The BBC’s abysmal coverage of Qatar’s World Cup

The British state-owned broadcaster’s refusal to show Qatar’s Opening Ceremony reeks of hypocrisy

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Omar Ahmed

November 21 2022

The FIFA World Cup held in Qatar is probably going to be the worst in the 92-year history of the tournament, but not for the reasons most are thinking.

Aside from the fact that it is being held for the first time in winter due to the soaring summer temperatures of the Persian Gulf – and apart from the many off-field controversies surrounding the event – this year’s World Cup has kicked off with shockingly biased coverage by the BBC.

The choice of Qatar to host the prestigious global football tournament was always going to be one steeped in controversy – a West Asian Muslim nation, for one, had never snagged a prize this big, and of such global significance.

So from the onset, bribery scandals implicating the Qataris with the corrupt-prone FIFA organization ran rife. True or not, to date there exists no hard evidence linking Qatar and its successful bid to host the World Cup.

The first World Cup in West Asia

Then there was the cultural aspect: a conservative, Arab, Asian, Muslim-majority emirate was deemed unworthy of hosting the world’s most important football event. The biases run deep: consider, for instance, that this World Cup is only the second ever to be hosted in Asia – the world’s biggest continent – after Japan-South Korea co-hosted in 2002.

Alcohol and football spectating often go hand in hand, and the Qataris have already made headlines by announcing two days before the tournament a ban on the sale of alcohol inside stadiums. This, despite a contractual agreement between FIFA and US beer giant Budweiser, which enjoyed exclusive official sponsor rights to sell its drinks at the World Cup.

However, these issues can and have by and large been overlooked by most football fans and the media. The elephant in the room, has always been the issue of Qatari human rights and whether it is therefore “unfit” to host the world’s greatest sporting event, after the Olympics.

These pressing issues, so championed by the liberal west, include democracy, women’s rights, LGBT rights, and the plight and treatment of migrant workers – most of these from South Asia. Yet while some of the charges are valid talking points, they are accompanied by an all too familiar feeling of western double standards.

The BBC snubs the Opening Ceremony

The BBC, which has built a global reputation for its renowned football coverage throughout the decades – including many memorable World Cups – has let itself down immensely over its refusal to air Qatar 2022’s Opening Ceremony.

The opening show, after all, is every host nation’s chance to introduce itself to the rest of the world and put on a dazzling and meaningful display of its heritage, culture, and a means to project its soft power. Yet millions of television viewers in the UK were deprived of witnessing the spectacle Qatar had painstakingly organized. This was British petulance and pettiness on display for all the world to see.

From the very outset, BBC presenter and former footballer Gary Lineker set a scathing tone with a disclaimer-like segment prior to the program. “It’s the most controversial World Cup in history and a ball hasn’t even been kicked,” he said before listing the aforementioned controversies.

“Against that backdrop, there’s a tournament to be played – one that will be watched and enjoyed around the world. Stick to football, say FIFA. Well, we will – for a couple of minutes at least.”

He wasn’t joking either. For a good 20 minutes, the show intended to display the opening ceremony of the first World Cup in West Asia, was instead an insufferable bore of virtue-signaling by the BBC and its panel of pundits.

Online backlash against the BBC

Naturally, this deviation from the main subject was picked up on social media by both popular, verified users, and average football fans, alike. The people tuned into the BBC, not only for the opening ceremony, but you guessed it – for football.

British media personality Piers Morgan was among those who slammed the BBC over its “outrageously disrespectful” coverage for not broadcasting the opening ceremony and playing petty politics. “If they’re that appalled, they should bring home their vast army of (British) employees & spare us this absurd hypocrisy,” he added.

These sentiments were echoed across Twitter, with many users describing the BBC’s coverage as a “disgrace.” Others pointed out the blatant hypocrisy of the pundits, who despite criticizing the Qataris and essentially boycotting the opening ceremony, still will be getting paid to film the month-long spectacle in the country.

Selective moral outrage

What has been remarkable, though, has been the incessant moral outrage that has emerged in the build-up to this competition – noticeably absent not only in all previous World Cups, but also interestingly enough, in the last tournament which was hosted in Russia – the villain of the hour, and Europe’s current security bogeyman.

That 2018 World Cup opening ceremony was neither snubbed, nor were LGBT rights or any other human rights issues invoked. Remember that this was four years after the annexation of Crimea – a prelude to the current, on-going Russian military operation in Ukraine.

At the time, the BBC’s coverage proceeded as normal, despite publicized accusations of “sports washing.” Likewise, the BBC had no qualms about broadcasting the opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, in spite of (unsubstantiated) western claims of a Uyghur genocide.

So why has Qatar been singled out? Some observers have pointed to Islamophobia, which truth be told, may be a far too simplistic assumption, although there has definitely been obvious cases of this in certain western media coverage. What is true is that Arabs and Muslims remain pretty much the only global demographic left against which racist and ethnic bashing are not only allowed, but roundly applauded.

Linekar’s fellow pundits include female ex-footballer Alex Scott who tried to defend her presence in Qatar despite criticizing the country’s human rights record, “Because I love my job,” she argued – which she justified by having these “harder conversations.”

“You think about four years ago, I was the first female pundit for the BBC at a World Cup. You think about how far we’ve moved in four years.” Interestingly enough, not only did she share her commentary in the last World Cup in Russia, but she was also seen pictured with President Vladimir Putin. Clearly “human rights” were of no concern to her back then.

Former footballer Alan Shearer’s moral outrage against Qatar is also ironic, given that he is a vocal proponent of Saudi Arabia’s takeover of his beloved hometown club, Newcastle United. The Saudis, after all, practically wrote the textbook on repression and rights violations. Why hasn’t he opposed lucrative Saudi investment in the Magpies?

Perhaps feeling compelled to address the Saudi acquisition while discussing the World Cup in Qatar, Shearer did say: “Do I love the impact that it has had on Newcastle? Absolutely. Newcastle are buzzing and playing some great football.”

“Also, do I think that the Saudis and other countries should be held to account over human rights? Absolutely yes.”

What about the next FIFA World Cup?

The virtue signaling we are witnessing will likely continue to be throughout the rest of the World Cup. The BBC have already taken the unprecedented step of placing politics at the forefront of their sports coverage.

In terms of consistency, then, it will be interesting to see where they go with the next FIFA World Cup to be jointly hosted by the US, Canada, and Mexico. Will the BBC snub the opening ceremony to protest rampant US police brutality, its dismal human rights record, its illegal wars, arms sales to despotic regimes, or its on-going theft of Syrian oil?

How about Canada’s arms trade with Saudi Arabia which contributes directly to the devastating war in Yemen where tens of thousands have died and millions are on the verge of starvation? And let’s not forget the narco-state that has emerged in Mexico, where kidnapping and capital crimes now rule the streets, with little pushback from the government.

Of course, the British government’s mouthpiece will have no objections with those host nations. No, the BBC will not spare even a second to point out those deadly crimes that affect tens of millions more people than whatever-Qatar-did-wrong.

Ultimately, for football fans around the world who eagerly waited four long years for this tournament, it won’t be hard to watch this Qatari World Cup. It will only be hard to watch it on the BBC.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

THE BBC-TO-NATO PIPELINE: HOW THE BRITISH STATE BROADCASTER SERVES THE POWERFUL

OCTOBER 6TH, 2022

By Alan Macleod

Source

The death of Queen Elizabeth II, where the BBC dropped programming to run endless, wall-to-wall coverage, has underlined the fact to many Britons that the network is far from impartial, but the voice of the state.

The BBC website draped itself in black, printing stories such as “Death of Queen Elizabeth II: The moment history stops,” while BBC News presenter Clive Myrie explicitly dismissed the cost of living and energy crisis wracking the country as “insignificant” compared to the news.

But even before the monarch’s death, the BBC’s reputation was in crisis. Between 2018 and 2022, the number of Britons saying they trusted its coverage dropped from 75% to just 55%. Yet it still remains a giant in media; more than three-quarters of the U.K. public rely on the network as a news source.

BBC trust poll

However, this investigation will reveal that the BBC has always been consciously used as an arm of the state, with the broadcaster openly collaborating with the U.K. military, the intelligence services and with NATO, all in an effort to shape British and world public opinion.

THE BBC-TO-NATO PIPELINE

The BBC has always cultivated a close relationship with the British military, despite the inherent journalistic conflicts of interest present. “In theory the BBC is supposed to hold power to account, but this is not how impartiality has tended to work in practice,” Tom Mills, an academic and author of “The BBC: Myth of a Public Service,” told MintPress, adding that “a certain deference is expected of you…It’s a structural feature of the organization, and to some extent journalism more broadly.”

Yet, studying employment databases and websites reveals the existence of a revolving door between the broadcaster and NATO.

Between 2007 and 2008, longtime BBC producer and news presenter Victoria Cook, for instance, was simultaneously collecting a paycheck from NATO, working as a journalist and media trainer.

Oana Lungescu, meanwhile, left her job as a correspondent at the BBC World Service (the broadcaster’s flagship international radio service) in 2010 to take a job as a NATO spokesperson.

Another BBC employee who went through the BBC-to-NATO-pipeline is Mark Laity, who left his position as the network’s defense correspondent to become the deputy spokesman to NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson – a man who journalistic ethics dictates Laity should have been closely scrutinizing, not doing public relations for him.

David McGee also left his role as a news producer for the BBC to work for NATO – in this case as a media manager, where he, in his own words, “Provided PR support to military and civilian stakeholders for external communications audience,” and, “Undertook crisis management of news events for [the] U.S. military.”

Others traveled the other way. One of them is Terence Sach, who left his job as an intelligence and security analyst at the U.K. Ministry of Defense in 2017 to become an information security specialist at the BBC.

WHERE NEWS MEETS PSYOPS

Perhaps most noteworthy, however, is the BBC’s employment of NATO psychological operations officers, tasking them to provide supposedly objective information while simultaneously moonlighting as propagandists for the military alliance.

Between 1994 and 2014, for example, Sulaiman Radmanish worked for the BBC World Service, primarily helping to produce content targeting the Afghan population. Over a similar time period (2005-2014), he worked as a video editor for NATO, “edit[ing] short Psyops clips” according to his LinkedIn profile. It is surely no coincidence that his work with both the BBC and NATO ended in the same year as Britain’s withdrawal from Afghanistan – a country it had been occupying since 2001.

THOSE ANGRY AT RUSHDIE’S STABBING HAVE BEEN MISSING IN ACTION OVER A FAR BIGGER THREAT TO OUR FREEDOM

Another operative with one foot in both NATO and the BBC was Bojan Lazic. At the same time as being a full-time psychological operations specialist for NATO, Lazic moonlighted as a BBC technical consultant. This employment coincided with NATO’s bombing of Lazic’s native Yugoslavia.

This close relationship with the military continues to the present day. One example of this is the BBC’s newly appointed head of assurance, Khushru Cooper. According to his social media profile, Cooper continues to be a commissioned British Army officer – a post he has held for 20 years.

THE MYTH OF A LEFT-WING BIAS

In August, top BBC news anchor Emily Maitlis caused a storm of controversy after she claimed that the network’s former head of political programming, Robbie Gibb, was, in her words, an “active agent of the Conservative party” who influenced politics coverage. Others agreed, including BBC media editor Amol Rajan, who said Gibb’s appointment “clearly strengthens the BBC’s links not just with Westminster, but with the Conservative Party specifically”.

At the time she made the remarks, Maitlis had recently resigned, although only after she had come under huge pressure for reporting on how senior Conservative politicians were blatantly flouting their own COVID-19 lockdown rules.

Richard Sharp, the BBC’s chairman, insisted that Maitlis was “completely wrong”. “We cherish the editorial independence of the BBC,” he added. Yet her claims were hardly outlandish. Robbie Gibb is the brother of Tory MP and former cabinet minister Nick Gibb, and left the BBC in 2017 to become Director of Communications for Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May. And Sharp himself was an advisor to senior Tories, including Chancellor Rishi Sunak and future Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He is also one of the party’s largest benefactors, donating at least £400,000 to its coffers.

Many of the BBC’s biggest and most influential names also have similar connections to conservative power. Tim Davie, the corporation’s director general, was the deputy chairman of the Hammersmith and Fulham Conservative Party and stood for election as a Tory on two occasions. Nick Robinson, the BBC’s former political editor and current host of its flagship Today program, was chairman of the National Young Conservatives and president of the Oxford University Conservative Association. And Andrew Neil, a longtime senior politics presenter at the BBC, was far-right media baron Rupert Murdoch’s right-hand man and the chairman of the hard-right Spectator magazine.

This glut of right-wingers in top jobs is not matched by an equal number on the left. Far from it. In fact, from the earliest days of the BBC, the secret services have vetted the majority of its staff – even for minor positions – in order to ensure that those it deems too left-wing, radical or anti-war will never enter its ranks. This practice continued until at very least the 1980s. However, when BBC journalists asked the company in 2018 whether this practice is still ongoing, they refused to answer, citing “security issues” – a response many took to be a tacit “yes”.

Nevertheless, the myth that the BBC is a left-leaning institution is a persistent one. Successive polls have shown that around one quarter of the public believe the corporation is biased in favor of the Labour Party and the left – a larger number than those that say the opposite is true.

Much of this sentiment is driven by the Conservative Party itself, which constantly harangues the BBC over what it claims is an anti-Tory bias, to the point where the current government under Liz Truss have vowed to pull all its funding, effectively destroying it. Earlier this week, Home Secretary Suella Braverman claimed that there has been a “march of socialism” throughout public life and that there was an “urgent need” to address the balance by placing right-wingers into more positions of power.

The BBC is not financed by advertising, but from a license fee paid for by all Britons (with some exceptions) who wish to have a television. The cost of the license – and therefore the budget of the BBC – is set by the government, giving it a weapon to use against the corporation.

As former Director of BBC personnel, Michael Bett said,

The license fee became a bigger and bigger political issue. Therefore, it mattered very much what the government thought about you, and you couldn’t rely on the general reputation. You had to please the government.”

“The BBC is essentially a state broadcaster with a high degree of operational autonomy. It’s reporting isn’t directed by government, or by any department of state…plus its public income comes from outside of general taxation,” Mills told MintPress, adding:

But governments control that income, they appoint executives to its board and they periodically define its terms of operations. Ultimately it is answerable to governments and this is well understood in the BBC itself. They are very conscious of how they are perceived by politicians.”

VOICE OF THE STATE

The work of Mills and others charting the history of the British Broadcasting Corporation has underlined the point that, from its very inception, it has been fundamentally intertwined with British state power, helping to promote and preserve it at home and abroad.

The BBC was established in October 1922 to take advantage of emerging radio technology, and played a key role in the U.K. General Strike of 1926. 1920s Europe was an extremely turbulent time, as class war, revolution and socialism had come to the fore. In 1917, Russia had overthrown its czar and brought Lenin’s Bolshevik party into power, only to be immediately invaded by Britain, the United States and other powers in an attempt to “strangle Bolshevism in its cradle” as Winston Churchill put it.

The German uprisings of 1917 and 1919 had ended the First World War and led to the fall of the monarchy. Closer to home, Ireland had fought its way to independence from Britain. Meanwhile, in 1922, a communist uprising in Scotland had come close to sparking a revolution across the country.

These actions deeply troubled BBC chief Lord John Reith. And so when the Trades Union Congress called a general strike in 1926, the Scottish aristocrat offered his organization’s services to the Conservative government. The BBC became a “vital instrument of propaganda for a government determined to break the strike,” in Mills’ words, putting out non-stop propaganda demonizing the strikers and banning broadcasts from the Labour Party.

After the strike was broken, Reith proudly announced to listeners,

You have heard the messages from the king and the prime minister. It remains only to add the conviction that the nation’s happy escape has been in large measure due to a personal trust in the prime minister.”

Reith would later say that the BBC “saved” Britain and quipped that if France had had a state broadcaster in 1789, “there would have been no French Revolution.” 

The government has long internally debated what its precise relationship with the BBC should be. Winston Churchill was in favor of officially taking over the corporation. However, others in government argued that it should be kept at arm’s length; that it would hold more persuasive power if it maintained a facade of independence. This was the approach Lord Reith favored, commenting that the government “know that they can trust us not to be really impartial”.

THE ENEMY WITHIN

True to Reith’s vision, the BBC has maintained its role as state broadcaster and has functioned as one of the British establishment’s most potent tools in destroying any threat to its power and prestige. As Greg Dyke, BBC secretary general between 2000 and 2004 stated, the organization “helps maintain an unequal political system by being part of a Westminster conspiracy. They don’t want anything to change. It’s not in their interests.”

This was seen in full effect in the 1980s during the Miners’ Strike, where the BBC put out round-the-clock propaganda to help the Conservative Thatcher government defeat the strikers, going so far as to doctor footage to make it appear that miners had attacked the police, when, in fact, the opposite was the case.

Nevertheless, the Thatcher government’s attack on the BBC was fierce. Following the commissioning of Duncan Campbell’s series “Secret Society”, which exposed the existence of spy satellites that even parliament was not told about, the security services raided BBC offices in Glasgow and banned its publication.

More recently, when Scotland faced an independence referendum in 2014, the BBC published a torrent of negative stories on the issue, warning Scots that ruination awaited them if they chose to break away. This came to be dubbed “Project Fear” by detractors. Studies showed a clear quantitative bias towards anti-independence sources, with BBC presenters displaying open contempt or even hatred towards Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond.

Likewise, when Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the Labour Party, the BBC immediately trained its guns on him, constantly attacking and slandering him, implying he was a terrorist sympathizer, an antisemite, and a national security threat. After strong public pushback to its reporting, the BBC eventually investigated itself and concluded its own political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, had breached its impartiality and accuracy standards when covering Corbyn. Despite this, senior BBC figures still publicly maintain that the idea the organization was biased against him is “risible.”

The BBC has often cultivated its “Auntie Beeb” persona – that of a reliable, comforting and non-threatening source of information that all Britons can rely upon. However, upon closer inspection, it is clear that the institution functions as an appendage of the state, with deep and long-lasting ties to all sectors of the British establishment, including the monarchy, the military, the secret services and the Conservative Party. In short, then, the BBC is not just state-funded media; it is a mouthpiece for the powerful.

THE QUEEN AND HER LEGACY: 21ST CENTURY BRITAIN HAS NEVER LOOKED SO MEDIEVAL

SEPTEMBER 9TH, 2022

Source

By Jonathan Cook

Anyone in the UK who imagined they lived in a representative democracy – one in which leaders are elected and accountable to the people – will be in for a rude awakening over the next days and weeks.

TV schedules have been swept aside. Presenters must wear black and talk in hushed tones. Front pages are uniformly somber. Britain’s media speak with a single, respectful voice about the Queen and her unimpeachable legacy.

Westminster, meanwhile, has been stripped of left and right. The Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour parties have set aside politics to grieve as one. Even the Scottish nationalists – supposedly trying to rid themselves of the yoke of centuries of English rule presided over by the monarch – appear to be in effusive mourning.

The world’s urgent problems – from the war in Europe to a looming climate catastrophe – are no longer of interest or relevance. They can wait till Britons emerge from a more pressing national trauma.

Domestically, the BBC has told those facing a long winter in which they will not be able to afford to heat their homes that their suffering is “insignificant” compared to that of the family of a 96-year-old woman who died peacefully in the lap of luxury. They can wait too.

In this moment there is no public room for ambivalence or indifference, for reticence, for critical thinking – and most certainly not for Republicanism, even if nearly a third of the public, mostly the young, desire the monarchy’s abolition. The British establishment expects every man, woman, and child to do their duty by lowering their head.

Twenty-first-century Britain never felt so medieval.

WALL-TO-WALL EULOGIES

There are reasons a critical gaze is needed right now, as the British public is corralled into reverential mourning.

The wall-to-wall eulogies are intended to fill our nostrils with the perfume of nostalgia to cover the stench of a rotting institution, one at the heart of the very establishment doing the eulogising.

The demand is that everyone shows respect for the Queen and her family and that now is not the time for criticism or even analysis.

Indeed, the Royal Family have every right to be left in peace to grieve. But privacy is not what they, or the establishment they belong to, crave.

The Royals’ loss is public in every sense. There will be a lavish state funeral, paid for by the taxpayer. There will be an equally lavish coronation of her son, Charles, also paid for by the taxpayer.

And in the meantime, the British public will be force-fed the same official messages by every TV channel – not neutrally, impartially or objectively, but as state propaganda – paid for, once again, by the British taxpayer.

Reverence and veneration are the only types of coverage of the Queen and her family that is now allowed.

But there is a deeper sense in which the Royals are public figures – more so even than those thrust into the spotlight by their celebrity or talent for accumulating money.

The British public has entirely footed the bill for the Royals’ lives of privilege and pampered luxury. Like the kings of old, they have given themselves the right to enclose vast tracts of the British Isles as their private dominion. The Queen’s death, for example, means the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have just added the whole of Cornwall to their estate.

If anyone is public property, it is the British Royals. They have no right to claim an exemption from scrutiny just when scrutiny is most needed – as the anti-democratic privileges of monarchy pass from one set of hands to another.

The demand for silence is not a politically neutral act. It is a demand that we collude in a corrupt system of establishment rule and hierarchical privilege.

The establishment has a vested interest in enforcing silence and obedience until the public’s attention has moved on to other matters. Anyone who complies leaves the terrain open over the coming weeks for the establishment to reinforce and deepen the public’s deference to elite privilege.

CONTINUITY OF RULE

Undoubtedly, the Queen carried out her duties supremely well during her 70 years on the throne. As BBC pundits keep telling us, she helped maintain social “stability” and ensured “continuity” of rule.

The start of her reign in 1952 coincided with her government ordering the suppression of the Mau Mau independence uprising in Kenya. Much of the population were put in concentration camps and used as slave labour – if they weren’t murdered by British soldiers.

At the height of her rule, 20 years later, British troops were given a green light to massacre 14 civilians in Northern Ireland on a protest march against Britain’s policy of jailing Catholics without trial. Those shot and killed were fleeing or tending the wounded. The British establishment oversaw cover-up inquiries into what became known as “Bloody Sunday”.

And in the twilight years of her rule, her government rode roughshod over international law, invading Iraq on the pretext of destroying non-existent weapons of mass destruction. During the long years of a joint British and US occupation, it is likely that more than a million Iraqis died and millions more were driven from their homes.

The Queen, of course, was not personally responsible for any of those events – nor the many others that occurred while she maintained a dignified silence.

But she did provide regal cover for those crimes – in life, just as she is now being recruited to do in death.

It was her Royal Armed Forces that killed Johnny Foreigner.

It was her Commonwealth that repackaged the jackbooted British empire as a new, more media-savvy form of colonialism.

It was the Union Jacks, Beefeaters, black cabs, bowler hats – the ludicrous paraphernalia somehow associated with the Royals in the rest of the world’s mind – that the new power across the Atlantic regularly relied on from its sidekick to add a veneer of supposed civility to its ugly imperial designs.

Paradoxically, given US history, the special-ness of the special relationship hinged on having a much-beloved, esteemed Queen providing “continuity” as the British and US governments went about tearing up the rulebook on the laws of war in places like Afghanistan and Iraq.

TEFLON QUEEN

And therein lies the rub. The Queen is dead. Long live the King!

But King Charles III is not Queen Elizabeth II.

The Queen had the advantage of ascending to the throne in a very different era, when the media avoided Royal scandals unless they were entirely unavoidable, such as when Edward VIII caused a constitutional crisis in 1936 by announcing his plan to marry an American “commoner”.

With the arrival of 24-hour rolling news in the 1980s and the later advent of digital media, the Royals became just another celebrity family like the Kardashians. They were fair game for the paparazzi. Their scandals sold newspapers. Their indiscretions and feuds chimed with the period’s ever more salacious and incendiary soap opera plots on TV.

But none of that dirt stuck to the Queen, even when recently it was revealed – to no consequence – that her officials had secretly and regularly rigged legislation to exempt her from the rules that applied to everyone else, under a principle known as Queen’s Consent. An apartheid system benefiting the Royal Family alone.

By remaining above the fray, she offered “continuity”. Even the recent revelation that her son, Prince Andrew, consorted with young girls alongside the late Jeffrey Epstein, and kept up the friendship even after Epstein was convicted of paedophilia, did nothing to harm the Teflon Monarch.

Prince Andrew & the Epstein Scandal: The Newsnight Interview
In a Newsnight special, Emily Maitlis interviews the Duke of York as he speaks for the first time about his relationship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Ep…

Charles III, by contrast, is best remembered – at least by the older half of the population – for screwing up his marriage to a fairy-tale princess, Diana, killed in tragic circumstances. In preferring Camilla, Charles traded Cinderella for the evil stepmother, Lady Tremaine.

If the monarch is the narrative glue holding society and empire together, Charles could represent the moment when that project starts to come unstuck.

Which is why the black suits, hushed tones, and air of reverence are needed so desperately right now. The establishment is in frantic holding mode as they prepare to begin the difficult task of reinventing Charles and Camilla in the public imagination. Charles must now do the heavy lifting for the establishment that the Queen managed for so long, even as she grew increasingly frail physically.

The outlines of that plan have been visible for a while. Charles will be rechristened the King of the Green New Deal. He will symbolise Britain’s global leadership against the climate crisis.

If the Queen’s job was to rebrand empire as Commonwealth, transmuting the Mau Mau massacre into gold medals for Kenyan long-distance runners, Charles’ job will be to rebrand as a Green Renewal the death march led by transnational corporations.

Which is why now is no time for silence or obedience. Now is precisely the moment – as the mask slips, as the establishment needs time to refortify its claim to deference – to go on the attack.

Feature photo | Illustration by MintPress News

Jonathan Cook is a MintPress contributor. Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East (Pluto Press) and Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

Roger Waters’ open letter to “Ze”‘s wife

September 09, 2022

“Did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?”
An Open letter to Mrs. Olena Zelenska from Roger Waters
Sunday 4th September 2022

Dear Mrs. Zelenska,

My heart bleeds for you and all the Ukrainian and Russian families, devastated by the terrible war in Ukraine. I’m in Kansas City, USA. I have just read a piece on BBC.com apparently taken from an interview you have already recorded for a program called ‘Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg’ which is to be broadcast on the BBC today, September 4th. BBC.com quotes you as saying that “If support for Ukraine is strong, the crisis will be shorter.” Hmmm? I guess that might depend on what you mean by “support for Ukraine”? If by “support for Ukraine” you mean the West continuing to supply arms to the Kiev government’s armies, I fear you may be tragically mistaken. Throwing fuel, in the form of armaments, into a fire fight, has never worked to shorten a war in the past, and it won’t work now, particularly because, in this case, most of the fuel is (a) being thrown into the fire from Washington DC, which is at a relatively safe distance from the conflagration, and (b) because the ‘fuel throwers’ have already declared an interest in the war going on for as long as possible. I fear that we, and by we I mean people like you and me who actually want peace in Ukraine, who don’t want the outcome to be that you have to fight to the last Ukrainian life, and possibly even, if the worst comes to the worst, to the last human life. If we, instead, wish to achieve a different outcome we may have to seek a different route and that route may lie in your husband’s previously stated good intentions.

Yes, I mean the platform upon which he so laudably ran for the office of President of Ukraine, the platform upon which he won his historic landslide victory in the democratic election in 2019. He stood on the election platform of the following promises.

1. To end the civil war in the East and bring peace to the Donbas and partial autonomy to Donetsk and Luhansk.
2. And to ratify and implement the rest of the body of the Minsk 2 agreements.

One can only assume that your husband’s electoral policies didn’t sit well with certain political factions in Kiev and that those factions persuaded your husband to diametrically change course ignoring the peoples mandate. Sadly, your old man agreed to those totalitarian, anti-democratic dismissals of the will of the Ukrainian people, and the forces of extreme nationalism that had lurked, malevolent, in the shadows, have, since then, ruled the Ukraine. They have, also since then, crossed any number of red lines that had been set out quite clearly over a number of years by your neighbors the Russian Federation and in consequence they, the extreme nationalists, have set your country on the path to this disastrous war.

I won’t go on.

If I’m wrong, please help me to understand how?

If I’m not wrong, please help me in my honest endeavors to persuade our leaders to stop the slaughter, the slaughter which serves only the interests of the ruling classes and extreme nationalists both here in the West, and in your beautiful country, at the expense of the rest of us ordinary people both here in the West, and in the Ukraine, and in fact ordinary people everywhere all over the world.

Might it not be better to demand the implementation of your husband’s election promises and put an end to this deadly war?

Love
Roger Waters

source

US economic decline and global instability Part 2: Rise of BRICS

September 01, 2022

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by Phillyguy

Summary

The US emerged from WWII as the world’s preeminent military and economic power. All of the pillars supporting US power are now threatened by decades of neoliberal economic policies, spending vast sums of taxpayer money propping up financial markets, the military and attainment of economic/military parity by the Russia-China-Iran axis. In this essay, I link the continuing economic and social decline in the US/EU (collectively referred to as the ‘west) to an increasingly reckless US foreign policy, the role corporate media serves in promoting these policies to the American/EU public and the rise of Russia, China and other countries in the global south.

Introduction

This is a continuation or my previous article, linking US economic decline and global instability [1]. Briefly, the US emerged from WWII as the world’s leading economic and military power. Since that time, US global power has rested on: 1) unrivaled military and economic power, 2) control of world’s energy reserves (primarily in the Middle East), and 3) maintaining the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. Following the conclusion of WWII in 1945, the US had the world’s largest economy and was the major ‘growth engine’ for western capitalism for the next 3 decades. In the mid-1970s, this began to change as US corporate profits began to stagnate/decline, a direct consequence of spending large amounts of taxpayer money on wars on the Korean Peninsula (1950-1953) and Vietnam (1955-1975) and increased competition from rebuilt economies in Europe, primarily Germany (Marshall Plan) and Asia- Japan, South Korea (Korean and Vietnam wars) and more recently China. Starting in the early 1980s, the US financial elite began pressuring policy makers to pursue neoliberal economic policies, including multiple tax cuts for the wealthy, financial deregulation, austerity, attacks on the poor and labor and outsourcing manufacturing jobs to Mexico, China and other low-wage platforms. The Soviet Union officially dissolved on Dec 26, 1991. This was viewed by the US ruling elite as the removal of the major rival to US global power and would allow unrestrained actions of the American military to invade and occupy countries which are rich in natural resources and/or occupy geo-strategic locations and expand NATO into Eastern Europe up to the Russian border. Since 1991, US/NATO have been involved in conflicts in Yugoslavia, Persian Gulf/Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Ukraine [2].

Role of Corporate Media

First Amendment of the US constitution-

‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.’

It is commonly stated that the press (aka the proverbial ‘4th estate’) in the US is ‘free’ and ‘independent’ and ‘essential for the functioning of a free society’, serving as a ‘watchdog’ on government actions and policies and vital to protect the ‘liberty’ of American citizens. As is often the case, things are not always as they seem.

In a recent interview with Brian Berletic, Mark Sleboda commented that “Western media is in ‘lockstep’ with government on foreign policy to a degree that would make real dictators blush” [3]. While there is no doubt that Western (read corporate) media is indeed promoting US foreign policy, it is not the US government that formulates these polices, rather they are formulated and developed by the ruling elite, using corporate-funded foundations and ‘think tanks’, academic institutions and prominent politicians. These include the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Rand Corporation, Rockefeller Foundation, American Heritage Foundation, Atlantic Council, Brookings, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Academic institutions such as The Kennedy School (Harvard), Hoover Institution (Stanford), Walsh School of Foreign Service (Georgetown) and School of Advanced International Studies (Johns Hopkins) not only provide ‘experts’ and government officials, such as Wendy Sherman (Kennedy School) current US Deputy Secretary of State in the Biden Administration, they serve as training grounds for government officials and corporate management, some of whom are employed by above listed universities and foundations.

Once formulated, these policies are ‘sold’ to the American public by a compliant and well-disciplined media. Approximately 90% of US media is controlled by six large corporations- Comcast, Walt Disney, AT&T, Paramount Global, Sony, and Fox, with a combined market cap of circa $500 billion [4] [5]. Like other large corporations, media conglomerates have the same class interests as the financial elite, i.e., promoting policies which increase corporate power and profits and maintain US global hegemony. So called ‘public’ media, such as National Public Radio (NPR) and the BBC, in the UK, function in a similar manner. Corporate media is closely integrated with large financial interests and serves as a ‘cheerleader’ for the Pentagon and US foreign policy.

Not surprisingly, major broadcasters, the paper of record (NYT), Wall St. Journal (WSJ), Washington Post, etc. are little more than a sounding board for the US ruling elite and thus, function primarily as the ‘ministry of propaganda’ for large financial interests. Any reporter, military analyst, aka ‘TV General’, etc. who ‘steps out of line’, such as telling the truth about the military debacle facing Ukraine will either be severely reprimanded or find themselves out of a job. Some examples-

1) CBS recently ran a documentary claiming that only 30% of ‘military aid’ sent to Ukraine actually arrived. The video was removed following complaints from the Ukrainian government. [6] [7].

2) David Sanger (Harvard graduate) is chief Washington correspondent for the NYT and also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) [8], whose members include corporate executives, bankers, and other representatives of the ruling elite.

3) David Ignatius (Harvard graduate) is a foreign affairs columnist for the WaPo and has close ties to the intelligence community- CIA and Pentagon.

Sanger and Ignatius serve as pundits for US global power, promoting the use of military force to promote American interests.

When you do not toe the corporate line…………

4) Gary Webb was a journalist working for the San Jose Mercury News. In 1996, Webb published a series of articles, “Dark Alliance”, describing how Nicaraguan Contra rebels, working closely with the CIA, supplied crack cocaine to the Black community in Los Angeles and used proceeds from these sales to purchase weapons to overthrow the government of Daniel Ortega’s Sandinista National Liberation Front. Following publication of the Dark Alliance series, corporate media became hysterical, denouncing Webb, effectively ruining his career; he committed suicide in 2004 [9]

5) Julian Assange- In 2010, Wikileaks, founded by Julian Assange, published a series of leaks obtained from Chelsea Manning, a U.S. Army intelligence analyst, documenting US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Following publication of these leaks, the American government began a criminal investigation into WikiLeaks. In 2010, Sweden issued an arrest warrant for Assange over allegations of sexual misconduct. To avoid extradition, Assange sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. In 2019, Assange was arrested by British police at the Ecuadorian embassy and transferred to Belmarsh, a Category-A men’s prison in London. Up to this point, Julian Assange had not been formally charged. However, on May 23, 2019, the United States government charged Assange with violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and is currently awaiting potential extradition to the US [10].

The US has been almost continuously involved in overt and covert military conflicts since 1940 and as a result, war and associated violence has been normalized and institutionalized by corporate media to the point, where these policies are readily accepted by a relatively docile and ignorant American public. When foreign governments deemed hostile to US corporate interests limit press ‘freedom’, they are immediately labeled as repressive/terrorist regimes and potential candidates for direct attack and ‘regime’ change by the US State Department. Apparently, what is ‘good for the goose’ is ‘not good for the gander’. As pointed out above, any journalist that threatens the American empire risks losing their job, imprisonment and/or death.

Accelerating Decline of late-stage American Capitalism

Multiple factors have contributed to the decline of American economic power. These include economic policies, spending astronomical amounts of taxpayer money on the military and war, social instability and rise of China-Russia-Iran axis.

Economic policies

Since the mid-1970s, US policy makers have pursued neoliberal economic policies- financial deregulation, austerity, tax cuts for the wealthy, attacks on labor and job-outsourcing, which has resulted in the massive growth of the FIRE sector of the economy composed of finance, insurance, and real estate. These polices precipitated the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) 2007-2008, the largest financial shock since the Great Depression. Rather than resolve the severe structural problems confronting American capitalism which created this crisis, the FED used the Treasury as a de facto taxpayer-supported ‘piggy bank’ (the FED cannot print money) to prop up equity markets, bonds, over-priced real estate and [still] insolvent banks. To put this in perspective, since 2009, the FED has injected over $40 trillion into financial markets, increasing the wealth of the financial elite, the proverbial ‘1%’. Not surprisingly, over the last 5 years, US government deficits have increased circa $2 trillion annually, currently exceeding $30 trillion (Fig. 1); this figure does not include municipal, corporate or consumer debt. This begs the obvious question of how long can the FED continue this orgy or money printing and debt? Note- for comprehensive background information on the FED’s financial activities, see Wall Street on Parade [11].

Military Spending and War

Since its inception, the US has been built on theft and violence, justified by ‘Christian’ religion and ‘White man’s burden’. The first permanent British settlement in North America was established in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607. A decade later, African slaves were introduced by Dutch slave traders. Over the next 250 years, the US government would continue stealing land and displace/murder circa 90% of the indigenous population. In the mid-19th century, the US had the world’s leading economy, largely built on cotton produced by Black slaves [12]. Fast forward 150 years, the US has been almost continuously at war since 1940. 911 was a godsend for the military- US taxpayers have spent circa $21 trillion ($7.2 trillion going to military contractors) on post-911 militarization [13] [14]. The military appropriation for 2023 exceeds $760 billion. Despite this taxpayer largess, the Pentagon has not ‘won’ a war since 1945, was forced out of Afghanistan after spending $2 trillion, and confronts looming strategic debacles in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Ukraine. This has vividly shown the rest of the world the limits of American military power. Unfortunately, after expending so much financial and human capital, the Pentagon appears incapable of extricating itself from these conflicts as doing so is an admission of failure and by extension military weakness. This was clearly seen following Joe Biden’s decision to remove US troops from Afghanistan in 2021 and the push-back he received from corporate media and people in Congress.

Political Chaos and Social Instability

We frequently hear that US society has progressed to the point, where the country appears to be increasingly ungovernable. Indeed, American society is plagued by economic inequality, racism and ubiquitous violence. The American working class has watched their standard of living plummet- a result of decades of neoliberal economic policies, including job outsourcing, austerity, stagnant income growth and since the Covid 19 pandemic, high inflation, reflected by increasing costs for rent, transportation, energy, groceries, medical care and other necessities. To put this in perspective, 60% of Americans do not have $500 in savings and thus are one expensive car repair, medical emergency or job loss away from financial ruin. At the same time the wealth of American billionaires has increased circa $1 trillion during the Covid19 pandemic. Not surprisingly in 2016, Donald Trump skillfully exploited the justifiable anger and frustration of working people, stating that he would ‘Make American Great Again’, blaming American economic problems on immigrants from Mexico and Latin America and China’s economic rise.

Rise of BRICS/SCO and US/NATO debacle in Ukraine

We are seeing the continued rise in the global power and influence of Russia, China and allied nations, on multiple fronts, including organizational, economic and militarily. The BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) are expanding. Original BRICS members included Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Iran and Argentina have applied for admission, while the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Turkey and Egypt are applying for entry next year. SCO is the largest regional economic institution in the world, covering 60% of Eurasia with a population > 3.2 billion and combined GDP of member states circa 25% of global total. Trade between BRICS and SCO member states is increasingly being carried out using local currencies.

The Mir payment system operated by the Russian National Card Payment System [15] is a direct competitor to Visa and Mastercard and now accepted throughout the Russian Federation and in 13 countries including India, Turkey and South Korea and will soon be used in Iran. BRICS nations are developing a global currency for international trade that will directly compete with the dollar [16]. Russia is developing a new international trading platform for precious metals: the Moscow World Standard (MWS) [17]. The Russian Finance Ministry believes this new independent international structure will ‘normalize the functioning of the precious metals industry” and serve as an alternative to the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA; https://www.lbma.org.uk), [18] which for years has been accused of systematically manipulating the price of precious metals markets to depress prices [19]. Collectively, these policies have been designed to significantly reduce the dependence of economies in Russia, China, India and other countries in the Global South on the US/EU and eliminate dependence on the US dollar and Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) system [20] for international trade. No doubt this is being done in close collaboration with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) whose goal is to connect Asia with Africa and Europe via land and maritime networks with the aim of improving regional integration, increasing trade and stimulating economic growth [21] [22]. This trajectory has been accelerated following enactment of US/EU sanctions on Russia, Iran and China.

Over the last decade, the military power of Russia, China and Iran has greatly strengthened. The Russian military is a global leader in air-defense systems and hypersonic weapons, which are impermeable to any air-defense systems currently deployed by the US/NATO [23]. Over the last 25 years, China has modernized its military, focusing on People’s Liberation Navy and Army Air Force [24] [25]. China has developed a robust missile arsenal including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) [26]. The Pentagon now considers China a ‘formidable military force’ and a ‘major challenge’ to the US Navy in the Western Pacific. The Islamic Republic of Iran has also developed a formidable defensive military capability, which has positioned Iran as a major power broker in the region. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has concluded- ‘Iran possesses the largest and most diverse missile arsenal in the Middle East, with thousands of ballistic and cruise missiles, some capable of striking as far as Israel and southeast Europe.’ [27]. Iran has repeatedly warned the US/NATO that it can target US military bases in the region, including Al Udeid base in Qatar, the largest US base in the Middle East. We are seeing increased assertiveness from the Russia-China-Iran axis in Syria, Ukraine and Western Pacific. This was clearly articulated by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June, declaring an end of “the era of the unipolar world” [28]. The Pentagon is being increasingly challenged by the Russia-China-Iran axis in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Western Pacific.

Ukraine- another US/NATO debacle

For background and historical information covering Ukraine and her relationship with Russia, see [29]. Ukraine is the second largest country in Europe after Russia and occupies a strategic location in Eastern Europe, sharing a circa 2300 km (1227 mi) border with Russia [30] (Fig. 2). As of 2021, Ukraine had the second largest military (circa 200,000 military personnel), after the Russian Armed Forces, in Europe and has the dubious distinction of being one of the most corrupt countries in the world [31]. Historically, the predominantly Russian speaking population in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine has maintained close ties with Russia.

In February 2014, the US- instigated Maidan coup took place, replacing the democratically-elected President Victor Yanukovych with a Russia-phobic and far-right politician/economist/lawyer, Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Not surprisingly, the Ukrainian government was soon dominated by an alliance of far-right/fascistic organizations including the Right Sector and Svoboda and oligarchic parties, such as Fatherland. This was predictable, as these groups were the most virulently anti-Russian factions in Ukraine [32] and are still very active in the government and military [33] [34]. Soon after the coup took place, the Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples Republics declared their independence, initiating the war in the Donbas. Over the next 8 years, the US/NATO would train circa 100,000 Ukrainian troops and channel $ billions in military aid [35], which was used to equip Ukrainian army and fortify positions adjacent to the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics [30] (Fig. 3). This buildup was accompanied by increased shelling of residential areas in the Donbas region by the Ukrainian military [36] [37], setting up a potential invasion of this region [38]. In response to the escalating attacks by Ukrainian forces. Russia recognized the Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples Republics as sovereign states on Feb 21, 2022, just prior to the Russian invasion on Feb 24, 2022, describing this campaign as a Special Military Operation (SMO) [39]. For an excellent overview of why Russia made the decision to invade Ukraine, see [40].

Going up against a well-trained, well equipped and an entrenched Ukrainian army, Russian forces have managed to take control of circa 20% (~47,000 square miles) of southern Ukraine and are incrementally removing Ukrainian forces from this region [38] (Fig. 3). Significantly, this territory contains prime agricultural and resource-rich land. It appears that Russia is planning on annexing littoral territory extending from the Donetsk/Luhansk region to Odesa [41]. Once this happen, any future Ukrainian state will not only be land-locked and lack direct access to the Black Sea, it will also lose valuable land as well. Military analyst Andrei Martyanov [42] has pointed out the ‘combined West doesn’t have material and technological means of fighting Russia in Eastern Europe without losing catastrophically. Western weapons turned out to be nothing more than commercial items not designed to fight the modern war, plus–no Western economy, including the United States has the capability to produce them in needed quantities anyway.’

The collective west has responded to the Russian invasion by blocking the opening of the Nord Stream 2 energy pipeline, which would directly supply Russian natural gas to Germany, imposed sanctions on Russian energy exports and disconnected Russian banks from the SWIFT system. To the dismay of the US/NATO, these actions have led to large increases in EU energy costs while strengthening the Russian economy [43]. Indeed, the paper of record (NYT) published a recent OpEd bemoaning the fact that despite western sanctions, Russia is making more money than ever on energy exports to China, India and other countries [44]. Despite nonstop condemnation from the US and EU of Russia’s SMO in Ukraine, many nations have not criticized the war [45]; only 1/3 of UN members supported a new anti-Russia resolution this August [46]. Thus, dwindling international support for Ukraine, coupled with success of the Russian SMO indicates that the country will not exist in its current form.

Concluding Remarks

The decline of late-stage American capitalism has been ongoing since the mid-1970s, but has been accelerated by the GFC, Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and Russian SMO in Ukraine. Not surprisingly, the ruling elite and their representatives in Washington have responded by shifting the costs of this decline onto the public, who have watched their living standard plummet, homelessness increase [47], imposed reactionary legislation such as the criminalization of pregnancy by the US Supreme Court, ratcheted up state violence against working people and people of color, while engaging in an astronomically expensive and reckless foreign policy. It appears the ruling elite view the Russia-China-Iran axis as an intolerable obstacle to US global power, reflected in the ongoing war in Ukraine, which is a de facto proxy war between the US and Russia. US-imposed sanctions on Russian energy have driven global energy prices higher; natural gas prices in the EU are 14-fold higher than the 10-year average. As a result, the UK/EU are at risk of not having sufficient quantities of natural gas for the winter, while EU industry will not be competitive with their rivals in Asia, who are being supplied with cheaper Russian energy. This is going to lead to increasing unemployment and social instability in the Eurozone.

The continued presence of US troops in Iraq and Syria is a desperate attempt to maintain control over Middle East energy reserves. The continued recklessness of this occupation can be seen from the constant Israeli attacks on Syrian and Iranian-allied forces by Israel/US, increasing the chances of a war with Iran, which can rapidly escalate, potentially incinerating the entire Persian Gulf region. It appears the US is abandoning the ‘one-China’ policy’ that has guided relations between the two countries for nearly 5 decades and is preparing to recognize Taiwan as an ‘independent’ state, a redline for the Peoples Republic of China. No doubt, this was one motivation for sending House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, from ‘’liberal’ San Francisco, with a net worth exceeding $100 million, to visit Taiwan. The Pentagon is actively encouraging Japan, which is little more than a US stooge/vassal and still occupied by circa 50K US troops, to join in this effort [48]. This begs the obvious question- did Japan learn anything from their defeat in WWII? As Glen Ford has pointed out, hegemons do not have ‘allies’ they only have subordinates [49].

The decline of late-stage American capitalism has progressed to the point where the very survival of the American empire is now contingent upon endless money printing to prop up financial markets and the military. This is becoming increasingly tenuous as this orgy of money printing and debt has created gigantic bubbles in every asset class- ‘everything bubble’, increasing inflation and threatening to derail the dollar’s role as world reserve currency and viability of western capitalism. Considering the weak state of US/EU economies, what economic incentives does the US have to encourage countries in the Indo-Pacific to reduce trade with China? Obviously, this is a nonstarter [50]. The ruling oligarchy are well aware of US economic decline and in desperation, are attempting to directly confront the Russia-China-Iran axis, which has attained economic and military parity (superiority?) with US/NATO. Perilous times ahead.

Notes

1. US economic decline and global instability. The Saker Jan 19, 2021; https://thesaker.is/us-economic-decline-and-global-instability/

2. American Involvement in Wars from Colonial Times to the Present- Wars From 1675 to the Present Day By Martin Kelly Nov 4, 2020; https://www.thoughtco.com/american-involvement-wars-colonial-times-present-4059761

3. Ukraine’s Growing Dependency on Terrorism w/Mark Sleboda The New Atlas Aug 25, 2022; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgiRKbTYbZQ&t=1997s

4. The Big 6 Media Companies By Adam Levy Jun 10, 2022; https://www.fool.com/investing/stock-market/market-sectors/communication/media-stocks/big-6/

5. The 6 Companies That Own (Almost) All Media; https://www.webfx.com/blog/internet/the-6-companies-that-own-almost-all-media-infographic

6. Why military aid in Ukraine may not always get to the front lines. By Adam Yamaguchi and Alex Pena CBS News Aug 7, 2022; https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ukraine-military-aid-weapons-front-lines/

7. CBS censors its own report on Ukraine weapons corruption Multipolarista Aug 14, 2022; https://soundcloud.com/multipolarista/cbs-ukraine-weapons-corruption

8. Council on Foreign Relations; https://www.cfr.org/

9. How Gary Webb Linked the CIA to the Crack Epidemic — and Paid the Ultimate Price by Marco Margaritoff Feb 18, 2022; https://allthatsinteresting.com/gary-webb

10. Julian Assange, Wikipedia; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Assange#Seth_Rich

11. Wall Street on Parade Pam Martens and Russ Martens; https://wallstreetonparade.com/

12. Half Has Never Been Told by Edward E. Baptist 2016 (Book)

13. State of Insecurity- The Cost of Militarization Since 9/11 by Lindsay Koshgarian, Ashik Siddique and Lorah Steichen Institute for Policy Studies; Link: https://ips-dc.org/report-state-of-insecurity-cost-militarization-since-9-11/

14. Costs of war; https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/

15. The exponential rise of Russia’s Mir payment system by James King The Banker

July 20, 2021; https://www.thebanker.com/Transactions-Technology/FX-Payments/The-exponential-rise-of-Russia-s-Mir-payment-system?ct=true

16. Russia and China are brewing up a challenge to dollar dominance by creating a new reserve currency by George Glover Markets Indiser Jun 24, 2022; https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/currencies/dollar-dominance-russia-china-rouble-yuan-brics-reserve-currency-imf-2022-6

17. Precious Metals: Russia Proposes New Standard to Compete with LBMA Goldbroker Aug 17, 2022; https://goldbroker.com/news/precious-metals-russia-proposes-new-standard-to-compete-with-lbma-2826

18. London Bullion Market Association (LBMA); https://www.lbma.org.uk

19. Rigged Gold Price Distorts Perception of Economic Reality by Paul Craig Roberts and Dave Kranzler Sept 22, 2014; https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/09/22/rigged-gold-price-distorts-perception-economic-reality-paul-craig-roberts-dave-kranzler/

20. Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) system; https://www.swift.com/

21. China’s Belt and Road Initiative in the global trade, investment and finance landscape 2018;

22. Belt and Road Initiative; https://www.beltroad-initiative.com/belt-and-road/

23. Trends in Russia’s Armed Forces- An Overview of Budgets and Capabilities by Keith Crane, Olga Oliker and Brian Nichiporuk Rand Corporation 2019; https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2573.html

24. China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress. Congressional Research Service Mar 8, 2022; https://sgp.fas.org/crs/row/RL33153.pdf

25. An Interactive Look at the U.S.-China Military Scorecard Rand https://www.rand.org/paf/projects/us-china-scorecard.html

26. China is building more than 100 new missile silos in its western desert, analysts say

Image without a caption By Joby Warrick Washington Post June 30, 2021; https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/china-nuclear-missile-silos/2021/06/30/0fa8debc-d9c2-11eb-bb9e-70fda8c37057_story.html

27. Missile Defense Project, “Missiles of Iran,” Missile Threat, Center for Strategic and International Studies; https://missilethreat.csis.org/country/iran

28. President Putin’s St. Petersburg International Economic Forum Speech, June 17, 2022. Defense Info; https://defense.info/global-dynamics/2022/06/president-putins-st-petersburg-international-economic-forum-speech-june-17-2022

29. Ray McGovern: Historical Context for Conflicts in Ukraine Consortium News Jul 10, 2022; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gLzsQA3UGY

30. Map Explainer: Key Facts About Ukraine By Bruno Venditti, Graphics/Design: Nick Routley Feb 23, 2022; https://www.visualcapitalist.com/map-explainer-ukraine/

31. Welcome to Ukraine, the most corrupt nation in Europe by Oliver Bullough The Guardian Feb 6, 2015; https://www.theguardian.com/news/2015/feb/04/welcome-to-the-most-corrupt-nation-in-europe-ukraine

32. How and why the U.S. Government Perpetrated the 2014 Coup in Ukraine by Eric Zuesse Modern Diplomacy June 4, 2018; https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2018/06/04/how-and-why-the-u-s-government-perpetrated-the-2014-coup-in-ukraine/

33. Neo-Nazis and the Far Right Are on the March in Ukraine- Five years after the Maidan uprising, anti-Semitism and fascist-inflected ultranationalism are rampant.

By Lev Golinkin The Nation Feb 22, 2019;

34. Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies Fair Observer Mar 11, 2022; https://www.fairobserver.com/region/europe/medea-benjamin-nicolas-js-davies-ukraine-war-russia-ukranian-neo-nazi-fascists-azov-battalion-89292/

35. Ukraine- World Socialist Website; https://www.wsws.org/en/topics/country/ukraine

36. Ukrainian Army terror bombings By Laurent Brayard Jun 6, 2022; https://mronline.org/2022/06/06/ukrainian-army-terror-bombings/

37. Donbass Update: Ukraine Continues to Shell Residential Areas Telesur Feb 24, 2022; https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Donbass-Update-Ukraine-Continues-to-Shell-Residential-Areas-20220224-0004.html

38. Important — A Message for Americans Gonzalo Lira June 18, 2022; https://www.strategic-culture.org/video/2022/06/20/2022-06-18-important-a-message-for-americans/

39. Putin Announces Start to ‘Military Operation’ Against Ukraine by Anton Troianovski and Neil MacFarquhar NYT Feb. 23, 2022; https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/23/world/europe/ukraine-russia-invasion.html

40. Why Russia Invaded Ukraine by Eric Zuesse The Duran Sept 1, 2022; https://theduran.com/why-russia-invaded-ukraine/

41. All the way to Odessa by Pepe Escobar The Unz Review Aug 26, 2022; https://www.unz.com/pescobar/all-the-way-to-odessa/

42. Reminiscence of the Future (Andrei Martyanov); http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/

43. Europe’s Markets and Energy Security Disrupted by Russia Sanctions by Kenneth Rapoza Forbes Aug 23, 2022; https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2022/08/23/europes-markets-and-energy-security-disrupted-by-russia-sanctions/?sh=6d2312b45097

44. Russia Is Making Heaps of Money from Oil, but There is a Way to Stop That

July 29, 2022; https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/29/opinion/russia-oil-sanctions-biden.html

45. Why have many nations not condemned the war in Ukraine? by Bernd Debusmann News Decoder Apr 4, 2022; https://news-decoder.com/why-have-many-nations-not-condemned-the-war-in-ukraine/

46. Only one in three UN members back new anti-Russia resolution- International support for Ukraine has dropped dramatically since March RT Aug 26, 2022; https://www.rt.com/russia/561627-un-ukraine-resolution-support/

47. Census Bureau: 3.8 million renters will likely be evicted in the next two months — why the rental crisis keeps getting worse by Brian J. O’Connor Yahoo Sun, Aug 28, 2022; https://www.yahoo.com/video/census-bureau-3-8-million-100000978.html

48. U.S. presses Japan to cancel Constitution’s peace-clause. China and Japan must thus finally agree now, to avoid a war by Eric Zuesse The Duran Aug 25, 2022; https://theduran.com/why-a-deal-is-needed-now-between-china-and-japan/

49. Glen Ford’s Ukrainian Crystal Ball Black Agenda Report Jul 27, 2022; https://www.blackagendareport.com/glen-fords-ukrainian-crystal-ball

50. A New World Order is Looming and the West Doesn’t Like it by James ONeill Aug 24, 2022; https://journal-neo.org/2022/08/24/a-new-world-order-is-looming-and-the-west-doesn-t-like-it/

3 Figures

Figure 1: Total US Public Debt

Figure 2. Map of Ukraine

Figure 3. Military situation in Ukraine Aug 31, 2022

Figure 1. Total US public debt. Note that debt in Q1 2020 was $ 23.2 trillion while in Q2 2022 was $ 30.5 trillion, an increase of $7 trillion.

FRED Graph

Source: Total Public Debt; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/GFDEBTN

Figure 2. Map of Ukraine

Ukraine Map

Source: US Department of Defense

Figure 3. Military Situation in Ukraine for Aug 31, 2022. Areas in Red are controlled by the allied forces of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Militia and Russian military.

Source: Ukraine interactive map; https://liveuamap.com

DELIBERATE MISREPRESENTATION: WESTERN MEDIA BIAS MAKES ISRAELI WAR ON PALESTINIANS POSSIBLE

AUGUST 26TH, 2022

Children and relatives of the five Palestinian children from Najm family who were killed in the last conflict between Palestine and Israel, hold placards during a rally in Jabalia, northern of Gaza strip. (Photo by Nidal Alwaheidi / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)


RAMZY BAROUD

While US and western mainstream and corporate media remain biased in favor of Israel, they often behave as if they are a third, neutral party. This is simply not the case.

Take the New York Times coverage of the latest Israeli war on Gaza as an example. Its article on August 6, “Israel-Gaza Fighting Flares for a Second Day” is the typical mainstream western reporting on Israel and Palestine, but with a distinct NYT flavor.

For the uninformed reader, the article succeeds in finding a balanced language between two equal sides. This misleading moral equivalence is one of the biggest intellectual blind spots for western journalists. If they do not outwardly champion Israel’s discourse on ‘security’ and ‘right to defend itself’, they create false parallels between Palestinians and Israelis, as if a military occupier and an occupied nation have comparable rights and responsibilities.

Obviously, this logic does not apply to the Russia-Ukraine war. For NYT and all mainstream western media, there is no question regarding who the good guys and the bad guys are in that bloody fight.

‘Palestinian militants’ and ‘terrorists’ have always been the West’s bad guys.  Per the logic of their media coverage, Israel does not launch unprovoked wars on Palestinians and is not an unrepentant military occupier or a racist apartheid regime. This language can only be used by marginal ‘radical’ and ‘leftist’ media, never the mainstream.

The brief introduction of the NYT article spoke about the rising death toll, but did not initially mention that the 20 killed Palestinians include children, emphasizing, instead, that Israeli attacks have killed a ‘militant leader’.

When the six children killed by Israel are revealed in the second paragraph, the article immediately, and without starting a new sentence, clarifies that “Israel said some civilian deaths were the result of militants stashing weapons in residential areas”, and that others were killed by “misfired’ Palestinian rockets.

On August 16, the Israeli military finally admitted that it was behind the strikes that killed the 5 young Palestinian boys of Jabaliya. Whether the NYT reported on that or not matters little. The damage has been done, and that was Israel’s plan from the start.

The title of the BBC story of August 16, ‘Gaza’s children are used to the death and bombing’, does not immediately name those responsible for the ‘death and bombing’. Even Israeli military spokesmen, as we will discover later, would agree to such a statement, though they will always lay the blame squarely on the ‘Palestinian terrorists’.

When the story finally reveals that a little girl, Layan, was killed in an Israeli strike, the language was carefully crafted to lessen the blame on her Israeli murderers. The girl, we are told, was on her way to the beach with her family, when their tuk-tuk “passed by a military camp run by the militant group Palestinian Islamic Jihad”, which, “at the exact moment, (…) was targeted by Israeli fire”. The author says nothing of how she reached the conclusion that the family was not the target.

One can easily glean from the story that Israel’s intention was not to kill Layan – and logically, none of the 17 other children murdered during the three-day war on Gaza. Besides, Israel has, according to the BBC, tried to save the little girl; alas, “a week of treatment in an Israeli hospital couldn’t save her life”.

Though Israeli politicians have spoken blatantly about killing Palestinian children – and, in the case of former Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, “the Palestinian mothers who give birth to ‘little snakes’” – the BBC report, and other reports on the latest war, have failed to mention this. Instead, it quoted Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who reportedly said that “the death of innocent civilians, especially children is heartbreaking.” Incidentally, Lapid ordered the latest war on Gaza, which killed a total of 49 Palestinians.

Even a human-interest story about a murdered Palestinian child somehow avoided the language that could fault Israel for the gruesome killing of a little girl. Furthermore, the BBC also labored to present Israel in a positive light, resorting to quoting the occupation army’s statement that it was “devastated by (Layan’s) death and that of any civilians.”

The NYT and BBC have been selected here not because they are the worst examples of western media bias, but because they are often cited as ‘liberal’, if not ‘progressive’, media. Their reporting, however, represents an ongoing crisis in western journalism, especially relating to Palestine.

Books have been written about this subject, civil society organizations were formed to hold western media accountable and numerous editorial board meetings were organized to put some pressure on western editors, to no avail.

Desperate by the unchanging pro-Israel narratives in western media, some pro-Palestine human rights advocates often argue that there are greater margins within Israel’s own mainstream media than in the US, for example. This, too, is inaccurate.

The misnomer of the supposedly more balanced Israeli media is a direct outcome of the failure to influence western media coverage on Palestine and Israel. The erroneous notion is often buoyed by the fact that an Israeli newspaper, like Haaretz, gives marginal spaces to critical voices, like those of Israeli journalists Gideon Levy and Amira Hass.

Israeli propaganda, one of the most powerful and sophisticated in the world, however, can hardly be balanced by occasional columns written by a few dissenting journalists.

Additionally, Haaretz is often cited as an example of relatively fair journalism, simply because the alternatives – Times of Israel, the Jerusalem Post and other rightwing Israeli media – are exemplary in their callousness, biased language and misconstruing of facts.

The pro-Israel prejudices in western media often spill over to Palestine sympathetic media throughout the Middle East and the rest of the world, especially those reporting on the news in English and French.

Since many newspapers and online platforms utilize western news agencies, they, often inadvertently, adopt the same language used in western news sources, thus depicting Palestinian resisters or fighters, as ‘militants’, the Israeli occupation army as “Israeli Defense Forces” and Israeli war on Gaza as ‘flare ups’ of violence.

In its totality, this language misinterprets the Palestinian struggle for freedom as random acts of violence within a protracted ‘conflict’ where innocent civilians, like Layan, are ‘caught in the crossfire.’

The deadly Israeli wars on Gaza are made possible, not only by western weapons and political support, but through an endless stream of media misinformation and misrepresentation. Though Israel has killed thousands of Palestinian civilians in recent years, western media remains as committed to defending Israel as if nothing has changed.

Feature photo | Children and relatives of the five Palestinian children from the Najm family who were killed by Israel in its latest military assault on Gaza, hold placards during a rally in Jabalia, Gaza. Nidal Alwaheidi | Sipa via AP Images

Dr. Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is ‘Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out’. His other books include ‘My Father was a Freedom Fighter’ and ‘The Last Earth’. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News

Andrei Martyanov: SAS and BRICS

July 14, 2022

Please visit Andrei’s website: https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/
and support him here: https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=60459185

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the BBC TV channel, St Petersburg, June 16, 2022

June 18, 2022

Ed Note:  This transcript is not complete and we will issue an update when it is completed.  We post it now because of the renewed DDoS attacks on Russian infrastructure.

In addition, Mr Lavrov had two more quite serious interviews.  They are available here:


https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1818228/

Question: Did President Putin, before taking the decision and announcing the start of what he calls a special military operation, consult you on whether he should?

Sergey Lavrov: Every country has a decision-making mechanism. In that case, the mechanism existing in the Russian Federation was fully employed.

Question: Did he consult you?

Sergey Lavrov: Again, there are things we do not speak about publicly. There is a mechanism for taking decisions. It was followed in full.

Question: I am asking because you have been foreign minister for 18 years, and invading a sovereign neighbouring state is a foreign matter. The President surely assumed that there would be international repercussions. I thought he would consult you.

Sergey Lavrov: You are an experienced journalists well-aware of the realities in Russia, around Russia, and in the post-Soviet space. Your question seeks to cancel everything prior to February 24 of this year. For eight years, we had been promoting the necessity of implementing the Minsk agreements, unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council, with the help of our intelligence agencies, Foreign Ministry, and Defence Ministry.

Throughout those eight years, we were insisting that Donetsk and Lugansk (which initially, as you may remember, in 2014, declared their independence in response to the neo-Nazi coup d’etat in Kiev) should sign the Minsk agreements, which guaranteed Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. When nowadays Chancellor Olaf Scholz claims that Russia must be forced to reach agreements with Ukraine, agreements that would respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Ukrainian state, I have a feeling that he is not of this world but someone from “outer space.” Because all those eight years we were trying to ensure the implementation of agreements which guaranteed the territorial integrity of the Ukrainian state.

Question: But the situation changed four months ago …

Sergey Lavrov: The situation has not changed. We are going back to what the Minsk agreements were coordinated for: protecting Russians in Donbass, who have been betrayed by the French and Germans. The British also played a leading role. All our Western colleagues kept saying they were unable to make Kiev honour the Minsk agreements.

Question: If the goal is to protect Russians in Donbass, why have more civilians been killed in the DPR and LPR in the four months since the start of the special military operation than in all of last year?

Sergey Lavrov: Did you also watch German ARD television and the main French TV channel, which declared recently that a maternity clinic and a marketplace had been shelled by the Russian army killing dozens of civilians? They declared without any qualms that this had been done by the Russian military. Just like they claimed some time ago that a railway station in Kramatorsk had been hit by Russia. Although the Western journalists proved that the missile had come from the territory controlled by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Question: Last year, eight civilians were killed in the LPR and DPR, and seven the year before. While every death is a tragedy, that did not constitute the genocide Russian officials often invoke. With these numbers in mind, can you say that invading Ukraine was a reasonable decision?

Sergey Lavrov: We did not invade Ukraine. We announced a special military operation after being left with no other means to make it clear to the West that it is engaging in criminal activity by dragging Ukraine into NATO, by coddling and doting on a neo-Nazi regime, whose president Vladimir Zelensky said in September 2021 (you didn’t tell your viewers about it, did you?) that, if someone in Ukraine feels Russian, they should leave for Russia. He said that publicly. When a CNN correspondent told him that the Azov Regiment was listed as an extremist and terrorist organisations by some Western countries, the US, and Japan, Vladimir Zelensky shrugged his shoulders and said they had many such battalions and regiments, and they were what they were.

Question: Let’s look at the consequences. Four months have passed. The result: thousands of civilians have been killed; over 14 million Ukrainians have fled their homes; Russian troops sustained considerable losses and a host of sanctions have been imposed on Russia. Do you still call it the right decision?

Sergey Lavrov: I will tell you again: we didn’t have any other choice. We have explained this many times, a thousand times. Today, the Ukrainian regime is attacking civilians with your Western weapons just like they did in 2014 when the putschists came to power, when the centre of Lugansk was bombed by aircraft and 50 people were burned alive in Odessa. Does anyone recall this now?

Question: If you didn’t attack, there wouldn’t have been any weapons from the West.

Sergey Lavrov: We didn’t attack anyone. Russians were attacked in Ukraine. Imagine you are English. English or Scottish?

Question: I mentioned the figures to you. Eight dead in the past year, seven…

Sergey Lavrov: I am telling you that the Ukrainian regime is bombing its own population and you are selling weapons to it so it can continue doing this. Now about genocide. Are you English? What if Ireland (not Northern Ireland but the Republic of Ireland) banned the English language? How would the English feel?

Question: They wouldn’t invade Ireland for certain.

Sergey Lavrov: Wouldn’t you feel humiliated? The Russian language is banned in Ukraine. Try to speak Russian in a street in Kiev when young people with a certain look are walking there.

Question:Why do you consider NATO a threat? Why do people in Russia often talk about five waves of NATO’s expansion?

Sergey Lavrov: I think that NATO is a threat because we have been close friends with Serbians for a long time. They told us what the North Atlantic Alliance is about. The Afghans with whom we maintain relations in Afghanistan (and that includes practically all ethnic groups) also told us about the alliance and how it bombed wedding ceremonies. Just because these pilots wondered why some people had got together. They must be bombed, just in case.

I will explain to you why NATO is a threat. Talk to citizens of Iraq and Libya. Their countries were razed to the ground. After this, NATO still claims to be a defensive alliance. We are told not to worry, that Ukraine’s accession to NATO wouldn’t pose a threat to the Russian Federation. This is what we were told. With all due respect for our colleagues from the North Atlantic Alliance, I must say that Russia has the right to decide for itself what threatens its security and what does not.

Question: There were no NATO troops in Eastern Europe before the annexation of Crimea in 2014…

Sergey Lavrov: Moreover, there was no annexation of Crimea, either.

Question: As a result of Crimea’s annexation, there appeared 4,500 troops in 2016, and 40,000 after February 24, 2022. This is the result of Russia’s actions.

Sergey Lavrov: You are a clever man. These are facts. I will cite different facts for you. Your entire analysis is based on “cancel culture.” You are changing everything that preceded the event that you call an invasion or annexation. What happened in Ukraine on February 21, 2014? What we call a coup d’etat. How do you call it?

Question: I was the first to ask you. How do you call it?

Sergey Lavrov: I’ve already said that this was a coup d’etat that took place the morning after France, Poland and Germany affixed their signatures under the agreement between the then president and the opposition leaders. In the morning, the opposition leaders spat in the faces of Germany, France and Poland which  swallowed it. We called this a coup d’etat. And how did you call it?

Question: Do events of eight years ago give you the right to do what you are doing?

Sergey Lavrov: This is not about the right. I want to hear your honest response. We called it a coup d’etat. How do you call it in Britain?

Question: I wanted to ask you about this.

Sergey Lavrov: I want to understand your logic because if you want me to give you clear answers you must clearly explain to me what you are talking about.

Question: I want to grasp your logic. You say that NATO is a threat. Now you are saying that there is too much NATO on Russian borders. And yet now “there is even more NATO” as a result of Russia’s actions. Finland and Sweden are joining the alliance.

Sergey Lavrov: Finland and Sweden have long been subordinate to the Anglo-Saxons as the EU and NATO have drawn closer together. The EU has lost its meaning.

Question: Is the fact that Finland and Sweden are becoming NATO members a failure of Russian diplomacy?

Sergey Lavrov: Sweden and Finland are exercising their sovereign right and they are acting according to their governments’ decisions. They also are not overly concerned with public opinion, just as they didn’t concern themselves with public opinion in different countries as they carried out the objectives set by NATO.

Question: Does that mean it is not a threat to Russia?

Sergey Lavrov: We shall see how it will end. When and if Sweden and Finland join NATO, we will see what will go into effect on the ground. Whether weapons are delivered there and new contingents deployed. That said, I assure you that nobody is going to listen to either Europeans, or Finland or Sweden. They are telling us now that they will have no foreign troops or military bases. Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin that the US intends to increase its military presence in Europe, they have not yet decided if it will be permanent, rotational or permanent-rotational. He never said the EU should be consulted. He does not want to hear from European allies. He just decided, and announced that decisions will be made in Washington.

Question: Russia says that Ukraine is fighting Nazis.

Sergey Lavrov: Ukraine is not fighting Nazis. Nazism is flourishing in Ukraine.

Question: Listen to what the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says. She spoke in May following a monitoring mission and said that the Russian military kept 360 people including 74 children and 5 disabled persons for 28 days in a school basement in the village of Yagodnoye, Chernigov Region, without a toilet and water. Ten elderly people died. Is this fighting Nazism?

Sergey Lavrov: International bureaucrats, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and, to my immense disappointment, the UN Secretary-General and many other UN representatives, are being put under pressure by the West and are often being used to amplify fake news spread by the West.

Question: So Russia is squeaky clean, isn’t it?

Sergey Lavrov: Russia is not squeaky clean. Russia is what it is. And we are not ashamed of showing who we are.

May I inquire with you to better understand your media outlet’s policy on the Bucha tragedy? Did you report on the frame-up job in Bucha? You definitely said it had been carried out by Russia, right? The Guardian newspaper published in London later got preliminary forensic results which showed that most people whose dead bodies were shown by all the world’s TV channels got their wounds from artillery shrapnel.

Question:  Why do you ask? We have little time.

Sergey Lavrov: We have little time but you do not want to tell me why you keep saying untruths, to put it mildly. I asked you a question about how the BBC had covered the events in Bucha.

Question:  I wasn’t in Bucha. I am in Russia and this is why I am asking you about Russia’s position. The purpose of the operation as it was stated by President Putin back then is regime change, isn’t it?

Sergey Lavrov: The purpose of the operation is to protect the rights of Russians which have been blatantly ignored not only by the Kiev regime but also by the entire West and the civilised community which refused to implement the Minsk Agreements.

If you did not want to secure the rights of the Russians in Donbass through Kiev’s adherence to a UNSC resolution, we will ensure the rights of Russians ourselves. That is what we are doing.

Question: On February 25 of this year, Vladimir Putin addressed Ukrainian soldiers and urged them to take power in their hands because it would be easier for Russia to come to terms with them than with this gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis in Kiev. This sounds like a direct call for a military rebellion.

Sergey Lavrov: No, it sounds like a direct call for fulfilling their military duty instead of serving Nazis who are cancelling everything that their regime doesn’t like, including Russian education, culture and media. They didn’t cancel BBC because you haven’t told the truth about what was happening there for eight years. I asked you a question: Did you or any of your BBC colleagues go to Donbass during the eight years when Kiev soldiers were bombing civilians there?

Question: Over the course of six years, the BBC had many times contacted the leadership in the separatist-run areas asking for permission to go and see what was happening. We were refused entry every single time. I think if genocide had really taken place there, they would have been interested in letting us come and see but no. Why were we denied entry?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t know why you were denied entry. Our journalists worked there 24/7 and showed the results of bombing by Kiev battalions. You should have gone to the Ukrainian side of the contact line. They do not have such destruction there.

Question: Recently, your President praised Peter the Great for reclaiming primordial Russian territories and even added that “to return and strengthen is also our lot.” How many more territories and what territories are you going to reclaim?

Sergey Lavrov: President Vladimir Putin said it all. I have nothing to add. I will tell you again: you want to forget everything that preceded this event. You deny, cancel and do not want to hear what happened before February 24 of this year, what happened before the voting in Crimea. You cannot accept that we are very patient. But when our patience runs out, we respond to rudeness and the humiliation of the Russian people, like the coup in February 2014 when power was taken by people who cancelled the regional status of the Russian language and were going to oust Russians from Crimea (they sent armed people there). What did BBC report about this? Nothing at all. You said this was a normal democratic process.

Question: Can you say categorically that Russia won’t launch another special operation and won’t invade neighbouring territories?

Sergey Lavrov: We believed words for a very long time. Your comrades-in-arms, your compatriots together with other members of the North Atlantic Alliance solemnly proclaimed a principle of indivisible security where nobody has the right to enhance their security at the expense of the security of others. When we said that NATO’s five expansions undermines our security, we were simply ignored. Now President of France Emmanuel Macron said they must talk to Russia and should not humiliate the Russians. Do you know who replied to him? Some Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky. He said Macron didn’t understand anything, implying that Russians must be humiliated. What is your attitude to this?

Question: I want to ask you about the Brits who recently got a death sentence …

Sergey Lavrov: You should do an interview in the Donetsk People’s Republic about it.

Question: Russia is the only country that recognises the DPR.

Sergey Lavrov: No, it is not the only one, several more countries have recognised them.

Question: I think the DPR has a lot of influence in Russia.

Sergey Lavrov: We are friends and allies.

Question: In the eyes of the West, Russia is responsible for these people. Do you think the death sentence …

Sergey Lavrov: I am not interested in the “eyes of the West” at all. I am only interested in international law, according to which mercenaries are not combatants. So nothing in your eyes matters.

Question: They are not mercenaries, they were serving in the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Sergey Lavrov: This should be determined by the court.

Question: Do you think the court there is independent?

Sergey Lavrov: I am confident they have independent courts there. Do you think your courts are independent? After Alexander Litvinenko’s death your “independent” court announced “public process,” that is, had the case classified. You did the same with the Skripals. That’s your law.

Question: Did the UK government contact you about the fate of these boys?

Sergey Lavrov: I have no information about their contacting us. They are used to doing everything publicly. They began saying they are worried about the fate of their subjects. I do not know if they contacted us or not. They should contact the DPR.

Question: How would you characterise relations with the UK now? Saying they are bad would be putting it mildly.

Sergey Lavrov: I think there is no room for manoeuvre left in the relationship. Boris Johnson and Elizabeth Truss say publicly that they must defeat Russia and bring it to its knees. Come on, do it!

Question: How does Moscow view Great Britain now?

Sergey Lavrov: This is a country which is once again sacrificing the interests of its people for the sake of politicians’ ambitions, who only think about the next election and nothing else.

Question: You criticise the countries, which are supplying weapons to Kiev. Who is more to blame – the countries supplying weapons to a country, which is defending its lands, or the country that has attacked it?

Sergey Lavrov: How is it defending its lands, when it bombs its own citizens? Let me remind you once again: Vladimir Zelensky said in September 2021 that those who think in Russian and feel they are Russian should beat it back to Russia. Why don’t you talk about that? Why do you ignore past events? Now, when they are shelling their own cities, towns, markets, maternity homes, and hospitals – everything is all right [with you]. You ask me why Russia is waging a “war” – in response to what we are showing. If they do not show in Britain the aftermath of the [Ukrainian] shelling of Donetsk, Kramatorsk and other places, you can certainly watch it here. Do you report anything on that?

Question: You said that you are defending Donbass and the people in Donbass. I told you that since the start of the operation twenty times more people had died …

Sergey Lavrov: And I told you that those people are being killed by neo-Nazis. I ask you: Do you show the results of the AFU’s shelling of towns and villages? Or you don’t show them in your reports? You don’t show it, correct? That is why you want to squeeze some words of regret from me about the current developments so as to send a report to London and use my words to back up the false version of events in Ukraine, which you keep broadcasting.

Question: You are wrong about that.

Sergey Lavrov: Being in Moscow, you cannot fail to see what journalists in Donbass are showing, what is happening as a result of [Ukrainian] artillery attacks on  peaceful towns and civilians. Do you report on that or not?

Question: I want to ask you…

Sergey Lavrov: So that means you don’t.

Question: I have been in Russia for almost 30 years. I have toured the country. The phrase I heard most in the villages and cities I visited was “if only there is no war.” I understand that your country suffered terrible losses, that is why it beggars belief that your country has “unleashed a war” in Ukraine. I don’t understand why it was needed. To ruin Ukraine and the future of your own country?

Sergey Lavrov: I got your point. You have no problems with understanding the political course pursued by Kiev in the past ten years – to cancel anything Russian – do you? You think “if only there is no war” means a possibility to humiliate Russians and Russia (as the Czech foreign minister said replying to Emmanuel Macron who had spoken out against humiliating the Russians). For some reason, nobody is speaking about that. You grabbed what you needed for your line, for the narrative of your broadcasts.

The phrase “if only  there is no war” is deeply ingrained in the Russian people. But it also has pride ingrained, what we call self-respect, which they are trying to take away from all the Russians in Ukraine, with your support.

To be continued…

Lavrov: Russia does not care about “the eyes of the West”

June 18, 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The Russian Foreign Minister interrupts a BBC reporter and says that Donetsk People’s Republic courts are as legitimate as British courts , and Russia has no interest in what the West has to say about that.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R) and BBC reporter Steve Rosenberg (L) in an exclusive interview

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told BBC in an interview, on Thursday, on the sidelines of the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), that the fate of the British mercenaries captured in Ukraine and sentenced to death is a matter pertaining to the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), an independent state as recognized by Russia. Ultimately, the DPR, under international law, has the right to make the decision on their fate and Russia does not care how that looks “in the eyes of the West.”

Steve Rosenberg, the BBC reporter, attempted to hold Russia accountable for the fate of the captured Brits beginning with “In the eyes of the West, Russia is responsible for the fate of these people,” but Lavrov cut him off.

The Russian FM said that he is not interested in the West’s perception of Russia, rather he is only interested in international law. According to international law, said Lavrov, mercenaries are not combatants and in that regard, the opinion of the West is of no interest to Russia.

Read more: Russian Ambassador: Pumping Kiev with weapons could lead to major war

Rosenberg once again attempted to protest Russia and the DPR’s conviction of British fighters as mercenaries, arguing that they were fighting with the Ukrainian Army. However, Lavrov interrupted him once again and told him this is a matter for the DPR courts, ones as legitimate as the British courts.

When asked about whether the British government enquired about its captured citizens, Lavrov said he is unaware of such communications and insists this is a matter for the DPR and Russia will not interfere in it.  

The FM added that relations between Moscow and London were dreary and described Britain as “a country that once again tries to sacrifice the interests of its people for the ambitions of politicians, who only think about the next election and nothing else.”

DPR captures two UK mercenaries

Three mercenaries, two from the UK and one from Morocco, were sentenced to death on Thursday in the DPR for fighting alongside Ukrainian militias and armed forces.

The president of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin, has accused the three of “monstrous crimes”.

British mercenaries Aiden Aslin, 28, and Shaun Pinner, 48, in addition to Moroccan Saadun Brahim, were convicted by a Donetsk court on charges of terrorism.

The three defendants plead guilty to the charges. Russian media outlet RIA Novosti reported that the three are set to face a firing squad.

Read more: City of Donetsk targeted by Ukrainian troops again

BBC Rewriting History in Syria for Global Britain

May 25, 2022

Source

By Vanessa Beeley

True to form, the BBC appears to have been tasked with revisionism on the history of the U.K role in the destabilisation of Syria and the failed UK/US-led regime change campaign that began pre-2011. 

A new BBC “drama” has been released. Entitled “Red Lines” it has been written by Sir Craig Oliver and Sir Anthony Seldon. Oliver is former Director of Politics and Communications for British Prime Minister David Cameron who pushed hard for U.K military intervention in Syria after the 2013 alleged chemical weapon attack attributed to the Syrian government.

Oliver was previously Controller of English news output for BBC Global News. The BBC led the regime change narrative charge against Syria from the outset of the externally orchestrated war launched in 2011.

Seldon is a honorary historical adviser to 10 Downing Street. As an author, he is known in part for his political biographies of Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May. I am sure there is no conflict of interest (sarcasm intended) involved in writing the history of the war against Syria incubated and managed by at least three of those political leaders.

I asked former British Ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford, for a brief review of what we might expect from this BBC effort to whitewash the UK Foreign Office role in destroying Syria and collectively punishing the Syrian people for eleven long years. This is what he said:

The saying goes that victors get to write the history of conflicts. In the case of Syria it’s the opposite: the losers write the history. We may have lost control of most of Syria and seen Russia assert itself there but with our monopoly on public understanding of international events through our control of mainstream media we can still rewrite history. 

‘Our BBC’ as the state broadcaster currently styles itself, hoping some of the glory of ‘our amazing NHS’ will rub off on it and help to stave off defunding, gives a prize example of rewriting history with the docu-fiction being served up as ‘Red Lines’. 

Truth is turned on its head with every premise of this crock of nonsense.

No, Syria did not use chemical weapons in 2013, that was a fabrication.

No, Russia did not facilitate the hiding of stockpiles of chemical weapons, Russia actually helped coax Syria into abandoning its chemical weapons, with international inspectors combing the country and confirming every part clean except the jihadi-controlled areas.

No, MPs did not ‘withhold support’ for bombing Syria, they refused to be browbeaten and voted down what might have turned into a reprise of the invasion of Iraq.

No, the episode did not illustrate the unwisdom of allowing our adversaries to cross red lines, it illustrated our imperial arrogance in setting red lines in other people’s countries, it illustrated how we had learned nothing from Iraq, except how better to control the narrative and thereby public support for aggression, and it illustrated that we were ready to mount ‘humanitarian interventions’ to justify those aggressions. 

With the hindsight of today the episode also illustrated that the historic parliamentary vote against bombing represented the high water mark for the peace party in Britain and that ever since the warmongers of every party have had the ascendancy. 

The parliamentary vote shook the British security establishment to the core. Possibly for the first time ever the people as represented by a brave majority of their MPs had stood their ground against the state in a matter of war and peace.

No wonder the establishment is now trying to exploit whipped up popular feeling over Ukraine to rewrite history and gaslight the people into believing that the brave principled vote against aggression in Syria was an aberration.

That the BBC should lend itself to serving the ends of their puppet masters in this way may help it to save the licence fee but it will be tawdry success. 

Rebranding Nazism

May 09, 2022

Source

by Roddy Keenan

As a teacher of history, the topic of Nazi Germany is always one which generates numerous questions from students. How were the Nazis able to convince the public to vote for them? How did they convince the people to go along with their fascist agenda and barbaric policies? How was the Holocaust allowed to take place?

Despite discussing the role of propaganda and censorship, as well as the fear of opposing the Nazi regime, one still finds students often somewhat bemused. Moreover, many invariably argue that nowadays, due to social media, the Internet, and other methods of communication, the evils of Nazism could never succeed in flourishing again.

However, that is about to change. One only has to look at the manner in which the Azov Battalion, a fully-fledged Ukrainian Nazi militia, with significant influence, has been whitewashed in the space of ten weeks. Whereas prior to February 24th 2022, they were recognised as a neo-Nazi battalion, these fascists are now being portrayed as valiant defenders of an oppressed people, fighting bravely against insurmountable odds.

In the past, we have become only too well aware of the role played by the media and big tech in propagandising and manufacturing consent. Whether it’s the mainstream media parroting establishment talking points, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube censoring dissenting views, or Paypal denying media outlets access to their own accounts apparently due to their political stances, Western disinformation full-spectrum dominance appears to be at its zenith.

Yet, the perennial Western purveyors of fake news, such as The New York Times, CNN and the BBC, declare themselves to be gatekeepers of truth, integrity and morality. And this, despite their lies which facilitated the slaughter and deaths of over a million men, women and children, in the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

But still it goes on, right up to the present. From the Ghost of Kiev to Snake Island, the Collective Western media has acted as stenographers for the Western and Ukrainian regimes. The examples are too numerous to mention, but the media coverage of the air strike at a railway station in Kramatorsk provided a striking example of the overt and cynical propaganda role the western media has played throughout this conflict.

The missile strikes that killed over fifty people and injured more than one hundred were initially widely reported, with images on front pages across the Western media. However, within forty-eight hours the story had disappeared and barely received a mention. This was due to an Italian news team identifying one of the missiles as being of the type used by Ukrainian forces. The narrative of Ukrainians killing civilians obviously didn’t fit into the propaganda of the Collective West, and consequently, the dead and injured found instant irrelevance.

Now the Western media has turned its malevolent myth-making to the Nazi Azov battalion in the Ukraine. An overtly Nazi formation, descended from the Fascist Banderites of World War 2, it is now being staunchly defended by the Collective West.

Interestingly, it had been previously accepted that the Azov were a far-right, Nazi militia, and indeed, their presence and influence was widely viewed as a dark force within the Ukraine. It’s fascist rituals and regalia, worship of the fascist Stepan Bandera, and its adherence to Nazi ideology, left nobody in any doubt that these were committed fascists, and they were commonly described as neo-Nazis in numerous Western media outlets.

However, since February 24th there has been a stunning shift.

Now, the fact that the Azov battalion is a Nazi organisation is glossed over. The BBC, a propaganda arm of the British State, ran a nine-minute puff piece, arguing, almost pleading, that the Azov fighters were not fascists, but simply a battalion integrated into the Ukrainian army. Meanwhile, MSNBC interviewed Azov Nazis teaching elderly women how to use weapons, and newspapers from the Financial Times to the New York Times are now portraying the Azov as brave defenders of the Ukraine.

An obvious aim of this shameless media operation is to delegitimise the Russian claims of denazification, by arguing that there is no Nazi problem in the Ukraine. Even on the rare occasion that the media refers to the ideology of the Azov units, and indeed, the presence of other fascist and far-right groups such as C14, Right Sector and Svoboda, it claims they have minimal impact on the politics of the Ukraine, pointing to their weak electoral performances. What they fail to point out, is that the mainstream’ parties are implementing policies that the fascists support. Moreover, the notion that parliamentary representation is a metric of influence is absurd when one looks at the likes of Al Qaeda and Isis.

In fact, a leader of the fascist group C14, Yevhen Karas, described the 2014 Maidan coup as a ‘victory of nationalist ideas’. He went on to assert that without the influence of fascist groups, Maidan would have been nothing but a ‘gay parade’.

But this is now an inconvenient truth for the Collective West. Consequently, Azov and their fellow travellers are no longer Nazis or fascists. Instead, they are merely ‘misunderstood patriots’.

Of course, this is nothing new. When it comes to hypocrisy, the Collective West has it in spades. Whether it’s supporting the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan, ISIS and AL Nusra in Syria, or the fascists in Ukraine, the Collective West has shown itself to be devoid of any morality when it comes to serving their own interests.

Now, just as Isis and Al Nusra are ‘moderate rebels’, the fascists of Azov are well-meaning nationalist warriors.

So, according to our so-called liberal democracies, even though there might be bad Nazis, there are also good fascists, whose adherence to Nazism is just an ideological quirk. Obviously, those who are on our side are the good Nazis. And it’s the Collective West that always gets to decide who is who.

But one thing is now evident – the blatant manner in which Nazism has been made palatable due to an unrelenting, systematic propaganda campaign, will answer those questions posed by students regarding how German Nazis were able to attain power in 1933 and to subsequently pursue the policies that they did.

‘Scratch a liberal and a fascist bleeds’, I was once told many years ago.

The events of the past months have proven just how accurate that old adage is.


Originally from Ireland, Roddy Keenan is a teacher and freelance reporter based in the UK. Roddy specialises in international politics and is the author of US Presidential Elections 1968-2008: a narrative history of the race for the White House’.

What is the Collective West?

April 30, 2022

Source

By Batiushka

Introduction

Western State propaganda mouthpieces like the BBC or CNN, their journalists abundantly supplied and rewarded by their spy services, love to talk about ‘the international community’. They substituted this new phrase for the old one of ‘the free world’ in the 1990s. Of course, both phrases are nonsense. What did/do they actually mean?

The Free World

The 1740 Imperialist anthem ‘Rule, Britannia’ has the words ‘Britons never will be slaves’. What it means is that the ruling class of the British Empire, which was founded on genocide, piracy and slave-trading (for instance, the slaver ancestors of former PM David Cameron), ‘never will be slaves’. As for the enslaved plebs of the rest of the world, including those of the nations of Great Britain and Ireland, they will be feudalised, robbed of their land by the Enclosures (= enforced collectivisation, only not run by the State, but by oligarchs) and sent to be exploited in the sadistic factories of Industrial Revolutionary Capitalists, or else forced to emigrate to populate the future Anglosphere. In the same way, this phrase ‘the Free World’ also meant the ruling class of the First World, that is, those who threatened the Second World (the Communist bloc) with nuclear extinction, all the while exploiting the Third World, assassinating anyone who opposed them (Patrice Lumumba, Dag Hammarskjold, John Kennedy etc etc).

The International Community

The International Community is an equally hypocritical phrase which designates the Zionist Anglosphere + Colonies. In other words, it means the Anglo-Zionist elite of the USA, Israel, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand + the EU, Japan and, arguably, South Korea. The latter non-English-speaking countries are simply US vassals, colonies or client-states, occupied by US troops and bases. This ‘International Community’ is dominated by a military wing called NATO (based almost next door to the EU headquarters in Brussels) and an economic wing called the G7, which is heavily influenced by Wall Street and the City of London. However, this ‘Community’ works together with vassal institutions, like the ‘World Bank’, the IMF (International Monetary Fund) or, to a considerable extent, the UN (United Nations), and think tanks and societies like the Trilateral and Bilderberg. It rewards its servants with awards like Nobel Prizes, generously funded by the CIA. However, whatever the acronym, it is all the same greedy clique.

The Collective West

This phrase is now used in Russia to designate all the enemies of the Russian Federation. These enemies are identical to ‘the international community’, i.e, that small but wealthy minority of the world, representing about 15% of the global population. There is nothing new in the reality of this collective enmity of hatred for and jealousy of Russia. For example, in the 13th century the invading hordes of Germanic terrorists, called the ‘Teutonic Knights’, were also a bunch of bandits from ‘the Collective West’. However, to illustrate our point more clearly still, let us look at the five much more recent invasions of the Russian Lands by the Collective West. These invasions have taken place in the last 210 years (exactly once every 42 years on average). They were and are the events of:

1812. The Russian Empire was invaded by the French Empire, the Austrian Empire, the Kingdoms of Italy, Naples, Saxony, Bavaria, Westphalia, Wuerttemburg, Prussia, Spain and Denmark, the Swiss Confederation, the Grand Duchies of Hesse, Berg and Baden and the Duchy of Warsaw. The result? Although the Collective Western forces reached Moscow, they had to retreat with hundreds of thousands of deaths and in 1814 Russian troops liberated Paris from the tyranny of Napoleon.

1853. The Russian Empire was invaded by France, Great Britain, Sardinia and the Ottoman Empire, supported by the Austrian Empire. This war, miscalled ‘The Crimean War’, included the invasion of the Russia through the Crimea, an attempted British invasion of Siberia from the Sea of Japan and the shelling by the British Navy of a Russian monastery from the White Sea. It lasted until 1856. The ending came when the British blew up the Russian dock installations of Sebastopol (Sevastopol), built ten years before by British engineers. For this ‘achievement’, 500,000 human-beings had died as a result of French and British Imperialism, mainly of disease. Another consequence – in 1867 Russia sold Alaska to the then friendly USA, and not to the enemy British Canada.

1914. The Russian Empire was invaded by Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and the German puppet kinglet of Bulgaria. After immense struggles, the enemy advanced only as far as Poland and Lithuania, never even entering Russian territory. The Russian Imperial Army, suffering fewer losses than the French and Germans on the Western Front even though facing twice as many enemy troops, was headed for total victory in summer 1917. However, in early 1917 the Russian Empire was overthrown by a British-orchestrated coup d’etat and implemented by a fifth column of treacherous Russian aristocrats (i.e. oligarchs, in modern language), generals, politicians, journalists and lawyers. We know what happened next.

1941. The Soviet Union was invaded by the troops of Fascist Germany, Romania, Finland, Italy, Hungary, Slovakia, but these were supported by detachments of Nazi troops from a great many Western countries, including France, Belgium and Norway. The result? Despite the slaughter of 27 million Soviet citizens by the genocidal Nazis who treated the Soviet peoples as wild animals to be massacred, in 1945 Soviet troops liberated Berlin, discovering the gruesome charred remains of the suicide Hitler.

2022. Ancient Russian Lands (recently become known as Eastern and Central Ukraine), occupied, attacked and threatened by Nazi forces, trained and equipped by NATO (the North American Terrorist Organisation), consisting of 30 states led by the USA, are being liberated. They are being freed by Russian forces fighting in what is not a Russian war against the Ukraine but a NATO proxy war against the Ukraine.

The Collective West? Nothing new in this concept.

Conclusion: A Word of Warning

27 million dead? Unless you are brain dead, please do not send Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, to intervene in the Russian special operation of liberation in the Ukraine. Her grandfather was a Nazi who as a volunteer became a staff sergeant in the Wehrmacht, led a unit on the Soviet front which hunted down resistance groups, participated in the capture of Ukraine’s capital Kiev and took part in the barbaric September 1941 Babi Yar massacre, in which more than 33,000 Jews were shot in cold blood.

And please do not send Chrystia Freeland, the Canadian Vice-President, to intervene in the Russian special operation of liberation in the Ukraine. Her grandfather was a Ukrainian Nazi, Mykhailo Khomiak, after the war sought by the Polish authorities for his war crimes.

Our words of warning go out to all other Nazis and Fascists who seem to think that V.V. Putin is one of them. He is not. He is an anti-Fascist, whose grandfather, incidentally, was French. Like Tsar Nicholas II a century before him, V.V. Putin is for social justice against the Anglo-Zionist aristocrats/ oligarchs who run the Western world and have attempted to run the Russian world, from which the last oligarchs are currently being expelled.

Ideological Poultry Farm, or why ZONE A is Doomed.

March 26, 2022

Source

by F(unny)Man

After some days of looking for my mind, and finally finding it yesterday afternoon … I think I lost it again today.

I was watching a YouTube video of how chicken meat and eggs are produced in a poultry farm with all the steps in between(1). They show the entire thing in that video. From the hatching of the chicks to the final packaging of the Meat and Eggs, etc. Quite interesting, so long you are not one of the wokefied, vegan-vegetarian-ecologist, mentally weak, politically correct, animal rights warrior “earth is better without humans” type.

 Suddenly something made a connection in my head, about this process and the ZONE A.

I mean a connection between the hatching and raising of the Chicks, nurturing them, feeding them, keeping them Warm and comfortable, and some months later … ZACK! the industrial sacrifice of the chickens and their processing to… you know… make food to feed the persons that buy these poultry products.

At first I thought of the Ukrainian kids(2) that have been raised and fed like little chicks, with HATE of all Russian. In order to make them the desired anti-Russians that would be later, at the convenience of the Powers-that-be(3), used and industrially sacrificed in the altar of whatever goals, dreams, and desires those Powers have. It is happening now just before our eyes and happened many times in the past.

But seconds later, I realized that, here in the ZONE A(4), the general population… we are all chickens living in an Ideological Poultry Farm… they want us ignorant, without understanding, just eating their (ideological) feed(5) , growing with it, without any concern about what awaits us, isolated little egoist-narcissist chickens(6).

I said Ideological Poultry Farm because, you know, what they feed the chickens in there is well over 50% their own recycled shit.

You do not see a chicken asking himself about their situation, or about what they eat, about their expectations of life… they just eat, drink, poop, grow… till the last moment when they are slaughtered. Well, they can not. Little ignorant beasts.

I know who the managers of this farm are(7), I wonder just who are the owners… because they are going to use, then sacrifice and eat us all. For their own benefit.

There is always hope, but I never heard of any poultry farm where the chickens rebelled, and brought the Farmers to the stake…

This is why Zone A is doomed.

Oh look, there is my Mind… Hey! Stop There! Why are you running away?

  1. A logical and very needed release and detox after suffering the constant bombardment of Ukrainian propaganda on the western media
  2. I mean not only kids, but those unmatured, ignorant adults that have been brainwashed… that after all are just like little big Kids.
  3. If you are reading this essay, on this site, you know whose “Powers-that-be” I mean… it’s a Hydra with many heads and many names. Such as the Three-Letters-Agencies, various Governments, and Institutions, the …(drums rolling)… Governing Elites, FIRE, the Liberal Intelligentsia, et cetera.
  4. ZONE A, AKA “the International Community”
  5. This “Ideology, Country, Person” (insert as needed) is good or bad…

You must buy/follow this “Product, Media, Narrative, Policy…” (insert as needed)

Eat this, do not think, do as we say, grow a little, do not resist, follow the line…

  1. At first you might think sheep make a better comparison, but these are relatively advanced, intelligent and complex lifeforms. Compared to chickens… sheep are geniuses!
  2. If you want an insight, look at the members of any Government in the Zone A.

Ed Note:  I am reliably informed that the Featured (or feathered image), this one, has a depiction of our SmoothieX12, looking on with contempt.  Enjoy figuring it out.

The Ethnic Conflict: Western Media Hypocrisy Revisited

March 11, 2022

By Mohammad Sleem

Beirut – The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine is still bringing to the open the hypocrisy of western media. The tone and language used, as well as the level of objectivity and the violent sentiments reveal how these media outlets were involved in an ethnic conflict. Newspaper headlines, interviews, and reports were but a tissue of lies, with all the bias in favor of Ukraine.

Since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine started, western media had been stretching the truth with all the audacity. Plenty of shocking actions have been taken in support of the Ukrainians.

On his personal Twitter account, BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen tweeted a guide titled: “Where to Throw a Molotov Cocktail”, in which he detailed the weak spots in Russian armors, viewing hatches and air inlets.

Straightaway, his tweet was showered with opposing responses, to mention but few: “Have you and the BBC got any guides you could share for how the Palestinians can fight their brutal occupying oppressors apartheid ‘Israel’?” and “As the BBC editor for the Middle East, have you ever posted such a guide for peoples resisting military occupations in that region?”

Activists on social media platforms shed light on the BBC’s double-standards in covering the Ukraine crisis compared to the Palestinian Cause.

Moreover, the Independent did not fail to pull the wool over the public’s eyes. The newspaper’s headlines depicting the ongoing conflict said it all. The following are a couple of the British newspaper’s headlines: “Putin is ‘Hitler of the 21st century’, says Ireland’s Leo Varadkar”, in a bid to show a bad image of the Russian president; and “Sir Tony Blair: I thought Iraq invasion was the right thing to do”. The Independent explicitly demonstrates its hypocrisy in news publishing. Voices throughout media platforms condemned the newspaper’s policy, saying: “Now you know how authentic it is to believe upon the news they publish”.

Furthermore, the Daily Mail didn’t even bother to beat around the bush. Instead, the daily “shamelessly” published biased headlines such as: “Imran Khan shamelessly offers to import two million tons of wheat and buy gas from Russia” and “US and Europe paying Kremlin 1$ Billion-a–Day for oil and gas despite harsh economic sanctions”.

In a brave stance before the Irish Parliament, Richard Boyd Barrett, a lawmaker of the People Before Profit [PBP] party criticized the hypocrisy of western media, saying: “Treating the Arab population as a whole, the Palestinian population as a whole, as an inferior race.” He added, “You’re happy to correctly use the most strong and robust language to describe the crimes against humanity of Vladimir Putin, but you will not use the same strength of language when it comes to describing the Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians”.

The list of hypocritical media outlets and their double-standard news coverage goes on. One could only wonder despairingly about all the Middle Eastern countries that have been confronting wars, bombings and massacres. What about Syria that gets bombed every week by ‘Israel’? What about the children of Yemen and the heroes of Palestine? Apparently, their only fault is that they are not “blond with blue eyes”.

So far, the ongoing conflict between Russia and the Ukraine has resulted in the punishment of Russia by the West via imposing economic, political, social, and even cultural sanctions. This in addition to offering direct military support to the Ukrainian Army, and most importantly, raising a biased hypocritical double-standard anti-Russian media campaign. In parallel, elsewhere on the same planet, “Israel” has been committing war crimes against humanity since 1948, yet, western media kept quiet. 

Lastly, destruction, crimes and massacres are not only the result of a military war between two parties or armies, but also the product of an ethnic conflict waged by western media outlets. By all counts, the right to live, the right to land, and the right to dream are the hostage of western media hypocrisy.

US-funded media to end operations in Russia

March 6, 2022

Source: Agencies + Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen net 

Moscow was accused of “an assault on the truth,” by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

US-funded media to end operations in Russia

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), a US government-funded news agency, has become yet another Western media to stop operations in Russia amid the country’s operation in Ukraine.

RFE/RL President & CEO Jamie Fly stated in a statement released early Sunday that “It is with the deepest regret that I announce the suspension of our physical operations in Moscow today.”

“This is not a decision that RFE/RL has taken of its own accord, but one that has been forced upon us by the Putin regime’s assault on the truth,” he said.

Days ago, as part of the campaign of sanctions against Russia after its military operation in Ukraine, Google Europe has blocked Youtube channels connected to RT and Sputnik across Europe “effective immediately.”

The action by RFE/RL came as a result of the bankruptcy procedures started against its Russian subsidiary on Friday, as well as “intensified” pressure from law enforcement on its journalists.

The publication’s announcement emerged as a new ruling that makes the spreading of “false information” about Russia’s military a crime punishable by up to 15 years in jail with fines.

RFE/RL reports that nine of its Russian-language websites have been stopped as a result of their coverage of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine during the last week.

“Because RFE/RL journalists continue to tell the truth about Russia’s catastrophic invasion of its neighbor, the company plans to report about these developments from outside of Russia,” it said.

Yesterday, following the BBC, CNN, ABC News, CBS News, and Bloomberg suspended operations in Russia owing to the ‘fake news’ law, which they characterized as an attempt to punish independent media.

Italy’s public television channel RAI also decided to suspend reporting from Russia after the legislation was enacted in Moscow, backing the imposition of jail terms on media publishing “false information” about the military.

Moscow says the measure is vital to combat anti-Russian propaganda that is bombarding internet users.

Russia launched a special operation to demilitarize and “denazify” Ukraine, in response to requests from the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics for assistance in combating Ukrainian troops’ aggression. The special operation is only targeting Ukrainian military facilities, according to the Russian Defense Ministry, and the civilian population is not at risk. Moscow has stated that it has no intention of occupying Ukraine.

Despite the Ukrainian leadership’s pleas, the US and NATO have declined to intervene directly in the conflict.

Meta censoring 

According to Meta’s Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications Nick Clegg, the company has limited access to the RT broadcaster and the Sputnik news agency across the European Union.

Clegg announced Monday on Twitter that “We have received requests from a number of Governments and the EU to take further steps in relation to Russian state-controlled media. Given the exceptional nature of the current situation, we will be restricting access to RT and Sputnik across the EU at this time.”

Russia is slaying the Khazarian Mafia in Ukraine

BBC: “There has been no genocide in Ukraine: it is a vibrant democracy, led by a president who is Jewish.”

 March 4, 2022

By  Jonas E. Alexis, Assistant Editor

JEA: The Washington Post has been shocked because Russia has blocked many of its citizens from accessing media outlets such as BBC and Facebook! These people have got to be kidding. Should that really be a big problem for the entire Zionist media and oligarchic institutions in much of the West? Don’t those outlets have a history of blocking things they don’t like as well? Do these people forget history that easily? Don’t they remember Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya?

The last time I checked, Facebook has blocked Veterans Today. The last time I checked, BBC was perpetuating anti-Russian propaganda with respect to what is happening in Ukraine. The last time I checked, it was a BBC journalist who asked Vladimir Putin a completely dumb question with respect to what was happening in the world. Putin, thank God, humiliated the poor fellow.

The BBC has recently reported that Russia “has launched a devastating attack on Ukraine, a European democracy of 44 million people,”[1] without mentioning a single word about what NATO has been doing for the past thirty years so!

It is even more disturbing when the BBC has put out articles such as “Why is Russia invading Ukraine and what does Putin want?” without even discussing the deep things that make up the crisis in the region. The article mentioned two things about NATO. The first one is this:

“Russia has long resisted Ukraine’s move towards the European Union and the West’s defensive military alliance, Nato. Announcing Russia’s invasion, he accused Nato of threatening ‘our historic future as a nation.’”

Really? That’s all there is to it? How stupid can we be? And then this: “There is no immediate threat to Russia’s Baltic neighbors, but Nato has bolstered their defences just in case.”

To understand the lunacy of the BBC statement, imagine some Chinese or North Korean warships circulating around the coast of California or Florida. Wouldn’t the United States eventually declare war if the Chinese or North Koreans leaders don’t immediately remove their warships?

Well, NATO has been circulating its troops around the Russian periphery for over a decade! And this has been in violation of international law. This is not some kind of conspiracy theory dreamed up by writers at VT. Scholars of all stripes have been saying this for years. John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, for example, has been writing about this since 2014. Mearsheimer in particular has recently reformulated that thesis in the New Yorker.

In any event, the BBC article did suggest something which Brother Nathanael Kapner will discuss below. The BBC seemed to suggest that Putin is in a war with the Khazarian Mafia in the region: “There has been no genocide in Ukraine: it is a vibrant democracy, led by a president who is Jewish.”

Now we’re talking.

…by Nathanael Kapner

The blitz on Russia is unhinged. It’s a study in ‘moronology.’

When US liquor stores are told by hacks to dump their already-bought Russian vodka, you know Russophobia is just a psychotic shot away. They dropped COVID just for this.

And when Fox News says ‘Putin is the Antichrist’ you know that whoever squawks the loudest gains the ear of lamebrain Americans. Rev up the heart rate.

Don’t you need somebody to hate. Today Putin, yesterday Sadaam, tomorrow whoever stands in the way of the Khazarian Mafia.

Ukraine is just a pawn in the Khazarian Mafia’s game to ‘contain’ Christian Russia.

With joint efforts of the Mossad and CIA clandestinely funding Ukraine’s nationalists—”Natz”—as the locals call them, short for “Nazis,” a Ukrainian deep state was created.

These “Natz” are descendants of the “Banderites” of World War II fame, with whom Hitler, due to their fanatical viciousness, shunned.

With the help of US State Departments’ Jew, Victoria Nuland, (born “Nudelman”), the Banderites executed a coup in 2014.

Straightaway an American puppet, known affectionately by Nudelman as “Yats,” a fellow Jew, was installed.

Today’s neo-Banderite battalions, fueled by manic hatred of anything “Russian,” got the lion’s share of military aid from the Khazarian Mafia in America that bolstered them for future attacks on Donbas then ultimately on Russia.

And with military bases, run by Nato and funded by international Jewish banks—achieving lethal pressure on Russia’s western flank—Putin protested of being squeezed.

Today, via surgical attacks on Ukraine’s military infrastructure, not civilian, Russia now controls all Ukrainian airspace.

One complex, a Nato/US Naval Base in Ochakov, masqueraded as a Ukrainian Naval Base between Odessa and Crimea, was just annihilated by the Russian Air Force.

So far Russia has hit some 1,500 Ukrainian military targets.

Thus “demilitarizing” covert Nato bases and their manic Banderite stooges.

The Russian bear will maul his way all the way west of Kyiv. Creating a line of demarcation as “peacemaking endgame,” the bear will split Ukraine in two.

What’s left of the “Natz”—most will be zapped—will be contained in a sequestered administrative zone bordering the EU.

The greater eastern portion with its new government will sign a non-alignment agreement with Russia under the umbrella of a Russian protectorate.

Let me pose a Jewish kind of question: Do those “Natz” hate Jews?

No, not at all.

But they love their Jewish Ukrainian oligarch enablers.

Jews like Ihor Kolomoyskyi, Oleksandr Yaroslavsky, and Zvi Hirsch—who changed his name, like many Jews do—to Gennadiy Boholyubov.

All of these oligarchs have lineages that can be traced to Jewish Bolshevik families

The same families that financed the overthrow of Czarist Christian Russia and the Christian monarchy of Nicholas II.

Yes, Putin’s calling for the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine. He’s calling for its “de-communization” too.

”As a result of Bolshevik policy Soviet Ukraine arose which even today can with good reason be called ‘Vladimir Ilyich Lenin’s Ukraine.’ He is its author and architect. This is fully confirmed by archive documents also including Lenin’s decrees regarding adding the Donbass to Ukraine. And now grateful descendants have demolished monuments to Lenin in Ukraine. This is what they call de-communization. Do you want de-communization? Well, that suits us just fine. But why stop halfway? We are ready to show you what real de-communization means for Ukraine.”

A two-fold blow:

1) Purging the corrupt Jewish Ukrainian oligarchs who will be forced to flee just as they did when Putin purged them in Russia in 2003.

2) Purging the Ukrainian Parliament infested with Jews like Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, and Culture and Information Policy Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko, all Jews.

Zelensky, the Jew President of Ukraine, by asking Nato for a no-fly zone to shoot down Russian planes—which the Khazarian Mafia in America rejected—shot himself in the foot for any bid for bargaining chips in talks with Putin.

Concerning the Rothschild/US Jewish FED cutting off Russia from financial markets and interbank payments, this is nothing less than assisted-suicide.

Russia and China long ago set up their own “SWIFT” interbank payment systems.

Nations needing Russian wheat, fertilizer, steel, aluminum, and oil, will pay not in dollars but in Chinese yuans that’s increasingly rising as the reserve currency replacing the dollar.

Once the Khazarian dollar (I mean, with no “productive” value) takes a dive, buying your jeans at Walmart will be like shopping at Nieman-Marcus on steroids.

Poking the Russian Bear has always been a Khazarian affair.

Curl up, they say, in a fetal position, when faced with a charging bear.

The bear is striking back and the Khazarians don’t have a prayer.

[1] Paul Kirby, “Why is Russia invading Ukraine and what does Putin want?,” BBC, March 4, 2022.

Western journalist’s coverage of Ukraine reveals selective humanity

3 Mar 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Ghadir Hamadi 

How is the media coverage of the events in Ukraine contributing to the dehumanization of non-white, non-European people?

Five days into the Russian military operation in Ukraine, the United Nations released a report stating that more than 360,000 Ukrainians have already fled the country, with the majority crossing the border into neighboring Poland.

The United States has already imposed sanctions targeting Russian banks, oil refineries, and military exports.

The United Nations held an emergency calling for an immediate Security Council meeting to try and stop the bloodshed and chaos in Ukraine.

Journalists, media experts, politicians, and world leaders have all resorted to social media to express their outrage supporting the war, and their solidarity with Ukraine. 

However, many of those figures have been accused of double standards for using their platforms to not only support and encourage Ukraine’s armed resistance to Russian troops, but also to express their shock at how such a conflict could happen to a “civilized” nation.

CBS News senior correspondent in Kiev Charlie D’Agata said on Friday: “This isn’t a place, with all due respect, like Iraq or Afghanistan that has seen conflict raging for decades. This is a relatively civilized, relatively European – I have to choose those words carefully, too – a city where you wouldn’t expect that or hope that it’s going to happen”…….

Many social media users were outraged by his commentary, while others simply claimed that he has verbalized what they knew all along: non-white blood is cheap while white blood is not. 

Many pointed out that his comments further contributed to the dehumanization of non-white, non-European people suffering under a conflict within mainstream media.

Al Jazeera English anchor Peter Dobbie stated: “What’s compelling is, just looking at them, the way they are dressed, these are prosperous…I’m loath to use the expression… middle-class people. These are not obviously refugees looking to get away from areas in the Middle East that are still in a big state of war. These are not people trying to get away from areas in North Africa. They look like any European family that you would live next door to”.

He later apologized in a tweet.

On Saturday, the BBC interviewed Ukraine’s former deputy general prosecutor, David Sakvarelidze.

“It’s very emotional for me because I see European people with blonde hair and blue eyes being killed every day with Putin’s missiles and his helicopters and his rockets”, Sakvarelidze said.

The BBC presenter responded: “I understand and of course respect the emotion”.

The Telegraph has also published an article by Daniel Hannan, that was immediately shared by thousands of social media users. The lead of his article was seen by many as “so vile, I couldn’t continue reading it”, one social media user tweeted.

“They seem so like us”, Hannan wrote. “That is what makes it so shocking. Ukraine is a European country. Its people watch Netflix and have Instagram accounts, vote in free elections, and read uncensored newspapers. War is no longer something visited upon impoverished and remote populations. It can happen to anyone”.

A video of Ahed Tamimi, a Palestinian resistance icon standing up to the Israeli army when she was a little girl was falsely circulating on social media as a little Ukrainian girl standing up to Russian soldiers with the caption: “PRAY FOR UKRAINE”. 

The video received more than 11.6 million views on Instagram because users thought the girl was Ukrainian, not Palestinian, and that the soldier was Russian, not Israeli.

Other users expressed their outrage at the wars imposed on their countries by the governments of those journalists who are now calling non-white refugees “uncivilized”. 

“When Palestinians, Lebanese, Somalis, and Afghanis resist foreign occupations and invasion, they are labeled as terrorists, but when Ukrainians do it, they’re cheered on by the rest of the world. Selective humanity at its finest”, tweeted Amal Omar. 

The Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association (AMEJA) called on “all news organizations to be mindful of implicit and explicit bias in their coverage of the war in Ukraine”.

AMEJA released a report of the examples it tracked of racist news coverage that ascribes more importance to some victims of war over others.

The report concluded by stating that AMEJA stands in full solidarity with all civilians under military assault in any part of the world, but that decontextualizing narratives can erase the stories and the sufferings of entire populations. 

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Your $1.7 billion of gold is now ours, UK tells starving Venezuelans

Dec 26, 2021, 

RT.com

In its prolonged freezing of Venezuelan assets, the UK continues to withhold 31 tons of its gold stored at the Bank of England, with a new Supreme Court ruling supporting the seizure.

The recent decision, CNN reported“ruled that recognition of heads of state and government was solely the responsibility of the British government, which had recognized [opposition leader Juan] Guaidó as Venezuela’s Constitutional interim President.” 

Like most duplicitous corporate media, CNN pushed the narrative that Nicolas Maduro isn’t actually Venezuela’s elected president (he “claimed” the “widely disputed” election). But, as I wrote in March, he is president, and “Venezuela’s election process has been recognized as transparent and effective, with former US President Jimmy Carter in 2012 calling it ‘the best in the world.’ On the other hand, the Venezuelan opposition, as well as Western nations, have interfered with and attempted to sabotage elections.”

In any case, the UK court, drawing on the ‘one voice principle’, decided that because UK leaders like Boris Johnson regard the unbeloved Guaidó as ‘interim president’, he therefore, inexplicably, is – in spite of most of the world not recognizing him as such.

So, Venezuela’s 31 tons of gold deposited at the Bank of England,” remains captive.

Meanwhile, script-reading legacy media are echoing one another in claiming that Venezuela has no right to its own gold, disingenuously promoting the false premise that Guaidó is Venezuela’s president.

The BBC ran with: ‘UK Supreme Court denies Maduro claim to Venezuelan gold’.

Fortune Times gushed: ‘UK Supreme Court thwarts Maduro’s bid to control $1.9bn Venezuela gold.’

How very benevolent of the UK courts to thwart the dastardly elected president of a nation whose population it is allied with the US in relentlessly punishing. 

As any good stooge of imperialism does, Guaidó – the Western puppet previously-unknown to the world, and largely unknown within Venezuela before his self-appointment as ‘president’ – pops up when needed, aka when the US and allies want to hurt the Venezuelan people even further. 

The recent decision, CNN reported“ruled that recognition of heads of state and government was solely the responsibility of the British government, which had recognized [opposition leader Juan] Guaidó as Venezuela’s Constitutional interim President.” 

Like most duplicitous corporate media, CNN pushed the narrative that Nicolas Maduro isn’t actually Venezuela’s elected president (he “claimed” the “widely disputed” election). But, as I wrote in March, he is president, and “Venezuela’s election process has been recognized as transparent and effective, with former US President Jimmy Carter in 2012 calling it ‘the best in the world.’ On the other hand, the Venezuelan opposition, as well as Western nations, have interfered with and attempted to sabotage elections.”

In any case, the UK court, drawing on the ‘one voice principle’, decided that because UK leaders like Boris Johnson regard the unbeloved Guaidó as ‘interim president’, he therefore, inexplicably, is – in spite of most of the world not recognizing him as such.

So, Venezuela’s 31 tons of gold deposited at the Bank of England,” remains captive.

Meanwhile, script-reading legacy media are echoing one another in claiming that Venezuela has no right to its own gold, disingenuously promoting the false premise that Guaidó is Venezuela’s president.

The BBC ran with: ‘UK Supreme Court denies Maduro claim to Venezuelan gold’.

Fortune Times gushed: ‘UK Supreme Court thwarts Maduro’s bid to control $1.9bn Venezuela gold.’

How very benevolent of the UK courts to thwart the dastardly elected president of a nation whose population it is allied with the US in relentlessly punishing. 

As any good stooge of imperialism does, Guaidó – the Western puppet previously-unknown to the world, and largely unknown within Venezuela before his self-appointment as ‘president’ – pops up when needed, aka when the US and allies want to hurt the Venezuelan people even further. 

In a March 2021 article, I opined, “You would have to have been offline or in a coma for the past couple of years to not be aware of some key facts about ‘interim president’ Guaidó. Venezuelans didn’t vote for Guaidó to be president, he hasn’t even stood for president. Venezuelans voted for Maduro. Guaidó named himself ‘interim president’, to the support of only roughly 50 countries – leaving a glaring nearly 150 countries not recognizing this Western-groomed stooge as Venezuela’s leader.”

Contrary to the UK’s re-recognition of this man as the president of Venezuela, as I noted, even the EU dropped its recognition of Guaidó as interim president. 

On-the-ground support for the non-president?

In 2019, I spent several weeks in Caracas, refuting Western pundits’ and media claims that there was chaos following a series of power outages. During that time, I observed protests in support of the government, and sought out the supposedly-massive protests in support of Guaidó (spoiler, I couldn’t find them, in spite of scouring the city on a motorcycle taxi).

In one particularly massive pro-government protest, Venezuelans spoke of media lies about their country and also how they wanted the “Western puppet” Guaidó to be arrested. 

They make it up, it’s all lies, all lies. The only president we recognize is Nicolas Maduro. And we want this man, Juan Guaidó, to be arrested immediately.

In an encounter another day, a woman unleashed, “We didn’t vote for you, Guaidó. We’re not a North American colony. We’re not Colombia. Respect Venezuela. The US wants to steal our resources. Trump, stop f**king us over.”

Up in the hills of Petare, riding on a friend’s motorcycle, wherever we went, we met people who spat on Guaidó and on the West’s lies about Venezuela.

This latest UK court ruling to continue denying Venezuela its gold – and deny the nation a means of providing relief to its uber-sanctioned population, which struggles to get enough food to eat because of it – is not surprising, giving the West’s history of attempting to overthrow Venezuela’s leaders and destabilize the country. 

It needs to be underscored that the same politicians, pundits and media which promote Guaidó as a Venezuelan leader, much less president, and whitewash the UK’s theft of Venezuela’s gold, systematically downplay the deadly sanctions against its people.

RELATED LINKS:

UK Gold Ruling Based on ‘Illegal Interference’ in Venezuela

US-led Sanctions Against Venezuela: A Primer

New US admin stands for same grotesque & brutal policies against Venezuela, shows just how little they actually CARE for people

Venezuela playlist

US is manufacturing a crisis in Venezuela so that there is chaos and ‘needed’ intervention

Negative impact of NATO on Serbia & Montenegro and on the world

July 12, 2021

Negative impact of NATO on Serbia & Montenegro and on the world

by Batko Milacic – Independent analyst – for The Saker Blog

After Yugoslavia’s (Serbia) President Slobodan Milosevic refused to accept the so-called Rambouillet Agreement in 1999, which in reality was NATO ultimatum that demanded from Serbia and Montenegro to allow NATO troops to occupy the province of Kosovo as well as that NATO can build bases in Serbia, and that all NATO personnel have diplomatic immunity, which means that they could not be held criminally responsible in Serbia and Montenegro, NATO aggression was launched without any authorization from the United Nations. The intervention was called humanitarian under the pretext of stopping the persecution of Albanians. Western media machine led against Serbs constantly negative media campaign. In media presentations by CNN and the BBC, the Serbs were the modern Nazis and Albanians the Jews. After they successfully presented the Serbs as the bad guys, NATO had a free hand to open aggression and excessive force. Western claims about tens of thousands of killed Albanians later turned out to be completely false. The real death toll in Kosovo before NATO aggression was revealed after the war and it was around 2,000 with the majority of the killings committed by the armed terrorist-separatist group, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). The KLA, previously classified by Washington as a terrorist organization, was elevated in the run-up to the war as the sole legitimate representative of Kosovo’s Albanian population. The KLA, working in close collaboration with US sponsors, sought to create as much violence and death as possible in order to pave the way to Western intervention.

The war against Serbia and Montenego lasted for 78 days. Hospitals, factories and schools were destroyed, along with bridges, roads and military infrastructure. The airstrikes killed around 2,500 people and wounded another 12,500. The bombing destroyed and damaged 25,000 housing units, 470 km of roads and 595 kilometers of railroad were disabled. 14 airports, 19 hospitals, 20 health centers, 18 kindergartens, 69 schools, 176 cultural monuments and 44 bridges were damaged while 38 were destroyed, according to Serbian estimates.(1) During the bombing, 2, 300 air strikes were carried out on the 995 facilities across the country. NATO launched 1,300 cruise missiles, bombed Serbia and Montenegro with 37,000 “cluster bombs”, using prohibited ammunition with depleted uranium. The decision to bomb Serbia and Montenegro was made for the first time in history, without the approval of the UN Security Council. One of the NATO airstrikes used laser-guided bombs to take out railway bridge in southern Serbia, killing at least 10 people on a passenger train. A deliberate attack on the Serbian TV broadcaster RTS in Belgrade took lives of 16 civilian workers. This was the first case that the media house was declared a legitimate military goal. In one of the most provocative acts of the war, NATO carried out a strike on the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, killing three men. Washington claimed that the bombing was an “accident”.(2) The “humanitarian” intervention to halt “ethnic cleansing” has resulted in massive ethnic cleansing. After NATO arrived, 250,000 Serbs were expelled from Kosovo. (3)

Also, the 2004 unrest in Kosovo is the worst ethnic violence case in Kosovo since the end of the 1998–99 conflict. The violence erupted in the partitioned town of Mitrovica, leaving hundreds wounded and at least 14 people dead. The unrest was precipitated by misleading reports in the Kosovo Albanian media which falsely claimed that three Kosovo Albanian boys had drowned after being chased into the Ibar River by a group of Kosovo Serbs. That is why Albanians are embarking on a coordinated action against Serbs, in which they have committed numerous crimes. Given the magnitude of the action, it is clear that this ethnic cleansing was planned and not spontaneous. Here, too, the question must be asked whether it is possible that NATO intelligence services did not have operational information that Albanians were preparing attacks on Serbs, with the aim of ethnic cleansing of Kosovo. The answer is obvious, especially if we keep in mind that NATO forces have peacefully observed the ethnic cleansing of Serbs, even if their primary task in Kosovo is to maintain peace and order.

Years later, International courts in Pristina have prosecuted several people who attacked several Serbian Orthodox churches, handing down jail sentences ranging from 21 months to 16 years. However, these are extremely small numbers of people and with small penalties. The absolute majority of criminals were not punished. A part of the destroyed churches have since been rebuilt by the Government of Serbia and in cooperation with the Serbian Orthodox Church and the UN mission in Kosovo. However, almost none of the exiled Serbs returned to Kosovo. It is important to note that NATO forces have peacefully observed the ethnic cleansing of Serbs, even if their primary task in Kosovo is to maintain peace and order.

It is clear to every objective analyst that NATO carried out aggression in 1999 against Serbia and Montenegro. Everything that happened after 1999 proved that NATO’s primary goal was not the protection of human rights, but the abuse of this idea for classical geopolitical possession of strategic space, in this case, the southern Serbian province of Kosovo. The Serbian army fought heroically in Kosovo and it was not defeated on the battlefield. The withdrawal of the Serbian army from Kosovo was caused by an open threat from the West that it will exert over Serbia humanitarian destruction of the whole country. When the destruction of infrastructure did not gave results, NATO began hitting hospitals, trains full of passengers and throwing away so-called graphite bombs that destroyed the electrical network and left entire cities without electricity. Cluster bombs were thrown in the cities, and bombardment of depleted uranium kills Serbs even today.

NATO forces continued aggression on the rest of Serbia, by other means. Immediately after the bombing the regime change operation was supported, after which embassies of Western countries and international organizations that the West controlled began to “reform Serbia”. Shortly after the arrival of pro-Western authorities in Serbia, in October 2000, “the reform of the Serbian army” began. The majority of proven war officers were retired, while the number of soldiers was so low, to the level, at which the security of the country was seriously threatened. Through its agents of influence, the West played a major role in separating Montenegro from Serbia. High and primary education were, and still are literally destroyed, media has been dominated by foreign corporations. Yet again, two decades later, despite its propaganda and corruption of the elite, NATO is still undesirable among the ordinary people. Montenegro became a member of NATO by political violence, against the will of the citizens. Serbia and Republic of Srpska continue to resist. You can see more about NATO’s activities in the world in an excellent documentary

War… It’s Just a Shot Away as Brits Provoke Russia

See the source image

Finian Cunningham

June 24, 2021

It sounds almost incredible that a war situation was only a shot away in such a grim face-off between NATO member Britain and Russia.

Russian patrol vessels fired warning shots at an armed British warship after it breached Russian territorial waters this week. Then a SU-24 fighter jet dropped bombs in the path of the British destroyer apparently forcing it out of Russian waters.

It sounds almost incredible that a war situation was only a shot away in such a grim face-off between NATO member Britain and Russia.

But what’s also condemnable is that the incendiary incident was a deliberate provocation by Britain. Russia has warned Britain not to provoke it again in the Black Sea. And Moscow accused London of telling barefaced lies.

The British government and its Ministry of Defense were quick to play down the incident, claiming that there were no warning shots fired on the Royal Navy guided-missile destroyer. London accused Russia of “disinformation” and maintained that HMS Defender was engaged in “innocent passage” through international waters in the Black Sea.

However, the official British version is contradicted by a BBC correspondent who was on board HMS Defender.

Jonathan Beale reported: “I am on board the warship in the Black Sea.The crew were already at action stations as they approached the southern tip of Russian-occupied [sic] Crimea. Weapons systems on board the Royal Navy destroyer had already been loaded.

This would be a deliberate move to make a point to Russia. HMS Defender was going to sail within the 12 mile (19km) limit of Crimea’s territorial waters. The captain insisted he was only seeking safe passage through an internationally recognized shipping lane.”

Thus, according to the BBC’s account, a fully armed and cocked warship deliberately entered territorial waters claimed by Russia (since Crimea joined the Russian Federation by a referendum in 2014). The crew were at action stations on their approach “to make a point to Russia”.

Such conduct by the British is nothing less than a wanton provocation to Russia. The BBC version concurs with Russia’s account of the circumstances, including the sound of warning shots.

One question is: why did the British government and MoD seek to immediately play down the incident, purporting to say that nothing had happened? London claimed that the warship was merely in the vicinity of Russian “gunnery exercises” as if it was all coincidence and that Moscow was engaging in disinformation about warding off the Royal Navy vessel.

Another question is: why was the BBC correspondent invited to take part in the Black Sea voyage of HMS Defender from the Ukrainian port of Odessa to Georgia skirting the Crimea Peninsula? It seems like the British may have been expecting their “point to Russia” would have been met with a passive response. And so the British would have been able to spin that their plucky navy was able to stick it to the Russians. Turns out though that the BBC man unhelpfully contradicted the military planners in London.

Britain was obliged to deny the military encounter because it knows full well that it was a provocative show of aggression by its warship. If the shots had escalated it could have been an act of war that Britain had instigated. Aggression is the supreme war crime as defined by the Nuremberg trials of Nazi leaders.

Russia has condemned the British action, saying HMS Defender should be renamed HMS Aggressor or HMS Provocateur.

It is also reported that on Tuesday, the day before the skirmish, Ukrainian military chiefs were hosted onboard HMS Destroyer while docked in Odessa where they signed new military contracts with the British on naval cooperation. That the Brits then sailed the next day straight into Russian waters suggests that the maneuver was a calculated show of naval power in support of Ukraine’s claims of “fighting against Russian aggression”.

As far back as April, the British had given notice that they were intending to dispatch warships to the Black Sea “in support of Ukraine”. Russia responded angrily and warned Britain and other NATO members to stay away from its territory. Russia subsequently has deployed larger military forces in its Black Sea territory, including around the Crimea Peninsula.

That the British went ahead with their plans to send warships into disputed waters is further sign that London was deliberately goading Moscow.

What the Brits were not expecting, it seems, was the way Russia rapidly deployed firepower this week to underscore its warnings to back off.

This is the context for why international “stability talks” between the United States and Russia are an urgent matter. It remains to be seen if the American Biden administration genuinely responds to Moscow’s appeals for earnest negotiations to stabilize relations. NATO so far seems to be indifferent to Russian proposals for cooperating on forming new security mechanisms in Europe.

The deterioration in relations between Russia and the United States and other NATO members has reached a dangerous flashpoint. The arming by the U.S. and NATO of the anti-Russia regime in Kiev is fueling the potential for all-out conflict between nuclear powers. Western indulgence of Kiev’s reckless claims of “Russian aggression” is further insanity.

And amid the treacherous conditions, the British send a guided-missile destroyer into Russian waters in defiance of reasonable warnings. That’s just a shot away from disaster.

Incredibly, this is all happening on the 80th anniversary of Operation Barbarossa when Nazi Germany launched its war against the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941.

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