Aletho News


‘Settled Science’ Is Going the Way of BuzzFeed

By Brian C. Joondeph | American Thinker | January 25, 2019

“Settled science” and BuzzFeed share a fatal commonality. Both are driven by an agenda rather than facts. BuzzFeed learned that lesson yet another time last week. Two years ago, the publication pushed the Clinton-bought phony and unverified Trump Russia dossier, which launched stories of collusion, FISA warrants, and the ongoing Mueller investigation.

In a bit of irony, it was the Mueller team that slapped down BuzzFeed’s latest story accusing President Trump of asking Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. Imagine the fake news media being fact-checked by their hero, Robert Mueller.

So-called settled science faces similar collisions with reality. Driven by a particular agenda, whether financial or political, science becomes blinded to any contrarian views, insisting that the issue is “settled,” shutting off any further inquiry, debate, or honest disagreement. In some areas of science, dissenters are labeled as “deniers” with threats of violence, loss of job, or even imprisonment.

The most prevalent example is climate. From global cooling in the 1970s to global warming in the 2000s, the names have changed, but not the agenda. Since climate models are misbehaving, not providing the desired predictions, the names have morphed into “climate change” or “extreme weather.” But still the science is considered “settled.”

Barack Obama in 2014 told Congress, “The debate is settled, climate change is a fact.”

Someone with a bit more science knowledge than the community organizer from Chicago, physician and author Michael Crichton, said this about settled science: “There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus.  Period.”

The latest bit of unsettled science is something few of us are thinking about in the midst of global warming-induced winter storms and piles of snow – namely, sunscreen.

A recent article in Outside magazine sums it up: “Current guidelines for sun exposure are unhealthy and unscientific, controversial new research suggests – and quite possibly even racist.  How did we get it so wrong?”

It started with vitamin D.

People with low levels of vitamin D in their blood have significantly higher rates of virtually every disease and disorder you can think of: cancer, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, heart attack, stroke, depression, cognitive impairment, autoimmune conditions, and more. The vitamin is required for calcium absorption and is thus essential for bone health, but as evidence mounted that lower levels of vitamin D were associated with so many diseases, health experts began suspecting that it was involved in many other biological processes as well.

Why were so many of us low in vitamin D? “Vitamin D is a hormone manufactured by the skin with the help of sunlight. It’s difficult to obtain in sufficient quantities through diet.”

Enter the settled science that sun exposure is bad. Excessive sun exposure, particularly sunburn, increases the risk of skin cancer. Dermatologists recommend absolute protection from the sun, even on cloudy days. Use sunscreen, the higher the SPF rating the better, and apply it multiple times a day, even if you are just going to work and back.

Easy enough. Just take a vitamin D supplement every day, stay out of the sun, and all will be well. Or will it?

“Vitamin D supplementation has failed spectacularly in clinical trials” according to the Outside article. Five years of high-dose vitamin D had “[n]o impact on cancer, heart disease, or stroke.”

Maybe simply taking vitamin D as a pill isn’t the same as getting it naturally from sun exposure. Perhaps the low blood levels of vitamin D in the unhealthy weren’t the actual cause of health problems, but instead just a marker.

This is the scientific conundrum of causation versus association. Does having blue hair cause elderly ladies to play bingo, or is this just an association?

The science of sunlight is a bit more complicated. The skin uses sunlight to make nitric oxide, a blood vessel-dilator that lowers blood pressure. This in turn reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. Vitamin D is produced along the way but may not be preventing actual disease, instead serving as a marker that an individual is receiving enough sun exposure.

But too much sun, particularly sunburn, does increase the risk of skin cancer. Some types, like basal cells, are a cosmetic nuisance, whereas melanoma is deadly.

Much as with climate. One can argue that fossil fuel consumption is a threat to the climate. Yet the benefits of fossil fuel energy production have lifted millions out of poverty, prolonging life spans and quality of life.

Swedish study tracked 30,000 women over 20 years and found that “[s]un avoiders were twice as likely to die as sun worshippers.”

What unsettled the science of lathering on sunscreen or avoiding the sun altogether was the finding that “[a]voidance of sun exposure is a risk factor of a similar magnitude as smoking, in terms of life expectancy.”

How else to explain our prehistoric ancestors, wearing minimal, if any, clothing, spending their days in the sun, without becoming extinct? Settled science looks simplistic, much in the way Al Gore’s insistence the CO2 controls the Earth’s thermostat looks simplistic when we consider that the upper Midwest was once covered in a mile-thick sheet of ice when the planet cooled but then melted when the planet warmed.

It seems that sun exposure, in moderation, may not be bad for you.  In fact, it may be healthier than avoiding it. Does this sound familiar?

In the annals of settled science, we have heard this song before. Once upon a time, margarine was good and butter was bad.  Margarine is a trans fat and now considered unhealthy compared to butter. Dietary fats in general were unhealthy, and people were told to eat carbohydrates instead.  This ushered in an epidemic of Type 2 diabetes.

Same with coffee, at one time the cause of all types of nasty diseases, now providing numerous health benefits.

Don’t forget carbon dioxide, which, some say, is killing the planet. Constituting only 0.04% of the atmosphere, does a small increase in CO2 mean the planet is doomed? Or is it beneficial, since CO2 is plant food, necessary for photosynthesis, responsible for “greening” the planet – which in turn leads to more food production?

There’s temperature as well, which fluctuates on the Earth in varying cycles for unclear reasons.  Warmer temperatures might raise the sea level a few inches but may also increase the amount of fertile land and provide a longer growing season.

Although we know much about the world, there is plenty we don’t yet understand. It’s the height of hubris to assume we have all the answers and that the science is settled. The sunscreen about-face is just the latest example.

Brian C Joondeph, M.D., MPS is a Denver-based physician and writer.  Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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January 27, 2019 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | Leave a comment

Canada joins with imperial ‘Mafia’ to threaten Venezuela

By Yves Engler · January 27, 2019

Most Canadians think of their country as a force for good in the world, but recent efforts by Justin Trudeau’s government to overthrow Venezuela’s elected government have once again revealed the ugly truth about the Great White North. We are an important partner in imperialism, willing to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, up to and including the use of military force, to benefit the perceived self-interest of our elites.

Over the past two years Canadian officials have campaigned aggressively against President Nicolás Maduro. Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland has repeatedly criticized Caracas’ democratic legitimacy and human rights record. Recently she said, “the Maduro regime is now fully entrenched as a dictatorship” while in September Ottawa asked (with five South American nations) the International Criminal Court to investigate the Venezuelan government, which is the first time a government has been formally brought before the tribunal by another member.

In recent weeks Canadian diplomats have played an important role in uniting large swaths of the Venezuelan opposition behind a US-backed plan to ratchet up tensions by proclaiming the new head of the opposition-dominated National Assembly, Juan Guaido, president. The Canadian Press quoted a Canadian diplomat saying they helped Guaido “facilitate conversations with people that were out of the country and inside the country” while the Globe and Mail reported that “Freeland  spoke with Juan Guaido to congratulate him on unifying opposition forces in Venezuela, two weeks before he declared himself interim president.” Alongside Washington and a number of right-leaning Latin American governments, Ottawa immediately recognized Guaido after he proclaimed himself president on Wednesday. Canadian officials are lobbying European  leaders to recognize Guaido as president as well.

Ottawa has long provided various other forms of direct support to an often-violent opposition. In recent years Canada channelled millions of dollars to opposition groups in Venezuela and 18 months ago outgoing Canadian ambassador, Ben Rowswell, told the Ottawa Citizen that “we became one of the most vocal embassies in speaking out on human rights issues and encouraging Venezuelans to speak out.”

Alongside its support for the opposition, Ottawa expelled Venezuela’s top diplomat in 2017 and has imposed three rounds of sanctions on Venezuelan officials. In March the United Nations Human Rights Council condemned the economic sanctions the US, Canada and EU have adopted against Venezuela while Caracas called Canada’s move a “blatant violation of the most fundamental rules of International Law.”

Since its August 2017 founding Canada has been one of the most active members of the “Lima Group” of governments opposed to Venezuela’s elected government. Canada is hosting  the next meeting of the “Lima Group”. Freeland has repeatedly prodded Caribbean and Central American countries to join the Lima Group’s anti-Maduro efforts.

In September, 11 of the 14 member states of the “Lima Group” backed a statement distancing the anti-Venezuelan alliance from “any type of action or declaration that implies military intervention” after Organization of American States chief Luis Almagro stated: “As for military intervention to overthrow the Nicolas Maduro regime, I think we should not rule out any option … diplomacy remains the first option but we can’t exclude any action.” Canada, Guyana and Colombia refused to criticize the head of the OAS’ musings about an invasion of Venezuela.

Alongside the head of the OAS, US president Donald Trump has publically discussed invading Venezuela. To the best of my knowledge Ottawa has stayed mum on Trump’s threats, which violate international law.

Why? Why is Canada so eager to overthrow an elected government? Recent headlines in the Globe and Mail (“Venezuelan crisis buoys prospects for Canadian heavy crude oil producers”) and Wall Street Journal (“Bond Prices in Venezuela Jump on Prospect of Regime Change”) suggest some short term reasons. But looking at the situation from a historical perspective confirms Noam Chomsky’s claim that international affairs is run like the Mafia. The godfather cannot accept disobedience.

Thus, while the scope of the Trudeau government’s current campaign against Venezuela is noteworthy, it’s not the first time Ottawa has supported the overthrow of an elected, left leaning, government in the hemisphere. Canada passively supported military coups against Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz in 1954 and Brazilian President João Goulart in 1964 as well as ‘parliamentary coups’ against Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo in 2012 and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in 2016. Ottawa played a slightly more active role in the removal of Dominican Republic president Juan Bosch in 1965 and Chilean president Salvador Allende in 1973. In a more substantial contribution to undermining electoral democracy, Ottawa backed the Honduran military’s removal of Manuel Zelaya in 2009.

Canada played its most forceful role in the removal of a progressive, elected, president in the hemisphere’s most impoverished nation. Thirteen months before Jean-Bertrand Aristide was, in his words, “kidnapped” by US Marines on February 29, 2004, Jean Chrétien’s Liberal government organized an international gathering to discuss overthrowing the Haitian president. JTF2 special forces secured the Port-au-Prince airport the night Aristide was ousted and 500 Canadian troops were part of the US-led invasion to consolidate the coup.

With regards to Venezuela it’s unclear just how far Ottawa is prepared to go in its bid to oust Maduro. But, it is hard to imagine that the path Canada and the US have chosen can succeed without Venezuela being plunged into significant violence.

January 27, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 1 Comment

The secular religion of “the Holocaust”, a tainted product of consumer society

By Robert Faurisson | August 7, 2008

The religion of “the Holocaust” is a secular one: it belongs to the lay world; it is profane; in actuality, it has at its disposal the secular arm, that is a temporal authority with dreaded power. It has its dogma, its commandments, its decrees, its prophets and its high priests. As one revisionist has observed, it has its circle of saints, male and female, amongst whom, for example, Saint Anne (Frank), Saint Simon (Wiesenthal) and Saint Elie (Wiesel). It has its holy places, its rituals and its pilgrimages. It has its sacred (and macabre) buildings and its relics (in the form of cakes of soap, shoes, toothbrushes, …). It has its martyrs, its heroes, its miracles and its miraculous survivors (in the millions), its golden legend and its righteous ones. Auschwitz is its Golgotha. For it, God is called Yahweh, protector of his chosen people, who, as said in one of the psalms of David (number 120), recently invoked by a female public prosecutor, Anne de Fontette, during the trial in Paris of a French revisionist, punishes “lying lips” (by, incidentally, sending them the “sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper”). For this religion, Satan is called Hitler, condemned, like Jesus in the Talmud, to boil for eternity in excrement. It knows neither mercy, nor forgiveness, nor clemency but only the duty of vengeance. It amasses fortunes through blackmail and extortion and acquires unheard-of privileges. It dictates its law to the nations. Its heart beats in Jerusalem, at the Yad Vashem monument, in a land taken over from the natives; in the shelter of a 26-foot high wall built to protect a people who are the salt of the earth, the companions of the “Holocaust” faith rule over the goy with a system that is the purest expression of militarism, racism and colonialism.

A quite recent religion whose growth has been meteoric

Although it is largely an avatar of the Hebraic religion, the new religion is quite recent and has exhibited meteoric growth. For the historian, the phenomenon is exceptional. Most often a religion of universal scope has its origins in remote and obscure times, a fact that makes the task of historians of religious ideas and institutions rather arduous. However, as luck would have it for that type of historian, in the space of fifty-odd years (1945-2000), right before our eyes, a new religion, that of “the Holocaust”, has suddenly come into being and proceeded to develop with astonishing speed, spreading nearly everywhere. It has conquered the West and intends to impose itself on the rest of the world. Any researcher interested in the historical phenomenon made up by the birth, life and death of religions ought therefore to seize the occasion, never so much as hoped for, thus offered to study from up close the birth and life of this new religion, then calculate its chances of survival and the possibility of its demise. Any specialist of war watching out for indications of a coming conflagration would owe it to himself to survey the risks of a warlike crusade such as the one into which this conquering religion may take us.

A religion that embraces consumerism

As a rule, consumer society places religions and ideologies in difficulty or danger. Each year, growth in both industrial production and business activity creates in peoples’ minds new needs and desires, truly concrete ones, lessening their thirst for the absolute or their aspiration towards an ideal, factors that religions and ideologies feed on. Besides, the progress of scientific thinking makes people more and more sceptical as to the truth of religion’s stories and the promises it gives them. Paradoxically, the only religion to prosper today is the “Holocaust” religion, ruling, so to speak, supreme and having those sceptics who are openly active cast out from the rest of mankind: it labels them “deniers”, whilst they call themselves “revisionists”.

These days the ideas of homeland, nationalism or race, as well as those of communism or even socialism, are in crisis or even on their way to extinction. Equally in crisis are the religions of the Western world, including the Jewish religion, and in their turn but in a less visible manner, so are the non-Western religions, themselves confronted by consumerism’s force of attraction; whatever one may think, the Moslem religion is no exception: the bazaar attracts bigger crowds than the mosque and, in certain oil-rich kingdoms, consumerism in its most outlandish forms poses an ever more insolent challenge to the rules for living laid down by Islam.

Roman Catholicism, for its part, is stricken with anaemia: to use Céline’s phrase, it has become “christianaemic”. Amongst the Catholics whom Benedict XVI addresses, how many still believe in the virginity of Mary, the miracles of Jesus, the physical resurrection of the dead, everlasting life, in heaven, purgatory and hell? The churchmen’s talk is usually limited to trotting out the word that “God is love”. The Protestant religions and those akin to them are diluted, along with their doctrines, in an infinity of sects and variants. The Jewish religion sees its members, more and more reluctant to observe so many peculiar rules and prohibitions, deserting the synagogue and, in ever greater numbers, marrying outside the community.

But whereas Western beliefs or convictions have lost much of their substance, faith in “the Holocaust” has strengthened; it has ended up creating a link – a religion, according to standard etymology at any rate, is a link (religat religio) – that enables disparate sets of communities and nations to share a common faith. All in all, Christians and Jews today cooperate heartily in propagating the holocaustic faith. Even a fair number of agnostics or atheists can be seen lining up with enthusiasm under the “Holocaust” banner. “Auschwitz” is achieving the union of all.

The fact is that this new religion, born in the era where consumerism expanded so rapidly, bears all the hallmarks of consumerism. It has its vigour, cleverness and inventiveness. It exploits all the resources of marketing and communication. The vilest products of Shoah Business are but the secondary effects of a religion that, intrinsically, is itself a sheer fabrication. From a few scraps of a given historical reality, things that were, after all, commonplace in wartime (like the internment of a good part of the European Jews in ghettos or camps), its promoters have built a gigantic historical imposture: the imposture, all at once, of the alleged extermination of the Jews of Europe, of camps allegedly equipped with homicidal gas chambers and, finally, of an alleged six million Jewish victims.

A religion that seems to have found the solution to the Jewish question

Throughout the millennia, the Jews, at first generally well received in the lands that have taken them in, have ended up arousing a phenomenon of rejection leading to their expulsion but, quite often, after leaving through one door, they have re-entered through another door. In several nations of continental Europe, in the late 19th and early 20th century, the phenomenon appeared once more. “The Jewish question” was especially put in Russia, Poland, Romania, Austria-Hungary, Germany and France. Everyone, beginning with the Jews themselves, then set about looking for “a solution” to this “Jewish question”. For the Zionists, long a minority amongst their coreligionists, the solution could only be territorial. The thing to do was to find, with the accord of the imperial powers, a territory that Jewish colonists could settle. This colony might be located, for example, in Palestine, Madagascar, Uganda, South America, Siberia, … Poland and France envisaged the Madagascar solution whilst the Soviet Union created in southern Siberia the autonomous Jewish sector of Birobijan. As for National Socialist Germany, she was to study the possibility of settling the Jews in Palestine but wound up realising, from 1937, the unrealistic nature of the idea and the great wrong to the Palestinians that such a project would entail. Subsequently the 3rd Reich wanted to create a Jewish colony in a part of Poland (the Judenreservat of Nisko, south of Lublin), then in its turn, in 1940, it seriously considered creating a colony in Madagascar (the Madagascar Projekt). Two years later, beset by the necessities of a war to wage on land, sea and in the air and taken up with the more and more distressing concerns of having to save German cities from a deluge of fire, to safeguard the very life of his people, to keep the economy of a whole continent running, a continent so poor in raw materials, Chancellor Hitler made it known to his entourage, notably in the presence of Reichsminister and head of the Reichskanzlerei Hans-Heinrich Lammers, that he intended to “put off solving the Jewish question till after the war”. Constituting within her a population necessarily hostile to a Germany at war, the Jews – in any case a large portion of them – had to be deported and interned. Those able to work were made to do so, the others were confined in concentration camps or transit camps. Never did Hitler either desire or authorise the massacre of Jews and his courts martial went so far as to order the death penalty, even in Soviet territory, for soldiers found guilty of excesses against Jews. Never did the German State envisage anything else, as concerned the Jews, than “a final territorial solution of the Jewish question” (eine territoriale Endlösung der Judenfrage) and it takes all the dishonesty of our orthodox historians to evoke incessantly “the final solution of the Jewish question” and deliberately evade the adjective “territorial”, so important here. Up to the end of the war, Germany kept on offering to deliver interned Jews to the western Allies, but on condition that they then stay in Britain, for example, and not go and invade Palestine to torment “the noble and valiant Arab people”. There was nothing exceptional about the fate of Europe’s Jews in the general blaze of war. It would have deserved just a mention in the great book of Second World War history. One may therefore quite rightly be astonished that today the fate of the Jews should be considered the essential feature of that war.

After the war it was in the land of Palestine and to the detriment of the Palestinians that the upholders of the “Holocaust” religion found – or believed they’d found – the final territorial solution to the Jewish question.

A religion that, previously, groped along with its sales methods

(Raul Hilberg’s recantation)

I suggest that sociologists undertake a history of the new religion by examining the extremely varied techniques in line with which this “product” was created, launched and sold over the years 1945-2000. They can thus measure the distance between the often clumsy procedures of the beginning and the sophistication, at the end, of the packagings designed by our present-day spin doctors (crooked “com” experts) for their presentations of “the Holocaust”, henceforth a compulsory and kosher mass-consumer product.

In 1961, Raul Hilberg, first of the “Holocaust” historians, “the pope” of exterminationist science, published the first version of his major work, The Destruction of the European Jews. He expressed in doctoral manner the following thesis: Hitler had given orders for an organised massacre of the Jews and all was explained as somehow coming of those orders. This way of displaying the merchandise was to end in a fiasco. With the revisionists asking to see the Hitler orders, Hilberg was compelled to admit that they had never existed. From 1982 to 1985, under the pressure of the same revisionists asking to see just what the magical homicidal gas chambers, in technical reality, looked like, he was led to revise his presentation of the holocaustic product. In 1985, in the “revised and definitive” edition of the same book, instead of taking an assertive, curt stance with the reader-customer, he sought to get round him with all sorts of convoluted phrases, appealing to a supposed taste for the mysteries of parapsychology or the paranormal. He expounded on the history of the destruction of the European Jews without in the least bringing up any order, from Hitler or anyone else, to exterminate the said Jews. He explained everything by a kind of diabolical mystery through which, spontaneously, the German bureaucrats told themselves to kill the Jews to the very last.“Countless decision makers in a far-flung bureaucratic machine” took part in the extermination enterprise by virtue of a “mechanism”, and did so without any “basic plan” (p. 53); these bureaucrats “created an atmosphere in which the formal, written word could gradually be abandoned as a modus operandi” (p. 54); there were “basic understandings of officials resulting in decisions not requiring orders or explanations”; “it was a matter of spirit, of shared comprehension, of consonance and synchronization”; “no one agency was charged with the whole operation”; “no single organization directed or coordinated the entire process” (p. 55). In short, according to Hilberg, this concerted extermination had indeed taken place but there was no possibility of actually demonstrating it with the aid of specific documents. Two years previously, in February 1983, during a conference at Avery Fischer Hall in New York, he had presented this strange and woolly thesis as follows: “What began in 1941 was a process of destruction not planned in advance, not organized centrally by any agency. There was no blueprint and there was no budget for destructive measures. They were taken step by step, one step at a time. Thus came about not so much a plan being carried out, but an incredible meeting of minds, a consensus-mind reading by a far-flung bureaucracy”. To sum up, that vast project of destruction was executed, magically, by telepathy and by the diabolical workings of the “Nazi” bureaucratic genius. It can be said that with Hilberg, historical science has thus turned cabalistic or religious.

Serge and Beate Klarsfeld, at their end, wanted to set off on the same road of fake science when they called upon French pharmacist Jean-Claude Pressac for assistance. For several years the poor Pressac strove to sell the tainted product in a pseudo-scientific form but, realising the imposture, in 1995 he did a complete turnaround and admitted that, all things considered, the dossier of “the Holocaust” was “rotten” and fit only “for the rubbish bins of history”; such were his own words. The news of his change of heart was to be kept hidden for five years, emerging only in 2000 at the end of a long book by Valérie Igounet, another Shoah peddler, entitled Histoire du négationnisme en France (Seuil, p. 652).

A religion that has at last discovered the up to date sales techniques

It was then that the spin doctors came onto the scene. What with the product having become suspect and potential customers starting to ask questions, the “Holocaust” religion’s management had to steer an altogether different course and give up defending the merchandise with ostensibly scientific arguments: their new approach would be a resolutely “modern” one. It was decided to set only the very least store by efforts at logical argumentation and to replace serious research with appeals to sentiment and emotion, in other words with art: the cinema, theatre, historical novels, shows, story telling (the contemporary art of throwing together an account or framing a “testimony”), the media circus, stage designs in museums, public ceremonies, pilgrimages, worshiping of (false) relics and (false) symbols (symbolic gas chambers, symbolic numbers, symbolic witnesses), incantations, music and even kitsch, the whole thing matched with assorted ways of forcing people to buy it, including various kinds of threats. The filmmaker Steven Spielberg, a specialist in dishevelled and extraterrestrial fiction, has become the leading instigator for holocaustic films as well as for the casting of 50,000 witnesses. In order to sell their tainted product better in the long term, our fake historians and real junk dealers have sought and obtained the primary school “franchise”, with which they instil a taste for “the Holocaust” in the very youngest clientele: for it’s in the earliest years that appetites are acquired, making so that, later on, the customer need hardly be enticed: he’ll demand on his own what he enjoyed as a child, be it sweets or poison. Thus has it come to be that no one involved could care less about history: all serve the sole cause of a certain Remembrance, that is a jumble of legends and slanders that give the public the pleasure of feeling good andrighteous, ready tosing the virtues of the poor Jew and curse the intrinsically wicked “Nazis”, to call for vengeance and spit on the graves of the defeated. At the end it only remains to collect a flood of cold hard cash and receive new privileges. Pierre Vidal-Naquet was but an amateur: in 1979, he had shown himself from the outset to be too basic, too rough in his “Holocaust” promotion. For example, when asked by the revisionists to explain how in blazes, after a gassing operation with hydrogen cyanide (the active ingredient in the insecticide “Zyklon B”), a squad of Jews (Sonderkommando) could enter unharmed into a room still full of that terrible gas, then handle and remove up to a few thousand corpses infused with poison, he, along with 33 other academics, replied that he simply need not provide any explanation. Spielberg, a more skilful man, was to show in a screen drama a “gas chamber” wherein, for once, “by a miracle”, the showerheads sprayed… water and not gas. Subsequently, in his turn, Vidal-Naquet had, quite awkwardly, attempted to answer the revisionists on the scientific level and made a fool of himself. Claude Lanzmann, for his part, in the film Shoah, sought to produce testimonies or confessions, but his result was clumsy, inept and hardly convincing; that said, at least he’d grasped that the main point was to “make movies” and occupy the public forum. Today there is no longer a single “historian” of “the Holocaust” who makes it his business to prove the reality of “the Holocaust” and its magical gas chambers. All of them do like Saul Friedländer in his latest book (L’Allemagne nazie et les juifs / Les années d’extermination, Seuil, 2008): they leave it as understood that it all existed. With them history becomes axiomatic, although their axioms aren’t even drawn up. These new historians proceed with such self-assurance that the reader, taken aback, doesn’t realise the trick being played on him: the smooth talkers go on endlessly about an event whose reality they haven’t established in the first place. And so it is that the customer, believing that he’s bought some goods, has actually bought the smooth talk of the one giving him the sales pitch. Today’s world champion of holocaustic bluff is a shabbos goy, Father Patrick Desbois, one hell of a trickster whose various productions dedicated to “the Holocaust by bullets”, notably in the Ukraine, seem to have reached the very peaks of Judeo-Christian media hype.

A success story of the great powers

A veritable success story in the art of selling, the holocaustic enterprise has acquired the status of an international lobby. This lobby has blended with the American Jewish lobby (whose flagship organisation is the AIPAC) which itself defends, tooth and nail, the interests of the State of Israel, of which “the Holocaust” is the sword and shield. The mightiest nations in the world can hardly allow themselves to annoy such a network of pressure groups which, under a religious veneer, was at first a commercial concern only to become later on military-commercial, constantly pushing for new military adventures. It follows that if other countries, called “emerging”, want to be in good graces with a certain more powerful one, then they would be well advised to bend to its wishes. Without necessarily professing their faith in “the Holocaust”, they will contribute, if need be, to the propagation of “the Holocaust” and to the repression of those who dispute its reality. The Chinese, for example, although they have no use at all for such nonsense themselves, keep well away from any calling into question of the “Jewish Holocaust”; this enables them to pose as the “Jews” of the Japanese during the last war and so point out that they too have been victims of genocide, a formula which, they think, may open the way to financial reparations and political profits, as it has done for the Jews.

A particularly mortal religion

The future trouble for the religion of “the Holocaust” lies in the fact that it is too secular. Here one may well think of the Papacy, which, in centuries past, drew its political and military strength from a temporal power that, in the final analysis, ended up causing its downfall. The new religion is hand in glove with, all together, the State of Israel, the United States, the European Union, NATO, Russia, the big banks (which, as in the case of the Swiss banks, it can force to knuckle under if they show unwillingness to pay out), international racketeering and the arms merchants’ lobbies. This being the case, who can guarantee it a solid base in the future? It has made itself vulnerable by endorsing, de facto, the policies of nations or groups with inordinate appetites, whose spirit of worldwide crusade, as may be particularly noted in the Near and Middle East, has become adventurist.

It has come to pass that religions disappear with the empires where they used to reign. This is because religions, like civilisations, are mortal. That of “the Holocaust” is doubly mortal: it spurs countries to go on warlike crusades and it is rushing to its doom. It will rush to its doom even if, in the last instance, the Jewish State vanishes from the land of Palestine. The Jews then dispersed throughout the world will have only one last resort, that of bewailing this “Second Holocaust”.


Translator’s note: The italicised English words are in English in the original.

NB: Already in 1980, in my book Mémoire en défense contre ceux qui m’accusent de falsifier l’histoire (“Statement of case against those who accuse me of falsifying history”, La Vieille Taupe, Paris), I dealt with “the new religion” of “the Holocaust” (p. 261-263). In 2006 I wrote two articles on the subject: “La ‘Mémoire juive’ contre l’Histoire ou l’aversion juive pour toute recherche approfondie sur la Shoah” (“‘Jewish Remembrance’ versus History, or the Jewish aversion to any thorough research on the Shoah”) and “Le prétendu ‘Holocauste’ des juifs se révèle de plus en plus dangereux” (“The Alleged ‘Holocaust’ of the Jews is proving ever more dangerous”).

The second may be found here in English translation.

January 27, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 2 Comments

Putin’s firewall around Russia-Turkey partnership

By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | January 27, 2019

The much-awaited meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his visiting Turkish counterpart Recep Erdogan in Moscow last Wednesday focused on the the withdrawal of US troops from Syria. The timeframe of the US drawdown or its scope and directions remain far from clear. Meanwhile, attention is riveted on creating a buffer zone in northern Syria, 32 kilometre wide on the Turkish border, which is under discussion between Washington and Ankara.

The US special representative on Syria James Jeffrey is expected in Ankara in coming days to carry forward the discussions. From present indications, US may control the airspace over the proposed zone and maintain some sort of presence on the ground as well while Ankara has been maintaining that it has the capability to enforce the zone.

Russia, on the other hand, has consistently voiced its opinion favoring Syrian government control over the regions vacated by the US. Indeed, Syrian leadership also has reiterated its determination to regain control over the entire country.

Thus, the meeting in Moscow on Wednesday took place in a supercharged atmosphere amidst speculation that the Russia-Turkey partnership might get rocky. The US never liked the Astana process on Syria between Russia, Turkey and Iran and the American intentions in baiting Turkey with the buffer zone proposal are highly suspect. (Significantly, Erdogan has hit out hard against the coup attempt by Washington to overthrow the Venezuelan government.)

If good diplomacy is about showing tact in handling awkward situations while brilliant diplomacy lies in creating a pathway through a minefield, Putin was probably at his best in navigating the Russian-Turkish partnership out of the reach of US tentacles. Putin’s remarks after the talks with Erdogan once again underscored that in the Russian estimation, any foreign presence on Syrian soil will lack “international legal grounds” if it is not on the basis of an invitation from Damascus or emanating out of a decision of the UN Security Council. But having said that, Putin qualified that “constructive cooperation” nonetheless becomes necessary even with such partners whose presence in Syria may lack legitimacy. Importantly, Putin added that Russia respects Turkey’s security interests. Then he went on to spring a big surprise:

“And the third. The 1998 treaty between the Syrian Arab Republic and the Republic of Turkey is still valid, and it deals specifically with the fight against terrorism. I think this is the legal framework that covers many issues relating to ensuring Turkey’s security on its southern borders. Today we have been discussing this issue thoroughly and intensively enough.”

This needs some explaining. Putin was referring to the Adana Accord of October 1998 between Turkey and Syria regarding cooperation in combating terrorism, which became moribund through the 7-year Syrian conflict. Putin said the agreement “is still valid”, which of course was tantamount to saying that Damascus thought so, too.

In effect, Putin has suggested that the Adana Accord can still serve as the legal and political framework for securing the Turkish-Syrian border to combat terrorism. The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov amplified Putin’s remark further in media comments on Saturday. While on a visit to Rabat, Lavrov said, “The Adana agreement of 1998 was concluded between Turkey and Syria, its essence is to eliminate Turkey’s concerns about its security. [Syria] entered into this agreement, assuming certain obligations, and we proceed from the assumption that this agreement remains in force. As I understand, so do the state parties to the agreement.”

That is to say, Putin’s proposal offers an alternative to a Turkish occupation of Syrian territory – or involving a joint operation with the US to create a safe zone inside Syria and to enforce it militarily. The Adana Accord states that Syria is committed to eliminate any activity on its territory that would jeopardize Turkey’s security, including “the supply of weapons, logistic material, financial support to and propaganda activities” of Kurdish groups affiliated to the PKK. (The Syrian and Turkish foreign ministers signed an updated treaty in 2010.)

However, there is a caveat here. In order for the Adana Accord to come alive and fully satisfy Turkey’s security needs on the border region with Syria (which used to be the case till 2011 when Turkey became the staging ground for the US-led project to overthrow the Syrian government), Ankara must resuscitate its contacts with Damascus. Simply put, Putin is nudging Erdogan to restore ties with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. After all, under the Adana Accord, Syria is committed to protect Turkey’s security, but that obligation is also “on the basis of the principle of reciprocity.”

Interestingly, on Saturday, Syrian state news agency SANA quoted a foreign ministry official as saying, “Syria confirms that it is in compliance with the Adana Interstate Agreement on Combating Terrorism in all its forms and all agreements related to it, but the Turkish regime has been violating the agreement since 2011 up to now by sponsoring and supporting terrorism, training militants and making it easier for them to go to SAR, or through the occupation of Syrian territories with terrorist groups it controls or directly with the help of the Turkish Armed Forces.” Furthermore, SANA reported the Syrian Foreign Ministry as calling on Turkey to “activate” the Adana Accord, leaving the boundary as it used to be before the beginning of the war in 2011.

Clearly, an inflection point has come. Erdogan has a big decision to make. Putin’s goal is to encourage Erdogan to work with Assad, while also taking care to preserve the verve of the Russian-Turkish cooperation and accelerate the Syrian peace process in Geneva.

On the ground, this translates as the Astana partners – Russia, Turkey and Iran (which also, incidentally, had endorsed the Adana Accord in 2003) – coordinating on establishing another de-escalation zone in northern Syria following the US withdrawal. It appears Putin has made an offer Erdogan cannot easily refuse and which may even be his own preferred option.

January 27, 2019 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , | 1 Comment

Gerd Büntzly, Crime Fighter

Photo by John LaForge: International youth group blockades one of three main gates to Buchel Air Force in Germany, July 2018.
By John Laforge | CounterPunch | January 25, 2019

Hamburg, Germany – I was with Gerd Büntzly, 69, of Herford, in a demonstration in Germany July 17, 2017. So were Steve Baggarly, Susan Crane, and Bonnie Urfer, all of the United States. Ours was a peaceful if covert, night-time occupation of a protected aircraft shelter or bomb bunker far inside the Büchel Air Force Base, near the beautiful Mosel River valley.

We were there to help prevent the unlawful use of the shelter in nuclear attacks or nuclear war preparations. Routine nuclear war planning by US and German Air Force personnel there, using US B61 nuclear bombs (NATO’s so-called “nuclear sharing”), violates the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and several other international treaties, all binding on the United States and Germany.

In spite of our formal complaint to state prosecutors against “selective prosecution” of Gerd, and the violation of his “equal protection” rights, only he was charged, tried, and convicted of trespass and property damage (for clipping fences) in January last year. This Jan. 16, he was in court again appealing the conviction. Susan Crane from California and I travelled to Koblenz to speak on his behalf. Attorneys were quite sure that we two could testify, but ultimately were not allowed.

We wanted to explain that international law has the force of state and federal law in Germany and the United States, a fact recognized by Germany’s Constitution (Art. 25) and the US Constitution (Art. 6). According to Univ. of Illinois Law School Prof. Francis Boyle, writing recently for other nuclear weapons resisters, “International law is not ‘higher’ or separate law; it is part and parcel of the structure of federal law. The Supreme Court so held in the landmark decision in The Paquete Habana (1900), that was recently reaffirmed in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, in 2006.”

Contrary to modern military strategists, there is no such thing as a “limited nuclear war.” Nuclear weapons only produce massacres. Beginning with 8 to 10 million degrees at detonation, followed by indiscriminate mass destruction from blast effects, city-size mass fires (firestorms) in which nothing survives, and uncontrollable radiation poisoning that produces genetic damage unlimited by space or time, nuclear weapons are just massacre delivery systems.

International law has prohibited the planning and not just the commission of such massacres since 1946.

Professor Boyle wrote last November 1st: “The Judgment of the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal meted out severe punishment in 1946 against individuals who, acting in full compliance with domestic law but in disregard of the limitations of international law, had committed war crimes and crimes against peace as defined in its Charter.”

The Nuremberg Charter and Principles apply to individual civilians like us and oblige individuals to disobey domestic laws that protect government crimes. And Nuremberg prohibits all “planning and preparation” of wars that violate international treaties.

The 1949 Geneva Conventions prohibit indiscriminate attacks on noncombatants, attacks on neutral states, and long-term damage to the environment. The 1907 Hague Conventions forbid the use of poison and poisoned weapons under any circumstances.

Under the 1970 NPT, it is prohibited for Germany to receive nuclear weapons from the United States and for the US to transfer them to Germany. Germany and the United States are both formal state parties to all of these Treaties.

“By implication,” Boyle explains, “the Nuremberg Judgment privileges all citizens of nations engaged in war crimes to act in a measured but effective way to prevent the continuing commission of those crimes. The same Nuremberg Privilege is recognized in Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice which has been adopted as a Treaty (the United Nations Charter) by the United States” [and Germany]. In my opinion, such action certainly includes nonviolent exposure and inspection of sites of ongoing war crimes.”

Because nuclear weapons cannot be used without violating these binding international treaties; since Germany and United States at Büchel are planning and preparing war that violates these treaties; and because the Nuremberg Charter and Principles forbid this planning and preparation, and apply to civilians and military personnel alike, and hold citizens individually responsible; and require citizens to disobey illegal orders, to refuse participation in or ignore international crimes, civil resistance at Büchel is no offense but a civic duty, a lawful obligation, and an act of crime prevention.

In the courtroom, crowded with 40 people, the three-person “bench” (two lay volunteers and one criminal court judge) found Gerd guilty — but reduced his fine from 1,200 Euros to 750 — after making a yawning apology for “deterrence.” Prescient as ever, Professor Boyle’s latest book is, “The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence” (Clarity Press 2013).

John LaForge is a Co-director of Nukewatch, a peace and environmental justice group in Wisconsin, and edits its newsletter.

January 27, 2019 Posted by | Book Review, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Of Suspected Spies & Cathedrals… and Western Media Hypocrisy

By Finian CUNNINGHAM | Strategic Culture Foundation | 27.01.2019

It’s hilarious to see the double standards of Western media applied in the case of alleged American spy Paul Whelan who is being detained in Russia and facing trial.

Whelan, a former US marine, was denied bail this week in a Moscow court after it emerged that he had been found in possession of state secrets while supposedly holidaying in Russia.

Western media widely aired the theory that the American man has been “set up” by Russian state security after he had received a USB computer stick from someone while staying in a Moscow hotel last month. The person whom he received the disk from has not been identified, but presumably he or she was known to the American, otherwise why would he have accepted the item?

Whelan claims he was in Russia as a tourist and that he didn’t check the contents of the computer mini-disk at the time because he assumed it contained “images of a cathedral he had visited”. He was reportedly arrested soon after receipt of the disk, on December 28, by Federal Security Service (FSB) officers.

This sounds eerily familiar. Remember the two Russian men who visited Salisbury in March last year at around the time of the alleged poisoning of former Kremlin spy Sergei Skripal? Months later, those two men were identified as “suspects” on British CCTV cameras whose images were broadcast by media. Both then promptly came forward to give an interview to Russian media in order to clear their names, which they confirmed as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

Petrov and Boshirov claimed they were in Salisbury around March 4 as tourists, not as Kremlin assassins as the British media were sensationally alleging. Asked why they were in Salisbury, the pair said it was to visit the medieval English town’s “famous cathedral” and its 123-meter spire.

The immediate reaction by British media in particular was to pour scorn and ridicule on the men’s story. The British government rubbished their claim as “obfuscation and lies”. Journalists and pundits lambasted the pair with guffaws and mockery.

Petrov and Boshirov denied they had any involvement in the alleged poisoning of Skripal – supposedly with a deadly Soviet nerve agent – and they said they were not Kremlin agents but rather worked in the sports nutrition business.

There is no indication thus far that the men’s story is false. Also, what really happened to Skripal and his daughter Yulia remains a mystery since the British authorities won’t reveal where they are – 10 months after the alleged poisoning incident.

The only follow-up media report on the Russian men’s alleged security service affiliation was by the dubious UK-based Bellingcat website, which has a history of fabricating anti-Russian propaganda, such as alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria and the alleged shooting down by Russian-backed separatists of a Malaysian civilian airliner in eastern Ukraine in 2014.

In the case of Paul Whelan, a former US elite soldier who possesses four passports and who apparently visited Russia several times and had become familiar with the country, he is permitted by Western media to plead his innocence invoking an interest in cathedrals and churches. Not a wink of skepticism here.

However, in the case Petrov and Boshirov, who have no known background in military, they are immediately scoffed at for their declared interest in Salisbury’s medieval cathedral, which by the way is world famous and attracts thousands of visitors every year, including many Russian tourists.

What’s more, in the case of Whelan, the Western media has gone further to report that he is being set up by Russian agents, who planted the state secrets in the USB disk. It is speculated in the Western media that the Kremlin is using the American as a bargaining chip in a potential prisoner-exchange deal for Russian citizen Maria Butina. Butina was jailed at the end of last year in the US after she pleaded guilty to espionage charges, following months of isolated detention. The Kremlin said she had no association with its agencies.

Moscow categorically denies that there is an ulterior agenda for doing a prisoner swap. Russian authorities have said that Whelan was simply “caught red-handed” with state secrets and is being prosecuted accordingly. The classified information is believed to contain the names of individuals who work for Russian secret services.

Whelan’s family back in the US maintain he is innocent and that he was in Russia to attend the wedding of a friend. If found guilty, he could be facing up to 10-20 years in jail.

Who knows, maybe the American was set up in a dirty game of state intrigue.

The case of Maria Butina appears to be a disturbing one of the American state framing up a Russian citizen to bolster a political agenda of alleged Russian interference in US elections. Her pre-trial detention in solitary confinement certainly amounts to a form of psychological torture to pressure a confession. Butina is facing several years in prison, despite many observers considering her to be innocent.

But one thing seems glaringly obvious: the double standard being used by Western media which is borne out of its relentless Russophobia.

A former US marine is seen as a plausible tourist interested in viewing cathedrals whom, the Western media claim, is now being persecuted by despotic Russian authorities; while two Russian civilians are pilloried for plying a “ridiculous cover story” about Salisbury’s 123-meter spire.

January 27, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | 3 Comments

US to spend $500bn on nuclear weapons upgrade over next 10 years

Press TV – January 27, 2019

A new US government estimate has found that Washington’s plans for modernizing and maintaining the country’s nuclear arsenal will cost nearly $500 billion over the next decade.

The exact nuclear weapons upgrade cost assessment stands at $494 billion, which is part of a biannual estimate produced by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and reflects a 23-percent increase over the previous estimate of $400 billion released in 2017, which was 15 percent more than the 2015 figure, US-based military journal Defense News reported Friday.

The report points out, however, that the whopping figure for the US nuclear arms upgrade only represents nearly six percent of the country’s overall projected military spending during the time period.

According to the report, three notable changes featured in Washington’s so-called Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) were the development of a low-yield submarine-launched ballistic missile, development of a new sea-launched cruise missile and increased plutonium pit production, further adding that they resulted in an estimated $17 billion cost increase over the time period.

It also emphasized that the figure could further increase should the Trump administration follow through on plans in the NPR to keep the B83 nuclear bomb in service longer than intended, or if it develops a land-based nuclear cruise missile following an expected US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) with Russia.

Overall, the report adds, the US Defense Department and the Department of Energy (DOE) intend to spend the funds in the following way:

  • $234 billion on strategic nuclear delivery systems and weapons — including submarines, intercontinental ballistic missiles and long-range bombers – as well as the nuclear warheads for use from those systems, and DOE’s funding of nuclear reactors for the submarine fleet.
  • $15 billion on tactical nuclear delivery systems and weapons, including tactical aircraft for delivering weapons, management of the warheads for those tactical aircraft; and funding for the new submarine-launched cruise missile.
  • $106 billion for DOE’s nuclear weapons laboratories and production facilities, where the US stockpile of nuclear warheads are maintained and developed.
  • $77 billion on nuclear command, control, commutations and early warning systems, used to coordinate any nuclear-related issues. This is while Pentagon officials have warned over the past two years that its nuclear command and control is at risk of being outdated without major investments.

The report also points out that the remaining $62 billion in projected costs come from “CBO’s estimate of additional costs that would be incurred over the 2019–2028 period if the costs of nuclear programs exceeded planned amounts at roughly the same rates at which costs for similar programs have grown in the past.”

January 27, 2019 Posted by | Militarism | | 1 Comment

Russia Aims To Attract $28B Investment In Power Plant Upgrades

By Tsvetana Paraskova | | January 24, 2019

Russia’s government approved on Thursday a ten-year modernization program for Russian power plants, expected to attract US$28.8 billion (1.9 trillion Russian rubles) in private investments in the sector, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said.

The government approved today a plan by the Russian Energy Ministry to upgrade nearly 40 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity, which accounts for around 16 percent of Russia’s total installed generation capacity, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said. The project will run through 2031, Medvedev added, noting that Moscow plans to have long-term predictability in electricity prices to provide businesses with long-term predictability of energy costs.

Novak, for his part, said that the program will run between 2022 and 2031. The first competitive selection will be held for 11 GW in April or May, with power supply expected to start in 2022-2024.

Russia’s key selection criteria for equipment will be the low cost per kWh, Novak noted. The modernization program will also aim to have as much domestic equipment and engineering as possible, the energy minister added.

According to the BP Energy Outlook 2018, natural gas will stay the leading fuel in Russia’s power generation through 2040. The share of natural gas, however, will drop slightly from 54 percent in 2016 to 53 percent in 2040. The share of nuclear power in Russia’s power mix is expected to grow to 19 percent by 2040 from 15 percent now, and the share of hydropower generation is seen flat at 15 percent. The share of coal in Russia’s power generation will drop from 14 percent to 8 percent in 2040, according to BP. Despite the fact that renewables will soar by more than 7,500 percent by 2040, renewable energy will contribute just 2 percent to Russia’s primary energy demand in 2040, compared with 17 percent on average among the other BRIC nations (Brazil, India, China).

Russia will also remain one of the leading fossil fuels producers in the world through 2040, with a share of 14 percent of both global oil and gas production, BP says.

January 27, 2019 Posted by | Economics | | Leave a comment