Aletho News


Current health guidance is utterly WRONG: Saturated fats are good for you. It’s vegetable oils that can kill you

By Malcolm Kendrick | RT | September 2, 2020

The release of previously repressed studies shows that if you substitute saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats, this INCREASES the risk of cardiovascular disease. My fellow doctors need to accept the evidence.

Whilst we are in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, it seems that all other diseases have been relegated to a position of complete irrelevance. Should this be happening? According to the British Heart Foundation, cardiovascular disease kills four hundred and sixty people each and every day in the UK. That’s just shy of 170,000 every year.

Since the start of 2020, Covid-19 has killed 40,000 in the UK, and now kills about ten a day. On the other hand, heart attacks and strokes have killed 115,000, and continue to kill 460 people a day. Which one should we be really concerned about? Have a wild guess on that one.

So I was pleased to see that someone from the other side of the world is still paying attention to the real medical killer. I was pointed to an article in The Australian, based on a study that appeared in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC). The newspaper headline was: “How dairy and fat could save your life,” with the sub-header “A new study confirms decades of research that saturated fats are good for your heart. So why do guidelines still push a non-fat diet?”

The article in the JACC began:

“The recommendation to limit dietary saturated fatty acid (SFA) intake has persisted despite mounting evidence to the contrary. Most recent meta-analyses of randomized trials and observational studies found no beneficial effects of reducing SFA intake on cardiovascular disease (CVD) and total mortality, and instead found protective effects against stroke.”

This is very much grist to my particular mill, as I have been writing articles and books for the past thirty years stating that saturated fat, red meat, and chocolate (dark or otherwise) are completely healthy. In addition, the ‘anti-fat’ dietary guidelines ruthlessly promoted for the past forty years or so are complete nonsense. Although almost universally accepted, they were based on absolutely no research at all. None.

When I state this, most fellow medics look at me in that certain way. Before shuffling sideways. They know, they just know, that saturated fat is bad for you. They will have read no research on the matter – they very rarely do – they have just been told this so-called fact so many times that it has become ‘The Truth’. As someone else once commented, although it is not clear who said it first, “My mind is made up; do not bother me with the facts.”

The problem is that, once someone has made up their mind, based on no facts at all, it is difficult to use facts to change their mind – but I shall have a go anyway. As the article in The Australian noted:

“A newly published study of 195,658 Brits over 10.6 years found ‘no evidence that saturated fat intake was associated with cardiovascular disease. In contrast, the substitution of polyunsaturated for saturated fat was associated with higher CVD risk.”’

Hold on – if you substitute saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats this increases the risk of cardiovascular disease? This is double blasphemy, surely. Even if saturated fats are not harmful, we absolutely know that polyunsaturated fats are healthy – don’t we?

The answer is that we don’t, and part of the reason for this is that research proving that polyunsaturated fats are unhealthy has been ruthlessly suppressed over the years.

In Australia, at the peak of its heart disease epidemic in the 1970s, researchers wanted to prove that saturated fats were bad, and that polyunsaturated fats were good. They found five hundred heart attack survivors from across Sydney and gave half of them safflower oil. They also told them to cut down on saturated fat. The other half were told to get on with life, as before.

In the safflower group, cholesterol levels fell. Hooray. Unfortunately, the group’s members were also far more likely to die. There was a fifty percent increase in deaths in the polyunsaturated safflower oil group. Not only that, but more of them died of cardiovascular disease. These figures were not published at the time. The study was, essentially, buried. However, an intrepid researcher dug the data up and published the results in the BMJ in 2013.

The key statement was this: “… substituting dietary linoleic acid (polyunsaturated fat) in place of saturated fats increased the rates of death from all causes, coronary heart disease, and cardiovascular disease.”

Another study was done in the US at around the same time, in the late sixties, early seventies. This was the Minnesota Coronary Experiment. It was far bigger, involving nearly twenty thousand men. As with the Sydney Diet Heart Study, men were split into two groups. One group was told to eat a high polyunsaturated fat diet, the other to continue with their ‘deadly’ saturated fats.

As with the Sydney study, those eating the polyunsaturated fat saw their cholesterol levels fall. Hooray again. Unfortunately, as before, they also saw the rate of heart disease rise significantly. For each ten percent fall in cholesterol levels, there was a fifteen percent increase in death.

As with the Sydney Heart Health study, the Minnesota study too was buried. The research group who discovered and published the Sydney study also found the buried data for the Minnesota study, and published it. Forty-five years after the study was completed.

But what of the other studies, I hear you cry? The ones which must have proved beyond doubt that saturated fats are bad for you? A reasonable question. The problem is that I cannot show you any, because there are none.

This may seem an extraordinary statement to make, but it can be supported. In 2015, a paper was published looking at the evidence from Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) to support the dietary guidelines which tell us all to avoid saturated fat. Randomized controlled trials are considered the gold standard for medical research.

It stated: “Dietary recommendations were introduced for 220 million US and 56 million UK citizens by 1983, in the absence of supporting evidence from RCTs.”

Yes, no trials, and no evidence – and none since, either.  So no, the recent article in The Australian did not come as any great surprise to me. Nor did the study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. But it was nice to see things confirmed… again.

As for the evidence that ‘super-healthy’ polyunsaturated fats may not be healthy? Again, no surprise. These things… at least, the concentrated goop we call vegetable oils, are almost completely artificial and unknown to the diets of our ancestors.

We were not designed to eat them in any quantity. If we do, they get into our cells and our cell membranes, and gum up the works. Then, as proven by the Sydney and Minnesota studies – and many others – they cause us to die.

In truth, it is not really that saturated fats are good for us. Saturated fats are what nature designed us to eat. It is that, when we substitute them for cheap, manufactured goop, we do very badly.

Sunflower oil sounds lovely and sunny and healthy. But consume too much of it, and you won’t see too many sunrises – ever again. Stick to red meat, saturated fats, and dark chocolate. These are the things nature designed us to eat. So eat them. Like the French, who have the highest consumption of saturated fat in Europe, and its lowest rate of cardiovascular disease.

Malcolm Kendrick is a doctor and author who works as a GP in the National Health Service in England. His blog can be read here and his book, ‘Doctoring Data – How to Sort Out Medical Advice from Medical Nonsense,’ is available here.

September 2, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | 2 Comments

Navalny Novichok Poisoning: The (Very Unlikely) Story So Far

“Maybe the Russians failed on purpose because they want to scare us”

By Kit Knightly | OffGuardian | September 2, 2020

For those of you who haven’t been following the news – Russian politician (or “opposition figure”, as he is universally referred to in the Western press) Alexei Navalny was taken ill two weeks ago. It is now being reported he was “poisoned” with “novichok”.

Here’s a quick rundown of the official story as it currently stands (bearing in mind that, as with most “official stories” it will likely be subject to instant, contradictory and retroactive changes in the coming weeks):

  • Alexei Navalny has never held any elected office, his political party doesn’t have a single MP in the Duma, and he polls at roughly 2% support with the Russian people.
  • Despite this, and in the middle of an alleged “pandemic”, Vladimir Putin deems the man a threat and orders him killed.
  • The State apparatus responsible for unnecessary and seemingly arbitrary acts of political murder decide to use novichok to poison him.
  • This decision is taken in spite of the facts that a) Novichok totally and utterly failed to work in their alleged murder of the Skripals and b) It has already been widely publicly associated with Russia.
  • Rather unsurprisingly, the novichok which didn’t kill its alleged target last time, doesn’t kill its alleged target this time either.
  • Compounding their poor decision making, the Russians not only perform an emergency landing and take Navalny straight to a hospital for medical care.
  • Despite Navalny being helpless and comatose in a Russian hospital, the powerful state-backed assassination team make no further attempts on his life.
  • In fact, seemingly determined to under no circumstances successfully kill their intended victim, the Russian government, allow him to leave the country and get medical help from one of the countries which previously accused them of using novichok.
  • To absolutely no one’s surprise, the Germans claim to have detected novichok in Navalny’s system.
  • Vladimir Putin and the Russian government are immediately blamed for the attempted murder.

If all this seems unlikely to you, don’t worry Luke Harding is here to explain it all.

He doesn’t have any evidence, of course. Instead we get sentences like this one [our emphasis]:

Over the past decade Moscow has produced and stockpiled small quantities, western intelligence agencies believe.

However, never let it be said that Luke isn’t aware of the contradictions in his story:

One other unresolved question is why Moscow granted permission for Navalny to be treated abroad, knowing that sooner or later the novichok inside his body would be detected.

But he has an answer for this:

The logical conclusion: Moscow wants the world to know.

You see, Putin wants everyone to know he did it, so he’s making it obvious. And the Kremlin’s denials are being done with “a wink and smile”. This must be some new meaning of the word “logical” I wasn’t previously aware of.

One wonders what the Russians would have done if the novichok had worked as intended, and killed Navalny before he could get to a hospital.

They couldn’t send him to Berlin then, so who announces the novichok was there? Do they do it themselves?

Oh well, at least now people will have something to talk about that isn’t the rapidly crumbling Covid narrative.

September 2, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

US-Russia tensions flare up on multiple fronts

By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | September 2, 2020

Amidst the escalating tensions with China, the United States should have kept the troubled relationship with Russia on an even keel. But the opposite is happening. For the first time since the presidential election in Belarus on August 9, Washington has openly sided with the protests in Minsk and dared Russia to intervene.

Berlin has simultaneously announced that the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned by Novichok nerve agent. Curiously, Germans went public with the explosive information without even notifying Moscow first. Presumably, the US was in the loop, given Navalny’s standing in Russian politics.

Most certainly, Washington and Berlin have moved in tandem over Belarus and Navalny respectively. A major confrontation is brewing. The warning over Belarus came at the level of the US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun who conveyed a harsh message to the Kremlin via the cold war era megaphone Radio Liberty:

“The last four years has been very challenging for U.S.-Russian relations, but it is possible that it could be worse. And one of the things that would limit the ability of any president, regardless of the outcome of [the U.S. presidential election in November], in developing a more cooperative relationship with Russia, in any sphere, would be direct Russian intervention in Belarus.”

Within hours, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stepped in “demanding an immediate end” to the Belarus government’s moves to curb the protests and warning of “significant targeted sanctions” in consultation with Washington’s transatlantic partners.

This is a direct challenge to President Vladimir Putin who had stated last week that Russia is obliged to intervene in Belarus under the Russia-Belarus Unity Pact of 1998 and the Collective Security Treaty. (See my blog Anatomy of coup attempt in Belarus, August 30, 2020)

The US intention is to put Russia on the dock with the simultaneous diplomatic offensives on two fronts. The Russian ambassador to Germany was summoned to the foreign ministry in Berlin a few hours ago; meanwhile, the protests in Minsk are enjoying a fresh lease of life.

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov today condemned the “attempts made by several foreign states” to fuel the protests in Minsk and noted “a rise in NATO activity near Belarusian borders.” The Russian and Belarusian intelligence agencies are in touch.

The Belarus foreign minister Vladimir Makei visited Moscow today for talks with Lavrov. The chiefs of the General Staffs of Russia and Belarus discussed on the phone today “the state and the prospects of bilateral military cooperation and also the pace of preparations for the Slavic Brotherhood joint drills.” A visit by Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko to Moscow is expected shortly.

While the Navalny affair is more of the stuff of propaganda to smear Russia’s reputation in the western opinion, Moscow will focus on the Belarus situation. Putin underscored last week that amongst the former Soviet republics, Belarus “perhaps is the closest, both in terms of ethnic proximity, the language, the culture, the spiritual as well as other aspects. We have dozens or probably hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of direct family ties with Belarus and close industrial cooperation.”

Lavrov didn’t mince words when he hit back today, “Moscow will provide an adequate and firm response based on facts to those who are trying to derail the situation in Belarus… (and) to turn the republic away from Russia and undermine the foundations of the Union State.”

What is Washington’s game plan? Indeed, it suits President Trump’s campaign if his administration is seen as hanging tough on Russia. In substantive terms, Washington probably chose to go on the offensive considering that Russian intelligence has zeroed in on the CIA blueprint to stage a colour revolution in Belarus.

In fact, there has been a dizzying array of standoffs involving Russia in the most recent days. The US and Russian military clashed six days ago when a vehicle forming part of a Russian convoy in north-eastern Syria rammed an American armoured vehicle injuring 4 US soldiers, prompting Biden to taunt Trump, “Did you hear the president say a single word? Did he lift one finger? Never before has an American president played such a subservient role to a Russian leader.”

On August 31, the US military announced that over the next 10 days it will be conducting live-fire exercises just 70 miles from Russian border. On August 28, the US flew six nuclear-capable B-52 bombers over 30 NATO countries in a major show of force. Two of them flew over the Black Sea and were intercepted by two Russian fighter jets, which crossed within 100 feet of the nose of one of the bombers, reportedly disrupting its ability to maintain its bearing.

On August 27, the Russian guided missile submarine Omsk surfaced off the coast of Alaska and participated in live-fire exercises in the Bering Sea. Also on August 27, NORAD sent two F-22 jets to intercept three groups of Russian military maritime patrol aircraft off the Alaskan coast.

With growing signs of Russia digging in, the Plan B over Belarus is surfacing. Both Belarus and Navalny are noble causes that come handy for Washington to rally Europe and re-establish its transatlantic leadership, which has been in tatters lately with the EU, France, Germany and UK joining Russia and China to block the Trump administration’s attempt to impose “snapback” sanctions against Iran.

Above all, Washington feels frustrated that its clumsy attempts to create daylight between Russia and China have floundered. China has voiced support for Lukashenko; the Sino-Russian juggernaut is puncturing holes from all sides in Trump’s maximum pressure strategy against Iran,

In a feature article entitled China, Russia Deepen Their Ties Amid Pandemic, Conflict with the West, Radio Liberty recently listed several new Russia-China economic projects in the pipeline to boost the relations further.

These include one of the world’s largest polymer plants that Russia is building in Amur, near the Chinese border costing $11 billion in collaboration with China’s giant Sinopec Group; commencement of natural gas supply to China through the 2,900-kilometer Power Of Siberia pipeline; plan to start work on a second pipeline, Power Of Siberia 2; plans to more than triple Russian gas deliveries to China; new scientific cooperation testing vaccines for COVID-19; concerted “de-dollarisation” plan aimed at limiting the use of dollar in bilateral transactions and so on.

September 2, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Militarism, Russophobia | | 1 Comment

Israel’s Friends at the RNC: ‘Christian Zionists’ Dictate the Agenda of the Republican Party

By Ramzy Baroud | Palestine Chronicle | September 2, 2020

It is difficult – and futile – to argue which American president has historically been more pro-Israel. While former President Barack Obama, for example, has pledged more money to Israel than any other US administration in history, Donald Trump has provided Israel with a blank check of seemingly endless political concessions.

Certainly, the unconditional backing and love declared for Israel is common among all US administrations. What they may differ on, however, is their overall motive, primarily their target audience during election time.

Both Republicans and Democrats head to the November elections with strong pro-Israel sentiments and outright support, completely ignoring the plight of occupied and oppressed Palestinians.

To win the support of the pro-Israeli constituencies, but especially the favor of the Israel lobby in Washington DC, Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, and his running mate, Kamala Harris, have deviated even further from the low standards set by the Democratic Obama administration. Despite his generous financial support for Israel and full political backing, especially during Israel’s wars on the Gaza Strip, Obama dared, at times, to censure Israel over the expansion of its illegal Jewish settlements.

The Biden-Harris ticket, however, is offering Israel unconditional support.

“Joe Biden has made it clear,” Harris was quoted as saying in a telephone call on August 26, “he will not tie US security assistance to Israel to political decisions Israel makes, and I couldn’t agree more.” The call was made to what the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, termed as “Jewish supporters.” The Jerusalem Post and the Times of Israel referred to this crucial constituency as “Jewish donors.”

The references above are sufficient to delineate the nature of the Democratic Party establishment’s current support for Israel. Although the view of the party’s rank and file has significantly shifted against Israel in recent years, the Democratic upper echelon still caters to the Israel lobby and their rich backers, even if this means molding US foreign policy in the entire Middle East region to serve Israeli interests.

For Republicans, however, it is a different story. The party’s establishment and the rank and file are united in their love and support for Israel. Though the Israel lobby plays an important role in harnessing and channeling this support, Republicans are not entirely motivated by pleasing the pro-Israel lobbyists in Washington DC.

The speeches made by Republican leaders at the Republican National Convention (RNC), held in  Charlotte, North Carolina, between August 24-27 were all aimed at reassuring Christian Evangelicals – often referred to as ‘Christian Zionists’- who represent the most powerful pro-Israel constituency in the United States.

The once relatively marginal impact of Christian Zionists in directly shaping US foreign policy, has morphed over the years – particularly during the Trump presidency – to define the core values of the Republican Party.

“This is apocalyptic foreign policy in a nutshell,” tweeted Israeli commentator, Gershom Gorenberg, on August 24. In Republican thinking, “Israel is not as a real country but a fantasyland, backdrop for Christian myth.”

Gorenberg’s comments were tweeted hours before the controversial speech made by US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, America’s top diplomat, who delivered his brief notes from “beautiful Jerusalem, looking out over the old city.” The location, and the reference to it, were clear messages regarding the religious centrality of Israel to US foreign policy, and the unmistakable target audience.

Trump was even more obvious during an August 17 speech in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. “We moved the capital of Israel to Jerusalem,” Trump announced to a cheering crowd, “and so the Evangelicals – you know, it’s amazing with that – the Evangelicals are more excited about that than Jewish people … It’s really, it’s incredible.”

Unsurprisingly, 22 percent of Wisconsin residents identify as “Evangelical Protestants.”

This was not the first time that Trump has derided US Jews for not being as supportive of him as they are of his Democrat rivals. A year ago, Trump called Jewish Democrats “disloyal” to Israel. “I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty,” he said in August 2019.

This was not a simple case of Trump’s typical political insensitivity but, rather, the cognizance that the real Republican prize in the coming elections is not the Jewish vote but the Christian Zionists.

In his speech before the RNC on August 27, Trump recounted to this same audience his pro-Israeli accomplishments, including the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May 2018. “Unlike many presidents before me, I kept my promise, recognized Israel’s true capital and moved our embassy to Jerusalem,” Trump proclaimed.

The moving of the embassy, always a great opportunity to repeat the word “Jerusalem” before a jubilant crowd, was the buzzword at the RNC, repeated by all top Republicans, including former US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley. “President Trump moved our embassy to Jerusalem — and when the UN tried to condemn us, I was proud to cast the American veto,” Haley announced proudly, which generated an approving cheer.

In all of their references to Israel at the RNC, Republican leaders adhered to specific talking points: Iran, the US embassy move, the recognition of the Occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territories, the fight against anti-Semitism (silencing any criticism of Israel), and so on.

However, the Republican discourse seems to be detached from the traditional US foreign policy view that US support for Israel serves the geopolitical and geostrategic interests of Washington. This view, predominant among Democrats, seems to be almost entirely forsaken by Republicans, whose love for Israel is now dedicated to a purely religious mission.

In June 2015, when he was still a Congressman from Kansas, Secretary Pompeo once declared before a packed megachurch in Wichita, that the “battles” against evil are a “never-ending struggle,” one that will continue “until the Rapture,” a reference to what some Christians believe to be a sign of the end of times.

Addressing the RNC from Jerusalem on August 25, Pompeo must have felt that part of his spiritual mission has already been fulfilled.

 Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press, Atlanta). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), Istanbul Zaim University (IZU). His website is

September 2, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

President Ghani says Afghan government fulfilled all commitments for Taliban peace talks

Press TV – September 2, 2020

Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani says the government has fulfilled all its commitments for peace negotiations with the Taliban.

“The government has fulfilled all its commitments in the peace process that the international community had hoped for,” the president said at a meeting with a team of government-backed negotiators at the presidential palace on Wednesday, his office reported.

On Monday, Kabul resumed the release of Taliban prisoners, a pre-condition to negotiations.

“The release of Taliban prisoners is a clear demonstration of the government’s commitment to peace.”

Afghanistan’s Loya Jirga, or grand assembly of elders, has already approved the release of 400 imprisoned Taliban militants, who had been involved in serious crimes in Afghanistan, for the sake of peace talks.

A senior government official, who asked not to be named, told AFP on Wednesday that at least 200 inmates have been freed since Monday and the process “will continue today too.”

In return, the Taliban have freed four Afghan commandos and are expected to release two more on Wednesday, according to a Taliban official.

Meanwhile, Ghani’s spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said in a posting on Twitter, “We expect the Taliban to live up to their commitments on the release of the remaining captives.”

The prisoner swap was agreed to in a deal between the Taliban and the United States. The agreement was signed in the Qatari capital, Doha, on February 29.

Under the deal, the Taliban agreed to halt their attacks on international forces in return for the US military’s phased withdrawal from Afghanistan and the prisoner exchange with the government in Kabul.

The Afghan government, which was not a signatory to the accord, was required to release up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners. The militants, for their part, were obliged to free 1,000 government captives.

Ghani said a “critical stage of peace” had been reached, noting that the talks would help reduce violence and finalize a permanent ceasefire.

Meanwhile, Kabul has dispatched a “small technical team” to Qatar to prepare for negotiations.

Najia Anwari, spokeswoman for the State Ministry for Peace Affairs, told AFP that the government’s negotiators will also leave for Doha “very soon.”

September 2, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | | Leave a comment

Reality check of nine allegations on the South China Sea

CGTN | September 2, 2020

Recently, the U.S. side announced a policy statement regarding its position on maritime claims in the South China Sea and smeared China on many occasions. It is important that we list U.S. false allegations vis-à-vis the facts to debunk the falsehoods and let people know the truth.

September 2, 2020 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | 2 Comments

China Firmly Opposes US Report on Chinese Military

teleSUR | September 2, 2020

China’s Defense Ministry Wednesday firmly opposed an “extremely erroneous” report by the U.S. Defense Department on China’s military, saying it is fraught with a zero-sum game mindset and Cold-war mentality.

The Defense Ministry’s Information Office came in response to the U.S. report that hyped up the so-called “Chinese military threat” and misinterpreted China’s national defense policy and military strategies.

The office noted that the U.S. report had slandered China’s military modernization, defense expenditure and nuclear policy, aggravated tensions across the Taiwan Strait and instigated cross-Strait confrontations.

“China has always pursued a defensive national defence policy and everyone knows that China is a builder of world peace,” Foreign Affairs Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Wednesday, as reported by the Economic Times.

On Tuesday, the Pentagon published its annual study on the evolution of Chinese military power. In this document, the U.S. authorities hold that the Asian country has equaled or exceeded U.S. military capabilities in several areas of defense.

Besides believing that China seeks to double the number of nuclear warheads in its arsenal over the next decade, Washington suggests that Beijing has made significant advances in its technical capabilities to build ships, cruise missiles, and integrated air defense systems.

The Pentagon report was released amid tensions that President Donald Trump has been generating through military exercises in the South Sea and bans to WeChat and TikTok, which the Republican politician considers a threat to his country’s national security.

September 2, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Militarism | , | 3 Comments

Eastern Nations Prefer Russian Weapons to US Ones

By Dmitry Bokarev – New Eastern Outlook 02.09.2020 

In recent years, the United States has increasingly more often impinged on sovereignty of other nations, thus flagrantly flaunting just how uncivilized its policies are. Such behavior is exemplified in various ways: diplomatic pressure exerted on policies of other nations; involvement in color revolutions; imposition of unlawful sanctions, and bans on trading with clear rivals to the US (an act that does not comply with existing international laws and the principle of free trade).

All of this is particularly noticeable when it comes to the ever increasing attempts by Washington to stop other nations from purchasing Russian weaponry. The United States must be aware of the fact that Russia’s high quality and fairly inexpensive military equipment is deservedly popular throughout the world. In addition, its export generates considerable revenues for the Russian Federation, and serves as an effective foreign policy tool for the nation, which helps Moscow build and adjust relations with other countries.

It is therefore not surprising that once tensions between Russia and the US arose, Washington began imposing anti-Moscow sanctions, focusing on the Russian Federation’s weapons trade in particular. In fact, a key aim of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which was signed into law in August 2017, was to counter “Russian influence in Europe and Eurasia”. In September 2018, the “US government imposed secondary sanctions under CAATSA” for the first time by punishing Russia’s partners for “engaging in significant transactions with” individuals on the List of Specified Persons. According to a note issued by the US Department of State that month, the aforementioned actions were “not intended to undermine the military capabilities or combat readiness of any country”. Overall, the wording of the Act gives Washington a lot of room for maneuver.

There have been several widely publicized stories in connection with the CAATSA and the sale of Russia’s S-400 air defense systems, which are viewed as some of the more sought after items produced by the Russian Federation’s military industrial complex.

The S-400 Triumf is designed to destroy aircraft (including stealth targets), cruise and ballistic missiles (travelling at a speed of 4.8 km/s). The system’s radars can detect dozens of aerial targets at the same time and subsequently intercept them in various weather conditions. S-400 missile systems have been in service with the Russian Armed Forces since 2007. In fact, they are an essential part of the Russian Federation’s integrated air defense system.

China became the first nation to express interest in purchasing S-400 systems. Russian President Vladimir Putin approved the sale of S-400 Triumf to China in 2014, i.e. long before the CAATSA was passed.

But once the Act was signed into law, the threat of US sanctions against China for its purchase of the missile systems loomed large. In September 2018, despite the fact that the S-400 agreement between the Russian Federation and the PRC had been reached before-hand, the US decided to impose sanctions against China’s Equipment Development Department of the Central Military Commission and its director, Li Shangfu. In spite of these troubles, “the first regimental set of S-400” had reached China in the spring of 2018. Apart from launchers, the delivery included command and control systems, radiolocation stations and other parts essential for such pieces of equipment. At the end of 2018, the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force tested the S-400 Triumf air defense system by “successfully shooting down a simulated ballistic target almost 250 km away and moving at the supersonic speed of 3 km/s”. Such news was quite impressive and helped promote Russia’s missile system to the world. In January 2020, the Russian Federation “concluded delivery of a second S-400 Triumf missile system regimental set to China”. China also received “more than 120 advanced anti-aircraft guided missiles” at the time.

The next country that decided to purchase the S-400 system was Turkey. After Turkey signed the relevant agreement with Russia in September 2017, Washington and other NATO members began criticizing Ankara’s decision. Since that time, the United States has been trying to convince and force Turkey to drop the deal.

In July 2019, the United States removed Turkey from the F-35 joint strike fighter program, which meant that Ankara would “lose its production work on the jet by March 2020”. In addition, six F-35s meant for Turkey were never delivered by the United States.

After Ankara received the air defense systems from Russia, Turkey conducted its first test at the end of November 2019. Various aircraft, including US-made F-16 fighter jets, were scrambled near Ankara to test the ability of the Russian-made air-defense system to track and intercept such fighters. USA’s F-16s are quite popular in the Middle East and Europe. In fact, the air forces of Israel and Greece (Turkey’s potential enemies) are equipped with such fighter aircraft.

Despite all of its threats, the US is in no hurry to impose more painful sanctions against Turkey in addition to removing it from the F-35 program because the United States does not wish to spoil its relationship with an important partner, such as Ankara. After all, Turkey is an influential nation among the Muslim-majority countries as well as a NATO member. In fact, the nation has allowed the US military to conduct operations in the Middle East from its territories. In turn, Ankara, with its ambitions to become a leader in the region, is trying to show, in every possible way, its independence from Washington. It is worth reminding our readers that, in recent years, Turkey–United States relations have soured because of the ongoing conflict in Syria. For instance, Washington supports Syrian Kurds fighting for their independence, while Ankara views them as its enemies.

At the beginning of July 2020, Turkey conducted more tests of its S-400 Triumf systems despite the possibility of the US imposing additional sanctions against Ankara. Yet again, Turkey used the good-old F-16 as training target.

Yet, it was reported that during the exercise, as reported by the local media, S-400 managed to track F-35 Stealth that were flying over the Black Sea at a distance of some 200 kilometers from the radar station. These were the very fighters that Turkey wasn’t able to purchase because of the S-400. As mentioned above, these aircraft are made with the use of advanced stealth technology, which makes its stealthy capabilities the main selling point. Thus, in addition to the reputational blow that Turkey’s purchase of Triumphs inflicted on America, the S-400 damaged the reputation of American military technology.

In July 2020, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was urged by US Senators to impose sanctions on Turkey over its actions in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

It would seem that Turkey has no intention of ridding itself of the Russian missile systems for now. And hopefully, the S-400 Triumf will continue to reach new markets.

After Turkey, India (USA’s strategic partner in South Asia) decided to purchase Russia’s air defense systems. Since the alliance with New Delhi is extremely important for Washington, the latter expressed its opposition to the aforementioned deal but did not take any measures to punish India.

There have been reports that Iran is interested in buying S-400 Triumf from Russia too. The country has managed to survive sanctions imposed against it by the US and other nations over its nuclear program for quite some time. In fact, Iran is a key rival of the United States, which is why Washington would not be happy if Iran were to purchase such effective air defense systems.

In fact, there is more bad news for the United States with regards to S-400 systems in other parts of the world. The fact that F-35 fighters were detected by Turkey’s Triumf missile defense systems during recent tests could be viewed as a blow to the US designers of these aircraft. In addition, the US may face more serious troubles in the future. Some believe that Turkish servicemen were, in fact, able to obtain important information about the US fighter jets and their movements during the tests.

China’s purchase of S-400 Triumf could have especially negative consequences for the United States. In fact, China’s air defense capabilities have improved on account of the new system. Its range now covers the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea (claimed by both China and Japan) and parts of Taiwan, viewed as either a separate country or a part of China. Hence, Russia’s missile systems could strengthen Beijing’s positions in the region, as a whole, as well as in its territorial disputes.

The author could, therefore, conclude that USA’s concerns about Russian-made Triumf systems are indeed justified. As S-400s gradually become common place throughout Asia, they not only help strengthen air defenses of certain nations and generate earning for the Russian government, but they could also facilitate global political changes.

September 2, 2020 Posted by | Economics | , | 1 Comment

German Chancellor Merkel Claims Navalny Case is ‘Attempted Murder With Use of Nerve Agent’

Sputnik – 02.09.2020

Germany is treating the Navalny case as an “attempted murder by poisoning,” and is waiting for Russia to explain its position and provide answers, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters shortly after Berlin’s announcement that a toxicology test had shown ‘undeniably’ that Navalny had been poisoned by “a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group,” Merkel said that there are now “very serious questions that only the Russian government can answer and must answer.”Merkel confirmed that the Russian ambassador to Germany had been informed about the test results, and said that “we now expect that the Russian government will make a declaration on this incident.”

Calling the information about Navalny’s alleged poisoning “depressing,” Merkel added that her government would consult with its NATO allies and Germany’s European Union partners on how to respond.

“We will inform our partners in the EU and NATO on the results of the test. We will have a joint discussion… and make a decision on a proportionate [response] in a joint statement,” the chancellor said.

Russia Responds

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded to the German government’s new allegations later Wednesday, saying that no traces of any poisonous substances were found in Navalny’s system before his transfer to Germany.

The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a separate statement, saying its diplomatic mission in Berlin hadn’t received any information or documents regarding Navalny, and accused Germany of making ‘loud statements’ without any evidence to back them up.

The ministry added that it made sense for Germany to appeal to the EU and NATO if its main goal was to substitute “some pre-prepared ‘response measures'” for normal cooperation.

Navalny’s Treatment in Germany

Navalny was flown to Germany from a hospital in Omsk, Russia, where he was hospitalized on August 20 after falling into a coma during a Moscow-bound flight from Tomsk. The politician and blogger, arguably the best-known Russian opposition figure in the West, was transfered to Berlin aboard a chartered jet on August 22 for further treatment, and granted the status of ‘chancellor’s guest’ by Merkel, ostensibly ‘for protection’.

Navalny’s spokesperson began speculating that he may have been poisoned almost immediately after he fell ill. However, doctors in Omsk said no traces of poison were present in the blood and urine samples they had taken. Later, doctors postulated that Navalny may have a metabolic condition which caused a severe drop in his blood sugar levels and led him to lose consciousness and go into a coma. Navalny reportedly didn’t eat or drink before boarding the flight or on the plane, apart from tea purchased for him at the cafe in Tomsk’s airport.


The so-called ‘Novichok’ group of binary chemical weapons was developed in the USSR between the 1970s and early 1990s in an effort to maintain parity with the US chemical weapons programme. The agents were never called ‘Novichok’ by Soviet or Russian biowarfare specialists, and were given their names by Western experts after the USSR’s collapse.

‘Novichok’ made international headlines in March 2018, after former GRU officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a park bench in Salisbury, southern England. The UK almost immediately blamed the Russian government of ‘poisoning’ the Skripals, and announced that ‘Novichok’ had been used in the attack. Moscow, categorically denied the allegations, asked for access to the investigation, and pointed out that it had destroyed the last of its Soviet-era chemical weapons stockpiles in 2017 under the supervision of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Russian officials and media also pointed out that the US and its allies, including Britain, have had access to ‘Novichok’s’ formulas since the late 1990s. Nevertheless, London and its allies responded to the alleged attack with new sanctions and expulsions of Russian diplomats, prompting Moscow to respond in a tit-for-tat fashion. The Skripals have since disappeared from public view, with UK media reporting that they may have fled to New Zealand. Viktoria Skripal, Sergei Skripal’s niece, said she had no information to corroborate these reports and has repeatedly asked to be allowed to contact her family members.

September 2, 2020 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

Owners of cargoes carrying Iranian fuel challenge US loot in court

Press TV – September 2, 2020

The owners of four cargoes carrying Iranian fuel that was looted in high seas by the United States last month have mounted a legal challenge to reclaim them, a report says.

The US government has said it seized 1.116 million barrels of fuel because it was bound for Venezuela which is under American sanctions as part of Washington’s bid to topple President Nicolas Maduro, but the owners have disputed it.

According to a filing with the US District Court for the District of Columbia Tuesday, “at the time they were seized, the Defendant Properties were destined for Trinidad for sale to customers in Peru and Colombia.”

When the news of the loot was first broken last month, Iran put down its foot to assert that neither the ships were Iranian nor their owners or their cargo had any connection to the Islamic Republic.

US reports had also claimed that the ships were owned by Greece, but the court filing on Tuesday showed otherwise.

United Arab Emirates-based Mobin International Limited said it was the owner of the cargo aboard the Bella and Bering tankers, UK-registered Oman Fuel said it owned the cargo aboard the Pandi and Luna tankers, and Oman-registered Sohar Fuel said it part-owned the cargo aboard the Luna.

The companies said they had sold the cargoes onwards to UAE-based Citi Energy FZC, but payment was due upon delivery, which was disrupted by the seizure, Reuters reported.

“Therefore, Claimants Mobin, Oman Fuel, and Sohar Fuel retain a financial stake in those agreements and have immediate right to title, possession, and control of the Defendant Properties,” they wrote in the filing.

US claim of victory dealt a blow

The legal challenge puts yet another damper on the US government’s victory lap which came with the much-hyped claim that Washington had finally found a way to block Iran and Venezuela from evading American economic sanctions.

Over the past two years, the Trump administration has repeatedly placed sanctions on Iran’s oil and other lucrative industries with the express aim of shutting Tehran out of global markets and causing an economic collapse.

But far from collapsing as American leaders had predicted, Iran’s economy keeps humming and is getting back on its feet.

Meanwhile, Iran sent five oil tankers 1.5 million barrels of gasoline and diesel fuel to Venezuela in May and June despite American threats to stop them.

“We showcased our might, and our biggest display of power was the imposition of our will and the sailing through high seas from the Persian Gulf to Venezuela,” Major General Hussein Salami said last month.

An Iranian news agency said Iran’s naval forces were preparing to target US commercial vessels in the Persian Gulf in case US forces interfered with Venezuela-bound Iranian oil tankers.

When the New York Times first reported the seizure of the four cargoes last month, the newspaper headlined it as a “diplomatic doubleheader” which blocked Iran and Venezuela from evading American economic sanctions.

Iranian officials brushed aside the claim, with Iran’s Ambassador to Venezuela Hojjat Soltani saying the report was an “act of psychological warfare perpetrated by the US propaganda machine” trying to compensate for the Trump administration’s “humiliation and defeat by Iran using false propaganda.”

“The United States is seeking to contrive a victory for itself. Neither did the ships nor the cargo belong to Iran,” Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh told reporters in Tehran.

Aiming to cut Iran’s sales to zero, Washington in May 2019 ended sanctions waivers for importers of Iranian oil. Tehran reacted with typical defiance, saying it would find ways to sell its oil.

Last month, NBC News cited data from online service showing that Iran was exporting a lot more crude oil than US figures suggest.

According to the data, Iran is exporting as much as 600,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil – thrice more than an estimate of 227,000 bpd made in a US congressional report.

Iran, NBC News said, is coming up with more innovative techniques in wiggling its way around the draconian American sanctions.

Iranian officials have said the country is in an economic war with the United States which has forced international payment networks to cut off the Islamic Republic, making trade all but impossible.

$10 billion of oil, petrochemical investment in 5 months

On Tuesday, Iran’s Ministry of Petroleum said oil and petrochemical investment in the country has reached $10 billion since the beginning of the Iranian calendar year in March.

The government plans to officially launch 17 petrochemical projects, which are expected to produce 100 million tonnes annually and generate $25 billion per year in revenues by the end of the year, it said.

Iran also plans to launch by the end of its current calendar year in March 2021 an oil terminal designed to bypass the Strait of Hormuz for Iranian oil exports.

The country has already started building an onshore oil pipeline worth $1.8 billion to Jask which sits just east of the Strait of Hormuz. As much as $700 million of the investment will go to develop the port terminal.

The 1,100-kilometer pipeline will be capable of carrying 1 million bpd of crude oil from the Goureh oil terminal in the northwest to Jask on the Sea of Oman, without the need to have tankers travel through the Strait of Hormuz.

Last month, Iran said it had signed a total of 13 oil contracts with 14 domestic firms, which will raise the Islamic Republic’s oil production capacity by 185,000 barrels per day.

September 2, 2020 Posted by | Economics | , | 2 Comments