Putin: Russia Becomes First Country in the World to Register COVID-19 Vaccine

Tuesday, 11 August 2020 10:31


Russia’s first vaccine against the coronavirus was developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute. Clinical trials of the vaccine were launched on 18 June and all 38 volunteers developed immunity.

Russia has become the first country in the world to register a vaccine against COVID-19, President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday during a government meeting.

The president also asked Health Minister Mikhail Murashko to keep him informed about the vaccine, while at the same time noting that he knows “it works quite effectively” and “forms a stable immunity”.

 “I hope we will be able to start mass production of this medication in the near future, which is very important”, the president said.

Putin further thanked everyone who worked on the first-ever vaccine against the coronavirus, and described it as “a very important step for the world”.

 “I hope that our colleagues abroad will also move forward, and there will be quite a lot of products that can be used on the market, on the world market for medicines and vaccines”, Putin continued.

The Russian president also revealed that one of his daughters had been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

“In this sense, she took part in the experiment. After the first vaccination, she had a body temperature of 38 degrees Celsius, while the following day it was slightly over 37 degrees Celsius, that’s it. After the second injection, the second vaccination, her temperature also rose a little, and then everything cleared up, she feels good and the [antibody] titers are high”, Putin stated.

Meanwhile, Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko has said that the first Russian vaccine against the coronavirus will begin to be produced at two sites – the Gamaleya Research Institute and the company Binnopharm.

“The two-stage injection plan helps form a lasting immunity. The experience with vector vaccines and two-stage scheme shows that immunity lasts for up to two years”, the Health Ministry said.

The minister also announced that a number of countries are already showing interest in the vaccine, and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is investing in the production and promotion of the vaccine abroad.

The vaccine is expected to go into civilian circulation on 1 January 2021, according to the registration certificate.

The vaccine was developed jointly by the Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian Defense Ministry. It has two separately-injected components that together are expected to build a long-term immunity against the virus.

Clinical trials of the vaccine kicked off on 18 June and included 38 volunteers. All of the participants developed immunity. The first group was discharged on 15 July, the second group on 20 July.

Haifaa Mafalani

Facing Difficulties, Do not React Defensively

Facing Difficulties, Do not React Defensively

August 10, 2020

by Paul Schmutz Schaller for The Saker Blog

At the end of the year 2019, I wrote: „From my point of view, 2019 was a very positive year and I am convinced that the same will be the case for 2020.“ Unfortunately, my expectations for 2020 have turned out to be too optimistic. There is however no reason to hang one’s head. The general outlook remains positive, a Western dominated world has gone forever.

Shit Happens

The year 2020 started badly with to murder of general Soleimani. Even, US-president Trump could „proudly“ claim that he was responsible for this abominable act, without paying an appropriate prize, until now. The reaction of the Iranian people and of other peoples in the region were very impressive, but there was also this accident with the Ukrainian civil aircraft. Next, there was a very positive offensive of the Syrian army and its allies against the terrorists in Idlib. However, an impertinent invasion of Turkey, openly supporting the terrorists and partly replacing them, was able to stop the offensive. It is true that, in March, there was an agreement between Russia and Turkey concerning the situation in Idlib. But this agreement was not as positive as expected. The Syrian government and the Syrian Army did not obtain an adequate place in this agreement. Since then, the situation in Idlib and in the other parts of Syria occupied by Turkey or USA or Israel is rather blocked, the Syrian side could not make real progressses in the liberation of her country.

Next came this pandemic. Again, it is true that in the first phase, the rich European and North-American countries were the most touched. But in the sequel, the countries of the global South were more and more affected, in particular in Latin America. In Russia also, the pandemic has become a big problem. And while it is clear that the economy in the rich European countries is really suffering, the situation for the peoples in the global South is even worse, for obvious reasons. Among other things, their central banks cannot so easily provide lot of money.

And now, there is this terrible explosion in Beyrouth.

Some Positive Developments

Nevertheless, the post-Western side has made progresses, in a calm and solid way. China has adopted a key law concerning Honk Kong which gives better possibilities in order to fight against the criminals there, the latter being openly supported by the West. In Russia, important amendments of the constitution were adopted by a clear majority. An economic collaboration between Iran and Venezuela is developing, despite the stubborn opposition of the USA. A plan for a long term, big partnership between China and Iran has been elaborated. Also, Iran and Syria have formally strengthen their military cooperation. The patriotic forces in Yemen could liberate more parts of their country and are now close to the strategic city of Ma’rib.

During the pandemic, Cuba has gained many friends because of her medical system. Countries like China, Vietnam, Syria, as well as the Hezbollah in Lebanon have reacted fast and predominantly correct, better than many other countries. Due to the fact that the economy in East Asia and Southeast Asia seems to recover quite well from the pandemic, it can be expected that the Western influence in this crucial region will further weaken. And I would say that the general situation in China remains very pleasant.

Destructive Attitude of the Hegemonic West

The hegemonic West is in the defensive. Their behavior is more and more destructive. The USA are no longer capable of developing their proper strength so they just concentrate on bothering the others. The sanctions against Syria and Lebanon, against Huawei, and against the gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 are typical examples.

The West is still in a big crisis. In the USA in particular, the crisis is quite enormous. Also in Israel, with the repetitions of elections and an unstable government, the current conditions are not so well. Nonetheless, the USA and Israel remain as aggressive and as brutal as ever and, at least for the moment, they are not stopped. However, one gets the strong impression that their actions are increasingly desperate.

The rich European countries do not intend to change something important in order to do more for a world of more justice. They continue with their anti-Chinese, anti-Russian, anti-Iranian, anti-Syrian, and anti-Venezuelan politics, more or less with impunity. On the other hand, during the pandemic, the popularity of the USA in the rich European countries has got weak and the general pressure for a more autonomous European politic is clearly increasing.

Blame the West or Strengthen the Own Position ?

The combination of the occurring problems described above and the destructive attitude of the West often provoke a reaction which blames the West for all these problems. The meaning is quite popular that the Ukrainian plane was hit due to Western sabotage, that the pandemic was a US bio-attack against China, or that the Beyrouth explosion was the result of an outside strike. Of course, all this is possible. Morally speaking, Western hegemonists and Zionists are certainly able of such criminal acts, there have been enough examples in the past.

Nevertheless, there is also the question of a wise general approach to the current situation. What signifies this spontaneous leaning to see the West as the responsible? Certainly, on the one hand, there is the intention to counter the Western media for which it is inconceivable that the West is behind atrocities. On the other hand, there is also the result that the West appears as almighty. This is a defensive position which lacks confidence in one’s own strength.

Objectively speaking, Western hegemonism is much weaker now than in the past. They are not almighty. They are not at all able of planing all in advance – and of acting accordingly. They are not omniscient and they are not unbeatable masters of manipulation.

Look at Hassan Nasrallah’s speech of August 7. This is a very good example of concentrating on one’s own strength. Nasrallah focused on Lebanon and the Lebanese people. He expressed his feelings for the affected families and promised help for them. He called for solidarity and unity in Lebanon. He spoke of his conviction that Lebanon will be able to establish the causes of the explosions, to identify those who are responsible, and to hold them accountable. He insisted that this tragedy also gives opportunities for Lebanon. He spoke in positive terms of the international solidarity, which happens despite the US sanctions against Lebanon. Nasrallah finally clearly stated that all those who try to exploit this tragedy in order to attack Hezbollah, will fail.

China is another example of this mood. Since the Chinese people has stood up in 1949, China has learned to carefully analyze the own situation and to accept that not all problems come from outside.

Similarly, when you are against capitalism, it is notwithstanding wrong to blame capitalists for all economic problems. And governments in the Western countries are not always wrong and are not always corrupt. Moreover, you cannot blame the Western media for all your erroneous ideas – nor can I blame somebody else when my proper ideas turn out to be mistaken.

During the pandemic in the Western countries, the same type of questions arose. Who should be blamed, who can be made responsible? Attacking routinely the governments is rather defensive. Insisting during months on the question whether wearing a mask is a good thing, is a job for specialists, not for anti-hegemonic people. And all these claims that the whole pandemic is essentially a big manipulation, show a quite immature viewpoint.

I can only repeat: In order to build a post-Western (and post-Zionist) world, it is not enough to blame the West (and the Zionists). Own values and own concepts are required. If there are problems, one should look for opportunities.

Very probable, the difficulties inside the anti-hegemonic movement of the last months are temporary, they are not due to a reinforcement of the hegemonic camp. Remaining calm, solid, confident, and positive is an appropriate attitude.

حقائق يجب أن تُقال

ناصر قنديل

الحملة التي استهدفت الرئيس حسان دياب قبل تفجير المرفأ وبعده هي حملة ظالمة لا علاقة لها بالحرص على البلد ولا على ناسه ولا على تحديد المسؤوليات عمّا أصاب البلد والناس قبل التفجير وبعده. وهي حملة تستهدف توظيف معاناة الناس وتعقيدات الأزمة للتخلص من فرصة مثلها الرئيس دياب لتحمل شخصية آدمية مسؤولية الحكم، وتستهدف التغطية على ما ارتكبه ويرتكبه أصحاب الحملات الغارقون في الفساد والمنطلقون من مصالح لم يتورط فيها حسان دياب ولا ساوم على السعي لمواجهتها وكشف عنابر فسادها والخراب الذي تسببت به على البلد والناس.

رحيل الرئيس دياب من المسؤولية في الحكم هو خسارة لفرص التغيير والإصلاح، وسقف البدائل الإيجابية التي يمكن أن تأتي وتتراوح بين فراغ طويل لا يهتز فيه السلم الأهلي، أو حكومة تعود بنا إلى صيغة الحكم التي كانت قائمة قبل انفجار الأزمة المالية وانفجار الغضب الشعبي معها، وسائر البدائل أشد سوءاً، ولذلك سيتذكر اللبنانيون حسان دياب وينصفونه في يوم ما، بصفته محاولة لم تكتمل لفتح صفحة جديدة في إدارة الشأن العام.

فرص ضائعة كثيرة كان ممكناً توظيفها بصورة أفضل مع حكومة الرئيس دياب، ضاعت بسبب نقص الخبرة لدى وزراء في الحكومة، أو لعدم تطابق حساباتهم مع حسابات رئيسها، أو لسقف عالٍ طمح لتحقيقه رئيس الحكومة لم يتلاءم مع سقوف شركائه السياسيين في تشكيل الحكومة، او بصورة أكبر لحجم وضخامة المشكلات التي ورثتها الحكومة مع ضيق ذات اليد وضعف الإمكانات والفرص المتاحة للإنقاذ، وصعوبة تقديم حلول سحرية لمشاكل عميقة ومزمنة في بلد يعيش الإفلاس المالي، وفي عهدة التهالك الإداري، وتحت خيمة الفساد السياسي، وفي جزء أقل لعناد مفهوم أحياناً وغير مفهوم أحياناً لدى رئيس حكومة يتمسك بعنفوان موقعه وموقفه.

من حيث لا ننتبه نكتشف أن سبعة شهور شديدة القسوة مرّت من عمر لبنان، بدأت بالإفلاس المالي وتبعه التفشي الوبائي لكورونا وتوجه التفجير الكارثي لعنابر الفساد والإهمال، وأن حكومة الرئيس حسان دياب لم تنجح بتقديم حلول، لكنها بالتأكيد منعت وقوع الأعظم، وللذين يسألون وهل هناك بعد ما هو أعظم من جريمة التفجير، نقول نعم هناك الفوضى التي تأخذنا إلى القتنة، والتي كانت أقرب إلينا من حبل الوريد لولا وجود حكومة ملأت الفراغ الدستوري والسياسي.

المرحلة التي يدخلها لبنان بعد استقالة حكومة الرئيس حسان دياب ليست سهلة ولن تكون مفروشة بالزهور، فأوهام الحلول الجاهزة ستتكشف عن مسارات مواجهة غير محسومة النتائج وانتظار طويل مليء بالمخاطر، والمداخلات الدوليّة لا تحمل حلولاً بقدر ما تحمل مشاريع مفتوحة على الحروب بقدر ما هي مفتوحة على التسويات، ومواجهة هذه المرحلة من دون حكومة ربما يريح الرئيس حسان دياب من تحمّل المسؤولية، لكنه لن يريح اللبنانيين من تحديات وضغوط المرحلة المقبلة، خصوصاً في ظل عجز القوى السياسية عن ضمان قبول تسوياتها على المستوى الشعبي، وعجزها عن امتلاك حلول، والشروط الغامضة للمشاريع الدولية، والتسويات غير الناضجة التي يتم التسويق لها.

من زاوية معينة ربما يتيح رحيل حكومة الرئيس دياب إسقاط الحاجز الذي كان يحول دون رؤية المخاطر والمسؤوليات، التي كانت تختبئ وراء التصويب على الرئيس دياب وحكومته، وها هي الحكومة ورئيسها يرحلان، فماذا سيكون في الغد، التصويب على العهد لن ينفع ولن يوصل الى مكان، والدعوة للاستقالات النيابية ستقف عند حدّ الرمزية، وسيعود المسؤولون الفعليون عن ادارة البلد الى الواجهة بالتساوي رغم الانقسام، فماذا عساهم يفعلون؟ وماذا عسى الناس تقول فيهم؟ ولم تنضج بعد تفاهماتهم ولا نضجت تسويات الخارج لتمويل هذه التفاهمات وتعويمها، ولا نضج الشارع لقبولهم مجدداً.

Covid Candide: Isn’t this the best of all possible worlds… and pandemic responses?

Covid Candide: Isn’t this the best of all possible worlds… and pandemic responses?

August 08, 2020

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

Eight months into the modern, digitised world’s first-ever global pandemic the results are in: Every government has failed miserably.

Despite the vast differences between socialist-inspired nations and capitalist nations every single government in 2020 has forfeited the chance at the possibility of maybe perhaps having something like a little bit of a rightly-guided mandate of heaven.

Our 2019 taxes must be refunded everywhere. What a waste voting has been, to say nothing of those few countries which have sustained modern revolutions.

Those in the know are hunkering down and bunkering up because the pandemic is proving that “government” (social organisation and collective unity) is an outdated concept in our modern, digitised, disease-ridden world.

Thus, the way you certainly are – wherever you are – being egged into hating your local, rather-poorly paid bureaucrat is something of a major propaganda coup for government-slashing neoliberalism, is it not?

Neoliberalism, per its tenets, cannot congratulate any government for anything other than self-immolation, so how can Western corporate media – owned by a handful of neoliberals – publicly congratulate any government for their handling of this unprecedented corona crisis? They cannot, so neoliberals are publicly shining in glorious vindication that all government is bad, unless and inept, period: the pandemic has decisively proven There Is No Alternative to neoliberalism.

Who knew a virus had enough innate intelligence to contain a political ideology, and despite not even being a life form with a cellular structure? This only proves that God – in His wisdom – is an American neoliberal.

Preposterous, faith-based radicalism, of course….

But firstly: Call me contrarian if you must, but don’t call this “Leibnizian optimism”: I think every nation has done spectacularly well in dealing with Covid, regardless of their guiding ideology.

The West got what they hysterically demanded, yet government is still a Satanic beast?

I think countries like China, Iran, Cuba and Vietnam had a fantastic response to Covid. People died, but not anywhere as many as we initially feared. Tons of radical measures were taken designed to protect the public good, armies of volunteers answered the call, hardships were attempted to be standardised, their peoples showed huge amounts of bravery, self-sacrifice and patience.

However, I see nearly all of these same virtues in the peoples of Western nations as well – don’t you?

Sweden succeeded without a Great Lockdown because their people – who also compose their government – acted so correctly and courageously. The idea that the exact same self-sacrificing virtues aren’t evident all over the place in the US as well is contradicted by countless individual testimonies. The first article I wrote on corona was a backhanded compliment to the West, after all: Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience? The West FINALLY issued some “People’s QE” – that was a huge improvement over the West’s previous decade of fiscal policies, certainly.

Indeed, the global pandemic response was the best of all possible worlds, worldwide: incredible concern for public health, a rollback to rabidly right-wing economic policies, and not anywhere close to the number of deaths we all had wild-eyed fears about.

Some systems had more limitations than others – be they cultural, political, financial or whatever – but every government tried to limit the pandemic amid these differing limitations. And they did it democratically, in the broadest sense of that term: Which government truly defied the will of their own majority? I can’t think of any.

The West got exactly what they wanted according to all the polls back then – a Great Lockdown – amid total hysteria, and in total disregard for the political and socio-economic laws which govern their societies and… they are still not happy with their government?!

Clearly, those in their media are shaping public perceptions in order to foment unrest and dissatisfaction instead of urging clarity and stoic realism – this article praising governments should not be such an outlier, but it certainly is.

To be clear, the problem was not necessarily the Great Lockdown but what will come after such a drastic move in certain countries. The West has capitalist-imperialist ideologies which ensure that a Great Lockdowning cannot be coped with – in the US the Republican Party, which is refusing to extend unemployment insurance, is currently insisting this be proven emphatically.

I insisted from the start that when a natural disaster hits – you have no choice but to dance with the girl that brung ya. Mid-crisis is not at all the time to reinvent the wheel, but the time to trust the defences you have been building (or in the case of neoliberalism: not building). The West, of course, has very poor political defences thanks to four decades of anti-government neoliberalism and an even longer history of deranged frontier libertarianism. All the West can do is throw their tons of money at the problem – too bad that can’t buy a modern political infrastructure, culture, perspective, etc.

Building that modern, post-1917 political infrastructure is what the West now has to do, or collapse. Thus, covid is going to drag the West kicking and screaming into political modernity.

Voltaire never lived in the digitised world, much less a truly democratic one

I wouldn’t take down his statue but I would reject the bitter and individualistic (and thus very French) outlook he presented in Candide, where optimism is only for fools. For Voltaire the mantra of the character Pangloss – that “this is the best of all possible worlds”, despite his encountering one misfortune after another – is something to be derided: Pangloss is an idiot for not giving in to black resentfulness.

Well, that’s one view – a mighty cynical one. For those of us lucky to still be alive and fully healthy in August 2020 – that seems like a rather ungrateful perspective, no?

Voltaire’s final moral of “tend your own garden” sounds like Taoist individualism from a guy who was supposed to admire Confucianism, which is active, social and judgemental. We are all stuck at home tending our garden and, guess what: a monkish existence is a lonely, self-centered, unsatisfying and even unproductive life – it is unsurprising that the extremely social and active religion of Islam forbids monasticism and demands charitable social works.

I don’t know what people expected from our modern digitised world in our first-ever response to a pandemic, but judging from the criticism of civil servants it’s clear that many people were expecting way too much. No state worker could make unfat all the Americans who have perished prematurely; no state worker had a fountain of youth for the over-80s who compose the bulk of Sweden’s dearly departed. The Western “Karen’s” babyish “war on dying” was always setting up governments to fail and for faith in political institutions – any institution – to be incorrectly lessened.

Those who read the paper regularly know that the world was not paradise back in December 2019. When we consider how badly things were supposed to get back in spring, pondering the possibility that this is the best of all possible worlds is truly worth more than a moment’s reflection.

And then you can explain to me how this pandemic could have possibly been better handled with less government? This is the impossible task of the deranged American libertarian, the European technocrat, and the neoliberal aristocrat/comprador around the world.

If there is one thing I know for certain it’s this: Covid has definitively proved that big government is our ONLY defense against an often-cruel natural world.

Duh…. Countries who have endured an actual war – not a pandemic war – already knew this.

The US and Eurozone governments have done well in spite of the limitations presented by their elitist and reckless neoliberalism, but the “anti-all government crowd” will eventually be forced to admit that – when compared with socialist-style governments, with their central planning and authority to lead in a crisis – their neoliberal ideals have failed everyone, will continue to fail everyone, and are expressly designed to fail everyone and leave people at the mercy of that often-cruel natural world.

Honest critics of neoliberal capitalism saw all that long ago.

Covid will ultimately be seen as the killer of neoliberalism, not its vindicator.

That’s why it’s not surprising to see so many anti-socialist commentators trying to declare the opposite: they are the ones saying 2+2=5, not any “Big Brother” central government. Again, this pro-government article shouldn’t be so rare – this went pretty well for the first modern, digitised global pandemic. But what do we do now?

Answer: no way we go back to anti-government neoliberalism. This exact light is being switched on in minds around the world.

So, for socialists: it came at a very heavy cost, but this is the best of all possible worlds!

*********************************

Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis.

Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience? – March 22, 2020

Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for? – March 23, 2020

A day’s diary from a US CEO during the Corona crisis (satire) March 23, 2020 – March 25, 2020

Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s? – March 26, 2020

If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone – March 30, 2020

Landlord class: Waive or donate rent-profits now or fear the Cultural Revolution – March 31, 2020

Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions – April 1, 2020

(A Soviet?) Superman: Red Son – the new socialist film to watch on lockdown – April 2, 2020

Corona rewrites capitalist bust-chronology & proves: It’s the nation-state, stupid – April 3, 2020

Condensing the data leaves no doubt: Fear corona-economy more than the virus – April 5, 2020

‘We’re Going Wrong’: The West’s middling, middle-class corona response – April 10, 2020

Why does the UK have an ‘army’ of volunteers but the US has a shortage? – April 12, 2020

No buybacks allowed or dared? Then wave goodbye to Western stock market gains – April 13, 2020

Pity post-corona Millennials… if they don’t openly push socialism – April 14, 2020

No, the dollar will only strengthen post-corona, as usual: it’s a crisis, after all – April 16, 2020

Same 2008 QE playbook, but the Eurozone will kick off Western chaos not the US – April 18, 2020

We’re giving up our civil liberties. Fine, but to which type of state? – April 20, 2020

Coronavirus – Macron’s savior. A ‘united Europe’ – France’s murderer – April 22, 2020

Iran’s ‘resistance economy’: the post-corona wish of the West’s silent majority (1/2) – April 23, 2020

The same 12-year itch: Will banks loan down QE money this time? – April 26, 2020

The end of globalisation won’t be televised, despite the hopes of the Western 99% (2/2) – April 27, 2020

What would it take for proponents to say: ‘The Great Lockdown was wrong’? – April 28, 2020

ZeroHedge, a response to Mr. Littlejohn & the future of dollar dominance – April 30, 2020

Given Western history, is it the ‘Great Segregation’ and not the ‘Great Lockdown’? – May 2, 2020

The Western 1% colluded to start WWI – is the Great Lockdown also a conspiracy? – May 4, 2020

May 17: The date the Great Lockdown must end or Everything Bubble 2 pops – May 6, 2020

Reading Piketty: Does corona delay the Greens’ fake-leftist, sure-to-fail victory? – May 8, 2020

Picturing the media campaign needed to get the US back to work – May 11, 2020

Scarce jobs + revenue desperation = sure Western stagflation post-corona – May 13, 2020

France’s nurses march – are they now deplorable Michiganders to fake-leftists? – May 15, 2020

Why haven’t we called it ‘QE 5’ yet? And why we must call it ‘QE 2.1’ instead – May 16, 2020

‘Take your stinking paws off me, you damned, dirty public servant!’ That’s Orwell? – May 17, 2021

The Great Lockdown: The political apex of US single Moms & Western matriarchy? May 21, 2021

I was wrong on corona – by not pushing for a US Cultural Revolution immediately – May 25, 2021

August 1: when the unemployment runs out and a new era of US labor battles begin – May 28, 2021

Corona proving the loser of the Cold War was both the USSR & the USA – May 30, 2021

Rebellions across the US: Why worry? Just ask Dr. Fauci to tell us what to do – June 2, 2021

Protesting, corona-conscience, a good dole: the US is doing things it can’t & it’s chaos – June 3, 2021

Why do Westerners assume all African-Americans are leftists? – June 5, 2020

The US as Sal’s Pizzeria: When to ‘Do The Right Thing’ is looting – June 6, 2020

The problem with the various ‘Fiat is all the problem!’ (FIATP) crowds – June 9, 2020

Politicisation of Great Lockdown result of ‘TINA’ economic ignorance & censorship – June 14, 2020

Trump’s only hope: buying re-election with populist jobless benefits – June, 16 2020

US national media is useless – so tell me the good local news sources? – July 4, 2020

Hamilton movie: central banker worship & proof the US has no left – July 8, 2020

News flash: Capitalism has no answer for 50 million jobless people – July 11, 2020

Naive Millennials: it’s the man (Trump) & not ‘The Man’ (the US system) – July 18, 2020

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV 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 NEW Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism.

New Report Reveals Israel Demolishes Over 2,000 Palestinian Bedouin Homes per Year

August 03rd, 2020

Source

By Miko Peled

A report published in June of 2020 states that in 2017, 2018 and 2019, the state of Israel demolished over two thousand homes of Palestinian citizens of Israel per year in the Naqab region alone. The report was put together by an Israeli Non-Governmental agency called, “The Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality.”

History

The Naqab, called the Negev in Hebrew, makes up the entire southern half of Palestine, and while it is a desert, it is considered to be a fertile desert. The indigenous people of the Naqab, the Palestinian Bedouin, are a semi-nomadic people and historically cultivated these lands. Zionist mythology that claims the land was barren until the Zionist colonization “made the desert bloom,” is, in fact, a lie.

The British government, which occupied Palestine from 1917-1948, and the Ottoman Empire before that, recognized the rights of the Palestinian Bedouin in the Naqab to their lands. However, from the very beginning of the Zionist colonization of Palestine, the Naqab was targeted and once the State of Israel was established, Bedouin lands were taken.

According to Palestinian professor, Dr. Mansour Nasasra, when the British withdrew from the city of Bi’r Al-Saba in May of 1948, the Palestinian mayor of the city, Shafiq Mustafa raised the Palestinian flag, signaling what was expected to be the start of Palestinian rule over the city. However, the city fell to the Zionist forces on October 21, 1948, a day the Bedouin Palestinians refer to as “Kasret Al-Saba,” or the disaster of Bi’r Al-Saba. According to Dr. Nasasra, the fall of the city, which was considered the capital of the Naqab Bedouin, “meant the end of their economic, cultural and administrative center, as well as of their freedom.” (The Naqab Bedouins, Mansour Nasasra).

Prior to the Zionist conquest of Palestine, close to one hundred thousand Palestinian Bedouin lived in the Naqab. During 1948 all of Palestine was subjected to a ruthless campaign of ethnic cleansing and the Naqab was no exception. Once the Naqab was overtaken by Zionist forces the region was subjected to a fierce campaign of ethnic cleansing allowing less than 10 percent of the native population to remain. The ones who did remain were herded into the northern part of the Naqab called the “Siage” area or fenced area, and the state invested heavily in building modern Jewish-only colonies that provided an excellent lifestyle for the colonizers while depriving the Bedouin of their land and resources.

A Palestinian Bedouin family is pictured in the Bi’r Al-Saba area circa 1945. Photo | Zochrot

Unrecognized towns

The Bedouin communities in the Naqab today make up about 250,000 people, which is about one-third of the total population of the region. They are only permitted to live in 12 percent of the towns in the Naqab, in other words, only 12 percent of the towns in the Naqab are designated for the Palestinian Bedouin citizens. And while the standard of living in the Israeli settlements and cities in the Naqab is among the highest in the country, the Bedouin live mostly in townships and impoverished villages denied the basic most services the state offers Jewish citizens.

Half of the Bedouin Palestinians live in towns that are called “unrecognized.” This means that the state of Israel does not recognize them and provides them with no services. Some of these towns predate the state and others were created by the state. In both cases, the state arbitrarily decided that the areas where these people live are no longer designated for people to live but have been designated for military or other uses by the State.

https://cdn.iframe.ly/EfV7bes?v=1&app=1

The state demands from the population that they vacate to other areas designated for them and they either refuse or are unable to do so. Since the state of Israel does not recognize the community’s right to their lands, it often relocates families onto land that belongs to other families, something the Bedouin quite often refuse to do. Furthermore, the state will often relocate several families to the same plot creating an impossible situation for them.

This lack of recognition is a violation of the rights of these communities. The unrecognized towns and villages receive no services like water, electricity, healthcare, or even roads, and they are constantly under threat of forced displacement, home demolition and land confiscation. When the state does relocate them, it is never to the highly developed wealthy Jewish-only towns but into impoverished overcrowded townships. It is also worth noting that although many of Jewish colonies in the Naqab are agricultural communities, land cultivation is not permitted for the Bedouins.

Relocation

The life of the Palestinian Bedouin is administered not like other citizens of the state of Israel but rather by governmental agencies like the Bedouin Administration Agency and the Ministry of Agriculture, which are run by Israeli Jews and in which the Bedouin Palestinians have no voice. The state wants to confiscate all the Bedouin lands in the Naqab and to relocate them into townships and uses the demolition of homes and other methods as a means to force these communities, which suffer from severe lack of housing and poverty already, into crowded townships where levels of poverty and unemployment are high.

One example is the Palestinian Bedouin village of Ras Jabara, which sits within the municipal boundaries of the city of Dimona. The city was built on lands that historically belonged to this village. Today, there are only 600 people who live in the village and even though they are within the municipal boundaries of the city, they are denied basic rights and services that the Jewish residents of the city receive. They are not even allowed to vote in the municipal elections. In March of 2018, the residents of Ras Jabara received evacuation notices because the city wanted to build a neighborhood for Jews – once again Palestinians are removed because the state wants to build for Jews only. It is likely that this community too will be relocated to one of the nearby townships.

Self demolition

The Bedouin Administration Authority has its own enforcement apparatus which includes a militarized police unit called “Yoav.” They invade the towns in the early morning hours to demolish, destroy, detain, and generally intimidate the residents. When they come to enforce a demolition order the owner of the building is given the option of self-demolition.

Israeli security forces arrive at night to demolish homes in the Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar, Sept. 13, 2018. Majdi Mohammed | AP

Self-demolition is often the preferred option because it allows the owners of the property to salvage whatever equipment they may have inside the property and reuse whatever scrap material they have leftover. Because these communities are by and large impoverished, most of the homes and other structures are rudimentary.

Apartheid in the time of COVID

Even with COVID-19 hitting poor communities hard, the Israeli authorities have not let up on harassment of the Bedouin Palestinians. Throughout the Naqab Israeli “enforcing” agencies continue to harass, demolish, arrest and impose outrageous fines. Israel claims that the Palestinian Bedouin of the Naqab are its citizens – a “privilege” that they never sought but was imposed on them – yet they receive none of the privileges the Jewish citizens of the state enjoy.

Feature photo | Palestinian Bedouin children stand on the rubble of two classrooms destroyed by the Israeli army in the village of Abu Nuwar, West Bank. Israel demolished the school saying the EU-funded structure was built without proper permits. Mahmoud Illean | AP

Miko Peled is an author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. He is the author of “The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”

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

SOUTHFRONT SENDS WARMEST GREETINGS TO US DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Source

August 06, 2020

We are pleased to inform you about another eye-opening report about SouthFront’s work released by the highest levels of the US government.

In early August, the Global Engagement Center of the US Department of State released a report entitled “Pillars of Russia’s Disinformation and Propaganda Ecosystem”. At least 13 of the 77 pages of this report are dedicated to SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence as a “pillar” of Russian disinformation and propaganda.

Please find the full version of report on the official website of the US Department of State: HERE

SouthFront Sends Warmest Greetings To US Department Of State

SouthFront also feels obliged to make some comments regarding the content of this brilliant investigative report dedicated to our endeavour. We do not think that our comments include anything really new, but it will be useful to recall the history of SouthFront’s creation and development.

SouthFront vs Globalists – Episode We Lost Count

First of all, we want to compliment the authors of the report. It has a very straight and useful logic: If some media organization has Russian citizens or people of Russian origin among its members, or, God forbid, other links with Russia, this media is beyond question spreading Russia’s disinformation and is controlled by the Kremlin.

SouthFront Sends Warmest Greetings To US Department Of State
GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda

Setting the tone for the depth of the investigation, the part of the report about SouthFront starts by repeating tired tropes about the registration of the SouthFront website domain (southfront.org) by a Russian domain registrar Reg.ru. This is an open secret and we’ve repeatedly said that this was done intentionally in order to secure the domain in the case of an attempt to censor it. Recent developments demonstrate that this decision was well founded.

Then, the US State Department repeats Facebook stories created to justify the censorship of SouthFront’s public page with about 100,000 subscribers.

SouthFront Sends Warmest Greetings To US Department Of State
GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda

The reports’ authors took from the  claims made by Facebook in “April 2020 Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior Report” what they thought to be the most important part: the allegation that SouthFront was based in Crimea, and used this allegation to associate SouthFront with another organization with a similar name “News Front”. This media organization is in fact based in Crimea and officially registered in Russia.

This cheap trick is presented as if it were the result of an in-depth investigation and itself a great revelation of SouthFront’s roots. Nonetheless, many of our readers and subscribers who have been following SouthFront for years well know SouthFront’s history and there has been no secret made of the fact that a few members of SouthFront are of Russian origin, from Russia or are Russian citizens. There are also members from other post-USSR states. This does not mean that SouthFront, as an international team of independent authors and experts, is based in Crimea or that the SouthFront Steering Committee is located in Crimea. This is a blatant lie and we are ready to prove this in court.

It is easy to see that SouthFront has always provided a platform for the various, sometimes opposing, points of view shared by our members, volunteers and contributors. SouthFront also freely provided its umbrella brand for authors and groups of authors, who share the main principles of SouthFront and stand against mainstream disinformation, global censorship and the enforcing neo-liberal, globalist world order.

The report states that the SouthFront account deleted by YouTube in 2015 included ‘crimeanfront’ in its name and makes far-reaching conclusions using this claim.

SouthFront Sends Warmest Greetings To US Department Of State
GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda

This is a clear factual error. Even the screenshot used in the report itself confirms this by quoting the following words: “Our new channel is https://youtube.com/user/crimeanfront”. If that is the new channel, then it is only logical to assume that some other channel was deleted. Right?

So here are the actual facts: The channel deleted in April 2015 had the link ‘https://www.youtube.com/c/southfront’ and was removed due to a suspicious story with copyright claims by NATO-affiliated Nordic Films LTD.

Here is the message then shared by our friends, including The Saker:

SouthFront Sends Warmest Greetings To US Department Of State
GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda
SouthFront Sends Warmest Greetings To US Department Of State
GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda

After the deletion of that channel, SouthFront volunteers of Russian origin proposed using the already existing YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/crimeanfront. At that time, this channel already had a certain number of subscribers. Therefore, it was useful to employ it instead of creating a new one with a zero base audience.

Unfortunately for the US State Department investigators, the facts go contrary to their conspiracy theories. If the US analysts had really wanted to go into the matter and produce useful material instead of potential toilet paper, they would have found out that that YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/crimeanfront was not deleted in April 2015.

Of course, SouthFront Team is arousing fear among members of the Washington establishment. Nonetheless, the situation itself causes a sad smile.

The next part of the report is based on screenshots showing the redesign of https://www.youtube.com/user/crimeanfront and claims of some person insisting that he created Crimean Front that later became News Front. Using this, the authors of the report claim that SouthFront and News Front are somehow “at least began as sister organizations”.

It is hard to dignify such a superficial investigation with a comment. Even when the SouthFront concept was being created and the like-minded group of people that later created SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence and evolved into SouthFront Steering Committee first got together, we had no links to the aforementioned organizations.

On top of this, the YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/crimeanfront provided to SouthFront by volunteers was not linked to the aforementioned organizations. This is why they were not using this channel. Instead, SouthFront got it for free over 1.5 years after the developments in Crimea in 2014.

At the same time, there is no secret that in 2015 and coming years, SouthFront, an endeavour dedicated to the coverage of conflicts around the world, was covering developments in Ukraine. It’s easy to find this if one opens southfront.org and checks the category #UKRAINE.

As to the idea of the endeavour that later was named SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence, it first appeared in 2012-2013 and came about as a result of the rapid deterioration of the international situation around the world, especially in the Middle East.

The developments in Crimea, eastern Ukraine and Syria in 2014 became the turning point that led to the creation of SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence, the SouthFront Steering Committee and to the main foundations of our work: independence, the commitment to freedom of speech, human rights, and combating media disinformation and censorship.

Trying to link SouthFront with News Front, the State Department report ignored the obvious fact that SouthFront appeared earlier than News Front. This can be seen from the date of the creation of the first Facebook page of SouthFront, and screenshots shared by the report’s authors themselves. Therefore, there are two main versions:

1) SouthFront is an all-mighty Kremlin tool that influences other Russian ‘proxy sites’ and ‘disinformation and propaganda’ on the international scene, and its members are on a first-name basis with Vladimir Putin;

2) In the world of State Department fairy-tales, the use of the word “Front” in the name of an organization indicates a connection to any other organization also using “Front” in its name.

Conspiracy theorists may be surprised to learn that SouthFront is a largely volunteer organization with a regularly changing team composition. So, we want to seize this opportunity and inform the US experts about some realities of modern informational warfare and disinformation.

Dear friends, you may have failed to notice this, but in the modern information society, new network organizations work on principles that are quite different to those employed 10-20 years ago. Lies, double-faced policies and distortion of facts by government-funded media set the basis for SouthFront’s power and influence. It is a high time to understand that this concerns people around the world and inspires them to get an independent point of view.

SouthFront Sends Warmest Greetings To US Department Of State
GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda

We can perhaps excuse Department of State personnel for not knowing that when one obtains a domain name via a domain registrar, the registration data shows the physical address of the domain registrar office. However, the inability to notice that SouthFront has always had a PayPal account with a .ru address and that this address has always been public and easily found on southfront.org is beyond our understanding.

Do the authors really think that if SouthFront Team members were to work secretly for the Kremlin or Russian intelligence services (for example, the mighty GRU), we would not have found the time to obtain an address through Yahoo.com or some other non-.ru service?

SouthFront Sends Warmest Greetings To US Department Of State
GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda

The next part of the investigation showcases 7 links allegedly confirming that SouthFront “directly aligns with Kremlin talking points and disinformation.” Since the launch of southfront.org, we have released several tens of thousands of articles, videos and graphic pieces. Apparently, the State Department staff spent a lot of time checking them to find these seven posts. In any case, SouthFront has never denied that we provide a platform for all sides interested in a constructive discussion, including the pro-Russian perspective.

It is also interesting to note how the authors of the document described SouthFront articles criticizing the internal situation in Russia and the actions of Moscow. For them, this is just a “tactic” to hide “an ocean of Kremlin-aligned disinformation”. However, if one employs this approach, one would have to find that CNN, the Washington Times, the New York Times and other outlets, which release critical articles about Russia, must also be a part of the sophisticated Kremlin-affiliated disinformation network.

SouthFront Sends Warmest Greetings To US Department Of State
GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda

Joking aside, if one checks SouthFront articles questioning the actions of the Russian authorities or criticizing them, one would find hundreds of content pieces. In fact, it is hard to find a southfront.org article that would provide a solely positive view on the current internal political situation in Russia or on the actions of Moscow in the last 1-2 years.

The COVID-19 disinformation part also shows no creativity. We have already stated this on previous occasions, but it bears repeating: SouthFront well understands that the COVID-19 outbreak is a sensitive issue. This is why our articles about the outbreak/pandemic always include links to sources and facts. The fact, which deserves special attention, is that SouthFront articles do not fuel hysteria and fear regarding the COVID-19 spread. We seek to objectively cover the situation.

SouthFront Sends Warmest Greetings To US Department Of State
GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda
SouthFront Sends Warmest Greetings To US Department Of State
GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda

The report includes 6 examples of supposed COVID-19 disinformation. SouthFront releases about 30 content pieces per day. Articles, videos and graphic pieces dedicated to the COVID-19 outbreak make up less than 1% of the content released by SouthFront in 2020 so far. This is less than a statistical error. Nonetheless, the State Department report reads as if half of SouthFront content is ‘COVID-19 disinformation’ and most of the rest is made up of official statements by the Kremlin.

SouthFront Sends Warmest Greetings To US Department Of State
GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda

The part of the paper entitled Niche Graphics Capabilities emphasizes the “professionally designed” SouthFront visual content. We, the SouthFront Team, want to say thank you to the Department of State for its high praise of our work. This will motivate us to even greater efforts in the field to produce even more high quality content.

SouthFront Sends Warmest Greetings To US Department Of State
GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda

The conspiracy theory explaining the evolution and redesign of southfront.org’s side bar is a third rate fairy tale.

State Department investigators made several screenshots of the partners section of old southfront.org’s side bar pretending that its changes are something ‘strange’ and need ‘explanations’. It seems that far from everybody in the State Department spent time in university doing something useful. At least, we can recommend that they google “Occam’s razor”.

A small hint for State Department employees reading this article: Occam’s razor is the principle that, of two explanations that account for all the facts, the simpler one is more likely to be correct.

Time is moving on. Life is a complex and variable thing. Conflicts start and conflicts end. The geopolitical game continues, the balance of power in different regions of the world changes. It would be strange to expect that the list of organizations with which SouthFront stays in touch or cooperates would not also change over the years. SouthFront has always provided its content for free, on the basis of the fair usage principle, without any paywalls. Therefore, in 2015, when the conflict in Ukraine was dominating the media and SouthFront was producing at least 10% of its content on the issue, there was one list of media partners. In 2018, when the US-Iranian conflict escalated, the partner list was already different, and included some Iranians.

Meanwhile, the website itself was redesigned and optimized and the southfront.org sidebar made way to create additional free space; for example, for the ‘MAPS & INFOGRAPHICS DATABASE’ banner.

GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda

GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda

In the end, the content of the report just sinks into a conspiracy abyss allowing no chance for common sense to reassert itself. Likely in an attempt to link SouthFront to Iran or to the ‘bloody Assad regime’, the Department of State quotes a comment sent by SouthFront volunteers to Syrian Free Press. The comment includes a proposal to share videos with that blog, and is signed by SouthFront volunteers, not by the SouthFront Steering Committee.

This fact can only serve as a demonstration of the umbrella (franchising) nature of the SouthFront organizational structure. With the exception of facebook.com/southfronten, all the links mentioned in the comment are de-facto independent branches of SouthFront voluntarily created by groups of motivated people from different countries and affiliated with SouthFront only through their commitment to the SouthFront principles at that moment.

SouthFront is always glad to assist and provide consultancy help to people that stand up for freedom of speech and against the globalist censorship.

What is really strange is that State Department investigators failed to find the still existing independent branches of SouthFront in northern and western Europe. Probably, this could serve as another signal of the ‘depth’ of this investigation.

SouthFront Team is sorry to conclude that the Department of State of the world’s sole super power was unable to provide any facts to confirm their speculations about SouthFront being a front for Russian disinformation. Bogus stories, which have been circulating in various media outlets and think tanks funded by Euro-Atlantic structures for years, do not count. In reality, this likely means that the authors did no research of their own in the field and just copy-pasted and patched together already existing reports made by their friends from affiliated or allied organizations.

Thank God, the authors did not try to link SouthFront to supposed Russian meddling in the US election.

After such ‘high-quality investigations’ in this field, the Department of State would not even have a theoretical chance of saving face.

It would be interesting to get the reaction of the bosses of these staff members and of the leadership of the State Department itself, to find out what they think about such quality of work. It is highly likely that the group of State Department specialists that prepared the report presented it as an exclusive investigation that required a significant amount of time and financial resources.

Proposal to US Department of State

SouthFront proposes the leadership of the US Department of State expert help in the field of covering the work of SouthFront as a pillar of Russia’s disinformation and propaganda network. Exclusively for the Department of State, we are ready to prepare weekly reports about our work with a detailed overview of our content, links to the most interesting articles, videos and graphic pieces, and entertaining behind the scenes content about our work.

We are sure that these reports will be not less professional and entertaining than the paper described above. SouthFront’s direct assistance will also help Mr. Pompeo and his employees to avoid foolish factual mistakes in future (e.g.when somebody is not even able to read their own screenshot).

And last but not least, the State Department would be able to save hundreds of thousands of US taxpayer dollars. The US government would then be able to use these funds to combat the COVID-19 outbreak or help combat veterans.

Please, feel free to contact SouthFront via email: info@southfront.org

On August 5, the US Department of State also offered Russians $10 million for information about Russian meddling in US

Taking into account the high level of regard for SouthFront work held by the US government, you also can contact us regarding this topic. $10 million would be a useful donation to SouthFront’s budget. The contact email is the same: info@southfront.org

By the way, US government personnel know our email address very well. In previous years, we have received emails from them with proposals for fruitful cooperation.

As to the style of emails sent to SouthFront, we recommend that the staff of the State Department  contact their counterparts in the Department of Defense. They act and write much more professionally and are not too shy to ask about things that are interesting to them.

Using this opportunity, SouthFront wants once again to assure Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Department of State of our highest consideration.

Sincerely yours,

The Twilight of Neo-liberalism?

The Twilight of Neo-liberalism?

by Francis Lee for the Saker Blog

It speaks volumes about the gravity of the current political and economic situation that the leading US investment bank Goldman-Sachs has seen fit to issue a sombre warning.

‘’Goldman Sachs Group Inc. put a spotlight on the suddenly growing concern over inflation in the U.S. by issuing a bold warning on Tuesday that the dollar is in danger of losing its status as the world’s reserve currency. With Congress closing in on another round of fiscal stimulus to shore up the pandemic-ravaged economy, and the Federal Reserve having already swelled its balance sheet by about $2.8 trillion this year, Goldman strategists cautioned that U.S. policy is triggering currency “debasement fears” that could end the dollar’s reign as the dominant force in global foreign-exchange markets …

There are many factors pushing the gold price higher, including fear of increasing political uncertainty, rising concerns involving another spike in COVID-19 infections in the country, increasing government debt, rising inflation, and concerns that the US dollar is seeing a new downtrend to the Chinese Yuan.’’ (1)

The fact that gold is being spoken about by the financial cognoscenti is in itself significant. Gold bugs (like me!) have long been regarded by orthodox academic economists and business financiers as being beyond the pale in terms of their relevance to current economic and financial issues. But, as with everything, times change, fashion changes, paradigm shifts take place – such is the way of the world.

At the time of writing gold has, after the 2012 engineered smackdown, been ascending remorselessly toward its present gold price of $1972,00.00 a whisker away from $2000.00 per oz. This latter price has an important psychological significance – a tipping point for both investors and owners of this particular asset. The new economic order established paper assets – representations of wealth, which replaced real wealth – i.e., gold. This was the beginning of the new epoch, a turbulent period now reaching what appears to be a climax. The increasing economic disorder has become chaotic since that date as fundamental and seemingly intractable problems began to manifest themselves.

The Nonage

In order to maintain a semblance of vitality, western capitalism entered into a period of steroid-enforced growth based upon increasingly unorthodox methods. This inflexion point took place in 1971 when in a televised broadcast Richard Nixon took the US off the gold standard and introduced a fiat standard based purely upon the US dollar. This was a little later supplemented by the US-Saudi agreement whereby oil would be fixed to a dollar price. At a stroke, these two events destroyed the Bretton Woods system of a dollar-gold standard with the $ convertible with gold at $35 per oz. The old order was finished; a new ideological economic regimen was rolled out. When and how long it might last is a matter of speculation.

In this Brave New World and following the lead of the US most of the rest of the world economies followed suit. This was a pivotal moment in economic history. But, whisper it softly, there were deep-going structural weaknesses initially hidden from view in the new economy which would eventually become increasingly problematic. The global economy had become increasingly dependent on expanding debt levels and on the expansion of fictitious capital. This was all part of what was to become known as neoliberalism, globalization or increasing financialization, call it what you will, it amounts to the same thing. [2]

Fictitious capital, consists of layers of financial paper assets – but it should be understood that these ‘assets’ are only symbols of value, not real values. For example, company shares which are traded like goods and services do not, in the same way, embody value. They are tokens which represent part ownership of a company and the potential distribution of future profits in the form of dividends. The paper or electronic certificate itself is not a genuine value it is only a claim on value. Real value is the production of goods and services such as cars, haircuts, IPhones, hotels and eating out, aroma therapy, shoes, books … and so forth, in a productive economy. This as opposed to rising share/stock prices which are often presented as a healthy economy, but the amount of money a share/stock changes hand for says nothing definitive about the value of a company’s assets or about its productive capacity.

John Stuart Mill once commented in this respect.

‘’The ordinary progress of a society which increases in wealth, is at all times tending to augment the incomes of landlords; to give them both a greater amount and a greater proportion of the wealth of the community, independently of any trouble or outlay incurred by themselves. They grow richer, as it were in their sleep, without working, risking, or economizing. What claim have they, on the general principle of social justice, to this accession of riches? In what would they have been wronged if society had, from the beginning, reserved the right of taxing the spontaneous increase of rent, to the highest amount required by financial exigencies’’ (3)

Capital movements into and out of existing assets was not necessarily productive investment but mainly pure speculation. And speculation itself was driven by increasing levels of cheap debt, both sovereign and private. This process may be observed in the Fed’s force-feeding new monies into the economy at which corporations use this largesse to buy-back their own stock thus enhancing their market price. Insofar as it might be produced it becomes clear that finance led growth is based upon trickle-up economics in which the gains of the wealthy come directly at the expense of ordinary people. Financialization involves the extraction of economic rent from the circulation (of capital) process, as well as patents, copyrights and land/property.

The United States demonstrates these tendencies very clearly and its interest rates remain the dominant influence across the mature economies. This is due to the dollar’s role as a reserve status, i.e., the world money. But there has been a long trajectory of decline in real commercial bank interest rates which averaged 7% during the 1980s, 5.5% during the 1990s 4% during the 2000s for the period leading up to the financial crash of 2008 and have been below 2% and even lower ever since. They are now being held down to zero or even minus interest levels and functioning as free monies for the speculating community or corporations who wish to avail themselves to this monetary largesse to increase their market capitalisation. Demonstrably the US and the rest of the mature economies have been undergoing a secular decline since the 1970s which has eventuated in what seems to be a policy of demented money printing.

Moreover, financialisation has not to any extent been adept at creating more wealth for all, but instead has channelled this wealth to particular favoured groups. This is evidenced with the GDP metric which is only measured in terms of output and not the distribution of and ownership of wealth produced. The result is, in short, that the rich have got considerably richer and the rest have either stagnated or declined. And this has not been an accident.

Maturity and Decline

The present crisis in the global economy has been brought about by the culmination of a number of variables which taken as a whole have been responsible for the present impasse. All the early promises of a new world order of stability, prosperity and peace which were touted in the 80s 90s and 00s never lived up to their billing. The then UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, boasted that under ‘New Labour’s’ stewardship the boom-bust cycles of both the domestic and world economies had been banished. University of Chicago’s Professor Robert Lucas claimed that macro-economics had ‘’solved for all practical purposes’’ the problem of economic depressions. In the real world, however, the entire period from 1971 and well into the 21st century was punctuated by a series of rolling bubbles and crises: the 1987 stock market crash, 1990, the collapse of the junk bond market, the 1994 great bond market massacre together with the Tequila crisis in Mexico, the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the 1998 collapse of Long Term Capital Management, the 1998 default in Russia, and the 2000-02 dot-com bubble crash and finally the 2008 blowout. These once in a lifetime events seem to occur every year or so.

But the economic/financial powers that be (PTB) ensconced in the ivory towers of University Economics departments and Editorials in the Washington Post, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal and Economist were having none of it. As these esteemed ladies and gentlemen saw it the new paradigm was going through a ’tricky’ teething stage and all would be well in the fullness of time, or so we were persuaded. It is difficult to know whether or not these people actually believed what they were articulating or were just plain stupid. But their theories at times actually verged upon a timeless circulation of axioms which are true by definition. It has been noted that,

‘’Academic economics has become a disaster and disgrace … Not only did the academic economists fail to see the great 2008 implosion coming, they weren’t even looking in the right direction. And having been surprised by its arrival, they had little to say about its implications – the greatest event to have befallen the capitalist system since WW2 … although there are shining exceptions, most academic economists, whilst clinging to the idea that their subject is relevant and of interest to the wider world, in fact practice a modern form of medieval scholasticism – of no use to man or beast. The output of this activity consists of articles entombed in ‘scholarly’ journals usually about questions of startling irrelevance, badly thought out and appallingly badly written, littered with jargon and liberally dosed with mathematics, destined to be read by no-one outside of a narrow coterie, and increasingly, not even by them.’’ (5) Agreed!

The Interregnum 2008-2020

The Great Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2008 has shown that perpetual growth and progress is an illusion. Moreover this was the first leg of the mega-crisis of which the second leg is now looming. Recent indicators include structural unemployment which is around 15% in the US – but this figure is almost always understated: See John Williams’ excellent repudiations in Shadow Government Statistics. Additionally there has been the growth of semi-employment in the ‘gig’ economy, short-term contracts, non-unionized labour, and illegal (often foreign) presence in itinerant employment and workers from the EU’s southern and eastern peripheries who are temporarily employed on farms during the summer for lack of UK workers. Many of these workers have no insurance or medical cover and live hand-to-mouth on a daily basis.

Unprecedented debt levels, chronic levels of debt-driven consumption are now common-place and the modern workforce is increasingly stratified. There are well-paid jobs for a small portion of those with requisite skills, but the vast majority of new employment is in the low paid service sector, such as retail, leisure, hospitality, security, aged care, and health care … youth unemployment remains high, even where work can be found starting incomes are around 10 to 12 percent lower than they were in 2007.

This situation was not only present in the UK but on the European continent also.

Millions of Europeans in temporary, part-time or bogus self-employed contracts can only find insecure and badly paid jobs, despite the healthy economic climate. That is the price of deregulating labour markets, Investigate Europe reports. This precarious set of labour conditions was created intentionally.

‘’The misery of bad jobs has many faces. It can take the form of work contracts without health or social insurance; it can be part-time jobs, which don’t pay enough to live on. Or those affected are kept dangling from one temporary contract to the next, or they have to eke out a living as bogus self-employed and contract workers. The methods vary from one country’s national legislation to that of another, but the outcome is always the same: millions of EU citizens have to get by with insecure and badly paid jobs, offering them no prospects.’’ (6)

2020 – the Debacle

Thus the world enters the second decade of the 21st century totally unprepared for what’s coming and with a leadership bereft of any plans or ideas of how to handle the situation. GDP growth is in unprecedented negative territory pretty much everywhere. In the United States, the birthplace of the Washington Consensus, GDP growth rate fell by no less than -32.9% and GDP annual growth rate by -9.5%. In Germany GDP growth rate fell by -10.1% and annual GDP growth rate by -11.7%. In China GDP growth rate was positive 11.5% and annual GDP growth rate was 3.2%. In the euro area GDP growth rate was -12.1% and annual growth rate was -15%. These are quite extraordinary figures which will need to sink in before any reasoned judgements are made. One look at the US situation is hardly comforting however.

‘’On Thursday, the Labor Department reported that 1.43 million new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week, the 19th straight week that new claims have exceeded one million. After declining for months, new claims have risen over the last two weeks.

The number of workers claiming continuing unemployment benefits also rose from 16.1 million to 17 million for the week ending July 18. In addition, 830,000 new claims were filed for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which covers self-employed, gig workers and others who do not qualify for traditional jobless benefits.

Under these conditions, the $600-a-week federal supplement to state unemployment benefits is running out today for an estimated 20 million workers. Overnight, millions will see their incomes cut by two-thirds, from an average of $921 a week in May to about $321 a week. In some states, the theft of this lifeline will be even worse. In Oklahoma, jobless aid will be cut by 93 percent to $44 a week.

It is a measure of the precarious situation American workers faced even before the pandemic that the weekly supplemental assistance and the paying out of a one-time $1,200-per-person “stimulus” check led to a 45 percent increase in US personal income in the second quarter. Seventy percent of those who returned to work in June suffered an income loss by doing so.

Last week, the moratorium on evictions expired for about 18 million renters—more than a third of the 44 million total US renter households—who live in buildings with mortgages backed by the federal government. With rent bills accumulated over the last four months now due, housing advocates predict a “tsunami” of evictions, with half a million households in Los Angeles alone threatened.

Millions in the US are also going hungry. According to a US Census Bureau survey, food insecurity last week reached its highest reported level since May, with almost 30 million Americans reporting they had not had enough to eat at some point in the seven days through July 21.’’ (7)

Mindful of the impact of the Corona Virus and not wishing to rush to any rash judgement, the fact still remains that the world economy was already in a parlous and brittle condition, long over-due for a big correction which was going to happen with or without the complication of the Corona Virus. All the sugar-coated promises made at the turn of the century by various politicians, journalists, and world leaders regarding the new economy, a world-wide system of prosperity peace, harmony and growth turned out to be fairy-tales best suited to infants – and infants are precisely what our leaders seem to think we are.

Speculating about future developments is difficult since we are in the early phases of the downturn. What we do know is that it is like most previous downturns but beyond bad and seemingly unprecedented. Events can only be assessed retrospectively. It is now also clear that hegemonic turbo-capitalism and its tendency toward imperialism and war is not congruent for further human development and even perhaps life on this planet. This seems patently obvious to anyone who actually thinks about these issues. We (humanity) is now at a critical juncture in history. But the world has postponed, indefinitely, dealing decisively with the challenges. Anyone who questions the present course is held up to ridicule as a professional permanent pessimist, or worse. Nothing is done, and we ignore reality. Unfortunately as the Russian/American writer Ayn Rand – who is not one of my favourite writers – declared. “We can ignore reality, but we cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.”

Enough said. Francis Lee

NOTES

(1)Bloomburg – 27-July-2020

(2) Phillip Mullan – Creative Destruction – pp57/5 – ’In addition to the direct contribution of the fire sector to raising GDP artificially, the explosive growth in debt and other features of financialization a major, probably a bigger role.

(3) The notion of economic rent – made famous by David Ricardo and his theory of ground-rent – is based upon the extraction of rent from particular income streams or other assets, including land. Monopolistic rents are those which contain price levels which are over and above the costs of production.

(4) J.S.Mill – The Principles of Political Economy – 1848

(5) Roger Bootle – The Trouble with Markets – pp.232-233

(6) Tagesspiegel – Berlin – 25-10-2017

(7) World-Wide Socialist Website – 31-July-2020

Video: Covid-19 and the Censorship of Medical Doctors. LancetGate and the Suppression of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ)

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, July 30, 2020

Medical doctors at an event in front of the US Supreme Court are accused of making false statements.  

The video of their press conference was removed by Youtube and Facebook. They are accused by CNN of spreading “fake science”

The doctors put forth Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as an effective Covid-19 cure.

Why were they smeared by CNN? Why were they the object of censorship?   

According to CNN, Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is sponsored by “Fake Pharma companies”. What utter nonsense.  The unspoken truth is that the statement of the medical doctors goes against the interests of Big Pharma. 

In this video, Professor Michel Chossudovsky reveals how a peer reviewed report in The Lancet  was used “to kill” the legitimacy of HCQ as a cure of Covid-19.  It was later revealed that the Lancet HCQ study was based on fake data. The author of the peer reviewed report apologized.

“I’m truly sorry”…  And the report was retracted by The Lancet, which acknowledged that the data was fabricated. The media remained silent on what constitutes “Fake Science”. 

VIDEO

The Lancet article was retracted,

India’s “Playing Hard to Get” with America by Letting the AIIB Fund China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky,

Global Research, 2020

Related Video

OCHA: Protection of Civilians Report | 14 – 27 July 2020 31 Jul 2020

July 31, 2020 5:00 AM

United Nations Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

Twenty Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces in various clashes across the West Bank. This is around 80 per cent below the average of such injuries since the beginning of 2020. Fourteen of the injuries were sustained during clashes that erupted in two separate protests against the establishment of two settlement outposts in the vicinity ‘Asira ash Shamaliya and Beita villages (both in Nablus); the outposts were subsequently dismantled by the Israeli authorities. The other six Palestinians, including a child, were injured during clashes triggered by search and arrest operations in the refugee camps of Balata (Nablus), Al Jalazoun (Ramallah) and Jenin, and in Tulkarem city.

On 21 July, two Palestinian boys (ages 11 and 14 years) were burned and injured, one of them severely, after handling an object that fell from an Israeli aircraft, reportedly during a military training, and ignited.The incident occurred in the Israeli-controlled area of Hebron city (H2) near the boys’ home.

On 25 July, Palestinian security forces shot and killed a Palestinian man, and injured several others, during clashes in Nablus city.The clashes erupted after the Palestinian forces attempted to close shops and arrest the owners, while enforcing the lockdown regulations imposed in the context of the pandemic. The Palestinian authorities announced the opening of an investigation.

In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces carried out 26 search and detention operations, including two at the premises of cultural institutions, and one at a Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) storage center.In the latter incident, the forces requisitioned some 100 food boxes, reportedly planned for distribution to families in home quarantine due to COVID-19; the reason remains unclear. In a statement issued following the operation at the two cultural centers and the arrest of their directors, a network of Palestinian NGOs called on the international community to defend civic space and provide protection to Palestinian civil society organizations. In one of the operations in Al-‘Isawiya neighbourhood, an undercover unit physically assaulted and abducted a 12-year-old Palestinian boy.

On at least 22 occasions, Israeli forces opened warning fire near Israel’s perimeter fence around Gaza, and off its coast, presumably to enforce access restrictions, resulting in no injuries or damage to property. On two occasions, Israeli forces entered Gaza and carried out land-levelling and excavation operations near the perimeter fence.

Thirty Palestinian-owned structures were demolished or seized in Area C and East Jerusalem for the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, displacing 25 people and otherwise affecting around 140 others. In one incident on 21 July, the Israeli authorities demolished a structure on the outskirts of Hebron city, which, according to the Hebron Municipality, was planned to be used as a COVID-19 testing centre; this claim is contested by the Israeli authorities. This and three other structures were demolished using Military Order 1797, which allows the removal of unauthorized buildings within 96 hours from the delivery of a notice. Humanitarian and human rights organizations have repeatedly raised concern about this procedure, which largely prevents affected people from being heard before a judicial body.

Since the start of the COVID-19 emergency on 5 March, citing the lack of building permits, the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 19 inhabited homes that were in place prior to that date, displacing 104 Palestinians. This follows a commitment by the authorities to suspend the demolition of such structures during the pandemic. An additional seven inhabited homes were demolished during this period by their owners, following the issuance of demolition orders. Since the start of the emergency, 282 Palestinian structures of all types have been demolished or seized due to lack of building permits, in contravention to international humanitarian law.

Assailants, believed to be Israeli settlers injured three Palestinians and vandalized a mosque, some 30 trees and other properties. The injuries include two Palestinian men physically assaulted with sticks and stoned in Turmus’ayya village (Ramallah) and another in the H2 area of Hebron city. On 27 July, a mosque in Al Bireh city (Ramallah) was set on fire, damaging parts of it, and Hebrew graffiti was painted on its walls; the Israeli police reportedly opened an investigation. Some 30 olive trees were set on fire or cut down in Turmus’ayya, Burin, Qaryut (both in Nablus) and Sa’ir (Hebron) villages. Other properties vandalized include bulldozers and other tools at a quarry in Jamma’in village (Nablus) and closed shops in the H2 area of Hebron city.

One Israeli settler was physically assaulted and injured by Palestinians in the H2 area of Hebron city and, according to Israeli sources, four other Israelis were injured after their vehicles were stoned by Palestinians, while traveling on West Bank roads. A total of six Israeli-plated vehicles reportedly sustained damage as a result of stone-throwing and one as a result of Molotov cocktail throwing by Palestinians.

Russia and the next Presidential election in the USA

Source

Intro: not a pretty picture

Let’s begin with a disclaimer: in this article, I will assume that there will be a US Presidential election in the Fall. Right now, it appears to be likely that this election will take place (there appear to be no legal way to cancel or delay it), but this is by no means certain (see here for a machine translated and very interesting article by one Russian analyst, who predicts a diarchy after the election). Right now, the state of the US society is both extremely worried (and for good reason) and potentially explosive. It is impossible to predict what a well-executed false flag attack could do to the US. There is also the possibility of either a natural disaster (hurricane, earthquake, etc.) or even an unnatural one (considering the condition of the US infrastructure, this is almost inevitable) which could precipitate some kind of state of emergency or martial law to “protect” the people. Finally, though at this point in time I don’t see this as very likely, there is always the possibility of a coup of some kind, maybe a “government of national unity” with the participation of both parties which, as Noam Chomsky correctly points out, are basically only two factions of what could be called the Business Party. There might come a point when they decide to drop this pretense too (just look at how many other pretenses the US ruling elites have dropped in the last decade or so).

Alexander Solzhenitsyn used to explain that all governments can be placed on a continuum ranging from, on one end, “states whose power is based on their authority” to, on the other end, “states whose authority is based on their power“. In the real world, most states are somewhere between these two extremes. But it is quite obvious that the US polity currently has gone very far down the “states whose authority is based on their power” path and to speak of any kind of “moral authority” of US politicians is really a joke. The (probable) upcoming “choice” between Donald “grab them by the pussy” Trump and Joe “creepy uncle” Biden will make this joke even more laughable.

Right now, the most powerful force in the US political system must be the financial sector. And, of course, there are many other powerful interest groups (MIC, Israel Lobby, the CIA and the ridiculously bloated Intel community, Big Pharma, the US Gulag, the corporate media, Oil, etc.) who all combine their efforts (just like a vector does in mathematics) to produce a “resulting vector” which we call “US policies”. That is in theory. In practice, you have several competing “policies” vying for power and influence, both on the domestic and on international front. Often these policies are mutually exclusive.

Last, but certainly not least, the level of corruption in the US is at least as bad as, say, in the Ukraine or in Liberia, but rather than being on the street and petty cash level, the corruption in the US is counted in billions of dollars.

All in all, not a pretty sight (see here for a good analysis of the decline of US power).

Yet the US remains a nuclear power and still has a lot of political influence worldwide and thus this is not a country anyone can ignore. Including Russia.

A quick look at Russia

Before looking into Russian options in relation to the US, we need to take a quick look at how Russia has been faring this year. The short of it would be: not too well. The Russian economy has shrunk by about 10% and the small businesses have been devastated by the combined effects of 1) the economic policies of the Russian government and Central Bank, and 2) the devastating economic impact of the COVID19 pandemic, and 3) the full-spectrum efforts of the West, mostly by the Anglosphere, to strangle Russia economically. Politically, the “Putin regime” is still popular, but there is a sense that it is getting stale and that most Russians would prefer to see more dynamic and proactive policies aimed, not only to help the Russian mega-corporations, but also to help the regular people. Many Russians definitely have a sense that the “little guy” is being completely ignored by fat cats in power and this resentment will probably grow until and unless Putin decides to finally get rid of all the Atlantic Integrationists aka the “Washington consensus” types which are still well represented in the Russian ruling circles, including the government. So far, Putin has remained faithful to his policy of compromises and small steps, but this might change in the future as the level of frustration in the general population is likely to only grow with time.

That is not to say that the Kremlin is not trying. Several of the recent constitutional amendments adopted in a national vote had a strongly expressed “social” and “patriotic” character and they absolutely horrified the “liberal” 5th columnists who tried their best two 1) call for a boycott, and 2) denounce thousands of (almost entirely) imaginary violations of the proper voting procedures, and to 3) de-legitimize the outcome by declaring the election a “fraud”. None of that worked: the participation was high, very few actual violations were established (and those that were, had no impact on the outcome anyway) and most Russians accepted that this outcome was the result of the will of the people. Furthermore, Putin has made public the Russian strategic goals for 2030,which are heavily focused on improving the living and life conditions of average Russians (for details, see here). It is impossible to predict what will happen next, but the most likely scenario is that Russia has several, shall we say, “bumpy” years ahead, both on the domestic and on the international front.

What can Russia reasonably hope for?

This is really the key question: in the best of situations, what can Russia really hope for in the next elections? I would argue that there is really very little which Russia can hope for, if only because the russophobic hysteria started by the Democrats to defeat Trump has now apparently been completely endorsed by the Trump administration and the all the members of Congress. As for the imperial propaganda machine, it now manages to simultaneously declare that Russia tried to “steal” COVID vaccine secrets from the West AND that Russian elites were given a secret COVID vaccine this Spring. As for the US Dems, they are already announcing that the Russians are spreading “disinformation” about Biden. Talk about PRE-traumatic stress disorder (to use the phrase coined by my friend Gilad Atzmon)…

Although I have no way of knowing what is really taking place in the delusional minds of US politicians, I am strongly suspecting that the latest hysteria about “Russia stealing COV19 vaccine secrets” is probably triggered by the conclusion of the US intel community that Russia will have a vaccine ready before the US does. This is, of course, something absolutely unthinkable for US politicians who, (sort of) logically conclude that “if these Russkies got a vaccine first, they *must* have stolen it from us” or something similar (see here for a good analysis of this). And if the Chinese get there first, same response. After all, who in the US legacy media would ever even mention that Russian or Chinese researchers might be ahead of their US colleagues? Nobody, of course.

I would argue that this mantric Russia-bashing is something which will not change in the foreseeable future. For one thing, since the imperial ruling elites have clearly lost control of the situation, they really have no other option left than to blame it all on some external agent. The “terrorist threat” has lost a lot of traction over the past years, the “Muslim threat” is too politically incorrect to openly blame it all on Islam, as for the other boogeymen which US Americans like to scare themselves at night with (immigrants, drug dealers, sex offenders, “domestic terrorists”, etc.) they simply cannot be blamed for stuff like a crashing economy. But Russia, and China, can.

In fact, ever since the (self-evidently ridiculous) “Skripal case” the collective West has proven that it simply does not have the spine to say “no”, or even “maybe”, to any thesis energetically pushed forward by the AngloZionist propaganda machine. Thus no matter how self-evidently silly the imperial propaganda is, the people in the West have been conditioned (literally) to accept any nonsense as “highly likely” as long as it is proclaimed with enough gravitas by politicians and their legacy ziomedia. As for the leaders of the EU, we already know that they will endorse any idiocy coming out of Washington or London in the name of “solidarity”.

Truth be told, most Russian politicians (with the notable exception of the official Kremlin court jester, Zhirinovskii) and analysts never saw Trump as a potential ally or friend. The Kremlin was especially cautious, which leads me to believe that the Russian intelligence analysts did a very good job evaluating Trump’s psyche and they quickly figured out that he was no better than any other US politician. Right now, I know of no Russian analyst who would predict that relations between the US and Russia will improve in the foreseeable future. If anything, most are clearly saying that “guys, we better get used to this” (accusations, sanctions, accusations, sanctions, etc. etc. etc.). Furthermore, it is pretty obvious to the Russians that while Crimea and MH17 were the pretexts for western sanctions against Russia, they were not the real cause. The real cause of the West’s hatred for Russia is as simple as it is old: Russia cannot be conquered, subdued, subverted or destroyed. They’ve been at it for close to 1,000 years and they still are at it. In fact, each time they fail to crush Russia, their russophobia increases to even higher levels (phobia both in the sense of “fear” and in the sense of “hatred”).

Simply put – there is nothing which Russia can expect from the upcoming election. Nothing at all. Still, that does not mean that things are not better than 4 or 8 years ago. Let’s look at what changed.

The big difference between now and then

What did Trump’s election give to the world?

I would say four years for Russia to fully prepare for what might be coming next.

I would argue that since at least Russia and the AngloZionist Empire have been at war since at least 2013, when Russia foiled the US plan to attack Syria under the pretext that it was “highly likely” that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against civilians (in reality, a textbook case of a false flag organized by the Brits), This means that Russia and the Empire have been at war since at least 2013, for no less than seven years (something which Russian 6th columnists and Neo-Marxists try very hard to ignore).

True, at least until now, this was has been 80% informational, 15% economic and only 5% kinetic, but this is a real existential war of survival for both sides: only one side will walk away from this struggle. The other one will simply disappear (not as a nation or a people, but as a polity; a regime). The Kremlin fully understood that and it embarked on a huge reform and modernization of the Russian armed forces in three distinct ways:

  1. A “general” reform of the Russian armed forces which had to be modernized by about 80%. This part of the reform is now practically complete.
  2. A specific reform to prepare the western and southern military districts for a major conventional war against the united West (as always in Russian history) which would involve the First Guards Tank Army and the Russian Airborne Forces.
  3. The development of bleeding-edge weapons systems with no equivalent in the West and which cannot be countered or defeated; these weapons have had an especially dramatic impact upon First Strike Stability and upon naval operations.

While some US politicians understood what was going on (I think of Ron Paul, see here), most did not. They were so brainwashed by the US propaganda that they were sure that no matter what, “USA! USA! USA!”. Alas for them, the reality was quite different.

Russian officials, by the way, have confirmed that Russia was preparing for war. Heck, the reforms were so profound and far reaching, that it would have been impossible for the Russians to hide what they were doing (see here for details; also please see Andrei Martyanov’s excellent primer on the new Russian Navy here).

While no country is ever truly prepared for war, I would argue that by 2020 the Russians had reached their goals and that now Russia is fully prepared to handle any conflict the West might throw at her, ranging from a small border incident somewhere in Central Asia to a full-scaled war against the US/NATO in Europe.

Folks in the West are now slowly waking up to this new reality (I mentioned some of that here), but it is too late. In purely military terms, Russia has now created such a qualitative gap with the West that the still existing quantitative gap is not sufficient to guarantee a US/NATO victory. Now some western politicians are starting to seriously freak out (see this lady, for example), but most Europeans are coming to terms with two truly horrible realities:

  1. Russia is much stronger than Europe and, even much worse,
  2. Russia will never attack first (which is a major cause of frustration for western russophobes)

As for the obvious solution to this problem, having friendly relations with Russia is simply unthinkable for those who made their entire careers peddling the Soviet (and now Russian) threat to the world.

But Russia is changing, albeit maybe too slowly (at least for my taste). As I mentioned last week, a number of Polish, Ukrainian and Baltic politicians have declared that the Zapad2020 military maneuvers which are supposed to take place in southern Russia and the Caucasus could be used to prepare an attack on the West (see here for a rather typical example of this nonsense). In the past, the Kremlin would only have made a public statement ridiculing this nonsense, but this time around Putin did something different. Right after he saw the reaction of these politicians, Putin ordered a major and UNSCHEDULED military readiness exercise which involved no less than 150,000 troops, 400 aircraft & 100 ships! The message here was clear:

  1. Yes, we are much more powerful than you are and
  2. No, we are not apologizing for our strength anymore

And, just to make sure that the message is clear, the Russians also tested the readiness of the Russian Airborne Forces units near the city of Riazan, see for yourself:

This response is, I think, the correct one. Frankly, nobody in the West is listening to what the Kremlin has to say, so what is the point of making more statements which in the future will be ignored equally as they have been in the past.

If anything, the slow realization that Russia is more powerful than NATO would be most helpful in gently prodding EU politicians to change their tune and return back to reality. Check out this recent video of Sarah Wagenknecht, a leading politician of the German Left and see for yourself:

The example of Sahra Wagenknecht is interesting, because she is from Germany, one of the countries of northern Europe; traditionally, northern European powers have been much more anti-Russian than southern Europeans, so it is encouraging to see that the anti-Putin and anti-Russia hysteria is not always being endorsed by everybody.

But if things are very slowly getting better in the EU, in the bad old US of A things are only getting worse. Even the Republicans are now fully on board the Russia-hating float (right behind a “gay pride” one I suppose) and they are now contributing their own insanity to the cause, as this article entitled “Congressional Republicans: Russia should be designated state sponsor of terror” shows (designating Russia as a terrorist state is an old idea of the Dems, by the way).

Russian options for the Fall

In truth, Russia does not have any particularly good options towards the US. Both parties are now fully united in their rabid hatred of Russia (and China too, of course). Furthermore, while there are many well-funded and virulently anti-Russian organizations in the US (Neo-cons, Papists, Poles, Masons, Ukrainians, Balts, Ashkenazi Jews, etc.), Russian organizations in the US like this one, have very little influence or even relevance.

Banderites marching in the US

Banderites marching in the US

However, as the chaos continues to worsen inside the US and as US politicians continue to alienate pretty much the entire planet, Russia does have a perfect opportunity to weaken the US grip on Europe. The beauty in the current dynamic is that Russia does not have to do anything at all (nevermind anything covert or illegal) to help the anti-EU and anti-US forces in Europe: All she needs to do is to continuously hammer in the following simple message: “the US is sinking – do you really want to go down with it?”.

There are many opportunities to deliver that message. The current US/Polish efforts to prevent the EU from enjoying cheap Russian gas might well be the best example of what we could call “European suicide politics”, but there are many, many more.

Truth be told, neither the US nor the EU are a top priority for Russia, at least not in economic terms. The moral credibility of the West in general can certainly be described as dead and long gone. As for the West military might, it is only a concern to the degree that western politicians might be tempted to believe their own propaganda about their military forces being the best in the history of the galaxy. This is why Russia regularly engages in large surprise exercises: to prove to the West that the Russian military is fully ready for anything the West might try. As for the constant move of more and more US/NATO forces closer to the borders of Russia, they are offensive in political terms, but in military terms, getting closer to Russia only means that Russia will have more options to destroy you. “Forward deployment” is really a thing of the past, at least against Russia.

With time, however, and as the US federal center loses even more of its control of the country, the Kremlin might be well-advised to try to open some venues for “popular diplomacy”, especially with less hostile US states. The weakening of the Executive Branch has already resulted in US governors playing an increasingly important international role and while this is not, strictly speaking, legal (only the federal government has the right to engage in foreign policy), the fact is that this has been going on for years already.

The example of Sahra Wagenknecht is interesting, because she is from Germany, one of the countries of northern Europe; traditionally, northern European powers have been much more anti-Russian than southern Europeans, so it is encouraging to see that the anti-Putin and anti-Russia hysteria is not always being endorsed by everybody.

But if things are very slowly getting better in the EU, in the bad old US of A things are only getting worse. Even the Republicans are now fully on board the Russia-hating float (right behind a “gay pride” one I suppose) and they are now contributing their own insanity to the cause, as this article entitled “Congressional Republicans: Russia should be designated state sponsor of terror” shows (designating Russia as a terrorist state is an old idea of the Dems, by the way).

Russian options for the Fall

In truth, Russia does not have any particularly good options towards the US. Both parties are now fully united in their rabid hatred of Russia (and China too, of course). Furthermore, while there are many well-funded and virulently anti-Russian organizations in the US (Neo-cons, Papists, Poles, Masons, Ukrainians, Balts, Ashkenazi Jews, etc.), Russian organizations in the US like this one, have very little influence or even relevance.

Banderites marching in the US

Banderites marching in the US

However, as the chaos continues to worsen inside the US and as US politicians continue to alienate pretty much the entire planet, Russia does have a perfect opportunity to weaken the US grip on Europe. The beauty in the current dynamic is that Russia does not have to do anything at all (nevermind anything covert or illegal) to help the anti-EU and anti-US forces in Europe: All she needs to do is to continuously hammer in the following simple message: “the US is sinking – do you really want to go down with it?”.

There are many opportunities to deliver that message. The current US/Polish efforts to prevent the EU from enjoying cheap Russian gas might well be the best example of what we could call “European suicide politics”, but there are many, many more.

Truth be told, neither the US nor the EU are a top priority for Russia, at least not in economic terms. The moral credibility of the West in general can certainly be described as dead and long gone. As for the West military might, it is only a concern to the degree that western politicians might be tempted to believe their own propaganda about their military forces being the best in the history of the galaxy. This is why Russia regularly engages in large surprise exercises: to prove to the West that the Russian military is fully ready for anything the West might try. As for the constant move of more and more US/NATO forces closer to the borders of Russia, they are offensive in political terms, but in military terms, getting closer to Russia only means that Russia will have more options to destroy you. “Forward deployment” is really a thing of the past, at least against Russia.

With time, however, and as the US federal center loses even more of its control of the country, the Kremlin might be well-advised to try to open some venues for “popular diplomacy”, especially with less hostile US states. The weakening of the Executive Branch has already resulted in US governors playing an increasingly important international role and while this is not, strictly speaking, legal (only the federal government has the right to engage in foreign policy), the fact is that this has been going on for years already. Another possible partner inside the US for Russian firms would be US corporations (especially now that they are hurting badly). Finally, I think that the Kremlin ought to try to open channels of communication with the various small political forces in the US which are clearly not buying into the official propaganda: libertarians, (true) liberals and progressives, paleo-conservatives.

What we are witnessing before our eyes is the collapse of the US federal center. This is a dangerous and highly unstable moment in our history. But from this crisis opportunities will arise. The best thing Russia can do now is to simply remain very careful and vigilant and wait for new forces to appear on the US political scene.

Another possible partner inside the US for Russian firms would be US corporations (especially now that they are hurting badly). Finally, I think that the Kremlin ought to try to open channels of communication with the various small political forces in the US which are clearly not buying into the official propaganda: libertarians, (true) liberals and progressives, paleo-conservatives.

What we are witnessing before our eyes is the collapse of the US federal center. This is a dangerous and highly unstable moment in our history. But from this crisis opportunities will arise. The best thing Russia can do now is to simply remain very careful and vigilant and wait for new forces to appear on the US political scene.

To Understand Iran’s 150-Year Fight, Follow the Trail of Blood and Oil

To Understand Iran's 150-Year Fight, Follow the Trail of Blood and ...

Cynthia Chung May 23, 2020

This past Sunday, April 17th, a dispute between Iran and the U.S. occurred over the U.S.’ decision to increase its military presence in Caribbean and Eastern Pacific waters, with the purported reason being a counter-narcotics campaign.

Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres this past Sunday, that the real purpose for this move by the U.S. is to “intervene and create disruption in the transfer of Iran’s fuel to Venezuela.” In the same letter, Zarif expressed concern over “the United States’ intention to consider dangerous, unlawful and provocative measures against Iranian oil tankers engaged in perfectly lawful international commerce with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.”

The Iranian deployment consists of five tankers carrying around $45.5million of gasoline and related products, as part of a wider deal between Iran and Venezuela. The U.S. has imposed sanctions on both nations’ oil exports.

For the first time since 1962, Iran has requested IMF assistance due to severe shortages created by the COVID-19 pandemic, with Iran requesting an emergency loan of $5 billion. However, the request is currently being blocked by the U.S., which accounts for slightly more than 16.5% of IMF’s voting shares and has an effective veto over decisions.

Iran is presently experiencing a critical shortage of medicines and equipment amid the pandemic, and yet is prohibited from purchasing medicines and supplies because of the banking sanctions.

It is clear that these manoeuvres against Iran are not on behalf of anyone’s “security” but rather an attempt to force Iran to finally bend the knee and be reduced to a state of complete dependence.

Iran has fought a long fight to claim its independence from western powers.

However, what if I were to tell you that once there was a time when Iran and the U.S. had good relations and that the U.S. was in fact the leading promoter and supporter of Iran’s sovereignty?

Almost out of a Shakespearean play of tragedy and betrayal, the relationship was jeopardised by a third player. As identified by John Perkins, in his book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, the first ever U.S. coup against a foreign country was the overthrow of Iran’s nationalist Prime Minister Mosaddegh in 1953. However, what is often left out…is that it was a British authored and designed operation.

In order for us to understand how and why the U.S. was dragged into such an affair, our story starts 150 years ago…

Dieu et mon droit

It all started in 1872, with Nasir al-Din Shah having granted to the British Baron Julius de Reuter, rights to Iran’s entire economic estate. Reuter not only controlled Iran’s industry, farming, and rail transportation, but also held the right to issue currency and to set up a national bank, called the Imperial Bank of Persia, which was under direct British control.

In 1901, Muzzaffar al-Din Shah negotiated what became known as the D’Arcy Contract, granting William Knox D’Arcy, a millionaire London socialite, the special and exclusive privilege to basically own and manage the natural gas and petroleum of Iran for a term of 60 years.

In May 26th 1908 D’Arcy struck pay-dirt in Iran, discovering a huge oil field in Masjed-Soleiman. Britain immediately set up APOC in 1908, purchasing the rights to the black gold from D’Arcy. Six years later, First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill gave the order to purchase 51% of APOC, effectively nationalizing the company. This was to ensure the free flow of oil to the British navy. It was the first company to extract petroleum from Iran.

Iran received only 16% of the royalties on the oil.

Britain continued to pursue total control of Iran, not through colonial occupation, but rather through economic “agreements”. In the midst of carving up the empire’s new “jewels” of the Middle East from the Sykes-Picot fraud on the Arabian people and the illegal British occupation of Palestine, the notorious Anglo-Persian Agreement of Aug 19, 1919 was also signed, with London effectively turning Iran into a de facto protectorate run by British “advisors”. Britain had succeeded in becoming the masters of Iran’s natural resources through this agreement.

Iran received almost nothing in return, not even oil from APOC for domestic consumption, but rather had to import it from the Soviet Union!

On Nov 28th 1932 Reza Shah announced that he would be cancelling the British concession to APOC. The British Navy was heavily dependent on cheap Iranian oil and thus Britain refused to acquiesce. A compromise was reached in 1933 through bilateral negotiations and the British managed to extend their concession up until 1993! Iran had succeeded in getting the British to pay a higher price but it still did not control its own oil.

The American Relationship

Despite claiming a neutral stance for Iran during WWII, word had gotten out that Reza Shah was apparently sympathetic to the cause of Hitler. The argument was thus used that a pro-German Iran could become a launching pad for an attack against the Soviet Union, justifying British and Soviet entry into the country on Aug 25th 1941 for what would be a several years’ occupation. On Sept 16th Reza was forced by the British to abdicate and go into exile transferring power to his 22 year old son, Mohammad Reza Shah.

Mohammad Reza Shah was not happy with the joint occupation and sought an American military presence as a mediator to British and Soviet interests. The Shah sent a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Aug 25th 1941 asking him to:

“be good enough to interest yourself in this incident…I beg Your Excellency to take efficacious and urgent humanitarian steps to put an end to these acts of aggression.”

In response to this plea, Roosevelt sent Gen. Patrick Hurley as his special representative to Iran to help prepare what was to become the Iran Declaration, finally adopted at the Tehran Conference where Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill would agree to guarantee the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of Iran.

The Iran Declaration was used to finally end the foreign occupation of Iran after WWII, despite some resistance, and would play a crucial role in Iran’s future fight for sovereignty. The Iran Declaration thus proved itself to be more than just words, and this would certainly never have happened if not for FDR.

As part of Hurley’s report to FDR, he wrote some biting words on the present system of British imperialism, “The imperialism of Germany, Japan, Italy, France… will, we hope, end or be radically revised by this war [WWII]. British imperialism seems to have acquired a new life. . . What appears to be a new life… is the result of the infusion, into its emaciated form, of the blood of productivity and liberty from a free nation [Iran] through Lend-Lease.”

Roosevelt sent a copy of the Hurley report to Churchill with his thoughts on the matter: “The enclosed memorandum was sent to me… I rather like his general approach to the care and education of what used to be called ‘backward countries’…the point of all this is that I do not want the United States to acquire a ‘zone of influence,’ or any other nation for that matter [in Iran].”

Churchill was less than enthusiastic on the Hurley-FDR vision. He was particularly irked by Hurley’s notion that British imperialism were in conflict with democracy.

FDR died only a few months later, and with his interment, Hurley’s plans for American support for a sovereign and democratic Iran as a model for the rest of the Middle East were relegated to the dust bins of time and forgotten by much of the world.

Following WWII, nationalistic sentiments were on the rise including in the Middle East, the most notable being Iran. However, following the death of FDR the British were free to disingenuously respond to Iran’s request for better economic conditions by offering what was called the “Supplemental Agreement”, in May 1949. This entailed a better payment in royalties but still denied Iran any oversight over accounts or any other form of control over Iranian oil.

Enter Mosaddegh

In the late 1940s, a new political force emerged in Iran called the National Front led by Mohammad Mosaddegh. Their campaign was centered on the demand to nationalize the AIOC and the people of Iran were in accord, electing Mosaddegh into the Majlis (parliament) in 1949.

Mosaddegh lost no time, and quickly became the head of the Majlis Oil Committee which was tasked to study the British “Supplemental Agreement”. When it came time to put it to a vote on Nov 25th 1950, the committee delivered a resounding “no” to the British proposition.

Less than four months later, the Majlis voted on March 15th 1951 for nationalization of the AIOC, and it was renamed as the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). Less than two months later, Mosaddegh became Prime Minister of Iran on April 28th 1951.

The British were left empty handed.

Twice the British tried to argue their case before the international community, once in May 1951 at The Hague and again in October at the UN Security Council. Both attempts were to lose to Mosaddegh’s defense. Mosaddegh had earned a Ph.D. in law from the Neuchatel Law School in Switzerland in 1914.

This was anything but a formal victory. It was to set a precedent in the international community that a country’s right to national sovereignty would be favored over Britain’s imperial “claims”, which were exposed during these two very public trials as amounting to nothing more than the threats and bribes of pirates.

At the UN Security Council, Mosaddegh responded to Britain’s imperial ambitions over Iran with these eloquent words:

“My countrymen lack the bare necessities of existence…Our greatest natural asset is oil. This should be the source of work and food for the population of Iran. Its exploitation should properly be our national industry, and the revenue from it should go to improve our conditions of life. As now organized, however, the petroleum industry has contributed practically nothing to the well-being of the people or to the technical progress or industrial development of my country…if we are to tolerate a situation in which the Iranian plays the part of a mere manual worker in the oil fields…and if foreign exploiters continue to appropriate practically all of the income, then our people will remain forever in a state of poverty and misery. These are the reasons that have prompted the Iranian parliament… to vote unanimously in favor of nationalizing the oil industry.”

A British coup

The British were fuming over Mosaddegh’s high profile humiliation of the British Empire’s claim to Iran’s oil. Mosaddegh would have to be deposed, however, this could not look like a British retaliation.

During Averell Harrimann’s visit to Tehran in July 1951, in an attempt to salvage the broken British-Iranian relationship, Mosaddegh is reported to have said,

“You do not know how crafty they are. You do not know how evil they are. You do not know how they sully everything they touch.”

As coup rumours circulated and reports were rife of British contact being sought with Iranian military officers, Mosaddegh severed diplomatic relations with the UK on Oct 16th 1952. The British were further humiliated and had to leave the country taking their agents with them.

It was at this point that Churchill “invited” his lap dog, de facto president Truman, to participate in his vision for regime change in Iran. In November 1952, NSC 136 and 136/I were written into record, Truman had agreed to promote direct intervention in Iran through covert operations and even military force. A detailed plan was approved on Jan 8th 1953 which was 12 days before Eisenhower was inaugurated.

The management of this covert operation was under the treasonous Dulles brothers, who would use the very same technique when JFK first entered office in setting him up with the Bay of Pigs fiasco, however, JFK managed to publicly expose Allan Dulles in this scheme and fired him. Dulles had been the Director of the CIA for 8 years up until that point, and was Deputy Director of the CIA for two years prior. Refer to my paper on this for further details.

A preliminary meeting in Washington saw representatives of the Near East and Africa Division (NEA) with British Intelligence. The key personalities were Christopher Montague Woodhouse who had been station chief for British Intelligence in Tehran and on the American side Kermit Roosevelt (son of Teddy Roosevelt) acting as NEA Division Chief. It was the British who would propose a joint political action to remove Prime Minister Mosaddegh according to CIA documents, which were in part leaked by the New York Times on April 16th 2000. The final plan was codenamed TPAJAX.

Appendix B, aka “London Draft of the TPAJAX Operational Plan” was black propaganda aimed at hammering out these themes 1) Mosaddegh favors the Tudeh Party and the USSR 2) Mosaddegh is an enemy of Islam since he associates with Tudeh.

The aim of such tactics was to drive a wedge between Mosaddegh and his National Front on the one side and his clerical allies, especially Kashani on the other. Demonstrations against Mosaddegh in the streets were to provide the pretext for bought MPs to hold a vote against him, if he refused to step down the plan was to have Fazlollah Zahedi, leader of the opposition, to arrest him. Zahedi, as laid out in Appendix B was selected by the British to replace Mosaddegh as Prime Minister after the coup.

Chief of Staff Gen. Taghi Riahi found out about the coup plans and alerted Mosaddegh in time. When the chief of the Imperial Guards, Col. Nasiri went to Mosaddegh’s house the evening before the planned coup day (Aug 16th) to arrest him, Nasiri himself was taken as prisoner by the pro- Mosaddegh military. Zahedi managed to flee.

The coup attempt had failed and the word spread fast, crowds flooded the streets supporting Mosaddegh and denouncing the Shah. The Shah left the country quickly.

The CIA informed of the fiasco alerted Kermit Roosevelt that he should leave Iran immediately. But Kermit believed the coup could still work and would make a second attempt three days later. British Intelligence and CIA orchestrated demonstrations set to the streets on Aug 19th. The royal decrees signed by the Shah for the deposal of Mosaddegh to be replaced by Zahedi were made public in the press that very day with the radio news announcing: that Zahedi was Prime Minister, that Mosaddegh had been ousted and that the Shah would return soon.

Military units were dispatched to Mosaddegh’s home. As his house was being destroyed by gunfire and tanks, Mosaddegh managed to escape. It is said he later turned himself in to the authorities.

After a ten-week period in a military prison, Mosaddegh was tried on charges of treason, because he had allegedly mobilized for a rebellion and had contradicted the Shah. In fact, the accused treason was a nationalistic response to a foreign led coup.

Mosaddegh was promptly found guilty and sentenced to death, later lessened to three years in prison, followed by house arrest.

Mosaddegh’s response to the kangaroo court proceedings was,

“My only crime is that I nationalized the oil industry and removed from this land the network of colonialism and the political and economic influence of the greatest empire [the British Empire] on Earth.”

Members of his government were also arrested, as were the leading military who remained loyal to him. Six hundred of the 6, 000 of these men were executed.

Even after Mosaddegh had passed away, on March 5th, 1967, his enemies were fearful of his influence. Mosaddegh had requested that upon his death, he be buried in the public graveyard beside the victims of the political violence that occurred on the 21st July 1952 from British-backed Ahmad Qavam who ordered soldiers to shoot at Mosaddegh nationalists during a demonstration, resulting in a blood bath. Not wanting his grave to become the site of political manifestations, a public funeral for Mosaddegh was denied and his body was quietly buried underneath the floorboards of a room in his house.

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

Source

By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

24 JULY 2020

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

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

Welcome To World War C

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

The Vaccine Race

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

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

Necessary Disclaimer

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

Reputational Ramifications

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

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

No Western Vaccine, No Western Travel?

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

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

Challenging China

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

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

“Global South” Guinea Pigs

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

Concluding Thoughts

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

The Global Reset – Unplugged. “The Deep State”

By Peter Koenig

Global Research, July 24, 2020

Conspiracy Theory

First published by GR on June 17, 2020

Imagine, you are living in a world that you are told is a democracy – and you may even believe it – but in fact your life and fate is in the hands of a few ultra-rich, ultra-powerful and ultra-inhuman oligarchs. They may be called Deep State, or simply the Beast, or anything else obscure or untraceable – it doesn’t matter. They are less than the 0.0001%.

For lack of a better expression, let’s call them for now “obscure individuals”. 

These obscure individuals who pretend running our world have never been elected. We don’t need to name them. You will figure out who they are, and why they are famous, and some of them totally invisible. They have created structures, or organisms without any legal format. They are fully out of international legality. They are a forefront for the Beast. Maybe there are several competing Beasts. But they have the same objective: A New or One World Order (NWO, or OWO).

These obscure individuals are running, for example, The World Economic Forum (WEF – representing Big Industry, Big Finance and Big Fame), the Group of 7 – G7, the Group of 20 – G20 (the leaders of the economically” strongest” nations). There are also some lesser entities, called the Bilderberg Society, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Chatham House and more.

The members of all of them are overlapping. Even this expanded forefront combined represents less than 0.001%. They all have superimposed themselves over sovereign national elected and constitutional governments, and over THE multinational world body, the United Nations, the UN.

In fact, they have coopted the UN to do their bidding. UN Director Generals, as well as the DGs of the multiple UN-suborganizations, are chosen  mostly by the US, with the consenting nod of their European vassals – according to the candidate’s political and psychological profile. If his or her ‘performance’ as head of the UN or head of one of the UN suborganizations fails, his or her days are counted. Coopted or created by the Beast(s) are also, the European Union, the Bretton Woods Organizations, World Bank and IMF, as well as the World Trade Organization (WTO) – and – make no mistake – the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. It has no teeth. Just to make sure the law is always on the side of the lawless.

In addition to the key international financial institutions, WB and IMF, there are the so-called regional development banks and similar financial institutions, keeping the countries of their respective regions in check.

In the end its financial or debt-economy that controls everything. Western neoliberal banditry has created a system, where political disobedience can be punished by economic oppression or outright theft of national assets in international territories. The system’s common denominator is the (still) omnipresent US-dollar.

“Unelected Individuals”

The supremacy of these obscure unelected individuals becomes ever more exposed. We, the People consider it “normal” that they call the shots, not what we call – or once were proud of calling, our sovereign nations and sovereignly elected governments. They have become a herd of obedient sheep. The Beast has gradually and quietly taken over. We haven’t noticed. It’s the salami tactic: You cut off slice by tiny slice and when the salami is gone, you realize that you have nothing left, that your freedom, your civil and human rights are gone. By then it’s too late. Case in point is the US Patriot Act. It was prepared way before 9/11. Once 9/11 “happened”, the Patriot Legislation was whizzed through Congress in no time – for the people’s future protection – people called for it for fear – and – bingo, the Patriot Act took about 90% of the American population’s freedom and civil rights away. For good.

We have become enslaved to the Beast. The Beast calls the shots on boom or bust of our economies, on who should be shackled by debt, when and where a pandemic should break out, and on the conditions of surviving the pandemic, for example, social confinement. And to top it all off – the instruments the Beast uses, very cleverly, are a tiny-tiny invisible enemy, called a virus, and a huge but also invisible monster, called FEAR. That keeps us off the street, off reunions with our friends, and off our social entertainment, theatre, sports, or a picnic in the park.

Soon the Beast will decide who will live and who will die, literally – if we let it. This may be not far away. Another wave of pandemic and people may beg, yell and scream for a vaccine, for their death knell, and for the super bonanza of Big Pharma – and towards the objectives of the eugenicists blatantly roaming the world – see this. There is still time to collectively say NO. Collectively and solidarily.

Take the latest case of blatant imposture. Conveniently, after the first wave of Covid-19 had passed, at least in the Global North, where the major world decisions are made, in early June 2020, the unelected WEF Chairman, Klaus Schwab, announced “The Great Reset”. Taking advantage of the economic collapse – the crisis shock, as in “The Shock Doctrine” – Mr. Schwab, one of the Beast’s frontrunners, announces openly what the WEF will discuss and decide for the world-to-come in their next Davos Forum in January 2021. For more details see this.

Will, We, The People, accept the agenda of the unelected WEF?American Hubris Robust in a Cataclysmic Global Pandemic

It will opportunely focus on the protection of what’s left of Mother Earth; obviously at the center will be man-made CO2-based “Global Warming”. The instrument for that protection of nature and humankind will be the UN Agenda 2030 – which equals the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). It will focus on how to rebuild the willfully destroyed global economy, while respecting the (“green”) principles of the 17 SDGs.

Mind you, it’s all connected. There are no coincidences. The infamous Agenda 2021 which coincides with and complements the so-called (UN) Agenda 2030, will be duly inaugurated by the WEF’s official declaration of The Great Reset, in January 2021. Similarly, the implementation of the agenda of The Great Reset began in January 2020, by the launch of the corona pandemic – planned for decades with the latest visible events being the 2010 Rockefeller Report with its “Lockstep Scenario”, and Event 201, of 18 October in NYC which computer-simulated a corona pandemic, leaving within 18 months 65 million deaths and an economy in ruin, programmed just a few weeks before the launch of the actual corona pandemic. See COVID-19, We Are Now Living the “Lock Step Scenario” and this and this.

The Race Riots

The racial riots, initiated by the movement Black Lives Matter (funded by the Ford Foundation and Soros’ Open Society Foundation), following the brutal assassination of the Afro-American George Floyd by a gang of Minneapolis police, and spreading like brush-fire in no time to more than 160 cities, first in the US, then in Europe – are not only connected to the Beast’s agenda, but they were a convenient deviation from the human catastrophe left behind by Covid-19. See also this.

The Beast’s nefarious plan to implement what’s really behind the UN Agenda 2030 is the little heard-of Agenda ID2020. See The Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic: The Real Danger is “Agenda ID2020”. It has been created and funded by the vaccination guru Bill Gates, and so has GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations), the association of Big Pharma – involved in creating the corona vaccines, and which funds along with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) a major proportion of WHO’s budget.

The Great Reset, as announced by WEF’s Klaus Schwab, is supposedly implemented by Agenda ID2020. It is more than meets the eye. Agenda ID2020 is even anchored in the SDGs, as SDG 16.9 “by 2030 provide legal [digital] identity for all, including free birth registration”. This fits perfectly into the overall goal of SDG 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”

Following the official path of the UN Agenda 2030 of achieving the SDGs, the ‘implementing’ Agenda ID2020 – which is currently being tested on school children in Bangladesh – will provide digitized IDs possibly in the form of nano-chips implanted along with compulsory vaccination programs, will promote digitization of money and the rolling out of 5G – which would be needed to upload and monitor personal data on the nano chips and to control the populace. Agenda ID2020 will most likely also include ‘programs’ – through vaccination? – of significantly reducing world population. Eugenics is an important component in the control of future world population under a NOW / OWO – see also Georgia Guidestones, mysteriously built in 1980.

The ruling elite used the lockdown as an instrument to carry out this agenda. Its implementation would naturally face massive protests, organized and funded along the same lines as were the BLM protests and demonstrations. They may not be peaceful – and may not be planned as being peaceful. Because to control the population in the US and in Europe, where most of the civil unrest would be expected, a total militarization of the people is required. This is well under preparation.

In his essay “The Big Plantation”, John Steppling reports from a NYT article that a

“minimum of  93,763 machine guns, 180,718 magazine cartridges, hundreds of silencers and an unknown number of grenade launchers have been provided to state and local police departments in the US since 2006. This is in addition to at least 533 planes and helicopters, and 432 MRAPs — 9-foot high, 30-ton Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicles with gun turrets and more than 44,900 pieces of night vision equipment, regularly used in nighttime raids in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

He adds that this militarization is part of a broader trend. Since the late 1990s, about 89 percent of police departments in the United States serving populations of 50,000 people or more had a PPU (Police Paramilitary Unit), almost double of what existed in the mid-1980s. He refers to these militarized police as the new Gestapo.

Even before Covid, about 15% to 20% of the population was on or below the poverty line in the United States. The post-covid lockdown economic annihilation will at least double that percentage – and commensurately increase the risk for civil turbulence and clashes with authorities – further enhancing the reasoning for a militarized police force.

China’s Crypto RMB

None of these scenarios will, of course, be presented to the public by the WEF in January 2021. These are decisions taken behind closed doors by the key actors for the Beast. However, this grandiose plan of the Great Reset does not have to happen. There is at least half the world population and some of the most powerful countries, economically and militarily – like China and Russia – opposed to it. “Reset” maybe yes, but not in these western terms. In fact, a reset of kinds is already happening with China about to roll out a new People’s Bank of China backed blockchain-based cryptocurrency, the crypto RMB, or yuan. This is not only a hard currency based on a solid economy, it is also supported by gold.

While President Trump keeps trashing China for unfair trade, for improperly managing the covid pandemic, for stealing property rights – China bashing no end – that China depends on the US and that the US will cut trading ties with China – or cut ties altogether, China is calling Trump’s bluff. China is quietly reorienting herself towards the ASEAN countries plus Japan (yes, Japan!) and South Korea, where trade already today accounts for about 15% of all China’s trade and is expected to double in the next five years.

Despite the lockdown and the disruption of trade, China’s overall exports recovered with a 3.2% increase in April (in relation to April 2019). This overall performance in China exports was nonetheless accompanied by a dramatic decline in US-China trade. China exports to the US decreased by 7.9% in April (in relation to April 2019).

It is clear that the vast majority of US industries could not survive without Chinese supply chains. The western dependence on Chinese medical supplies is particularly strong. Let alone Chinese dependence by US consumers. In 2019, US total consumption, about 70% of GDP, amounted to $13.3 trillion, of which a fair amount is directly imported from China or dependent on ingredients from China.

The WEF-masters are confronted with a real dilemma. Their plan depends very much on the dollar supremacy which would continue to allow dishing out sanctions and confiscating assets from those countries opposing US rule; a dollar-hegemony which would allow imposing the components of The Great Reset scheme, as described above.

At present, the dollar is fiat money, debt-money created from thin air. It has no backing whatsoever. Therefore, its worth as a reserve currency is increasingly decaying, especially vis-à-vis the new crypto-yuan from China. In order to compete with the Chinese yuan, the US Government would have to move away from its monetary Ponzi-scheme, by separating itself from the 1913 Federal Reserve Act and print her own US-economy- and possibly gold-backed (crypto) money – not fiat FED-money, as is the case today. That would mean cutting the more than 100-year old ties to the Rothschild and Co. clan-owned FED, and creating a real peoples-owned central bank. Not impossible, but highly improbable. Here, two Beasts might clash, as world power is at stake.

Meanwhile, China, with her philosophy of endless creation would continue forging ahead unstoppably with her mammoth socioeconomic development plan of the 21st Century, the Belt and Road Initiative, connecting and bridging the world with infrastructure for land and maritime transport, with joint research and industrial projects, cultural exchanges – and not least, multinational trade with “win-win” characteristics, equality for all partners – towards a multi-polar world, towards a world with a common future for mankind.

Today already more than 120 countries are associated with BRI – and the field is wide open for others to join – and to defy, unmask and unplug The Great Reset of the West.

*

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

The ’Americanized’ Europe is Crumbling towards Bankruptcy and Chaos

The ’Americanized’ Europe is Crumbling towards Bankruptcy and Chaos

By George Haddad

Sofia – Until World War II, old Colonialism has prevailed in the world [excluding the Soviet Union which was besieged and isolated]. Production [i.e. industry and industry-based agriculture] was the center of the colonial system. The metropolitans [European colonial countries] were the “factory of the world”. As for the colonies and semi-colonies that were once called the “Third World”, they were obliged by force to be:

  1. Sources of raw materials [crude and agricultural] to supply the metropolitan industry.
  2. Markets for metropolitan industrial and agricultural products.

The so-called “price-cutter” was being forcefully imposed on the peoples of the colonial and semi-colonial countries, that is, they were forced to buy the commodities of European countries at high prices [higher than their real value], and to sell their raw materials at low prices [lesser than their real value].

The ruling capitalist classes of the colonials sewed up most of these “surplus” profits resulting from the aforementioned “price cuts” [the price differences]. But it was “waiving” a portion of less or more of those “surplus profits” to increase the living standards of the popular masses in colonial Europe, to anaesthetize them and obtain their support for a colonial policy, and at least make them condone that policy.

The historical consequence of that colonial system was that progress and affluence in the colonial Europe countries happened on the expense of the colonial and semi-colonial peoples of the third world by slaughtering, subduing, humiliating, and starving them.

The Second World War marked a turning point in the previous world order; on the one hand, the former socialist camp emerged, and on the other hand, the old colonial system collapsed due to the revolutions in the colonies and semi-colonies. The former colonial metropolitan countries [which emerged from the war weak and semi-destroyed] could no longer forcefully impose their “production” on the third world. Socialist thought spread like wildfire through the “Third World”. A large group that antagonize communism, especially in its economic and social aspects, embraced many groups that were hostile to or disagree politically, religiously and ideologically with communism. Accordingly, a realistic possibility for the global capitalist system as a whole to collapse saw light. But the American geostrategic intervention, militarily, politically, and economically, had blocked this possibility.

Not only did the United States emerge from the war safe and sound having distanced itself from the battlefields, but rather, it emerged wealthier and literally became the “World Bank” for gold reserves and thousands of billions of capital fleeing its countries due to the wars, revolutions, and the collapse of the old colonial system. This accumulation of global capitals in the US led to the emergence of multinational companies and major global capitalist monopolies alongside their Jewish capital nuclei and the adoption of the dollar as the main international currency, as well as the emergence of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund [IMF] to control the dollar process in the global economy as a whole. This led to a paradigm shift in the global capitalist system, which was to transfer the centre point of the global capitalist economy from “production” to “financing”, represented by loans, employment, and investments, which was the basis for the emergence of the new neoliberal system, American globalization, and the so-called “savage capitalism”. Due to these mechanisms, America worked and is still working to dominate the world.

This “paradigm shift” of the world capitalist-imperialist system resulted in the following:

  1. The insane increase of the financial sector’s share in the global economy from 5% in the aftermath of World War II to 50% today.
  2. Centralizing the global economy around the dollar, i.e. placing it under the mercy of the dollar-printing machine owned by the Jewish financial group that controls the American Central Bank’s “governor” called “Federal Reserve Bank”.
  3. Turning the US, almost completely, into a parasitic state. As American production now represents less than 18% of the American economy, which in turn represents less than 20% of the global economy; whereas – the US – consumes more than 40% of global production.
  4. Europe itself, with its rich history, has turned into a US-influence zone. Consequently, Europe became a producer and the US a consumer of its production [and others production] in exchange for a dollar currency, which is constantly losing its purchasing value. This means that Europe gradually lost all the extra wealth it had looted from colonial and semi-colonial peoples for hundreds of years, in just a few decades in favour of the US. And that is to say, Europe is living day to day on its production, which in turn gradually loses its marketing value due to the peg to the dollar that is gradually losing its purchasing value in favour of the American-Jewish monetary monopoly of the dollar.
  5. And by seeking to obtain profits in any way, the global American-Jewish monopolistic monetary bloc objectively encouraged industrialization and increased production in what was called the “Asian Tigers”: Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc., as it “neglected” and also objectively encouraged the overwhelming industrial revival of China that is governed by the Communist Party, whose population is 50% more than the combined population of Europe and America. These countries produced in huge quantities industrial commodities [with international specifications] that are much cheaper than expensive European ones because their labour remuneration is much lower than the “pampered” labour remuneration in Europe. The production of ex-colonial countries made a fierce and deadly competition for European production, whose proportion has shrunk considerably in the world trade.

Finally, under the same general economic laws of capitalism, the inflated balloon of rentier financial capital [interest – speculative] exploded, and the financial-economic crisis in the US erupted spilling over to Europe in 2008. The main cause behind this continues crisis is the explosive collision between the infinite and senseless rise in profits resulting from the fiscal usurious-speculative policy and the limited purchasing power of consumers. The US has been able to partially and interim deal with the consequences of the crisis, thanks to its capacity to print more dollars, which the world has no choice but to “receive” gratefully [!]. As for Europe, it is impossible to do so. Therefore, its situation is worse than that of the US, and it “is solving” the problems resulting from the crisis by inflation, unemployment and lowering the living standard of the European masses.

Meanwhile, the Coronavirus pandemic hit. Whether this pandemic is a form of biological warfare [as US President Donald Trump suggests in his repeated accusations to China], or a “natural” phenomenon as a result of environmental pollution due to the brutality of the capitalist greed system dealing with nature, the economic crisis is quickly and severely making its way into Europe: production is shrinking at a very high level below zero, unemployment is exacerbating, social services are disastrously diminishing, the educational system is collapsing, and prices are skyrocketing.

And if the US presented the “Marshall Plan” to Europe after World War II, to dominate it, then the US today [which is today embroiled in crisis] cannot and does not want to help Europe; but rather it wants, if possible, to overcome its crisis at the expense of Europe.

Wrong Again! But, who? Serbs or the media?

Wrong Again!  But, who?  Serbs or the media?

July 21, 2020

by Višeslav Simić, PhD, for The Saker Blog

“Illiterate degenerates, baby killers, butchers, and rapists,” as the then US Senator, and now the US Democratic Party’s Presidential candidate, Joe Biden, described the Serbs, are again in the focus of the global “p(l)andemic” propagators because they have en masse gathered in front of the country’s Parliament to protest “the Covid 19 measures.”

Yet, as in most other cases, the Western media got only part of the story and reported only what conforms with the official and “woke” narrative.

The people have had enough not only of the conflicting, incompetent and plain diabolical “measures” imposed upon them by the “state’s crisis expert team,” which, by the way, were the strictest and longest-lasting in the world, as well as of the pathetic and embarrassing panic and despair stricken “head of state”, but, more than anything else, they spontaneously burst into protests against the decades-long accumulated local governmental abuse, humiliation and psychological torture, in addition to impoverishment, isolation and the sanctions imposed by the “international community,” which is the euphemism for the US-led NATO coalition of states.

The current President of Serbia, who, since June 3, is the only remaining quasi-legal, totally illegitimate, Serbia’s high official, has mismanaged the state into a constitutional crisis, a financial disaster, and into an age of lawlessness, in which his private army of thugs has been employed to maintain him in power. Aleksandar Vučić, who enjoys self-declaring each and every action of his to be something “never before done in Serbian history,” through his political manipulations and blatant abuse of power, forced Parliamentary elections upon the population, which was, for almost as long as NATO bombing lasted in 1999, kept under the illegally and unconstitutionally imposed state of emergency, locked in their apartments during curfews lasting up to 5 days.

While the nation was locked up, he, and his party apparatchiks and ruling coalition members, moved freely all over Serbia, using the situation for election campaigning, simultaneously blocking access to the media to all other parties, providing “care packages” to his supporters, siphoning state funds for it, and blackmailing state employees into voting for his party. While campaigning, he posed as the leader of all citizens, tirelessly laboring for their good, yet, he not only openly propagated his party but remained the party’s chief officer in spite of the Constitutional prohibition against such “double-dipping,” ensuring his loss of legitimacy in spite of his claim that he is a legal officer of the state.

Facing the constitutional and legal obligation of holding Parliamentary elections during a health crisis, he forced their postponement until a date beyond the constitutionally proscribed deadline, thus voiding the legality and legitimacy not only of the elections themselves but of all the state institutions which depended on them – the mandate of the Parliament expired, which automatically caused the Government to become null and void, leaving Serbia without the Legislative and Executive branches, while the Judicial branch had long ago self-abolished itself by total inactivity and irrelevance, since the Supreme Court had declared itself incompetent and with no jurisdiction in all the violation of the Constitution cases, including the imposition of the state of emergency. The office of the President in Serbia is strictly ceremonial and legally its holder has no powers, which are, by the Constitution, in the hands of the Prime Minister. Yet, Vučić has created the biggest and most flagrant organized crime structure in Serbia, which has hijacked the state for its own corrupt, illicit and scandalous ends, so that all Serbian institutions have long ceased to exist and serve any purpose at all. It has not happened only to government institutions but to other pillars of Serbian traditions and identity: The Orthodox Church of Serbia has been bought by large ad hoc and fiat-based “donations” and by threats of scandal exposure; The Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the “intelligentsia” in general, have also long been bought by cushy appanages and privileges, monetary and in terms of titles and honors; The Military – once the greatest pride of the nation and the only European force that successfully opposed NATO, have long been replaced by a spineless slug-like corps, completely irrelevant and thoroughly infiltrated by NATO agents; The Police, once known as People’s, have been staffed by thugs and criminal elements, just like the Military, so much so that full-time officers have operated and protected illegal drugs production and distribution, as well as the illegal arms trade, even with Islamist groups, enemies of the US.

This outright and shameless advertising of reckless power abuse had culminated in the President’s Monty-Pythonesque and irreverently mocking imposition of an incompetent and embarrassingly speech articulation challenged Croat lesbian Prime Minister, with a faux amie sounding last name of Brn-a-bich, who, officially the holder of the highest and most powerful office in the land, addressed the President as “Boss,” and continually announced to the nation that she only fulfills “the Boss’s wishes.” It must be pointed out that her being a lesbian and a Croat wasn’t a big “problem,” in spite of Serbia being known as a quite conservative, traditionalist and nationalistic land, but it was her personal arrogance, breaching of civilized norms of behavior with political opponents, and her incapability to formulate even the simplest thought or to show any genuine interest in the life of ordinary citizens of Serbia. Her cabinet was staffed with proven plagiarists and open criminals.  She is also known as a US agent, having worked for years for various Western interests in Serbia, making profitable deals that benefitted her family and friends.

This gross and exhaustive sham of all universal values and norms, violation of European and Western coda of behavior, rupture of social and political ideals, and renting of standards of good governance and public policy mores has been approved, supported, applauded, glorified, praised and rewarded by all Western governments and international bodies, public and private institutions and organizations, businesses and financial corporations, not only because Vučić has allowed a violent and unscrupulous takeover of Serbia’s businesses, a ruthless exploitation and ruinous pillage of natural and human resources, and a scheming and mercenary usage of Serbia’s geopolitical strategic location and influence with Russia, but, more than anything else, he has been most cooperative and instrumental in the grand treason of Kosovo and Metohija, and the final fulfilment of the West’s decades-long sweetest dream of gaining Serbia’s recognition of the NATO-controlled narco/sex slave/organ trafficking “state” locally operated by Islamist terrorist gang of brutal and barbarous West’s hirelings.

Eight long years have passed, filled with Vučić’s daily – actually, hourly! – pitiful provincial-actor-level drama queen performances of hurt feelings, broken heart wailing and weeping, gnashing of teeth in an agony of a misunderstood Messiah, fish-market-wife-like accusations and curses of unfaithful suitors, petty caprices of a high school pageant queen and vicious and vengeful worn out diva… Enough public pathology for generations of political and personal psychopathy doctoral theses!

Thus, the final straw on the back of the long-suffering nation, and the final drop of bile in the bitter cup served the people of Serbia was the re-imposition of the curfew and the state of emergency upon the population of Belgrade (with a possibility of doing it all over Serbia), right after the President’s arrogant and pompous declaration of victory, with over 60% of the votes won by his party, although there were blatant and degrading irregularities at over one-third of polling places, with most political opponents having boycotted the elections, and a vast majority of the people not even bothering to go out to vote, being aware that the whole process was illegal, irregular, and insulting to the intelligence and the honor of the nation.

Before the virus arrived in Serbia, the President and his “public health expert crisis team” declared it, in a live, clown-like TV appearance, “the funniest virus in world history,” announcing to the world that Serbs are genetically stronger than all other peoples of the globe so that the virus was not going to harm them, and that “husbands should send their wives to Milan on a shopping spree” not only because the prices would be low due to the tragedy there but because the estrogens in women render them resistant to it. The President, in a “funny guy” routine, shared his very “secret” method of fighting the virus by consuming a few shots of the strong Serbian plum brandy every morning! The Prime Minister reassured the population that “[they] have the virus under total control.”

Yet, just a few days later the whole criminal clan running the country of Serbia panicked and turned into a freak show. They imposed the strictest and the longest-lasting “public health measures” in Europe, and thousands of people were fined heavily for just going shopping for food at the wrong hour of the day. The population over 65 years of age was imprisoned for months in their homes and left with no organized aid, allowed to go shopping for food only from 4-7 AM – all of this because the President raised the level of panic and hysteria to unbearable levels by constant announcements that Serbia doesn’t have enough cemeteries to bury all the dead if the people disobey his orders. The situation was “so serious” that Easter was canceled, with the Patriarch of Serbia, ever an obedient servant of the President, declaring all churches closed and unnecessary for the religious life of the nation. Yet, the people remembered that even under Nazi and NATO bombs the Orthodox Easter was celebrated as the most important and hope-giving holiday of Resurrection and Life.

Yet, just before the election day, the infections all but disappeared, there were no more deaths, and the virus was declared, yet again, harmless and weak! The people were free and safe to go “vote” for the President!

When the ruling party’s victory was declared, leaving the future (illegal and illegitimate, we must insist on it) Parliament with no opposition at all, the President and his party celebrated all night, crowded all together, kissing and hugging each other in a live broadcast of the debauch orgy of naked arrogance and non-repentant narcissism and idolatry, with many election losers coming to perform obeisance to the “Savior,” hoping for a position in the future government. In the meantime, the nation set in their homes, speechless and horrified by the recklessness and ostentation by those who are supposed to protect and serve them.

Of course, the wages of sin were almost death – many of the celebrants ended up in the hospital, including the former Speaker of the Parliament, the former Chief Negotiator for Kosovo and Metohija, and one of the main election losers, an old-time turncoat, who got fewer votes than there are members of his own family.

The President immediately declared that it was the people’s fault, that the population was unruly and irresponsible, and that the rush to churches and sporting events caused the increase in the number of the sick. As expected, he pronounced, with the whole “expert team” nodding their heads with appropriate seriousness, that “no one got infected while voting!”

So – the people had to be locked up again and the appropriate decision was made by the now non-existent, illegal, and illegitimate government!

That was the trigger for the protests, not their cause!

We all saw the brutality by which the youth of Serbia were dispersed, using tear gas, batons, rubber bullets, police dogs, police Hummers parallel riding the streets in order to run over the protesters, and even the cavalry was called in, galloping at unarmed students and old people who couldn’t even run away from under the hoofs of the horses. Hundreds or even thousands of peaceful protesters were arrested. The number is uncertain since no information has been given to the families who were searching for their missing sons and daughters.

While this was happening, the media, totally controlled either by the President or by NATO countries’ corporations, showed entertaining programs and, if at all, informed the citizenry that “outlaws and hooligans” have attacked “the Home of the People” (the Parliament), which was defended by the “servants of the people” (the police). The Prime Minister declared, in a live TV appearance, that it was the students who threw tear gas at the police and not the other way around, and that the police suffered violence by the hooligan youth of Serbia.

The now open tyrant and dictator Vučić has accused his own people of being outlaws for challenging his rules, very plausibly influenced by his adviser, Tony Blair, who in 1999 bombed Serbia and occupied almost 20% of its territory, together with Bill Clinton, and who declared, in London’s Independent (March 27, 1999) that Serbs are “the outlaw nation stubbornly challenging the rules of the international community.” (meaning, his and Bill’s) This Presidential advisor is the same person who was discussed and analyzed at length in Dr. Vojislav Šešelj’s 2005 book titled “The English Fag Fart, Tony Blair,” for which Vucic wrote a laudatory introduction, and from whom he must have received the wisdom of calling his own people “outlaws” for “stubbornly challenging the rules” of Serbia’s Lord and Master.

But, just as Black Lives Matter in the US and all over the “woke” West, so do Serb Lives Matter, and we will defend them, liberate them from abuse and humiliation, and cherish them back to health and growth until Serbia is bursting with life, love and happiness, with this Psychopath safely locked away, and his Criminal Age only a reminder of the value of freedom and strong and healthy democratic institutions.

Višeslav Simić is a multilingual international business and international relations negotiator and marketing contractor; director, manager and supervisor of international development and aid organizations contracts and projects; university level educator in the fields of business and international diplomacy, strategy, negotiations and administration; academic and professional researcher and analyst of international business, diplomacy and public policy with published works; debating and public speaking coach; award-winning fiction writer.

‘Israel’ Stumble over Coronavirus: Looking More like Sayyed Nasrallah’s Spider Web

‘Israel’ Stumble over Coronavirus: Looking More like Sayyed Nasrallah’s Spider Web

By Staff, Agencies

Months after the ‘Israeli’ entity became in trouble dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic, former head of the ‘Israeli’ Military’s Operations Directorate, Maj.-Gen ‘Israel’ Ziv [ret.] told Kan Bet on Monday that ‘Israel’ looks confused, as if it is not being managed, looking like Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s “spider web.”

This was a reference to Sayyed Nasrallah’s famous speech celebrating the Islamic Resistance’s victory and forcing ‘Israel’ to withdraw from Lebanon in 2000 when he stressed that with all its might and weaponry, ‘Israel’ is as feeble as a spider web.

The former military official’s comments were made amid angry protests engulfing the Zionist entity over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s weak handling of the Coronavirus crisis, as well as cases of corruption he is tried for.

Confessing the joy the ‘Israeli’ enemy felt when watching what was happening in the Arab world during the ‘Arab Spring’, Ziv said “we felt a degree of satisfaction – look, they are unstable; look, they are failing.”

As for now, he lamented: “How do we now look in the eyes of the Arabs? We have a managerial crisis, a mess on the street – they are certainly hoping that it will go from demonstrations to anarchy – there is no budget…”

And the government can’t even make a decision to give the ‘War’ Ministry, which is supposed to always keep its eyes above water, [budgetary] exemptions. And if I’m Iran, I’m thinking this is an extraordinary opportunity, the former military official went on to regret.

‘Israel’s’ enemies, Ziv said, are closely watching what is happening here, and the conclusions they draw could have long-lasting ramifications. We must recover, he stressed, “take matters into our hands, change the framework for dealing with the crisis, and show the strong ‘Israel’.”

Ziv considered that the ‘Israeli’ entity’s foes are carefully watching to see, and perhaps exploit, its weaknesses that are on full display.

In the early days of the virus, Netanyahu boasted often that countries around the world were looking to learn from ‘Israel’ about how to deal with the virus.

But what will happen to this leverage if these countries look at how ‘Israel’ is dealing with the pandemic now, and conclude that it is doing no better – and perhaps even worse – than they themselves are?, Ziv wondered.

Paying it forward – Erdogan style

Paying it forward – Erdogan style

July 20, 2020

by Ghassan and Intibah Kadi for the Saker Blog

With all eyes globally poised at COVID-19 and the impending economic meltdown, Black-Lives-Matter activism, and the protests in the USA and some Western countries, little attention is given to the rise of a potentially more formidable religious fundamentalism base for ISIS-style and orientation than ISIS itself; and indications are pointing to this happening right now, in today’s Turkey.

Al-Qaeda and ISIS are/were rogue organizations with relatively little resources, little prowess, and no international standing to offer them a safe haven under which to hide and protect themselves from the wrath of the world, so to speak.

But this was not the case for the Saudis over the last few decades. Saudi Arabia is an internationally recognized political entity, a member of the United Nations, a G-20 member with enormous wealth and a commodity that the world needs; oil. Saudi Arabia used its dollar power to spread the fundamentalist Wahhabi version of Islam based on the interpretations and teachings of Ibn Taymiyyah.

The Saudis spent billions of dollars, tens and even perhaps hundreds of billions building religious schools and mosques throughout the entire globe. They sponsored, fostered and abetted preachers, including highly controversial violent radical preachers in order to promote their version of Islam. They financed and equipped most fundamentalist terror groups, all the way initially from the Afghani Mujahideen, the Somali Al-Shabab, to the Nigerian Boku Haram; just to name a few. Their program commenced in the late 1960’s, during the reign of Saudi King Faisal who initially wanted to eradicate the growing doctrine of Marxism in the Muslim World.

And when the Saudis believed they had it made, when they felt the road was paved and all obstacles removed, they launched the multi-billion dollar attack on Syria.

By then, fundamentalist Sunni Muslim youth across the globe were banking on Saudi leadership and had put all of their faith and hope in them to lead the Muslim World towards a new era in which Wahhabi Islam was expected to make a series of gains on the global arena; with a covert intention to gain world control.

As the Saudis were beginning to fail in fulfilling their promise, ISIS made its mark in the minds of Muslim youth when world media aired videos of ISIS tanks in the streets and main squares of Mosul; Iraq’s second largest city. Just before and after the fall of Mosul, the advance of ISIS looked unstoppable; reminiscent of the bygone days of Muslim conquest and glory, as perceived by many sympathetic Muslim youth.

It was not a surprise therefore, that when ISIS leader/Caliph Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi called for a Jihad in 2013, he not only rounded up the fundamentalist Sunni sector already radicalized, but he also managed to charm other previously moderate Sunnis who were amazed at his achievements.

It must be remembered here that in as far as Muslim religious battles and conquests are concerned, perhaps the last such great conquest of them all in the Western hemisphere, was the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453. But this conquest of Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II was the result of a huge effort, strategic planning, determination, patience, perseverance and the ability to employ the best in the world in terms of weapon development and specifically cannon manufacturing.

With the Saudi failure in Syria and its utter inability to score any victory in Yemen against all odds that favoured its highly privileged position, Saudi Arabia began to lose its stature as the leading nation of Muslim fundamentalism.

Enter Erdogan.

As I have written many times before, Erdogan is a combination of a religious fundamentalist zealot and a Turkish nationalist. He also has his own egocentric agendas, aspiring to be a mega Muslim leader and an empire builder.

In his quest for leadership, he has taken the role of an opportunist, a blackmailer and a scavenger, among other things.

As an opportunist, he rode on the anti-Syria bandwagon and walked the Qatari-Saudi talk. They flooded him with money and promises. He opened his borders with Syria to the terrorists they funded.

Later on, he used the Syrian refugees in Turkey to blackmail the EU with, opening the floodgate of refugees at will and demanding financial bribes, mainly from Germany, to close the gates after receiving his ransom price, courtesy of the lack of wisdom and short-sightedness of Angela Merkel.

As a scavenger, he is capitalizing on what the Saudis have invested in, to his own benefit.

Erdogan promised his supporters back in 2011 to pray in the Omayyad Mosque in Damascus after defeating Syrian President Assad, but he failed. He promised Turkish people to have ‘zero problems’ internally and externally. He failed. He expected to force Russia into accepting his terms prior to the 15th of March 2020 meeting, and he also failed. He was hoping to score a swift victory in Libya, and he is clearly failing.

What he fails to recognize is that he already is biting off more than he can chew, yet he is preparing to bunker down in Azerbajian.

The man is desperate for a win. There is no better score he can mark on the board than the equivalent of Sultan Mehmet II’s conquest of Constantinople; albeit take two.

The big difference here is that prior to the fall of Constantinople, it was the capital of the Byzantine Empire and its fall was the result of a military defeat at the hands of the Ottomans. Oddly enough however, the Erdogan propaganda machine is portraying the change of status of Hagia Sophia from a museum to a mosque as a great achievement. His supporters are chanting slogans claiming that turning Hagia Sophia into a mosque is tantamount to a conquest that was predicted in the Hadith.

Something must be amiss here. It is either that those supporters do not know that Constantinople/Istanbul had already been under Muslim/Turkish rule for more than five centuries, it is either that they don’t understand what conquest means, or that they are simply trying to festoon Erdogan with someone else’s achievements.

The real reason is more sinister. Erdogan has not been able to score any decisive military victory in all of his gambles, hence he decided to capitalize on the work of his ancestors. Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II took Constantinople after a long journey of strategic planning, but Erdogan thinks he can exhume the remains of vestiges of bygone glory and cloak himself with remnants of slogans of historic milestones and call them his own, thereby reclaiming an icon already under his control, and then audaciously call himself an all-time victor. Instead of having to go to battle to prove his worth, he chose the convenience of the stroke of a pen, and voila, he transformed himself to an instant great Muslim Fatih/conqueror. This is historic plagiarism at its worst.

In essence, in claiming such a great victory over Hagia Sophia, Erdogan has ‘photoshopped’ a triumph based on a fabricated virtual reality that is aimed to win him more support from the fundamentalist Sunni Muslim street; one that is least driven by rationality.

In all of this, Erdogan has not only benefited from the ground work of the Wahhabi Saudis he is fundamentally opposed to as being a Muslim Brotherhood man, but with his understanding of how to manipulate the vulnerable minds of Muslim youth, all the monies the Saudis have spent have inadvertently turned into a pay-it-forward scheme that he hopes will elevate him to the top of the Muslim World hierarchy.

Thus far, manipulating those vulnerable minds both domestically and within the broader Muslim World has been the only area in which Erdogan has been successful.

That said, the difference in international clout between Al-Qaeda/ISIS and the Erdogan leadership is much larger than that of such organizations and the untouchable Saudi Arabia. Turkey is not only a state, a member of the UN, a member of the G-20, but it is also a NATO member with a huge army.

But unlike the Saudis who do not have any history of strategic planning, technological prowess and entrepreneurial achievements other than paying foreigners to build them palaces, Turkey can play a more pernicious role, after all, it is a nation that has had a long history of empire building; and if and when Turkey decides to rise in a fundamentalist way, the world must take notice.

Under the protection of the above, and knowing that the West will not deal with any part of Turkey like it did with Tora Bora, Erdogan feels at liberty to incrementally convert the public school system into a fundamentalist one, but according to an Erdogan propaganda video, with its Arabic captions designed to recruit support from the Arab Sunni world, he indicates he is building the army of the future for the ‘Ummah’ by radicalizing the youth via the re-vamped schools. The Youtube has been removed, but here’s a screenshot of it.

In an article published nearly two years ago in the NYT, Erdogan’s plan of changing over the education system into a religious one is well presented. Public schools are systemically replaced by the religious Imam Hatip schools, of which Erdogan himself is a graduate. Whilst those schools teach regular subjects, around 50% of which are religious, and a student must pass those subjects before he/she can graduate. With this approach in fact, Erdogan could be leading Turkey into not only becoming a theological state, but also a nation that does not have enough technocrats and STEM graduates at a time when he is trying to build an empire and an advanced army. What is also of note is that affluent secular Turkish parents will send their children to private, non-religious schools, and the new generation of doctors, engineers and teachers will be mainly comprised of them.

In a propaganda video, a noisy and loud Erdogan supporter makes a statement saying that whoever stood up for the victory of Hagia Sophia will do the same for the mosques of Jerusalem, Cordoba (in Spain), Yemen, Mecca and Medina.

The main danger of Erdogan, globally speaking, is that he understands both of the fundamentalist Muslim as well as the liberal Western minds, but the West does not have this full understanding; no doubt to its own peril. Until he is either stopped, or falls on his own sword, he will continue to see the world as open slather for his fundamentalist and expansive adventures, because his mind is set in stone in the age of conquests and religious glory.

Links: Erdogan’s Plan to Raise a ‘Pious Generation’ Divides Parents in Turkey

Russian MoD Says COVID-19 Vaccine Ready, Queue Accusations It Was Stolen From “The West”

Source

Russian MoD Says COVID-19 Vaccine Ready, Queue Accusations It Was Stolen From "The West"

On July 21st, Russia’s first COVID-19 vaccine is ready, First Deputy Defense Minister Ruslan Tsalikov said.

It was created by military specialists and scientists of the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology.

“Final assessments on the results of testing by our specialists and scientists of the National Research Center have been already made. At the moment of release all volunteers without exception developed immunity against the coronavirus and felt normal. So, the first domestic vaccine against the novel coronavirus infection is ready,” Tsalikov said.

The Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade told TASS that on June 30 documents for registering the vaccine were submitted to the Health Ministry.

The vaccine has two variants – a liquid and freeze-dried one. Both types were tested on 43 volunteers and all of them reportedly developed immunity to COVID-19.

The Defense Ministry reported on July 20th that jointly with the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology it had successfully completed clinical trials of the coronavirus vaccine on volunteers on the basis of the Burdenko Main Military Hospital.

Separately, a coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford appears safe and triggers an immune response.

Trials involving 1,077 people showed the injection led to them making antibodies and T-cells that can fight coronavirus.

The US company Moderna was first out of the blocks and its vaccine can produce neutralising antibodies. They are injecting coronavirus RNA (its genetic code), which then starts making viral proteins in order to trigger an immune response.

The companies BioNtech and Pfizer have also had positive results using their RNA vaccine.

Notably, however, Russia was accused of allegedly sending out its hackers to steal information from the UK, US and Canada on their vaccine data, and now that Moscow reportedly has success in its trials, a new row of accusations should be expected and is quite likely.

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“Israeli” Economy Shrinks by 6.9 Percent

“Israeli” Economy Shrinks by 6.9 Percent

Translated by Staff, Al-Akhbar

The “Israeli” entity’s economy has shrunk by 6.9% since the first quarter of this year, compared to a 4.6% growth in last year’s last quarter, as revealed in the most recent figures published by the entity’s Central Bureau of Statistics [CBS].

The coronavirus pandemic and the general shutdown that resulted in the aftermath were the main reasons for this decline. According to the CBS, the travel and tourism industry were the most affected sectors, with an 85.2% decrease in services due to flight suspensions and the disruption of domestic tourism.

The decline in car imports which was negatively affected by the 23% decrease of commodity import, was reflected in the GDP. Meanwhile, the personal expenditure per capita decreased by 22.2%, and the personal consumption, excluding the “survival kits”, decreased by 16.8% annually. In addition to the aforementioned, there was also a decrease in the consumption of food, cigarettes, clothing, footwear and other products.

In light of the shutdown restrictions imposed again, a further decline in the “Israeli” economy is expected, as unemployment rates increased to 26% in the first quarter of this year.

إسرائيل في «اللايقين»

«رشوة» نتنياهو لا تثمر: إسرائيل في «اللايقين»

الأخبار

يحيى دبوق السبت 18 تموز 2020

تتجاذب إسرائيل جملةُ ملفات مشبعة بالتحديات في مرحلة لايقين على أكثر من صعيد، وهي تتنازع في ما بينها على سلّم أولوياتها: محاولة مواجهة التهديد الأمني المتعاظم من حولها، وتحدّي «كورونا» الذي بات يضغط بقوة على الاقتصاد والأمن الاجتماعي، إضافة إلى خطة الضمّ التي باتت موضع شك، فيما التجاذب بين أقطاب المؤسسة السياسية على خلفية المصالح الشخصية الضيّقة، وتحديداً رئيس الحكومة بنيامين نتنياهو، يلقي بتبعات سلبية على مختلف الملفات بلا استثناءات.

التحدّي الأمني

في التحدّي الأمني، وهو الذي بات يُعرف بتهديد الجبهة الشمالية الأوسع الممتدّة من بيروت مروراً بدمشق فبغداد وصولاً إلى طهران، واضح أن تل أبيب تسعى، بمعية الولايات المتحدة، في تحقيق جملة إنجازات تحدّ وتُضعف مركبات محور أعدائها، وإن كانت حتى الآن في مرحلة المساعي التي لا تعرف إن كانت ستحقق النتائج المأمولة منها. وهذه الحقيقة تدركها وإن كان يتراءى لها إلى الآن أنها تحقق «مكاسب» على المدى القريب، فيما الهدف الذي تسعى إليه فعلياً بعيد جداً عن التحقق: صدّ تشكّل التهديدات وتناميها وأيضاً تعاظمها في ساحات أعدائها، التي لم تعد مركّزة في ساحة واحدة، ومنها أيضاً ما بات في حكم تعذّر مواجهته.

في مساعي الصد تتحرّك تل أبيب على حدّ السيف، وإن كانت تسعى جاهدة في الموازاة إلى تحقيق أقصى نتيجة ممكنة، مع كثير من الحذر أن لا تتسبب بمواجهات واسعة تدرك أن تحمّل تبعاتها متعذّر عليها، وإن كانت، في المقابل، قادرة على إلحاق الأذى الواسع في صفوف أعدائها. لكن القدر المتيقن بالأذى الذي تتوقعه لنفسها كافٍ كي يردعها ويدفعها إلى توخي أقصى درجات الحذر.

المعركة ضمن هذه الحدود تدور منذ سنوات، وتحقق إسرائيل بمعية الولايات المتحدة إنجازات في جولاتها التي تبدو أنها لا تنتهي، لكن دون أن تنهي التهديدات التي وجدت المعركة لصدها، بل يثبت يوماً بعد يوم تراكم التهديد وتعاظمه، ما يدفع تل أبيب إلى الاستعانة بالولايات المتحدة، عرّابتها، التي بات عليها هي حماية الكيان الإسرائيلي وحفظه والعمل بنفسها على منع التهديدات الإقليمية ضده، بدل أن يكون الكيان نفسه الوسيلة القتالية التي تحقق الإرادة الأميركية في المنطقة، من دون قدرة على مواجهتها.

المعركة مستمرة بلا توقف، لكن يتداخل فيها أكثر من عامل متناقض بين الكبح والدفع والتحفيز والردع وموازنة الثمن الحالي للأفعال الاعتدائية مقابل أثمان لاحقة أكبر وأوسع وأكثر إيلاماً. الحديث هنا يتعلق بمعركة ضد المقاومة في لبنان ومنع تعاظم قدراتها نوعياً، وتقصد إسرائيل بذلك منع حزب الله من امتلاك الصواريخ الدقيقة. إلى الآن، تصمد قواعد الاشتباك وتمتنع إسرائيل قسراً عن كسرها، إذ إن من شأن محاولة الكسر التسبب بردّ وردّ على الرد، وسلسلة ردود متبادلة… ومن ثم التدحرج إلى مواجهة عسكرية من الصعب تقدير المدى الذي يمكن أن تبلغه.
كذلك الأمر في ما يتعلق بالوجود الإيراني في سوريا، وهو ما تطلق عليه إسرائيل «التمركز الإيراني»، الذي صدرت إزاءه وعود كثيرة منذ سنوات ولا تزال، بل وكانت بالأمس القريب أعلنت أنه كاد ينتهي وبات الإيرانيون في مرحلة الرحيل النهائي عن سوريا. ولا يبدو أن الضربات الإسرائيلية، المدروسة جيّداً والحذرة جيّداً، في الساحة السورية من شأنها إنهاء «التمركز»، بل في المقابل بدأ يترسخ أكثر فأكثر، وخاصة أنه مبني على إرادة سورية – إيرانية مشتركة، كان آخر تعبير عنها اتفاقات أمنية وعسكرية ثنائية أثارت حفيظة إسرائيل. في هذه الساحة تحديداً، التحدّي كبير جداً وتأثيراته قاسية على تل أبيب، وبشكل أكثر تأثيراً على المدَيين المتوسط والبعيد، وإن بإمكانها حالياً التعايش النسبي مع مرحلة «التشكّل والتمركز».

تخشى حكومة نتنياهو مزيداً من التداعيات الاقتصادية التي تزيد من حدة التأزّم لدى الإسرائيليين


واحد من جملة قيود تل أبيب في هذه الساحة هو أنها شبه مكبلة عن المبادرة وفقاً لاستراتيجيتها المعتمدة في ضرب أعدائها والتأثير في قراراتهم وتوجهاتهم، ذلك أنها مضطرة إلى الابتعاد وعدم المسّ بـ«مركز الثقل» الفعلي في سوريا، الذي يمكنها الرهان عليه كي يتسبب بالتشويش على «التمركز الإيراني». هذه ربما من الأمور التي يغفل البعض عن تظهيرها، وإن كثرت الأحاديث عن اعتداءات إسرائيلية هنا وهناك.

مركز الثقل الذي يمكن لتل أبيب أن «تحشر في الزاوية» عبر استهدافه أو التهديد الجدي باستهدافه، هو مركبات ومقدرات النظام السوري نفسه، إلا أن مركز الثقل هذا خارج القدرة الإسرائيلية الفعلية على الاستهداف المفضي إلى التأثير على إرادة دمشق أو إرادة طهران، مجتمعتين أو متفرقتين، نظراً إلى معادلات الساحة السورية وموازين القوى فيها وتشعبات وتضارب المصالح فيها لأكثر من لاعب، ومن بينها ما لا يمكن لتل أبيب أن تتجاوزه.
أي مسّ جدي بنظام الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد، سوف يؤدي في نهاية المطاف إلى مواجهة عسكرية واسعة، تحرص إسرائيل حتى الآن على تجنبها لأنها تتخوف من أثمانها وتخشى تداعياتها الإقليمية، وربما تؤدي إلى كف يد إسرائيل مطلقاً عن المس بسوريا. أمّا الاعتداءات التي تُعد «طَرقاً على الأطراف» البعيدة عن مراكز ثقل المحور ومركباته، فلا تجلب فائدة كبيرة إلا بما يتعلق بالعامل النفسي، مع قليل من الإنجاز المادي في السياق.



أزمة «كورونا»

تضغط جائحة «كورونا» على إسرائيل في أكثر من اتجاه ومستوى، ولا تقتصر تداعياتها السلبية على الوضع الصحي للإسرائيليين. الموجة الثانية من الفيروس تضرب بقوة، ووصلت إلى حد احتلال إسرائيل المرتبة الثالثة، بعد الولايات المتحدة وتشيلي، بعدد الإصابات نسبة إلى عدد السكان. وزير الصحة الإسرائيلي يولي أدلشتاين حذّر من التداعيات المرتقبة للفيروس بعد تجدد انتشاره وانفلاشه، لافتاً إلى أن معجزة فقط هي التي يمكن لها أن تنجي إسرائيل من الكارثة. والحديث يتعلّق بأضعاف مضاعفة في عدد الإصابات عما كان عليه في الموجة الأولى للفيروس.
واضح لدى متابعي الشأن الإسرائيلي التخبّط في معالجة تداعيات «كورونا» وانتشاره السريع. ففيما تركّز الأجهزة المختصة على ضرورات الإغلاق الكامل، تواجه حكومة نتنياهو الإغلاق عبر التسويف والإغلاقات الجزئية الموضعية، إذ تخشى مزيداً من التداعيات الاقتصادية التي تزيد من حدة التأزم لدى الإسرائيليين وتزيد من نسبة البطالة التي زادت نتيحة الموجة الأولى من الفيروس عن نسبة 21 في المئة وهي مقدّرة أن تزيد. وبحسب البيانات، فإن عدد العاطلين عن العمل يقارب الـ 800 ألف، بينهم 575 ألفاً أُخرجوا في إجازة غير مدفوعة الأجر، علماً بأن قطاعات كاملة باتت بحكم الإفلاس والتوقف النهائي، من دون أفق فعلي للخروج من الأزمة.

في الوقت عينه، باتت جائحة «كورونا» وتداعياتها مركباً رئيساً في التجاذبات السياسية بين النخبة الحاكمة، بل امتدت لتكون مادة تجاذب بين المؤسستين السياسية والعسكرية، فيما الأفق مسدود عن المعالجة. المعجزة التي تحدث عنها وزير الصحة لا يبدو أنها مقبلة، وهو عملياً يقر ضمناً بأن المؤسسات الصحية باتت عاجزة عن مواجهة الفيروس، وإن كان يصر على مواصلة توليه مع أجهزة وزارية أخرى التصدي لتبعات الفيروس. مقابل وزارة الصحة، التي يسيطر عليها حزب «الليكود»، يضغط وزير الأمن بني غانتس، أي حزب «أزرق أبيض»، كي تتولى وزارته مع الجيش الإسرائيلي مواجهة «كورونا»، الأمر الذي يرفضه نتنياهو ويجهد كي يحول دونه، فمعالجة «كورونا» من قبل خصومه السياسيين الذين يسيطرون على وزارة الأمن تبعد الأضواء عنه مع التركيز على نجاحاتهم، وخاصة إن استطاع الجيش الحد من انتشار الفيروس حيث عديده ومؤسساته يسمحون له بذلك. ويخشى نتنياهو نتيجة كهذه في مرحلة حساسة جداً من ناحية سياسية، قد تشهد انفراط عقد الحكومة والتوجه إلى انتخابات مبكرة رابعة، ما يعني إعطاء رصيد بالمجان للخصوم، في انتخابات قد تكون مرجّحة، ولكن السؤال متى وتحت أي شعار؟

ويلقي الفيروس بظلال ثقيلة على الجيش الإسرائيلي، دفعه إلى إلغاء تدريباته ومناوراته المقرّرة ضمن برنامج تأهيل مكثف يهدف إلى تحقيق جهوزية في مواجهة إمكانات تصعيد على أكثر من جبهة. وإذا ما استمرت الإصابات بالزيادة وبالوتيرة التي هي عليه الآن، فلا يبعد أن يؤثّر الفيروس أيضاً على نشاطات الجيش وإجراءاته. ويكفي للدلالة الإشارة إلى مئات الإصابات في الوحدات العسكرية، وما يزيد إلى الآن عن 11.500 عسكري باتوا في الحجر، ما يُخرج من النشاط الجاري والاستعداد للسيناريوات المختلفة عديداً يوازي فرقة عسكرية كاملة في الخدمة الدائمة، ومن بينها قطاعات من وحدات استخبارية هي عماد قدرة إسرائيل ومنعتها الأمنية.

يرد في صحيفة «هآرتس» وصفٌ لتداعيات «كورونا» على خطة جهوزية الجيش، في تقرير تحت عنوان «كان لدى كوخافي خطط فجاء الواقع وصفعه على وجهه». حسب الصحيفة، أصيب كوخافي بضرر في أنه لم يعد قادراً على تحقيق رؤيته الاستراتيجية (خطة) «تنوفا»، التي كان يأمل من خلالها تحسين قدرات الجيش لضمان الحسم في الحروب المقبلة. اتضح له أن ما كان يطالب به لن يتحقق نتيجة الخلافات بين رئيس الحكومة ووزير الأمن، الأمر الذي يتسبب بلايقين سياسياً مع ضغط إضافي لـ«كورونا» الذي أدى إلى تدهور خطير في الاقتصاد وأعاق وفاقم بشدة عجز الموازنة.

شكوك حول الضمّ

خسرت خطة الضم واحداً من أهم مقوّماتها، وهو الزخم الأميركي الذي ميّز موقف الإدارة الأميركية عندما حدَّد نتنياهو موعد تنفيذها كاملة في الأوّل من الشهر الجاري. العامل الأميركي، وإن لم يكن وحيداً في منع خروج خطة الضم إلى حيز التنفيذ، إلا أنه أهم العوامل، ويوصف إسرائيلياً بأنه كاف في ذاته لمنع الخطة. وفقاً لمسؤول أمني إسرائيلي رفيع المستوى، في حديث إلى نشرة «المونيتور» بنسختها العبرية: «باتت فرصة تنفيذ خطة الضم، حتى لأجزاء من الضفة، في مستوى أرجحية منخفضة جداً إلى معدومة»، لافتاً إلى أن «هناك كثيراً من الشروط والظروف التي يجب أن تتحقق قبل ذلك».

وتضغط على خطة الضم مخاوف أمنية يُقدّر أن تُفعّل فور صدور قرار الضم، وهو ما أكد عليه في «الغرف المغلقة مع نتنياهو»، وفقاً لمصادر إسرائيلية مختلفة، كل من رئيس الأركان أفيف كوخافي، والمدير للأمن العام الداخلي (الشاباك) نداف أرغمان: «سيؤدي الضم إلى انتفاضة فلسطينية ثالثة ضد إسرائيل، مع احتمال بمستوى مرتفع، أن يتسبب كذلك بتصعيد أمني مع جبهة غزة». إلا أن ذلك لا يعني انتفاء الخطة وترحيلها إلى «أجل غير مسمى». نعم بإمكان نتنياهو تجاوز تقديرات الجيش، والتي تبدو مبنية على الخشية من انشغاله في ملفات تحرف تركيزه عن مواجهة الجبهة الشمالية بمركباتها المختلفة، وهي التي تشهد سخونة واحتمالات لسيناريوات متطرفة، إلا أنه غير قادر على تجاوز ما يسمّيه الإسرائيليون التنسيق المسبق مع الإدارة الأميركية في قرار الضم، ومعناه تلقي موافقة مسبقة من دونالد ترامب، المشغول بجملة ملفات داخلية تتعلق بسباقه الرئاسي وتراجع حظوظه في التجديد لولاية ثانية.
لكن هل قرار ترامب نهائي؟ يمكن التأكيد على ذلك ضمن المدى المنظور والقريب جداً، لكن من الآن وحتى موعد الانتخابات في تشرين الثاني المقبل، مدة زمنية طويلة جداً، وقد تشهد تغييراً في الموقف إن وجد ترامب أن ذلك يخدمه انتخابياً، وخاصة مع موقف مطالب وملح من قبل ناخبيه الإنجيليين الذين يعوّل عليهم كثيراً في صناديق الاقتراع.

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