Tucker: Media hates Trump with an all-consuming mania

October 31, 2020

اعتذار أديب… بين خطة هجوم 14 آذار والردّ المطلوب من التحالف الوطني!

حسن حردان

أعلن الرئيس المكلف لتشكيل الحكومة الدكتور مصطفى أديب اعتذاره عن عدم مواصلة العمل على تأليف حكومة جديدة.. وجاء في حيثيات اعتذاره، أنه «مع وصول المجهود الى مراحله الأخيرة تبيّن لي أنّ التوافق لم يعد قائماً»، مشيراً إلى أنه «سبق وأعلنتُ للكتل أنني لست في صدد الولوج في أيّ شأن سياسي وأبلغت الكتل أنني لست في صدد طرح أسماء تشكل استفزازاً لها».

وما أن انتهى أديب من تلاوة بيان اعتذاره، حتى شهدنا هجوماً منسّقاً ومحضّراً مسبقاً على فريق الأكثرية، وخصوصاً تحالف حزب الله أمل، شنّته قيادات فريق ١٤ آذار ومجموعات الانجيؤز، مصحوباً بالضغط على معيشة المواطنين، واتخذ الهجوم المنسّق عدة مستويات…

اولاً، اتهام التحالف الأكثري، لا سيما حزب الله وأمل، بالمسؤولية عن تعطيل تشكيل الحكومة وإفشال المبادرة الفرنسية وإضاعة ما وُصف بأنه الفرصة الأخيرة للإنقاذ وإخراج لبنان واللبنانيين من الأزمة الخانقة.

ثانياً، التلاعب بسعر العملة عبر القيام بدفع الأدوات المضاربة في السوق المالية إلى رفع سعر صرف الدولار والقول إنّ هذا الارتفاع الذي سيؤثر سلباً على القدرة الشرائية للمواطنين ويلهب الأسعار، إنّما هو نتيجة تصلّب أمل حزب الله في رفض تسهيل مهمة الرئيس أديب في تشكيل الحكومة مستقلة، ودفعه إلى الإعتذار.

ثالثاً، مسارعة مجموعات الأنجيؤز للنزول إلى الشارع ورفع شعارات تحمّل مسؤولية ارتفاع سعر الدولار وتدهور الوضع المعيشي لفريق الأكثرية بهدف تحريض المواطنين على العودة إلى الساحات وإحياء المطالبة بتشكيل حكومة مستقلة تتولى تنفيذ الانقلاب الأميركي.

لكن أيّ مدقق في ما تقدّم من اعتذار أديب إلى الحملة المنسّقة ضدّ فريق الأكثرية، يلحظ مدى الزيف وعدم الصدقية في توجيه الاتهامات، وأنها تستهدف التعمية على حقائق ما حصل فعلياً، ومن يقف وراء تعطيل تشكيل الحكومة… وبالتالي التهرّب من المسؤولية عن الأزمات التي يعاني منها اللبنانيون…

1

ـ إنّ الرئيس المكلف أديب، على عكس ما أوحى في بيان اعتذاره، لم يبذل أيّ جهد حقيقي لتشكيل حكومة توافقية، بل انه لم يتشاور مع الكتل النيابية وظلّ طوال الوقت على التشاور والانصات فقط لتوجيهات نادي رؤساء الحكومات السابقين، وإصراره على فرض تشكيلة حكومية «مستقلة» ينفرد هو في تسمية وزرائها، وعندما التقى أخيراً، بعد أن أحرج، بممثلي تحالف أمل وحزب الله، بقي على موقفه من دون أن يتزحزح قيد أنملة رافضاً الموافقة على أن يسمّي التحالف وزراءه من ذوي الاختصاص ومن غير الحزبيّين، وتمسك أديب بموقفه، وهو أمر لم يكن من ضمن أيّ اتفاق، كما زعم في بيان اعتذاره، حيث لم تتخلّ كتلتا أمل وحزب الله عن تسمية وزرائهما من الاختصاصيين غير الحزبيّين، في حين أنّ الرئيس أديب نفسه ليس مستقلاً منزلاً من السماء، وكان أول من سمّاه هو نادي رؤساء الحكومات السابقين، واتفق معهم فقط على تشكيلة حكومته، التي لم يعلنها ولم يسلم مسودة عنها لرئيس الجمهزرية العماد ميشال عون، لعدم حصول أديب على موافقة تحالف أمل حزب الله، واستطراداً لإدراكه أنّ رئيس الجمهورية سيكون له أيضاً رأي معاكس باعتباره شريكاً في عملية التأليف، والذي ظهر في انتقاده أديب والطلب منه التواصل والتشاور مع الكتل، وعندما لم يستجب أديب لذلك، تولى الرئيس عون مهمة الوقوف بنفسه على رأي الكتل بشأن طبيعة وشكل الحكومة…

2

ـ إنّ فريق 14 آذار ركز في حملته على دعم أديب في تشكيل حكومة مستقلين لا يسمّيها أحد غيره، وطبعاً من ورائه نادي الرؤساء، الذين كانوا يتولّون الإشراف على عملية تشكيل حكومة أديب بالاتفاق مع واشنطن والرياض… بحيث تكون حكومة مستقلين ويكون هواها أميركياً.

3

ـ إنّ اعتذار أديب يأتي من ضمن خطة منسقة مع نادي الرؤساء لشنّ حملة منظمة لخلق مناخ عام محلي لزيادة منسوب الضغط على حزب الله وحركة أمل ورئيس الجمهورية، معززاً بالمزيد من العقوبات الأميركية ومفاقمة الأزمة المعيشية للمواطنين في محاولة لإعادة تحرك الشارع… للضغط على التحالف الوطني لدفعه إلى الموافقة على تشكيل حكومة اختصاصيين «مستقلين» لا يشارك في تسمية وزرائها.. لأنّ ذلك هو الشرط الأميركي الذي وضع منذ البداية… إما الموافقة على حكومة من هذا النوع، تنفذ الشروط الأميركية، أو عليكم أن تواجهوا المزيد من الحصار والعقوبات والتجويع…

انطلاقاً من ذلك، فإنّ الفريق الأميركي السعودي لا يريد تسهيل تشكيل حكومة وفاق تؤدّي الى إحياء المساكنة التي كانت سابقاً مع الفريق الوطني، وإنما يريد تنفيذ انقلاب سياسي على المعادلة القائمة من خلال محاولة فرض حكومة موالية بالكامل للفريق الأميركي السعودي تحت اسم حكومة اختصاصيين «مستقلين»… وهو الأمر الذي صرفت من أجله واشنطن الأموال الطائلة، وتحديداً على منظمات الأنجيؤز ووسائل الإعلام، حيث اعترف مساعد وزير الخارجية الأميركي ديفيد هيل في شهادة له أمام الكونغرس قبل أيام، بأنّ الإدارات الأميركية المتعاقبة صرفت في لبنان منذ عام 2005 وحتى الآن عشرة مليارات دولار على القوى المسلحة ومنظمات المجتمع المدني…

أمام هذه الخلاصة، التي تأكدت مجدّداً من خلال اعتذار أديب والحملة الممنهجة التي بدأها الفريق الأميركي السعودي، بعد الاعتذار مباشرة…

ما هو الردّ المطلوب من قبل التحالف الوطني؟

في هذا السياق يمكن القول…

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ـ إنّ الخطوة الأولى الأساسية الواجبة إنّما هي اقتناع كلّ أطراف التحالف الوطني بأنّ الفريق الأميركي يريد إقصاءهم عن السلطة، وإضعافهم وتفرقة صفوفهم وصولاً إلى استمالة بعضهم، اذا تمكّن، لإبعادهم عن حزب الله المقاوم… وبالتالي عزل المقاومة والعمل على نزع سلاحها باعتبار ذلك هو السبيل لتحقيق أمن كيان العدو الصهيوني، وفرض الهيمنة الأميركية الكاملة على لبنان، وتحويله إلى محمية أميركية صهيونية وجعله قاعدة لإعادة التآمر ضدّ الدولة الوطنية السورية المقاومة…

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ـ إنّ هذا الاقتناع يستدعي الاتفاق على بلورة رؤية موحدة لمواجهة خطة الانقلاب التي يعمل، الفريق الأميركي السعودي، على تنفيذها، رؤية تضع في الأولوية كيفية مواجهة التحديات الراهنة التي يتمّ الاتفاق عليها، وتحييد كلّ ما عداها من قضايا ومسائل خلافية ليست أولوية ولا هي أولويات راهنة.

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ـ إنّ الرؤية الموحدة للمواجهة تتطلب أن يحسم التحالف الوطني أمره بأن لا مخرج من الأزمة وإحباط خطة الإنقلاب الأميركية من دون تشكيل حكومة منسجة ومتماسكة وفق رؤية انقاذية اقتصادية ومالية تقوم على إعادة نظر جذرية بالسياسات الريعية المسبّبة للأزمة، ومغادرة سياسة إبقاء لبنان بعلاقة اقتصادية أحادية مع دول الغرب، التي تستخدم هذه العلاقة لابتزاز لبنان وفرض شروطها على لبنان… وبالتالي حسم القرار بتنويع خيارات لبنان الاقتصادية عبر أخذ قرار قبول عروض المشاريع والمساعدات الصينية والإيرانية والعراقية والروسية لمساعدة لبنان من دون شروط، وبالتالي تكريس توازن جديد في علاقات لبنان الاقتصادية مع الخارج انطلاقاً من أن لبنان يحتلّ موقعاً جغرافياً مميزاً كصلة وصلة وصل بين الشرق والغرب وهو ما لا يمكن أن يقوم به إلاّ إذا ترجم ذلك بالانفتاح اقتصادياً على الشرق، كما هو منفتح على الغرب… وإذا كانت الفعاليات الاقتصادية حذرة أو خائفة من تضرّر مصالحها من الإقدام على مثل هذا الخيار، فيجب أن تدرك أنها ستكون أول المستفيدين من ذلك وأنّ الغرب سوف يعمد إلى المسارعة لوقف حصاره وتقديم المساعدات للبنان للحفاظ على نفوذ فيه، انطلاقاً من أهمية لبنان في المنطقة والصراع العربي الصهيوني…

إنّ مثل هذا الردّ هو السبيل لوضع حدّ لتفاقم الأزمة الاقتصادية والمالية، والعمل على إعادة انعاش الاقتصاد من خلال البدء عمليا بمشاريع إقامة معامل الكهرباء والنفايات وسكك الحديد والسدود وغيرها من المشاريع التي عرضت الصين القيام بها، وفق نظام BOT، في حين أنّ لبنان يستطيع أيضاً وقف النزف الحاصل في احتياطه، من الدولارات في مصرف لبنان، من خلال قبول العروض العراقية والإيرانية للحصول على احتياجاته من النفط ومشتقاته مقابل الدفع بالليرة والمقايضة بالمنتجات الزراعية والصناعية..وهذا سوف يؤدّي إلى إنعاش قطاعات الإنتاج وتوسّعها وتوّفير فرص العمل للعاطلين، وبالتالي الحدّ من البطالة، وكذلك تنشيط حركة البناء وعمل المهن الحرة على اختلافها، مما ينعكس بتنشيط مجمل الحركة الاقتصادية…

فهل يحسم التحالف الوطني، الذي يمتلك الأكثرية النيابية، خياراته في هذا الاتجاه، الذي كان أمين حزب الله سماحة السيد حسن نصرالله قد دعا إليه، وأكد أنه حاضر لتوظيف كلّ جهوده لإنجاحه، من خلال توظيف علاقاته مع الصين وإيران والعراق وروسيا…

أما في حال عدم سلوك هذا الخيار، فالأرجح أن تستمرّ حكومة تصريف الأعمال إلى أن تنضج التسوية، وهو أمر غير منظور قبل انتهاء انتخابات الرئاسة الأميركية وإعلان نتائجها، والتي قد تأخذ وقتا غير معلوم، خصوصاً إذا لم يضمن الرئيس دونالد ترامب الفوز وامتناعه عن تسليم السلطة للرئيس الفائز، تحت عنوان، التشكيك بنزاهة الانتخابات… وهو ما مهّد له مسبقاً من خلال التشكيك بالتصويت عبر البريد…

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Leaked Docs Expose Massive Syria Propaganda Operation Waged by Western Govt Contractors and Media

Source

Leaked Docs Expose Massive Syria Propaganda Operation Waged by Western Govt  Contractors and Media — Strategic Culture

September 26, 2020

Western government-funded intelligence cutouts trained Syrian opposition leaders, planted stories in media outlets from BBC to Al Jazeera, and ran a cadre of journalists. A trove of leaked documents exposes the propaganda network.

Ben NORTON

Leaked documents show how UK government contractors developed an advanced infrastructure of propaganda to stimulate support in the West for Syria’s political and armed opposition.

Virtually every aspect of the Syrian opposition was cultivated and marketed by Western government-backed public relations firms, from their political narratives to their branding, from what they said to where they said it.

The leaked files reveal how Western intelligence cutouts played the media like a fiddle, carefully crafting English- and Arabic-language media coverage of the war on Syria to churn out a constant stream of pro-opposition coverage.

US and European contractors trained and advised Syrian opposition leaders at all levels, from young media activists to the heads of the parallel government-in-exile. These firms also organized interviews for Syrian opposition leaders on mainstream outlets such as BBC and the UK’s Channel 4.

More than half of the stringers used by Al Jazeera in Syria were trained in a joint US-UK government program called Basma, which produced hundreds of Syrian opposition media activists.

Western government PR firms not only influenced the way the media covered Syria, but as the leaked documents reveal, they produced their own propagandistic pseudo-news for broadcast on major TV networks in the Middle East, including BBC Arabic, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, and Orient TV.

These UK-funded firms functioned as full-time PR flacks for the extremist-dominated Syrian armed opposition. One contractor, called InCoStrat, said it was in constant contact with a network of more than 1,600 international journalists and “influencers,” and used them to push pro-opposition talking points.

Another Western government contractor, ARK, crafted a strategy to “re-brand” Syria’s Salafi-jihadist armed opposition by “softening its image.” ARK boasted that it provided opposition propaganda that “aired almost every day on” major Arabic-language TV networks.

Virtually every major Western corporate media outlet was influenced by the UK government-funded disinformation campaign exposed in the trove of leaked documents, from the New York Times to the Washington Post, CNN to The Guardian, the BBC to Buzzfeed.

The files confirm reporting by journalists including The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal on the role of ARK, the US-UK government contractor, in popularizing the White Helmets in Western media. ARK ran the social media accounts of the White Helmets, and helped turn the Western-funded group into a key propaganda weapon of the Syrian opposition.

The leaked documents consist mainly of material produced under the auspices of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. All of the firms named in the files were contracted by the British government, but many also were running “multi-donor projects” that received funding from the governments of the United States and other Western European countries.

In addition to demonstrating the role these Western intelligence cutouts played in shaping media coverage, the documents shine light on the British government program to train and arm rebel groups in Syria.

Other materials show how London and Western governments worked together to build a new police force in opposition-controlled areas.

Many of these Western-backed opposition groups in Syria were extremist Salafi-jihadists. Some of the UK government contractors whose activities are exposed in these leaked documents were in effect supporting Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra and its fanatical offshoots.

The documents were obtained by a group calling itself Anonymous, and were published under a series of files entitled, “Op. HMG [Her Majesty’s Government] Trojan Horse: From Integrity Initiative To Covert Ops Around The Globe. Part 1: Taming Syria.” The unidentified leakers said they aim to “expose criminal activity of the UK’s FCO and secret services,” stating, “We declare war on the British neocolonialism!”

The Grayzone was not able to independently verify the authenticity of the documents. However, the contents tracked closely with reporting on Western destabilization and propaganda operations in Syria by this outlet and many others.

UK Foreign Office and military wage media war on Syria

A leaked UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office report from 2014 reveals a joint operation with the Ministry of Defence and the Department for International Development to support “strategic communications, research, monitoring and evaluation and operational support to Syrian opposition entities.”

The UK FOC stated clearly that this campaign consisted of “creating network linkages between political movements and media outlets,” by the “building of local independent media platforms.”

The British government planned “Mentoring, training and coaching for enhanced delivery of media services, including digital and social media.”

Its goal was “to provide PR and media handling trainers, as well as technical staff, such as cameramen, webmasters and interpreters,” along with the “production of speeches, press releases and other media communications.”

An additional 2017 government document explains clearly how Britain funded the “selection, training, support and communications mentoring of Syrian activists who share the UK’s vision for a future Syria… and who will abide by a set of values that are consistent with UK policy.”

This initiative entailed British government funding “to support Syrian grassroots media activism within both the civilian and armed opposition spheres,” and was targeted at Syrians living in both “extremist and moderate” opposition-held territory.

In other words, the UK Foreign Office and military crafted plans to wage a comprehensive media war on Syria. To establish an infrastructure capable of managing the propaganda blitz, Britain paid a series of government contractors, including ARK, The Global Strategy Network (TGSN), Innovative Communication & Strategies (InCoStrat), and Albany.

The work of these firms overlapped, and some collaborated in their projects to cultivate the Syrian opposition.

Western government contractor ARK plays the media like the fiddle

One of the main British government contractors behind the Syria regime-change scheme was called ARK (Analysis Research Knowledge).

ARK FZC is based in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. It brands itself as a humanitarian NGO, claiming it “was created in order to assist the most vulnerable,” by establishing a “social enterprise,  empowering local communities through the provision of agile and sustainable interventions to create greater stability, opportunity and hope for the future.”

In reality ARK is an intelligence cutout that functions as an arm of Western interventionism.

In a leaked document it filed with the British government, ARK said its “focus since 2012 has been delivering highly effective, politically-and conflict-sensitive Syria programming for the governments of the United Kingdom, United States, Denmark, Canada, Japan and the European Union.”

ARK boasted of overseeing $66 million worth of contracts to support pro-opposition efforts in Syria.

On its website, ARK lists all of these governments as clients, as well as the United Nations.

ARK contractor Syria UK US Australia Canada

In its Syria operations, ARK worked together with another UK contractor called The Global Strategy Network (TGSN), which is directed by Richard Barrett, a former director of global counter-terrorism at MI6.

ARK apparently had operatives on the ground inside Syria at the beginning of the regime-change attempt in 2011, reporting to the UK FCO that “ARK staff are in regular contact with activists and civil society actors whom they initially met during the outbreak of protests in spring 2011.”

The UK contractor boasted an “extensive network of civil society and community actors that ARK has helped through a dedicated capacity building centre ARK established in Gaziantep,” a city in southern Turkey that has been a base of intelligence operations against the Syrian government.

ARK played a central role in developing the foundations of the Syrian political opposition’s narrative. In one leaked document, the firm took credit for the “development of a core Syrian opposition narrative,” which was apparently crafted during a series of workshops with opposition leaders sponsored by the US and UK governments.

ARK trained all levels of the Syrian opposition in communications, from “citizen journalism workshops with Syrian media activists, to working with senior members of the National Coalition to develop a core communications narrative.”

The firm even oversaw the PR strategy for the Supreme Military Council (SMC), the leadership of the official armed wing of Syria’s opposition, the Free Syrian Army (FSA). ARK created a complex PR campaign to “provide a ‘re-branding’ of the SMC in order to distinguish itself from extremist armed opposition groups and to establish the image of a functioning, inclusive, disciplined and professional military body.”

ARK admitted that it sought to whitewash Syria’s armed opposition, which had been largely dominated by Salafi-jihadists, by “Softening the FSA Image.”

ARK contractor Syria soften FSA image

ARK took the lead in developing a massive network of opposition media activists in Syria, and openly took credit for inspiring protests inside the country.

In its training centers in Syria and southern Turkey, the Western government contractor reported, “More than 150 activists have been trained and equipped by ARK on topics from the basics of camera handling, lighting, and sound to producing reports, journalistic safety, online security, and ethical reporting.”

The firm flooded Syria with opposition propaganda. In just six months, ARK reported that 668,600 of its print products were distributed inside Syria, including “posters, flyers, informative booklets, activity books and other campaign-related materials.”

In one document spelling out the UK contractors’ communications operations in Syria, ARK and the British intelligence cutout TGSN boasted of overseeing the following media assets inside the country: 97 video stringers, 23 writers, 49 distributors, 23 photographers, 19 in-country trainers, eight training centers, three media offices, and 32 research officers.

ARK emphasized that it had “well-established contacts” with some of the top media outlets in the world, naming Reuters, the New York Times, CNN, the BBC, The Guardian, the Financial Times, The Times, Al Jazeera, Sky News Arabic, Orient TV, and Al Arabiya.

The UK contractor added, “ARK has provided regular branded and unbranded content to key pan-Arab and Syria-focused satellite TV channels such as Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, BBC Arabic, Orient TV, Aleppo Today, Souria al-Ghadd, and Souria al-Sha’ab since 2012.”

“ARK products promoting HMG (Her Majesty’s Government) priorities by fostering attitudinal and behavioural change are broadcast almost every day on pan-Arab channels,” the firm bragged. “In 2014, 20 branded and un-branded Syria reports were produced on average by ARK each month and broadcast on major pan-Arab television channels such as Al Arabiya, Al Jazeera, and Orient TV.”

“ARK has almost daily conversations with channels and weekly meetings to engage and understand editorial preferences,” the Western intelligence cutout said.

The firm also took credit for placing 10 articles per month in pan-Arab newspapers such as Al Hayat and Asharq Al-Awsat.

US-UK program Basma cultivates Syrian media activists

The Syrian opposition media war was organized within the framework of a project called Basma. ARK worked with other Western government contractors through Basma in order to train Syrian opposition activists.

With funding from both the US and UK governments, Basma developed into an enormously influential platform. Its Arabic Facebook page had over 500,000 followers, and on YouTube it built up a large following as well.

Mainstream corporate media outlets misleadingly portrayed Basma as a “Syrian citizen journalism platform,” or a “civil society group working for a ‘liberatory, progressive transition to a new Syria.’” In reality it was a Western government astroturfing operation to cultivate opposition propagandists.

Nine of the 16 stringers used by Al Jazeera in Syria were trained through the US/UK government’s Basma initiative, ARK boasted in a leaked document.

In an earlier report for the UK FCO, filed just three years into its work, ARK claimed to have “trained over 1,400 beneficiaries representing over 210 beneficiary organisations in more than 130 workshops, and disbursed more than 53,000 individual pieces of equipment,” in a vast network that reached “into all of Syria’s 14 governorates,” which included both opposition- and government-held areas.

ARK UK contractor Syria media map

The Western contractor published a map highlighting its network of stringers and media activists and their relationships with the White Helmets as well as newly created police forces across opposition-controlled Syria.

ARK UK contractor Syria opposition media map

In its trainings, ARK developed opposition spokespeople, taught them how to speak with the press, and then helped arrange interviews with mainstream Arabic- and English-language media outlets.

ARK described its strategy “to identify credible, moderate civilian governance spokespeople who will be promoted as go-to interlocutors for regional and international media. They will echo key messages linked to the coordinated local campaigns across all media, with consortium platforms able to cover this messaging as well and encourage other outlets to pick it up.”

In addition to working with the international press and cultivating opposition leaders, ARK helped develop a massive opposition media super-structure.

ARK said it was a “key implementer of a multi-donor effort to develop a network of FM radio stations and community magazines inside Syria since 2012.” The contractor worked with 14 FM stations and 11 magazines inside Syria, including both Arabic- and Kurdish-language radio.

To propagate opposition broadcasts across Syria, ARK designed what it called “Radio in a Box” (RIAB) kits in 2012. The firm took credit for providing equipment to 48 transmission sites.

ARK also circulated up to 30,000 magazines per month. It reported that “ARK-supported magazines were the three most popular in Aleppo City; the most popular magazine in Homs City; and the most popular magazine in Qamishli.”

A Syrian opposition propaganda outlet directly run by ARK, called Moubader, developed a huge following on social media, including more than 200,000 likes on Facebook. ARK printed 15,000 copies per month of a “high-quality hard copy” Moubader magazine and distributed it “across opposition-held areas of Syria.”

The British contractor TGSN, which worked alongside ARK, developed its own outlet called the “Revolutionary Forces of Syria Media Office (RFS),” a leaked document shows. This confirms a 2016 report in The Grayzone by contributor Rania Khalek, who obtained emails showing how the UK government-backed RFS media office offered to pay one journalist a staggering $17,000 per month to produce propaganda for Syrian rebels.

Another leaked record shows that in just one year, in 2018 – which was apparently the final year of ARK’s Syria program – the firm billed the UK government for a staggering 2.3 million British pounds.

This enormous ARK propaganda operation was directed by Firas Budeiri, who had previously served as the Syria director for the UK-based international NGO Save the Children.

40 percent of ARK’s Syria project team were Syrian citizens, and another 25 percent were Turkish. The firm said its Syria team staff had “extensive experience managing programmes and conducting research funded by many different governmental clients in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Turkey, the Palestinian Territories, Iraq and other conflict-affected states.”

Western contractor ARK cultivates White Helmets “to keep Syria in the news”

The Western contractor ARK was a central force in launching the White Helmets operation.

The leaked documents show ARK ran the Twitter and Facebook pages of Syria Civil Defense, known more commonly as the White Helmets.

ARK took credit for developing “an internationally-focused communications campaign designed to raise global awareness of the (White Helmets) teams and their life saving work.”

ARK also facilitated communications between the White Helmets and The Syria Campaign, a PR firm run out of London and New York that helped popularize the White Helmets in the United States.

It was apparently “following subsequent discussions with ARK and the teams” that The Syria Campaign “selected civil defence to front its campaign to keep Syria in the news,” the firm wrote in a report for the UK Foreign Office.

“With ARK’s guidance, TSC (The Syria Campaign) also attended ARK’s civil defence training sessions to create media content for its #WhiteHelmets campaign which launched in August 2014 and has since gone viral,” the Western contractor added.

In 2014, ARK produced a long-form documentary on the White Helmets, titled “Digging for Life,” which was repeatedly broadcast on Orient TV.

While it was running the White Helmets’ social media accounts, ARK bragged that it was boosting followers and views on the Facebook page for Idlib City Council.

The Syrian city of Idlib was taken over by al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, which then went on to publicly execute women who were accused of adultery.

While effectively aiding these al-Qaeda-aligned extremist groups, ARK and the British intelligence cutout TGSN also signed a document with the FCO hilariously pledging to follow “UK guidance on gender sensitivity” and “ensure gender is considered in all capacity building and campaign development.”

Setting the stage for lawfare on Syria

Another leaked document shows the Western government-backed firm ARK revealing that, back in 2011, it worked with another government contractor called Tsamota to help develop the Syrian Commission for Justice and Accountability (SCJA). In 2014, SCJA changed its name to the Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA).

The Grayzone exposed CIJA as a Western government-funded regime-change organization whose investigators collaborated with al-Qaeda and its extremist allies in order to wage lawfare on the Syrian government.

ARK noted that the project initially worked “with seed funding from the UK Conflict Pool to support investigative and forensic training for Syrian war crimes investigators” and has since “grown to become a major component of Syria’s transitional justice architecture.”

Since the US, European Union, and their Middle East allies lost the military phase of their war on Syria, CIJA has taken the lead in trying to prolong the regime-change campaign through lawfare.

InCoStrat creates media network, helps them interview al-Qaeda

In the leaked documents, another UK government contractor called Innovative Communications Strategies (InCoStrat) boasted of building a massive “network of over 1600 journalists and key influencers with an interest in Syria.”

InCoStrat stressed that it was “managing and delivering a multi donor project in support of UK Foreign Policy objectives” in Syria, “specifically providing strategic communication support to the moderate armed opposition.”

Other funders of InCoStrat’s work with the opposition in Syria, the firm disclosed, included the US government, the United Arab Emirates, and anti-Assad Syrian businessmen.

InCoStrat served as a liaison between its government clients and the Syrian National Coalition, the Western-backed parallel government that the opposition tried to create. InCoStrat advised senior leaders of this Syrian shadow regime, and even ran the National Coalition’s own media office from Istanbul, Turkey.

The Western contractor took credit for organizing a 2014 BBC interview with Ahmad Jarba, the then-president of the opposition National Coalition.

The firm added that “journalists have often reached out to us in search of the appropriate people for their programmes.” As an example, InCoStrat said it helped plant its own Syrian opposition activists in BBC Arabic reports. The firm then added, “Once making the initial connections we encouraged the Syrians to maintain the relationships with the journalists in the BBC instead of using ourselves as the conduit.”

Like ARK, InCoStrat worked closely with the press. The firm said it had “extensive experience in engaging Arab and international news media,” adding that it worked directly with “heads of regional news in major satellite TV networks, press bureaus and print media.”

“Key members of InCoStrat have previously worked as Middle East correspondents for some of the world’s largest news agencies including Reuters,” the Western contractor added.

Also like ARK, InCoStrat established a vast media infrastructure. The firm set up Syrian opposition media offices in Dera’a, Syria; Istanbul and Reyhanli, Turkey; and Amman, Jordan.

InCoStrat worked with 130 stringers across Syria, and said it had more than 120 reporters working inside the country, along with “an additional five official spokesmen who appear several times a week on international and regional TV.”

InCoStrat also established eight FM radio stations and six community magazines across Syria.

The firm reported that it penetrated the armed opposition by developing “strong relationships with 54 brigade commanders in Syria’s southern front,” that involved “daily, direct engagement with the commanders and their officers inside Syria,” as well as defected officers Free Syrian Army (FSA) units in government-held Damascus.

In the leaked documents, InCoStrat boasted that its reporters organized interviews with many armed opposition militias, including the al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra.

Don’t just plants media stories; “initiate an event” to create your own scandals

In its media war on Damascus, InCoStrat pursued a two-pronged campaign that consisted of the following: “a) Guerrilla Campaign. Use the media to create the event. b) Guerrilla Tactics. Initiate an event to create the media effect.”

The intelligence cutout therefore sought to use the media as a weapon to advance tangible political demands of the Syrian opposition.

In one case, InCoStrat took credit for a successful international campaign to force the Syrian government to lift its siege of the extremist-held opposition stronghold of Homs. The Grayzone contributor Rania Khalek reported on the crisis in Homs, which was besieged by Damascus after the far-right Sunni fundamentalists that controlled it began carrying out sectarian massacres against religious minorities and kidnapping Alawite civilians.

“We connected international journalists with Syrians living in besieged Homs,” InCoStrat explained. It organized an interview between Britain’s Channel 4 and a doctor in the city, which helped raise international attention, ultimately leading to an end to the siege.

In another instance, the UK contractor said it “produced postcards, posters and reports” comparing the secular government of Bashar al-Assad to the fundamentalist Salafi-jihadists in ISIS. Then it “provided a credible, Arabic-English speaking Syrian spokesperson to engage the media.”

The campaign was very successful, according to InCoStrat: Al-Jazeera America and The National published the firm’s propaganda posters. The British contractor also organized interviews on the topic with The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, The Guardian, The Times, Buzzfeed, Al-Jazeera, Suriya Al-Sham, and Orient.

InCoStrat Syrian opposition media Assad ISIS

After regime change comes Nation Building Inc.

InCoStrat has apparently been involved in numerous Western-backed regime-change operations.

In one leaked document, the firm said it helped to train civil society organizations in marketing, media, and communications in Afghanistan, Honduras, Iraq, Syria, and Libya. It even trained a team of anti-Saddam Hussein journalists inside Basra, Iraq after the joint US-UK invasion.

In addition to contracting for the United Kingdom, InCoStrat disclosed that it has worked for the governments of the United States, Singapore, Latvia, Sweden, Denmark, and Libya.

After NATO destroyed the Libyan state in a regime-change war in 2011, InCoStrat was brought in in 2012 to conduct similar communications work for the Libyan National Transitional Council, the Western-backed opposition that sought to take power.

Coordinating with extremist militias, cooking news to “reinforce the core narrative”

The leaked documents shed further light on a UK government contractor called Albany.

Albany boasted that it “secured the participation of an extensive local network of over 55 stringers, reporters and videographers” to influence media narratives and advance UK foreign policy interests.

The firm helped create an influential Syrian opposition media outfit called Enab Baladi. Founded in 2011 in the anti-Assad hub of Daraya, at the beginning of the war, Enab Baladi was aggressively marketed in the Western press as a grassroots Syrian media operation.

In reality, Enab Baladi was the product of a British contractor that took responsibility for its evolution “from an amateur-run entity into one of the most prominent Syrian media organizations.”

Albany also coordinated communications between opposition media outlets and extremist Islamist opposition groups by hiring an “engagement leader (who) has deep credibility with key groups including (north) Failaq ash-Sham, Jabha Shammiyeh, Jaysh Idleb al Hur, Ahrar ash-Sham, (center) Jaysh al Islam, Failaq al Rahman, and (south) Jaysh Tahrir.” Many of these militias were linked to al-Qaeda and are now recognized by the US Department of State and European governments as official terrorist groups.

Unlike other Western government contractors active in Syria, which often tried to feign a semblance of balance, Albany made it clear that its media reporting was nothing more than propaganda.

The firm admitted that it trained Syrian media activists in a unique “newsroom process” that called to “curate” news by “collecting and organising stories and content that support and reinforce the core narrative.”

In 2014, Albany boasted of running the Syrian National Coalition’s communications team at the Geneva Peace talks.

Albany also warned that revelations of Western government funding for these opposition media organizations that were being portrayed as grassroots initiatives would discredit them.

When internal emails were leaked showing that the massive opposition media platform Basma Syria was funded by the United States and Britain, Albany wrote, “the Basma brand has been compromised following leaks about funding project aims.”

The leaks on social media “have damaged the credibility and trustworthiness of the existing branded platform,” Albany wrote. “Credibility and trust are the key currencies of the activities envisaged and for this reason we consider it essential to refresh the approach if the content to be disseminated is to have effect.” The Basma website was taken down soon after.

These files provide clear insight into how the Syrian opposition was cultivated by Western governments with imperial designs on Damascus, and was kept afloat with staggering sums of cash that flowed from the pockets of British taxpayers – often to the benefit of fanatical militiamen allied with Al Qaeda.

While Dutch prosecutors prepare war crimes charges against the Syrian government for fighting off the onslaught, the leaked files are a reminder of the leading role that Western states and their war-profiteering companies played in the carefully organized destruction of the country.

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

Weekly China Newsbrief and Sitrep

Source

Weekly China Newsbrief and Sitrep

By Godfree Roberts selected from his extensive weekly newsletter : Here Comes China

Editorial Comments

Now that the excitement of all the major Heads of Countries virtually speaking at the UNGA is over, we can come to initial conclusions.  The theme of this gathering was to investigate the UN itself, and to position it to be a better global gathering place where internal relations can be discussed, problems solved and the work of multi-polarity between nations can continue.  President Putin gave a serious statesman speech without any fireworks, stating why the UN is important and calmly outlining the conditions in our world today, which actions should take priority and what the Russian focus is in the medium and long terms.  His gift to the UN and staff is a free SputnikV Vaccine.  Chairman Xi did the same and also came bearing gifts, putting some money where their mouth’s are in essence.  Here is the transcript and this quote stands out:  (Note my bolded sentence).

“Since the start of this year, we, the 1.4 billion Chinese, undaunted by the strike of COVID-19, and with the government and the people united as one, have made all-out efforts to control the virus and speedily restore life and economy to normalcy. We have every confidence to achieve our goals within the set time frame, that is, to finish the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, lift out of poverty all rural residents living below the current poverty line, and meet ten years ahead of schedule the poverty eradication target set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

China is the largest developing country in the world, a country that is committed to peaceful, open, cooperative and common development.  We will never seek hegemony, expansion, or sphere of influence. We have no intention to fight either a Cold War or a hot war with any country.  We will continue to narrow differences and resolve disputes with others through dialogue and negotiation. We do not seek to develop only ourselves or engage in a zero-sum game. We will not pursue development behind closed doors. Rather, we aim to foster, over time, a new development paradigm with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other. This will create more space for China’s economic development and add impetus to global economic recovery and growth.

China will continue to work as a builder of global peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of international order. To support the UN in playing its central role in international affairs, I hereby announce the following steps to be taken by China:

— China will provide another US$50 million to the UN COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan.

— China will provide US$50 million to the China-FAO South-South Cooperation Trust Fund (Phase III).

— China will extend the Peace and Development Trust Fund between the UN and China by five years after it expires in 2025.

— China will set up a UN Global Geospatial Knowledge and Innovation Center and an International Research Center of Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals to facilitate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

So why is it that the Chinese government seemingly fails to convince the western public that China is not their enemy? Alternatively stated, why is it that the western countries are successful in portraying China as their enemy?  The answer is non-complicated at a first look.

At present, 90% of Americans learn about China through Western media, so it’s hard for the Chinese Government to convince Americans of anything.

American media are even more tightly controlled than Chinese media and far less trustworthy, says the American Press Institute, “Just six percent of Americans say they have a lot of confidence in the media, putting the news industry about equal to Congress and well below the public’s view of other institutions”.

Americans don’t trust what their media tell them, but they don’t have other sources of information, either.

Joey Yu says: (February 22) —”The average American also has never left the United States. Never seen another country unless it’s through the media, and what the media shows them is probably outdated.”  • And nearly all Western media has the constant anti-Chinese political refrain which has brainwashed many even highly educated American and British professionals. I have given up trying to correct such people because I would lose their friendship if I continue to do that. But that brainwashing rankles.

First we had President Trump’s speech at the UNGA, which can only be categorized as a blistering and outright attack on China, well outside of the theme set for this meeting, while pretending to be the ‘Peaceful Nation’.  The Chinese commentary was immediate and devastating. I pulled these few comments describing President Trump’s speech out of just one of the Chinese commentaries:

Discriminatory, did the US President come to the UN for a quarrel, vulgar, full of loopholes, fooling only the American public, undisguised attempt at a new cold war, a destroyer, a creator of tensions, a hysterical attack that violated the diplomatic etiquette a top leader is supposed to have, pays no heed to diplomacy, they believe power is everything, they want the agenda of the international community to serve US politics, and the UN General Assembly be turned into Trump’s presidential campaign, the US has performed so poorly in handling domestic affairs that reforms could barely be advanced, it has to pass the buck to digest the domestic anger.

And then finally:  “This is the sign of stagnation and the decline of a major power. It’s hoped the US government will not go further in this direction, which will only end up deceiving itself.”

With that as a backdrop, this selection from Godfree’s Here Comes China Newsletter focuses on

  • vaccines,
  • how the ‘scary social credit system’ actually works,
  • a purported whistle blower,
  • Pakistan and Belt and Road
  • Chinese foreign investment.

While in the western countries there is a concerted effort against vaccines, and a tremendous amount of backlash from citizens against vaccines for Covid-19 (and I don’t blame them at all given who is developing these for the western world), in China the situation is completely different:

China will not need a sweeping coronavirus vaccination programme because the pathogen is effectively under control in the country – at least for now. Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC), said that large-scale vaccination would only be needed if there was a major outbreak, like the one in Wuhan in February. “This is an issue of balancing risk and return”.[MORE]


We’ve seen endless propaganda with visions of brutal control of the citizens via the so-called Social Credit System in China.  Let’s take a look at how it really works.

The chairman of China’s embattled HNA Group Co. Ltd. was restricted from excessive spending on travel, golf and other activities by a court as debt woes continue rattling the once high-flying conglomerate. A district court in Xi’an, northwest China’s Shaanxi province, issued orders to limit spending by HNA and its 67-year-old co-founder and Chairman Chen Feng, a court document database showed Wednesday. As the legal representative of HNA, Chen will be restricted from taking flights, buying train tickets that are pricier than economy class, accommodations in luxury hotels, spending on entertainment such as golf and leisure trips, buying property and nonessential vehicles, and investing in high-yield wealth management products, according to the orders. The Xi’an court said it issued the orders in a debt dispute filed against HNA in August. [MORE]

It seems absolutely fine to me that if someone mismanaged his large business and lived a luxury life, that he should be brought back to a normal lifestyle while fixing his business.


We`ve all heard of the Chinese Virologist that is being trotted out on most western mainstream media, saying that China developed the Covid-19 virus in a lab and she was told to stay silent.   Yet, I bet very few have seen the Chinese commentary on this:

Chinese defector’s shocking virus claim: Dr Li, a formerly a specialist at Hong Kong’s School of Public Health, said her supervisor first asked her to investigate a new “SARS-like” virus in Wuhan – but that her efforts were later stifled. She said she reported back that cases appeared to be rising exponentially but was told to “keep silent and be careful”. “’We will get in trouble and we’ll be disappeared’,” her supervisor reportedly said.  Dr Li travelled to the US in late April before speaking out, saying she had to leave Hong Kong because she “knows how [China] treat whistleblowers”. [MORE]

A press release from the University of Hong Kong (HKU) denied her claim and stated that: “Dr Yan never conducted any research on human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus at HKU during December 2019 and January 2020. We further observe that what she might have emphasised in the reported interview has no scientific basis but resembles hearsay.” The director of HKU’s School of Public Health, Keiji Fukuda, said in an internal memo to staff that none of the researchers named by Yan were involved in any cover-up or “secret research”.[MORE]


Pakistan and China signed the Development Agreement for the first China Pakistan Economic Corridor’s (CPEC) Rashakai Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Monday. Chairman Atif R. Bokhari said sufficient headway has been made on this front and the zones are now gearing up for business. “Pakistan’s proximity with China will allow these SEZs to foster economic interdependence for mutual economic advantage,” he added. [MORE]

In Pakistan, the Belt and Road project is everywhere. A dinner at the Islamabad Club quickly turns into a reminiscence of different visits to China. After a lecture in Lahore, a group of young men from Baluchistan want to know if China’s monumental economic initiative will develop their region — or cause it to lose its identity. The acronym for the corridor linking China and Pakistan, CPEC, can be heard in hotel lobbies and restaurants; it stands out for those who cannot understand Urdu. There are young people who have come of age since the beginning of the initiative and for whom it constitutes the only possible horizon for professional advancement. Earlier this year, I spent three weeks traveling in Pakistan, the crown jewel of the Belt and Road project, the country where the initiative first took root and therefore the most plausible candidate for the place where its future can be surmised and understood.

So central is the Belt and Road to Pakistani politics that it should not be thought of as a specific enterprise. Rather, it provides the overarching framework for every economic policy and project. In short, the initiative is something that should feel very familiar to policymakers in Brussels and other European capitals.

In my discussions with economic authorities and think tanks, it quickly became obvious that the main debate in Pakistan today is about the best way to adapt policy decisions and reforms to the Belt and Road framework. The Belt and Road can thus be compared to the European Union and the role it played for countries in Central and Eastern Europe after the 2004 and 2007 enlargements. Which decisions should these countries make in order to better occupy their place within the given political and economic order?

That many in the West still think of the Belt and Road purely in terms of infrastructure is something I find deeply perplexing. In the project’s inaugural speech that Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered in Astana in 2013, infrastructure was no more than one of the five pillars of the Belt and Road — and very obviously not more than an ancillary one. The real action was clearly elsewhere.

At the time of Xi was giving his speech in Astana, it was common to hear from different officials and intellectuals in Beijing that the Belt and Road was meant to be completed in 2049, around the time of the first centennial of the new China. Last year, while living in Beijing, I started hearing that the temporal horizon was even longer. Many spoke openly of a 100-year project. This is not the time-scale of an infrastructure plan. The Marshall Plan was concluded in just a few years. Interestingly, in Pakistan this idea — that the Belt and Road is a project of economic and technological development, culminating in a new global political and economic order — is clearly understood.  By Bruno Maçães, a former Europe minister for Portugal, is a senior adviser at Flint Global in London and the author most recently of “History Has Begun: The Birth of a New America” (Hurst, 2020). The paperback edition of his “Belt and Road: a Chinese World Order” will be published this month.  [MORE]


Over 80% of the World’s Na­tions received Chi­nese For­eign In­vest­ment in 2019. Chi­na’s out­bound for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment to­talled USD$136.91 bil­lion, for a YoY de­cline of 4.3%. The in­vest­ment sum nonethe­less made China the world’s sec­ond biggest source of for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment af­ter Japan ($226.65 bil­lion). As of the end of 2019 Chi­na’s to­tal for­eign di­rect in­vest­ments were $2.2 tril­lion, third be­hind the United States ($7.7 tril­lion) and the Nether­lands ($2.6 tril­lion). Chi­na’s out­bound for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment com­prised 10.4% of the global to­tal in 2019 – the fourth con­sec­u­tive year that this fig­ure was above 10%. Chi­na’s to­tal for­eign di­rect in­vest­ments were 6.4% of the to­tal, on par with 2018. 80% of Chi­na’s for­eign di­rect in­vest­ments in 2019 were in the ser­vices sec­tor, with key ar­eas in­clud­ing leas­ing and com­mer­cial ser­vices, whole­sale and re­tail, fi­nance, in­for­ma­tion com­mu­ni­ca­tions/ soft­ware, real es­tate, and tran­sit/ ware­hous­ing. [MORE]


Selections and editorial comments by Amarynth.  (Go Get that newsletter – it is again packed with detail).

Tehran Rejects Reports on General Suleimani Revenge: “Anti-Iran Propaganda”

Source

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh

Tehran has categorically dismissed the rumors by American media about the Islamic Republic’s plan to “carry out an assassination plot” as revenge for the assassination of its top General Qassem Suleimani.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh deplored such unfounded claims, saying, “We suggest that the Americans prevent worn-out tricks to create propaganda against the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

He noted that “such baseless claims are part of the Trump administration’s counter-intelligence campaign against Iran.”

“The US regime’s reliance on anti-Iranian accusations and lies in on the threshold of the presidential election, and at the same, its bullying to the UN Security Council to increase pressure on the Iranian people, was predictable,” the spokesman was quoted by Mehr news agency as saying.

Khatibzadeh stressed, “The recent claim, which is likely to continue in the future, will certainly be ineffective and will add to Washington’s long list of failures against the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

He reiterated Iran’s “continued adherence to the principles and customs of international diplomacy, as a responsible member of the international community.”

The spokesman noted that it is, in fact, the United States and the current regime in the White House, that has violated numerous internationally-accepted agreements and norms in recent years.

“Such violations include undermining the territorial integrity of other countries, withdrawal from international agreements, and dozens of assassination plots and military interventions and espionages, including the cowardly assassination of General Suleimani,” Khatibzadeh added.

He underlined that the Islamic Republic of Iran, as it has repeatedly stated, “will continue the pursuit of the cowardly assassination of General Suleimani at all legal international levels and will neither forgive nor forget this terrorist act.”

An American media outlet has claimed Iran is weighing the possibility of carrying out an assassination plot as revenge for the assassination of its anti-terror commander, Lieutenant General Qassem Suleimani.

General Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), were martyred in US airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport on January 3.

Source: Iranian media

Sayyed Nasrallah: One “I Have Only Seen Beauty” Frustrates the Goal Millions of Dollars Were Put to Achieve

 August 29, 2020

Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah
Click the Picture for video

Al-Manar Website Editor

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah assured on the eve of Ashura that our tools of confrontation in the battle we are facing today are our honesty, religious, political and moral commitment and wise presence in media.

His eminence assured that the battle we are facing today is unprecedented since the last 50 years.

“Due to the big role that media plays today, they follow a strategy in which they wage huge attacks through different media outlets all at once. This is because the administration of this wide campaign in one, so you see the same news on different media outlets and newspapers. The battle today is one of the most critical ones after they have failed on the security, military and political levels.”

“For example if an accident occurs in some place like Lebanon, Iran, or Iraq, statements are released, then they suddenly spread more and more, and if you trace the source of these statements you will find the 80% of them are from Saudi Arabia or Emirates or other countries. So these sentences are not from the people of the country in which the accident took place, this is rather an electronic army that is trying to impose a public opinion on the people of this country. Today journalists themselves assure that they are being offered money or monthly payments in return for writing articles against Hezbollah.

“It is our duty to confront by developing our media capacities and presence, and as Imam Khameni said, each of us should be an officer or a soldier in this soft war. We must hold on to our honesty, clean hands, virtuousness, our moral, religious, and political commitment, and our loyalty, etc… This frustrates all the attacks. When our environment reveals itself as a firmly coherent and strong one, this frustrates them.”

“Many social media and media outlets were cut from funds for a period of time because they failed to achieve the goal of prompting our environment against us. Now because there is a new battle, funds are being distributed once again. So the coherence of this environment is our weapon. For example when they try to take advantage of our martyrs’ families, just one stance like “I have only seen beauty” is capable of frustrating the goal that hundreds of millions of dollars were paid for media to achieve.”

“After all lying has an end, just like the events after the port explosion. Some claimed it was a missile storehouse related to Hezbollah, but eventually the truth was revealed after investigations by the Army, FBI and international intelligence.”

“I call for boycotting such media outlets, checking the credibility of all the news and avoiding the spread of rumors whether they are true or false. There is also no need to show any interest in any report that does not help. This is just a waste of time. It is better if you help yourself by following programs of benefit for you like documentaries…”

In conclusion his eminence assured that “neither killing nor threatening us will let us surrender… Moreover, we were offered huge amounts of money in order to abandon our cause but we haven’t and wouldn’t accept. We are not position or money seekers. We are the ones who offer money just as we offered blood.”

Source: Al-Manar

Lebanese government resigns: ‘Corruption is stronger than the State’


Date: 10 August 2020

Author: lecridespeuples

Statement by Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab announcing the resignation of his government, August 10, 2020.

This technocratic government formed in January 2020 was the first ever in which Hezbollah’s strongest opponents didn’t hold positions.

Source: http://www.pcm.gov.lb/arabic/subpg.aspx?pageid=18047

Translation: resistancenews.org

Transcript:

We are still in the throes of the tragedy that struck Lebanon. This disaster that struck the Lebanese people to the core occurred as a result of chronic corruption in politics, administration and the State.

I said previously that the system of corruption is rooted in all articulations of the State, but I have found that the system of corruption is bigger than the State, and the State is constrained by this system and can’t face it or get rid of it.

One of the examples of this endemic corruption has exploded in the port of Beirut, and this calamity has struck Lebanon, but such examples of corruption are widespread in the political and administrative geography of the country, and the danger is very great that other hidden woes (still threaten the people), very present in many minds and stored in other warehouses, with the protection of the class which controls the fate of the country and threatens the lives of the people, falsifies the facts and lives off the sedition, trading in the blood of the Lebanese people as soon as the opportunity arises, depending on fluctuating interests, whims, calculations and allegiances.

Today, we are facing a great tragedy, and all the forces concerned with preserving the country and the interests of the people were supposed to cooperate to overcome this ordeal, by imposing on themselves silence for several days, mourning for the souls of the martyrs, respecting the pain of the bereaved, parents, siblings and orphans, striving to help people, heal their wounds, and provide them with housing, and helping those who have lost their livelihood.

The scale of the tragedy is too great to describe, but some live in another era. They are not interested in everything that has happened except to the extent that it can allow them to score political points, launch populist electoral speeches and demolish what remains of the State.

They should have been ashamed of themselves, for their corruption has produced this calamity hidden for seven years, and God knows how many calamities they hide under the cloak of their corruption.

But these people have the habit of changing their position according to the circumstances, to falsify the facts, when what is needed is to change them (get rid of them permanently), because they are the real tragedy of Lebanese people. Yes, they are the real tragedy of the Lebanese people.

They have changed and evolved a lot in the past, (to neutralize) every opportunity to get rid of their corruption.

They did not correctly interpret the Lebanese revolution of October 17, 2019. This revolution was against them, but they did not understand it well. They continued with their practices and calculations, believing they could dilute the Lebanese people’s demands for change, for a just and strong State, for an independent judiciary, to end corruption, waste and theft, and the policies that have emptied the State treasury, squandered the savings of the people and placed the country under enormous debt burdens, causing this financial, economic and social collapse.

But the greatest paradox is that a few weeks (only) after the formation of this government, they tried to make it bear the responsibility for their infamies, and to hold it responsible for the collapse, the waste and the public debt.

Really, they should die of shame.

This government has gone to great lengths to chart a road map to save the country.

Each minister in this government has given his maximum because we are concerned about the country, and we care about its future and that of our children.

We have no personal interests, and all that matters to us is saving the country. Because we have taken on this mission, we have suffered many attacks and false accusations. But we refused to let ourselves be drawn into futile polemics, because we wanted to work. Nevertheless, the enraged trumpets did not stop their attempts to falsify the facts, to protect themselves and cover up their crimes.

We carried the Lebanese demand for change. But between us and change lies a very thick and very thorny wall, protected by a class which resists by all dirty methods, in order to preserve its privileges, its positions and its ability to control the state.

We fought fiercely and with honor, but this battle could not be won. We were alone and they were united against us. They have used all their weapons, distorted the truths, falsified the facts, spread rumors, lied to people, committed all mortal and venial sins. They knew that we were a threat to them, and that the success of this government would mean real change in this class which has always reigned until the country was suffocated by the smells of its corruption.

Today we have come to this, with the earthquake that struck the country, with all its humanitarian, social, economic and national repercussions. Our first concern is to deal with these repercussions, along with a swift investigation that defines responsibility and does not let the disaster be forgotten over time.

Today we appeal to the people, to their demand that those responsible for this hidden disaster for seven years be held to account, to their genuine desire to move from a state of corruption, waste, bribes and thefts to a rule of law, justice and transparency. To a State that respects its children.

Faced with this reality, we are taking a step backwards, in order to stand alongside the people, to lead the battle for change with them. We want to open the door to a national salvation that the Lebanese will help shape.

Therefore, today I am announcing the resignation of this government.

May God protect Lebanon. May God protect Lebanon. May God protect Lebanon.

Long live the Lebanese people. Long live Lebanon.

***

Hassan Nasrallah: our opponents have demonstrated their moral bankruptcy and lack of lucidity

Echoing extracts from the speech of Hezbollah Secretary General on August 7, 2020.

[…] In general, it is said that dignified peoples, who have a certain level of culture and ethics, a certain sense of responsibility and humanity, a sense of national interest, even when there are struggles and disputes among themselves, when a great national tragedy occurs, or a terrible event occurs, everyone temporarily freezes their struggles and disputes, as well as their personal calculations, to rise above all these (partisan) considerations, and to behave on a nobler ethical and human basis, and everyone helps each other to overcome this tragedy or this catastrophe. Once the crisis is over, things can resume their usual course. Things are like this (in general) all over the world.

Sometimes we have even seen that in the midst of war, when a tragic event such as a massacre occurs, the enemies conclude a truce, a ceasefire, even in the midst of war! It does happen and it is well known (even against Israel), but I will not waste time citing examples. But outside of war, within the same country, where there is a government, an opposition, rival political forces, when a catastrophe affects everyone, all regions, all families. What happened was not a tragedy that only targeted certain categories of the population, no. In general, in such situations (of national disaster), differences are temporarily put aside, and everyone helps and cooperates (even with their political opponents), and adopts more dignified language, with different sentiments, and different statements and political speeches. Likewise, the media behave differently, with humanity and ethics, each granting a respite (to their adversaries), if only for a few days, at least a few days (of truce)! I’m not talking about months or years, no, a few days, (one or) two weeks! To give people time to recover the remains of their martyrs, to heal their wounds, to visit the wounded, to assert the fate of the missing people, to put out the fires, to clear the debris, to find a way to relocate the displaced, etc. After that, we can reopen the accounts (and rekindle the rivalries), no problem.

But unfortunately what happened in Lebanon with this incident is that from the first hours of this tragedy and this cataclysm, and even from the first hour, not the first hours, when no one yet knew what was going on or had happened [our adversaries flooded the media with lies accusing Hezbollah of the explosion]. […] Even before anyone knew the answer to these questions, the Lebanese and Arab media, and certain political forces expressed through their official social networks, and even through some public statements by officials… These are not from obscure people running (Twitter or Facebook) accounts, but statements on television and in the media, made as soon as the explosion was known to the public, and while the fires in the port were not yet extinguished, and the destruction and amazement was the lot of all the Lebanese and the whole world. But these people spoke out in the media and announced their position before they knew anything. Their position was decided in advance: the cause of the explosion in hangar number so-and-so at the port of Beirut was a Hezbollah missile warehouse that exploded and caused this unprecedented terror and cataclysm. Or, they said it was stockpiles of Hezbollah ammunition, explosives, or weapons. The bottom line is that it must have belonged to Hezbollah, whether it was missiles, ammunition, explosives. […] Even before an investigation was launched, before anyone knew what happened, some media, some Lebanese and Arab TV channels, since the incident began and until now —they haven’t changed their tune— asserted that the hangar belonged to Hezbollah, that what exploded was Hezbollah missiles, Hezbollah explosives, Hezbollah nitrate, Hezbollah, Hezbollah, Hezbollah, Hezbollah… We heard nothing else from them, because there is no other (hypothesis) for them. It is a great crime committed against us. And their method has been to lie, lie, lie and lie and lie again, until people believe it. […]

I have seen yesterday and today that the majority of international media and journalists have abandoned the hypothesis (of a stockpile of Hezbollah weapons), except for a few voices in Lebanon and the Arab world. Thus, those who launched (this slander) are now all alone (to support it), because all the media and all the voices in the world are anxious to keep a minimum of credibility, even if they are our enemies engaged in a political war against us; but when it turns out that the accusation is clearly a lie as shiny as the sun at its zenith, they (have enough good sense to) back off and conjure up other possibilities.

Either way, investigations are ongoing, and the truths will emerge quickly, as this is not a question that will take time. I believe that the criminal, security, military and technical investigation will be able to quickly establish (with certainty) what was in the hangar, what was the nature of the explosives and how it was triggered, because at the technical level, this does not require much time, and the truths can be expected to come to light quickly.

When the truths come to light, I hope that the Lebanese public opinion, in all regions of Lebanon, because in our country there is a problem in terms of punishments and responsibilities, and in the name of freedom of opinion and expression, some (media and politicians) accuse, insult, abuse, oppress and lead the country to the brink of civil war, and (despite all this), ultimately, the Criminal Court imposes them a (mere) fine of 10 to 50 million Lebanese pounds (6,000 to 35,000 dollars), and it stops there. What I want to ask the Lebanese people is that they should themselves judge these media (and politicians) and condemn them. In what way? By ceasing to give them the least credit, the least importance, and by ceasing to consult them or to look at them. Because when we know that such media has no credibility, and that it is based on lies, manipulation and falsification, and that it participates in the battle that targets our country (to destroy it), then we must condemn them and turn our backs on them for good. And it is in my opinion the most important punishment (that can befall) these false and falsifying television stations which push to the civil war. This should not be taken lightly! This is not a (simple) political accusation. When somebody comes and tells hundreds of thousands of people that it is Hezbollah who is responsible for this carnage, all these deaths and injuries, all this destruction and all this displacement, what is it (if not pushing the country towards civil war)?

On the other hand, still concerning the political scene, on the other hand we saw the political instrumentalisation of the incident, and all those who had a problem with so and so reopened this problem (in this tragic context), whether it is the Lebanese National Pact, the government or other political forces, and of course those who have a problem with us. Today, I do not want to open an argument with anyone, and we are putting off (the settling of accounts) for later because we remain attached to avoid settling political or personal disputes, out of ethical, humanitarian and national considerations. This is the time for solidarity, compassion, mutual aid, to heal wounds, to clear debris, to determine the fate of the missing, to treat the wounded, to help people return home, which is a vital priority. The country needs this kind of attitude and calm for several days in order to overcome the crisis. Then we can talk politics and settle accounts. Our position will be firm. And as for certain analyzes which compare the current situation with previous experiences (assassination of Hariri in 2005, etc.) or build hopes (on capitalizing on this tragedy for political gains) like so many of their past illusions, (remember that) for a long time, some people (Hezbollah adversaries) chased after mirages, only to realize that they were all mirages, but I will talk about that later. At this point, I don’t want to get into these considerations, and I don’t want to attack anyone. I’ll put it off until later. The priority is compassion, cooperation and mutual aid, to overcome these days of pain, suffering and humanitarian crisis. Let’s put all the differences aside and get back to political (disputes) later.

My last point, which is most important, is investigation and retribution. A huge, terrible and dangerous event has happened. First, there must be an investigation. His Excellency the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister declared from the outset that there will be an impartial, resolute, firm, definitive and strong investigation, and that whoever will be identified as having a responsibility in this incident, by his actions or by negligence, corruption or insufficiency, will be held to account, whoever he is, big or small. Very well. It’s a good start. The Lebanese are now asking for action and effort (in this direction). I consider that faced with the shock of the event, there is national, popular and governmental unanimity, of all political parties and all deputies, etc., demanding that an exhaustive, frank, transparent, precise, fair and impartial investigation be carried out on this event, and that whoever bears any share of responsibility be judged and condemned in the most severe and exemplary manner —a fair punishment, of course (not a lynching). We are also among the voices that demand this loud and clear. We must not allow anyone to be covered or protected during the investigation, and truths to be withheld about anyone. It is not tolerable that the investigation and then the trial should be done in the “Lebanese fashion”, that is to say in this well-known way where one takes into account religious and sectarian calculations and balances. Anyone who was inadequate or negligent, instigated (this event) or engaged in corruption, has no religion or sect, as is the case with collaborators (of the Israeli enemy). They should be judged on the basis of what they have done, not on the basis of their sectarian, religious or political affiliation. Neither the investigation nor the trial should be conducted on a sectarian basis (requiring a precise ratio of Sunnis, Shiites or Christians). Whoever is in charge, whether they belong to several sects or are all from the same sect, whatever their political affiliation and group, whatever their family clan, truth and justice must prevail and determine the position, the investigation and the punishment. […]

In this regard, I would also like to add something very important. Just as the event is exceptional, today the attitude of the Lebanese State towards this event will be in our eyes decisive and fateful. This will determine the future of Lebanon. In what way? Today it is not about the President of the Republic, the National Pact or the government (which can come and go at the whim of elections and crises). It is about (the safeguard of) the Lebanese State, (which will depend) on the way in which the authorities will behave in this regard, be it the judicial body, the army, the security services, and even the Chamber of Deputies. It is about (the sustainability) of the (Lebanese) State and its institutions. Everyone has some responsibility for the trial and the punishment. The way to act in the face of such a catastrophe, which has affected all sects, all neighborhoods and all regions, and must in no way be tinged with sectarianism, religion or politicization, a national and humanitarian tragedy par excellence, the way State institutions will behave about it, as well as political leaders and the various political forces in the country, will have a fateful consequence for the whole country. What will this fateful consequence be? How this tragedy is dealt with will determine in the eyes of the Lebanese people —and in my eyes the verdict will be irrevocable— whether there is a (genuine) State in Lebanon or not. The second question (which will find an irrevocable answer) is about the hope of building a State (in Lebanon). Because I tell you quite frankly: if the Lebanese State and the Lebanese political forces —whether in power or in the opposition—, in such a case and such a cause, do not achieve a result in the investigation, and fail to punish (all those responsible), it means that the Lebanese people, political forces, State institutions (are bankrupt), and that there is no hope to build an (authentic) State. I don’t want anybody to despair, but I accurately describe the reality.

But we must (all) work so that this despair does not happen, in order to confirm, create and sow hope (to see a real State) among the Lebanese. Today, all the calls to fight against corruption that may have denounced a biased judge, a cowardly judge, a force that buried court files for such or such consideration, (are eclipsed by the magnitude of this case). We have to see a heavy punishment, because even if the investigation reveals that it was an intentional act or an aerial bombardment, the fact that this nitrate was stored in this way for 6 or 7 years clearly implies that there was a (criminal) negligence, inadequacy and corruption on the part of judges. This is where the war on corruption must (be a priority)! If in this case all those who call for a war on corruption, and we are part of it, if we are unable to do anything (to identify and punish all the culprits), it means that we are unable to do anything (forever). Game over. We will frankly declare to the Lebanese people that it is impossible to fight corruption, to fight neglect and insufficiency, and we will say, “O Lebanese people, you have no State and there is no hope of building an (authentic) State, so it’s up to you to see what you can do with yourselves”. To me, such is the magnitude of the question. So that people do not say later that it was a tragedy (without culprits) and forget about the matter, we make it clear that as far as we are concerned, it is impossible to forget this disaster, to move on and to allow let it be neglected. The whole truth must be revealed about this tragedy, and those responsible must be tried without any protection, whether political, sectarian or partisan. If that doesn’t happen, yes, I will consider that there is a crisis of the regime, a crisis of the State, maybe even a crisis of the (Lebanese) entity, some will be entitled to go this far. And some people try to ignore it, one way or another.

Therefore, I call on State officials, at all levels and in all authorities, to show the utmost seriousness and determination, whether to complete the investigation or to judge and blame, and chastise all those responsible for this tragedy. This is required so that the leaders and the political forces can give hope to the Lebanese people that there are authorities, a State and institutions, or at least that there is hope that a State be erected on the basis of truth, justice, transparency and the protection of the Lebanese, because sometimes the consequences of corruption, negligence and incompetence accumulate and become apparent after several years, and can be destructive, like what happened in this terrible event where in seconds, in a matter of seconds, tens of people were killed or missing, thousands were injured, hundreds of thousands of families were affected and had to leave their homes… And some people say that God prevented an even greater tragedy, and that if this hangar had not been so close to the sea, and without such and such peculiarities of the site, if this same amount of nitrate had exploded in a different geographic configuration, perhaps the whole city (of Beirut) would have been destroyed. All this in an instant, in a matter of seconds, because of corruption, neglect and incompetence, and no one should say it is simply because of the intricacies of the bureaucracy. Never. We are talking about stocks that could completely destroy the capital and certain suburbs (in an instant). The blame cannot be blamed on the intricacies of bureaucracy. […]

I declare to all those who, from the first moment, launched a campaign against us, against the Resistance and against the Axis of Resistance, trying to take advantage of this tragedy, you will get nowhere, and I tell you that frankly and sincerely. I also declare to the masses (who support) the Resistance, and some of whom are perhaps worried, scared, wonder what is the (underlying) atmosphere, if this is a big regional or international plot , (I reassure them by reminding them) that the regional situation is very different (from what it was before), as is the international situation (much more favorable to us than ever). We are very different from what we were, and so is the (Axis of) the Resistance (we are stronger than ever), so there is really nothing to worry about (for us). These people (our adversaries) run after mirages, as they have always run after mirages. All of their choices have always been doomed to failure and defeat.

And I say this to our adversaries: just as you have been disappointed and defeated (in all your past undertakings: Special Tribunal for Lebanon, 2006 war, war in Syria, etc.), you will once again be disappointed and defeated. You will not achieve anything. This Resistance, by its credibility, its sincerity, by the confidence of the Lebanese people in it, by its (victorious) battles, by its positions, by its attitude and its behavior, and by its strength, its place in the country and in the region, is too large, too strong and too noble for it to be tainted by (the slanders) of certain oppressors, liars and falsifiers of the truth, who (constantly) incite sectarian rivalry, and who encourage civil war. They have always worked at this and have always failed, and they will fail again. […]

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

Iran reveals for the first time its losses from Israeli attacks in Syria

Source

By News Desk -2020-07-16

BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:30 P.M.) – On Thursday, the Iranian military revealed the number of Iranian killed by Israeli strikes in Syria.

Citing Major General Abu al-Fadl Shukarji, a spokesman for the Iranian Army, the Tasnim News Agency said that Israel’s raids on Syria nine years ago killed nine Iranians, and that the talk of the Israeli and Western media about hundreds or thousands killed is a lie.

Maj. Gen. Shukarji said that what the Israeli and American sides are saying about this number comes in the context of psychological and media war against Iran, and to pretend that Iran is still present in Syria .

The general stressed that “the Iranian presence in Syria is legal, and it came at the request of the Syrian government and people, with the aim of helping them confront American and Israeli terrorism as well as to deal with ISIS terrorism.”

For years, opposition media have claimed several Iranians have been killed in Syria, despite providing little proof to corroborate their claims.

In addition to falsified death tolls, the total number of Iranians present in Syria have been greatly hyperbolized, with some anti-Iranian government sites claiming “90,000” Iranians in Syria.

Iran maintains that their presence in Syria is legal, as their advisers were invited to the Arab Republic by the government in Damascus.

Related News

LancetGate: “Scientific Corona Lies” and Big Pharma Corruption. Hydroxychloroquine versus Gilead’s Remdesivir

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, July 13, 2020

global Research 5 July 2020

Minor updates and additions on July 6, 2020

Introduction

There is an ongoing battle to suppress Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), a cheap and effective drug for the treatment of Covid-19. The campaign against HCQ is carried out through slanderous political statements, media smears, not to mention an authoritative peer reviewed “evaluation”  published on May 22nd by The Lancet, which was based on fake figures and test trials.

The study was allegedly based on data analysis of 96,032 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 between Dec 20, 2019, and April 14, 2020 from 671 hospitals Worldwide. The database had been fabricated. The objective was to kill the Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) cure on behalf of Big Pharma.

While The Lancet article was retracted, the media casually blamed “a tiny US based company” named Surgisphere whose employees included “a sci-fi writer and adult content model” for spreading “flawed data” (Guardian). This Chicago based outfit was accused of having misled both the WHO and national governments, inciting them to ban HCQ. None of those trial tests actually took place.

While the blame was placed on Surgisphere, the unspoken truth (which neither the scientific community nor the media have acknowledged) is that the study was coordinated by Harvard professor Mandeep Mehra under the auspices of Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) which is a partner of the Harvard Medical School.

When the scam was revealed, Dr. Mandeep Mehra who holds the Harvey Distinguished Chair of Medicine at  Brigham and Women’s Hospital apologized:

I have always performed my research in accordance with the highest ethical and professional guidelines. However, we can never forget the responsibility we have as researchers to scrupulously ensure that we rely on data sources that adhere to our high standards.

It is now clear to me that in my hope to contribute this research during a time of great need, I did not do enough to ensure that the data source was appropriate for this use. For that, and for all the disruptions – both directly and indirectly – I am truly sorry. (emphasis added)

Mandeep R. Mehra, MD, MSC  (official statement on BWH website)

But that “truly sorry” note was just the tip of the iceberg. Why?

Studies on Gilead Science’s Remdesivir and Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) Were Conducted Simultaneously by Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH)

While The Lancet report (May 22, 2020) coordinated by Dr. Mandeep Mehra was intended “to kill” the legitimacy of HCQ as a cure of Covid-19, another important (related) study was being carried out (concurrently) at BWH pertaining to Remdesivir on behalf of Gilead Sciences Inc. Dr. Francisco Marty, a specialist inInfectious Disease and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School was entrusted with coordination of the clinical trial tests of the antiviral medication Remdesivir under Brigham’s contract with Gilead Sciences Inc:

Brigham and Women’s Hospital began enrolling patients in two clinical trials for Gilead’s antiviral medication remdesivir. The Brigham is one of multiple clinical trial sites for a Gilead-initiated study of the drug in 600 participants with moderate coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and a Gilead-initiated study of 400 participants with severe COVID-19.

… If the results are promising, this could lead to FDA approval, and if they aren’t, it gives us critical information in the fight against COVID-19 and allows us to move on to other therapies.”

While Dr. Mandeep Mehra was not directly involved in the Gilead Remdesevir BWH study under the supervision of his colleague Dr. Francisco Marty, he nonetheless had contacts with Gilead Sciences Inc: “He participated in a conference sponsored by Gilead in early April 2020 as part of the Covid-19 debate” (France Soir, May 23, 2020)

What was the intent of his (failed) study? To undermine the legitimacy of Hydroxychloroquine?

According to France Soir, in a report published after The Lancet Retraction:

The often evasive answers produced by Dr Mandeep R. Mehra, … professor at Harvard Medical School, did not produce confidence, fueling doubt instead about the integrity of this retrospective study and its results. (France Soir, June 5, 2020)

Was Dr. Mandeep Mehra in conflict of interest? (That is a matter for BWH and the Harvard Medical School to decide upon).

Who are the Main Actors? 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, advisor to Donald Trump, portrayed as “America’s top infectious disease expert” has played a key role in smearing the HCQ cure which had been approved years earlier by the CDC as well as providing legitimacy to Gilead’s Remdesivir.

Dr. Fauci has been the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since the Reagan administration. He is known to act as a mouthpiece for Big Pharma.

Dr. Fauci launched Remdesivir in late June (see details below). According to Fauci, Remdesevir is the “corona wonder drug” developed by Gilead Science Inc. It’s a $1.6 billion dollar bonanza.

Gilead Sciences Inc: History

Gilead Sciences Inc is a Multibillion dollar bio-pharmaceutical company which is now involved in developing and marketing Remdesivir. Gilead has a long history. It has the backing of major investment conglomerates including the Vanguard Group and Capital Research & Management Co, among others. It has developed ties with the US Government.

In 1999 Gilead Sciences Inc, developed Tamiflu (used as a treatment of seasonal influenza and bird flu). At the  time, Gilead Sciences Inc was headed by Donald Rumsfeld (1997-2001), who later joined the George W. Bush administration as Secretary of Defense (2001-2006). Rumsfeld was responsible for coordinating the illegal and criminal wars on Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003).

Rumsfeld maintained his links to Gilead Sciences Inc throughout his tenure as Secretary of Defense (2001-2006). According to CNN Money (2005): “The prospect of a bird flu outbreak … was very good news for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld [who still owned Gilead stocks] and other politically connected investors in Gilead Sciences”.

Anthony Fauci has been in charge of the NIAID since 1984, using his position as “a go between” the US government and Big Pharma. During Rumsfeld’s tenure as Secretary of Defense, the budget allocated to bio-terrorism increased substantially, involving contracts with Big Pharma including Gilead Sciences Inc. Anthony Fauci considered that the money allocated to bio-terrorism in early 2002 would: 

“accelerate our understanding of the biology and pathogenesis of microbes that can be used in attacks, and the biology of the microbes’ hosts — human beings and their immune systems. One result should be more effective vaccines with less toxicity.” (WPo report)

In 2008, Dr. Anthony Fauci was granted the Presidential Medal of Freedom by president George W. Bush “for his determined and aggressive efforts to help others live longer and healthier lives.”

The 2020 Gilead Sciences Inc Remdesivir Project

We will be focussing on key documents (and events)

Chronology 

February 21: Initial Release pertaining to NIH-NIAID Remdesivir placebo test trial

April 10: The Gilead Sciences Inc study published in the NEJM on the “Compassionate Use of Remdesivir”

April 29: NIH Release: Study on Remdesivir (Report published on May 22 in NEJM)

May 22, The BWH-Harvard Study on Hydroxychloroquine coordinated by Dr. Mandeep Mehra published in The Lancet

May 22Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report  National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, New England Journal of Medicine, (NEJM) 

June 5: The (fake) Lancet Report (May 22) on HCQ is Retracted.

June 29, Fauci announcement. The $1.6 Billion Remdevisir HHS Agreement with Gilead Sciences Inc

April 10: The Gilead Sciences Inc. study published in the NEJM on the “Compassionate Use of Remdesivir”

A Gilead sponsored report was published in New England Journal of Medicine in an article entitled  “Compassionate Use of Remdesivir for Patients with Severe Covid-19” . It was co-authored by an impressive list of 56 distinguished medical doctors and scientists, many of whom were recipients of consulting fees from Gilead Sciences Inc.

Gilead Sciences Inc. funded the study which included several staff members as co-authors.

The testing included a total of 61 patients [who] received at least one dose of remdesivir on or before March 7, 2020; 8 of these patients were excluded because of missing postbaseline information (7 patients) and an erroneous remdesivir start date (1 patient) … Of the 53 remaining patients included in this analysis, 40 (75%) received the full 10-day course of remdesivir, 10 (19%) received 5 to 9 days of treatment, and 3 (6%) fewer than 5 days of treatment.

The NEJM article states that “Gilead Sciences Inc began accepting requests from clinicians for compassionate use of remdesivir on January 25, 2020”. From whom, From Where? According to the WHO (January 30, 2020) there were 82 cases in 18 countries outside China of which 5 were in the US, 5 in France and 3 in Canada.

Several prominent physicians and scientists have cast  doubt on the Compassionate Use of Remdesivir study conducted by Gilead, focussing on the small size of the trial. Ironically, the number of patients in the test  is less that the number of co-authors: “53 patients” versus “56 co-authors”

Below we provide excerpts of scientific statements on the Gilead NEJM project (Science Media Centre emphasis added) published immediately following the release of the NEJM article:

‘Compassionate use’ is better described as using an unlicensed therapy to treat a patient because there are no other treatments available. Research based on this kind of use should be treated with extreme caution because there is no control group or randomisation, which are some of the hallmarks of good practice in clinical trials. Prof Duncan Richard, Clinical Therapeutics, University of Oxford.

“It is critical not to over-interpret this study. Most importantly, it is impossible to know the outcome for this relatively small group of patients had they not received remdesivir. Dr Stephen Griffin, Associate Professor, School of Medicine, University of Leeds.

“The research is interesting but doesn’t prove anything at this point: the data are from a small and uncontrolled study.  Simon Maxwell, Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and Prescribing, University of Edinburgh.

“The data from this paper are almost uninterpretable. It is very surprising, perhaps even unethical, that the New England Journal of Medicine has published it. It would be more appropriate to publish the data on the website of the pharmaceutical company that has sponsored and written up the study. At least Gilead have been clear that this has not been done in the way that a high quality scientific paper would be written.  Prof Stephen Evans, Professor of Pharmacoepidemiology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

“It’s very hard to draw useful conclusions from uncontrolled studies like this particularly with a new disease where we really don’t know what to expect and with wide variations in outcomes between places and over time. One really has to question the ethics of failing to do randomisation – this study really represents more than anything else, a missed opportunity.” Prof Adam Finn, Professor of Paediatrics, University of Bristol.

To review the complete document of Science Media Centre pertaining to expert assessments click here

April 29: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Study on Remdevisir. 

On April 29th following the publication of the Gilead Sciences Inc Study in the NEJM on April 10, a press release of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on Remdevisir was released.  The full document was published on May 22, by the NEJM under the title:

 Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report (NEJM) 

The study had been initiated on February 21, 2020. The title of the April 29 Press Release was:

“Peer-reviewed data shows remdesivir for COVID-19 improves time to recovery”

It’s a government sponsored report which includes preliminary data from a randomized trial involving 1063 hospitalized patients. The results of the trial labelled Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT) are preliminary, conducted under the helm of Dr. Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID):

An independent data and safety monitoring board (DSMB) overseeing the trial met on April 27 to review data and shared their interim analysis with the study team. Based upon their review of the data, they noted that remdesivir was better than placebo from the perspective of the primary endpoint, time to recovery, a metric often used in influenza trials. Recovery in this study was defined as being well enough for hospital discharge or returning to normal activity level.

Preliminary results indicate that patients who received remdesivir had a 31% faster time to recovery than those who received placebo (p<0.001). Specifically, the median time to recovery was 11 days for patients treated with remdesivir compared with 15 days for those who received placebo. Results also suggested a survival benefit, with a mortality rate of 8.0% for the group receiving remdesivir versus 11.6% for the placebo group (p=0.059).  (emphasis added)

In the NIH’s earlier February 21, 2020 report (released at the outset of the study), the methodology was described as follows:

… A randomized, controlled clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the investigational antiviral remdesivir in hospitalized adults diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) …

Numbers. Where? When? 

The February 21 report confirmed that the first trial participant was “an American who was repatriated after being quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise ship” that docked in Yokohama (Japanese Territorial Waters). “Thirteen people repatriated by the U.S. State Department from the Diamond Princess cruise ship” were selected as patients for the placebo trial test. Ironically, at the outset of the study, 58.7% of the “confirmed cases” Worldwide (542 cases out of 924) (outside China),  were on the Diamond Cruise Princess from which the initial trial placebo patients were selected.

Where and When: The trial test in the 68 selected sites? That came at a later date because on February 19th (WHO data), the US had recorded only 15 positive cases (see Table Below).

“A total of 68 sites ultimately joined the study—47 in the United States and 21 in countries in Europe and Asia.” (emphasis added)

In the final May 22 NEJM report entitled Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report

There were 60 trial sites and 13 subsites in the United States (45 sites), Denmark (8), the United Kingdom (5), Greece (4), Germany (3), Korea (2), Mexico (2), Spain (2), Japan (1), and Singapore (1). Eligible patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive either remdesivir or placebo. Randomization was stratified by study site and disease severity at enrollment

The Washington Post applauded Anthony Fauci’s announcement (April 29):

“The preliminary results, disclosed at the White House by Anthony S. Fauci, …  fall short of the magic bullet or cure… But with no approved treatments for Covid-19,[Lie] Fauci said, it will become the standard of care for hospitalized patients …The data shows that remdisivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery,” Fauci said.

The government’s first rigorous clinical trial of the experimental drug remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment delivered mixed results to the medical community Wednesday — but rallied stock markets and raised hopes that an early weapon to help some patients was at hand.

The preliminary results, disclosed at the White House by Anthony Fauci, chief of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which led the placebo-controlled trial found that the drug accelerated the recovery of hospitalized patients but had only a marginal benefit in the rate of death.

… Fauci’s remarks boosted speculation that the Food and Drug Administration would seek emergency use authorization that would permit doctors to prescribe the drug.

In addition to clinical trials, remdesivir has been given to more than 1,000 patients under compassionate use. [also refers to the Gilead study published on April 10 in the NEJM]

The study, involving [more than] 1,000 patients at 68 sites in the United States and around the world (??), offers the first evidence (??) from a large (??), randomized (??) clinical study of remdesivir’s effectiveness against COVID-19.

The NIH placebo test study provided “preliminary results”. While the placebo trial test was “randomized”, the overall selection of patients at the 68 sites was not fully randomized. See the full report.

May 22: The Fake Lancet Report on Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ)

It is worth noting that the full report of the NIH-NIAID) entitled Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report was released on May 22, 2020 in the NEJM, on the same day as the controversial Lancet report on Hydroxychloroquine.

Immediately folllowing its publication, the media went into high gear, smearing the HCQ cure, while applauding the NIH-NIASD report released on the same day.

Remdesivir, the only drug cleared to treat Covid-19, sped the recovery time of patients with the disease, … “It’s a very safe and effective drug,” said Eric Topol, founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute. “We now have a definite first efficacious drug for Covid-19, which is a major step forward and will be built upon with other drugs, [and drug] combinations.”

When the Lancet HCQ article by  Bingham-Harvard was retracted on June 5, it was too late, it received minimal media coverage. Despite the Retraction, the HCQ cure “had been killed”.

June 29: Fauci Greenlight. The $1.6 Billion Remdesivir Contract with Gilead Sciences Inc

Dr. Anthony Fauci granted the “Greenlight” to Gilead Sciences Inc. on June 29, 2020.

The semi-official US government NIH-NIAID sponsored report (May 22) entitled Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report (NEJM) was used to justify a major agreement with Gilead Sciences Inc.

The Report was largely funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

On June 29, based on the findings of the NIH-NIAID Report published in the NEJM, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on behalf of the Trump Adminstration an agreement to secure large supplies of the remdesivir drug from Gilead Sciences Inc. for the treatment of Covid-19 in America’s private hospitals and clinics.

The earlier Gilead study based on scanty test results published in the NEJM (April 10), of 53 cases (and 56 co-authors) was not highlighted. The results of this study had been  questioned by several prominent physicians and scientists.

Who will be able to afford Remdisivir? 500,000 doses of Remdesivir are envisaged at $3,200 per patient, namely $1.6 billion (see the study by Elizabeth Woodworth)

The Drug was also approved for marketing in the European Union. under the brandname Veklury.

If this contract is implemented as planned, it represents for Gilead Science Inc. and the recipient US private hospitals and clinics a colossal amount of money.

[error in above title according to HHS: $3200]

According to The Trump Administration’s HHS Secretary Alex Azar (June 29, 2020):

“To the extent possible, we want to ensure that any American patient who needs remdesivir can get it. [at $3200] The Trump Administration is doing everything in our power to learn more about life-saving therapeutics for COVID-19 and secure access to these options for the American people.”

Remdesivir for Covid-19: $1.6 Billion for a “Modestly Beneficial” Drug?

Remdesivir versus Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ)

Careful timing:

The Lancet study (published on May 22) was intended to undermine the legitimacy of Hydroxychloroquine as an effective cure to Covid-19, with a view to sustaining the $1.6 billion agreement between the HHS and Gilead Sciences Inc. on June 29th. The legitmacy of this agreement rested on the May 22 NIH-NIAID study in the NEJM which was considered “preliminary”. 

What Dr. Fauci failed to acknowledge is that Chloroquine had been “studied” and tested fifteen years ago by the CDC as a drug to be used against coronavirus infections.  And that Hydroxychloroquine has been used recently in the treatment of Covid-19 in several countries.

According to the Virology Journal (2005) Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread”. It was used in the SARS-1 outbreak in 2002. It had the endorsement of the CDC. 

HCQ is not only effective, it is “inexpensive” when compared to Remdesivir, at an estimated “$3120 for a US Patient with private insurance”.

Below are excerpts of an interview of Harvard’s Professor Mehra (who undertook the May 22 Lancet study) with France Soir published immediately following the publication of the Lancet report (prior to its Retraction).

Dr. Mandeep Mehra: In our study, it is fairly obvious that the lack of benefit and the risk of toxicity observed for hydroxychloroquine are fairly reliable. [referring to the May 22 Lancet study]

France Soir: Do you have the data for Remdesivir?

MM: Yes, we have the data, but the number of patients is too small for us to be able to conclude in one way or another.

FS: As you know, in France, there is a pros and cons battle over hydroxychloroquine which has turned into a public health issue even involving the financial lobbying of pharmaceutical companies. Why not measure the effect of one against the other to put an end to all speculation?  …

MM: In fact, there is no rational basis for testing Remdesivir versus hydroxychloroquine. On the one hand, Remdesivir has shown that there is no risk of mortality and that there is a reduction in recovery time. On the other hand, for hydroxychloroquine it is the opposite: it has never been shown any advantage and most studies are small or inconclusive In addition, our study shows that there are harmful effects.

It would therefore be difficult and probably unethical to compare a drug with demonstrated harmfulness to a drug with at least a glimmer of hope.

FS: You said that there is no basis for testing or comparing Remdesivir with hydroxychloroquine, do you think you have done everything to conclude that hydroxychloroquine is dangerous?

MM: Exactly. …

All we are saying is that once you have been infected (5 to 7 days after) to the point of having to be hospitalized with a severe viral load, the use of hydroxychloroquine and its derivative is not effective.

The damage from the virus is already there and the situation is beyond repair. With this treatment [HCQ] it can generate more complications

FS Mandeep Mehra declared that he had no conflict of interest with the laboratories and that this study was financed from the endowment funds of the professor’s chair.

He participated in a conference sponsored by Gilead in early April 2020 as part of the Covid-19 debate.

France Soir, translated by the author, emphasis added, May 23, 2020)

In Annex, see the followup article by France Soir published after the scam surrounding the data base of Dr. Mehra’s Lancet report was revealed.

Concluding Remarks

 Lies and Corruption to the nth Degree involving Dr. Anthony Fauci, “The Boston Connection” and Gilead Sciences Inc.

The Gilead Sciences Inc. Remdesivir study (50+ authors) was published in the New England Journal of Medicine (April 10, 2020).

It was followed by the NIH-NIAID Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report on May 22, 2020 in the NEJM.  And on that same day, May 22, the “fake report” on Hydroxychloroquine by BWH-Harvard Dr. Mehra was published by The Lancet.

Harvard Medical School and the BWH bear responsibility for having hosted and financed the fake Lancet report on HCQ coordinated by Dr. Mandeep Mehra.

Is there conflict of interest? BWH was simultaneously involved in a study on Remdesivir in contract with Gilead Sciences, Inc.

While the Lancet report coordinated by Harvard’s Dr. Mehra was retracted, it nonetheless served the interests of Gilead Sciences Inc.

It is important that an independent scientific and medical assessment be undertaken, respectively of the Gilead Sciences Inc New England Journal of Medicine (NEMJ) peer reviewed study (April 10, 2020) as well as the NIH-NIAID study also published in the NEJM (May 22, 2020). 


ANNEX

Retraction by France Soir

The fraud concerning the Lancet Report was revealed in early June. France Soir in a subsequent article (June 5, 2020) points to the Boston Connection: La connexion de Boston, namely the insiduous relationship between Gilead Sciences Inc and Professor Mehra, Harvard Medical School as well as the two related Boston based hospitals involved.

(excerpts here, to access the complete text click here translation from French by France Soir, emphasis in the original article)

The often evasive answers produced by Dr Mandeep R. Mehra, a physician specializing in cardiovascular surgery and professor at Harvard Medical School, did not produce confidence, fueling doubt instead about the integrity of this retrospective study and its results.

… However, the reported information that Dr. Mehra had attended a conference sponsored by Gilead – producer of remdesivir, a drug in direct competition with hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) – early in April called for further investigation

It is important to keep in mind that Dr. Mandeep Mehra has a practice at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) in Boston.

That study relied on the shared medical records of 8,910 patients in 169 hospitals around the world, also by Surgisphere.

Funding for the study was “Supported by the William Harvey Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The development and maintenance of the collaborative surgical outcomes database was funded by Surgisphere.”

The study published on May 22 sought to evaluate the efficacy or otherwise of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, alone or in combination with a macrolide antibiotic.  …

It is therefore noteworthy that within 3 weeks, 2 large observational retrospective studies on large populations – 96,032 and 8,910 patients – spread around the world were published in two different journals by Dr. Mehra, Dr. Desai and other co-authors using the database of Surgisphere, Dr. Desai’s company.

These two practising physicians and surgeons seem to have an exceptional working capacity associated with the gift of ubiquity.

The date of May 22 is also noteworthy because on the very same day, the date of the publication in The Lancet of the highly accusatory study against HCQ,  another study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine concerning the results of a clinical trial of…remdesivir.

In the conclusion of this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, “remdesivir was superior to placebo in shortening the time to recovery in adults hospitalized with Covid-19 and evidence of lower respiratory tract infection.”

Concretely: on the same day, May 22nd, one study demeaned HCQ  in one journal while another claimed evidence of attenuation on some patients through remdesivir in another journal.

It should be noted that one of the main co-authors, Elizabeth “Libby”* Hohmann, represents one of the participating hospitals, the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, also affiliated with Harvard Medical School, as is the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, where Dr. Mandeep Mehra practices.

Coincidence, probably.

Upon further investigation, we discovered that the first 3 major clinical trials on Gilead’s remdesivir were conducted by these two hospitals:

“While COVID-19 continues to circle the globe with scientists following on its trail, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) are leading the search for effective treatment.

“Both hospitals are conducting clinical trials of remdesivir.”

MGH has joined what the National Institute of Health (NIH) describe as the first clinical trial in the United States of an experimental treatment for COVID-19, sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of NIH. MGH is currently the only hospital in New England to participate in this trial, according to a list of sites shared by the hospital.

” It’s a gigantic undertaking, with patients registered in some 50 sites across the country, getting better.

“The NIH trial, which can be adapted to evaluate other treatments, aims to determine whether the drug relieves the respiratory problems and other symptoms of COVID-19, helping patients leave hospital earlier.**

As a reminder, the NIAID/NIH is led by Antony Fauci, a staunch opponent of HCQ.

Coincidence, probably.

At the Brigham, two additional trials initiated by Gilead, the drug developer, will determine whether it alleviates symptoms in patients with moderate to severe illness over five- and ten-days courses. These trials will also be randomized, but not placebo controlled, and will include 1,000 patients at sites worldwide. Those patients, noted Francisco Marty, MD, Brigham physician and study co-investigator, will likely be recruited at an unsettlingly rapid clip.”

As a result, the first major clinical trials on remdesivir launched on March 20, whose results are highly important for Gilead, are being led by the MGH and BWH in Boston, precisely where Dr. Mehra, the main author of the May 22nd HCQ trial, is practising.

Small world! Coincidence, again, probably.

Dr. Marty at BWH expected to have results two months later. Indeed, in recent days, several US media outlets have reported Gilead’s announcements of positive results from the remdesivir clinical trials in Boston.:

“Encouraging results from a new study published Wednesday on remdesivir for the treatment of patients with COVID-19.**

Brigham and Dr. Francisco Marty worked on this study, and he says the results show that there is no major difference between treating a patient with a five-day versus a 10-day regimen.

…”Gilead Announces Results of Phase 3 Remdesivir Trial in Patients with Moderate COVID-19 

– One study shows that the 5-day treatment of remdesivir resulted in significantly greater clinical improvement compared to treatment with the standard of care alone

– The data come on top of the body of evidence from previous studies demonstrating the benefits of remdesivir in hospitalized patients with IDVOC-19

“We now have three randomized controlled trials demonstrating that remdesivir improved clinical outcomes by several different measures,” Gilead plans to submit the complete data for publication in a peer-reviewed journal in the coming weeks.

These results announced by Gilead a few days after the May 22 publication of the study in the Lancet demolishing HCQ, a study whose main author is Dr. Mehra, are probably again a coincidence.

So many coincidences adds up to coincidences? Really ?

The original source of this article is global ResearchCopyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, global Research, 2020

The Stalingrad Battle

The Stalingrad Battle — Strategic Culture

Strategic Culture Foundation

July 13, 2020

February 2, 2020 marked the 75th anniversary of the end of the greatest, longest, most bloody battle in human history: It was a struggle that destroyed the previously invincible spearhead of the Nazi war machine which had conquered all of Europe in only three years and seemed about to conquer the world. Yet incredibly, the entire Western media, especially in the United States, has completely ignored it.

(Click on the image to enlarge)

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

VIDEO: The 2020 Economic Crisis. Global Poverty, Unemployment and Despair

Source

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, June 30, 2020

We are living one of the most serious crises in modern history. 

According to Michel Chossudovsky, the coronavirus pandemic is used as a pretext and a justification to close down the global economy, as a means to resolving a public health concern.  

A complex decision-making process is instrumental in the closing down of national economies Worldwide. We are led to believe that the lockdown is the solution.

Politicians and health officials in more than 150 countries obey orders emanating from higher authority.

In turn millions of people obey the orders of their governments without questioning the fact that closing down an economy is not the solution but in fact the cause of  global poverty and unemployment. 

What we are dealing with is a crime against humanity.

Fear, intimidation, media disinformation prevail. The Lie has become the Truth

This is an imperial project emanating from powerful economic interests.

A global fear campaign is sustained by the media. And now a so-called second wave is envisaged.

The social and economic impacts are beyond description.


FULL TRANSCRIPT

The 2020 Economic Crisis. Global Poverty, Unemployment and Despair
By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

June 30, 2020

We are undoubtedly living (in) one of the most serious economic and social and crises in modern history. In some regards, we are living history and we are unable to comprehend the logic of the corona virus pandemic.

What is at stake is the pretext and the justification for closing down national economies worldwide based on a public health concern.

We have to understand the causalities. Closing down an economy, nationally and globally does NOT resolve the pandemic. In fact, it creates a situation of INSTITUTIONAL INSTABILITY.

It also results in massive unemployment, confinement of people in their homes, without employment, without food . . . That is what we’re living.

There is NO justification for closing down national economies based on a public health concern, which can be resolved, and SHOULD be resolved!

There is a very complex decision-making process, which has been PLANNED WELL IN ADVANCE. From ‘central authority’, governments are instructed to close down their economies and then, in turn, the governments instruct people to implement social engineering, not to meet, not to have family reunions . . .

And, essentially, what we do not understand, and which is fundamental, is that economic activity is the basis for the reproduction of real life. By that I mean, institutions, purchasing power of families, a whole series of activities, which have developed in the course of history – economic activity constitutes the foundation of all societies.

And what these measures have resulted in is a massive crisis, in which particularly small and medium sized enterprises are being precipitated into bankruptcy, millions of people have become unemployed, and in many countries this has resulted in mass poverty, famine, among certain groups of the population.

We have ample evidence to this effect and we have to understand that this process of closing down national economies is deliberate. IT’S A PLAN.

And, it’s co-ordinated with the financial crisis which took place in the month of February (2020), which led to massive collapse in banking institutions, stock markets and so on. Economists, conventional economists, have a tendency to say that there’s no relationship between the corona pandemic crisis and the financial crash in February. That is utterly mistaken. The fear campaign, the disinformation campaign, have facilitated the MANIPULATION OF STOCK MARKETS. And we’re (I’m) talking about the use of very sophisticated derivatives, speculative instruments and so on.

What is now happening is that governments have been indebted up to their ears. They’re paying out compensation to companies which have been affected; in some cases it’s generous bailouts, in other cases it’s part of a social safety net coming to the rescue of workers and small-scale enterprises.

And the next stage is the MOST SERIOUS DEBT CRISIS IN WORLD HISTORY. In other words, the levels of employment have crashed and companies are bankrupt. We will have a fiscal crisis of the state. In other words, a dramatic decline in (income) tax revenues due to the collapse in employment, and the  companies (which have not gone bankrupt) are going to deduct corporate losses, of course (on their tax statements). How will the governments around the world continue to govern, finance social programs and so on?

It will ultimately be through a gigantic global debt operation implemented both in the so-called ‘developed’ countries – e.g. Italy, France, United States, Canada – and in the developing countries where it will be more the international financial institutions, the World Bank, the IMF, the regional development banks.

Now, the problem of Western governments is that that debt is NOT REPAYABLE. The Italian government has issued bonds with the support of Goldman Sachs and so on; that was done a couple of months back. And what has happened? Italy’s debt is categorized (by Standard and Poor). . . these Italian bonds, are classified ‘BB’, which essentially means junk bond status. In other words, that means that an entire state apparatus is now in the hands of the creditors. And these creditors are the financial institutions, the banks and so on.

And the next stage is ultimately the confiscation of the State! THE STATE WILL BE PRIVATIZED. All the programs will be under the helm of the creditors. We can say, “Goodbye” to the welfare state in Western Europe. Why? Because the creditors will immediately, following what they did in Greece a few years back . . . they will immediately impose austerity measures, and the privatization of social programs, the privatization of anything that can be privatized – cities, land, public buildings.

And, in other words, we are living a very important evolution because the State, as we know it, will no longer exist. It will be run by private banking interests, who will . . . and they’re already doing that . . . APPOINT their governments, or their politicians, their corrupt politicians, and essentially they will take over the whole political landscape.

That is happening in a number of countries. And in some countries they have even instructed the governments NOT to debate (in parliament) the enormous debts which have been accumulated in the last few months as a result of the pandemic, which now are the object of financing by these powerful financial institutions. In Canada there was an agreement between Prime Minister Trudeau on the one hand and the leader of the opposition – NO DEBATE in parliament on $150 billion of debt, which then has to be covered through public debt operations and loans from financial institutions.

And essentially the scenario that we are living. . . which is unfolding is that, on the one hand, the real economy in the course of the last few months starting in March, well, in fact, starting in February with the stock market crash is in a state of crisis, production activity has been affected, trade has been affected. Millions and millions of people are going to be unemployed, without earnings, and it’s not only poverty – it’s poverty and despair. It’s the marginalization of large sectors of the world population from the labour market. There are figures on that, published by the ILO (International Labour Organization) that in fact, at this stage, it is premature to even start estimating these impacts.

We can look at it country by country. We can see, for instance, that in developing countries the informal sector, let’s say in India or in certain countries in Latin America, (such as) Peru, a large sector of the labour force is involved in what is called the ‘informal sector’; self-employed, small-scale industries and so on. Well, this has been COMPLETELY WIPED OUT and the people affected are left very often, homeless. The only choice they have is to do it to go back to their home villages and in the process they are the victims of famine and a situation of TOTAL MARGINALIZATION.

That is the scenario. It’s beyond global poverty. It’s mass unemployment. It is something which has been ENGINEERED, it’s not something which is accidental. And it’s certainly not something which has been used to resolve a global health crisis.

The global health crisis pertaining to covid has been MULTIPLIED. People have been confined, they have fallen sick, they have lost their jobs, and at the same time the whole health apparatus has been in crisis, unable to function.

What we have to understand is that this process HAS TO BE CONFRONTED! There has to be an organized opposition. This is a neo-liberal project! It’s neo-liberalism to the extreme.

Now, bear in mind that today, what we have, (is that) in some regards, the stock market crash used speculative instruments, insider trading, but also the fear campaign to implement what is THE MOST SIGNIFICANT TRANSFER OF WEALTH IN WORLD HISTORY! In other words, everybody loses money in the stock market crash and the money goes into the hands of, you know, a limited number of billionaires. And there have been estimates as to the enrichment of this class in the course of the last three months. I won’t get into details. So that, this, in a sense, this crisis of February, the stock market crisis, sets the stage for the lockdown.

And on (the topic of) the lockdown, we can call it by another name. The lockdown is the CLOSURE OF THE GLOBAL ECONOMY! It is an act which instructs national governments to close down their economy, and they obey! That’s what we call, ‘global governance’. But it’s an imperial project. They obey and they close down everything.

And then they they try to convince their citizens that this is all for a good cause, we are closing down the economy so that we can save lives due to covid-19. That is a very strong statement and at the same time the statistics on covid-19 are the source of manipulation.

I won’t get into that particular dimension but I can say in all certitude that the impact of this crisis is so dramatic, the economic crisis, that it DOESN’T COMPARE to the impact of covid-19, which, according even to people like Anthony Fauci, is comparable to the seasonal influenza. They’ve written that in their peer-reviewed articles.

What they say online, on CNN is a different matter. But they do not consider covid-19 as an ultimate danger of all dangers. It’s not. There are many other health pandemics affecting the world. That does not mean that we shouldn’t take it seriously but we should understand, it’s common sense, it’s not by closing down the global economy that you’re going to resolve this pandemic.

So somebody’s lying, somewhere. And in fact, the lies are ‘becoming the truth’, they’re becoming part of the ‘consensus’ and THAT IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.

Because when the lie becomes ‘the truth’, there’s no turning backwards.

And we notice how independent scientists, independent analysts, are being CENSORED,  that we have many doctors and nurses and scientists, virologists as well as economists who are speaking out. And you just have to look at the figures, the millions and millions of people who are unemployed as a result of this.

So, what we really need is a historical understanding of what’s going on, because closing down the economy through orders from ‘somewhere up there’ . . .

First of all, it’s DISTINCT FROM ANY PREVIOUS CRISIS. But secondly, we have to RESIST THAT MODEL. And it’s not by changing the paradigm, no. It’s a mass movement; it’s a mass movement against our governments, it’s a mass movement against the architects of this diabolical project . . .

And we can’t ask the Rockefellers, “Please lend us the money” to pay for our expenses, we have to do that on our own.

And that’s why all these NGOs, which are funded by corporate foundations Cannot  . . . I’m not saying . . . some of the things they do are fine but they cannot wage a campaign against those who are sponsoring them, that’s an impossibility.

So we have to implement a grassroots movement, nationally and internationally, to CONFRONT THIS DIABOLICAL PROJECT and to restore our national economies, our national institutions. And, to DENY THE LEGITIMACY OF THE DEBT PROJECT. And to investigate the elements of corruption which have led to this diabolical adventure, which is affecting humanity in its entirety.

This is a war against humanity, implemented through complex economic instruments.

Goodbye and we will continue our battle and our analysis to the best of our abilities at Global Research.

***

Our thanks to Chris Green for the Transcript of the above video.

CAPS indicate emphasis


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Reviews:

“This concise, provocative book reveals the negative effects of imposed economic structural reform, privatization, deregulation and competition. It deserves to be read carefully and widely.”
– Choice, American Library Association (ALA)

“The current system, Chossudovsky argues, is one of capital creation through destruction. The author confronts head on the links between civil violence, social and environmental stress, with the modalities of market expansion.”
– Michele Stoddard, Covert Action Quarterly

CLICK HERE FOR A SPECIAL INSIDE LOOK AT THE PREFACE

Michel Chossudovsky is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), which hosts the critically acclaimed website www.globalresearch.ca. He is a contributor to the Encyclopedia Britannica. His writings have been translated into more than 20 languages.

The original source of this article is Global

ResearchCopyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2020

The Media Is Lying About the ‘Second Wave’

By Rep. Ron Paul

Global Research, June 30, 2020

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity 29 June 2020

For months, the Washington Post and the rest of the mainstream media kept a morbid Covid-19 “death count” on their front pages and at the top of their news broadcasts. The coronavirus outbreak was all about the number of dead. The narrative was intended to boost governors like Cuomo in New York and Whitmer in Michigan, who turned their states authoritarian under the false notion that destroying people’s jobs, freedom, and lives would somehow keep a virus from doing what viruses always do: spread through a population until eventually losing strength and dying out.

The “death count” was always the headline.

But then all of a sudden early in June the mainstream media did a George Orwell and lectured us that it is all about “cases” and has always been all about “cases.” Death, and especially infection fatality rate, were irrelevant. Why? Because from the peak in April, deaths had decreased by 90 percent and were continuing to crash. That was not terrifying enough so the media pretended this good news did not exist.

With massive increases in testing, the “case” numbers climbed. This is not rocket science: the more people you test the more “cases” you discover.

Unfortunately our mainstream media is only interested in pushing the “party line.” So the good news that millions more have been exposed while the fatality rate continues to decline – meaning the virus is getting weaker – is buried under hysterical false reporting of “new cases.”

Unfortunately many governors, including our own here in Texas, are incapable of resisting the endless lies of the mainstream media. They are putting Americans again through the nightmare of forced business closures, mandated face masks, and restrictions of Constitutional liberties based on false propaganda.

In Texas the “second wave” propaganda has gotten so bad that the leaders of the four major hospitals in Houston took the extraordinary step late last week of holding a joint press conference to clarify that the scare stories of Houston hospitals being overwhelmed with Covid cases are simply untrue. Dr. Marc Boom of Houston Methodist said the reporting on hospital capacity is misleading. He said, “quite frankly, we’re concerned that there is a level of alarm in the community that is unwarranted right now.”

In fact, there has been much reporting that the “spike” in Texas cases is not due to a resurgence of the virus but to hospital practices of Covid-testing every patient coming in for any procedure at all. If it’s a positive, well that counts as a “Covid hospitalization.” Why would hospitals be so dishonest in their diagnoses? Billions of appropriated Federal dollars are being funneled to facilities based on the number of “Covid cases” they can produce. As I’ve always said, if you subsidize something you get more of it. And that’s why we are getting more Covid cases.

Let’s go back to the original measurements used to scare Americans into giving up their Constitutional liberties: the daily death numbers. Even though we know hospitals have falsely attributed countless deaths to “Covid-19” that were deaths WITH instead of FROM the virus, we are seeing actual deaths steadily declining over the past month and a half. Declining deaths are not a great way to push the “second wave” propaganda, so the media and politicians have moved the goal posts and decided that only “cases” are important. It’s another big lie.

Resist propaganda and defend your liberty. That is the only way we’ll get through this.

*

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Featured image is from CODEPINKThe original source of this article is The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and ProsperityCopyright © Rep. Ron PaulThe Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, 2020

The Wheel of Misfortune has sent the troops to Washington (Ruslan Ostashko)

August 1: when the unemployment runs out and a new era of US labor battles begin

August 1: when the unemployment runs out and a new era of US labor battles begin

May 28, 2020

by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog

TITANIC LARGEST SHIP IN THE WORLD SINKING

personally I am not sure that the twelvehour day is bad for employees especially when they insist on working that long in order to make more money

— John Dos Passos, The 42nd Parallel, part one of the U.S.A. trilogy

What if the bailouts actually work?

Naturally, socialists aren’t inclined to explore this question, but what’s so interesting is that the Western Mainstream Media doesn’t want to admit the truth: the US bailouts for the lower classes have been hugely effective.

Too effective, they fear, and their fears are entirely correct. Make sure to circle August 1 on your calendar because that will be something of a US class war D-Day.

The Mainstream Media does not want to touch this issue with a 10-foot pole, so we cannot find much coverage of the reality that the Great Lockdown payouts to the lower classes have been – by US standards – incredibly generous. (Note: this article was written last week. The latest Fed Beige Book came out yesterday and addressed this issue, so I bumped this column up in the queue.)

2020 saw the very first “People’s QE”, with $1,200 in direct payments and a $600 increase per week in unemployment insurance until July 31.

Even if the bureaucracy sometimes moved too slowly and there were inevitable issues with this enormous and unprecedented redistribution, the verdict was in immediately: this was a hugely popular success with the lower classes. And why wouldn’t it be? It’s the most generous unemployment payout since the 1930s. For the first time in recent memory governmental policy favoured the lower class worker instead of the upper-middle and upper classes.

The average worker went from $378 per week in state unemployment benefits to $978 per week – a jump of 160%. You ever get a 160% raise before? I haven’t. Indeed, a socialist had to have gotten a lump in their throats when this was announced. One study showed that a whopping 68 percent of unemployed workers who can receive benefits are eligible for payments that are greater than their lost earnings. That number seems a bit high, but the massive desire to support the stay-at-home orders was surely a reflection of a desire to support this radically different approach to poverty prevention.

For the incredibly stingy US system the payout was unexpectedly generous and even based on good sense: the payout was $978 per week because the national average salary for unemployment recipients is $970 per week. It passed the smell test, too: $4,000 per month is a pretty good salary in the US… if you have no kids. However, if you have a very good upper-middle class job then it’s a pay cut, but democratically orienting policy to the needs of the lower classes and not the upper and upper-middle classes in the US? Since when?!

This is when socialists had to think – maybe these bailouts will actually work?

But it’s not as if they pulled the plug on capitalist-imperialist culture, so I think the US 1% made a major mistake in suddenly growing a conscience – they have unwittingly done more to raise class consciousness than any union or socialist party has done for many decades.

Buy some popcorn and watch the show – August 1 is going to see public labor-related rage for the first time since the 1930s.

Big, big problems in almost too many ways to count starting August 1

Michiganders demanding their constitutional right to fish was interesting, courageous and an example of ancestor worship any East Asian would be proud of, but let’s talk turkey about why in May – when it became clear that comparisons of coronavirus with the Spanish Flu of 1918 were obviously tabloid journalism – polls showed so many people refused to go back to work:

The early reopening of the economy was shot in the foot by this “unemployment bailout” – why on earth would the lower classes want to return to their low-paid jobs, where they could contract huge corona-related health care costs, when they can be totally safe and paid better to boot?

Don’t get it twisted for even a moment: the problem was NOT an excessive government handout but the TERRIBLE wages lower class workers have to endure since 1980. What “shot the recovery in the foot”, therefore, was capitalist greed and decades of stagnant wages, not “overly-generous government programs”. If the US had paid proper wages, and had shown proper skepticism to the now-unproven claims of corona hysterics, then they wouldn’t have so many employees telling bosses to take their job and shove it.

And the anger will seethe long-term, because the long, long, LONG overdue payout only sowed the seeds of future class discontent: it took a deadly pandemic for America’s most abused workers to finally get a living wage of above $15/hour. How can the lower classes – who are totally denied class consciousness by the US education system and pop culture – now ever forget that money for them really is there, but it is unfairly redistributed?

The US already has 41 million unemployed officially – given that the median weekly income in the US is $865, we are conservatively talking about 20 million workers who will only go back to work grudgingly on August 1.

The long-term cultural ramifications of that should not be underestimated.

Equally necessary to not underestimate: after August 1 many millions of workers won’t have these proper unemployment benefits nor a job either – at least 25% to up to over 40% of jobs aren’t coming back. So, conservatively, 20-30 million workers are going to get a huge pay cut as they have to survive on the “normal” benefit of just $378 per week.

Again, the cultural ramifications add up to massive discontent.

I think there is no chance that the US 1% authorises an extension of the $600 per week extra past August 1 – it was totally out of keeping with US ideology to begin with, and yet another indicator of the hysteria which swept the US regarding coronavirus. If unemployment benefits remained that high the only choice would be for bosses to raise wages to attract workers, and 40 years of recent shows that simply won’t be allowed to happen in the US.

Congress will, however, likely extend the number of weeks workers can live on the inadequate $378 wage (usually around 6 months in the US) but that will hardly be viewed as sufficient. They are talking about giving a $450 back to work bonus to get workers to accept jobs, and this only shows what a huge mistake the US 1% made amid the corona hysteria (thankfully!) and how they are now scrambling to erase it by offering crumbs.

The Democratic leadership has proposed extending the $600/week until 2021, but that’s typically-empty Democratic electioneering: if they really wanted to protect the lower classes and not corporations then they would have included that proposal in the first bailout package. Democrats waited until they knew extending $600 plus had no chance of getting passed

The cultural discontent will also be amplified and extended by the upcoming US elections in November.

Should we expect on August 1st the media to “play ball” with the 1%, like they normally do, and shepherd the masses to go back to work? Not hardly. I think it’s staggeringly unpatriotic to have “played politics” during this pandemic but nobody would doubt that many journalists, politicians and governors have done and are doing exactly that – why would they stop just a few months prior to Trump’s re-election vote?

(Indeed, whereas pre-corona I viewed Trump as a near-lock to be re-elected the odds of him winning amid such economic depression now seems rather illogical. As he is an extreme narcissist Trump views absolutely everything as being all about him, but I can see why he said back in February that corona was being overhyped to damage him politically.)

Will the fake-leftist MSM agitate in favor of labor/the unemployed army, thus against the 1%? That would be rather amazing, and something not seen since the 1970s, but it actually seems likely because they want to better Democratic election chances. It is only a temporary change caused by the corona hysteria and won’t stick long-term, of course.

Countering the fake-leftist MSM will be the always unwanted presence of Austrians/Chicagoans/Republicans who sanctimoniously rail about the “moral hazard” of “incentivising sloth” – people who never knew working hard at a lousy job yet still being unable to pay the most basic bills – will be equating extending the $600/week with the arrival of Satan, whom they are sure is also a Stalinist socialist. These greedy toads had effectively kept a lid on class consciousness for four decades, but no longer.

By August 1 all will be reminded: the problem remains unequal distribution

The term “working class” is so distorted in US culture that the term has no meaning anymore – I prefer the Iranian term “the lower classes” because everybody instinctively knows if they are in the “upper class” or one of all those “lower classes”. And, far more importantly, is that everyone knows whom they politically support: Mao came from a wealthy family but lived his motto of “Serve the People”, whereas plenty of New York City rappers would set an urban housing project on fire just to get on MTV. Many in the US are aware of Eugene “Daddy Socialist” V. Debs’ saying “while there is a soul in prison, I am not free,” but they are not told what preceded it: “while there is a lower class, I am in it”.

So support/opposition to $600 extra per week is going to go a long way in showing who supports which class.

Ultimately, the bailouts will not work – in terms of aiding society – for the three other major components of the US economy: the small- and medium-sized business, corporations and high finance. Addressing “Will the bailouts work?” for those sectors requires another article, but this column democratically addressed the bailouts’ effect on the largest sector of society – the lower classes.

August 1 will mark a critical new era in which domestic disenchantment with the American system reaches an all-time peak, and then only increase from there. Mark your calendars.

It’s not as if American socialism doesn’t have a history to draw upon for strength and guidance, such as John Dos Passos. The U.S.A. trilogy was ranked 23rd on Modern Library’s 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century, but today Dos Passos has been banished from schools, academia and public consciousness – he chronicled the early years of American socialism.

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

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

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

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

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

MSNBC: Chicago price gouging up 9,000% & the sports-journalization of US media – March 25, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Misinformation Even When it Comes to Drama

Thursday, 21 May 2020 12:21


 It is not   often that a normal dramatic detective police series is subjected to the politicization and fury that the Syrian drama series “Interview with Mr. Adam” was subjected to.  Various TV channels went to great lengths showing different parts of episodes and emphasizing a particular scene and then rerunning that scene more than once. British newspaper “the Guardian ” devoted a whole article to that particular detective series. Why were there many attempts to transform this series from an exciting thriller to a sinister on?

“The Guardian sadly has taken only one side and adopts the point of view of the Syrian opposition which is based on fallacy”. This is what producer of an “Interview with Mr. Adam” Fadi Salim said in an interview with Syriatimes.

When Fadi Salim first saw the amount of disinformation that was spurting out of sub media outlets he was flabbergasted. It had never occurred to him that his detective series would be politicized and twisted to such an extent. Producer Fadi Salim has produced other detective series and his work is as far as it is possible from being political.

Mr. Salim clarifies in his interview with Syria times that the filming of the series took place in Damascus with some scenes being filmed at the Muwasat hospital. The girl who played the role of the murdered women, in the series is Tunisian actress Salma Jalal. There are many pictures and videos of Ms. Jalal as body make up is applied on her so she appears as a murder victim. There are pictures of her as she is lying dead in a morgue with a number attached to a head band as is the protocol applied in many countries to murder victims.

“The numbers on the headband were chosen haphazardly,” says Mr. Salim and the “picture of the murdered women is ‘taken long shot’. It is impossible to decipher the numbers simply because they were not important to the plot”. The picture shown by some media with a clear number is to say the least a fabricated picture with the numbers being added later on.”

Fadi Salim almost laughs at the accusations leveled at the series and says “those who are not convinced of what I say please go ahead and communicate with Salma Jalal. She is easily found on face book.

It is sad that a newspaper such as the Guardian doesn’t approach this subject professionally. They took one side only and gave credibility to their fallacies. Had I been approached

I would have been more than happy to clarify everything. After all there is nothing to hide and a special program will be aired on Syrian TV today that will refute the lies and allegations put forward by the opposition and adopted by some media without any proof what so ever. Their claims are no more than figments of an overactive imagination      but then when one is drowning one clutches at straws.”

When asked by Syriatimes to clarify what he meant, he said that he is used to the fabrications of some media channels. He recalls a time some years back when he was sitting at his house watching TV and Al Arabia showed supposed pictures of his street where his house was in Damascus, being destroyed. This was one of many outright lies. He says: “fabrications are used when the truth doesn’t support what is being said and this is what happened in this series.”

Their attempts to lie and politicize a drama series has backfired on them _ simply because what they are saying is not logical.”

Fadi Salim goes on to say that he is more than ready to answer any questions.

He can be reached on mobile number 00963 991111120  

Editor in Chief: Reem Haddad

Body makeup being applied on murder victem in Syrian Drama series “Interview with Mr.Adam” 

SHOW MORE 

Disinformation campaigns against Syria continue by targeting Syrian drama حملات التضليل الإعلاميّ ضدّ سورية تطال الأعمال الدراميّة

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Damascus, (ST) – The disinformation campaign and fabricated accusations that have been practiced by Western media since the beginning of the terrorist war against Syria continue in politics and economy. Even Syrian drama has not been spared and is being targeted with a systematic disinformation campaign.

What is new today is the attempt by the Western media and those behind it to target Syria through Syrian drama, specifically towards the drama series entitled (Interview with Mr. Adam) .This series attracted a high percentage of viewership in Syria and abroad.

British newspaper, The Guardian, claimed in an article two days ago that in one of the scenes of the series related to the murder of an Egyptian girl and during the examination of the victim’s body, the director of the work used a picture that the Guardian claims is “one of the victims of Syrian prisons” according to alleged photos released by what is known as “Caesar” years ago.

 The director of the drama work, Fadi Salim, said in response to a question to SANA about this topic that “the actor who played the victim’s role in the series is the Tunisian actress Salma Jalal, and her makeup artist was Ahmed Haidar. An extra was used for the morgue scene -a scene that was filmed at Al Mouwasat Hospital.

The director Salim presented photos and a video showing the Tunisian actress’s facial make-up operations, as well as the abdominal make-up works of the  extra (attached video and photos) taken during the montage operations with the series’ hero, Ghassan Massoud and others.

Raghda Sawas

حملات التضليل الإعلاميّ ضدّ سورية تطال الأعمال الدراميّة

القائمون على مسلسل «مقابلة السيد آدم» يكشفون الحقيقة

حملة التضليل الإعلامي الذي يمارسه الإعلام الغربي منذ بدء الحرب الإرهابية ضدّ سورية مستمرة في السياسة والميدان والاقتصاد ولم تسلم منها الدراما السورية التي يتم استهدافها بحملة تضليل ممنهجة.

الجديد اليوم هو محاولة الإعلام الغربي ومن يقف خلفه من حلف الأعداء استهداف سورية عبر التصويب على الدراما السورية وبالتحديد باتجاه العمل الدرامي الذي حمل عنوان «مقابلة مع السيد آدم» والذي استقطبت حلقاته نسبة مشاهدة عالية في سورية وخارجها.

فبعد أن استنفدت الأذرع الإعلامية للإرهابيين من الجزيرة والعربية وغيرها من الإعلام الغربي جميع أدواتها في التضليل الإعلامي الذي شكّل التمهيد الناري للحرب الإرهابية ضد سورية واستمر طيلة سنواتها في السياسة والدين والميدان تعيد تلك الأدوات الهجوم ضد سورية عبر استهداف الدراما السورية بحملة تضليل مكشوفة.

صحيفة الغادريان البريطانية ادعت في مقال مطول لأحد كتبتها من عاصمة السلطنة العثمانية اسطنبول قبل يومين بأنه في أحد مشاهد المسلسل المتعلقة بجريمة قتل فتاة مصرية وخلال فحص جثة الضحية قام مخرج العمل باستخدام صورة تقول إنها «لإحدى ضحايا السجون السورية» حسب مجموعة صور مزعومة أطلقها ما بات يعرف باسم «سيزر» أو قيصر قبل سنوات.

مخرج العمل الدرامي فادي سليم قال في ردّ عن الموضوع إن من قام بتمثيل دور الضحية في المسلسل هي الممثلة التونسية سلمى جلال وهي التي خضعت لأعمال الماكياج للوجه الذي ظهر للضحية من قبل الماكيير أحمد حيدر فيما تم تنفيذ ماكياج البطن لفتاة سورية «كومبارس» وأن هذه الأعمال تمت في مشفى المواساة.

وقدّم المخرج سليم صوراً وفيديو تظهر عمليات الماكياج التي خضعت لها الممثلة التونسية في الوجه وكذلك أعمال الماكياج للبطن للفتاة الكومبارس التقطت خلال عمليات المونتاج مع بطل المسلسل الفنان غسان مسعود وآخرين.

الصحيفة البريطانية نشرت صورة تقول إنها للفتاة التي ادعت أن المخرج استخدمها لكن بالمقارنة بين الصورة المنشورة والصور الحقيقية للضحية في مشهد الكشف على الجثة يتبين حجم الفرق وبالتالي حجم التلفيق والتزوير الذي ما زالت الدوائر المعادية لسورية في السياسة والإعلام تمارسه بالرغم من انكشافها على مدار سنوات الحرب التسع.

وأكد مخرج العمل أن عملية ترقيم الجثث المجهولة هي عملية معمول بها عالمياً ولكنها في الدراما مجرد أرقام عشوائية تعطى عادة للجثث المجهولة موضحاً أن ما يدعونه أصلاً عن صور قيصر أو سيزر هي مفبركة وغير صحيحة.

وتهدف الحملة الجديدة إلى إعادة ضخّ الحياة في مسرحية صور «قيصر» المفبركة التي انطلقت قبل أعوام ضد سورية والتي تحاول الإدارة الأميركية اليوم استغلالها لتبرير إصدارها قانون شريعة الغاب الذي يحمل اسم «قيصر» بتشديد الحصار والعقوبات غير الشرعية ضدّ الشعب السوري.

وعن سبب الهجوم على المسلسل قال سليم إن الدراما السورية لهذا العام أنتجت أعمالاً درامية مهمة كـ»حارس القدس» و»مقابلة مع السيد آدم» وغيرها وهي تحظى بنسب مشاهدة عالية في العالم العربي ويبدو أن هناك منزعجين من تألّق الدراما السورية رغم سنوات الحرب الإرهابية التي تشنّ على بلدنا منذ أكثر من تسع سنوات.

وأضاف إن العملية واضحة وهي استهداف لسورية عبر التصويب على الدراما من خلال التضليل الإعلامي المستمر منذ عام 2011 وحتى اليوم، فالسوريون يعلمون جيداً حجم الحرب الإعلامية التي شنّت على بلدهم على مدى سنوات الحرب وهذا جزء من هذه الحرب.

ليس من المستغرب أن يتم تجديد حملات التضليل والفبركة الإعلامية ضدّ سورية بعدما فشلت جميع الحملات السابقة من مسرحيات الكيميائي التي نفذها إرهابيو «الخوذ البيضاء» في التأثير على وعي الشعب السوري وقوته وصموده والذي ساهم إلى حد كبير بانهيار أدوات مخطط العدوان الإرهابية واندحارهم أمام الجيش العربي السوري.

الحملة ضد الدراما السورية التي تستقطب جمهوراً واسعاً في العالم العربي وخصوصاً في شهر رمضان المبارك لا تنفصل عن الإرهاب الاقتصادي والصحي الذي تمارسه الولايات المتحدة وأدواتها ضد الشعب السوري في ظل تفشّي وباء كورونا عالمياً وفي ظل تداعياته الاقتصادية والصحية على شعوب العالم ومنهم الشعب السوري.

Russian-Syrian relations stronger than ever, Assad rumors unfounded: envoy

By News Desk -2020-05-21

BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:30 P.M.) – The Russian ambassador in Damascus, Alexander Yevimov, stressed that the relations between his country and Syria are stronger today than they were at any time in the past, denying all claims about removing Assad.

Yevimov said in an interview with the newspaper Al-Watan that these relations are “friendly and strategic in nature, and aim to achieve common goals for the benefit of the Russian and Syrian people.”

Yevimov described the rumors and hints currently circulating about the differences in Russian-Syrian relations as having no basis, saying that “those who insist on reading cooperation between Moscow and Damascus in a way of lying and falsifying facts are carrying out a process of media sabotage only.”

The Russian ambassador used the phrase “let the dogs bark and the convoy is walking” in describing the promoters of these rumors, and stressed that “these attempts will fail if we do not say that they have failed, and will not be allowed even to approach the intended results.

Yevimov explained that “the anti-Syrian and Russian players, after failing to achieve their destructive goals in a military manner, are trying to exert political pressure on Damascus and strangle it with unprecedented economic sanctions” and said that these “are still empty hands until now, and they use all possible means, including their pathetic attempts to find There are “imperfections” that are not found in the relations between Russia and Syria in order to separate the two countries.

Late last month, rumors were spread about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s alleged dissatisfaction with his Syrian counterpart, Bashar Al-Assad.

However, not much long after these rumors were spread, several Russian and Syrian officials have since denied any friction between their governments.

ALSO READ  ISIS takes advantage of coronavirus pandemic to launch new attack in east Syria

Zasypkin: Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are above all considerations

Source

Wednesday, 29 April 2020 10:16

BEIRUT, (ST)- Russian Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin has stressed that for Russia, Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are above all considerations, noting the strong and strategic relations between the two countries.

In an interview with “al-Mayadeen TV” last night, Zasypkin said that Russia will continue adopting a principled stance and policy towards Syria, affirming that there is no deal with any party regarding Syria.

He reiterated that Syria’s future is decided only by the Syrians without any foreign interference and that the Syrian government is sparing no effort to solve the crisis in the country.

 Zasypkin made it clear that the recent media forgery that targeted Russia’s stance on developments in Syria was done after hacking the website of the Russian Federal Agency and through showing the personal position of a former Russian diplomat as if it were the official position of Russia. He indicated that it is not the first time that such forgery takes place.

On Tuesday, the Russian embassy in Beirut affirmed that all the fake news recently circulated by some media outlets and social media networks about Russia’s position towards what is happening in Syria are part of a misleading malicious scheme that is doomed to failure.

Hamda Mustafa

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What would it take for proponents to say: ‘The Great Lockdown was wrong’?

April 28, 2020

What would it take for proponents to say: ‘The Great Lockdown was wrong’?

By Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog

There must be SOME criteria where the proponents of the Great Lockdown could say, “In hindsight, this was wrong.”

It is obviously hysterical to insist that admitting a policy mistake is totally, completely impossible. German fascists are not wiping out Poland, after all.

I mean, what if a secret global doomsday machine in Poland gets triggered if global GNP falls below a certain threshold, wiping out humanity? Certainly then all would agree, “The Great Lockdown turned out to be a mistake,” right?

Absurd extremes aside, the coronavirus overreaction has turned into a major test case for today’s Western worship of both technocracy and scientific secularism. Since 1980 they have insisted that national cultures should not play any shaping role in public policy because Westerners have discovered a system of “universal values” which should guide all national governments.

(The Western system is – of course – actually based on aristocratic/bourgeois neoliberalism & neo-imperialism.)

A corollary is that a technocratic 10% should be implementing these values with zero lower-class input into public policy formation. A second corollary is that science is the one, true, rightly-guided, infallible way. In April 2020 the doctors and professors are always right, and US President Donald Trump is always wrong.

But… then how do we explain this written – not spoken – declaration from the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, as reported by AP? This was published on April 24, during the truly fake-news controversy regarding Trump and injecting disinfectants.

“Given that countries currently in ‘summer’ climates, such as Australia and Iran, are experiencing rapid virus spread, a decrease in cases with increases in humidity and temperature elsewhere should not be assumed,” the researchers wrote earlier in April in response to questions from the White House Office of Science and Technology.”

But Iran is not in summer – they are in the northern hemisphere, so Iran is in spring.

Australia is in the southern hemisphere – it is in autumn.

In fact, due to the tilting of the earth, if the northern hemisphere is in spring then the southern hemisphere can only be in autumn, never in summer. Spring in the north and summer anywhere else is an impossibility.

Not only am I not a rightly-guided epidemiologist, I am not even a scientist and yet I know this. Heck, maybe even Trump knows this.

Associated Press, the largest news-gathering organisation in the world, obviously made the same elementary mistake as these scientists. It is very possible that in their rabid desire to discredit Trump the journalists cared more about over-exaggerating his clearly off-the-cuff science than fact-checking.

My point here is not to say “gotcha, you are dumb” – my point is to say that this is precisely why socialist democracy (which relies on consensus) is so much more valuable than Western technocratic individualism. You see: God, in His wisdom, made humans imperfect – and that includes epidemiologists and we journalists.

That is why the West’s choice to rely solely on epidemiologists, and also a mainstream media which is supposed to be always ever-skeptically vetting everyone’s declarations, is a fundamentally flawed approach to handling the corona response. Combine this with a Western system where politicians are forced to be always either in electioneering mode or fund-raising mode, and you get a system which uncritically bows to very mistake-prone earthly authorities.

I find it stunning that US polls have consistently pegged general support for the lockdowns to be at 80%, and that an unthinkable 95% of Democrats say the measures don’t go too far. Considering all the poverty, the refusals to loan to Main Street, the delays in government aid, the exponentially-increasing certainty of prolonged economic chaos – Americans are still not fed up? I can only theorise that the US people have been so propagandised by a lack of “contrarian voices” – contrarian because they dare to say that the needs of the lower classes must be voiced and implemented – that they have been terrified into submission by their media. Democrats are obviously the least open to different ideas – we see how fantastically total their groupthink is.

But back to my main point: what are the realistic criteria where people would say – as people must often do if we are to have a civilised society which progresses – “I was wrong”?

I can’t think of any which would be acceptable… and that shows the massive hysteria of the Western response

Please note that “I was misled” is certainly acceptable.

After all, just turn on your television and you are almost guaranteed to see a journalist nodding along to whatever an epidemiologist is saying – these two classes have been given the key to socioeconomic policy. In the corona hysteria these two have worked in tandem, and both must be judged according to the huge power they have been given.

As late as March 20th The New York Times fake-leftist bien-pensant Nicolas Kristof quoted “one of the best disease modellers in the world” declaring that the best-case scenario in the US was “about 1.1 million deaths”, with the worst-case being “2.2 million deaths”. They even put the latter in the sub-headline. Because he is such an awful, unreadable journalist Kristof does not make it clear if these two scenarios are the result of everyone doing absolutely nothing to combat coronavirus (an absurdity, which only an ivory tower academic would waste time studying) – I assume that is the case. However, many others may not make that assumption because Kristof leads the reader to believe (and maybe he believes this – he is not clear) that despite all the personal protective gear, ventilators, new hospital beds and everything else that US society could throw at corona, then we should still expect over 1 million deaths. Thus, both scientists and Kristof conclude: “If anything, we’re still underreacting.”

It turns out the epidemiologist’s numbers were indeed based on the idea that everyone did absolutely nothing. Well, thanks for getting dumb journalists all worked up over nothing! And I guess epidemiologists can’t write Kristof’s article for him but it’s certain that this power tandem failed at the top.

I’m not surprised, because I always doubted 2.2 million and here’s one reason why: MSM journalists seem to forget that recent history is not kind to US epidemiologists: In 2014 the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicted 1.4 million Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone alone. There were only 28,616 total cases. If this was Iran or China we could just accuse them of a cover-up, but alas…. And those are two countries with far, far less resources to throw at a virus. On April 3 satirical website The Onion re-ran Historians Politely Remind Nation To Check What’s Happened In Past Before Making Any Big Decisions – they are indeed more credible than The New York Times.

So what are the criteria for a fact-based backtracking?

Frankly, I don’t think the Great Lockdown supporters have thought about this at all, and that should cause them some worry.

This question has clearly been repeatedly shot down to the point where everyone self-censors, which is the most effective form of censorship. The question itself has been deemed to be proof of being a far-right neo-fascist: A Google search reveals What If the Pandemic Policymakers Are Wrong? Will health experts become the latest elite deemed “too big to fail”? That’s a great sub-headline – I’d nick it, but this article is almost completely written already. What’s too bad is that this article is from the website American Greatness, LOL.

So just asking “what if” puts me on the far-right? Well, I did just sign off on the cover to my latest book on socialism so, LOL, I could debate that rather at length. However, asking “but what if”, providing a modicum of contrarian views, being skeptical – this is what objective journalism is in any nation.

I am willing to question my faith: One article idea in my “to do” basket is, “What do socialists do if the bailouts actually work?” I am not so self-righteous, smug and smothering that I refuse to honestly ask and answer that question – it’s at least possible they will… because the question is not mathematical and because that history is not yet written.

Can Great Lockdown supporters question themselves? I doubt they can or even want to respond.

What I fear is this: that many Great Lockdown supporters are so self-righteous, out of touch and indoctrinated that they will genuinely believe that “even preventing one death made it worth it”. This is the view of a child, not an adult citizen who should know that any “War on Dying” is nothing but a joke. That is the exact view of a lowest-common denominator American politician – are REALLY trying to be like them? “Whatever you say” politicians are the third wheel on the tricycle which is steering Western, pro-upper-class corona policy.

To answer my own question: Because the virus was supposed to be so extraordinary, extraordinary measures have been taken. So it’s gone far beyond only total deaths – the accurate counting of which appears to be already hopelessly muddled.

If corona pricks the Western bubble economy (Condensing the data leaves no doubt: Fear corona-economy more than the virus) and “Great Depression 2” becomes a real thing – was it worth it?

If major aspects of the current drastic reduction in political rights get normalised – just as France prolonged a “temporary” state of emergency for two full years, and then Emmanuel Macron legalised it into common police practice – was it worth it?

If the US bows to Dr. Anthony Fauci, their nation’s leading technocrat on infectious diseases, and permanently “breaks that custom” of shaking hands to show warmth and friendship to strangers or if France ends the la bise hello kisses – was it worth it?

There are economic, political and cultural shockwaves stemming from the Great Lockdown – maybe their proponents didn’t foresee them, or maybe they were misled, but these things cannot be ignored because they, too, will cause death and pain.

You don’t want to talk about those things? No problem.

You don’t even have to answer the simple question the headline poses – too many people getting bossed around these days already.

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

Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!

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

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

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

MSNBC: Chicago price gouging up 9,000% & the sports-journalization of US media – March 25, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

As Russia Sends Aid, US and NATO Sneer and Smear

Source

Once again NATO reveals itself as the architect of its own decline, missing a golden opportunity to help instead of hinder and harass. 
April 9, 2020 (Gunnar Ulson – NEO) – When Russian military planes and trucks arrived in Italy to provide relief for communities hit by the Covid-19 outbreak, the Italian government, elected into power by the Italian people, was thankful for the assistance offered by Moscow.

Named officials within the Italian government, including the foreign minister, the minister of defense and the governor of Apulia, Michele Emiliano, publically expressed thanks to Russia for the aid.

But finding any mention of this across the Western media is difficult, often buried deep within articles aimed entirely at smearing Russia for sending aid and depicting Italians as victims of a publicity stunt.

Reuters, in a smear piece published by the New York Times and aimed at vilifying Moscow, still had to admit regarding Russian aid that Italians were grateful, noting:

“There are no new geopolitical scenarios to trace, there is a country that needs help and other countries that are helping us,” Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio was quoted as saying by Italy’s Il Corriere della Sera newspaper on Thursday.

Despite Italy being capable of speaking for itself and bringing up any suspicions (if they had any), the West decided to step in and speak for Italy instead.

Sneering and Smearing 

Western headlines are flooded with scorn for both Russia and the aid they sent, completely indifferent to how Italians themselves perceived the gesture.

Articles like Bloomberg’s “Italy Questions Russians Over Their Goodwill Virus Gestures,” admit several paragraphs in that officially, Italy was grateful for the aid, noting:

“Our country can only be grateful” for the solidarity of many countries, including Russia, the Italian defense and foreign ministries said in a joint statement Friday.

Yet claims that “Italy questions Russia” suggest the entire nation is suspicious of the aid. Upon reading Bloomberg’s article, the only source cited is a single article in the Italian newspaper “La Stampa.” It is hard to believe an article in “La Stampa” constitutes all of “Italy.”

According to the pro-Western Moscow Times in their article, “80% of Russia’s Coronavirus Aid to Italy ‘Useless’ – La Stampa,” also entirely based on the La Stampa article, its admits La Stampa’s information came from an “unnamed source.” 

Other articles, like the BBC’s “Coronavirus: What does ‘from Russia with love’ really mean?,” Foreign Policy’s “Beware of Bad Samaritans,” and Forbes’ “From Russia With Love? Putin’s Medical Supplies Gift To Coronavirus-Hit Italy Raises Questions,” all used similarly disingenuous tactics to depict the Russian aid as somehow sinister and unwanted.

The Guardian in its article, “Coronavirus: Russia sends plane full of medical supplies to US,” explains:

Critics likely to claim Moscow will exploit goodwill gesture as public relations coup. 

France 24 in headline alone makes Western criticism even clearer, claiming, “Flying aid to virus-hit Italy, Moscow flexes soft power.

So by sending aid to Italy, Russia is somehow supposedly flexing its “soft power.”

So How is the West Using Its Soft Power? 

The West faced a collective decision. They could have used their own, very substantial soft power to one-up Russia by sending even more aid to Italy and other regions of the globe impacted by the spread of Covid-19.

Instead, they mobilized the entirety of their soft power to sneer and smear Russia’s efforts with Western-funded media fronts writing entire articles doing just that.

The West’s attempts to depict the Russian media reporting on the aid as also somehow sinister rather than simply telling the world what Russia is doing is also particularly surreal.

The Western media itself spends the summation of its own time and energy promoting what their respective governments are doing abroad which usually involves illegal invasions, wars, occupations and interventions… not sending aid.

A Missed Opportunity 
Because certain special interests in the West fear some Western governments growing closer to nations like Russia and China in the spirit of cooperation and mutual benefits and derailing the Washington-led “international order” that has prevailed post World War 2, resources have been committed to attacking any development that could spur this process further.

But because these resources have been invested into attacking, even when attacking is not the best option, that is all the West appears capable of doing.

The answer to Russian aid to Italy was Western aid to Italy. The benefit would have been a flood of resources sent to where it was needed and everyone involved enjoying the benefits of lending a helping hand to those who would be grateful in return.

Instead, the West appears to be throwing rocks at a time when others are coming together to help, and throwing those rocks at those who are helping.

Rather than teaching the Italians never to deal with Russia again, it is likely this process is going to remind Italians as to why they’ve diversified their foreign relations outside the West in the first place.

Gunnar Ulson, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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