Aletho News


Why the assault on a diplomat in Israel should come as no surprise

By Jonathan Cook | June 22, 2020

An Israeli diplomat filed a complaint last week with police after he was pulled to the ground in Jerusalem by four security guards, who knelt on his neck for five minutes as he cried out: “I can’t breathe.”

There are obvious echoes of the treatment of George Floyd, an African-American killed by police in Minneapolis last month. His death triggered mass protests against police brutality and reinvigorated the Black Lives Matter movement. The incident in Jerusalem, by contrast, attracted only minor attention – even in Israel.

An assault by Israeli security officials on a diplomat sounds like an aberration – a peculiar case of mistaken identity – quite unlike an established pattern of police violence against poor black communities in the US. But that impression would be wrong.

The man attacked in Jerusalem was no ordinary Israeli diplomat. He was Bedouin, from Israel’s large Palestinian minority. One fifth of the population, this minority enjoys a very inferior form of Israeli citizenship.

Ishmael Khaldi’s exceptional success in becoming a diplomat, as well as his all-too-familiar experience as a Palestinian of abuse at the hands of the security services, exemplify the paradoxes of what amounts to Israel’s hybrid version of apartheid.

Khaldi and another 1.8 million Palestinian citizens are descended from the few Palestinians who survived a wave of expulsions in 1948 as a Jewish state was declared on the ruins of their homeland.

Israel continues to view these Palestinians – its non-Jewish citizens – as a subversive element that needs to be controlled and subdued through measures reminiscent of the old South Africa. But at the same time, Israel is desperate to portray itself as a western-style democracy.

So strangely, the Palestinian minority has found itself treated both as second-class citizens and as an unwilling shop-window dummy on which Israel can hang its pretensions of fairness and equality. That has resulted in two contradictory faces.

On one side, Israel segregates Jewish and Palestinian citizens, confining the latter to a handful of tightly ghettoised communities on a tiny fraction of the country’s territory. To prevent mixing and miscegenation, it strictly separates schools for Jewish and Palestinian children. The policy has been so successful that inter-marriage is all but non-existent. In a rare survey, the Central Bureau of Statistics found 19 such marriages took place in 2011.

The economy is largely segregated too.

Most Palestinian citizens are barred from Israel’s security industries and anything related to the occupation. State utilities, from the ports to the water, telecoms and electricity industries, are largely free of Palestinian citizens.

Job opportunities are concentrated instead in low-paying service industries and casual labour. Two thirds of Palestinian children in Israel live below the poverty line, compared to one fifth of Jewish children.

This ugly face is carefully hidden from outsiders.

On the other side, Israel loudly celebrates the right of Palestinian citizens to vote – an easy concession given that Israel engineered an overwhelming Jewish majority in 1948 by forcing most Palestinians into exile. It trumpets exceptional “Arab success stories”, glossing over the deeper truths they contain.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Israel has been excitedly promoting the fact that one fifth of its doctors are Palestinian citizens – matching their proportion of the population. But in truth, the health sector is the one major sphere of life in Israel where segregation is not the norm. The brightest Palestinian students gravitate towards medicine because at least there the obstacles to success can be surmounted.

Compare that to higher education, where Palestinian citizens fill much less than one per cent of senior academic posts. The first Muslim judge, Khaled Kaboub, was appointed to the Supreme Court only two years ago – 70 years after Israel’s founding. Gamal Hakroosh became Israel’s first Muslim deputy police commissioner as recently as 2016; his role was restricted, of course, to handling policing in Palestinian communities.

Khaldi, the diplomat assaulted in Jerusalem, fits this mould. Raised in the village of Khawaled in the Galilee, his family was denied water, electricity and building permits. His home was a tent, where he studied by gaslight. Many tens of thousands of Palestinian citizens live in similar conditions.

Undoubtedly, the talented Khaldi overcame many hurdles to win a coveted place at university. He then served in the paramilitary border police, notorious for abusing Palestinians in the occupied territories.

He was marked out early on as a reliable advocate for Israel by an unusual combination of traits: his intelligence and determination; a steely refusal to be ground down by racism and discrimination; a pliable ethical code that condoned the oppression of fellow Palestinians; and blind deference to a Jewish state whose very definition excluded him.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry put him on a fast track, soon sending him to San Francisco and London. There his job was to fight the international campaign to boycott Israel, modelled on a similar one targeting apartheid South Africa, citing his own story as proof that in Israel anyone can succeed.

But in reality, Khaldi is an exception, and one cynically exploited to disprove the rule. Maybe that point occurred to him as he was being choked inside Jerusalem’s central bus station after he questioned a guard’s behaviour.

After all, everyone in Israel understands that Palestinian citizens – even the odd professor or legislator – are racially profiled and treated as an enemy. Stories of their physical or verbal abuse are unremarkable. Khaldi’s assault stands out only because he has proved himself such a compliant servant of a system designed to marginalise the community he belongs to.

This month, however, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself chose to tear off the prettified, diplomatic mask represented by Khaldi. He appointed a new ambassador to the UK.

Tzipi Hotovely, a Jewish supremacist and Islamophobe, supports Israel’s annexation of the entire West Bank and the takeover of Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. She is part of a new wave of entirely undiplomatic envoys being sent to foreign capitals.

Hotovely cares much less about Israel’s image than about making all the “Land of Israel”, including the occupied Palestinian territories, exclusively Jewish.

Her appointment signals progress of a kind. Diplomats such as herself may finally help people abroad understand why Khaldi, her obliging fellow diplomat, is being assaulted back home.

June 22, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , | 4 Comments

Bolton claims Iran had yellowcake uranium, echoing bogus claims that led to Iraq war

RT | June 22, 2020

Former US National Security Advisor John Bolton has claimed Israeli agents found “yellowcake uranium” in Iran in 2018, channeling the discredited intelligence used by the George W. Bush administration to justify invading Iraq.

Israel’s Mossad retrieved “human-processed uranium” that was “perhaps yellowcake (uranium oxide in solid form)” during a “daring raid on Iran’s nuclear archives” in 2018, the mustachioed warmonger declared in his controversial Trump administration memoir, ‘The Room Where It Happened’. The discovery, Bolton alleged, was substantiated when the International Atomic Energy Agency subsequently conducted an inspection of Iran’s Turquzabad site. Israeli media trumpeted the vague, unverified claim over the weekend, publishing selected quotes from the book.

Bolton insisted the discovery “could well be evidence that Iran kept alive its ‘Amad plan’ for nuclear weapons after it was supposedly ended in 2004.” However, despite the wild claims leveled against Tehran by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in his theatrical speech following the raid, the IAEA denied Tel Aviv had uncovered any evidence that would change the international understanding of Iran’s nuclear activities. Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif, meanwhile, accused Netanyahu of deliberately tailoring his speech to give the Trump administration a rationale for withdrawing from the JCPOA nuclear deal – which it did, much to Bolton’s delight.

While the Trump administration has thus far stopped short of bombing Iran, hope springs eternal – Bolton has pushed for war with the Islamic Republic for years. So has Netanyahu, who has claimed since 1992 that Iran’s nuclear bomb was right around the corner and has been trying to convince the US to share his view ever since.

The former Trump official’s yellowcake claims – tellingly couched in qualifying words like “perhaps” and “could be” – carry disturbing echoes of the phony intelligence used by Bush’s administration to justify the disastrous invasion of Iraq in 2003. Bolton himself had pushed to have unsubstantiated allegations that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was trying to purchase yellowcake uranium from Niger as part of a top-secret nuclear weapons program included in a ‘fact sheet’ on Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction” drafted by the administration in 2002. Even after US diplomat Joseph Wilson traveled to the African nation and found no factual basis for the yellowcake claims – a conclusion backed by French intelligence, the CIA, and the US Embassy in Niger – the neoconservative core of the Bush administration, including Bolton, clung to the yellowcake story. No WMDs were found after the US invaded Iraq the following year – not that Bolton ever apologized.

The Iraqi yellowcake story is widely agreed to have been the result of a skilled forgery pushed by regime-change enthusiasts who wanted Iraq’s government toppled and didn’t care how much they had to mangle the truth to get it. Neocon hawks like Bolton and fellow Bush administration heavyweights Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Richard Perle had been championing war with Iraq for over a decade, repeatedly and unsuccessfully pushing then-president Bill Clinton to invade before they finally got their wish with Bush in 2003.

As CIA analysts at the time explained, refining yellowcake into the material used in nuclear bombs requires extensive processing and sophisticated technology Iraq did not have – never mind the logistical difficulties inherent in moving the 500 tons Hussein was supposedly purchasing out of Niger. Additionally, Iraq was already sitting on over 550 tons of uranium oxide. So why, they wondered, would Baghdad risk arousing international suspicions by buying more if it was embarking on a clandestine nuclear program? But Bolton and his cohort were known for their persistence; “Stick that baby in there 47 times, and on the 47th time it will stay” was how the Pentagon’s Larry Wilkerson described their modus operandi to Vanity Fair. Even after the IAEA itself declared the Niger documents to be forgeries, the Bush administration plunged ahead with the war that has turned the Middle East into a chaotic quagmire of political instability, terrorism, and human suffering.

Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA deal has been repeatedly certified, even as Bolton and his fellow hawks attempted to discredit the inspection process. With the ink on the deal scarcely dry in 2015, Bolton was already claiming Iran was operating “secret nuclear facilities” and calling for the Obama administration to bomb the country. He then spent much of his time as Trump’s national security advisor advocating for a military response to any perceived slight – especially after the US exited the JCPOA. At the same time, Israel continues to push “bombshell” reports alleging violations of the deal, with the most recent coming earlier this month and based on data Tehran claims was supplied by Mossad.

Bolton has been industriously milking his 15 minutes of fame, heralded by the media as a #Resistance hero ever since his book skewering the Trump administration was copiously leaked to mainstream outlets, over the president’s protestations. The tome contains a number of questionable revelations, including that Trump thought Venezuela was “really part of the US” and invading it would be “cool” until Russian President Vladimir Putin bent his ear, discouraging the idea. Trump slammed the book as the fictional musings of a “sick puppy.”

June 22, 2020 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Wars for Israel | , , , | 2 Comments

Media Blackout: The Federal Court Case To End Water Fluoridation!

Spiro Skouras | June 14, 2020

As we are inundated with headlines about violent riots and looting being passed off as mostly peaceful protests, or how the dreaded virus continues to spread in communities around the world. There is another story taking place which directly effects hundreds of millions of people globally that is being blacked out by the mainstream corporate media.

Unlike the aforementioned crisis’ which are being sited as the justification for the World Economic Forum’s Great Reset. This public health crisis actually has a rather simple solution. To end water fluoridation by no longer adding the toxic substance to the nations water supply.

You would think this would be a straightforward process considering the mountains of studies which conclude fluoride is a harmful neurotoxin attributed to lower IQ’s and ADHD. Unfortunately government regulatory agencies have been not only defending this practice for generations, they champion the forced medication as a great achievement in medical history.

Right now, in perhaps one of the most important trials of our time. The Fluoride Action Network is taking the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head on in an unprecedented court case that could lead to the end of water fluoridation in the US and possibly worldwide as other nations would likely follow suit.

In this interview, Spiro is joined by Dr. Paul Connett of the Fluoride Action Network to discuss the current court case against EPA and water fluoridation as the first week of the trial has come to an end and the second, possibly final week is about to begin.

Fluoride Action Network

Link & Times To Watch The Trial Live…

Spiro’s Interview with Dr. Paul Connett & his Son, Attorney Michael Connett…

June 22, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Science and Pseudo-Science, Video | , | 1 Comment

US developing stronger military ties with Israel

MEMO | June 22, 2020

Cooperation between the United States and Israel on developing defence technology is increasing in order to “establish a US-Israel Operations-Technology Working Group”.

The “United States-Israel Military Capability Act of 2020” was introduced last month by US members of the Senate Armed Services Committee Senators Gary Peters and Tom Cottonboth.

This bipartisan legislation would require the establishment of a US-Israel operations-technology working group to enhance collaboration on the research and development of technology used for national defence.

As the senators wrote in a letter in February to Secretary of Defence Mark Esper, the working group would help ensure US “warfighters never encounter a more technologically advanced foe.”

According to the US Embassy, this is the “enduring and unshakable commitment” America has to Israel’s security and a bond between the American people and Israel.

The US and Israel already cooperate extensively on security matters. Israel’s big three defence companies, Elbit Systems, IAI and Rafael, have numerous cooperative projects with America.

Elbit Systems, a company which sells weapons to the Israeli military used in attacks on Palestinians, will be supplying a missile warning system to F-16 fighter jets belonging to the US Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command.

The company was also awarded a $73.4 million, 15-year contract from the US Marine Corps in March 2015 to supply them with new laser systems.

According to an official Pentagon contracting announcement, the Air Force has already set aside a little more than $17 million to buy these systems, but the complete contract, which covers work to February 2030 at the earliest, could be worth just over $471.6 million.

Last year, the Israeli government revealed for the first time the main points of the plan to increase the volume of Israel’s defence exports, reported Globes.

See also:

UN: 90 Palestinians homeless as Israel demolishes 70 buildings in 2 weeks

June 22, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism | , , , | 1 Comment

Biden And His Ventriloquists Keep Out-Hawking Trump

By Caitlin Johnstone | June 22, 2020

Joe Biden keeps trying to out-warmonger Donald Trump, and by Joe Biden I of course mean the team of handlers who are animating the dementia-ravaged corpse of the Biden campaign like a ventriloquist operating a wooden dummy.

In response to Trump suggesting an openness to scaling back his administration’s murderous Venezuela policy and meeting with President Nicolás Maduro, whoever runs Biden’s Twitter account for him seized upon the moment to assert that the former vice president will be doing no such thing if elected commander-in-chief.

“Trump talks tough on Venezuela, but admires thugs and dictators like Nicolas Maduro,” tweeted Biden Incorporated. “As President, I will stand with the Venezuelan people and for democracy.”

“Translation: if Trump retreats from his current policy of trying to sanction and suffocate Venezuela into submission, Biden will make sure to revive it,” journalist Aaron Maté said in response.

“To be clear, Joe Biden is now attacking Donald Trump from the right on Venezuela,” said journalist Walker Bragman.

As FAIR’s Alan MacLeod accurately observed last year, this phrase “the Venezuelan people” is only ever invoked by the political/media class of the US-centralized empire for sloganeering purposes in support of US-led regime change interventionism in that nation, despite an overwhelming majority of Venezuelans opposing all US interventionism including sanctions.

This tactic of attacking Donald Trump for being insufficiently warlike is nothing new for Biden Inc, nor is it limited to Venezuela.

During the primary debates Biden attacked Trump for being insufficiently hawkish toward North Korea, claiming the president was wrong to meet with Kim Jong Un because it gives the leader “legitimacy”, whatever that means.

An  accused the president of being too soft on China by failing to force Beijing to allow US government officials into Wuhan to monitor the governing of a sovereign nation during a pandemic outbreak.

“Trump praised the Chinese 15 times in January and February as the coronavirus spread across the world,” says the ad’s narrator in an ominous voice. “Trump never got a CDC team on the ground in China. And the travel ban he brags about? Trump let in 40,000 travelers from China into America after he signed it. Not exactly airtight.”

Biden has attacked Trump’s partial troop withdrawal from Syria, using talking points from the so-called war on terror to absurdly claim during a primary debate that the president is putting America at risk of a terrorist strike from ISIS.

“We have ISIS that’s going to come here,” Biden said. “They are going to damage the United States of America. That’s why we got involved in the first place.”

And of course Biden & Co have been attacking Trump for being too soft on Russia, despite this administration’s many, many dangerously hawkish new cold war escalations against Moscow.

“We need a President who will stand up to the Kremlin, push back against Putin, and take immediate steps to ensure the security of our elections,” Biden’s Twitter account said last year.

This line of attack is so ubiquitous in the Biden campaign that it sometimes just takes the form of a vague, general swipe at Trump’s unwillingness to be more warlike, with an April tweet reading simply “Donald Trump says he’s a wartime president — it’s time for him to act like one.”

Again, this is Donald Trump these people are talking about. The same president who imprisoned Julian Assange for exposing US war crimes, killed tens of thousands of Venezuelans with starvation sanctions, vetoed attempts to save Yemen from US-backed genocide, is working to foment civil war in Iran using starvation sanctions and CIA ops with the stated goal of effecting regime change, nearly started a full-scale war with Iran by assassinating its top general, occupied Syrian oil fields and implemented devastating sanctions with the goal of preventing Syria’s reconstruction, greatly increased the number of troops in the Middle East and elsewhere, greatly increased the number of bombs dropped per day from the previous administration, killing record numbers of civilians, and reduced military accountability for those airstrikes.

The second-to-last thing the world needs is political pressure placed on Donald fucking Trump to be more warlike. The very last thing the world needs is a US president who ends up being even more warlike than Trump.

America is a war machine on top of a police state on top of a mass media psyop. Only people who are willing to keep these psychopathic mechanisms in place are permitted to ascend to presidential candidacy. While all the news cameras focus on the relatively minor differences between presidents and presidential candidates, you can learn a lot more about America and what drives it by looking at their similarities.

June 22, 2020 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Bolton’s statements on Trump-Kim summit are ‘distorted,’ Seoul says

RT | June 22, 2020

South Korea said on Monday that accounts by former US National Security Advisor John Bolton of discussions between leaders of the United States and the two Koreas in his upcoming book are inaccurate and distorted.

Reports have cited Bolton as writing that South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who is keen to improve relations with Pyongyang, had raised unrealistic expectations with both the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and US President Donald Trump, for his own “unification” agenda.

“It does not reflect accurate facts and substantially distorts facts,” South Korea’s national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, said in a statement referring to Bolton’s description of the consultations.

Chung did not elaborate on specific areas but said the publication set a “dangerous” precedent. “Unilaterally publishing consultations made based on mutual trust violates the basic principles of diplomacy and could severely damage future negotiations,” Reuters quoted him as saying.

June 22, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 1 Comment

Topple the Statues, But Ignore the Modern-Day Oppressors?

By Gavin O’Reilly | American Herald Tribune | June 21, 2020

Following last month’s murder in the United States of George Floyd, an unarmed black man suffocated by Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin during what should have been a routine stop, what would initially begin as protests against police brutality and systemic racism in the US state of Minneapolis would soon spread nationwide before developing into an international phenomenon.

Major cities across the United States and Europe all found themselves taking part in solidarity protests as a result of Floyd’s death, with each protest receiving extensive coverage by the mainstream Western media, and the public support of figures from the highest level of sport, media, entertainment and business.

One of the most distinguishing features of these protests so far however, has been the targeting of statues and monuments by anti-racist activists of historical figures who engaged in colonialism and slavery.

In the British city of Bristol, a statue of 17th century slave trader Edward Colston was toppled by protesters before being thrown into the town’s harbour, while in the United States a similar fate would befell statues of 19th century Confederate figures, Charles Linn and Robert E. Lee. The phrase ‘Churchill is a racist’ was also painted upon a statue of the early-20th century British Prime Minister in London, owing to his white supremacist and Imperialist views.

However, while the anti-racist and anti-Imperialist sentiment behind such actions is surely one that must be applauded, it also begs the question of why a similar ire isn’t reserved for the modern day oppressors and Imperialists; in this case, it being the military industrial complex and war lobbies of both the United States and Britain.

With both nations being the world’s leading exporters of arms, it has been this exact military industrial complex which has played an integral role in the world’s current foremost humanitarian crisis; Western-allied Saudi Arabia’s now five year long war on Yemen, one in which upwards of 85,000 Yemeni children have now lost their lives as a result of the US and British-made bombs.

Military advisors from both countries are also on hand to help direct Riyadh on where to direct its air strikes, with the agricultural sector of the impoverished Arab nation being a favoured target in particular of the Royal Saudi Air Force, resulting in widespread famine in what is already the poorest country in the Arab Peninsula.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, US and British occupation forces still remain in northern Syria and Iraq; with the air forces of both countries on hand to help carve out a Kurdish ethnostate in line with the 1982 Tel Aviv-authored Oded Yinon plan, intended to balkanise Arab states hostile to Israel.

Closer to home, the neo-Nazi junta of Ukraine has also received political and military support from the US and Britain since the 2014 coup seen the government of Victor Yanukovich ousted over his rejection of an EU-trade deal in favour of closer ties with Russia; similar to the situation in Yemen, military advisors from both countries have also been on hand to assist Kiev forces in their war on the breakaway pro-Russian republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, and the Trump administration has approved the sale of heavy arms to Ukraine since 2018.

However, despite the litany of war crimes this modern-day imperialist foreign policy has resulted in, from the Donbass to the Middle East, the Pentagon, the Ministry of Defence and the factories of Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and BAE Systems have so far remained untouched by the current protesters – their anger seemingly reserved for imperialists and oppressors who passed away generations ago instead.

June 22, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | Leave a comment

China does not approve of further tension over Iran nuclear program: Foreign Ministry

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian
Press TV – June 22, 2020

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian says his country opposes any measure leading to exacerbation of tensions over the Iranian nuclear program in the wake of the recent adoption of an anti-Iran resolution by the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

“China supports the IAEA in playing its role in an objective, professional and neutral manner in verifying Iran’s compliance with its safeguards obligations. We are against politicizing its work,” Zhao said at a regular press conference on Monday.

He pointed to an explicit announcement by the IAEA that the “safeguards issue is neither urgent nor poses a proliferation risk” and welcomed Iran’s readiness to resolve issues through dialogue and said, “Under such circumstances, China does not approve of actions that artificially exacerbate tensions and escalate the situation.”

He expressed hope that all relevant parties to the international 2015 nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), will remain calm, exercise restraint, and support the settlement of issues between Iran and the UN nuclear agency through dialogue and cooperation.

“On the Iranian nuclear issue, China’s unwavering aim is to uphold the JCPOA, multilateralism, peace and stability in the Middle East, and the international order based on international law,” the Chinese diplomat said.

He expressed Beijing’s readiness to work closely with the sides in order to find a “political and diplomatic” way to solve issues pertaining to Iran’s nuclear program.

The Board of Governors at the UN’s nuclear agency on Friday passed the anti-Iran resolution, put forward by Britain, France and Germany – the three European signatories to the JCPOA.

The resolution, the first of its kind since 2012, urges Iran to provide the IAEA inspectors with access to two sites that the trio claims may have been used for undeclared nuclear activities in the early 2000s.

The Islamic Republic rejects any allegations of non-cooperation with the IAEA, insisting that it is prepared to resolve potentially outstanding differences with the IAEA.

Russia and China, two other permanent members of the UN Security Council and signatories to the JCPOA, voted against the resolution.

The Chinese diplomatic mission to the IAEA also warned on Twitter that the resolution could have “huge implications” for the future of the JCPOA.

Iran’s reduction of JCPOA compliance result of US maximum pressure

In response to a question about the E3 foreign ministers’ last week statement on the JCPOA, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman once again stressed the importance of upholding and implementing the nuclear deal as the “only right way” to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue.

Zhao added that Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had recently sent letters to the UN secretary general and the rotating president of the Security Council to emphasize that the JCPOA, endorsed by Security Council Resolution 2231, is an “important outcome of multilateral diplomacy and a key element in international nuclear non-proliferation system.”

“Iran’s reduction of compliance is a result of the US maximum pressure. We urge the US to abandon unilateral sanctions and ‘long-arm jurisdiction’, and return to the right track of observing the JCPOA and the Security Council resolution,” the Chinese diplomat said.

He highlighted the significance of earnestly implementing all provisions in Resolution 2231 and said, “In the meantime, all parties to the JCPOA should take concrete measures to restore the balance of rights and obligations under the agreement.”

Pointing to the withdrawal of the US from the JCPOA, he said Washington “has no right to ask the Security Council to launch the snapback mechanism that allows the re-imposition of sanctions.”

He reminded the trio’s foreign ministers that they have reaffirmed their commitment to keeping the JCPOA in place and implementing Resolution 2231.

“They believe that the strategy of maximum pressure will not effectively address shared concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. As any unilateral attempt to trigger UN sanctions snapback would have serious adverse consequences in the UNSC, they would not support such a decision which would be incompatible with current efforts to preserve the JCPOA,” Zhao pointed out.

He vowed that Beijing would work with the three European parties to the JCPOA and the larger international community to stick to the nuclear agreement and Resolution 2231, uphold multilateralism, and work for the political and diplomatic settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue.

“In the meantime, we will resolutely safeguard our own legitimate rights and interests,” he added.

June 22, 2020 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dozens treated for chlorine exposure as massive fire engulfs hazmat storage at US base in Okinawa

RT | June 22, 2020

A fire broke out inside a chemical compound at a major US Air Force base on the Japanese island of Okinawa, triggering the release of chlorine and affecting multiple people who were treated for exposure to toxic gas particles.

Fire alarms were activated on Monday at a building where hazardous materials are stockpiled, Japanese and US media reported. Located in the central part of Kadena Air Base, the facility burned for a few more hours, though the firefighters didn’t let it spill over the base perimeter.

The base, said to be America’s largest military installation in the region, confirmed on Facebook that the blaze “released chlorine gas particles” into the air. Footage that surfaced online shows thick plumes of black smoke rising from the hazmat facility.

Base command sealed off the roads and evacuated areas both upwind and downwind of the burning site as firefighters put out the flames.

US military media reported later in the day that at least 45 people were treated for exposure to smoke and chlorine, a highly toxic chemical agent.

Those suffering from shortness of breath or coughing, irritation, and runny nose, were urged to consult a doctor. Meanwhile, Kadena’s medical group canceled all routine appointments, apparently bracing for further treatment of those affected.

Kadena Air Base houses over 20,000 service members and their families, along with the USAF’s 18th Air Wing and reconnaissance units.

Okinawa accommodates about half of the American troops stationed in Japan, to the great displeasure of many locals. In recent years, there have been protests against noise pollution, as well as the environmental impact and behavior of US soldiers, who have repeatedly been involved in sexual assaults and even deadly incidents on several occasions.

June 22, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , | 1 Comment

Trump slams Guaidó while expressing openness in speaking with Maduro

By Paul Antonopoulos | June 22, 2020

In what potentially could be a radical change in Washington’s policy towards Venezuela, U.S. president Donald Trump confessed that he has had doubts about his decision to recognize opposition leader Juan Guaidó as president of the South American country. Trump revealed in an interview with Axios in the Oval Office what he thinks about the self-proclaimed wannabe president of Venezuela, Guaidó, and even confessed that he “would maybe think” of meeting personally with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, who has already publicly expressed his willingness to talk with the American president.

“Maduro would like to meet. And I’m never opposed to meetings — you know, rarely opposed to meetings. I always say, you lose very little with meetings. But at this moment, I’ve turned them down,” Trump said.

In a preview of the interview published by Axios, Trump revealed how little confidence he has in Guaidó because the politician failed to take control of the Venezuelan government despite the strong support provided by the U.S. and another 60 countries that recognize him as the legitimate president.

Asked by Axios whether he regretted his decision on backing Guaidó on the advice of John Bolton, his former National Security Advisor, Trump initially said “not particularly,” but then went on to say, “I could have lived with it or without it, but I was very firmly against what’s going on in Venezuela.”

In another part of the interview, Trump speaks directly of the moment when he decided to recognize the opposition leader as president: “Guaidó was elected. I think that I wasn’t necessarily in favor, but I said — some people that liked it, some people didn’t. I was OK with it. I don’t think it was — you know, I don’t think it was very meaningful one way or the other.”

Also, in the preview, Axios quoted a fragment of Bolton’s upcoming book The Room Where It Happened, where he reveals some behind the scenes diplomacy of the Trump Administration and the private feelings the president has about Guaidó. Bolton says that Trump “thought Guaidó was ‘weak,’ as opposed to Maduro, who was ‘strong’” and that “Trump was calling Guaidó the ‘Beto O’Rourke of Venezuela,’ hardly the sort of compliment an ally of the United States should expect.” O’Rourke, who was a Democratic Presidential Candidate and is one of Trump’s biggest critics, was called a “poor bastard” who “quit like a dog” by the American president, a demonstration of just how low Trump thinks of Guaidó.

Trump in the interview described Bolton as a “nutjob” who may be the “dumbest human being on Earth.” Trump could perhaps seek to slowly normalize relations with Maduro and move away from Guaidó, while placing the blame entirely on Bolton for the escalation of hostilities between Washington and Caracas.

In 2019, shocking events were triggered when Guaidó proclaimed himself president. An attempt to forcibly enter a shipment of “solidarity aid” into Venezuela from Colombia that likely had weapons was made; Venezuela suddenly was without electricity after a cyberattack; there was another coup attempt; and, many attacks on military barracks. Yet, Maduro survived the intense pressures from the U.S. and sixty of its allies.

The American President is known to admire authoritarianism and/or strong leaders. Despite sanctions, coup attempts and threats of military invasion, Maduro has not only survived the U.S.-led destabilization, but cemented his positions as leader of Venezuela. Although they may be adversaries, it would not be a wild claim to say that Trump admires Maduro’s strength and determination, especially as Guaidó utterly failed when he had every advantage afforded to him.

If someone had said in 2019 that just a year later Venezuela would not only be more stable than the U.S. when we consider the Black Lives Matter uprising in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder, but would also achieve a seat in the UN Human Rights commission, no one would have believed it.

The U.S. could not allow 2019 to confirm the decline of its dominance over Latin America. With the defeat it suffered in Venezuela, the return of Cristina Kirchner in Argentina and the breakdown of neoliberal governments in the region, Washington had to resort to coups to protect its interests, as seen in Bolivia.

Venezuela now has a fragmented opposition to Maduro that is immersed in an internal war. At this point, Guaidó is not guaranteed to be re-elected as president of the National Assembly. For the U.S. however, it does not matter who occupies that position so long as they are serving Washington’s agenda. The so-called Deep State in the U.S. remains pitifully unchanged in their policy to destroy the existence of sovereign governments in the region. However, is Trump attempting to break free of such war hawks by expressing an openness to speak with Maduro? Although Trump may have individual opinions on not wanting to challenge Venezuela, despite public rhetoric, he will be restricted by the main power structures that exist in the U.S. and push for complete dominance no matter the administration in power and what they want to achieve.

Paul Antonopoulos is an independent geopolitical analyst.

June 22, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

Financial Conflicts & the Retracted COVID Research

Lead author, paid by drug companies, gives the all-clear to products those companies sell. World’s leading medical journal fails transparency test.

By Donna Laframboise | Big Picture News | June 22, 2020

Mandeep Mehra is a professor at Harvard Medical School, and the medical director of a Boston hospital department. That city being a coronavirus hotspot, life hasn’t been normal there for some time.

He’s also the lead author of two COVID-19 research papers that were retracted shortly after being published in prestigious medical journals. Lancet boss Richard Horton calls the one published in his journal a “monumental fraud.”

The other, which has received less attention, appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). Titled Cardiovascular Disease, Drug Therapy, and Mortality in Covid-19, it runs to seven pages and was retracted because its authors now admit the data on which it relies cannot be validated.

During this pandemic, physicians have been desperate for information to help guide their decisions. Eric Rubin, editor-in-chief of the NEJM, recently explained to the New York Times,

I’m an infectious disease doctor, I treat Covid-19 patients. I’ve been in the hospital recently treating patients, and we have no idea what to do. I’m the primary driver at the journal of saying, ‘We have to get data out there that people can use.’ [bold added]

Many hypotheses have been advanced. Many questions remain unanswered. For example, there’s uncertainty about whether some widely prescribed medications might be complicating the picture. Are people who take high blood pressure pills – ACE inhibitors and ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers) – at higher risk? Should they switch to alternatives until the pandemic is over (see here, here, and here)?

Similarly, should people on cholesterol-lowering statins follow advice published in the British Medical Journal and stop taking these drugs if they develop a serious case of COVID-19? Statins are, after all, prescribed for preventative purposes, to help avert heart problems longer term.

Mehra’s paper claimed to have examined patient records from three continents and to have found no evidence that any of these drugs increase the death rate of those who had heart issues prior to the coronavirus. Indeed, it declares that “the use of ACE inhibitors, and the use of statins were associated with a better chance of survival” in women.

But even if this data was 100% reliable, there would still be two enormous problems with this research:

#1: The lead author has financial ties to companies that sell those drugs.

#2: Neither the authors nor the journal informed us of this salient fact up front, in a transparent manner.

The paper reports, on page 1, that the research was “Funded by the William Harvey Distinguished Chair in Advanced Cardiovascular Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.”

Mehra’s Harvard e-mail address also appears on page 1. Readers are told that’s where reprint requests should be addressed (reprints are frequently distributed to third party doctors by drug companies as marketing material, and can be a considerable source of revenue for medical journals).

At the very end of the paper, on page 7, in fine print, we’re reminded that the research was supported by the William Harvey Distinguished Chair. Only then are we advised that “Disclosure forms by the authors are available with the full text of this article at”

One must go to the trouble of tracking down the online version of the paper, and downloading that separate 16-page PDF, to discover the lead author has a serious conflict of interest. There, on page 12, we read:

Dr. Mehra reports personal fees from Abbott, personal fees from Medtronic, personal fees from Janssen, personal fees from Mesoblast , personal fees from Baim Institute for Clinical Research, personal fees from Portola, personal fees from Bayer, personal fees from Triple Gene, personal fees from Leviticus, personal fees from NupulseCV, personal fees from FineHeart, other from Riovant, outside the submitted work;. [sic, bold added]

Abbott Laboratories sells statins and ACE inhibitors. The company is described as a “top key player,” a “major giant,” and a “leading player” in those global marketplaces.

Likewise, Bayer AG is a major global player in the ARB market.

So a lead author who has financial relationships with two companies that sell certain classes of drugs took the time, during a pandemic, to give those drugs an all-clear.

On it’s website, the New England Journal of Medicine calls itself “the world’s leading medical journal.” Why did it choose to bury this vital piece of information?

June 22, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment