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Canada Joins ‘Friendly States’ in Opposing ICC War Crimes Investigation in Palestine

Palestine Chronicle | February 26, 2020

The Canadian government has submitted a letter to the International Criminal Court (ICC), in which it declared support for the Israeli position, thus rejecting the ICC jurisdiction over cases of alleged war crimes committed by Israel in Palestine.

The Canadian Jewish News (CJN), which reported on the letter, said that Ottawa has communicated its position to the Court on February 14, although the content of the letter has not been made public until today.

In the letter, Canada, which reminded the Court that its “financial contribution to the ICC will be $10.6 million this year,” stated that it does not recognize Palestine as a state and that the ICC has no jurisdiction on the case that is presented by the State of Palestine.

The Canadian decision followed a public demand last December by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to condemn a preliminary report by the ICC that has a “reasonable basis” to investigate Israeli war crimes in the occupied territories.

Netanyahu’s letter, which was obtained by the Canadian Globe and Mail newspaper, asserted the position which was eventually adopted by the Canadian government, that the ICC has no jurisdiction over the case because Palestine does not meet the criteria of statehood.

Netanyahu’s letter read in part:

“In light of our special relations and the steadfast friendship between our countries, I urge you to publicly condemn this erroneous decision, to acknowledge there is not a Palestinian state, that the court has no jurisdiction in this matter, which involves political issues to be determined by the parties, and to voice your deep concerns regarding its dangerous ramifications to the court and the region.”

The intense Israeli lobbying followed a statement by the ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, in which she declared to be “satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the situation in Palestine”.

“In brief, I am satisfied that war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip,” she said.

Two days after Ottawa communicated its position to the ICC, Netanyahu praised what he called “efforts” by “friendly states” to prevent the ICC from launching an investigation.

February 26, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite, War Crimes | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Is Wall Street Behind the Delay in Declaring the Coronavirus Outbreak a “Pandemic”?

By Whitney Webb | MintPress News | February 26, 2020

A little known specialized bond created in 2017 by the World Bank may hold the answer as to why U.S. and global health authorities have declined to label the global spread of the novel coronavirus a “pandemic.” Those bonds, now often referred to as “pandemic bonds,” were ostensibly intended to transfer the risk of potential pandemics in low-income nations to financial markets.

Yet, in light of the growing coronavirus outbreak, the investors who purchased those products could lose millions if global health authorities were to use that label in relation to the surge in global coronavirus cases.

On Tuesday, federal health officials at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that they are preparing for a “potential pandemic” of the novel coronavirus that first appeared in China late last year. The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that an estimated 80,000 worldwide have contracted the disease, most of them in China, while more than 2,700 have died.

However, some have argued that the CDC’s concerns about a likely pandemic have come too late and that action should have been taken much earlier. For instance, in early February, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, had told the New York Times that the novel coronavirus is “very, very transmissible, and it almost certainly is going to be a pandemic,” while former CDC director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden had echoed those concerns at the time, stating that it is “increasingly unlikely that the virus can be contained.”

Despite those warnings, among many others, the CDC waited to announce its concerns that the virus could spread throughout the United States. Their Tuesday announcement riled markets, wiping out $1.7 trillion in stock market value in just two days. The CDC’s warning has reportedly angered President Trump, who accused the agency of needlessly spooking financial markets.

Notably, WHO officials have taken an even more cautious approach than the CDC in their recent comments, stating that it is still “too early” to declare the coronavirus outbreak a “pandemic” while also asserting that “it is time to do everything you would do in preparing for a pandemic.”

The refusal to label the outbreak a pandemic is odd, since it refers to an epidemic or actively spreading disease that affects two or more regions worldwide. This currently describes the geographical spread of the highly contagious novel coronavirus, which has now resulted in significant clusters of cases far from China, namely in Italy and Iran. Countries closer to China, like South Korea, have also recently experienced an explosion in novel coronavirus infections.

It is possible that concerns over using the word “pandemic” could upset global markets and lead to economic turmoil, similar to what happened to the U.S. stock market following the CDC announcement on Tuesday. Though such concerns are valid, there is also evidence that a particular class of bonds issued by the World Bank that are closely related to official declarations of pandemics may also be responsible for having steered WHO and CDC officials away from using this term, even though the consequences of doing so could negatively impact global public health.

Pandemic Bonds: a “scheme like no other”

In June 2017, the World Bank announced the creation of “specialized bonds” that would be used to fund the previously created Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF) in the event of an officially-recognized (i.e. WHO-recognized) pandemic.

They were essentially sold under the premise that those who invested in the bonds would lose their money if any of six deadly pandemics hit, including coronavirus. Yet, if a pandemic did not occur before the bonds mature on July 15, 2020, investors would receive what they had originally paid for the bonds back in addition to interest and premium payments on those bonds that they recieve between the date of purchase and the bond’s maturation date.

The PEF, which these pandemic bonds fund, was created by the World Bank “to channel surge funding to developing countries facing the risk of a pandemic” and the creation of these so-called “pandemic bonds” was intended to transfer pandemic risk in low-income countries to global financial markets. According to a World Bank press release on the launch of the bonds, WHO backed the World Bank’s initiative.

However, there is much more to these “pandemic bonds” than meets the eye. For example, PEF has a “unique financing structure [that] combines funding from the bonds issued today with over-the-counter derivatives that transfer pandemic outbreak risk to derivative counterparties.” The World Bank asserted that this structure was used in order “to attract a wider, more diverse set of investors.”

Critics, however, have called the unnecessarily convoluted system “World-Bank-enabled looting” that enriches intermediaries and investors instead of the funds intended targets, in this case low-income countries struggling to fight a pandemic. These critics have asked why not merely give these funds to a body like the Contingency Fund for Emergencies at the World Health Organization (WHO), where the funds could go directly to affected countries in need.

Notably, WHO determines if a pandemic meets the criteria that would see investors’ money be funneled into PEF as opposed to their own pockets, which would take place if no pandemic is declared between now and when the bonds are set to mature this upcoming July.

In 2017, the news site Quartz described the mechanism of “pandemic bonds” as follows:

Investors buy the bonds and receive regular coupons payments in return. If there is an outbreak of disease, the investors don’t get their initial money back. There are two varieties of debt, both scheduled to mature in July 2020.

The first bond raised $225 million and features an interest rate of around 7%. Payout on the bond is suspended if there is an outbreak of new influenza viruses or coronaviridae (SARS, MERS). The second, riskier bond raised $95 million at an interest rate of more than 11%. This bond keeps investors’ money if there is an outbreak of Filovirus, Coronavirus, Lassa Fever, Rift Valley Fever, and/or Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever. The World Bank also issued $105 million in swap derivatives that work in a similar way. (emphasis added)”

In 2017, the World Bank issued $425 million in these “pandemic bonds” and the bond sale was reported to have been 200 percent oversubscribed, “with investors eager to get their hands on the high-yield returns on offer,” according to reports. The premiums bondholders have received thus far were largely funded by the governments of Japan and Germany, who are also the top nation-state funders of WHO behind the United States and United Kingdom. Reports have claimed that most of the bondholders are firms and individuals based in Europe.

Some analysts have argued that these pandemic bonds were never intended to aid low-income pandemic-stricken countries, but instead to enrich Wall Street investors. For instance, American economic forecaster Martin Armstrong has called the World Bank’s pandemic bonds “a giant gamble in the global financial casino” and a “scheme like no other,” recently arguing that these bonds could present a “a structured derivative time bomb” that could upend financial markets if a pandemic is declared by WHO. Armstrong went on to say that it is in WHO’s interest to declare the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, but noted that, in doing so, they would cause bondholders to take significant losses.

Even establishment economists like former World Bank chief economist and Secretary of Treasury Larry Summers have criticized the World Bank’s program, dismissing the PEF as “financial goofiness.” Bodo Ellmers, the director of the Global Policy Forum’s sustainable development finance program, has similarly called pandemic bonds “useless,” while Olga Jonas, who worked at the World Bank as an economist for over 30 years, said the program was “designed to fail” because the bonds were crafted in order “to reduce the probability of payout.”

Economic and business analyst and host of the podcast “Quoth the Raven” Chris Irons told MintPress News that, with respect to the pandemic bonds, “What’s important is to focus on who stands to benefit from this not being declared a pandemic,” a difficult task given that the identity of most bondholders are not currently publicly available.

Irons also noted that, in his opinion, “WHO and the CDC have been caught a little flat-footed here” and that some governments that fund WHO, particularly the Trump administration, appear “more concerned with the stock market than giving people information that may be necessary and vital.” He added that behind-closed-doors pressure on WHO by those who stand to lose financially from an official declaration of a pandemic would be “unsurprising.”

How to trigger a payout

As the coronavirus outbreak grows, concern has grown among those invested in pandemic bonds that payout to countries affected by coronavirus will be triggered, despite the clear delay by WHO in declaring the outbreak as a pandemic. While WHO could theoretically alter the criteria that would trigger payout and cause bondholders to lose big, some recent reports have claimed that bondholders are seeking to rid themselves of the bonds prior to their July maturation date.

German media outlet Deutsche-Welle noted that the trigger for the first class of pandemic bonds, valued at $225 million, would normally have already been met due to the criterion of more than 2,500 deaths in a “developing country.” However, WHO has said this does not meet said criterion because it does not consider China to be a developing country, even though the World Bank’s own criteria do consider China to be a developing country.

For the second and riskier category of pandemic bonds, those bonds are triggered when the disease in question crosses an international border and causes more than 20 deaths in the second country. At the time of publication of this article, Iran has recorded at least 50 deaths, which should have triggered this second category of pandemic bonds, valued at $95 million. Yet, WHO has yet to comment on how this criterion for the second category bonds has been met.

The WHO’s decision to refuse to use the “p-word” may be the result of several factors, though the pandemic bonds loom large as a $425 million incentive for not doing so. While avoiding the use of the term may please pandemic bondholders, it is set to have major negative consequences for global public health, particularly given the fact that early action against epidemic and pandemic outbreaks is widely considered to be an imperative.

Whitney Webb is a MintPress News journalist based in Chile. She has contributed to several independent media outlets including Global Research, EcoWatch, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has made several radio and television appearances and is the 2019 winner of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism.

February 26, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , | Leave a comment

Rohrabacher, Mueller, and Assange

By Daniel Lazare | Strategic Culture Foundation | February 26, 2020

Reports that Donald Trump offered to pardon WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange if he could prove that Russia didn’t hack Democratic National Committee caused a good-sized media storm when they came out in a British court last week. But then Dana Rohrabacher, the ex-US congressman supposedly serving as a go-between, issued an all-points denial, and the tempest blew over as fast as it arose.

But that doesn’t mean that the Russia-WikiLeaks story is kaput. To the contrary, it’s still brimming with unanswered questions no matter how much the corporate media wishes they would go away.

The most important question is the simplest: why didn’t Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller sit down with Julian Assange and ask him about the 20,000 DNC emails himself?

It’s not as if Assange would have said no.  According to Craig Murray, the former British diplomat who serves as an unofficial WikiLeaks spokesman, he “was very willing to give evidence to Mueller, which could have been done by video-link, by interview in the [Ecuadorean] Embassy, or by written communication.” While Assange refuses as a matter of policy to disclose his sources, he had already made a partial exception in the case of the DNC by declaring, “Our source is not a state party.” Conceivably, he had more to say along such lines, information that Mueller might have then used to determine what role, if any, Russia played in the email release.

But he didn’t bother. Without making the slightest effort to get Assange’s side of the story, he assembled page after page of evidence purporting to show that WikiLeaks had collaborated with Russian intelligence in order to disseminate stolen material. Rather than an organization dedicated to exposing official secrets so that voters could learn what their government was really up to, WikiLeaks, in the eyes of the special prosecutor, was the opposite: an organization seeking to help Russia pull the wool over people’s eyes so they would vote for Donald Trump.

This is the super-sensational charge that has roiled US politics since 2016.  Yet there is little to back it up.

Even though Mueller is confident that the Russian military intelligence agency known as the GRU routed the emails to WikiLeaks, for instance, he still hasn’t figured out how. “Both the GRU and WikiLeaks sought to hide their communications, which has limited the [Special Prosecutor’s] Office’s ability to collect all of the communications between them,” his report confesses on page 45. “The Office cannot rule out that stolen documents were transferred to WikiLeaks through intermediaries who visited during the summer of 2016,” it adds on page 47. “For example, public reporting identified Andrew Müller-Maguhn as a WikiLeaks associate who may have assisted with the transfer of these stolen documents to WikiLeaks.”

But Müller-Maguhn, a German cyber-expert who has worked with WikiLeaks for years, dismisses any such suggestion as “insane,” a claim the Mueller report makes no effort to rebut. The public is thus left with a blank where a dotted trail the GRU and WikiLeaks ought to be. Then there’s the issue of chronology. The Mueller report says that a GRU website known as DCLeaks.com reached out to WikiLeaks on June 14, 2016, with an offer of “sensitive information” related to Hillary Clinton. Considering that WikiLeaks would release a treasure trove of DNC emails on July 22, less than seven weeks later, the implication that the GRU was the source does not, at first glance, seem implausible.

But hold on. Although the report doesn’t mention it, Assange told a British TV station on June 12: “We have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton, which is great.” Either he was amazingly clairvoyant in foreseeing an offer that the GRU would make two days hence or he got the material from someone else.

To be sure, the Mueller report adds that an alleged Russian intelligence “cutout” known as Guccifer 2.0 sent WikiLeaks an encrypted data file on July 14, which is to say eight days prior to publication. But since WikiLeaks didn’t confirm opening the file until July 18, this means that it would have had just four days to vet thousands of emails and other documents to insure they were genuine and unaltered. If just one had turned out to be doctored, its hard-earned reputation for accuracy would have been in shreds. So the review process had to be painstaking and thorough, and four days would not be remotely enough time.

Nothing about the Mueller account – timing, plausibility, the crucial question of how the stolen DNC emails made their way to WikiLeaks – adds up.  Yet Mueller went public with it regardless. Which leads to another question: why?

One reason is because he knew he could get away with it, at least temporarily, since it was clear that corporate media howling for Trump’s scalp would accept whatever he put out as gospel. But another is that he’s a dutiful servant of the ruling class. After all, Mueller is the person who, as FBI director from 2001 to 2013, spent much of his time covering up Saudi Arabia’s not-inconsiderable role in 9/11, as investigative reporter James Ridgeway has pointed out on a number of occasions. Mueller is also the man who assured the Senate Intelligence Committee in February 2003 that “Iraq’s WMD program poses a clear threat to our national security,” a claim that the upcoming Iraqi invasion would reveal as fraudulent to the core.

Toeing the official line is therefore more important in his book than telling the truth. This is why he didn’t sit down with Assange – because he was afraid of what he might tell him.  In January 2017, the CIA, NSA, and FBI officially reported that “Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016” and “that Russian military intelligence … used the Guccifer 2.0 persona and DCLeaks.com” to relay stolen computer data to WikiLeaks. Four months later, then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo went even farther by describing WikiLeaks as “a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.”

This was the official narrative that Mueller felt dutybound to defend when he was appointed special prosecutor a month after Pompeo made his remarks. Even though the CIA account would not hold up to close inspection, his self-perceived mission was to disregard certain facts and cherry-pick others in order to convince the public that it was true.

This leads us to a third question: how do Americans get themselves out of the hole that Mueller has dug for them? Not only does Assange face 170 years in prison for espionage, but the impact in terms of freedom of the press will be devastating. The prosecution’s case rests on an explosive theory that receiving inside information is effectively the same  thing as supplying it. Just as a fence encourages people to steal, the idea is that a journalist encourages insiders to hack computers and rifle through file cabinets by offering to publish what they come up with. If upheld, it means that journalists would have to think twice before even talking to an inside for fear of incurring a similar penalty. Armed with such a legal instrument, Richard Nixon would have had no trouble dealing with Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. He would merely have charged them with espionage and locked them away until the break-in was forgotten.

If Assange goes down, in other words, democracy will take a major hit. Yet by labeling him a Russian agent, Mueller has seen to it that liberals are as unsympathetic to his plight as the most militant conservative, if not more so.  He transformed Assange into the perfect scapegoat for Democrats and Russians to bash with bipartisan glee.

This is why a defense based purely on the First Amendment will not do. Rather, it’s important to deal with the charge of Russian collaboration that – completely unjustly – has turned him into an object of public opprobrium. It’s time to give the Mueller report the scrutiny it deserves before its collective falsehoods undermine democracy even more than they already have.

February 26, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Russophobia | , , , , | Leave a comment

Trudeau’s extraordinary campaign to overthrow Maduro

200127-Ottawa-GuaidoVisit-CanadianGovernment

By Yves Engler · February 26, 2020

The effort Justin Trudeau’s government is putting into removing Venezuela’s President is remarkable. So is the utter hypocrisy of their campaign.

On Thursday Ottawa hosted the Lima Group, a coalition of countries supporting Washington’s bid to overthrow the Venezuelan government. A CBC headline noted, “Ottawa attempts to reboot campaign to remove Maduro from power in Venezuela.” For more than a year the Lima Group has openly pushed Venezuela’s military to overthrow the government. Thursday’s summit was the third held in Canada of a coalition instigated by Canada and Peru in mid 2017.

During the recent Munich Security Conference Trudeau discussed the South American country with a US Senate and House of Representatives delegation led by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham. The Prime Minister’s release noted, “the Congressional delegation thanked Canada for its leadership on the Lima Group and for supporting Interim President Juan Guaidó and the Venezuelan National Assembly in their efforts to achieve a peaceful democratic transition in Venezuela.”

Similarly, the Prime Minister discussed Venezuela at a meeting with Austria’s Chancellor on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference. According to Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Canada and Australia “have many shared goals such as the empowerment of women and our support for free & fair elections in Venezuela.” According to this formulation, the empowerment of half the world’s population is of similar import to purported electoral discrepancies in Venezuela.

Foreign minister François-Philippe Champagne also discussed Venezuela with International Crisis Group President Robert Malley at the Munich Security Conference.

Last month Venezuelan politician Juan Guaidó was fêted in Ottawa. The self-declared president met the Prime Minister, deputy PM, international development minister and foreign minister. Trudeau called him “Interim President Guaidó” and Champagne sometimes referred to him simply as “President”.

Over the past couple of years, the government has put out hundreds of press releases, tweets and public statements critical of the Venezuelan government. They hired a Special Advisor on Venezuela to oversee the government’s coup efforts and the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers gave Patricia Atkinson, Head of the Venezuela Task Force at Global Affairs, its Foreign Service Officers award in June 2019 for her role in overseeing a team of diplomats that organized Lima Group meetings, sanctions, etc. The government has implemented four rounds of sanctions against Venezuelan officials and it’s brought that country to the International Criminal Court, shuttered its Embassy in Caracas, funded opposition groups and decided a marginal opposition politician was the legitimate president.

A look at Canada’s Lima Group allies highlights the hypocrisy of their campaign against Venezuela. The constitutional legitimacy of Honduras’ President is far weaker than Maduro’s; Far more dissidents were assassinated in Colombia last year; The government of Chile is facing greater popular contestation; The electoral legitimacy of Haiti’s President is much weaker; Honduras’ president has clearer links to drug runners; Violence is worse in numerous countries in the Hemisphere.

It is true that Venezuela’s economic downturn – and concurrent outward migration – is substantially worse than other Lima Group members. But, the sanctions imposed by the US and Canada have contributed to Venezuela’s economic collapse as much as any action of the government.

Canada is engaged in an extraordinary effort to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro. But, it isn’t designed to advance democracy or human rights in Venezuela.

February 26, 2020 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , , | 2 Comments

South Carolina Debate Attended by Elite ‘Sponsors’, Featured Syria War Propaganda

CBS News’ Margaret Brennan pushing Syria war propaganda with Pete Buttigieg
21st Century Wire | February 26, 2020

The Democratic Party held its 10th presidential debate Tuesday night in Charleston, South Carolina, as candidates continued their attacks on national frontrunner Bernie Sanders in front of a live audience of elite ‘sponsors’ who paid over a thousand dollars to attend the event.

A local Charleston TV news station confirmed earlier this month that a “guaranteed ticket” at the debate required a sponsorship to be paid at levels between $1750 to $3200, prompting the trending hashtag, #WineCaveDebate, during the live broadcast.

CBS News carried the debate and featured a foreign policy question to be asked by Twitter users.

Debate moderator Margaret Brennan then read the selected tweet and directed the question to Pete Buttigieg:

The city of Idlib in Syria is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. The Syrian regime and Russia are targeting schools, bakeries, and hospitals. What would you do as President to push back Regime and Russian forces and stop the killing of innocent civilians?

It was apparent that CBS News did not verify the dubious claims made in the tweeted question, and thus was able to present a false narrative about the war in Syria to its viewing audience.

The Syrian Arab Army and its Russian military partners have actually been advancing on Idlib to liberate it from the jihadi terrorists that have taken control of it from peaceful Syrians.

Buttigieg responded to the question by saying “I stand with the people of Idlib…”

Later, Brennan direct the same question to Elizabeth Warren, but rephrased it as “What would you do to stop the mass murder?”

February 26, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 1 Comment

No Weapon Left Behind: The American Hybrid War on China

By Pepe Escobar | Strategic Culture Foundation | February 21, 2020

The New Silk Roads – or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – were launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013, first in Central Asia (Nur-Sultan) and then Southeast Asia (Jakarta).

One year later, the Chinese economy overtook the U.S. on a PPP basis. Inexorably, year after year since the start of the millennium, the U.S. share of the global economy shrinks while China’s increases.

China is already the key hub of the global economy and the leading trade partner of nearly 130 nations.

While the U.S. economy is hollowed out, and the casino financing of the U.S. government – repo markets and all – reads as a dystopian nightmare, the civilization-state steps ahead in myriad areas of technological research, not least because of Made in China 2025.

China largely beats the U.S. on patent filings and produces at least 8 times as many STEM graduates a year than the U.S., earning the status of top contributor to global science.

A vast array of nations across the Global South signed on to be part of BRI, which is planned for completion in 2049. Last year alone, Chinese companies signed contracts worth up to $128 billion in large-scale infrastructure projects in dozen of nations.

The only economic competitor to the U.S. is busy reconnecting most of the world to a 21st century, fully networked version of a trade system that was at its peak for over a millennia: the Eurasian Silk Roads.

Inevitably this state of things is something interlocking sectors of the U.S. ruling class simply would not accept.

Branding BRI as a “pandemic”

As the usual suspects fret over the “stability” of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Xi Jinping administration, the fact is the Beijing leadership has had to deal with an accumulation of extremely severe issues: a swine-flu epidemic killing half the stock; the Trump-concocted trade war; Huawei accused of racketeering and about to be prevented from buying U.S. made chips; bird flu; coronavirus virtually shutting down half of China.

Add to it the incessant United States government Hybrid War propaganda barrage, trespassed by acute Sinophobia; everyone from sociopathic “officials” to self-titled councilors are either advising corporate businesses to divert global supply chains out of China or concocting outright calls for regime change – with every possible demonization in between.

There are no holds barred in the all-out offensive to kick the Chinese government while it’s down.

A Pentagon cipher at the Munich Security Conference once again declares China as the greatest threat, economically and militarily, to the U.S. – and by extension the West, forcing a wobbly EU already subordinated to NATO to be subservient to Washington on this remixed Cold War 2.0.

The whole U.S. corporate media complex repeats to exhaustion that Beijing is “lying” and losing control. Descending to sub-gutter, racist levels, hacks even accuse BRI itself of being a pandemic, with China “impossible to quarantine”.

All that is quite rich, to say the least, oozing from lavishly rewarded slaves of an unscrupulous, monopolistic, extractive, destructive, depraved, lawless oligarchy which uses debt offensively to boost their unlimited wealth and power while the lowly U.S. and global masses use debt defensively to barely survive. As Thomas Piketty has conclusively shown, inequality always relies on ideology.

We’re deep into a vicious intel war. From the point of view of Chinese intelligence, the current toxic cocktail simply cannot be attributed to just a random series of coincidences. Beijing has serial motives to piece this extraordinary chain of events as part of a coordinated Hybrid War, Full Spectrum Dominance attack on China.

Enter the Dragon Killer working hypothesis: a bio-weapon attack capable of causing immense economic damage but protected by plausible deniability. The only possible move by the “indispensable nation” on the New Great Game chessboard, considering that the U.S. cannot win a conventional war on China, and cannot win a nuclear war on China.

A biological warfare weapon?

On the surface, coronavirus is a dream bio-weapon for those fixated on wreaking havoc across China and praying for regime change.

Yet it’s complicated. This report is a decent effort trying to track the origins of coronavirus. Now compare it with the insights by Dr. Francis Boyle, international law professor at the University of Illinois and author, among others, of Biowarfare and Terrorism. He’s the man who drafted the U.S. Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 signed into law by George H. W. Bush.

Dr. Boyle is convinced coronavirus is an

offensive biological warfare weapon” that leaped out of the Wuhan BSL-4 laboratory, although he’s “not saying it was done deliberately.”

Dr. Boyle adds, “all these BSL-4 labs by United States, Europe, Russia, China, Israel are all there to research, develop, test biological warfare agents. There’s really no legitimate scientific reason to have BSL-4 labs.” His own research led to a whopping $100 billion, by 2015, spent by the United States government on bio-warfare research: “We have well over 13,000 alleged life science scientists… testing biological weapons here in the United States. Actually this goes back and it even precedes 9/11.”

Dr. Boyle directly accuses “the Chinese government under Xi and his comrades” of a cover up “from the get-go. The first reported case was December 1, so they’d been sitting on this until they couldn’t anymore. And everything they’re telling you is a lie. It’s propaganda.”

The World Health Organization (WHO), for Dr. Boyle, is also on it: “They’ve approved many of these BSL-4 labs (…) Can’t trust anything the WHO says because they’re all bought and paid for by Big Pharma and they work in cahoots with the CDC, which is the United States government, they work in cahoots with Fort Detrick.” Fort Detrick, now a cutting-edge bio-warfare lab, previously was a notorious CIA den of mind control “experiments”.

Relying on decades of research in bio-warfare, the U.S. Deep State is totally familiar with all bio-weapon overtones. From Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki to Korea, Vietnam and Fallujah, the historical record shows the United States government does not blink when it comes to unleashing weapons of mass destruction on innocent civilians.

For its part, the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) has spent a fortune researching bats, coronaviruses and gene-editing bio-weapons. Now, conveniently – as if this was a form of divine intervention – DARPA’s “strategic allies” have been chosen to develop a genetic vaccine.

The 1996 neocon Bible, the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), unambiguously stated, “advanced forms of biological warfare that can “target” specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.”

There’s no question coronavirus, so far, has been a Heaven-sent politically useful tool, reaching, with minimum investment, the desired targets of maximized U.S. global power – even if fleetingly, enhanced by a non-stop propaganda offensive – and China relatively isolated with its economy semi paralyzed.

Yet perspective is in order. The CDC estimated that up to 42.9 million people got sick during the 2018-2019 flu season in the U.S. No less than 647,000 people were hospitalized. And 61,200 died.

This report details the Chinese “people’s war” against coronavirus.

It’s up to Chinese virologists to decode its arguably synthetic origin. How China reacts, depending on the findings, will have earth-shattering consequences – literally.

Setting the stage for the Raging Twenties

After managing to reroute trade supply chains across Eurasia to its own advantage and hollow out the Heartland, American – and subordinated Western – elites are now staring into a void. And the void is staring back. A “West” ruled by the U.S. is now faced with irrelevance. BRI is in the process of reversing at least two centuries of Western dominance.

There’s no way the West and especially the “system leader” U.S. will allow it. It all started with dirty ops stirring trouble across the periphery of Eurasia – from Ukraine to Syria to Myanmar.

Now it’s when the going really gets tough. The targeted assassination of Maj. Gen. Soleimani plus coronavirus – the Wuhan flu – have really set up the stage for the Raging Twenties. The designation of choice should actually be WARS – Wuhan Acute Respiratory Syndrome. That would instantly give the game away as a War against Humanity – irrespective of where it came from.

February 26, 2020 Posted by | War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

Boston tide party

Climate Discussion Nexus | February 26, 2020

The Washington Post tells us of Boston that “Famous for its role in America’s war for independence, this city is now fighting the rising seas.” And apparently it is. Only this time the enemy isn’t showing up.

According to the Post, “Mayor Martin J. Walsh (D) has vowed to spend more than $30 million a year, equal to 10 percent of Boston’s five-year capital budget, to defend the city from a watery future that is expected because of climate change.” Which shows, again, that the airy endorsement of alarmism is beginning to have very real consequences. Every dollar spent fighting purple dragons is a dollar not spent fixing roads. And Walsh is fighting purple dragons. “The sea that surrounds Boston crept up nine inches in the 20th century and is advancing ever faster toward the heart of the city. And as climate change accelerates, the pace of sea-level rise in Boston is expected to triple, adding eight inches over 2000 levels by 2030, according to a report commissioned by the city. The ocean might climb as much as three feet above 2013 levels by 2070, the report said.”

Might. Then again, might not. Boston’s sea level record is online at the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level website. And sure enough, it’s been going up since the record began in 1925.

This chart demonstrates that it is not a recent phenomenon, especially since the really rapid increase happened from 1921 to 1950, long before greenhouse warming was an issue. And after hitting a peak in 2010, sea levels have actually been dropping.

Nor is it a local issue. All around the north Atlantic basin the long term tide records show a similar upwards trend. Until you get far enough north, where the uplifting land due to the slow rebound from the melting of the last ice age offsets the rising sea level.

The rising of the north part of the American and European continents means the southern parts are pivoting down. As we pointed out about a city pretty much on the opposite side of the world from Boston, Jakarta in Indonesia, you can have major flooding problems if your city is sinking. As many places are, making the measurement of sea level rise very difficult. It may be tempting to compare the rising seas to, say, an ice cube melting in a glass. But in fact the Earth’s crust is not a rigid stationary container. It’s a very dynamic and complex object, with some parts eroding, others accumulating, some still rebounding from the last glaciation, others subsiding due to subduction of tectonic plates or rising for the same reason and so on.

Human decisions also play a role. For instance in Boston, the Post notes, “half the city is built on low-lying landfill. Among the vulnerable spots are commercial piers, Logan International Airport, low-income neighborhoods, the South End, the New England Aquarium and pricey apartment buildings in the newly redeveloped Seaport area.” Oh my. Are you saying posh people in a very liberal state have been buying seafront property almost as though they didn’t believe their own pieties about climate change? Who saw that coming?

Oh right. Us. Mind you Boston also built public housing projects on landfill “particularly vulnerable to flooding” so they put poor people in the line of flood too. And since unlike some cities urged to stage a “managed retreat” Boston really has nowhere to go, the mayor wants to raise Main Street in the Charleston neighbourhood by two feet to make a flood barrier, put watertight doors on some rail tunnels, build up waterside parks and so forth.

After scaring readers with projections of sea level rises from one foot to nearly eight feet, and citing a city government illustration of even former Celtics star Kevin Garnett apparently threatened with inundation (see Slide 11), the Post admits “The forecast numbers all have substantial margins of error” before insisting that “even the smallest sea-level rise is threatening.”

No it’s not. It’s the same as the amount that the waters rose in the last century during which Boston may have had many problems but on the whole did extremely well, better than most of the world in fact, and was not turned into a marine tea party. What’s more, since despite the time-travelling predilections of climate alarmist analysis almost nobody says man-made climate change began having massive impacts before 1970, and the NOAA’s thoroughly alarmed site Climate.gov says it only began to accelerate around 2006, though the Post manages to cite one study saying “sea-level rise in Boston began to pick up speed only after 1940” instead. But if the rise in this century is around a foot, and in the last century it was nearly a foot, not much is happening. Nor is it happening fast.

The rate of increase for most of the 20th century was around 1.4 millimetres a year according to that NOAA site, (though how you’d measure something that small with that decimal-place accuracy given all the uncertainties is anyone’s guess), which is 0.06 inches in the United States. They say it’s now 0.14 inches a year or 3.6 mm, and blame the entire increase on humans as if nature was this inert thing that just sat there until we bothered it.

It’s not. There are indications that as sea levels rose and fell due to natural temperature variation over the past 2000 years, including the hated Medieval Warm Period, the oceans have risen during natural warmings at a pace not unlike that we’re seeing today. And by the way, The Atlantic early last year published an “oh never mind” piece about Antarctica melting and the seas surging three feet by 2100. The same researchers who rang that alarm bell are now muffling it, saying well maybe a foot.

There’s that foot again. And it, like the 0.14 inches a year, means just over one inch a decade, a slow, steady, non-scary increase. So the contention that an advanced industrial city can’t cope with that kind of increase, other than by throwing away its advanced industry, defies comprehension.

February 26, 2020 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment

Taxpayer Funded NGO Releases Yet Another Climate Doomsday Report

By Eric Worrall | Watts Up With That? | February 26, 2020

According to MSM you can trust the “THE CENTER FOR CLIMATE & SECURITY” because they are non partisan experts.

Report warns climate change could become ‘catastrophic’ global, national security threat

BY REBECCA KLAR – 02/24/20 09:16 AM EST

National security and intelligence experts warn that climate change could become a “catastrophic” threat to security and recommended quick action to be taken to mitigate risks, according to a new report released Monday.

“Even at scenarios of low warming, each region of the world will face severe risks to national and global security in the next three decades,” experts wrote in the report released by the National Security, Military and Intelligence Panel of the Center of Climate and Security, a nonpartisan security policy institute.

“Higher levels of warming will pose catastrophic, and likely irreversible, global security risks over the course of the 21st century.”

The security threat assessment of global climate change warns that all levels of warming of climate change will pose “significant and evolving threats” to global security environments, infrastructure and institutions.

Read more: https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/484313-report-warns-climate-change-could-become-catastrophic-global

The report itself is available here.

I think the most ridiculous part of the report is a suggestion 1-2C of warming in Russia would cause serious problems.

… At 1-2°C/1.8-3.6°F of global average warming, the EUCOM area of responsibility will experience severe weather that threatens destabilization of its key economic sectors, rising regional inequality, and impacts on civil and military infrastructure. In this scenario, rising ethno- nationalist sentiments alongside rising migration waves pose serious threats to the alliances underlying existing security institutions.

At 2-4+°C/3.6-7.2+°F of global average warming, the EUCOM area of responsibility will likely experience prolonged drought and rising seas, leading to significant internal displacement, as well as an influx of migrants from neighboring areas. In this scenario, a breakdown in regional political, institutional, and security cohesion becomes likely. …

Read more: Same link as above

1-2C of warming in Russia might mean Northern Russia is slightly more habitable. Like Canada, most Russians live on the warm southern edge of their nation, because the North is simply too cold.

The section on human health quotes The Lancet;

… Climate change will pose serious challenges to human health, mainly by affecting delicate natural systems that make bodies more susceptible to stress and disease. Medical research increasingly demonstrates links between warming temperatures and increased vulnerability to heat stress, infectious diseases, extreme events, and pollution, as summarized by the now annual report on health and climate change published by the leading journal, The Lancet.67 …

Read more: Same link as above

The suggestion that warm weather compromises people’s immune systems is absurd. Humans are extreme tropical monkeys, we don’t have fur because our ancestors evolved in one of the hottest places on Earth. Across most of the Earth, humans need clothes to stay warm enough to survive. So it seems reasonable to infer that the human immune system is mostly still optimised to the hot tropical weather our ancestors experienced.

The report was likely paid for with US taxpayer’s money. The authors acknowledge the generous support of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, which was set up by Congress in 1983. The Henry M Jackson foundation does a lot of good work supporting the medical needs of veterans, and also performs HIV research, so it seems a real shame they decided to waste some of their endowment and goodwill on yet another climate report.

February 26, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 1 Comment

Peer review: silver bullet or lead balloon?

Climate Discussion Nexus | February 26, 2020

One argument too often used to smash resistance to global warming alarmism is that such-and-such a study was, or was not, “peer reviewed”. Lay persons may assume peer review means colleagues don white coats, go into the lab and redo the experiment themselves. But it doesn’t. Peer reviewers rarely check the data and almost never try to replicate the analysis. And the system is not working; Tsuyoshi Miyakawa’s agonized piece in the latest edition of Molecular Brain shows spreading awareness across any number of scientific fields of a “reproducibility crisis” in which even peer-reviewed work cannot be replicated by independent researchers due to dodgy statistical practices, selective reporting and, Miyakawa laments, outright “data fabrication.” This crisis needs to be addressed, for the sake of science generally not just climate science. But in the meantime, drop the “peer review” juju and engage on the merits of arguments please.

The dodgy practices are known as “HARKing” and “p-hacking.” For those of you behind the curve, at least to hear Wired tell it, “p-hacking” means fiddling data analysis so you seem to generate a “statistically significant” result, one with less than a 5% chance of coming up randomly, when in fact you have not. HARKing means “Hypothesizing After the Results are Known”, a practice at which we have repeatedly taken aim in this newsletter on topics from Australian fires to slowing ocean currents. And there’s also the very real problem, which Miyakawa does not discuss, of peer review turning into pal review in which researchers known to the authors give a cursory read and thumbs-up to their friends’ work in return for their friends doing the same to theirs.

As for data fabrication, Miyakawa makes the chilling assertion that “As an Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Brain, I have handled 180 manuscripts since early 2017 and have made 41 editorial decisions categorized as ‘Revise before review,’ requesting that the authors provide raw data. Surprisingly, among those 41 manuscripts, 21 were withdrawn without providing raw data, indicating that requiring raw data drove away more than half of the manuscripts. I rejected 19 out of the remaining 20 manuscripts because of insufficient raw data. Thus, more than 97% of the 41 manuscripts did not present the raw data supporting their results when requested by an editor, suggesting a possibility that the raw data did not exist from the beginning, at least in some portions of these cases.”

If it’s that bad in a field where only personal ambition for professional advancement might drive researchers to bend the truth, imagine what it’s like in climate where zealous attachment to some desired policy end is also thumbing the scale. Then ask Michael Mann for the key data behind his famous hockey stick and see how far you get.

February 26, 2020 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | 1 Comment

When Is A Pandemic Not A Pandemic?

The World Health Organization is playing games

By Donna Laframboise | Big Picture News | February 26, 2020

In 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) explained on its website:

A pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease.

An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus emerges and spreads around the world, and most people do not have immunity.

A WHO document advising countries how to respond to such outbreaks used the word ‘pandemic’ 485 times across 64 pages back in 2009. That same document contained a table describing the six phases of a pandemic:

click to enlarge

In 2013, an update used ‘pandemic’ 413 times across 60 pages. Then came the 2017 edition, which employed the term 408 times across 59 pages.

But two days ago, a spokesperson told Reuters the WHO no longer recognizes this term. ‘Pandemic’ has apparently been struck from its vocabulary.

click image to read full story

According to Tarik Jasarevic, people may use this term colloquially to describe the spread of a new pathogen, but that’s their private affair. Say what?

There’s a new, highly contagious, stealth virus out there. Some people who contract it will end up in ICU with serious complications. This isn’t a run-of-the-mill flu. It began killing people in China several weeks ago, and has now spread to 40 countries. A dozen Italian towns are currently in lock-down, complete with police roadblocks. Hong Kong has closed schools until late April. The deputy health minister of Iran has tested positive.

Take another look at Phase 6, above. Sustained outbreaks in at least three countries, in two different parts of the world. We’re well beyond that.

Yet the WHO is playing word games. It says this isn’t a pandemic. It’s merely a PHEIC – which stands for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

Does that make you feel safe?

February 26, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment

Iran: Dubowitz’s coronavirus remarks ‘shameful and inhuman’

Press TV – February 26, 2020

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi says the remarks by Mark Dubowitz, Chief Executive of Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), about the spread of coronavirus in Iran are “shameful and downright inhuman.”

Dubowitz claimed on Twitter Tuesday that coronavirus has halted Iran’s non-oil exports, achieving “what American economic sanctions could not.”

Araqchi, in response, said Wednesday that cheering for a deadly virus to spread is shameful, noting that at least Dubowitz “understands that the American economic sanctions were not — and will not be — as effective as a Covid-19 Virus.”

In another outrageous and unfounded claim, Dubowitz said that Tehran has “spread terrorism” in the Middle East and “now it’s spreading the coronavirus.”

Nearly 140 people have been tested positive for coronavirus in Iran since the infection was identified in a city in central country last week. The government has put the number of deaths at 19 as of Wednesday noon local time.

Dubowitz’s remarks come as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Tuesday issued warnings about the virus, urging Americans to prepare and take precautionary measures.

“The data over the past week about the spread in other countries has raised our level of concern and expectation that we are going to have community spread here,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the CDC’s head of respiratory diseases, told reporters in a conference call.

The warning came as President Donald Trump tried to play down fears and said in a tweet Monday that the coronavirus was “very much under control in the USA.”

Meanwhile, growing economic pressure on Iran has hampered the country’s efforts to confront the outbreak of coronavirus as health bodies face restrictions importing test kits to detect the infection.

Ramin Fallah, a board member at Iran’s Association of Medical Equipment Importers, said on Sunday that US sanctions as well as restrictions newly imposed on Iran by a global money laundering watchdog had made it increasingly difficult to access the kits.

Under mounting pressure from Washington, the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) decided on Friday to place Iran on its blacklist, making it more difficult for Iranian banks to settle payments with foreign counterparts.

February 26, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | Leave a comment