جيش تشرين بقيادة الأسدين يصنع الانتصارات…

أكتوبر/7 تشرين الأول 2021

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 حسن حردان

تحلّ ذكرى حرب تشرين التي خاضها الجيش العربي السوري بقيادة الرئيس الراحل حافظ الأسد بأفق التحرير، فيما خاضها الرئيس المصري أنور السادات بأفق تحريك التسوية بالاتفاق مع وزير خارجية أميركا هنري كيسنجر من وراء الرئيس الأسد.. تحلّ هذه الذكرى وسورية تقف على أعتاب تحقيق نصر جديد وغالي الثمن في مواجهة أشرس حرب إرهابية كونية شنتها عليها الولايات المتحدة الأميركية…

فالحرب ضدّ العدو الصهيوني الذي يحتل هضبة الجولان السوري، وأرض فلسطين، والحرب ضدّ قوى الإرهاب واحدة لا تتجزأ، لأنّ الإرهابيين الذين تستروا بثوب الإسلام زوراً إنما هم أدوات أميركا و»إسرائيل»، وهدفوا من وراء حربهم إلى إسقاط الدولة الوطنية السورية وتدمير الجيش السوري الذي أثبت في حرب تشرين انه قادر على خوض الحرب وتحقيق النصر وكسر شوكة وجبروت وأسطورة الجيش «الإسرائيلي»، كما أثبت انه يشكل بعقيدته العروبية، التي بُني عليها، سنداً قوياً للمقاومة ضدّ الاحتلال «الإسرائيلي» والاستعمار الغربي، وقوة حامية للحق العربي… وبالتالي سداً منيعاً يحول دون تنفيذ مخططات أميركا و»إسرائيل» الهادفة إلى تصفية قضية فلسطين وفرض الهيمنة الاستعمارية على المنطقة…

لقد أثبت الجيش العربي السوري قدرة قتالية فائقة في حرب تشرين في مواجهة جيش الاحتلال، ولقن جنود العدو دروساً في القتال المباشر على سفوح جبل الشيخ، وكاد جيش العدو يُدحر بالكامل وتلحق به هزيمة قاسية لولا الطعنة الغادرة التي وجهها السادات باتفاقه مع العدو على وقف النار، مما مكنه، أيّ العدو، من تعزيز قواته على جبهة الجولان وإعادة التوازن لجيش الاحتلال الذي كان يعاني من تراجع في معنوياته في الأيام الأولى للحرب.. على انّ البطولات التي سطرها ضباط وجنود الجيش السوري في ميادين القتال في موجهة جيش الاحتلال «الإسرائيلي»، ما كانت لتحصل لولا الثقة الكبيرة التي زرعها فيهم قائدهم الرئيس حافظ الأسد وقراره الجريء بالتحضير والاستعداد لخوض حرب تحرير الأراضي العربية المحتلة، والإقدام دون تردّد على اتخاذ قرار شنّ الحرب، مما أكد انّ سبب الهزائم العربية في السابق، إنما كانت نتيجة تخاذل القيادات العربية وارتباطها بقوى الاستعمار، وهكذا عندما توافرت القيادة الثورية والجريئة والشجاعة، تبدّلت الصورة وصنع النصر الذي أجهض نتيجة تواطؤ السادات ..

ولأنّ الرئيس بشار الأسد تربى في مدرسة القائد حافظ الأسد، وسار على نفس درب الكفاح الوطني والقومي المقاوم ضدّ المحتلين والمستعمرين وأدواتهم الرجعية والإرهابية، فقد صمد مع جيشه، جيش تشرين، صمود الأبطال في مواجهة الحرب الإرهابية الكونية، وأحبط أهداف هذه الحرب التي استهدفت تحطيم وتدمير وتفكيك هذا الجيش، الذي تربى على العقيدة القومية وعدم التهاون في الدفاع عن الوطن، وساند المقاومة في صنع انتصاراتها على جيش الاحتلال في لبنان وتحطيم أسطورته، ليتأكد بذلك انّ الأسطورة، بالمعنى المجازي للكلمة، إنما هو جيش تشرين الذي فاجأ أعداءه بقدرته على الصمود والانتصار على جيوش الإرهاب العالمي… وإجبار دول الغرب الاستعمارية بقيادة أميركا على الإقرار بفشل محاولاتها لإسقاط الرئيس بشار الأسد، والنيل من شرعيته الوطنية والشعبية.. وها هي أميركا تضطر مكرهة الى البدء بتجرّع كأس فشلها تدريجياً، من خلال القبول بتخفيف الحصار الذي فرضته على سورية بموجب قانون قيصر السيّئ الذكر، والسماح بانفتاح الأردن على سورية وإعادة العلاقات بين البلدين إلى ما كانت عليه قبل الحرب، واستجرار لبنان الكهرباء الأردنية والغاز المصري عبر الأراضي السورية.. الأمر الذي ما كان ليحصل لولا انتصارات الجيش السوري بدعم من حلفائه في محور المقاومة وروسيا…

ويمكن القول إنه بفضل هذه الانتصارات ستخرج سورية وجيشها أقوى وأكثر منعة وحصانة في مواجهة أعدائها، وستبقى الحضن الدافئ للمقاومة العربية ضدّ الاحتلال، وعمود محور المقاومة، وقلعة العروبة العصية على قوى الاستعمار… وأمل الأمة بالتحرر والوحدة، والمدافع الأول عن قضية الأمة المركزية قضية فلسطين.

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International Order, World Order, Order of the World, and Things to Come

International Order, World Order, Order of the World, and Things to Come

September 29, 2021

By Amir NOUR for the Saker Blog [1]

This is a chapter from Amir’s forthcoming book, titled : “L’Islam et l’ordre du monde: le testament de Malek BENNABI” (Islam and the Order of the World: Malek BENNABI’s Testament).  First available in French with translations to Arabic and English planned.

“Islam began as something strange and will revert to being strange as it began, so give glad tidings to the strangers”

(Hadith of Prophet Mohammed)

In the beginning was Westphalia

In order to properly set the scene for the subject which concerns us here, that is the “Order of the World” in contrast to “World Order”, as it was perceived by the late Malek Bennabi[2], it is convenient to proceed to a necessary clarification of the key concepts in this matter.

In fact, in the abundant literature on international relations, particularly in the French language, the qualifier “international”, “global” or “planetary” is rarely explained satisfactorily. As Gilles Bertrand[3] points out, the undifferentiated use of one or the other of these adjectives suggests that they are interchangeable, therefore without real meaning for political science. This is not the case, since for many authors like him, this usage reflects belonging to a particular school of thought in international relations, a particular perception of the world, and a different analysis of the concept of “order” in world politics.

The French Academy dictionary defines order as “an arrangement, a regular layout of things in relation to one another; a necessary relationship which regulates the organization of a whole into its parts”. In reality, the notions of order and disorder are part of practical, ethical, political, even mythical and religious discourse. From a philosophical point of view, according to Professor Bertrand Piettre[4], these two notions seem to be more normative than descriptive and have more value than reality. Thus, the term “order” is understood at least in two contradictory senses: either the order is thought of as finalized, as carrying out a purpose, pursuing a direction and thus making sense; disorder is then defined by the absence of an intelligent design. Or the order is thought of as a stable or recurring structure and, thereby, recognizable and locatable, as a constant and necessary arrangement; but as such, it can appear totally devoid of finality and purpose. Disorder, then, is not thought of as what is devoid of a finality, but as what appears to be devoid of necessity.

These two meanings, Piettre explains, refer to two philosophically different visions of the world: finalist or mechanist. Also, recent developments in contemporary science reveal a third possible meaning of the word order, a so-called “contingent” order which is constituted, not against or in spite of disorder, but by and with it; not by triumphing over disorder, but by using it. The author concludes that the notions of order and disorder are therefore intimately entwined and complementary to each other. Their combination, in a play of contingency and necessity, produces the diversity of the material and living world that we know.

In the context of international relations, order is commonly understood to mean the set of rules and institutions that govern relations between the key players in the international environment. Such an order is distinguished from chaos, or random relationships, by a certain degree of stability in terms of structure and organization.

Perhaps, one of the best studies ever done on this topic is the one sponsored by the Office of the United States Secretary of Defense’s Office of Net Assessment and conducted within the International Security and Defense Policy Center of the RAND National Defense Research Institute in 2016 under the title “Understanding the Current International Order[5]. The main aim of this study, was to understand the workings of the existing international order, assess current challenges and threats to the order, and accordingly, recommend future policies deemed sound to U.S. decisionmakers.

The report says that in the modern era, the foundation of the international order was built on the bedrock principles of the Westphalian system, which reflected fairly conservative conceptions of order while relying on pure balance-of-power politics in order to uphold the sovereign equality and territorial inviolability of States.

This Westphalian system led to the development of the territorial integrity norm, considered to this day as a cardinal norm against outright aggression towards neighbors with the aim of seizing their lands, resources or citizens, which was once a common practice in world politics. Thus defined in its main elements, this system has continued to prevail, especially since the Concert of Europe, also known as the Vienna Congress system, which from 1815 to 1914 established a whole series of principles, rules and practices having greatly contributed, after the Napoleonic wars, to maintaining a balance between European powers and shielding the Old Continent from a new all-out conflict. It stood fast until the outbreak of World War I, resumed with the creation of the League of Nations, and then, again, after World War II.

In sum, even if it took different forms in practice, the Westphalian order continued to be a permanent feature of the relations between the great world powers during all the aforementioned periods, thus allowing, to the greatest possible extent, the prevalence of structured relations designed to forswear territorial conquest and curtail any global disorder susceptible of generating wars or large-scale violence in their midst.

The RAND Corporation report indicates that since 1945, the United States, which was the greatest beneficiary of the restored peace, has pursued its global interests through the creation and maintenance of international economic institutions, bilateral and regional security organizations, and liberal political norms and standards. These ordering mechanisms are often collectively referred to as the “international order”.

However, in recent years, rising powers have begun to challenge the sustainability and legitimacy of some aspects of this order, which is clearly seen by the U.S. as a major challenge to its global leadership and vital strategic interests. Three broad categories of potential risks and threats likely to jeopardize this order have thus been identified by the writers of the report:

– some leading states consider that many components of the existing order are designed to restrict their power and perpetuate American hegemony;

– volatility due to failed states or economic crises;

– shifting domestic politics at a time of slow growth and growing inequality.

Kissinger and Realpolitik

Two years before the publication of this study, Henry Kissinger, the veteran of American diplomacy credited with having officially introduced “Realpolitik” (realistic foreign policy based on the calculation of forces and the national interest) in the White House while serving as Secretary of State under Richard Nixon’s administration, had further explored the theme of world order in a landmark book.[6]

From the outset, Mr. Kissinger asserts that no truly global “world order” has ever existed. The order as defined by our times was devised in Western Europe four centuries ago, on the occasion of a peace conference held in Westphalia, a region of Germany, “without the involvement or even the awareness of most other continents or civilizations”. This conference, it should be remembered, followed a century of sectarian conflict and political upheavals across Central Europe which ended up provoking the “Thirty Years’ War” (1618-1648), an appalling and unnecessary “total war” where a quarter of the population of Central Europe died from combat, disease or starvation.

However, the negotiators of this peace of Westphalia did not think of laying the foundations of a system applicable to the whole world. How could they have thought so when then, as always before, every other civilization or geographic region, seeing itself as the center of the world and viewing its principles and values ​​as universally relevant, defined its own conception of order? In the absence of possibilities for prolonged interaction and of any framework for measuring the respective power of the different regions, Henry Kissinger believes, each of these regions viewed its own order as unique and defined the others as “barbarians” wich were “governed in a manner incomprehensible to the established system, and irrelevant to its designs except as a threat”.

Subsequently, thanks to Western colonial expansion, the Westphalian system spread around the world and imposed the structure of a state-based international order, while failing, of course, to apply the concepts of sovereignty to colonies and colonized peoples. It is these same principles and other Westphalian ideas that were put forward when the colonized peoples began to demand their independence. Sovereign state, national independence, national interest, noninterference in domestic affairs and respect for international law and human rights have thus asserted themselves as effective arguments against the colonizers themselves during armed or political struggles, both to regain independence and, afterwards, to protect the newly formed states in the 1950s and 1960s in particular.

At the end of his reflection combining historical analysis and geopolitical prospective, Mr. Kissinger draws important conclusions about the current international order and asks essential questions about its future. The universal relevance of the Westphalian system, he said, derived from its procedural nature, that is value-neutral, which made its rules accessible to any country. Its weakness had been the flip side of its strength: designed by states exhausted from the bloodletting they inflicted on each other, it offered no sense of direction; it proposed methods of allocating and preserving power, without indicating how to generate legitimacy.

More fundamentally, Mr. Kissinger argues that in building a world order, a key question inevitably concerns the substance of its unifying principles, which represents a cardinal distinction between Western and non-Western approaches to order. Quite aptly, he observes that since the Renaissance, the West has widely adopted the idea that the real world is external to the observer, that knowledge consists in recording and classifying data with the greatest possible precision, and that the success of a foreign policy depends on the assessment of existing realities and trends. Therefore, the Peace of Westphalia embodied a judgment of reality and more particularly of realities of power and territory – in the form of a concept of secular order supplanting the demands of religion.

In contrast, the other great contemporary civilizations conceived of reality as internal to the observer and defined by psychological, philosophical or religious convictions. As a result, Kinssinger is of the opinion that sooner or later, any international order must face the consequences of two trends that compromise its cohesion: either a redefinition of legitimacy or a significant shift in the balance of power. In such surcumstances, upheavals could emerge, the essence of wich being that while they are usually underpinned by force, their overriding thrust is psychological. Those under assault are challenged to defend not only their territory, but the basic assumptions of their way of life, their moral right to exist and to act in a manner that until the challenge, had been treated as beyond question”.

Like many other thinkers, political scientists and strategists, especially Westerners, Mr. Kissinger considers that the multifaceted developments underway in the world are fraught with threats and risks that could lead to a sharp rise in tensions. And chaos threatens “side by side with unprecedented interdependence: in the spread of weapons of mass destruction, the disintegration of states, the impact of environmental depredations, the persistence of genocidal practices, and the spread of new technologies threatening to drive conflict beyond human control or comprehension”.

This is the reason why Mr. Kissinger thinks that our age is insistently engaged in an obstinate search, sometimes almost desperatly, of a concept of world order, not without expressing his concern which takes on the appearance of a warning: in our time, a reconstruction of the international system “is the ultimate challenge to government. And in the event of failure, the penalty will be not so much a major war between States (though in some regions this is not foreclosed) as an evolution into spheres of influence identified with particular domestic structures and forms of governance, for example the Westphalian model as against the radical Islamist version” with the risk, according to him, that at its edges each sphere would be tempted to test its strength against other entities of order deemed illegitimate.

The major conclusion of this scholarly book which concerns us particularly in the context of our theme of the “Order of the World”, as opposed to “international” or “World” order, is this: “The mystery to be overcome is one all peoples share: how divergent historical experiences and values can be shaped into a common order”.

Mr. Kissinger’s allusion to the “radical Islamist version” as a possible alternative to the Westphalian model of world order is far from trivial; and the fact of having singled it out from other eventualities speaks volumes about its own strategic reading of the evolutions underway and the possible contours of the world to come.

Afghanistan, yet again a slayer and graveyard of empires

With a few years of delay, the “establishment” of his country seems to have been convinced of the same views. Indeed, in the space of just four days, two clarifications in this sense have been made, shaking violently the foundations of policies and “truths” hitherto considered incontrovertible.

Firstly, through an editorial[7] published in the columns of the highly influential New York business and financial daily “The Wall Street Journal”. Under the evocative headline “The Unconquable Islamic World”, the newspaper owned by Australian–American billionaire and media mogul Rupert Murdoch claims that historians, troopers and politicians will debate for many years the particulars of what went unsuitable throughout America’s intervention in Afghanistan. This adventure had its epilogue, on August 31, 2021, in the form of a hasty and messy evacuation of American troops through Kabul airport, under the triumphant gaze of the Taliban, the new masters of Afghanistan, a country which once again proved to be a slayer and graveyard of invading empires, old and new. Such a rout, broadcast live by international media, left everyone bewildered and certainly eclipsed similar scenes of panic that marked the fall of Saigon, Vietnam, on April 30, 1973, which sealed the first military defeat in the recent history of the United States.

Considering that the US-led coalition has been guilty of blindness by failing to understand that politics lies downstream of tradition, and tradition downstream of faith, the newspaper recognizes that Islamic societies belong to a particular civilization, which resists the imposition of foreign values by way of energy. This blindness is caused by the fact that, becoming apostles of common civilization, Westerners think that “human beings all over the place would make the identical primary choices we made in constructing political group”, and also by a “noble want” to see people as equal, interchangeable beings for whom religion and tradition are “accidents of delivery”. Whereas in fact, these accidents are “non-negotiable truths for tons of hundreds of thousands of people that would moderately die than concede them”.

Failure to understand this, the daily concludes, can be a symptom of “religious vacancy”. In other words, “alienated from America’s Christian origins, hundreds of thousands can’t fathom how religion may play a significant position in binding people collectively”.

Secondly, through an equally scathing assessment by President Joe Biden himself during a speech to the nation[8] delivered in the wake of the American withdrawal from Afghanistan and only eleven days before the 20th anniversary of the September 11, terrorists attacks, which had precisely precipitated this military intervention. On this occasion, President Biden gave a full-throated defense of his decision to end the United States’ longest war abroad by declaring that the era of large American military deployments to remake other nations is over. He further emphasized: “After more than $2 trillion spent in Afghanistan a cost that researchers at Brown University estimated would be over $300 million a day for two decades in Afghanistan yes the American people should hear this: $300 million a day for 20 years in Afghanistan”. Will this important declaration help turn a new page in Washington’s foreign policy, especially towards the Muslim world, a policy characterized by so many setbacks that have claimed the lives of millions of innocent people and caused heavy material damage and unspeakable sufferings? Only time will tell.

Islam and the New World Order

In the meantime, as Ali A. Allawi asserts in his mesmerizing book[9], there is little doubt that for at least two centuries the civilization of Islam has been going through a profound crisis. Islam, as a religion and a method of worship, embraced by almost two billion people in the world[10], has kept its vitality intact, and is gaining more and more followers outside its original geographical sphere, notably since the events of September 11, paradoxical though it may seem to some. Indeed, we are seeing more and more telling signs in this regard such as: the increase in the number of conversions to Islam, in particular among educated women; the significant surge in the number of mosques, Islamic centers and other places of worship in the West and elsewhere (including through the conversion of abandoned Christian places of worship); the election of Muslims to high positions of political and representative responsibility (including mayors and parliamentarians of major capitals and Western cities); the interest in studying Islam in general and the Qur’an in particular, including in schools and universities in many countries around the world; the remarkable growth of banks and other Islamic financial institutions, as well as that of the Halal industry in the world.

It remains true, however, that the situation is quite different for the world and the civilization that Islam has built over the centuries. These have been seriously undermined. What does this mean exactly? To try to answer this question, it is important to recall the following key considerations:

All civilizations try to balance themselves between the individual and the collective (or the group), between the temporal and the spiritual, and between this-worldliness and otherworldliness. Shifts between the relative importance given to the former at the expense of the latter is what gives the different civilizations their distinctive identity and coloring; and critical disjunctions in human history occur when the individual paradigm is overturned or tilted towards the collective, or vice versa.

In modern Western societies, especially English–speaking ones, it is an indisputable fact that since the Renaissance which was at the origin of the Enlightenment movement and thought, there has been a gradual and probably decisive and irreversible shift away from the collective and the sacred towards the individual and the secular.

This being the case, in the self–image of Western or Westernized societies, the individual is ennobled and endowed with the power and tools to determine, alone, the course of his personal development and fulfillment as well as those of society, through the idiom – which is then erected into absolute dogma – of rights and the practice of a democracy based on laws and rules. The primacy of the individual over collective rights thus gradually paved the way for the dismantling of the post-war welfare state, making the dividing line between the public and private domains increasingly blurred, and providing wide–open avenues to an unbridled individualism.

The Muslim World was not spared either by the onslaught of these stormy developments, and all the countries composing it ended up joining, with varying degrees of enthusiasm and intensity, the irresistible ultraliberal globalization movement churned out and forcefully promoted by the Reagan-Thatcher couple in the 1980s. Nevertheless, to this day, Islam, this invisible glue that binds Muslims to a different set of values, loyalties and identities beyond the nation, seem to be resisting and still has not recognized the inevitability of a world civilization stamped with the sole seal of the West and its typical and willfully domineering political, cultural, and socio-economic model.

Being a religion which does not separate the spiritual from the temporal and puts the rights, interests and well-being of the community ahead of those of individuals, Islam today constitutes a major brake on and obstacle to the standardization of humanity according to the globalist mold aiming to impose the rules of a single economic model and mindset. The supporters of this vision of the world work tirelessly to break open this bolt which still holds, unlike Catholicism, the other monotheistic religion with a universal vocation, in particular since the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council which has totally abdicated by giving in to the “demands” of an increasingly desecrated modern world.[11] This Council, let us remember, had, under the impetus of the brand new Pope John XXIII, assigned three main goals, the repercussions of which are still being felt today: to renew the Church itself (to make its aggiornamento), to re-establish the unity of all Christians, and to engage in the dialogue of the Church with the contemporary world.

Pierre Hillard understood this very well when he said that Islam is now the “last bulwark against the New World Order”. To the question that Laurent Fendt put to him on Radio “Ici et Maintenant”, on January 11, 2010, of “what would be in the case of a world government the enemy who would be put forward to continue to rule the world?”, Pierre Hillard replied: “Within the framework of the New World Order, the enemy currently is Islam (…) because Islam is still the only religion which brings hope for the hereafter (…) It is for the globalist spirit a competition that it cannot accept, because the Muslim will not – in any case much less – focus on material pleasures, on the consumer society; so it is necessary at all costs to destroy this Islam which does not extol the American way of life”. And while referring to an article by Ralph Peters in an American military journal[12] pleading in favor of a “Vatican of Islam”, he recalls the encyclical Pacem in Terris of John XXIII before concluding: “they succeeded with Catholicism and there is nothing left but Islam which tries to resist”.

On closer inspection, we may argue that throughout the Western colonial period, the Cold War and until after the “Thirty Glorious” the West was somewhat indifferent if not condescending to Islam as a religion. The fear of Islam has followed the demise of social democracy in the West, especially since the events of “May 68”, and the decay of progressive and socially centered movements in the Third World. The Iranian revolution of 1979, itself begotten by this historical development, and the terrorist attacks of September 11, radically changed the geostrategic situation in the eyes of Western countries. Islam is increasingly at the center of their concerns today and a rampant Islamophobia has naturally, and dangerously, ensued. As Mr. Allawi so rightly put it, Islam’s religion, cultures, civilization, nations and peoples have become the subject of meticulous scrutiny by a wide array of analysts, “from the most thoughtful to the most incendiary, from the most illustrious to the most obscure, from the most sympathetic to the most bigoted”.

Make no mistake about it. Much like Egyptian thinker Mustafa Mahmoud, we are aware that when some influential figures, both Western and indigenous, declare that they are not hostile to Islam as a religion, they are honest in some way. To be sure, they have no objection to Muslims praying, fasting, making the pilgrimage to Mecca, spending days and nights worshiping God, glorifiying Him and seeking His grace in individual meditation and invocation or in collective prayers in mosques. They are in no way hostile to ritual Islam, an Islam of gestures, genuflection and asceticism. Nor do they object to Muslims being bestowed with the rewards of the hereafter. It’s a question they don’t necessarily care or think about. On the contrary, these personalities and their mentors have very often encouraged, supported and defended the leaders and other sounding boards of this type of Islam: peaceful, pacifist, docile and exploitable at will. Their hostility and enmity are rather directed against the other Islam, the one that challenges their claim to the exclusive authority to rule the world, and build it on other ideals, values ​​and interests than theirs; progressive Islam which enjoins what is right and forbids what is wrong in the world; Islam which wants to open an alternative cultural path and eestablish other models and values ​​in the fields of economy, trade, art and thought; Islam that wants to advance science, technology and inventions, but for purposes other than the conquest of the territories of others and the control of their resources; Islam that goes beyond individual reform to social reform, that helps cure the ailments of the current pervasive and materialestic civilization to effect a much-needed salutary global change. In all such arenas, there is no room for negotiation, bargaining, or compromise. There is bitter warfare, either overt or covert, sometimes even with the help of supposedly co-religionists local clients.

In reaction, an awareness characterized mainly by rearguard actions and resistance to the claims of secular modernity is emerging across the Muslim world. This dynamic encompasses all of the attributes of a struggle for the survival of Islam, henceforth the sole standard bearer of Abrahamic monotheism.

The future of Islam: between reformation, deformation and rebirth

Uneasiness and uncertainty as to the direction in which Islamic civilization is moving, or is being intentionally pushed, have been providing the foundation for a flow of projects and plans aimed at “reforming” or “revitalizing” Islam since the beginning of the 19th century and up to the present day. These continued attempts are all based on schemes of “reinvention” of Islam through secularization, liberalization, historicization, or radicalization of Muslims’ understanding of their religion.

As we pointed out earlier, there is no crisis of religious belief in Islam comparable to that which has affected Christianity in the West generally. But this is a far cry from the assertion that the seeds of a rebirth of Islamic civilization are there simply because most Muslims continue to show extraordinary commitment to their religion. Mr. Allawi is right in thinking that the main threat to Islamic civilization will not come from the massive abandonment of religious faith. Rather, the future of this civilization is more linked to the success or disappearance of political Islam as it has manifested itself during the last forty years.

Indeed, the extreme politicization, both internal and external, of Islam and its transformation into an ideology for legitimizing access to and/or retention of power is undoubtedly a crucial change that has influenced the life course of Muslim states and peoples, and also their relation to the whole world. According to Allawi, the success of political Islam may, paradoxically, turn out to be the “coup de grace”, the final blow to the Islamic civilization. For it will eliminate, once and for all, the possibility that the political path could ever be the basis for rejuvenating or reshaping the elements of a new form of Islamic civilization. In many ways, the use of violence and terrorism in the name of Islam confirms the disappearance of this civilization from the consciousness of terrorists and their local and foreign supporters. Despite its predominance in the calculations of policy and decision-makers and in the public imagination, political Islam is only one aspect of the overall problem of Islam in the modern World. Similarly, its ups and downs are only one symptom among others of the disease affecting this civilization. And the fact that Islamism has received the lion’s share of attention does not automatically make its leaders and ideologues the arbiter of Islam itself.

Therefore, what needs to be addressed as a matter of high priority and urgency is to identify the root causes of the crisis and to remedy them. In particular, it is crucial to find out whether Islam’s apparent mismatch with the modern world is intrinsic to the religion itself or is due to other factors, including the gradual breakdown of its vital forces. Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Bin Muhammad, who has contributed significantly to the development of his country, has suggested what could well be a particularly interesting “road map” in this regard. Addressing the participants of the 3rd International Conference on Islamic Thought, held in Kuala Lumpur in May 1984, he said: “If Muslims really want an Islamic social order, then they must examine every aspect of modern life from the perspective of Islam and make the necessary corrections (…) Then they should integrate the new knowledge into the corpus of the Islamic legacy by eliminating, amending, reinterpreting and adapting its components according to the world view of Islam”.

The debate on this topic is endless, and the opinions expressed by Muslims themselves are often diametrically opposed. This is the case with two recent contributions. If for the Tunisian researcher Hela Ouardi[13] “Islam is a totally anachronistic religion, stuck in a temporal trap and unable to cut the thread of the mythology that would allow it to enter modernity”, it is quite otherwise for the Swiss researcher of Moroccan origin Réda Benkirane[14] who considers that “paradoxically, what we perceive as a return of religion is in reality an exit from Islam. This “outing” essentializes the accessory (appearance, clothing, standards) and accessorizes the essential (the articulation of reason and faith). Everything that has been going on for half a century now has contributed to a turbulent secularization of Islam (…) The instrumentalization of religion for political ends has been the work of secular Western states and Arab petromonarchies”.

In truth, what reformers and critics of Islam alike have not sufficiently understood or admitted is that “the spiritual dimension of Islam has permeated the entirety of its civilization”. Accordingly, regaining knowlege of the sacred is an essential requierement. This is the most important characteristic of this particular religion, one that Muslims hold to be perfect and definitive, especially in terms of the transcendent reality which lies at the heart of its message. In interpreting the world view of Islam, the aim of all knowledge must be to “seek, find and affirm the divine basis of all righteous thinking and actions”, as referred to in the Qur’an.[15] Furthermore, the clear dichotomy between the sacred and the secular contained in the biblical affirmation “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” finds no place in Islam if it “despiritualizes the foundations of individual and collective action”.

The aforementioned considerations are the most essential features which made the specificity of Islam, its Alpha and its Omega, which allowed the birth and then the greatness of its civilization, and which will be crucial for the success of any “rebirth” enterprise aimed at the individual and societal regeneration of Islam in the modern world. Otherwise, what Mr. Allawi calls “the last crisis” of the civilization of Islam may induce a secularization of Islam, which would therefore reduce its domain to the private sphere, as an individual faith or, at best, a community faith. Such an evolution would obviously add Islam to the other non-established religions in the modern world and, with time, its singularity will disappear, and with it any possibility that its outward expression will have a serious impact on the world in general. On that account, it would permanently lose any claim it might have to be “the incubator of a unique form of a future civilization”. As for the Muslims taken individually, they would then be part of a world which would bear no imprint of their religion “while the model of Promethean man, heroically defying the gods and tolerating no limit to his desires and their fulfillment”, would take a further step towards its own inescapable perdition. All in all, the Islamic “awakening” so much announced lately would not be a prelude to the rebirth of an Islamic civilization but “a new episode of its decline”, and the final act of the end of a once resplendent civilization that would have thus, God forbid, also made its swan song.

This fundamental conclusion reached by Ali Allawi, and which we endorse entirely, is the same as that formulated fifty years before him by Malek Bennabi in the original Arabic version of his fascinating scholarly book published in 1971 in Cairo under the title “The Problem of Ideas in the Muslim world”. The Muslim world, he wrote, has emerged from the post-Almohadian era in the last century without, however, yet finding its base; like a rider who has lost the stirrup and has not yet managed to get it back, it is looking for its new equilibrium. Its secular decadence, which had condemned it to inertia, apathy, impotence, colonizability, nevertheless retained its more or less fossilized values. It emerges in this state in a twentieth century at the height of its material power, but where all moral forces began to fail soon after World War I.

After examining the ins and outs of this long process of decadence, Bennabi warns that the Muslim world, and more particularly a large part of its “elites”, is carried away by contradictory ideas, those very which bring it face to face with the problems of technological civilization without putting it in contact with its roots, and those which link it to its own cultural universe without putting it completely in contact with its archetypes, despite the meritorious efforts of its Reformers. It therefore risks, “by infatuation or by slipping on slides set in its footsteps, to be drawn into modern ‘ideologies’ just as they consummate their bankruptcy in the West where they were born”. We do not make history, he affirms assertively, by following in the footsteps of others in all the beaten paths, but by opening up new paths; this is only possible with “genuine ideas that answer all the growth problems of a society which must be rebuilt”.

Surely, for centuries, the civilization of Islam has often been shaken by powerful opposing currents. The crusades, the Mongol invasion, Western colonization and imperialism and, today, the intense movement of globalization were the most striking ones. It has just as often bent under their blows, but has never broken. Far from it, its contribution to universal civilization and to the construction of the Old and New worlds is undeniable. The chronicle of this role, especially during the period of the Ottoman Empire, has recently been the subject of a remarkable book written by Professor of history and Chair of the Department of History at American Yale University, Alan Mikhail[16], under the title “The Shadow of God: The Ottoman Sultan Who Shaped the Modern World”. In the introduction to this narrative presenting a new and holistic picture of the last five centuries and demonstrating Islam’s constituent role in the forming of some of the most fundamental aspects of the history of Europe, the Americas, and the United States, he states that: “If we do not place Islam at the center of our grasp of world history, we will never understand why the Moor-slayers (Matamoros)17 are memorialized on the Texas-Mexico border or, more generally, why we have blindly, and repeatedly, narrated histories that miss major features of our shared past. As we chronicle Selim and his age, a bold new world history emerges, one that overturns shibboleths that have held sway for a millennium”, before concluding: “Whether politicians, pundits, and traditional historians like it or not, the world we inhabit is very much an Ottoman one”.

*

  1. Algerian researcher in international relations, author of the book “L’Orient et l’Occident à l’heure d’un nouveau Sykes-Picot” (The Orient and the Occident in Time of a New Sykes-Picot) Editions Alem El Afkar, Algiers, 2014. 
  2. Malek Bennabi (1905-1973) was an Algerian thinker and writer who devoted most of his life to observe and analyze History to understand the general laws behind the rise and fall of civilizations. He is also known for having coined the concept of “colonizability” (the inner aptitude to be colonized) and even the notion of “globalism” (mondialisme, in French). 
  3. Gilles Bertrand, Ordre international, ordre mondial, ordre global”, in Revue internationale et stratégique 2004/2 (N°54). 
  4. Bertrand Piettre, “Ordre et désordre : Le point de vue philosophique”, 1995. 
  5. RAND Corportation, “Understanding the Current International Order”, 2016. 
  6. Henry Kissinger, “World Order”, Penguin Press, New York, 2014. 
  7. The Wall Street Journal, The Unconquerable Islamic World”, August 19, 2021. 
  8. See: “Remarks by President Joe Biden on the End of war in afghanistan, The white House, WH.GOV, August 31, 2021. 
  9. Ali A. Allawi, “The Crisis of Islamic Civilisation”, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2010. 
  10. According to a study conducted by The Pew Research Center entitled “The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050”: “Islam will grow faster than any other major religion. As of 2010, Christianity was by far the world’s largest religion, with an estimated 2.2 billion adherents, nearly a third (31%) of all 6.9 billion people on Earth. Islam was second, with 1.6 billion adherents, or 23% of the global population. By 2050 there will be near parity between Muslims (2.8 billion, or 30% of the population) and Christians (2.9 billion, or 31%), possibly for the first time in history. If the main projection model is extended beyond 2050, the Muslim share of the world’s population would equal the Christian share, at roughly 32% each, around 2070. After that, the number of Muslims would exceed the number of Christians. By the year 2100, about 1% more of the world’s population would be Muslim (35%) than Christian (34%)”. 
  11. See : Jean Pierre Proulx “Il y a 50 ans : Vatican II. Le Concile qui a bouleversé l’Eglise”, Le Devoir, December 22, 2012, and the interview with historian Guillaume Cuchet, in “Aleteia”, “Le catholicisme aura l’avenir qu’on voudra bien lui donner”, September 18, 2021. 
  12. Ralph Peters, “Blood Borders: How a Better Middle East Would look”, in Armed Forces Journal, juin 2006. 
  13. See : Hela Ouardi, L’Islam n’arrive pas à trancher le fil de la mythologie qui lui permettrait d’entrer dans la modernité”, Le Monde des religions, September 19, 2021. 
  14. See : Réda Benkirane, “Tout ce qui se joue depuis un demi-siècle concourt à une sécularisation turbulente de l’islam”, le Monde des religions, September 5, 2021. 
  15. “We will show them Our signs in the horizon and within themselves until it becomes manifest to them that this (the Qur’an) is the truth. Is it not enough that thy Lord doth witness all things?” (Chapter Fussilat, Verse 53). 
  16. Alan Mikhail, “God’s Shadow: The Ottoman Sultan who shaped the modern world”, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 2020.
  17. Matamoros” is the name of a city located in the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas across the border from Brownsville, Texas in the United States. It was coined by Catholic Spaniards for whom it was the duty of every Christian soldier to be a Moor-slayer. 

Palestine: Old Policy of Divide and Rule Continues

By VT Editors -June 14, 2021

By Sajjad Shaukat Pak VT

After martyring more than 300 Palestinians, including 100 children and 80 women, injuring more than 3000 innocent civilians in Gaza Strip through airstrikes and ground shelling, Israel agreed on a ceasefire with Hamas, which ended the 11 days war.

Unmatched with Israeli arms, freedom fighters of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad group Abu Ubaida had no option except firing rockets inside Israel.

Very tensions had started when Israeli police stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and attacked the Palestinians. Thousands of Palestinians staged protests in the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.

In an emergency meeting of the foreign ministers, the OIC had called for an immediate halt to Israel’s barbaric attacks on Gaza.

Earlier, called by China, the UNO Security Council held an urgent meeting on the unrest in Jerusalem. The three sessions of the UN body failed after the US’s moves to block a joint statement that would condemn Israel for the violence and call for a cease-fire.

Like the past administrations, the US President Joe Biden reiterated that Israel has the right to defend itself.

Biden also sent Linda Thomas-Greenfield—the US’s UN envoy to de-escalate tensions. However, it was part of the double game of Washington. When American President Biden seriously pressured Netanyahu to prevent a full-scale war, Tel Aviv agreed for ceasefire.

But, Israeli Premier Netanyahu has not accepted the two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute which was stressed by the US and some major Western countries.

In fact, international bodies such as the UNO Security Council, OIC and the US-led West failed to present a solution to end the Israeli state terrorism on the Palestinians, which have continued from time to time.

Notably, like the United States, Ottoman Empire of Turkey was a large multi-ethnic state. In order to maintain their control, one of the British strategies was divide and rule which was being practiced through various tactics like arrangement of rebellions, manipulation of ethnic and sectarian differences. The Britain provided soldiers, weapons and money to the Arab subjects against that Empire. According to the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the British and French agreed to divide the Arab world between them. The Britain took control of what are now Iraq, Kuwait, and Jordan. The French were given modern Syria, Lebanon and southern Turkey. Thus, they brought about the end of the Ottomans and the rise of the new states, with borders, running across the Middle East, dividing Muslims from each other.

Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917 which was a conspiracy of the American and the British rulers against the Palestinians was implemented. On May 14, 1948, the UNO acted upon the 1947 UN Partition Plan and established the state of Israel.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem and Syrian Golan Heights during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move that has never been recognized by the UNO and international community.

Once Henry Kissinger stated “legitimacy is not natural or automatic, but created.”

Under the cover of the 9/11 attacks, the US President George W. Bush started global war on terror. Occupation of Afghanistan by the US-led NATO, Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, like the creation of Al-Qaeda by the CIA, the Islamic State group (ISIS), proxy wars in Libya, Syria and Yemen, and elsewhere in the world were part of the same anti-Muslim campaign to continue old divide and rule policy.

Henry Kissinger had suggested the split of Iraq into three independent regions, ruled by Kurds, Shias and Sunnis. In this regard, the Asia Times Online reported in 2005: “The plan of balkanizing Iraq into several smaller states is an exact replica of an extreme right-wing Israeli plan…an essential part of the balkanization of the whole Middle East. Curiously, Henry Kissinger was selling the same idea even before the 2003 invasion of Iraq…this is classic divide and rule: the objective is the perpetuation of Arab disunity.”

Similarly, during the partition of the Sub-continent, the people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) which comprised Muslim majority decided to join Pakistan according to the British formula. But, Dogra Raja, Sir Hari Singh, a Hindu who was ruling over the J&K in collusion with the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Governor General Lord Mountbatten joined India.

The Security Council adopted resolution of April 21, 1948, which promised a plebiscite under UN auspices to enable the people of Jammu and Kashmir to determine whether they wish to join Pakistan or India. On February 5, 1964, India backed out of its commitment of holding plebiscite. Instead, Indian Parliament declared Kashmir-an integral part of the Indian union.

Indian cruel actions against the Kashmiris reached climax on August 5, 2019 when Indian extremist government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the leader of the fanatic ruling party BJP revoked articles 35A and 370 of the Constitution, which gave a special status to the disputed territory of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). New Delhi unilaterally annexed the IIOJK with the Indian Federation to turn Muslim majority into minority.

Implementing the ideology of Hindutva ((Hindu Nationalism), Indian prejudiced rulers have Issued over 1.8 million domicile certificates to non-Kashmiris to change the demographic structure of the IIOJK.

And deployment of more than 900,000 military troops in the IIOJK, who have martyred thousands of the Kashmiris through brutal tactics-extrajudicial killings—non-provision of basic necessities of life and medicines for the coronavirus patients prove worst form of India’s state terrorism. Now, almost 21 months have been passed. But, Indian strict military lockdown in the IIOJK continues.

Besides, the Indian Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) further exposed the discriminatory policies of the Modi-led government against the Muslims.

It is mentionable that Article 42 of the 1907—Hague Regulations states that a territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army.

Moreover, in its resolution 3314, the United Nations General Assembly prohibits states from any military occupation. Article 2(4) of the UN charter explicitly prohibits the use of force.

In addition, General Assembly’s resolution 1541 adopted in 1960 accepts the legitimacy of the right of self-determination and opposes repressive measures of all kinds against the freedom fighters by the colonial powers.

Nevertheless, the US-led major Western countries continue old policy of divide and rule to create division among the Islamic countries.

In this respect, on the directions of the US ex-President Donald Trump, some Muslim countries’ various moves such as recognition of the state of Israel, opening of Israeli embassies in their countries, Shia-Sunni sectarian split, manipulation of Iran-Saudi Arabia differences, encouragement to Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, lack of practical action against the Modi-regime etc. might be cited as some instances. Undoubtedly, it is due to lack of unity in the Islamic Ummah that the Muslim countries have become easy target of this old policy.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Email: Sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

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Trade-Off looming on Syria and Yemen:

Trade-Off looming on Syria and Yemen:

March 16, 2021

By Ghassan Kadi for the Saker Blog

In the past few weeks much has happened in the area of diplomacy on the part of Russia. Russia is forging ahead after stepping up its presence in the Middle East in the past decade, taking a strong pro-active political role. Moscow during this period has been intent on consolidating its efforts in re-establishing itself as the key player in any political settlements in the Middle East. Ever since Kissinger in the late 1970’s pulled the rug out from underneath the feet of the USSR, striking a deal between Israel and Egypt, excluding the USSR and the rest of the Arab World, the political influence of Russia in the Middle East significantly waned until it came back with deciding force when Russia responded to the Syrian Government’s request for help in September 2015.

Lately, the economic crisis has deepened in Syria following the drastic Western sanctions. And specifically after the implementation of the Caesar’s Act, the Syrian currency took a huge tumble and the cost of living has soared to unprecedented levels. This left many cynics wondering and pondering what was Russia going to do in the face of the collapsed Syrian economy after having achieved an impressive military victory, taking its troops outside its former USSR borders for the first time and heralding the end of the single super power status of the USA.

To this effect, and on the diplomatic side, Russian FM Lavrov has recently visited Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE for talks pertaining to an array of issues. The agenda issues that transpired to the media include trade, the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, as well as issues of global and regional security, albeit vague in details as what ‘security issues’ mean.

It appears that in these meetings, discussions included the return of Syria to the Arab League and the cost of reconstruction of Syria after ten years of war, a bill touted to exceed $Bn200. Expectations have existed for some time that the Arab Gulf states will fork out a huge chunk of this cost. As mentioned above, the bottom line here is that Russia’s military success in its operation in Syria needs to be followed by political success. Partly, this is achieved within the Astana talks which include Turkey and Iran. However, the very same Arab States instrumental in the ‘War on Syria’ are also instrumental in facilitating the return of Syria to the Arab League, the reconstruction efforts in Syria and the easing of sanctions. The Gulf states have always reiterated that there will no return of Syria to the Arab League for as long as Iranian forces remain on the ground. The UAE seemed more open than Saudi Arabia to the prospects of Syria’s return to the Arab League and financing the reconstruction process.

But why would the Gulf States, the same states that spent tens of billions of dollars in order to destroy Syria, be suddenly now interested in the reversal of the process? This is a fair question to ask.

Quite unexpectantly, and almost immediately after the return of Lavrov to Moscow, a top delegation of Hezbollah, headed by Mohamad Raad, was invited to Moscow for talks. Apparently, the visit was cloaked in a veil of secrecy in Russia and was not at all covered in Western media, even though it made news in Arabic mainstream media. It would be politically naïve to imagine that Lavrov’s visit to the Gulf has no relation to this. All issues in the Middle East are related to each other, including the war in Yemen.

To put it succinctly, the UAE had already stepped away from the Yemen war. However, Saudi Arabia remains bogged down in this travesty and seven years on, must have come to the humiliating and painful realization that it is a war it cannot win. This is where Iran and Hezbollah can have leverage in any direct or indirect negotiations with the Saudis, and Russia is the only arbitrator who is able to communicate with all parties involved.

All parties in the Middle East are looking for face-saving tradeoffs; at least partial and interim ones. The Saudis in particular are tired and exhausted,

In an interview given to Sputnik Arabic, one not widely reported in other media, not even Sputnik English, Raad praised the cooperation between Hezbollah and Russia, stating that ‘the invitation we received aims to reopen the dialogue about the next phase after having reached the achievements that serve the interests of the people of the region in the recent past’ .

This is Raad’s first visit to Moscow since 2011. Of that visit, I am not trying to speculate in hindsight of the purpose of it and the achievements of it. Furthermore, Hezbollah has not ever been party to any international dis-engagement or peace negotiations in the past, except for ones relating to exchange of prisoners. The economic demise of Syria and Lebanon, as well as the Saudi-Yemeni impasse, may well have placed Hezbollah in a position of participating in peace-deals negotiations this time.

I am neither referring to peace deals with Israel here, nor any deal involving disarmament. Hezbollah will not be prepared to negotiate disarming itself under any political settlement either today or in the foreseeable future, and Moscow is totally aware of this.

According to my analysis, the deal that Moscow is most likely to suggest is a mutual withdrawal of Iran and Hezbollah from Syria on one hand, and an end of the Saudi war on Yemen. It is simple, Saudi Arabia to leave Yemen and Iran/Hezbollah to leave Syria. I believe that Lavrov has already secured the Saudi acceptance of those terms, terms that will not only end the war in Yemen, but also the return of Syria to the Arab League and a possible easing of the Western economic sanctions on Syria. Had Lavrov not secured the Saudi assurance, he would not have invited Hezbollah for talks.

A deal of this nature can potentially end the criminal human tragedy in Yemen in a manner that will portray the Saudis as the real losers in the war, and this is where they need a face-saving trade-off in Syria. In Syria, they will be perceived as winners by securing an Iranian/Hezbollah exit. But most importantly perhaps for the Saudis, this will put an end to a very costly and humiliating war in Yemen, one which is beginning to draw criticism from some quarters of the international community, including alleged talk of America considering placing arms deal embargos on Saudi Arabia.

On the other hand, if Iran and Hezbollah end their presence in Syria, many sanctions are likely to be lifted and the severe economic pressure in Syria will be eased. Such a deal will be a humanitarian win for Syria and Yemen, a strategic win for Saudi Arabia and Iran, and a diplomatic win for Russia.

What will be in it for Hezbollah will largely depend on what Lavrov has put on the table, and it seems obvious that it is Hezbollah that will need more convincing than Iran, and this is why the talks are now with Hezbollah; not with Iranian officials. Perhaps the deal already has the tacit approval of Iranian officials.

It goes without saying; Israel will be watching these developments with keen interest. Israel wants Iran and Hezbollah out of Syria. But the trade-off deal I am talking about is not one in which Israel is a direct party.

What is known at this stage is that a meeting has already taken place between the Hezbollah delegation and Russian officials. As I write this, I am not aware if other meetings are to follow and or whether or not the Hezbollah delegation is back in Lebanon.

Was the 2011 Moscow visit of Raad a prelude for Hezbollah to enter Syria? Will the 2021 visit be prelude for Hezbollah to leave Syria? We don’t know. We may never find out the actual detailed outcome of the mysterious-but-not-so-mysterious current Hezbollah visit. It may not even end up with a press release, but in the next coming days, we will find out if a Syria-Yemen trade-off is indeed looming.

The art of being a spectacularly misguided oracle

February 22, 2021

The art of being a spectacularly misguided oracle

By Pepe Escobar with permission and first posted at Asia Times

The late Dr. Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski for some time dispensed wisdom as an oracle of US foreign policy, side by side with the perennial Henry Kissinger – who, in vast swathes of the Global South, is regarded as nothing but a war criminal.

Brzezinski never achieved the same notoriety. At best he claimed bragging rights for giving the USSR its own Vietnam in Afghanistan – by facilitating the internationalization of Jihad Inc., with all its dire, subsequent consequences.

Over the years, it was always amusing to follow the heights Dr. Zbig would reach with his Russophobia. But then, slowly but surely, he was forced to revise his great expectations. And finally he must have been truly horrified that his perennial Mackinder-style geopolitical fears came to pass – beyond the wildest nightmares.

Not only Washington had prevented the emergence of a “peer competitor” in Eurasia, but the competitor is now configured as a strategic partnership between Russia and China.

Dr. Zbig was not exactly versed in Chinese matters. His misreading of China may be found in his classic A Geostrategy for Eurasia published in – where else – Foreign Affairs in 1997:

Building in Beijing

Although China is emerging as a regionally dominant power, it is not likely to become a global one for a long time. The conventional wisdom that China will be the next global power is breeding paranoia outside China while fostering megalomania in China. It is far from certain that China’s explosive growth rates can be maintained for the next two decades. In fact, continued long-term growth at the current rates would require an unusually felicitous mix of national leadership, political tranquility, social discipline, high savings, massive inflows of foreign investment, and regional stability. A prolonged combination of all of these factors is unlikely.

Dr. Zbig added,

Even if China avoids serious political disruptions and sustains its economic growth for a quarter of a century — both rather big ifs — China would still be a relatively poor country. A tripling of GDP would leave China below most nations in per capita income, and a significant portion of its people would remain poor. Its standing in access to telephones, cars, computers, let alone consumer goods, would be very low.

Oh dear. Not only Beijing hit all the targets Dr. Zbig proclaimed were off limits, but the central government also eliminated poverty by the end of 2020.

The Little Helmsman Deng Xiaoping once observed, “at present, we are still a relatively poor nation. It is impossible for us to undertake many international proletarian obligations, so our contributions remain small. However, once we have accomplished the four modernizations and the national economy has expanded, our contributions to mankind, and especially to the Third World, will be greater. As a socialist country, China will always belong to the Third World and shall never seek hegemony.”

What Deng described then as the Third World – a Cold War-era derogatory terminology – is now the Global South. And the Global South is essentially the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) on steroids, as in the Spirit of Bandung in 1955 remixed to the Eurasian Century.

Cold Warrior Dr. Zbig was obviously not a Daoist monk – so he could never abandon the self to enter the Dao, the most secret of all mysteries.

Had he been alive to witness the dawn of the Year of the Metal Ox, he might have noticed how China, expanding on Deng’s insights, is de facto applying practical lessons derived from Daoist correlative cosmology: life as a system of interacting opposites, engaging with each other in constant change and evolution, moving in cycles and feedback loops, always mathematically hard to predict with exactitude.

A practical example of simultaneously opening and closing is the dialectical approach of Beijing’s new “dual circulation” development strategy. It’s quite dynamic, relying on checks and balances between increase of domestic consumption and external trade/investments (the New Silk Roads).

Peace is Forever War

Now let’s move to another oracle, a self-described expert of what in the Beltway is known as the “Greater Middle East”: Robert Kagan, co-founder of PNAC, certified warmongering neo-con, and one-half of the famous Kaganate of Nulands – as the joke went across Eurasia – side by side with his wife, notorious Maidan cookie distributor Victoria “F**k the EU” Nuland, who’s about to re-enter government as part of the Biden-Harris administration.

Kagan is back pontificating in – where else – Foreign Affairs, which published his latest superpower manifesto. That’s where we find this absolute pearl:

That Americans refer to the relatively low-cost military involvements in Afghanistan and Iraq as “forever wars” is just the latest example of their intolerance for the messy and unending business of preserving a general peace and acting to forestall threats. In both cases, Americans had one foot out the door the moment they entered, which hampered their ability to gain control of difficult situations.

So let’s get this straight. The multi-trillion dollar Forever Wars are “relatively low-cost”; tell that to the multitudes suffering the Via Crucis of US crumbling infrastructure and appalling standards in health and education. If you don’t support the Forever Wars – absolutely necessary to preserve the “liberal world order” – you are “intolerant”.

“Preserving a general peace” does not even qualify as a joke, coming from someone absolutely clueless about realities on the ground. As for what the Beltway defines as “vibrant civil society” in Afghanistan, that in reality revolves around millennia-old tribal custom codes: it has nothing to do with some neocon/woke crossover. Moreover, Afghanistan’s GDP – after so much American “help” – remains even lower than Saudi-bombed Yemen’s.

Exceptionalistan will not leave Afghanistan. A deadline of May 1st was negotiated in Doha last year for the US/NATO to remove all troops. That’s not gonna happen.

The spin is already turbocharged: the Deep State handlers of Joe “Crash Test Dummy” Biden will not respect the deadline. Everyone familiar with the New Great Game on steroids across Eurasia knows why: a strategic lily pad must be maintained at the intersection of Central and South Asia to help closely monitor – what else – Brzezinski’s worst nightmare: the Russia-China strategic partnership.

As it stands we have 2,500 Pentagon + 7,000 NATO troops + a whole lot of “contractors” in Afghanistan. The spin is that they can’t leave because the Taliban – which de facto control from 52% to as much as 70% of the whole tribal territory – will take over.

To see, in detail, how this whole sorry saga started, non-oracle skeptics could do worse than check Volume 3 of my Asia Times archives: Forever Wars: Afghanistan-Iraq, part 1 (2001-2004) . Part 2 will be out soon. Here they will find how the multi-trillion dollar Forever Wars – so essential to “preserve the peace” – actually developed on the ground, in total contrast to the official imperial narrative influenced, and defended, by Kagan.

With oracles like these, the US definitely does not need enemies.

The Dangerous Alliance of Rothschild and the Vatican of Francis

22.12.2020 

Author: F. William Engdahl

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Holy Moly! The most globalist and interventionist Pope since the Crusades of the 12th Century has formalized an alliance with the largest figures in global finance led by none other than that noble banking family, Rothschild. The new alliance is a joint venture they call “Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican.” The venture is one of the more cynical and given the actors, most dangerous frauds being promoted since Davos WEF guru and Henry Kissinger protégé, Klaus Schwab, began to promote the Great Reset of the world capitalist order. What and is behind this so-called Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican?

On their website they proclaim in a typical UN doublespeak, “The Council for Inclusive Capitalism is a movement of the world’s business and public sector leaders who are working to build a more inclusive, sustainable, and trusted economic system that addresses the needs of our people and the planet.” A more sustainable, trusted economic system? Doesn’t that sound like the infamous UN Agenda 21 and its Agenda 2030 daughter, the globalist master plan? They then claim, “Inclusive Capitalism is fundamentally about creating long-term value for all stakeholders – businesses, investors, employees, customers, governments and communities.”

They continue, “Council members make actionable commitments aligned with the World Economic Forum International Business Council’s Pillars for sustainable value creation—People, Planet, Principles of Governance, and Prosperity—and that advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”

In announcing the deal with the Vatican, Lynn Forester de Rothschild declared, “This Council will follow the warning from Pope Francis to listen to ‘the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor’ and answer society’s demands for a more equitable and sustainable model of growth.”

Their reference to Klaus Schwab’s World Economic Forum is no accident. The group is yet another front group in what is becoming a globalist bum’s rush to try to convince a skeptical world that the same people who created the post-1945 model of IMF-led globalization and giga-corporate entities more powerful than governments, destroying traditional agriculture in favor of toxic agribusiness, dismantling living standards in industrialized countries to flee to cheap labor countries like Mexico or China, will now lead the effort to correct all their abuses? We are being naïve if we swallow this.

Rothschild and pals

First off it is useful to see who are the “inclusive” capitalists joining forces with the Pope and Vatican. The founder is a lady who carries the name Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild. She is the wife of the 90-year old retired mega-billionaire head of London’s NM Rothschilds Bank, Sir Evelyn de Rothschild. Lady Lynn however is from “commoner” roots, born into a US working class family in New Jersey whose father, as she tells, worked two jobs to put her and her brothers through law and medical schools. She seemed to have had some influential mentors, as she went to Wall Street then to telecoms including Motorola and made reported tens of millions before hooking up with Sir Evelyn and his reported $20 billion in assets. Reports have it that Henry Kissinger played a personal role in encouraging the Transatlantic union of the two.

Lady Lynn is interesting as well beyond her famous husband. According to the list of names of those who flew on the private jet of convicted child sex trafficker and reported Mossad operative Jeffrey Epstein, one name that appears is “de Rothschild, Lynn Forester.”

It is interesting to note, that the same Lynn Forester in 1991, before she took Sir Evelyn as her husband, generously let a British friend have full use of one of Lynn’s Manhattan apartment properties, following the apparent murder of the woman’s father, British media tycoon and Mossad agent, Robert Maxwell. The British friend of Lynn, Ghislaine Maxwell, today is awaiting trial for complicity in child sex trafficking as the partner of Jeffrey Epstein. Maxwell reportedly maintained the Manhattan address of Lady Lynn until very recently to register a bizarre non-profit called Terramar that she and Epstein set up in 2012, allegedly aimed at saving our oceans. When Epstein was arrested she quickly dissolved the non-profit. One of the donors to Ghislaine’s TerraMar was something called the Clinton Foundation, which leads to the next friend.

Lady Lynn has another long-time friend named Hillary Clinton, whose husband, Bill, was also logged on Epstein’s Lolita Express private jet, around two dozen times. Lynn and her new husband, Sir Evelyn, in fact were so close to the Clintons that in 2000 the Rothschild newlyweds spent part of their honeymoon as guests at the White House of Mr and Mrs Clinton. Lady Lynn after that became a major fund-raiser in 2008 and again 2016 for a possible Hillary bid for President, called a “bundler.” She also advised Hillary on her economic program, a free market one based on Adam Smith as she described it in an interview once.

Lady Lynn’s “Guardians”

The Rothschild venture with the Vatican at this point, in addition to co-founder Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, includes hand-picked money moguls and their select foundations who pompously call themselves the “Guardians.” That’s a term sounding more like a South Side Chicago gang or some kind of mafia overlords. They call themselves the moral guardians, together now with their new friends at the Vatican, for reform of capitalism.

The Guardian member list includes Rajiv Shah, the CEO of the Rockefeller Foundation, and former partner of the Gates Foundation’s AGRA scam to introduce GMO seeds in Africa. The Rockefeller Foundation has been involved in promoting a pandemic “lockdown” since 2010, and is a core part of the WEF Great Reset agenda. He just released a Rockefeller report, Reset the Table: Meeting the Moment to Transform the US Food System.

Rothschild’s Guardians also include Darren Walker the CEO of the Ford Foundation. Those two foundations, Ford and Rockefeller, have done more to shape an imperial American foreign policy than even the US State Department or CIA, including the funding of the failed Green Revolution in India and Mexico, and the creation by Rockefeller funds of GMO crops.

The head of DuPont, a GMO giant and chemicals group is another Guardian as well as scandal-ridden vaccine and drug companies, Merck and Johnson & Johnson. Merck lied about the risks of its arthritis drug Vioxx until more than 55,000 users died of heart attacks. Johnson & Johnson has been involved in numerous frauds in recent years including around negative effects of its anti-psychotic drug Risperdal, illegal presence of cancer-causing asbestos in its baby powder, and potentially thousands of legal actions for its role as a leading supplier of the opioid in Purdue Pharma’s deadly prescription painkiller OxyContin.

Other Guardians include CEOs of Visa, Mastercard, Bank of America, Allianz insurance, BP. In 2016 Visa along with USAID were behind the catastrophic Modi experiment to introduce a cashless economy in India.

Notable also is Guardian Mark Carney, former Bank of England head and also advocate of cashless digital central bank currencies to replace the dollar. Carney is now United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance.

Carney is also a Board member of the Davos World Economic Forum, the public promoter of the Global Reset of capitalism to impose the dystopian Agenda 2030 “sustainable” economy. In fact several of Rothschild’s Guardians are on the WEF Board, including billionaire Marc Benioff, founder of cloud computing Salesforce, and OECD head Angel Gurria. And ex-Credit Suisse CEO, Tidjane Thiam is on the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum.

Other Guardians of the inclusive capitalism transformation include the head of Bank of America, which bank was sued by the US Government for fraud connected with the 2008 US subprime mortgage crisis, as well as for laundering money for the deadly Mexican drug cartels and Russian organized crime. The select Guardian list also includes Marcie Frost, the controversial head of CalPERS, the huge fraud-ridden California state pension fund managing over $360 billion.

The head of State Street Corporation, one of the world’s largest asset management companies with US$3.1 trillion under management, is another Guardian. In January 2020 State Street announced it would vote against directors of companies in major stock indices that do not meet targets for environmental, social and governance changes. This is what is called Green Investing, as part of so-called Socially Responsible Investing. The WEF strategy, pushed also by WEF board members like Larry Fink of BlackRock, reward companies that they deem “socially responsible.” This is the key to the inclusive capitalism agenda of not just Rothschild’s inclusive capitalism Guardians, but also the WEF.

Their website claims that the Guardians manage more than $10.5 trillion dollars and control companies that employ 200 million workers. Now a brief look at their new Vatican partner.

Vatican Morals?

Ironically, or maybe not, Pope Francis, the partner chosen to give Rothschild’s group of mega-capitalists “moral” credibility, is himself embroiled in what could be the largest financial scandals, fraud and misuse of church funds in the modern history of the Vatican. That, despite the fact Pope Francis declared as new Pope in 2013, one of his main tasks would be to clean up the scandal-ridden Vatican finances. That has hardly taken place even after more than six years. Some Vatican observers even claim the financial corruption has worsened.

The unravelling scandal revolves around now-disgraced Cardinal Angelo Becciu who until 2018 was de facto chief-of-staff to the Pope and regular confidante. Becciu was Substitute for General Affairs in the Secretariat of State, a key position in the Roman Curia until June, 2018 when the pope elevated him to Cardinal, ironically enough, responsible for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Becciu, clearly no saint, was able to invest hundreds of millions even billions over years of Church funds, including donations for the poor in Peter’s Pence, into projects he chose with a former banker from Credit Suisse. Projects included €150 million share in a luxury London real estate complex and $1.1 million into a film, Rocketman, about the life of Elton John. That comes to light as the ongoing Vatican child sex scandals caused Pope Francis to defrock Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington, the first Cardinal to fall in the Church’s deep sexual abuse charges.

Italian press reports that the Pope knew about the dubious investments of Becciu and even praised them before the depth of the scandals broke. In November, 2020 Italian police raided the residence of Becciu’s former Vatican accountant and found €600,000 in cash and evidence the Vatican employee received $15 million in fake invoicing over years.

With a background like this, the new Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican of Lynn de Rothschild warrants close scrutiny as they clearly plan big things along with Klaus Schwab’s World Economic Forum to “reform” the world economy, and it won’t be nice or moral we can be sure.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Why China is NOT the Enemy of the West (Why British Psychological Warfare Must Now be Examined)

Why China is NOT the Enemy of the West (Why British Psychological Warfare Must Now be Examined)

December 17, 2020

By Matthew Ehret for the Saker Blog

Since many good people have found themselves susceptible to the narrative that China is the global supervillain conspiring to overthrow western Christian values by any means necessary, I believe some lessons should be brought to bear.

  1. Anti-Nation state fanatic George Soros stated at the 2020 Davos Summit that China has become the greatest threat to his vision for Open Society (right behind Trump’s USA). This was echoed by Lord Malloch Brown’s 2020 Global Government Speeches.
  2. China’s deep alliance with Russia and the increased integration of the Eurasian Economic Union with the 135 nation strong Belt and Road Initiative form the basis of an alternative multipolar paradigm has kept imperialists up at night for the past several years.
  3. The prospect of a US-China-Russia alliance has been one of the greatest threats to empire which peeked in the weeks before COVID-19 arose onto the scene as the US-China Trade Pact successfully entered its first phase (and has since fallen into shambles) as well as Trump’s repeated calls for “good relations with Russia.”

Amidst the surge of anti-China media psy ops published across Five Eyes nations, countless patriots of a conservative bent have found themselves absorbed into a red-scare manic hysteria while forgetting that the actual causal hand of British Intelligence has been caught blatantly running the overthrow of nation states for decades (including the 2016-2020 to run regime change within the USA itself).

Understanding the nature of the current psy ops, and new red scare deflection underway, it is necessary to review some seriously underappreciated facts of recent history, and since former secretary of State Sir Henry Kissinger (a genuine Knight of the British Empire), figures prominently in this story, it is wise to start with his relationship with China.

Although he is celebrated for being an “enlightened” liberal politician who helped China open up to the west after the dark days of Mao’s Cultural Revolution by extending western markets to China, the truth is very different.

A devout proponent of world government and population control, Kissinger had been the tool selected during a particularly important period of human history to advance a new ordering of world affairs.

The Division of the World Into Producers and Consumers

Since the world was taken off the gold reserve system way back in 1971, a new age of “post-industrialism” was unleashed onto a globalized world. Humanity was given a new type of system which presumed that both our nature and the cause of value itself were located in the act of consuming. The old idea that our nature was creative, and that our wealth was tied to producing, was assumed to be an obsolete thing of the past… a relic of a dirty old industrial age.

Under the new post-1971 operating system, we were told that the world would now be divided among producers and consumers.

The “have-not producers” would provide the cheap labor which first world consumers would increasingly rely on for the creation of goods they used to make for themselves. “First world” nations were told that according to the new post-industrial rules of de-regulation and market economics, that they should export their heavy industry, machine tools and other productive sectors abroad as they transitioned into “white collar” post-industrial consumer societies. The longer this outsourcing of industries went on, the less western nations found themselves capable of sustaining their own citizenries, building their own infrastructure or determining their own economic destinies.

In place of full spectrum economies that once saw over 40% of North America’s labor force employed in manufacturing, a new addiction to “buying cheap stuff” began, and a “service economies” took over like a cancer.

To make matters worse, the many newly independent nations struggling to liberate themselves from colonialism were told that they would have to abandon their dreams of development since those goals would render the formula of a producer-consumer stratified society impossible to create. Those leaders resisting this edict would face assassination or CIA overthrow. Those leaders who adapted to the new rules would become peons of the new age of “Economic Hitmen”.

China and the West: The Real Story

By the time Deng Xiaoping announced the “opening up” of China in 1978, Kissinger had already managed the economic paradigm shift of 1971, the artificial “oil shock therapy” of 1973 and authored his 1974 NSSM 200 Report which transformed U.S. Foreign Policy from a pro-development orientation towards a new policy of depopulation targeting the poor nations of the global south under the logic that the resources under their soil were the lawful possession of the USA.

The NSSM 200 (titled “Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for US Security and Overseas Interests”) outlined its objective “Assistance for population moderation should give emphasis to the largest and fastest growing developing countries where there is a special US and strategic interest”.

Kissinger, and the hives of Trilateral Commission/CFR operatives to which he was beholden never looked on China as a true ally, but merely as a zone of abundant cheap labor which would feed cheap goods to the now post-industrial west under their new dystopic producer-consumer world order. It was in that same year that Kissinger’s fellow Trilateral Commission cohort Paul Volcker announced a “controlled disintegration of western society” which was begun in full with the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes to 20% that ensured a vast destruction of small and medium businesses across the board.

Believing China (then still largely an impoverished third world country) to be desperate enough to accept money and short-term salvation after years of trauma induced by the Cultural Revolution. Under Kissinger’s logic, China would receive just enough money to sustain a static existence but would never be able to stand on its own two feet.

Unbeknownst to Kissinger, China’s leaders under the direction of Zhou Enlai, and his disciple Deng Xiaoping had a much longer-term strategic perspective than their western partners imagined.

While receiving much needed revenue from foreign exports, China began to slowly create the foundations for a genuine renaissance which would be made possible by slowly learning the skills, leapfrogging technologies and acquiring means of production which the west had once pioneered. Zhou Enlai had first enunciated this visionary program as early as 1963 under his Four Modernizations mandate (Industrial, agricultural, national defense and science and technology) and then restated this program in January 1976 weeks before his death.

This program manifested itself in the July 6, 1978 State Council Forum on the “Principles to Guide the Four Modernizations” informed by the findings of international exploratory missions conducted by economist Gu Mu’s delegations around various advanced world economies (Japan, Hong Kong, Western Europe). The findings of Gu Mu’s reports laid out the concrete pathways for full spectrum economic sovereignty with a focus on cultivating the cognitive creative powers of a new generation of scientists that would drive the non linear breakthroughs needed for China to ultimately break free of the rules of closed-system economics which technocrats like Kissinger wished the world adhere to.

Deng Xiaoping broke from the radical Marxism prevalent among the intelligentsia by redefining “labor” from purely material constraints and elevating the concept rightfully to the higher domain of mind saying:

“We should select several thousand of our most qualified personnel within the scientific and technological establishment and create conditions that will allow them to devote their undivided attention to research. Those who have financial difficulties should be given allowances and subsidies… we must create within the party an atmosphere of respect for knowledge and respect for trained personnel. The erroneous attitude of not respecting intellectuals must be opposed. All work. Be it mental or manual, is labor.”

Over the course of the coming decades, China learned, and like any student, copied, reverse engineered and reconstructed western techniques as it slowly generated capacities that ultimately allowed them press on the limits of human knowledge outpacing all western models.

Scientific and technological progress became the driving force of its entire economy and by 1986, the “863 Project for Research and Development” was announced which focused on areas of space, lasers, energy, biotechnology, new materials, automation and information technology. This project became the driver for creative innovation guided by the National Science Foundation and was upgraded to the 973 Basic Research Program in 2009 to: “1) support multidisciplinary and fundamental research of relevance to national development; 2) Promote frontline basic research; 3) Support the cultivation of scientific talent capable of original research; and 4) Build high-quality interdisciplinary research centers.”

The fruits of these long term programs was beginning to be felt and by 1996, discussion for a New Silk Road reviving the ancient trade routes connecting China to Europe and Africa through the Middle East and Caucasus was beginning with conferences hosted by Beijing under President Jiang Zemin.

One of the few western participants at these Chinese events was the Schiller Institute, whose founders delivered a full day seminar in 1997 describing the program that would finally come back to life in 2013 when Xi Jinping made it the focus of China’s foreign policy outlook under the Belt and Road Initiative.

Why did this program wait until 2013 to blossom onto the world stage when obvious momentum was already in motion in 1997?

George Soros and the Attack on the Asian Markets

From May 1997, George Soros’ targeting of the Southeast Asian “Tigers economies” of Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Laos, and Malaysia with speculative short sales of their local currencies resulted months of vast anarchy across all of Asia and the world more broadly. Currencies collapsed from 10-80% over the next 8 months and took many years to begin to recover.

Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohammed was brave enough to call out Soros’ economic warfare and did much to help his nation weather the storm by imposing capital controls to maintain some semblance of stability calling out the speculator saying: “as much as people who produce and distribute drugs are criminals, because they destroy nations, the people who undermine the economies of poor nations are too.” Chinese President Jiang Zemin followed suit calling Soros “a financial sniper” and stated he would not let the speculator enter Chinese markets.

As analyst Michael Billington astutely wrote in his August 1997 EIR report:

“The ultimate target is China. The British are particularly worried about the increasingly close collaboration between China and the ASEAN nations, which are being integrated into the massive regional and continental development projects initiated by China under the umbrella of the Eurasian Continental Land-Bridge program. Such real development policies offer the alternative to the cheap-labor, colonial-style export industries of the “globalization” model- the model that has led to the financial bubbles now bursting worldwide.”

The Tumultuous Years of 1997-2013

With the advent of the collapse of Long-Term Capital Management (whose meltdown nearly took down the world economy in 1999 if not bailed out by central banks), followed by the Y2K/tech bubble explosion of 2000, the world markets nearly collapsed on several occasions. 9-11 unleashed a new era of warfare which deflected attention from the rot of the financial system while derivatives were deregulated, and ‘Too Big To Fail’ banking formed in short order growing far beyond the powers of any nation state to rein in.

Under this period of destabilization, wars, terrorism and easy money speculation, China and its Eurasian allies moved slower to rebuild the physical basis of their existence with the creation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, long term planning, and a slow but steady focus on real (vs speculative) economic activity. The fact that China was among the only nations of the world to keep national controls over their central bank and maintain Glass-Steagall bank separation were not lost on the enemies of humanity yearning for a bankers’ dictatorship.

This process continued until it became evident that the western unipolar agenda would stop at nothing including nuclear war in order to assure the total subservience of all nation states, with Obama unveiling his Asia Pivot (air-sea battle) plans against China along with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) economic attack on China. The veil was now lifted to the true ugly face behind the liberal fascist smiles and it became clear that the full spectrum dominance military encirclement of Russia’s perimeter was being fully extended to China’s perimeter as well.

The Revival of the New Silk Road

It was in the face of this existential threat that Xi Jinping emerged as the new leader of China and a historic crackdown of party corruption on all levels Federal, Provincial and Municipal was begun in force while Xi’s 2013 announcement of the Belt and Road Initiative in Kazakhstan revived the New Silk Road/Eurasian land bridge policy of 15 years earlier.

Although China is often accused of intellectual theft, the reality is that it has begun to clearly outpace western nations becoming a pioneer on every level of science and technology. China now registers more patents than the USA, has become the cutting edge leader of high speed rail engineering with over 30 000 km, bridge building, tunneling, as well as water management, quantum computing, AI, 5G telecommunications, and even space science becoming the first nation to ever land on the far side of the moon with an intent to mine Helium 3 and develop permanent bases on the Moon in the coming decade.

All of these cutting edge fields of science and engineering are being organized by the ever-growing Belt and Road Initiative which has taken on global proportions and integrated itself into a deep alliance with Russia, Iran and over 135 nations who have signed onto the BRI Framework stretching from Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, Asia, and Europe.

This is the system which the USA and other western nations could have joined on multiple occasions, but which has instead been targeted as a global threat to western hegemony. According to the logic of those western utopians who refuse to let go of their old outdated 1971 script for a new world order, China’s New Silk Road must be subverted at all costs since it is very well understood that it would become the basis for a new world system as the old globalized paradigm comes crashing down faster than the Hindenburg.

The Real Perpetrators Laugh as a New Cold War Hysteria is Orchestrated

It is perhaps an irony that those figures who have been caught time and again attempting to destroy the foundations of both the USA, China and Russia have deflected attention from their own actions by promoting the idea that China is the USA’s natural enemy.

The reality is China is currently not only reviving the ancient silk road paradigm that focused on a harmony of interests and mutual self interest through economic and cultural exchange but they have also revived the spirit of President Sun Yat-sen’s International Development of China program in full. In this 1920 document China’s first President outlined the superiority of the American system of political economy which he studied deeply beginning in his early student days in the USA, and upon which he explicitly modelled his new republican China and his three Principles of the People (premised on Lincoln’s principle of a nation for, by and of the people). Sun Yat-sen (a Christian Confucian revolutionary) is not only the beloved founding father of the republic of China celebrated to this day, but stated his views pro-American views in the following terms

“The world has been greatly benefited by the development of America as an industrial and a commercial Nation. So a developed China with her four hundred millions of population, will be another New World in the economic sense. The nations which will take part in this development will reap immense advantages. Furthermore, international cooperation of this kind cannot but help to strengthen the Brotherhood of Man.”

Both mainstream and alternative media outlets that tend to be sympathetic to conservative values have bit the bait and are now blind to the fact that those oligarchical social engineers managing the World Economic Forum and drooling over a new era of World Government, population reduction and technocratic feudalism are laughing at all of those fish in their nets whose ignorance to history and other cultures are leading them to their own self-destruction.

Matthew Ehret is the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Patriot Review , Senior Fellow at the American University in Moscow, BRI Expert on Tactical talk, and has authored 3 volumes of ‘Untold History of Canada’ book series. In 2019 he co-founded the Montreal-based Rising Tide FoundationHe can be reached at matt.ehret@tutamail.com

الأسدان: في الذكرى الخمسين للحركة التصحيحيّة الأول غاب ولم يوقّع… وحضر الثاني ليدافع عن سورية والشرق العربيّ الأسد حافظ والأسد بشار: قدر التاريخ وخيار الشعب السوريّ

من حافظ إلى بشار.. ماذا فعلت «جمهورية الأسد» في سوريا؟ | مصر العربية

بهجت سليمان

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ـ الرّجال، عظماء التّاريخ، يولدون في إطار خطّة قدر جليلة ومحكمة، وهم يُدركون بحدسهم الموضوعيّ العبقريّ خطّة أقدارهم، وهم يتفانون لأجلها بعيداً عن العواطف ومفرزاتها من الحبّ والكراهيّة، قابلين كلّ تبعاتها المضنية والممتعة، لا فرقَ، متجاوزين كلّ ذلك إلى مأثرة الخلود. وهذا هو حافظ الأسد.

قال ريتشارد مورفي السّفير الأميركيّ الأسبق في دمشق ما بين أعوام (1974 – 1978): (يجب على المرء أن يتمتّع بالكثير من الذّكاء ليتولّى رئاسة سورية)…

وليس ذلك، فقط، بسبب خصوصيّة بعض «الأشخاص» المختلفين بالبصمة القدريّة الخاصّة في شؤون مُبهمة..

وإنّما أيضاً لسبب يتضاهى بسابقه وهو أنّ من طبيعة «الإعلام» نفسه، بمفهومه الوجوديّ، أنّه «إعلام ناقص» بالطّبيعة الفطريّة للتّعبير المحدود؛ وأضيف، أيضاً، إلى هذه الحقيقة، حقيقة أخرى وهي أنّ الأمر أكثر تحدّياً وخطورة وعبَثاً، عندما يتعلّق بالأفذاذ من الرّجال، أو عندما يتعلّق بالخالدين.

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ـ من جانب آخر فإنّ من يحكم سورية على الطّريقة الوطنيّة المسؤولة تاريخيّاً، فإنّه يحتاج إلى أن يمدّ نفوذه إلى المكان العربيّ المحيط بسورية، ببلاد الشّام، بما فيها من سرطانٍ سياسيّ في الكيان الصّهيونيّ، وبالتّالي عليه أن يكون رجل دولة تاريخيّاً يُدرك لعبة الأمم والدّول، وأن يُلِمّ بكلّ ذلك جرّاء المسؤوليّات الكبيرة نفسها التي رتّبها القدر أو التّاريخ على هذا المكان الذي انفرد عالميّاً بصفات متنحيّة وسائدة في وقت واحد، وهي صفات العمق التّاريخيّ والتّركيب الظّرفيّ و«أسلوب الإنتاج الآسيويّ» المعقّد بتداخل تشكيلات اجتماعيّة – اقتصاديّة وسياسيّة متزمّنة ما بينها، في ما بينها، تصنع المكان كلّها في اندغام وانسجام وتواطؤ مُبهم ومؤامرات دوليّة و«حُلُمٌ عالميّ»، وخيانات نوعيّة اختصّ بها أغلب حكام شعوب المنطقة التي اعتدت على ملكيّات وأقدار المكان الكأداء و«أسواء طالعه» التي لا تنتهي.

3

ـ حكمت سياسة الرئيس حافظ الأسد، بالمطلق، همومه الخاصّة والدّفينة والمقدّسة التي تُعيد الوجه المقاوم الشّريف للمكان، في كيفيّة وفلسفة الخروج من مستنقع حزيران النّكسة، في الوقت الذي كان فيه الرّاحل الخالد، ينظر إلى هذه «الواقعة» كمستنقع شلّ الوطنيّة والعروبة وجعل منهما مجترّاً للمساومات والمزايدات والاتّهامات والعنجهيّات الصّهيونيّة والغربيّة التي جعلت نظرتها إلى سورية والعروبة، تساوي نظرتها إلى منطقة هامدة خاملة وكأنّها قطعة من أقاصي العالم يُنظر إليها على أنّها «مختبرٌ» أنثروبولوجيّ وسياسيّ نموذجيّ لدراسة نظريّات انهزام الشّعوب والأمم وامّحائها عن خارطة العالم المعاصر المحسوبة في عداد المناطق، التي تحوي شعوباً هي من خارج مكوّنات سياق التّاريخ الحيّ وأولى بالانقراض.

كانت هذه الأهجوسة تسكن عقل الرئيس حافظ الأسد وتوجّه طرائق تفكيره وطموحاته وآماله بإثبات كذب هذه «الحقيقة» والعمل على ازدرائها، كواحدة من الهامشيّات التّاريخيّة التي تحتاج إلى حذف ورمي في سلّة مهملات العالم المعاصر، واستعادة الكرامة لهذه المنطقة العربيّة، بما في ذلك العمل على إثبات حقيقة العروبة الحيّة التي تخاذلت دونها دول عربيّة وحكومات واهنة وخائنة تقف صراحة في طابور أعداء العرب والعروبة وجميع الأمم النّازعة إلى وجود حيّ معتبر ومؤثّر وفاعل، ليس على مستوى المكان وحسب، وإنّما أيضاً في المنطقة والعالم.

4

ـ كان إيمان الرئيس حافظ الأسد بنفسه كجزء من إيمانه بالحقّ الوجوديّ التّاريخيّ لأمّته، محرّكاً لأفكاره القومّية التي كان يعنيه كثيراً، من التّاريخ، أحكامه القاسية العادلة منها والجائرة، فكان عندما لا يوافق عبثُ التّاريخ طموحاتِهِ، يُعاند التّاريخ بثقة أنّ للتّاريخ فلتاته العمياء القصيرة أو الطّويلة الأجل، والتي يمكن للإرادة الوجوديّة أن تشكّل طارئاً على فقدان التّاريخ لصوابيّته وعدالته، وأن تصحّح من مجريات هذا التّاريخ الذي كان الرئيس حافظ الأسد مكظوظاً بتجنّب استعادة التّاريخ لسخريّته بالحكم على عقم العرب والسّوريين، هذا الحكم الذي هو من الأوهام التّاريخيّة التي تعزّزها خيانات بعض أصحاب القضيّة العربيّة من حكام مهزولين.

لقد عنى له التّاريخ حاكماً حازماً، فبحث له وللسّوريين وللعرب على شهادة قسريّة يصدرها التّاريخ – وقد أصدرها – على تفوّق الإنسانّية والبشريّة في هذه البقعة المنسيّة من تاريخ العالم الحديث. كانت المعاصرة بالنّسبة إلى حافظ الأسد بنظرته الشّخصيّة في الأسلوبّية التي تحوّل الضّعف إلى قوّة، ليست محلّيّة ووطنيّة فقط وإنّما عربيّة ودوليّة أيضاً. ولقد كان لحافظ الأسد ما أراد.

5

ـ كان حافظ الأسد متجاوزاً النّدّيّة لأقوى وأذكى وأفهم وأعتى رجالات الولايات المتّحدة الأميركيّة وعلى رأسهم حاخام الصّهيونيّة العالم الأكبر هنري كيسنجر، والحاخامات الصّهيونية، في وقت لم يكن لسورية ولا للعرب أيّة نأمة تندّ عنهم، غائصين في وحول الضّعف والهوان والخنوع والقهر التّاريخيّ الطّويل..

وحين يكون الحديث عن الرئيس حافظ الأسد، فلتطأطئ الرّؤوسُ كلُّها هاماتها، وليشهد التّاريخ العربيّ – الإسلاميّ أنّ حافظ الأسد قد بزّ، حتّى عتاة ودهاقنة منذ انتهاء الخلافة الرشدية حتى اليوم، كما جارى وتجاوز، وتفوّق على، شخوص حضاريّة عربيّة وسوريّة منذ (سومر) و(آشور) و(بابل) و(أكّاد)، كان لهم السّبق في وجود هذا “المكان».

6

ـ لا نتحدّث هنا عن «آراء»، ولا نقدّم رأياً شخصيّاً – مع أنّه غير مجروح، نظراً لعالميّة شخصيّة حافظ الأسد – وإنّما نحن نشير إلى مفارقة قلّما يقف عندها الآخرون بما فيهم أدعياء العدالة، وهي أنّ حافظ الأسد قد خلق «شيئاً» كبيراً في «المكان»، على مستوى الوطنيّة والعروبيّة والسّوريّة والإسلام، وذلك من واقع عربي بائس يمكن أن يكون أفضل وصف له، هو الفراغ والذّل والمؤامرة على الذّات والجهل والهمجيّة والقبليّة والطّائفيّة وجميع الموجودات الاجتماعيّة البربريّة والانقسامات العموديّة العنصريّة والفواصل الأفقيّة في التّواصل والثّقافات، وكذلك الارتهان المباشر والاستخذاء أمام الغربيّ والصّهيونيّ والعدوّ.

7

ـ وقد جسّدت مباحثات الأسد – كيسينجر أعقد مباحثات تاريخّية بين حضارتيْ الشّرق، متمثّلة بحافظ الأسد، والغرب، متمثّلة بهنري كيسينجر الذي مثّل علاوة على موقعه الحضاريّ المتقدّم المطلق، أدهى وأنكى ما تكاثف من تجربة يهوديّة – صهيونيّة على مدى ثلاثة آلاف عام.

تحدّى الأسد الولايات المتّحدة ومن خلفها زبانية حضارة الغرب الصّهيونيّة والمتصهينة وفي طليعتها ما يُعرف بدولة “إسرائيل».

وفي هذا التّفصيل الطّويل لم يعط برنامج «الميادين» عنه، الرجل حقَّه، وخاصة في إبراز دور «الشّخص» في التّاريخ عندما يعارض ويتعارض مع تاريخ «حضاريّ» يكاد يكون بلا بدايات معروفة في التّاريخ السّياسيّ، وبخاصّة عندما يكون هذا الشّخص فرداً لا يؤازره غير العقل المختلف والمنفرد والنّافذ والمحيط بالأقطار وهندسة الدّوائر المثلّثيّة السّياسيّة ومنطق التّفاضل والتّكامل ما فوق الرّياضيّ.

وتقع المسؤولية الأكبر في ذلك، على عاتق الأشخاص المشاركين في البرنامج.

8

ـ لم يكن حافظ الأسد هذا المقاتل الذي عبر تاريخيّاً، بقوّة الحقّ، وحسب؛ كما لم تكن روايته هي رواية مقاتل على خطوط التّماس السّياسيّة العالميّة، مثلما أنّه لم يكن، أيضاً، تلك الشّخصيّة التّاريخيّة التي كتبت سِفرها بأسلوبها الخاصّ المنقطع النّظير، فقط؛ بل لقد كان حافظ الأسد تاريخاً واستمراراً لتاريخ في الوقت الذي صمت فيه «المؤرّخون» الضّغائنيّون، في ما عجز فيه أولئك المتواضعو الموهبة والمعرفة التاريخية.

9

ـ أدرك حافظ الأسد الصّراع السّياسيّ بين الأضداد التّاريخيّة على أنّه استمرار لصراع حضاريّ على الاستحواذ على حكاية التّاريخ، وما هذه المقطوعة الرّوائيّة التي عاصرها سوى جزء مستمرّ ومعمِّقٍ لكتابة الحضارة العالميّة، وكان أعظم من ترك في الصّيغ والعبارات والمفاهيم والمصطلحات والممارسات، الأثر الُمكَمّلَ، المفصليّ والمحوريّ، والشّجاع، لهذا الفصل الحضاريّ في سِفر شخصيّ قلّما يكون فيه للتّاريخ نكهة البطولة في الصّراعات التّراجيديّة البشريّة، لولا أثر الأفراد العظماء والأبطال الأسطوريين فيه.

10

ـ في الحرب و«السّلام» كان لحافظ الأسد دور المجالدين الأحرار والمصارعين الأسياد، وهو ما عبّر عنه في اختزاليّة راحت مثلاً عندما أسمى ذلك الدّور بالحرب من أجل “سلام الشّجعان»، حيث قال: «حاربنا بشرف، ونفاوض بشرف، ونسالم بشرف»..

الرّجال، عظماء التّاريخ، يولدون في إطار خطّة قدر جليلة ومحكمة، وهم يُدركون بحدسهم الموضوعيّ العبقريّ خطّة أقدارهم، وهم يتفانون لأجلها بعيداً عن العواطف ومفرزاتها من الحبّ والكراهيّة، قابلين كلّ تبعاتها المضنية والممتعة، لا فرقَ، متجاوزين كلّ ذلك إلى مأثرة الخلود. وهذا هو حافظ الأسد.

11

ـ وأما الرئيس بشّار الأسد، وهو الذي لم يُفطرْ على حبّ الشّهرة… إلّا أنّ العظماء الذين يحتقرون الشّهرة الزّائفة والفارغة، غالباً ما تُدركهم شهرة من نوع آخر، وهي شهرة مَن أدرك، بالفطرة والقصد والتّقدير السّماويّ، أنّ أهمية «الأشخاص» في التاريخ، تكون بقدر تقاطع أو اندماج قدرهم الشّخصيّ بأقدار القضايا الوجوديّة العادلة لأممهم، وبأقدار الشّعوب أصحاب هذه القضايا العادلة.

لقد عبّر هيغل في زمنه عن هذه «الموضوعة» العبقريّة عندما صاغ ذلك في أنّ الأبطال التّاريخيين فيما هم يصنعون أقدارهم الواعية والمفهومة، إنّما يندمجون في ذلك، بقصد ومن غير قصد، في صناعة أقدار أممهم، وذلك مهما يكن هذا القدر وذلك التّقدير عليه من مشقّات وإن شئتَ فمن مُحالات.

كانت خطّة القدر أن يصل الأسد (بشّار الأسد) إلى القيادة التّاريخيّة لسورية وللعروبة، في زمن انهار فيه العالم وتكاثف، مُستَقطَباً، على فكرة جديدة هي إعادة صناعة العالم على طراز جديد في الألفيّة الثّالثة من حضارتنا المشهودة.

12

ـ انحسر العالم عن زمان (حافظ الأسد)، وطرحت سياسات العالم مشروعات «عالميّة» غريبة وجديدة كلّ الجدّة في تفاصيلها الموجعة، ولو أنّ الهدف هو استمرار لِـ»خطّة العالم» العتيقة في مضمونها الالتهاميّ للبشَر. وتسارعت خطى إعادة «اختلاق» الشّرق الأوسط الجديد، بواسطة أحدث ما تفتّق عنه دهاء السّياسات العالميّة العنيفة، فيما سمّي بِـ»الفوضى الخلّاقة».

تقاطرت في سبيل ذلك أمام الرئيس (بشّار الأسد)، «المستحيلات»؛ ونحن لن نعدّدها لأنّ مفاعيلها لم تكن لتقتصر عليها كأحداث عالميّة جلجلت منطقتنا، ولكنْ لأنّ مفاعيلها كانت أن حدّدت ورسمت من قبل «مهندسي» العالم، لتقلب وجه العالم كلّه مع ما ينطوي عليه هذا التّعبير من مواجهة حصريّة وشخصيّة وخاصّة تتحدّى (سورية)، حصراً، و«تتجاوزها» إلى تحدّي “الشّخص»، القائد المعاصر، (بشّار الأسد)، هذا الرّجل الذي تمّ اكتشافه بسرعة صراحة وصلابة مواقفه في حضرة «الحق»ّ، كابتسارٍ صريحٍ لتحدّيهِ العالمَ في قلب العالم وقلب «الشّرق الأوسط» وقلب «المشروع العالميّ» الذي على من أراد أن يفهمه، فليتحوّل، مباشرة، إلى إدراك أهمّيّة (“إسرائيل») في المنطقة وفي العالم.

للسّياسة، دون الكثير من «المقولات»، غايةٌ «حيويّة» عالميّة، تقع خارجها، فتختلط، بسبب ذلك، عند الكثيرين من الدّعيين، الأسباب بالنّتائج.

13

ـ الّلافتُ في الرئيس (بشّار الأسد) – ومن دون أيّة نأمة تصدر عن أيّة مقارنة من المقارنات التّاريخيّة، ذلك أنّ «الأشخاص» والقادة التّاريخيين، غالباً ما تكون المقارنات المعقودة بينهم، هي مقارنات غير واقعيّة، لأنّ المقارنة تكون، أبداً، في «الكمّ» وليس في «النّوع»! والمفارق في شخصيّته كقائد معاصر، هو أنّه، فعلاً، وفي غضون عقد واحد من الزّمان قد حلّق على صهوة المقادير والأحداث والسّياسات واهتمامات الأفراد والشّعوب في دول وأمم ومجتمعات العالم، حتّى أنّه قد علّل وسوّغ انفراديّته وعدم عاديّته، بحيث انتقل من قدره الموضوعيّ والذّاتيّ إلى أكثر رجال المعمورة اتّقاداً و«جُذْوَةً» وشُهرة بين مليارات «الكرة الأرضيّة»، ولم يزل الأمر يتطلّب المزيد.

وقف الرئيس بشّار الأسد محطِّماً ورادماً أساسات إعادة رسم «المشهد» السّياسيّ الوطنيّ والعربيّ والدّوليّ، بما كان مطموحاً إليه لإعادة تخطيط «خريطة المنطقة».

14

ـ لقد تجشّم الرئيس بشار الأسد المحاكاة الموضوعيّة للأحداث والرّجالات في «التّاريخ» العالميّ، إذ أنّ «الأمور أشباه».

لقد كان (بيريكليس) (أعظم ساسة الإغريق) (490 – 429 ق. م) هو أحبّ رجل سياسيّ إلى الشّعب الإغريقيّ في تاريخ أثينا، مع ما اشتّهر عنه من وسامة ونبل وطيبة وحزم وحسم سياسيّ، وشجاعات مختلفة ومتعدّدة في المواجهات السّياسيّة التي لا تنتهي من أمام عظماء أبطال الرّجال، بدءاً بالكلمات ونهايةً بالقتال..، وسماحة بالغة في النّصر..

هذا مع ميلنا الوجدانيّ إلى الإعجاب الممزوج بالغبطة والاغتباط بابتسامات الرئيس بشّار الأسد، عُلواً وارتفاعاً ورفعةً فوق مختلف وأصعب وأشقّ المقادير.

15

ـ ونقول لهواة المقارنة بين الرئيسين: ليس هناك فوارق شّخصيّة وقسمات خاصّة ومعالم شّاسعة تميّز، بين القائدين (الأسد حافظ) و(الأسد بشّار)، على مستوى «الفردانيّة» و«الخصوصية» التي ينفصل بها الرجلان، في ما بينهما، كقائدين تاريخيين..بل هما ظاهرتان متكاملتان، اندغمتا في تاريخ سورية والشرق والمنطقة والعالم، بحيث باتا ظاهرة واحدة، تعبر عن قوامها (المدرسة الأسدية) التي صنعاها ورسخاها وخلداها.

ولن يكون لِكلمة “الفردانية» و«الخصوصية» دلالات، عندما لا تظهر فروق بين «الظّاهرتين»، والتي تجعل كلّاً منهما «ظاهرة» يحتاج إليها تاريخ سورية المعاصر.. وتجعلهما معاً قدر التاريخ وخيار الشعب السوري، في آن واحد.

Why the FBI and CIA Are the Real Threats to “National Security”

‘My name is Nancy Pelosi, and I’m currently holding on’

October 19, 2020

By Cynthia Chung for the Saker Blog

Today we see the continuation of the over seven decade’s long ruse, the targeting of individuals as Russian agents without any basis, in order to remove them from the political arena. The present effort to declassify the Russiagate papers and exonerate Michael Flynn, so that he may freely speak of the intelligence he knows, is not a threat to national security, it is a threat to those who have committed treason against their country.

On Oct. 6th, 2020, President Trump ordered the declassification of the Russia Probe documents along with the classified documents on the findings concerning the Hillary Clinton emails. The release of these documents threatens to expose the entrapment of the Trump campaign by the Clinton campaign with help of the US intelligence agencies.

The Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe released some of these documents recently, including former CIA Director John Brennan’s handwritten notes for a meeting with former President Obama, the notes revealing that Hillary Clinton approved a plan to “vilify Donald Trump by stirring up scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service.”

Trey Gowdy, who was Chair of the House Oversight Committee from June 13th, 2017 – Jan. 3rd, 2019, has stated in an interview on Oct. 7th, 2020 that he has never seen these documents. Devin Nunes, who was Chair of the House Intelligence Committee from Jan. 3rd, 2015 – Jan. 3rd, 2019, has also said in a recent interview that he has never seen these documents.

And yet, both the FBI and CIA were aware and had access to these documents and sat on them for four years, withholding their release from several government-led investigations that were looking into the Russiagate scandal and who were requesting relevant material that was in the possession of both intelligence bureaus.

Do these intelligence bureaus sound like they are working for the “national security” of the American people?

The CIA’s Long Battle against “Soviet propaganda”

In order to combat the “threat” of Soviet “propaganda” entering the U.S. and seducing Americans, Operation Mockingbird was created as a form of “control” over information dissemination during the period of McCarthyism. Operation Mockingbird was an “alleged” CIA program that was started in the early 1950s in order to control the narrative of the news. Though this role has never been confirmed entirely, in the CIA Family Jewels report compiled in the mid-1970s, it is confirmed that Project Mockingbird did exist as a CIA operation and that it was guilty of wire-tapping journalists in Washington.

At the helm of this project was none other than CIA Director Allen Dulles, an enemy of JFK, who by the early 1950s “allegedly” oversaw the media network and had major influence over 25 newspapers and wire agencies. Its function was to have the CIA write reports that would be used by a network of cooperating “credible” reporters. By these “credible” reporters spreading the CIA dictated narrative, it would be parroted by unwitting reporters (mockingbirds) and a successful echo chamber would be created across the world.

The Office of Policy Coordination (OPC), originally named Office of Special Projects but that was thought too conspicuous, was a covert operation wing of the CIA and was created by the United States National Security Council (NSC). For those who are unfamiliar with the origins of the NSC and its close relationship with the CIA, who was born on the same day, refer to my paper on the subject.

According to Deborah Davis’ biography of Katherine Graham (the owner of Washington Post), the OPC created Operation Mockingbird in response to addressing Soviet propaganda and included as part of its CIA contingency respected members from Washington Post, The New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and others.

The Family Jewels report was an investigation made by the CIA to investigate…the CIA, spurred in response to the Watergate Scandal and the CIA’s unconstitutional role in the whole affair. The investigation of the CIA would include any other actions that were deemed illegal or inappropriate spanning from the 1950s-mid 1970s.

We are told “most” of the report was declassified on June 25, 2007 (30 years later) hoping that people would have lost interest in the whole brouhaha. Along with the release of the redacted report was included a six-page summary with the following introduction:

The Central Intelligence Agency violated its charter for 25 years until revelations of illegal wiretapping, domestic surveillance, assassination plots, and human experimentation led to official investigations and reforms in the 1970s.” [emphasis added]

The most extensive investigation of the CIA relations with news media was conducted by the Church Committee, a U.S. Senate select committee in 1975 that investigated the abuses committed by the CIA, NSA, FBI, and IRS. The Church Committee report confirmed abundant CIA ties in both foreign and domestic news media.

It is very useful that there exists an official recognition that false news was not only being encouraged by the CIA under the overseeing of the NSC during the Cold War period, but that the CIA was complicit in actually detailing the specific narrative that they wanted disseminated, and often going so far as to write the narrative and have a “credible” reporter’s name stamped on it.

But the question begs, “Did the Cold War ever end?” and if not, why should we believe that the CIA’s involvement in such activities is buried in its past and that it has “reformed” its old ways?

Henry Kissinger’s Purge of American Intelligence: The Deep State is Born

For us to get a better understanding of how we ended up in this situation, that is so stark that Devin Nunes, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, has recently stated that the intelligence bureaus may need to be overhauled due to withholding evidence from federal inquiries, we need to go back a few decades and review how Henry Kissinger largely set this whole affair into motion.

From the moment Kissinger assumed the post of National Security Advisor to Nixon, he set out to centralize all intelligence estimates, diplomatic initiatives, and covert operations over figuratively and sometimes literal dead bodies of members of the CIA, Joint Chiefs of Staff, State Department and Congress.

According to John Ranelagh in his book The Agency: The Rise and Decline of the CIA:

Very early in the Nixon administration, it became clear that the President wanted Henry Kissinger to run intelligence for him and that the NSC staff in the White House under Kissinger would control the intelligence community. This was the beginning of a shift of power away from the CIA to a new center: the growing NSC staff.”

Kissinger would use the Watergate scandal, where the CIA was caught by Congress directly implicated in treasonous activities, as the impetus needed to form a new CIA, a secret branch away from the scrutiny of Congress.

In 1978, Kissinger would launch the Intelligence Reorganization and Reform Act, which essentially worked to “clean house” of the intelligence community.

In 1982, under the direction of Kissinger, President Reagan would sign NSDD 77 under Cold War duress, which would launch Project Democracy, a sardonic name for a Trojan Horse.

NSDD 77 allowed Project Democracy the reins over “covert action on a broad scale” as well as overt public actions later to be associated with the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The directive ordered the CIA to stay out of both the overt and covert part of Project Democracy, thus giving free reign to the Kissingerian “NSC apparatus”.

Almost one year later, the uninformed and naïve Congress passed the NED Act in Oct 1983, and effectively signed off on wrapping duct tape around their heads.

The structure of the NED essentially functions as a private CIA political operations arm of an invisible, secret government beyond accountability and beyond the reach of the law.

Kissinger’s purge of American intelligence would be the last purge of sane patriotic leadership within the intelligence community, left to the hyenas and jackals to run from thenceforth, those who still had a degree of humanity as members of the intelligence community, and had survived the Kissinger purge, were simply kept in the dark about the cloak and dagger operations of the secret government branch.

In a 1991 interview, then NED President David Ignatius arrogantly stated “a lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA…The biggest difference is that when such activities are done overtly, the flap potential is close to zero. Openness is its own protection”.

The failure of the nation state is not a natural phenomenon but rather is the outcome of a fascist coup; involving a banker’s dictatorshipeconomic looting and permanent warfare (the Cold War never ended) to hinder national industrial growth.

Among the most effective strategies towards this end has been color revolutions, which just so happens to be the NED’s specialty practice and has included, to name a few, the nations of Yugoslavia, Belarus, Georgia, Iraq, Lebanon, Burma, Iran, Egypt, Thailand, Ukraine and the Hong Kong protests.

Wherever this strategy has unfolded, the target state is told by the international community that it has no right to intervene and is told to stand by as its nation is ransacked by locusts and its government ‘reorganised’.

Secret Intelligence’s Countering of “Anti-American” Propaganda

The Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act is a bipartisan bill that was passed into law in December 2016, it was initially called Countering Information Warfare Act. It was included together with the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This bill was brought into effect just weeks before Trump was to enter office….hmmm, foreshadowing much?

Soon after the 2016 U.S. election, the Washington Post led the charge asserting that it was due to Russian propaganda that the U.S. elections turned out the way it did, that is, that Hillary had somehow, inconceivably, lost to Donald Trump and that the American people had been turned against her like a child caught in the middle of a messy divorce case. But there is no need here to set the record straight on Hillary, when Hillary herself has done suffice damage to any illusion of credibility she once had. That ultimately not even Hillary could hide the fact that her closet full of skeletons turned out to be the size of a catacomb.

But we are told that citizens do not know what is best for one’s self. That they cannot be trusted with “sensitive” information and in accordance act in a “responsible” manner, that is, to have a strong enough stomach to do what is “best” for their country.

And therefore, fear not subjects of the land, for the Global Engagement Center (GEC) is here to make those hard decisions for you. Don’t know what to think about a complicated subject? GEC will tell you the right way!

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would allow for the Secretary of State to collaborate with the Secretary of Defense, and other Federal agencies in the year 2017 to create the Global Engagement Center (GEC). The GEC’s purpose in life is to fight propaganda from foreign governments and publicize the nature of ongoing foreign propaganda and disinformation operations against the U.S. and other countries.

Let us all take a moment to thank the GEC for such a massive task in the cause for justice all around the world.

The GEC had a very slow start in its first year, however, it has been gaining momentum in the last year under Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who seems especially excited over the hiring of Lea Gabrielle as special envoy and coordinator of GEC.

Mike Pompeo was the CIA Director from 2017-2018. On April 15, 2019, Pompeo participated in a discussion at the Texas A&M University where he voluntarily offered the admission that though West Points’ cadet motto is “You will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do.”, his training under the CIA was the very opposite, stating “I was the CIA Director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. It was like we had entire training courses. (long pause) It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment”.

This is apparently the man for the job of dealing with matters of “truth” and “justice”.

Lea Gabrielle was approved for her position by Mike Pompeo, what are her “qualifications”? Well, Gabrielle is also CIA trained, and while assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), she “directed and conducted global clandestine strategic intelligence collection operations.” Gabrielle also “deployed in tactical anti-terrorist operations in hostile environments”. After 12 years of active duty service, Lea Gabrielle became a television news journalist, who worked at NBC and FOX News.

The CIA really does not have the best track record for their role in “managing” foreign wars and counter-insurgency activities. In fact, they have been caught rather red handed in fueling such crisis situations. And these are the people who are deciding what information is fit for the American public, and western public in general, and what is not fit for their ears.

When the Matter of “Truth” Becomes a Threat to “National Security”

When the matter of truth is depicted as a possible threat to those that govern a country, you no longer have a democratic state. True, not everything can be disclosed to the public in real time, but we are sitting on a mountain of classified intelligence material that goes back more than 60 years.

How much time needs to elapse before the American people have the right to know the truth behind what their government agencies have been doing within their own country and abroad in the name of the “free” world?

From this recognition, the whole matter of declassifying material around the Russigate scandal in real time, and not highly redacted 50 years from now, is essential to addressing this festering putrefaction that has been bubbling over since the heinous assassination of President Kennedy on Nov. 22nd, 1963 and to which we are still waiting for full disclosure of classified papers 57 years later.

If the American people really want to finally see who is standing behind that curtain in Oz, now is the time.

These intelligence bureaus need to be reviewed for what kind of method and standard they are upholding in collecting their “intelligence,” that has supposedly justified the Mueller investigation and the never-ending Flynn investigation which have provided zero conclusive evidence to back up their allegations and which have massively infringed on the elected government’s ability to make the changes that they had committed to the American people.

Just like the Iraq and Libya war that was based off of cooked British intelligence (refer here and here), Russiagate appears to have also had its impetus from our friends over at MI6 as well. It is no surprise that Sir Richard Dearlove, who was then MI6 chief (1999-2004) and who oversaw and stood by the fraudulent intelligence on Iraq stating they bought uranium from Niger to build a nuclear weapon, is the very same Sir Richard Dearlove who promoted the Christopher Steele dossier as something “credible” to American intelligence.

In other words, the same man who is largely responsible for encouraging the illegal invasion of Iraq, which set off the never-ending wars on “terror,” that was justified with cooked British intelligence is also responsible for encouraging the Russian spook witch-hunt that has been occurring within the U.S. for the last four years…over more cooked British intelligence, and the FBI and CIA are knowingly complicit in this.

Neither the American people, nor the world as a whole, can afford to suffer any more of the so-called “mistaken” intelligence bumblings. It is time that these intelligence bureaus are held accountable for at best criminal negligence, at worst, treason against their own country.


Cynthia Chung writes for Strategic Culture Foundation and is the President and co-founder of the Rising Tide Foundation

The author can be reached at cynthiachung@tutanota.com

Rhodes Scholar Talbott’s Hand Revealed in Russia Gate: The Only Foreign Interference America Should Worry About is British.

Rhodes Scholar Talbott’s Hand Revealed in Russia Gate: The Only Foreign Interference America Should Worry About is British.

August 13, 2020

By Matthew Ehret for the Saker Blog

It has recently come to light that the primary source of the Steele Dossier and Mueller Investigation is none other than Igor Danchenko- a veteran Brookings Institute employee from Ukraine who not only hadn’t been to Russia for decades but who admitted to the FBI in January 2017 that the entire Steele dossier was a fraud.

For those who do not know, the Brookings Institute is a powerful DNC think tank founded by Bill Clinton’s former Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott who stepped down as president in 2017. Brookings has become known for its revolving door between officials in the Obama White House/DNC and the private sector. In recent weeks, it has come to light that Talbott reached out to Steele in August 2016 to share his own data accumulated by Danchenko and conspired with Steele on advancing the dossier in the wake of Trump’s November 2016 election. Other Brookings Institute agents deployed by Talbott include former NSC Russia Expert Trump impeachment witness Fiona Hill who co-authored a paper with Danchenko and also Talbott’s brother-in-law Cody Shearer who circulated a parallel dossier containing many of the falsified evidence printed in Steele’s script.

Sadly many analysts have read these new revelations badly and have concluded that MI6’s Christopher Steele was actually duped by fake American intelligence coming from opportunistic American operatives seeking to undermine a republican president for purely political considerations. Nothing however can be further from the truth.

Straussian vs Rhodesian Flavors of the Same Poison

Talbott himself may be American by blood, but thoroughly British in spirit. Both he and Clinton were Rhodes Scholars at Oxford in the 1970s and were joined by dozens of other Rhodes Scholars who flooded into the White House in 1992.

While appearing on the surface to oppose the brute force approach of the neoconservative Straussians, the Rhodes Scholar nests have distinguished themselves over the past century by promoting a world order that saw a more technocratic/Malthusian system of controls with the USA playing a subservient position in the Great Game. The Straussian neocons on the other hand aimed at a post-nation state world order with America acting as the lead and monetarism serving as a ruling religion. The differences between these two outlooks differs only superficially, as both plans involve a global bankers dictatorship controlled by the City of London and both demanded divided world of war, poverty and resource monopolies by an elite that have no allegiance to the USA or any sovereign nation state per se.

This outlook was expressed by Talbott in a most visceral manner in 1992 when he said:

“All countries are basically social arrangements….No matter how permanent or even sacred they may seem at any one time, in fact they are all artificial and temporary….Perhaps national sovereignty wasn’t such a great idea after all….But it has taken the events in our own wondrous and terrible century to clinch the case for world government.”

The exposure of the British hand behind the scenes affords us a unique glimpse into the real historical forces undermining America’s true constitutional tradition throughout the 20th century, as Mueller/the Five Eyes/Rhodes Scholars are not new phenomena but actually follow a modus operandi set down for already more than a century. One of the biggest obstacles to seeing this modus operandi run by the British Empire is located in the belief in a mythology which has become embedded in the global psyche for over half a century and which we should do our best to free ourselves of.

Debunking the Myth of the “American Empire”

While there has been a long-standing narrative promoted for over 70 years that the British Empire disappeared after World War II having been replaced by the “American Empire”, it is the furthest thing from the truth. America, as constitutionally represented by its greatest presidents (who can unfortunately be identified by their early deaths while serving in office), were never colonialist and were always in favor of reining in British Institutions at home while fighting British colonial thinking abroad.

Franklin Roosevelt’s thirteen year-long battle with the Deep State, which he referred to as the “economic royalists who should have left America in 1776″, was defined in clear terms by his patriotic Vice-President Henry Wallace who warned of the emergence of a new Anglo-American fascism in 1944 when he said:

“Fascism in the postwar inevitably will push steadily for Anglo-Saxon imperialism and eventually for war with Russia. Already American fascists are talking and writing about this conflict and using it as an excuse for their internal hatreds and intolerances toward certain races, creeds and classes.”

The fact is that already in 1944, a policy of Anglo-Saxon imperialism had been promoted subversively by British-run think tanks known as the Round Table Movement and Fabian Society, and the seeds had already been laid for the anti-Russian cold war by those British-run American fascists. It is not a coincidence that this fascist Cold War policy was announced in a March 5, 1946 speech in Fulton, Missouri by none other than Round Table-follower Winston Churchill.

The Empire Strikes

When the Round Table Movement was created with funds from the Rhodes Trust in 1902, a new plan was laid out to create a new technocratic elite to manage the re-emergence of the new British Empire and crush the emergence of American-inspired nationalism globally. This organization would be staffed by generations of Rhodes Scholars who would receive their indoctrination in Oxford before being sent back to advance a “post-nation state” agenda in their respective countries.

As this agenda largely followed the mandate set out by Cecil Rhodes in his Seventh Will who said “Why should we not form a secret society with but one object: the furtherance of the British Empire and the bringing of the whole uncivilized world under British rule, for the recovery of the United States, and for the making of the Anglo-Saxon race but one Empire?”

With the help of an anglophile, racist president in America, leading figures organizing these think tanks first advanced a program to create a “League of Nations” as the solution to the “nationalist problem” which humanity was told “caused” World War One. Nationalist forces in America rejected the idea that the constitution should be rendered obsolete and the plan for global governance failed. However that did not stop the Round Table Movement from trying again. Leading Round Table controller Lord Lothian (British Ambassador to the USA) complained of the “American problem” in 1918.

There is a fundamentally different concept in regard to this question between Great Britain and the United States  as to the necessity of civilized control over politically backward peoples…. The inhabitants of Africa and parts of Asia have proved unable to govern themselves…. Yet America not only has no conception of this aspect of the problem but has been led to believe that the assumption of this kind of responsibility is iniquitous imperialism.

They take an attitude towards the problem of world government exactly analogous to the one they [earlier] took toward the problem of the world war. If they are slow in learning we shall be condemned to a period of strained relations between the various parts of the English-speaking world. [We must] get into the heads of Canadians and Americans that a share in the burden of world government is just as great and glorious a responsibility as participation in the war”.

A Chinese leader of the American-inspired republican revolution of 1911 named Sun Yat-sen warned of the likes of Lord Lothian and the League of Nations in 1924 when he said:

“The nations which are employing imperialism to conquer others and which are trying to maintain their own favored positions as sovereign lords of the whole world are advocating cosmopolitanism [aka: global governance/globalization -ed] and want the world to join them… Nationalism is that precious possession by which humanity maintains its existence. If nationalism decays, then when cosmopolitanism flourishes we will be unable to survive and will be eliminated”.

New Name. Same Beast

By 1919, the Round Table Movement changed its name to the Royal Institute for International Affairs (aka: Chatham House) with the “Round Table” name relegated to its geopolitical periodical. In Canada and Australia, branches were created in 1928 under the rubrics of “Canadian and Australian Institutes for International Affairs” (CIIA, AIIA). However in America, where knowledge of the British Empire’s subversive role was more widely known, the name “American Institute for International Affairs” was still too delicate. Instead the name “Council on Foreign Relations” was chosen and was chartered in 1921.

Rhodes Scholar William Yandall Elliot surrounded by a few of his leading disciples: Sir Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski Samuel Huntington and Pierre Trudeau

Staffed with Rhodes Scholars and Fabians, the CFR (and its International Chatham House counterparts) dubbed themselves “independent think tanks” which interfaced with Rhodes Scholars and Fabians in academia, government and the private sector alike with the mission of advancing a foreign policy agenda that was in alignment with the British Empire’s dream of an Anglo-American “special relationship”. One such Rhodes Scholar was William Yandall Elliot, who played a major role mentoring Henry Kissinger and a generation of geo-politicians from Harvard, not the least of whom include Zbigniew Brzezinski, Pierre Elliot Trudeau and Samuel (Clash of Civilizations) Huntington.

The Round Table in Canada and the Coup Against FDR

In Canada, five leading Rhodes Scholars were busy creating the League of Social Reconstruction as a self-described “Fabian Society of Canada” in 1931 which was meant to be a fascist/technocratic answer to the chaos of “greedy nationalism” that supposedly caused the economic collapse of Black Friday in 1929. During the same time in America, a different path to fascism was taken by these networks during the early 1930s. This plan involved installing a General named Smedley Butler into power as a puppet dictator steered by the Anglo-American establishment. Luckily for America and the world, General Butler blew the whistle on the coup against Franklin Roosevelt at the last minute.

In a 1934 video address to the nation, General Butler said:

“I appeared before the Congressional Committee, the highest representation of the American people under subpoena to tell what I knew about activities which I believe might lead to an attempt to set up a fascist dictatorship… the upshot of the whole thing was that I was to pose to lead an organization of 500 000 men which would be able to take over the functions of government”

Left-Wing Fascism blossoms in Canada

Kissinger’s British Takeover of America

Though it took a few assassinations throughout the post war years, Kissinger’s takeover of the State Department ushered in a new era of British occupation of American foreign policy, whereby the republic increasingly became the “Dumb Giant” acting as “American Brawn for the British brains” using Churchill’s words. While a nihilistic generation of youth were tuning in on LSD, and an old guard of patriots surrounding Wallace and Kennedy had fallen to the “red scare” witch hunt, geopolitical theory was fed like a sweet poison down the throat of a sleeping nation, replacing a policy of peace and “win-win cooperation” advanced by true nationalist patriots as FDR, Wallace and the Kennedys, with an imperial clone masquerading as a republic.

Kissinger did nothing less than reveal his total allegiance to the British Empire on May 10, 1981 during a Chatham House conference in Britain when he described his relationship with the British Foreign office in the following terms:

“The British were so matter-of-factly helpful that they became a participant in internal American deliberations, to a degree probably never practiced between sovereign nations… In my White House incarnation then, I kept the British Foreign Office better informed and more closely engaged than I did the American State Department… It was symptomatic”.

During this period, Kissinger worked closely with CIA director George Bush Senior, who was later rewarded for his role in advancing the British-planned first war on Kuwait with a knighthood. This war set the stage for the second wave of Middle East wars beginning with the Anglo-Saudi orchestrated operation known as 9/11 and the ushering in of the new “post-nation state order” by Kissinger and Blair.

At the 1991 Bilderberg Conference in France, Kissinger (who would soon be knighted for his work on behalf of the British Empire) stated:

“Today, America would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order. Tomorrow they will be grateful! This is especially true if they were told that there were an outside threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well-being granted to them by the World Government.”

The Dystopic New World Order Threatened by a New Deal of the 21stCentury

It is this dystopic geopolitical order which has been challenged by the Russia-China alliance which arose in earnest with Xi Jinping’s 2013 announcement of the Belt and Road Initiative as the Grand design for large scale infrastructure projects internationally and in September 2015 with Vladimir Putin’s intervention into Syria which defeated the Hobbesian regime change paradigm which poisoned the west. In 2016, the election of nationalist American President Donald Trump opened the door for the first time in over 50 years to a true national coalition of sovereign nations to eliminate the cancer of colonial thinking forever from the earth.

It is this same British-run deep state which owns Robert Mueller, Strobe Talbott, who along with the Integrity Initiative, Five Eyes and other Deep State operatives are dedicated to overthrowing President Trump from office and undoing the great potential for a Multipolar Alliance of Sovereign Nation States. This sabotage has taken the form of a Great Global Reset and Green New Deal.

Matthew Ehret is the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Patriot Review , a BRI Expert on Tactical talk, and has authored 3 volumes of ‘Untold History of Canada’ book series. In 2019 he co-founded the Montreal-based Rising Tide Foundation 

Is there any possibility of diffusing Sino-US tension?

Source

Is there any possibility of diffusing Sino-US tension?

July 14, 2020

by Zamir Awan for the Saker Blog

Sino-US tension is growing to a dangerous level, what will be the consequences? Who will suffer more? And who will be benefitted? Is there any simple solution? Is anyone willing to rectify things? What will be the role of the UN and International Community, in case of an armed conflict? What will be the future of the World? Etc. Many similar questions are rising in our minds. Hope the serious thinkers and intellectuals may come out with do-able recommendations to avert any big disaster to humanity.

The US was the leader of Western Style Democracy and opposing Communism since the end of World War II. That is why, the US was siding with the ruling party – Guo Ming Dang (Nationalist Party) of China before 1949. But the Communist Party of China (CPC) won the war and gained power in China. The US was opposing the newly established CPC government in China and did every possible thing to harm CPC and end communist rule in China. Either it was sanctions, economic blockade, isolation, media war, or any other form of coercion. But could not succeed.

A U-turn was witnessed in the US policy, from hostile to friendship, since 1971. “Ping-Pong Diplomacy” sign of warming relations between Washington and Beijing, China’s ping-pong team invites members of the U.S. team to China on April 6, 1971. Journalists accompanying the U.S. players are among the first Americans allowed to enter China since 1949. In July of 1971, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger makes a secret trip to China. Shortly thereafter, the United Nations recognizes the People’s Republic of China, endowing it with the permanent Security Council seat that had been held by the Chiang Kai-shek’s (Nationalist Party) Republic of China on Taiwan since 1945.

Followed by President Richard Nixon’s eight-days long visit to China in February 1972, during which he met Chairman Mao Zedong and signs the Shanghai Communiqué with Premier Zhou Enlai.

In 1979, a big development was seen, when U.S. President Jimmy Carter grants China full diplomatic recognition while acknowledging mainland China’s One China principle. Chinese Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping, who leads China through major economic reforms, visits the United States shortly thereafter.

However, President Regan’s era was not so friendly for Sino-US relations as his pro-Taiwan policies. Later President Reagan visited China in April 1984 and as an outcome of his visit, the U.S. government permitted Beijing to make purchases of U.S. Defense equipment.

The unfortunate incident of Tian-an-Men Square happened in 1989, created more complications. Chinese crackdown on dissents was also a negative impact on Sino-US relations. The Pro-Independence President Lee Lee Teng-hui in Taiwan also affected the relations adversely. Mistakenly bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in 1999, also set-back in bilateral relation.

Since 2000, the trade was dominating Sin-US relations. President Bill Clinton signed a trade agreement with China, which boosted the trade between two nations from US Dollars 5 Billion to US Dollars 231 Billion. China officially joined WTO in 2001, open avenues of more trade, investment, and cooperation on the economic front. It facilitated the rapid development of China and China surpassed the German Economy in 2006, while the trouble started in 2010, when China became a second-largest economy after surpassing the Japanese economy. It has alerted US policymakers and there was a strong fear that China might surpass the American Economy in 2027.

The sharp rise of the Trade deficit in Chinese favor worried the policymakers in the US. President Barak Obama took few measures to address the trade imbalance but was more polite and soft. However, since President Donald Trump, became President in 2016, a visible change was seen in the US toward Sino-US relations. President Trump initiated Trade war and imposed heavy tariffs on Chinese products, banned Huawei Chinese telecommunication giant, etc. The outbreak of COVID-19 has a catalyst in creating tension to its current height. Where the US is the worst-hit country, with the highest number of infections and the highest death toll in the world.

I was educated in China, and have served in China as Diplomat, I have lived in China for 13 years, but having interaction with China for almost 4 decades. I know the Chinese language, culture, politics, and enjoys deep penetration into Chinese society. Based on my personal assessment, China was never competing in the US or challenging the hegemony of the US as a superpower. Common people in China used to praise America and almost every Chinese especially the youth have a dream to travel to America. The common man loves America and dream to visit or live in America. The number of Chinese traveling to America are out-numbered and kept on increasing gradually. Similarly, a huge number of Americans are living or traveling into China for business, jobs, or study purposes. China was the most favorite destination for Americans for traveling, hunting jobs, business, etc. In a matter of fact, the law and order situation in China was excellent, the job market was huge, business opportunities were unlimited, which were the major reasons to attract Americans. This was vice-versa, Chinese people love to study in America, Tourism in America, Business in America, even migrate or settle down in America. There were no symptoms of anti-America sentiments in China.

China is a very old civilization and has been passing through several ups and downs in history. But in the last two centuries, China has been the victim of the Western world and its aggressive policies and colonization. The Suffering of Chinese during the last two centuries has taught bitter lessons and China has become a mature nation. The Centries old wisdom and bitter lesson of two centuries made China, humble, submissive, hard-working, and united. Even more wise!

China tried its best to avoid confrontation with the US, either it was an economic war, or sanctions, or direct threat, but China acted with maximum constraint and patience. Most of the time, China ignored the American rough attitude and overlooked American behavior. Americans used impolite and non-diplomatic language, but China did not lose temper and never issued any statement below standard. Chinese lenient attitude should not be considered its weakness but should be appreciated as its maturity, responsibility, and greatness.

In fact, It was aligned with the Chinese philosophy of peace, stability, and development. China wanted to improve its economy, eradicate poverty, improve its health care system, improve its technology, modernize its Industry, and defense. China invested heavily in its education sector, the S&T sector, and wanted to focus on Innovation and Hi-tech, which any other country can desire too. China has set its own goals, like zero poverty, etc, and was religiously moving ahead to achieve its goals. There were no visible political objectives in Chinese society, and there was no intention to counter America or replace America. China was not ready for any conflict with America or with any other country. Contrarily, China was ignoring its genuine disputes with others and was focusing only on its own development. In 2017, there was a serious stand-off with India at Doklam, but China compromised and resolved amicably. China has disputes withy many other countries, but was never willing to flare-up or use force to resolve its disputes. Taiwan is a good example, where China can invade conveniently and no one can resist China, but the Chinese opted for peaceful reunification and working hard in this direction – one country two systems. China has the capability to crush the demonstrations in Hong Kong by force, yet, China observes a lot of constraints, patience, and giving unlimited space to the demonstrators to settle down.

It is visible that the US is opting for an aggressive, threatening, and coercive attitude toward China. The US is re-aligning its allies to punish China. Definitely, China will try its best to avert any misadventure, however, if a war is imposed, China deserves the right to self-defense and retaliate reciprocate. This might lead the world to a much bigger disaster. Who ill suffer? It is humankind, irrespective of American or Chinese, irrespective of Christians, Muslims, Jews, atheists, or any other religion, irrespective of race, color, or ethnicity, it is human lives at stake. Can we think at this level, respect human lives, human lives are the most precious thing in this unive5rsrse, all lives matter.

I am sure, many of my readers might differ from my views, but hopefully, it will open debate for policymakers and decision-makers. The scholars, intellectuals, think tanks, and individuals with human consciousness may come up with some kind of recommendations or solutions to avert any big disaster. Please do educate me!


.Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan.

«اتفاق 17 أيار»… ومحاولة التخلص من المقاومة التي أسقطته وهزمت القوة التي لا تقهر…

حسن حردان

تحلّ ذكرى اتفاق الذل والإذعان، اتفاق 17 أيار، الذي وقع بين السلطة اللبنانية عام 1983، والعدو الصهيوني، الذي كان جيشه يحتلّ لبنان آنذاك.. والذي استهدف من الاتفاق جعل لبنان محمية صهيونية وتشريع العلاقات رسميا مع كيان العدو الصهيوني ليكون لبنان البوابة الصهيونية الثانية في المشرق العربي، بعد أن نجح قادة العدو في تحويل مصر إلى بوابة أولى من خلال توقيع اتفاقيات كامب ديفيد معها، وكان المايسترو وطابخ هذه الاتفاقيات، في الحالتين، وزيرا خارجية أميركا هنري كيسنجر وجورج شولتز…

الحديث عن اتفاق17 أيار والظروف التي أحاطت بولادته واهدافه، يكتسب أهمية هذه الأيام انطلاقاً من المحاولات الدؤوبة لإعادة إنتاج مثل هذا الاتفاق، والسعي إلى تشريع وجود هذا الكيان الغاصب الاستعماري على أرض فلسطين العربية المحتلة، ومحاولة النيل والتخلص من المقاومة التي هزمت الجيش الصهيوني الذي قيل يوماً إنه لا يُقهر، وأسقطت اتفاق 17 أيار ودشنت عصر قوة لبنان بمقاومته وشعبه وجيشه، واضعة نهاية لمقولة «قوة لبنان في ضعفه» التي كانت تجعل من لبنان فريسة سهلة لاعتداءات وأطماع العدو الصهيوني.

لكن مع ذلك لا زال قادة العدو «الإسرائيلي» يحلمون بإعادة لبنان إلى كنف الوصاية والهيمنة الأميركية الصهيونية ليبقى ساحة للتآمر على العرب، ويعبثون من خلالها بأمن الدول العربية التحرّرية، وفي المقدّمة سورية التي دعمت المقاومة وأسهمت في إسقاط 17 أيار وصناعة انتصار المقاومة عام الفين والذي نحتفل فيه بعد أيام في 25 أيار الحالي.. ولهذا عملوا وما زالوا يعملون للقضاء على المقاومة التي شكلت المثال في إثبات القدرة على مقاومة جيش الاحتلال «الإسرائيلي» وإلحاق الهزيمة المذلة به…

لقد جاء القرار1559 «الإسرائيلي» الصنع كمحاولة أولى لإحداث انقلاب في لبنان ضدّ المقاومة ولإعادته إلى فلك الوصاية الأميركية الصهيونية، ولدى فشل الإنقلاب بعد اغتيال الرئيس رفيق الحريري عام 2005 شنّ العدو محاولة ثانية، حربه العدوانية على لبنان سنة 2006 بدعم غربي وغطاء من بعض الأنظمة العربية، لسحق المقاومة وضرب المثال الذي قدّمته في مقاومة الاحتلال وإمكان هزيمته وتحرير فلسطين والأراضي العربية. لكن فشل هذه الحرب وانتصار المقاومة التاريخي والاستراتيجي ضاعف القلق الأميركي الصهيوني، ودفع واشنطن و»تل أبيب» إلى التحضير لمحاولة ثالثة تمثلت في تنظيم الحرب الإرهابية على سورية لإسقاط نظامها المقاوم الذي كان له دور مهمّ في تمكين المقاومة من الصمود وتحقيق نصر تموز، ولهذا الغرض حشدت جيوش الإرهابيين من أنحاء العالم وقدمت إليهم مختلف إشكال الدعم العسكري والمالي والتسهيلات من دول جوار سورية، وشُكل تحالف دولي إقليمي عربي وفر الدعم السياسي لهؤلاء الإرهابيين، ومع ذلك فشلت هذه الحرب الأمريكية الصهيونية الرجعية في تحقيق أهدافها في السيطرة على سورية وتحويلها إلى دولة عميلة ومتابعة للاستعمار، وها هي سورية بقيادة الرئيس المقاوم الدكتور بشار الأسد تقف على أعتاب إعلان تحقيق النصر النهائي ضدّ أشرس حرب كونية إرهابية قادتها إدارة العدوان والارهاب العالمي في واشنطن..

إذا كان أمراً طبيعياً أن يعمل أعداؤنا على محاولة إنتاج اتفاق 17 أيار جديد، بلوغاً إلى تصفية القضية الفلسطينية من خلال محاولة إسقاط سورية، ظهير المقاومة، كي يسهل بعد ذلك القضاء على المقاومة، فمن غير الطبيعي أن تنخرط قوى لبنانية وعربية، بأشكال مختلفة، في هذه الحرب ضدّ المقاومة وسورية وعموم جبهة المقاومة، والسعي إلى إعادة إنتاج ظروف مماثلة لتلك الظروف التي أنتجت اتفاق 17 أيار..

إنّ بعض الأصوات الداخلية التي وقفت مع الاتفاق ودافعت عن الاتفاق وصوّتت له هي نفسها لا تزال تنخرط في الحرب الناعمة الأميركية الصهيونية لتشويه صورة المقاومة والإساءة إلى سمعتها في سياق العمل للنيل منها.. وهذه الأصوات هي التي تستمرّ في الدفاع عن الاتفاق وتصويره على أنه يحقق ما سموه جلاء القوات «الإسرائيلية» عن لبنان، بينما تشكل جميع بنود الاتفاق انتقاصاً من سيادة لبنان واستقلاله وتعطي «إسرائيل» مكاسب أمنية وسياسية واقتصادية كانت في طليعة الأهداف التي سعت إليها من اجتياح لبنان سنة 1982 إلى جانب ضرب المقاومة الفلسطينية وتنصيب نظام موالٍ لها في بيروت، والعمل على محاصرة سورية تمهيداً إلى محاولة فرض الاستسلام عليها، بعدما فشلت جميع محاولات الترغيب والترهيب والحصار وتقويض استقرارها الداخلي بثنيها عن التشبث بمواقفها الوطنية والقومية والدفاع عنها.

إنّ الذين يدعون الدفاع عن سيادة لبنان واستقلاله اليوم، والذين يشكّكون في صدقية ومناقبية المقاومة، كان بعضهم في طليعة من وقّع على الاتفاق وصوّت وسوّق له، والبعض الآخر لم يطلق طلقة واحدة ضدّ الاحتلال بل استقبل قادة العدو وسهل لهم دخولهم، ولم يتوان عن لعب دور أمني في حماية الاحتلال من عمليات المقاومة.

فهذا الاتفاق الذي صدّق عليه مجلس النواب اللبناني بتاريخ 13/6/1983 لم يرفضه من النواب، سوى النائبين زاهر الخطيب ونجاح واكيم، اللذين يسجل التاريخ لهما هذا الموقف المقاوم المشرّف للاحتلال وعملائه.. ولقد تمّ التوصل إلى الاتفاق بعد مفاوضات طويلة بين الجانبين «الإسرائيلي» واللبناني، وبرعاية أميركية مباشرة، في ظلّ ظروف وتطورات مهّدت للاتفاق.

ما هي تلك الظروف؟

1

ـ احتلال قوات الجيش «الإسرائيلي» لمعظم الأراضي اللبنانية، بما فيها العاصمة بيروت، وسيطرته على سائر المرافق الحيوية في البلاد، بعد انسحاب منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية من بيروت بموجب اتفاق رعته الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، وبلغ عدد القوات «الإسرائيلية» التي اجتاحت لبنان 120 ألف جندي.

2

ـ إجراء انتخابات لرئاسة الجمهورية في ظل الاحتلال وإشرافه وتدخله المباشر بدعم ترشيح بشير الجميّل الذي سارع البرلمان اللبناني، بضغط من «إسرائيل»، إلى التعجيل في عملية انتخاب أمين الجميّل، شقيق بشير الجميّل، بعد مقتل الأخير.

انطلقت المفاوضات بين فندق ليبانون بيتش في خلدة قرب بيروت، ومستوطنة «كريات شمونة» في فلسطين المحتلة قرب الحدود مع لبنان.

3

ـ قيام نظام أمين الجميّل بالتنسيق مع الاحتلال بحملة قمع منظمة للقوى الوطنية واعتقالات واسعة للقيادات والعناصر الوطنية، وحصل تواطؤ مع جيش الاحتلال في ارتكاب مجزرة صبرا وشاتيلا التي استهدفت بث الرعب في صفوف المواطنين وخلق مناخات من الاستسلام ومحاولة قتل إرادة المقاومة، والانتقام في الوقت ذاته.

4

ـ ممارسة عملية ترهيب وترغيب مع النواب، لدفعهم إلى الموافقة على الاتفاق أو الامتناع عن معارضته، وحصل تهديد مباشر للنواب الذين أعلنوا رفضهم للاتفاق إذا ذهبوا إلى الجلسة العامة في 17 أيار. (زاهر الخطيب، ونجاح واكيم).

هذه الظروف الذي نشأ فيها اتفاق 17 أيار المشؤوم ووقع عليه البرلمان اللبناني، تشير إلى أنه فُرض بالإكراه وقسراً في ظلّ الاحتلال والسيطرة «الإسرائيلية» الكاملة والضغط المباشر، وكان نظام أمين الجميّل من أشدّ المتحمّسين له.

يؤكد القانون الدولي في هذا المجال أن الاتفاقات التي تبرم في ظلّ الاحتلال باطلة بطلاناً مطلقاً أو قابلة للإبطال من قبل الدولة المقهورة، علماً أنّ لبنان كان عهدذاك مسلوب الحرية ومنتقص الإرادة، ولذلك فإن مثل هذا الاتفاق سمي باتفاق الإكراه والإذعان والاستسلام لشروط الاحتلال «الإسرائيلي».

إذاً كانت هذه الظروف التي جرى في ظلها إنضاج وتوقيع الاتفاق، فإنّ فكرة توقيع اتفاق صلح مع لبنان نشأت بعدما رأت «إسرائيل» أنّ اتفاقيات كامب ديفيد لم تلبّ أهدافها لناحية تحقيق الانفتاح الاقتصادي معه، وتحويل مصر إلى جسر عبور للدول العربية، بل رأت أنّ الفرصة مواتية لبلوغ ذلك عبر لبنان الذي اختير محطة ثانية بعد مصر لعدة عوامل ومبررات أبرزها:

العامل الأول: إن لبنان يشكل المنافس الاقتصادي الأول لـ«إسرائيل» والعقبة الأهمّ أمام أطماعها في تحقيق الهيمنة والسيطرة على الدول العربية، ولذلك أرادت استغلال روابط لبنان مع الدول العربية لتحقيق ذلك.

العامل الثاني: حالة التمزّق التي كان يعيشها لبنان نتيجة الحرب الأهلية، والتي اتخذت منحى تآكلياً فيما انهارت مؤسسات الدولة وتضرّر الاقتصاد اللبناني كثيراً.

العامل الثالث: التذرّع بأمن «إسرائيل» لتبرير اجتياح لبنان واحتلاله إن بحجة وجود المقاومة الفلسطينية، أو بحجة الدفاع عن المسيحيين.

العامل الرابع: توافر مناخ شجع «إسرائيل» على الاجتياح ويتمثل ببعض القوى المتعاملة والمتعاونة معها ولم تكن تخفي تأييدها لإقدام «إسرائيل» على غزو لبنان كي تتمكن، عبر الاستقواء به وبواسطته، من السيطرة على الحكم في البلاد.

إنها الظروف التي أنتجت توقيع اتفاق 17 أيار المشؤوم ونشوء الفكرة «إسرائيلياً» لاختيار لبنان كثاني بلد عربي بعد مصر لتوقيع اتفاق صلح مع «إسرائيل»، في سياق المخطط «الإسرائيلي» الأميركي الهادف إلى تشريع وجود الكيان الصهيوني الغاصب لفلسطين وجعله كيان طبيعي في المنطقة يملك جميع مقومات التفوق والهيمنة فيها، كما قال وأوضح موريس الجميّل في كراس له تحت عنوان «اسرائيل وسياسة النعامة».

انطلاقاً مما تقدّم، ان ما تتعرّض له المقاومة اليوم من حرب ناعمة تشنها ضدّها واشنطن والدول والأنظمة التابعة لها، إنما يندرج في سياق السعي الى تحقيق:

1

ـ محاولة اضعاف والقضاء على المقاومة، التي أسقطت اتفاق 17 أيار والحقت الهزيمة بجيش الاحتلال وحطمت اسطورته عامي 2000 و 2006.

2

ـ إعادة إخضاع لبنان إلى الهيمنة الاستعمارية.. وخصوصا بعدما أصبحت المقاومة تشكل العقبة الكأداء امام هذا المشروع الاستعماري وتسهم في اضعاف سيطرته في المنطقة، وكذلك بعد ان تحولت المقاومة إلى قوة رادعة تحمي لبنان وثرواته من الاعتداءات والأطماع الصهيونية، وتهدد وجود الكيان الغاصب وتجعله في حالة قلق على وجوده، لا سيما بعد انتصارات محور المقاومة في سورية واكتساب المقاومة المزيد من الخبرات والقدرات في الحرب ضد جيوش الإرهاب..

من هنا فإنّ الالتفاف حول المقاومة والتمسك بالمعادلة الماسية، جيش وشعب ومقاومة، هو الضمانة التي أثبتت انها القادرة على حماية لبنان من العدوانية والأطماع والصهيونية، ومنع إعادة لبنان إلى زمن الخضوع للمحتل الصهيوني، والحيلولة دون إنتاج اتفاق مشابه لاتفاق ١٧ إيار المشؤوم الذي اسقطته المقاومة الشعبية والمسلحة وتضحيات الشهداء والجرحى والأسرى…

Fake Coronavirus Data, Fear Campaign. Spread of the COVID-19 Infection

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, May 12, 2020Global Research 5 April 2020

Introduction

Do not let yourself be misled by the fear campaign, pointing to a Worldwide coronavirus calamity with repeated “predictions” that hundreds of thousands of people are going to die.

These are boldface lies. Scientific assessments of the health impacts of  the COVID-19 have been withheld, they do not make the headlines. 

While COVID-19 constitutes a serious health issue, why is it the object of  a Worldwide fear campaign?

According to the WHO, “The most commonly reported symptoms [COV-19] included fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath, and most patients (80%) experienced mild illness.”  

Examine the contradictory headlines:

Screenshot The Hill 

According to the WHO and John Hopkins Medicine (see below),  the risks of dying from influenza (annual) compared to those of  COVID-19. (from January through early April)

Source; John Hopkins Medicine

Moreover, the media fails to acknowledge that there are simple and effective treatments for COVID-19. In fact, the reports on the treatment of COVID-19 are being suppressed. And the issue of “recovery” is barely mentioned. 

Persistent headlines and TV reports. Fear and panic. Neither the WHO nor our governments have taken the trouble to reassure us. 

According to the latest media hype, citing and often distorting scientific opinion (CNBC)

Statistical Models by Washington think tanks predict a scenario of devastation suggesting that “more than a million Americans could die if the nation does not take swift action to stop its spread as quickly as possible”.

One model from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested that between 160 million and 210 million Americans could contract the disease over as long as a year. Based on mortality data and current hospital capacity, the number of deaths under the CDC’s scenarios ranged from 200,000 to as many as 1.7 million. (The Hill, March 13, 2020)

The Unspoken Truth:  Unprecedented Global Crisis

The unspoken truth is that the novel coronavirus provides a pretext to powerful financial interests and corrupt politicians to trigger the entire World into a spiral of  mass unemployment, bankruptcy, extreme poverty and despair. 

This is the true picture of what is happening. “Planet Lockdown” is an encroachment on civil liberties and the “Right to Life”. Entire national economies are in jeopardy. In some countries martial law has been declared.

Small and medium sized capital are slated to be eliminated. Big capital prevails. A massive concentration of corporate wealth is ongoing. 

Is a diabolical “New World Order” in the making as suggested by Henry Kissinger (WSJ Opinion, April 3, 2020)

“The Coronavirus Pandemic Will Forever Alter the World Order”.

Recall Kissinger’s historic 1974 statement: “Depopulation should be the highest priority of US foreign policy towards the Third World.” (1974 National Security Council Memorandum)

This crisis is unprecedented in World history. It is destabilizing and destroying people’s lives Worldwide. It’s a “War against Humanity”.

While it is presented to World public opinion as a WHO global health emergency, what is really at stake are the mechanisms of  “economic warfare” sustained by fear and intimidation, with devastating consequences.

The economic and social impacts far exceed those attributed to the coronavirus. Cited below are selected examples of  a global process: 

  • Massive job losses and layoffs in the US, with more than 10 million workers filing claims for unemployment benefits.
  • In India,  a 21 days lockdown has triggered a wave of famine and despair affecting millions of homeless migrant workers all over the country. No lockdown for the homeless: “too poor to afford a meal”.  
  • The impoverishment in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa is beyond description. For large sectors of the urban population, household income has literally been wiped out.
  • In Italy, the destabilization of the tourist industry has resulted in bankruptcies and rising unemployment. 
  • In many countries, citizens are the object of police violence. Five people involved in protests against the lockdown were killed by police in Kenya and South Africa.

The WHO’s global health emergency was declared on January 30th, when there were 150 confirmed cases outside China. From the outset it was based on a Big Lie. 

Moreover, the timing of the WHO emergency coincided with America’s ongoing wars as well simmering financial instability on the World’s stock markets.

Is the global lockdown which engineers Worldwide economic destruction in any way related to America’s global military agenda? 

The coronavirus pandemic is magnifying the cruelty of US foreign policy”

This is an exceedingly complex process which we have examined in detail in the course of the last two months. Consult our archive on coronavirus. 

To reverse the tide, we must confront the lies.  And the lies are overwhelming. A counter propaganda initiative is required. 

When the Lie becomes the Truth, there is No Moving Backwards.

***

Part II

The Second Part of this article will largely focus on the following issues:

  • the definition of COVID-19 and the assessment of the number of “confirmed cases”, 
  • the risks to people’s health,
  • how the alleged epidemic is measured and identified. 

The Spread of the COVID-19 Infection

In many countries including the US, there is no precise lab test which will identify COVID-19 as the cause of a positive infection. Meanwhile the media will not only quote unreliable statistics, it will forecast a doomsday scenario. 

Let us put the discussion on COVID-19 in context.

What is a Human Coronavirus.  “Coronaviruses are everywhere”. They are categorized as “the second leading cause of the common cold (after rhinoviruses)”. Since the 2003 outbreak of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus), several (new) corona viruses were identified. COVID-19 is categorized as a novel or new corona virus initially named SARS-CoV-2.

According to Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg, pneumonia is “regularly caused or accompanied by corona viruses”. And that has been the case for many years prior to the identification of the COVID-19 in January 2020:

[It is a] well-known fact that in every “flu wave” 7-15% of acute respiratory illnesses (ARI) are coming along with coronaviruses” 

The COVID-19 belongs to the family of coronviruses which trigger colds and seasonal influenza. We will also address the lab tests required to estimate the data as well as the spread of the COVID-19.  The WHO defines the COVID-19 as follows:

“The most commonly reported symptoms [of COVID-19] included fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath, and most patients (80%) experienced mild illness. Approximately 14% experienced severe disease and 5% were critically ill. Early reports suggest that illness severity is associated with age (>60 years old) and co-morbid disease.” (largely basing on WHO’s assessment of COVID-19 in China)

The prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in an article entitled Covid-19 — Navigating the Uncharted provides the following definition:

The overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.“

These assessments confirm that COVID-19 is akin to seasonal influenza and pneumonia, categorized as contagious respiratory infections.

If the above definitions had made the headlines, there would have been no fear and panic.

The COVID-19. Tests and Data Collection

The H1N1 Pandemic 2009. Déjà Vu

This is not the first time that a global health emergency has been called by the WHO in close liaison with Big Pharma.

In 2009,  the WHO launched the  H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic predicting that “as many as 2 billion people could become infected over the next two years — nearly one-third of the world population.” (World Health Organization as reported by the Western media, July 2009).

One month later WHO Director General Dr. Margaret Chan stated that  “Vaccine makers could produce 4.9 billion pandemic flu shots per year in the best-case scenario”,( Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO), quoted by Reuters, 21 July 2009)

While creating an atmosphere of  fear and insecurity, pointing to an impending global public health crisis, the WHO nonetheless acknowledged that the H1N1 symptoms were moderate and that “most people will recover from swine flu within a week, just as they would from seasonal forms of influenza” (WHO statement, quoted in the Independent, August 22, 2009).

And President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology stated with authority, “reassuring public opinion” that  “the H1N1 pandemic is  a serious health threat… to the U.S. — not as serious as the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic but worse than the swine flu outbreak of 1976.”Spinning Fear and Panic Across America. Analysis of COVID-19 Data

H1N1 Fake Data 

In many regards, the H1N1 2009 pandemic reveals the problems of data collection and analysis which we are facing now in relation to COVID-19

Following the outbreak of the H1N1 swine flu in Mexico, the data collection was at the outset scanty and incomplete, as confirmed by official statements. The Atlanta based Center for Disease Control (CDC) acknowledged that what was being collected in the US were figures of  “confirmed and probable cases”. There was, however, no breakdown between “confirmed” and “probable”. In fact, only a small percentage of the reported cases were “confirmed” by a laboratory test.

There was no attempt to improve the process of data collection in terms of lab confirmation. In fact quite the opposite. Following the level 6 Pandemic announcement by Dr. Margaret Chan, both the WHO and the CDC decided that data collection of individual confirmed and probable cases was no longer necessary to ascertain the spread of swine fluOne month after the announcement of the level six pandemic, the WHO discontinued the collection of  “confirmed cases”. It did not require member countries to send in figures pertaining to confirmed or probable cases. WHO, Briefing note, 2009)

Based on incomplete, scanty and suppressed data, the WHO nonetheless predicted with authority that: “as many as 2 billion people could become infected over the next two years — nearly one-third of the world population.” (World Health Organization as reported by the Western media, July 2009).

In 2010, Dr. Margaret Chan and the WHO were the object of an investigation by the European Parliament:

“Confirmed Cases”: The CDC Methodology

The CDC methodology in 2020 is broadly similar (with minor changes in terminology) to that applied to the H1N1 pandemic in 2009. “Probable cases” was replaced by “Presumptive cases”.

Presumptive vs. Confirmed Cases

According to the CDC the data presented for the United States include both “confirmed” and “presumptive” positive cases of COVID-19 reported to CDC or tested at CDC since January 21, 2020″.

The presumptive positive data does not confirm coronavirus infection: Presumptive testing involves “chemical analysis of a sample that establishes the possibility that a substance is present“ (emphasis added). But it does not confirm the presence of COVID-19. The presumptive test must then be sent for confirmation to an accredited government health lab. (For further details see: Michel Chossudovsky, Spinning Fear and Panic Across America. Analysis of COVID-19 DataMarch 20, 2020)

How is the COVID-19 Data Tabulated?

The presumptive (PC) and confirmed cases (CC) are lumped together.  And the total number (PC + CC ) constitutes the basis for establishing the data for COVID-19 infection. It’s like adding apples and oranges. The total figure (PC+CC) categorized as “Total cases” is meaningless. It does not measure positive COVID-19 Infection. And among those “total cases” are “recovered cases”.

CDC Data for April 5, 2020

But there is another important consideration: the required CDC lab test pertaining to CC (confirmed cases) is intended to “confirm the infection”. But does it confirm that the infection was caused by COVID-19?

The COVID-19 is a coronavirus which is associated with the broad symptoms of  seasonal influenza and pneumonia. Are the lab exams pertaining to COVID-19 (confirmed cases) in a position to establish unequivocally the prevalence of COVID-19 positive infection?

Below are criteria and guidelines confirmed by the CDC pertaining to “The CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel” (Read carefully):

Results are for the identification of 2019-nCoV RNA. The 2019-nCoV RNA is generally detectable in upper and lower respiratory specimens during infection. Positive results are indicative of active infection with 2019-nCoV but do not rule out bacterial infection or co-infection with other viruses. The agent detected may not be the definite cause of disease. Laboratories within the United States and its territories are required to report all positive results to the appropriate public health authorities. 

Negative results do not preclude 2019-nCoV infection and should not be used as the sole basis for treatment or other patient management decisions. Negative results must be combined with clinical observations, patient history, and epidemiological information.

What this suggests is that a positive infection could be the result of other viruses as well as other corona viruses. (i.e. related to seasonal influenza or pneumonia).

Moreover, the second paragraph suggests that “Negative Results” of the lab test does not preclude a positive COVID-19 infection. But neither do the “combined clinical observations, etc … “.

These criteria and CDC guidelines are contradictory and inevitably subject to error. Since January, these “positive test results” of the RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel do not prove that COVID-19  is the cause of a positive infection for the COVID-19. (also referred to as 2019-nCoV and SARS-CoV-2). (See annex below).

Where does the bias come in?

Various coronaviruses are there in the tested specimen. Does the test identify COVID-19?

Has the COVID-19 been singled out as the source of an active infection, when the infection could be the result of  other viruses and/or bacteria?

Important Question?

Are the tests conducted in the US since January 2020 (pertaining to upper and lower respiratory specimens) which confirm infection from one or more causes (without proof of COVID-19) entered in the CDC data banks as “confirmed cases” of COVID-19?

As outlined by the CDC: “The agent detected may not be the definite cause of disease.”

Moreover, the presumptive cases” referred to earlier –which do not involve the test of a respiratory specimen– are casually lumped together with “confirmed cases” which are then categorized as “Total Cases”.

Another fundamental question: What is being tested?

Inasmuch as COVID-19 and Influenza have similar symptoms, to what extent are the data pertaining to COVID-19 “overlapping” with those pertaining to viral influenza and pneumonia?

The test pertaining to active infection could be attributed either to influenza or COVID-19, or both?

What is More Dangerous: Seasonal Influenza or COVID-19? 

Influenza –which has never been the object of a lockdown– appears from the recorded data on mortality to be “more dangerous” than COVID-19?

Based on the figures below, the recorded annual death rate pertaining to Influenza is substantially higher than that pertaining to COVID-19. (This is a rough comparison, given the fact that the recorded data pertaining to COVID-19 is not on an annual basis).

The latest data WHO data pertaining to COVID-19 

(Globally, all countries and territories):  40,598 deaths  (recorded up until April 1, 2020).

The estimates of annual mortality pertaining to Influenza:

Historically of the order of 250 000 to 500 000 annually (globally). (WHO).

The most recent WHO estimates (2017):

290 000 – 650 000 deaths globally  (annual). 



ANNEX

https://www.fda.gov/media/134922/download

Note: Two important texts 

Text of CDC criteria For in Vitro Diagnostic Use

Intended Use

The CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is a real-time RT-PCR test intended for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from the 2019-nCoV in upper and lower respiratory specimens (such as nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swabs, sputum, lower respiratory tract aspirates, bronchoalveolar lavage, and nasopharyngeal wash/aspirate or nasal aspirate) collected from individuals who meet 2019-nCoV clinical and/or epidemiological criteria (for example, clinical signs and symptoms associated with 2019-nCoV infection, contact with a probable or confirmed 2019-nCoV case, history of travel to geographic locations where 2019-nCoV cases were detected, or other epidemiologic links for which 2019-nCoV testing may be indicated as part of a public health investigation). Testing in the United States is limited to laboratories certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA), 42 U.S.C. § 263a, to perform high complexity tests.

Results are for the identification of 2019-nCoV RNA. The 2019-nCoV RNA is generally detectable in upper and lower respiratory specimens during infection. Positive results are indicative of active infection with 2019-nCoV but do not rule out bacterial infection or co-infection with other viruses. The agent detected may not be the definite cause of disease. Laboratories within the United States and its territories are required to report all positive results to the appropriate public health authorities.

Negative results do not preclude 2019-nCoV infection and should not be used as the sole basis for treatment or other patient management decisions. Negative results must be combined with clinical observations, patient history, and epidemiological information.

Testing with the CDC 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is intended for use by trained laboratory personnel who are proficient in performing real-time RT-PCR assays. The CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is only for use under a Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization.

Summary and Explanation

An outbreak of pneumonia of unknown etiology in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China was initially reported to WHO on December 31, 2019. Chinese authorities identified a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which has resulted in thousands of confirmed human infections in multiple provinces throughout China and many countries including the United States. Cases of asymptomatic infection, mild illness, severe illness, and some deaths have been reported.

The CDC 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is a molecular in vitro diagnostic test that aids in the detection and diagnosis 2019-nCoV and is based on widely used nucleic acid amplification technology. The product contains oligonucleotide primers and dual-labeled hydrolysis probes (TaqMan®) and control material used in rRT-PCR for the in vitro qualitative detection of 2019-nCoV RNA in respiratory specimens.

The term “qualified laboratories” refers to laboratories in which all users, analysts, and any person reporting results from use of this device should be trained to perform and interpret the results from this procedure by a competent instructor prior to use.

Principles of the Procedure

The oligonucleotide primers and probes for detection of 2019-nCoV were selected from regions of the virus nucleocapsid (N) gene. The panel is designed for specific detection of the 2019-nCoV (two primer/probe sets). An additional primer/probe set to detect the human RNase P gene (RP) in control samples and clinical specimens is also included in the panel.

RNA isolated and purified from upper and lower respiratory specimens is reverse transcribed to cDNA and subsequently amplified in the Applied Biosystems 7500 Fast Dx Real-Time PCR Instrument with SDS version 1.4 software. In the process, the probe anneals to a specific target sequence located between the forward and reverse primers. During the extension phase of the PCR cycle, the 5’ nuclease activity of Taq polymerase degrades the probe, causing the reporter dye to separate from the quencher dye, generating a fluorescent signal. With each cycle, additional reporter dye molecules are cleaved from their respective probes, increasing the fluorescence intensity. Fluorescence intensity is monitored at each PCR cycle by Applied Biosystems 7500 Fast Dx Real-Time PCR System with SDS version 1.4 software.

Detection of viral RNA not only aids in the diagnosis of illness but also provides epidemiological and surveillance information.

The CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is a real-time RT-PCR test intended for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from the 2019-nCoV in upper and lower respiratory specimens (such as nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swabs, sputum, lower respiratory tract aspirates, bronchoalveolar lavage, and nasopharyngeal wash/aspirate or nasal aspirate) collected from individuals who meet 2019-nCoV clinical and/or epidemiological criteria (for example, clinical signs and symptoms associated with 2019-nCoV infection, contact with a probable or confirmed 2019-nCoV case, history of travel to geographic locations where 2019-nCoV cases were detected, or other epidemiologic links for which 2019-nCoV testing may be indicated as part of a public health investigation). Testing in the United States is limited to laboratories certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA), 42 U.S.C. § 263a, to perform high complexity tests.

Results are for the identification of 2019-nCoV RNA. The 2019-nCoV RNA is generally detectable in upper and lower respiratory specimens during infection. Positive results are indicative of active infection with 2019-nCoV but do not rule out bacterial infection or co-infection with other viruses. The agent detected may not be the definite cause of disease. Laboratories within the United States and its territories are required to report all positive results to the appropriate public health authorities.

Negative results do not preclude 2019-nCoV infection and should not be used as the sole basis for treatment or other patient management decisions. Negative results must be combined with clinical observations, patient history, and epidemiological information.

Testing with the CDC 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is intended for use by trained laboratory personnel who are proficient in performing real-time RT-PCR assays. The CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is only for use under a Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization.

 Serology Test for COVID-19

CDC is working to develop a new laboratory test to assist with efforts to determine how much of the U.S. population has been exposed to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19.

The serology test will look for the presence of antibodies, which are specific proteins made in response to infections.  Antibodies can be found in the blood and in other tissues of those who are tested after infection.  The antibodies detected by this test indicate that a person had an immune response to SARS-CoV-2, whether symptoms developed from infection or the infection was asymptomatic.  Antibody test results are important in detecting infections with few or no symptoms.

Initial work to develop a serology test for SARS-CoV-2 is underway at CDC.  In order to develop the test, CDC needs blood samples from people who had COVID-19 at least 21 days after their symptoms first started. Researchers are currently working to develop the basic parameters for the test, which will be refined as more samples become available. Once the test is developed, CDC will need additional samples to evaluate whether the test works as intended.The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research , 2020

PEPE ESCOBAR: Who Profits from the Pandemic?

April 08, 2020

Pepe Escobar looks at a frightening future that might follow the already terrifying Covid-19 global outbreak. 

By Pepe Escobar
in Bangkok
Special to Consortium News

You don’t need to read Michel Foucault’s work on biopolitics to understand that neoliberalism – in deep crisis since at least 2008 – is a control/governing technique in which surveillance capitalism is deeply embedded.

But now, with the world-system collapsing at breathtaking speed, neoliberalism is at a loss to deal with the next stage of dystopia, ever present in our hyper-connected angst: global mass unemployment.

Henry Kissinger, anointed oracle/gatekeeper of the ruling class, is predictably scared. He claims that, “sustaining the public trust is crucial to social solidarity.” He’s convinced the Hegemon should “safeguard the principles of the liberal world order.” Otherwise, “failure could set the world on fire.”

That’s so quaint. Public trust is dead across the spectrum. The liberal world “order” is now social Darwinist chaos. Just wait for the fire to rage.

The numbers are staggering. The Japan-based Asian Development Bank (ADB), in its annual economic report, may not have been exactly original. But it did note that the impact of the “worst pandemic in a century” will be as high as $4.1 trillion, or 4.8 percent of global GDP.

This an underestimation, as “supply disruptions, interrupted remittances, possible social and financial crises, and long-term effects on health care and education are excluded from the analysis.”

We cannot even start to imagine the cataclysmic social consequences of the crash. Entire sub-sectors of the global economy may not be recomposed at all.  

The International Labor Organization (ILO) forecasts global unemployment at a conservative, additonal 24.7 million people – especially in aviation, tourism and hospitality.

The global aviation industry is a humongous $2.7 trillion business. That’s 3.6 percent of global GDP. It employs 2.7 million people. When you add air transport and tourism —everything from hotels and restaurants to theme parks and museums — it accounts for a minimum of 65.5 million jobs around the world.

According to the ILO, income losses for workers may range from $860 billion to an astonishing $3.4 trillion. “Working poverty” will be the new normal – especially across the Global South.

“Working poor,” in ILO terminology, means employed people living in households with a per capita income below the poverty line of $2 a day. As many as an additional 35 million people worldwide will become working poor in 2020. 

Switching to feasible perspectives for global trade, it’s enlightening to examine that this report about how the economy may rebound is centered on the notorious hyperactive merchants and traders of Yiwu in eastern China – the world’s busiest small-commodity, business hub.

Their experience spells out a long and difficult recovery. As the rest of the world is in a coma, Lu Ting, chief China economist at Nomura in Hong Kong stresses that China faces a 30 percent decline in external demand at least until next Fall.

Neoliberalism in Reverse?

San Miguel, Bulacan, Philippines, 2016. (Judgefloro, CC0, Wikimedia Commons)

In the next stage, the strategic competition between the U.S. and China will be no-holds-barred, as emerging narratives of China’s new, multifaceted global role – on trade, technology, cyberspace, climate change – will set in, even more far-reaching than the New Silk Roads. That will also be the case in global public health policies. Get ready for an accelerated Hybrid War between the “Chinese virus” narrative and the Health Silk Road.

The latest report by the China Institute of International Studies would be quite helpful for the West — hubris permitting — to understand how Beijing adopted key measures putting the health and safety of the general population first. 

Now, as the Chinese economy slowly picks up, hordes of fund managers from across Asia are tracking everything from trips on the metro to noodle consumption to preview what kind of economy may emerge post-lockdown.

In contrast, across the West, the prevailing doom and gloom elicited a priceless editorial from The Financial Times. Like James Brown in the 1980s Blues Brothers pop epic, the City of London seems to have seen the light, or at least giving the impression it really means it. Neoliberalism in reverse. New social contract. “Secure” labor markets. Redistribution.

Cynics won’t be fooled. The cryogenic state of the global economy spells out a vicious Great Depression 2.0 and an unemployment tsunami. The plebs eventually reaching for the pitchforks and the AR-15s en masse is now a distinct possibility. Might as well start throwing a few breadcrumbs to the beggars’ banquet. 

That may apply to European latitudes. But the American story is in a class by itself.

Mural, Seattle, February 2017. (Mitchell Haindfield, Flickr)

For decades, we were led to believe that the world-system put in place after WWII provided the U.S. with unrivalled structural power. Now, all that’s left is structural fragility, grotesque inequalities, unpayable Himalayas of debt, and a rolling crisis.

No one is fooled anymore by the Fed’s magic quantitative easing powers, or the acronym salad – TALF, ESF, SPV – built into the Fed/U.S. Treasury exclusive obsession with big banks, corporations and the Goddess of the Market, to the detriment of the average American.   

It was only a few months ago that a serious discussion evolved around the $2.5 quadrillion derivatives market imploding and collapsing the global economy, based on the price of oil skyrocketing, in case the Strait of Hormuz – for whatever reason – was shut down. 

Now it’s about Great Depression 2.0: the whole system crashing as a result of the shutdown of the global economy. The questions are absolutely legitimate: is the political and social cataclysm of the global economic crisis arguably a larger catastrophe than Covid-19 itself?  And will it provide an opportunity to end neoliberalism and usher in a more equitable system, or something even worse?

 ‘Transparent’ BlackRock

Wall Street, of course, lives in an alternative universe. In a nutshell, Wall Street turned the Fed into a hedge fund. The Fed is going to own at least two thirds of all U.S. Treasury bills in the market before the end of 2020.

The U.S. Treasury will be buying every security and loan in sight while the Fed will be the banker – financing the whole scheme.

So essentially this is a Fed/Treasury merger. A behemoth dispensing loads of helicopter money.

And the winner is BlackRock—the biggest money manager on the planet, with tentacles everywhere, managing the assets of over 170 pension funds, banks, foundations, insurance companies, in fact a great deal of the money in private equity and hedge funds. BlackRock — promising to be fully  “transparent” — will buy these securities and manage those dodgy SPVs on behalf of the Treasury.

BlackRock, founded in 1988 by Larry Fink, may not be as big as Vanguard, but it’s the top investor in Goldman Sachs, along with Vanguard and State Street, and with $6.5 trillion in assets, bigger than Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank combined. 

Now, BlackRock is the new operating system (OS) of the Fed and the Treasury. The world’s biggest shadow bank – and no, it’s not Chinese.

Compared to this high-stakes game, mini-scandals such as the one around Georgia Senator Kelly Loffler are peanuts. Loffler allegedly profited from inside information on Covid-19 by the CDC to make a stock market killing. Loffler is married to Jeffrey Sprecher – who happens to be the chairman of the NYSE, installed by Goldman Sachs. 

While corporate media followed this story like headless chickens, post-Covid-19 plans, in Pentagon parlance, “move forward” by stealth. 

The price? A meager $1,200 check per person for a month. Anyone knows that, based on median salary income, a typical American family would need $12,000 to survive for two months. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in an act of supreme effrontry, allows them a mere 10 percent of that. So American taxpayers will be left with a tsunami of debt while selected Wall Street players grab the whole loot, part of an unparalleled transfer of wealth upwards, complete with bankruptcies en masse of small and medium businesses.

Fink’s letter to his shareholders almost gives the game away: “I believe we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance.”

And right on cue, he forecasted that, “in the near future – and sooner than most anticipate – there will be a significant reallocation of capital.”

He was referring, then, to climate change. Now that refers to Covid-19.

Implant Our Nanochip, Or Else?

West Virginia National Guard members reporting to a Charleston nursing home to assist with Covid-19 testing. April 6, 2020. (U.S. Army National Guard, Edwin L. Wriston)

The game ahead for the elites, taking advantage of the crisis, might well contain these four elements: a social credit system, mandatory vaccination, a digital currency and a Universal Basic Income (UBI). This is what used to be called, according to the decades-old, time-tested CIA playbook, a “conspiracy theory.” Well, it might actually happen.

A social credit system is something that China set up already in 2014. Before the end of 2020, every Chinese citizen will be assigned his/her own credit score – a de facto “dynamic profile”, elaborated with extensive use of AI and the internet of things (IoT), including ubiquitous facial recognition technology. This implies, of course, 24/7 surveillance, complete with Blade Runner-style roving robotic birds.

The U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Canada, Russia and India may not be far behind. Germany, for instance, is tweaking its universal credit rating system, SCHUFA. France has an ID app very similar to the Chinese model, verified by facial recognition.

Mandatory vaccination is Bill Gates’s dream, working in conjunction with the WHO, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Big Pharma. He wants “billions of doses” to be enforced over the Global South. And it could be a cover to everyone getting a digital implant.

Here it is, in his own words. At 34:15: “Eventually what we’ll have to have is certificates of who’s a recovered person, who’s a vaccinated person…Because you don’t want people moving around the world where you’ll have some countries that won’t have it under control, sadly. You don’t want to completely block off the ability for people to go there and come back and move around.”

Then comes the last sentence which was erased from the official TED video. This was noted by Rosemary Frei, who has a master on molecular biology and is an independent investigative journalist in Canada. Gates says: “So eventually there will be this digital immunity proof that will help facilitate the global reopening up.”

This “digital immunity proof” is crucial to keep in mind, something that could be misused by the state for nefarious purposes.

The three top candidates to produce a coronavirus vaccine are American biotech firm Moderna, as well as Germans CureVac and BioNTech.

Digital cash might then become an offspring of blockchain. Not only the U.S., but China and Russia are also interested in a national crypto-currency. A global currency – of course controlled by central bankers – may soon be adopted in the form of a basket of currencies, and would circulate virtually. Endless permutations of the toxic cocktail of IoT, blockchain technology and the social credit system could loom ahead.

Already Spain has announced that it is introducing UBI, and wants it to be permanent. It’s a form insurance for the elite against social uprisings, especially if millions of jobs never come back.

So the key working hypothesis is that Covid-19 could be used as cover for the usual suspects to bring in a new digital financial system and a mandatory vaccine with a “digital identity” nanochip with dissent not tolerated: what Slavoj Zizek calls the “erotic dream” of every totalitarian government.

Yet underneath it all, amid so much anxiety, a pent-up rage seems to be gathering strength, to eventually explode in unforeseeable ways. As much as the system may be changing at breakneck speed, there’s no guarantee even the 0.1 percent will be safe. 

Pepe Escobar, a veteran Brazilian journalist, is the correspondent-at-large for Hong Kong-based Asia Times. His latest book is “2030.” Follow him on Facebook.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

The Coronavirus Pandemic Will Forever Alter the World Order

by Henry A. Kissinger

The Wall Street JournalApril 3, 2020


The U.S. must protect its citizens from disease while starting the urgent work of planning for a new epoch.

The surreal atmosphere of the Covid-19 pandemic calls to mind how I felt as a young man in the 84th Infantry Division during the Battle of the Bulge. Now, as in late 1944, there is a sense of inchoate danger, aimed not at any particular person, but striking randomly and with devastation. But there is an important difference between that faraway time and ours. American endurance then was fortified by an ultimate national purpose. Now, in a divided country, efficient and farsighted government is necessary to overcome obstacles unprecedented in magnitude and global scope. Sustaining the public trust is crucial to social solidarity, to the relation of societies with each other, and to international peace and stability.

Nations cohere and flourish on the belief that their institutions can foresee calamity, arrest its impact and restore stability. When the Covid-19 pandemic is over, many countries’ institutions will be perceived as having failed. Whether this judgment is objectively fair is irrelevant. The reality is the world will never be the same after the coronavirus. To argue now about the past only makes it harder to do what has to be done.

The coronavirus has struck with unprecedented scale and ferocity. Its spread is exponential: U.S. cases are doubling every fifth day. At this writing, there is no cure. Medical supplies are insufficient to cope with the widening waves of cases. Intensive-care units are on the verge, and beyond, of being overwhelmed. Testing is inadequate to the task of identifying the extent of infection, much less reversing its spread. A successful vaccine could be 12 to 18 months away.

The U.S. administration has done a solid job in avoiding immediate catastrophe. The ultimate test will be whether the virus’s spread can be arrested and then reversed in a manner and at a scale that maintains public confidence in Americans’ ability to govern themselves. The crisis effort, however vast and necessary, must not crowd out the urgent task of launching a parallel enterprise for the transition to the post-coronavirus order.

Leaders are dealing with the crisis on a largely national basis, but the virus’s society-dissolving effects do not recognize borders. While the assault on human health will—hopefully—be temporary, the political and economic upheaval it has unleashed could last for generations. No country, not even the U.S., can in a purely national effort overcome the virus. Addressing the necessities of the moment must ultimately be coupled with a global collaborative vision and program. If we cannot do both in tandem, we will face the worst of each.

Drawing lessons from the development of the Marshall Plan and the Manhattan Project, the U.S. is obliged to undertake a major effort in three domains. First, shore up global resilience to infectious disease. Triumphs of medical science like the polio vaccine and the eradication of smallpox, or the emerging statistical-technical marvel of medical diagnosis through artificial intelligence, have lulled us into a dangerous complacency. We need to develop new techniques and technologies for infection control and commensurate vaccines across large populations. Cities, states and regions must consistently prepare to protect their people from pandemics through stockpiling, cooperative planning and exploration at the frontiers of science.

Second, strive to heal the wounds to the world economy. Global leaders have learned important lessons from the 2008 financial crisis. The current economic crisis is more complex: The contraction unleashed by the coronavirus is, in its speed and global scale, unlike anything ever known in history. And necessary public-health measures such as social distancing and closing schools and businesses are contributing to the economic pain. Programs should also seek to ameliorate the effects of impending chaos on the world’s most vulnerable populations.

Third, safeguard the principles of the liberal world order. The founding legend of modern government is a walled city protected by powerful rulers, sometimes despotic, other times benevolent, yet always strong enough to protect the people from an external enemy. Enlightenment thinkers reframed this concept, arguing that the purpose of the legitimate state is to provide for the fundamental needs of the people: security, order, economic well-being, and justice. Individuals cannot secure these things on their own. The pandemic has prompted an anachronism, a revival of the walled city in an age when prosperity depends on global trade and movement of people.

The world’s democracies need to defend and sustain their Enlightenment values. A global retreat from balancing power with legitimacy will cause the social contract to disintegrate both domestically and internationally. Yet this millennial issue of legitimacy and power cannot be settled simultaneously with the effort to overcome the Covid-19 plague. Restraint is necessary on all sides—in both domestic politics and international diplomacy. Priorities must be established.

We went on from the Battle of the Bulge into a world of growing prosperity and enhanced human dignity. Now, we live an epochal period. The historic challenge for leaders is to manage the crisis while building the future. Failure could set the world on fire.

Mr. Kissinger served as secretary of state and national security adviser in the Nixon and Ford administrations.

EDITORIAL Henry Kissinger Gets It… US ‘Exceptionalism’ Is Over

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November 29, 2019

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger made prudent remarks recently when he said the United States is no longer a uni-power and that it must recognize the reality of China as an equal rival.

The furor over a new law passed by the US this week regarding Hong Kong and undermining Beijing’s authority underlines Kissinger’s warning.

If the US cannot find some modus vivendi with China, then the outcome could be a catastrophic conflict worst than any previous world war, he admonished.

Speaking publicly in New York on November 14, the veteran diplomat urged the US and China to resolve their ongoing economic tensions cooperatively and mutually, adding: “It is no longer possible to think that one side can dominate the other.”

A key remark made by Kissinger was the following: “So those countries that used to be exceptional and used to be unique, have to get used to the fact that they have a rival.”

In other words, he is negating the erroneous consensus held in Washington which asserts that the US is somehow “exceptional”, a “uni-power” and the “indispensable nation”. This consensus has grown since the early 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the US viewed itself as the sole super-power. That morphed into a more virulent ideology of “full-spectrum dominance”. Thence, the past three decades of unrelenting US criminal wars and regime-change operations across the planet, throwing the whole world into chaos.

Kissinger’s frank assessment is a breath of fresh air amid the stale and impossibly arrogant self-regard held by too many American politicians who view their nation as an unparalleled power which brooks no other.

The seasoned statesman, who is 96-years-old and retains an admirable acumen for international politics, ended his remarks on an optimistic note by saying: “I am confident the leaders on both sides [US and China] will realize the future of the world depends on the two sides working out solutions and managing the inevitable difficulties.”

Aptly, Kissinger’s caution about danger of conflict was reiterated separately by veteran journalist John Pilger, who warned in an exclusive interview for Strategic Culture Foundation this week that, presumed “American exceptionalism is driving the world to war.”

Henry Kissinger is indeed a controversial figure. Many US scholars regard him as one of the most outstanding Secretaries of State during the post-Second World War period. He served in the Nixon and Ford administrations during the 1970s and went on to write tomes about geopolitics and international relations. Against that, his reputation was badly tarnished by the US war in Vietnam and the horrendous civilian death toll from relentless aerial bombing across Indochina, believed to have been countenanced by Kissinger.

Kissinger has also been accused of supporting the military coup in Chile in 1973 against elected President Allende, and for backing the dirty war by Argentina’s fascist generals during the 1970s against workers and leftists.

To his credit, however, Kissinger was and is a practitioner of “realpolitik” which views international relations through a pragmatic lens. Another realpolitik US state planner was the late Zbigniew Brzezinski, who died in 2017 at the age of 89. Both advocated a policy of detente with the Soviet Union and China.

President Richard Nixon’s groundbreaking visit to China in 1972 is credited to the advice given by Kissinger who was then National Security Advisor to the White House.

That same year, the US and the Soviet Union signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty, also under the guidance of Kissinger on the American side. The US would later withdrew from the treaty in 2002, a move which has presaged a long deterioration in bilateral relations between the US and Russia to the present day.

For all their faults, at least people like Kissinger and Brzezinski were motivated by practical goal-orientated policy. They were willing to engage with adversaries to find some modus vivendi. Such an attitude is too often missing in recent Washington administrations which seem to be guided by an ideology of unipolar dominance by the US over the rest of the world. The current Washington consensus is one of hyper-ideological unrealism and hubris, which leads to a zero-sum mentality of antagonism towards China and Russia.

At times, President Donald Trump appears to subscribe to realpolitik pragmatism. At other times, he swings to the hyper-ideological mentality as expressed by his Vice President Mike Pence, as well as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mike Esper. The latter has labeled China as the US’s “greatest long-term threat”.

This week President Trump signed into law “The Human Rights and Democracy Bill”, which will impose sanctions on China over alleged repression in its Hong Kong territory. Beijing has reacted furiously to the legislation, condemning it as a violation of its sovereignty.

This is exactly the kind of baleful move that Kissinger warned against in order to avoid a further poisoning in bilateral relations already tense from the past 16 months of US-China trade war.

One discerns the difference between Kissinger and more recent US politicians: the former has copious historical knowledge and appreciation of other cultures. His shrewd, wily, maybe even Machiavellian streak, informs Kissinger to acknowledge and respect other powers in a complex world. That is contrasted with the puritanical banality and ignorance manifest in Trump’s administration and in the Congress.

Greeting Kissinger last Friday, November 22, during a visit to Beijing, President Xi Jinping thanked him for his historic contribution in normalizing US-China relations during 1970s.

“At present, Sino-US relations are at a critical juncture facing some difficulties and challenges,” said Xi, calling on the two countries to deepen communication on strategic issues. It was an echo of the realpolitik views Kissinger had enunciated the week before.

While sharing a public stage with Kissinger, the Chinese leader added: “The two sides should proceed from the fundamental interests of the two peoples and the people of the world, respect each other, seek common ground while reserving differences, pursue win-win results in cooperation, and promote bilateral ties to develop in the right direction.”

Likewise, China and Russia have continually urged for a multipolar world order for cooperation and partnership in development. But the present and recent US governments refuse to contemplate any other order other than a presumed unipolar dominance. Hence the ongoing US trade strife with China and Washington’s relentless demonization of Russia.

This “exceptional” ideological mantra of the US is leading to more tensions, and ultimately is a path to the abyss.

Henry Kissinger gets it. It’s a pity America’s present crop of politicians and thinkers are so impoverished in their intellect.

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

The Return of The Condor

The Return of The Condor

By Darko Lazar

The wave of Color Revolutions sweeping the globe in recent years claimed its latest victim on Sunday. Bolivia’s Evo Morales, who was unwilling to subordinate his nation’s sovereign rights to US interests, was removed from office.

Numerous foreign officials – from the UK’s opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro – described Morales’ departure as a coup d’etat.

The charge is not at all surprising. Morales, Bolivia’ s first indigenous president, was reelected three times since taking office in January 2006.

The consecutive electoral victories made him Latin America’s longest-serving democratic leader.

During his time in office, Bolivia enjoyed an unprecedented level of political and social stability, recording an economic growth rate of between 4% and 6%.

But following the latest elections in October, the opposition and regional US vassals began screaming bloody murder.

Amid allegations of fraud, the Washington-based Organization of American States [OAS] was mandated to carry out an audit of the election results.

Claiming irregularities, the OAS recommended that Bolivia hold fresh elections. Morales agreed, but just hours later, Bolivian military chiefs stepped into the fray and ‘asked’ the incumbent to resign.

Faced with a violent onslaught against his supporters in a country with an unstable ethno-political makeup, Morales put the wellbeing of the Bolivian people before his desire to remain in power and stepped down.

However, his resignation has not extinguished the possibility of further unrest. Bolivia remains vulnerable to a high risk of violence, as gangs roam capital La Paz to attack businesses and set property ablaze.

To what extent the situation escalates will depend largely on how far the victors of the revolution are willing to go in persecuting Morales supporters. And despite the mainstream narrative, there is no shortage of Bolivians who still see the former president as a champion of the poor, who ushered in a period of steady economic growth.

Meanwhile, in Washington, smothering that kind of sentiment is exactly what is required.

For those roaming the US halls of power, the departure of Morales brings them “one step closer to a completely democratic, prosperous, and free Western Hemisphere.”

With those words, President Donald Trump once again invoked the so-called Monroe Doctrine.

Swimming against the tide

Evo Morales was the last survivor of the ‘Pink Tide’, which ushered in left-wing governments across Latin America two decades ago, starting with the consecutive elections of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and Lula da Silva in Brazil.

Among one of the main driving forces behind the rise of these progressive leaders is the very powerful anti-American sentiment in the region, which was instigated by bloody escapades like the infamous Operation Condor.

This US-backed action throughout the 1960s and ‘70s centered on economic warfare, political murders, coups and the sponsorship of brutal, far-right regimes in an effort to clear the American continent of all undesirables – or as Trump so eloquently put it, ‘free’ the Western Hemisphere.

In 2017, a tribunal in Rome convicted former heads of state and top security chiefs from Latin America over their involvement in atrocities committed during Operation Condor.

Among those officials were Bolivia’s former dictator, Luis Garcia Meza, and interior minister Luis Arce Gomez.

Interestingly, the court also exposed the involvement of current Trump administration whisperer and former US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger.

One of the declassified documents admitted as evidence during the trial reveals that Kissinger not only encouraged the brutal repression in individual Latin American states, but also advised regimes to join their efforts.

“If there are things that have to be done, you should do them quickly,” Kissinger is quoted as saying during a June 1976 exchange with Argentina’s then-foreign minister, Admiral Cesar Guzzetti.

“We want you to succeed,” Kissinger said. “We do not want to harass you.”

Those struggling to understand the Trump administration’s foreign policy need to look no further than Henry Kissinger.

The former American diplomat devoted much of his career to advancing the Monroe Doctrine – Washington’s longstanding claim to the Western Hemisphere as an exclusive zone of US interests.

In his 2014 book, ‘World Order’, Kissinger defines the Monroe Doctrine as the US having “the right to intervene preemptively in the domestic affairs of other Western Hemisphere nations to remedy flagrant cases of wrongdoing or impotence.”

Bolivia’s Evo Morales – who criticized US intervention in Venezuela, spoke out against the blockade of Cuba, denounced the military coup in Honduras and applauded Edward Snowden’s revelations – was no doubt guilty of “wrongdoing” on the Kissinger scale.

But more importantly, perhaps, Morales had picked the wrong economic partners.

In February of this year, Bolivia chose a Chinese consortium to be its strategic partner on a new USD 2.3 billion lithium project.

The deal essentially handed Beijing a foothold in Bolivia’s huge untapped reserves of the prized electric battery metal.

Morales is guilty of other sins against US hegemony, too. He brought in Russian energy giant Gazprom for the development of a number of lucrative natural gas fields. The Russians have other massive investments in Bolivia, including the construction of a nuclear research facility. Moreover, Moscow had plans to build hydroelectric power stations and transportation networks.

The time had come to remind Morales and other Latin American states that the Monroe Doctrine was “alive and well” – as John Bolton had famously declared in April.

According to unconfirmed reports, the Bolivian opposition was flushed with millions of dollars from Washington ahead of the October polls.

The Caracas-based Telesur television network reported last month that leaked audio recordings involving Bolivian opposition leaders revealed a plot orchestrated and coordinated from the US embassy in La Paz to unseat the government there.

The recordings reportedly mention contacts between the opposition and hardline American senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Bob Menendez.

A message to Maduro

Morales’ exit will likely lead to significant changes in Bolivia’s geopolitical vector.

That means that Russia and China will have a much harder time securing contracts for gas exploration, lithium mining and arms sales.

But the coup in Bolivia is particularly bad news for Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro. The success of the right-wing opposition in La Paz is undoubtedly intended to encourage and inspire their ideological counterparts in Caracas.

And as Maduro loses another friend on the Latin American stage, the message from Washington to the government in Caracas is clear: you may have won a battle against the US-led push to oust you from power, but the war is ongoing.

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The Mother of Messes in Syria

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October 20, 2019

Eric S. MARGOLIS

What a mess. The imperial cooks in Washington have turned poor Syria into a poison pit of warring factions, with disastrous results for all.

Henry Kissinger once quipped that it is more dangerous being America’s ally than its enemy. A good example is how Washington used the Kurds in Syria to fight ISIS and then ditched them to face the wrath of the mighty Turkish military alone.

A great hue and cry has gone up from the US corporate media and Congress that the Kurds are being betrayed. The evangelical far right and Israel’s supporters are leading this charge. Israel has secretly been arming and aiding Kurds in Iraq, Iran and Syria since 1975 as a dandy way of splintering the fragile Arab Mideast.

But President Trump was right when he said that the Kurds had been richly paid by Washington for their services, adding ‘they are no angels.’ Some facts ignored by the US media:

– Kurds, a tribal, non-Semitic people of Persian origin are, like Palestinians, a stateless people who are sand in the eye of the Mideast. They inhabit the uplands of Syria, Iraq, Armenia, and Iran. Kurds are a handsome, warlike people renowned for their fighting abilities and courage. They have long battled neighboring Arab and Iranian tribes over pasture land and water resources.

– The Obama administration got talked into arming and financing the extremist Islamic State group by the deep state and Israel as a way of overthrowing Syria’s secular government, an ally of Iran. The US-equipped Iraqi Army sent to fight IS ran for their lives. When Islamic State threatened Baghdad, the US Air Force intervened and crushed it. Rogue elements of Islamic State ran amok, creating all sorts of atrocities. Some IS units still receive covert Israeli cross-border support.

The US found it expedient to pay Kurdish militias, known as YPG, to fight remnants of the rag-tag IS, an armed mob whose danger was wildly exaggerated by western media. IS was a perfect excuse to keep US military forces in the Mideast. Turkey helped arm IS.

– Turkey’s Kurdish minority is 15-20% of its 80 million people. The dangerous Marxist PKK movement has been calling for an independent Kurdish state since the 1980’s. I covered the war in Turkey’s southern Anatolia between the PKK and the Turkish Army, a bloody affair of bombings and massacres that left over 40,000 dead. Turks go ballistic at the very mention of an independent Kurdish state, calling Kurds ‘mountain Turks’ and Marxist `terrorists.’

Kurds were harshly repressed by various Turkish governments and their generals. But when the Ottoman Turks marched tens of thousands of Armenian prisoners to Syria during World War I, Kurdish tribes raped and massacred them in great numbers. In the 1920’s, the sainted Winston Churchill authorized use of poison gas against ‘unruly’ Kurdish and Afghan tribes.

– US attempts to overthrow Syria’s government created national chaos. The scrubby eastern third of Syria had a mixed tribal population, but the Kurdish YPG militia declared it independent from Syria, declaring a new Kurdish state called Rojava. To no surprise, a confusing melee developed between Syrian forces and Arab tribal fighters, US units, Kurdish militias, IS and tribes aligned to Damascus. Turkey, aghast at the prospects of an independent Kurdish state next door, decided to send in its army which had been demanding action against armed Kurdish groups.

Into this maelstrom strode Donald Trump, who knew nothing about Syria. There were only about 1,000 US troops in Syria, but they could call down the US Air Force based in nearby Qatar. These token troops are being withdrawn to neighboring Iraq, which remain a US-occupied nation with a puppet government, an American garrison of at least 5,000 troops, and oceans of oil.

In short, Syria is being ground up by wars for no good purpose. Turkey made a grave error by joining efforts to overthrow Syria’s Assad regime. The US, France, Britain and Israel have no business at all there. Only Russia has a legitimate geopolitical interest in Syria, which is close to its southern border. So far, Vlad Putin has played a very skillful game of big power chess in Syria while the US has blundered time and again.

ericmargolis.com

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

US Betrays Kurds – Again

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October 11, 2019

It is a maxim of US statecraft that Washington “does not have permanent friends or enemies, only interests.” That maxim, attributed to Henry Kissinger, was starkly demonstrated this week when US President Donald Trump gave Turkey a green light to launch a military offensive on northern Syria, targeting Kurdish militants.

The Turkish offensive began on Wednesday with air and ground attacks against Kurdish positions in northeast Syria. It is not clear yet how far Turkey’s operation will proceed, but already there are reports of civilian deaths and thousands of people fleeing from artillery and air strikes, and possibly a major ground invasion by Turk forces into Syria.

The Syrian government has condemned the military assault as “aggression”. Iran has likewise condemned. Russia cautioned Turkey to respect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. European states also censured the Turkish incursion, requesting an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. Russia vetoed a European-led resolution because it was not, in Moscow’s view, wide enough to cover all illegal foreign military presence in Syria.

President Trump called the Turk operation, named with Orwellian duplicity Operation Peace Spring, a “bad idea”. How ludicrous and cynical of Trump. Only days before in a phone call with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan he assented to remove US troops and a security guarantee for Kurdish militants, whom Washington has been using as an “allied” proxy force in Syria’s war.

Trump came in for much bipartisan and media flak in Washington for “betraying our Kurdish allies”. But as the maxim goes, American imperialism doesn’t have allies, only “interests”. The Kurds found out this week in the most cruel and callous way that they are merely “interests” for Washington, to be discarded like pawns off a chessboard.

The cynicism in Washington is astounding. The ethnic Kurdish people straddling Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran have time and again been exploited by US imperialism over many decades to act as proxies for American interests, only to be abandoned when their perceived usefulness expires.

The cynicism of Turkey’s Erdogan also knows no bounds. He declared that the offensive on Syria was an anti-terror operation, to, “bring peace and security to the region… We will protect the territorial integrity of Syria and save the region’s people from the claws of terror.”

This is brazen double-think by the Americans and fellow NATO member Turkey.

Washington couldn’t care less about the Kurds, whom it has weaponized and trained for the alleged purpose of “fighting terrorism” in Syria. The reality is the Americans have mobilized the Kurds to act as proxies to carve up Syrian territory with a disingenuous promise to provide them with regional autonomy. The real objective for Washington was always to exploit Kurdish separatist aspirations in order to dismember Syria for its bigger scheme of achieving regime change in Damascus. That scheme failed, thanks in part to Russia’s military intervention from the end of 2015 to defend Syria.

Now the Kurds have been left out to hang and die by Washington because of some whim by President Trump. Having unleashed Turkey’s escalation of violence against Syria, Trump is obviously flailing around seemingly to mitigate the onslaught, threatening to impose economic sanctions on Ankara to wreck its economy. It’s a comedy of errors, which is decidedly unfunny given the humanitarian consequence from Trump’s ham-fisted dumping of the Kurds.

So, what can be done to de-escalate the violence? First, Turkey must respect its stated commitment to the Astana process, along with Russia and Iran, in which it vows to respect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. There is no excuse for launching military strikes on Syria, regardless of claims about “ridding a terror corridor”.

Secondly, as Syria, Russia and Iran have repeatedly stated, all foreign troops unlawfully present in Syria must get out of the country immediately in compliance with international law. American, British, French and Turkish troops, special forces and warplanes have for too long violated Syria with egregious violation of international law. Those NATO states are culpable of war crimes and aggression. European denunciations of Turkey this week are hypocritical nonsense.

The harsh truth is that Kurdish leaders have allowed their people to become pawns in criminal intrigues by NATO powers against the nation of Syria. One would think, surely, the Kurds must have learnt lessons from multiple past betrayals by Washington. They find themselves in a pitiless situation – again – because they foolishly subjugated their interests to those of Washington.

Kurdish militants – who paradoxically have fought effectively against Washington’s other proxies, various jihadist terror groups – have only one choice. They must somehow reconcile with their Syrian Arab brothers and the Syrian Arab Army to defend their common nation of Syria. That means a repudiation of America’s imperialist dirty games.

Russia, with its principled record of intervention to end the war in Syria, might play a role in facilitating a new alliance between the Syrian government forces and the Kurdish militia. In a new constitution being negotiated by Syrians perhaps the Kurds can be afforded eventually a degree of regional autonomy. But first they have to earn that right by defending the nation and freeing themselves from the nefarious imperialist scheming by Washington and other NATO powers, which is intent on destroying Syria.

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

IMF who? Lagarde shows ECB is the top dollar job in QE age

July 17, 2019

by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker blog (cross-posted with PressTV by permission)

IMF who? Lagarde shows ECB is the top dollar job in QE age

(Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea, and elsewhere. He is the author of “I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China.”)

Christine Lagarde just quit her top post at the International Monetary Fund in order to run the European Central Bank. This shows just far the euro has come (and central bankers), and represents either a historic step backwards or a leap of faith forward in the fight against the global domination of the US dollar.

The dollar’s dominance is what allows Washington to impose murderous, illegal sanctions on countries like Iran, Cuba, Korea and elsewhere, which is why many are so keen to end it.

The dollar’s imposition began after World War II, when the war-ravaged powers were forced to accept equating US paper with (but actually above) gold, a move which Charles de Gaulle bitterly referred to as the “exorbitant privilege” of the United States. The logic is simple: a $100 dollar bill cost Washington only the price of a piece of paper, whereas everyone else still had to mine, barter, earn or steal $100 worth of gold (or its equivalent in goods) to acquire that banknote.

The expensive US failure in Vietnam caused Richard Nixon to end this policy in 1971, but QE – printing money out of thin air – was opposed back then, so a replacement tool had to be quickly found in order to maintain US empire. The solution to effectively maintain the Bretton Woods system was found with the petrodollar” agreement of 1973: every barrel of Saudi oil sold to anyone had to be purchased in dollars, and surplus Saudi profit would be invested in US banks and in US debt securities (“petrodollar recycling”, per Henry Kissinger).

Washington had no qualms about propping up the ruthless, reactionary House of Saud to maintain US economic hegemony. The system expanded to other oil producers to the point where: no dollars? No oil.

The petrodollar keeps money flowing into the US and allows the US to “print gold” – it finances their huge budget deficits, high demand for the dollar fights off their inflation, it gives their banks a source of income for which they do zero genuine work, and the US themselves can buy “as much oil as they can print” from the Saudis. This is obviously a tremendous bargain for the US – the only reason the Saudis accept it is because they know they have absolutely zero legitimacy and would be deposed instantly without US arms and military support.

But the great deal is only for some in the US, as they are rabid neoliberal capitalists: from 1980 onwards the US elite funnelled these huge monies into Wall Street and other asset classes which only their fellow elite can touch, as opposed to intelligently and patriotically using the income to improve the overall conditions of their own nation, or even just raising wages (neoliberals call these concepts “socialism”).

Pick your poison: the US or the IMF?

The IMF, which is always led by a European, has long-pushed something to end this scam that weakens everyone for the US’ benefit, via the concept of the SDR (special drawing rights): a basket of international currencies which could replace the dollar as the world’s backing currency. Who needs the Fed when the SDR can provide international liquidity and financial stability? It wasn’t a great system, but it was closer to the IMF’s original aim of having an international monetary system, instead of the current US empire system of (petrodollar) tribute, which is no different from the Roman era.

The Great Recession pushed the superiority of the SDR to the fore – in 2009 China publicly supported, for the first time, that an international reserve currency be based on the SDR and be run by the IMF. The immorality and business failures of US bankers caused the Great Recession – it was only logical that the Americans lose their banking primacy.

The IMF was thus poised to become top banker, and one of their own was even about to be democratically elected.

In 2011 then-current IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a major backer of the SDR basket, was outpolling Nicolas Sarkozy 2 to 1 to head the world’s 5th-largest economy and the neo-imperialist master of North and West Africa. He was certain to win, but on American soil he was accused of attempted rape of a hotel maid, dooming his presidency. The charges were dropped, but Strauss-Kahn admitted the liaison. People screamed “conspiracy” – I always found it highly coincidental that Strauss-Kahn found a maid whose native language was French in a country where seemingly all the cleaning women are Latinas? Conspiracy theorists assumed Sarkozy was behind it, with few noting how the IMF, the SDR and Strauss-Kahn threatened US economic hegemony.

QE means the US’ 1% never have to pay for their crimes

The US pushed back the IMF with one arm while the other arranged the current global financial regime – Quantitative Easing.

QE has been a total failure for the average person worldwide, but nowhere more so than in Europe. Incredibly, 1.5 years after it became official, PressTV and I remain one of the very few people to write about the statistical reality of Europe’s “Lost Decade”. I saw it happening in painful slow-motion, being PressTV’s chief correspondent in Paris.

The reason the Mainstream Media doesn’t want to talk about the failure of QE to provide broad economic growth is because their pro-capitalist media are owned by the same billionaires who get all the profit from QE.

The printing of trillions of paper money (which are certainly not backed by trillions in newly-mined gold) has, just like the oil-produced fruits of the petrodollar, gone to remake the same asset bubbles which sparked the Great Recession.

Once again, only the wealthy are profiting from shady capitalist practices: Housing Bubble II, new stock market records despite the endemic failure of the “real-economy” (evidenced by the Lost Decade), and absurd records in the prices of absurd luxury goods like MBS’ purchase of a da Vinci painting – this has all been paid for by the neoliberal-neoimperialist policy of QE which has failed the average Western citizen and continued the economic misery of the developing world.

But QE has proven one thing: governments are the most powerful forces in society, not bankers. This is something which socialist-inspired democracies are based on, but which only the 1% appear to take advantage of in Western liberal democracies.

Lagarde moving from the IMF to ECB would have been thought of as a step down pre-QE, mainly because nobody imagined that the head of the ECB could create several trillions of dollars simply by tapping a keyboard, as her predecessor Mario Draghi did. The IMF has a lot of money, but they do not have the power to create money.

Lagarde: More bad news for Europe’s 99%

When Lagarde was announced as the new head of the ECB the Western mainstream media provided – of course – none of this background, nor any perspective which fairly criticises the record of neoliberal thought and practice. Instead, their leading media justified Lagarde on one criterion – gender. The New York Times’ article was, “In Tense Times, ‘Call in the Woman’: Lagarde Will Lead the E.C.B”.

The Times championed Lagarde’s own claim that she deserved the job because she was not a male: “As I have said many times, if it had been Lehman Sisters rather than Lehman Brothers, the world might well look a lot different today.”

Such a claim is preposterous and shows how little Lagarde understands the principles and practices of neoliberal economics. However, everyone can quickly see that it also denies the existence of empresses, queens, Thatchers and Clintons; it also denies that women have played any role in shaping the positive and negative aspects of our modern world; it is a justification entirely based on divisive, distracting “identity politics” instead of a class-based true feminism.

Certainly, nobody would claim that simply being a male would be all that is necessary to head the ECB. And yet, such nonsense is all it takes in 2019 – we must all cheer simply because the new boss is female. This is what works with the average American today.

But the ECB is not American – why Lagarde?

The Times repeated the same misleading claim – that Lagarde is an “antitrust lawyer by training” : she worked for the world’s biggest law firm, based in Chicago (the Qom of neoliberal capitalist thought), meaning that she likely worked to manipulate the law in order to maintain trusts, not to dismantle trusts. The Times was forced to acknowledge that she has no experience as a central banker and will thus have a “steep learning curve”.

The West continues to put people in power based on the most absurd pretences of qualification for public service, even when such posts are unelected.

Investopedia had the same assessment as The Times: “However, the absence of an economics background or a discernible opinion on monetary policy means she would have to rely on financial technocrats a fair amount. Lagarde, who says she faced sexism and discrimination in her professional life….”

Lagarde clearly does not have the background required – just like The Times, Investopedia ignores this to assert her “gender qualifications”.

Pity the poor European Mainstream Media reader: Largarde is only a shiny tool whose ascension will do nothing but put an unqualified person in charge of the QE money-printing scheme. She will obviously kowtow to “technocrats” who insist that QE will eventually, one day stop creating Lost Decades.

Lagarde thus got the job not her qualifications but her ideology: it is not Islamic, nor socialist, nor moral – she believes in phony technocratism, because for Lagarde and her ilk “technocrats” are synonymous with “the 1%”. I know Lagarde well from covering the Tapie Affair in France: she was found guilty of negligence and misuse of public funds in a case where she got Sarkozy’s friend Bernard Tapie a hugely controversial 400-million euro payout from the French public coffers.

She only doesn’t have a criminal record and didn’t go to jail, which would seemingly have disqualified her for the ECB Post because…because Frances judicial system is not independent but totally corrupted by 1% influence – the judge simply decided to let her go scot-free, despite her guilt.

Negligence, misuse of public funds, payouts for millionaires – now we understand why Lagarde is considered to be “qualified” to run the ECB, and their QE scam, and to continue the phony “the 99% must work their nation out of debt” justification for austerity policies. More “Western-style leadership”…..

The leap of faith forward I mentioned at the start is this: the ECB runs the world’s largest macro-economy – it is possible they could decouple themselves from the dollar’s decades of exorbitant privilege, and the Chicago school of (neoliberal) capitalism, and start pursuing policies which do not flood the 1% with cheap credit to buy cheaply the lives of people across Europe.

However, the legal structures of the EU and the Eurozone are written in post-1989 language which is even more typically American than what underpins the system of the US itself. Therefore we can have little basis for faith that the cabal of bankers and public-into-private national finance minsters which is the Eurogroup, which runs the Eurozone with zero democratic accountability or even transparency, is going to start caring about the 99% in any of their respective nations.

The selection of the French Lagarde illustrate that Europe is no longer sovereign, but content to be a tool of US economic hegemony.

The BRICS countries hold out hopes for ending the petrodollar-fuelled US global finance domination, but they have effectively lost Brazil via the US-orchestrated coup against Dilma Roussef, and they have foolishly not offered to make it BRIICS, with the second ‘I’ standing for Iran. No need, really: China, Russia and Iran continue to make the most headway against the dollar, via the Belt and Road Initiative but especially the unstoppable petroyuan.

Cryptocurrency is another unstoppable way for countries to oppose US control over the global financial system, which is why The New York Times and the US treasury secretary just screamed, “Cryptocurrencies Pose National Security Threat, Mnuchin Says”. Cryptocurrency was indeed created in order to end the US petrodollar and QE schemes, which is why they are so wonderful and why they must be supported.

Lagarde leaving the IMF for the ECB is definitely a historic shift in the (Western) priority rankings. It is simply tragic for the West’s billion of innocents that unaccountable, unelected central bankers and their ineffective, corrupt cronies have become their political elite. This, of course, has equally lamentable consequences for those nations suffering under neoimperialism, illegal sanctions and other Washington-based policies.

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