‘Rationality is Not Permitted’: Chomsky on Russia, Ukraine and the Price of Media Censorship

June 23, 2022

By Ramzy Baroud

One of the reasons that Russian media has been completely blocked in the West, along with the unprecedented control and censorship over the Ukraine war narrative, is the fact that western governments simply do not want their public to know that the world is vastly changing.

Ignorance might be bliss, arguably in some situations, but not in this case. Here, ignorance can be catastrophic as western audiences are denied access to information about a critical situation that is affecting them in profound ways and will most certainly impact the world’s geopolitics for generations to come.

The growing inflation, an imminent global recession, a festering refugee crisis, a deepening food shortage crisis and much more are the kinds of challenges that require open and transparent discussions regarding the situation in Ukraine, the NATO-Russia rivalry and the responsibility of the West in the ongoing war.

To discuss these issues, along with the missing context of the Russia-Ukraine war, we spoke with Professor Noam Chomsky, believed to be the greatest living intellectual of our time.

Chomsky told us that it “should be clear that the (Russian) invasion of Ukraine has no (moral) justification.” He compared it to the US invasion of Iraq, seeing it as an example of “supreme international crime.” With this moral question settled, Chomsky believes that the main ‘background’ of this war, a factor that is missing in mainstream media coverage, is “NATO expansion”.

“This is not just my opinion,” said Chomsky, “it is the opinion of every high-level US official in the diplomatic services who has any familiarity with Russia and Eastern Europe. This goes back to George Kennan and, in the 1990s, Reagan’s ambassador Jack Matlock, including the current director of the CIA; in fact, just everybody who knows anything has been warning Washington that it is reckless and provocative to ignore Russia’s very clear and explicit red lines. That goes way before (Vladimir) Putin, it has nothing to do with him; (Mikhail) Gorbachev, all said the same thing. Ukraine and Georgia cannot join NATO, this is the geostrategic heartland of Russia.”

Though various US administrations acknowledged and, to some extent, respected the Russian red lines, the Bill Clinton Administration did not. According to Chomsky, “George H. W. Bush … made an explicit promise to Gorbachev that NATO would not expand beyond East Germany, perfectly explicit. You can look up the documents. It’s very clear. Bush lived up to it. But when Clinton came along, he started violating it. And he gave reasons. He explained that he had to do it for domestic political reasons. He had to get the Polish vote, the ethnic vote. So, he would let the so-called Visegrad countries into NATO. Russia accepted it, didn’t like it but accepted it.”

“The second George Bush,” Chomsky argued, “just threw the door wide open. In fact, even invited Ukraine to join over, despite the objections of everyone in the top diplomatic service, apart from his own little clique, Cheney, Rumsfeld (among others). But France and Germany vetoed it.”

However, that was hardly the end of the discussion. Ukraine’s NATO membership remained on the agenda because of intense pressures from Washington.

“Starting in 2014, after the Maidan uprising, the United States began openly, not secretly, moving to integrate Ukraine into the NATO military command, sending heavy armaments and joining military exercises, military training and it was not a secret. They boasted about it,” Chomsky said.

What is interesting is that current Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “was elected on a peace platform, to implement what was called Minsk Two, some kind of autonomy for the eastern region. He tried to implement it. He was warned by right-wing militias that if he persisted, they’d kill him. Well, he didn’t get any support from the United States. If the United States had supported him, he could have continued, we might have avoided all of this. The United States was committed to the integration of Ukraine within NATO.”

The Joe Biden Administration carried on with the policy of NATO expansion. “Just before the invasion,” said Chomsky, “Biden … produced a joint statement … calling for expanding these efforts of integration. That’s part of what was called an ‘enhanced program’ leading to the mission of NATO. In November, it was moved forward to a charter, signed by the Secretary of State.”

Soon after the war, “the United States Department acknowledged that they had not taken Russian security concerns into consideration in any discussions with Russia. The question of NATO, they would not discuss. Well, all of that is provocation. Not a justification but a provocation and it’s quite interesting that in American discourse, it is almost obligatory to refer to the invasion as the ‘unprovoked invasion of Ukraine’. Look it up on Google, you will find hundreds of thousands of hits.”

Chomsky continued, “Of course, it was provoked. Otherwise, they wouldn’t refer to it all the time as an unprovoked invasion. By now, censorship in the United States has reached such a level beyond anything in my lifetime. Such a level that you are not permitted to read the Russian position. Literally. Americans are not allowed to know what the Russians are saying. Except, selected things. So, if Putin makes a speech to Russians with all kinds of outlandish claims about Peter the Great and so on, then, you see it on the front pages. If the Russians make an offer for a negotiation, you can’t find it. That’s suppressed. You’re not allowed to know what they are saying. I have never seen a level of censorship like this.”

Regarding his views of the possible future scenarios, Chomsky said that “the war will end, either through diplomacy or not. That’s just logic. Well, if diplomacy has a meaning, it means both sides can tolerate it. They don’t like it, but they can tolerate it. They don’t get anything they want, they get something. That’s diplomacy. If you reject diplomacy, you are saying: ‘Let the war go on with all of its horrors, with all the destruction of Ukraine, and let’s let it go on until we get what we want.’”

By ‘we’, Chomsky was referring to Washington, which simply wants to “harm Russia so severely that it will never be able to undertake actions like this again. Well, what does that mean? It’s impossible to achieve. So, it means, let’s continue the war until Ukraine is devastated. That’s US policy.”

Most of this is not obvious to western audiences simply because rational voices are “not allowed to talk” and because “rationality is not permitted. This is a level of hysteria that I have never seen, even during the Second World War, which I am old enough to remember very well.”

While an alternative understanding of the devastating war in Ukraine is disallowed, the West continues to offer no serious answers or achievable goals, leaving Ukraine devastated and the root causes of the problem in place. “That’s US policy”, indeed.

(The interview with Noam Chomsky was conducted jointly with Italian journalist, Romana Rubeo)

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

Say No To Censorship: Here’s How We’re Rebuilding Alternative Media 

A CALL TO ACTION

May 09th, 2022

Source

With the war in Ukraine raging on and corporate media outlets pushing a pro-NATO agenda – we’ve entered war time and having access to alternative information is crucial to preventing escalation.

By Mnar Adley

I’m Mnar Adley, founder, and editor-in-chief of MintPress News and director of our new video project “Behind the Headlines.”

I have an urgent appeal to make to everyone who cares not only for our first amendment but for the future of our planet. Independent, watchdog journalism that holds the military class accountable is under threat.

With the war in Ukraine raging on and corporate media outlets pushing a pro-NATO agenda – we’ve entered war time and having access to alternative information to the war machine is crucial to preventing escalation. We are now facing the very real threat of nuclear war.

We’re experiencing censorship unlike anything we’ve faced before, and MintPress and other antiwar media have been facing 5 years of algorithmic shadowbanning by Big Tech.

In the last month alone, independent antiwar journalists have been targeted in organized smear campaigns, de-platformed, given “state affiliated” labels on their accounts, and even outright purged off of social media platforms. Youtube has deleted hundreds of thousands of historical videos from prominent antiwar journalists and activists including Abby Martin, Chris Hedges, and Lee Camp, and is demonetizing political content everywhere in an effort to defund antiwar efforts. Our very own Gofundme fundraisers were taken down without reason or an opportunity to appeal.

What this amounts to is little more than a modern-day book burning. The work of the most important dissenting voices of our time is being discredited. Division is being sowed and any information that challenges the corporate and military establishment’s agenda is censored. Meanwhile, the bank accounts of executives at Raytheon and Lockheed Martin are being filled at a record pace.

For the last several years, MintPress has been at the forefront of sounding the alarm about the deep state working with silicon valley tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Twitter to control your news feed and ensure that any alternative narrative is algorithmically disappeared. But we’re not backing down because the future of our planet and the prosperity of peace and justice depends on our reporting.

This is why I consulted with anti-censorship, pro-free press, and human rights experts on our nonprofit board– including Mickey Huff, president of the Media Freedom Foundation and the director of Project Censored; FBI whistleblower, Coleen Rowley; and international human rights attorney, Todd Pierce– to create a new video reporting project called Behind The Headlines. To help us build this project we will need your support.

We need to raise $400,000 in the next year, so we’re creating our first phase fundraiser to be stated for $200,000.

Join us here: We’re LIVE on Indiegogo! 

Behind The Headlines Ad

Our goal is to create a video platform that is a 100% people-funded non-profit with the most important dissenting names in independent media that have felt the brunt of this censorship campaign.

We’re working with Political Comedian Lee Camp and filmmaker and investigative journalist Dan Cohen.

In addition to the Behind the Headlines board, we also have an esteemed board of advisors, including John Pilger, Abby Martin, Miko Peled, Ollie Vargas, and Dr. Ramzy Baroud.

Lee Camp follows a long line of political comedians from George Carlin to Bill Hicks ……. We’re giving him a platform with full editorial freedom to write and produce his own political comedy show.

Lee Camp’s shows are like a form of investigative comedy. They give the audience something to think about regarding key issues of the day that are often either distorted in the establishment press or ignored altogether. Given the many challenges we face from the climate crisis to war and the global pandemic, it’s important to laugh when and how we can, otherwise, we’d just have to wail and cry. Lee blends wit and dark humor with quality reporting that is truly a call to action.

Dan Cohen is a jack of all trades. He’s an investigative journalist based in Washington DC reporting from the belly of the beast. He’s currently working on several guerilla-style documentaries where he traveled to the heart of conflicts targeted by U.S. imperialism and corporate pillaging– the first is a three-part series about a revolution in formation in Haiti. Another is about the failures of the peace accord in Colombia.

Another covers the resistance movement in Gaza and Israel’s temple movement and plans to destroy al-Aqsa Mosque as part of an end of times prophecy. All of these issues can be traced in some manner back to U.S. empire and efforts to create and maintain instability around the world. In addition to documentaries and written investigations, Dan is also leading our video investigative series called Behind The Headlines. He has already exposed the murky connections between corporate media, the Pentagon, the Biden administration, and much more.

For far too long, some of America’s most talented journalists have been forced to turn to foreign state media to produce watchdog journalism after being ousted and ostracized from U.S. mainstream media outlets. Those outlets have utterly failed the public and specialize in producing fast food news that is sensationalized, divisive, and wor as a mouthpiece for the two-party duopoly, weapons manufacturers like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, and hawkish think NATO-funded think tanks.

We don’t have watchdog media anymore, we have extremist corporate media lapdogs beating the drums of war and acting as stenographers for the government.

We can’t rely on the legacy media in our own countries to tell us what’s really happening at home and around the world, and we shouldn’t have to rely on foreign state media outlets to fill in those holes. Instead, we must create our own.

The truth is we can’t continue to wait for the oligarchy to give us a media that represents “we the people.” It’s time that we unite on a broader front of non-partisanship that holds the elite accountable – in the spirit that journalism was intended by our First Amendment – to revive the fourth estate and create our very own media that goes Behind The Headlines.

It’s time that we put our money where our mouth is because our First Amendment and its free press, and free speech principles are on life support.

But to help us build this project we will need your support. We need to raise $400,000 in the next year, so we’re creating our first phase fundraiser to be stated for $200,000. This two-month campaign will support:

  • Lee Camp’s new weekly political comedy show ‘The Most Censored News with Lee Camp’
  • Production of four documentaries by Dan Cohen:
    • Endgame Apocalypse: Inside Israel’s Temple Mount movement and its plans to destroy al-Aqsa Mosque [Trailer coming soon]
    • Israel’s May 2021 assault on Gaza and the armed resistance that won the war [Trailer coming soon]
    • Inside Colombia’s narco-state and plot between the DEA and the Colombian government to plunge the country into a state of civil war
    • A three-part series on Haiti’s rising resistance movement against neoliberalism and occupation and how the U.S. is trying to quash it
  • A monthly Behind The Headlines Report, an investigative video project with Dan Cohen covering the military-industrial complex, how propaganda works and much more.
  • Weekly Video Podcast interview series with Mnar Adley

The funds for this campaign will help us cover all the production and editing costs, social media, and travel costs associated with creating high-quality video content and documentaries. In addition to this, the funds will help us cover the costs of launching our website. I hope you’ll join us today on Indiegogo! 

Mnar Adley

Director of Behind The Headlines and MintPress News 

Sitrep: Julian Assange

April 20, 2022

Posted by Amarynth

The Westminster Magistrate’s Court has issued an order to extradite journalist and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to the United States.

The order was sent to Home Secretary Priti Patel who has to sign off on extraditions. Assange’s defense has until May 18 to make submissions to Patel against extradition.

Meanwhile Assange will remain in custody. He can only appeal once Patel has made a decision.

https://richardmedhurst.substack.com/p/uk-court-issues-order-to-extradite?s=w

Gonzalo Lira: “YouTube bans any open discussion about the Bucha false flag”

April 05, 2022

Day 4 of the Russian offensive in the Ukraine

February 28, 2022

First, a hodgepodge sample of the kind of recent news: (sorry for the chaotic presentation, I am going this all under time pressure)

The International Chess Federation (FIDE) wants to sanction a Russian chess player for supporting the Russian intervention in the Ukraine.  Hey, losers!  This won’t help you!  If you remove the Russians, the Chinese and Indians will still take all the titles from you 😛

The Scala in Milan has dropped the Russian conductor Gergiev because he “failed to condemn” the Russian military operation.  Bravo Italy!  Bravo!

The battle for Russia House is over. That can, I suppose, count as a Nazi victory over Russia. Bravo!

EUFA/FIFA have banned all Russian clubs sine die

Russia House, a restaurant and dining lounge, in DC has been vandalized.  I guess a few local Nazis had their own, private, mini-Kristallnacht.  That will show ’em Snow Niggers who’s boss!  Bravo!

The EU has closed most of its airspace to Russian carriers.

Russia has closed her entire airspace of carriers from 36 countries.

The Ukies are doing two things at the same time: they are blowing up bridges and explaining that they have defeated the Russian attack and are now counter-attacking on all fronts (Note: blowing up bridges is not what a winning force does).

You know what else the Ukronazis are doing? Distributing huge amounts of weapons to anybody willing to pick them up.  Question: is that “tactic” known as something the winning sides does?  Exactly…

And, finally, Ze has said that anybody in jail who is willing to pick up arms will be freed and armed.  As a result, gangs of looters are shooting each other in Kiev and other cities. Question: is that “tactic” known as something the winning sides does?  Exactly…

At the same time, a Ukrainian delegation and a Russian one met in Belarus.  They are still talking, but I don’t expect anything to come out of this, at least not in the early stages of these negotiations.

Still, apparently the two delegations have agreed to “certain things” and have adjourned for the day.  I have no idea what that means, but I certainly do approve of ANY negotiations as long a they do not slow down the Russian movements in the Ukraine (and the current ones do not, the Russians refused to make even a short stop).

There is also REALLY good news: the Zaparozhie nuclear plant is under Russian control.  Thus, no false flag there and no false flag in Chernobyl.  Good!

Now the latest map:

The big story today is the gradual closing of the operational cauldron in the East.

The big story here is the gradual closing of the operational cauldron in the East.  Once it it closed, about 10-12 Ukie brigades will have to chose: surrender or die.

Next, Kiev: the city is blocked from three directions, but the Russians have left one open corridor which anybody can take to safely get out.

Mariupol: the Russians have entered the surrounded city and combats are taking place.

Kharkov: heavy combats are taking place with both sides using artillery and MLRS.

Volnovakha: surrounded but the Russians are not storming the city.

Schastie and Novaia Astrakhan: have been liberated

The Russian Ministry of Defense spokesman has declared that Russia has air supremacy over the entire Ukraine.

In the meantime, the US-NATO base in Achakkov has been totally destroyed by Russian missiles, as shown on this video:

https://www.bitchute.com/embed/ZPB2JWkRGHVW

This is crucial – it shows that US or not US, NATO or not NATO, Russia will destroy any threat to herself or to the Russian military anywhere in the Ukraine.  This clear warning strongly suggest that NATO hotheads might want to think long and hard before sending in hardware or troops inside the Ukraine.

Finally, A SMALL ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT OUR SERVERS:

Due to the incredibly intense traffic we are getting, we had to do some hardware upgrades on our servers.  This is why the blog was down for about 1 hour this night.  We hope that these upgrades will give you all a quicker load time (which was very slow over the past 2 days).  Please remember that hardware costs money, even rented hardware, so one way for you to help us is send us donations to increase our IT budget, making our servers both quicker and more secure against attacks.

RT is under constant DDoS and their anti-DDoS protection does not work very well.

TASS in English was accessible yesterday, but not the Russian version.

RIA, Izvestia and Commersant are all under DDoS attack.

There is a real possibility that Telegram will be blocked or, at least, throttled down around the Ukraine.

Finally, and let’s be honest here, besides Andrei Martyanov’s “Reminiscence of the Future…” blog and Bernhard Horstmann’s “Moon of Alabama” – there are no news sources which I could recommend to you even though there are A LOT of websites and authors which are desperate to use the situation in the Ukraine to increase their visibility.  This is especially bad considering the absolutely HUGE increase in fakes, false narratives, trolls (paid or not) and the hammering of the brains of those who still expose themselves to the western media.

So please be aware of the fact that we are definitely losing the “informational battle” so far.

Now, finally, I have a real gem for you.  Remember the Russian spies which were betrayed by Poteev and eventually expelled from the USA?  Yes, the one in which the entire western media focussed on the sexy Anna Chapman aka Anna Kushchenko?  Well, she was amongst the LEAST interesting of the lot, except for her looks I suppose.

One of these spies, Andrei Bezrukov, now is a teacher and a member of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy.  He is also often a guest of various Russian talkshows.  Yesterday he made rather interesting comments and I ask our new volunteer interpreters to race with each other for a quick translation.  This morning, one was already in (thanks N.!!!!!!!). Just to clarify: Andrei Bezrukov used to be an “illegal” (NO COVER) spy for the PGU/SVR, and he is superbly educated (I read his writings and listen to his interviews, he is truly a world-class specialist of the West).  Listen to what he (and people like him) are saying nowadays:

Transcript of Andrei Bezrukov’s comments on Russian TV yesterday: (emphasis added by me)

I cannot forget several things…which I would just like to mention
Firstly, I want to state the fact that the West succeeded in dragging us into this war
No matter how we tried to resist this, so, this is their tactical victory.
They succeed in colliding two brotherly nations against one another
From this we can draw the following conclusion – now we have been practically forced, especially after the latest packet of sanctions, into a position where we have no other choice but to totally restructure our economy, financial system, and in essence our domestic policy.
De facto, war has been declared against us

War…I don’t want to say that. Who am I to use such terms?
Nonetheless, we have been put before the fact – our very survival is at risk.
Here we have both danger and a gigantic opportunity
The point is, by tactically winning and by successfully quarrelling us with the Ukrainian people, and war, naturally is the ultimate level of quarrel, they have not understood that now, by doing so, they have totally destroyed the very system which they had built in the world.
It is not visible yet, but in a few months, it will become apparent that the severed financial chains, broken ideological messages and the broken security system –
I agree – this is the breakdown of the security system.

Allow me a question:
Given such sanctions, does it make sense for us to stop with Ukraine?
Of course, not! Of course, not.

I want to go further…
Two short messages which shows the mentality which we should consider.
We are being intimidated and, in fact, many are now afraid that for decades Russia will be disconnected from everything, will become impoverished, she will lose all her friends, etc. etc. etc.

We’ve been through this before. The young Soviet Republic was encircled and even worse off. Then everyone formed diplomatic relations and it all normalized…This does not last long…
But I’m not talking about this

Thing is, western people, and especially Anglo-Saxons – all their thinking is based on the concept of “the rational man”…their entire legal system is based on this concept of “the rational man”…All their strategic solutions are built on the concept of “the rational man”.
What does this mean? When you are put before a choice: “Look, we will punish you. You don’t want to be punished, right? Then you must behave in a way to avoid this punishment”… and so on… “If you are threatened with sanctions, you won’t like that, will you? You will do something to avoid it… you will come and negotiate on our terms.”

This principle of “the rational man” is in effect now. They think this way even now: “We will push Russia to the limit and she will surrender”. But, for Russian mentality, Slavic mentality, Orthodox mentality, Eastern mentality …
this rational mentality is totally alien!
Here, we have: “I’d rather die than surrender!” It’s a completely different mentality.

Here, it’s not about that at all. This they didn’t consider. And the main mistake.
The point is – this is not the time to judge Russia.
It is time to serve Russia. The serving class of Russia has always pulled her out of all the liberal failures – of which there have been four over the last 200 years.

I begin with the Decembrists, and so on…
And it has always been the serving class, those people who are in uniform, those who don’t ask a lot of questions…pick up their machine guns and go when they are commanded….those that stand, hungry, for 24 hours at the machine bench …it is these people that have served and will continue to serve… they will pull Russia out!

The Russian people don’t think about “Courchevel and iPhones”…in their midst they are thinking about fairness and development…. That is what the people want from their leadership…and they will support it.
For us… now we have an enormous opportunity to build an entirely different economy
Well, they gave us no choice…we will have to. But I remind you, this economy will be based on those principles that we will have to build again, it was the second largest economy in the world… and it was developing the fastest.
So, here I am an absolute optimist.
And if they have committed such a gigantic strategic error, why shouldn’t we show them the whole stupidity of this mistake?

Right now, discussions are going on … in the USA, and in other countries… they have rational people there saying: “Look, how we have cornered the Russians…what are we going to get from that? Nothing good. The main thing is, we are not thinking…”
“Never mind” – others are saying: “In the short term, things will be pretty bad for Russia, but in the long term, in a few decades, things will get really bad… and it will just collapse” – I’m talking about the sanctions, how they argue.
In actuality it is exactly the opposite.
It will be really bad for us for a short time. Maybe not for everyone, but, nonetheless…and then, later on, in the long run, it will give us the opportunity to breathe normally, build a self-sufficient economy, because, in that shell that was formed in the 1990’s around us, Russia can no longer live. It cannot remain in that small, tight shell….in Domestic Policy, in Foreign Policy…
They are the ones that have broken that shell.

Tonight I need to leave my home for several hours.

I will do my best to report here again, but no promises.

If not, I hope to “see you” all tomorrow morning, probably with some major news.

Andrei

Radio Row on his anti-“Great Reset” music and Covid tyranny in Australia

 Eva Bartlett

Great conversation with Radio Row the other day. Do check out his music, brilliant lyrics, very poignantly addressing the tyranny we are facing globally.

During lockdown in Sydney, Australia, Matt Austin produced his first album, “I Bloody Told You This Would Happen!”, a collection of 11 songs on the critical issues we are facing under the Covid mandates. His description:

“When people don’t understand how democracy works, democracy doesn’t work.
Hidden corruption of ‘free’ media; the lobby industry; State infiltration of activist groups; mass surveillance by government institutions and Big Tech; centralized power; Digital ID’s and a Central Bank Digital Currency; Coerced acquiescence, propaganda and censorship.

Part satire, part warning, part therapy: I Bloody Told You This Would Happen!”
https://radiorow1.bandcamp.com/album/i-bloody-told-you-this-would-happen
https://twitter.com/RadioRow1/status/1414498020926771204

[A 12th song followed, The State Of You ]

I spoke with Matt about how he came to make this album, as well as the mood in Australia, and he global growing popular dissent to Covid tyranny.

*Matt recommends Australian singer-songwriter, Ben Mitchell’s Free The Nation Music.

RELATED LINKS:


*Lithuania tyranny

*COVID19 PCR Tests are Scientifically Meaningless

*Australian Govt’s OWN WEBSITE admits Covid tests are totally unreliable
*Lies, Damned Lies and Health Statistics – the Deadly Danger of False Positives
*WHO (finally) admits PCR tests create false positives
*Twitter isn’t censoring accounts to keep users ‘safe’, it is using its power to spoon-feed the world establishment narratives

*I’ll likely only see my family on a screen from now on, because I don’t want the Covid jab. What happened to ‘my body, my choice’?
*‘It’s absolutely appalling’: Unvaccinated Canadians become social outcasts and the new persecuted minority

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Rossiya 24, Moscow

November 05, 2021

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Rossiya 24, Moscow

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Rossiya 24, Moscow, November 1, 2021

Question: Not so long ago, you said that Russia would not use ideology-based rules in its international diplomatic practices. What examples can you give to explain this to a layman in matters of politics?

Sergey Lavrov: It’s simple. Ideally, any society should obey generally accepted rules that have proved their efficacy and sensibility.  Speaking about international life, the United Nations Charter is a book of collectively and universally coordinated rules. Later, when new members joined the UN, they accepted these rules in their entirety, without any exemptions, because UN membership requires that the Charter be ratified without any reservations. These rules are universal and mandatory for all.

With the age of multipolarity now dawning – and its emergence is an objective fact – new centres of economic growth, financial power and political influence have come into being. The multitude of voices is louder at the UN. A consensus or a vote are required in a situation where new solutions or rules have to be developed based on the UN Charter. In both cases, this work involves conflicting opinions and the need to defend one’s position and prove it is correct. Truth springs from argument and this is what this collective work is all about.

Conscious of the fact that its arguments are increasingly vulnerable because its policy is aimed at slowing down the objective formation of a polycentric world fully in keeping with the UN Charter, the collective West thinks it more beneficial for itself to discuss current issues outside of universal organisations and make arrangements within its inner circle, where there is no one to argue with it. I am referring to the collective West itself and some “docile” countries it invites from time to time. The latter are needed as extras and create a semblance of a process that is wider than a purely Western affair. There are quite a few such examples.

Specifically, they are pushing the idea of a “summit for democracy.” This summit will take place in December at the invitation of US President Joe Biden. To be sure, we will not be invited. Neither are the Chinese on the list of invitees. The list itself is missing as well. Some of our partners are “whispering in our ear” that they have been told to get ready: supposedly an invitation is in the pipeline. Asked, what they would do there, they reply that theirs will be an online address, after which a final statement will be circulated. Can we see it? They promise to show it later. So we have here the “sovereign” and his “vassals.”

The Summit for Democracy seeks to divide people and countries into “democracies” and “non-democracies.”  Furthermore, my colleagues from a respected country have told me that they could infer from the invitation they had received that the democratic countries that were invited to attend were also divided into “fully” and “conditionally” democratic. I think the Americans want to have the biggest possible crowd to show that the Washington-led movement has so many followers. Watching who specifically gets invited and in what capacity will be quite amusing. I am certain that there will be attempts to reach out to some of our strategic partners and allies, but I do hope that they will remain faithful to the obligations they have in other frameworks instead of taking part in artificially concocted, one-off unofficial summits.

The same applies to the initiative Germany and France proposed two or three years ago. I am referring to the idea of an Alliance of Multilateralists. Asked, why should it be formed – after all, the United Nations, where all sovereign states are represented, stands at the pinnacle of multilateralism – they gave rather an interesting answer.   According to them, there are many conservatives at the United Nations, who hinder the genuine multilateral processes, while they are the “forerunners,”   they want to lead the van and show others with their example how to promote multilateralism. But this prompts the question: Where is the “ideal” of multilateralism? Allegedly, it is personified by the European Union, a paragon of “effective multilateralism.” Once again, they understand multilateralism as the need for the rest to accept the Western world’s leadership along with  the superiority of Western “values” and other things western. At the same time, multilateralism, as described on the US dollar  (E pluribus unum) and as embodied in the United Nations, seems  inconvenient, because there is too much diversity for those who want to impose their uniform values everywhere.

Question: Is this a constructive approach?

Sergey Lavrov: Of course, not! Let me reiterate that this is how they understand the serious processes that are unfolding across the world against the backdrop of the emerging multilateralism and multipolarity. The latter, by the way, were conceived by God, for He created all men equal. And this is what the US Constitution says, but they tend to forget its formulas, when it comes to geopolitics.

There are other examples. The Dutch and the British are pushing the idea of a Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence. Why not do this at UNESCO? Why discuss this outside the organisation that was specifically created for dealing with new scientific achievements and making them available to mankind? There is no reply.

There are several competing partnerships, and the Media Freedom Coalition formed by Canada and Britain is one of them. The French, together with Reporters without Borders, promote the Information and Democracy Partnership. Once again, not everyone is invited to join it. Several years ago, Britain held the Global Conference for Media Freedom.

Question: Russia was not invited to attend, was it?

Sergey Lavrov: At first, there was no invitation, but then we reminded them that if this was a “global forum,” it was right to hear opposing points of views. But they did not invite us all the same.

Examples of this kind are not in short supply. Talking about these matters, there are mechanisms within UNESCO, which is fully legitimate and competent to deal with these issues. However, it gives a voice to others who may have a different view on media freedom compared to that of our Western colleagues. I think that this sets the international community on a path that is quite destructive, just like the attempts to “privatise” the secretariats of international organisations.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is a case in point, since people from Western and NATO countries are fully in control of its Technical Secretariat. The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) states that everything must be done by consensus. However, the Technical Secretariat obediently tolerates gross violations of the Convention. The Western countries vote for their decisions, which is completely at odds with the CWC, and claim that executing these  is the Secretariat’s duty. By arrogating the right to pinpoint who is to blame for using chemical weapons, the Technical Secretariat takes over the functions of the UN Security Council.

The West has now instructed the Technical Secretariat to crack down on Syria, where many shady things and outright provocations took place over the past years. We exposed them and held news conferences in The Hague, where the OPCW has its headquarters, as well as in New York. We showed that the Technical Secretariat was being manipulated with the help of destructive and extremist NGOs like the White Helmets. I would like to note that we are starting to hear statements along these lines from heads of certain respected organisations. For example, some senior executives of the UNESCO Secretariat have come forward with the initiative to promote “values-based multilateralism.”

Question: And they are the ones who define these values, aren’t they?

Sergey Lavrov: Probably. The UNESCO leadership also represents a Western country and NATO. There is no doubt about this.

We do know that at the end of the day, behind all this talk on building consensus and having regard for the opinion of all countries, the collective West will set the tone. This has already happened more than once. The way the West views “values-based multilateralism” will shape its negotiating position.

At the same time, there is an effort to promote a “human rights-based” approach. If we look at the challenges the world is currently facing, there is security, including food security, as well as ensuring livelihoods and healthcare. This is also related to human rights. The right to life is central to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but it is being trampled upon in the most blatant manner, just like the socioeconomic rights. The United States has yet to join the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and has only signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that the West is seeking to emphasise. Lately they have been focusing on the ugliest ways to interpret these rights, including on transgender issues and other abnormal ideas that go against human nature itself.

Question: You mentioned the humanitarian aspect, which is very important. The border crisis in Belarus. Refugees from Syria and other Middle Eastern countries trying to enter the EU are being deported peremptorily. It is a serious crisis, and the problem has grown in scale. It concerns the border with the EU, which claims to respect human rights and the humanitarian rules. Can Russia mediate the settlement of this conflict? Can we influence the situation at all? And would there be any point?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t think that mediation is needed here. I do not see any violations of international law or obligations by Belarus. I have access to information about these developments, just as all the other stakeholders. According to this information, those who do not want to live in Belarus are trying to enter the EU from the territory of Belarus. Demanding that President Alexander Lukashenko and the Belarusian law enforcement agencies stop this would be contrary to international law, especially humanitarian law. The hysterical claims made in some EU countries that Belarus, supported by Russia, is deliberately encouraging these flows of refugees are unseemly for serious politicians. This means that they are aware of their helplessness, including in terms of international law, which is why they are growing hysterical.

Here is a simple example. You have said that the EU does not want refugees to enter its territory. I believe that it is not the EU but individual countries that do not want this. The situation is different across the EU in terms of the positions of individual countries and regions. There is no unity on this matter. Poland and Lithuania are pushing the refugees eager to enter their territory back to Belarus. I wonder how this is different from the recent developments in Italy. Former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini refused to allow refugees to disembark in Italy. He argued that there were several other EU countries along their route where they could request asylum. Salvini is likely to face trial for endangering the lives of those refugees, who had fled from the dire, catastrophic conditions in their home countries. What is the difference between the behaviour of the Baltic states and Poland and the decision for which the former minister is about to  stand trial?

There are many other examples of double standards here, but just take a look at the identity of those refugees fleeing to Europe. They are Syrians, Iraqis and, recently, Afghans. People from the Sahel-Sahara region in Africa are trying to enter Europe via Libya.  As we list the countries from which illegal migrants are exporting instability, we should not forget the reason behind the collapse of their home countries. This collapse has been brought about by Western adventurism. A  case in point is the US adventure in Iraq, where tens of thousands of NATO troops and  contingents of other countries eager to please Washington were later stationed in a cover-up ploy . Look at the aggression against Libya, and the failure of the 20-year-long war trumpeted as a mission to restore peace in Afghanistan. They attempted to do the same in Syria. As a result, several million people have been uprooted and are now trying to enter Europe from Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. This is our Western partners’ style. They regard any situation from a historical and chronological angle that suits them best. They launched devastating bombing attacks on Libya and Iraq. But after both countries were reduced to ruins, they urged everyone to assume a shared responsibility for the fate of refugees. We asked, why this should be a “shared responsibility?”After all, it was them who created the problem in the first place. They replied: “Let bygones be bygones.” There is no point looking back, they have awakened to the problem, and now it rests with us. Ukraine is another remarkable example of the logic of forgetting historical embarrassments.

QuestionI would be remiss not to ask you about Ukraine. The situation there is escalating. Not so long ago, an officer, a Russian citizen,from the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination (JCCC) on Ceasefire and Stabilisation in Southeastern Ukraine was detained (in fact, kidnapped) on the demarcation line. The Ukrainian military have become increasingly active in the grey zone. With that in mind, how much longer can the Normandy format dialogue continue? Is a ministerial meeting being planned? How productive will this dialogue be?

Sergey Lavrov: I would like to revisit the diplomatic tactics of cutting off inconvenient historical eras and periods. How did it all begin? In our exchanges with our German or French colleagues who co-founded the Normandy format and the February 2015 Minsk agreements, they unfailingly maintain a “constructive ambiguity” with regard to who must comply with the Minsk agreements. We keep telling them: What ambiguity is there? Here, it is clearly written: Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk must enter into consultations and agree on a special status, an amnesty and elections under the auspices of the OSCE. This is clearly stated there. They say they know who plays the decisive role there. We reply that we do not know who else plays the decisive role there except the parties whom the UN Security Council has obliged to act upon what they signed. To their claims that we “annexed” Crimea, we say that, first, we did not annex Crimea, but rather responded to the request of the Crimean people, who had come under a direct threat of destruction. I remember very well the Right Sector leaders saying that Russians should be expelled from Crimea, because they would never speak, think, or write in Ukrainian. Everyone back then was telling me that it was a figure of speech. It was not. Recently, President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky confirmed this when he said: If you think you are Russian, go to Russia. This is exactly the ideology proclaimed by the Right Sector immediately after the EU-guaranteed settlement document had been trampled upon in the morning by the same people who had signed it on behalf of the opposition with President Viktor Yanukovych. When you remind them of Russophobia, which instantly manifested itself among the putschists who seized power as a result of the coup, they say no, it is a thing of the past. They propose starting the discussion with the fact that the sanctions were imposed on us. This is an unsavoury approach.

I am disappointed to see such a decline in the Western negotiating and diplomatic culture. Take any hot item on the international agenda and you will see that the West is either helpless or is cheating. Take, for example, the alleged poisoning of blogger Alexey Navalny. This is a separate matter.

Returning to Ukraine and the Normandy format, indeed, the situation has escalated. There are attempts to create a provocative situation, to provoke the militia into responding and to drag Russia into military actions.

The Bayraktar drone incident is nothing short of a mystery. The Commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said that this weapon was indeed used, while the Defence Minister claimed that nothing of the kind had happened. I think they are now pondering options to see which one will work better for them: either to show how tough they are having started bombing in direct and gross violation of the Minsk agreements, or to say that they are complying with the Minsk agreements and to propose to get together in the Normandy format. We do not need a meeting for the sake of holding a meeting. They are sending mixed messages through characters like Alexey Arestovich (he is some kind of a semi-official adviser), or head of the presidential executive office Andrey Yermak, or Denis Shmygal, or President Zelensky himself. But they follow the same logic: the Minsk agreements should not and must not be fulfilled, because this will destroy Ukraine. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Minsk agreements were created as a result of 17-hour-long talks precisely in order to preserve Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Initially, having proclaimed their independence, the new republics were even unhappy with us for encouraging them to find common ground with Kiev. Whatever the new authorities may be, Ukraine is our neighbour and a fraternal nation. After signing the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements in Minsk, the Russian Federation convinced representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk to sign this document as well.

Accusing us of destroying Ukraine’s territorial integrity is unseemly and dishonest. It is being destroyed by those who are trying to make it a super-unitary state while reducing the languages ​​of ethnic minorities, primarily Russian, to the status of token tools of communication, and making education in Russian and other languages nonexistent​. This is a neo-Nazi approach to society building.

As you may be aware, in April 2014, immediately after the Crimea referendum, former US Secretary of State John Kerry, former EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, Acting Foreign Minister of the new regime in Ukraine Andrey Deshchitsa and I met in Vienna. We agreed on one page of a “dense” text to the effect that the United States, the EU and Russia welcomed the Kiev authorities’ plan to hold a nationwide dialogue on federalisation with the participation of all regions of Ukraine. It was approved. Truth be told, this document did not go anywhere, but it remains open information. It was made available to the media. That is, back then, neither the United States nor the EU wanted to make a “monster” out of Ukraine. They wanted it to be a truly democratic state with all regions and, most importantly, all ethnic minorities feeling involved in common work. Up until now, the Ukrainian Constitution has the linguistic and educational rights of ethnic minorities, including the separately stated rights of Russian speakers, enshrined in it. Just look at the outrageous things they are doing with the laws on education, languages ​​and the state language. There is a law recently submitted by the government titled On State Policy during the Transition Period. It does more than just cross out the Minsk agreements. It explicitly makes it illegal for Ukrainian political, diplomatic and other officials to fulfil them. The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe recently came up with a positive opinion about this law, which did not surprise us. This decision does not say a word about the fact that this law undermines Ukraine’s commitments under the Minsk agreements and, accordingly, Kiev’s obligations to comply with the UN Security Council resolution.

Question: If I understood you correctly, a ministerial meeting cannot even be prepared in this atmosphere.

Sergey Lavrov: Our German and French colleagues have been saying all the time: let’s preserve “constructive ambivalence” as regards who must observe the Minsk agreements. An EU-Ukraine summit took place literally two days after the telephone conversation of the President of Russia, the Chancellor of Germany and the President of France, when Vladimir Putin said such law-making was unacceptable, including the destructive draft law on a transitional period. Following the summit, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky signed a statement a good quarter of which is devoted to the crisis in southeastern Ukraine. The top-ranking EU officials and the Ukrainian President officially stated that Russia bears special responsibility for this crisis because it is a party to the conflict. We immediately asked Berlin and Paris: so which is it: constructive ambivalence or this position? We were told that we shouldn’t be surprised because from the very beginning of the crisis in 2014 they proceeded from the premise that we ought to do all this. If that is the case, what was the point of signing the Minsk agreements?

Now they are trying to draw us in, citing President Vladimir Putin, who promised to organise the Normandy format at least at the ministerial level. We are not avoiding meetings. But promising to instruct Russian officials to work on this process, President Putin said that first we must fulfil on what we agreed in Paris in December 2019. The Kiev authorities were supposed to do everything the sides agreed upon then. They did not move a finger to implement the Steinmeier formula, determine a special status for Donbass, fix it permanently in the Ukrainian legislation and settle security issues.

A draft of this document was prepared when the parties gathered for this summit in Paris in December 2019. Its first item was an appeal by the Normandy format leaders for the disengagement of troops and withdrawal of heavy artillery along the entire contact line. President Zelensky said he could not agree to do this along the entire contact line and suggested doing it in three points only. Even the German and French participants were a bit perplexed because the aides of the presidents and the Chancellor coordinated the text ahead of the summit. Eventually, they shook their heads and agreed to disengagement in three points. Ukraine has not carried out this provision so far. Its conduct was indicative: it did not want to adopt a radical measure that would considerably reduce the risks of armed clashes and threats to civilians.

With great difficulty, the parties agreed on special measures in the summer of 2020. They signed a Contact Group document stating that any fire must not immediately trigger reciprocal fire. Otherwise, there will be an escalation. After each shelling, a commander of a unit that was attacked was supposed to report to the supreme commander. Only after his approval, the commander of the unit could open reciprocal fire. The republics included this provision in their orders but Ukraine flatly refused to fulfil it. Then, several months ago, it was persuaded to accept it and went along with this, implementing what was agreed upon a year ago. However, recently the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said that none of this was required: if you hear a shot, even into the air, you can go ahead and bomb the civilian population.

Question: Let’s move on to Central Asia, if you don’t mind. The Taliban coming to power is a daunting challenge to Russia and the post-Soviet Central Asian countries, which are our former fraternal republics. Are we ready to take up this challenge and how can we help our neighbours in Central Asia?

Sergey Lavrov: We saw it coming one way or another all these years while the Americans were trying to “stimulate” agreements between the Afghans. This was done, I would say, not too skilfully. I’m not hiding my assessment. The agreement that was concluded with the Taliban in Doha without the involvement of then President Ashraf Ghani was the last “diplomatic victory” as it was portrayed by the previous US administration. On the one hand, it gave rise to a hope that the Taliban would now be amenable to talks. On the other hand, there were many skeptical assessments, because the Taliban agreed to create some kind of common government bodies in exchange for a complete withdrawal of all foreign troops by May 1, 2021. Former President Ghani was outright unhappy with this since he realised that if this agreement was fulfilled, he would have to share power. Under all scenarios, he was unlikely to remain the number one person in the new Afghan government. So, he did his best to slow down the process. As a result, the Americans stayed longer. According to a number of US political analysts, this happened because Washington failed to withdraw its troops by the agreed deadline. The Taliban then decided they were free from any commitment to form a government of national accord.

However, this is a thing of the past, and we believe that the United States and those who stayed there for 20 years promising to make a model country out of Afghanistan must now get directly involved, primarily financially, to avert a humanitarian disaster. In this sense, we want to preserve historical continuity with its causal relationship.

An event that we held recently in Moscow with the participation of Afghanistan’s neighbours and other leading countries of the region and the SCO and CSTO-sponsored events that took place not so long ago in Dushanbe were aimed at urging the Taliban to deliver on their promises and the obligations that they made and assumed when they came to power. First of all, this is to prevent the destabilisation of neighbouring countries and the spread of the terrorist and drug threat from Afghanistan and the need to suppress these threats in Afghanistan itself, to ensure the inclusive nature of government in terms of ethnopolitical diversity and to be sure to guarantee, as they said, Islam-based human rights. This can be interpreted fairly broadly, but, nevertheless, it provides at least some benchmarks in order to get the Taliban to make good on its promises.

Humanitarian aid must be provided now. I see the Western countries making their first contributions. The issue is about distributing this aid. Many are opposed to making it available directly to the government and prefer to act through international organisations. We see the point and are helping to reach an agreement with the current authorities in Kabul to allow international organisations, primarily humanitarian organisations, to carry out the relevant activities. Of course, we will do our fair share. We are supplying medicines and food there. The Central Asian countries are doing the same. Their stability is important to us, because we have no borders with our Central Asian allies, and we have visa-free travel arrangements with almost all of them. In this regard, President Putin told President Biden in Geneva in June that we are strongly opposed to the attempts to negotiate with the Central Asian countries on the deployment of the US military infrastructure on their territory in order to deliver over-the-horizon strikes on targets in Afghanistan, if necessary. They came up with similar proposals to Pakistan as well, but Pakistan said no. Uzbekistan has publicly stated that its Constitution does not provide for deployment of military bases on its territory. Kyrgyzstan has also publicly, through the mouth of the President, announced that they do not want this.

Knowing the pushy nature of the Americans, I do not rule out the possibility of them continuing to come up with the same proposal from different angles. I heard they are allegedly trying to persuade India to provide the Pentagon with certain capabilities on Indian territory.

Refugees are issue number two, which is now being seriously considered. Many of them simply came to Central Asia on their own. These countries have different policies towards them and try in every possible way to protect themselves against these incoming flows. In Uzbekistan, special premises for the refugees have been allocated right outside the airport, from where they are flown to other countries and they are not allowed to enter other parts of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Our Tajik neighbours are doing the same. They are also being pressured to accept refugees. They want to set up holding centres under strong guarantee that after some time the refugees will be relocated. The West rushed to beg the neighbouring countries to accept tens of thousands of refugees, each claiming that it was a temporary solution until the West gives them documents for immigration to Western countries.

Question: But it turned out it was for the long haul …

Sergey Lavrov: Thankfully, no one has agreed to that, at least not to the numbers the West was talking about. Of course, some refugees relocated there, and proper arrangements must be made with regard to them. The West said they needed “two to three months” to issue documents for these people and it was necessary to save them, since they collaborated with the coalition forces. But if you collaborated with these Afghans on the ground for a long time and employed them as translators and informants, you surely ran background checks on them. If, after they had worked for you for so long you were still unable to decide whether you could trust them or not, why are you then “dumping” them onto the Central Asian countries, which are our allies? This issue remains open.

As you may be aware, we have come up with a proposal for the UN to convene a conference to address the Afghan people’s pressing humanitarian needs. I think the message was taken, so we expect a more specific response will come.

Facebook bans Iran’s Press TV page

Coronavirus Lessons That Vietnam Could Teach Americans and the World

December 5, 2020

Vietnam May Have the Most Effective Response to Covid-19 | The Nation
American writer and investigative historian

Eric Zuesse

All of the data here can easily be found at the world’s best website for tracking each day’s national and international coronavirus (or covid) cases and deaths: www.worldometers.info/coronavirus.


——

After America hit a world-record high of 204,163 new covid-19 cases on November 20th, that number declined down to 145,576 new daily cases a week later, on November 26th, which was, of course, very welcomed news. Meanwhile, Vietnam, with a population of 97,693,204 as compared to America’s 331,790,984, had only 1 new case on November 20th, and 10 new cases on November 26th. Proportionally, that 10 daily new cases would have been equivalent to 34 daily new cases in the U.S. But, instead, U.S. had 145,576 daily new cases on that date: That’s 4,282 time higher than the proportionally adjusted 34 new cases that a Vietnam with 331,790,984 population would have had. And, yet, America is so haughty as not even to be discussing whether or how it could learn from Vietnam’s experience.

The next day, on November 27th, U.S. had 164,103 new cases, and Vietnam had 8. Pn November 28th, U.S. was down to 143,373, and Vietnam was down to 2.

America is in its second wave, which started rising from a low on September 7th of 25,906, to that high of 204,163 on November 20th. Meanwhile. Vietnam rose from a low of 0 new daily cases on both October 3rd and 4th, to a high of 26 new daily cases on November 11th, and then down to 12 new daily cases on November 18th, and not higher than that number since. Vietnam’s highest-ever number of new daily cases was on July 30th: 50. That was the peak of Vietnam’s second wave, and the 26 new cases on November 11th was the peak of their third wave, which seems now to be subsiding.

How does Vietnam manage to be thousands of times as effective at controlling this disease than America is? Does Vietnam crush its economy by being so uncompromising to reduce the illnesses and deaths from this disease to as low as they can go, and keeping them there? The exact opposite is true. Here are highlights from an article which appeared in the October 20th issue of Britain’s Guardian about Vietnam’s coronavirus experience, written by Tran Le Thuy, the director of the Centre for Media and Development Initiatives in Hanoi, titled “Vietnam is fighting Covid without pitting economic growth against public health”:

Beyond contact-tracing, why has Vietnam been so good at dealing with the pandemic?
The central reason is perhaps the way the government has depoliticised the pandemic, treating it purely as a health crisis, allowing for effective governance. There was no political motive for government officials to hide information, as they don’t face being reprimanded if there are positive cases in their authority area that are not due to their mistakes. I haven’t heard about any religious opposition to the government’s strategy either. With the head of the Hanoi centre for disease control being arrested for suspected corruption in relation to the purchase of testing kits, and small traders getting fines for price-gouging face-masks, the government has also been clear that public health cannot be entangled with commercial interests. …
In January, when Wuhan announced the first death, Vietnam tightened its border and airport control of Chinese visitors. This wasn’t an easy decision, given that cross-border trade with China accounts for a significant part of the Vietnamese economy. … It took precautionary measures above and beyond World Health Organization recommendations. … Preparations for a pandemic were implemented a week before the outbreak was officially a public health emergency of international concern, and more than a month before WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic.
The government also decided to embrace freedom of information on Covid-related matters. … The motto for the first phase was that if we stay alive, the question of wealth and the economy can come later. …
But now the government has shifted its anti-Covid strategy towards the economy. … Lockdown and isolation are more selective. …
For now it looks like Vietnam has seen off the threat of a second wave. … Given that Vietnam is one of the few countries in the world currently experiencing positive GDP growth, the supposed trade-off between the economy and public health, which countries around the world are negotiating, looks to be something of a false choice.

Vietnam’s experience is just an extreme example of correct decisions in the face of a crisis — an epidemic. So, it has been extremely successful. Similarly, America is an example of incorrect decisions in the face of an epidemic; and, so, America has been extremely unsuccessful.

On November 22nd, I wrote at greater length about “Which Coronavirus Policies Succeed, And Which Fail: N.Y. Times Analysis Confirms Mine”, which discussed not only the comparisons of the 200+ nations but of the 50 U.S. states; and the experiences and results in Vietnam and in the U.S. are in line with those of the world’s other countries. Bad polices everywhere produce bad results; good policies everywhere produce good results.

On November 24th, Statista headlined “Has Europe Broken the Second Wave?” and reported that, “A couple of weeks after several European countries went on (at least partial) lockdown once again in the face of surging COVID-19 cases, the tightening of restrictions appears to be paying off.” This was shown there in a graph, which displayed especially that whereas the EU was now declining markedly in those numbers, the U.S. was continuing to soar and was now clearly heading to surpass the EU’s daily coronavirus-intensity, yet again, as it hadn’t been doing ever since September. That same article was republished on November 28th at the popular American Zero Hedge news site, with reader-comments, which were overwhelmingly hostile to this information, such as this string there:

Crazed Smoker
Cardiovascular diseases kill 10x as many people, 16 million/year, than this dud fomented into a mass hysteria.
marketvviz
And ironically since it almost exclusively kills off the elderly and the already sick (comorbidities) it could actually be a long term net benefit to the economy if people ignored it and didn’t freak out or shut down.
JimmyJones
2nd wave broken, it appears the lockdowns worked? Are freaking kidding me, you know what happened, they ran out of Karen’s running to get a test that gives over 50% false positives.

Another interesting comparison is between Vietnam and the world’s most coronavirus-ravaged country, tiny Andorra, a statelet sandwiched between France and Spain. Andorra has been doing everything possible to downplay the severity of its infestation, partly because around half of that country’s economy is tourism. As of November 29th, Andorra had 85,403 cases per million. That is more than twice America’s 41,024, and is 6,100 times Vietnam’s 14. Whereas Andorra has a coronavirus death-rate of 983 per million (nearly one person per thousand), America’s is 821, and Vietnam’s is 0.4. (America’s is nearly as high as Andorra’s because Andorra has a superior healthcare system, and has cured 98.7% of its cases, whereas America has cured 96.7%. Vietnam has cured 97.0%.)

The international, and even the state-by-state, data, have lessons to teach, all of which lessons turn out to be remarkably consistent with one-another, but lots of people, in some countries (such as in the United States), are simply refusing to learn them. Perhaps those lessons don’t happen to fit those persons’ ideology.

Dr Pascal Sacré: Emergency Physician Unjustly Fired for His Writings on the COVID Crisis: The Right of Response

Thanks to all of you who want a world where the word is respected, truth is defended, freedom is a reality. I will never let fear rule my life. Don’t negotiate with fear.

By Dr. Pascal Sacré

Global Research, November 28, 2020

There, it happened.

For my words, my words, my writings, I was dismissed like a waste, a thief, without the right to answer.

An experienced, competent emergency physician, appreciated by his colleagues for my actions in stressful situations, fired in the middle of COVID!

For words, for an image.

All you had to do was reassure people, defend your doctor, attenuate and wait for the storm to calm down…  and then talk.

I write, it’s true, things that disturb, dissident points of view, those who follow me on this site since 2009 know it.

When I resumed my writing starting in 2020, about the political management of the COVID crisis, but also generally, about the endemic corruption of medicine, science and official bodies in Belgium, I felt that it would be risky, really.

But I did not give up because I will never let my life be controlled by fear.

Some people say that I am unconscious. Do you think that after 17 years of treating people, in emergency, stress, often for 24 hours at a time, I could have done all this while being unconscious?

Some people say that I am irresponsible. I have always taken my responsibilities, preferred writing to speaking because it allows reflection, rereading, and I have always turned my tongue 7 times in my mouth, before finishing an article and sending it with all its sources and references. I have always respected the rules of the hospital, of society, even when, as they stand, they seemed crazy to me and likely to cause more harm than good. I have always put the safety of my patients above my convictions, preferring to explain, to convince through words and writings.

Some say I am a disgrace to the profession.

Those who say that are ignorant of my profession. Many people talk about critical care, especially today with Covid, when critical care has been around for 70 years, but do they even know, these accusing people, what they are talking about?

We can’t pretend, this is live, live, surrounded by death and suffering,

We don’t know how to lie and if we do, we get out. I’ve held on to it for 17 years and I only had to stop suddenly because of people who don’t like what I say, don’t like my opinions!

Some say, the most beautiful things, that I am anti-everything. Those who say that are certainly much more so than I am. I will tell you all the things I am for:

  1. The truth, in any case its permanent search and accept for that, to deceive me.
  2. Tolerance of other people’s ideas, opinions and writings.
  3. The will, in turn, to be able to express my ideas, opinions and writings.
  4. Respect for nature and animals
  5. Relief of pain and suffering
  6. Life in all its facets, music, sounds, songs, dances, colors, and therefore accept death, because one cannot live like this without accepting the idea of dying at any time.

I only wanted to ask questions, to give my points of view without ever imposing them, to question, to nuance, to contextualize, to reassure when others only want to terrorize.

I was condemned, thrown away for that.

I was forced to abandon my colleagues in difficulty, summoned to leave burning places by people who should not so easily spit on the help of one of their own, a resuscitator, for words, a picture!

That’s how it is.

They have that power.

And yet,

  • Professor Didier Raoult (France)
  • Professor Christian Perronne (France)
  • Professor Toubiana (France)
  • Professor Toussaint (France)
  • Professor Gala (Belgium)
  • And all those other doctors, caregivers, health care professionals,

Belgium :  https://docs4opendebate.be/fr/open-brief/ 

Netherlands: https://opendebat.info/  et https://brandbriefggz.nl/ 

US Frontline Doctors : https://www.xandernieuws.net/algemeen/groep-artsen-vs-komt-in-verzet-facebook-bant-hun-17-miljoen-keer-bekeken-video/ 

Spain: https://niburu.co/gezondheid/15385-artsen-komen-massaal-met-coronawaarheid-naar-buiten 

Germany: https://acu2020.org/international/ 

Belgium : https://omgekeerdelockdown.simplesite.com/?fbclid=IwAR2bJAAShAlIidjnRQPyVSoZbk1Uj-FTHAthL77hKX_Oo8aMLN3V6DdwAac 

https://www.lalibre.be/belgique/enseignement/septante-medecins-flamands-demandent-l-abolition-du-masque-dans-les-ecoles-une-menace-serieuse-pour-leur-developpement-5f58a5189978e2322fa9d32c

https://belgiumbeyondcovid.be/

France : https://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/provence-alpes-cote-d-azur/bouches-du-rhone/marseille/covid-tribune-pres-300-scientifiques-denoncent-mesures-gouvernementales-disproportionnees-1878840.html 

We are all of them.

There are thousands of us.

Thanks to all of you who want a world where the word is respected, truth is defended, freedom is a reality.

I will never let fear rule my life. Don’t negotiate with fear.

Dr. Pascal Sacré

Featured Photo: Citizen Initiative VideoThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Dr. Pascal Sacré, Global Research, 2020

The Great Reset; ‘No pasarán’

The Great Reset; ‘No pasarán’

November 24, 2020

by Ghassan and Intibah Kadi for the Saker Blog

The revolving results and aspirations of having a clear outcome of the American Presidential elections are bringing many related issues to the surface. Perhaps none bigger than the heightened call by the World Economic Forum (WEF) for a ‘Great Reset’.

The mission of the WEF, stated beneath its logo reads that it is: ‘Committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas’.

This is a vague mission statement that is riddled with logical and philosophical flaws.

What does ‘improving the state of the world’ exactly mean? There are many issues in the world that can be improved, and not all of them are based on economics for an economic forum to attempt to improve. Consider freedom of speech for example, freedom of information, the abuse of information in the form of mis-information and dis-information, just to name one example. Have we not seen that this very aspect has reached unprecedented heights in the American elections?

When the WEF invited Greta Thunberg to attend the January 2020 meeting, not only did it endorse her concept of climate change, but it also advertently ignored the counter-theory which is actually supported by many climatologists and scientists in other related areas. So how can the state of the world be improved if science is hushed up and theories are accepted for fact without proof?

By way of its mission statement and putting it into practice therefore, the WEF does not seem to take much notice of the importance of correct information and, on the contrary, works against it. Is this improvement of the world or moving it backwards towards the dark ages?

And talking about Greta, according to the mission statement, she ‘qualified’ to participate and be engaged even though she is not a leader in either business, politics or academia. She must then, by definition, be considered by the WEF as a ‘leader of society’. But even if we assume that she is a leader in this capacity, realistically what kind of input can she make in reaching and implementing realistic recommendations in order to improve the world? Was she only invited to mesmerize and recruit the youth?

But Greta is not the only oddity. Guess who else was there in January 2020? George Soros. Actually, Soros has been a repeat contributor.

Soros is definitely a huge business person and I have no problem with him fitting the qualification criteria. But isn’t Mr. Soros one of the main reasons behind many of the problems and issues facing humanity and which the WEF proclaims the desire to improve?

How can one invite the butcher to the ‘Save the Sheep’ forum?

This brings in the issue of morality.

Who gave the WEF the moral mandate to decide what is good and bad for the rest of the world? This again takes us back to the flaws of the mission statement. The statement does not make any mention of morality and/or the engagement of renowned ethicists in the membership panel.

Whilst many may have some reservations about Mandela, he was nonetheless an ethicist and a moralist over and above being a political and community leader. He was once invited and he gave an address to the 1992 WEF forum in Davos. But people of the caliber of Mandela, and they are far and few between, should be more than just occasional guests. They should be on a permanent panel of elders who inform and advise policy and legislation action based on moral value. Will the world be able to find enough ‘perfect’ humans to empanel and assign such a huge task to? Certainly not. No one is perfect, but a group of wise elders is certainly more trustworthy than a pact of globalists.

The WEF can amend its mission statement and come clean and admit that it is comprised of the elites who are the actual reason behind the world problems and not the ones to offer solutions. To be able to be truthful to its mission statement however, it must not base its criteria and recommendations on economics and economics only.

We have taken recent interest in the WEF because the term ‘Great Reset’ [1] has jumped up from almost nowhere, suddenly [2] becoming almost everyone’s mantra. It took us a while to realize that the term actually refers to a new book by the name of ‘COVID-19 The Great Reset’ written by none other than Dr. Klaus Schwab, the 82 y/o founder and ongoing CEO of the WEF ever since its inception in 1971. The above WEF link includes toward the end of the document an interesting diagram which summarizes the Great Reset plan, titled “The Great Reset Transformation Map”. [3]

And what is exactly the position of Dr. Schwab? How can he take the wiser-than-thou stand and proclaim to be the saviour of the world? Under which mandate is he allowed to tell governments, people, all people of all nations, cultures, religions and political views to follow his vision of how to create a better new world?

A most eloquent, smooth speaker, but it doesn’t take much probing to see that Schwab is at best either a megalomaniac or a fool, but he definitely displays archetypal symptoms of megalomania, and in a very dangerous attire. When Mao declared his short-sighted Cultural Revolution, he was seen in the West as a new Hitler. But ironically the same West sees Schwab as a saviour.

Don’t listen to these words, hear him speak about what he calls the ‘fourth industrial revolution’. He claims that the steam engine heralded the first revolution, mass production the second, and computers the third. And now, according to him, the fourth industrial revolution is about ‘a fusion of our physical, digital and biological identities’ This is an hour-long video, [4] and if readers cannot listen to it all, they can find those exact words at the 15m:45s mark. And what is our ‘digital identity’ by the way?

Actually, he is perhaps neither a megalomaniac nor a fool, but a freak, the kind of villain that jumps straight out of Batman comics. Alongside the Penguin and the Joker, Schwab should be locked up behind bars, dressed in a straight jacket and pumped to the hilt with antipsychotic drugs, but he is not. He has appointed himself as an advisor to global political leaders, and those buffoons take him seriously.

The man has not been elected by anyone, he does not represent anyone, he seems to not have consulted with anyone elected to speak on behalf of citizens. If this is not what defines a dictator, what does? The WEF is actually his own lovechild, and its name gives it a guise of legitimacy, but it is in fact an NGO just like any other. It neither has any official structure nor the power to generate binding policies. And Soros is not the only shady dude ever invited to speak at the forum.

Schwab is the person who invites whom he chooses. Over the years, the guest list included movie stars and rock stars, but the ‘permanent’ members are CEO’s of big business with turnovers in the billions. We are only talking about some 1000 “leading” companies [5] among millions worldwide who are given a “platform”. They are the biggest pollutants and profiteering culprits on the face of the planet. They are also the biggest benefactors; they donate millions of dollars annually to support the WEF.

Other members include the Saudi royals, the Ford Foundation, Mastercard Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto, just to name a few. One would have to have rocks in his/her head to even imagine that those people and the globalist entities they represent get together in order to discuss how to make the world a better place for the underprivileged. He/she would have to be delusional to believe that those rascals convene for any reason other than bolstering their grab-hold of global wealth and monopoly of power.

This is not to mention the irony of Monsanto and Greta being on the same forum.

If anything, the WEF is the biggest known organization that is comprised of the elite of the elite, the culprits behind the inequity and injustice in this world. It is perhaps the biggest wolf in sheep’s clothing on the prowl.

But how will the ordinary man and woman on the street respond to the concept of being part human part machine? And what is more frightening here is; how seriously are world leaders going to take Schwab’s recommendations and how will they implement them in democratic countries in which changes much smaller than what he is recommending require referendums? Furthermore, what will be the ‘fate’ of individuals and nations that do not heed and comply with his directives? Will they be sanctioned? Will non-compliant individuals be able to find jobs or keep existing ones? Will non-compliant nations face trade sanctions?

Many ideologies have come and gone, but none in recent times, since the various versions of Marxism, including Maoism, tried to portray itself in a manner that attempts to sound rational and pragmatic. We must exclude religions here, because religions are based on faith, they are spiritual beliefs, and they are not only and specifically based on and aimed for social reform. But this ‘Great Reset’ theory is very different from any of its predecessors. On the surface, it is based on living frugally in order to protect the environment and generate greater social justice [6], and this does not sound like a bad idea. But at a deeper level, it is a call for thought policing and control of individuals and robbing them of their choices; including their own identity.

Did pre-COVID humanity go wrong to the extent that it needed a great reset?

Well, we only have to look at the trajectory of humanity to realize that it was (still is in fact) unsustainable. All we need to look at is one major aspect; population growth. We simply cannot expect the trend in population growth to go unchecked especially when coupled with increases in affluence and higher standards of living in some countries. If anything, that trend has been generating a huge growing gap between the haves and the have-nots. But even with this knowledge, humanity did not flinch at the news and images of wide-spread famines and literally thousands dying on a daily basis because of their inability to find food; all the while the ‘other half’ is dying from being overweight and overfed.

Whilst some evil-minded people think that the practical way out of this dilemma can be achieved by implementing different modes of eugenics, the voices of compassion have become less audible, and at best, ignored even muted.

Did the pre-COVID world need a reset? Definitely. Many of its founding determinants have been based on injustice, shortsightedness, divisiveness, lack of good old values, the inability of being sustainable; just to name a few.

When millions cannot find food to eat and clean water to drink yet others fly half the way across the world to attend a baby shower, something must be amiss and a reset is way overdue.

But what is it that the vision of the WEF and its ‘Bible’ (COVID-19 The Great Reset) have to offer in order to provide the world and future generations with a brighter new direction?

It doesn’t take long to see that within the WEF “Great Reset” article [7] there are clear indications that what it is attempting to do is to create more compliant robotic individuals and draw the world and its population deeper into the abyss.

The WEF “Great Reset” article is carefully written and worded in a manner that by the time the reader builds a huge deal of trust in the writer, trust in his intentions, and eventually reaches the recommendations, he/she finds that there is no reason, none at all, to disagree with any of its recommendations. If you examine the diagram [8] in the article titled “The Great Reset Transformation Map”, you will find it is very telling.

Even a quick analysis of the WEF principles and modus operandi shows that the whole ethos is based on individuals and companies the practices of whom have led the world to the current state of loss and despair and entrapment that it is in. Certainly, the cause cannot be the cure; not in this instance.

The paper is a blatant endorsement of the Neo-Left, its agendas and attempts to break down cultural values that glue society together, and turn the world into an obedient slave camp.

Apart from the frightening Schwab’s definition of the fourth industrial revolution, the actual recommendations for the ‘Great Reset’ are quite alarming and unsettling to say the least. It promotes digital currency. How does this restore hope in this new world? This is not to mention encouraging the use of robots, drones, and exponentially increasing reliance on technology instead of aspiring to reinstate the good old values of morality that have worked for millennia.

The words morality, honesty, care, compassion, kindness, happiness, courage, generosity, charity etc., are not mentioned even once in the document; not even a single one of them. Why, one may ask? What is it that drones can do to save humanity from an impending disaster that none of the above innate human values can?

Actually, when it comes to human values, Schwab shamelessly argues that as in the future there will be less cooperation based on shared values with an increasingly multipolar world emerging, relationships will have to be based on shared interests; not values (see at 40:00 min)[9]. For him not to believe in the goodness within humanity, he surely must have deeply-founded psychological disorders. We should pity him, but not if he wants to dictate to us how to lead our lives.

What is more concerning about the man is that he asks, almost demands, that all that he proposes must be implemented now and without any further delay, because he argues that the COVID crisis [10] is giving humanity an opportunity that must not be missed. During a recent visit to India, it was reported that Schwab has said that the country now has the opportunity in leapfrogging [11] to a more digital and sustainable economy.

If we want to be cynics, which we are, we would conclude that those who design and run the WEF do not only sleep in the same bed as those who have destroyed the world, THEY ARE the ones who destroyed it, and yet have the audacity to say they are trying to save it. Unfortunately many follow them and take them at face value.

The great reset humanity really needs is one that takes it back to its roots, its values that include freedom of choice and expression. It needs a reboot, not just a reset, and definitely not the reset that is pre-set by maniacal dictators who wish to create implantable microchips that can read one’s mind. [12]

To the likes of Dr. Schwab, the world population must rise, even against their leaders if they must, and together chant ‘no pasarán’

  1. “Now is the time for a great reset”; Klaus Schwab, 3 June 2020, World Economic Forum; https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/now-is-the-time-for-a-great-reset/?fbclid=IwAR1jQO1l6S4ZM7PEe21QiPLa7Espjlm2uh33ovefznJdK-MRZcO1KYzQA1E
  2. ‘Great Reset’ trends on Twitter after Trudeau speech on Covid-19 hints it’s not just a ‘conspiracy theory’, 16 Novemner 2020, RT. https://www.rt.com/news/506887-trudeau-great-reset-conspiracy-reveal/
  3. The Great Reset Transformation Map
    https://intelligence.weforum.org/topics/a1G0X000006OLciUAG?tab=publications
  4. “World Economic Forum Founder Klaus Schwab on the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” Streamed live on 13 May 2019 at Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=CVIy3rjuKGY.
  5. “Our Partners” World Economic Forum https://www.weforum.org/about/our-partners
  6. Searching through WEF site and speeches many references exist regarding living more simply to save the environment and the word “redistribution” often is associated with this. Further research is required by the interested reader to determine whether this implies a redistribution of wealth and what exactly that entails.. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/10/can-redistributing-wealth-also-be-good-for-growth/
  7. Of the WEF, Ken Moelis, Founder and CEO of Moelis & Co. told the Wall Street Journal’s Matt Murray.“ “Davos would do better thinking of growth, rather than redistribution,” (toward the end of video) https://www.wsj.com/video/moelis-davos-should-focus-on-growth-not-wealth-redistribution/C3EC8119-09F4-4CBE-909E-8D59CED4D321.html
  8. “Now is the time for a great reset”; Klaus Schwab, 3 June 2020, World Economic Forum; https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/now-is-the-time-for-a-great-reset/?fbclid=IwAR1jQO1l6S4ZM7PEe21QiPLa7Espjlm2uh33ovefznJdK-MRZcO1KYzQA1E
  9. Schwab, 3 June 2020, Ibid.
  10. Schwab, 13 May 2019, Chicago Council on Global Affairs 40:00 min
  11. Schwab, 3 June 2020, Ibid.
  12. “Schwab Hails India’s Policy In COVID-19 Fight; Says ‘has Potential To Shape Global Agenda’, 25 October 2020, Brigitte Fernandes, RREPUBLICWORLD.com https://www.republicworld.com/india-news/general-news/schwab-hails-indias-policy-in-covid-19-fight-says-has-potential-to-shape-global-agenda.html
  13. “Klaus Schwab: Great Reset Will “Lead to a Fusion of Our Physical, Digital and Biological Identity”, 16 November 202, Joseph Paul Watson, https://summit.news/2020/11/16/klaus-schwab-great-reset-will-lead-to-a-fusion-of-our-physical-digital-and-biological-identity/?fbclid=IwAR2IU4eIRZsXgplVnFHifWLY7fs5i-9uwCDRnqqt_vnNZPLICmL3Gk6LYvk

Twitter Suspends Al-Ahed News English Account For No Clear Reason!

Twitter Suspends Al-Ahed News English Account For No Clear Reason!

By Staff

Beirut – Twitter has once again suspended al-Ahed News English account as part of its got-used-to crackdown on the freedom of speech.

Al-Ahed News will keep its job covering news and humanitarian issues and being the voice of the oppressed and the vulnerable, despite all attempts to silence them.

Ahed News English: https://twitter.com/ala_alahed

Kindly follow and help us spread the news!

SOUTHFRONT CENSORSHIP ON YOUTUBE – SUPPORT TEAM STRIKES BACK

South Front

SouthFront Censorship On YouTube - Support Team Strikes Back

YouTube continues attempts to justify its illegal decision to censor SouthFront.

More than 1.5 months since the censorship of SouthFront on YouTube, the YouTube staff has been ignoring SouthFront rejecting requests to provide at least some kind of formal reason behind this decision. However, in mid-June, YouTube finally invented some formal explanation for its illegal decision to censor SouthFront.

Now, YouTube claims that SouthFront’s main channel was terminated because of “repeated or severe violations” of YouTube Community Guidelines, including “spam, scams or commercially deceptive content”. The claim that SouthFront content on YouTube somehow promoted spam, scams or deceptive content is a blatant lie.

HINT: On May 1, YouTube terminated all of South Front’s channels, with approximately 170,000 subscribers. The main YouTube channel in English had over 152,000 subscribers, 1,900 uploaded videos and approximately 60 million views. The termination of our channels occurred without any warnings or notifications and regardless of the fact that our YouTube channels had zero active strikes.

We immediately appealed this decision and during the next weeks repeatedly requested YouTube to explain reasons behind it. However, no real answers have been provided until now.

A summary of the recent events:

On June 16, YouTube requested us to provide him links to SouthFront channels, which were terminated (like YouTube Support Team cannot get these links by itself):

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SouthFront provided all the requested information:

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On June 18, YouTube finally invented a formal explantion for its unjustified decision to censor SouthFront by claiming that our main YouTube channel with over 152,000 subscribers was promoting “spam, scams or commercially deceptive content”:

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However, this claim goes contrary to YouTube’s official data itself. There was zero YouTube Community Guidelines strikes or any other strikes on the channel.

On May 3, YouTube Support Team officially confirmed this fact in its own email saying that there were “no reasons” to terminate SouthFront’s channel:

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We emphasized this in our answer to YouTube’s new claims:

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On June 22, YouTube made a one more clumsy attempt to explain its decision to censor SouthFront. This time YouTube Support Team claimed that “multiple Community Guideline strikes” may have become the reason behind the termination of our channel.

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Indeed, few years ago, SouthFront’s YouTube channel received Community Guidelines strikes because of a mass flagging of our videos by ill-wishers. These Community Guidelines strikes were removed after our appeals to YouTube Support Team. Therefore, YouTube officially confirmed that these strikes were unjustified or added by mistake. Therefore, SouthFront’s YouTube channel had ZERO strikes when it was terminated.

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On June 23, YouTube sent us a new reply very similar to those that we received previously on June 11This reply does not deal with the current situation in a direct way. In fact, YouTube cannot confirm its claims about supposed Community Guidelines violations because it has no evidence to do so. Therefore, it just used SouthFront’s readiness to defend its rights as a formal pretext to not provide any facts and evidence behind its decision to terminate SouthFront’s channel.

This situation once again demonstrates the double-faced approach of the service that tries to hide blatant acts of censorship behind baseless claims about supposed Community Guidelines violations.

Click to see the full-size image

We eagerly await the further development of this situation. How would YouTube try to explain this act of illegal censorship next time?

YOUR SUPPORT IS CRITICAL TO KEEP SOUTHFRONT ALIVE:

After Youtube and Facebook, Vimeo bans ‘Sayed Hasan’ & Nasrallah’s videos

After Youtube and Facebook, Vimeo bans ‘Sayed Hasan’ & Nasrallah’s videos

May 16, 2020

Source

‘Sayed Hasan’ channel censored for the umpteenth time

The only sure way to follow my work is to subscribe to the Newsletter.

Please write to Vimeo (legal@vimeo.com) to protest this decision, putting me in bcc if possible (contact@lecridespeuples.fr).

On February 28, 2020, Vimeo arbitrarily deleted my channel ‘Sayed Hasan‘ which, since the deletion of my Youtube channel in December 2017 (followed by my Facebook pages in May 2019), published my French subtitled videos —extracts from speeches from Hassan Nasrallah, Ali Khamenei, Vladimir Putin, Bashar al-Assad, alternative anti-imperialist documentaries, Al-Mayadeen or Russian TV News Bulletins, etc. Thus, two years and two months of work, 400 videos posted and 600,000 views, which is not negligible in view of the fact that Vimeo is marginal vis-a-vis the giants Youtube or Facebook and their quasi-monopoly, went up in smoke.

This is not Vimeo’s first act of censorship. In June 2019, the Project Veritas account was banned following the publication of its exclusive investigation into Google’s ideological censorship, the first part of which I captioned.https://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/x7eegy3

And most recently, in April 2020, at the heart of the coronavirus pandemic, Vimeo censored a documentary denouncing the influence of lobbies on the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Vimeo platform, for which I had to pay an annual fee of 84$ to post my videos, therefore did not prove to be safer than Big Tech, on the contrary: while Youtube has a system of three warnings, largely biased anyway, Vimeo deleted everything without warning, simply informing me in these terms:

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The reason invoked was grotesque, as no part of the Vimeo Guidelines mentions such a prohibition. The only rules that applied were the —classic and legitimate— Copyright and Fair Use, so I protested to Vimeo on March 9, pointing this out:

mail-2-1

Vimeo’s response came the same day:

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The absurdity and the contradiction were obvious: on the one hand, it was no longer the Vimeo Guidelines that were invoked, but the Terms of Service (note Vimeo’s hypocritical apologies for this ‘confusion’), which don’t make any mention of content from TV or the internet. On the other hand, the original pretext of theft or plagiarism is completely disconnected from the only questions relevant in this regard, namely respect of Copyright and Fair Use, to which long sections of the Vimeo Guidelines are devoted. But Vimeo manages to affirm that even by respecting these rules, my content could not be published because it would not be a 100% original creation, which is absurd, discriminatory and would empty the sections devoted to Fair Use of any interest. I reacted in these terms on March 23:

mail-4

Vimeo refrained from answering for more than 2 weeks. It was only after Norman Finkelstein intervened on my behalf on April 6 that they deigned to answer him (the same day).

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Vimeo then responded to the second follow-up email that I sent right away, transcribed below with their April 8 response.

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mail-7

I replied to this email empty of substance on April 8:

mail-8

Of course, launching a lawsuit would require resources that I do not have, unless a lawyer or a Civil Liberties association agrees to do them at little cost. I nevertheless ask all those who can to write to Vimeo (legal@vimeo.com), putting me in Bcc if possible (contact@lecridespeuples.fr) to protest against this decision, and share this article widely. It should be noted that at least one lawsuit is currently underway in the United States against Vimeo for freedom of expression issues, a pastor having had his account deleted for having mentioned his renunciation of homosexuality and his journey to God.

This is neither the first nor the last time that I have to start from scratch after years of hard work, when they were bearing fruit. Faced with incessant censorship, which will increase as we approach the inevitable Liberation of Palestine, the only sure way to follow Resistance News is to subscribe to the Newsletter, which is also an important act of support. Please do so and invite your friends to do it.

Finally, those who can are invited to make a donation to help this volunteer work.

My videos in English are accessible on Dailymotion and are safeguarded in the Unz Review.

Everything having been said in two previous articles (Kafka 2.0: how political censorship is exercised on Youtube & Freedom of expression, Hassan Nasrallah and other victims of censorship on the Internet), I will conclude again with Norman Finkelstein’s statement of support when my Facebook page was deleted:

“It is a scandal that the speeches of Hassan Nasrallah are banned on Youtube. Whatever one thinks of his politics, it cannot be doubted that Nasrallah is among the shrewdest and most serious political observers in the world today. Israeli leaders carefully scrutinize Nasrallah’s every word. Why are the rest of us denied this right? One cannot help but wonder whether Nasrallah’s speeches are censored because he doesn’t fit the stereotype of the degenerate, ignorant, blowhard Arab leader. It appears that Western social media aren’t yet ready for an Arab leader of dignified mind and person.”

The online intifada to which Hassan Nasrallah called continued. As he keeps saying since May 25, 2000, the time for victories has come, and the time for defeats is well and truly over: this is why his word is mercilessly hunted down —ironically, on Youtube, the Israeli channel i24 News is the main source still available for his speeches, all the others having been suppressed: the Zionists will even try to make a buck out of the rope to hang them! Repeated censorship is an eloquent sign of the importance of this work, and, far from discouraging me, it will only motivate me more.

An ominous prediction, especially with the Covid-19 pandemic and its huge toll on the United States

Sayed Hasan

Donate as little as you can to support this work and subscribe to the Newsletter to get around censorship.

“Any amount counts, because a little money here and there, it’s like drops of water that can become rivers, seas or oceans…” Hassan Nasrallah

YOUTUBE RESTORED SOUTHFRONT’S TEMPORARILY CHANNEL BLOCKED ON SATURDAY

South Front

YouTube Restored SouthFront's Temporarily Channel Blocked On Saturday

On May 18, YouTube restored our temporary channel blocked two days ago – on May 16. This was done in respnose to our appeal sent on May 16. (The active link to our temporary channel is here)

The text of the appeal: This channel was created with an informational purpose only and does not violate any YouTube’s Community Guidelines. Every video was carefully inspected by me personally. Today neutral, objective information often causes very false flagging by different political or personal reasons. I ask you to make a detailed investigation of this case and restore my channel.

The answer of YouTube: Hi there,

After a review of your account, we have confirmed that your YouTube account is not in violation of our Terms of Service. As such, we have unsuspended your account. This means your account is once again active and operational.

Sincerely,

The YouTube Team

It seems that objective members of YouTube Team reviewed SouthFront videos and took over responsibility for the decision to restore SouthFront’s temporary channel. There is no doubt that YouTube Team consists of people with various ideology and points of view. At the same time, professionalism and impartiality should be on the first place. The members of YouTube Team that decided to restore the channel demonstrated their commitment to these principles.

The decision to restore SouthFront’s temporary channel demonstrated that our videos do not violate YouTube’s policies and Terms of Service. Therefore, there was no objective reason to terminate our main channel with  over 152,000 subscribers, 1,900 uploaded videos and approximately 60 million views on May 1. (LINK TO MAIN CHANNEL)

We appealed the decision to terminate our main channel “South Front” on the same day (May 1), but have received no official decision on this situation from YouTube so far. SouthFront, with a great interest, is waiting a reaction of those who decided to terminate our channel and YouTube lawyers to this case.

DEAR FRIENDS,

We want to say a “Big Thank You” for your informational support, the assistance in sharing information about the censorship of SouthFront and helping to share SouhFront content with a wider audience. Even this small victory and the restoration of our temporary channel became possible only thanks to your help and your active public position.

Once again, Big Thank You All! SouthFront is proud to have such readers and subscribers.

SouthFront operates thanks to lots of volunteer work and the audience’s donations. Now your support are especially important to keep SouthFront alive:

SOUTHFRONT’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL IS BANNED

South Front

SouthFront's YouTube Channel Is Banned

On April 30, we reported that Facebook permanently banned SouthFront’s public page with about 100,000 followers. (LINK)

Now, the situation appears to be even worse.

On May 1 (in the  evening by CET), YouTube terminated SouthFront’s channels with a combined sum of approximately 170,000 subscribers. The main YouTube channel in English had over 152,000 subscribers, 1,900 uploaded videos and about 60,000,000 views.

SouthFront's YouTube Channel Is Banned

This happened despite the fact that our YouTube channels had zero active strikes. As you know we cover conflicts in the Middle East. This is a sensitive topic. Therefore, we strictly follow YouTube’s Community Guidelines and comply with the Terms of Service.

SouthFront’s YouTube channels were terminated without any warning. All that we got was a single automated email regarding the termination of our inactive channel in Farsi “SouthFront Farsi” that included several translations of our war reports. However, even this email provides no details regarding the decision and just claims that “SouthFront Farsi” violated YouTube’s Terms of Service without any elaboration.

SouthFront's YouTube Channel Is Banned

For over 5 years of our work, SouthFront repeatedly faced attempts to censor our coverage, analysis and videos. However, the current blatant and illegal ban of our activity is an unprecedented case. (LINKLINKLINK)

The only reasonable explanation, we may imagine, is that US authorities ordered YouTube and Facebook to cleanse the media sphere of sources of objective coverage and analysis on the Middle East region as a part of the ongoing preparations for a war with Iran. (LINK)

We think that the current situation deserves attention of the international public, including the journalistic community beyond individual ambitions of separate media organizations and journalists.

WE CRITICALLY NEED YOUR INFORMATIONAL ASSISTANCE

Please, help to share this message with the global audience. Also, please, inform your friends, your social circles about southfront.org as an independent platform covering crucial developments in the Middle East and around the world.

Also, in this hard time, your donations are especially important to keep SouthFront alive:

Orwellian Logic Of Corporate Censors & Government Budget Suckers

South Front

Over the past months, SouthFront, among other dissident media and analytical organizations, has been facing an increasing pressure.

In January and February, SouthFront Team became the target of a technical and media pressure campaign from Google because of our independent and critical coverage of the escalating US-Iranian conflict and its negative consequences for the stability of the Greater Middle East. (LINK 1LINK 2)

In March, it appeared that an independent point of view is now terrifying propaganda & censorship structures of the European Union. The developing economic crisis and coronavirus outbreak threw Europe in chaos, smashed the myth about the so-called Euro-Atlantic solidarity and demonstrated the failure of the EU bureaucracy to do something besides sucking budgets and selling sovereignty of European nations to the United States and the global capital. However, instead of facing the reality and starting to work to contain the real problems, EU budget suckers started searching enemies to blame for the disinformation about epic successes of Brussels in fighting against coronavirus.

The European External Action Service named southfront.org among key platforms providing ‘wrong coverage’ of the situation. The Orwellian logic of the European bureaucrats insists that if facts, real developments or history contradict their interests, they must be hidden, bury in oblivion or at least labeled enemy disinformation and propaganda.

In particular, SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence, was mentioned in a Deutsche Welle article on March 21, 2020. The article “Corona-Desinformation: immer dieselben Muster” mentions SouthFront even before huge-funded RT and Sputnik accusing our organization of spreading fake news about the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and alleging that SouthFront is a part of a Russian disinformation campaign.

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SouthFront cannot talk on behalf of RT or Sputniknews, but in our coverage, we rely on facts. If SouthFront provides some expert opinions, it always explains them using facts and logic.

It is interesting to note that since the declaration of the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic SouthFront has not criticized actions of European national governments (Germany, France, and even Italy). A couple of times we drew attention of the audience to too emotional actions of US President Donald Trump. On the other hand, we released several indeed critical articles about the internal political situation in Russia. In all articles mentioning the medical and pandemic situation, we were referring official scientific and medical centers: the Robert Koch Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Statale di Milano University as well as other official and respected bodies from Italy, Spain, Russia and other countries.

In response to this situation, SouthFront sent Deutsche Welle’s editorial staff the following email:

Greetings, Deutsche Welle’s editorial staff!

It has been brought to our attention that our international endeavour, SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence, was mentioned in a Deutsche Welle article on March 21, 2020.

The article “Corona-Desinformation: immer dieselben Muster” mentions SouthFront alongside with RT and Sputnik accusing our organization of spreading fake news about the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and alleging that SouthFront is a part of a Russian disinformation campaign.

This claim made by the article’s author is itself fake news, which is easy to confirm by taking a closer look at the articles and videos actually published on southfront.org. In its coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and social phenomena caused by it, SouthFront always references the sources of the data used. These are the Robert Koch Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as other official and respected bodies from Italy, Spain, Russia and other countries. SouthFront is used to see accusations that we are an Iranian or Russian mouthpiece regarding the Middle East agenda.

SouthFront has never claimed that the COVID-19 outbreak is a result of a conspiracy by  “global backstage elites” or that COVID-19 has been created artificially. Indeed, we shared opinions of Global Research and ZeroHedge on the topic: https://southfront.org/coronavirus-covid-19-made-in-china-or-made-in-america/https://southfront.org/the-real-umbrella-corp-wuhan-ultra-biohazard-lab-was-studying-the-worlds-most-dangerous-pathogens/ with all references to the sources of these opinions. The publishing of these two opinion pieces from other sources does not justify the assertion that SouthFront is itself making these claims. ZeroHedge and Global Research see SouthFront as an independent reliable partner because our relations are fully transparent and noncommercial.

SouthFront’s position is that various influence groups and powers, including Russia, are now using the COVID-19 outbreak to push their own agenda. Incidentally if SouthFront has criticized any official authorities in the framework of pandemic issues, it was in fact the Russian ones: https://southfront.org/while-the-world-is-in-disarray-covid-19-is-breaking-up-russia/https://southfront.org/russia-to-halt-flights-returning-its-citizens-from-abroad-as-tens-of-thousands-still-wait-evacuation/https://southfront.org/mandatory-lockdown-in-russia-is-extended-until-april-30/

SouthFront is an international, crowdfunded endeavor uniting people with various political views from more than a dozen countries. It receives no support from any governments and corporations. We rely only on a comprehensive co-working of our multiple proactive authors and volunteers, and a fact-checking control by our big international team. SouthFront is always open for a constructive dialogue.

The SouthFront team is united by the will to provide comprehensive analysis and independent coverage of key military, survival, political and security developments around the world.

We suppose that the decision to mention SouthFront in the aforementioned Deutsche Welle article was an oversight in that the author did not take the opportunity to check his facts through a closer look at SouthFront coverage. We would hope and do assume that this was not the result of someone directly wishing to harm our organization.

In the interests of professional journalism, we ask you to investigate this situation promptly and remove the fake information forthwith.

Sincerely yours,

SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence

On April 9, Facebook placed limits on SouthFront’s page due to activities that “don’t comply with Facebook’s policies.” Apparently, this is a first thing of a new wave of war on independent media carried out corporations and bureaucrats affiliated with the global elites.

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We believe all these attacks, accusations and attempts to censor SouthFront are a strong signal that we  are on a right track. SouthFront steadily faces pressure and accusations regarding its coverage: the situation in the Middle East, the US-Iranian tensions, the US-Chinese global standoff, actions of the Russian foreign policy etc. Today, a new global issue appeared – the COVID-19 pandemic, and SouthFront is once again being targeted. This happens despite the fact that SouthFront provides a very careful coverage of the COVID-19 crisis based on facts. SouthFront understands the importance of the pandemic and social economic crisis caused by it.

Regardless of the challenges that we face, SouthFront will continue to do its best to provide you with an independent look at key military, security and political developments around the world.

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Tucker Carlson interviews Roger Waters about Julian Assange

Roger Waters explains Julian Assange to Tucker Carlson and they AGREE!!!

FAULT LINES RADIO ⚡️ NOW: TWITTER STILL BUSY BANNING THE LEFT, RIGHT… AND YOUR NEWS ALTERNATIVES W/ EVAKBARTLETT

On Fault Lines yesterday, we discuss Twitter (and social media in general) censorship.Watch HEREAlso HERE (the last 30 minutes)Related Links:–Social Media Censorship Reaches New Heights as Twitter Permanently Bans Dissent: Mnar Muhawesh speaks with journalist Daniel McAdams about being permanently banned from Twitter, social media censorship and more.–Twitter Suspends Dozens of Accounts of Venezuelan OfficialsViews of Sputnik Representatives on West’s Smearing & Censoring of Russian Media

Appeal for help by Ollie Richardson and the Saker (IMPORTANT!)

Appeal for help by Ollie Richardson and the Saker (IMPORTANT!)

July 23, 2019

Dear friends,

As you may be aware, during the first half of this year I have been reporting on the “Yellow Vests” movement in France whilst being in the center of it. Since February 2019 (after I watched in horror on a live feed as a Yellow Vest’s hand was blown off by a grenade the week prior) I have travelled into central Paris every Saturday and observed for myself the now well-known protests against the current French government.

I’ve taken photos and recorded videos for the purpose of disseminating them on social media, hoping to counter the biased reports published by the mainstream media. In late March I decided to start writing articles on this subject (published on The Saker) and up the ante. We are now in the summer, and I have produced many articles about the “Yellow Vests” that were the result of taking some serious risks (I’ve already been hit by a detonating grenade and almost detained on May 1st because I, in my black Donetsk People’s Republic t-shirt and black trousers, apparently resembled a Black Bloc member) and walking/running kilometre after kilometre in order to keep up with the pace of events. In order to understand what is actually happening I have had to acquaint myself with the different aspects of the movement and acquire the trust of the “Yellow Vests”.

In the video below you can see me at Place de la Republique in April (in the same DPR t-shirt; you can see a bandage on my arm from the aforementioned grenade incident) about to leave the protest, when a bleeding Yellow Vest is plonked in front of me. I witnessed the sequence of events, and the police indeed violated human rights by bludgeoning a peaceful person who posed no threat and just wanted to leave the Square.

Sadly, this is nothing out of the ordinary when it comes to the “Yellow Vests” movement. The systematic use of police violence in order to intimidate and silence those who oppose Macron’s policies is unacceptable and factually criminal. But what is happening in France is much more than just Saturday demonstrations. Macron’s government barely has the time to sweep one scandal under the carpet before another one erupts. And the reporting on these scandals in the Anglophone mainstream media has been either non-existent or frankly pitiful. For example, how many readers know about Steve from Nantes? Or Alexandre Benalla? Francois de Rugy’s lobster dinners? Radioactive leaks in the water supply? The backdoor privatisation of the airports? Zineb Redouane? The list is very long, and in some respects it makes “European” and “democratic” post-Maidan Ukraine blush. And yes, what is happening in France is directly connected to events in all theaters of military and informational operations. Every actions has a reaction.

Ollie's MacBook:Users:O-RICH:Downloads:IMG_20190713_112638.jpg
Me at a Yellow Vests protest on July 13th in Paris

In order to continue my work with the Yellow Vests (#GiletsJaunes) movement I am seriously in need of financial help. I have done what I can so far with very limited resources to provide the best coverage I can of what is happening in France without the habitual mainstream media bias that we are all accustomed to and fed up of. This entails a certain level of danger, but as the saying goes – no risk, no reward.

During the autumn/winter of 2019 I want to, as a minimum:

• create and run a dedicated Yellow Vests website/hub;

• translate and publish a mass of information about the main demand of the Yellow Vests – Citizens’ Initiative Referendum – in the hope of raising awareness about alternatives to conventional party politics;

• provide a live stream that is more raw than state-funded media’s;

• continue my series of articles entitled “Inside the Yellow Vests”;

• travel to other French cities and document what is happening there in relation to the movement.

It is simply a case of the more means I have, the more I can achieve. I am present on the terrain and have created a network of contacts. I’ve lived the movement from the very beginning, and want to ensure that it receives the fair coverage in the English language that it deserves.

I have created a Patreon page that has a more in-depth description of my project, and I ask those who have enjoyed my “Yellow Vests” work so far to consider donating what they can in order to help me not only continue my existing work, but also to expand it.

I appreciate the support of each and every person!

Ollie Richardson

——-

Note by the Saker:

Dear friends,
For many weeks now we have been getting superb analyses by Ollie Richardson and equally superb translations of key Russian texts into English made by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard.
Some of the best reporting anywhere on the Internet about the Yellow Vests movement was recently made by Ollie.
Check out this page in which he summarizes his immense work: https://www.patreon.com/yellowvests
Well, guess what?  Ollie and Angelina are not only awesome members of our community, but also real people who have to pay their bills ontime.
Friends – we need to help them.  Not only does their superb work deserve our gratitude, but we also want them to keep writing for us.
I therefore ask all those who can afford it to go to this page: https://www.patreon.com/yellowvests and become patrons of Ollie’s crucially important work.
Many thanks in advance,
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