstanding claims about it, but China is a new entry in the game because it all ties up into a neat package, including the “Wuhan virus” and its challenges both to American economic supremacy and to U.S. naval power in the South China Sea. And of course, there are Iran and also North Korea.

One should ask what exactly China, Iran and North Korea stand to gain by attempting to “interfere” in the election? What message could they possibly be sending and what would be the mechanisms they would use to get their points of view across to a skeptical American public? In a campaign that will undoubtedly cost hundreds of billions of dollars in advertising and other “messaging,” what exactly is the possible place of Iran and North Korea?

There is also a lack of “realism” in the Schiff comments. By far the country that interferes the most in U.S. politics is Israel. Israel and its domestic Lobby initiate legislation relating to the Middle East and Israeli diplomats, lobbyists and soldiers all have free access both to Capitol Hill and to the Pentagon. If a Congressman dares to speak up against the Jewish state’s crimes he or she is smeared in the media and eventually forced out of office by a well-funded pro-Israel opponent. No other country gets away with all that. As it is highly likely that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be pulling out all the stops to reelect Donald Trump in November, why isn’t the Jewish state included on Schiff’s list?

And then there is the tantalizing bit about concerns over disinformation being “laundered” through Congress. It is difficult to imagine what exactly Schiff is referring to as the corrupt gasbags in Congress already constitute one of the world’s biggest sources of false information, second only to the fully coopted U.S. mainstream media.

In any event, if some countries that are accustomed to being regularly targeted by the United States are taking advantage of an opportunity to somehow diminish America’s ability to meddle globally, no one should be surprised, but it is a politically driven fantasy to make the hysterical claim that the United States has now become the victim of some kind of vast multi-national conspiracy to interfere in its upcoming election.

The Vaccine Race Is The Next Phase Of The COVID World Order

Source

By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

24 JULY 2020

The Vaccine Race Is The Next Phase Of The COVID World Order

The head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) warned last week that the world is at risk of being further divided by the forthcoming COVID-19 vaccines that leading Great Powers are expected to publicly unveil in the coming future, which would make the vaccine race the next phase of the COVID World Order that’s quickly changing life as everyone knows it, including International Relations.

Welcome To World War C

The planet is in the midst of what the author previously referred to as World War C, which is his neologism for the full-spectrum paradigm-changing processes that were catalyzed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and the global community’s uncoordinated efforts to contain it. This is part of what he also earlier called the COVID World Order, which specifically relates to the everyday changes brought about by this development but which are also quickly making their impact felt in the sphere of International Relations as World War C continues.

The Vaccine Race

The latest escalation in this unconventional competition between states occurred last week when Canada, the UK, and the US accused Russian hackers of trying to steal information about a British vaccine, a charge that Moscow promptly denied. The day after, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Kirill Dmitriev, warned the Financial Times in an exclusive interview that the world is at risk of being further divided by the forthcoming COVID-19 vaccines that leading Great Powers are expected to unveil in the coming future.

This would in effect make the vaccine race the next phase of the COVID World Order as countries scramble to carve out exclusive markets for what’s being presented as their life-saving product. It’s neither here nor there how anyone personally feels about vaccines or even the reported lethality of COVID-19 since it should be objectively recognized that this epidemiological situation has already been politicized and is being resultantly instrumentalized for grand strategic purposes.

Necessary Disclaimer

To be clear, the author believes that COVID-19 is real, it’s lethal for certain at-risk members of the population, and is reportedly highly contagious. He also recommends that the reader use their personal discretion in deciding which guidelines to apply to protect themselves, their families, and everyone else in society. Still, this doesn’t mean that governments aren’t fearmongering about COVID-19 in order to expand their powers at home and abroad since that’s precisely the case when it comes to the latest accusations against Russia.

Reputational Ramifications

On the surface, the claims are predictable enough since they correspond with the Mainstream Media’s narrative about the so-called “Russian threat” that’s supposedly lurking behind every corner just waiting to undermine the West at each turn. Accusing Russia of trying to steal vaccine information makes sense from their perspective since many of their people are already scared to death of this disease and it thus serves their governments’ interests to make it seem like Russia is somehow trying to sabotage their inoculation efforts.

There might be a more nefarious motive behind all of this than just attempting to ruin Russia’s international reputation, however, since the country’s rivals are likely thinking a few steps ahead as usual. Firstly, they aim to protect their own reputations at home and abroad since they’ll understandably be embarrassed if the same country that they tried to convince everyone else was “backwards” and “isolated” ends up releasing a COVID-19 vaccine before they do. Saying that Russia stole it helps them “save face” a bit.

No Western Vaccine, No Western Travel?

Secondly, peddling this false narrative could create the basis to sanction those countries that buy Russia’s forthcoming vaccine or receive it free of charge as humanitarian aid. The US and its allies can claim that they’re receiving something that was produced with stolen trade secrets and that they should instead buy “the real thing” from them. If those states don’t comply, then their citizens might be banned from traveling to Canada, the UK, and/or the US if those governments claim that Russia’s vaccine “doesn’t work” or “isn’t reliable”.

To put it another way, the Western countries can implement blanket travel bans on the basis that they can’t be certain that foreign guests are inoculated against COVID-19 unless they receive one of their or their allies’ vaccines. Considering how much more closely connected most of the world is to the Western economies as opposed to Russia’s, this might be sufficient enough of a threat to force their governments to comply under pane of suffering unacceptable economic damage if trade is predictably affected as a result of these bans.

Challenging China

Looking ahead, this strategy might be experimented with against Russia in order to gauge its success prior to modifying it for use against China. The challenge there, however, is much more formidable since many countries nowadays are even more closely connected to China than they are to the West so such pressure tactics would amount to a de-facto ultimatum forcing their governments to take a clear side in World War C. It’s unclear how many of them will go with the West, but there’s a credible enough chance that some of them will.

Even so, the soft power victory might just be superficial since China is unlikely to make its own similar ultimatum. The People’s Republic probably won’t ban travelers who weren’t inoculated with a Chinese vaccine so the citizens of those countries that feel pressured to choose Western ones for the previously mentioned reasons can still trade with the world’s second superpower without any problems. If Western vaccines are proven to be ineffective and/or dangerous, however, then that policy might of course change.

“Global South” Guinea Pigs

Returning back to the overarching theme of this analysis, the COVID World Order’s vaccine race, it might very well be a fait accompli that people the world over will be compelled to receive some sort of vaccine in order to travel or even use basic services in their home country. This might especially be the case with the more desperate masses of the “Global South” who could be exploited as guinea pigs by some of the leading Great Powers in order to test the safety of these vaccines in exchange for humanitarian aid and preferential trade.

Concluding Thoughts

However it plays out, the global masses should expect the widespread proliferation of COVID-19 vaccines within the next year. This is no longer only an issue of public health, but is now a geopolitical instrument of power for various governments to wield against one another and their own citizens alike. The epidemic has been politicized and there’s no going back to the innocent assumption that the world might work together “for the common good” to fight this disease. That was never true to begin with, and forthcoming events will prove it.

Le Drian: A Step Towards Realistic Federalization – By Nasser Kandil لودريان وخطوة نحو الفدراليّة الواقعيّة

By Nasser Kandil

ناصر قنديل

الانضباط الفرنسي بالسقوف الأميركية في التعامل مع لبنان، بعد سقوط أطروحة وزير المالية الفرنسية برونو لومير بالدعوة لفصل مساعي تعافي لبنان عن المواجهة التي تخوضها واشنطن مع طهران، كان انضباطاً واضحاً ودقيقاً خلال زيارة وزير الخارجية الفرنسية جان إيف لودريان إلى بيروت، وكل الحديث عن وجود شروط إصلاحية لفتح الطريق للمساعدات هو للتغطية على الانضباط الفرنسي بالمحظورات الأميركيّة. ودعوة لومير كانت تتضمن الشروط الإصلاحيّة لكن على طريقة مختلفة كتلك التي طرحها لودريان، تعبر عن جدية لا عن نفاق سياسي كما هو الحال اليوم، فلومير دعا لعقد جولة خاصة لمؤتمر سيدر والمانحين لأجل تحديد القطاعات التي تحتاج دعماً ووضع دفتر شروط دولي لإصلاح وتمويل كل منها، ليسيرا معاً بالتوازي إصلاحاً وتمويلاً، وبالتأكيد كانت الحكومة اللبنانية لتوافق فوراً على مثل هذا المسار، وتلتزم بدفتر الشروط الخاص بكل قطاع، لكن طريقة لودريان هي عملياً طرح ذريعة قابلة للتكرار لسنوات، أنتم لم تقوموا بما يكفي لتستحقوا المساعدات، وهذا هو السقف الأميركي، فماذا فعل لودريان؟

ارتضت فرنسا دور وكيل الضغوط الأميركية، وتنازلت عن دور الشريك المستقل، فجاء وزير خارجيتها ليقول إن الأزمة طويلة وإن الأموال ستتأخّر. وهذا يعني أن الدولة ومؤسساتها سيضمر ويتراجع تأثيرها في النشاط الحياتي والاقتصادي، ويرتفع منسوب ضعفها وتتراجع مداخيلها، وتضعف فاعلية مؤسساتها الخدميّة وخصوصاً الأمنية والعسكرية، وبالمقابل يفتح لودريان الباب لمسار موازٍ، هو مسار المساعدات الطائفيّة، فيقول للبنانيين لن نترككم للجوع، كل دولة ستهتمّ بطائفة، ففرنسا تعهّدت الموارنة والكاثوليك وعلى روسيا أن تتعهّد الأرثوذكس وبريطانيا تهتم بالإنجيليين، وبالأمس أعلنت تركيا عن توزيع مساعدات في عكار وستوسّع الاهتمام، وقد تدخل السعودية على خط تبني مدارس ومستشفيات ذات لون طائفي، ومثلها بالطبع ستكون إيران معنية بمؤسسات لون طائفي آخر، وهذا لن يبقى عند حدود المدارس، بل سيتوسّع نحو المستشفيات ومؤسسات رديفة لمؤسسات الدولة، فيما مؤسسات الدولة تضمر وتتراجع وتفقد قدرتها على تقديم الخدمات الموازية.

المسار الذي يفتتحه لودريان ظاهره قد لا يلفت الانتباه إلى مؤداه والنتائج التي ستنجم عنه. فإذا نجحت محاولة فرضه مساراً لتصغير حجم دور الدولة، وتكبير حجم المؤسسات الطائفية، وزيادة اعتمادها على دعم خارجي يعتمد توزيعاً لمناطق نفوذ لعدد من الدول في لبنان كبديل يحل تدريجياً مكان الدولة، على أساس الهوية الطائفية، فإنه يصير مفهوماً معنى حديث لودريان عن دعم دعوات الحياد التي أطلقها البطريرك بشارة الراعي، بحيث تصير لكل منظومة طائفية ملحقة بعاصمة خارجية مالياً سياسة خارجية خاصة بها، ليظهر أن دعوة الحياد ليست موجّهة للبنانيين بوهم تحولها سياسة للدولة اللبنانية، بمعزل عن كيف يفكر بالدعوة أصحابها، بل هي دعوة موجّهة للخارج الذي سيشكل الراعي الحقيقي للطائفة ولسياستها الخارجية، مقابل الدعم المالي الذي سيجلبه هذا الخارج لإنعاش مؤسسات الطائفة، ومقابل الحياد سنسمع غداً عن دعوات للعروبة من بوابة الخليج مقابل دعم وتمويل وتنشيط مؤسسات تربوية وصحية كالمقاصد، وعن سياسة أوراسية للأرثوذكس مقابل دعم جامعة البلمند ومستشفى الروم، وتصير سياسة المقاومة محصورة بالشيعة، وتصير المرجعيات السياسية في طوائفها أو التي لا تمثل بعداً طائفياً، التي لا يتم اعتمادها من الخارج مهددة بالتراجع لضعف المقدرات والعجز عن تلبية الاحتياجات، ورهانها على الدولة يفقد بريقه بعيون اللبنانيين المحتاجين.

سنشهد المزيد على هذا الطريق لتفكيك الدولة والعودة بنا إلى منتصف القرن التاسع عشر وحكم القناصل، ما لم ينهض مشروع الدولة كجواب موحّد مستقل يواجه من خلاله اللبنانيون أزماتهم، ويربطون كل مساهمة للخارج بمعابر الدولة الإلزامية، وشرط ذلك أن تملك الدولة شجاعة السير بالخيارات التي تلبي حاجاتها وحاجات مواطنيها، وتغادر أسلوب التلميذ الشاطر الذي ينتظر الرضا الخارجي، قبل أن تحزم الصين أمرها وتعتذر عن عروضها، لأن ليس في لبنان طائفة بوذيّة أو كونفوشيّة تتبنّاها.

Russia Report: Short on Details, But Long on Recommendations for Sweeping New Intelligence Powers

By Alan McLeod

Source

Boris Johnson Putin c8fec

The much hyped Russia Report, detailing supposed foreign interference in British democracy has been released. The story is the number one topic in the United Kingdom right now, with new Labour leader Keir Starmer calling for Russian TV network RT to be kicked out of the country, and promising to make this new national security threat top priority.

Written by the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament, the 55-page document makes a number of confusing assertions and contains many well-worn stereotypes, but is particularly thin on evidence, given the media pandemonium over it. Russia, we learn, is a simultaneously “strong” and “weak” country, with a “fundamentally nihilistic” outlook. The committee also allege that Moscow is fuelled by “paranoia,” “believing that Western institutions such as NATO and the EU have a far more aggressive posture towards it than they do in reality.” In fact, the “reality” is that NATO has indeed been creeping steadily towards Russia for decades. Despite promising Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 that the organization would never move even “one inch to the east” of Berlin, it now contains not only a number of ex-Eastern bloc nations, but even counts multiple nations of the former USSR as members. Thus, NATO is now directly on the Russian border.

The report offers no new evidence of Russian hacking, meddling or serious interfering, simply noting continually that “there has been widespread public allegations” about Russia’s role in the UK’s European Union referendum, Scotland’s independence vote, and the UK general election. It also points to “credible open source commentary” that Moscow undertook influence operations. This commentary cites Moscow-funded outlets like RT and Sputnik’s generally pro-Brexit stance as equating an attack on democracy.

The first part of the document is so vague that some might wonder why it was written at all. The recommendations section, however, gives a clue. “Given the difficulties inherent in seeking to counter Russian Hostile State Activity, it is essential that the Intelligence Community have the legislative powers and tools they need,” they write, also asking parliament to “consider whether there is a need for new counter-espionage powers to clamp down on the full spectrum of hostile activities of foreign agents in our country.” “A new Espionage Act,” they conclude, is vital.

The writers of the document did not have to wait long to get their wish. Today, the government announced that the secret services would indeed be granted new powers as a result. And therein, a cynic might think, lies the utility, and possibly the purpose of the report.

While the extent of Russian interference in British politics is much debated, the role of the country’s own security services in subverting democracy should not be forgotten. In 2017, former head of MI5 Stella Rimington (who Judi Dench’s character in the James Bond movies is based upon) claimed that her organization had constantly spied on the associates of then leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn, claiming that they (and by association, Corbyn himself) were attempting to “destroy” democracy. Two years previously, an anonymous general in the British Army announced that if the British people did elect the pacifist socialist Corbyn into Number 10 Downing Street, then there would likely be a military coup.

The extent of Russian interference also pales in comparison to documented American meddling in British affairs. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was recorded telling British Jewish leaders that the US would “do our level best” to prevent Corbyn from ever becoming Prime Minister. “It could be that Mr. Corbyn manages to run the gauntlet and get elected,” he said, “You should know, we won’t wait for him to do those things to begin to push back. We will do our level best. It’s too risky and too important and too hard once it’s already happened.”

President Obama also involved himself heavily in domestic British affairs, sharing a stage with Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, expressing his disapproval at the thought of Scottish independence, backing a “strong and united UK.” Obama also told the UK that it would be “hard to be advantageous” for it to leave the European Union, claiming it would put Britain at the “back of the queue” for trade talks, a statement Boris Johnson described as a “perverse” intervention.

Whatever the role of Moscow in British internal affairs, it is clear that the Russia Report is far from the definitive document some commentators have made it out to be. Often, it bears remembering, threats to democracy come from much closer to home.

Report: OPCW Leaks Show US Cover-Up of Illegal Syria Bombing

Report: OPCW Leaks Show US Cover-Up of Illegal Syria Bombing

By Staff, Agencies

Leaked documents from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons [OPCW] show that the administration of US President Donald Trump bombed Syria in 2018 on false grounds and pressured officials at the chemical weapons watchdog to cover it up, an American weekly magazine reports.

Analyzing the leaks, The Nation reported on Friday that the OPCW had manipulated the original report on the alleged chemical attack in the city of Douma near the capital Damascus on April 7, 2018.

The US and its allies were quick to blame the incident on the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Damascus, however, said that no chemical attack happened and that the incident was staged by foreign intelligence agencies to pressure the government in the face of army advances against foreign-backed terrorists.

One week after the Douma incident, the US, Britain and France launched a coordinated missile attack against sites and research facilities near Damascus and Homs with the purported goal of paralyzing the Syrian government’s capability to produce chemicals.

In March 2019, the OPCW concluded in its final report that there are “reasonable grounds” to believe that a chemical weapons attack occurred in Douma and that “the toxic chemical was likely molecular chlorine.”

But, subsequent internal OPCW documents, including a trove published by WikiLeaks, revealed that the Douma investigators’ initial report had reached different conclusions from their organization’s published version.

According to the report, the leaks reveal that senior OPCW officials “reedited” the Douma investigators’ original report, “removed or misrepresented” key facts and rewrote conclusions in a bid to support the allegation that a chlorine gas attack had occurred in Douma.

“Yet the team’s initial report did not conclude that a chemical attack occurred, and left open the possibility that victims were killed in a ‘non-chemical related’ incident,” it added.

The report also referred to a toxicology review which found that observed symptoms of the civilians in Douma, particularly the rapid onset of excessive frothing, as well as the concentration of victims filmed in the apartment building so close to fresh air, “were inconsistent with exposure to chlorine, and no other obvious candidate chemical causing the symptoms could be identified.”

It further said chemical tests of the samples collected in Douma showed that chlorine compounds were, in most cases, “detected at what amounted to trace quantities in the parts-per-billion range” and that they could have resulted from “contact with household products such as bleach or come from chlorinated water or wood preservatives.”

The author of the initial POCW report protested the revisions in an e-mail, saying the altered version “misrepresents the facts,” thereby “undermining its credibility.”

After the e-mail of protest, a US government delegation met with members of the investigation team in an attempt to convince them that the Syrian government had committed a chemical attack with chlorine.

Veteran reporter Jonathan Steele said the Douma team saw the meeting as “unacceptable pressure and a violation of the OPCW’s declared principles of independence and impartiality.”

Meanwhile, the OPCW’s final report claimed that gas cylinders found in Douma likely came from Syrian military aircraft, but an unpublished engineering study found that the cylinders were manually placed.

“The OPCW leadership has yet to offer a substantive explanation for why they excluded critical findings and radically altered the original report. Instead, it has denigrated the two members of the Douma fact-finding mission team who challenged the manipulation of their investigation,” The Nation reported.

Ian Henderson and another unnamed OPCW inspector are the whistleblowers who challenged the whitewash at the chemical weapons watchdog.

OPCW Director General Fernando Arias claimed that the pair had committed “deliberate and premeditated breaches of confidentiality.”

A third OPCW official, who was speaking on the condition of anonymity, said he was “horrified” by the “abhorrent…mistreatment” of the pair.

“I fully support their endeavors,” he added. “They are in fact trying to protect the integrity of the organization which has been hijacked and brought into shameful disrepute.”

“The possibility that the United States may have bombed Syria based on falsehoods – and pressured a global investigative body to grant that intervention legitimacy after the fact –should break the media blockade. So too should the fact that it was exposed by whistleblowers who face risk for speaking out,” The Nation reported.

Former OPCW head Jose Bustani said, “The convincing evidence of irregular behavior in the OPCW investigation of the alleged Douma chemical attack confirms doubts and suspicions I already had.”

“The picture is certainly clearer now, although very disturbing,” he added, expressing hope that the outcry over the Douma leaks “will catalyze a process by which the [OPCW] can be resurrected to become the independent and non-discriminatory body it used to be.”

BRITISH ESTABLISHMENT NEW FEARS: RUSSIA WEAPONIZES ‘FUNDAMENTAL NIHILSM’

Source

22.07.2020 

British Establishment New Fears: Russia Weaponizes 'Fundamental Nihilsm'

On July 21st, the UK’s Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament (ISC) released a report specifically on Russia and the challenges it presents, as well as recommendations on how to deal with it. [pdf]

The ISC makes a number of points, mostly focused on the presumed Russian intervention in the UK political and economic life. They are:

  1. Russian influence in the UK is the new normal. Successive Governments have welcomed the oligarchs and their money with open arms, providing them with a means of recycling illicit finance through the London ‘laundromat’, and connections at the highest levels with access to UK companies and political figures.
  2. This has led to a growth industry of ‘enablers’ including lawyers, accountants, and estate agents who are – wittingly or unwittingly – de facto agents of the Russian state.
  3. It demonstrates the inherent tension between the Government’s prosperity agenda and the need to protect national security. While we cannot now shut the stable door, greater powers and transparency are needed urgently.
  4. The UK is a target for Russian disinformation. While the mechanics of our paper-based voting system are largely sound, we cannot be complacent about a hostile state taking deliberate action with the aim of influencing our democratic processes.
  5. Yet the defense of those democratic processes has appeared something of a ‘hot potato’, with no one organization considering itself to be in the lead, or apparently willing to conduct an assessment of such interference. This must change.
  6. Social media companies must take action and remove covert hostile state material: Government must ‘name and shame’ those who fail to act.
  7. The UK needs other countries to step up with the UK and attach a cost to Putin’s actions. Salisbury must not be allowed to become the high water mark in international unity over the Russia threat.

The entire report is actually just a fraction, since there is a Classified Annex that contains most of the issues that are being discussed and are not available for open access.

Okay, so “What does Russia want?”, according to the ISC:

“The security threat posed by Russia is difficult for the West to manage as, in our view and that of many others, it appears fundamentally nihilistic. Russia seems to see foreign policy as a zero-sum game: any actions it can take which damage the West are fundamentally good for Russia. It is also seemingly fed by paranoia, believing that Western institutions such as NATO and the EU have a far more aggressive posture towards it than they do in reality. There is also a sense that Russia believes that an undemocratic ‘might is right’ world order plays to its strengths, which leads it to seek to undermine the Rules Based International Order – whilst nonetheless benefitting from its membership of international political and economic institutions.”

Russia, according to the report, also wishes to show that it is a “great power” no less than the former Soviet Union, and possibly even more so.

And the UK is a target since Russia “apparently” considers London as one of its top Western intelligence targets. That is primarily because of the good job that the UK has been doing in countering “Russian aggression.”

“This perception will have been reinforced by the UK’s firm stance recently in response to Russian aggression: following the UK-led international response to the Salisbury attack – which saw an unprecedented 153 Russian intelligence officers and diplomats expelled from 29 countries and NATO – it appears to the Committee that Putin considers the UK to be a key diplomatic adversary. The threat to the UK – and any changes to this following the actions taken in response to the Salisbury attack – is described in this Report, together with the action that the UK Intelligence Community is taking to counter those threats.”

The report provides several areas that need improvement in terms of the fight against Russia:

  1. The Government Communications Headquarter (GCHQ) assesses that Russia is a highly capable cyber actor with a proven capability to carry out operations which can deliver a range of impacts across any sector. It’s allegedly been doing so since 2014, including GRU agents carrying out alleged phishing operations against UK government departments.
  2. The spreading of disinformation (by which we mean the promotion of intentionally false, distorting or distracting narratives) and the running of ‘influence campaigns’ are separate but interlinked subjects. An influence campaign in relation to an election, for example, may use the spreading of disinformation, but may also encompass other tactics such as illicit funding, disruption of electoral mechanics or direct attacks on one of the campaigns (such as ‘hack and leak’). Equally, the spreading of disinformation is not necessarily aimed at influencing any individual outcome.
  3. Whilst the Russian elite have developed ties with a number of countries in recent years, it would appear that the UK has been viewed as a particularly favourable destination for Russian oligarchs and their money. “What is now clear is that it was in fact counte-productive, in that it offered ideal mechanisms by which illicit finance could be recycled through what has been referred to as the London ‘laundromat’.

The report emphasizes that Russia currently poses a significant threat to the UK on a number of fronts – from espionage to interference in democratic processes, and to serious crime. It continues  that the response needs to be combined from all UK security and intelligence agencies, government bodies, included with the ministers of government, as well as the ISC. This will require renewed doctrines, more and improved projects.

And this will not be an easy feat:

“As already noted, the Russian government is an accomplished adversary with well-resourced and world-class offensive and defensive intelligence capabilities. The well-publicised mistakes Russian operatives made in Salisbury, and later in trying to infiltrate the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), have led to public speculation about the competence of the Russian Intelligence Services (RIS), and the GRU in particular. Whilst these attacks demonstrate that the RIS are not infallible, it would be foolhardy to think that they are any less dangerous because of these mistakes. Indeed, the likelihood is that the RIS will learn from their errors, and become more difficult to detect and protect against as a result.”

Of course, none of this can be achieved without due support from international partners such as the US, NATO and others.

Russia, however, supposedly can’t rely on allies, at least not as much as the UK:

“By contrast to the West, Russia has traditionally been suspicious of building significant international partnerships. However, we note that in recent years it has been proactive in seeking ‘alliances of convenience’ across the world. This has included deepened defense and security co-operation with China, as a useful partner against the US (going so far as to conduct joint military exercises), increased influence in South America, and substantive engagement in several African countries, including widespread trade campaigns.”

It’s interesting to note that to motivate the need of the expanded campaign against Russia, the report is extensively using such terms as “open source studies”, including some mysterious “credible open source commentary”, and complains about the “fundamentally nihilistic” approach of Russia.

British Establishment New Fears: Russia Weaponizes 'Fundamental Nihilsm'
British Establishment New Fears: Russia Weaponizes 'Fundamental Nihilsm'

Indeed, if one translates the report wording from the mainstream propaganda language to the ordinary English, the British government and special services complain that they have not enough leverages of pressure and instruments to influence Russia and needs to expand clandestine, diplomatic and propaganda campaigns against Moscow. At the same time, London tries to demonize tactical successes of the Russian state to inform the English-speaking audience of its point of view through diplomatic channels and English-language state media like RT and Sputniknews.

Probably, the main point of the concern for London is that in the conditions of the crumbling neo-liberal narrative (due to the global economic crisis, the COVID-19 outbreak and a series of crises in base states for the Euro-Atlantic establishment), the Russian behavior on the international arena became attractive for the part of the European and American population, which is still not fully indocrinated by the mainstream propaganda.

The Russian side has already denied all the accusations provided by the report of the UK Intelligence and Security Committee. Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry said that it has shown “nothing sensational” and is just “fake shaped Russophobia.”

In response to the report, the Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov made a statement:

“Russia has never interfered in electoral processes in any country of the world: not in the United States, not in Great Britain, or in other countries. We do not do it ourselves and do not tolerate when other countries try to interfere in our political affairs,” Peskov told reporters.

The head of the international committee of the Federation Council, Konstantin Kosachev, believes that by criticizing Russia, Britain is trying to regain its positions in European politics.

“I am convinced that the reason for the appearance of such an odious report is the attempts of the British authorities to regain the European palm at any cost … And why not lead in Russophobia? While in the European Union, London lost some of its brilliance against the background of the Young Europeans, competing with each other, which of them in exchange for European dividends could ruin relations with our country more abruptly,” he wrote on Facebook.

It’s unlikely that the Russian statements will convince anybody in the British establishment because the main goal of the report was not to find the truth but to set conditions for a further action against Moscow.

At the same time, the content of the entire report is quite funny as the side blaming Moscow for the supposed “fundamentally nihilistic” approach and simultaneously proposing employing various propaganda, intelligence and censorship methods against the alternative point of view. Such complains are only fueling this ‘Russia-styled fundamental nihilism’ among the audience, which still is able to have own critical point of view and like to check facts. This demonstrates a sad tendency of the falling level of competence among personnel (including agents, analysis and propagandists) of the Western special services. These agencies are now forced to be fully in the framework of the neo-liberal, minorities-ruled agenda employing the policy of ‘tolerance’ and ‘inclusivity’ promoted by the globalists. Apparently, personal details of particular personnel have become more important that their skills.

Since the very start of SouthFront work, our team has been repeatedly accused of intervening in various processes in the ‘democratic countries’ and spreading top-notch ‘disinformation’ on the highest level (including  press briefings of the US Department of State and reports by the French Defense Ministry). And we are not going to stop on this. So, if you want to fuel some more ‘nihilism’ and coverage that disturb the Euro-Atlantic establishment and globalists, support our work.

“Putin Hacked Our Coronavirus Vaccine” Is The Dumbest Story Yet

By Caitlin Johnstone

Source

Putin Hacked Our Coronavirus Vaccine 8de37

OMG you guys Putin hacked our coronavirus vaccine secrets!

Today mainstream media is reporting what is arguably the single dumbest Russiavape story of all time, against some very stiff competition.

“Russian hackers are targeting health care organizations in the West in an attempt to steal coronavirus vaccine research, the U.S. and Britain said,” reports The New York Times.

“Hackers backed by the Russian state are trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine and treatment research from academic and pharmaceutical institutions around the world, Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said on Thursday,” Reuters reports.

“Russian news agency RIA cited spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying the Kremlin rejected London’s allegations, which he said were not backed by proper evidence,” adds Reuters.

I mean, there are just so many layers of stupid.

First of all, how many more completely unsubstantiated government agency allegations about Russian nefariousness are we the public going to accept from the corporate mass media? Since 2016 it’s been wall-to-wall narrative about evil things Russia is doing to the empire-like cluster of allies loosely centralized around the United States, and they all just happen to be things nobody can actually provide the public with hard verifiable evidence of.

Ever since the shady cybersecurity firm Crowdstrike admitted that it never actually saw hard proof of Russia hacking the DNC servers, the already shaky and always unsubstantiated narrative that Russian hackers interfered in the US presidential election in 2016 has been on thinner ice than ever. Yet because the mass media converged on this narrative and repeated it as fact over and over again they’ve been able to get the mainstream headline-skimming public to accept it as an established truth, priming them for an increasingly idiotic litany of completely unsubstantiated Russia scandals, culminating most recently in the entirely debunked claim that Russia paid Taliban-linked fighters to kill coalition forces in Afghanistan.

Secondly, the news story doesn’t even claim that these supposed Russian hackers even succeeded in doing whatever they were supposed to have been doing in this supposed cyberattack.

“Officials have not commented on whether the attacks were successful but also have not ruled out that this is the case,” Wired reports.

Thirdly, this is a “vaccine” which does not even exist at this point in time, and the research which was supposedly hacked may never lead to one. Meanwhile, Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University reports that it has “successfully completed tests on volunteers of the world’s first vaccine against coronavirus,” in Russia.

Fourthly, and perhaps most importantly, how obnoxious and idiotic is it that coronavirus vaccine “secrets” are a even a thing??? This is a global pandemic which is hurting all of us; scientists should be free to collaborate with other scientists anywhere in the world to find a solution to this problem. Nobody has any business keeping “secrets” from the world about this virus or any possible vaccine or treatment. If they do, anyone in the world is well within their rights to pry those secrets away from them.

This intensely stupid story comes out at the same time British media are blaring stories about Russian interference in the 2019 election, which if you actually listen carefully to the claims being advanced amounts to literally nothing more than the assertion that Russians talked about already leaked documents pertaining to the UK’s healthcare system on the internet.

“Russian actors ‘sought to interfere’ in last winter’s general election by amplifying an illicitly acquired NHS dossier that was seized upon by Labour during the campaign, the foreign secretary has said,” reports The Guardian.

“Amplifying”. That’s literally all there is to this story. As we learned with the ridiculous US Russiagate narrative, Russia “amplifying” something in such allegations can mean anything from RT reporting on a major news story to a Twitter account from St Petersburg sharing an article from The Washington Post. Even the foreign secretary’s claim itself explicitly admits that “there is no evidence of a broad spectrum Russian campaign against the General Election”.

“The statement is so foggy and contradictory that it is almost impossible to understand it,” responded Russia’s foreign ministry to the allegations. “If it’s inappropriate to say something then don’t say it. If you say it, produce the facts.”

Instead of producing facts you’ve got the Murdoch press pestering Jeremy Corbyn on his doorstep over this ridiculous non-story, and popular right-wing outlets like Guido Fawkes running the blatantly false headline “Government Confirms Corbyn Used Russian-Hacked Documents in 2019 Election”. The completely bogus allegation that the NHS documents came to Jeremy Corbyn by way of Russian hackers is not made anywhere in the article itself, but for the headline-skimming majority this makes no difference. And headline skimmers get as many votes as people who read and think critically.

All this new cold war Russia hysteria is turning people’s brains into guacamole. We’ve got to find a way to snap out of the propaganda trance so we can start creating a world that is based on truth and a desire for peace.

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