The Brazilian fracture between the Expanding Universe and the new imperialist competition in South America

The Brazilian fracture between the Expanding Universe and the new imperialist competition in South America
Fabio Reis Vianna, lives in Rio de Janeiro, is a bachelor of laws (LL.B), MA student in International Relations at the University of Évora (Portugal), writer and geopolitical analyst. He currently maintains a column on international politics at the centennial Brazilian newspaper Monitor Mercantil.

April 05, 2021

By Fabio Reis Vianna for The Saker Blog

In an article published in Foreign Affairs magazine – one of the most prominent mouthpieces of US imperialism – , and signed by, among others, Marcus Hicks, former commander of the US Special Operations Command in Africa during the period 2017-2019, defends the idea that the increased competition between the great powers ignites a red alert that the United States should turn its attention to the African continent.

The main motivator of this concern would be the urgent need to limit the “malign influence” of the hegemon’s two major strategic rivals: Russia and China.

Citing the increased Sino-Russian presence on the African continent, in which Russia alone would have already established military agreements with at least 19 countries, and China, installed in 2017 its first international military base in Djibout.

It is worth noting, that although the Foreign Affairs article mentions that there was an ebb in the American presence during Donald Trump’s administration, in reality, and in a long-term look, since 2001 American foreign policy has turned more aggressively to Africa, and this posture has even been an incentive for a greater presence of other actors of the interstate system in that continent.

The American presence in Africa, justified by the excuse of fighting transnational terrorism, was therefore the trigger for an increase in the presence of other interstate actors, and consequently, of the imperialist competition that in this pandemic 2021 gains even more dramatic contours.

Although this article is specifically a defense of the American presence in Africa, it serves as a warning of how the American establishment is positioning itself in face of a phenomenon that has deepened considerably in recent years: the new imperialist race.

Therefore, it is of utmost importance to understand the role of South America in this complex power game.

Taking into consideration that the increase in competitive pressure in the world system has been accelerating considerably since the collapse of the Soviet Union, has gained imperial contours after September 11, and has unveiled itself as, in fact, in a scenario of almost war with the advent of the pandemic, it is possible to deduce that the recent events in certain parts of South America definitely place it as a battleground of the current powers’ wider dispute for global hegemony.

Symptoms of this competitive phenomenon could be seen recently in insinuations that the Chinese are carrying out naval maneuvers in Argentinean waters (when in fact it was the Americans who in fact carried out exercises near the Brazilian coast), as well as in the intensification of the diplomatic crisis between Venezuela and Guyana.

There are many fracture points in South America, and perhaps the most visible and dangerous one lies over the Esequibo zone, a Guyanese territory of 159,000 square kilometers never recognized by Caracas.

In early March, Guyana accused Venezuela of having violated its airspace with the use of two Sukhoi SU 30 drones, of Russian origin. Caracas promptly refuted the accusations as false.

Repudiated by the Secretary of State for Falklands, Antarctica and the South Atlantic, Daniel Filmus, more recently, the publication of the new British defense plan – ratifying the decision to maintain a permanent military presence in the Falkland Islands – brought concerns to Buenos Aires.

The presence of foreign powers in South American territory is clear, and in light of the significant increase of competitive pressure in the world system – which has been gradually taking place since the disproportionate display of American military power against a defenseless Iraq in 1991 – the theory of the Expanding Universe is confirmed year after year, and in an increasingly dramatic way.

Contradicting the idea that a unipolar system, and therefore led and conducted by a single hegemon, would lead to Kant’s “perpetual peace,” the theory of the Expanding Universe supports the thesis that the global power game tends to reproduce itself ad infinitum as a continuously expanding, anarchic, and directionless universe.

Thus, it doesn’t matter whether the dispute is bipolar or multipolar: whoever is at the top of the system tends to expand his power even further – even if he is not necessarily being challenged at the moment, as is the case in the period right after the Soviet collapse, when the United States reigned absolute over the rest of the world.

The factual (and cruel) reality that comes to confirm the theory of the Expanding Universe could not fit into a more appropriate outfit than that of the present moment.

Just as 9/11 served as the perfect excuse for the expansion of the United States’ global power (in this specific case against an imaginary enemy – since the usual enemy, Russia, was temporarily out of the game), the Covid-19 pandemic serves today as a ladder for an unprecedented increase in competitive pressure in the interstate system.

Following this reasoning, and contrary to what Atlanticist analysts are saying, the pandemic crisis would be favoring only one country: the United States of America.

Not only because Silicon Valley technology companies have never profited as much as they do now, but the awakening of sovereigntist and militarist instincts brought about by the pandemic chaos has made possible the realization of the only fundamental and untouchable consensus of the currently divided US elites: the permanent and continuous reproduction and expansion of their military industrial complex. This expansion would be nothing more than the viability of the so-called Full Spectrum Dominance contained in the DOD Joint Vision 2020, published in the year 2000.

In this context, South America comes to play a new role in the global geopolitical chessboard, a role that the long period as a zone of peace under Anglo-Saxon influence would have softened.

With the increased competitive pressure caused by the pandemic event, which in other terms could be seen as the hegemon’s reaction to the entrance of new competitors in the system, came an increase or shock in the demand for energy resources.

In this scenario, we could exemplify the perspective of an expressive growth in the global demand for oil for the next 30 years, with China and India alone representing approximately 50% of all demand.

Considering that South America today can be considered the region with the largest oil (Venezuela) and Lithium (Bolivia) reserves on the planet – not to mention the Amazon forest and fresh water reserves (Brazil) – and in light of this global energy order in formation and dispute, it would not be an exaggeration to say that the new imperialist race between the great powers in the beginning of this century would be gradually turning to the region.

This situation is a wake-up call for a country in the region that is currently experiencing the greatest identity crisis in its entire history: Brazil.

Fractured internally since before the pandemic, the South American giant has never found itself so pressured and isolated internationally.

The systemic chaos that began with the Color Revolution of June 2013, and which has been deepening year after year until culminating in the election of Jair Bolsonaro (puppet president emerging from the white coup orchestrated by the consortium between the Armed Forces High Command and the U.S. government), finally goes into full short circuit after the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic.

Since then the growing discontent of sectors of the local economic elites with the disastrous management of the health crisis by the current government ruled by the military junta is visible.

Threatened by external sanctions from all sides, the country that has surpassed the mark of 300,000 deaths, is experiencing an internal fracture unprecedented in its history.

Something little remembered, but already in October 2019, Portuguese-speaking writers Mia Couto and José Eduardo Agualusa, on a visit to Brazil, said they were impressed by the climate of local political animosity, comparing the South American giant to African countries like Mozambique and Angola during the pre-civil war period.

At the same time that military police officers in Rio de Janeiro organize marches dressed in suggestive black shirts in defense of President Jair Bolsonaro, military police officers in the state of Bahia are threatening to cause chaos with a riot against the local governor (Rui Costa, from the Workers’ Party, an opponent of Bolsonaro).

Amid escalating tensions, the arm-wrestling between government and parliament is intensifying, and in particular with regard to two issues of geopolitical relevance: 5G and the Sputnik V vaccine.

Even if it is not clear from the stories reported by the hegemonic Brazilian press, it is visible that the Bolsonaro government deliberately acts as a representative of US interests in Brazil.

The difficulties created for the approval of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, and the constant threat of exclusion of the Chinese technology giant Huawei from the great 5G auction in the country, reflect the current role of Brazil as a battleground of the great expansionist dispute of the world system in this beginning of the century.

The social fracture, and the deepening divide within the local elites expose the serious risk of a country that could spiral out of control at any moment.

The news that the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) has sent a letter to Mr. Joe Biden, and to his Special Climate Secretary John Kerry, requesting a direct channel of communication – and away from the Brazilian government – to deal with issues related to the Amazon, opens a very serious alert about something that, for those who know history, would not be new.

Bearing in mind that geopolitical competition between the great powers is usually concentrated in fracture zones of the world system, history teaches us that fractured societies – and weakened states – tend to become the object of divisive games in the hands of the great powers.

With all due respect to the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil – so mistreated and threatened by the current government – but the moment calls for a deep reflection on this.

Syria, Venezuela sanctions | The Communiqué with Richard Medhurst

Venezuela and Syria are both under siege warfare by the United States and its allies. Richard Medhurst speaks with Alena Douhan, United Nations Special Rapporteur on sanctions, about her preliminary report after recently returning from Venezuela.

الكاردينال وقائد الجيش للزوم إحياء مستحيل للبنان 1920

د.وفيق إبراهيم

تنحصر الحركة الشعبية اللبنانية حالياً في جمهور ينتمي بغالبيته الى مناطق ذات غالبية مارونية. وهذه الحركة تُصرّ يومياً على تأييد قائد الجيش بذريعة أنه يحمي لبنان كما تذهب ناحية التأييد المطلق والكبير للكاردينال الراعي لأنه يحمي لبنان، على حد قولهم.

هذان القياديان يحظيان حالياً بهذا التأييد الأعمى على الرغم من أنهما لم يشاركا في تحرير لبنان من العدو الإسرائيلي المجمع على عداوته للبنان، لذلك يتسجّل هذا التأييد في خانة الصراعات الطوائفية في لبنان، كما يصل هذه المرة حاملاً معه إحساساً مارونياً بإمكانية خسارة الصيغة القديمة بكاملها التي قام عليها لبنان في العشرينيات بدعم فرنسي كامل.

لا بدّ أولاً من التأكيد على أن صيغة 1920 أصيبت بعطب شديد كاد أن يطيح بها كاملاً نتيجة لاتفاق الطائف.

هذا الاتفاق التهم الأحادية المارونية في السلطة وأدخل السنة الحريرية شريكاً عليها من دون منازع وكادت صيغة 1920 أن تسقط كاملة ولمصلحة ثلاثيّة مع الشيعة والدروز لولا تدخلات دوليّة وإقليميّة خليجيّة.

لكن هذا الأمر لم يظهر الى العلن، لكنه أصبح حقيقة سياسية لا يمكن تجاوزها بسبب التفوق النوعي لحزب الله وحلفائه في الأحزاب الوطنية، ولولا هذه التدخلات الخارجية والخليجية لكانت الصيغة الحاكمة في لبنان مشكلة من هذه القوى الشديدة الفاعليّة في هذه المرحلة بالتحديد.

هذه التطورات أنتجت إقراراً مارونياً ضمنياً بالثلاثية السياسية للسلطة في لبنان، لكنها اصطدمت بمحاولات للمحافظة على صيغة 1920 من بعض القوى الداخلية عند الموارنة الذين يعتقدون بإمكانية استمرارها في السلطة.

هؤلاء اختاروا الشارع وسيلة لمحاولة التمسك بآخر ما تبقى من صيغة 1920 معطوفة على الطائف في إطار الاتفاق الإضافي غير المكتوب مع الشيعة بما يؤدي الى تشكيل ثلاثية تحفظ ثلث لبنان للموارنة لأمد طويل.

هذا ما يفعله الموارنة اليوم في الشارع حاملين فيه لواء الكاردينال وعصمة قيادة الجيش معتقدين أن هذين الحرمين يمنعان الضرر عن بقية الصيغة اللبنانية.

لذلك انتقل الصراع بين الأجنحة السياسية المارونية على قيادة الجيش ورئاسة الجمهورية حيث تشهد الشوارع التحاقاً بقيادة الجيش وتصويره وكأنه منقذ لبنان، مع الالتصاق الشديد بالكاردينال الذي «أعطي له مجد لبنان»، كما تقول العامة.

تشهد شوارع لبنان إذاً محاولة مارونية لصون الجزء الثلاثيّ من السلطة الخاصة بالموارنة، لكنها تصطدم بصراعات مارونية داخلية تعمل على الوصول الى رئاسة الجمهورية او بالاستحواذ بالشارع الماروني.

فقسم كبير من المتحرّكين في الشارع هم من جماعة حزب القوات اللبنانية والكتائب مقابل التزام مؤيدي التيار الوطني الحر بمنازلهم تحضّراً لأيام جسام تبدو واضحة في الأفق.

جرى الانتقال اذاً من الصراع الماروني السني وصولاً إلى الصراع مع الشيعة في اتفاق الطائف وصولاً الى الصراع الماروني في الوقت الحاضر بين القوات والكتائب والتيار؟ إلا أن قوات جعجع حاولت أن تنفي مشاركتها في قطع الطرق فيما واصل سامي الجميل رعاية المتحركين باحثاً عن مكانة فقدها حزبه الكتائب منذ صعود الحريرية السياسية التي دعمت القوات وفضلتها على غيرها من القوى المسيحية لأسباب غربية صرفة وأخرى خليجية.

لذلك فإن ما يجري اليوم هو صراع بين قوى مسيحية تحاول الاستحواذ على تأييد الخليج والغرب، وقد يبحث بعضها عن تأييد ضمني إسرائيلي.

فهل ينجح جعجع وسامي الجميل في السيطرة على كتلة كبيرة في الشارع المسيحيّ؟

هناك تأكيد ان القوات والكتائب تتصلان بشكل شبه يومي بألمانيا ومصر والأردن في محاولة لكسب أدوار تمنحها عدداً معيناً من وزارة يشكلها قريباً سعد الحريري.

وألمانيا ومصر والأردن ذاهبون لعقد مؤتمر دولي لبحث أزمات الشرق الاوسط من فلسطين الى لبنان.

أما القوات فيكاد قائدها لا يعبر يوم واحد إلا ويختلي فيه بدبلوماسيين من هذه الدول. ماذا اذاً عن طلب المتظاهرين باستقالة رئيس الجمهورية؟ هذه تندرج في إطار الصراع الماروني الماروني وبما أنها على هذا النحو فلا قيمة فعلية لها، لأنه تمكّن فريقاً صغيراً من الموارنة من إقالة الرئيس اللبناني بفتح المجال واسعاً للبدء بتغيير أي صيغة تحكم لبنان. وهذا يؤدي بدوره إلى الجزم بأن الكاردينال الراعي لا يقبل بهذا الأمر حرصاً على مارونية الرئاسة، كما أن الجمهور اللبناني الكبير الموالي لعون ليس بهذا الوارد، ومستعدّ للمقاتلة، بالإضافة الى ان جمهور حزب الله والأحزاب الوطنية لا يسمح بهذه الترهات التي تعني إلغاء النظام التاريخي اللبناني.

يتبين بالاستنتاج استحالة إحياء صيغة 1920 وإمكانية إلغاء حتى اتفاق الطائف اذا ما انضبطت الطوائف في كهوفها وانطلقت لقرن جديد يبدأ من 2020 ويجب أن يستمر حتى القرن المقبل بلبنان الطائفيّ الهش.

Who Gains From Misportraying Russia As A Rogue Regime?

By Andrew Korybko

Source

Who Gains From Misportraying Russia As A Rogue Regime?

The push by Western forces and those sympathetic to them to misportray Russia as a “rogue regime” after this summer’s Navalny incident is meant to pave the way for a more comprehensive sanctions policy against the Eurasian Great Power and intensify multilateral efforts to “contain” it.

The Western press has recently revived the debunked trope that Russia is a so-called “rogue regime” after the latest developments surrounding this summer’s Navalny incident. The self-described “investigative reporting” outlet Bellingcat and CNN recently published a joint report claiming that the FSB tried to poison the anti-corruption blogger, which is an unrealistic scenario to speculate upon and one which was condemned by President Putin during his year-end press conference as a provocation by foreign intelligence services. Nevertheless, this information warfare narrative persists and was given fresh coverage by former chess champion Gary Kasparov in the op-ed that he published at CNN on Friday about how “It’s time to treat Putin’s Russia like the rogue regime it is”. His piece deserves to be debunked in order to set the record straight and extrapolate his agenda for propagating it.

Kasparov shares a smorgasbord of accusations straight off the bat alleging that Russia is guilty of crimes ranging from assassinating political foes with chemical weapons to invading Ukraine and hacking the US. What he doesn’t mention, however, is that no evidence has been presented to conclusively prove Russia’s responsibility for those aforesaid assassination attempts. Regarding Ukraine, Kasparov leaves out the fact that Crimea reunified with Russia after a democratic referendum and that a real military invasion of that country by Moscow wouldn’t have manifested itself in limited skirmishes contained to Eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region. Moreover, the chess champion omits the fact that Trump contradicted Pompeo’s claims of Russian complicity in the latest hack attack and actually blamed China instead. Evidently, these facts are too “politically inconvenient” for Kasparov to mention and thus had to be ignored in order to advance his weaponized narrative.

That narrative, it should be said, is one of paranoia and speculation. Parts of it read as a fever dream of a brilliant mind gone mad imagining that Russia’s security agencies are falling apart by the second despite he himself previously alleging that they’ve carried out such egregious crimes as the ones that he talked about earlier. This schizophrenic stance is explained away by his theory that President Putin simply doesn’t care anymore about how sloppy his international provocations have become because no meaningful consequences have ever followed. That’s yet another fallacy on Kasparov’s part since Russia has been victimized by an ever-intensifying sanctions regime since 2014. Still, he’s somehow convinced himself that the West is actually “appeasing” Russia by continuing to retain some limited relations with it of a pragmatic nature. These, he believes, must be immediately stopped and followed up by removing Russia from international institutions.

What he’s clamoring for is clear for any objective observer to see, and it’s a redoubling of the Western sanctions regime against Russia and an intensification of the multilateral efforts to “contain” it. Earlier attempts by some American officials to designate Russia as a so-called “state sponsor of terrorism” might receive a second life if Kasparov’s op-ed is coordinated with US intelligence officials to precondition the international public into accepting such a dramatic move. The incoming Biden Administration is chock-full of anti-Russian hawks so it’s quite possible that they might make swift progress in further worsening bilateral relations with Russia on that or some similar pretext. It should be remembered, however, that the entire basis for this scenario is the unquestionable assumption that Russia is responsible for everything that Kasparov and his allies claim, which is highly dubious to say the least.

Even so, it’s nowadays taboo for anyone to publicly challenge those accusations lest they be tarred and feathered as a “Russian agent”. The media-military nexus is operating perfectly insofar as coordinating their messaging to justify forthcoming provocations against Russia. The American people have been brainwashed into believing that Russia is one of their main enemies, with Kasparov’s comments on the latest Navalny development being used to reinforce that narrative. CNN published his op-ed in order to grant it maximum exposure at home and abroad, all for the earlier explained reasons. While his ravings are limited to the internet for now, they might soon have a real-life impact if the US runs with his claims to push through a new sanctions regime and other related “containment” efforts against Russia. This could even happen if Trump pulls off an upset and remains in office after 20 January considering his recent anti-Russian track record.

In conclusion, the only ones who gain by misportraying Russia as a “rogue regime” are the anti-Russian members of the US’ permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) and their international allies like Kasparov who has a personal axe to grind against President Putin. Objectively speaking, Russia’s alleged “rogue” activity pales in comparison to the US’ actual rogue actions since the end of the Old Cold War, which include drone assassinations, Color Revolution coups, Hybrid Wars, and several large-scale wars. That’s not to deflect with “whatabouttism”, but just to remind the reader of the global strategic context for the purpose of pointing out America’s blatant hypocrisy in this respect. Looking forward, the US’ anti-Russian information warfare campaign will only intensify and won’t ever stop until Moscow submits to Washington’s unipolar hegemonic demands, which won’t ever happen so the infowar is here to stay.

Corporations, States, and the neo-liberal symbiosis

Corporations, States, and the neo-liberal symbiosis

December 16, 2020

By Francis Lee for the Saker Blog

The men and women who run global corporations are the first in history with the organization, technology, money, and ideology who are attempting to structure the world as an integrated economic unit. (1)

THE RISE OF CORPORATE POWER.

Scroll down another six decades (or thereabouts) and this statement has hardened into an objective fact – and moreover has turned out worse than the above authors had ever imagined. In effect what has taken place, and is still taking place, is the massive shift of power, out of the hands of nation states and democratic governments and into the hands of Transnational Corporations (TNCs) banks, Investment banks, Commercial banks, and Central banks. It is now the coalition that effectively governs the lives of the vast majority of the people on earth; yet these new world realities are seldom reflected in the strategies of citizen movements for democratic change. All too often, strategies are aimed primarily at changing government policies, whilst the real power being exercised by TNCs behind the scenes is rarely challenged, let alone dismantled. When the operations of TNCs do become a prime target for citizen action campaigns, there is a tendency to employ a rather piecemeal and foot-dragging approach to such popular struggles to what is a deeply systemic problem – a problem for the lower orders that is.

Regardless of their nominal home bases these globe-trotting corporate Leviathans have become essentially ‘stateless’ (I use this term advisedly) juggling multiple national identities and loyalties in order to achieve their global competitive interests. Regardless of where they operate in the world these conglomerates can use their overseas subsidiaries, joint ventures, licensing agreements, and assume foreign identities and tax evasion on a huge scale – as for example in the practise of ‘transfer pricing’ – whenever it suits their purposes. In so doing, they develop chameleon-like abilities to change their identities to resemble insiders wherever they are operating. As one nameless CEO put it, When we go to Brussels, we are member states of the EU, when we go to Washington, we become an American Company. Whenever the need arises these gentlemen will wrap themselves up in the national flag of choice (or flags of convenience as in the shipping industry) to get support for tax breaks, research subsidies, or governmental representation in negotiations affecting corporate profit and marketing plans. Through this process stateless corporations are effectively transforming what were independent nation states to suit their interests.

CORPORATIONS AND STATES – PARTNERS IN CRIME

Having said this, however, I would add a qualifying disclaimer:

Namely, that nation states do not necessarily choose to prostrate themselves before their lords and masters of Finance and Industry, this was never – mirabile dictu – meant to be a one-way arrangement or an alternative to the liberal market economy. I have argued elsewhere that states and corporations are both conjoint and symmetrical. Both need each other. The state unquestionably remains the most significant force in shaping the national and world economies, despite the rhetoric of the state-denialist lobby. The state has played a fundamental role in the economic development of all countries, from the 19th century onwards, and my hunch is that it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

However, given the universality of the state-economy dualism it should be understood that a system of variegated capitalism is a feature of the contemporary state-economy partnership. In general terms this fragmentation breaks down into basic models of actually existing capitalism.

1. The liberal-market capitalism (LMC). This is generally understood to be associated with the Anglo-American economies. Rampant individualism has become the dominant characteristic, short-termist and based upon a weak industrial and a strong financial sector. Shareholder value has assumed a quasi-religious status. The banking system is oligopolistic and averse to industrial investment and fixated on the property sector. Financialization is the dominant economic form.

2. Social-market capitalism. (SMC) A premium is placed on collaboration between different actors in the economy with a broader definition of ‘stakeholders’ beyond that of solely the owners of capital. The concept of ‘social partnership’ is more prominent than the Anglo-American model, but somewhat weaker more recently. Capital markets – unlike the LMC – tend to be bank-centred and the banking industry tends to be more diffuse as instanced in the existence of the German Sparkassen. This model is characteristic of the German, Scandinavian, western European bloc.

3. Developmental Capitalism. This is a highly activist state-driven system (although not necessarily through public ownership of productive assets). The state sets substantial policies contained within an explicit industrial strategy. Capital markets tend also to be bank-centred and there is a strong emphasis on tight business networks – e.g., the Chaebol and Keiretsu. The model is exemplified by Japan, (south) Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and more recently by China.

4. Russian Capitalism. This is difficult to categorize since it is given an unbelievably bad press – for geopolitical reasons – in the western media and academia.

It is also under the cosh of western sanctions which makes development even more difficult. Moreover much of what is going on is conducted in the Russian language which makes reporting and analysis even more difficult. Both political and economic structures were liberalized after 1991 but the Russian state still exerts strong control over the economy. The jury is still out on Russia’s system and development.

Given a choice of which system works best it would seem to be the highly state-activist developmental model.

‘’We can safely predict that the Anglo-American model will become less influential … whilst … virtually all of the Asian models of capitalism involve a more active role for government. And the rise of these models is taking place as the US approach is discredited by abuse, shrivelling opportunities and a shrinking middle-class. Among listed alternatives, the US model is now the outlier.’’ (2)

Alexander Hamilton 1755-1804

These views on industrialisation and state-building could legitimately be described as a protectionist and strategic policy, this to the extent that his theories made a positive impression, and these were not lost on US President and ex-commander-in-chief of the Army of the Potomac, Ulysses S Grant. (1822-1885).

According to Grant:

‘’For centuries England has relied on protection, has carried it to extremes and has obtained satisfactory results from it. There is no doubt that it is to this system that it owes its present strength. After two centuries, England has found it convenient to adopt free trade because it thinks that protection can no longer offer it anything. Very well then, gentlemen, my knowledge of our country leads me to believe that within 200 years, when America has gotten out of protection all that it can offer, it too will adopt free trade.’’

Interestingly enough the United States did not become a great trading power and not recognisably be a free-trade nation until after WW2.

Similarly In Germany, Friedrich List (1789-1846) who also had scant regard for any ‘free-market’ nonsense along with the Ricardian corollary of comparative advantage, was instrumental in promoting a guided political economy; a system of political supervision from above as a policy for economic development. He argued that,

‘’…the first stage (of such a long-term policy) is one of adopting free-trade with more advanced nations as a means of raising themselves from a state of barbarism, and of making advances in agriculture; in the second stage, promoting the growth of manufactures, fisheries, navigation and foreign trade by means of commercial restrictions; and in the last stage, on after reaching the highest degree of wealth and power by gradually reverting to the principle of free-trade and of unrestricted competition in home and foreign markets.’’ (3)

As with Hamilton’s economic theories and their influence on Grant, so with List’s theories, on the leading figure in Germany at the time, the ‘Iron Chancellor’ and leading statesman of the day – Otto Von Bismarck (1771-1845).

These strategic, nation-building, and planned approaches were to give rise to the considerable success of the ‘mixed economies’ during the Bretton Woods era – 1944-1971 – and particularly so in the west. But this historical phase ended abruptly with the rise of the Thatcher-Reagan axis circa 1980, to the tune of TINA – there is no alternative, although such policies continued to be the chosen road to development in East Asia. If the TNC-State paradigm operates globally they do so only because the state allows and facilitates this. But the relationship between the two varies from one state’s political economy to another.

The present actually existing state-market archetype – which in its essence is neo-liberal – is such that business enterprises now seem fit to expect/demand more from their governments in order to secure markets for their products (these enterprises certainly have some chutzpah in this respect!)Trade follows the flag. This special pleading notwithstanding, the fashionable nostrums extolling the economic virtues of neo-liberalism – nostrums of an entirely theoretical nature, based upon a type of reasoning associated with the medieval schoolmen, or rolled out as if it were Immanuel Kant’s Categorical Imperative. In this respect also such economic theory, as postulated by the marginalist school (see below) takes place before any engagement with the material world, the theory precedes practice when it should be the other way around. I believe that it was Goethe who once said “All theory is grey, my friend. But forever green is the tree of life.”

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTAL DESIDERATA

However, in spite of the neo-classical economics theological school founded in 1870 (4) the fact of the matter is that the private sector requires at least 4 principles of support and services from governments.

1. Infrastructure support. That is to say state funding of high-risk and basic research. This involves funding of universities and of vocational training systems. Subsidizing of mechanisms for the dissemination of scientific and technological transfers.

2. Providing tax breaks. Incentives, necessary for investment in industrial R&D

3. Guarantees. That national enterprises from the given country have a sufficiently stable Home Base and privileged access to the home market via public contracts (defence, telecommunications, health, transport, education, social services). Industrial policy, particularly for those in the high technology strategic sector (defence, telecommunications, and data processing), also guarantee of a certain basic scientific and technical competence, as well as protecting designated sectors of the internal market on which local enterprises may depend.

4. Provision: that is the necessary support and assistance (regulatory and/or commercial, diplomatic, and political) to local enterprises in their activities and in their fight to better survive in international markets.

The above prescriptions would constitute the absolute sine qua non for economic growth and development. But it is no longer necessarily the case that these expectations will be met. Instead of the assessment (and presence) of past economic developmental strategies with measurable outcomes we have a religious, inflexible dogma of ‘market forces’ which is not to be gainsaid, gibberish in theory, but not even workable in practice. Herewith the record.

1. Capital/Labour relations.

Promise: Deregulation will allow for full employment.

Outcome: No clear impact.

2. Forms of Competition.

Promise: Deregulation will erode oligopolistic market power and will restore free competition

Outcome: Re-regulation, less producers, increased market concentration, from one oligopolistic form of competition to another.

3. Monetary Regime

Promise: Control of Monetary Base is possible.

Outcome: Monetary Innovation prevents this control and the rise of the shadow banking system.

4. State.

Promise: Minimal state will enhance growth and productivity

Outcome: Poor levels of productivity due to lack of educational infrastructures. Finance is put before industry.

5. International Regime

Promise: Smooth currency adjustments.

Outcome: Large movements up and down of exchange rates

And so on and so forth. The state – if it so chooses – remains the most formidable institution to channel and tame the power of the markets. In the absence of powerful countervailing regulation any economic analysis shows that persisting unemployment, recurring financial crises, rising inequality, underinvestment in productive activities such as education and research, a cumulative asymmetry of information and power and overinvestment in financial activities are the outcomes of a complete reliance on market forces. This we already know, but the suffocating global impact of Anglo-American liberal globalism – in both theory and practice, and in its sphere of influence – has served to erect a seemingly insurmountable barrier, both political and ideological, to any exit from the dead-end of TINA.

DECLINE AND FALL

Sad to say, however, that the public authorities on both sides of the Atlantic have defaulted on their obligations to their electorates and to a large extent have merged with the corporate and banking sector. The US and EU remain in thrall to neo-liberal doctrine, the only ‘growth’ policy considered worthy of the name consists of eliminating organizations or institutions of any kind that are regarded as obstructing markets and competition, be they cartels, chambers of commerce and industry, trades unions or tax guilds, or minimum wages or employment protection. This is all that is meant when todays creditors expect debtor states to implement the dreaded ‘structural reforms’. The collapse of the Keynesian economics establishment and its political manifestation in both social-democratic theory and practice was unable (and even unwilling) to prevent the counter-revolutionary onrush of the neoliberal forces who now command the political and economic agenda.

‘’The historical significance of the transition from a Keynesian to a Hayekian political economy, which has been taking place since the 1970s, becomes clearer if we recall the situation at the beginning of the neoliberal turn. Whereas today with open borders, formerly sovereign states with independent central banks must pursue a rule-bound economic policy in accordance with a prescriptions of efficiency theory, the Keynesian mixed economy of the post-war decades had at its disposal a wide range of instruments for discretionary government intervention, especially in the distribution of the national product and the life-chances of national citizens … The neoliberal counter-revolution has left nothing of this. It’s objective was to trim the states of post-war capitalism as much as possible reducing them to providing for the functioning and expansion of markets and making them institutionally incapable of corrective intervention in the self-regulating enforcement of market justice.’’(5)

Returning to the global perspective of the opening passage the problems of under-development in the periphery is now being felt in the imperial centre as the centre becomes more and more like the periphery. A state cannot be emerging or developed if it is not inward rather than outward looking to the goal of creating a domestic market and thus reasserting a national economic sovereignty. This complex objective requires over all aspects of economic life. In particular, it demands policies that protects food security and sovereignty, and equally sovereignty over ones natural resources and access to others outside one’s territory. These multiple and complementary objectives are contrasted with those objectives of the internal comprador class, who are content to adapt to growth models that meet the requirements of the dominant global system (liberal globalization) and the possibilities that these latter alternatives offer. (6)

At the present time, the historical requirement for the establishment of an entirely new social and economic order based upon sound principles and respecting the environment with a goal of the fulfilment of human rights has become imperative. It hardly needs stating that this is a monumental task and the possibilities between success and failure are evenly balanced. Nonetheless it remains the greatest challenge in today’s world – moreover it is a challenge which spans both the developed and developing world and for tackling the issue of the survival of the human species and the Earth itself. Whether mankind is up for this challenge remains to be seen, but the world is running out of time and positive action needs to start very soon indeed. We shall wait and we shall see.

La Lotta Continua.

NOTES

(1) Richard Barnet & Robert Mueller -Global Reach – 1974

(2) Rothkopf – Financial Times – 01/02/2012)

(3) Freidrich List. – National System of Political Economy. P.15

(4)The Marginalist ‘Revolution’ of 1870. The term ‘marginalist revolution’ is commonly utilised to indicate the abandonment of the classical liberalism – of Adam Smith, and John Stuart Mill – and posited a theoretical shift to a subjective theory of value and the analytical notion of marginal utility. The years between 1871 and 1874 saw publication of the major writings of the leaders of the Austrian marginalist school, Carl Menger (1840-1921); of the British school, William Stanley Jevons (1835-1882); and of the French (Lausanne) school, Leon Walras (1834-1910). For better or worse – pretty much the worse FL – this is the basis of the contemporary economics taught in schools and universities today. It is a toxic legacy.

(5) Wolfgang Streeck – Buying Time – pp.111/112

(6)Samir Amin – The Implosion of Capitalism – p.44

Iranians: The people the West are allowed to assassinate

November 30, 2020

by Ramin Mazaheri and crossposted with PressTV

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

The recent assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh – and the total silence regarding any sanctions on those who illegally played judge, jury, invader and executioner – reminds us how very unique Iranians are: Iranians are the people whom Westerners feel they are legitimately allowed to assassinate.

The citizens of which other country get so shamefully and shockingly assassinated by Westerners with such regularity in the 21st century?

We can’t compare the assassinations of Iranians with allegations (which did arise amid a once in a half-century Russophobia campaign in the West) that Russia poisoned a convicted double agent inside the United Kingdom. Not only did Western countries issue actual condemnations, unlike with the illegal murder of Fakhrizadeh, but they even expelled over 150 Russian diplomats.

The largest point to make clear is regarding why Iranians get this extraordinary (inhumane) treatment. It’s important for journalists to answer the short-term question of, “Why Fakhrizadeh?”, but we must also answer the long-term question of “Why Iran?”

The reality is that the average Westerners doesn’t even know how they got to this point. The Iranian hostage crisis was long ago, Israel is the belligerent one which keeps invading (and losing), the US is the belligerent one which keeps invading (and losing) – the refusal to allow Iran to defend itself is something which the average Westerner mostly doesn’t agree with and which they definitely cannot explain. That is to say: the reason is political – but Westerners are atrocious politicians, atrociously cynical about politics and atrociously misinformed about politics and socioeconomics due to their ever-more obvious censorship, propaganda and self-censorship.

There are several answers to “Why Iran?” Firstly, Iranians are an “expendable” people:

For a few centuries Westerners have regarded Iranians (as well as many others) as people who own things of value (natural resources), but who can produce nothing of value. Value is derived from supporting not just Westernism, but a Westernism which is totally unleavened – Westerners might say “contaminated” – with any non-Western ideas. Those who work for systems which do not conform to Western desires – no matter how great the democratic legitimacy of these systems -can be assassinated at will, in Western eyes. This is why the killing of a Qasem Soleimani or Fakhrizadeh does not merit consequences, unlike the assassination of a French general or a Japanese scientist.

Secondly, Iranians are a “ignorable” people:

Even though Iranians are so very expendable, they must also be ignored in the 21st century. The problem is: Iran keeps attracting well-wishers and like-minded people. Iran has allies in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon due to centuries-old cultural ties, but Iran also has allies in places like China and Venezuela precisely because Iran can talk about more than just religion.

Lastly, because Iranians refuse to be expendable and because they do things which are worthy of meritorious recognition, Iranians are thus an “assassinatable” people:

Iranians are assassinated because they show to the Muslim world and beyond that resistance to Western imperialism is not only possible, but that it produces far, far greater domestic success than continuing to ape Western nations.

Iran is not so special – they are merely the last one standing. Israel assassinated Egyptian and Iraqi nuclear scientists in the 1960s and 1970s, but these two countries either decided to collaborate with Israel or were too culturally divided to resist invasion by Israel’s ally and/or master. Iran is extraordinary in the 2020 context because they have rejected cooperation with Western imperialism, something which is always obscured by Western leftists and their fake-leftist media, and – history since 1917 proves – this means the West must assassinate you.

The West became a superpower by violence, not by merit, persuasion or mutually-beneficial cooperation, of course.

As long as Iran keeps earning meritorious recognition, assassinations (acts of war) will continue

This theory of Iran as the “assassinatable people” does not include the recent lie of Al-Qaeda’s #2 being assassinated in Tehran. This allegedly occurred in August but was not reported by The New York Times until just two weeks before the murder of Fakhrizadeh. Obviously, this was false propaganda designed to pave the way for the acceptance of brutally assassinating more Iranians, like Fakhrizadeh, in the minds of Westerners. It is guilt by association, no matter the historical record and the anti-terror fighting facts on the ground.

We must remember that so very much Western fake news is designed not to sway the world, nor logical people, but to plant false consciousness in their own citizens. Many Americans were shocked at the totalitarian brutality in the assassination of Soleimani – many Americans even publicly protested in Soleimani’s favor, something unthinkable in the 1980s or after 9/11. Considering how absurd it is – that Iran would peacefully host the #2 of the group which Soleimani and Iran fought for so very long (and The Times even admitted this contradiction in its (anonymous, as always) “scoop), the alleged death in Iran of that seemingly endless funeral procession of “Al-Qaeda #2s” should be disregarded. This is how 21st century Western propaganda works – it has no real political motivation/indoctrination, but only a motivation of furthering belligerent attitudes: it is designed to fuel panic and suspicion among Western citizens, which then grants their militaries approval for more war.

Israel is being blamed for the murder of Fakhrizadeh, but of course the US had to approve it. However, an Iranian reprisal against Israel or the US would definitely not trigger a large-scale war, for two obvious reasons: Iran does not want one, and because the West has absolutely zero chance of defeating Iran in a large-scale war. The proof of this truth is that Iran retaliated by firing on American forces occupying Iraqi soil after the murder of Soleimani, and there was no war with the US. The US simply lied about the damage, precisely because there is no way Western forces could hold a fraction of Iranian territory that they can in Iraq and Afghanistan.

What a major, immediate Iranian retaliation would achieve would only be to give fuel for decades of Western propaganda that Iran is a belligerent nation, even though Iran is clearly this exceptional victim of exceptional belligerence. But this false narrative is being domestically exposed in the West with each assassination.

The reality is that Fakhrizadeh’s death is something which must ultimately be bitterly swallowed by Iranians, because I doubt that Fakhrizadeh himself would want the country to go to war over his own assassination. Just as the “next man up” doctrine was successfully applied after Soleimani, so it will be applied for the martyr Fakhrizadeh, which is precisely why this physics teacher taught – for the good of the community, not the good of the individual. That’s a rather anti-Western notion, but a very successful one: Despite having just 80 million people Iran is regularly among the top 5 nations in the world in producing total STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) graduates, thanks to selfless humanists and patriots like Fakhrizadeh.

That staggering achievement of modestly-sized Iran will go totally unexplained in the West, of course, and such wilful ignorance can only but continue to neuter the West’s understanding of Iran. There is no invasion of Iran possible, and there is no stopping the nation’s nuclear energy project – there is only the West’s attempted implosion of Iran’s meritorious and successful culture, which would then result in the posting of US troops in Iran.

The assassination of Fakhrizadeh is designed to inflame tensions and entrap Iran into war – this plan will not work, yet again. It’s being said that the murder is a way by Israel to “salt the earth” and prevent a restoration of the JCPOA, but it’s clear the West views Iranians as exceptional from other humans on earth: Iranians should believe that people can be assassinated on their streets without a word of condemnation, but also that Europeans are on the cusp of doing fair business with Iranians in Iran?

Maybe Joe Biden will actually win the US election, and maybe he has also had a change of heart and truly does not want to support foreign interventions and invasions after so many decades of doing precisely that? But what’s known for certain is that many Westerners only want war, and not with just Iran.

Iran is actually just like Palestine – totally assassinatable by Israel and other Westerners. But while they can take Palestinians’ land they cannot take Iranian culture and intelligence – the teaching of physics, as well as anti-imperialist thought, continues in Iran.


New role for China and Russia – and how after a Biden victory?

New role for China and Russia – and how after a Biden victory?

October 25, 2020

Paul Schmutz Schaller for The Saker Blog

On the world stage, profound changes are under way. Obviously, China and Russia have lost the confidence that the West will contribute to the solution of the world’s problems in some constructive manner. China and Russia have now accepted their role as the leading forces with the responsibility of holding the world together. The West held this role for centuries, but this time is over. The West has essentially become destructive. The West has lost the power of solving problems and now use her resources mainly for creating problems. In my eyes, this is the central evolution of the last months and it is an epochal change.

China and Russia did not easily decide to go ahead without the West. They have hesitated for a long time. They are quite aware of the burden they will have to bear. Other countries have led the way. In particular, Iran and North Korea have come to the conviction already some time ago that they cannot count on the West. The same is true for Hezbollah, for Syria, for Cuba, or for Venezuela. But apparently, China and Russia did not intend to „blindly“ follow these countries. However, not only the moment has come to take a decision, but China and Russia now also feel strong enough to advance without the West, or, may-be more precisely, despite the West.

The new role for China and Russia includes a lot of functions. They have to defend some kind of international order and law; they have to maintain and even strengthen important international organizations, in particular the UNO; they have to try to contain regional conflicts; they have to propose possible solutions for the world’s problems. Of course, this cannot and will not be done in a dictatorial manner. China and Russia always insist that the decisions must be taken in a much more democratic spirit than that which was – and is – practiced by the West.

It is a fact that the West does more and more undermine any kind of international law and order. Their international politics is destructive.There are countless sanctions against other countries, there are murders, conspiracies, and lies. In recent times, there is no conflict in the world where the West has tried to support a peaceful solution, may-be with the exception of Afghanistan and – at least for some time – of the two Koreas. And during the current pandemic, the West has made no effort in order to propose a common reaction of the world; countries like China, Russia, and Cuba did much more in this direction.

It is not a simple coincidence that China and Russia used the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the victory in World War II, the 3 September, in order to clarify their new role. Namely, during this war, Russia and China already bore the principal responsibility for the victory over the fascist aggressors.

In this context, Xin Jinping wrote to Vladimir Putin: „China and Russia both shoulder important responsibilities for the cause of world peace and development. I am ready to work with you to take the 75th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War as an opportunity to lead China and Russia towards deeper comprehensive strategic coordination. Together with the international community, we should firmly protect our victory in World War II and international fairness and justice, actively uphold and practice multilateralism, promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, in a bid to allow future generations to enjoy a world featuring lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity.“

Vladimir Putin, on the same occasion (3 September), wrote to Xi Jinping that „it is a common responsibility of Russia and China to safeguard the truth of WWII history“ and called on the two countries to resolutely oppose any attempt to deny the outcomes of the war. Russia is ready “to continue active efforts jointly with its ally China in order to prevent wars and conflicts in the world and ensure global stability and security.”

In his speech at the Valdai Discussion Club (22 October), Putin has very much developed the new role of Russia (and China). This is an absolutely crucial speech, including the questions and answers. In particular, Putin explains that a strong state which has the confidence of the citizens is „a basic condition for Russia’s development“. Putin underlines that „genuine democracy and civil society cannot be ‚imported‘ … only the citizens of a particular country can determine their public interest“.

* * * * *

Now let us come to the other side, the West. The upcoming US elections will determine the official Western leadership, that is, the Trump team or the Biden team. It is of course an important decision, even if the differences between the two teams are may-be more in style than in the content. Nevertheless, the outcome will have a big influence on the whole West. So, let us try to consider the consequences.

For me, the first question is, which side is less destructive? This question is still quite difficult to answer. The Trump team has more and more developed a destructive foreign politics, in particular against Iran and China. The Biden team on the other hand has concentrated the campaign essentially on the destruction of the Trump team, without mentioning constructive projects. So both sides are basically and intrinsically destructive.

The second question is, citing Putin’s formula, which team may gain more confidence of the citizens? The (numerical) outcome of the elections is by far not the unique measure for this. The particulate and egoistic interests of some powerful and very rich groups have an enormous influence – leaving aside corruption and manipulation of the elections.

All what I hear from the USA hints to my feeling that the Biden team is utmost arrogant and completely detached from the people and, as a consequence, is more subdued to the particulate and egoistic interests of these powerful and very rich groups. This does not mean that the Trump team is close to the citizens, but at least it is tendentiously closer than the other team; therefore, the Trump team is somewhat more autonomous.

Concerning the West, a victory of the Trump team would probably not change much. This would be a small advantage for the world since the West will – partly – remain blocked by internal divisions, and new aggressive wars will be quite difficult. On the other hand, a victory of Biden’s team bears the risk that both leading political parties in the USA will unit in order to plan new wars.

How big is this danger? It should not be underestimated. The power of the Trump team is basically one which comes from direct popular support. If this popular support becomes negligible, then the particulate egoistic groups will try to eliminate the Trump team and all its supporters. Moreover, in the whole West, the „moral“ and „ideological“ imperialism will obtain a big push.

However, these „hopes“ created in the West by the perspective of a Biden’s victory are a pure illusion. There are based on nothing, just on nostalgia. It is plain nonsense to think that the problems of the West were created by the Trump team and its supporters. A Biden’s victory cannot solve the inner problems of the West, and the former strength of the West cannot be regained.

The „moral“ imperialism intends to punish all countries which do not have an, often imported, Western liberal system. But this is impossible. The world has become too diversified. So, the push towards this pathological feeling of superiority of the West will probably be a straw fire. Nevertheless, it can be quite dangerous.

What is my prognosis? We should expect a victory of Biden’s team. As I explained, this is not what I would wish. However, elections have some own laws. Often, the central subject of the election battle is of crucial importance. When the central subject was the social unrest in the US cities, then the Trump team had a clear advantage. But now, the central subject seems to be have shifted to the pandemic. This favors Biden’s team. Of course, I do not think that Biden would have better managed the pandemic. But it was Trump who was the president during the pandemic. Therefore, in some sense, he will be taken responsible for the pandemic, justified or not.

Of course, it is possible that the Trump team wins. It is also possible that after the elections, there will be chaos. But still, I would not count on such a result. More probable is some kind of which hunt against the supporters of the Trump team. This could also affect everybody who is not a declared Trump hater. But this foreseeable extremism, provoked by a Biden’s victory, will again alienate the USA inside the West.

* * * * *

National elections are not isolated events. They take place in a global context. This global context has to be considered for a correct assessment of the results. These elections are the first US elections in the new epoch, characterized by the new role of China and Russia. The elections will be affected by this fundamental change, in some way or another. It can be supposed that they will give important hints how the world will proceed in the new epoch.

Remarks by Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Putin addressed the 17th annual Valdai Club session in Moscow at a time of likely protracted economic Depression and endless US-initiated global conflicts.

Commenting on whether the world order abides by rules or ignores them, he said the following:

“Regrettably, the game without rules is becoming increasingly horrifying…” 

US hegemonic aims create global disorder, not the other way around.

Putin mocked the notion of “import(ing) democracy,” calling it “a shell or a front (without) a semblance of sovereignty,” adding:

“People in the countries where such schemes have been implemented were never asked for their opinion, and their respective leaders are mere vassals.” 

“(T)he overlord decides everything for the vassal.”

“(O)nly the citizens of a particular country can determine their public interest(s).”

Nothing less than remaining free from external control is acceptable. Without it, sovereignty and fundamental freedoms are lost to a higher power.

“A strong, free and independent civil society is nationally oriented and sovereign by definition,” said Putin, adding: 

“It grows from the depth of people’s lives and can take different forms and directions.”

It’s free from interests of exploitive foreign powers.

“The duty of the state is to support public initiatives and open up new opportunities for” it people, said Putin.

“This is the guarantee of Russia’s sovereign, progressive development, of genuine continuity in its forward movement, and of our ability to respond to global challenges.”

“Some countries (seek) to divide the (global) cake…to grab a bigger piece” for themselves.

There’s no ambiguity about where Putin’s fingers pointed.

Russia is a significant country on the world stage, its status growing in importance, not ebbing.

Putin: “(T)hose who are still waiting for Russia’s strength to gradually wane, the only thing we are worried about is catching a cold at your funeral.”

As Russia, China, and other nations rise, the US “can hardly claim exceptionality any longer.”

The more unacceptably it behaves toward nations free from its imperial control, the more it furthers its own decline.

Separately on the 70th anniversary of China’s involvement in Washington’s preemptive war on North Korea — the first of many more US post-WW II acts of aggression against nonbelligerent states — Xi Jinping warned US hardliners about Beijing’s determination to challenge their unacceptable actions.

China “resist(ed) US aggression” against North Korea from 1950 to an uneasy 1953 armistice — after which Washington’s war on the country by other means began and continues to this day.

“Seventy years ago, the imperialist invaders fired upon the doorstep of a new China,” said Xi, adding: 

“The Chinese people understood that you must use the language that invaders can understand – to fight war with war and to stop an invasion with force, earning peace and respect through victory.”

“The Chinese people will not create trouble but nor are we afraid of (it), and no matter the difficulties or challenges we face, our legs will not shake and our backs will not bend.”

If US aggression rears its ugly head again in East Asia, China is prepared to defend its security and sovereign rights.

“(U)nilateralism, protectionism, and ideology of extreme self-interest are totally unworkable, and any blackmailing, blockades and extreme pressure are totally unworkable,” Xi stressed. 

“Any actions that focus only on oneself and any efforts to engage in hegemony and bullying will simply not work – not only will it not work, but it will be a dead end.”

China promotes world peace, stability and cooperative relations with other countries.

Washington’s agenda is polar opposite, seeking dominance over other nations — wars by hot and other means its favored strategies. 

Over time, its drive for hegemony is self-defeating.

If the US provokes war with China to dominate the Asia/Pacific unchallenged, Xi’s message is that Beijing will resist with the full force of its considerable might.

The same goes for Russia. Along with China, Kremlin leadership wants peace, but will capably defend itself against US aggression if occurs.

Neither country will bend to the will of another at the expense of their sovereign rights.

Xi laid down a red line, saying “people of China are now united, and are not to be trifled with.”

Beijing long ago confronted US aggression when the military strength of both countries greatly favored Washington.

While still superior to China militarily, the disparity between both countries greatly narrowed.

Beijing’s nuclear and other super-weapons would pose a formidable challenge to US preemptive war on the country.

According to political scientist Xie Maosong, Xi’s message to Washington was “we will fight and we will win” if the US war party pushes things too far.

Worlds apart differences between both countries are irreconcilable because of US hegemonic rage.

It’s waging war on China by other means to undermine its development on the world stage.

Hostile US actions risk direct confrontation. Unthinkable hot war is possible — because of escalating provocations by Washington that threaten China’s national security.

The US is a warrior state, a violent state, a destabilizing state, an outlaw lawless state, a belligerent state at war on humanity in pursuit of its imperial aims.

Instead of stepping back from the brink in the Asia/Pacific, both wings of its war party continue to heighten tensions — risking possible war with China or Russia. 

If attacked by a foreign aggressor, they’re able to hit back hard and effectively anywhere worldwide.

Neither will sacrifice its sovereign rights to a foreign power — what no nation should do.

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

By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

Source

Image CTV report, September 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Virus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Rush to Get Tested

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

Screenshot, Daily Express

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

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

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

CBC News Screenshot

Screeshot Reuters. Test at German airports

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

What is the intent of the Second Wave?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The PCR test was never intended to identify the virus.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

229E (alpha coronavirus)

NL63 (alpha coronavirus)

OC43 (beta coronavirus)

HKU1 (beta coronavirus)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s a Big Lie.

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

Russia vs. US Imperial Aims in Syria

By Stephen Lendman

Global Research, October 01, 2020

Former NATO commander General Wesley Clark earlier explained that the US underwent a post-9/11 transformation. A “policy coup” occurred. 

With no public debate or acknowledgement, hardliners in Washington usurped power.

Days after 9/11, Clark learned from Pentagon commanders that plans were made to “destroy the governments in seven countries.”

Besides Afghanistan, Yemen, and partnering with Israeli wars on Palestinians, they include Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran.

The plan follows the 1990s Paul Wolfowitz doctrine, stating the following:

“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere…”

“This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”

Adopted by both right wings of the US war party, his doctrine is all about waging endless wars by hot and other means for unchallenged control over all other nations, their resources and populations — what the scourge of imperialism is all about.

The Obama regime’s preemptive war on nonbelligerent Syria over nine years ago was and remains part of Washington’s aim for controlling the Middle East and its vast hydrocarbon resources — in cahoots with junior partner Israel and key NATO countries.

Russia’s legitimate involvement from September 30, 2015 to the present day — at the request of Syria’s government — turned the tide of battle from defeat of its forces to liberation of most of the country.

Illegal occupation of northern Syria by US and Turkish forces, along with Pentagon troops in the country’s south, prevent conflict resolution.

On Tuesday, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu explained the game-changing effectiveness  of Moscow’s Syrian operations, saying the following:

“A total of 865 gang leaders and more than 133,000 militants, including 4,500 militants from the Russian Federation and the CIS countries (US supported jihadists) have been eliminated,” adding:

“The operation in Syria has demonstrated the fundamentally increased capabilities of the Russian Armed Forces, the ability to successfully defend national interests in any part of the world, as well as the readiness to provide military assistance to its allies and partners.”

“A total of 98% of military police units’ personnel, 90% of Russian pilots, and 60% of sailors gained real combat experience” in Syria.

The most active phase of Russia’s military operations in the country was from September 30, 2015 – December 11, 2017.

Over 44,000 sorties were conducted to the present day. Long-range cruise missiles were used against high-priority targets.

Surface and sub-service vessels carried out around 100 strategic strikes against ISIS and other US supported jihadists — dozens more by long-range bombers to destroy their infrastructure.

Shoigu believes that the threat posed by ISIS in Syria is neutralized.

By invitation from Damascus, Russia established two military bases in Syria.

Its Khmeimim airbase facilities are suitable for all its combat and support aircraft.

Its Tartus naval base can accommodate numerous ships. Its state-of-the-art facilities include vessel servicing, maintenance and repair capabilities.

Russian operations prevented the Syrian Arab Republic from becoming a US vassal state.

Its involvement also helps maintain a regional balance of power.

Despite important strategic accomplishments in the past five years, war in the country continues because of foreign occupation.

A potentially important development occurred on Tuesday.

According to Southfront, “Russian troops broke through a US blockade and entered eastern Syria, erecting a checkpoint along a road in Hasaka,” adding:

“The Russian military convoy, despite the opposition of the Americans, managed to break through into the eastern part of northern Syria.”

Russia’s new military checkpoint blocks movement of US troops, weapons and equipment from Iraq into Syria.

It also blocks transport of stolen Syrian oil by the US into Turkey.

Separately on Thursday, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported the following:

“In cooperation and coordination with Turkish regime-backed terrorists, the Turkish Grain Board (TMO) started to loot the wheat and barley crops which are stolen from (Syrian) farmers” — citing local sources, adding:

The Erdogan regime “opened…storehouses for this purpose after forcing farmers…to hand over their crops to centers run by terrorists and Turkish brokers in Ras al-Ayn area in Hasaka northern countryside…”

They’re smuggling them cross-border into Turkey.

Its occupation forces and terrorist proxies threatened to burn Syrian crops if farmers don’t comply with Ankara’s demands.

Shoigu’s claim about the elimination of ISIS in Syria was somewhat exaggerated.

According to AMN News on Wednesday, Syrian and Russian warplanes struck Daesh positions in Raqqa and Homs provinces to “weaken…the terrorist group’s resolve and…eliminate their remaining sleeper cells.”

A Final Comment

US sanctions war on Syria is all about wanting its people starved into submission — notably by last June’s so-called Caesar Syria Civilian Protection legislation (Caesar Act) that has nothing to do with protecting its people.

The measure threatens sanctions on nations, entities and individuals that maintain legitimate economic, financial, military, and intelligence relations with Damascus — their legal right under international law.

On Wednesday, the Trump regime imposed new sanctions on Syria.

According to a Treasury Department statement, 13 Syrian entities and individuals were blacklisted.

Targeted individuals include Syrian Central Bank governor Hazem Younes Karfoul and General Intelligence Directorate head Husam Muhammad Louka.

Targeted entities include  telecommunications, tourism, and technology firms.

US war by hot and other means on the Syrian Arab Republic aims to eliminate its sovereign independence.

Russia’s involvement in the country is a powerful counterforce against US imperial objectives.

*

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.US Syria Pullout? A Saigon Moment?The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Stephen Lendman, Global Research, 2020

Leaked Docs Expose Massive Syria Propaganda Operation Waged by Western Govt Contractors and Media

Source

Leaked Docs Expose Massive Syria Propaganda Operation Waged by Western Govt  Contractors and Media — Strategic Culture

September 26, 2020

Western government-funded intelligence cutouts trained Syrian opposition leaders, planted stories in media outlets from BBC to Al Jazeera, and ran a cadre of journalists. A trove of leaked documents exposes the propaganda network.

Ben NORTON

Leaked documents show how UK government contractors developed an advanced infrastructure of propaganda to stimulate support in the West for Syria’s political and armed opposition.

Virtually every aspect of the Syrian opposition was cultivated and marketed by Western government-backed public relations firms, from their political narratives to their branding, from what they said to where they said it.

The leaked files reveal how Western intelligence cutouts played the media like a fiddle, carefully crafting English- and Arabic-language media coverage of the war on Syria to churn out a constant stream of pro-opposition coverage.

US and European contractors trained and advised Syrian opposition leaders at all levels, from young media activists to the heads of the parallel government-in-exile. These firms also organized interviews for Syrian opposition leaders on mainstream outlets such as BBC and the UK’s Channel 4.

More than half of the stringers used by Al Jazeera in Syria were trained in a joint US-UK government program called Basma, which produced hundreds of Syrian opposition media activists.

Western government PR firms not only influenced the way the media covered Syria, but as the leaked documents reveal, they produced their own propagandistic pseudo-news for broadcast on major TV networks in the Middle East, including BBC Arabic, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, and Orient TV.

These UK-funded firms functioned as full-time PR flacks for the extremist-dominated Syrian armed opposition. One contractor, called InCoStrat, said it was in constant contact with a network of more than 1,600 international journalists and “influencers,” and used them to push pro-opposition talking points.

Another Western government contractor, ARK, crafted a strategy to “re-brand” Syria’s Salafi-jihadist armed opposition by “softening its image.” ARK boasted that it provided opposition propaganda that “aired almost every day on” major Arabic-language TV networks.

Virtually every major Western corporate media outlet was influenced by the UK government-funded disinformation campaign exposed in the trove of leaked documents, from the New York Times to the Washington Post, CNN to The Guardian, the BBC to Buzzfeed.

The files confirm reporting by journalists including The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal on the role of ARK, the US-UK government contractor, in popularizing the White Helmets in Western media. ARK ran the social media accounts of the White Helmets, and helped turn the Western-funded group into a key propaganda weapon of the Syrian opposition.

The leaked documents consist mainly of material produced under the auspices of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. All of the firms named in the files were contracted by the British government, but many also were running “multi-donor projects” that received funding from the governments of the United States and other Western European countries.

In addition to demonstrating the role these Western intelligence cutouts played in shaping media coverage, the documents shine light on the British government program to train and arm rebel groups in Syria.

Other materials show how London and Western governments worked together to build a new police force in opposition-controlled areas.

Many of these Western-backed opposition groups in Syria were extremist Salafi-jihadists. Some of the UK government contractors whose activities are exposed in these leaked documents were in effect supporting Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra and its fanatical offshoots.

The documents were obtained by a group calling itself Anonymous, and were published under a series of files entitled, “Op. HMG [Her Majesty’s Government] Trojan Horse: From Integrity Initiative To Covert Ops Around The Globe. Part 1: Taming Syria.” The unidentified leakers said they aim to “expose criminal activity of the UK’s FCO and secret services,” stating, “We declare war on the British neocolonialism!”

The Grayzone was not able to independently verify the authenticity of the documents. However, the contents tracked closely with reporting on Western destabilization and propaganda operations in Syria by this outlet and many others.

UK Foreign Office and military wage media war on Syria

A leaked UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office report from 2014 reveals a joint operation with the Ministry of Defence and the Department for International Development to support “strategic communications, research, monitoring and evaluation and operational support to Syrian opposition entities.”

The UK FOC stated clearly that this campaign consisted of “creating network linkages between political movements and media outlets,” by the “building of local independent media platforms.”

The British government planned “Mentoring, training and coaching for enhanced delivery of media services, including digital and social media.”

Its goal was “to provide PR and media handling trainers, as well as technical staff, such as cameramen, webmasters and interpreters,” along with the “production of speeches, press releases and other media communications.”

An additional 2017 government document explains clearly how Britain funded the “selection, training, support and communications mentoring of Syrian activists who share the UK’s vision for a future Syria… and who will abide by a set of values that are consistent with UK policy.”

This initiative entailed British government funding “to support Syrian grassroots media activism within both the civilian and armed opposition spheres,” and was targeted at Syrians living in both “extremist and moderate” opposition-held territory.

In other words, the UK Foreign Office and military crafted plans to wage a comprehensive media war on Syria. To establish an infrastructure capable of managing the propaganda blitz, Britain paid a series of government contractors, including ARK, The Global Strategy Network (TGSN), Innovative Communication & Strategies (InCoStrat), and Albany.

The work of these firms overlapped, and some collaborated in their projects to cultivate the Syrian opposition.

Western government contractor ARK plays the media like the fiddle

One of the main British government contractors behind the Syria regime-change scheme was called ARK (Analysis Research Knowledge).

ARK FZC is based in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. It brands itself as a humanitarian NGO, claiming it “was created in order to assist the most vulnerable,” by establishing a “social enterprise,  empowering local communities through the provision of agile and sustainable interventions to create greater stability, opportunity and hope for the future.”

In reality ARK is an intelligence cutout that functions as an arm of Western interventionism.

In a leaked document it filed with the British government, ARK said its “focus since 2012 has been delivering highly effective, politically-and conflict-sensitive Syria programming for the governments of the United Kingdom, United States, Denmark, Canada, Japan and the European Union.”

ARK boasted of overseeing $66 million worth of contracts to support pro-opposition efforts in Syria.

On its website, ARK lists all of these governments as clients, as well as the United Nations.

ARK contractor Syria UK US Australia Canada

In its Syria operations, ARK worked together with another UK contractor called The Global Strategy Network (TGSN), which is directed by Richard Barrett, a former director of global counter-terrorism at MI6.

ARK apparently had operatives on the ground inside Syria at the beginning of the regime-change attempt in 2011, reporting to the UK FCO that “ARK staff are in regular contact with activists and civil society actors whom they initially met during the outbreak of protests in spring 2011.”

The UK contractor boasted an “extensive network of civil society and community actors that ARK has helped through a dedicated capacity building centre ARK established in Gaziantep,” a city in southern Turkey that has been a base of intelligence operations against the Syrian government.

ARK played a central role in developing the foundations of the Syrian political opposition’s narrative. In one leaked document, the firm took credit for the “development of a core Syrian opposition narrative,” which was apparently crafted during a series of workshops with opposition leaders sponsored by the US and UK governments.

ARK trained all levels of the Syrian opposition in communications, from “citizen journalism workshops with Syrian media activists, to working with senior members of the National Coalition to develop a core communications narrative.”

The firm even oversaw the PR strategy for the Supreme Military Council (SMC), the leadership of the official armed wing of Syria’s opposition, the Free Syrian Army (FSA). ARK created a complex PR campaign to “provide a ‘re-branding’ of the SMC in order to distinguish itself from extremist armed opposition groups and to establish the image of a functioning, inclusive, disciplined and professional military body.”

ARK admitted that it sought to whitewash Syria’s armed opposition, which had been largely dominated by Salafi-jihadists, by “Softening the FSA Image.”

ARK contractor Syria soften FSA image

ARK took the lead in developing a massive network of opposition media activists in Syria, and openly took credit for inspiring protests inside the country.

In its training centers in Syria and southern Turkey, the Western government contractor reported, “More than 150 activists have been trained and equipped by ARK on topics from the basics of camera handling, lighting, and sound to producing reports, journalistic safety, online security, and ethical reporting.”

The firm flooded Syria with opposition propaganda. In just six months, ARK reported that 668,600 of its print products were distributed inside Syria, including “posters, flyers, informative booklets, activity books and other campaign-related materials.”

In one document spelling out the UK contractors’ communications operations in Syria, ARK and the British intelligence cutout TGSN boasted of overseeing the following media assets inside the country: 97 video stringers, 23 writers, 49 distributors, 23 photographers, 19 in-country trainers, eight training centers, three media offices, and 32 research officers.

ARK emphasized that it had “well-established contacts” with some of the top media outlets in the world, naming Reuters, the New York Times, CNN, the BBC, The Guardian, the Financial Times, The Times, Al Jazeera, Sky News Arabic, Orient TV, and Al Arabiya.

The UK contractor added, “ARK has provided regular branded and unbranded content to key pan-Arab and Syria-focused satellite TV channels such as Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, BBC Arabic, Orient TV, Aleppo Today, Souria al-Ghadd, and Souria al-Sha’ab since 2012.”

“ARK products promoting HMG (Her Majesty’s Government) priorities by fostering attitudinal and behavioural change are broadcast almost every day on pan-Arab channels,” the firm bragged. “In 2014, 20 branded and un-branded Syria reports were produced on average by ARK each month and broadcast on major pan-Arab television channels such as Al Arabiya, Al Jazeera, and Orient TV.”

“ARK has almost daily conversations with channels and weekly meetings to engage and understand editorial preferences,” the Western intelligence cutout said.

The firm also took credit for placing 10 articles per month in pan-Arab newspapers such as Al Hayat and Asharq Al-Awsat.

US-UK program Basma cultivates Syrian media activists

The Syrian opposition media war was organized within the framework of a project called Basma. ARK worked with other Western government contractors through Basma in order to train Syrian opposition activists.

With funding from both the US and UK governments, Basma developed into an enormously influential platform. Its Arabic Facebook page had over 500,000 followers, and on YouTube it built up a large following as well.

Mainstream corporate media outlets misleadingly portrayed Basma as a “Syrian citizen journalism platform,” or a “civil society group working for a ‘liberatory, progressive transition to a new Syria.’” In reality it was a Western government astroturfing operation to cultivate opposition propagandists.

Nine of the 16 stringers used by Al Jazeera in Syria were trained through the US/UK government’s Basma initiative, ARK boasted in a leaked document.

In an earlier report for the UK FCO, filed just three years into its work, ARK claimed to have “trained over 1,400 beneficiaries representing over 210 beneficiary organisations in more than 130 workshops, and disbursed more than 53,000 individual pieces of equipment,” in a vast network that reached “into all of Syria’s 14 governorates,” which included both opposition- and government-held areas.

ARK UK contractor Syria media map

The Western contractor published a map highlighting its network of stringers and media activists and their relationships with the White Helmets as well as newly created police forces across opposition-controlled Syria.

ARK UK contractor Syria opposition media map

In its trainings, ARK developed opposition spokespeople, taught them how to speak with the press, and then helped arrange interviews with mainstream Arabic- and English-language media outlets.

ARK described its strategy “to identify credible, moderate civilian governance spokespeople who will be promoted as go-to interlocutors for regional and international media. They will echo key messages linked to the coordinated local campaigns across all media, with consortium platforms able to cover this messaging as well and encourage other outlets to pick it up.”

In addition to working with the international press and cultivating opposition leaders, ARK helped develop a massive opposition media super-structure.

ARK said it was a “key implementer of a multi-donor effort to develop a network of FM radio stations and community magazines inside Syria since 2012.” The contractor worked with 14 FM stations and 11 magazines inside Syria, including both Arabic- and Kurdish-language radio.

To propagate opposition broadcasts across Syria, ARK designed what it called “Radio in a Box” (RIAB) kits in 2012. The firm took credit for providing equipment to 48 transmission sites.

ARK also circulated up to 30,000 magazines per month. It reported that “ARK-supported magazines were the three most popular in Aleppo City; the most popular magazine in Homs City; and the most popular magazine in Qamishli.”

A Syrian opposition propaganda outlet directly run by ARK, called Moubader, developed a huge following on social media, including more than 200,000 likes on Facebook. ARK printed 15,000 copies per month of a “high-quality hard copy” Moubader magazine and distributed it “across opposition-held areas of Syria.”

The British contractor TGSN, which worked alongside ARK, developed its own outlet called the “Revolutionary Forces of Syria Media Office (RFS),” a leaked document shows. This confirms a 2016 report in The Grayzone by contributor Rania Khalek, who obtained emails showing how the UK government-backed RFS media office offered to pay one journalist a staggering $17,000 per month to produce propaganda for Syrian rebels.

Another leaked record shows that in just one year, in 2018 – which was apparently the final year of ARK’s Syria program – the firm billed the UK government for a staggering 2.3 million British pounds.

This enormous ARK propaganda operation was directed by Firas Budeiri, who had previously served as the Syria director for the UK-based international NGO Save the Children.

40 percent of ARK’s Syria project team were Syrian citizens, and another 25 percent were Turkish. The firm said its Syria team staff had “extensive experience managing programmes and conducting research funded by many different governmental clients in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Turkey, the Palestinian Territories, Iraq and other conflict-affected states.”

Western contractor ARK cultivates White Helmets “to keep Syria in the news”

The Western contractor ARK was a central force in launching the White Helmets operation.

The leaked documents show ARK ran the Twitter and Facebook pages of Syria Civil Defense, known more commonly as the White Helmets.

ARK took credit for developing “an internationally-focused communications campaign designed to raise global awareness of the (White Helmets) teams and their life saving work.”

ARK also facilitated communications between the White Helmets and The Syria Campaign, a PR firm run out of London and New York that helped popularize the White Helmets in the United States.

It was apparently “following subsequent discussions with ARK and the teams” that The Syria Campaign “selected civil defence to front its campaign to keep Syria in the news,” the firm wrote in a report for the UK Foreign Office.

“With ARK’s guidance, TSC (The Syria Campaign) also attended ARK’s civil defence training sessions to create media content for its #WhiteHelmets campaign which launched in August 2014 and has since gone viral,” the Western contractor added.

In 2014, ARK produced a long-form documentary on the White Helmets, titled “Digging for Life,” which was repeatedly broadcast on Orient TV.

While it was running the White Helmets’ social media accounts, ARK bragged that it was boosting followers and views on the Facebook page for Idlib City Council.

The Syrian city of Idlib was taken over by al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, which then went on to publicly execute women who were accused of adultery.

While effectively aiding these al-Qaeda-aligned extremist groups, ARK and the British intelligence cutout TGSN also signed a document with the FCO hilariously pledging to follow “UK guidance on gender sensitivity” and “ensure gender is considered in all capacity building and campaign development.”

Setting the stage for lawfare on Syria

Another leaked document shows the Western government-backed firm ARK revealing that, back in 2011, it worked with another government contractor called Tsamota to help develop the Syrian Commission for Justice and Accountability (SCJA). In 2014, SCJA changed its name to the Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA).

The Grayzone exposed CIJA as a Western government-funded regime-change organization whose investigators collaborated with al-Qaeda and its extremist allies in order to wage lawfare on the Syrian government.

ARK noted that the project initially worked “with seed funding from the UK Conflict Pool to support investigative and forensic training for Syrian war crimes investigators” and has since “grown to become a major component of Syria’s transitional justice architecture.”

Since the US, European Union, and their Middle East allies lost the military phase of their war on Syria, CIJA has taken the lead in trying to prolong the regime-change campaign through lawfare.

InCoStrat creates media network, helps them interview al-Qaeda

In the leaked documents, another UK government contractor called Innovative Communications Strategies (InCoStrat) boasted of building a massive “network of over 1600 journalists and key influencers with an interest in Syria.”

InCoStrat stressed that it was “managing and delivering a multi donor project in support of UK Foreign Policy objectives” in Syria, “specifically providing strategic communication support to the moderate armed opposition.”

Other funders of InCoStrat’s work with the opposition in Syria, the firm disclosed, included the US government, the United Arab Emirates, and anti-Assad Syrian businessmen.

InCoStrat served as a liaison between its government clients and the Syrian National Coalition, the Western-backed parallel government that the opposition tried to create. InCoStrat advised senior leaders of this Syrian shadow regime, and even ran the National Coalition’s own media office from Istanbul, Turkey.

The Western contractor took credit for organizing a 2014 BBC interview with Ahmad Jarba, the then-president of the opposition National Coalition.

The firm added that “journalists have often reached out to us in search of the appropriate people for their programmes.” As an example, InCoStrat said it helped plant its own Syrian opposition activists in BBC Arabic reports. The firm then added, “Once making the initial connections we encouraged the Syrians to maintain the relationships with the journalists in the BBC instead of using ourselves as the conduit.”

Like ARK, InCoStrat worked closely with the press. The firm said it had “extensive experience in engaging Arab and international news media,” adding that it worked directly with “heads of regional news in major satellite TV networks, press bureaus and print media.”

“Key members of InCoStrat have previously worked as Middle East correspondents for some of the world’s largest news agencies including Reuters,” the Western contractor added.

Also like ARK, InCoStrat established a vast media infrastructure. The firm set up Syrian opposition media offices in Dera’a, Syria; Istanbul and Reyhanli, Turkey; and Amman, Jordan.

InCoStrat worked with 130 stringers across Syria, and said it had more than 120 reporters working inside the country, along with “an additional five official spokesmen who appear several times a week on international and regional TV.”

InCoStrat also established eight FM radio stations and six community magazines across Syria.

The firm reported that it penetrated the armed opposition by developing “strong relationships with 54 brigade commanders in Syria’s southern front,” that involved “daily, direct engagement with the commanders and their officers inside Syria,” as well as defected officers Free Syrian Army (FSA) units in government-held Damascus.

In the leaked documents, InCoStrat boasted that its reporters organized interviews with many armed opposition militias, including the al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra.

Don’t just plants media stories; “initiate an event” to create your own scandals

In its media war on Damascus, InCoStrat pursued a two-pronged campaign that consisted of the following: “a) Guerrilla Campaign. Use the media to create the event. b) Guerrilla Tactics. Initiate an event to create the media effect.”

The intelligence cutout therefore sought to use the media as a weapon to advance tangible political demands of the Syrian opposition.

In one case, InCoStrat took credit for a successful international campaign to force the Syrian government to lift its siege of the extremist-held opposition stronghold of Homs. The Grayzone contributor Rania Khalek reported on the crisis in Homs, which was besieged by Damascus after the far-right Sunni fundamentalists that controlled it began carrying out sectarian massacres against religious minorities and kidnapping Alawite civilians.

“We connected international journalists with Syrians living in besieged Homs,” InCoStrat explained. It organized an interview between Britain’s Channel 4 and a doctor in the city, which helped raise international attention, ultimately leading to an end to the siege.

In another instance, the UK contractor said it “produced postcards, posters and reports” comparing the secular government of Bashar al-Assad to the fundamentalist Salafi-jihadists in ISIS. Then it “provided a credible, Arabic-English speaking Syrian spokesperson to engage the media.”

The campaign was very successful, according to InCoStrat: Al-Jazeera America and The National published the firm’s propaganda posters. The British contractor also organized interviews on the topic with The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, The Guardian, The Times, Buzzfeed, Al-Jazeera, Suriya Al-Sham, and Orient.

InCoStrat Syrian opposition media Assad ISIS

After regime change comes Nation Building Inc.

InCoStrat has apparently been involved in numerous Western-backed regime-change operations.

In one leaked document, the firm said it helped to train civil society organizations in marketing, media, and communications in Afghanistan, Honduras, Iraq, Syria, and Libya. It even trained a team of anti-Saddam Hussein journalists inside Basra, Iraq after the joint US-UK invasion.

In addition to contracting for the United Kingdom, InCoStrat disclosed that it has worked for the governments of the United States, Singapore, Latvia, Sweden, Denmark, and Libya.

After NATO destroyed the Libyan state in a regime-change war in 2011, InCoStrat was brought in in 2012 to conduct similar communications work for the Libyan National Transitional Council, the Western-backed opposition that sought to take power.

Coordinating with extremist militias, cooking news to “reinforce the core narrative”

The leaked documents shed further light on a UK government contractor called Albany.

Albany boasted that it “secured the participation of an extensive local network of over 55 stringers, reporters and videographers” to influence media narratives and advance UK foreign policy interests.

The firm helped create an influential Syrian opposition media outfit called Enab Baladi. Founded in 2011 in the anti-Assad hub of Daraya, at the beginning of the war, Enab Baladi was aggressively marketed in the Western press as a grassroots Syrian media operation.

In reality, Enab Baladi was the product of a British contractor that took responsibility for its evolution “from an amateur-run entity into one of the most prominent Syrian media organizations.”

Albany also coordinated communications between opposition media outlets and extremist Islamist opposition groups by hiring an “engagement leader (who) has deep credibility with key groups including (north) Failaq ash-Sham, Jabha Shammiyeh, Jaysh Idleb al Hur, Ahrar ash-Sham, (center) Jaysh al Islam, Failaq al Rahman, and (south) Jaysh Tahrir.” Many of these militias were linked to al-Qaeda and are now recognized by the US Department of State and European governments as official terrorist groups.

Unlike other Western government contractors active in Syria, which often tried to feign a semblance of balance, Albany made it clear that its media reporting was nothing more than propaganda.

The firm admitted that it trained Syrian media activists in a unique “newsroom process” that called to “curate” news by “collecting and organising stories and content that support and reinforce the core narrative.”

In 2014, Albany boasted of running the Syrian National Coalition’s communications team at the Geneva Peace talks.

Albany also warned that revelations of Western government funding for these opposition media organizations that were being portrayed as grassroots initiatives would discredit them.

When internal emails were leaked showing that the massive opposition media platform Basma Syria was funded by the United States and Britain, Albany wrote, “the Basma brand has been compromised following leaks about funding project aims.”

The leaks on social media “have damaged the credibility and trustworthiness of the existing branded platform,” Albany wrote. “Credibility and trust are the key currencies of the activities envisaged and for this reason we consider it essential to refresh the approach if the content to be disseminated is to have effect.” The Basma website was taken down soon after.

These files provide clear insight into how the Syrian opposition was cultivated by Western governments with imperial designs on Damascus, and was kept afloat with staggering sums of cash that flowed from the pockets of British taxpayers – often to the benefit of fanatical militiamen allied with Al Qaeda.

While Dutch prosecutors prepare war crimes charges against the Syrian government for fighting off the onslaught, the leaked files are a reminder of the leading role that Western states and their war-profiteering companies played in the carefully organized destruction of the country.

thegrayzone.comThe views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

The Quiet Imperialism

The Quiet Imperialism

September 05, 2020

By Francis Lee for the Saker Blog

Many if not most Americans have always been in denial about the imperial ambitions and practices of US foreign policy. There are honourable exceptions – Noam Chomsky, Tulsi Gabbard come immediately to mind. But on the whole the direction of US geopolitical strategy has been guided and implemented by a small cabal of geopolitical fanatics; these are ensconced in various state and non-state organizations such as the media and various think-tanks and have had a wholly negative effect on US foreign policy, both in practise and theory. The US’s global adventurism has been regarded by the US public, insofar that it concerns itself with such matters, as being conceived in good faith and benign in intent. Unfortunately, the facts don’t conform to the popular trust that American citizens put in their government, particularly the Deep State, National Security Agencies, the political elites, and the Military Industrial Complex, not to mention the mainstream media.

This popular narrative of America qua global good-guy was very beautifully illustrated in a novel by the British author Graham Greene. The novel The Quiet American was set against the background of the first Indo-China war, with one of the central characters, Alden Pyle, an ostensibly idealistic young American Aid worker, who presented himself as a proto third-way reformist opposed both to the excesses of French colonialism on the one hand, and Chinese Communism on the other. But in fact he was nothing of the sort, and his baleful motives are soon uncovered by the cynical, world-weary British journalist, Thomas Fowler. As it turned out Pyle had been working for the CIA all along. The novel itself has been made into two motion pictures. Both are well worth watching and instructive. The novel was of course an allegory on what was happening and what has always been happening in geopolitical national rivalries and machtpolitik.

Thus US imperialism is the theory and practise which dare not speak its name. In the third world, however, and increasingly in the developed world, the facts are plain to see for all but the ideologically purblind. The US, particularly since the neo-conservative ascendancy, is a rampaging imperial juggernaut, with a blatant empire-building agenda. The US imperial project was from 1945 onwards held in check by social democratic obstacles in western Europe, the existence of the Soviet and East Asian Communist bloc and national anti-colonialist movements in the south. But with the collapse of communism, the ongoing enervation and retreat of social democracy, and the stalling of the anti-colonial struggle in the south, the rapacious beast of American imperialism was off the leash.

Moreover, the US has made it perfectly clear that it will not tolerate the reconstitution of any economic or military power capable of challenging its global domination. (see The Wolfowitz Doctrine.) To this end it has arrogated to itself the right to wage ‘preventive wars’ against those who may sometime in the future threaten its global ambitions. The global system has been unipolar but now its dominance is being challenged by new adversaries, particularly Russia, China, and perhaps Iran and the Americans are determined to contain what they regard as a strategic challenge.

This project is assuredly not lacking in ambition. It aims at extending the ‘Monroe Doctrine’ to the whole planet; the establishment of a sort of US global suzerainty. This would be difficult for the US to accomplish alone – it therefore has to form alliances and spheres of influence with other (subaltern) partners in the developed world. Roughly speaking the geopolitical configuration for America’s global project is as follows.

The phase of the (present) global development of capitalism is characterised by the emergence of a collective imperialism. The entirety of the Americas, Europe west of the Polish frontier and Japan, to which we should add Australia and New Zealand, defines the area of this collective imperialism. It ‘’manages’’ the economic dimension of capitalist globalization and the political military dimension through NATO, whose responsibilities have been redefined so that in effect it can substitute itself for the United Nations.

This requires some skilful diplomatic balancing between the US and its junior partners – particularly within the EU, where conflict between certain European states and the US is always a possibility. This is clearly evident in the spat between Germany and the US with the contretemps over Nordstream-2 and the stationing of US troops in Germany. To this end the mobilization of various euro-quisling elites – the UK, Poland, and according to Donald Rumsfeld the ‘new’ (Eastern) Europe – are vital for America’s policy of divide and rule in this area. Moreover the globalization agenda (the economic prong in the US global offensive) has become the received wisdom in the EU. As for the Euro it has become a satellite currency of the dollar, although it is in fact a stronger currency since it is based upon a euro economy which runs persistent trade surpluses with the United States (as does most everybody else).

Thus the EU – with the possible exception of France – has tended to meekly follow in the wake of the US hegemon ensnared in an Atlanticist doctrine for which the raison d’etre – if there ever was one – definitively ended with the cold war. And the world pays a heavy price for this.

According to Samir Amin:

‘‘The US economy lives as a parasite off its partners in the global system, with virtually no national savings of its own. The world produces while North America consumes … The fact is that the bulk of the American deficit (on Federal and Current Account) is covered by capital inputs from Europe and Japan, China and the South, rich oil-producing and comprador classes from all regions in the Third World – to which should be added the debt service levy that is imposed on nearly every country in the periphery of the global system. The American superpower depends day to day on the flow of capital that sustains the parasitism of its economy and society.’’ (1)

This was written by Amin back in 2006, but the US’s drive has not really altered that much in the interim. If anything it has become even more bellicose in pursuit of its quest for world hegemony. However, today, we not only have a clash of interests with the Germans and the US over the above issues. And despite the nominally peaceful intentions between the US and its allies (vassals) eventually the rising nations find that pursuing their own interests hits the barriers of the prevailing international order. And the further the old powers try to sustain their outdated settlement, the more the ascending powers – both within Europe and without – are frustrated. The entire post-war system itself becomes a source of international tension.

NATO exemplifies this. Established as we saw in a different era to coordinate western military power since the Cold War 1, after the end of that war NATO has turned into a disruptive force. Pursuing an ‘open-ended and ill-conceived eastern expansion’ the EU has rekindled inter-state tensions instead of assuaging them. (2) This illustrates a broader trend; that conflicting attitudes to the entrenched institutional structures generate dissension triggered by outdated economic and strategic pressures. National differences are expressed and often inflamed through opposing or supporting the existing and outdated systems and rules.

It could be said that NATO is a locus classicus of a dysfunctional bureaucracy. It exists ‘in order to solve the problems which it created.’ Or as Schumpeter first noticed, that ‘’ … in Egypt a class of professional soldiers formed during the war against the Hyskos persisted even when those wars were over along with its warlike instincts and interests … ‘‘ He noted with a pithy summary of his viewpoint that ‘’Created by wars that required it, the machine now created the wars which were required.’’ NATO anyone!?

With regard to International Political Economy, It is not generally understood that the US with its chronic federal and trade deficits is actually on the brink of technical bankruptcy, particularly when long term commitments on Medicaid, Medicare and Pensions, and Social Security payments are factored into the calculations. According to research carried out by Professor Laurence Kotlikoff for the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, a leading constituent of the US Federal Reserve, Fed liabilities come to a staggering $70 trillion – this is roughly 5 times the size of the US GDP. However these figures are now out of date. Given the fact that sovereign (or government) debt currently stands at $24 trillion which in terms of DEBT-to-GDP ratio of 107% is bad enough. Then comes private DEBT-to-GDP which stands at 220% minus unfunded future liabilities. (See below).

Figure 1. Sovereign debt to GDP 107%

Figure 2. Private debt to GDP 220%

The TOTAL DEBT i.e. municipal, household, financial, corporate, cars and student fees/debts AND, unfunded future liabilities, social security, Medicare, and pensions, are pushing on to a figure of total debt of 2000% in the not too distant future. This according to a CNBC report by Jeff Cox, September 09, 2019. This whole process has more or less been on track since the demise of the Bretton Woods system in 1971. The date was significant since this was when the US defaulted on its gold IOUs handing its trading partners paper dollars, or near dollars such as US Treasuries (Bonds) which it insisted were as good as gold. As a result the holders of this US government paper have been subsidizing the US and its economy ever since. The ability to palm off its trading partners with green paper meant that the US has been able to buy stuff from the western world without actually paying for any of it. It gets better. The US has been able to buy foreign made goods with monies loaned to them by foreign governments! The ultimate free lunch! See below. Only one way up apparently! Bear in mind also that the figures shown only go up to 2014. It’s odds on that the debt has grown further in the ensuing time span.

Against this backdrop the foreign policy of the US becomes clear. Its purpose is loot pure and simple. The south must continue to be plundered for cheap inputs and raw materials and in order to do this comprador elites must be promoted who are friendly to US interests. Economic development of course cannot take place in this context as there will be an outflow of capital from South to North. Markets must be opened up to the rapacious incursions of US and other western capitals. Possible rivals – Russia, China – must be regarded as long-term enemies and will be divided and marginalised or possibly in 1970s geopolitical jargon ‘Finlandised’. And uppity allies in Europe – like France – must be slapped down and brought to heel.

Whether the Americans can pull this off is a moot point. It rather depends on whether and how the rest of the world will continue to take the green paper from the Fed/US-Treasury (they are now conjoint BTW similar to a pantomime horse).

When other countries and other private lenders borrow, in this instance from the US, they must consider the economic and financial strength and resilience of that economy. Let’s put ourselves into the position of a creditor. As follows.

  • US sovereign debt is greater than national GDP and is only going to get worse. That puts the US economy in what historically has been the danger zone for ruinous trouble of one kind or another: economic stagnation, default, or runaway inflation. As we have seen however it’s the TOTAL DEBT. Which makes the situation dramatically worse.
  • Manufacturing industry has been hollowed out by a strong dollar policy which makes US export costs rise leading to deindustrialisation.
  • The Economy has been left with little capacity for recovering from shocks – both internal and external. Despite the unprecedented money printing and deficit spending evoked by past – 2008 – and presently – 2020 – even greater and further shocks will arise which will only be comparable to the 1930s.
  • Zero or negative interest rates, courtesy of the Fed, which have resulted in a bonanza for corporations to juice up their stock-market capitalisation. Essentially by stealing money off of savers.
  • Investment markets can’t go anywhere without creating bubbles that eventually burst. 1. Dot.com bubble, 2000, 2. Property bubble, 2008, 3. Everything bubble 2020.

This seems to be the story of the 20/21 centuries with each crisis being bigger and deeper as the one before. Does this look like the picture of a healthy super-power? Or is it the picture of a vulnerable giant close to its historical inflexion point? I know where I would put my money.

But given the tsunami of dollar bills flooding the markets an engineered inflation or a Volcker style 20% hike in interest rates seems likely; my own view is that there will be an engineered inflation; in fact, it’s happening already. This means any persons, corporations or states holding US$s or dollar denominated assets, e.g. Treasury Bills is going to take a big hit.

Of course this US offensive, both political and economic, has and will continue to be met with stiff resistance. Most of this has been spontaneous and centered around the crisis in the Middle East, South East Asia, with the growing opposition to the reputedly Promethean gifts of globalisation.

Samir Amin identifies 4 aspects of a political programme which would give organizational coherence to this opposition. ‘’(i) A campaign against all American ‘preventive’ wars and for the closure of all foreign US bases, (ii) A campaign of right to access to the land, which is of crucial importance to the world’s 3 billion peasants, (iii) A campaign for the regulation of industrial outsourcing, and (iv) A cancellation of third world external debts.(v)’’ (3)

One could of course add more to this – capital controls, global minimum wage and labour standards … and so forth. This would only be a beginning, however. Amin himself looks forward to the reconstitution of the UN as a forum where the third world and smaller countries could find legitimate voice, as opposed to the dominant – i.e., US controlled – institutions of the present – the IMF, WTO, WORLD BANK, and NATO which are frankly little more than instruments of US/EU/NATO Triad collective imperialism.

Get ready for a long period of Sturm Und Drang.

(1) Beyond US Hegemony – Samir Amin – 2006

(2) Stephen Walt – 2018

(3) Amin Op.cit. 2006

Lebanese writer explains why ‘Westerners have no remorse when killing others’

September 03, 2020

Via The Saker

Middle East Observer

Description:

Lebanese writer and researcher of Islamic Studies, Sayed Abbas Noureddine, gives two reasons why he thinks the ‘West can continue oppressing other nations without any empathy or remorse’.

Source: Islamona (YouTube)
Date: Mar 7, 2020

Transcript:

In the name of God, the most gracious, the most merciful. A close look at the Western psyche, the Western man’s personality, and the way he deals with matters related to us, indicates that in the foreseeable future, Western man will continue to provide the necessary fuel for his governments and regimes to continue oppressing, attacking and persecuting us.However, the problem in this context is not that the Western man is an inherently hostile being who intentionally seeks to oppress i.e. that he knows we are innocent, he knows what he is doing is wrong, yet he continues to carry it out. That is not the case. However, there are two main elements being worked on in general – of course we’re talking in general here – to keep Western man and Western societies as providers of the fuel and resources (that their rulers seek).Thus, (Western states) are able to continue developing their weapons, to continue putting forward armies and soldiers dedicated to entering our regions to fight and kill us.

See how (common it is) for professional (Western) soldiers to kill (innocent) people in cold blood. Many Westerners, when they hear that dozens or even hundreds of us have been killed, feel nothing towards this, neither remorse nor empathy. Why? Because they believe perhaps that we deserve death, or that we form a threat to civilization, or that we are simply evil.

Here, there are two elements which crystallized in the mind and personality of the Western man, leading him to continue to provide the fuel for these ominous policies (by Western governments). The first element is that Western man views his government through the lens of economic well-being and comfort. That is, the extent to which his government provides (him/her with) services and privileges in terms of livelihood.

In short, the issue of livelihood and economic prosperity is a central issue for the Western man in terms of evaluating his government’s (legitimacy/performance). For instance, if Trump launches wars in which millions are killed, the Western man will remain largely silent before such a scene, as long as Trump (manages through such wars) to reduce the unemployment rate in (America) for instance. By merely bringing about some economic improvements, Trump secured a great percentage of votes or support (from Americans). In other words, he gained a widely popular base within American society. This scene also takes place in say Britain, France or Germany.

The red line for Westerners vis-à-vis their governments is (precisely) this issue of (economic) wellbeing and prosperity. Therefore, you can see that Western governments work on the economic dimension whenever they intend to carry out any sinister or ominous foreign actions or policies against any world nation.

The second element regarding the Western psyche was intensively worked upon for hundreds of years, especially during the last century, by (Western) societies, institutions, media, and various forces within their culture, and that is the ‘demonization of the Other’. Meaning that according to them, we cannot be imagined as ‘good’. As far as they’re concerned, we are ‘evil’ (beings) or devils that must be killed or exterminated, or preferably, that we ought not to exist on the face of this planet. This ‘demonization of the Other’ process was worked upon intensively.

Therefore, when a Westerner feels empathy for a whale stuck between icebergs, but very rarely empathizes, if at all, with the Palestinian people, who are slaughtered, killed and subjected to all this oppression – this is because the Westerner is unable to extract these demonized images from his mind and imagination, images which (Western) media, educational institutions and (various Western) literature worked intensively on for centuries. Due to this culture, the Western man is unable to accept or view us as normal human beings, or as real people, or at least as people who deserve to live or have dignity.

Unfortunately, in this regard, we have major shortcomings that we must work on, not for the sake of the Western man, but for the sake of completing the (moral) argument against this (Western) world. If we do this, God willing the great Divine support will arrive (to change this situation).

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Read transcript: http://middleeastobserver.net/lebanese-writer-explains-why-westerners-have-no-remorse-when-killing-others/

Western Media’s Favorite Hong Kong ‘Freedom Struggle Writer’ Is American Ex-Amnesty Staffer in Yellowface

By Max Blumenthal

Source

 

Hong Kong Tsung Gan Brian Kern yellowface media f92af

An American man with ties to Amnesty International and key Hong Kong separatist figures has been posing online as a Hong Kong native named Kong Tsung-gan. Routinely cited as a grassroots activist and writer by major media organizations and published in English-language media, the fictitious character Kong appears to have been concocted to disseminate anti-China propaganda behind the cover of yellowface.

Through Kong Tsung-gan’s prolific digital presence and uninterrogated reputation in mainstream Western media, he disseminates a constant stream of content hyping up the Hong Kong “freedom struggle” while clamoring for the US to turn up the heat on China.

Whispers about Kong’s true identity have been circulating on social media among Hong Kong residents, and was even mentioned in a brief account last December by The Standard.

The Grayzone spoke to several locals outraged by a deceptive stunt they considered not only unethical, but racist. They said they have kept their views to themselves due to the atmosphere of intimidation looming over the city, where self-styled “freedom fighters” harass and target seemingly anyone who speaks out publicly against them.

In this investigation, The Grayzone connected the dots between Kong and an American man who has become a major presence in Western media and at protests around Hong Kong. Our research indicates that Kong’s editors and prominent protest cheerleaders were likely aware of the deceptive ploy.

Kong Tsung-gan bursts onto Hong Kong Twitter scene, becomes go-to source for anti-China content

The Twitter user Kong Tsung-gan (@KongTsungGan) first appeared in March 2015. Kong Tsung-gan’s earliest tweets featured commentary about Tibet and the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement.

At some point, Kong changed his Twitter avatar to a black-and-white headshot of an unknown Asian person. A search of the Wayback Machine internet archive shows that this photo remained up until sometime in late 2019.

Later, Kong changed his Twitter avatar to an image depicting Liu Xia, the wife of the late Nobel Prize-winning dissident Liu Xiaobo. Liu Xiaobo was a right-wing ideologue who celebrated the US wars on Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and was rewarded with the 2014 Democracy Award by the National Endowment for Democracy – the favorite meddling machine of the US government.

As of August 2020, Kong Tsung-gan’s Twitter account boasts more than 32,000 followers. He live-tweets during protests, posts incendiary commentary about the Communist Party of China (CPC), likens the Hong Kong “struggle” to Tibet and Xinjiang, begs the United States to ram through sanction bills like the Hong Kong Safe Harbor and Hong Kong People’s Freedom and Choice Acts, urges NBA star Lebron James to “find out about our freedom struggle,” retweets Nancy Pelosi and other US politicians, promotes his books, maintains an ongoing tally of arrests in his regular “#HK CRACKDOWN WATCH UPDATE,” and disseminates images of protest posters.

At around the time he created his Twitter account, Kong Tsung-gan published his first Medium post. He has since filled his Medium feed with protest timelines, lists of recommended human rights books and journalism (including a link to the questionable China “expert” Adrian Zenz), and “first-hand accounts” of his protest experiences on the ground. In one account, Kong Tsung-gan claimed he attended a Band 1 government school, implying he was a native Hong Kong resident.

Kong’s work has been amplified by Joshua Wong, the Hong Kong protest poster-boy who has enjoyed photo-ops with neoconservative Republican senators like Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton.

Thanks to his continual stream of content on Twitter and Medium, and his platform on the website Hong Kong Free Press, Kong Tsung-gan has become one of mainstream Western media’s go-to sources for soundbites.

Kong Tsung-gan: Darling of the Western press

Since bursting onto the Hong Kong Twitter scene, Kong Tsung-gan has been quoted by a who’s who of Western corporate media outlets. He has been described as an “author” (CNNGlobe and MailTime), “writer and activist” (New York TimesWashington Post), “activist and author” (LA Times),“activist” (AFPAl Jazeera), “writer, educator and activist” (Guardian), “political writer” (Foreign Policy), “writer” (Vice), and “Hong Kong writer and activist” in an op-ed posted by the Nikkei Asian Review.

Kong has also been cited as a “Hong Kong journalist and rights activist” by Radio Free Asia and as a “rights activist and author” by Voice of America, two subsidiaries of the US Agency for Global Media (USAGM). Tasked with a mission to “be consistent with the broad foreign policy objectives of the United States,” the USAGM budgeted around $2 million to support protests in Hong Kong in 2020.

When he is not churning out commentary on Twitter and Medium accounts, Kong Tsung-gan is a columnist at Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) and publishes books about the Hong Kong “freedom struggle,” whose proceeds go directly to HKFP.

Hong Kong Free Press describes itself as an “impartial non-profit media outlet” and “completely independent.” The outlet also boasted that it “gets full marks” from a supposed journalism ethics verification initiative called News Guard, which happens to be overseen by a collection of former US government national security and law enforcement officials.

HKFP editor-in-chief Tom Grundy has boasted of rejecting article pitches from deceptive figures operating behind false identities. At the same time, Grundy has provided a regular home for Kong’s commentary.

The Grayzone emailed HKFP to request a comment on Kong’s identity, but received no reply.

The distinctly American voice of Kong Tsung-gan

To burnish his reputation as a reliable source, Kong Tsung-gan has furnished audio interviews to Western outlets. In July 2019, Kong Tsung-gan was featured on Louisa Lim’s Little Red Podcast alongside National Endowment for Democracy fellow Johnson Yeung, lawmaker Eddie Chu Hoi-Dick, and former Hong Kong Chief Secretary Anson Chan.

Around the same time, an American man in Hong Kong named Brian Kern spoke to RTHK at a march commemorating the Tiananmen anniversary.

A close listen to both audio clips, along with an interview Kong furnished to an Italian interviewer, demonstrates that Kong Tsung-gan and Brian Kern are the same person.

Listen for yourself here, or in the video embedded at the top of this article:

Indeed, the distinctively American voices of Kong Tsung-gan and Brian Kern are the same.

So why have news outlets like Hong Kong Free Press failed to disclose that Kong Tsung-gan is a pen name for an American man? Who is Brian Kern? And why is he yellowfacing as Kong Tsung-gan?

In plain sight: American teacher coordinating with Hong Kong protesters

Brian Patrick Kern has been a fixture at the Hong Kong protests since they erupted in 2019. He has been profiled by the Chinese press, photographed cleaning egg stains off the walls of the police headquarters and escorting his children to demonstrations.

Kern has even been filmed coordinating with protesters and rioters in videos circulating on social media.

*(Brian Kern conferring with Hong Kong protesters)

In another video that went viral on social media, Kern was filmed screaming at the police: “You’re a communist puppet! … Kill us all!… With your bug gun, shoot me! I’m so violent! I’m a violent rioter! Shoot me! Your communist masters will love you!”

Brian Kern also writes for the HKFP as a guest contributor under his own name.

Clearly, Kern enjoys the spotlight, and has no apparent fear of local authorities.

But few people know that Brian Kern also hides behind the persona of Kong Tsung-gan, furnishing quotes to media outlets across the West as an expert native source on the Hong Kong “freedom struggle.”

Brian Kern publishes anti-China books under at least two pseudonyms

Not only does Brian Patrick Kern write as Kong Tsung-gan, which he romanized to seem like a Hong Kong native; he also writes under the pen name Xun Yuezang, romanized to appear as a Chinese mainlander. Writings under both aliases are filled with warnings of the “creeping control of the Chinese Communist Party.”

As Kong Tsung-gan, Brian Kern has published three booksUmbrella: A Political Tale from Hong Kong (Pema Press), As long as there is resistance, there is hope: Essays on the Hong Kong freedom struggle in the post-Umbrella Movement era, 2014-2018 (Pema Press), and Liberate Hong Kong: Stories from the Freedom Struggle (Mekong Review).

As Xun Yuezang, Brian Kern has published Liberationists (Pema Press), which “tells the story of a human rights worker who disappears while crossing the border between Hong Kong and mainland China.” One reviewer wrote, “like many debut novels, [Liberationists] a work weighed down by its own good intentions.” In the book, “Xun Yuezang” discloses that it was published under a pseudonym.

No matter which alias he is employing, Brian Kern’s mission is clear: To portray the CPC as one of the world’s most dangerous evildoers.

Kern’s books also are filled with clues exposing him as the man behind both Xun Yuezang and Kong Tsung-gan. Xun Yuezang dedicated the book Liberationists to Mayren “who struggled so long to be free.” Brian Kern’s mother is named Mayren.

Liberationists was also dedicated to someone referred to simply as “Y.” Similarly, Kong Tsung-gan dedicated Liberate Hong Kong: Stories from the Freedom Struggle to “Y, for the shared struggle.” The name of Brian Kern’s wife, Yatman, begins with the letter “Y.”

Pema Press is the publisher for the work by Xun and Kong. Brian Kern’s daughter happens to be named Pema – the same name as the publisher. (It is possible Kern named both his publishing house and his daughter after Jetsun Pema, sister of the Dalai Lama, with whom he and his wife worked in the Tibetan Children’s Villages charity.)

Kern’s Orientalist stunt could be compared to that of Michael Derrick Hudson, a white middle-aged poet from Indiana who struggled to get his work published until he began submitting it to journals under the pseudonym Yi-Fen Chou.

Unlike Hudson’s fake Chinese persona, however, Kern is a political actor posing as a native grassroots activist to spread propaganda. His ploy is therefore more reminiscent of the “Gay Girl in Damascus” hoax, in which Tom MacMaster, a 40-year-old American graduate student at the University of Edinburgh, posed as a Damascus-based lesbian activist named “Amina Arraf” to gin up left-liberal support for regime change in Syria throughout 2011.

Kern’s personal profile is similar to MacMaster’s as well. Both are activist-minded liberal internationalist types with PhDs in literature. But unlike MacMaster, who forged a career in academia, Kern also has a record of work in the human rights industry.

Amnesty and US regime change links

Brain Kern grew up in Minnesota and completed his PhD in Comparative Literature at Brown University in 1996. In 1998, he began teaching at the Red Cross Nordic United World College (UWCRCN) in Norway, where he met his wife, Yatman Cheng.

Cheng graduated from UWCRCN in 2002 and received a Jardine Foundation scholarship to attend Oxford. In 2003 or 2004, as a university student, she volunteered with the Tibetan Children’s Villages in India on a trip organized by her college and led by Brian Kern.

In 2004, Cheng became a summer intern at the Hong Kong think tank Civic Exchange, which has received funding from the National Democratic Institute, a subsidiary of the US government-funded National Endowment for Democracy. Cheng and Kern lived in London in 2007, where Kern worked for Amnesty International as a member of their education team.

In 2008, they moved to Hong Kong, where Kern began teaching at the Chinese International School and established its human rights club.

A few of Kern’s former students appear to work with him behind the cover of his false Asian identity. Several have translated work by Joshua Wong for Kong Tsung-gan’s Medium blog, and one designed the cover for one of Kong Tsung-gan’s books.

Where is Brian Kern now?

Brian Patrick Kern was last seen in public on May 24, 2020, marching with lawmaker Eddie Chu Hoi-Dick in a demonstration against China’s National Security Law.

Weeks later, Kong Tsung-gan published his next book, Liberate Hong Kong: Stories From The Freedom Struggle. Hong Kong’s last British colonial governor Chris Patten praised the tract as “a fascinating insider’s look at what has happened, which will be a defining issue for China’s place in the twenty-first century.”

Did Chris Patten know Kong Tsung-gan was a made-up person?

And how about Tom Grundy, the editor-in-chief of Hong Kong Free Press? Did he know that his columnist, Kong, was actually an American named Brian Kern?

Below, Kern can be seen warmly greeting Grundy during the June 2019 Wan Chai Police station siege:

This August, Kong Tsung-gan published a long-winded diatribe against China’s National Security Law in the Mekong Review, clamoring for harsh US sanctions on Beijing. While acknowledging in small print at the end of the essay that Kong was a pen name, Kern continued to insinuate that he was a Hong Kong native.

“An indication of just how draconian the CCP edict is, is that I could be arrested, charged with ‘colluding with foreign forces’, and face up to life in prison just for calling for sanctions on CCP and HK officials,” he wrote.

In reality, the author was not colluding with foreign forces. He was the foreign force.

According to Hong Kong locals contacted by The Grayzone, Kern is rumored to have left the city.

An Attack on Edward Said’s Legacy

Source

by Lawrence Davidson

Lawrence Davidson | Author | Common Dreams

Part I—Meeting Caroline Glick

I traveled to Israel and the Occupied Territories in the early 2000s with the progressive group Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace. We made an effort to gain insight into most of the players in the conflict, and so a series of interviews was arranged with members of the Israeli right wing. I remember that one of them was Caroline Glick, an ardent American-Israeli Zionist. She lectured us on the positive personal relationships allegedly prevalent between Israeli Jews and Palestinians. 

It was an interesting and somewhat embarrassing experience. Glick and I are both American and both Jewish. Growing up, I had this understanding that American plus Jewish always meant being anti-racist. To be so was, in my mind, the prime lesson of modern Jewish history. What being anti-racist meant to Glick was unclear. She spent the better part of an hour giving us a defense of Israeli-Jewish treatment of Palestinians based on the classic “some of my best friends are Black” (read Palestinian) defense. In the words of the New York Times journalist John Eligon, this line of argument “has so often been relied on by those facing accusations of racism that it has become shorthand for weak denials of bigotry—a punch line about the absence of thoughtfulness and rigor in our conversations about racism.” And so it was with Glick, who explained that she, and many other Israeli Jews, had Palestinians who do small jobs for them and are treated well, and that this proves a lack of cultural and societal racism. It was such a vacuous argument that I remember feeling embarrassed for her. 

Things haven’t gotten much better when it comes to Ms. Glick’s worldview. She is now a senior columnist at Israel Hayom (Israel Today, a pro-Netanyahu newspaper owned by the family of Sheldon Anderson) and contributor to such questionable U.S. outlets as Breitbart NewsShealso directs the Israeli Security Project at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. There can be little doubt that she continues to see the world through the distorting lens of a particularly hardline variant of Zionism.  

Part II—Glick’s Attack on Edward Said’s Legacy 

Recently, Caroline Glick launched an attack on the legacy of the late American-Palestinian scholar and teacher Edward Said. Entitled “Edward Said, Prophet of Political Violence in America,” it was recently (7 July 2020) published in the U.S. by Newsweek—a news magazine with an increasingly pro-Zionist editorial stand. As it turns out, one cannot find a better example of how ideology can distort one’s outlook to the point of absurdity. Below is an analysis of Glick’s piece in a point-by-point fashion. Ultimately, the ideological basis for her argument will become clear. 

1. Glick begins by resurrecting a twenty-year-old event. “On July 3, 2000, an incident occurred along the Lebanese border with Israel that, at the time, seemed both bizarre and … unimportant. That day, Columbia University professor Edward Said was photographed on the Hezbollah-controlled Lebanese side of the border with Israel throwing a rock at an Israel Defense Forces watchtower 30 feet away.” She goes on to describe this act as “Said’s rock attack on Israel” and the “soldiers protecting their border.”

We need some context to put all of this in perspective: Israel is an expansionist state, and the original Zionist aim (as presented to the Paris Peace Conference following World War I) was to incorporate parts of southern Lebanon into what is now Israel. Southern Lebanon also briefly became a staging area for Palestinian retaliatory attacks into Israel. Thus, Israel invaded Lebanon multiple times only to be forced to withdraw in the face of resistance led by Hezbollah, a strong Lebanese Shiite militia in control of much of southern Lebanon.  

Said relates that during his 2000 visit to the Lebanese border with his family, he threw a pebble (not a “rock”) at a deserted Israeli watchtower (no Israeli soldiers were “defending their border”).  Said saw this as a symbolic act of defiance against Israeli occupation. Over the years stone throwing by Palestinian youth had become just such a symbolic act. And, it was from their example that Said might have taken his cue.

2. However, Glick wants to draw highly questionable consequences from Said’s act. She tells us that “with the hindsight of 20 years, it was a seminal moment and a harbinger for the mob violence now taking place in many parts of America.” By the way, the “mob violence” in America she is referring to is the mass protests against police brutality that followed the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police on 25 May 2020.

3. Now that sounds a bit odd. How does Glick manage this segue from Edward Said’s symbolic stone toss in the year 2000 to nationwide inner-city rebellions against police brutality in 2020 America? Here is the contorted sequence she offers: 

a. Said was a terrorist because he was an influential member of the alleged “terrorist organization,” the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). “Terrorist organization” is a standard Zionist descriptor of most Palestinian organizations. Actually, the PLO is the legally recognized representative of the Palestinian people and as such has carried on both a armed and a diplomatic struggle to liberate Palestine from Israeli Occupation. In 1993, the PLO recognized Israel’s right to exist. This made little difference to the Zionist right wing who, like Glick, continued to use the terrorist tag for propaganda purposes. It is to be noted that all liberation movements are considered to be “terrorist” by those they fight against. And, indeed both sides in such a struggle usually act in this fashion on occasion. Certainly, Israel is no innocent in this regard. 

b. For Glick, Said’s alleged terrorist connection transforms his “rock attack” into a terrorist act. This is simply an ad hominem assertion on Glick’s part. There is no evidence that Said ever engaged in any act, including the tossing of stones, that can sanely be characterized as terrorism.

c. Glick tells us that, at the same time Said was ‘committing a terrorist attack’ on Israel, he was also “the superstar of far-Left intellectuals.” It is hard to know what she means here by “far-Left.” It is seems to be another ad hominem slander. Said was a scholar of Comparative Literature and, when not in the classroom, he advocated for the political and human rights of oppressed Palestinians—how “far-Left” is that?

d. Nonetheless, Glick goes on to assert that as a “far-Left” academic, Said waged a “nihilistic” and “anti-intellectual” offensive against Western thought. He did so in a well-known work entitled Orientalism published in 1978.

What does Orientalism actually say? Using mostly 19th century literary and artistic examples, the book documents the prevailing Western perception of the Near East and North Africa, which stands in for the Orient. This perception reflects a basically bipolar worldview—one which, according to Said, reserved for the West a superior image of science and reason, prosperity and high culture, and for the Orient an inferior somewhat mysterious and effeminate image of the “other” fated for domination by the West. Over time this view became pervasive in the West and influenced not only literary and artistic views of the Orient, but also impacted political, historical, anthropological and other non-fictional interpretations. Having helped create a superior sense of self, this orientalist perception served as a rationale for Western world dominance. It should be said that whether one agrees with every one of Said’s details or not, there is no doubt his well researched and documented work has made most scholars more aware of their biases.

e. Glick refuses to see Orientalism asjust an influential academic work. Instead, in what appears to be a pattern of illogical jumps, she claims that “in Orientalism, Said characterized all Western—and particularly American—scholarship on the Arab and Islamic worlds as one big conspiracy theory” designed to justify empire. This then is the heart of Said’s alleged “nihilistic” repudiation of Western scholarship. She particularly points to Said’s claim that “From the Enlightenment period through the present every European, in what he could say about the Orient, was a racist, an imperialist and almost totally ethnocentric.” While this is a far-reaching generalization, it basically reflects an equally pervasive, very real Western cultural bias. What Glick describes as a “conspiracy theory” is Said’s scholarly demonstration of how that bias has expressed itself. And, it should be noted that such pervasive biases are not uniquely American nor even Western. Chinese, Japanese, Arab/Muslim, Hindu and Jewish civilizations have their own variants of such biases. Yet, it is Said’s effort to expose and ameliorate the orientalism of the West that seems to madden Caroline Glick.

f. For Glick, Said’s suggestion that both past as well as many present scholars have culturally biased points of view of the Orient becomes an accusation that any “great scholar” with a classical Western worldview “is worse than worthless. If he is a white American, he is an agent of evil.” Glick is now building a real head of steam and her account becomes more and more grotesque. She now claims that Said’s work is “intellectual nihilism.” How so? Because it “champions narrative over evidence.” What Glick is implying here is that Said’s work is an anti-Western screed presented without evidence. This is demonstrably wrong, but nonetheless provides a platform for Glick’s further assertion that Said’s fantastical narrative is told in order to “manipulate students to engage in political violence against the United States.”

Part III—What Is This All About?

Caroline Glick makes repeated illogical jumps. As egregious as these are they actually point the way to her larger ideological agenda.

  1. Said is a terrorist because he opposes Israel and supports the Palestinians. Participation in the PLO is her proof of this. 
  2. Because Said is a terrorist, his throwing of a stone at the southern Lebanese border is a terrorist attack against Israel and its defense forces. 
  3. Somehow, Said’s throwing the stone was also “a harbinger for the mob violence now taking place in many parts of America.” The connector here is Said’s tossing of an intellectual “rock”—his thesis presented in Orientalism.
  4. Just as his “rock attack” was terroristic, so Said’s book, Orientalism, is itself an act of terrorism as well as a “nihilistic” project. 
  5. It is all these nasty things rolled into one because it calls into question established cultural assumptions that had long underpinned colonialism and imperialism, and which also just happens to underpin Israel’s claim to legitimacy.
  6. But there is more. Glick tells us, “Said’s championing of the Palestinian war against Israel was part of a far wider post-colonialist crusade he waged against the United States. The purpose of his scholarship was to deny American professors the right to study and understand the world [in an orientalist fashion] by delegitimizing them as nothing but racists and imperialists.”
  7. And finally, “Orientalism formed the foundation of a much broader campaign on campuses to delegitimize the United States as a political entity steeped in racism.”

Part IV—Conclusion

Glick’s attack on Edward Said’s legacy is beset with leaps of illogic. So let me conclude this analysis with my own leap, hopefully a logical one, to an explanation of what may be Glick’s larger agenda. Glick is attempting to turn the ideological clock back to a time before decolonization. Specifically, she wishes to resurrect an overall acceptance of Western colonialism as a benevolent endeavor whereby progress and civilization was spread by a superior culture. 

Why would she want to do this? Because if we all believe this proposition, then Israel can be seen as a legitimate and normal state. After all, Israel is the last of the colonial settler states—the imposition of Western culture into the Orient. It rules over millions of Palestinian Arabs as the result of a European invasion made “legal” by a colonial document, the Balfour Declaration, and its acceptance by a pro-colonial League of Nations. Our post-colonial age in which Edward Said is a “superstar intellectual,” is seen as a constant threat to Zionist Israel’s legitimacy. 

Edward Said’s legacy provides a strong theoretical foundation for understanding why the Western imperialists thought and acted as they did, and hence helps both Western and non-Western peoples to confront their own modern historical situation. However, Glick cannot see any of this except through the Zionist perspective. Thus, Said’s legacy is just part of an anti-Israeli conspiracy—an attack on those scholars who support the legitimacy of an orientalist point of view and of the Zionist state. 

She also suggests that Said’s undoing of historically accepted biases lets loose the “mob violence” seen in the U.S. There is no evidence for this, but it may be Glick’s  roundabout way of undermining student support for Palestinian rights on American campuses. 

Ultimately, what Glick is interested in is preserving the image of Israel as a Western democratic enclave in an otherwise uncivilized sea of Arab and Islamic barbarians. That fits right into the traditional orientalist belief system and justifies the continuing U.S.-Israeli alliance. Said has successfully called that perspective into question. Hence Glick’s assault on his legacy. 

Finally, Glick’s present attack on Said, and her attempt to tie his work into the protests that followed George Floyd’s murder, shows how frightened the defenders of one racist state, Zionist Israel, become when their principle ally, the United States, comes under attack for racist practices. Said as a “superstar” foe of all racism becomes the lighting rod for that fear. 

WHO’s Conflict of Interest?

By David Macailwain

Source

Pompeo Meets Ghebreyesus 2e5bb

Last week the French National Assembly convened an inquiry into the “genealogy and chronology”  of the Coronavirus crisis to examine the evident failures in its handling and will interview government ministers, experts and health advisors over the next six months. While we in the English-speaking world may have heard endless arguments over the failures of the UK or US governments to properly prepare for and cope with the health-care emergency, the crisis and problems in the French health system and bureaucracy have been similar and equally serious. Given the global cooperation and collaboration of health authorities and industry, the inquiry has global significance.

Judging by the attention paid by French media to the inquiry, which comes just as France is loosening the lock-downs and restarting normal government activities, it is set to be controversial and upsetting, exposing both incompetence and corruption.

Leading the criticism of the Macron government’s handling of the crisis are the most serious accusations that its prohibition of an effective drug treatment has cost many lives, a criticism put directly to the inquiry by Professor Didier Raoult, the most vocal proponent of the drug – Hydroxychloroquine. At his institute in Marseilles, early treatment with the drug of people infected with Sars-CoV-2 has been conclusively demonstrated to reduce hospitalization rates and shorten recovery times when given along with the antibiotic Azithromycin, and consequently to cut death rates by at least half.

Raoult has pointed to the low death rate in the Marseilles region of 140 per million inhabitants compared with that in Paris of 759 per million as at least partly due to the very different treatment of the epidemic in Marseilles under his instruction. The policies pursued by local health services there included early widespread testing for the virus and isolation and quarantining of cases, aimed both at protecting those in aged care and in keeping people from needing hospitalization with the help of drug treatments.

It incidentally seems quite bizarre that some countries – notably the US, UK and Australia, are only now embarking on large testing programs – and claiming a “second wave” in cases – which Raoult calls a “fantasme journalistique”. The consequent reimposition of severe lock-downs in some suburbs of Melbourne, and in Leicester in the UK is a very worrying development.

The efficacy of HCQ and Azithromycin is well illustrated – one should say proven – by this most recent review of its use on 3120 out of a total of 3700 patients treated at the Marseilles hospitals during March, April and the first half of May. Unlike the fraudulent study published and then retracted by the Lancet in May, the analysis in this review is exemplary, along with the battery of tests performed on patients to determine the exact nature of their infection and estimate the effectiveness of the drug treatment. The overall final mortality rate of 1.1% obscures the huge discrepancy in numbers between treated and untreated patients. Hospitalization, ICU, and death rates averaged five times greater in those receiving the “other” treatment – being normal care without HCQ-AZM treatment – equivalent to a placebo.

The IHU Marseilles study and its discussion points deserve close scrutiny, because they cannot be dismissed as unsubstantiated or biased, or somehow political, just because Professor Raoult is a “controversial figure”. There is a controversy, and it was well expressed by Raoult in his three hour presentation to the inquiry. His criticisms of health advisors to government include conflicts of interest and policy driven by politics rather than science. Raoult has been vindicated in his success, and can now say to those health authorities “if you had accepted my advice and approved this drug treatment, thousands of lives would have been saved.”

This is quite unlike similar statements in the UK and elsewhere, where claims an earlier imposition of lock-down would have cut the death toll in half are entirely hypothetical. As Prof. Raoult has also observed, the progress of this epidemic of a new and unknown virus was quite speculative, and its handling by authorities has failed to reflect that. In fact, one feels more and more that the “response” of governments all around the world has followed a strangely similar and inappropriately rigid scheme, of which certain aspects were de rigueur, particularly “social distancing”.

There seems little evidence that would justify this most damaging and extreme of measures to control an epidemic whose seriousness could be ameliorated by other measures – such as those advocated by Raoult’s Institute – which would have avoided the devastating “collateral damage” inflicted on the economy and society in the name of “staying safe”.

Prof. Raoult’s vocal and consistent criticism of the political manipulation of the Coronavirus crisis is hardly trivial however, to be finally excused as a “failure”- to impose lockdowns sooner, to have sufficient supplies of masks or ventilators, or to use more testing and effective contact tracing. What lies beneath appears to be, for want of a better word, a conspiracy.

As previously and famously noted by Pepe Escobar, French officials seemed to have foresight on the potential use of Hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 infection, with its cheapness and availability being a likely hindrance to pharmaceutical companies looking to make big profits from new drug treatments or vaccines. Of even greater significance perhaps, was the possibility – or danger – that the vast bulk of the population might become infected with the virus and recover quickly with the help of this cheap drug treatment, while bypassing the need, and possibly interminable wait for a vaccine.

Now it can be seen that in Western countries the demand for a vaccine is acute, and the market cut-throat, despite assurances from many quarters that “vaccines must be available to all” and that “manufacturers won’t seek to profit” from their winning product. (the profit will naturally be included in what their governments choose to pay them) The clear conflicts of interest between health officials, public and private interests make such brave pronouncements particularly hollow. Just one case is sufficient to illustrate this, as despite its unconvincing performance in combatting the novel Coronavirus, the drug developed and promoted by Dr Anthony Fauci and company Gilead, Remdesevir, was rapidly approved for use following a research trial sponsored by the White House.

More concerning however is what appears to be a conflict of interest in the WHO itself, possibly related to the WHO’s largest source of funding in the Gates organization. While the WHO has not actively opposed the use of Hydroxychloroquine against the virus infection for most of the pandemic, neither has it voiced any support for its use, such as might be suggested by its obvious benefits, and particularly in countries with poor health facilities and resources.

Had the WHO taken at least a mildly supportive role, acknowledging that the drug was already in widespread use and there was little to lose from trying it against COVID-19, then it is hard to imagine that those behind the recent fabricated Lancet paper would have pursued such a project. Without claiming that the WHO had some hand in the alleged study that set out to debunk HCQ treatment, it should be noted that the WHO was very quick to jump on the non-peer-reviewed “results” and to declare a world-wide cancellation of its research projects on the drug. And while it had to rescind this direction shortly afterward when the fraud was exposed, the dog now has a bad name – as apparently intended.

This stands in sharp contrast to the WHO’s sudden enthusiasm for the steroidal drug Dexamethasone, recently discovered by a UK research team to have had a mildly positive benefit on seriously ill COVID19 patients:

“The World Health Organization (WHO) plans to update its guidelines on treating people stricken with coronavirus to reflect results of a clinical trial that showed a cheap, common steroid could help save critically ill patients.

The benefit was only seen in patients seriously ill with COVID-19 and was not observed in patients with milder disease, the WHO said in a statement late Tuesday.

British researchers estimated 5,000 lives could have been saved had the drug been used to treat patients in the United Kingdom at the start of the pandemic.

“This is great news and I congratulate the government of the UK, the University of Oxford, and the many hospitals and patients in the UK who have contributed to this lifesaving scientific breakthrough,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in the press release.”

There is something more than ironic in the WHO’s interest in a different cheap and available drug that has also been widely used for decades, but which is no use in protecting those people in the target market for the vaccine. To me, and surely to Professor Raoult and his colleagues, this looks more like protecting ones business interests and investor profits, at the expense of public health and lives.

Postscript:

It has just been announced that GILEAD will start charging for its drug Remdesevir from next week at $US 2340 for a five-day course, or $US 4860 for private patients. Generic equivalents manufactured in poorer countries will sell for $US 934 per treatment course. Announcing the prices, chief executive Dan O’Day noted that the drug was priced “to ensure wide access rather than based solely on the value to patients”.

It seems hardly worth pointing out that six days treatment with Hydroxychloroquine costs around $US 7, so for the same cost as treating one patient with Remdesevir, roughly four hundred could be given Hydroxychloroquine. If this is compounded by the effective cure rate, Remdesevir treatment costs closer to one thousand times that of HCQ. The addition of Azithromycin and Zinc doubles the cost of HCQ treatment, but also increases its efficacy considerably.

Who controls the British Government response to Covid–19? (Part 1)

By Vanessa Beeley

Source

“The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants” — Albert Camus

As Britain hurtles headlong towards neo-feudalist governance with heightened surveillance, micro-management of society and an uptick in fascistic policing of the draconian measures imposed to combat the “threat” of Covid–19, it is perhaps time to analyse the real forces behind this “new normal”.

There is now serious doubt over the correlation between lockdown and saving lives. Reality is creeping into the Covid–19 dialogue. It is becoming apparent that people are getting sick because they are being isolated and effectively living under house arrest, condemned as “murderers” if they so much as think about breaking curfew, being snitched on by neighbours for “gathering” more than two people together in their back gardens.

The following graph was produced by UK Column and demonstrates the lack of correlation between lockdown and “saving lives”:

Updated 21/4/20

The numbers game is acting in many instances as a smokescreen. It is impossible to rely upon “official” statistics, that vary wildly from one website to another: statistics that rely upon unreliable and sporadic testing procedures. and based upon death certificates that misrepresent the actual cause of death as Covid–19, regardless of pre-existing medical conditions. Statistics, too, that were set in stone very early on in the development stages, when the perspective was limited and compressed, before a true picture could be seen. The newly emerging statistics are now increasingly undermining initial conclusions and pointing to the futility and negative consequences of lockdown.

It is now accepted that there is a high mortality rate among the elderly in care homes in the UK and globally — among the same elderly civilians who are being “asked” to sign DNRs (Do Not Resuscitate) forms. This amounts to signing their own death warrant, should they present any of the Covid–19 symptoms. They will be neglected, isolated from their families when at their most vulnerable and left alone to die, even though it is possible that they have not contracted the virus.

Instead of offering proactive and positive suggestions that will enable our immune systems to combat the disease, the British Government is ensuring conditions that will suppress immune systems to dangerous levels and create the perfect environment for Covid–19 to flourish.

Britain has now received an estimated 1.4 million new benefit claims for welfare payments, “about seven times the normal level”. The government has pledged to bail out “80% of pay of workers who are temporarily laid off” but I have personally spoken to self-employed individuals who find themselves falling between the cracks that qualify them for financial support and now face an indefinite period of time without income.

These measures are being imposed in a country that, since 2012, has seen an exponential growth in child poverty to potentially sub-Victorian levels. In March 2019, the number of children living in “absolute poverty” grew by a staggering 200,000 in a twelve-month period, to a total of 3.7 million. How will this number be further impacted by lockdown?

How did we arrive at this point? Who steered the UK Government towards this questionable and alarmist lockdown policy? The unexamined assumption is that conclusions were formed on the basis of sound epidemiological analysis and research by doctors and scientists who care about our welfare.

The reality is what we will examine in this article. Neil Ferguson, a professor at Imperial College, was responsible for the modelling of a response to Covid–19. His virtual model was recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and it passed through into policy with virtually no scrutiny. Ferguson’s dramatic prediction of 500,000 deaths in the UK became the foundation of Boris Johnson’s U-turn from herd immunity to collective quarantine.

While some understood that Ferguson later reduced his mortality calculations, he actually doubled down on his projections on Twitter, insisting that without drastic lockdown measures being taken, the numbers would be even higher.

Who is Neil Ferguson?

Ferguson is acting director of the Vaccine Impact Modelling Consortium (VIMC), which is based at Imperial College in London. According to Ferguson’s biography on the website, “much of [his] work is applied, informing disease control policy-making by public and global health institutions.”

The professor who derailed Johnson’s semblance of “herd immunity” strategy is no stranger to controversy and is described as having a “patchy” record of modelling pandemics by one of his academic peers, Professor Michael Thrusfield of Edinburgh University, an expert in animal diseases.

Ferguson was instrumental in the modelling of the British Government’s response to Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in 2001, which Thrusfield describes as “not fit for purpose” (2006) and “seriously flawed” (2012). Thrusfield has highlighted the limitations of Ferguson’s mathematical modelling methods, and applied the doubts he expressed over FMD to the current Covid–19 “crisis” response.

An estimated twelve million animals were slaughtered as a result of Ferguson’s 2001 initiative. The farming community was devastated by suicides and bankruptcies that irretrievably altered the landscape of British agriculture — forcing healthy smallholdings into agri-corporate mergers and empowering the EU central governance in the agricultural sector.

Image copyright: Nick Green

Insight: Slaughtered on Suspicion, a documentary made by UK Column in 2015, provides a shocking insight into the suffering precipitated by Ferguson’s model and the “new normal” imposed upon Britain’s farming community. The following is a statement made by one of the contributors to the programme:

12,000,000 animals [Meat & Livestock Commission statistic] were slaughtered but that did not include lambs at foot, aborted lambs, calves or piglets. Further, tens of thousands of chickens were slaughtered in the early months — on welfare grounds, apparently. 88% of all animals slaughtered had not contracted FMD [source: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs].

Great Orton airfield was used to slaughter sheep under the “voluntary” cull: that was anything but voluntary, and farmers not participating were ruthlessly threatened. There was only one mild case of FMD recorded from the thousands of blood tests done at Great Orton [source: DEFRA].

There was a travelator that ran from the slaughter tent at Great Orton to the graves. This ran 16 hours a day, transporting “dead” young lambs. Slaughtermen working there told me that many of the lambs were buried alive.

The man that advised Blair during this fiasco was, as many will know, Prof. Ferguson of Imperial College. He was [reportedly] sacked by DEFRA late on during the epidemic, but the damage had been done! Prof Ferguson was awarded an OBE in 2002 for his work during FMD 2001.” [Emphasis added]

In 2002, Ferguson predicted that up to 50,000 people would die from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, better known as “mad cow disease”, increasing to 150,000 if the epidemic expanded to include sheep. The reality is: “Since 1990, 178 people in the United Kingdom have died from vCJD, according to the National CJD Research & Surveillance Unit at the University of Edinburgh.” (2017)

In 2005, Ferguson claimed that up to 200 million people would be killed by bird-flu or H5N1. By early 2006, the WHO had only linked 78 deaths to the virus, out of 147 reported cases.

In 2009, Ferguson and his team at Imperial College advised the government that swine flu or H1N1 would probably kill 65,000 people in the UK. In the end, swine flu claimed the lives of 457 people in the UK.

Now, in 2020, Ferguson and Imperial College have released a report which claims that half a million Britons and 2.2 million Americans may be killed by Covid–19. The report has still not been peer-reviewed; despite this and Ferguson’s glaring record of mathematical sensationalism, the British Government has adopted the devastating socio-economic lockdown that Ferguson has proposed.

Why is the British Government so quick to follow Ferguson’s plan?

1. GAVI and Imperial College

The VIMC is hosted by the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College. VIMC is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and by “GAVI, the vaccine alliance” (GAVI’s own title for itself). Bill and Melinda Gates began funding Imperial College in 2006, four years before the Gates Foundation launched the Global Health Leaders Launch Decade of Vaccines Collaboration (GHLLDVC) and one year after Ferguson had demonstrated his penchant for overblown projections on mortality numbers from H5N1.

Up to the end of 2018, the Gates Foundation has sponsored Imperial College with a whopping $185 million. That makes Gates the second largest sponsor, beaten to the top spot on the podium by the Wellcome Trust, a British research charity which began funding Imperial College prior to Ferguson’s FMD débâcle and which, by the end of 2018, had already provided Imperial with over $400 million in funding. I will examine the Wellcome Trust’s connections in part two of this series.

Wellcome trust also has a focus on global immunization programmes.

The Gates Foundation established the GHLLDVC in collaboration with the WHO, UNICEF and the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The following is taken from the Gates Foundation website:

The Global Vaccine Action Plan will enable greater coordination across all stakeholder groups – national governments, multilateral organizations, civil society, the private sector and philanthropic organizations — and will identify critical policy, resource, and other gaps that must be addressed to realize the life-saving potential of vaccines.

The Collaboration’s leadership council at the time included the Director-General of the WHO, the Director of NIAID, the Director of UNICEF, the President of Gates Foundation Global Health, and the Chair of the African Malaria Alliance. The steering committee included the Director of Immunisation, the UK Department of Health, and many other representatives from the WHO, UNICEF and associated organisations. It is a cluster of immunisation-focused individuals controlling the policy of world health governing bodies, who claim to be neutral.

The WHO was nominated as the “directing and coordinating authority on international health within the United Nations system” and was set up to be responsible for “shaping the health research agenda”, among other tasks linked to the policy of global immunisation.

UNICEF, the “world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries” has on-the-ground access to children in over 150 territories and countries (2010).

We are already seeing the potential for some serious conflict of interest behind the Ferguson model on Covid–19, and this will become even more apparent as the connections are now made to an entire pharmaceutical complex potentially protecting its own interests over any genuine concerns for the health and welfare of global populations.

Gavi, the vaccine alliance

“Gavi is the Vaccine Alliance, which brings together public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to vaccines for children, wherever they live.”

GAVI is funded and partnered by the same network that forms the GHLLDVC, with some noticeable additions: the World Bank and donor/implementing country governments. The Gates Foundation is a primary sponsor, but is topped by the British Government, which was instrumental in creating GAVI and is its largest donor.

While many sectors of British society have seen their living standards plummet, with the elderly severely neglected, a National Health Service in decline and homelessness on the increase, the British Government, via UKAID, has pledged £1.44 billion to GAVI for 2016–2020 and will be hosting the 2020 GAVI pledging conference, which is due to take place in June 2020 to “mobilise at least US$ 7.4 billion in additional resources to protect the next generation with vaccines, reduce disease inequality and create a healthier, safer and more prosperous world.” (Emphasis added)

The conference promises to bring together political leaders, civil society, public and private donors, vaccine manufacturers and governments to support GAVI, the vaccine alliance — which boasts that it has “helped vaccinate almost half the world’s children against deadly and debilitating infectious diseases”. This claim will be met with praise from the pro-vaccine lobby but concerns over the efficacy and safety of these mass vaccination programmes must be taken into account, particularly when being tested in poorer, developing countries.

Global vaccination market revenue worldwide is projected to reach $59.2 billion by 2020; this number may well increase with the arrival of Covid–19. The British Government’s investment in GAVI alongside vaccine promoter Bill Gates must, again, raise the issue of conflicts of interest. To what extent is the British Government protecting its own assets in forcing the lockdown upon its population? Vaccines are set to be a major source of income for the world’s largest pharmaceutical corporations, and the British Government is invested in that lucrative future.

The GAVI replenishment conference is to be hosted by a British Government whose lockdown policy is effectively shattering the domestic economy and is collectively punishing the most vulnerable in British society.

When Bill Gates partnered with GAVI twenty years ago, he had been considering where next to focus his philanthropy and was “increasingly focusing on the power and potential of vaccines”. It was Gates’ substantial sponsorship that launched GAVI, and ten years later Gates launched his own “vaccine decade” plan for the 2010s.

The Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) 2012–2020, endorsed by the 194 member states participating in the World Health Assembly (2012), is led by the same members of the Gates “vaccine decade” consortium, promoted by the WHO, and brings together governments, elected officials, health professionals, academia, manufacturers, global agencies, research and development, civil society, media and the private sector — to promote global immunisation. This is a profit-driven corporate complex harnessing the “humanitarian” sector to lend credence to the claims of philanthropy, or more realistically, philanthrocapitalism.

2. GAVI and ID2020

A glance at the partner page of the GAVI website reveals that not only is GAVI heavily invested in immunisation campaigns, it is also closely connected to the Gates, Microsoft and Rockefeller Foundation seed-funded ID2020 project (Digital Identity Alliance), which incorporates Accenture, Microsoft (Gates), Ideo-Org and Rockefeller Foundation into the GAVI alliance, all with ties to the ID2020 initiative.

ID2020 is promoting the concept that there is a need for universal biometric verification, because “to prove who you are is a fundamental and universal human right,” as asserted on the ID2020 website. An article by journalist Kurt Nimmo for Global Research dismantles the “humanitarian” alibi for tyranny.

OffGrid Healthcare explains:

What they really want is a fully standardized data collection and retrieval format, and cross-border sharing of identities of the entire population of the planet, in order for the stand-alone AI-powered command center to work without a hitch, and for purposes of calculating everyone’s potential contribution, and threat to the system.

Nimmo describes the potential for Covid–19 to be used as cover for mandatory biometric ID. An April article carried by Reuters confirms the suspicion that biometric ID might soon be introduced, ostensibly to “help verify those who already had the infection and ensure the vulnerable get the vaccine when it is launched”. This may sound perfectly sensible to those who are buying the government strap-lines on Covid–19 but — as Nimmo warns us — “COVID–19 is the perfect Trojan horse for a control freak state itching to not only micromanage the lives of ordinary citizens but also ferret out critics and potential adversaries and punish them as enemies of the state.”

Prashant Yadav, senior fellow at the US-based Center for Global Development, has said:

Biometric IDs can be a gamechanger. They can help governments target population segments e.g healthcare professionals or the elderly population, verify people who have received vaccination, and have a clear record[Emphasis added]

Such statements can easily be interpreted as the harbingers of mandatory vaccination and the inclusion of biometric ID in the “humanitarian” package.

Martin Armstrong of Armstrong Technologies introduces an even more sinister projection into the mix. Armstrong talks about a digital certificate that verifies you have been vaccinated, developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Microsoft, which will merge with ID2020. Covid–19 will be exploited to encourage us to accept digital implants and tracking devices that will enable authorities to keep an eye on us. Armstrong argues that just as 9/11 conditioned us to accept X-ray booths at airports, now we will be chipped alongside our dogs and cats.

The road to 2020 – the future for digital identity in the UK. (Title of Innovate Identity article June 2019)

At this point, it is worth remembering that UKAID is heavily involved in GAVI, and one presumes they are on board with the digital ID2020 project. Rob Laurence, director at UK-based Innovate Identity, presented proposals for the future of digital identity back in June 2019. The UK Government Verify scheme was identified as a fledgling version of the future of digital ID.

Laurence describes the digital ID “ecosystem” that is emerging: Oliver Dowden, Minister for Implementation at the Cabinet Office (the British Government’s co-ordinating department), will form a new Digital ID Unit to “pave the way for the government to consume digital identities from the private sector”. Laurence describes 2020 as the “now-or-never year for government and industry to collaborate” in the creation of an “interoperable digital identity market”.

Covid19 provides the opportunity that might just fulfil these predictions.

It is no coincidence that a British start-up — Microsoft-funded Onfido — has recently raised $100 million to “boost its ID technology” to enable the creation of “immunity passports” for governments “battling coronavirus”.

In December 2019, researchers at MIT created a “microneedle platform using fluorescent microparticles called quantum dots (QD) which can deliver vaccines and at the same time, invisibly encode vaccination history in the skin”: the QDs can be detected by specially adapted smartphones. The “new normal” will mean we are tracked and monitored by our own communication systems to an even greater and more intrusive extent.

The future is being modelled — but not for our benefit

In part one of this two=part series, my intention has been to raise questions over who is driving the British Government response to Covid–19. Those who have influenced the lockdown policy have very clear conflict of interest question marks over their agenda.

The scientific clique influencing government decisions is one that is incorporated into a for-profit Big Pharma industrial network which will, undeniably, benefit from the measures being taken by the British Government — a government that is financially embedded in the same complex.

Why are the views of epidemiologists, doctors, scientists, analysts and health advisors who challenge the lockdown being ignored or censored by the media and by government? Why is the government not widening the circle of advisors to take into account these opposing perspectives that might bring an end to the misery that is a consequence of enforced quarantine? Off-Guardian has recorded these views herehere and here. It is also worth following Swiss Propaganda Research for regular updates on emerging analysis and statistics that you will not always find in the mainstream media.

World Economic Forum report on the psychological experiment that is the Covid19 lockdown.

Instead, the British Government is effectively endorsing the breeding of distrust in society, the erosion of public assembly, the isolation and state-sanctioned euthanasia of the elderly, the emerging police state, snitch lines, loss of dignity and livelihoods, greater dependency upon the state for survival, depression, suicide and voluntary incarceration.

An article in New York Times reports on the death toll in care homes which “reflect a global phenomenon” in a world under lockdown.

The UN has issued a warning that the economic downturn could “kill hundreds of thousands of children in 2020”. Gates, the WHO, the British Government and UNICEF are focused on global immunisation for a “pandemic” that is not living up to the alarmist virtual projections sponsored by Gates and the Big Pharma complex, while children really will start to die from malnutrition, neglect and a myriad of consequence of extreme poverty generated by the “steepest downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s” (IMF).

In part two, I will delve deeper into the interlocking interests of state and private corporate sectors that should not be interfering in policies which affect the welfare of British citizens. I will reveal how the same players are influencing the media response and ensuring that their interests are given the most powerful platforms to promote their agenda.

The questions must be asked: Who is really in charge of the Covid–19 response? Who benefits most? Who will suffer most from the long term consequences? And who will provide respite from those consequences when the “pandemic” has disappeared from view?

The Elite’s COVID-19 Coup Against a Terrified Humanity: Resisting Powerfully

By Robert J. Burrowes

Source

 

I have previously explained how the COVID-19 infection is being used to frighten us into submitting powerlessly to the global elite’s latest move to take much greater control of our lives and how those who can perceive this, and wish to resist it, can do so effectively. See ‘Observing Elites Manipulate Our Fear: COVID-19, Propaganda and Knowledge’ and ‘Defending Humanity Against the Elite Coup’.

In this article I want to document a sample of the rapidly increasing evidence of how this coup is taking shape and to reiterate a strategy for defeating it.

The coup was designed to take immediate measures to ensure that fundamental rights and freedoms, only ‘won’ (in name at least) after many centuries of struggle, were stripped away from us and to do it in such a way that people would fearfully accept it.

This is why the idea of a virus ‘pandemic’ was quite clever.

Because the fear of contracting the virus (and its possibly deadly consequences) could be grotesquely magnified by inflating the figures, constant harping on it by the World Health Organization, the medical industry (in league with the pharmaceutical industry) and governments, and then magnified by the corporate media – with one outlet laughably suggesting COVID-19 could be worse than the flu outbreak in 1918 (falsely attributed to Spain): see ‘COVID-19 has the potential to become as severe as the Spanish flu’– it made virtually all people submissive to any measure taken, or order given, ostensibly to prevent the spread of the virus.

Fear manipulated by propaganda defeats knowledge and evidence every time, as history has endlessly demonstrated. Just ask Joseph Goebbels how they did it in Nazi Germany. Play on the fear, play on the fear….

But if you are not too scared to seek out the evidence, you get an utterly different picture of what is taking place.

So, for example, US physician Dr. Annie Bukacek observes that (image right)

‘The real number of COVID-19 deaths are not what most people are told and what they then think. How many people actually died from COVID-19 is anyone’s guess. … Based on inaccurate, incomplete data, people are being terrorized by fear-mongers into relinquishing freedoms.’

See ‘Montana physician Dr. Annie Bukacek discusses how COVID 19 death certificates are being manipulated’.


If you would like to read a wider sample of the literature and videos discussing how the infection and death rates from COVID-19 have been deliberately misinterpreted, inflated and presented in a way that induces fear, and hence willing submission to elite control, see the daily updates on

‘A Swiss Doctor on Covid-19’and the articles/videos

‘Corona: creating the illusion of a pandemic through diagnostic tests’,

‘12 Experts Questioning the Coronavirus Panic’,

‘Can We Trust the WHO?’,

‘How deadly is the coronavirus? It’s still far from clear’,

‘Perspectives on the Pandemic II: A Conversation with Dr. Knut Wittkowski’,

‘Never Has So Little Done So Much Harm to So Many:

The Latest Coronavirus Attack Is A Cover for Restricting Our Health Freedoms’,

‘Covid19 Death Figures “A Substantial Over-Estimate”’  and

‘Dr Scott Jensen Reveals “Ridiculous” Covid19 Guidance’.


As a result of this pandemic of fear, the human rights to privacy (Article 12), freedom of movement (Article 13.1) and freedom of assembly (Article 20.1), for example, which are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (but not necessarily legislated into law by individual countries and routinely violated by governments in any case) have now been publicly and completely eviscerated in one fell swoop with bans on gatherings, legal requirements for ‘social distancing’ and even greater surveillance of our private activities with barely a murmur of protest.

For a comprehensive global summary, which monitors individual government responses to the pandemic that affect civic freedoms and human rights focusing on emergency laws, see the ‘COVID-19 Civic Freedom Tracker’.

Denied these fundamental rights, others – including those preventing arbitrary arrest or detention (Article 9), entitlement to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal in response to any criminal charge (Article 10), to make a living in the manner of our choosing (Article 23), to adequate healthcare irrespective of personal circumstances (Article 25.1) and to have some say in how we are governed (Article 21) – have, if they previously existed in practice, largely disappeared as many governments around the world have used a variety of illegal and sometimes unconstitutional measures – ranging from ‘lockdowns’ and curfews to martial law and suspensions of parliaments in favour of dictatorships – to usurp more complete control of national societies.


For just a brief taste of what is taking place in some countries, see

‘Denmark rushes through emergency coronavirus law’,

‘DOJ seeks new emergency powers amid coronavirus pandemic’,

For Autocrats, and Others, Coronavirus Is a Chance to Grab Even More Power’,

‘Suspending the Constitution: Police State Uses Crises to Expand Its Lockdown Powers’,

‘Hungary’s Leader Grabbed Powers to Fight the Virus. Some Fear Other Motives’,

‘Americans Beware: Trump Could Emulate Netanyahu’s Coronavirus Coup’

‘The Coronavirus State: New Zealand and Authoritarian Rumblings’.


In addition, by deliberately crashing national economies it was easy to conceal the fact that they were on the brink of crashing anyway. In the words of Scott C. Tips:

‘As the American and other economies falter from major structural problems, out-of-control debt, reckless spending, and government stupidity in shuttering businesses, the blame for markets crashing and economies tanking is borne by the conveniently available COVID-19 disease.’ See ‘Never Has So Little Done So Much Harm to So Many: The Latest Coronavirus Attack Is A Cover for Restricting Our Health Freedoms’.

In this way, the elite has rapidly and vastly expanded the number of people who live a precarious economic existence, due to the exploitative functioning of the global economy – see ‘Who Profits From the Pandemic?’– while also giving vast sums of money to wealthy corporations via government bailouts. See ‘Trump Signs Corporate Bailout Bill: A Measure That Will Live in Infamy’.

Moreover, adverse outcomes from the use of COVID-19 to wreak this economic destruction will multiply rapidly but the underlying corporate dysfunctionality will now escape the blame from most observers just as COVID-19 will help to obscure the elite’s true purpose in precipitating this crisis.


See, for example, ‘Coronavirus pandemic will inevitably cause food crisis’,‘10 Signs the U.S. Is Heading for a Depression’,

‘After the Lockdown: A Global Coronavirus Vaccination Program…’,

‘COVID-19. The Unspoken Truth. The Most Serious Global Crisis in Modern History’,

‘The worst economic collapse ever?’and

‘Coronavirus – The Aftermath. A Coming Mega-Depression…’.


But apart from these more obvious encroachments on our rights, freedoms and economic well-being, there is a vast range of encroachments happening either outside or on the periphery of public view, given the phenomenal corporate media attention focused on COVID-19 to distract us.

Talking about US government surveillance in 2014, former Technical Director of the NSA, William ‘Bill’ Binney, explained that the NSA sought ‘total population control’. See ‘Whistleblower: NSA Goal Is “Total Population Control”’.

Six years later it is clear that the global elite is now making another push in its ongoing and longstanding effort to achieve total control. Will this be the final push?

As you consider this question, here is another small sample of those encroachments and devastating impacts that are happening while our attention is elsewhere:

  1. The public acceptance of surveillance technology to spy on us in the interests of our ‘health’ is facilitating elite efforts to rapidly expand its monitoring capacities in this regard. See, for example, ‘To Track Coronavirus, Israel Moves to Tap Secret Trove of Cellphone Data’ and ‘For Autocrats, and Others, Coronavirus Is a Chance to Grab Even More Power’.
  2. The deluge of propaganda is convincing us that compulsory vaccination will be necessary to ensure our ‘health and well-being’. However, apart from the conclusively and extensively documented harm from vaccinations – for one brief article just touching on this, see ‘Vaccines and the Liberal Mind’– there is extensive evidence that any such vaccination program will be the trojan horse for implementing an electronic identification program that uses generalized vaccination as a platform for launching a scheme to give everyone ‘a portable and persistent biometrically-linked digital identity’. See ‘The Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic: The Real Danger is “Agenda ID2020”’‘After the Lockdown: A Global Coronavirus Vaccination Program…’,‘Coronavirus: Biometric IDs could be “gamechanger” for tests, vaccines’ and ‘COVID-19: Perfect Cover for Mandatory Biometric ID’.

If you think this is fairyland stuff, check out the website of the elite agents advocating it: ‘The need for good digital ID is universal: The ability to prove who you are is a fundamental and universal human right. Because we live in a digital era, we need a trusted and reliable way to do that both in the physical world and online.’ See ‘The Need for Good Digital ID is Universal’.

Without thinking too hard, I can list a few ‘fundamental and universal human rights’ that I would nominate before I got too excited about my digital identity. I wonder if these people are concerned about whether I have enough to eat, whether I am clothed and housed…. Of course, I know they have no interest in my privacy given that digital ID and the surveillance that goes with it will make that non-existent.

  1. The deployment of the highly dangerous 5G which, under the guise of improving internet speed and capacity, will vastly expand everyone’s exposure to electromagnetic radiation with its long list of seriously adverse health impacts. For a taste of the extensive documentation on this point, see the ‘International Appeal to Stop 5G on Earth and in Space’.
  2. A dramatic increase in the violence inflicted within the family home, especially by men and women against children – see ‘Why Violence?’– and by the more usually acknowledged men against women, during the lockdown. See ‘UN chief calls for domestic violence “ceasefire” amid “horrifying global surge”’.
  3. Intensified efforts to overthrow governments in Iran and Venezuela. See ‘COVID-19: Cover for Military Attack on Iran and Iraq? Trump ignores Iraqi demand US occupation forces leave the country’‘Not letting Covid-19 crisis go to waste? US ramps up war on drugs… focusing on Venezuela’s Maduro’‘Trump sends gun boats to Venezuela while the world partners to fight a deadly pandemic’ and ‘NATO in Arms to “Fight Coronavirus”’.

The background framework to what is happening regarding Venezuela has been exposed by its President Nicolás Maduro. See ‘Letter from President Nicolás Maduro to the People of the United States’.

  1. No end to the many ongoing wars involving the United States – see, for example, ‘U.S. Confirms Deployment Of Patriot Missiles In Iraq. Iran Prepares For Conflict In Straight Of Hormuz’ and ‘US Empire Exploits COVID-19 For More War’– although a pause in some wars in which the US is not a party – for an overview, see ‘UN Ceasefire Defines War As a Non-Essential Activity’– as a result of an appeal by the UN Secretary-General for warring nations to desist until the effort to contain COVID-19 is won. See ‘The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war’.

Unfortunately, this appeal, unlike the Secretary-General’s appeal for a ceasefire on domestic violence which attracted no significant public endorsement, quickly drew in many others equally devoid of any analysis of what is actually taking place and thus happy to help distract people from the core issue. See, for example, ‘COVID-19: Sign the Call for Global Ceasefire!’‘Global Ceasefire: Running List of Countries Committed’ and ‘Global Ceasefire Now!’

Obviously, I am heartily in favour of ending war. But this is only going to happen when we campaign strategically to do so and provided we have sufficient political freedom to do it. See ‘Strategic Aims’ (for ending war).

As an aside and displaying its usual projected fear of threats, when some US military personnel became infected with COVID-19 – see ‘Request for Assistance in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic’– the Pentagon issued a suppression order on further reporting of COVID-19 in the US military. See ‘Pentagon orders all installations to stop reporting COVID-19 infections and deaths’.

  1. Ongoing economic sanctions by the United States directed against a variety of countries, notably including Iran and Venezuela, are complicating efforts to address COVID-19 effectively. In contrast, countries such as Cuba, China and Russia are leading the international effort to support other countries dealing with a higher level of infection. See ‘US Continues Sanctions Against Venezuela And Cuba During COVID-19 Pandemic – Analysis’ and ‘Expert: US sanctions on Iran, Venezuela during pandemic could be genocidal’.
  2. A variety of actions, including legal manoeuvres and false flag attacks, undertaken to inflict greater repression in some contexts, particularly against indigenous peoples and those engaged in national liberation struggles. See ‘Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Threatened with Land Disestablishment, Tribal Leaders Step in to Address Ongoing Land Issues and Threats to Sovereignty’‘Media advisory notice on alleged shooting near Freeport mine in Timika’ and ‘During the Coronavirus crisis, Israel confiscates tents designated for clinic in the Northern West Bank’.
  3. Dramatic increases in absolute impoverishment among marginalized individuals and communities throughout the Global South who barely survive day-to-day under their usual, difficult economic circumstances. As one Asian NGO network, engaged in attempting to secure emergency relief to assist those most adversely impacted, has just reported: ‘We are receiving alarming reports that ADB and AIIB project-affected communities across Asia, especially South Asia and South East Asia are in an absolute state of crisis. Due to the enforced lockdown, they have no work or access to sanitizers and food supplies. Leaving them completely exposed and vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic. The state responses are slow and in some cases non-existent.’ See ‘COVID-19 Community Emergency Fund’.

And Arundhati Roy wrote an evocative account of how the Indian government’s lockdown exposed the ‘brutal, structural, social and economic inequality’ in that country and the government’s ‘callous indifference to suffering’ as the lockdown caused employers and landlords in cities and towns to drive out millions of impoverished, homeless and hungry workers to walk the hundreds of kilometres to their villages. Many have died along the way, but not of COVID-19. See ‘Social Devastation and Despair. How Coronavirus Threatens India’.

  1. No pause in the economic exploitation of countries in the Global South with, for example, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) quick to offer ‘emergency finance’ to some 80 of these countries that have requested it. See ‘IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva’s Statement Following a G20 Ministerial Call on the Coronavirus Emergency’.

What Ms. Georgieva didn’t mention is that these loans will no doubt be done on the usual highly conditional and exploitative basis for which the IMF has built its reputation for destroying the lives of ordinary local people by opening the door for corrupt or naive governments to accept corporate exploitation of their people and natural resources while building unsustainable levels of national debt trying to pay back the loans and interest to the IMF. For more detail on how this exploitation works, see the many Global Justice Now reports on the IMF and the book The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.

In contrast, World Bank President David Malpass was not so coy, clearly declaring that COVID-19 would be used to further exploit poorer countries by making any funding conditional on a willingness to make such exploitation easier in future: ‘Countries will need to implement structural reforms to help shorten the time to recovery and create confidence that the recovery can be strong. For those countries that have excessive regulations, subsidies, licensing regimes, trade protection or litigiousness as obstacles, we will work with them to foster markets, choice and faster growth prospects during the recovery.’ See ‘Remarks by World Bank Group President David Malpass on G20 Finance Ministers Conference Call on COVID-19’.

To reiterate: The World Bank will help existing heavily exploited countries with some funding for short-term health measures directed at containing COVID-19 provided the country removes laws that would make it difficult to exploit it indefinitely thereafter.

  1. No pause in environmentally destructive activities, ranging from the ongoing use of health-destroying poisons, such as glyphosate, used to contaminate our food – see ‘Locked Down and Locking in the New Global Order’– which cause vastly more deaths than COVID-19 will cause, to the ongoing destruction of pristine rainforests to create, among other possibilities, more palm oil plantations. See ‘New player starts clearing rainforest in world’s biggest oil palm project’.

And while there has been a short-term reduced negative impact on the climate as a result of the slowdown in industrial activity and the use of fossil fuel-powered vehicles, the ongoing COVID-19 coup has been used to destroy whatever momentum has been achieved by the climate and environment movements in recent years.

  1. While COVID-19 is causing problems for the 100,000 skilled technicians responsible for controlling, maintaining and fuel loading/unloading of the 96 remaining nuclear power plants in the USA, given the confined space in which the technicians work which make ‘social distancing’ virtually impossible, ‘The industry is now using the Coronavirus Pandemic to rush through a wide range of deregulation demands. Among them is a move to allow radioactive waste to be dumped into municipal landfills.’ See ‘Terrified Atomic Workers Warn That the COVID-19 Pandemic May Threaten Nuclear Reactor Disaster’.
  2. Long intent on dominating Space both militarily and industrially – see the US Space Command’s ‘Vision for 2020’– in violation of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 which declared ‘The exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries… and shall be the province of all mankind’ – see ‘Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies’– US president Trump has just signed an executive order to allow corporations and ‘citizens’ (that is, billionaires) to begin mining the moon. The elite also wants to use nuclear reactors to fuel spacecraft so they can mine Mars in the future. See ‘Trump Signs Executive Order to Mine the Moon’.

If you are a US citizen and wondering how the ‘largest industrial project in the history of the planet’ will be financed, look in your own purse or wallet and wonder how much more will be taken from you so that, as usual, you pay the upfront costs associated with the vast profits they plan to make. Of course, you will also pay with budget cuts to health, education and social security funding.

The 13-point list above is actually very short – and confined to readily observable ‘moves’ – but, hopefully, it gives you some idea of what is taking place behind the elite’s barrage of COVID-19 fear-mongering. Needless to say, it is the ‘moves’ that we do not know about that are, no doubt, even more troubling.

So what can we do in response to this fear-mongering and the coup it is being used to disguise?

Resisting the Elite Coup Powerfully

I have previously outlined this nonviolent strategy, identifying its political purpose – obviously ‘To defend humanity against a political/military coup conducted by the global elite’– and I have set out a basic list of 26 strategic goals, of which eleven are as follows:

(1) To cause people and groups all around the world to join the resistance strategy by wearing a global symbol of human solidarity, such as an image of several people of different genders/races/religions/abilities/classes holding hands.

(2) To cause people and groups all around the world to join the resistance strategy by boycotting all corporate media outlets (television, radio, newspapers, Facebook, Twitter…) and by seeking news from progressive news outlets committed to telling the truth.

(3) To cause people and groups all around the world to join the resistance strategy by withdrawing all funds from the corporate banks that are supporting the coup and to deposit their money in local community banks or credit unions.

(4) To cause people and groups all around the world to join the resistance strategy by boycotting the medical and pharmaceutical industries – including by conscientiously refusing to submit to vaccination – and by seeking health advice and treatment from natural therapists. (If you are unfamiliar with the different philosophies underpinning these approaches, and hence why many natural therapies are so much more effective, there is a straightforward explanation here: ‘Pasteur vs. Bechamp: An Alternative View of Infectious Disease’.)

(5) To cause people and groups all around the world to join the resistance strategy by boycotting corporate supermarkets and by supporting small and family businesses, and local markets.

(6) To cause people and groups all around the world to join the resistance strategy by participating in other locally relevant nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities. For this item and many subsequent, see the list of possible nonviolent actions in the document ‘198 Tactics of Nonviolent Action’.

(7) To cause the workers [in trade unions or labor organizations T1, T2, T…] all around the world to join the resistance strategy by participating in locally relevant nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities. For example, this might include withdrawing labor from an elite-controlled bank, media, pharmaceutical or other corporation operating in your country.

(8) To cause the small farmers and farmworkers [in organizations F1, F2, F…] all around the world to join the resistance strategy by participating in locally relevant nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities. For example, this might include distributing farm produce through (existing or created) grassroots networks to small and family businesses as well as local markets rather than through corporate supply chains.

(9) To cause the indigenous peoples [in organizations IP1,IP2, IP…] all around the world to join the resistance strategy by participating in locally relevant nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities. For example, this might include utilizing indigenous knowledge to improve local self-reliance in food production and in other ways.

(10) To cause the soldiers and military police [in army units AU1, AU2, AU… and MP1, MP2, MP…], wherever stationed around the world, to refuse to obey orders from the global elite and its agents to arrest, assault, torture and shoot nonviolent activists and the other citizens of [your country].

(11) To cause the police [in police units P1, P2, P…], wherever stationed around the world, to refuse to obey orders from the global elite and its agents to arrest, assault, torture and shoot nonviolent activists and the other citizens of [your country].

Rather than detail all 26 strategic goals here, you can read the ‘Strategic goals for defeating a political/military coup conducted by the global elite against humanity’ by scrolling down the page at ‘Strategic Aims’.

Remaining pages on the website fully explain the twelve components of the strategy, as illustrated by the Nonviolent Strategy Wheel. These include the need to provide leadership and mutual aid at local levels, which are already happening in many places, as part of the overall effort.

The website also has articles and videos explaining all of the vital points of strategy and tactics, including articles to help you understand ‘Nonviolent Action: Why and How it Works’, the difference between ‘The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent Actions’ and how to prepare, frame and conduct any nonviolent action to minimize the risk of violent repression. See ‘Nonviolent Action: Minimizing the Risk of Violent Repression’.

It is worth emphasizing that, in some contexts, there is a place for large public nonviolent actions for those who are inclined to plan and conduct them. And the article just referenced will assist you to conduct them with minimal risk of violent repression. However, because the bans on public gatherings are being implemented widely, I have concentrated on providing tactical options in the examples above that do not depend on gathering in one place.

Nevertheless, as more people become aware of the coup and the energy to resist it gathers pace, it will be worthwhile to choose a locally significant date on which as many people who are willing to do so act to ‘End the Lockdown’ in that country. Using a locally relevant focus, or perhaps several, for which many people would traditionally be together – a cultural or sporting event, a community activity such as working to establish a community garden to increase local self-reliance, a birthday celebration and/or a return to work – we can mobilize people to collectively resist the coup that is taking place. Because the actions taken will be dispersed with large numbers of people responding in a vast number of locations, it will be impossible for police and military forces to inflict violent repression against everyone, particularly if local organizers have implemented the points in ‘Nonviolent Action: Minimizing the Risk of Violent Repression’.

Equally importantly to any of the points above, particularly given the pressing threat of human extinction – see ‘Human Extinction Now Imminent and Inevitable? A Report on the State of Planet Earth’– but also because becoming more self-reliant is vital to our ongoing capacity to resist elite encroachments on our rights, freedom and economic security, consider joining those participating in ‘The Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth’. This project also explains how to take full advantage of non-monetary forms of community where goods and services are exchanged directly, without money as a medium of exchange. Money only has value in certain types of economy and these types of economy must be superseded if humans are to survive.

And given the enormous pressure on children at the moment, as their lives are upended, it would be useful to spend time listening to them. Of course, if you know an adult who is having trouble coping, it will help them enormously as well if you listen while giving them the opportunity to talk about, and focus on feeling, their own emotional reactions to what is taking place. See ‘Nisteling: The Art of Deep Listening’. If you do not have anyone who can listen to you, try ‘Putting Feelings First’.

Moreover, because the foundation of this entire elite-controlled world, and the coup it is now implementing, is the submissively obedient individual, the world can only be rebuilt as we might like it if we stop terrorizing children into being submissive. So I would start by parenting and educating children so that they become powerful. See ‘My Promise to Children’ and ‘Do We Want School or Education?’

In addition, if you would like to better understand the origin, identity and behaviour of the global elite and why it is insane, see the section headed ‘How the World Works’ in ‘Why Activists Fail’ and the articles ‘Exposing the Giants: The Global Power Elite’ and ‘The Global Elite is Insane Revisited’ and the many references cited in these documents. For a deeper understanding of why elite and other human violence is so pervasive, see ‘Why Violence?’ and ‘Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice’.

Finally, as touched on above, apart from the ongoing elite coup the Earth is under siege from our assaults on a vast range of fronts. See ‘Human Extinction Now Imminent and Inevitable? A Report on the State of Planet Earth’. So if we are serious about tackling this crisis too, we must be willing to consider committing to:

Conclusion

Given that the statistics clearly show that the COVID-19 ‘pandemic’ is already fading in most places where it previously had serious impact, it is possible that the global elite will not complete its execution of this coup against humanity in the near future. It will be content with the demonstration of its phenomenal power to manipulate populations into passively submitting to its bidding and defer its final putsch for a short time.

If that is the case, the damage wrought by this socalled pandemic – on our rights, freedoms, economic security, opportunities, democratic governance, the global economy and the environment – will be irreparable and it would take many years to even restore a partial version of what we thought we had while knowing that they can be taken away, again, at any time just as they were on this occasion.

But, quite frankly, if I was a member of the global elite and had witnessed the remarkably submissive manner in which even activists were deceived by the COVID-19 coup, I would advocate for completing the coup now and lock us down, force-vaccinate us with our own unique digital ID and surveillance chip, and promptly implement all of the measures necessary to take final control of the prison planet previously known as Earth.

However, because I am not a member of the global elite, I will continue to draw attention to what is taking place and encourage people to resist in the strategic ways I have outlined above.

And then do what I can to ensure that as many people as possible, who are powerful enough to do so, respond before it is too late.

I would rather act sooner, while we still have some room to move, rather than later, when we might have much less.

تحديات محور المقاومة… وتقدّم على مختلف المحاور

رأي سمير الحسن 

الخميس 27 شباط 2020

متواصلة بعناد، وبلا هوادة، عدوانية الغرب على الشرق. طاقة عدوانية غريبة باستمراريتها، وثباتها، وجبروتها، لا تلبث أن تتعدّى وتدمّر وتقتل وتخرّب، وإن خسرت فببعض ردّ فعل مقاوم من شعوب الشرق، الذي لم يغب عن لسانه طعم هذه العدوانية الشرسة على مراحل تاريخية مختلفة.

والاستعمار ليس أماً حنوناً، كما صوّره كاتبو التاريخ الحديث، ولا الإمبريالية أباً للشعوب. الأم وابنتها دمرتا الكرة الأضية، وحياة الشعوب عليها. جاء الاستعمار الفرنسي، ودخل دمشق، وأوّل ما قام به قائد القوات الفرنسية، الجنرال غورو، خلال الحرب العالمية الأولى، أنه قصد قبر صلاح الدين الأيوبي، أحد أبرز رموز هزيمة الصليبيين من الشرق، ورفسه بقدمه قائلاً: «يا صلاح الدين أنت قلت لنا إبان الحروب الصليبية: إنكم خرجتم من الشرق ولن تعودوا إليه. وها نحن عدنا فانهض لترانا في سوريا».

كرّس غورو النزعة الاستعمارية لبلاده، وللغرب برمّته؛ فالصليبية كانت أوروبية الطابع، ولم تنتمِ إلى دولة محدّدة، وقومية معيّنة. لم تكن جرمانية، تحديداً، ولا إفرنجية تحديداً، ولا أنكلو ساكسونية تحديداً. كانت كل ذلك، مع غيرها من مختلف القوميات الأوروبية. زرعت لمام شعوب من مختلف دول العالم مكان شعبٍ آخر في فلسطين، فكان الكيان الصهيوني. ثمّ تنبعث اتحاداً أوروبياً، بعد قرون طويلة على حدود الألفيتين الثانية والثالثة.

وتتجدّد العدوانية بصلافة وإصرار مع الوريث الأشرس، الإمبريالية الأميركية، فتستبيح العالم وتقتل وتدمر، ولا تكلّ عدوانيتها، كما لا يضعف إصرارها على العدوان. تغزو أفغانستان، ثم العراق، تستبيح أميركا اللاتينية بمؤامراتها، ولا تكلّ أمام هزيمة من هنا، أو ضربة من هناك، فتستعيد قوّتها، وتعيد هجومها العدواني، مستفيدة ممّا يشبه وحدانية سيطرتها وبطشها في العالم. تكرّس حضورها المباشر، وغير المباشر في سوريا والعراق ولبنان، مستهدفة تكريس سيطرتها، وكذلك محاولة مجابهة أي نهوض آسيوي، فتضع إيران في أول استهدافاتها، وتخطّط للصين منعاً لنهوض يقضّ مضاجعها.

جملة تحوّلات وانتصارات تكتيكية تُعزّز من حضور محور المقاومة في كل الساحات وتضع المنطقة في مرحلة التحرير المباشرة


لكنّ حركة التاريخ لا تعود إلى الوراء، بل تتقدم مهما كان ببطء، وفي ظل نهوض آسيوي غير منضبط، تعجز الإمبريالية الأميركية عن مجابهته، يتقدّم المحور الشرقي بتؤدة، خطوة خطوة، لا يريد للمجابهة أن تصل إلى ذروة عنفوانها، لأنه لا يريد أن ينجرّ وراء نزعة الإمبريالية الأميركية إلى تدمير الحياة البشرية على الأرض بمجابهة شاملة. وبقدر ما هي غريبة النزعة العدوانية بصلفها واستمراريتها، مستوى الرد الشرقي منضبط في الحدود المرسومة له: تقدم من دون تراجع، ولا تسرّع. يتضمن الرد في طياته قراراً نهائياً بالمجابهة حتى نهايتها، التي قد تطول تحت مؤثرات الضبط المرسومة لعملياتها على المستويات الاستراتيجية والاقتصادية والسياسية. لذلك، تطول المجابهات العسكرية المباشرة الشرسة في سوريا، واليمن، وتتخذ في العراق ولبنان منحى الحراك الشعبي.

في هذه الأجواء، نلاحظ تطورات ميدانية في سياق التحولات الاستراتيجية الواقعة في سياق مواجهة المشروع الأميركي في المنطقة. ولا بدّ من التوقف عند التطوّر العسكري على جبهتي اليمن وسوريا؛ هجومان يعبّران ضمناً عن الهجوم الشامل الذي تقوده جبهة المقاومة لدفع أميركا وحلفائها إلى مزيد من التراجع؛ فالجيش السوري دخل مرحلة متقدمة لحسم معركة إدلب. وفي اليمن، سجّل الجيش اليمني و«أنصار الله» تقدماً استراتيجياً على جبهة مأرب، والجوف، بعد النجاحات الكبيرة على جبهات نهم، وكتاف، ما يعني دخول الجيش السعودي مرحلة حرجة في اليمن.
في لبنان، قال فلتمان إذا لم تضعوا حداً لحزب الله، فسيعود لبنان إلى العصر الحجري. هي لغة الأم المزعومة بالحنون. «إما لبنان لنا، أو… لا لبنان». هكذا يريد الغرب لبنان الذي رسمه على قياس مصالحه، ومن أجل مخططاته، وواهم من لا يزال يعتمده وطناً قائماً بحدّ ذاته، موئلاً دائماً لأبنائه المقيمين فيه. وعندما حاول الحكم اللبناني التوجّه نحو الشرق، انطلقت الحركة التي يعتمدها فلتمان في استراتيجيته، إما لإعادة لبنان إلى أحضانه بالتمام والكمال، خالياً من المقاومة، أو لإعادته إلى العصر الحجري كما هدّد فلتمان، ابتداءً منذ السابع عشر من تشرين الأول / أوكتوبر المنصرم. وفي العراق، تتخذ الحركة منحًى أكثر تجذّراً، حيث تجمعت كل القوى الوطنية في المجابهة، يعزّزها الحضور الإيراني المقاوم الذي حسم قراره بإخراج الأميركي من المنطقة.

جملة تحوّلات، وانتصارات تكتيكية، تعزّز من حضور محور المقاومة في كل الساحات، عسكرياً وسياسياً، وتضع المنطقة في مرحلة التحرير المباشرة، كما تقرّبنا من الهزيمة النهائية لغورو الاستعماري، وفلتمان الإمبريالي، بانتظار تحقيق النصر الاستراتيجي، إن على المستوى العسكري أو الاقتصادي ــ وهو من أهم عناصر المجابهة ــ أو السياسي، مهما امتدت المجابهة، وطال أمدها.

*كاتب وباحث في الشؤون الاستراتيجية

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The Worst Deal of the Century for Palestine

Tim KirbyFebruary 22, 2020

Trump is full of surprises and no one in the punditry was expecting anything like his “Deal of the Century”. It promises to solve the Israel/Palestine situation in a way that is fair to both sides and end a political crisis that has gone on for generations with a few pen swipes. Bold moves and showmanship are to be respected in politics, but is this really some new grand answer or a means for Israel-loyal Trump to trick the Palestinians? Well, on the surface it certainly looks like a great step forward if you are on the Israeli side of things.

It is important to note that if one geopolitical “wedge issue” exists, then it is most certainly Israel. The narrative surrounding Israel’s 20th century restoration divides people into two bitter raging camps. For many (Socialists, the Left) the European looking Israelis cutting out space for themselves in a foreign land while pushing the brown people back looks like some sort of microcosm of Western Imperialism. On the other hand, for those in the West who actually like their civilization (Republicans, the Right) they see Israel as a shining Democratic/Western light on a hill surrounded by barbarians. In many ways today’s Israel is like a living satire of the Old West in America – for some it is Manifesting Destiny and taming wild lands but for others it looks more like apartheid/genocide. Although it is unprofessional to mention oneself in a piece of analysis it is important to say that I personally subscribe to neither of these narratives. I can see them, understand them, but I do not believe in them. Meaning, as you will see I think the Deal of the Century is bad for the Palestinians not because they are victims of Jewish pioneers in the Wild Wild Middle-East but simply because accepting the deal means their side loses. This is not a deal but a request for capitulation.

Video

At first glance the “two-state solution” style deal sounds very attractive for the Palestinian side. Being a recognized state, even if very poor and cut up into awkward chunks is still much better than being an “in name only” pseudo state within the official borders of another. If Palestine was more like a state it could control is territory and engage in trade much more easily with nations that are sympathetic to their cause giving them breathing room. The problem is that the Deal of the Century only offers two-state flavour and not the two-state substance that could woo the Palestinians into signing it.

One of the key clauses of the proposition is to disarm the Palestinian Authorities, Hamas and whomever else may be on their side in Israel… and this is where the deal falls apart before it even begins. Disarmament as part of any deal is coded language for capitulation. If your tribe lays down its arms and my tribe does not, guess who is going to be the Helots and who is going to be the Spartans. Strategically speaking if the Palestinians give up their ability to fight they have obviously lost.

Another aspect of this Deal of the Century that works only in Israel’s favour is the clause that the Palestinians must acknowledge Israel as a “Jewish State”. If the deal was to create a true two-state solution with real borders between them this would not be such a problem, but since ultimately the Palestinians would still technically be within Israel’s borders acknowledging that this region is the property of a different religious group would be a huge mistake. If the United States officially acknowledged the “Russianess” of Alaska you could see how that would really not be in America’s interests. It would essentially mean that Russia would by logic have the “right” to this territory and that is why America would and should never ever acknowledge any claim by a foreign power over U.S. territory. As they say in Russian “it was yours, now it’s ours”. If you do not follow this type of policy then you are asking for succession and strife.

This is why Palestine, if it wants to survive cannot sign off on Israel being Jewish. The second they do this it will mean that bureaucratically they have no place in this country and lose any claims to it.

The Palestinians are unlikely to say that all of Israel is “Jewish”.

Other aspects of the deal also force the Palestinians into a submissive state like demanding that they have to end “all programs, including school curricula and textbooks, that serve to incite or promote hatred or antagonism towards its neighbors” when the Israelis do not. Furthermore the Palestinians must have an open and free press, which in reality, means that as a desperately poor region they must open their press up to being bought up or overwhelmed by Western Mainstream Media.

Again as an Orthodox Slav I have no horse in this race, the core narratives in support of the Israelis and Palestinians do not speak to me, but objectively taking a look at the terms, if the Palestinians take this “deal” then they have ultimately capitulated. A completely helpless and yet completely “open” Palestine that may have to give up even more territory officially will erode even faster. No break-away movement in any nation on Earth could agree to similar terms and yet still desire independence.

If I were in Trump’s shoes and very deeply tied to support for Israel I would not have offered some sort of deal between the two sides, but instead offered the Israeli Jews the chance to become the 51st state, which in some ways it already is. Although the bureaucratic realization of this idea would be tough to say the least, it would be good PR within the Beltway and beyond even if the idea was completely rejected. This peace attempt which will get shot down for the reasons stated above and will be yet another blow to Trump’s competency like not knowing where Kansas City actually is. More than anything I hate farces and if the U.S. is so tied to Israel why not just take it? If Israel really is the shining light on the hill in the Middle-East or at least the “beachhead” America needs in the region then just absorb it. Strategically this is really the best option for a pro-Israel America. If they really want to defend it then they should just extend the border around it, which would justify the U.S. to take any actions it deems necessary to secure the territory including ones that would be quite “rough” towards the Palestinians.

In summation…

  • For the Palestinians this deal is a form of capitulation, they must say “no”.
  • For the Israelis this is yet another step to ending the Palestinian problem, they must say “yes”, and blast the other side for rejecting the offer.
  • The United States has such heavy interesting in Israel that they may as well just absorb it, which would ultimately solve all problems for the Israeli Jews that the Beltway claims to want to protect/support.
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