Bill Gates and the Depopulation Agenda. Robert F. Kennedy Junior Calls for an Investigation

By Peter Koenig

Global Research, July 11, 2020

First published by GR on April 18, 2020

**

For over twenty years Bill Gates and his Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) have been vaccinating foremost children by the millions in remote areas of poor countries, mostly Africa and Asia. Most of their vaccination program had disastrous results, causing the very illness (polio, for example in India) and sterilizing young women (Kenya, with modified tetanus vaccines). Many of the children died. Many of the programs were carried out with the backing of the WHO and – yes – the UN Agency responsible for the Protection of Children, UNICEF. 

Most of these vaccination campaigns were implemented without the informed-consent of the children, parents, guardians or teachers, nor with the informed-consent, or with forged consent, of the respective government authorities. In the aftermath, The Gates Foundation was sued by governments around the world, Kenya, India, the Philippines – and more.

Bill Gates has a strange image of himself. He sees himself as The Messiah who saves the world through vaccination – and through population reduction.

Around the time, when the 2010 Rockefeller Report was issued, with its even more infamous “Lock Step” Scenario, precisely the scenario of which we are living the beginning right now, Bill Gates talked on a TED show in California, “Innovating to Zero” about the use of energy.

He used this TED presentation to promote his vaccination programs, literally saying, “If we are doing a real good job vaccinating childen, we can reduce the world population by 10% to 15%”.

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaF-fq2Zn7I) .

This sounds very much like eugenics.

The video, the first 6’45”, “The Truth about Bill Gates and his Disastrous Vaccination Program”, will tell you all about it.

Read also Gates’ Globalist Vaccine Agenda: a Win-Win for Pharma and Mandatory Vaccination by Robert F Kennedy Jr

Robert F Kennedy Jr, an avid Defender of Children’s Rights and anti-vaccination activist, has launched a petition sent to the White House, calling for “Investigations into the ‘Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’ for Medical Malpractice & Crimes Against Humanity


READ MORE: Coronavirus – No Vaccine Is Needed to Cure It

Screenshot 

“At the forefront of this is Bill Gates, who has publicly stated his interest in “reducing population growth” by 10-15%, by means of vaccination. Gates, UNICEF & WHO have already been credibly accused of intentionally sterilizing Kenyan children through the use of a hidden HCG antigen in tetanus vaccines”. (Excerpt from text of Petition)

Link to the Petition.

If you wish to Sign the Petition click Here  

(At the time of writing, the petition had over 265,000. It requires 100,000 for an answer from the White House)

Video: Robert F. Kennedy Junior

See also brief video featuring Author Bill Still ( 6 min) entitled The Truth about Bill Gates and his disastrous Vaccination Programs around the World

Robert. F. Kennedy Exposes Bill Gates’ Vaccination Agenda

Now Mr. Gates and his allies, including Big-Pharma, WHO, UNICEF, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of NIAID / NIH, a close ally of Mr. Gates  – and of course, Agenda ID2020, are proposing to (force) vaccinate 7 billion people around the globe, with their concoction of a (so far) untested coronavirus vaccine. This is a multi-billion dollar bonanza for  Big Pharma and for all those who support the vaccine. Nobody will really know what the vaccine cocktail will contain. They intend to start with the Global South (Developing Countries) and then gradually move North (Developed Countries).

Mind you, there is no need for a vaccine to cure the corona virus. There are many cures:

French Professor Didier Raoult, who is one of the world’s top 5 scientists on communicable diseases, suggested the use of hydroxychloroquine (Chloroquine or Plaquenil), a well-known, simple, and inexpensive drug, also used to fight Malaria, and that has shown efficacy with previous coronaviruses such as SARS.  By mid-February 2020, clinical trials at his institute and in China already confirmed that the drug could reduce the viral load and bring spectacular improvement. Chinese scientists published their first trials on more than 100 patients and announced that the Chinese National Health Commission would recommend Chloroquine in their new guidelines to treat Covid-19. (Peter Koenig, April 1, 2020)

Be aware, awake, alert and warned.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; RT; Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; Greanville Post; Defend Democracy Press, TeleSUR; The Saker Blog, the New Eastern Outlook (NEO); and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.Peter Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Peter Koenig, Global Research, 2020

Bill Gates and the Depopulation Agenda. Robert F. Kennedy Junior Calls for an Investigation

By Peter Koeing

Source

 

For over twenty years Bill Gates and his Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) have been vaccinating foremost children by the millions in remote areas of poor countries, mostly Africa and Asia. Most of their vaccination program had disastrous results, causing the very illness (polio, for example in India) and sterilizing young women (Kenya, with modified tetanus vaccines). Many of the children died. Many of the programs were carried out with the backing of the WHO and – yes – the UN Agency responsible for the Protection of Children, UNICEF. 

Most of these vaccination campaigns were implemented without the informed-consent of the children, parents, guardians or teachers, nor with the informed-consent, or with forged consent, of the respective government authorities. In the aftermath, The Gates Foundation was sued by governments around the world, Kenya, India, the Philippines – and more.

Bill Gates has a strange image of himself. He sees himself as The Messiah who saves the world through vaccination – and through population reduction.

Around the time, when the 2010 Rockefeller Report was issued, with its even more infamous “Lock Step” Scenario, precisely the scenario of which we are living the beginning right now, Bill Gates talked on a TED show in California, “Innovating to Zero” about the use of energy.

He used this TED presentation to promote his vaccination programs, literally saying, “If we are doing a real good job vaccinating childen, we can reduce the world population by 10% to 15%”.

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaF-fq2Zn7I) .

This sounds very much like eugenics.

The video, the first 6’45”, “The Truth about Bill Gates and his Disastrous Vaccination Program”, will tell you all about it.

Robert F Kennedy Jr, an avid Defender of Children’s Rights and anti-vaccination activist, has launched a petition sent to the White House, calling for “Investigations into the ‘Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’ for Medical Malpractice & Crimes Against Humanity

Screenshot 

“At the forefront of this is Bill Gates, who has publicly stated his interest in “reducing population growth” by 10-15%, by means of vaccination. Gates, UNICEF & WHO have already been credibly accused of intentionally sterilizing Kenyan children through the use of a hidden HCG antigen in tetanus vaccines”. (Excerpt from text of Petition)

(At the time of writing, the petition had over 265,000. It requires 100,000 for an answer from the White House)

Video: Robert F. Kennedy Junior

See also brief video featuring Author Bill Still ( 6 min) entitled The Truth about Bill Gates and his disastrous Vaccination Programs around the World

Robert. F. Kennedy Exposes Bill Gates’ Vaccination Agenda

Now Mr. Gates and his allies, including Big-Pharma, WHO, UNICEF, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of NIAID / NIH, a close ally of Mr. Gates  – and of course, Agenda ID2020, are proposing to (force) vaccinate 7 billion people around the globe, with their concoction of a (so far) untested coronavirus vaccine. This is a multi-billion dollar bonanza for  Big Pharma and for all those who support the vaccine. Nobody will really know what the vaccine cocktail will contain. They intend to start with the Global South (Developing Countries) and then gradually move North (Developed Countries).

Mind you, there is no need for a vaccine to cure the corona virus. There are many cures:

French Professor Didier Raoult, who is one of the world’s top 5 scientists on communicable diseases, suggested the use of hydroxychloroquine (Chloroquine or Plaquenil), a well-known, simple, and inexpensive drug, also used to fight Malaria, and that has shown efficacy with previous coronaviruses such as SARS.  By mid-February 2020, clinical trials at his institute and in China already confirmed that the drug could reduce the viral load and bring spectacular improvement. Chinese scientists published their first trials on more than 100 patients and announced that the Chinese National Health Commission would recommend Chloroquine in their new guidelines to treat Covid-19. (Peter Koenig, April 1, 2020)

Be aware, awake, alert and warned

The Virus of Occupation: Israelis Have Taken To Spitting on Palestinians During Coronavirus

By Ramzy Baroud

Source

Now that we know that the deadly coronavirus can be transmitted through saliva droplets, Israeli soldiers and illegal Jewish settlers are working extra hard to spit at as many Palestinians, their cars, doorknobs, and so on, as possible.

If this sounds to you too surreal and repugnant, then you might not be as familiar with the particular breed of Israeli colonialism as you may think you are.

In all fairness, Israelis have been spitting at Palestinians well before the World Health Organization (WHO) lectured us on the elusive nature of the COVID-19 disease and on the critical need to apply ‘social distancing’.

Indeed, if you Google the phrase ‘Israeli spitting’, you will be inundated with many interesting search results, the like of “Jerusalem Judge to Jews: Don’t Spit On Christians“, “Christians in Jerusalem want Jews to Stop Spitting on Them“, and the more recent, “Israel Settlers Spitting on Palestinian Cars Raises Concern over Attempt to Spread Coronavirus”.

Interestingly, most of this coverage throughout the years has been carried out by Israel’s own media, while receiving little attention in Western mainstream media.

One could easily classify such degrading acts as yet another example of the Israelis’ false sense of superiority over Palestinians. But the deliberate attempt at infecting occupied Palestinians with the coronavirus is beneath contempt, even for a settler-colonial regime.

Two particular elements in this story require a pause.

First, that acts of spitting at Palestinians and their properties, by both occupation soldiers and settlers, have been widely reported in many parts of occupied Palestine.

This means that, within a matter of days, the Israeli army and settlers’ cultures so swiftly adapted their pre-existing racism to employ a deadly virus as the latest tool in subjugating and harming Palestinians, whether physically or symbolically.

Second, the degree of ignorance and buffoonery that accompany these racist and degrading acts.

The power paradigm that has governed the relationship between colonial Israel and colonized Palestinians has, thus far, followed a typical trajectory, where Israel’s bad deeds often go unpunished.

Those racist Israelis who are deliberately trying to infect Palestinians with the COVID-19 are not only criminal in their thinking and behavior, but utterly foolish as well.

When Israeli soldiers arrest or beat up Palestinian activists, they are as likely to contract the coronavirus as they are to transmit it.

But, of course, Israel is doing much more to complicate, if not entirely hinder, Palestinian efforts aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus.

On March 23, a Palestinian worker, Malek Jayousi, was tossed out by Israeli authorities at the Beit Sira military checkpoint, near Ramallah, after he was suspected of having the coronavirus.

A video footage of the poor worker huddling near the checkpoint, after he was “dumped like trash”, has gone viral on social media.

PLO Department of Public Diplomacy & Policy@PalestinePDP

Widespread condemnation of inhumane Israeli treatment of this Palestinian worker. He was dumped on the side of the road by an Israeli military checkpoint near Ramallah after his Israeli employer suspected he could have . Malek is now receiving proper care.@ilo

Embedded video

As shocking as that image was, it was repeated in other parts of the West Bank.

Of course, the Palestinian workers were not tested for the virus, but had merely exhibited flu-like symptoms, enough to make Israel dispose of them as if their lives did not matter in the least.

Two weeks later, the Palestinian Governor of the occupied city of Qalqiliya, Rafi’ Rawajbeh,  told reporters that the Israeli army has opened several wastewater tunnels near the northern Palestinian city, with the aim of smuggling Palestinian workers back to the West Bank, without prior coordination with the Palestinian Authority.

Without testing hundreds of those smuggled workers, the PA, already operating with limited capacity to confront the disease, will find it impossible to contain the spread of the virus.

Palestinian claims of Israel’s deliberate attempt at worsening the spread of the coronavirus in Palestine were further confirmed by the Geneva-based Euro-med Monitor, which, on March 31, called on the international community to investigate the ‘suspicious behavior’ of Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers.

During Israeli army raids on Palestinian homes, soldiers “spat at parked cars, ATMs and shop locks, which raises fears of deliberate attempts to spread the virus and cause panic in the Palestinian society,” Euro-Med stated.

Article 56 of the Fourth Geneva Convention does not say anything about the need for members of the Occupying Power to stop spitting at occupied and subjugated communities; most likely, because it is a given that such sordid behavior is completely unacceptable and does not require a separate textual reference.

However, Article 56, as was recently emphasized by UN Special Rapporteur for the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory, Michael Lynk, does require Israel, the Occupying Power, to “ensure that all the necessary preventive means available to it are utilized to ‘combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics.’”

Israel, however, is failing its legal mandate, and horribly so.

Even the Israeli mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Leon, has himself stressed the inequality in the official Israeli response to the spread of the coronavirus.

In his letter of April 7 to the Israeli Health Ministry Director General, Moshe Bar Siman Tov, Leon warned against “the serious shortage of medical equipment at (Palestinian) hospitals in (occupied) East Jerusalem, particularly protective equipment and equipment to conduct coronavirus testing.”

Despite the severe shortages in East Jerusalem and West Bank hospitals, the situation in the besieged Gaza Strip is simply disastrous, as Gaza’s Health Ministry has declared on April 9 that it has run out of its coronavirus test kits, which never amounted to more than few hundred, in the first place.

This means that the many Gazans who are already under quarantine will not be released any time soon, and that new cases will not be detected, let alone cured.

We have repeatedly warned in the last few weeks that this terrifying scenario was going to happen, especially as Israel is using the coronavirus as an opportunity to further isolate Palestinians and to barter potential humanitarian aid with political concessions.

Without immediate and sustainable intervention from the international community, occupied Palestine, and especially impoverished and besieged Gaza, could become a hotbed for COVID-19 for years to come.

Israel will never relent without international intervention. Without being held accountable, even a deadly virus will never alter the habits of a vile military occupation.

US Blame Game Twist: Suing China for COVID-19 Outbreaks

By Stephen Lendman

Source

No evidence suggests that COVID-19 originated in a Chinese lab or from bat-eating Chinese people.

Writer Allen Yu explained that no Chinese tradition of bat-eating exists. Videos suggesting otherwise weren’t from Wuhan or elsewhere in China.

Filming was “in Palau or Indonesia, in locales where bats have traditionally been consumed as food,” said Yu, adding:

The bat-eating theory doesn’t hold up. “According to current research, it is not likely that bat (or other) consumption” of wild animals caused COVID-19.

Researcher Larry Romanoff explained that “Japanese and Taiwanese epidemiologists and pharmacologists have determined that the new coronavirus (COVID-19) almost certainly originated in the US.”

In September 2019, Japanese citizens who never visited China were infected with the novel coronavirus in Hawaii — “long before the outbreak in Wuhan.”

Falsely blaming China for its origination is all about the Trump regime shifting blame for its own wrongdoing and failings onto others.

French virologist/Nobel laureate for Medicine Luc Montagnier said COVID-19 was man-made, not transmitted to humans from bats or other wildlife.

In April, a peer-reviewed study published in the Antiviral Research medical journal revealed unique COVID-19 features that facilitate human-to-human transmission — making the novel coronavirus much more contagious than seasonal flu/influenza.

The study also found no evidence that COVID-19 evolved naturally. Its genetic coding isn’t natural. 

Most likely it was engineered with elements from MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) — first reported in 2012, according to the study.

Genomics researcher James Lyons-Weiler explained that “(t)here is no doubt that there is a novel sequence in 2019-nCoV” —the virus causing COVID-19 disease, adding:

“IPAK researchers found a sequence similarity between a pShuttle-SN recombination vector sequence and INS1378,” indicating human engineering.

Infectious diseases expert Dr. Yuhong Dong explained that “this new coronavirus has unprecedented virologic features that suggest genetic engineering may have been involved in its creation.”

“The virus (has) severe clinical features. Thus it poses a huge threat to humans.” 

“It is imperative for scientists, physicians, and people all over the world, including governments and public health authorities, to make every effort to investigate this mysterious and suspicious virus in order to elucidate its origin and to protect the ultimate future of the human race.”

A Lancet report said “recombination is probably not the reason for emergence of this virus” — meaning mutations likely didn’t occur naturally.

Greek scientists found no connection between COVID-19 and viruses occurring naturally, saying:

“(T)he new coronavirus provides a new lineage for almost half of its genome, with no close genetic relationships to other viruses within the subgenus of sarbecovirus” — meaning it didn’t occur from natural mutations.

China’s Global Times accused the Trump regime of “international hooliganism” by the following tactics:

Accusing Beijing of initially “concealing” COVID-19 outbreaks, claiming it let the disease spread and “harm the US and the world.”

Claiming China concealed its “actual number of deaths.”

By its actions, the Trump regime fueled anti-China sentiment and encouraged individual and class-action lawsuits — while diverting attention from its own failings.

On March 13, Thailand Medical News (TMN) news reported that “traditional Chinese medicine concoctions used alone or in conjunction with antiviral protocols (is the) secret to (its success in) controlling…COVID-19 outbreaks.”

A peer-reviewed Lancet study of 102 Chinese COVID-19 infected patients treated by the above protocol showed nearly all recovered.

Another study of 701 confirmed COVID-19 infected patients showed that over 90% were cured, had improved symptoms, or were stable with no further deterioration when treated withe above protocol.

China is in the forefront of combatting COVID-19, the US a laggard for failing to prepare for what its officials knew was possible long in advance of outbreaks, and failing to provide proper help to states, local communities, and ordinary Americans in need.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) said “minimal diagnostic” testing for weeks after outbreaks began contributed to their spread, adding:

Faulty test kits produced inconclusive or invalid results, making a bad situation worse.

The proof of the pudding is in the data. The US by far leads the world in COVID-19 outbreaks (around 700,000 through Friday), deaths (about 37,000), and mishandling of the public health crisis.

The true seriousness of the disease will best be known in hindsight.

Calling it a hoax is a disservice to growing numbers of infected Americans and others abroad.

According to CDC data for April 14, more Americans died from COVID-19 infection than any other cause.

The Trump regime’s blame game, falsely accusing China for originating COVID-19, encouraged multiple class action lawsuits in the US.

Through mid-April, numerous suits were filed against China and other targets, seeking trillions of dollars in compensation.

One filed in late March by California property managers and an accounting firm that represent small businesses seeks compensation from China for what it had nothing to do with.

A Florida class action suit representing millions of state residents seeks to cash in the same way.

Freedom Watch head Larry Klayman leads another anti-China class-action suit that falsely accuses Beijing of unleashing a biological weapon on humanity.

Anti-China lawsuits are highly unlikely to be successful. No evidence suggests Beijing’s responsibility for COVID-19 outbreaks.

According to California attorney Kent Schmidt, numerous class-action suits were filed, adding:

“These early filings can be indicative of the liabilities that companies should take into consideration and inform their practices now to avoid getting hit with one of these costly lawsuits.”

A class-action case was filed against Norwegian Cruise Lines. It alleges that the company made “unproven (and) blatantly false” statements regarding COVID-19 in order to entice customers to purchase cruises, thus endangering the lives of both their customers and crew members.”

Other cruise line companies may face similar lawsuits.

A virtual cottage industry of litigation stems from COVID-19 outbreaks.

A Washington state civic organization sued Fox News for claiming that COVID-19 is a hoax.

Stating an opinion, true or false, doesn’t involve legal liability.

New York Sports Clubs was sued for allegedly defrauding members during the shutdown.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals was sued for allegedly claiming it developed a vaccine for COVID-19.

A union representing state employees sued Alaska for subjecting them to health and safety risks from COVID-19 outbreaks.

Use of Zoom communications telecommuting application risks lawsuits for violating privacy protections. At least one class-action lawsuit already was filed against the company.

Tort lawyers in the US and perhaps elsewhere see COVID-19 outbreaks as a chance to cash in big.

A Final Comment

Republican Senator Josh Hawley introduced the so-called Justice for Victims of COVID-19 Act to hold China responsible for outbreaks.

The measure would strip Beijing of immunity in US court and permit lawsuits against the state and its authorities.

GOP Senator Tom Cotton and Rep. Dan Crenshaw introduced legislation to let US citizens sue China for “damages” caused by COVID-19.

Given anti-China fervor in the US in more normal times, now bordering on hysteria, the measure will likely become the law of the land.

The so-called Immunities Act protects foreign nations from being sued in US courts — except for China.

Enactment of these measures into law will likely produce a greater divide between both countries, making mutual cooperation all the harder.

Is American Exceptionalism Shaping Our Scientific Response to the Coronavirus?

By David Swanson

Source

While New York City suffers through coronavirus, it’s worth recalling that in the name of science in 1966, the U.S. government released bacteria in the New York subways. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

(DavidSwanson.org) — What’s the matter with science? By that, do I mean, why don’t we turn away from corrupt politics and religion and follow the way of science? Or do I mean, why have we allowed science to so corrupt our politics and our culture? I mean, of course, both.

We don’t need an uneducated jackass telling people how to control a viral pandemic because he’s a president. At the same time, we don’t need corporate, for-profit, and ignorant media outlets using the arrogant science of computer models to predict the course of a pandemic in a manner at odds with what has already happened in the actual world with this pandemic, not to mention past ones.

We don’t need politicians bought and paid for by oil companies telling us that the earth’s climate is doing fine. But, of course, the oil companies bought and paid for scientists (and university departments) before they bought and paid for politicians. Scientists are telling the public that nuclear energy is the answer, that war is good for them, that relocating to another planet is possible, and that a scientific solution to climate change will be here soon, not to mention that blissfully destroying the earth with all sorts of machinery developed by scientists is simply not to be questioned.

The Governor of New York has no qualifications whatsoever to decide how people should behave to save lives during a plague. But mathematicians at RAND have absolutely no business telling politicians to base their foreign policy on nuclear deterrence, secrecy, and dishonesty.

So, is the answer science or not science? Can’t you just put it in a tweet, for godsake?

The answer is that public decisions need to be made on a basis of morality, independence from corruption, maximum information and education, and maximum democratic public control, and that one tool in acquiring information should be science — meaning not just anything with numbers or scientistic vocabulary or a scientistic source, but independently verifiable research into areas that have been selected on a basis of morality, independence from corruption, maximum information and education, and maximum democratic public control.

The Tragedy of American Science

Clifford Conner’s new book, The Tragedy of American Science: From Truman to Trump, takes us on a tour of what’s the matter with science. He blames two chief evils: corporatization and militarization. He addresses them in that order, creating the possibility that at least a few people not previously ready to question militarism will be by the time they reach the middle of the book — a book packed with wonderful examples and insights into both new and familiar topics.

Conner takes us through numerous accounts of the corruption of science. Coca-Cola and other sugar profiteers backed science that led the U.S. government to drive people away from fat, but not away from sugar, and straight toward carbohydrates — which made the U.S. public fatter. The science wasn’t simply lies, but it was simply too simplistic to be a basis for guidance on the topic at hand.

Scientists developed new varieties of wheat, rice, and corn. And it’s not that they didn’t work. But they required huge amounts of fertilizer and pesticide, which poor people could not afford. This poisoned the earth while concentrating big agriculture. Even more farmers suffered when too much food was produced, which destroyed prices. And people continued to go hungry because the main problem had always been poverty, not the type of wheat being grown.

Scientists developed GMO crops to require less fertilizer and pesticide, and to withstand increased use of herbicides used on weeds, thereby creating new problems while solving problems of their own creation, and never addressing the primary problems in need of solution. Scientists have simultaneously been paid to claim that GMO crops are safe for human consumption and produce more food, without actually providing evidence of either claim. Meanwhile corporate-captive governments block the public from being able to know whether food in stores contains GMOs or not — a move that can only fuel suspicion.

Because science is a field of expertise that reaches a public that knows scientists have lied for a buck about cigarettes, diet, pollution, climate, racism, evolution, and so on, and because it reaches us through highly distrusted government agencies and corporate media outlets, and because there’s always been a huge market for baseless, magical, mystical, and optimistic claims anyway, distrust of science is prevalent. That distrust is often wrong and often right, but always partially to blame on the garbage people are presented with as science.

Tobacco is a story we think we all know already. But how many know the origins of big tobacco’s lies in the nuclear Manhattan Project? And how many know that 480,000 deaths a year in the United States are still caused by smoking, or that globally the figure is 8 million and rising, or that the tobacco industry still pays its scientific researchers 20 times what the American Cancer Society and American Lung Association combined spend on theirs? This is typical of many reasons to read The Tragedy of American Science.

My view, of course, is that once you make science American it’s doomed. It needs to be human to have a chance. American exceptionalism is not just part of basing pandemic predictions on computer models rather than on the other 96% of humanity. It’s also part of denying the possibility of success for universal health coverage or workplace rights or required sick leave or a reasonable distribution of wealth. As long as something has never worked in the United States, an American Science can deny its legitimacy, even if the rest of the world finds it successful.

Conner also finds for-profit pharmaceutical pain-profiteers to blame for the opioid crisis, not to mention for the failure to do the world of good that could have been done had research been directed elsewhere. One choice in science is what to research. Melanoma and cystic fibrosis and ovarian cancer get funding, while sickle-cell anemia doesn’t. The former mainly impact white people, the latter black. Similarly, deadly viruses that only impact other countries are not a top priority — until they threaten the people who matter.

Beyond big money deciding the priorities of big medicine, Conner chronicles an array of methods used to produce the desired science. These include seeding trials (phony trials intended simply to introduce a drug to doctors), medical ghostwriting, predatory journals, and disease mongering. Drug advertising is unique to the United States and New Zealand, and it’s part of the creation of diseases to fit drugs, as opposed to the development of drugs to fit diseases.

All such tails are only half the story. The other half is war-making. Conner traces the militarization of science from the Atoms for Peace pretense to today. Over half of U.S. government spending on scientific research over the past 50 years has been on war, including research into nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, biological weapons, “conventional” weapons, drones, torture techniques, and even imaginary weapons never scientifically found to work (such as “missile defense” or “brain washing”).

While New York City suffers through coronavirus, it’s worth recalling that in the name of science in 1966, the U.S. government released bacteria in the New York subways. The bacteria that was released is a frequent cause of food poisoning and can be deadly.

What do we need instead of the current state of affairs?

Conner proposes 100% public funding and control of all scientific research, with agencies like the EPA, FDA, and CDC free of corporate corruption. He also seems to favor open global sharing of research, which would be our best hope against coronavirus and much else.

He also puts a spin on Grover Norquist’s madness with this:

I don’t want to abolish the military-industrial complex. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”

I don’t know whether 100% public funding is possible. I don’t agree with Conner regurgitating accusations of chemical weapons use by Syria without providing any evidence. I’m not sure he’s right that stopping and reversing global warming would be a relatively simple step if we got science out of the hands of the military. And I have a serious question about his take on military spending.

But I highly recommend this book and consideration of what I take to be its main message: science could have worked wonders if properly used (and if a bit of military budgets were spent on something useful) and perhaps it still can.

Phantoms of “The Operation”

By Edward Curtin

Source

italy-covid19-coronavirus-400x227

Tis the times’ plague, when madmen lead the blind.”   – Shakespeare, King Lear

Many thousands of New Yorkers have temporarily moved into the small Massachusetts town (permanent population approximately 7,000) where I live because of fear and panic created by fraudulent disease and death data gathered and disseminated under the umbrella term Covid-19. 

Such deceitful, fear-inducing news concerning diseases is old hat, but this time it’s part of perhaps the biggest propaganda campaign in modern history, resulting in an unprecedented government crackdown on people’s freedom, a massive transfer of trillions of public dollars to the banks and corporations, and crumbs for average Americans.  In my little town, second vacation homes,

Airbnbs, room rentals, and hotel rooms are packed. It is a flight to “safety” reminiscent of the months following the attacks of September 11, 2001 and the subsequent anthrax attacks that originated from a U.S. government bioweapons laboratory.  In the years immediately following those attacks, McMansions were built throughout these hills and local houses were bought up like penny candy as New Yorkers flooded the area.  Now as then, the wealthy refugees absconding on the road of flight accept official explanations and arrange their lives accordingly. Little is learned as repetition compulsion rules and the latest terror alert has them cowering in fear, playing their parts in a theatrical production conceived by master dramatists. 

Let’s call it “The Operation.”

During the day, you can see small numbers of them out walking, yards apart, on the country roads. The downtown streets are deserted day and night. This in a town that over the past twenty years has become an upscale movie set catering to tourists and second-home owners who have brought great wealth with them, making it very difficult for regular people to afford the town and survive on jobs in the service economy.

Now that the country has been brought to a halt by the government shutdown, the regular people are screwed big-time. Many small businesses will never again open. The town’s largest employer, Jane Iredale cosmetics, the perfect employer for life the movie, has just laid off forty-seven employees. Make-up for the psycho-social drama might run short now, even though the theater has temporarily gone indoors. I don’t know if Iredale’s mascara (Italian, maschera, mask) is still available.

In normal times, the town would be filled with people frequenting the restaurants, cafes, and boutiques, parading down the streets dressed like movie stars in SoHo. Black clad actors.  Now it is a ghost town without many ghosts.  The few you do see wear cloth or paper masks.

The word mask comes from Latin, larva, a ghost, specter, a disembodied spirit – a mask.  Larvatus, masked, a personality, or person, an actor, one who wears a mask. Person, Persona, mask, a false face – personare – to sound through the hole in the mask.

 

Shakespeare was right.  To grasp the social play, one must be a theater critic.  There is a reason ghosts play such important parts in his plays.  If life is but a walking shadow, a poor player, then what are we the cast?  Are we but seldom masters of our fate but usually only underlings, dancing to the tunes our masters play for us?  It seems tis so.

For the paper and cloth masks people are wearing are just a second layer of masking, the first being what sociologists – diminutive descendants of Shakespeare – call status/roles and regular people just call roles, even when they don’t know they are playing them, which is most of the time. Most people associate playing a role with being phony, while failing to notice that social life is comprised of such play-acting, “as if” the play were natural.  To admit that it is fictitious and that one is performing in a play written and directed by someone else is to open a trapdoor beneath one’s feet. 

The sociological term status refers to the very many positions one occupies in a lifetime such as occupational titles, family positions, even racial statuses that society imposes on people.  So a person could, for example, be categorized as a medical doctor who is a father and an uncle.  Each status – doctor, father, uncle – would have socially imposed expectations attached to it that are called roles that one is expected to play or else one is considered an oddball at best.  To treat them as playful simulations in a life of experimentation, and to treat social titles and statuses as comical, results in one not being considered a team player or actor in the social play.  Only children and crazy people do that.

Imagine you are an impostor and dress in the uniform of an airline pilot.  To pass for a pilot you must know how to perform the role.  In other words, to be a good actor in the role and pass yourself as the “genuine” thing.  This is what Shakespeare meant by all the world’s a stage, with the wooden stage where Hamlet and Othello are performed just being another artificial form of the “naturally” occurring fabricated life of society.  So social life is phony in that sense, which raises the basic question of what then does it mean to be genuine, to be real.

The philosopher René Descartes once said, “As an actor, to conceal his blush of embarrassment, enters the stage masked, so I step forth onto the stage of the world, masked.”

But to be masked is to be hidden, to be a ghost that no one can see, a cipher. So Descartes and Shakespeare were asking us that fundamental question: Who are we?  Are we? 

Nietzsche asked it this way:

Are you genuine?  Or merely an actor?  A representative?  Or that which is represented?  In the end, perhaps you are merely a copy of an actor.”

Most people, as good underlings do, have now obeyed the director’s instructions and retreated into their Plato’s caves where they huddle fearfully around the flickering screens that have become their well-nigh reality, and which will become even more so in the future as the powers-that-be push their digital agenda.  It’s still showtime but of a different sort with the performers receiving the director’s cues all electronically. That the cast didn’t write the play and doesn’t know who did doesn’t seem to bother many.  They see it as the only show in town and they’re playing it, and while the anonymity of the digital life adds to the comedy of errors, it may be what many desire.

We live in the culture of the copy in every sense of the term.  There is rarely one of anything, even people.  Long ago Walter Benjamin wrote a famous article called “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.”  In it he says that the mechanical reproduction of a work of art eliminates its “aura.”  “By making many reproductions it substitutes a plurality of copies for a unique existence,” he wrote.  In the age of film and digital screen existence, this is very true for people as well. Uniqueness is fading. The more people live in and by screen images and the propaganda such technology affords to the powerful, the more they can be reproduced.  This of course has happened.  Once the masses had to be gathered into a herd in one place and induced to act in unison. Today place has been replaced with cyberspace and the masquerade ball can be directed without movement.

Welcome.  “The Operation” is just beginning.

Who Are You to Call Me a Virus?

By Jeremy Salt

Source

Trump Delivers Remarks During a Coronavirus Update Briefing 01d3b

So the actor Alec Baldwin thinks Trump is a virus. An interesting idea, the virus as a metaphor. Some would say the US itself is a virus, taking millions of lives in its endless wars. Yet others would say we, homo sapiens, are the virus. Imagine how we must look from a million miles away. Squiggling organisms hanging on to a clod of earth as it whirls through space.

Corona is only doing what viruses do. They latch on to living bodies, and die or mutate into different forms when the host can no longer sustain them, which is the state the host of the organism known as homo sapiens, Planet Earth, seems to be rapidly approaching. We adapt to changing circumstances, as all viruses do, but are we are reaching the point when it will be too late to adapt?

Like any virus, we are consuming our host, and never more greedily than in the past 100 years.We are being warned all the time that when the planet is ecologically dead, we will die too. We know this but, riddled with another virus, consumerism, we cannot stop ourselves. We take what we can while we can, just like the viral microdots colonizing our bodies as we once colonized Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. Those affected died in their millions. We in the ‘developed world’ lived off their poverty and plundered resources. Now it is our bodies being plundered by an enemy we cannot even see.

We are already being told there will be no return to the normal. Of course, there is no static normal any more than there is a static ‘human nature.’ ‘Normal’ and ‘human nature’ depend on geography, education, cultural conditioning, socio-economic structures and natural or man-made disasters such as war and earthquakes. Both change as circumstances change. Additionally, what is normal in one society is not necessarily regarded as normal somewhere else. ‘Normal’ is what we perceive as being normal, what we are taught to believe is normal but that changes, too. Who in the 19th century could have believed that governments around the world would pass legislation allowing men to marry each other?

Our greedy leaching of the planet’s resources may be hastening the frequency and increasing the scale of natural disasters. After all, how much battering can any fixed object take? Hit a rock often enough and hard enough and it will break. So will iron. While earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis have been recorded throughout history, sinkholes appear to be relatively new. They certainly weren’t in the news three or four decades ago. Could they be a sign that the tormented earth’s crust just can’t take it anymore?

Accelerating consumption requires accelerating industrialization to meet demand. We in the so-called ‘developed world’ know that even if we can drink clean water and breathe relatively fresh air, countless millions elsewhere don’t have either. They live in Africa or they work in the factories of China and Southeast Asia that produce the goods enabling us to lead the good life. Their cheap labor subsidizes the way we live. Their air, rivers, and seas are heavily polluted because of the absence of effective environmental safeguards in their world. This is not accidental or coincidental but the inevitable consequence of economic ‘globalization.’

When the normal gives way to the new normal, what will we learn, something or nothing? The fallout is bound to be substantial. The virus has again exposed the corrupt underpinnings of capitalism. This has happened many times before but we still don’t learn the lesson. Capitalism commodifies everything. Much of what used to have a moral value now has only a market value. Education is still regarded as a right and a necessity, as it certainly is for a corporate sector needing workers and consumers, but the quality frequently depends on money. As for health care, in most ‘liberal democracies’ the citizen only gets as much as he or she can afford. Public health in the US is frequently provided in hospitals starved of staff and resources. This is the same population the capitalist order wants to work and consume endlessly but is not prepared to pay for health services to make sure it can do both.

Globalization appeared as the latest evidence of the adaptability of the capitalist order. It was based on the ‘deregulation’ of economies, which added up to the clearing away of all global obstacles in the way of corporate profits. National borders were turned into lines on the map and governments into the regional satraps of corporations, which would make their offers and go somewhere else if their terms were not accepted. As they had the money, they had the power.

Societies were turned against each in the interests of profit. With tariff barriers dropped, the corporations closed their factories and headed for countries where labor was cheap and the workforce controlled by anti-strike legislation and the competition for jobs. In these countries, they could produce goods at a fraction of the production costs in their home countries. They could then export their goods back to the home country and sell them as if they had been made there.

This is not just what governments allowed but encouraged. They opened the door to the flight of manufacturing industry. In cities across the US, Britain, Australia, wherever one looked, once-thriving factories were abandoned and the people who worked in them left without jobs and possessed of skills employable only in other factories that had been closed down. The privatization of essential government services swung into effect at the same time. Given that no risk was involved in the supply of water, gas and electricity, this was no more than the transfer of vast amounts of public money into private pockets. Social services built up with public money over more than a century disappeared almost overnight. The fine old buildings from which these services were provided were sold off for corporate use.

These shifts were harnessed to the destruction of labor unions and the notion of ‘enterprise bargaining’ which left the individual worker in search or a higher salary or better working conditions to face the corporation on his or her own. This was like putting a bantamweight into the ring to fight a heavyweight. Herbert Spencer’s rugged 19th-century individualism and the jungle rules of social Darwinism underpinned the new order, summed up by Margaret Thatcher in her remark that “there is no such thing as society.” Economically, of course, for the corporations to take maximum advantage of the new/old circumstances, society – a word denoting a small or large human community working together for the common good and forming associations to protect common interests – there could be no such thing as what society used to be.

Alighting on new hosts, the virus of globalization left the old host in ruins. The rust belt in the US is the evidence. Factories were closed down en masse and cities fell into ruin. Livelihoods had already been swept from under the feet of blue and white-collar workers when the financial institutions collapsed in 2008/9. The endless privatization of profit was succeeded by the socialization of loss. It was the people who had to pay for the corruption and malpractice endemic in financial institutions, through the loss of their jobs and homes and the siphoning-off of their taxes. The res publica – the ‘public thing’ – had shown the people where their government’s first loyalties lay.

According to Mike Collins, writing in Forbes business magazine, “The operating principles of the big banks is a cesspool of greed, [lack of] ethics and criminal intent.” Insider trading was a large part of the picture, so was money-laundering with the US branch of HSBC bank, which was found to have laundered $881 billion for Mexican drug cartels. The rating agencies (Moody’s and Standard and Poor) giving a AAA rating to the banks granting a flood of unrepayable sub-prime mortgages were paid by the same banks. By 2015, Mike Collins estimated, the bailout had cost not the $700 billions the people were originally told but $16.8 trillion (Mike Collins, ‘The Big Bank Bailout,’ Forbes, July 14, 2015.)

There had to be some sacrificial lambs (Lehman Brothers) but with the help of ‘government’ money – the people’s money – the rest were soon back on their feet, making mega profits without having to pay back one cent of the torrents of cash that had pulled them out of the ditch. What better metaphor can there be for such rapacious capitalism than that of the virus? Having eaten its way through society – the host body – it was then given a new lease of life by a government elected to protect society.

The virus is a metaphor that has no limits. All living things consume to live. Something has to die so they can live. Some people eat to live. Others seem to live to eat. They are encouraged to over-consume by the addictive ingredients deliberately fed into the food and drink chain by producers. An obese population is an unhealthy population but one that keeps returning healthy profits even as medical costs soar that the corporations don’t have to pay. The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 42.7 percent of the US population was obese in 2017/18, with the prevalence of obesity increasing 1999-2000 from 30.5 to 42.4 percent. The annual cost of treating obesity was $147 billion. Thus, while Africans and many others starve, many Americans are eating until they practically burst.

Extreme violence is another aspect of the American demographic. The viral nature of capitalism requires a police and a miitary to suppress discontent at home and open up new territories abroad. Profit-seeking can know no territorial limits. Like any virus, it will spread as fast and as far as it can. Eduardo Galeano’s ‘open veins’ of Latin America were veins opened up in every part of the non-European world. The prize was natural resources, the means were the cycles of invasion and occupation that have continued for centuries down to our time. When Donald Trump says of Syria’s oil that it is ours “and we will do with it what we want” he was only expressing the logic that has underlain imperialism all along, if rarely so crudely expressed.

Most wars have an economic motive, usually dressed up as what we are doing for you, not what we are doing to you. The wars on Iraq were not only about oil, as they were designed to pulverize a country regarded as threatening to ‘order’ and ‘stability’ as defined by the US and more generally ‘the West.’ The language was the same in the 19th century and between then and now, so were the consequences for the native population: mass destruction and death. By such means were ‘civilization’ and progress preserved. Only the principal actors (Britain and France in the 19th century, the US now) and the technology have changed, the latter allowing the invader to kill and crush more comprehensively.

American violence has a viral quality, intrinsic to the organism from the beginning of European settlement. Once the native Indian population had been suppressed, other threatening elements had to be contained and destroyed as they arose. As blackness threatened whiteness, Afro-American were enslaved, segregated, lynched and burnt alive until finally granted the rights and opportunities that came as the birth right of white Americans. Random killings by police, the massively disproportionate black prison population and the activism of white supremacists stand as the evidence even now that the virus of racism has not been suppressed.

Viruses always move on. Suppressed by a vaccine, they will mutate into a slightly different form and take root again in the host body. This is what the world is experiencing with the coronavirus, which surfaced just after the financial institutions began to plunge into a deeper abyss than 2007/8. According to the New York Times, the US administration is now contemplating “a vast financial bailout that would dwarf the federal government’s response to the 2008 crisis … the scale of the problem is unlike anything Washington has ever faced before.” This bailout “could” top $2 trillion and not the initial $18.3 billion approved by Congress. (‘Washington Weighs Big Bailout to Help US Economy Survive Coronavirus,’ New York Times, March 18, 2020. Note that the bailout is designed to rescue the ‘economy’ from the virus, not from the failures of a socio-economic system which has sent to the country to the wall time after time).

No questions as to where the money is going will be allowed despite the Freedom of Information Act: as the virus is allowing state governments to confine people to their homes, there can be no public protests. The police and national guard will be on hand to suppress those who defy the ban. Memories of outrage at the bilking of the public in 2008 will account for these precautions.

As one commentator has observed, in 2008 Wall Street was bailed out and Main Street landed with the bill. A repetition could ignite a public backlash with “potentially catastrophic consequences” (‘Washington Weighs Big Bailout,’ New York Times) so the bailout this time has to be handled with greater finesse, with more of the cash allocated to the hard-pressed citizenry. Even as the financial crisis broke, however, the familiar chicanery, insider trading and the timely selling-off of shares by corporations, was resurfacing.

Can this be mere coincidence, the appearance of one virus to hide the latest ravages of another? The corporate media dismisses the very notion as a “conspiracy theory,” as if governments do not scheme, plot and conspire all the time, against each other, against their mutual enemies and frequently against their own people. Within the realm of possibilities, the possibilities of an accidental release of the virus or of foul play by a government or rogue elements inside a government at least have to be allowed. We still don’t know who was behind the assassination of John Kennedy or the attacks of 9/11. How long will it be before we know the truth or, like these two other world historical events, will we ever know it?

The war on terror having run its course, the war on the virus has followed without a break, allowing governments to build on the ‘homeland security’ edifice constructed after 9/11. Outside fiction, police and the military everywhere are being handed unprecedented powers of arrest, surveillance, and control. In the US and elsewhere millions of people have been subjected to ‘lockdown,’ generally a term applied to a prison after a riot. Whatever a government decides to do, whatever measures it takes to bail out the financial institutions once again, the people will not be allowed into the street to protest.Panicked, fearful of the enemy they cannot see, terrorized by the media, confused by contradictory evidence, and baffled by statistics open to more than one reading, they are doing what they are being told. They have been too effectively frightened to go into the streets. Only the virus is in the headlines, allowing the bailout to proceed quietly behind the scenes.

We live in a world of viruses. Emptying the planet’s natural resources and preying on other species to feed ourselves, we behave no differently ourselves. Eventually, someone will come up with a cure for the coronavirus but who is going to cure us? We have to do it ourselves, but will we?

Indian troops martyr four Kashmiri youth in Kulgam

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India’s new domicile law evokes more condemnation

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Srinagar, April 04 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism martyred four Kashmiri youth in Kulgam district, today.

The troops martyred the youth identified as Sadam Malik, Aijaz Ahmed Naikoo, Shahid Sadiq Malik and Waqar Ahmed during a cordon and search operation in Hardmanguri area of the district. Earlier, three Indian troops were injured in an attack in the same area. The troops also destroyed three residential houses in the area with explosive material.

Meanwhile, senior APHC leader and President of Jammu and Kashmir Anjuman Sharie Shian, Agha Syed Hassan Al-Moosvi Al-Safvi, in a statement issued in Srinagar condemned the new domicile law enforced by India in occupied Kashmir to convert the Muslim majority of Kashmir into minority by settling non-Muslim Indians in the territory. He deplored that such decisions were being taken unilaterally by India at a time when the Kashmiris were fighting with the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

The occupation authorities have extended ban on high-speed internet service till 15th April. An order to this effect was issued by Principal Secretary of occupied Kashmir’s Home Department, Shaleen Kabra.

Indian police arrested over 40 people including shopkeepers from different areas of the Kashmir Valley for alleged violation of prohibitory orders imposed to contain coronavirus.

Three more persons were tested positive for the coronavirus in Udhampur, today, raising the number of such patients to 92 in the occupied territory. Two of those persons diagnosed with the COVID-19 have died so far, in the occupied territory.

On the other hand, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference Azad Jammu and Kashmir at a meeting in Islamabad said that the new domicile law imposed by the Indian government in occupied Kashmir was violation of the UN resolutions, Geneva Convention and international law. APHC AJK leaders, Ishtiyaq Hameed and Zahid Ashraf, in their statements in Islamabad also denounced India’s nefarious move aimed at altering the Muslim majority character of occupied Kashmir.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission in a tweet in Jeddah denounced the new domicile law introduced by India in occupied Kashmir. The commission in the tweet said that the move by India is an attempt to alter demographic and geographic status of occupied Kashmir.

US Leads Global Wave of Nations Stealing, Seizing and Diverting Coronavirus Equipment

By Alan Macleod

Source

There were dramatic scenes at an airport in Shanghai, China, as U.S. agents hijacked a plane full of lifesaving equipment, including 60 million masks, bound for coronavirus-stricken France. While the plane was on the tarmac, American agents managed to bribe locals into diverting the plane to the United States, plying them with cash.

The story was revealed by the president of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) region, Renaud Muselier, who noted that he had already paid in full for the cargo. “The Americans pay double – in cash – before they even see the goods!” he told French newspaper Libération, worrying now that his country is engaged in “a race against the clock” to secure and distribute masks amid the pandemic. PACA is situated in the southeast of France, bordering Italy. The first case in PACA was confirmed on February 28 in the famous seaside resort town of Cannes; a young woman traveling back from Milan – an epicenter of the virus – was infected. Muselier’s story was backed up by Jean Rottner, president of the Grand Est region. “On the tarmac, they arrive, get the cash out… so we really have to fight,” he said.

This appears not to be an isolated incident. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revealed that he had received similar reports of goods being seized and taken to the United States. “We need to make sure that equipment that is destined for Canada gets to and stays in Canada, and I’ve asked ministers to follow up on these particular reports,” he said yesterday. Brazil, one of the U.S.’ most loyal allies, also broke with convention to criticize the Trump administration’s pandemic gangsterism. “Today the US sent 23 of their biggest cargo planes to China to pick up the material they had acquired. Many of our purchases, which we had hoped to confirm in order to supply [our country], fell through,” said the country’s health minister, Luiz Herique Mandetta. “The whole world wants [supplies] too. There is a problem of hyper-demand.”

France has been hit hard by the coronavirus; 59,929 people have officially tested positive, but 5,398 have died already, the nine percent death rate suggesting that the country has not tested enough of its citizens. Both local and national governments have been criticized for their slow response to the pandemic, failing to shut down public events like markets. The famous Paris-Nice bicycle race, which finishes in PACA, was one of the last professional sporting events still running in Europe. Today the French service sector officially plunged into the deepest recession in its history. With tourism and transport halted, the government is using the high-speed TGV train service to ferry patients around the country at up to 357 mph to hospitals with free beds.

If the initial French response lacked zeal, the U.S. was even slower. President Trump spent weeks claiming the virus was a liberal “hoax” intended to dent his credibility, then downplaying the seriousness of the problem, before changing tack and blaming China for the thousands of dead. This week he declared that if 200,000 Americans die, that would be a great victory for his administration. Over 6,000 have already died, with the tally of confirmed cases almost certain to rise above a quarter-million today. The Trump administration has used the virus to impose further sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, in an attempt to overthrow their governments. It also tried to compel a German pharmaceutical corporation to move production to the U.S., in order to make sure that America alone had access to and control of any coronavirus vaccine it might produce. He reportedly wished to ensure that it would only be available on a for-profit basis. “Germany is not for sale,” the country’s furious economy minister replied. The U.S. also managed to fly out half a million test kits on a military plane from Lombardy, Italy, the epicenter of the Italian outbreak.

Other countries, too, have made highly questionable decisions. Czech authorities seized Chinese medical supplies bound for Italy when a plane refueled there, the country keeping the equipment for itself. Meanwhile, Turkey has not only banned the export of protective gear but is also reportedly reneging on shipments that other countries have already paid for.

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic appears to be bringing out both the best and worst in human nature. With these latest U.S. moves, seizing and diverting lifesaving equipment from other countries, it seems there has also been a serious outbreak in gangster capitalism.

US Knew of a Novel Coronavirus Threat, Failed to Prepare

By Stephen Lendman

Source

According to a Nation magazine report, Trump deceived the public by falsely claiming the emergence and spread of COVID-19 was “unforeseen,” that it “came out of nowhere.”

The Nation obtained a 2017 Pentagon draft report that refutes his Big Lie.

Saying “(t)he most likely and significant threat is a novel respiratory disease, particularly a novel influenza disease” should have alerted Trump regime policymakers to prepare for outbreaks to be ready to respond as needed when they occurred.

They slept instead, leaving the nation and its people unprepared to deal with what’s happening and worsening daily. More on this below.

There are six known coronavirus strains that can infect humans. Most people contract one or more strains in their lifetimes.

They cause mild to moderate to more serious upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a novel/highly contagious strain.

According to the National Foundation of Infectious Diseases, coronaviruses were first identified in the mid-1960s.

They’re “closely monitored by public health officials” because strains can exist anywhere.

Novel COVID-19 isn’t new. It infected animals for some time. The virus is able to spread to humans or the other way around.

Viruses can mutate into new forms. According to Science Magazine, the US leads in COVID-19 cases but trails many other nations in its response.

“America is first, and not in a good way,” it reported, adding:

The Trump regime’s response is “fragmented, chaotic, and plagued by con­tradictory messaging from political lead­ers.” 

Epidemiologist Michael Osterholm lamented that “(w)e don’t have a national plan. We are going from press conference to press conference and crisis to crisis…trying to understand our response.”

Citing 12 mathematical models produced by infectious diseases scientists, Science Magazine said they concluded that the US could have “millions of (COVID-19) infected people” without a large-scale national program to contain outbreaks.

Instead of conflicting messages from Trump and others around him, political scientist Scott Greer stressed that “(r)ule one of communication (at a time like now is to) have a message and stick to it.”

Instead Trump, state, and local officials are sending mixed messages, ranging from “indifference to alarm.”

Biologist Carl Bergstrom gave an example, saying: “Yesterday, I was supposed to be in church on Easter, and now all of a sudden New York’s under quarantine.”

Lack of clarity, focus, and maximum effort on the problem is “hemorrhaging” public trust.

Lack of national leadership and coordination has states and communities going their own way.

The Trump regime “signaled it will let governors make their own decisions” instead of directing a national effort to combat the virus, said Science Magazine.

According to epidemiologist William Hanage, “(t)he closest comparison here, in terms of national mobilization, is a war. And there is no way the United States would fight a war as 50 separate states.”

Nation magazine explained that the Pentagon plan about foreknowledge of a serious coronavirus outbreak was dated January 6, 2017, days before Trump took office. It’s titled: 

“USNORTHCOM Branch Plan 3560: Pandemic Influenza and Infectious Disease Response”

The Nation got the plan from a Pentagon official who remains anonymous to avoid possible punitive action for releasing it.

Former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Infectious Diseases and Countermeasures Division Denis Kaufman said the following:

“The Intelligence Community has warned about the threat from highly pathogenic influenza viruses for two decades at least. They have warned about coronaviruses for at least five years,” adding:

“There have been recent pronouncements that the coronavirus pandemic represents an intelligence failure…It’s letting people who ignored intelligence warnings off the hook.”

The Pentagon predicted large-scale outbreaks and shortages of critical personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical staff and the public.

The Pentagon report states the following:

“Competition for, and scarcity of resources will include…non-pharmaceutical MCM (Medical Countermeasures) (e.g., ventilators, devices, personal protective equipment such as face masks and gloves), medical equipment, and logistical support. This will have a significant impact on the availability of the global workforce.”

It explains how outbreaks of infectious disease can rapidly spread.

It warned that supplies of ventilators, face masks, gloves, and other protective equipment are nearly depleted.

It explained that US medical facilities will be unable to handle the volume of coronavirus patients needing treatment.

They lack enough hospital beds, equipment, drugs, and related supplies if outbreaks reach epidemic levels.

Scarcity worldwide will cause competition among nations to get as much of what they need as possible.

The Nation said the “Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.”

Its report includes the full draft Pentagon report, labelled “Unclassified/For Official Use Only.”

 

Hollywood Celebrities Are Psyops Wrapped In Human Skin

By Caitlin Johnstone

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CNN recently trotted out Hollywood actor Sean Penn to give the nation expert advice on how to deal with a novel virus pandemic.

Did they do this because we live in a meaningless, godless universe where madness reigns and everything is chaos? Close, but no. They wanted Penn to explain to the public that it would be wonderful if the US military were deployed inside US borders to deal with the pandemic, because the US military is the greatest humanitarian force on planet Earth.

“There is no greater humanitarian force on the planet than the United States military,” Penn said. “The logistical skills, commitment to service, their care for the people. It’s really time to give the military the full breadth command and control of this operation. I wouldn’t blink, I would have put command and control in their hands a month ago, certainly today.”

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“There is no greater humanitarian force on the planet than the United States military… it’s really time to give the military the full breadth and control of this operation.”

– Actor and activist Sean Penn on battling coronavirushttps://cnn.it/2U3aFx2 

The US military is in fact one of the least humanitarian forces on this planet, second only to malaria-laden mosquitos (and even that’s debatable). No other force is circling the globe murdering people in countless undeclared military entanglements and bullying the world into complying with the interests of a nationless alliance of plutocrats and opaque government agencies at the expense of ordinary humans everywhere. They are the exact opposite of a humanitarian force on this planet.

Medical staff are a force for humanitarianism on this planet right now. Grocery store clerks are a force for humanitarianism on this planet. The US military are the armed thugs of a metastatic globe-sprawling empire run by sociopaths.

Don’t say “Thank you for your service” to veterans whose only contribution to humanity has been helping to murder people for imperialist fossil fuel control agendas and Raytheon profit margins. Say “Thank you for your service” to your local cashier. To do the former is to participate in a cruel collective propaganda operation which only encourages more young people to hurl their bodies into the gears of the US war machine in search of the respect and honor you’re displaying, while to do the latter is to thank someone for actually providing a crucial service to human beings.

The malfunction in Penn’s mind is the result of many malignant factors, but among them is the fact that people who rise to fame and fortune naturally experience a gravitational pull toward elitist echo chambers which cultivate narratives that favor the status quo which gave rise to their fame and fortune. You have a hard time hanging out with normal people because most of them don’t treat you normally anymore, so you find yourself spending time with other rich and famous people, and with people who have a vested interest in the rich and famous.

This dynamic naturally fosters an environment where celebrities are eager to believe positive stories about the system which favors them, and where narrative managers are eager to circulate those stories among influential voices. This is why, with very few exceptions, the closest you’ll ever get to seeing a Hollywood celebrity express an anti-establishment opinion is one of them saying “Fuck Trump” at the Tony Awards. It’s also why every few weeks you’ll see some celebrity tweet something disgusting and then go into a meltdown when thousands of ordinary people react with revulsion; they don’t have ordinary people in their lives giving them feedback on what’s normal anymore, all they have is the elitist echo chamber.

This echo chamber is what led a group of self-quarantining celebrities to believe it would be an awesome idea to share a video compilation where they all badly sing lines from John Lennon’s “Imagine” from inside their mansions with a world full of people who’ve been laid off from their jobs and are terrified for their futures. The figuratively and literally tone-deaf video was universally panned and people have been mocking it on social media ever since its release, which probably would have come as a surprise to the celebrities themselves since nothing in their insulated day-to-day lives would have told them they could all be collectively rejected with such disgust.

The celebrity “Imagine” project was spearheaded by Israeli actress Gal Gadot, who as an IDF veteran would not have required any Hollywood echo chambering to have undergone deep psychological programming in favor of the empire. Gadot, who famously came under fire for publicly cheerleading the 2014 Gaza massacre, first shared the video on Instagram with the caption “We are in this together, we will get through it together. Let’s imagine together. Sing with us.”

Memesters have of course been having fun with this.

Then you’ve got celebrities like Rob Reiner, who just tweeted“No more fucking around. We’re standing on a precipice. Time to consider a Federal lockdown.”

Reiner is one of the more ham-fisted of the right-wing Democrats who we first saw promoting Russia hysteria, then working against the Sanders campaign, and are now promoting drastic totalitarian measures from their high-profile platforms. If you still hadn’t seen these people for what they are yet, you should definitely be seeing them now.

It is an absolute guarantee that powerful people will use this pandemic to advance authoritarian measures which they have no intention of rolling back once the pandemic is over. They are working to do this currently. This is not a possibility, this is an absolute certainty.

Rob Reiner

@robreiner

While it does appear necessary to collectively use self-quarantining and social distancing to avoid crashing our healthcare systems and needlessly killing millions of people, we need to make sure we slam on the brakes long before we yield any more ground to the authoritarians than they’ve already shored up over the years. And we need to loudly shout down any celebrities who try to tell us otherwise.

Hollywood is a giant propaganda mill which when it isn’t cranking out movies which are literally funded and controlled by the US war machine is putting on spectacular ninety-minute “The imperialist world order is perfectly sane and capitalism is totally working” infomercial presentations. It is an arm of cultural control which is unrivaled by anything else in this world, so of course it has powerful forces at work within it ensuring status quo loyalism.

Whoever controls the narrative controls the world, and Hollywood celebrities are psyops wrapped in human skin. May our collective disgust with them continue to grow.

COVID-19: The Capitalist Emperor Has No Clothes

By Alamu Baraka

Source

The systemic failure of the capitalist order triggered by the coronavirus has reinforced the growing awareness that extreme wealth inequality is a fundamental characteristic of the system.

“Billions of dollars were allocated to business while millions of people are facing an increasingly desperate situation.”

As the capitalist emperor strolls down the avenue of U.S. public opinion butt-naked but for the first time since the 1930s, more and more people are starting to realize that they were not crazy. The brutal failures of the capitalist system that they saw were not a figment of their imagination or a diversion from their own personal failures. Instead, they were the awful reality of degradation, dehumanization and social insecurity embedded in the system. Many could see that reality but wouldn’t allow themselves to believe their own eyes and experiences. They couldn’t call it out like the kid in the fable – until now.

The claim that the U.S. was an exceptional nation and that the capitalist order represented the highest expression of human development has been shattered by the second global collapse of the capitalist order within twelve years. Millions thrown out of work, global supply chains disrupted, trillions disappeared in the capitalist casino euphemistically called the stock market… The state’s feeble and class biased response to COVID-19 has resulted in a costly lesson in class politics for the U.S. public.

The dictatorship of the capitalist class has survived because the class reality of the dictatorship has been obscured. Limited democracy, social democracy, white nationalism in the form of patriotism, the corruption of unions, the post-war compromise between capital and labor, state subsidies for the expansion of the white middle-class, debt-driven consumption and cross-class white suppression of the democratic and human rights of African Americans provided the material and ideological basis for the perpetuation of the dictatorship throughout most of the 20th century and into the 21st.

“The claim that the U.S. was an exceptional nation has been shattered by the second global collapse of the capitalist order within twelve years.”

Howeverthe systemic failure of the capitalist order triggered by the coronavirus has reinforced the growing awareness among the population that extreme wealth inequality is not just a temporary quirk that can be remedied with tax and some redistributive policies but a fundamental characteristic of the system.

For example, the debate that took place leading up to the passing of the legislation by Congress to address COVID-19’s impact dramatically exposed a capitalist class agenda that was objectively opposed to the interest of the entire working class, the poor, and the declining middle-class.

The people saw that billions of dollars were allocated to business while millions of people are facing an increasingly desperate situation.They are facing their second pay period without a full check and they are weeks away from receiving any kind of meaningful relief. But the peoples’ bills continue to mount up while the multinational corporations get bailed out. April rent and mortgage payments are due and with everyone home and eating more but with less money for food, thousands are being forced to go without or rely on food pantries. The $1,200 payoff is an insult.

And with the tragic reality of the shamefully inadequate public healthcare system in the U.S. and the rumors that private insurance healthcare premiums might increase 40% next yearthe capitalists want to shut down any discussion around Medicare for All along with any discussion on nationalizing the healthcare industry.

“The $1,200 payoff is an insult.”

While millions are losing their employer-based healthcare coverage, Biden says that nothing has changed his opposition to Medicare for All. Another neoliberal Democrat.

This is not being missed by many people.

The demystification of capitalism and a realistic understanding of the role of the U.S. in the global order is a good thing and that will be the silver lining coming out of this current crisis.

The precipitous decline of U.S. power and prestige is visible for all to see. The world sees that it is the Chinese who are sending ventilators to Europe. The world also sees that several states and U.S. federal agencies like FEMA are being forced to buy ventilators and face masks from China.

The world also recognizes that the U.S. lost its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, despite its enormous war machine and the failed attempt to effect regime change in Syria.

The public outside of the U.S. know that there is absolutely nothing exceptional about this nation, except for its inability, up until now, to see itself the way that millions see it – as a declining power that is morally corrupt and a danger to itself and the world.

“The world sees that it is the Chinese who are sending ventilators to Europe.”

The ability to see the emperor and all his nakedness and know they are seeing the truth, reflects the loss of what Danny Haiphong and Robert Sirvent  call the ideology of “American exceptionalism and American innocence.”

That shift in consciousness is occurring slowly and unevenly. But let there be no doubt what this change in consciousness will result in. It will not mean that the rulers will surrender power to the aroused masses without a fight. No, it only means that the subjective factor – a revolutionary consciousness – will catch up with the objective factor of the ongoing crisis of the Pan-European white supremacist colonial/capitalist patriarchy. These are the conditions for a revolutionary advance.

That moment is on the horizon. Can you see it?

Corona virus malfeasance might grease the skids for Serbia’s Batista…

March 31, 2020

Corona virus malfeasance might grease the skids for Serbia’s Batista…

By Stephen Karganovic for The Saker Blog

The corona virus controversy has hit Serbia particularly hard. Les pauvres Serbs, as once, during World War I, they were called by their compassionate French allies, are now harvesting the bitter fruits of their political immaturity. The rogue regime that was fraudulently installed to finish them off, upon which they never conferred the mantle of legitimacy but which they have irresponsibly tolerated by passive acquiescence, has now gone fully berserk. It is determined not to let the singular corona virus crisis opportunity go to waste.

From a medical standpoint, which is what should be guiding the authorities in a public health crisis, the response has been a disaster. In a matter of days, regime officials shifted their initial rhetoric from ridiculing the threat (“the ridiculous virus,” is what a high-level apparatchik pointedly called it) and even irresponsibly encouraging Serbs to test their immunity by going shopping in virus-ridden Italy, to dire warnings soon after that there would not be enough space in the cemeteries to accommodate all the corpses. Even the precise date of the first corona case in Serbia is subject to dispute, and for that there are good political reasons. There is solid evidence that the first case of contagion was registered on February 1. But because February 5 was the deadline for collecting signatures for ruling party candidates running in the parliamentary elections scheduled for late April, the public acknowledgement of the pandemic threat was callously delayed until the 6th. Once that political formality was taken care of, Italian shopping sprees were off the official agenda. In the blink of an eye regime virus propaganda changed from clownish to apocalyptic, with sinister insinuations of impending doom on a medieval pestilence scale.

In a matter of days, draconian regulations with no evident medical justification were introduced, including a constitutionally questionable “state of emergency,” severely limiting fundamental liberties. By a clever manoeuvre, even the rubber-stamp parliament was excluded from the introduction of emergency rule. Gatherings of over 50 persons (parliament consists of 250 deputies) were administratively banned on the pretext that it could propitiate the spreading of the contagion; the state of emergency was then proclaimed by cabinet decree, in direct violation of the constitutional requirement that parliament alone may take such a decision. The artful official explanation for this illegality was that the number of parliamentary deputies unfortunately exceeded the maximum number of persons who are allowed to assemble in one place without endangering everyone’s health. It did not occur to any of the frightened Serbian deputies to imitate their French colleagues in 1789 and meet malgré tout at the nearby tennis court.

Once ice was unconstitutionally broken with this neat excuse for one-man rule, there followed an avalanche of restrictive ordinances, all ostensibly motivated by public health reasons, turning ordinary citizen’s lives into a veritable nightmare. For the first time since the German occupation, curfew was imposed, enforced by armed police and military. At first, it was between 8 pm and 5 am, but later it was extended, beginning now at 5 pm. The elderly, defined as over 65, were effectively placed under permanent home confinement, except for the granting of indulgent permission to leave their homes and go shopping for necessities between 3 am and 8 am, but only on Sundays. Good luck if any food stores or pharmacies are open at that time.

All public establishments were shut down by government decree, including small groceries and peasant markets where Serbs buy most of their foodstuffs. Economic activity, always faltering, has now ground to a complete halt, except for a few lucky individuals who are able to earn a bit by doing work out of their homes. Relentless regime propaganda hammers on the theme of impending death on a mass scale, frightening out of their wits everyone who does not have access to reliable and accurate news from the outside the world. The possibility of even more stringent restrictions, including the prospect of 24-hour home confinement, has been raised by regime officials and their team of medical quacks, unless the current oppressive policies should succeed in magically driving the contagion away. Perhaps symbolically, unfortunates found to be or accused of being infected will be dumped in collective quarantine facilities on fairgrounds which during World War II housed a concentration camp for Serbs and Jews.

Did we say Batista? Actually, it is Nero that comes to mind. Or perhaps the Serbian usurper’s model is the Paraguayan dictator, Dr Jose Rodriguez de Francia, who styled himself “Supreme and Perpetual Dictator of Paraguay”, and was popularly known as El Supremo.

Not unlike Dr Francia, whose final years were marked by acute clinical paranoia, the Serbian Supremo, acting under cover of medical emergency, is also lashing out at his real and perceived non-medical enemies. On March 29 regime tontons macoutes kicked in the door of Nikola Sandulović, leader of the miniscule Republican Party, and carted him off to prison on the trumped-up charge of “spreading panic”. But only days before Sandulović’s arrest, it was el Supremo himself who calmingly informed the nation that soon even 30 pandemic-related deaths daily might become commonplace and that the country risks running out of cemetery space.

Of course, panic mongering had nothing to do with the real reason behind Sandulović’s disappearance. It was to do rather with the politician’s persistent and skilful use of the few media resources in Serbia left to those who don’t toe the party line and denounce the regime’s egregious misconduct and colossal corruption. One fears that the fate reserved for Sandulović may resemble that of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija who in 1999, during another national emergency, while everyone was distracted by NATO bombs raining on Serbia, paid with his life for similar acts of boldness. Bonus question: does anyone remember who was a prominent government minister at the time of Ćuruvija’s untimely demise?

We therefore appeal to readers to react to Nikola Sandulović’s predicament by making it an international issue, which it properly is. Please email your concern for Mr. Sandulović’s safety and wellbeing to David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, at freedex@ohchr.org . You may send him a fax message at: +41 22 917 9006. If you are able and wish to contact him by mail, please write to him at the following address:

Mr. David Kaye
Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

In the unpredictable Balkans, cause and effect do not generally follow Western cultural patterns. Long periods of sullen passivity may suddenly give way to outpourings of mass defiance. The mishandling of the corona medical emergency could prove to be the undoing of a cornered regime that everyone is fed up with.

Please add your voice for a regime in the heart Europe that is rapidly catching up with North Korea to be sternly instructed to try to respect the European convention on human rights. Write to UN human rights rapporteur David Kaye to demand freedom for Nikola Sandulović and for the imprisoned nation of Serbia, whose collective, occupation-style mass confinement is tyrannical and sadistic. It has nothing to do with the application of rational public health measures to control a plague. It is simply a ruthless totalitarian power grab.

هل سيتمنّى الحريري لو بقي رئيساً للحكومة؟

ناصر قنديل

يُجمع الخبراء والمحللون والمفكرون عبر العالم أن ما قبل الكورونا غير ما بعده، ويبدو حجم التغيير الذي سيتركه هذا الفيروس المجهريّ على حركة القوى والدول العملاقة، تاريخياً وأكبر من أن تحتويه توقعات مسبقة، كما يبدو لثبات الحكومات في مواجهته ونجاحها في الحدّ من تأثيره الكثير من التأثير على تقييمها الدولي والداخلي، بصورة لا تعبر عنها حسابات التقييم لما قبل الكورونا، والمحكومة بالسياسة ومفاهيمها واصطفافاتها التقليدية قبل الكورونا، داخل كل بلد، وعبر العالم، وفي معادلات العلاقات الدولية، ومَن يراهن على أن الحكومة اللبنانية التي كانت تنوء تحت عبء قضايا بحجم الأزمة المالية وتداعيات الأحتجاجات الشعبية، سيتكفل فيروس كورونا بدفعها إلى الهاوية، ربما يكتشف أنه قد ارتكب خطأ جسيماً، لأن ما بعد هذا الفيروس غير ما قبله في كل شيء.

من التداعيات المتوقعة لهذه الحرب العالمية مع فيروس كورونا، ما بدأنا نشهد مؤشراته التي يقول الخبراء إنها ليست إلا رأس جبل الجليد، سواء على مستوى الركود الاقتصادي، أو فقدان السيولة النقدية، او الامتناع عن سداد الديون، أو انهيار البورصات، وإفلاس الشركات، وزيادة نسب البطالة والتضخم، وصولاً إلى ما يقول عنه كثير من الخبراء أنه الحاجة لتصفير الاقتصاد العالمي، ويقصدون بذلك ما يتحدّث عنه كثير من أساتذة الاقتصاد السياسي، اعتبار العام 2022 العام صفر، فتشطب الديون التي كانت قبله، ويتمّ تثبيت تفاهمات على تسعير جديد ربما يكون الدولار نفسه عملته الرئيسية لكن بشروط جديدة، وربما تكون سلّة عملات يدخل معها الذهب وبعض السلع الاستراتيجية كالنفط والأرز والقمح والشعير والسكر والبن والشاي، كوحدة تسعير ربما تحمل اسم كورونا، وبالتالي لن يكون لبنان بالتأكيد المتعسّر الوحيد أو الأبرز، بل سيكون واحداً من العشرات وربما المئات من الدول، التي سيحتاج الاقتصاد العالمي من أجل الانتقال إلى الإنتاج من الركود، إلى إيجاد حل شامل لمشكلاتها سيكون حكماً حسم الجزء الأكبر من الديون إن لم يكن تصفيرها، وها هي إيطاليا أول المعنيين.

من التداعيات المتوقعة لهذه الحرب العالمية، تراجع الاصطفافات السياسية التصادمية والعدائية لحساب التهيؤ لزمن تسويات يفرضها مناخ دولي، وشعبي ونفسي، كما تفرضها عملية الحاجة لتركيز الإمكانات والجهود على مواجهة تحدّي كورونا، ما يحول دون مناخات تصعيد وتهديد بحروب، وستكون النزاعات العسكرية إلى تراجع، ومثلها التموضعات العدائية، ويفتح الباب لدبلوماسية الكورونا لتسويات في منتصف الطريق، وسيكون نموذج أميركا والصين، ونموذج الإمارات وسورية، قابلين للتكرار والتوسّع والتعمّق، ولن يكون بعيداً الموعد الذي نرى فيه علاقات سورية سعودية، ولاحقاً سعودية إيرانية، وتهدئة وربما تسوية أميركية إيرانية.

في زمن مواجهة كورونا إذا طالت إقامته، سيكون للمواد الغذائية والاستهلاكية وتوافرها، دور حاسم في صناعة الصمود، وستصبح دول مثل سورية تحقق اكتفاءها الذاتي وتنتج زراعياً وصناعياً ما يفيض عن حاجاتها، عملة نادرة، تبحث عن جيرتها الدول التي ستعاني بلا استثناء نقص الموارد ونقص المواد. فكيف سيكون الحال مع لبنان الذي سينظر شعبه بكل تلاوينه إلى جيرة سورية كنعمة، رغم ما روّج له الكثيرون بتوصيف العلاقة معها كنقمة، وسيجد اللبنانيون قرشهم السوري الأبيض في يوم الكورونا الأسود، ويكتشفون ضيق أفق وحجم حقد، من ينادونهم بمعاداتها، وهي الدولة الأوفر قدرة بالموارد العينيّة، والأكثر تشدداً بالمعايير الصحية، وربما الأهم تجهيزاً بكادرها ومنشآتها الطبية على مواجهة الأزمات، وكل ذلك بأكلاف تكاد لا تُذكَر بالقياس لسلم الأسعار اللبناني.

من التداعيات المتوقعة لمرحلة ما بعد كورونا، تغيير هيكلي في طريقة تفكير النخب والشعوب. فالحكومات لن تستطيع الصمود إن استخفت بالشعوب وحقها بالأمان الذي سيتقدم كثيراً على معايير الديمقراطية والحرية وسواها من عناوين الحكومة في القرن العشرين، كما لن يكون من السهل إسقاط الحكومات أو تهديدها بالفوضى إن نجحت بتوفير الشعور بالأمان. فالتجربة القاسية مع كورونا كشفت أهمية الحكومات والانتظام العام كمبدأ، بما هو أبعد وأعمق من تقييم الجودة في الأداء، وكشفت خطر الوقوع في الفوضى أو العبثية أو التفلت من الانتظام، فكيف إذا اجتمع قدر من الجودة مع قدرة على تحقيق الانتظام، والأهم معهما الترفع عن المصالح الخاصة، والابتعاد عن إثارة الشبهات حول وجودها.

كثيرة هي الأشياء التي ستحدث، والتي ستجعل الرئيس الحريري يتمنى لو بقي رئيساً للحكومة لتحدث في زمان رئاسته لا رئاسة سواه، سواه الذي ربما تدخله التجربة نادي رؤساء الحكومات من بابها الواسع.

Covid-19: The Panic Is Worse Than the Pathogen

By Tony Cartalucci

Source

The Corona Virus Disease 2019 or “Covid-19” is a coronavirus similar to the virus that causes pneumonia. Covid-19 is a danger to at-risk groups including the elderly and the chronically ill. 

If you are not elderly and if you are in good health you have virtually no chance of dying from it.

For the vast majority of the population, Covid-19 is no more dangerous than the common cold. This is backed up by statistics already being reported across Western publications and based on information derived from China’s outbreak where the virus first appeared.

Compared to cancer, heart disease, substance abuse, or car accidents – Covid-19 is relatively harmless. But it has been put in the spotlight by deliberately dishonest, selective reporting that focuses on generating hysteria by presenting out-of-context information to an ignorant and easily panicked public.

If there is no global concern or massive mobilization over cancer and heart disease – conditions that claim far more lives than any virus – why the sudden hysteria and “concern” .

Context is King 

According to StatNews.com in their article, “Lower death rate estimates for coronavirus, especially for non-elderly, provide glimmer of hope:”

The chance of someone with symptomatic Covid-19 dying varied by age, confirming other studies. For those aged 15 to 44, the fatality rate was 0.5%, though it might have been as low as 0.1% or as high as 1.3%. For people 45 to 64, the fatality rate was also 0.5%, with a possible low of 0.2% and a possible high of 1.1%. For those over 64, it was 2.7%, with a low and high estimate of 1.5% and 4.7%.

The chance of serious illness from coronavirus infection in younger people was so low, the scientists estimate a fatality rate of zero.

Healthline.com would report in their article, “Here’s How COVID-19 Compares to Past Outbreaks,” that the most affected groups are:

…adults over 65 with underlying health conditions; children seem to be spared and are experiencing milder symptoms (in China, children account for just 2.4 percent of cases)

If that isn’t convincing enough, simply scrutinize content you’re already reading – especially regarding Covid-19 deaths – and see how old and in what health those are in reportedly dying from Covid-19. Many paragraphs down – far from the hysteria-generating headlines – you will find that those dying are already chronically ill, advanced in age, and/or already at risk whether it was Covid-19 or the common cold.

When deaths are reported without context they easily create panic.

When the number of Covid-19 deaths are put into perspective in relation to past outbreaks – or even side-by-side with the annual common flu virus- we see just how unwarranted the current wave of hysteria is and how overreactions from governments are aimed more at saving face and assuaging public panic than preserving public health.

In Thailand where up to four deaths have been reported at the time of writing this article – the first case involved a man who already had Dengue fever – a serious, life-threatening tropical illness spread by mosquitoes.

The other 3 cases involved a 70 year old with pre-existing tuberculosis, a 79 year old with multiple pre-existing chronic illnesses, and a 45 year old suffering from obesity and chronic diabetes.

All four individuals would be considered “at-risk” and should have been isolated from those potentially carrying not only Covid-19 – but any communicable disease at all including the common cold or flu.

Do these deaths warrant paralyzing an entire nation of 70 million people? Or closing entire businesses and costing billions in commerce? The damage measures made in reaction to hysteria will cause more damage to many more people and for a much longer duration than Covid-19 ever could on its own.

Common Sense Measures 

Measures should be put into place and resources invested into educating the public on how to isolate and protect at-risk individuals – efforts should be made to help those at risk isolate themselves and provisions – including investments in critical care equipment such as ventilators – made to handle the influx of at-risk patients who end up with Covid-19 regardless.

What should not be done – is the spread of panic, hysteria, and the imposition of draconian measures simply to assuage panic and hysteria – measures that will also gut the economy, impact millions of workers, and disrupt the lives of millions more who depend on the day-to-day functioning of society and who face little or no health risk upon contracting the virus.

These measures – ironically – are in turn fueling additional panic including hording and social tensions that are only compounding the damage “Covid-19 hysteria” is already having on society.

Who is Fueling Hysteria and Why? 

There is the vastly corrupt mass media who depends on public panic and hysteria at times like this to boost clicks and sell newspapers. They also seek to advance their agenda and that of their wealthy sponsors and enhance their grip over the public’s attention. The media is determined to spread hysteria to keep people fixated on their reportage, completely indifferent to the damage they are causing.

There are also political groups – partnered with the media – attempting to leverage and amplify the appearance of Covid-19 into an unprecedented crisis despite a lack of evidence to justify doing so. Their interest is not in ensuring the safety of the public or maintaining oversight of government efforts – but instead leveraging the resulting hysteria to chip away at ruling governments they seek to destabilize and replace.

Aiding them are US and European-funded fronts posing as “human rights” advocates and “independent media” outlets. Groups like “Human Rights Watch” have attacked governments for not taking decisive enough action – then complained when decisive action was taken as being too draconian and violating “human rights.”

These are interest groups that are never satisfied with the government’s response to Covid-19 because they are interest groups completely unconcerned with Covid-19 itself and its impact on public health – and instead – concerned only with how they can generate and leverage public hysteria to advance their entirely unrelated and self-serving political agenda. Again, this is done with complete indifference to the damage being done to society by doing so.

What has resulted is governments around the globe taking measures in reaction to public panic – not to fight the actual pathogen. While draconian efforts to isolate the entire population may work in slowing the spread of Covid-19 – is it worth paralyzing entire economies, costing billions in economic damage, disrupting the lives of hundreds of millions of people who – if contracting Covid-19 – will have what is essentially a cold for a week?

The answer should be an obvious “no.”

Now and in the Future 

The answer also isn’t “doing nothing.”

Again, at-risk groups can and should be protected. State resources should be mobilized to protect and isolate them from the general population and treat them in the worst case scenario should they contract the virus anyway. Public information campaigns should be mounted to encourage basic hygiene especially for those who may come in contact with at-risk individuals – something that should be done year-round and regardless of whatever strain of the cold or flu is prevalent at the time.

And just in case a genuinely deadly pathogen appears on the horizon, nations should invest in economic infrastructure that can thrive regardless – just in case nationwide containment ever truly is necessary. This includes investing in online commerce, delivery services, decentralized manufacturing, and localized food, water, and energy security measures – all measures that would make for a more resilient society regardless of the threats that may or may not appear in the future.

Panic has proven a greater enemy than the Covid-19 pathogen. That society can be crippled by politicians, political groups, and a corrupt mass media over what is essentially a slightly more virulent form of the common cold, says a lot about how the world currently works and what needs dire attention to fix.

From those driving needless hysteria to those caving into it at the cost of economic stability and the disruption of millions of ordinary lives – it’s clear that we face a precedent being set – one that will ensure virtually any excuse in the future can be used to cripple civilization on a global scale. It seems obvious this cannot be allowed to stand, but what is less clear is what can be done to ensure it does not.

It can be hoped that governments around the globe pressured by hysteria this time around will set up measures in the future to avoid caving in again.

For the average individual – knowing that virtually everything you read in the media is likely promoting an agenda and thus being misrepresented – gives you the ability to look for context and truth yourself and applying critical thinking skills – reducing your suseptibility to panic and hysteria – and innoculating us all against the real virus infecting society – a political and social virus.

From Electoral Politics to Coronavirus Response: In Israel, Apartheid Mentality Reigns

By Mico Peled

Source

Jerusalem, Palestine — Once again, Benjamin Netanyahu wins big in Israeli politics. Even as his main opponent, former Israeli army chief Benny Gantz was given a mandate to form and head a coalition government, Netanyahu, indicted and presumed to be on his way out, managed to pull in Gantz, break up the Blue and White opposition party, stop the coalition from forming, and remain on top.

Fifteen seats

In an unprecedented upset, the Arab Joint List, a coalition of four predominantly Palestinian political parties, was able to win fifteen seats in the Israeli Knesset. This made them the third largest block within the legislature. They were going to support a Gantz-led government from the outside, which means they would not be a part of the actual coalition government. This is an enormous gesture on behalf of the Joint List, whose constituents are primarily Palestinian citizens of Israel, the country’s most disenfranchised group of citizens.

It was a moment of sweet illusion when, thanks to the recommendation of the members of the Arab Joint List, Gantz was given the mandate to form a government and be the first politician to get Netanyahu out of the Premier seat in over a decade. However, that moment did not last long. It was naive to think that an Israeli politician would agree to rely on Palestinians to advance his political career – this would be a stain he could never erase. It was also naive to believe that there is anyone in Israeli politics that could not be outsmarted by Netanyahu.

General Gantz

Gantz is a good soldier, he had a long career in the service of the Israeli army, which ended after four years of being at its head. Throughout his career, Gantz was responsible for countless dead and injured Palestinians and unspeakable destruction all over Palestine and Lebanon. As army chief, he led the IDF during two bloody massacres in Gaza: one in November of 2012 and another, in the summer of 2014. The second was perhaps the worst massacre of Palestinians ever perpetrated by Israel. It lasted over 50 days in which 2,500 Palestinians were murdered and tens of thousands were injured.

Now, still a good soldier, Gantz obeyed Netanyahu, who was his boss while he was in uniform. He obediently broke up his own political alliance, Blue and White, threw his political allies under the bus, and turned his back on the voters. He also reneged on the one campaign promise that got him elected to begin with: to unseat Netanyahu.

Apartheid is a state of mind.

No Zionist political leader will rely on a Palestinian party. That is because the Israeli apartheid is not just a system of government, it is a state of mind. Israeli racism is deeply institutional and deeply personal to a point where a career politician, in this case, Benny Gantz, gave up the chance to be Prime Minister because it meant he would need to rely on Palestinian citizens of Israel.

One of the criticisms leveled at Gantz was that he was going to rely on the members of the Arab Joint List for his coalition, even though they had made it clear that if it came to a vote, they would never support another assault on Gaza. Furthermore, the members of the Joint List are opposed to the so-called Trump peace plan and are known to support Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. The acclaimed Israeli author David Grossman, considered a beacon of the “Zionist Left,” called on Gantz to work with the Joint List, he added, “even though I find some of their policies reprehensible.”

Apartheid in the time of COVID-19

In light of the outbreak of Covid-19, the Israeli government has called for serious restrictions on movement, cramping the lifestyle of Israelis to levels they had never experienced. It is said that the government, using its intelligence agencies, is collecting information on Israeli citizens who have the virus, and this is raising some objections. In fact, there are several campaigns now demanding “Freedom to Move” be restored and that the intelligence agencies not be involved in collecting data. Five million Palestinians who live no more than a few short miles from Israelis, live in ghettos, not to say concentration camps, and under the shadow of the Israeli intelligence agencies and no one ever hears of Israeli demands to allow them the freedom to move or to end the repression of their rights.

The Tel-Aviv marathon was held recently, just as the coronavirus issue was beginning to spread, and all the foreign runners were prohibited from participating. 40,000 Israeli runners participated in the event and not a word was said about the closures, arrests, water restrictions and lack of rights of millions of Palestinians who live a few miles from there.

It gets worse. Even with the outbreak of the coronavirus, Israeli authorities continue to demolish homes, arrest minors, and shoot protestors and Israeli settler gangs continue to terrorize Palestinians. This video, taken by a photographer from the human rights group, B’tselem shows settlers and soldiers shooting at Palestinians who were defending their home from an attack by settler thugs. The army arrested the photographer and took his camera.

In the Naqab, where over 100,000 Palestinian Bedouin citizens of Israel live in “unrecognized towns,” COVID-19 turned a terrible situation into a potential disaster. Because the Israeli authorities do not recognize these towns, they have no access to the basic most services like clean water, access roads or electricity, much less to health and medical services.

Palestinian Bedouin in the Naqab are all citizens of the state of Israel. They live in crowded conditions because they are prevented from building. The ones who dare to build are under constant fear of demolition and expulsion from their lands. These conditions make it impossible to adhere to the basic most safety precautions needed to stop the spread of Corona.

Schools are now closed and the Israeli Ministry of Education is providing lessons to Israeli citizens via the internet, but over 50 percent of Palestinian citizens of Israel live below the poverty line and have no internet access. In the Naqab, 70 percent of the students don’t even have access to electricity, much less wifi.

Apartheid Israel is alive and well, and at least for now, so is the man leading it.

UAE CROWN PRINCE DISCUSSES COVID-19 PANDEMIC WITH SYRIA’S ASSAD

UAE Crown Prince Discusses COVID-19 Pandemic With Syria’s Assad

South Front

Late on March 27, UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed discussed the coronavirus pandemic with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a rare phone call.

President Bashar al-Assad and Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. Source: the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA)

The two leaders discussed the precautionary measures taken in their countries to face the pandemic, according to the Emirates News Agency (WAM).

“I discussed with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad updates on COVID-19. I assured him of the support of the UAE and its willingness to help the Syrian people. Humanitarian solidarity during trying times supersedes all matters, and Syria and her people will not stand alone,” Bin Zayed wrote on Twitter.

The call is the first between the two leaders since the outbreak of the Syrian war. The UAE suspended its relations with Syria in 2012 just like most Arab countries.

Work to restore relations between Syrian and the UAE began more than a year ago, when Abu Dhabi reopened its embassy in Damascus.

The UAE has registered 405 COVID-19 cases, including two fatalities, thus far. In Syria, only five cases of infection with the novel virus were documented.

Despite being one of the busiest transportation hubs in the Middle East, the UAE has been containing the pandemic with much success. The country’s experience and vast resources will for sure be of help for Syria, that is struggling due to crippling sanctions by the U.S. and EU.

Telephone call between President al-Assad and UAE’s Crown Prince

Created on Friday, 27 March 2020 19:40

DAMASCUS, (ST)_ A telephone call was made today between President Bashar al-Assad and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces.

The Crown Prince of the UAE asserted his country’s support for the people of Syria during the current exceptional circumstances. He cited that Syria will not be alone in these circumstances.

Basma Qaddour

صراع القيَم حول العالم

سعادة مصطفى أرشيد

تعرّضت بلادنا منذ عقد من الزمن لحرب ضروس بيننا وبين الإرهاب المعولم والمؤدلج بـ «قيم» الفوضى الخلاقة للشر متخذاً من الدين وقيم الحرية والعدالة والديمقراطية قناعاً يخفي وراءه قباحته وشروره. هدفت الحرب إلى إعادة إنتاج الاتفاق الانجلو – الفرنسي (سايكس – بيكو) باتجاه ما هو أدهى وأمرّ بمزيد من التفتيت والشرذمة، وكان آخر ما حرّرته الجهات المعادية في دفترنا هو صفقة ترامب الأميركية (صفقة القرن). في غمرة تلك الأحداث المزدحمة داهمنا وباء كورونا سالباً منا الطمأنينة والصحة والسلامة وحاصداً آلاف الأرواح ومحاصراً ما يزيد عن مليار شخص في معازل صحية او منزلية، وكثير منهم من الذين لا يجد قوت يومه إلا بيوم عمله.

وإذا كان هذا الوباء يصيب الجهاز التنفسي للإنسان ويدمّره ويؤدّي إلى وفاته، فإنّ هذه الأزمة قد كشفت أنه يصيب بأعراضه النظم السياسية والاجتماعية والاقتصادية أيضاً، ويكشف ماهو منها زائف ومخادع وما هو منها يملك قيماً إنسانية راقية وأخلاقاً نبيلة. فقد تعرّت عورات أنظمة عديدة لطالما تغنّت بالديمقراطية وحقوق الإنسان، بالحريات والعدالة الاجتماعية، لا بل وزادت بأن أبدت اهتمامات بالطيور وهجراتها وقردة الباندا وإمكانيات انقراضها، وإذا بها تتهاوى وتتكشف على حقيقتها أمام هذا الوباء فأبدت لنا وجهها القبيح معلنة بصريح القول والعبارة درجة انحطاطها القيمي والأخلاقي بشكل غير مسبوق.

الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب لا يجد في موت آلاف البشر والذين من المرشح أن تتزايد أعدادهم بأصفار عديدة إلى يمين تلك الآلاف، إلا فرصة لتعزيز وضعه الانتخابي أمام الاستحقاق المقبل في تشرين الأول المقبل، ثم لتحقيق أرباح ومكاسب مادية من تجارة الأمصال والعلاجات المداوية له، لم يتوانَ أن يتخلى عن أصدقائه وحلفائه في الناتو من الأوروبيين، تاركاً لهم مهمة نزع أشواكهم بأيديهم. الأمر الذي دعا صحافية إيطالية شجاعة لأن تقدّم هدية لوزير خارجيته بومبيو وهي عبارة عن علبة طعام كلاب ليأكل منها هو ورئيسه وطاقم إدارته علهم يتعلمون من الكلاب بعض الوفاء، فيما نظيره وصديقه بوريس جونسون، أخذ ومستشاره الطبي بنظريات إسبارطية وبعض الأفكار الداروينية والتي ترى أنّ البقاء للأقوى أو فكرة مناعة القطيع، وبمعنى أوضح ليمت من يموت من كبار السن والضعفاء والمرضى بأمراض مزمنة ويرتاح جونسون من مصاريف رعايتهم الصحية والاجتماعية المرتفعة وليبقى الأصحاء فقط، ولم يعد عن ذلك إلا بعد تصاعد الاحتجاجات الشعبية والبرلمانية إثر التقارير الصادرة عن الامبيرال كولدج ذات المصداقية العالية ومركز الأوبئة التابع لها، الأمر الذي دعا جونسون ليخفف من صفاقة أقواله وليعود عن تجاهله لضرورات التصدي للوباء.

الثالث في حلقة الأصدقاء هو بن يامين نتنياهو، فحسب ما ذكرت القناة الثالثة عشرة العبرية أنّ خلافاً قد حصل بين وزير الصحة (الإسرائيلي) ونائبه وهو بروفيسور في علم الأوبئة وذلك في حضور نتنياهو، حيث قدّر البروفيسور أنّ عدد المصابين بالوباء يتجاوز عددهم خمسين ألفاً فيما التقارير الرسمية والإخبارية تتحدث عن إلفين، فيما قال الوزير إنّ الأرقام الحقيقية للمصابين أكبر من الأرقام المعلنة، ولكنها لا تصل إلى الرقم الذي ادّعاه البروفيسور، مع ذلك فما يشغل بال ووقت نتنياهو هو كيفية التهرّب من المحكمة وقضايا الفساد التي تلاحقه، كيف يستطيع البقاء في مقعد رئاسة الوزراء؟ كيف يستطيع أن يستغلّ الانشغال العالمي بالوباء لتنفيذ مخططاته الرامية لضمّ المستوطنات والأغوار ومناطق أخرى من الضفة الغربية؟

مقابل هذه البشاعة وهذا الانحطاط الذي يمارسه هؤلاء لا بحقّ الإنسانية فحسب، وإنما بحق شعوبهم وأهلهم وذويهم، نرى في الجانب المقابل لهذه الصورة البشعة أنّ الصين وهي أول من أصيب بالوباء، وأول من تصدّى له، ومع أنّ شعبها البالغ تعداده مليار ونصف مليار إنسان وأنّ اقتصادها عانى من التراجع أكثر من أيّ اقتصاد آخر، حيث توقفت كثير من صناعاتها عن الإنتاج وتجارتها وسلعها من التداول، مع ذلك كله نراها تحقق نجاحات نسبية في محاصرة الوباء ومكافحته، وتقدّم في الوقت ذاته أفضل ما لديها لخدمة شعبها وتمدّ يد العون والمساعدة لغيرها في مجالات الخبرة والمساعدة العينية، في حين دولة التشيك الصديقة الحميمة لدولة الاحتلال والولايات المتحدة تسرق ما يمرّ عبرها من مساعدات صينية كانت في طريقها إلى إيطاليا. إنه موقف أخلاقي يعبّر عن نبل الشرق وأخلاقة وفلسفاته الإنسانية ويعاكس المواقف والأفكار النيوليبرالية والرأسمالية المتوحشة والمتمثلة في الأميركان وتوابعهم. في المقام ذاته نرى كوبا برغم فقرها وهوانها على الناس في وقت تراجعت فيه قيم الحرية والكرامة والثورة، ها هي تقف بكلّ شجاعة بأطبائها ومعداتهم وأدويتهم، تطوّعاً لا مأجورة لإنقاذ من يفوقها قوة وثراء، ولكنه دونها كرماً وعطاء.

عودة إلى عالمنا العربي الذي يبدو عصياً عن سماع الأخبار (بالطبع بعضه لا كله)، غير مستجيب للمتغيّرات التي أحدثها الوباء، حيث يتحالف السياسي المفرط في قضايا شعبه وأهله مع رجل المال الفاسد والجشع في ثنائية شيطانيّة، الأول يريد أن يبقى جالساً على كرسيه وبالتالي الاستمرار في خدمة مشاريع أعداء بلده ويجد في هذا الوباء دثاراً له والثاني يجد في الوباء فرصة لتحقيق أرباح ومكاسب. لا يوجد ما يشير إلى أنّ تغيّراً في أخلاق وعقول ومسلكيات هؤلاء قد طرأ عليه أيّ تغيّر او تبديل، برغم انّ الموت يترصّد بالجميع حاكماً ومحكوماً، غنيّاً وفقيراً، وهو لا يجد فرقاً في مذاق رئتي الأمير تشارلز ورئتي أيّ مواطن صيني او إيطالي أو غيره، لا فرق أبداً في الطعم والمذاق.

الكورونا تفتك بالعالم، ولكن الحرب على اليمن وقد دخلت عامها السادس لا تزال تستعر وتزداد ضراوة ولا نية على ما يبدو لإيقافها، برغم انّ أكلافها قد تجاوزت نصف تريليون دولار، فهل مَن تحمّل هذه الأكلاف في هذه الحرب القذرة والظالمة يرغب او يقبل أن يدفع جزءاً ولو بسيط منها لإغاثة المليار محاصر في معزله الصحي أو بيته؟ أو لإنتاج أدوية ولقاحات لمعالجة المصابين؟ واليمن ليس إلا مثالاً لما يجري في فلسطين المحتلة وغزة المحاصرة وسورية وليبيا التي لا يزال الإنفاق على تدميرهما على أشدّه.

وإذا كان ما تقدّم عن أهل السياسة فماذا عن حلفائهم وشركائهم من وحوش المال؟ يتداول الناس مقارنة بين هؤلاء وبين مصمّم أزياء إيطالي تبرّع بمعظم ثروته لحكومته لإنقاذ أهله وشعبه فيما مواطنته ممثلة الأفلام الإباحية تتبرّع بستين مليون يورو للسبب ذاته. أثرياؤنا لم يتبرّعوا إلا بالفتات ولذرّ الرماد بالعيون، فكلّ ما سمعناه عن كرمهم وعطائهم في هذه الأزمة يقلّ كثيراً عما تبرّعت به مومس إيطالية تفوقهم شرفاً وعفة وكرماً وعطاء وانتماء لبلدها ولشعبها. لا يفكر هذا النوع إلا بكيفية الاستفادة من الأزمة ولتحقيق مزيد من الربح، ولنضرب مثلا أنّ إحدى شركات الخلوي في بلادنا والتي تحقق سنوياً أرباحاً خرافية، فبدل أن تقدّم يد العون أخذت ترسل رسائل sms لزبائنها للاشتراك في تطبيق مدفوع الثمن: اعرف آخر أخبار الكورونا.

هكذا يبدو العالم من حولنا… إفلاس وانكشاف أنظمة لطالما تغنّت بالقيم والمبادئ السامية، نراها بأمّ العين تتمرّغ قيمها المزعومة في أوحال الوباء بشكليه الفيروسي والقيمي، وفيما أنظمة لطالما اتهمت من قبل الفريق الأول بشموليتها وعدم احترامها للإنسان، نراها ترتقي وتسمو على آلامها وجراحها وتقدّم لشعوبها وللعالم خدماتها. وهكذا يبدو شرقنا الذي لم تصل إلى أسماع بعض قادته أخبار الوباء، فواصلوا حروبهم العبثية لقتل أهل فلسطين وسورية واليمن وليبيا تاركين للوباء مهمة قتل مَن لم يقتلوه بأيديهم وأسلحتهم.

*سياسيّ فلسطينيّ مقيم في الضفة الغربية.

إعلاميّة شجاعة في زمن أميركي رديء ومتوحش

د.وفيق إبراهيم

كان بإمكان هذه الإعلامية الإيطالية أن توالي الأميركيين وتنظم فيهم دواوين مديح على طريقة «العربان»، فلربما كانوا منحوها إمارة في الربع الخالي او في أرياف جمهورية «افيون» إسلامية نائية، أو قدّموها بأضعف الايمان سبية لأمير إماراتي بوسعه منحها أموال قارون أو قسم من موازنة بلاده.

لكن هذه السيدة شجاعة، فضلت الاستفادة من موقعها الإعلامي لتتقدم برباطة جأش وهي تحمل هديّة ملفوفة بالورق المناسب، نحو وزير الخارجية الأميركي بومبيو الذي كان يشارك في مؤتمر صحافي إلى جانب نظيره الإيطالي، فاعتقد الجميع أنها ذاهبة للثناء على السياسة الأميركية، إلا أنهم بوغتوا بها وهي تقول له إنها تقدم للسياسة الأميركية هدية، فضحك بومبيو مبتهجاً وسرعان ما كاد يبكي مصعوقاً حين تابعت بقولها إن هذه الهدية تحتوي على «طعام كلاب» يجب على السياسيين الأميركيين ان يعتادوا على تناولها لعلهم يصبحون أوفياء كالكلاب.

هنا دفع رجال الأمن ومعهم الوزير الإيطالي هذه الإعلامية الى الوراء حتى أخرجوها من المكان وهي تشتم السياسات الأميركية التي تبيد البشر.

الا تستحقّ هذه الإعلامية الباسلة وسام الشجاعة المطلقة لكشفها مسألتين: سياسة الإبادة الأميركية للبشر التي بدأت قبل قرن تقريباً من تأسيس الولايات المتحدة الأميركية في القرن 19 بإبادة الهنود الحمر أصحاب الأرض الفعليين، وفضحت أيضاً في المسألة الثانية، التأييد الأوروبي لهذه السياسات القاتلة.

بقي على الإعلاميين في الجهات الأخرى من العالم كشف التواطؤ المجرم الى حدود الانصياع بين سياسييهم والنفوذ الأميركي العالمي..

للفت النظر، فإن اوروبا الاستعمارية ذبحت ملايين البشر في مرحلة اجتياحها للعالم منذ القرن 18 ، فلم توفر أحداً في الشرق الأدنى وآسيا وافريقيا واوستراليا، بشكل غير مسبوق، حتى أنها اكتشفت القارة الأميركية، وأبادت سكانها من الهنود الحمر بشكل كامل، ولم تستبقِ منهم إلا القليل للزوم المحافظة على النوع ودراسة التاريخ، وهكذا تأسست الولايات المتحدة الأميركية على جثث ملايين الهنود الذين قتلهم الغربيون اللاجئون الى اميركا، وذلك بنشر وباء الطاعون في هدايا قدّموها للسكان المحليين وتبين آنفاً أنها بطانيات ملوثة بهذا الوباء انتشرت بين الهنود على غالبيتهم، هذا بالإضافة الى سحقهم بالرصاص والمدافع والذبح.

كما تمكن الأميركيون منذ الحرب العالمية الثانية إبادة مئات آلاف اليابانيين بالقنابل النووية مستكملين مجازرهم في كوريا والصين، والمانيا، (الحرب الثانية) وفيتنام وماليزيا وباكستان واندونسيا وافغانستان والعراق وسورية. فلم يوفروا منطقة واحدة متوصلين الى بناء جيوبولتيك أميركي دموي وقاتل يقوم على نحو 800 قاعدة عسكرية أميركية تنتشر في مئات الدول، ترميزاً للقدرات الأميركية المعمولة.

بذلك أمسك الأميركيون بكل الإنتاج العالميّ في العالم، على كل المستويات التصنيعية ومنها عالم الطب، وذلك لأن السوق الأميركية قدمت إغراءات للمتفوّقين وجذبتهم، بالاضافة إلى عدم وجود مواقع إنتاج ملائمة لهم في بلدانهم بسبب تخلفها العلمي والسياسي، وهما حلقتان مترابطتان.

أدى هذا الوضع الى بناء سياسات احتكارية أميركية، وضعت مقابلاً مادياً مرتفعاً لكل منتج وتدريب وتصنيع وخدمة واستشارة وحماية وهمسة، فيجب أن يكون لها مقابل مادي دائم ومتواصل. وهذا أدى الى سيطرة الاقتصاد الأميركي على العالم…

وبذلك أصبح «الطلب» من الاحتكارات الغربية الكبرى من حبة الاسبيرين الى العمليات الأكثر تعقيداً، وصولاً إلى أمراض سرطانية ينفع تطورها الاستثمار الصناعي الاميركي في عالم الطب والمعالجات والمستشفيات والادوية والعمليات. فهذا يعطي مردوداً دائماً ومتصاعداً غير قابل للنفاد، لأن لا أحد يصدق ان الغرب الأوروبي الأميركي الصناعي عجِزَ عن اكتشاف لقاحات تمنع تشكل السرطانات قبل تفاقمها.

تقودنا هذه المقاربات الى جائحة الكورونا التي لم تعد مجرد وباء منحصر من ناحتين او ثلاث من الأرض، إنها تنتشر في بلدان العالم بأسرها بمفعول متصاعد له اكبر من تداعيات الحروب النووية.

بما يتطلب إسراعاً من البلدان الصناعية الشديدة التطور لإنتاج لقاحات وعلاجات توقف زحفه، وتوضع في خدمة الانسانية.

بيد أن ما حدث هو مسارعة البلدان الصناعية بشكل سري، وكل واحدة منها بمفردها، لاختراع آليات العلاج بشكل استثماري فلم تعقد الدول الكبرى أي لقاء طبي تنسيقي ومهني لوقف زحف الكارثة، باستثناء الصين التي بدأت ترسل إعانات وعلاجات لبلدان مصابة بالكورونا، انما وسط تكتم على إنجازاتها الطبية في هذا المجال، هناك ايضاً ابحاث طبية روسية قال الروس انها متقدمة والفرنسيون بدورهم كشفوا عن نجاحهم في ابتكار علاجات، قالوا إنها قابلة للتسويق في وقت قريب، وكذلك فعل الالمان، اما الأميركيون فيلتزمون صمت الصناعي الاحتكاري، فيعلنون عن تقدّم مسارعين بعد قليل الى نفيه وهكذا دواليك، فارضين أجواء من السرية الاحتكارية على ما يفعلون، معتمدين ترك الوباء ليحصد ملايين القتلى، فيباشرون بعدها تصنيع العلاجات بشكل استثماري متوحش لا يأبه إلا لتراكم المال على حساب القيم الإنسانية، أي تماماً كحال التاريخ الغربي الملوث بالدماء والسفك.

ما لاحظته هذه الإعلامية الشجاعة هو التعمد في غياب التنسيق العالمي في مجابهة الكورونا، بضغط أميركي يهرب ويتجاهل من قصد غير مفرق بين الحلفاء التاريخيين لأميركا كحالة ايطاليا والاوروبيين عموماً، ووضع من ينافسونها في الصين وايران وروسيا. كما انتبهت الى التلكؤ الأميركي المتعمّد في انتاج لقاحات، او في الإعلان عنه، الامر الذي يكشف عن نهج دموي استعماري لم يبدل شيئاً من دمويته على الرغم من امساكه بأعلى اقتصاد عالمي في التاريخ.

الا يدفع هذا الوضع الصين وروسيا وبعض اوروبا وإيران والهند وكل الدول ذات القدرات التصنيعية على محاولة تأسيس تنسيق عميق بين مختبراتها العلمية للقضاء على حركتين: الأولى هي وباء الكورونا، والثانية هي مجابهة الاحتكار الأميركي له انتشاراً او تصنيعاً للقاحاته.

فهل يحمي العالم نفسه من هذين الوباءين؟

الأمل كبير، انما ليس في منطقة عربية فيها اربعمئة مليون نسمة، أنساهم سلاطينهم ان الله دعاهم الى تطبيق مبدأ اعقل وتوكل، فأنساهم حكامهم العقل محتفظين بالتوكل، مع كامل التحيات الى هذه الإيطالية الشجاعة التي تبدو مقدمة لانتفاضة عالمية على الاستبداد الأميركي والانحطاط في العالم العربي والإسلامي.

Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for?

March 23, 2020

by Ramin Mazaheri exclusive for the Saker Blog

In any sane, modern nation a financial crisis combined with a (due to sub-standard) health care crisis would almost certainly produce election victories for progressive, big-government candidates.

Few call the US sane, and many say it’s not even modern. Iranian relatives of mine visit they US and say: that place is a falling-down dump – and it’s not like the TV show “Friends”, neither. The problem is that they had already seen places like South Korea, China and other modern nations.

Of course South Korea has the technological ability to smart-test and smart-track, and probably smart-cure, the Corona virus into remission: when I was there in 2013, covering the Korean nuclear war hysteria/diversion (version 14.0), I realised Korea had passed a major human threshold when I found that they had done away with physical keys – doors locks are digitised. That is like building a better mousetrap; the door key must be one of the oldest, least-improved upon inventions in human history, but young Seoulians only see them in history books.

I don’t think I’m exaggerating: millions are going to be unemployed in the US as a result of a hugely, hugely drastic shutdown of the West’s two native continents. It defies all Marxist logic that neo-imperial Rome would do this, so I’m quite at a loss. Either it’s mass hysteria, or the 1%ers believe all must be sacrificed to protect the health of the Hamptons, or the West’s leaders don’t know what they hell are doing (as I recently discussed here). The Corona conspiracy thing – sure, nothing is impossible… just give me proof I can print, first.

The reality is that my focus on the economic impact of Corona is just not shared by my many of my journalistic colleagues – they just don’t care about economics, period. Trying to talk economics with them is how they must feel trying to talk Kardashian with me – my thoughts are entirely superficial (as well as unprintable).

So none of them can likely concentrate enough to comprehend this brief paragraph: the West has decided to add an “Everything-Is-Tanking Bubble” on top of the “Everything Bubble”. For those who have followed economic trends since way back in 2008, “Everything Bubble” is really “Everything Bubble 2”, of course. Quantitative Easing and Zero Interest Rate Policies – a.k.a. “helicopter money” and “no-strings attached central bank loans, because the loans will surely trickle-down” – have only re-inflated the 1%er dominated asset classes like stocks and real estate to new record-dangerous levels.

The markets are tanking – and by that I mean every market (although crypto has held on – S. Koreans are big fans). Safe havens like gold are also tanking, so even The New York Times knows that this phenomenon is “weird”. “Weird” is a word that adolescents love to use because it is so vague and can cover anything – it is thus nearly useless,, and one would think that the world’s greatest journalistic enterprise could find better writers than that… but no. It’s a “weird” time precisely because the rich, investor class knows that central banks have since 2008 foolishly wasted all their ammo and can now only print paper.

And what’s wrong with massive money printing? Nothing, sometimes.

It has taken 12 years but we are finally seeing a “People’s QE” possibly being passed in the US. (No MSM is using that phrase, of course – that would be “weird”.) Surely it’s going to be well-written: it is being cobbled together and slammed through Congress as fast as possible in order to prevent more “rich people” markets from tanking. Anyway, giving some $1,000 per American might actually see QE invested into the “real” economy, and thus improve it far more than using it for stock buybacks ever did.

This is good news. I’m all for the downfall of neo-imperial Rome… but I do hate to see the lower classes suffer, and suffer they already are. The stay-at-home orders in the helicopter Mom-dominated Northeast, Chicago and West Coast are being met with a universal cry: “So how do I pay my rent?”

A People’s QE… finally. If, and that’s a big “if”, it is actually passed. Newspaper editorial boards across the country are already screaming that it will be wasted by 99%-er peons, or that it will be uselessly saved, or that we will anger the vengeful one true god – the markets – with such an intervention. How dare we blaspheme? WWHD – What Would (Alexander) Hamilton Do?

Well, does Trump want to get re-elected?

If so, he better jump all over this Huey Long moment.

Huey Long was the Depression Era governor of Louisiana who famously promised “a chicken in every pot”, and was assassinated for it of course.

He was rather character assassinated in the tremendously fine classic novel, All The King’s Men by poet Robert Penn Warren, whose main flaw was that he likely was – like most poets – totally disinterested by economics, that most un-metaphorical of disciplines. The 2006 movie version was an artistic assassination of the novel, but who in 2006 Hollywood was pushing economic populism? Who in Hollywood ever pushed economic populism?

Despite rejecting race-baiting Long is synonymous with the evils of populism in the US. Go watch some of his speeches on youtube: it is incredible to see the type of body language he used, as well as other politicians did back then. If he’s not pounding the lectern he is theatrically twirling an upraised fist over and over before smashing it into his palm. Nobody can do stuff like that in 21st century America – soccer Moms would cower, and hipsters too.

But the Depression Era was not about niceties. And neither is Trump, of course. The screen shot of him crossing out “Corona” virus on a speech and replacing it with “Chinese” virus exemplifies this. Trump is terrible – a neo-fascist – and we all knew this going in. Another Long slogan was “Every man a king”, but Trump always viewed only himself as the one true king.

Well, I can report that in France many fellow Muslims have told me that they have seen the light: many will vote for Marine Le Pen in the 2nd round of the 2022 presidential election IF Macron is the other option (ugh!). Why? Because economics is more important that racism; identity politics is for fake-leftists – class warfare for real ones. Nobody, Muslim or not, wants to vote for Le Pen in 2022, but more Macronism? Nobody in the 99% should vote for that twice.

Maybe Trumpism can be different? He’s certainly running out of time, but maybe Corona is when Trump becomes the not-neo-fascist populist which many had initially hoped for?

Maybe Trump becomes the 21st century Huey Long, which is what the overwhelming majority of America wanted in 2016, given that: no, you stupid MSM journalist, the average Trump voter is not a rabid White supremacist, merely “White Trash” (To use seemingly the only ethnic slur which has not been “reclaimed” in the PC era – it is, of course, a class slur more than an ethnic slur).

“Ramin, why are you writing books about socialism but pushing Trump, then Le Pen, now Trump again and then probably Le Pen again! You are too complicated – no wonder you are unmarried!”

Well that’s not holding back on me, LOL! I can take the tough criticisms, though – can’t dish ‘em out, otherwise. And, fool that I am, I chose to be a journalist so….

I am “pushing” Trump because it seems certain that the Democratic candidate this November will be the senator from America’s tax haven state; the right-hand man of guy who said to Latino media (here),“The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had said the same policies back in the 1980s I’d be considered a moderate republican,” Barry Obama; and a guy whom in me evokes no sense of warm, sentimental, safe, elderly, youth-fearing nostalgia – Joe Biden.

Biden is terrible. Biden has been a corporate tool his whole career, and that’s why he was placed on the dais next to Obama in 2008, as we all know. Hell, Biden is now senile – that doesn’t get better, you know?

Biden in office means People’s QE remains the same-old Corporate QE. Biden in office means nothing changes – status quo-ism reigns. How can we advance socialism if – out of fear of big, bad, racist Trump – we keep cowering in status-quoism?

So I reject that I am “playing devil’s advocate” – I am not an adolescent (nor French), and I know the devil doesn’t need any more help than he already has. (Or “she” already has – I don’t want to micro-trigger someone here.)

Can Trump become Baby Huey? Well, for those who really want to know: Listen to me – hear what I say: No, I don’t think Trump can.

Trump has never been a neo-populist but a neo-fascist. He is a race-baiter and totally in bed with corporate domination of the lower classes. The MSM can’t talk about neo-fascism and the reality of it in America – because they support it of course – thus they have focused exclusively on the race-baiting part; that allows the soccer moms, hipsters and snowflakes a chance to virtue-signal about how terrible racism is while doing nothing about it structurally other than posting a yard sign about how “Hate doesn’t live here”.

But one can’t blame my imagination for getting fired up when – after a decade of covering QE from Paris – I read about a QE which may not totally go directly into the pockets of private bankers, stockholders, landlords and luxury goods owners. Full disclosure: I, too, am currently rather desperate for $1,000.

Trump is going to have to be some sort of a leftist populist to get re-elected because millions are going to be unemployed in the US. The lower classes will demand it, even in America.

Hell, the custodial class – whom nobody in the US writes about it – is seemingly going to be decimated by corona, right? Why are there no political cartoons lauding them as heroes – only for doctors? Nobody cares about the custodial worker class in the West – not only are they poor, they are also non-White. Such an unheard of view can only be thought of by someone who has embraced socialism in their heart, and one who views no worker as disposable Trash.

But Western capitalism-imperialism certainly does view workers of all colors as disposable. Something drastic has to be done about it – I doubt Trump cares, but he does seem to prefer being president to going back to starring in a reality show.

The Deep State undoubtedly and immediately attacked Trump for his effort to rejigger US foreign policy and free trade policy, but he does appear so very, very ethically malleable; he certainly can connect with the average American. Could he be a new Huey?

Watch some Huey Long, railing here against “the 4%” and you’ll see that the answer is no, of course. Why? because Trump’s huge ego would be tremendously insulted if anyone said he was part of “the 4%” and not the 1%; not part of the .1%; not the .01%!

Unlike Huey Long: “How many men ever been to a barbecue and would let one man take off the table what they intended for nine tenths of the people to eat? The only way you’d ever be able to feed the balance of the people is to make that man come back and bring back some of dat grub he ain’t got no ‘bidness with!”

Huge applause indeed! That’s hilarious and awesome American politics! No wonder they shot him.

The US cannot do better than that, they have proven – America is not even close to socialist revolution. Yes, there are socialists in the US of course, but a Baby Huey is surely the best they can do this November. Hell, they ran to Biden even before the Corona crisis and they probably will stone the “rabble rouser” “socialist” Sanders now.

And it’s not like race-baiting isn’t still ruining the American psyche. But we have the MSM to thank for that, along with doing everything they could have done to inflame – rather than calm – the Corona crisis.

And $1,000 isn’t going to cut it. Not by a long shot.

So no matter how you look at it 2020 is looking tough for America – somebody might even have to pound a lectern?

PS – I am not complicated, LOL! It is Western politics which are unnecessarily complicated! And contradictory! Don’t blame me for trying to bring some sense to it all.

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

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