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Climate or Environment?

Klimaatwaarheid | September 19, 2020

The dirty side of so called green energy is somewhat underexposed. In this video I try to shed some light on that dark side.

October 1, 2020 Posted by | Environmentalism, Timeless or most popular, Video | Leave a comment

What They Are Not Talking About: War and Peace, Healthcare and Jobs Are Non-Issues

By Philip Giraldi | Strategic Culture Foundation | October 1, 2020

Watching the network news on television or reading about current events in the newspapers seemingly transports one to an alternate universe where nothing seems to make sense. The profit driven news cycle in the United States is admittedly a poor mechanism for actually gaining an understanding of what is going on, but seven days of Ruth Bader Ginsburg worship hardly addresses what is ailing the country, particularly as questions about how she earned many millions of dollars while serving as a judge as well as some unsavory aspects of her career have been carefully buried.

A friend who is a retired U.S. Army general made an interesting comment several days ago, observing that when it comes to politics and voting patterns the so-called “silent majority” is indeed silent. What he meant was that many Americans who hold currently unpopular conservative views will not respond honestly to a call from an unknown pollster regarding voting intentions. This is particularly true of the current campaign in which Donald Trump is being reviled by the media and depicted by the Democrats as no less than a threat to American democracy. Biden by way of comparison pretty much gets a free pass, to include forgiveness for his frequent faux pas and mental lapses. In other words, Trump is being framed as someone poised to mount a totalitarian takeover of the United States, which in and of itself would disincline many voters to indicate openly that they would support him over Biden.

My friend was suggesting that the polls on the upcoming election just might be more than usually wrong. I would add to that the general vapidity of what one might expect from the presidential debates, which are similarly being framed in such a fashion as to avoid any topics that might really matter. But the polls do reveal two things. First, that there is a lack of any confidence in the integrity of politicians at all levels, and second, that jobs and healthcare are the principal concerns of nearly all voter demographics as they directly impact on quality of life.

Healthcare is admittedly a complicated issue given the fact that the entire system in the United States would have to be reformed, with considerable government intervention. The respected British medical journal The Lancet recently published “Measuring universal health coverage based on an index of effective coverage of health services in 204 countries and territories”. The study revealed, to no one’s surprise, that the United States has by far the world’s most expensive medical care, at around $9,000 per person per year while at the same time delivering poorer results than virtually any other industrialized nation. Medical expenses are in fact a leading cause of personal bankruptcy by Americans.

So, what are the two parties saying about health care? The Republicans want to overturn so-called Obamacare and replace it with something else which they cannot describe while the Democrats insist that they want to keep Obamacare in place while also blaming the president for the response to the coronavirus. That’s it. There is plenty of blame to go around on Covid-19 and Obamacare is in fact a bad program. It is good if the government is footing the bill for you, but anyone who is paying for his or her own insurance has seen the rates treble and even quadruple since the program became active. It has become a gold mine for the health care industry, which now assumes that it can charge whatever it wants and the suffering customer will be obliged to pay for it. That there is no effective regulation of health care is due to the fact that Big Pharma and other providers have completely corrupted Congress through political donations to make sure that the highly profitable status quo remains untouched.

And when it comes to the other great concern, “The Economy,” which means jobs, the two major parties have even less to say since they know deep down that they have both conspired in the gutting of America’s industrial and manufacturing infrastructure.

But another area dear to my own heart which the parties have been silent about is Foreign Policy, which also subsumes National Security, a related issue that the opinion polls do not specifically address. Both parties are strong on issuing position papers that refer to supporting allies, meaning Israel followed by everyone else, confronting threats from Russia and China, and maintaining the world’s number one military. Beyond that it gets a bit vague. We have recently learned from a possibly unreliable source named Bob Woodward that President Trump sought to assassinate Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad but was talked out of it. Trump did order the assassination of senior Iranian General Qassim Soleimani, whom he and the Secretary of State have recently described as the “world’s leading terrorist,” which is manifestly untrue. Is assassinating foreign leaders something that the United States wants to engage in? Why is no one talking about it?

And then there are the “hot wars” being fought in Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan. None of those wars benefit from a constitutionally mandated declaration of war by Congress and they have cost the U.S. taxpayer trillions of dollars. Shouldn’t that be under discussion? Or the “maximum pressure” economic wars being waged against Venezuela, Cuba, Syria and Iran? Those “wars” have collectively killed tens of thousands of civilians and have done nothing to enhance the security of the United States. Shouldn’t Trump and Biden be talking about that?

Instead, we will see much finger pointing and hear a lot about how dangerous a win by either presidential candidate will be, all couched in general terms based on a lot of “what-ifs.” But what the American public needs, particularly the silent majority, is a viable plan for decent and affordable healthcare similar to what most of the rest of the world enjoys. And a new government also must act decisively to challenge corporate offshoring interests to bring manufacturing jobs back home. But most of all, the United States needs peace after nineteen years of spreading chaos all over the globe. End the wars and bring the troops home. Do it now.

October 1, 2020 Posted by | Economics | | 2 Comments

Take the jab or lose your job: Medical journal calls for a MANDATORY Covid vaccine

‘Noncompliance should incur a penalty’

RT | October 1, 2020

With half the US population reportedly unwilling to submit to an experimental Covid-19 shot, a new scientific paper has shed light on how state health authorities might enforce compliance with vaccine mandates.

Published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday, the paper outlines strategies for circumventing widespread fears over the safety of a rushed-to-market vaccine against the novel coronavirus, providing health authorities with a playbook for coercing a skittish populace.

The writers acknowledge that voluntary measures should be tried first, rather than mandating the vaccine for everyone out of the gate. However, if the target population doesn’t comply within a trial period, a mandate should be rolled out, and the penalties for refusing to submit should be harsh. Given “the costs of a failed voluntary scheme,” the writers warn, authorities should wait no more than a few weeks before rolling out a mandate if uptake falls short of expectations.

The paper says “six substantive criteria” must be met before a Covid-19 vaccine is imposed by the state. A federal body, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, must greenlight administration to certain groups of the populace first, and “only recommended groups should be considered for a vaccination mandate.”

“High-risk” groups should be given priority on that list.

“[T]he elderly, health professionals working in high-risk situations or working with high-risk patients… persons with certain underlying medical conditions,” and people living in “high-density settings such as prisons and dormitories” – as well as active-duty military service members – should be ordered to get the jab as soon as health officials are confident they have a sufficient supply to cover these groups, the paper suggests.

Rather than attempting to pass laws requiring certain populations to get the vaccine, the paper recommends that “noncompliance should incur a penalty” – and a “relatively substantial” one. The non-compliant should be threatened with “employment suspension or stay-at-home orders,” though fines or criminal charges are discouraged, because they “disadvantage the poor” and risk getting the mandate itself challenged in court. Worse, they “may stoke distrust without improving uptake,” it adds.

Whatever they do, authorities should avoid flaunting their relationship with vaccine manufacturers, the paper recommends – a tall order, given that President Donald Trump’s “Operation Warp Speed” vaccine development initiative is helmed by Moncef Slaoui, the former head of pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline’s vaccine division who had to quit the board of directors of Moderna – a frontrunner in the vaccine race – to take the job. Slaoui notoriously was forced to offload over $10 million in Moderna stock after its value briefly skyrocketed following the announcement of promising early trial results.

For the non-high-risk groups, the writers suggest authorities “encourage voluntary uptake… using means such as public education campaigns and free vaccination.” Health officials have been hard at work conducting focus groups on which variety of “influencers” might best convince the American people to embrace what would be the quickest vaccine rollout in history (the standard timetable for vaccine development and approval, complete with post-shot monitoring for side effects, is 10 years or more) and what kind of emotional tone the message should take.

A Yale University study conducted in July evaluated messaging strategies including guilt, economic benefit, trust in science, embarrassment, and community benefit to measure the effects on not only confidence in the vaccine itself but how willing the participants were to persuade others to take the shot – and how much they feared or looked down on those who had not received it. The results of that study have not been published.

The authors of the NEJM paper hail from Yale, Stanford University, and Indiana University, all institutions that have received funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The foundation has poured billions of dollars into developing multiple Covid-19 vaccines, setting up seven facilities to manufacture the leading candidates. While the US, UK, and several other countries have already paid for hundreds of millions of doses of multiple jabs, no western pharmaceutical company has yet declared victory in the vaccine race – on the contrary, the clinical trials of frontrunners like AstraZeneca and Moderna have yielded a bumper crop of troubling side effects.

Fears about the rushed rollout of the vaccine coupled with both Republicans and Democrats’ determination to turn the jab into a political football have convinced a majority of Americans that they don’t want to be among the first to get vaccinated. A poll conducted earlier this month suggested less than half the country would take the shot, even if they were paid $100, and polling shows the portion of Americans willing to take it has declined steadily since May.

October 1, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment

‘We were deceived’, says Syria mercenary fighting in Azerbaijan

MEMO | October 1, 2020

A Syrian fighting in Azerbaijan’s disputed Nagorno-Karabkh region has spoken to BBC Arabic and claims he, along with others, were deceived when being recruited by the Turkish-backed “Syrian National Army”, formerly known as the Free Syria Army.

The fighter using the nom de guerre “Abdullah” is among hundreds of Syrians aged 17 to 30 who arrived last week “with the knowledge of the Turkish army the SNA”. However he was under the impression that he was recruited for a job paying $2,000 a month.

“Last week, Saif Abu Bakr, the commander of the Hamza Division of the opposition Syrian National Army, suggested that we go to Azerbaijan to guard military points on the border with a monthly wage of up to $2,000,” said Abdullah.

“There was no war at the time, and we were transferred from Northern Syria to the village of Hor Kilis, and there we have stripped us from the opposition Syrian National Army of all our money, phones and clothes, so that our identity is not recognised.”

Days after arriving, the untrained Syrians were forced to fight on the front lines as the fighting broke out between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over the disputed region.

“They loaded us into troop carriers, we were wearing Azeri uniforms, and each of us was armed with a single Kalashnikov weapon. Most of the people here are poor civilians who wanted the money, not soldiers, stopped the car and we were surprised that we were in the line of fire. We did not even know where the enemy was.”

Abdullah and others later said they wanted to return to Syria, but were prevented and threatened with long prison terms if they refused to fight “We are almost exiled”, he said.

Both Turkey and Azerbaijan have denied the accusations that Syrian fighters have been sent to fight for Azerbaijan. However, according to the Guardianat least three Syrian opposition fighters have been killed in Nagorno-Karabkh.

On Monday, Armenia’s ambassador to Moscow said that Turkey had sent around 4,000 fighters from northern Syria. France today also weighed in on the accusations, the office of President Emmanuel Macron said he and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the issue and both “share concern about the sending of Syrian mercenaries by Turkey to Nagorno-Karabakh”.

Turkish media outlets have claimed that Armenia is recruiting Kurdish PKK terrorists in their ranks, although critics argue it is using the reports to justify military intervention and that no evidence has been provided.

Turkey has previously sent Syrian fighters to Libya despite denials by the internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).

October 1, 2020 Posted by | Deception, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

David Swanson on “Leaving WW2 Behind”

Review by Kevin Barrett | September 28, 2020

Peace activist David Swanson is the author of the new book Leaving World War II Behind. He debunks the standard misconceptions about the mythical “good war.”


“In reality, the U.S. and British governments engaged for years in massive propaganda campaigns to build war support but never made any mention of saving Jews.” (p.21)


“Eugenics had British and U.S. roots and was popularized by Americans in the first two decades of the Twentieth Century…eugenics was funded by the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Harriman railroad fortune.” (chapter 4)


“As I write this, California is using prisoners to fight forest fires, paying them $1 an hour…” (p.55)


“In Mein Kampf, Hitler invoked the American conquest of ‘the West’ as a model for Nazi continental territorial expansion in ‘the East.’” (p.67)


“If you do a web search for images of ‘Bellamy salute’ you find countless black-and-white photographs of U.S. children and adults with their right arms raised stiffly out in front of them in what will strike most people as a Nazi salute. From the early 1890s through 1942 the United States used the Bellamy salute…” (p.94)


“The Nazis did not have the ability to occupy even half of the Soviet Union. Some of the nations they occupied in Europe, as we will see below, effectively challenged their rule. Nonviolent resistance in Germany itself, as we will also see below, showed great potential. Nonviolent resistance to tyranny around the world, as we will see, in the past 75 years has proven itself more effective than armed struggle. The idea that Nazism could have lasted and grown to eventually include an attack on the United States is more fantasy than history.” (p.130)


“In recorded human history, there’s no worse catastrophe than WWII. There’s nothing else that did as much immediate and lasting damage in the space of less than a decade. WWII killed 70 to 85 million human beings. In most wars prior to WWII, including WWI, the majority of deaths were of participants in the wars. With WWII and most wars that have followed it, the majority of deaths have been civilians. WWII injured, traumatized, rendered homeless, and displaced millions of people on an unmatched scale.” (p.147)


No, that was the US occupation of France: “In the port city of Le Havre, the mayor was bombarded with letters from angry residents complaining about drunkenness, jeep accidents, sexual assault — ‘a regime of terror,’ as one put it, imposed by bandits in uniform.” As for the US occupation of Germany, which continues at a lesser scale today: “Other estimates… go as high as 190,000 rapes, just in Germany, just by U.S. troops.” (p.157)


“The United States Strategic Bombing Survey concluded that, ‘… certainly prior to 31 December, 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November, 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.’” (p.161)


“In May, 1940, 93% of Americans opposed declaring war on Germany.” (p.172) Only the treasonous Pearl Harbor deception could brainwash Americans into supporting the war.


“World War II created taxes.” (p.178) Now the feds and their bankster masters loot and pillage American taxpayers and the world, claiming that every anti-imperialist leader in the world is a new Hitler. Among the endless parade of “new Hitlers”: Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milosevic, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Muammar Gaddafi, Bashar al Assad, Vladimir Putin…who will be next?


“What happens, predictably and consistently, is just the reverse of wars protecting freedoms… liberties are restricted in the name of war.” (p.233) With every war the US fights, the less free it gets. One more big war, and there may be no freedom left at all.

Listen HERE

October 1, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment

Why Did Governor Gavin Newsom Veto A “Critical Race Theory” Education Bill?

By Eric Striker – National Justice – October 1, 2020

California Governor Gavin Newsom is an unlikely ally in the fight against the anti-white critical race theory, but yesterday he shocked and confused his colleagues with a surprise veto of Assembly Bill 331.

AB 331, which passed 62 to 12 in California’s State Assembly, would’ve mandated students in the Golden State’s failing high schools to take a “Critical Ethnic Studies” class about the oppression and discrimination faced by one of four minority groups (African-Americans, “Latinx,” Native Americans and Asian-Americans) at the hands of white supremacists. A special emphasis on forcing white students to take these classes was emphasized in the law’s discussion.

While AB 331 was passed in January 2019, Newsom’s veto has the optical misfortune of coinciding with Donald Trump’s current campaign seeking to put an end to critical race theory in federally funded institutions. The bill’s sponsor, Assemblyman Jose Medina, lashed out at his fellow Democrat, calling the Governor’s move “a failure to push back against the racial rhetoric and bullying of Donald Trump.”

So why did he do it?

The answer lies in Newsom’s donors, who also happen to be members of prominent Jewish ethnic lobbies. For example, the American Jewish Committee responded to news of his decision with a “Bravo.”

Jewish groups protested AB 331 because, while they agreed with the anti-white message, they also resented the lack of an exemption for Jewish students. Under the law, Jews would be considered “white” and not allowed to choose Jewish Studies for their credit.

Roselyn Swig, a billionaire heiress, wrote an op-ed reflecting this sentiment four days ago. In the piece, she urges that the bill be altered.

According to Swig, critical race theory is “crucial to ensure a tradition of tolerance, understanding and respect – three of my core values – for future generations, while advancing justice for marginalized communities.” However, she furiously contested that “[An] initial draft of the educational plan had both excluded Jews and antisemitism education, and included anti-Jewish tropes in lyrics and anti-Israel boycotts.”

Swig concluded her open letter by stating that the “interests of the Jewish community are actually aligned with other ethnic studies groups. We should come together to advance our shared values, both in the classroom and beyond, for years to come.”

The proposed ethnic studies curriculum tried to adapt to these demands, but the end result only enraged Jews further. The final version on Newsom’s desk would’ve taught that Jews were beneficiaries of “white privilege,” which doomed it.

While non-white groups who supported the bill will blame Newsom’s own “white privilege” for its failure, the final decision was made outside of the Governor’s office.

Swig belongs to what California media has dubbed Newsom’s “Faithful Eight” — eight wealthy families who have given the Governor millions of dollars to transform him from mediocre dog catcher to a national figure with future presidential ambitions.

Of the Faithful Eight, the Swig’s are joined by four other elite Jewish dynasties: the Guggenheims, the Marcuses, the Fishers, and the Pritzkers.

While California has earned a reputation for its radical left policies, it also suffers from Progressive Except Palestine syndrome. In 2016, Governor Jerry Brown signed one of the most draconian and controversial anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) bills in the country.

The lesson for white privilege peddlers who saw AB 331 as a political lay up is simple: real power always strikes back.

October 1, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

The Time of Troubles in Transcaucasia – Part 1

By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | October 1, 2020

Three days into the renewed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh in the Transcaucasian region — also known as South Caucasus — it is becoming clear that the binary narrative dished out by western commentators of this being a Turkish-Russian clash of wills and strategies is either simply naive or purposely deceptive. The point is, Russia and Turkey — and Iran in a somewhat supportive role — are already proactively talking of negotiations involving the warring sides.

September 30 has been a turning point of sorts. Tehran had on the previous day called on Azerbaijan and Armenia to settle the differences peacefully and offered that along with Turkey and Russia, it can help the two countries to resolve their differences.

President Hassan Rouhani since repeated this offer in a phone conversation with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. According to the Iranian account, Pashinyan responded positively that “any tension and conflict would be to the detriment of all countries in the region and welcomed any practical initiative to stop the violence.”

Armenia is a land-locked country and it depends on Iran to provide a vital transportation route to the outside world. On its part, Tehran kept up a warm relationship with Armenia (although its rival Azerbaijan is a Muslim country), even supplying it with natural gas.

Tehran stuck to the friendly track even after the “colour revolution” in Armenia in 2018 and Pashinyan’s steady gravitation to the American camp in the subsequent period, while also remaining a member of the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation. (See my articles in Asia TimesA color revolution in the Caucasus puts Russia in a dilemma dated May 9, 2018 and a second piece dated August 8, 2018 titled Color Revolution in the Caucasus rattles Russian leaders.)

Iran has profound security concerns over Pashinyan’s recent diplomatic exchanges with Israel (at the initiative of the White House), which of course has brought the famed Israeli intelligence apparatus Mossad right on to Iran’s northern borders (in addition to the potential Mossad presence in the UAE, Bahrain and Oman on Iran’s southern flank.)

Turkey too has reason to be concerned over Israel’s activities in Transcaucasia. Israel is virtually piggy-riding the US-sponsored colour revolutions in Transcaucasia. Following the US-sponsored colour revolution in Georgia in 2003, Israel overnight made its appearance in Tbilisi. And the Israel-Georgia ties have since  become very close.

Despite the failure of the colour revolution in Azerbaijan in mid-2005 and the sporadic attempts since then, Israel has developed close “security cooperation” with that country. Further north, Israel has developed special relations with Ukraine,  another progeny of the colour revolution, which also has a president who is an ethnic Jew who is actively involved also in the ongoing colour revolution in Belarus. (The strange part is that notwithstanding the company that Israel keeps in the Black Sea region, which is virulently anti-Russian, it still enjoys exceptionally close ties with Russia!) 

Both Turkey and Iran understand perfectly well why Israel attributes such excessive importance to the three small countries of Transcaucasia (total population 11 million) to establish security presence in that region with a view to create a “second front” against its regional enemies — Ankara and Tehran. (Israel has a record of links with Kurdish separatist groups too who have ethnic links with Transcaucasia.)

Iran openly voiced its disquiet over Pashinyan’s decision to open Armenia’s embassy in Israel , which in turn inspired then National Security Advisor to travel all the way to Yerevan  where he openly took aim at Iran (and Russia.) By the way, the Armenian Diaspora in the US is an influential constituency that Pashinyan cannot ignore, either.

At any rate, demonstrations broke out in front of the Armenian embassy in Tehran soon and senior Iranian officials cautioned Pashinyan. An Iranian commentary wrote, “Tehran’s considerations… must be taken into account… On the other hand, Russia will undoubtedly oppose the idea of using Armenia to promote security and economic influence. It had already severely criticised Israel’s arms deal with Georgia and the Republic of Azerbaijan.”

Clearly, western analysts are obfuscating the US-Israeli nexus at work in Transcaucasia. Both Ankara and Tehran have cause to worry that the US would be using the Israeli proxy in the Transcaucasia region — as has been the case in the Middle East for decades — to weaken and roll back the rising aspirations of the two regional powers.

Turkey-Iran axis in the making

With the destruction of Iraq and Syria and the weakening of Egypt, Turkey (under President Erdogan)  and Iran are the only two authentic regional powers left standing in the Muslim Middle East to defy the US regional strategies and to challenge Israel’s military pre-eminence.

Significantly, the surge of the US-Israeli nexus in Transcaucasia comes in the wake of the recent US-sponsored “peace agreements” between Israel and three Gulf Arab states (UAE, Bahrain and Oman.) Indeed, both Turkey and Iran have reacted strongly to the development in the Gulf.

Just this week, the Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri explicitly warned the UAE that Tehran will view that country as an “enemy” and will act accordingly if Abu Dhabi allowed any Israeli security presence on its soil.

Within a month of the Israel-UAE agreement, Turkish President Recep Erdogan held a video conference with Rouhani where he made a big opening statement that “Turkey and Iran dialogue has a decisive role in the solution of many regional problems. I believe that our cooperation will return to its previous levels as the pandemic conditions alleviate.”

Rouhani responded that Turkish-Iranian relations are built on solid foundations throughout history and the border between the two “friendly and brotherly countries” has always been “the borders of peace and friendship.” He stated that especially in the past seven years, both governments had made great efforts based on bilateral, regional and international cooperation.

Significantly, Rouhani added that the two countries are located in a “sensitive region” of the Middle East and they are “the two great powers of the region. There was hostility and vindictiveness towards both countries. It also exists today. There is no way to be successful against such conspiracies other than by reinforcing friendly relations between the two countries.”

Sure enough, Israel has taken note of the nascent Turkey-Iran axis (which also includes Qatar.) A commentary in the Jerusalem Post noted that in the recent years Turkish-Iranian ties have “grown closer due to joint opposition to the US and also Israel. Iran and Turkey both back Hamas, for instance.” It wryly observed that the Middle Eastern geopolitics built around the Shia-Sunni sectarian strife may have outlived its utility!

Again, the Turkish state news agency Anadolu featured a commentary last week titled New strategic design of Middle East, which pointed out that the peace agreements in the Gulf bring out the schism between the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain one side and Qatar and Kuwait on the other side. (Qatar is an ally of Turkey while Kuwait has friendly ties with Iran.) The commentary noted, “Arab countries seem to have lost both confidence and a sense of unity; when the sense of confidence is seriously damaged, it will be easier to put them at odds, and this regional division, as everywhere, makes Arab countries and their leaders dependent on external forces for their security and existence.”

The Anadolu commentary then warmed up to its main theme, namely, that the so-called “normalisation” agreement between the UAE and Israel “may be a veiled effort not only to expand the imperial space but also to form a bloc against Iran and Turkey in the Middle East.”

“Iran is a non-Arab country and seems an arch-enemy of the US and Israel; Iran collaborates with Russia and China, the US’ arch-rivals, and sometimes with Turkey, which may threaten both the US imperial interest and Israeli security in the region. Hence Iran’s regional power and influence should be jettisoned and driven into a corner.”

“Turkey is a NATO country and seems a close US ally, (but) US policy towards Turkey in the region is ambivalent, unclear, and elusive in the sense that the US still continues to support the (Kurdish) YPG/PKK terrorist group in Syria that has been carrying out terrorist acts against Turkey and killing civilians for decades.”

“Moreover, the US and Israel, though they seem friendly, do not want a strong Turkey because a strong Turkey may influence Arab countries particularly using Islam and then turn them against the exploitation of the Middle East and its oil and resources by neo-imperial powers, yet the US and other imperial powers will never allow Turkey to easily stand on its feet in the region. What they may prefer is that a weak and fragile Turkey, grappling with its internal conflicts, will always serve their purpose.”

In the chronicles of the great game, seldom it is that the protagonists speak up and opt for public diplomacy. The game, historically, is played out quietly in the shade outside the pale of public view. Turkey and Iran have decided otherwise. Can it be a mere coincidence that the conflict in Transcaucasia, a faraway region that borders both Turkey and Iran where Israel is consolidating a security presence against them, erupted in such a backdrop of new alignment that promises to redraw the geopolitics of the Middle East?

October 1, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | Leave a comment

Crew Behind New Film About Estonia Tragedy Charged With Violating Sanctity of Underwater Grave

By Igor Kuznetsov – Sputnik – 01.10.2020

Recent underwater footage of the Estonia ferry resting on the bottom of the Baltic Sea has uncovered extensive damage on the starboard side, including a previously unknown 4-metre hole, fuelling renewed interest in the case and demands for a new investigation.

Two Swedes that were part of a crew that worked on a new documentary about the 1994 death of the Estonia ferry have been charged for violating the Estonia Act, which specifically prohibits citizens from the signatory counties to even approach the wreck.

The film team included Swedish, Norwegian, and German citizens, while the boat’s crew included German and Polish citizens as well. The purpose of the documentary was to try and find out the truth about the tragedy, which is the largest peacetime maritime catastrophe in the Baltic Sea.

“The grave peace at the Estonia has been violated by the incident”, chamber prosecutor Helene Gestrin at the National Unit against International and Organised Crime, said in a press release. “The Estonia is located in international waters, but to protect the wreck, there is special legislation in place based on an agreement between several Baltic Sea states that Sweden has signed”, she reminded. The law of the the sanctity of the sea grave has been signed by Estonia and Finland as well.

The filming took place in September 2019, when a German-flagged boat sent an underwater drone to the wreck of the Estonia in a bid to uncover new details about its sudden and tragic death. Significantly, Germany is not among the signatories of the Estonia Act. The penalty for the crime is a fine and imprisonment for up to two years.

“The law has never been tried by a court before. The question is whether Swedish law outweighs the fact that the underwater activities took place in international waters and by a German-flagged boat”, Helene Gestrin said.

37-year-old shipwreck expert Linus Andersson from Gothenburg is one of the accused. He maintains that he hasn’t done anything wrong.

“Sweden cannot assert its own legislation in international waters”, he told national broadcaster SVT. “I understand that the law is meant to protect the Estonia wreck. The ethical and moral aspects were also important to me. But when I heard that the relatives’ association almost encouraged us [to perform a new survey], I felt safe”, Linus Andersson said.

He criticised the previous surveys as “deficient” for not being methodical enough and not following the same pattern and expressed hope that his finds, which include a previously unknown 4-metre hole in the starboard side, will pave the way for a new, thorough investigation.

​The find also rekindled the old criticism of the previous investigation, which placed the blame on a faulty bow visor that allowed thousands of tonnes of water to flood in, as hasty and insufficient. It also rejuvenated popular alternative theories, such as the massive ferry, which, as former Estonian public prosecutor Margus Kurm speculated, could have carried a “sensitive consignment” of sorts, sinking after a collision with a submarine. These theories were also fuelled by the Swedish government deciding to drop thousands of tonnes of pebbles on the site while the previous inquiry was still underway.

In the aftermath of the film, Estonia survivors also penned an open letter demanding the Swedish government hold a new investigation.

While Prime Minister Stefan Löfven finally broke the silence and responded to the criticism by saying that he didn’t rule out new dives at the Estonia site, prosecutor Gestrin stressed this is virtually impossible with current legislation. She emphasised that it is “completely forbidden” – even for the Swedish Accident Investigation Board – to carry out dives at the wreck site.

The Estonia sank in the Baltic Sea on 28 September 1994, on its way from Tallinn to Stockholm, killing 852 people.

October 1, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment