Did the US just try to murder Lukashenko? (OPEN THREAD #14) (UPDATED)

Did the US just try to murder Lukashenko? (OPEN THREAD #14) (UPDATED)

April 19, 2021

Amazing news over the week-end: President Lukashenko has declared that Biden gave the order to kill him in a coup organized by the CIA.  Now, we all know that Lukashenko says all sorts of things, many of them false or plain silly.  Except that the Russian FSB has confirmed it all!  According to the Russians, a joint operation of the (Bielorussian) KGB and the Russian FSB has uncovered the plot early on and the Russians monitored the full operation until they had enough evidence to arrest all the plotters.  Not only do the Russians have videos of their meetings, they also intercepted their Zoom videoconferences (Zoom users, use Jitsi instead!).

So far so good.  But it gets better!

Unlike the US/UK and others, the Russian FSB did not say that they were “confident” that it was “highly likely” that this operation took place.  They released all the footage of a meeting of the plotters in Moscow which confirms it all (I don’t have the time to translate that footage, but I am confident that somebody will – if you come across an English language translation, please post it in the comments section below!).

One not familiar with such operations might be baffled over why this meeting took place in Moscow and not in Warsaw or Riga.  There are several reasons for that:

  • There is a practically open border between Belarus and Russia, which form “а unified state”, and there is nothing easier for the (supposed) Bielorussian traitors (from the military) to jump in a car and get to Moscow.
  • Using Warsaw or Riga would dramatically reduce what the CIA calls “plausible deniability” for the US and NATO.
  • Yes, meeting in Moscow was still stupid, but no more stupid than the failed US coup to do to Maduro when the US did exactly what they tried to do to Lukashenko.  The fact that both operations failed is par for the course for the (mostly clueless) CIA.
  • The main plotter, a very well-known anti-Lukashenko activist, is a double national Bielorussian and US American and for him to move to Minsk for that meeting would be very dangerous.
  • Last, but not least, the Bielorussian KGB operates in a very tightly controlled Bielorussian society whereas Russian is an open and liberal society, so one could have (mistakenly) thought that a meeting in Moscow would have been a better idea.

Interesting story, no?

Also, if you wonder whether it is credible that the FSB saved Lukashenko – I will remind you that it was the Russians who saved Erdogan from a US-backed coup which was also supposed to include Erdogan’s murder (the Turks practically admitted it publicly several times).

But it gets even better!

As soon as the accusation of a CIA plan to murder Lukashenko in a coup came out, they did what they always do: denied it against all evidence and created a huge distraction: the US colony known as the “Czech Republic” declared that the explosion of a weapons depot in the Czech Republic in 2014 was a Russian sabotage involving…   … wait for it… … drum roll…. the very same Petrov and Boshirov whom the UK accused of poisoning the Skripals!

Friends, the Czechs released this story withing ONE HOUR of the Bielorussian news!  One hour, seriously!

The Czechs immediately expelled 18 Russian diplomats and the Russian reciprocated by expelling 20 Czech diplomats leaving only 5 in Moscow.  So if we use the English expression about the “shitting hitting the fan”, then it would also be fair to refer to the Czechs as “shit shields” for the Empire 🙂

By the way, the official Czech investigation in 2014 concluded that the explosion was caused by negligence, not sabotage but, really, who cares?  After all, look at these accusations, all as unproven and as silly as this one: (partial list in no special order)

  • Russian invaded the Donbass
  • Russia shot down MH-17
  • Russia tried to poison the Skripals
  • Russia murdered Berezovskii
  • Russia tried to poison Litvenenko
  • Russia tried to poison Navalnyi
  • Russia murdered Boris Nemtsov
  • Russia murdered Politkovskaia
  • Russia tried to poison Yushchenko
  • Russia interfered in two US elections
  • Russia hacked the DNC computers
  • Russia paid Afghans to kill US soliders
  • The Russian shot down the aircraft of the Polish president over Smolensk
  • The Russian tried to organize a coup in Montenegro
  • The Russians organized the movement for an independent Catalonia

To repeat, none, NONE of these accusations were ever proven or even substantiated.  ALL of these accusations are solely based on the putatively undeniable credibility of the western special services.

And, of course, the western “Russia experts” all fully endorsed this nonsense (hey, that is what these so-called “experts” are paid to do; as somebody who once was a member of the IISS, I know these “experts” and their “expertise” well enough – I even resigned from the IISS in protest over its total subservience to US anti-Russian narratives).

And people who call themselves “democrats” and people capable of critical thought buy all this shit with no doubts whatsoever, none.  They don’t even see how pathetic and clueless they really are…

So the Czechs (and their US masters) are running a well rehearsed and “safe” track because they all know that the western audience is fully accustomed to hear the following:

We accuse Russia of X, we say that our special services have evidence, but we won’t present any; as for the western media, they will, of course, trust the western special services, because they are “democratic” and, therefore, “trustworthy” (Iraq anybody?!).

Another trick, which the Czechs used in this case, is this: on the first day announce urbi et orbi that “we will soon release all the incontrovertible evidence we have” and then simply declare it classified because it is important not to show the Russians the evidence of their own, putatively Russian, operation.  As for the western press, they, of course, simply forget about that and go onto the the next Russia bashing story.

It is simple, but with the kind of sheep the western regimes deal with, it is also effective.

Finally, when truly desperate, you can count on the MI6 run Bellincat to get their “evidence”, I kid you not, from the social media on the Internet.

And, again, the western sheep “eat it all up”, with appetite and gusto!  Sic transit gloria mundi indeed!

Still, accusing the self same two putative GRU agents Petrov and Boshirov shows how desperate the Czechs were too cook up some story literally overnight.  Now they look stupid beyond any conceivable explanations for such a massive and, frankly, hilarious faceplant.

Will the people of the Czech Republic now revolt in outrage against the sheer idiocy of their leaders?  Nah, of course not.  After all, we are living in a post-truth (and, I would argue, post-logical) world where the only thing which matters is to follow the SS motto of “my honor is fidelity” and blind obedience to the masters of the day.

What about the US in all this?  Would “Biden” really be crazy enough to try to murder a foreign leader?

Well, as I like to say, past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, right?  How many foreign leaders has the CIA actually murdered and how many did she only try, and fail, to murder?  (Note: somebody ought to compare the number of foreign leaders murdered by the US and the USSR.  I am sure that the comparison would be both shocking and very telling).  How about the official (White House admitted) murder of General Soleimani?  Was that operation not far more dangerous than to use locals to try to assassinate a weakened and embattled leader like Lukashenko?

So, you tell me: true story of “Russian disinformation”?

The Saker

PS: in case you wonder, the Russians are laughing hysterically and scratching their heads wondering what in the world happened to a once civilized western society.

PPS: by the way, the Russian FSB also arrested the Ukie consul in Saint Petersburg at the moment when he was receiving classified information from what he thought was an agent.  He will be expelled.  It was a great week end for the FSB – there will be lost of medals handed out for this good work.

UPDATE1:  Maria Zakharova, the Foreign Ministry’s chief spokeswoman has now officially confirmed it all on Russian TV.

UPDATE2: The Kremlin just confirmed the Putin and Biden discussed this topic during their telephone conference.

UPDATE3: Got to love the western media, not a word about the coup, all about the Czech fairy tale.

Bashing Russia for US-Orchestrated Ukraine Aggression

April 18, 2021

By Stephen Lendman

Source

All the news that’s fit to print is banned in NYT editions — state-approved reinvented reality featured instead.

Since the Obama/Biden regime installed Nazism in Ukraine over seven years ago, US-orchestrated intermittent war raged against Donbass by puppet regime conscripts.

Since February, things dangerously escalated.

On Friday, Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Militia Deputy Chief of Staff Eduard Basurin said the following:

Ukrainian fighters violated the Additional Measures to Strengthen the Ceasefire 36 times over the past week.” 

They used US/Western-supplied mortars, IFVs, anti-aircraft guns, and grenade launchers to target 16 DPR townships.

Last July, Additional Measures to Strengthen the Ceasefire were signed at a Contact Group meeting — to reinforce and control the indefinite ceasefire in effect since July 21, 2019.

Attempts to resolve years of conflict since 2014 by Russia, the DPR and  LPR (Lugansk) People’s Republic failed because US-controlled Ukraine wants endless war, not restoration of peace and stability.

Since US-orchestrated aggression by Kiev forces on Donbass began escalating in February, the NYT and other establishment media falsely blamed Russian forces for crimes of war, against humanity, and related rule of law breaches by Ukrainian conscripts.

On Friday, the Times turned truth on its head by falsely claiming that Russian forces in their own territory threaten Ukraine.

So-called Donbass (DPR and LPR) separatists refuse to live under the scourge of US-installed fascist tyranny — nor should any one.

On all things Russia — and other nations free from US control — the Times and other establishment media invent their own falsified reality, based on state-supplied talking points.

No Russian buildup in its own territory threatens cross-border attacks.

No Russian US election meddling or cyberattacks occurred — what Washington and its imperial allies repeatedly inflict on targeted nations, along with endless wars by hot and/or other means, the highest of high crimes on nonbelligerent states threatening no one.

No annexation of Crimea occurred, no Russian disinformation — a longstanding Times speciality.

A litany of bald-faced Big Lies defines all its reports on Russia and other independent nations, hard truths suppressed.

No Russian show of force cross-border threat exists.

The US is frustrated because for over a century, Russia remains proudly independent of US imperial control.

Except for the aberrational 1990s, Russia hasn’t and isn’t about to roll over for any foreign power, clearly not imperial USA — at war on humanity at home and abroad.

Moscow aims to restore peace and stability to Europe’s heartland — polar opposite US rage for endless wars worldwide.

Russia isn’t pressuring Ukraine or any other countries.

In stark contrast, the US pressures, bullies, bribes and smashes other nations into compliance with its hegemonic will.

What works at times against some easy-to-roll-over weak nations fails against Russia, China, Iran and other sovereign states that won’t sell their soul to a higher power anywhere outside their borders.

The Times and other establishment media long ago abandoned journalism as it should be — operating instead as a collective mouthpiece for wealth, power and privilege.

Lies, Big Lies, mass deception, and state-approved propaganda is what they do, truth and full disclosure banished on issues mattering most.

Executive Order on Blocking Property with Respect to Specified Harmful Foreign Activities of the Government of the Russian Federation

Executive Order on Blocking Property with Respect to Specified Harmful Foreign Activities of the Government of the Russian Federation

April 15, 2021

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) (NEA), section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (8 U.S.C. 1182(f)), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,
I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, find that specified harmful foreign activities of the Government of the Russian Federation — in particular, efforts to undermine the conduct of free and fair democratic elections and democratic institutions in the United States and its allies and partners; to engage in and facilitate malicious cyber-enabled activities against the United States and its allies and partners; to foster and use transnational corruption to influence foreign governments; to pursue extraterritorial activities targeting dissidents or journalists; to undermine security in countries and regions important to United States national security; and to violate well-established principles of international law, including respect for the territorial integrity of states — constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.  I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.
Accordingly, I hereby order:
Section 1.  All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in:
(a)  any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, and, with respect to subsection (a)(ii) of this section, in consultation with the Attorney General, or by the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, and, with respect to subsection (a)(ii) of this section, in consultation with the Attorney General:
(i)    to operate or have operated in the technology sector or the defense and related materiel sector of the Russian Federation economy, or any other sector of the Russian Federation economy as may be determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State;
(ii)   to be responsible for or complicit in, or to have directly or indirectly engaged or attempted to engage in, any of the following for or on behalf of, or for the benefit of, directly or indirectly, the Government of the Russian Federation:
(A)  malicious cyber-enabled activities;
(B)  interference in a United States or other foreign government election;
(C)  actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in the United States or abroad;
(D)  transnational corruption;
(E)  assassination, murder, or other unlawful killing of, or infliction of other bodily harm against, a United States person or a citizen or national of a United States ally or partner;
(F)  activities that undermine the peace, security, political stability, or territorial integrity of the United States, its allies, or its partners; or
(G)  deceptive or structured transactions or dealings to circumvent any United States sanctions, including through the use of digital currencies or assets or the use of physical assets;
(iii)  to be or have been a leader, official, senior executive officer, or member of the board of directors of:
(A)  the Government of the Russian Federation;
(B)  an entity that has, or whose members have, engaged in any activity described in subsection (a)(ii) of this section; or
(C)  an entity whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order;
(iv)   to be a political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of the Government of the Russian Federation;
(v)    to be a spouse or adult child of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to subsection (a)(ii) or (iii) of this section;
(vi)   to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of:
(A)  any activity described in subsection (a)(ii) of this section; or
(B)  any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or
(vii)  to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the Government of the Russian Federation or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.
(b)  any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, a government whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to chapter V of title 31 of the Code of Federal Regulations or another Executive Order, and to be:
(i)    a citizen or national of the Russian Federation;
(ii)   an entity organized under the laws of the Russian Federation or any jurisdiction within the Russian Federation (including foreign branches); or
(iii)  a person ordinarily resident in the Russian Federation.
(c)  any person determined by the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, to be responsible for or complicit in, or to have directly or indirectly engaged in or attempted to engage in, cutting or disrupting gas or energy supplies to Europe, the Caucasus, or Asia, and to be:
(i)   an individual who is a citizen or national of the Russian Federation; or
(ii)  an entity organized under the laws of the Russian Federation or any jurisdiction within the Russian Federation (including foreign branches).
(d)  The prohibitions in subsections (a), (b), and (c) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted before the date of this order.
Sec. 2.  The prohibitions in section 1 of this order include:
(a)  the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; and
(b)  the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.
Sec. 3.  (a)  The unrestricted immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of noncitizens determined to meet one or more of the criteria in section 1 of this order would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and the entry of such persons into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, is hereby suspended, except when the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security, as appropriate, determines that the person’s entry would not be contrary to the interests of the United States, including when the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security, as appropriate, so determines, based on a recommendation of the Attorney General, that the person’s entry would further important United States law enforcement objectives.
(b)  The Secretary of State shall implement this authority as it applies to visas pursuant to such procedures as the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, may establish.
(c)  The Secretary of Homeland Security shall implement this order as it applies to the entry of noncitizens pursuant to such procedures as the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, may establish.
(d)  Such persons shall be treated by this section in the same manner as persons covered by section 1 of Proclamation 8693 of July 24, 2011 (Suspension of Entry of Aliens Subject to United Nations Security Council Travel Bans and International Emergency Economic Powers Act Sanctions).
Sec. 4.  (a)  Any transaction that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
(b)  Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
Sec. 5.  I hereby determine that the making of donations of the types of articles specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in this order, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by section 1 of this order.
Sec. 6.  For the purposes of this order:
(a)  the term “entity” means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization;
(b)  the term “Government of the Russian Federation” means the Government of the Russian Federation, any political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, and any person owned, controlled, or directed by, or acting for or on behalf of, the Government of the Russian Federation;
(c)  the term “noncitizen” means any person who is not a citizen or noncitizen national of the United States;
(d)  the term “person” means an individual or entity; and
(e)  the term “United States person” means any United States citizen, lawful permanent resident, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States.
Sec. 7.  For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render those measures ineffectual.  I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in this order, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1 of this order.
Sec. 8.  The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA, as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this order.  The Secretary of the Treasury may, consistent with applicable law, redelegate any of these functions within the Department of the Treasury.  All departments and agencies of the United States shall take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order.
Sec. 9.  Nothing in this order shall prohibit transactions for the conduct of the official business of the Federal Government or the United Nations (including its specialized agencies, programs, funds, and related organizations) by employees, grantees, and contractors thereof.
Sec. 10.  The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to submit recurring and final reports to the Congress on the national emergency declared in this order, consistent with section 401(c) of the NEA (50 U.S.C. 1641(c)) and section 204(c) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1703(c)).
Sec. 11.  (a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

THE WHITE HOUSE,
April 15, 2021.


Syria rejects ‘fabricated’ OPCW report on alleged 2018 gas attack in Saraqib

Source

By VT Editors -April 15, 2021

Press TV: Syria has dismissed as “false and fabricated” the results of a probe by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) into an alleged chemical attack in the northwestern city of Saraqib on February 4, 2018.

On Monday, the OPCW released the findings of its Investigation and Identification Team (IIT), which blamed the Saraqib incident on the Syrian government.

“The report reached the conclusion that there are reasonable grounds to believe that, at approximately 21:22 on 4 February 2018, a military helicopter of the Syrian Arab Air Force under the control of the Tiger Forces hit eastern Saraqib by dropping at least one cylinder. The cylinder ruptured and released chlorine over a large area, affecting 12 named individuals,” it claimed in a report.

In a statement published on Wednesday, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said the OPCW’s “misleading report,” written by “an illegitimate and incredible team,” fabricates “facts” to incriminate the Damascus government.

“This report has included false and fabricated conclusion which represents another scandal for the OPCW and the inquiry teams that will be added to the scandal of the reports of Douma incident in 2018, and Ltamenah in 2017,” it said.

“The Syrian Arab Republic condemns, in the strongest terms, what has been included in the report of the illegitimate so-called ‘Investigation and Identification Team’ and rejects all its context.”

The ministry also stressed that the Syrian government categorically denies using toxic gases in Saraqib or in any other city or village, affirming that the army has never used such materials during most difficult battles carried out against armed terrorist organizations.

It further reiterated that Syria categorically rejects the use of chemical weapons at any time or place, saying, the country “has never used any chemical weapon and can’t use it.”

Syria surrendered its entire chemical stockpile in 2013 to a mission led by the United Nations and the OPCW.

It believes that false-flag chemical attacks on the country’s soil have been staged by foreign-backed militants in a bid to pressure the government amid army advances.

https://if-cdn.com/dM0G7Br?v=1&app=1

Revelations suggest that the OPCW may have intentionally doctored its findings about alleged gas attacks in Syria to avoid implicating the foreign-backed militants.

Damascus has repeatedly urged the chemical weapons watchdog to avoid politicizing Syrian issues.

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Two Ambassadors to Syria with Wildly Different Analyses

MARCH 30 ,2021

By Rick Sterling

Source

In the past few months, Grayzone journalist Aaron Mate has interviewed two former ambassadors to Syria: former UK Ambassador Peter Ford and former U.S. Ambassador Robert S. Ford.  

The two ambassadors have a common surname but dramatically different perspectives. This article will compare the statements and viewpoints of the two diplomats.

UK Ambassador Peter Ford (PF)

Newsnight: Peter Ford warns of 'bloodbath' if Syria's Bashar al-Assad goes  | World | News | Express.co.uk

Peter Ford trained as an Arabist and served in the British foreign service in numerous cities including Beirut, Riyadh, and Cairo. He was Ambassador to Bahrein from 1999 to 2003, then Syria from 2003 to 2006.  From 2006 until 2014 he was a senior officer with the UN Relief Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees.  

The interview with UK Amb. Peter Ford (PF) shows why he is exceptional former diplomat. He analyzes and criticizes western aggression against Syria. 

PF describes the current situation:

“The Syrian government forces control about 70% of the country. There’s that pocket of jihadi fighters controlling Idlib province and a couple of patches of neighboring provinces, and then you’ve got the big—what I call the wild east of Syria—the big triangle of land up all the way along the thousand miles along the Turkish border and then down the Iraqi border, and that is effectively a US protectorate. There are US forces there being helped on the ground by basically Kurdish militia, the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces.”

PF describes the crushing economic sanctions:

“It’s utterly shocking…The policy has been effective in the sense that Syrian people are suffering every day. There are long queues for bread, long queues for gasoline. The policy of sanctions and denial of assistance for reconstruction has been effective, but what kind of policy is it that tries to immiserate a whole country? It’s delusional because it’s not even going to work….

“The experience of 10 years of this conflict is that the Syrian government is amazingly resilient. They’ve been on the ropes many times in this conflict and pulled through largely because they have the support of great swaths of the Syrian populace. Assad is not going to buckle under this new increased economic pressure. It is utterly delusional to believe that this cynical, callous policy could work.”

PF analyzes the US troops in north eastern Syria.

“By their mere presence, they’re preventing the advance of the Syrian government forces. The result is that the Syrian people are denied the great oil and grain wealth of that triangle, the territory. And, so the war over the last year has been more an economic war than a military war…

“The troops are there basically as a tripwire, a deterrent, so that if the Syrian government forces advanced, they would trip over a few American soldiers and that would incur the massive intervention of the US Air Force. This is what it comes down to. They don’t even need big numbers of troops to create the tripwire.

“Even so, it’s interesting that the architects of this policy in the permanent government of the US found it necessary to deceive the head of the executive, the President, keep him in the dark about the numbers…. So, the deceit that has gone on—on every level—is jaw-dropping to me as a former ambassador and an insider in the British system. I find it absolutely incredible.”

PF describes what the war is and is NOT about.

“US policy is NOT about installing in Syria a democratic government, because there is no prospect of that while the US is effectively supporting Islamist fanatics, and while it’s supporting elsewhere in the Middle East regimes like the feudal regime of Saudi Arabia. No, it’s not about democracy. It’s about helping Israel on the one hand and scoring points against Russia on the other. And when it comes down to it, that is what this whole war is really about, from the US standpoint.”

PF analyzes accusations Syrian government used chemical weapons.

“The world has amnesia over Iraq, the non-existent weapons of mass destruction, the Colin Powell dossier proof presented to the UN. It’s like Groundhog Day when you hear the claims made about Assad, the use of chemical weapons.

“In the first place, it would make no practical sense for Assad to use chemical weapons; it could only ever have been an own goal. If he wanted to invite heavy Western intervention, he would not have gone about it any other way. You’d have to be incredibly either twisted or delusional to believe that Assad could have been so stupid as to do the one thing—use chemical weapons—which would bring about, or possibly bring about, his obliteration.

“I’m quite convinced this is an elaborate hoax. A series of hoaxes. It’s very revealing that not one of the alleged instances of use of chemical weapons was investigated on the ground by any UN or other international investigations, with the sole exception of Douma. And why Douma? Because that was a piece of territory that the government forces managed to recover immediately after the alleged incident, so that the US and its allies were unable to keep away the international investigators…. That ultimately is the purpose of the chemical weapon hoaxes—to justify the occupation of northeast Syria and the continuing cruel economic pressure.”

PF comments on the senior staff from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons who say they did NOT find evidence of chemical weapons attack and their findings were changed by management.

“These gentlemen [from OPCW]) drafted a report stating that they found evidence that was consistent with staging of an incident, rather than an authentic incident. And ever since, they have been vilified, condemned, undermined. And the campaign against the truth goes on and on and on….”

PF comments on the role of the “White Helmets”.

“The White Helmets’ role is absolutely crucial, pivotal to the Western effort to undermine Syria through these accusations of use of chemical weapons. I think, basically, what happened is that Western governments realized that after the Iraq debacle, that if they were going to use claims about WMD, chemical weapons, whatever, again, they were going to have to produce some kind of smoking gun.

“And this is the role of the White Helmets. They produced the phony pictures of phony incidents which constitute the smoking gun. And that is absolutely pivotal to the propaganda to justify the bombing and the relentless economic and military pressure on Syria…. Western governments [have] been funding the White Helmets to the tune of about $50 million a year. That’s peanuts compared to what they see as the advantages of bringing Syria to its knees.”

PF predicts what may happen ahead.

“I think things are likely to get worse, rather than better.

“What we’ll probably see is simply a continuation of the status quo. The current policies will simply be extended…. to prolong the conflict, to prevent Assad gaining military victory, the continuation of economic warfare to try to bring Assad to his knees and force him to sign a suicide note, which would be acceptance of elections on US terms. I’m sure these policies will be continued.

“But there’s a question mark over whether policy might not become even more adventurous and interventionist with a beachhead of a few thousand soldiers already occupying part of Syria. I greatly fear that Biden might be tempted to increase those numbers, put some military pressure on the Syrian government forces, create more no-fly zones. Already, there’s effectively a no-fly zone over that big triangle of territory that’s occupied by the US forces and Kurdish allies. An attempt might be made to create the no-fly zone of Idlib, which would be ironic. It would mean that the US Air Force was the air wing of al-Qaeda…

“I’m definitely not optimistic. And I fear things could get even worse.”

US Ambassador Robert S. Ford (RSF)

Two Ambassadors to Syria with Wildly Different Analyses - LA Progressive

Robert S. Ford was a U.S. diplomat in numerous cities including Algiers and Cairo. He was Deputy Chief of Mission in Bahrein from 2001 to 2004, then Political Counselor at the US Embassy in Baghdad from 2004 to 2006. As an Arabic speaker,  he may have helped Ambassador John Negroponte launch the “El Salvador option” (death squads) in Iraq.  Robert S. Ford was Ambassador to Syria from the end of 2010 until 2014 when the US terminated diplomatic relations with Syria. He has continued as an unofficial advisor on Syria policy.

In contrast with the Peter Ford interview, the interview with US Ambassador Robert S. Ford (RSF) is a case study in public relations. Interviewer Aaron Mate asks important questions but RSF deflects the questions, claims ignorance of new revelations, and repeats standard talking points on Syria.

RSF acknowledges there has been “mission creep” for US troops in Syria.

“American troops were sent into Syria originally to fight ISIS.  Now that that job is more-or-less finished, we have a sort of mission creep where now the American forces are there not to defeat ISIS—ISIS is already defeated…   But now, so what are the Americans doing?  Well, now they sort of changed the mission to putting pressure on Damascus, the Assad government, trying to get the Iranians out, trying to limit the Russian influence.”

RSF implies the sanctions on Syria are just.

“Sanctions is a different question, Aaron.  I think a lot of it is emotional here in the United States.  There’s a desperate desire for justice after all the war crimes committed in Syria.  And I think getting rid of the sanctions is going to be a much harder battle to fight in the Congress.  So, the sanctions have very strong approval in Congress…”

RSF maintains the initial protests were “almost entirely peaceful”

“In March and April, May into June, the protests were almost entirely peaceful. That’s not to say there was no violence.  In the first protest, for example, in Daraa, in which we’re now coming up on the 10-year anniversary, yeah, the protesters did attack the telephone office [Syriatel] that’s owned by Bashar al-Assad’s cousin, Rami Makhlouf.  They did attack a court building…”

[Fact check: RSF neglects to mention seven police were killed in the “almost entirely peaceful” Daraa protest.]

RSF acknowledges US allies were sending weapons early but claims the US began sending weapons in 2013.

“Those countries [Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey] did send in weapons before the Americans…

 “I supported arming factions of the Free Syrian Army as early as the summer of 2012.  And it took the president a year to get to a decision.”

[Fact check: US Central Intelligence Agency was sending weapons from Benghazi Libya to Syria in Oct 2011.]

RSF compares the Free Syrian Army to the anti-Nazi resistance in WW2.

“The United States never gave anti-tank weapons to al-Qaeda…. the number might be half a dozen.

“I want you to think about this in historical context. Do you think when the Americans airdropped weapons into the French resistance against the Nazis in France, do you think the Nazis never got their hands on any of those air drops?… 

“The leakage to the al-Qaeda elements, there was a small amount of leakage, but much, much, much more of their weaponry came from the Assad government, either, because the Assad soldiers were corrupt, as we said, we talked at the start about corruption.  They sold them, or in some cases, they surrendered, and with that, huge caches of weaponry made their way into al-Nusra hands.  The amount of material that al-Nusra got from the United States wouldn’t have lasted them for a day of combat.”

Fact check:  This claim is preposterous. As reported by Janes Defense, the US supplied nearly one thousand TONS of weapons in December 2015, much of which ended up in Nusra (Al Qaeda) hands. Nusra obtained weapons when they over-ran Syrian military bases, but otherwise they were amply supplied with weapons by the Gulf monarchies, Israel, Turkey, the US and UK. 

RSF claims the Syrian government has primary responsibility for the war and are the “bad guys”.  

“What I hope your listeners will take away from this is that it is not an equal combat on both sides; is not an equal responsibility on both sides.  One side from the beginning was using torture and shooting at innocent people, thousands of arrests.  And one side was trying peacefully, for a very large part, to bring about change.  And, unfortunately, in this instance, the bad guys won.”

Fact check:  The campaign against Syria has been waged by a coalition of western powers, Turkey, Israel and the Gulf monarchies. About 121 thousand Syrians in the Syrian army and militias have died defending their country.

RSF claims that Syria is responsible for the war refugees and destabilizing its neighbors.

“Even had Turkey, Qatar and the United States, Saudi Arabia, stayed out of it, there still would have been huge refugee flows trying to escape from those same brutal Syrian security forces, and they still would have flooded the borders of Lebanon and Jordan and of Turkey, which is itself destabilizing, particularly in Lebanon, but some places like Jordan, Turkey.  Therefore, you can’t just say that all these other countries intervened in sovereign Syrian territory.  The Syrian government itself was taking actions which were destabilizing to its neighbors.”

Fact check: Most refugees fled when their neighborhoods were taken over by militants and became battle zones, NOT because they were afraid of Syrian security.

RSF criticizes Turkey but thinks Syrian government bears primary responsibility.

“I’m never going to justify the Turks allowing Salafi jihadists to go into Syria.  I think that I’ve already said that that was a bad mistake.  And we criticized them at the time of playing with snakes.  I’m never going to justify it.  But I have to say, Aaron, that in the end, they came in response to what the Assad government was already doing.  And so, the principal responsibility … do the Americans have a share of responsibility?  Of course, we do.  Yeah.  It was our anti-tank missiles blowing up Syrian government tanks, and not just a few; I mean, hundreds of them.

“I think we have to go back to where it started in 2011.  And that’s with the Syrian government…”

RSF says he is not aware of the huge scandal at the OPCW but believes Syria has used chemical weapons.

“I’m not familiar with that controversy within the OPCW…. 

“But I guess I would just say this, Aaron.  There’s plenty of documentation by the UN’s joint investigative group with the OPCW that looked at incidents in Syria chemical weapons use, from 2013 onwards.  They’ve issued several reports…. So, the 2018 incident, I don’t know about that report, but I have no doubt whatsoever that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons on multiple instances, the same government that bombs hospitals, the same government that bombs bakeries, the same government that kills people in detention routinely.  Look at the photos that were brought up by the military defector.  You know, why would you think they wouldn’t use chemical weapons?  Why would you think they would suddenly have moral scruples against these?   It doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

[Fact check: the OPCW scandal has confirmed manipulation of that organization by the US and west. The “military photographer” refers to the ‘Caesar torture photos’ propaganda stunt.]

RSF wants to increase humanitarian aid to Syria refugees.

“Something the Americans could do that would be hugely helpful is to increase humanitarian aid to the Syrian refugees that number some five million, particularly in Lebanon, where their living circumstances are precarious, very precarious, but also in Jordan and Turkey…  I’d like to spend less on the military operation and much more on humanitarian aid.

“And then there is the issue of Northwest Syria, Idlib, where the UN is in charge of an operation getting humanitarian aid to some two million displaced Syrian civilians.”

[Fact check and observation:  Idlib province is dominated by Nusra (Al Qaeda). Robert Ford seems to want to perpetuate the AQ stronghold and refugee crisis by supplying aid to Idlib and foreign countries while preventing return of refugees and rebuilding war torn Syria.]

Conclusion

Both ambassadors speak Arabic and have intimate knowledge of Syria.

Robert S. Ford criticizes some past decisions and tactics, but not the assumptions or right of the US to violate the UN Charter and commit aggression against Syria.

Meanwhile, Peter Ford is doing his best to expose the reality of the situation, contrary to government and media bias and falsehoods. Like Daniel Ellsberg, Scott Ritter and Katharine Gun, he is using his special knowledge to publicly challenge the claims and assumptions of western policy. With Ellsberg it was about Vietnam. With Ritter and Gun, it was about Iraq. With Peter Ford, it is about Syria.

The full interview with UK Ambassador Peter Ford is well worth watching or reading.

Kylie Moore-Gilbert Received ‘Israeli’ Training for Spying in Iran

Kylie Moore-Gilbert Received ‘Israeli’ Training for Spying in Iran

By Staff, Agencies

Political commentator Professor Tim Anderson shed light on the case of Kylie Moore-Gilbert, an Australian-British citizen who served a prison sentence over espionage charges in Iran, highlighting US media’s dishonesty in intentional concealing of the truth about Tehran’s assertion that the academic lecturer had passed a special training course under the Zionist regime’s direct supervision for her spying mission in the country.

Dr. Anderson, the director of the Center for Counter Hegemonic Studies [CCHS] in Australia, said in an article published on the center’s website on Friday that the American news mogul Rupert Murdoch’s media outlet had spread misinformation over the convicted ‘Israeli’ spy, Gilbert, who returned home to Australia from an Iranian jail late last year.

The media outlet claimed that Gilbert had been held in a “hellhole” in Iran for no reason at all.

The British-Australian academic was freed from Tehran’s Evin prison in November after serving about two years of her 10-year jail term.

Iranian media reported that Gilbert had passed a two-year special training course in the ‘Israeli’-occupied territories for her spying mission and she had become fluent in Persian during the course and got prepared to perform espionage activities inside Iran.

Anderson said he had provided Murdoch journalist Stephen Rice with evidence that Gilbert had engaged in ‘Israeli’ “leadership training” for her spying mission in Iran through a fellowship offer in the Ein Prat ‘Israeli’ leadership academy at the Alon Shvut settlement, one of many illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Anderson added that Gilbert had received a scholarship for the course from Tikvah Fund, an institution committed to supporting the intellectual, religious, and political leaders of the Jewish people.

As cited by the CCHS’s website, Anderson said, “Stephen Rice was either too lazy or too dishonest” to look at the links he had sent him, and that Rice had mentioned in one ‘Israeli’ article that the linked article said nothing about “leadership” or “training” and those words were an “invention” by Anderson.

“Murdoch’s Megaphone @riceyontheroad was either too lazy or dishonest to recognize ‘Israeli’ sources backing Iran’s assertion that @KMooreGilbert took ‘Israeli’ leadership training in a militarized colony at the heart of Palestine’s occupied West Bank,” Anderson also said in a tweet.

Anderson also underlined that Rice pretended Gilbert’s ‘Israeli’ “leadership training” did not exist and he misled his readers.

“This willful ignorance and distortion of facts allows the Murdoch stable to keep representing the US backed regional wars in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen as humanitarian exercises,” he noted.

Gilbert traveled to different Iranian cities as part of her mission and gathered information.

Unaware that she was being watched by Iranian intelligence forces, the woman went to religious and tourist places in order to make her sojourn in Iran look normal.

She later tried to get in touch with some figures and targets to obtain economic and military information about Iran as well as the anti-‘Israel’ resistance front, but she was arrested in September 2018.

Following legal and judicial proceedings, the spy was sentenced to 10 years in prison for acting against Iran’s national security through her intelligence cooperation with the ‘Israeli’ regime.

Australian-British received Israeli training for spying in Iran, analyst affirms

Saturday, 03 April 2021 10:33 AM  [ Last Update: Saturday, 03 April 2021 10:43 AM ]

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a British-Australian woman who served a jail sentence in Iran for espionage

A political commentator has shed light on the case of Kylie Moore-Gilbert, an Australian-British citizen who served a prison sentence over espionage charges in Iran, highlighting US media’s dishonesty in intentional concealing of the truth about Tehran’s assertion that the academic lecturer had passed a special training course under Israel’s direct supervision for her spying mission in the country.

Tim Anderson, the director of the Center for Counter Hegemonic Studies (CCHS) in Australia, said in an article published on the center’s website on Friday that the American news mogul Rupert Murdoch’s media outlet had spread misinformation over the convicted Israeli spy, Gilbert, who returned home to Australia from an Iranian jail late last year.

The media outlet claimed that Gilbert had been held in a “hellhole” in Iran for no reason at all.

Canberra: British-Australian serving time in Iran for spying is well

Canberra: British-Australian serving time in Iran for spying is well

Canberra says its envoy to Iran has visited a British-Australian woman serving time in Iran for espionage and found her well, contrary to media claims about the inmate’s health condition.

The British-Australian academic was freed from Tehran’s Evin prison in November after serving about two years of her 10-year jail term.

Iranian media reported that Gilbert had passed a two-year special training course in Israeli occupied territories for her spying mission and she had became fluent in Persian during the course and got prepared to perform espionage activities inside Iran.

Anderson said he had provided Murdoch journalist Stephen Rice with evidence that Gilbert had engaged in Israeli “leadership training” for her spying mission in Iran through a fellowship offer in the Ein Prat Israeli leadership academy at the Alon Shvut settlement, one of many illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Anderson added that Gilbert had received a scholarship for the course from Tikvah Fund, an institution committed to supporting the intellectual, religious, and political leaders of the Jewish people.

As cited by the CCHS’s website, Anderson said, “Stephen Rice was either too lazy or too dishonest” to look at the links he had sent him, and that Rice had mentioned in one Israeli article that the linked article said nothing about “leadership” or “training” and those words were an “invention” by Anderson.

“Murdoch’s Megaphone @riceyontheroad was either too lazy or dishonest to recognize Israeli sources backing Iran’s assertion that @KMooreGilbert took Israeli leadership training in a militarized colony at the heart of Palestine’s occupied West Bank,” Anderson also said in a tweet.

#Murdoch‘s Megaphone @riceyontheroad was either too lazy or dishonest to recognise #Israeli sources backing #Iran‘s assertion that @KMooreGilbert took Israeli leadership training in a militarised colony at the heart of #Palestine‘s occupied West Bank. https://t.co/zcjnIOcyuR https://t.co/Esl4OBhyLt pic.twitter.com/gCGpBAVZol— tim anderson (@timand2037) April 3, 2021

Anderson also underlined that Rice pretended Gilbert’s Israeli “leadership training” did not exist and he misled his readers.

“This willful ignorance and distortion of facts allows the Murdoch stable to keep representing the US backed regional wars in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen as humanitarian exercises,” he noted.

Gilbert traveled to different Iranian cities as part of her mission and gathered information.

Unaware that she was being watched by Iranian intelligence forces, the woman went to religious and tourist places in order to make her sojourn in Iran look normal.

Video: Iran swaps Israel’s spy for three nationals jailed abroadIran releases an Australian-British citizen, who was serving a prison sentence for spying for Israel, in exchange for three Iranians detained abroad on false charges.

She later tried to get in touch with some figures and targets to obtain economic and military information about Iran as well as the anti-Israel resistance front, but she was arrested in September 2018.

Following legal and judicial proceedings, the spy was sentenced to 10 years in prison for acting against Iran’s national security through her intelligence cooperation with the Israeli regime.


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

www.presstv.tv

Iran: IRIB’s full documentary on Kylie Moore Gilbert (in Farsi, partial English translation below)

Rough translation of the first part of the Farsi narration:

“About two years ago Kylie Moore Gilbert, who is an Australian-British citizen, under the cover of research about Iran and Islam, came to Iran. She was born in 1987 in Australia in a Christian family but afterward converted to Judaism.

When she was 25 she got a boyfriend and this person helped her become a member of Mossad.

On the recommendation of Mossad she started her study in Asia and the Middle East. During the course she studied the Arabic, Hebrew and Japanese languages.

After that she married the man Ruslan Hodorov, who was also a member of Mossad.

On her first mission she went to Syria. After that mission she started to work on the Iranian nuclear program. As part of that mission she was obliged to collect information about the ways Iran bypassed sanctions and found the connections and ways of communication of the Resistance Axis members.

To do so Mossad drew up a program for her. After a two year course she was appointed as an inspector, so that when some Iranians went to Israel, she was the person in charge of inspecting and investigating them.

After all these events, when Mossad became sure that she was capable of working on Iran, they embedded her as an academic researcher and created her cover as the study of Iranian ethics and religion.

They sent her to a University in Qom. Under this pretext she was able to travel to Iran twice. On the first trip she was learning about Iranian ritual and traditions, and on the second, during Muharram, the time people are mourning for Imam Hussein, she came to collect information.

At first she did not try to link with political figures, but after a while changed her route and tried that. However Iranian intelligence, from her first visit, knew that she was a spy. Two years ago they arrested her and pressed charges. She was sentenced to ten years in jail. After two years the Islamic Republic of Iran decided to release her [in exchange for other prisoners] and send her home.”

After 10 Years of Civil War in Syria, US (Quietly) Declares Defeat but Won’t Go Home

March 25th, 2021

By Alan Macleod

Source

Syria Media Bias
After a decade of bombing, invasions, exoduses and economic strife, it is clear that there are precious few winners in the Syrian Civil War — or from the rest of the Arab Spring, for that matter.

DAMASCUS, SYRIA — This March marks the 10-year anniversary of the Arab Spring and the protests that rocked Syria, which were a starting point for the ongoing civil war. That conflict has led to over half a million deaths and nearly 13 million people displaced, according to some estimates.

Now, after 10 years of attempts to topple the government of President Bashar al-Assad, it appears that many in the U.S. government and media are quietly conceding defeat.

“We tell Syria’s human stories so that the ‘victors’ don’t write its history,” ran the headline of a CNN article marking the anniversary. Who the victors are is not spelled out explicitly, although it is clear that the reference is to the Syrian government. In explaining the reasons for the violence, the article tells us:

The Assad regime gunned down those who called for a peaceful transition to democracy. Gulf countries sent in suitcases of cash with a wink and a nod towards more religiously conservative fighting units. Assad let former al-Qaeda members and other criminals out of jail. The U.S., at the peak of its involvement, half-heartedly trained some ‘moderate’ rebels, many of whom went on to join the ranks of extremist groups.

Thus, Assad is presented as an ally of al-Qaeda, while forces the U.S. and its allies “half-heartedly” supplied and trained register merely as “religiously conservative fighting units” and “moderate rebels,” inverting reality on its head.

The New York Times was less cryptic in its description of the outcome of the conflict, its headline reading “Having Won Syria’s War, al-Assad Is Mired in Economic Woes.” While accepting military defeat in Syria, the U.S. appears to be using its economic power to make sure there can be no clear victory for Assad, enacting waves of sanctions that have crushed the country’s economy, leading to power outages, food shortages, inflation and falling wages.

In its article covering a potential change in Syria policy by the Biden administration, the Minneapolis Star Tribune quoted one former Obama official who said the international take-home message is that “the Syria war is over, Assad has won, Assad will be in power as long as he is breathing oxygen.”

Those in the current administration are more tacit in their acceptance of the situation on the ground. A joint statement from Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his European counterparts last week asked for a nationwide ceasefire, promising that they were not “abandoning” the conflict or Syria’s people, whatever it might look like. The statement also condemned the fast-approaching presidential elections as neither free nor fair, historically a very good indicator that they expect the result to go against their interests. “It’s clear that the regime will leverage the upcoming presidential elections in May to unfairly claim Assad’s legitimacy,” said the United States’ acting deputy ambassador to the UN, Jeffrey DeLaurentis, last week. “The United States will not recognize these elections unless they are free, fair, representative of Syrian society, and supervised by the United Nations,” he added.

The prospect of holding a proper election in a country destroyed by ten years of constant war is indeed very dim. With food prices rising, millions displaced, and millions more having fled abroad, just surviving is a task enough for many. Last month the World Food Program warned that a record 12.4 million Syrians — more than half of the population — are currently food insecure. This is an increase of around 4.5 million from last year. Over the past 12 months, the price of basic foodstuffs has increased by an average of 236%. Some of this is down to U.S. sanctions, with Washington apparently deciding that — as in Venezuela, Cuba and other nations — if the U.S. cannot overthrow the government, it will fall back on starving the country as a punishment.

Ten years of violence

While the conflict is universally described as a civil war, from the outset it has been dominated by foreign groups. March 15, 2011 saw the Arab Spring spread to Syria, with large demonstrations against Assad’s rule in many major cities. However, this unrest was quickly overtaken by armed groups whose goal was to take the country by force. In July of that year, the Free Syrian Army was established, quickly receiving considerable Western backing. Almost immediately, the country of 21 million people became a proxy war for various regional and world powers, including Turkey, the United States and its European allies, Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia. At one point, the CIA was spending almost $1 billion per year training and fielding an army of jihadists. Fighters came from as far afield as Libya and Xinjiang province in China to join their ranks.

A U.S.-backed anti-government fighter mans a heavy automatic machine gun, left, next to an American soldier as they take their positions at Tanf, a border crossing between Syria and Iraq (Hammurabi’s Justice News/AP)
A US-backed anti-government fighter mans a heavy machine gun next to a US soldier in al Tanf. Hammurabi’s Justice News | AP

The bitter fighting and terrible violence on all sides led to a refugee crisis for a country that had historically been a haven for victims of war in the region. The famously secular nation also became a stronghold for the Islamic State. With the help of Russian forces, ISIS was beaten back, but to this day, a number of foreign powers continue to occupy the country militarily. One of them is the United States, which last month launched a strike on a town on the Syria/Iraq border, dropping 1.75 tons of explosives and reportedly killing 22 people. Between 2014 and 2019, the U.S. and its allies dropped at least 118,000 bombs and missiles on Iraq and Syria. The U.S. also continues to militarily occupy Syria’s oil fields, hamstringing the nation’s efforts to recover economically.

A short spring, a long winter

Unfortunately, Syria is far from the only country that has been left in a much worse state than what it was in ten years ago. In 2011, the Arab Spring sparked hope across the Middle East, capturing the world’s attention for months as, one after another, movements arose challenging the power of undemocratic governments. Yet few, if any, can be said to have succeeded.

Egypt was the centerpiece of the uprising, as hundreds of thousands of people poured into Tahrir Square in Cairo. Dictator Hosni Mubarak was forced to resign and Mohamed Morsi was elected president in a democratic election. Yet barely a year later many were in the streets again, begging the military to overthrow him. The resulting coup brought General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to power, establishing a dictatorship every bit as brutal as Mubarak’s. Sisi has signalled his intent to remain in power until at least 2034, which, considering his age, is effectively a lifetime appointment.

In Libya, protests against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s rule were used as a pretext by NATO for regime change, sparking a bitter civil war, Gaddafi’s assasination, and the rise of Al-Qaeda and other jihadist forces that turned the once-rich country into a failed state, replete with slave markets.

Meanwhile, Yemen is now commonly described as the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” where 24 million people need assistance, including 20 million with little or no access to clean water. Yesterday, Oxfam warned that the country is reaching a tipping point, amid a massive spike in COVID-19 cases and a feared outbreak of cholera. The cause for the crisis is clear: the Saudi-led onslaught against the country, which, in turn, has its roots in the constitutional crisis sparked by the Arab Spring protests.

Few remember that the Arab Spring actually started in Western Sahara. But over the past 10 years, the country is being progressively eroded, as Morocco continues to occupy it militarily, building a succession of walls and annexing its most valuable land. As a result, the fortunes of the Sahrawi people are as bad as ever.

After a decade of bombing, invasions, exoduses and economic strife, it is clear that there are precious few winners in the Syrian Civil War — or from the rest of the Arab Spring, for that matter. There are, however, millions of losers. Chief among them are the people of Syria, who have seen their country torn apart as foreign powers, great and minor, wrestle for control of their nation. While the U.S. and its media might be tacitly conceding defeat, few are proclaiming victory.

22 Years Ago: NATO’s Illegal and Criminal Invasion of Yugoslavia

By Nebojsa Malic

Global Research, March 23, 2021

Global Research 26 March 2005

This article by renowned author Nobojsa Malic was first published on March 26, 2005

In the early hours of March 24, 1999, NATO began the bombing of what was then the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. For some reason, many in the targeted nation thought the name of the operation was “Merciful Angel .” In fact, the attack was code-named “Allied Force ” – a cold, uninspired and perfectly descriptive moniker. For, however much NATO spokesmen and the cheerleading press spun, lied, and fabricated to show otherwise (unfortunately, with altogether too much success), there was nothing noble in NATO’s aims. It attacked Yugoslavia for the same reason then-Emperor Bill Clinton enjoyed a quickie in the Oval Office: because it could.

Most of the criticism of the 1999 war has focused on its conduct (targeting practices, effects, “collateral damage”) and consequences. But though the conduct of the war by NATO was atrocious and the consequences have been dire and criminal , none of that changes the fact that by its very nature and from the very beginning, NATO’s attack was a war of aggression: illegal, immoral, and unjust; not “unsuccessful” or “mishandled,” but just plain wrong.

Illegal

There is absolutely no question that the NATO attack in March 1999 was illegal . Article 2, section 4 of the UN Charter clearly says:

“All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

Some NATO members tried to offer justification. London claimed the war was “justified” as a means of preventing a “humanitarian catastrophe,” but offered no legal grounds for such a claim. Paris tried to create a tenuous link with UNSC resolutions 1199 and 1203 , which Belgrade was supposedly violating. However, NATO had deliberately bypassed the UN, rendering this argument moot.

Article 53 (Chapter VIII ) of the UN Charter clearly says that:

“The Security Council shall, where appropriate, utilize such regional arrangements or agencies for enforcement action under its authority. But no enforcement action shall be taken under regional arrangements or by regional agencies without the authorization of the Security Council.” (emphasis added)

Furthermore, Article 103 (Chapter XVI ) asserts its primacy over any other regional agreement, so NATO’s actions would have been illegal under the UN Charter even if the Alliance had an obligation to act in Kosovo. Even NATO’s own charter – the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949 – was violated by the act of war in March 1999:

“Article 1

“The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered, and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations. […]

“Article 7

“This Treaty does not affect, and shall not be interpreted as affecting in any way the rights and obligations under the Charter of the Parties which are members of the United Nations, or the primary responsibility of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security.” (emphasis added)

The attack violated other laws and treaties as well: the Helsinki Final Act of 1975 (violating the territorial integrity of a signatory state) and the 1980 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (using coercion to compel a state to sign a treaty – i.e., the Rambouillet ultimatum ).

Yugoslavia had not attacked any NATO members, nor indeed threatened the security of any other country in the region; it was itself under an attack by a terrorist , irredentist organization. What NATO did on March 24, 1999 was an act of aggression, a crime against peace .

Illegitimate

Perfectly aware that the bombing was illegal, NATO leaders tried to create justifications for it after the fact. They quickly seized upon a mass exodus of Albanians from Kosovo, describing it as “ethnic cleansing” and even “genocide .” But as recent testimonies of Macedonian medical workers who took care of Albanian refugees suggest, the Western press was engaging in crude deceit , staging images of suffering refugees and peddling the most outrageous tall tales as unvarnished truth.

Stories abounded of mass murder, orchestrated expulsions, mass rapes, seizure of identity papers, even crematoria and mine shafts filled with dead bodies. Little or no evidence was offered – and not surprisingly, none found afterwards. The stories were part of a Big Lie , aimed to justify the intervention, concocted by professional propagandists, and delivered by the KLA-coached refugees. The KLA ran every camp in Macedonia and Albania, and there are credible allegations they organized the exodus in many instances. Albanians who did not play along were killed.

Eventually, the “genocide” and other atrocity stories were debunked as propaganda. But they had served their purpose, conjuring a justification for the war at the time. They had allowed NATO and its apologists to claim the war – though “perhaps” illegal – was a moral and legitimate affair. But there should be no doubt, it was neither .

Unjust

Even if one can somehow gloss over the illegal, illegitimate nature of the war and the lies it was based on, would the war still not be justified, if only because it led to the return of refugees? Well, which refugees? Certainly, many Kosovo Albanians – and quite a few from Albania, it appears – came back, only to proceed to cleanse it systematically of everyone else. Jews, Serbs, Roma, Turks, Ashkali, Gorani, no community was safe from KLA terror , not even the Albanians themselves. Those suspected of “collaborating” were brutally murdered, often with entire families.

According to the Catholic doctrine of “just war ,” a war of aggression cannot be just. Even if one somehow fudges the issue, “the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated.”

The evil conjured by NATO’s and KLA’s propaganda machine was indeed grave. But it was not real. In contrast, what took place after the war – i.e., under the NATO/KLA occupation – is amply documented. At the beginning of NATO’s aggression, there were fewer dead, fewer refugees, less destruction, and more order than at any time since the beginning of the occupation. NATO has replaced a fabricated evil with a very real evil of its own.

Monument to Evil

What began six years ago may have been Albright’s War on Clinton’s watch, but both Albright and Clinton have been gone from office for what amounts to a political eternity.

For four years now, the occupation of Kosovo has continued with the blessing – implicit or otherwise – of Emperor Bush II, who launched his own illegal war in Iraq . Kosovo is not a partisan, but an imperial issue; that is why there has been virtually no debate on it since the first missiles were fired.

Albright and KLA leader Hashim Thaci, Rambouillet, 1998

Six years to the day since NATO aircraft began their onslaught, Kosovo is a chauvinistic, desolate hellhole.

Serbian lives, property, culture, and heritage been systematically destroyed , often right before the eyes of NATO “peacekeepers.” Through it all, Imperial officials, Albanian lobbyists, and various presstitutes have been working overtime to paint a canvas that would somehow cover up the true horror of occupation.

Their “liberated” Kosovo represents everything that is wrong about the world we live in.

It stands as a monument to the power of lies, the successful murder of law, and the triumph of might over justice. Such a monument must be torn down, or else the entire world may end up looking like Kosovo sometime down the line. If that’s what the people in “liberal Western democracies” are willing to see happen, then their civilization is well and truly gone

The Watchdogs of Imperialism and the Uyghur Genocide Slander

By Stephen Gowans

Source

Uyghur genocide slander 4b7ba

On February 26 the Canadian Parliament passed a motion, by a vote of 226 to 0, expressing the opinion that “the People’s Republic of China has” implemented “measures intended to prevent” Uyghur and other Turkic Muslim births and that these measures are “consistent with” the United Nations Genocide Convention.

The reality is that Beijing is not preventing Uyghur and other Turkic Muslim births, and a report by a German anthropologist widely cited as evidence that it is, contradicts this claim. That report, by Adrian Zenz, a fellow at a US government-created foundation whose mission is to bring about the end of communism and the Chinese Communist Party,  reveals that while Chinese family planning policy restricts the number of children Chinese couples are allowed to have, it does not prevent couples in any group, including Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims, from bearing children. Moreover, limits on family size are the same between the Han Chinese ethnic majority and religious minorities. There is, therefore, no discrimination in Chinese family planning policy on the basis of national, religious, or ethnic affiliation.

Perhaps aware their position was untenable, the parliamentarians sought to buttress their motion by citing political opinion in the United States, where “it has been the position of two consecutive administrations that Uyghur and other Turkic Muslims are being subjected to a genocide by the Government of the People’s Republic of China,” the motion observed. In an act of unseemly subservience to imperial power, Canada’s parliament constructed a motion, based on no evidence, to echo a point of view articulated in Washington, also based on no evidence.

Significantly, the last two consecutive administrations have designated China a rival, and therefore have politically-motivated reasons for slandering their challenger. Moreover, apart from using the hyper-aggressive US military to extort economic and strategic concessions from other countries, US administrations have a long record of fabrication to justify their aggressive actions. That “two consecutive administrations” have held that the Chinese are carrying out a genocide is evidence of nothing more than Washington continuing to operate in its accustomed fashion of churning out lies about states that refuse to be integrated into the US economic, military and political orbit. A Serb-orchestrated genocide against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo; hidden weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; moderate rebels in Syria: these are only the tip of the iceberg of US lies and calumnies offered as pretexts for imperial aggression. Genocide in Xinjiang is but the latest.

Below, I look at the genocide slander from four perspectives:

  1. The geostrategic context.
  2. Who is behind the accusation?
  3. How do the accusers define genocide?
  4. What is the evidence?

The geostrategic context

In 2003, Graham E. Fuller, a former vice-chair of the US National Intelligence Estimate and one-time CIA station chief in Kabul, wrote a book for the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Study at the Johns Hopkins University, titled The Xinjiang Problem. His co-author was the academic  S. Frederick Starr.

Fuller and Starr wrote that:

the historical record suggests that the decision of countries and even of international organizations to raise specific human rights issues is often politicized and highly selective. Many countries will devote attention to human rights issues in China in inverse proportion to the quality of their overall bilateral relationship.

It need not be said that today, 18 years later, the quality of overall bilateral relations between the United States and China has deteriorated sharply. China has emerged as a formidable competitor to US economic and technological supremacy, and US policy has shifted, beginning with the Obama administration, toward an explicit program of eclipsing China’s rise.

In recent days, US president Joe Biden has said “American leadership must meet … the growing ambitions of China to rival the United States.” The Wall Street Journal reports that Biden’s “goal is to stay ahead of China in semiconductors, artificial intelligence and other advances that are expected to define the economy and military of the future.” However, the US president, according to the newspaper, intends to portray the conflict as one based on “a clash of values: democracy vs. autocracy,” rather than a clash of economic interests.

At the base of a deteriorating Sino-US relationship, then, lies a commercial rivalry, on top of which Washington has layered a narrative about a clash of values. In a Foreign Affairs article written before he became president, Biden outlined a strategy of confronting China over the economic challenges it poses to US businesses, US domination of the industries of tomorrow, and US technological (and concomitant military) supremacy. Biden said he would use a human rights narrative to rally support for a US-led campaign against China.

Fuller and Starr continued: “It would be unrealistic,” they wrote, “ to rule out categorically American willingness to play the ‘Uyghur card’ as a means of exerting pressure on China in the event of some future crisis or confrontation.” Many “of China’s rivals have in the past pursued active policies in Xinjiang and exploited the Uyghur issue for their benefit.” Almost two decades later, with US hostility rising as Washington’s claim to primacy on the world stage is under challenge, the United States has decided to play the Uyghur card.

Who is behind the accusations?

A network of groups and individuals, animated by an antagonism to the Chinese Communist Party, and supportive of continued US global supremacy, are involved in originating the slanders against Beijing. At the center is the German anthropologist, Adrian Zenz.

Zenz’s opposition to Beijing lies in his religious beliefs. A fundamentalist Christian, he views communism, feminism and homosexuality, as abominations against God. Zenz also believes that he is on a divinely-inspired mission to bring about the demise of communist rule in China.

Zenz is a senior fellow at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. The foundation, created by the US government to discredit an ideology which competes against the United States’ first favorite religion, US state-capitalism (Christianity being the second) seeks to free the world “from the false hope of Marxism” and save it from “the tyranny of communism” (the leitmotif of Hitler’s political career.) This it strives to do by educating future generations that “Marxist socialism is the deadliest ideology in history,” (one that, by this view, is fully capable of carrying out a genocide), a task the foundation sees as especially pressing today, when “Positive attitudes toward communism and socialism are at an all-time high in the United States.”

Zenz has also written anti-Beijing reports for the Jamestown Foundation,  an anti-Communist outfit supported by corporations, foundations, and wealthy individuals, whose mission is to shape public opinion against China and North Korea.

Adrian Zenz 8e3c6

The slanderers also include a number of Uyghur exile groups, including the World Uyghur Congress, funded by the National Endowment for Democracy. The NED is a US government-bankrolled organization whose first president conceded that it does overtly what the CIA used to do covertly, namely destabilize foreign governments by strengthening fifth columns. The NED does so under the cover of promoting democracy and human rights.  The organization has boasted on Twitter that it has been funding fifth columnists in Xinjiang since 2004.

Another propagator of anti-Beijing slanders is the Epoch Times, the newspaper of the Falun Gong. Like Zenz, the roots of Falun Gong’s anti-Beijing animus lie in reactionary religious convictions. The cult deplores gender equality, homosexuality, and communism as affronts against God.

How do the accusers define genocide?

Those who accuse Beijing of carrying out a genocide employ a ruse regularly used in the corporate world to dupe consumers and employees. The subterfuge is to redefine a word to mean something other than what the word would be reasonably interpreted to mean.

Former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo used this ruse. He accused Beijing of trying to integrate Xinjiang and its Turkic people into the larger Chinese society. While this did not meet the definition of genocide, Pompeo labelled Beijing’s actions as genocide all the same.  According to the magazine Foreign Policy, State Department lawyers told Pompeo that Beijing’s actions in Xinjiang did not satisfy the UN convention’s definition of genocide. Pompeo, who has no respect for the truth, much less the contrary opinions of government lawyers, was undeterred.

The current US secretary of state Anthony Blinken also accused Beijing of genocide. Using the same ruse, Blinken pointed to non-genocidal actions, namely one million Uyghurs in ‘concentration camps’, to make the claim that Beijing was trying to destroy a Muslim minority.  The claim was a double deception. First, there are no Uyghur concentration camps in Xinjiang, and second, even if there were, concentration camps do not equal genocide. Blinken was likely trying to exploit the association of the Holocaust with German death camps to insinuate that concentration camps and genocide go together, like the artic and snow, and that the Chinese government, and its Communist Party, are contemporary expressions of Nazi horror.    

The source of the concentration camp allegation is yet another of Beijing’s political foes, an Islamist media outlet run by Uyghur separatists in Turkey, which serves as a platform for the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, an al-Qaeda affiliated jihadist outfit which seeks to transform Xinjiang into an Islamic State. ETIM is considered a terrorist organization by the United Nations, the European Union, and the United States—or was considered a terrorist organization by the United States until Pompeo removed the group from the US terrorism list in October, thereby eliminating an impediment that had limited the contribution the jihadists could make to the US project of destabilizing Xinjiang, propagating calumnies about the Chinese government, and ultimately undermining China’s ability to compete with US businesses on the world stage.

In July of last year, Zenz wrote a paper for the Jamestown Foundation on Uyghur birthrates, which appears to be the basis for the claim cited by Canadian parliamentarians that China is carrying out a genocide in Xinjiang. Zenz’s report raised the question of genocide only in its final sentence, and then only tentatively. It was, instead, the Jamestown Foundation editor, John Dotson, a former US naval officer and US Congressional staff researcher, who concluded in an introductory note that “Zenz presents a compelling case that the CCP party-state apparatus in Xinjiang is engaged in severe human rights violations that meet the criteria for genocide as defined by the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.” Zenz, however, concluded only that Chinese policies “might be characterized” as constituting “a demographic campaign of genocide per” the UN convention. To be sure, any policy might be characterized in any particular way one wants, but the ad rem question isn’t, can policy x be characterized as y, but is it y?  Zenz, unlike Dotson, was not prepared to say that Chinese birth control policy constitutes genocide. And there’s a good reason for this; it clearly doesn’t.

Zenz’s paper was a political tract erected on the foundations of a report on Beijing’s family planning policies and their effects on Uyghur and Han birthrates in Xinjiang. What the report showed, notwithstanding Dotson’s politically-motivated misinterpretation, was that:

  • Previously, Han Chinese couples were limited to one child, while Uyghur couples were allowed two in urban areas, and three in rural areas. Family planning restrictions were not rigidly enforced on Uyghur couples.
  • Today, Han Chinese couples are permitted to have as many children as Uyghur couples are permitted (two children in urban areas, and three in rural areas.)
  • Family planning restrictions are now rigidly enforced.
  • The change from lax to rigid enforcement has been accompanied by a decrease in the Uyghur birth rate.

Zenz’s report showed that the Uyghur population continued to grow, despite enforcement of family planning policies; Uyghur couples are not prevented from having children, (they’re only limited in the number of children they can have); and family planning rules apply equally to Han Chinese.

Article II of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, reads as follows:

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

  • Killing members of the group;
  • Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  • Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
  • Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  • Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

The relevant consideration is the fourth item, namely, imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group. Chinese family planning policy does not prevent births within the Uyghur population; it only restricts them, and the restriction is non-discriminatory; it applies equally to all groups.

What is the evidence?

US State Department lawyers told Pompeo there is no evidence of genocide in Xinjiang. As we have seen, that didn’t stop Pompeo–who once boasted that as CIA director “we lied, cheated, and stole“– from making the accusation. He simply changed the definition of genocide, carrying on the US state tradition of fabricating lies to advance its interests.

Bob Rae, Canada’s representative to the UN, accused China of committing genocide, and then said efforts should be made to gather evidence to demonstrate this to be true.

John Ibbitson, a columnist with Canada’s Globe and Mail, conceded that Chinese government actions in Xinjiang do not meet the UN definition of genocide, but that Beijing is carrying out a genocide all the same.

The watchdogs of imperialism

The United States is waging an economic and information war on China, to preserve its economic,  military, and technological supremacy. Washington is recruiting its citizens, its allies and their citizens, and the progressive community, into a campaign to protect the international dictatorship of the United States from the challenge posed by the peaceful rise of China. Every manner of slander has been hurled at China to galvanize popular opposition to Beijing and mobilize popular support for economic aggression and growing military intimidation against the People’s Republic, from accusations that Chinese officials concealed the spread of the coronavirus; to calumnies about Muslims being immured in concentration camps, subjected to forced labor, and targeted for genocide; that Beijing is violating the one state-two systems agreement in Hong Kong (when in fact it’s only implementing a security law to undergird the one state part of the accord) and that Beijing’s efforts to reunify the country by re-integrating a territory the US Seventh Fleet prevented it from reintegrating in 1950, are really acts of aggression against an independent country named Taiwan.

Progressive forces, from Democracy Now!, which has provided Adrian Zenz a platform to traduce Beijing, to the New Democratic and Green parties in Canada, which voted for the motion declaring a genocide is in progress in Xinjiang, collude in the campaign to protect and promote the profits of Western shareholders, investors, and bankers from the challenges posed by China’s rise. Lenin, who knew a thing or two about communism, international rivalries, and the perfidy of progressives, described the predecessors of today’s Democracy Nows, Greens, and New Democrats as the watchdogs of imperialism. His words echo through the corridors of time.

Breaking: Iran stands firm…US must rejoin JCPOA before talks begin

Iran’s military power continues to grow in quantity and quality so it is better able to defend itself

March 8, 2021

No negotiation will take place between Iran, US before sanctions removed: Source tells Press TV

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[ Editor’s Note: Neither Iran nor Biden are under any significant pressure to move first on fixing the JCPOA. Both know that a misstep could torpedo an effective solution, and those involved in ‘blinking first’ would be blamed for the failure.

Both the US and its EU JCPOA partners want to pretend that it is inconsequential that Iran is not reaping any trade benefits from the deal, although Iran gave up most of its nuclear program to come to the JCPO Agreement.

Iran does not want to be put into a position of accepting the breach of the deal as “no big thing,” and hence no compensation would need to be discussed. Iran would then be in a much weaker position for a new deal, with the obvious caveat that it could be broken again, making Iran twice the fool.

Imam Reza Shrine, Mashad, Iran – Jim Dean archives

Iran has nothing to lose by holding firm on the idea that it is owed its benefits from the deal, where the EU has also had a free ride, having offered nothing more than promises.

Iran’s military power continues to grow in quantity and quality, so it is better able to defend itself; and if the Western Powers squeeze it any more, it would probably dial back its nuclear commitments, like they have already started to do.

So Iran’s offer is simple, to “give us our money, remove the sanctions, and we will go back into full compliance again”. Or if the US continues to demand renegotiations, Iran could counter that it would consider that track if control and oversight of Israel’s nuclear program would go on the table at the same time. Israel would refuse, of course.

Frankly, I would have played that card already and watched the hypocritical Western world fake nuclear hypocrites deal with openly protecting Israel’s right to have them… what I call the ‘nuclear supremacist’ position. “We are Jews and we can have or do anything we want or we will call you bad names.”

Biden is not about to go to war over Iran, and Iran knows that. He would look foolish to pick up the Trump sanctions mantle, but it would be awkward for the Republicans to fry him on that.

What Biden does want is to deescalate the Persian Gulf to release US military forces to intimidate China on the sea and Russia in the Arctic. But he can’t do it all at once. Regions much be secured before new battles begun Jim W. Dean ]

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Iran is in no hurry to surrender to Western demands. It is stronger now than ever due to the continued threats.

First published … March 08, 2021

There will be no negotiations between Iran and the United States on any matter before Washington removes illegal sanctions it has unilaterally imposed on Tehran, an informed security source tells Press TV.

The security source, which talked to Press TV on condition of anonymity on Sunday, noted that the Western countries’ interpretation of recent remarks by Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif about a new plan for negotiations with the United States are erroneous and no such plan exists.

“The idea of a step-by-step plan for starting talks between Iran and the United States has been rejected at the highest levels of the Islamic Republic and there will be no contact between Iran and the US before sanctions are removed,” the security official added.

The security source’s remarks came after Rouhani’s Thursday statements in which the Iranian chief executive slammed US for violating the 2015 nuclear deal, adding that Washington should take practical steps to rejoin the deal and lift all sanctions it has re-imposed on Tehran.

Rouhani noted that if the US took steps to that effect, Iran would reciprocate “action with action.”

“The US, as the one who violated the deal, shall lift all sanctions and take practical steps in order to be able to return to the JCPOA,” Rouhani argued, using an acronym to for the landmark nuclear accord signed between Iran and six countries in 2015.

The Iranian foreign minister also said a day later that Tehran would soon present a “constructive concrete plan of action” through proper diplomatic channels.

He made the remark in reaction to earlier statements by an Iranian politician who claimed in an interview that if the West sent “clear signals” to Iran and, for example and announced that the US sanctions would be removed within a year, Tehran would be ready to restart negotiations with Washington.

“As Iran’s FM & chief nuclear negotiator, I will shortly present our constructive concrete plan of action—through proper diplomatic channels,” Zarif tweeted

Iranian polity is vibrant & officials express diverse opinions

But those opinions should NOT be confused with state policy

As Iran’s FM & chief nuclear negotiator, I will shortly present our constructive concrete plan of action—through proper diplomatic channels#CommitActMeet

— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) March 5, 2021Some Western circles had mistakenly taken Rouhani’s and Zarif’s remarks as a sign that Iran is ready for renewed talks with the US with European sources saying that Tehran is giving positive signs about opening informal talks about its nuclear program.

The Russians aren’t coming—the Israelis are

If you think that Russia is or has been a threat to America and much of the West, I think you are mistaken.

By Jonas E. Alexis -March 8, 2021

If you think that Russia is or has been a threat to America and much of the West, I think you are mistaken. It was the same delusion that poison the mind of people like George Soros, who wrote in the Guardian back in 2016 that Vladimir Putin “is a bigger threat to Europe’s existence than Isis.”[1] Without the slightest evidence, Soros posited:

“The leaders of the US and the EU are making a grievous error in thinking that president Vladimir Putin’s Russia is a potential ally in the fight against Islamic State. The evidence contradicts them. Putin’s aim is to foster the EU’s disintegration, and the best way to do so is to flood Europe with Syrian refugees.

“Russia has also launched a large-scale air attack against civilians in northern Syria. This was followed by a ground assault by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s army against Aleppo, a city that used to have 2 million inhabitants. The barrel bombs caused 70,000 civilians to flee to Turkey; the ground offensive could uproot many more.”[2]

Complete fabrication! If Russia were liquidating Syrian civilians, why Syrian civilians appreciated the presence of the Russians in the region? One needn’t be a politician to realize that Soros’ formulation is generally dumb.

In any event, we shouldn’t be paying attention to people like Soros, particularly when they are postulating things that simply don’t make sense at all. Russia is not an enemy of the West. If there is one country that has been weakening the very foundation of what the founding fathers stood for, then it must be Israel. Perhaps people who doubt this statement should pay close attention to Philip Weiss here.

10-20 American mouthpieces for Israeli government had unrivaled access to Obama White House — Rhodes—Philip Weiss

Ben Rhodes, former deputy national security adviser under President Obama, says that he had to meet with Israel lobbyists as much as all other interest groups combined; that these lobbyists were a tiny segment of the American Jewish community, the same 10 to 20 individuals; they invariably took the position of the Israeli government; and were apparently scripted by the Israelis in some cases.

He also said that White House national security aides were expected to appear at the Israel lobby group AIPAC’s annual conference, but if they paid attention to Arab-American or peace groups, they could “get in trouble.”

The Israel lobby’s access was reinforced by compliant media and Congress, with members of Congress at times warning Rhodes about the “acute” financial threat of taking on the lobby.

Rhodes detailed the financial “threatening” from the Israel lobby in a podcast with Peter Beinart on February 10:

On Iran, the members would call me at the beginning of the August recess in 2015, when we’re having the Iran fight, and be like, AIPAC put out a press release saying they’re going to spend $40 million on ads on this. The money issue became acute. And people started to say, AIPAC told me they’d cancel my fundraisers if I vote this way. We’re never supposed to name the issue of money. But like when it became very acute and AIPAC is spending money and threatening people that they’re going to cancel fundraisers, suddenly you’re having that conversation in a way where you’re not even allowed to allude to it in normal circumstances.

Recall that in 2019 when Rep. Ilhan Omar dared to say that AIPAC used “benjamins” to command support for Israel in Congress, she was denounced far and wide and compelled to apologize for “antisemitic tropes,” though she was only saying what Rhodes says here.

Rhodes’s discussion of money echoes his 2018 memoir of the Obama years in which he said that after Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu lectured Obama in the White House in 2011, about why Israel could not accept the ’67 lines as a border, Rhodes had to get on the phone to “a list of leading Jewish donors . . . to reassure them of Obama’s pro-Israel bona fides.” The concern then was the 2012 election.

Here are extended excerpts of Rhodes’s comments on the Israel lobby to Beinart. (I did a separate post on Israel’s disrepect for Obama per Rhodes yesterday, including Rhodes’s “shame” that the Obama White House pretended that Netanyahu believed in a two-state solution when he never did; and how the Biden team is forgetting the “history,” that Israel made life hell for Obama, sometimes in racially offensive terms).

On the omnipresence of the Israel lobby:

You meet more with outside, organized constituency groups on Israel than any other foreign policy issue. I’d actually go as far to say that . . . as a senior White House official working on national security . . . the number of people you meet from the organized pro-Israel community equals all the other meetings that you might do with kind of diaspora or constituency groups on all the other issues. It’s that degree of dwarfing. I’m pretty confident that’s consistent across [presidential] administrations . . .

You just have this incredibly organized pro-Israel community that is very accustomed to having access in the White House, in Congress, at the State Department. It’s taken for granted, as given, that that’s the way things are going to be done.

Rhodes said that any time there’s “daylight” between the U.S. government and the Israeli government, the White House hears from Democratic members of Congress.

The degree of congressional interest again dwarfs any other issue I worked on in the Obama years. Anything with a nexus to Israel, be it Iran or the Palestinian issue, the two dominant ones in our time, you’re going to hear from members of Congress, you’re going to be expected to be briefing members of Congress. If there’s any daylight between the US and the Israeli government, even Democratic members are going to be upset, concerned about that.

Netanyahu also applied pressure by calling on “vast” rightwing media resources in the U.S.

The media interest is dramatically intensified [on this issue]. And that’s both a very aggressive kind of pro-Likud media in the United States. It’s also just the mainstream media delights in any Israel controversies. Netanyahu knew that he could gin up the rightwing pro-Likud media in the United States, which is pretty vast, but he also knew that if he needled Obama he would create a week-long political story, because political reporters view Israel as a domestic political story, not a foreign policy issue.

So in all those ways, the outside pressure, the Congressional interest, the media interest, there’s just a much greater spotlight on anything with a nexus to Israel than on anything else. And inevitably that weighs on the minds of politicians and policymakers. You can’t act like it doesn’t.

Beinart asked how often aides had meetings with representatives of the pro-Palestinian side, and Rhodes laughed and said he was the only one to do so, because such meetings can get you “into trouble”– and they weren’t with Palestinians as such.

I would be the one to take those meetings. I actually did it like pretty regularly. Here’s the thing. Usually with me those types of meetings were either peace groups, sometimes Christian religious groups, Quakers and others advocating for peace. Sometimes Arab-Americans. Less Palestinian, but more broadly Arab-American. So there wasn’t a significant just-Palestinian or Palestinian-American organized constitutency that you would meet with… I ended up taking those meetings because look, not everyone wants to take those meetings. Because you can get into trouble if you’re seen as solicitous. I would get creamed in the rightwing press. I spoke at NIAC [National Iranian American Council] . . . Not on the Palestinian issue, but the Iran nuclear deal. You’d think I had dinner with the supreme leader of Iran. There’s a kind of chilling effect.

But everyone goes to AIPAC!

You are expected — every senior US government official in national security — is almost expected to turn up at AIPAC. You are not expected to turn up at NIAC.

Rhodes, who is half-Jewish, discussed the fact that Jews are heavily involved in policymaking and Arab-Americans are not.

I remember being in a meeting once early in the Obama years on Israel . . . I’m just acknowledging something and not suggesting that there’s anything inherently wrong with it. It just is what it is. I remember looking around the Situation Room on a meeting on the Israel/Palestine issue and every single one of us in the meeting was Jewish or of Jewish origin like me . . . Which again, I don’t want to sound conspiratorial. I’m not trying to advance a trope. I’m really not. I think it’s great that a lot of Jewish-Americans go into foreign policy and national security. I just remember thinking what if everybody in this room was Arab-American, you’d have a different [discussion].

We understand the Israeli fears and grievances and concerns intuitively as Jewish-Americans. Maybe not as much as Israelis . . . [but] we have some understanding with it in our unconscious literally . . . in a way that — intellectually, I can try to understand the Palestinian experience, but I don’t.

Rhodes said that the Israel lobby is a tiny subset of American Jews.

Over the eight years I met so many times with like the usual suspects from the organized American Jewish community. And part of what you start to realize is this is a pretty small number of people. The American Jewish community is a large, sprawling, raucous wonderful community, and it’s kind of like 10 to 20 people that you find yourself meeting with all the time, some of whom are by the way wonderful people. Some of whom, less so.

And they’re mouthpieces for the Israeli government.

And look, again — not a conspiracy, it is what it is. People are advocating a position. But it’s a common position. Whatever the tension point between us and the Israeli government was at a given time, they were usually coming in to represent what I knew to be the Israeli government’s view in that circumstance. There was a big push at the beginning of the Obama administration after Netanyahu’s election for the US to recognize Israel formally as a Jewish state, which actually had not been U.S. policy before 2009 . . . There was a big push on us to pressure the Palestinians into talks though it wasn’t clear those talks would lead anywhere.

Whenever there was an international incident like the Goldstone Report or the Turkish Flotilla, you have to make sure that you’re doing everything that you can at the U.N. to kind of block this from going forward.

The advice Rhodes got was at times intrusive and high-handed.

But I would also get advice on how to talk about these issues. I remember, to give you an example, they would complain that we dealt more with Palestinian grievances than Israeli grievances, which I did not think was the case frankly. One of these people said to me, “You’re right Ben–” cause I had showed him all the things we’d said about Israel’s legitimate security concerns and its history– he said, “But you put the Palestinians second.” So [having them first was] suggesting that you think they’re more important. You flip the order. It would get very specific. Language that Obama needed to use, reassurances that he needs to give.

During the Iran deal, the lobby piped the Israeli government line.

The nuclear deal was insane, the number of armchair centrifuge experts . . . We have nuclear scientists in the government, and I have someone from an organization yelling at me about advanced nuclear centrifuge issues! I think Ernie Moniz [former energy secretary] understands this. It’s not a conspiracy because other organizations do the same thing on their issues, but not as effectively frankly. But you could tell that somebody else had briefed them. In most instances, and whether that was the Israeli government or their own staff, I’m not suggesting . . . And in this case it was always whatever Netanyahu’s party’s difference was with Obama at the moment.

The Israel lobby’s talking points were laughably transparent.

I had members of Congress . . . talking to me about what the inspection regime needs to be about traces of isotope at Parchin [military site in Iran]. The talking points were so specific on Iran, that you knew . . . This was such an echo chamber; every member you’re meeting just conspicuously happens to be obsessed with the inspections regime at Parchin . . . You understood that everyone’s working off the same set of points.

Beinart, who is an observant Jew, and Rhodes agreed that Jews in government are granted a special place in discussion of these issues. Rhodes:

I will give you the obvious example. Congress. I would brief throughout the Iran process the Jewish Democrats in Congress. That was a group. And Sandy Levin, wonderful man, phenomenal human being, would pull it together and it wasn’t subtle. I was going up every few weeks to brief every Jewish Democrat, which is a pretty sizable group, about the particularities of the Iran negotiations. And by the way there was a Jewishness to it, like we had bagels. And so I think there is a kind of default to an assumption that you need to be informed by something of a Jewish perspective.

But then even in that, I sensed, I’m not a practicing Jew, and I sensed at times a bit of a vibe, Well who are you — and like I was called a fake Jew. There were these narratives of Jewishness that kind of informed this stuff.

By the way, it’s not as if anyone plans to “decenter” Jews! Today it is no coincidence that the top three officials in the Biden State Department — Tony Blinken, Wendy Sherman and Victoria Nuland — are all Jewish. These appointments are meant to reassure the Israel lobby of Biden’s support. The same reason Obama hired Hillary Clinton as secretary of state in 2008 by reaching out to an Israel lobbyist to be the intermediary. The same reason that for many years all of the Treasury undersecretaries for counter-terrorism, enforcing Iran sanctions, were Jewish.

Rhodes dealt with the Jewish part of the Israel lobby, but he says the Jewish lobby was able to use the “firewall” of the evangelical Christian Israel lobby in the Republican Party to shrink the debate and to “bludgeon” the Democratic Party.

The people who came to me knew that they had a Republican party that would be in total lockstep, total hawks — total wherever Netanyahu was. Debates about Israel . . . were entirely inside the Democratic party because the development of the last 20 years is that Republicans/evangelicals have completely embraced the rightwing Israeli side.

Weirdly, the evangelical firewall, if you will, of support for Israel really empowered the more conservative, in the political sense, rightwing Jewish perspective inside the American Jewish community because they knew they had the cavalry behind them of the entire Republican Party. Even though these were often debates with Jews in the room, the presence which wasn’t in the room, the evangelical conservative community, was very powerful. It gave them a . . . Trump card. If the Democrats didn’t fall into line they knew . . . the Republicans could bludgeon us with it. That’s the story of the whole Iran fight.

Rhodes said the Israel lobby is “not unique,” that it’s akin to the fossil fuel and gun lobby. “It’s not a Jewish specific thing. It’s just the combination of money and passion and organization coupled with this evangelical piece that has emerged in the last several decades that is not about Jews.”

The congresspeople are often craven. Rhodes related the occasion in 2015 when Netanyahu made a racist appeal at the end of his campaign, warning that “Arabs are voting in droves.” Asked about the remarks, Obama spokesperson Josh Earnest was critical, saying that the White House had serious concerns about “divisive rhetoric” and would communicate as much to Israeli government.

Rhodes:

And a member of Congress was complaining to me about this. I’m like, “What do you want us to do about this? The guy’s being a racist, he’s come out against the two-state solution, he’s talking about the Arabs coming out in droves, and we’re asked what we think about it. How can we not give an answer that’s somewhat honest?”

He said, “Why can’t you just blame the Palestinians?”

I said, “For what?”

He started talking about incitement. The pivot was not subtle.

Read Part 1 of the Rhodes comments here— how he feels “shame” that the Obama White House pretended that Netanyahu believed in a two-state solution when he never did; and how the Biden team is forgetting the “history” of Israel making life hell for Obama in sometimes racially offensive terms.

[1] George Soros, “Putin is a bigger threat to Europe’s existence than Isis,” Guardian, February 11, 2016.

[2] Ibid.

BIOGRAPHY

Jonas E. AlexisJonas E. Alexis has degrees in mathematics and philosophy. He studied education at the graduate level. His main interests include U.S. foreign policy, history of Israel/Palestine conflict, and the history of ideas. He is the author of the new book Zionism vs. the West: How Talmudic Ideology is Undermining Western Culture. He is currently working on a book tentatively titled, Kevin MacDonald’s Abject Failure: A Philosophical and Moral Critique of Evolutionary Psychology, Sociobiology, and White Identity. He teaches mathematics in South Korea.

FM Sergey Lavrov gave an extensive interview to the RBK Media Holding – Communication between Brussels and Moscow has completely fallen apart

Source

FM Sergey Lavrov gave an extensive interview to the RBK Media Holding – Communication between Brussels and Moscow has completely fallen apart

February 20, 2021

A good sub-title for this interview could be “Lavrov Unplugged”.

A quote from the transcript (which incidentally was available faster than any other transcript from the The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation ):

“… when it became clear that Russia did not want to live in the house of “a self-appointed boss,” all these complications began to emerge.

….

All this started when this signal was not perceived (to be more precise, Russia was seen again as a “hoodlum” in the world arena and they were again going to teach it “good manners”). In any event, the West began its ideological preparations, for its current actions, at that time.”

Video in Russian without subtitles or English voiceover as yet.

Question: There is a feeling that the West is very annoyed by the appearance of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. At first, they were very aggressive and wouldn’t let it go. When I talked with Minister of Trade and Industry Dmitry Manturov, he called it “the vaccine war.” Now the opinion has changed. Is this about the quality of the vaccine or is politics involved in this?

Sergey Lavrov: I think it is possible to use the logic of the Russian proverb that can be translated into English as “love it so but mother says no.” Western experts know that the Sputnik V vaccine is definitely one of the best, if not the very best. Otherwise, there would not be such a stream of requests for it, which is growing geometrically.

On the other hand, they realise that the spread of Sputnik V and other Russian vaccines that will soon enter the international market, will enhance our authority and status in the world. They do not want this to happen. But they have come to realise that their first response was simply outrageous in the context of the facts and medical science. When President Vladimir Putin announced the development of the vaccine in August 2020, the offensive was completely undiplomatic. Their response just betrayed their irritation, you are perfectly right.

And now many countries (the Czech Republic and others) are saying they can’t wait for the certification of the vaccine by the European Medicines Agency. In Hungary, they believe they are ready to start vaccination and supplies are now underway. The number of requests from Europe is steadily on the rise. Just the other day, Prince Albert II of Monaco sent a request for the vaccine for the entire population of his principality.

After independent agencies published their scientific evaluations, the West had to admit that the vaccine was good. Yet, attempts to discredit it continue.

Just yesterday I read a somewhat ambiguous statement by President of France Emmanuel Macron. He put us and the Chinese into the category of those who are trying to gain advantages in the world arena at the expense of their medical achievements. The day before yesterday, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen spoke with an emphatically negative connotation about the supplies of the Russian vaccines to foreign countries.

We must follow the correct position of principle, first voiced by President of Russia Vladimir Putin, notably, that we were the first to develop the vaccine, and we will continue to increase its production. This is not easy, we do not have enough capacities, and this is why we are negotiating with India, South Korea and other countries. At the same time, he said we are open to the broadest possible cooperation.

There is one more important point. When this issue was discussed at the UN the other day, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the countries that have this vaccine or have the money to buy it, not to forget about the poor. In the meantime, attempts are being made to accuse us of trying to gain geopolitical favour by supplying it abroad. This is an obvious discrepancy. It is clear that the West is poorly prepared for this discussion.

Question: So, it’s about the same as when President Putin said at the Davos Forum that the world cannot continue creating an economy that will only benefit the “golden billion,” and we are actually accused of supplying the vaccine for the benefit of the “golden billion.” Still, are they talking about the vaccine like this just because it was made in Russia?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t see any other reason, because no one even tried to conduct a medical or a scientific test. They just said right away that it was impossible just because it’s impossible, meaning that “no one can do this that quickly.” It was only in October 2020, when the West said they would be able to report on their achievements. President Putin announced in August that the Russian-made vaccine was ready for rollout.

Unfortunately, I often see that the response to everything we do, say or offer is, at best, questioned right off the bat. Usually, they say that “the Russians are playing their geopolitical games again.”

Question: EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, who was here recently and met with you, said that Russia is distancing itself from the West. At the same time, Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said we are open to cooperation with Europe. You said we are ready to break up, but we are not breaking off our relations. What really stands in the way of normal relations between the EU and Russia?

Sergey Lavrov: A biased attitude, by and large. I worked with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, a good colleague of mine, when he was Spanish Foreign Minister. Now many, in an attempt to give a controversial dimension to the High Representative’s visit to Russia, forget how it all began. In May 2019, Mr Borrell said: “Our old enemy, Russia, says again ‘here I am,’ and it is again a threat.” We then asked his protocol service to confirm what he said. We were told that it was a figure of speech and that he was misunderstood. However, this attitude shows.

We are seen as a stranger. In my interview with Vladimir Solovyov, replying to his question as to whether we are ready to break off with the EU, I gave an affirmative answer because there are no relations to talk about. As former US President Barack Obama once said (although he said it about the Russian economy), relations have been “torn to shreds.”

Indeed, the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement [between the EU and Russia] entered into force in 1997. It contained a number of declarative goals for moving towards common economic, humanitarian and cultural spaces. For many years, we used a mechanism of summits, which were held every six months in Russia and in the EU alternately. In fact, our entire Government held annual meetings with the European Commission to discuss the participants’ responsibilities in the context of over 20 sector-specific dialogues. We were building four common spaces and roadmaps for each of them. These were 100 percent substantive and specific projects. It was all destroyed, just like the Partnership and Cooperation Council, within which the Russian Foreign Minister and the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy reviewed the entire range of relations. This disappeared long before the Ukraine crisis.

Many in our country are just waiting for a chance to pounce on the Russian Government’s foreign policy. We are being asked how we can say that we are ready to break off with the EU when it is our largest trade and economic partner. If we take the EU as a collective partner, it is our largest partner in terms of gross trade. For example, in 2013 (before the Ukraine events) Russia became a WTO member. From that moment, our trade relations were built on the principles advocated by that organisation rather than the EU’s principles. As a single trade bloc, the EU also participated in the WTO. We traded with member countries based on WTO guidelines. If you think the EU is a valuable trade and economic partner, here are some statistics for you: in 2013, the United States was the EU’s biggest trading partner with about $480 billion, followed by China with $428 billion and Russia with $417 billion. That is, these numbers are of the same order of magnitude. Where do we stand now? In 2019, EU’s trade with the United States stood at $750 billion, with China $650 billion, and with Russia at about $280 billion. In 2020, it was $218 billion, if counting with Great Britain, and $191 billion without it.

The reason? It’s the sanctions imposed by our “valued” and largest economic partner for reasons that have never relied on any facts whatsoever. At least, no facts have ever been presented to us. We understand Crimea. We understand Donbass as well. It’s just that the EU admitted its inability, or perhaps, unwillingness, to prevent the anti-constitutional coup with an open Russophobic slant and chose to turn things upside down. Brussels shifted the blame to us and imposed sanctions on Russia rather than the putschists, who, by and large, spat on the guarantees of the European Union, which signed the corresponding agreements, totally ignoring, as I said, the fact that the actions of the government, which they supported, were openly and violently anti-Russian.

Question: Without the events in Ukraine, would our relations with the West have sunk to where they are now?

Sergey Lavrov: It is difficult for me to talk about this. After all, later there were other events linked with the accusations of “the poisoning in Salisbury.” No facts were presented. We were not allowed to meet with our citizens. No evidence was offered. Everything was similar to what is happening now with the alleged poisoning of Alexey Navalny.

Question: It seems the West is looking for a pretext to spoil our relations.

Sergey Lavrov: They are looking but there are many pretexts: it’s always possible to use something as an excuse to put the relationship on the required track. But it’s not that they want to spoil relations. I don’t think this is their main goal. They want to bolster their self-esteem. Now they are starting to act like the US, revealing the mentality of an exclusive group of states. I quoted German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. When asked why they continue discussing sanctions against Russia and what goals they had achieved by imposing sanctions, he replied that he didn’t believe sanctions should be used for any purpose. What matters is that they don’t leave any action by the Russian Federation unpunished.

The concealment of facts that could somehow confirm accusations against us started long before the crisis in Ukraine. We can recall 2007 – the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko in the hospital. There was a coroner’s inquest. Later this trial was declared “public.” In George Orwell’s logic, in Britain this means a “secret trial” during which no inquisitorial procedures of the secret services may be presented. You know, these are system-wide problems.

I listed what we used to have in our relations with the European Union. Nothing is left now, not even sporadic contacts on some international issues. As regards the Iran nuclear programme, we are taking part in the work of the collective group of countries, which are trying to somehow put this programme back on track. This is not part of our relations with the EU proper. In the Middle East, we have a Quartet of mediators consisting of Russia, the US, the EU and the UN. In other words, this is multilateral cooperation rather than our relations with just the EU.

With regard to who is taking steps to prevent our relations from further decline, at least a little, we were thinking about that when Josep Borrell, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, was getting ready to visit Moscow. He suggested cooperating in healthcare and vaccines. We have already discussed this here. As a Brussels institution, the EU will hardly be allowed to contact Russian agencies or companies independently regarding the vaccines. We would sooner cooperate directly with the producers of AstraZeneca, as this is already taking place.

On the eve of Mr Borrell’s visit, we invited his experts to make a joint statement on the Middle East by the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Our positions are nearly identical on the matter and we thought it would be appropriate to urge the Quartet to resume its activities and call for direct Palestinian-Israeli talks, respect for the relevant UN resolutions, and so on.

We gave them a page and a half text that was easy to approve after the first reading. Several days prior to his arrival, we were told that “it did not work out.” I will reveal a secret because this is a blatant example. I asked Mr Borrell at the negotiating table: “What about this statement? Why didn’t it work out?” He started turning his head all around. It was clear from his reaction, and he confirmed this later, that nobody had even told him about it. These are the people that deal with what some of our liberals call “relations with the EU.”

Question: Concluding this theme, I’d like to say that as a man born in the USSR, I understand that during the Soviet-Western confrontation we had different ideologies, economies and so on. Later, I thought that everything was the same on both sides. They were for democracy and we were for democracy; they had a market economy and we had a market economy. So what are the differences? Why do we fail to find a common language to this day? I thought we found it in the 1990s? Why did we find it then?

Sergey Lavrov: We found it at that time because nobody in the Russian Federation disputed the answer to the question of who was ruling the show. President of Russia Vladimir Putin has talked about this many times. We decided that was it – the end of history. Francis Fukuyama announced that from now on liberal thought would rule the world. Now there are attempts to push this liberal thought to the fore again in a bid to gain international influence. But when it became clear that Russia did not want to live in the house of “a self-appointed boss,” all these complications began to emerge.

Initially, having become President, Vladimir Putin and his team tried to convey this message through diplomatic signals that educated and smart people would be bound to understand. But nobody listened. Then the explanations had to be made politely but openly in the Munich speech. All this started when this signal was not perceived (to be more precise, Russia was seen again as a “hoodlum” in the world arena and they were again going to teach it “good manners”). In any event, the West began its ideological preparations, for its current actions, at that time.

Question: Regarding the sanctions. Bloomberg posted a news item today that new sanctions against Russia are planned concerning the Nord Stream 2, however, they are not going to be tough but rather “soft.” On the other hand, they report that the Americans want to thwart the Nord Stream project but without irritating Germany. Where are we in this situation?

Sergey Lavrov: We are a country that completely complies with the contractual obligations undertaken by our companies that are part of the project, along with the EU companies that joined it. The current situation is largely due to a decision taken by what we call the European Union, a decision that proves beyond doubt what sort of alliance it is. A few years ago, when the Poles, and others sharing their attitude, attempted to impede the Nord Stream project, the Legal Service of the European Commission was asked for legal advice, official opinion. The service presented a document which stated in no uncertain terms that the investment project had been launched long before amendments were made to the EU’s gas directive, the Third Energy Package. That’s it. Period. This issue should be closed for any person who has respect for the law. But no, the European Commission took this opinion and launched its own quasi-legal procedure which resulted in the conclusion that the project had indeed been launched much earlier, yet it fell under this third energy package and the gas directive. That’s what kind of a partner we have in this “relationship.”

This is about how we can “pounce” on them and express readiness to break relations with them when they are our main economic partner – that’s what kind of a partner they are. Meanwhile, now Germany alone is fighting for the project.

And in fact, Joe Biden’s administration will not cancel anything which was done by Donald Trump except for leaving the World Health Organisation (WHO). The Democrats are returning there now.

The NATO defence ministers meeting has just ended. But there was no let-up in US demands to pay 2 percent of a country’s GDP for defence needs, i.e. for purchasing US weaponry. There was no backing off the demands on Europe regarding Nord Stream 2 – to stop participating in some matters that undermine European security. They see it better from across the ocean, right? This is about who is the boss. Europe also wants to run the house but it was taken down a peg. The situation around Nord Stream 2 is straightforward.

For now they are saying publicly that bargaining is underway and possible agreements between Washington and Berlin are being discussed, including that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline may be allowed to be completed and even start operating. However, if at the same time gas transiting via Ukraine is going to be falling, then Nord Stream 2 must be shut off. I cannot decide for Germany, however, it is obvious to me that this proposal is humiliating. As Russian President Vladimir Putin said at his meeting with parliamentary party leaders, this is yet further evidence that they want Russia to pay for their Ukraine geopolitical venture.

Question: Do we have to pay for this geopolitical project?  Why do they think we have to pay for it?

Sergey Lavrov: Because they don’t feel like lashing out on it. They need the Ukrainian regime for the sole purpose of constantly irritating Russia and finding new reasons to support their Russophobic policy. They want to weaken anything around us – Belarus, Central Asia, and now also the South Caucasus, as they got nervous after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s successful mediation mission between Armenia and Azerbaijan: why was this done without them? They are now trying to infiltrate this region and step up their activities there. All of that has nothing to do with the Cold War-era ideology of a showdown between the two systems you talked about a few minutes ago. It has to do with the fact that our Western partners are unwilling, unprepared and unable to speak on an equal footing, whether with Russia, China, or whoever. They need to create a system where they will be the boss regardless. This is why they are taking an increasing dislike to the United Nations since they cannot have total control of it.

Question: Do you see the EU as a monolith, or as something more loose, with certain processes unfolding inside and some countries, no matter what, starting to talk about their willingness to be friends with Russia? In the case of the sanctions, the key figures behind them are, strange as it may seem, the Baltic States, which do not play a prominent role in the EU but, for some reason, everyone is listening to them.

Sergy Lavrov: It sounds inappropriate to refer to the EU as a monolith a mere couple of months after Brexit. This “monolith” is not the same as before. If you mean a monolith in a figurative sense, my answer is no. Quite a few countries are maintaining relations with Russia. The visit of Josep Borrell was the first trip by an EU official of this level to Russia in three years. In the same three years, about two dozen ministers from European Union member countries have visited Russia. We are having a great dialogue, without wasting too much time on confrontation and moralising. Indeed, all of them do have their assignments – a couple of sheets of paper from which they read a script approved by the “party committee” in Brussels.

Question: Do you mean they bring a notebook with instructions with them?

Sergey Lavrov: Certainly. They do not dare to veer off course. This, for example, goes for Alexey Navalny, or the Skripals as in the previous case, or human rights. Now scientist Yury Dmitriyev from Karelia is in the spotlight. They flatly refuse to accept evidence of his involvement in crimes, like pedophilia. They read from their notebook and I would adduce my arguments to the contrary and describe our vision of this or that situation and wonder why we cannot obtain evidence on the Navalny case or the Skripal case. In response they simply read again from their notebook. Apart from this discipline induced by the bloc member states’ solidarity, we discuss things normally. Yes, the EU sets the terms on which [its member countries] participate in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), while we are trading with these countries in the WTO on the terms that were agreed on for Russia to join this organisation. But the EU has nothing to do with this cooperation in trade and investment activity, except for its attempts to restrict trade and economic ties with the sanctions.

You mentioned the Baltic States. Indeed, they run the show in this respect to a great extent. I have talked to your colleagues about this on more than one occasion. When in 2004 there were hectic activities to drag them into the EU, Russia and Brussels maintained a very frank dialogue. The President of the European Commission at the time was Romano Prodi. In 2005, the objective was set to move to visa-free travel.

Question: Nobody has any memories of this today.

Sergey Lavrov: We remember this when we reply to those who ask how we dare say that we are ready to break relations with the EU. You mentioned the Baltic States. We had long been negotiating an updated version of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between Russia and the EU, which the EU terminated in 2014. It was expected to go a bit beyond the boundaries of the WTO rules and allow us to negotiate additional trade preferences. At one time there was an objective to establish a free trade zone, but this has long since fallen into oblivion. However, there were plans to update the agreement in order to liberalise trade even more, in addition to the WTO rules. In 2014, they ceased to exist – another example of breaking down our relations.

A visa-free travel agreement was also finalised back in 2013. We had met all of the EU requirements: we agreed that only people with biometric passports would be eligible for visa-free travel and that those who violated EU entry rules or any other EU rules while in an EU country during a visa-free period would be subject to readmission. We signed the relevant agreement. Everything they asked for, and that suited us, was done. Later, when it was time to sign the agreement and then ratify it, the EU said: “Let’s wait.” It did not take us long to learn why they had said this, all the more so as they did not try to conceal their motives. This Brussels team decided that it was politically incorrect to approve a visa-free travel agreement with Russia prior to offering it to Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova.

Question: In other words, Russia was made dependent on other countries?

Sergey Lavrov: It sure was, at the Baltic States’ initiative. This is also important for understanding the nature of our relations. This is an attitude from people who decided that they were European, which is not at all the case. Russia sees Europe in all its diversity. If the “party committee” in Brussels does not like it, we cannot force them to.

Question: Europe stretches at least to the Urals.

Sergey Lavrov: Correct. In 2009, when Jose Manuel Barroso was President of the European Commission, we held a Russia-EU summit in Khabarovsk. Our European colleagues arrived later in the day. We went out for a walk along the embankment. We were showing them around the city and Mr Barroso said: “It’s amazing. It took us 13 hours to get here from Brussels, and it’s still Europe.” This is the key message behind the slogan “Europe from the Atlantic to the Pacific.”

Question: I’m going to ask you about one other country, Belarus. There will be a presidential summit on February 22. President Lukashenko will come to Russia. Recently, Foreign Minister of Belarus Vladimir Makei gave an interview to the RBC media holding and mentioned Belarus’ multi-directional foreign policy. Do you think we have managed to work well with Minsk on integration? What should we expect from these talks?

Sergey Lavrov: The term “multi-directional” should not be used as a profanity. Most normal states want it. Russia, too, has used a multi-directional approach as the basis of its foreign policy since 2002. In our understanding, a multi-directional approach is possible only if based of equality, respect and a balance of interests, as well as mutual benefit. This is the only way it can work.

First, they threaten us with sanctions, and then the same people are saying that we “had it coming” and impose unilateral restrictions on us, and then say that we are “bad” because “we are looking to the East.” Everything has been turned upside down.

Russia is a Eurasian country. We have close contacts with Europe, which have been cultivated for centuries, before anyone even thought of a European Union, and the Europeans fought and competed against each other. By the way, we often helped them achieve peace and fair outcomes in wars.

Question: We even saved the monarchies?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, and they are aware of it. The republic in the United States, too, to a certain extent.

However, our European neighbours have severed almost all of our ties and left only sporadic contacts on international crises that are of interest to the EU in order to keep a profile on the international arena. In many ways, the EU is driven by a desire to be seen as an important operator in Syrian and other matters. If we are not welcome here, we will simply continue to work with our other neighbours who are not prone to whims like that.

Objectively, our trade with the EU is almost half of what it was in 2013. Our trade with China has doubled over the same period.

Question: Back to Minsk. What can we expect from talks between President Putin and President Lukashenko on February 22?

Sergey Lavrov: There are some who want to interpret Minsk’s words about the multi-directional nature of its foreign policy as proof of its “unreliability” as a partner and ally. I do not think so.

In the Council of Europe, of which Belarus is not a member yet, we advocate the CoE establishing relations with Minsk. We supported the accession of Minsk to a number of Council of Europe conventions. We have always been in favour of Belarus enjoying normal relations with its western neighbours. I’m not sure what the CoE will do next. Russophobia has swept over most of the EU countries, and the most “violent” ones are in charge of the agenda.

I read the remarks by President Lukashenko (not all his interviews, but they were cited) to the effect that he sees no obstacles to deepening integration. Progress will depend on how President Vladimir Putin and President Lukashenko agree on things.

There are two more days to go before the talks. I don’t think we should be speculating on the outcome of the summit. We will know everything soon.

Question: Recently, US President Joseph Biden said the United States will no longer be “rolling over in the face of Russia’s aggressive actions” (ostensibly, Donald Trump did this). How can we build our relations now? Are there subjects we can discuss with Washington? Are they ready to talk with us?

Sergey Lavrov: These comments on who is rolling over or will be rolling over in the face of someone’s actions illustrate a very deep split in US society. It reached a level of personal enmity that is aggressive and contrary to American political culture. The politicians did not particularly mince their words during previous presidential campaigns or prior to elections to Congress, but I don’t remember anything comparable to what is being said now.

Our liberal media promote a tough pro-Western line. In looking for objects of criticism in Russia, they are infringing on the threshold of decency and getting personal. They are very crude, and behave not like journalists but like inveterate propagandists, accusing others of propaganda.

The fact that the New Start Treaty was extended in time is a very positive step. This shouldn’t be overrated, but it shouldn’t be underrated, either. In his election speeches Joseph Biden mentioned his willingness to extend it, but these were election speeches after all. His promise could be interpreted differently later, but he extended this important document for five years without any conditions, like we suggested. If this had not happened, there would not have been a single instrument of international law, not only in Russian-US relations but in the entire range of multilateral ties, that contained any restrictions in the sphere of disarmament, arms control and nuclear weapons non-proliferation.

It is very important that just a few days prior to February 5, 2021, the date the treaty was extended for five years, President of Russia Vladimir Putin and US President Joseph Biden reaffirmed their intention to promote talks on strategic stability in these new conditions, in their first telephone conversation after the US presidential election. The situation has changed substantially since 2010: We and the Americans have acquired new weapons some of which are covered by the treaty. We announced this last year. We said that they must be taken into account. Some other weapons are not covered by the treaty – they are basically very different because of their physical characteristics.

Question: Are you talking about hypersonic weapons?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, the United States also has such weapons. Hypersonic weapons are partly covered by the New START Treaty, if these are ballistic missiles.

The New START Treaty already covers some weapons systems, so we now have to include these weapons systems in the Treaty for the next five years and see how all this will be verified. But it does not cover some weapons.

The United States has developed a new system called the Prompt Global Strike (PGS). By the way, this system implies a non-nuclear strike. We have suggested negotiating all issues without exception that have an impact on strategic stability and the legitimate interests of the contracting parties.

Question: Did they agree to this? Are they ready?

Sergey Lavrov: In October 2020, we submitted draft joint understandings to the Trump administration. This rough outline shows how we can sit down and start negotiating the agenda. We have received no reply from them. Instead of addressing this matter, Marshall Billingslea, the Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control, mostly made vocal statements that the United States was all for it but that the Russians did not want to do this.

When I spoke with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, I reminded him that Russia had submitted its proposals to the Trump administration, which dealt with this matter and many other issues, including cybersecurity and concerns over interference in each other’s domestic affairs. We would like to get back to them, and to hear the Biden administration’s opinions in this regard. We realise that they now need some time to settle down in the White House and the Department of State. I hope that this will not take too long.

There are still some questions on disarmament, for example, the lineup of participants in the disarmament process. The US position on China, approved by Donald Trump, remains unchanged; the same concerns a number of other matters.

Regarding multilateral talks, first of all, this should not annul Russian-US agreements because we have several times more nuclear weapons than other nuclear countries. Second, if we make this a multilateral process, then all prospective participants, primarily the five nuclear powers, should reach a voluntary agreement. We will never try to persuade China. We respect the position of Beijing, which either wants to catch up with us or proposes that we first reduce our arsenals to China’s levels and then start on the talks. All circumstances considered, if this is a multilateral process, then we will get nowhere without the United Kingdom and France. The Trump administration insisted that China should take part and at the same time said about its allies that they were the good guys, literally. This sounds funny. Apart from the complicated and lengthy disarmament process, we do not have so many promising spheres where we can cooperate constructively.

Question: Does this mean that their vision of the issue is entirely different or that they are reluctant to negotiate?

Sergey Lavrov: They think that they are the boss, and this mentality is still here and it determines the perception of their enemies. So far, they have not designated China as an enemy, but they have called us an enemy a couple of times. Democrats have an additional motivation for expanding this policy. Their position is that, supposedly unlike with Donald Trump, they will be “no Russian tail wagging the dog.”

Question: Don’t you think that Democrats have come to power with the intention of taking revenge against Russia, and that they will implement Donald Trump’s anti-Russia plans that he failed to accomplish in four years.

Sergey Lavrov: They made such statements during the election campaign. Joe Biden and his supporters said openly that the Trump administration had gone soft, that it was constantly making advances and working for the Russian intelligence. Donald Trump said that he was conducting the toughest policy with regard to Russia. He said that he liked Vladimir Putin, but he introduced more sanctions than all of his predecessors taken together.

We are also witnessing a cowboy-style showdown there. But this is normal for US politics, especially today. Disagreements between liberals who considered liberalism an irreversible trend have become aggravated to the greatest possible extent. Donald Trump, who did not like liberal principles and approaches, suddenly took over. He tried to think more about the basic interests of the American founders, the people who moved there (and it has always been a nation of immigrants), and who accepted its laws. So, the big question is whether people should remain loyal to the country that has accepted them, or do they want to erode its principles?

Question: Should they try to fit in?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, and they want to be the boss. Everything boils down to this once again.

Question: Karabakh, the subject of that. Fortunately, the war is over and a peace agreement has been inked. We covered extensively the role Russia and Azerbaijan played. I have a question to do with Turkey. I was in Azerbaijan during the war and heard many people say that the Azerbaijanis are supportive of the Great Turan idea (a state that covered the territory from Turkey to Central Asia). Is Moscow concerned by Turkey becoming a stronger state?

Sergey Lavrov: This opinion is entertained by a portion of the society. I’m not going to give a percentage of how many people support this idea. I’m not sure many of those who informed you about this really know what “Great Turan” is all about.

The relations between Turkic-speaking peoples have become an integral part of cooperation between Turkey and the corresponding countries, including Azerbaijan and a number of Central Asian states.

There is the Cooperation Council of the Turkic-Speaking States, in which we participate as observers. A number of our republics are interested in contacts with it and are promoting their specific projects.

There is TURKSOY  ̵  the International Organisation of Turkic Culture. There’s also the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-Speaking Countries. All of them have been functioning for a long time now. They draft their own plans and hold functions. Their cooperation is mainly based on cultural, linguistic and educational traditions.

Speaking about the Great Turan as a supranational entity in a historical sense, I don’t think that this is what Turkey is after. I don’t see how former Soviet and now independent countries can be supportive of this idea in any form. On the contrary, their foreign policies and practices focus on strengthening their national states.

Turkey has its interests which include its fellow tribesmen who speak the same language. We also want the Russian World to communicate. We have created an extensive network of organisations of our compatriots living abroad; we are opening Russian World centres at universities in different countries with purely linguistic, educational and scientific goals.

The Centre for the Russian Language and Culture created by the Russkiy Mir Foundation was recently closed in Krakow. This is an obvious step for Poland, as well as for the Baltic States, which are fighting everything that is Russian. Ukraine followed in their footsteps and shut down several media outlets and imposed a language ban. We are well aware of all this. We will keep raising this matter at the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the corresponding UN agencies. One cannot pretend that this comes with the “growth” and the “coming of age” of the Ukrainian nation, which, as they say, is an “ill-fated” one. The Ukrainians claim that they are the descendants of Alexander the Great. In that case, they should be responsible for the orders they introduce. The EU, and Germany and France as the Normandy format participants, avoid performing their duties when it comes to “educating” Ukraine in terms of making it comply with the Minsk agreements, and this has become a chronic behaviour pattern which does not reflect well on Germany or France.

Question: It was announced that Ukraine was recognised an unfriendly state. How will this affect relations between us?

Sergey Lavrov: This is just a descriptive attribute. What’s friendly about it? Russian schools are being closed, customers and shop assistants are not allowed to speak their native language, and the Nazis are burning Russian flags.

Question: This is reminiscent of the Baltic States 20 to 30 years ago.

Sergey Lavrov: Back when the Baltic States were about to be admitted to the EU, we asked the Brussels bureaucrats, the Eurogrands, whether they were sure they were doing the right thing. The problems that are at odds with the membership criteria persist, including non-observance of the rights of the Russian-speaking minorities in Latvia and Estonia. We were told that the Baltic States are phobic of Russia (war, the so-called occupation, etc.), the EU will bring it into its fold, it will calm down and ethnic minorities will be happy and contented. Things turned out the other way round. The Russians were not granted any rights, and statelessness is still there.

Question: Let’s go back to Turkey: Ankara’s stronger position, its active role in the Nagorno-Karabakh war, President Erdogan’s visit to Northern Cyprus (which a Turkish leader has not done for quite a while). What does Moscow think about it?

Sergey Lavrov: As far as Turkey and Northern Cyprus are concerned, we see it as Ankara’s relations with its “fellow countrymen.” I have not heard about Turkey refusing to honour the UN obligations accepted by the conflicting parties. These obligations include seeking a mutually acceptable solution and creating a bicommunal bizonal federation. There is a discussion of whether the federation will be strong or weak. But there is no disagreement about the fact that it must be one state. Although not so very long ago, it was the common opinion that the entire project would fail and they would have to create two states. We understand that Ankara is interested in Cypriot Turks living in equality and their rights being observed. We support the idea that the same motives with which Turkey explains its actions in the Eastern Mediterranean, including with respect to hydrocarbons, should determine its dialogue with Greece and Turkey.

On February 17, 2021, I spoke with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias who told me that on January 25, 2021, he had had a probing conversation with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. They did not iron out all issues. But it is good news that a dialogue was established. They agreed to continue it. On February 18, 2021, I spoke with Mevlut Cavusoglu. We continued sharing opinions following the telephone conversations between President Putin and President Erdogan on Syria, Libya, Nagorno-Karabakh and our bilateral relations. New power units of a nuclear power station are under construction; the TurkStream project is ongoing. There is much common ground between our countries when it comes to energy.

In October 2019, the first Russia-Africa Summit in history was held in Sochi. A record number of heads of state and heads of government attended. In the course of the preparations for the summit, we reviewed the development of our relations with African countries and the current state of affairs, including from the perspective of expanding our presence on the continent which political scientists consider to be the most promising in the long term. We reviewed other countries’ presence in Africa. Since 2002, the number of Turkish embassies in Africa has increased from 12 to 42. Turkey’s trade with the region is estimated at around 20 billion dollars a year and Russia’s trade is around 15 billion dollars. This is to say that Turkey has an eye for potential.

Question: Perhaps Turkey is disappointed with the EU because nobody accepted it?

Sergey Lavrov: I believe it could partially be the case. In its contacts with the EU, Ankara continues to insist that the EU promised it accession. Turkey is spreading its wings and gaining weight despite the existing economic problems at home. Turkey mainly goes on by accumulating its national debt but this model is widely common around the world.

Question: 2020 is the year of the pandemic. During such times, countries should join forces and help each other. Do you think that this was the case? Or did the world fail to put aside disagreements and rally together even when it came to the COVID-19 infection?

Sergey Lavrov: Now this conversation is back to square one. There are no ideologies anymore. But this ideology-based, politicised perception of the Russian vaccine was not a very good signal. The Sputnik V vaccine was announced in August 2020, many months after the G20 summit (March 2020) where Vladimir Putin strongly advocated cooperation in vaccine production. Even then, we were ready to create joint scientific teams. But Western countries and their companies, unwilling to help competitors, did not respond to that proposal. So much for unification in this purely medical field.

There is also the humanitarian sphere. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet made calls during the pandemic to suspend all unilateral sanctions in fields directly affecting food, the supply of medicine and medical equipment, in order to alleviate the suffering of the population in countries that were under unilateral sanctions (regardless of their reasons). There was no reaction from the initiators of those sanctions (primarily the US and the EU). Also, there was no response to President Vladimir Putin’s proposal, at the G20 summit, to create ‘green corridors’ for the period of the pandemic, to move goods under the most relaxed rules – without tax, duties, tariffs, delays, or special customs inspections.

We are all in the same boat, and it’s not so big. Some forecasts say this situation will continue for a long time, and the coronavirus will be a seasonal infection, and it is not at all the same as the flu or other diseases, so we will have to use precautions permanently, use PPE. This realisation should somehow prod countries to more open cooperation, especially those that up until recently had some doubts.

True, there have been some good shifts. One of them is the United States’ return to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Some hotheads in Washington believe that, now that they have returned, they will make others do their bidding. There are fewer than 50 Chinese people in the WHO Secretariat, 25 Russians, over 200 Americans, and more than 2,000 NATO representatives. The past US administration said China was manipulating the WHO. That is not true. Otherwise, we are admitting the complete helplessness of 2,000 NATO members who should be the majority in the WHO Secretariat.

Nevertheless, there are some positive results though. This problem has been recently considered at the UN General Assembly and the Security Council. It is important now to focus on equitable collaboration within the WHO. Besides the attempts at carrying out “soft coups” and establishing their own rules in the organisation, hardly based on consensus, an idea has been suggested to move the main decision-making on global health policies outside the universal organisation. We have been pointing out this tendency for some time now – the one to replace international law with a rules-based world order. As it turns out in reality, those rules boil down to working out all decisions in a circle of those who agree with you rather than in a group with universal representation where you have to argue your case and search for balances and compromises. And then you just present the decision as ‘the ultimate truth’ and demand that everyone respect it.

This underlies the Franco-German initiative for a new multilateralism and some limited partnerships in the West. For example, Paris has launched an International Partnership Against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons. Under this non-universal, non-UN partnership, the EU creates the so-called ‘horizontal’ regime of sanctions to be imposed on anyone that France-initiated partnership points at. A similar sanctions regime is being created for cybersecurity. Instead of any open-ended discussion, the French are promoting some partnership to defend freedom in cyberspace. This is another example of rules on which ‘order’ will be based.

There are attempts to start similar groups outside the WHO. But people’s health is not a field where one can play geopolitics. Unless there is a conspiracy behind this to reduce the population of the Earth. Many are now starting to develop such theories and concepts.

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.


Political Analyst: Fakhrizadeh’s Assassination An Act of War, Antagonists Will Be Punished

Political Analyst: Fakhrizadeh’s Assassination An Act of War, Antagonists Will Be Punished 

By Elham Hashemi

Tehran – On 21 November 2020, The Times of ‘Israel’ said that the ‘Israeli’ regime along with the US are planning ‘covert ops’ against Iran as Trump’s term ends. Only six days later, prominent Iranian physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh has been assassinated in a terrorist attack in Damavand area near the capital Tehran.

This crime comes as a desperate attempt to put more pressure on Tehran amid the constant US and allies attempts to hamper Iran from advancing in the different fields, including nuclear development for peaceful purposes. Iran’s Fars news agency reported that Fakhrizadeh had been targeted on Friday in an attack involving at least one explosion and shooting by a number of assailants in Absard city of Damavand County, Tehran Province.

The media office of Iran’s Defense Ministry said Fakhrizadeh, who headed the ministry’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research [SPND], “was severely wounded in the course of clashes between his security team and terrorists and was transferred to hospital,” where he succumbed to his wounds and was announced as martyr. 

Commenting on the topic, political analyst and University of Tehran Professor, Dr. Seyed Mohammad Marandi said “This assassination shows that western intelligence agencies and the terrorist organizations that they support such as the MEK along with the apartheid regime and the other regional actors are waging war against Iranian people.” 

He explained “It is interesting when one remembers that every time a terrorist is arrested, or a terrorist is executed or a spy is captured, Western media immediately say that these people are innocent, and that they are hostages; as if they have some sort of special knowledge of what goes on behind the scenes. Yet it is these very same spies and terrorists that accumulate knowledge and carryout murder and destruction.” 

“Nevertheless, this is an act of war, and the Iranians will make sure that its antagonists are punished as a result of the murder of this high ranking Iranian official,” Dr. Marandi noted. 

Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan, military advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei, vowed in his tweet a crushing response to the perpetrators.

The tweet read “We will come down hard on those who killed Martry Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, just like thunder and we will make them regret their deed. In the final days of their allied gambler’s political life, the Zionists are after intensifying pressure on Iran in order to trigger an all-out war.”

Also, Iran’s Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri said in a statement that “The assassins of martyr Fakhrizadeh will see a harsh revenge,” promising that they will be punished. He also assured that the path Farikhzadeh started will never stop. 

The political analyst pointed out that “It is ironic that when Western regimes claim that the Russians attempted to murder or assassinate an asset of theirs in the UK, the whole of NATO, Europe and North America is up in arms. But when an actual act of murder is carried out in Iran, Western media outlets gloat and try to show the victim as the guilty party rather than the terrorists and the regimes that stand behind those terrorists.”   

Fakhrizadeh’s name was mentioned in a presentation in May 2018 by ‘Israeli’ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during which he repeated baseless claims about the Iranian nuclear program. Netanyahu described the scientist as the director of Iran’s nuclear program and said, “Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh.”

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The Secret Agenda of the World Bank and IMF

The Secret Agenda of the World Bank and IMF
Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.Peter is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for online journals such as Global Research; ICH; New Eastern Outlook (NEO) and more. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe.
Peter is also co-author of Cynthia McKinney’s book “When China Sneezes: From the Coronavirus Lockdown to the Global Politico-Economic Crisis” (Clarity Press – November 1, 2020) Peter

November 17, 2020

by Peter Koenig for the Saker Blog

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) work hand in glove – smoothly. Not only are they regularly lending huge sums of money to horror regimes around the world, but they blackmail poor nations into accepting draconian conditions imposed by the west.

In other words, the WB and the IMF are guilty of the most atrocious human rights abuses.

You couldn’t tell, when you read above the entrance of the World Bank the noble phrase, “Our Dream is World Free of Poverty”.

To this hypocrisy I can only add, ”…And we make sure it will just remain a dream.” This says both, the lie and the criminal nature of the two International Financial Institutions, created under the Charter of the United Nations, but instigated by the United States.

The front of these institutions is brilliant. What meets the eye, are investments in social infrastructure, in schools, health systems, basic needs like drinking water, sanitation – even environmental protection – over all “Poverty Alleviation”, i.e. A World Free of Poverty. But how fake this is today and was already in the 1970’s and 1980’s is astounding. Gradually people are opening their eyes to an abject reality, of exploitation and coercion and outright blackmail. And that, under the auspices of the United Nations. What does it tell you about the UN system? In what hands are the UN? – The world organization was created in San Francisco, California, on 24 October 1945, just after WWII, by 51 nations, committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.

The UN replaced the League of Nations which was part of the Peace Agreement after WWI, the Treaty of Versailles. It became effective on 10 January 1920, was headquartered in Geneva Switzerland, with the purpose of disarmament, preventing war through collective security, settling disputes between countries, through negotiation diplomacy and improving global welfare. In hindsight it is easy to see that the entire UN system was set up as a hypocritical farce, making people believe that their mighty leaders only wanted peace. These might leaders were all westerners; the same that less than 20 years after the creation of the noble League of Nations, started World War II.

——-
This little introduction provides the context for what was eventually to become the UN-backed outgrowth for global theft, for impoverishing nations, around the world, for exploitation of people, for human rights abuses and for shoveling huge amounts of assets from the bottom, from the people, to the oligarchy, the ever-smaller corporate elite – the so-called Bretton Woods Institutions.

In July 1944 more than 700 delegates of 44 Allied Nations (allied with the winners of WWII) met at the Mount Washington Hotel, situated in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, United States, to regulate the international monetary and financial order after WWII. Let’s be sure, this conference was carried out under the auspices of the United States, the self-declared winner of WWII, and from now on forward the master over the financial order of the world – which was not immediately visible, an agenda hidden in plain sight.

The IMF was officially created to ‘regulate’ the wester, so-called convertible currencies, those that subscribed to apply the rules of the new gold standard, i.e. US$ 35 / Troy Ounce (about 31.1 grams). Note that the gold standard, although applicable equally to 44 allied nations was linked to the price of gold nominated in US dollars, not based on a basket of the value of the 44 national currencies. This already was enough reason to question the future system. And how it will play out. But nobody questioned the arrangement. Hard to believe though that of all these national economists, none dared question the treacherous nature of the gold-standard set-up.

The World Bank, or the Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), was officially set up to administer the Marshall Plan for the Reconstruction of war-destroyed Europe. The Marshall Plan was a donation by the United Stated and was named for U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall, who proposed it in 1947. The plan gave $13.2 billion in foreign aid to European countries that had been devastated physically and economically by World War II. It was to be implemented from 1948 to 1952 which of course was much too short a time, and stretched into the early 1960s. In today’s terms the Marshall plan would be worth about 10 time more, or some US$ 135 billion.

The Marshall Plan was and still is a Revolving Fund, paid back by the countries in question, so that it could be relent. The Marshall Plan money was lent out multiple times and was therefore very effective. The European counterpart to the World Bank-administered Marshall Fund was a newly to be created bank set up under the German Ministry of Finance, The German Bank for Reconstruction and Development (KfW – German acronym for Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau”).

KfW, as the World Bank’s European counterpart still exists and dedicates itself mostly to development projects in the Global South, often in cooperation with the World Bank. Today there is still a special Department within KfW that deals exclusively with Marshall Plan Fund money. These funds are used for lending to poor southern regions in Europe, and also to prop up Eastern European economies, and they were used especially to integrate former East-Germany into today’s “Grand Germany”.

Two elements of the Marshall Plan are particularly striking and noteworthy. First, the reconstruction plan created a bind, a dependence between the US and Europe, the very Europe that was largely destroyed by the western allied forces, while basically WWII was largely won by the Soviet Union, the huge sacrifices of the USSR – with an estimated 25 to 30 million deaths. So, the Marshall Plan was also designed as a shield against communist Russia, i.e. the USSR.

While officially the Soviet Union was an ally of the western powers, US, UK, and France, in reality the communist USSR was an arch-enemy of the west, especially the United States. With the Marshall Plan money, the US bought Europe’s alliance, a dependence that has not ended to this day. The ensuing Cold War against the Soviet Union – also all based on flagrant lies, was direct testimony for another western propaganda farce – which to this day, most Europeans haven’t grasped yet.

Second, The US imposition of a US-dollar based reconstruction fund, was not only creating a European dollar dependence, but was also laying the ground work for a singular currency, eventually to invade Europe – what we know today, has become the Euro. The Euro is nothing but the foster child of the dollar, as it was created under the same image as the US-dollar – it is a fiat currency, backed by nothing. The United Europe, or now called the European Union – was never really a union. It was never a European idea, but put forward by US Secret Services in disguise of a few treacherous European honchos. And every attempt to create a United Europe, a European Federation, with a European Constitution, similar to the United States, was bitterly sabotaged by the US, mostly through the US mole in the EU, namely the UK.

The US didn’t want a strong Europe, both economically and possibly over time also militarily (pop. EU 450 million, vs US pop. 330 million; 2019 EU GDP US$ 20.3 trillion equivalent, vs US GDP US$ 21.4 trillion. Most economists would agree that a common currency for a loose group of countries has no future, is not sustainable. In comes the European Central Bank (ECB), also a creation inspired by the FED. The ECB has really no Central Bank function. It is rater a watch dog. Because each EU member country has still her own Central Bank, though with a drastically reduced sovereignty.

Out of the currently 27 EU members only 19 are part of the Euro-zone. Those countries not part of the Eurozone, i.e. Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Sweden – and more, have preserved their sovereign financial policy and do not depend on the ECB. This means, had Greece opted out of the Eurozone when they were hit with the 2008 / 2009 manufactured “crisis”, Greece would now be well on her way to full recovery. They would not have been subject to the whims and dictate of the IMF, the infamous troika, European Commission (EC), ECB and IMF, but could have chosen to arrange their debt internally, as most debt was internal debt, no need to borrow from abroad.

In a 2015 bailout referendum, the Greek population voted overwhelmingly against the bailout, meaning against the new gigantic debt. However, the then Greek President Tsipras, went ahead as if the referendum had never taken place and approved the huge bailout despite almost 70% of the popular vote against it.

This is a clear indication of fraud, that no fair play was going on. Tsipras and / or his families may have been coerced to accept the bailout – or else. We may never know, the true reason why Tsipras sold his people, the wellbeing of the Greek people to the oligarchs behind the IMF and World Bank – and put them into abject misery, with the highest unemployment in Europe, rampant poverty and skyrocketing suicide rates.

Greece may serve as an example on how other EU countries may fare if they don’t “behave” – meaning adhere to the unwritten golden rules of obedience to the international money masters.

This is scary.

——-
And now, in these times of covid, it is relatively easy. Poor countries, particularly in the Global South, already indebted by the plandemic, are increasing their foreign debt in order to provide their populations with basic needs. Or so they make you believe. Much of the debt accumulated by developing countries is domestic or internal debt, like the debt of the Global North. It doesn’t really need foreign lending institutions to wipe out local debt. Or have you seen one of the rich Global North countries borrowing from the IMF or the World Bank to master their debt? – Hardly.

So why would the Global South fall for it? Part corruption, part coercion, and partly direct blackmail. – Yes, blackmail, one of the international biggest crimes imaginable, being committed by the foremost international UN-chartered financial institutions, the WB and the IMF.

For example, the whole world is wondering how come that an invisible enemy, a corona virus hit all 193 UN member countries at once, so that Dr. Tedros, Director General of WHO, declares on 11 March a pandemic – no reason whatsoever since there were only 4,617 cases globally – but the planned result was a total worldwide lockdown on 16 March 2020. No exceptions. There were some countries who didn’t take it so seriously, like Brazil, Sweden, Belarus, some African countries, like Madagascar and Tanzania – developed their own rules and realized that wearing masks did more harm than good, and social distancing would destroy the social fabric of their cultures and future generations.

But the satanic deep dark state didn’t want anything to do with “independent” countries. They all had to follow the dictate from way above, from the Gates, Rockefellers, Soroses, et al elite, soon to be reinforced by Klaus Schwab, serving as the chief henchman of the World Economic Forum (WEF). Suddenly, you see in Brazil, a drastic surge in new “cases”, no questions asked, massive testing, no matter that the infamous PCR tests are worthless according to most serious scientists (only sold and corrupted scientists, those paid by the national authorities, would still insist on the RT-PCR tests). Bolsonaro gets sick with the virus and the death count increases exponentially – as the Brazilian economy falls apart.

Coincidence?

In comes the World Bank and / or the IMF, offering massive help mostly debt relief, either as grant or as low interest loans. But with massive strings attached: you must follow the rules laid out by WHO, you must follow the rules on testing on vaccination, mandatary vaccination – if you conform to these and other country-specific rules, like letting western corporations tap your natural resources – you may receive, WB and IMF assistance.

Already in May 2020 the World Bank Group announced its emergency operations to fight COVID-19 had already reached 100 developing countries – home to 70% of the world’s population with lending of US$ 160 billion-plus. This means, by today, 6 months later and in the midst of the “Second Wave” the number of countries and the number of loans or “relief’ grants must have increased exponentially, having reached close to the 193 UN member countries. Which explains how all, literally all countries, even the most objecting African countries, like Madagascar and Tanzania, among the poorest of the poor, have succumbed to the coercion or blackmail of the infamous Bretton Woods Institutions.

These institutions have no quarrels in generating dollars, as the dollar is fiat money, not backed by any economy – but can be produced literally from hot air and lent to poor countries, either as debt or as grant. These countries, henceforth and for pressure of the international financial institutions will forever become dependent on the western masters of salvation. Covid-19 is the perfect tool for the financial markets to shovel assets from the bottom to the top.

In order to maximize the concentration of the riches on top, maybe one or two or even three new covid waves may be necessary. That’s all planned, The WEF has already foreseen the coming scenarios, by its tyrannical book “Covid-19 – The Great Reset”. It’s all laid out. And our western intellectuals read it, analyze it, criticize it, but we do not shred it apart – we let it stand, and watch how the word moves in the Reset direction. And the plan is dutifully executed by the World Bank and the IMF – all under the guise of doing good for the world.

What’s different from the World Bank and IMF’s role before the covid plandemic? – Nothing. Just the cause for exploitation, indebtment, enslavement. When covid came along it became easy. Before then and up to the end of 2019, developing countries, mostly rich in natural resources of the kind the west covets, oil, gold, copper and other minerals, such as rare earths, would be approached by the WB, the IMF or both.

They could receive debt relief, so-called structural adjustment loans, no matter whether or not they really needed such debt. Today these loans come in all forms, shapes and colors, literally like color-revolutions, for instance, often as budget support operations – I simply call then blank checks – nobody controls what’s happening with the money. However, the countries have to restructure their economies, rationalizing their public services, privatizing water, education, health services, electricity, highways, railroads – and granting foreign concessions for the exploitation of natural resources.

Most of this fraud – fraud on “robbing” national resources, passes unseen by the public at large, but countries become increasingly dependent on the western paymasters – peoples’ and institutional sovereignty is gone. There is always a corrupter and a corruptee. Unfortunately, they are still omni-present in the Global South. Often, for a chunk of money, the countries are forced to vote with the US for or against certain UN resolutions which are of interest to the US. Here we go – the corrupt system of the UN.

And of course, when the two Bretton Woods organizations were created in 1944, the voting system decided is not one country, one vote as in theory it is in the UN, but the US has an absolute veto right in both organizations. Their voting rights are calculated in function of their capital contribution which derives from a complex formula, based on GDP and other economic indicators. In both institutions the US voting right and also veto right is about 17%. Both institutions have 189 member countries.
—–

Covid has laid bare, if it wasn’t already before, how these “official” international, UN-chartered Bretton Woods financial institutions are fully integrated in the UN system – in which most of the countries still trust, maybe for lack of anything better.

Question, however: What is better, a hypocritical corrupt system that provides the “appearance”, or the abolition of a dystopian system and the courage to create a new one, under new democratic circumstances and with sovereign rights by each participating country?

The Sleeping Giant Awakes And Reveals “The West” as Lilliput

Source

The Sleeping Giant Awakes And Reveals “The West” as Lilliput

October 27, 2020

This comment was chosen by moderator SA from the post “Weekly China Newsbrief and Sitrep”.Comment by Ahino Wolf Sushanti

I’m from Malaysia. China has traded with Malaysia for 2000 years. In those years, they had been the world’s biggest powers many times. Never once they sent troops to take our land. Admiral Zhenghe came to Malacca five times, in gigantic fleets, and a flagship eight times the size of Christopher Columbus’ flagship, Santa Maria. He could have seized Malacca easily, but he did not. In 1511, the Portuguese came. In 1642, the Dutch came. In the 18th century the British came. We were colonised by each, one after another.

When China wanted spices from India, they traded with the Indians. When they wanted gems, they traded with the Persian. They didn’t take lands. The only time China expanded beyond their current borders was in Yuan Dynasty, when Genghis and his descendants Ogedei Khan, Guyuk Khan & Kublai Khan concurred China, Mid Asia and Eastern Europe. But Yuan Dynasty, although being based in China, was a part of the Mongolian Empire.

Then came the Century of Humiliation. Britain smuggled opium into China to dope the population, a strategy to turn the trade deficit around, after the British could not find enough silver to pay the Qing Dynasty in their tea and porcelain trades. After the opium warehouses were burned down and ports were closed by the Chinese in ordered to curb opium, the British started the opium I, which China lost. Hong Kong was forced to be surrendered to the British in a peace talk (Nanjing Treaty). The British owned 90% of the opium market in China, during that time, Queen Victoria was the world’s biggest drug baron. The remaining 10% was owned by American merchants from Boston. Many of Boston’s institutions were built with profit from opium.

After 12 years of Nanjing Treaty, the West started getting really really greedy. The British wanted the Qing government:
1. To open the borders of China to allow goods coming in and out freely, and tax free.
2. Make opium legal in China.
Insane requests, Qing government said no. The British and French, with supports from the US and Russia from behind, started Opium War II with China, which again, China lost. The Anglo-French military raided the Summer Palace, and threatened to burn down the Imperial Palace, the Qing government was forced to pay with ports, free business zones, 300,000 kilograms of silver and Kowloon was taken. Since then, China’s resources flew out freely through these business zones and ports. In the subsequent amendment to the treaties, Chinese people were sold overseas to serve as labor.

In 1900, China suffered attacks by the 8-National Alliance(Japan, Russia, Britain, France, USA, Germany, Italy, Austria-Hungary). Innocent Chinese civilians in Peking (Beijing now) were murdered, buildings were destroyed & women were raped. The Imperial Palace was raided, and treasures ended up in museums like the British Museum in London and the Louvre in Paris.

In late 1930’s China was occupied by the Japanese in WWII. Millions of Chinese died during the occupancy. 300,000 Chinese died in Nanjing Massacre alone.

Mao brought China together again from the shambles. There were peace and unity for some time. But Mao’s later reign saw sufferings and deaths from famine and power struggles.

Then came Deng Xiao Ping and his infamous “black-cat and white-cat” story. His preference in pragmatism than ideologies has transformed China. This thinking allowed China to evolve all the time to adapt to the actual needs in the country, instead of rigidly bounded to ideologies. It also signified the death of Communism in actually practice in China. The current Socialism+Meritocracy+Market Economy model fits the Chinese like gloves, and it propels the uprise of China. Singapore has a similar model, and has been arguably more successful than Hong Kong, because Hong Kong being gateway to China, was riding on the economic boom in China, while Singapore had no one to gain from.

In just 30 years, the CPC have moved 800 millions of people out from poverty. The rate of growth is unprecedented in human history. They have built the biggest mobile network, by far the biggest high speed rail network in the world, and they have become a behemoth in infrastructure. They made a fishing village called Shenzhen into the world’s second largest technological centre after the Silicon Valley. They are growing into a technological power house. It has the most elaborate e-commerce and cashless payment system in the world. They have launched exploration to Mars. The Chinese are living a good life and China has become one of the safest countries in the world. The level of patriotism in the country has reached an unprecedented height.

For all of the achievements, the West has nothing good to say about it. China suffers from intense anti-China propaganda from the West. Western Media used the keyword “Communist” to instil fear and hatred towards China.
Everything China does is negatively reported.

They claimed China used slave labor in making iPhones. The truth was, Apple was the most profitable company in the world, it took most of the profit, leave some to Foxconn (a Taiwanese company) and little to the labor.

They claimed China was inhuman with one-child policy. By the way absolutely recommended by the UN-Health-Organisation at that time. At the same time, they accused China of polluting the earth with its huge population. The fact is the Chinese consume just 30% of energy per capita compared to the US.

They claimed China underwent ethnic cleansing in Xinjiang. The fact is China has a policy which priorities ethnic minorities. For a long time, the ethnic minorities were allowed to have two children and the majority Han only allowed one. The minorities are allowed a lower score for university intakes. There are 39,000 mosque in China, and 2100 in the US. China has about 3 times more mosque per Muslim than the US.
When terrorist attacks happened in Xinjiang, China had two choices:
1. Re-educate the Uighur extremists before they turned terrorists.
2. Let them be, after they launch attacks and killed innocent people, bomb their homes.
China chose 1 to solve problem from the root and not to do killing. How the US solve terrorism? Fire missiles from battleships, drop bombs from the sky.

During the pandemic,
When China took extreme measures to lock-down the people, they were accused of being inhuman.
When China recovered swiftly because of the extreme measures, they were accused of lying about the actual numbers.
When China’s cases became so low that they could provide medical support to other countries, they were accused of politically motivated.
Western Media always have reasons to bash China.

Just like any country, there are irresponsible individuals from China which do bad and dirty things, but the China government overall has done very well. But I hear this comment over and over by people from the West: I like Chinese people, but the CPC is “evil”\’. What they really want is the Chinese to change the government, because the current one is too good.

Fortunately China is not a multi-party democratic country, otherwise the opposition party in China will be supported by notorious NGOs (Non-Government Organization) of the USA, like the NED (National Endowment for Democracy), to topple the ruling party. The US and the British couldn’t crack Mainland China, so they work on Hong Kong. Of all the ex-British colonial countries, only the Hong Kongers were offered BNOs by the British. Because the UK would like the Hong Kongers to think they are British citizens, not Chinese. A divide-and-conquer strategy, which they often used in Color Revolutions around the world.

They resort to low dirty tricks like detaining Huawei’s CFO & banning Huawei. They raised a silly trade war which benefits no one. Trade deficit always exist between a developing and a developed country. USA is like a luxury car seller who ask a farmer: why am I always buying your vegetables and you haven’t bought any of my cars?

When the Chinese were making socks for the world 30 years ago, the world let it be. But when Chinese started to make high technology products, like Huawei and DJI, it caused red-alert. Because when Western and Japanese products are equal to Chinese in technologies, they could never match the Chinese in prices. First world countries want China to continue in making socks. Instead of stepping up themselves, they want to pull China down.

The recent movement by the US against China has a very important background. When Libya, Iran, and China decided to ditch the US dollar in oil trades, Gaddafi’s was killed by the US, Iran was being sanctioned by the US, and now it’s China’s turn. The US has been printing money out of nothing. The only reason why the US Dollar is still widely accepted, is because it’s the only currency which oil is allowed to be traded with. The US has an agreement with Saudi that oil must be traded in US dollar ONLY. Without the petrol-dollar status, the US dollars will sink, and America will fall. Therefore anyone trying to disobey this order will be eliminated. China will soon use a gold-backed crypto-currency, the alarms in the White House go off like mad.

China’s achievement has been by hard work. Not buy looting the world.

I have deep sympathy for China for all the suffering, but now I feel happy for them. China is not rising, they are going back to where they belong. Good luck China.

“Democracy” vs. Covid – A No-Go

“Democracy” vs. Covid – A No-Go

October 23, 2020

by Peter Koenig for the Saker Blog

Brussels (EU and European NATO Headquarters) – On 21 October 2020, the German Press Agency (dpa) reports that Germany pledges NATO soldiers for possible Covid-19 operations: “German soldiers could be sent on crisis missions to other NATO and partner countries during the second wave of the Corona pandemic. As a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense confirmed, the German government has promised NATO support for its “Allied Hand” emergency plan. According to this plan, medical personnel, pioneers and experts from the force would be made available for foreign missions to counter nuclear, biological or chemical hazards as required. The contingency plan is to be activated, for example, if a collapse of the health care system is imminent in allied or NATO partner countries due to very high infection rates and the affected state asks for support.”

In clear text, this means that German soldiers may be deployed on covid-related “crisis missions” to other NATO partners. Covid-restrictions and related government oppression and tyranny may lead to massive civil unrest, and German soldiers, alias German NATO soldiers, along with soldiers form other NATO countries, could help the local governments suffocate such potential people upheavals, applying military force. Live bullets and killing, if “necessary”.

In some European countries, covid-unrests already clearly visible, i.e., Slovenia, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Spain – and of course, in the very Germany. Civil and societal unrest is also boiling hot in France, currently one of the most repressive regimes in the western world.

All these countries were told and brainwashed into believing they live in a “democracy” – and in a democracy what is happening to them could and should never happen. They were never asked. Their governments didn’t even bother telling them that these “measures” were for their own good. Now, they are even being told by people like Boris Johnson, British PM, not to hope to go back to “normal”. There will be no more normal as we knew it, he literally said. Instead, there will be a Great Reset.

Thereby he is aping the words of Klaus Schwab, the founder and CEO of the World Economic Forum (WEF), who just published (July 2020) a book, called “Covid-19 – The Great Reset”. The book is available on Amazon (where else!), and I highly recommend reading it, not for Schwab to get richer, but for you and us the people to know what “their” plan is. Only if we know what the plan is, we may stop it – if we organize in solidarity and resist.

There is no “democracy”, there has never been. The EU is one of the least democratic institutions there is. But, yet, we are being indoctrinated with this huge lie, we are living in a democracy. It is covid that finally brings this abject global deceit to light.

And our lie-prone politicians and their bought mainstream media, continue to praise our western beautiful democracy, while deviating our attention from the truth, by bashing wester-made enemies, like China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Syria, North Korea – and others, just so we are blinded at home, but are told with false-propaganda that all these other countries are evil. They are evil, because they do not believe in our western greed-economy. The media does a very successful firing up of “cognitive dissonance’ – we know something is not right, but our feverish want for remaining in our comfort zone, makes us believe that we are well protected by our “elected” masters – and those, for example, in the east, who may follow another life philosophy than is ours which is made up of greed and violence – are evil.

An interesting poll, made public today in Switzerland shows that on average more than two thirds of the EU population thinks negatively about China and Russia. Why? China and Russia have never done anything harmful to Europe, to the contrary – they have offered truthful cooperation, against coerced collaboration, US-style. So, the question “Why?” is answered with the corporate paid brainwash-media.

Is this “democracy”? – Is this democratic thinking? Do these people realize that their brains have been captured years ago by a consumer-comfort propaganda and gradually converted into a submissive slave-behavior that still believes in “democracy”?
—–

The German people have not been asked whether they agree sending German troops to other countries, nor whether they should participate in NATO exercises. The truce that is in force for Germany since the end of WWII, allows no foreign intervention by German military. In fact, no formal Peace Agreement has (yet) been signed between Germany and the winning powers. The armistice accord contains a clause that dictates that Germany ought to never undertake any actions that go against the interests of the United States. This would explain, at least in part, why the German Government bends backwards over to please Washington.

But most of the Germans are oblivious to this fact.
On purpose. Because “democracy” would dictate the ethical: let the public know. Get a public debate going about the autonomy and sovereignty that Germany currently has and that she – and her people – deserve.

The decision of using German troops as NATO soldiers in other countries has nothing to do with “democracy”. It goes against the grains of democracy. Is Germany under a “covid emergency law”, which would be similar to Martial Law? As is France, Switzerland, Spain, the UK? If so, have the people been properly informed?

Switzerland has just recently extended her Covid Emergency Law until the end of 2021 – and then what? It could easily be extended again, as it was now. The law was rammed through a right-wing congress, regardless of political parties, congress men and women largely agreed. No questions asked. The people were never consulted.

Now a People’s Referendum (a privilege the Swiss still have) that would ban this so-called “Notrecht” (emergency Law), is under way. But by the time enough signatures will be assembled and the referendum will be “allowed” by the Government to be presented to the public for a vote, it may be too late to change the drastic measures that were implemented under the quasi-Martial Law.

That’s “democracy”, or is it?

France under Mr. Macron, a Rothschild gnome, has reimposed a State of Health Emergency and introduced curfews, a ban on weddings and being out in the streets is permitted only with special permits. This as the result of a “sudden and spectacular acceleration” in the spread of the coronavirus, Jean Castex, the Prime Minister said, justifying this audacious draconian measure. He added that the national COVID-19 incidence rate over the past ten days had jumped from 107 to 190 cases per 100,000 population with “particularly alarming levels” in some large cities. But who checks the figures, the statistics, how they are assembled? Nobody.

That’s “democracy”? – For disobedience fines are €135 for first offenders, rising to as much as €7,500 — and a six-month prison term. Well, is this dictatorship or what?

It is far away from “democracy” – that’s for sure. Especially if we know what covid really is – namely nothing more than closely similar to a regular flu. This is according to Anthony Fauci, chief of NIAID / NIH of the US, when he writes peer-reviewed articles in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), like “Covid-19 – Navigating the Uncharted” …. “the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.” (https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejme2002387).

When Fauci speaks to the media – in countless interviews to mainstream TV – he uses the usual fear-mongering narrative of the deadliness of the corona virus.

This shows, that there is clearly a different agenda behind covid than controlling the “Pandemic”, but rather controlling the people. We ought to wake up. It’s too late to talk about reinstating “democracy”. Truth is, we never had democracy. And now we have to fight for our sheer survival as human beings. Trust me.

“Democracy” is but a wishful slogan. Democracy in today’s world certainly doesn’t exist. It never did. Not even in ancient Greece it worked, where the term was invented some 2500 years ago by well-off, but admittedly well-thinking philosophers. Democracy was always for the educated, for the fortunate and wealthy – but it never played out in truth to all of the people – to what the term in its original translation meant and means. As soon as the term democracy is given to politicians as a concept of ruling a nation to be applied, the meaning of “democracy” is vandalized into “the people choose, but the elite decides”. It is the same as of this day. Democracy is derived from the ancient Greek “demokratia,” literally meaning that power belongs to the people. It never did; and even less so today.

“The power belonging to the people” was and is conceded to the people, always to the extent that the controlling elite deems appropriate. If the people want to take over what’s theirs, the controlling elite brings out controlling forces and plays the propaganda game, misinformation, manipulated truth and outright lies. This was the case then and is practiced today in even more sophisticated ways.

Today, deceit is not just applied as the ruling elite sees fit and for personal gains, it is manufactured by algorithms, actually by Artificial Intelligence. Today’s elections, particularly in the west, are decided by oligarch or deep state-controlled algorithms. The voters play an alibi role. Not more. There is hardly any election in the (western) world which is not ultimately controlled and decided by the United States.
——

Back to the non-democratic European Union. It is using NATO troops for urban warfare, if you will. There is a not-much-talked about German / NATO military base in the small “Land” (State) of Saxony-Anhalt, not far from Hamburg. According to the German online journal “Pivot Area” (https://www.pivotarea.eu/2017/10/26/german-armed-forces-open-part-of-their-new-urban-warfare-training-city/), the urban warfare military base in “Schnöggersburg is being built since 2012. It should be finished by the end of 2020. By then it will consist of more than 500 buildings stretched over 6.25 square kilometers. The so called „urban agglomeration“, as the Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces) labeled its training ground, has a whole city infrastructure – i.e. a canalization (water supply and sewerage), an underground (metro) line, a train station, an industrial park, as well as a sport stadium, slums, residential areas and a high-rise district. The German MoD (Ministry of Defense) planned to invest 140 million Euros into the project (by completion, it will likely be considerably more). According to lieutenant-general Frank Leidenberger, head of the land forces innovation-department, the last decade shows the clear trend, that „warfare moves from the field to the cities.“ Therefore Schnöggersburg should give the German armed forces a supreme training ground for state of the art operations in urban scenarios. Leidenberger says also that the Bundeswehr considers its new high training city as a strategic resource to push the framework of nation concept with partner armies.”

The key phrase is “the framework of nation concept with partner armies.”  That’s where NATO comes in.

How many Germans have been democratically informed about this Monster Project? It clearly indicates that urban social unrest, on massive scale, was already foreseen way before 2012 – probably around the time that the Global Great Reset started taking form, decades ago, in the criminal heads of the all-controlling Deep Dark State; those that started this new phase of societal digitization with 9/11 in 2001, curiously also the beginning of a new western calendar landmark, the Third Millennium. Starting with 9/11, the western empire and its minions went downhill. And the East started rising.

The downhill slide will undoubtedly mean the end of the empire. But on the way there, all the most mischievous powers will be used to enslave the population, digitally and with AI, algorithms. Since this Deep Dark State has also eugenicists in its core, a massive population reduction is also part of the plan.

Monetary digitization is likewise part of the plan. In fact, it is already well under preparation, as an element of WEF’s Great Reset, or as the IMF calls it, The Great Reformation. The IMF (and the World Bank), both controlled by the US Treasury, are planning a so-called Bretton Woods 2.0, a Reset of the monetary system, where eventually the western dollar economy would be replaced by a digital crypto-currency, in which selected western currency may partake. The role of gold in it, is not clear, nor is the role of the de facto strongest currency, the Chinese Yuan.

If this as of yet hypothetical new IMF-BIS controlled crypto-currency materializes, it would most likely wipe out all US debt and make lines of credit available – perhaps in the hundreds of trillions of dollars equivalent – to help bail-out small central banks of poorer, highly indebted countries. (see also https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_cL7Sv5Daw).

Would these countries’ debt base just balloon out of proportion with the new IMF-BIS bail-outs, or would they simply (have to) concede their national asset base to the IMF-BIS managed Global monster fund – to be able to limp along in “lockstep” and poverty, according to the Masters’ rules, is not clear.

In any case, be prepared, there is much to come, if, We, the People, allow the Covid-19 induced Great Reset to move forward. It is increasingly clear that covid is nothing more than an instrument for a much grander plan, The Great Reset. – the Great Reset is the antidote to “democracy”. It is a further demolition of any hope towards a “democracy”.

Fortunately, there is China, also with a new digital (crypto?) currency, in test phase, under preparation – eventually to be rolled out for international payment use, as an alternative to the dollar economy, or the new IMF-BIS treacherous US Treasury controlled crypto-currency. In contrast, the digital yuan is meant as a peaceful means of trading among equals in view of a more balanced multi-polar world. Yes, this despite the negative wester thinking about China.
The Tao life philosophy that the west doesn’t want to know or understand, is not confrontational, not even when constantly confronted by the aggressive west.

In the meantime, to escape the new monetary tyranny (from fiat dollars to fiat-fiat crypto), countries could simply retake their sovereignty, take back their national central banks, heir national currencies and start producing for local markets with local public banks and with local debt – as much as possible towards a state of self-sufficiency, with cross-border trading in local currencies. If this happens, the IMF-BIS controlled crypto currency will bite the dust.


Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for online journals such as Global Research; ICH; New Eastern Outlook (NEO) and more. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.
Peter Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

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.

The World Has Gone Absolutely Insane!

THE SAKER • SEPTEMBER 25, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh, but it gets better.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lastly, NATO has no hypersonic weapons. Russia does.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But if not – why the threats?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion: quos Deus vult perdere prius dementat!

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

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

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.

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