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COVID-19: Who’s Scheming?

By Dr. Pascal Sacré | Global Research | August 16, 2020

In order for us to be on the same wavelength, I have to define that word. Conspiracy Theorist: An advocate of Conspiracy theory.

It’s like saying, racist: defender of a theory of racism. We don’t get very far with that. A synonym is conspiracy theorist.

What is a conspiracy theory or conspiracy theorist? One thing’s for sure, these words are pejorative, bad. Nobody likes this label: “conspiracy theorist”, “conspiracy theory”.

Since September 11, 2001, this ancient word [1] has been used to disqualify anyone who makes statements which go against the official narrative.

Let’s analyze this sentence because every word is important.

By official, many mean governmental.

That’s not quite right.

If you say that Donald Trump, who is the “official” president and elected head of the U.S. government, is full of BS, who has used the support of the Russians to get elected [2] or that he wants to cancel the next U.S. elections [3], i.e. which constitute conspiracy theories against Trump,  Western journalists in chorus will applaud. They won’t call you a conspiracy theorist even if, according to the definition, that’s what you have being doing.

In the case of COVID-19 in 2020, if you say that all the doctors (and there are not two, ten or a hundred, but thousands around the world) who say that hydroxychloroquine is a cure to COVID-19 and that these crazy doctors have escaped from a lunatic asylum [4], once again the journalists will congratulate you. In any case, even without proof of what you say, no one will call you a conspiracy theorist.

Yet, it is a conspiracy theory and it is directed against qualified doctors.

By doing so, you are accusing doctors [5], some of whom work at the University or in recognized hospitals for decades, such as Professor Harvey Risch [6] of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, Professor Didier Raoult, Director of the Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire Méditerranée Infection in Marseille, and Dr Christian Perronne [7], a professor of French university hospital practitioners, specialized in the field of tropical pathologies and emerging infectious diseases and former president of the specialized commission “Communicable Diseases” of the High Council of Public Health, in addition to many less known but equally reliable and serious doctors, family doctors, field doctors, general practitioners or specialists [8 to 13].

You are a real “conspiracy theorist” if you think that all these highly qualified doctors are lying or want to manipulate you, Yet, no one will treat you like that.

The truth is that you will be labeled a “conspiracy theorist” if and only if you say things against the official narrative or official consensus, which is sustained and acknowledged by:

  1. international institutions (World Trade Organization, World Health Organization, International Monetary Fund, World Economic Forum, United Nations, European Commission, European Medicines Agency…).
  2. By national relays who report to these international institutions in all important fields, health, medical, educational, media, economic… [14].

All this forms a coherent, transnational, supranational system (a consensus), driven by common goals and using a precise and studied language.

It must be understood that this system is independent of politicians and survives electoral changes. It perpetuates itself, whatever happens, not through a president, a particular person, but through these institutions that go through all the scandals [15 to 18] and all the attacks without taking a scratch.

Who runs this system?

I won’t answer here first because this is another task which deserves a full report and second, because many researchers have already successfully identified this topic [19 to 22].

Therefore, being a president, head of government, a medical graduate and representing a valid and serious authority is not enough to protect you from being challenged on the grounds that the challenger is a conspirator.


To benefit from this protection, you must belong to the system, speak its language and pursue its goals.

Thus, Anthony Fauci, with his criticizable and contradictory remarks [23], will never be called a conspirator.

Professor Harvey Risch will.

Thus, newspapers that claim that Remdesivir (produced by Big Pharma) is effective in treating COVID-19, contrary to hydroxychloroquine, will never be called conspiracy theorists.

Those who say otherwise, with studies and doctors to back them up, yes.

The problem is that Trump said he was in favour of hydroxychloroquine as well, and he is discredited each time he says it.

It is said that Remdesivir proved its effectiveness against Covid-19, in a Belgian newspaper of August 11, 2020 [24].

Words are important.

The word “proven“, in this case, is false.

But who will notice it, if you are neither a doctor nor aware of the studies in question?

In the meantime, a lie is taken for granted, it becomes a truth.

A single treatment with Remdesivir will bring Gilead Science Inc. $2,500 per patient [25].

In contrast, Hydroxychloroquine, nothing or almost nothing. It is a very inexpensive drug.

The terms “conspiracy” or “conspiracy theory” have nothing to do with truth or credibility, they have to do with conformity to dominant ideas, dictated by the system that relentlessly pursues its goals.

Another important word is “theory“. Conspiracy theories.

This implies ramblings without foundation, without evidence.

Yet many claims labeled “conspiracy theories” are not theoretical.

It is rare to have formal proof at the time of the claim. It may be the result of research, reflections or presumptions.

In forensic medicine or criminal science, you will not always have irrefutable evidence but a set of solid presumptions (motive, indirect and coherent facts) that is sufficient to convict an accused person, according to the law.

Consider the “conspiracy theory” that the pharmaceutical industry is pushing to discredit hydroxychloroquine in favour of its expensive products, antivirals such as Remdesivir or vaccines.

It would be nice to have irrefutable proof of this, but I can’t see an industry leader writing such an admission and then leaving it lying around to fall into the hands of an honest journalist. That would be really suicidal, don’t you think? And in any case, we would discredit that executive, or that journalist, until their words become worthless.

However, as we would do in any police investigation, is there a strong circumstantial body of evidence?

1) Does this industry have a motive?


This industry has a famous motive for doing this: money.

It’s not thousands or hundreds of thousands of euros that would push a lot of people to commit murder, but billions of euros [26-27].

2) Does this industry have the means to do this?


We know it thanks to the testimony of people from inside, like John Virapen, former CEO of Eli Lilly & Company in Sweden [28], or former editors of major medical journals like Marcia Angell [29] (New England Journal of Medicine) or Richard Horton [30] (Lancet).

3) Has the industry ever done it?


There are proven cases that illustrate the corruption of doctors by the pharmaceutical industry, such as the case of anaesthetist Scott Reuben who falsified data concerning the efficacy of the antidepressant Effexor (venlafaxine), produced by Wyeth (merged with Pfizer) in neuropathic and postoperative pain [31].

This is just one example [32]. More recently, you have the Lancet-Gate: “Scientific Corona Lies” and Big Pharma Corruption 

Even when the evidence is there, have you ever seen a journalist who accused someone of being a “conspiracy theorist” make his mea culpa, apologize for his misunderstanding and restore the reputation of the “theorist” in question? And above all, restore the truth?

For just one example, I will take the story of the Kuwaiti babies torn from their incubator and thrown to the ground by Iraqi soldiers to justify the American intervention in Iraq in 1990. President George H. Bush senior used it on several occasions in several inflammatory speeches.

It was a lie [33]. We know that.

Yet anyone who would have known or understood this, and said so at the time, would have been called a “conspiracy theorist” in collusion with Saddam Hussein.

For the record, and to show you that these techniques did not stop in 1991 or after the proof of this lie, the dishonest PR firm behind this Kuwaiti babies myth is the same firm that in 2020 helped the World Health Organization (WHO) to make the World Health Organization (WHO) believe in the COVID-19 pandemic and to enforce its diktats: the firm Hill & Knowlton [34].

So, what does this mean, conspiracy, and who is really a conspirator?

We can see that it means nothing.

It’s a pejorative, bad label, which will not be given to you if you lie, or if you criticize a person or a government that justly disturbs the system.

It will be given to you if what you say, even if it is true, plausible, proven, goes against the authorized discourse of the system.

Check it out for yourself.

Criticize the doctors who defend the use of hydroxychloroquine in VIDOC-19, and you won’t be charged with conspiracy.

You will be listened to, approved.

Criticize Anthony Fauci or the national security councils regarding Covid-19, then yes, you will be accused of conspiracy, indeed of all evils.

Very often it has nothing to do with theories.

The facts that are put forward are sometimes proven, very often supported by many solid and plausible arguments.

Words are very important. Do not underestimate their importance. They direct our thoughts.

I know this as a doctor, but I also know it as a passionate advocate of therapeutic communication.

Like the very first doctors of the Antiquity, I know that words can heal.

They can also make people docile or sick.

The words “conspiracy theorist”, “conspiracy theorist”, “conspiracy theorist” only serve to cut short any debate.

Only to have the person the dominant system wants to discredit rejected, so that person is no longer listened to.

That is what is dangerous, not “conspiracy theories”.

What is really dangerous is to not even want to debate and to exclude ideas, people and opinions on the pretext that they are disturbing.

That is what sows the seeds of a totalitarian society; not conspiracy theories.

It is by refusing any debate, any discussion and by brandishing this kind of disqualifying expression that threatens humanity.

Dr Pascal Sacré

Translation from French by Maya for Global Research

Notes :

[1] Théorie du complot, Wikipédia

[2] Ingérence : comment la Russie a biaisé la campagne de 2016 au profit de Trump

[3] Comment Trump pourrait saboter l’élection pour la remporter

[4] Hydroxychloroquine: Goliath contre David, acte I : les détracteurs

[5] Covid-19 – Hydroxychloroquine, David contre Goliath, acte II : les supporteurs

[6] L’hydroxychloroquine agit chez les patients à haut risque, et dire le contraire est dangereux, Harvey Risch M.D., Ph.D., professeur d’épidémiologie à la Yale School of Public Health.

[7] Christian Perronne : “À Garches, nous avons de bons résultats avec l’hydroxychloroquine”,  April 15, 2020, Fervent defender of the treatment with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, for Pr Christian Perronne the question of its effectiveness no longer arises. Head of the Infectious Diseases Department at the Raymond-Poincaré Hospital in Garches, he has seen it every day since the beginning of the epidemic: Professor Raoult’s treatment cures and considerably reduces the need for intensive care.

[8] Riposte à la covid-19 : la saine colère du Dr BELLATON, Source : page Facebook de Silviane Le Menn, 20 avril 2020.

[9] Coronavirus : le bilan très positif d’un praticien lorrain qui prescrit l’hydroxychloroquine, the Lorrain Republican, Philippe Marque, April 6, 2020. The results are more than positive: “I have used this protocol on a dozen hospitalized patients, who therefore have a Covid-19 that is already relatively worrying, and I have had neither death nor any evolution towards a serious stage requiring resuscitation.”

[10] Un médecin mosellan constate l’efficacité d’un protocole à base d’azithromycine,  the Lorrain Republican, Thierry Fedrigo, April 11, 2020. Two Moselle doctors and one of their Belgian colleagues seem to have developed a drug combination effective against coronavirus. Relying on azithromycin without resorting to the hydroxychloroquine advocated by the infectiologist Didier Raoult, they have noted a clear drop in hospitalizations of their treated patients.

[11] Un médecin néerlandais soigne les patients atteints de coronavirus, mais le gouvernement néerlandais n’est pas content, Amari Roos, 10 avril 2020

[12] Des médecins algériens attestent de l’«efficacité quasi totale» de l’hydroxychloroquine contre le Covid-19,April 27, 2020. The heads of infectious disease departments of a hospital in Blida and another in Algiers say that the hydroxychloroquine protocol followed in the treatment of patients with coronavirus gives a “near-total” positive result.

[13] Après l’Algérie, le Maroc encense l’efficacité de l’hydroxychloroquine contre le Covid-19, May 1, 2020. The therapeutic protocol based on hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin used against Covid-19 “has given positive results” in Morocco, the Health Minister said, adding that “side effects are minimal”.

[14] Ordres nationaux tels que l’Ordre des Médecins, l’Ordre des Pharmaciens, Hautes Autorités de Santé, Sciensano en Belgique…

[15] Agence européenne du médicament : des experts sous influence ?, 12 décembre 2017.

[16] Covid-19: les conseillers du pouvoir face aux conflits d’intérêts, paru le 31mars 2020, écrit par Rozenn Le Saint et Annton Rouget.

[17] Coronavirus : des liens troubles entre labos et conseils scientifiques, Valeurs actuelles, 3 avril 2020.

[18] L’Assemblée parlementaire du Conseil de l’Europe va enquêter sur l’OMS et le scandale « pandémique »,,  F. William Engdahl, 6 janvier 2010

[19] Anthony C Sutton: British economist, historian and writer. Sutton was a Stanford scholar at the Hoover Foundation from 1968 to 1973. He taught economics at UCLA. He studied in London, Göttingen and UCLA and received a PhD in science from the University of Southampton, England. In 1972, at the Hoover Institution in Stanford, he was awarded a Ph.D : Wall Street et l’ascension de Hitler , Wall Street et la révolution bolchévique

[20] Carroll Quigley: American historian and professor of history at Georgetown University from 1941 to 1976. Quigley was born in Boston, where he later studied and earned two degrees and a doctorate in history from nearby and highly regarded Harvard University. At Georgetown University: Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time

[21] Pierre Hillard :  essayiste français, docteur en science politique : La marche irrésistible du nouvel ordre mondial , Chroniques du mondialisme

[22]  Michael Parenti, American historian, political scientist and cultural critic. He has taught in American and foreign universities. A must read: L’Horreur impériale

[23] Lancet-Gate: « Mensonges scientifiques sur le coronavirus » et corruption des grandes sociétés pharmaceutiques.,, Prof. Michel Chossudovsky, 15 July 2020. Dr Anthony Fauci, Donald Trump’s adviser, described as “America’s top infectious disease expert”, played a key role in smearing the HCQ cure that had been approved years earlier by the CDC, as well as in legitimizing Gilead’s Remdesivir.

[24] Le remdesivir, médicament qui a prouvé son efficacité face au Covid-19, 11 août 2020.

[25] Le traitement au remdesivir coûtera 2.340 dollars, selon Gilead, 29 juin 2020

[26] COVID-19 : au plus près de la vérité. Vaccins.,, Dr Pascal Sacré, 2 août 2020

[27] COVID-19: au plus près de la vérité – Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ),, Dr Pascal Sacré, 29 juillet 2020

[28] Médicaments effets secondaires : la mort, les laboratoires nous trompent. John Virapen, le cherche midi éditions, 2014

[29] The truth about drug companies, how they cheat us, how to thwart them, Marcia Angell, MD, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, French translation, les éditions le mieux-être, 2005.

[30] COVID-19 : le côté obscur de la science révélé,, Dr Pascal Sacré, 26 mai 2020

[31] Top Pain Scientist Fabricated Data in Studies, Hospital Says, 11 Mars 2009

[32] Du Nujol au Tamiflu : la guerre menée par l’industrie pharmaceutique contre nos santés,, Dr Pascal Sacré, 16 juin 2010

[33] l’affaire des Couveuses de la Mort et le début de la Guerre du Golfe

[34] COVID 19 – Contrat de l’OMS avec la société de relations publiques Hill & Knowlton

August 16, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | 2 Comments

Media Claim California Crop Crisis, as Farmers Complain About TOO HIGH Crop Yields

California farmers complain that record yields are lowering prices

By James Taylor | ClimateREALISM | August 16, 2020

Google News and the alarmist media are warning about climate change harming California crop production and bringing “hard times” to California farmers – even as California crop production sets records. In fact, California crop production is so strong that farmers are complaining that high yields are depressing crop prices.

Among the top results today for a Google News search of “climate change” is an article in the Bakersfield Californian titled, “Climate change report forecasts hard times for Kern ag.” The article addresses a newly published report produced by a climate change activist group in conjunction with California state officials. The report claims climate change is setting up harmful conditions for California agricultural production.

The Californian article begins, “A new report warns Kern County agriculture will face tough challenges in the decades ahead as climate change makes irrigation water scarcer and weather conditions more variable and intense. The study concludes these hurdles ‘ultimately challenge the ability to maximize production while ensuring profitability.’”

The truth, however, is that a century of modest warming has brought increasingly beneficial temperatures and climate. Crop production is setting records virtually every year in Southern California, California as a whole, the United States, and globally.

In Kern County, total crop value rose 3 percent in 2019, setting a new record. Other California counties are also thriving under present climate. Fresno County’s total crop value rose 12 percent in 2018 to briefly overtake Kern County as the nation’s top-grossing county for agricultural production. Kern County’s 2019 growth reclaimed the title.

Crop production in 2020 is shaping up even better, with more new records forecast. The Sacramento Bee, for example, published an August 5 article titled, “This is what harvest of a 2020 record 2020 almond crop looks like.”

In fact, crop yields are so strong that some farmers are making news hoping for adverse weather to occur. The Californian itself reported this just last month, in an article titled, “Almond growers fret over expectations for another record harvest.” The article noted that record almond production is causing lower almond prices, making it harder for farmers to profit from their crop. The article noted that February’s almond tree blooms were “close to perfect” under ideal temperatures and climate conditions Curiously, the Californian failed to mention climate change’s role in the close-to-perfect climate conditions and record almond production.

The national crop outlook is just as strong. The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts record crop yields this year for the important corn and soybean crops, as well as other crops. This builds upon consistent growth in U.S. crop production and records being set on a near-annual basis.

Globally, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) forecasts the 2020/2021 crop season will set yet another record for crop production. FAO reports global crop production has increased more than 10 percent during the past decade.

In summary, Google News and the corrupt media are once again reporting fake news and fake science. Global warming has brought about perfect California climate conditions and record crop production. Even as this happens, the media are deceiving people by reporting climate change is ushering in a California crop crisis.

James Taylor is Director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center for Climate and Environmental Policy at The Heartland Institute.

August 16, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | Leave a comment

Lebanon: Pearl on the New Silk Road or Zone of Dark Age Chaos

By Matthew Ehret | Strategic Culture Foundation | August 16, 2020

Many voices have been quick to enter the chorus of commentators hypothesizing the manifold possible causes of the devastating explosions which occurred on the afternoon of August 4 in Beirut which has led to mass anarchy and the surprising resignation of the government on August 11th.

While I have no great novel contribution to offer in that growing array of hypotheses (which are slowly turning into noise), I would like to share an insight which addresses a too-often-overlooked aspect of the role of Lebanon in the Great Game. Before proceeding, it is useful to hold in the mind several points of certainty:

1) The official narrative of a chance mishap of Turkish fireworks instigating the detonation of the 2700 tons of ammonium nitrate which had been sitting at the Port of Beirut for six years is entirely unbelievable.

2) This event should not beconsidered in any way separated from the anomalously large pattern of explosions and arson which have spread across the Arab and African worlds in recent weeks.

3) This pattern of chaos must itself be seen in the context of the clash between two systems: The collapsing NATO unipolar alliance on the one side and the New Silk Road-led multipolar alliance on the other.

The Matter of Causality

The Middle East has been labelled the “geopolitical pivot” of the world island by devout adherents to the Hobbesian worldview of Halford Mackinder such as Zbigniew Brzezinski, Henry Kissinger and Bernard Lewis. Today it is understood that whomever can either stabilize or destabilize this region can control the levers for the “world island” (Africa, Europe, and Eurasia)… and as Mackinder once said “who controls the world island, controls the world.”

In the case of Lebanon, the role that this region plays as “Pearl on the New Silk Road”, and intersection of all major civilizations of the globe, has shaped global policy considerations in Washington, London and Israel for the past several years. The destructive events underway Lebanon cannot be separated from the breathtaking spread of Belt and Road projects across Iraq, Iran, Syria and other Arab nations.

More than Coincidence

In the weeks surrounding the Lebanon disaster, Iran found herself the target of a vicious sequence of attacks as arson and explosions were unleashed beginning with the June 26 explosion at the Khojir Missile production complex, the June 30 explosion at a medical clinic killing 19, a July 2 explosion at the Natanz nuclear facility which set Iran’s centrifuge production schedule back by months and the July 15 fires at the Bushehr Aluminum plant. Additionally, and the UAE experienced its own anomalous fires which ravaged one of the most important markets in Dubai (luckily empty due to Covid-19) on August 5.

If any of these anomalies were taken individually, “chance” could always be blamed as culprit. However when one takes them all together and recognizes the revolutionary BRI-connected agreements currently being finalized between both China and Russia with Iran one gets a solid idea of the deeper causality underlying these apparently separate situations of chaos.

Iran and the New Silk Road

The fact is that the long awaited $400 billion China-Iran economic and security pact which is in its final stages of negotiation includes not only important oil for infrastructure agreements which will extend advanced rail and new energy grids to Iran. This program also includes an important military/security partnership which will dramatically transform the “rules of the game” in the middle east for generations. Elements of this pact include not only defense and intelligence sharing infrastructure, but also bolster China’s new digital currency the e-RMB which will circumvent western controls on trade.

Meanwhile Russia’s announced extension of the 20 year security/economic partnership agreement first signed in 2001 by Presidents Rouhani and Putin will certainly be finalized in the coming months. Iran has also made it’s interests in acquiring Russia’s S400 system well known and all geopoliticians understand well that this system which is spreading fast across all of Eurasia from Turkey to South Korea renders America’s F-35s and THAAD missile systems impotent and obsolete.

If the China-Russia-Iran triangle can be firmly established, then not only does America’s sanctions regime policy disintegrate, but a vital platform of Middle Eastern development will be established to better spearhead the growth of transport and advanced development corridors from China to the east (and Africa) along the New Silk Road. Since November 2018 an Iran-Iraq-Syria railway has taken great strides towards implementation as part of middle east reconstruction funded by Iran and ultimately connecting to Syria’s Lattakia Port as a hub to the Mediterranean and a 32km Shalamcheh-Bashra railway is in an advanced phase of development with Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Ahmad stating:

“Iran’s railway system is linked to railways of central Asia, China and Russia and if the 32 km Shalamcheh-Basra railway will be constructed, Iraq can transfer goods and passengers to Russia and China and vice versa.”

While the 32 km rail line would be phase one, the 2nd phase is scheduled to be a 1,545 km rail and highway to the Syrian Port.

The Iran-Iraq-Syria regional participation in the broader New Silk Road is incredibly important, especially since Iraq signed a September 2019 Memorandum of Understanding to join the BRI under a new infrastructure-for-oil program. This plan involves China’s reconstruction of the war-torn region under a multiphase program of hard infrastructure (rail, roads, energy and water projects), and soft infrastructure (hospitals, schools and cultural centers).

Similarly, China has made its intention to bring real reconstruction programs to Syria are also well known and President Bashar Al Assad’s long overdue Four Seas Strategy first announced in 2004 (and sabotaged with the Arab Spring) is finally coming back on line. President Assad had won 7 countries over to sign onto it’s construction by 2010 and entailed connecting all four major water systems (Mediterranean, Caspian, Black Sea, and Persian Gulf) together via rail and infrastructure corridors as a driver for win-win cooperation and regional modernization. Assad had said of the project in 2009 “once we link these four seas, we become the unavoidable intersection of the whole world in investment, transport and more.”

A video of this important project can be viewed here:

Lebanon: Pearl of the New Silk Road

Lebanon’s participation in this long-awaited process should be obvious to all, sharing as it does a major border with Syria, hosting 1.5 million Syrian refugees and also a vital port to the Mediterranean making it a keystone of east-west development. Connecting this emerging zone of development to Africa where the Belt and Road has emerged as a leading force of change and hope in recent years, Lebanon finds itself among the most strategic keystones.

Designs for rail connecting Lebanon’s Port of Tripoli through Jordan and thence through Egypt would create a new positive field of prosperity which could dramatically change the rules of the Middle East and Africa forever.

On June 17, 2020 the Chinese Embassy publicized an offer to extend BRI projects to Lebanon featuring a modern railway connecting coastal cities in the north with Tripoli through Beirut to Naquora in the south. China’s National Machinery IMP/EXP Corporation also offered the construction of three new power plants of 700 MW each, a new national energy grid and port modernization. The Embassy’s press release stated:

“The Chinese side is ready to carry out practical cooperation actively with the Lebanese side on the basis of equality and mutual benefit in the framework of joint work to build the Belt and Road… China is committed to cooperation with other nations mainly through the role of its companies, the leading role of the market, and the catalytic role of government and commercial operation. Chinese companies continue to follow with interest the opportunities of cooperation in infrastructure and other fields in Lebanon.”

These offers were applauded by Hassan Nasrallah (leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah and partner in the coalition government) who had been an outspoken advocate of Lebanon’s participation in the BRI for years. Nasrallah has also advocated liberating Lebanon from the IMF whose structural adjustments and conditionality-laden investments have resulted in the small country’s debt exploding to over 170% of its GDP with nothing to show for it.

It is noteworthy that the same day China made its offers known publicly, Washington imposed the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act to punish all who wish to trade with Syria which itself has not only further crushed Syria’s cries for economic reconstruction, but had taken direct aim at Lebanon which sees 90% of Syrian goods flow through its borders to the Mediterranean.

When Chinese delegations first made their vision for the BRI’s extension to Lebanon known in March 2019 where the Arab Highway from Beirut to Damascus and rail to China was floated, western stooge Saad Al Hariri said no, preferring instead to sign onto a $10 billion IMF plan. Over a year later, not one iota of infrastructure was built. Secretary of State Pompeo played a major role at keeping Lebanon from “going east” as Nasrallah and even President Aoun had desired when he stated in a March 2019 press conference “Lebanon and the Lebanese people face a choice: bravely move forward as an independent and proud nation or allow the dark ambitions of Iran and Hezbollah to dictate your future.”

Pompeo’s obsessive drive to eliminate Hezbollah and especially the influence of Nasrallah in Lebanon has less to do with any perceived threat Israel claims to its existence and everything with Hezbollah and Iran’s embrace of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

When Chinese offers were renewed in June 2020, Pompeo’s stooge David Schenker (Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs) gave a June 23 interview stating that Hezbollah “is not an organization that seeks reform, but rather one that lives on corruption”. Schenker warned Lebanon from falling into the “China Trap” and said that Nasrallah’s demands that Lebanon “look east” was “shocking”.

Without going into a lengthy refutation of the “China debt trap” argument (which is really just the effect of western imperialists projecting their own dirty practices onto China’s BRI), it is sufficient to say that it is a 100% myth. A summary overview of Chinese investments in Africa which are numerically similar to American investments demonstrates that the difference is found entirely in QUALITY as China uniquely invests in real construction, manufacturing and even African banking which are verboten by all imperialists who only wish to use Africa as a looting ground for cheap resources and cheaper labor.

Speaking to this issue, and the hope for Lebanon more broadly the BRIX Sweden’s Hussein Askary stated:

“It is becoming obvious that a tiny country like Lebanon, but fully sovereign and independent can break the back of a global empire by opting to follow the path of progress, national sovereignty and international cooperation according to the win-win model offered by China. This does not mean cutting all bridges to the west. It is necessary to keep those that are in the true interest of Lebanon and its people. If the U.S. and Europe wish to change their policies and join China in offering Lebanon power, transport, water and agro-industrial investments, the Lebanese people and leadership would take them with open arms”.

August 16, 2020 Posted by | Economics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mail-in Voting Leaves Window for ‘Significant Fraud’ & ‘Logistical Challenges’, Observers Say

By Aleksandra Serebriakova – Sputnik – 16.08.2020

Election officials in nearly all US states were warned by the US Postal Service officials back in July about possible delays resulting from voting via mail-in ballots , according to documents published last week. More American states are now moving to either introduce universal vote-by-mail or ease restrictions associated with absentee voting.

US President Donald Trump reiterated his harsh remarks on Saturday towards the universal mail-in-voting system that has been introduced in nine American states now, with California, Vermont, New Jersey and Nevada, recently joining the ranks.

For the president, who indicated his support for “absentee balloting”, which requires a request for a ballot in advance, the universal mail-in ballot system, where ballots are sent to all registered voters automatically, looked “catastrophic”.

“It’s going to make our country a laughing stock all over the world”, the president said on Saturday.His comments come following the news that the US Postal Service (USPS) previously warned election officials in 46 American states, including those in such heated battlegrounds as Pennsylvania, Florida and Michigan, that there were risks that not all of the ballots would be delivered to the office on time for Election Day. But several other American states are also now mulling the possibility of resorting to this system in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Yes, mail-in-voting does pose new logistical challenges for election offices that previously dealt with few mail ballots”, says Anthony Fowler, a political scientist from the University of Chicago.

Fowler recognizes the clear advantages the postal voting presents to those willing to safely cast their vote during the health crisis, but still believes that there are some instances of fraudulent behavior that are associated with it:

“Mail voting raises the possibility that the person who filled out the ballot is not who they say they are or that the person who filled out the ballot was coerced in some way”, he explains.

An analysis of the risks associated with postal voting should be carried out without the “distraction” associated with the endless Trump-versus-Democrats debate, says Brian Gaines, an elections expert with the University of Illinois.

“Ballots filled out away from the security and privacy of a booth at an official polling station are inherently less secure”, he believes. “They are more subject to coercion, and they are more prone to be ‘lost’ without being properly processed”.

“The more steps there are in the voting process, the more occasions for error”, the election expert notes, comparing procedures surrounding mail-in voting to those when a person simply goes to a polling station.

However, Gaines says that’s not the only issue.

“Beyond errors and coercion, there are more opportunities for fraud when ballots are away from polling stations and effort is required to get them back to the vote counters”, he explains. “Most states do not allow so-called ‘third parties’ to collect absentee ballots (‘bundle’ or ‘harvest’ them), but some do”.

It is the campaign, church or some other organizations collecting ballots for delivery that can potentially intervene in the election process, Gaines explains, as they can “selectively discard ballots on the basis of guesses about how people might be voting, or can tamper with the ballots”.

“None of this means that vote-by-mail is a source of ‘massive’ fraud or error, but I think that, partisan politics apart, it is plainly more vulnerable to fraud and mistakes than in-person voting”, the expert adds.

“In most elections, fraud and error are negligible or marginal, but in a very close election, they can be decisive. This time, with many more states pushing voters to vote by mail, there may be a bit more confusion and maybe a bit more small-scale fraud”, Gaines concludes.

With the USPS delivery systems being overloaded with “millions of ballots” in the course of the November election, logistics indeed becomes “an enormous issue”, says Mitchell Feierstein, CEO of the Glacier Environmental Fund Limited.

“It is highly probable that there be significant fraud with the mail-in ballots”, the hedge-fund manager argues.

Following the news from the US postal authorities that they cannot guarantee that all the mail-in ballots would arrive on time, protesters gathered outside the house of USPS Postmaster General Louis Dejoy, demanding his resignation. But according to Feierstein, “no matter what happens, the result of the 2020 election will not be accepted by one side”.

August 16, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception | | Leave a comment

UK adopts interventionist role in Belarus political crisis

Press TV – August 16, 2020

As Belarus continues to grapple with post-election unrest, the British government is showing stronger signs of wanting to influence the outcome by potentially fomenting the overthrow of long-time President Alexander Lukashenko.

In the immediate post-election environment the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) published a statement where it called on the “Government of Belarus” to “refrain from further acts of violence” following the “seriously flawed Presidential elections”.

In the presidential election of August 09 Lukashenko was re-elected to a sixth term in office with just over 80 percent of the vote.

But opposition candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya refused to accept the result and instead declared herself the winner.

Nato countries have generally supported her position with the Lithuanian foreign minister, Linas Linkevicius, taking the extraordinary step of calling Lukashenko “the former president of Belarus”.

The FCO statement complained of a “lack of transparency” in the electoral process even though the UK had no monitors on the ground and therefore cannot make a definitive conclusion on that issue.

The statement concludes with an interventionist tone by asserting that the UK “calls on the Government of Belarus to fulfill its international commitments and the aspirations of the people”.

Beyond the FCO, the British media have thrown their weight behind Belarus “protesters” and by extension appearing to support calls for Lukashenko’s ouster.

The BBC ran an incendiary headline claiming “mass protest eclipses defiant Belarus leader’s rally”.

For its part, Sky News has tried to depict Lukasheno as on the defensive by talking up his claim that Nato forces are “massing” on Belarus’ border.

In recent years the UK has shown growing interest in enhancing its diplomatic and political presence in Minsk, Belarus’ capital.

Earlier this year the UK even deployed 30 Royal Marines from 42 Commando to Belarus to ostensibly take part in an unprecedented joint exercise with the Belarus armed forces.

Belarus is universally regarded as a stalwart Russian ally, and for that reason alone Nato countries, including the UK, have long sought to create political distance between Minsk and Moscow.

August 16, 2020 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment

Russia’s Proposal on UNSC Summit With Iran Remains on Table After Trump’s Refusal, Moscow Says

Sputnik – 16.08.2020

MOSCOW – The proposal by Russian President Vladimir Putin to hold an online conference of leaders of the UNSC states, Germany, and Iran to discuss the Persian Gulf and Iran remains on the table after US President Donald Trump’s refusal to support it, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov affirmed on Sunday.

“Of course, yes”, Ryabkov said when asked whether the initiative is still on the table after Trump’s statement.

Trump said on Saturday that he would unlikely support Putin’s initiative to hold the online summit on Iran adding that he would wait until [after] the election.

On Friday, Putin suggested holding a remote videoconference around tensions in the Persian Gulf with the participation of the leaders of the UN Security Council members, Germany and Iran.

He urged Washington to assess the advantages of the implementation of this initiative in order to avoid further escalation of the situation in the Persian Gulf.

August 16, 2020 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , | Leave a comment

Snapback sanctions on Iran isn’t open-and-shut case

The UN Security Council resoundingly defeated a US resolution to indefinitely extend UN arms embargo on Iran, with only Dominican Republic endorsing the American move, New York, August 14, 2020
By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | August 16, 2020

The Iran nuclear issue moves to centerstage of international security with US President Donald Trump’s remarks Saturday that Washington “will be doing a snapback” against Iran — announcing Washington’s intention to push for restoration of all pre-2015 UN sanctions against Iran. Trump added, “You will be watching it next week.”

Also, Trump apparently poured cold water on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposal Friday for a video summit of the veto-holding permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany and Iran (that were the original signatories of the JCPOA) to discuss the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and Persian Gulf security issues. He saw no urgency. Trump vaguely hinted that he would revisit the subject “after November”.

Clearly, the optics of the “snapback” sanctions is that Washington is hanging tough and the “maximum pressure” approach is further tightening.

But having said that, Trump ultimately considers himself to be the consummate deal maker — and is strategising an approach of calibrated brinkmanship.

For a start, he hopes to extract out of Russia and China some sort of self-restraint that at least until the US elections are over in November, they wouldn’t provide Iran with military technology. On the other hand, by side-stepping Putin’s proposal — which effectively resuscitates the dispute resolution mechanism of the “6+1” format of the original signatories of the JCPOA — Trump avoids any controversies in the US domestic politics in the run-up to the November election where his “maximum pressure” approach embellishes his strongman image.

Of course, Moscow has a dubious history of heeding such US expectations in the past — when it delayed the delivery of S-300 missiles to Iran for several years due to US and Israeli pressure, forcing Tehran to sue Moscow for compensation. But circumstances have changed. US-Russia relations are tense, while Russia and Iran are partners in regional security.

Equally, Russia and China have worked in tandem on the diplomatic plane and over the JCPOA, Beijing has adopted a line which upfront rejects the Trump administration’s locus standii to invoke snapback sanctions. Again, China-Iran relations have matured and the two countries are expected to conclude in a conceivable future a 25-year $400 billion comprehensive strategic partnership agreement.

Significantly, Putin’s statement on Friday underscored Moscow’s convergence with Tehran and reiterated Moscow’s rejection of Washington’s “maximum pressure” approach against Iran. The following elements of Putin’s statement are to be noted:

  • “Iran faces groundless accusations.”
  • “Resolutions are being drafted (by Washington) with a view to dismantling decisions that had been unanimously adopted by the Security Council.”
  • “Russia maintains its unwavering commitment to the JCPOA.”
  • Russia’s Collective Security Concept for the Persian Gulf Region (which Iran welcomed and US ignored) “outlines concrete and effective paths to unravelling the tangle of concerns” in Persian Gulf region.
  • “There is no place for blackmail or dictate in this (Gulf) region, no matter the source. Unilateral approaches will not help bring about solutions.”
  • There is imperative need to build an inclusive security architecture in the Persian Gulf.

Indeed, Trump is playing his cards close to his chest. The US move on “snapback” sanctions will come up for a decision before the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council, which will be called upon to take a view on the admissibility of the American contention that although Trump publicly repudiated the JCPOA, since it did not formally intimate the same to the UN SC, it still enjoys the prerogative to act under the security council’s Resolution 2231 that provided an international legal basis for the “snapback” clause.

Indonesia chairs the presidency through August and Jakarta and Tehran enjoy friendly relations. The next in line for September is Niger, which may be susceptible to US pressure. By October, Russia’s turn comes to chair the presidency. How far Washington will push the envelope through the August-September period remains to be seen.

Without doubt, a UN sanctions snapback could have predictable consequences for any form of trade with Iran, as it demands from member states to exercise caution when transacting with Iranian financial institutions, and permits countries to inspect vessels or aircraft suspected of carrying cargo in violation of UN sanctions provisions on Iran in national or international waters. Russia and China may decide to take advantage of the new Iranian market for their weapons exports. China’s stance has been exceptionally strong. Of course, all bets are off if Iran carries through its threats of a withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in the case of UN sanctions reimposition.

In sum, instead of focusing on sanctions snapback, the issue of critical importance in the coming weeks will be the ability of the E3 (France, UK and Germany) — and potentially Russia and China — to take advantage of the time available to engage with the US on the sidelines.

The key to unlocking the current dispute lies largely in Washington, which is insisting  on a resolution of the current impasse and on limiting Iranian nuclear activities. Washington in turn will have to offer some incentives to Iran. And those incentives need to be worked out through creative negotiation, as they devolve upon the existing unilateral US sanctions regime on Iran. The good part is that none of the JCPOA protagonists stands to gain out of the snapback sanctions.

Arguably, Trump is applying “maximum pressure” on other JCPOA countries by threatening snapback sanctions, while keeping an open mind on Putin’s proposal to discuss all issues in a “6+1” format once the November election is out of the way. It is a fair assumption that Moscow anticipated Trump’s response on the above lines.

After all, Iran figured in the last phone conversation in late July between Trump and Putin a fortnight ago and Putin’s latest proposal followed up that discussion. Iran was kept in the loop, too. (Interestingly, following the visit by Iran’s FM Javad Zarif to Moscow in late July, Tehran Times newspaper had commented that a “possible revival of diplomatic initiatives between Iran and the US” under Putin’s mediation was to be expected.)

Moscow is yet to react to Trump’s “Probably-not” remark of Saturday apropos the Putin proposal. But the Tass report took note that “Washington will probably want to wait until presidential elections in the country end.” Beijing and Paris have so far voiced support for Putin’s proposal, while London and Berlin are watching from the sidelines.

As for Tehran, it is still savouring the sweet taste of the defeat of the US resolution at the UN Security Council on Friday to extend an arms embargo on Iran that is due to expire in October. (here  and here ) In the final analysis, however, Tehran’s choice will be to directly negotiate with Washington.

August 16, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Iran’s Top General Says Tehran’s Approach to UAE Will Change Due to Abu Dhabi’s Deal With Israel

Sputnik – 16.08.2020

On 13 August, US President Donald Trump announced that the United Arab Emirates had agreed to recognise and establish normal relations with the State of Israel, with a formal signing ceremony expected to take place at the White House within the coming weeks. The UAE will be the third Arab nation, after Egypt and Jordan, to do so.

Iran’s military considers the UAE-Israel deal to establish diplomatic ties “unfortunate,” and the Iranian military’s calculations in relation to Abu Dhabi will shift, given the new circumstances, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, has said.

“Certainly, Iran’s approach to the UAE will change fundamentally and the Armed Forces will look at this country with different calculations. And if something happens in the Persian Gulf region and our national security is damaged, however small, we will hold the UAE responsible and will not tolerate it,” Bagheri warned, his remarks cited by Tasnim.

Bagheri stressed that “it is not too late for the UAE to reconsider its decision and to avoid pursuing a path which is detrimental to the security of the region and to itself.”

The UAE’s military consists of approximately 100,000 personnel, and the country regularly takes part in regional wars, including the Gulf War in 1990-1991, the War in Afghanistan (starting in 2007), and the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, starting in 2015. The UAE formally announced a partial withdrawal of its forces from the latter conflict in 2019, and a shift in focus from fighting the Shia Houthi millitia to Daesh (ISIS) and al-Qaeda* terrorists operating in Yemen). The Al Dhafra Air Base outside Abu Dhabi is also known to host US Air Force combat, intelligence-gathering and tanker aircraft for Washington’s anti-Daesh operations in the region.

Last year, amid heightened tensions in the Persian Gulf in the wake of a string of tanker sabotage attacks, ship seizures and the destruction of a US spy drone by Iranian air defences, Iran proposed the creation of a coalition of Gulf nations, including the UAE, to help ensure the security of the Persian Gulf. In July 2019, coast guard commanders from the two countries met in Tehran to work to improve cooperation in the Strait of Hormuz.

Iranian officials have made no secret of their antipathy toward the UAE-Israeli diplomatic deal on normalisation of relations known as the ‘Abraham Accord’ announced last week by US President Donald Trump. On Saturday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called the agreement a “huge mistake” and a betrayal of the Arab World and the Palestinians. Also Saturday, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps warned that the deal would have “dangerous” consequences for both parties if implemented.

A formal signing ceremony for the agreement is expected to take place in the coming weeks, and to be held in Washington. The UAE will be the first Arab nation in the Persian Gulf region to establish diplomatic ties with Israel, and the third Arab nation overall to do so after Egypt and Jordan, which normalised relations with Tel Aviv in 1979 and 1994, respectively.

Most Arab countries’ relations with Tel Aviv remain poor, and this state of affairs has reigned since the establishment of Israel in 1948.

August 16, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment