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How to kill a thriving metropolis in 7 months: NYC’s Covid-19 failure is a vicious spiral directed by sadists

By Helen Buyniski | RT | October 12, 2020

Seven months into the pandemic, as many US states inch back toward ‘normal’, New York is in the grips of a crime wave, reinvigorated lockdowns, and widespread fear of pretty much everything. Thank local government.

New York City has lost billions of dollars in tax revenues on tourism, music, art, theatre, restaurant dining, and everything else that once fueled its mammoth economy over the seven-month Covid-19 pandemic shutdown. It’s in worse shape than most US states, and unlike many others, its continued misfortunes are largely of its own making.

The shuttering of the city’s iconic Broadway theaters alone has sent hundreds of thousands out of work and signaled to both wealthy city inhabitants and out-of-town visitors that their cash is better spent elsewhere. Theaters announced just weeks ago that performances would be cancelled through March 2021, and the Metropolitan Opera House canceled its entire season through 2021.

New York’s famed restaurant scene isn’t faring any better. The ‘lucky’ establishments are finally – as of two weeks ago – allowed to operate at 1/4 capacity indoors, which given the amount of money they’ve lost over the last 6 months is a band-aid on a cannonball wound. The unlucky ones in New York Governor Cuomo’s newly-invoked ‘red zones’ must continue to seat patrons outdoors in the freezing cold as summer gives way to a damp, chilly autumn. To make matters worse, there’s no Thanksgiving parade, no Black Friday shopping, no fun allowed.

Perhaps pandemic-fearing wealthy New Yorkers would have left anyway, taking their tax dollars with them. But tourism might have filled some of the gap. What city in its right mind would turn up its nose at $11.5 billion, the estimated total spent by out-of-town visitors to the city’s famed theatrical productions alone? Why leave that money on the table, especially when the virus that had held the industry hostage for months has been steadily on the wane? With Governor Cuomo demanding billions in relief from the federal government to make up an economic shortfall that stems from his own policies, surely he can’t afford to keep the state (and its largest city)’s biggest draws closed down indefinitely?

Pleas to cancel rent have fallen on deaf ears, and starving artists’ efforts at workarounds have been squashed. Cuomo even passed an executive order in August – with the coronavirus “peak” safely receding in the rearview mirror – to ban ticketed live performances, and has revoked liquor licenses from bars that failed to serve food with their takeaway drinks. Is it any wonder the city is hemorrhaging cash, as well as the creative and interesting people who put it on the map?


To understand the motivation someone like Cuomo could have for destroying the city whose economy once kept his state alive, it helps to grasp the concept of the “self-licking ice-cream cone,” a phrase that has been attributed to NASA scientists but can in general describe any system that exists for little reason other than to continually justify its own existence.

Every politician who’s ever harbored dreams of becoming a totalitarian dictator has embraced the directive “never let a crisis go to waste,” and both Cuomo and NYC mayor Bill de Blasio are true believers. After attaining unprecedented powers through the emergency measures passed under cover of Covid-19, they aren’t about to let them go quietly, and have seemingly set up a perpetual motion machine of crisis that – accidentally or otherwise – ensures NYC will remain forever financially in the hole. The type of cash lifelines that might get the city back on its feet – as a post-9/11 tourism blitz did – are blocked (no one’s going to visit a New York where dancing, drinking, and taking in a show are off-limits). Average New Yorkers, too, are paralyzed by the thought of the scary virus lurking just outside their door, ultimately learning to love their captors, Stockholm-Syndrome-style – if this month’s fawning New Yorker profile of Cuomo is any indication.

With the virus no longer nearly as much of a danger as it was back in April, the would-be dictators have put together what looks for all the world like a diabolical plan to empty out the city and take advantage of artificially-lowered property values.

First, the criminals are unleashed. Bogged down with a directive to enforce the ever-growing range of social-distancing and mask-related offenses, New York’s police are no match for the flood of actual criminals released into the streets under statewide “bail reform” that all but guarantees the “catch and release” of muggers, rioters, and other criminals whose offenses stop short of rape and murder. Even more miscreants have been paroled early due to Covid-19-related overcrowding excuses.

Next, the threats are broadcast 24/7 over every media outlet. CCTV videos of horrific, unprovoked attacks on old women, small children, everyday middle-aged types, a jazz pianist, a would-be rape victim on a subway platform – the point is made that everyone is a potential victim. The solution is presented as a paradox: do New Yorkers who’ve just spent months demanding the city rein in its police want more cops patrolling the streets? Surely that’s not very “woke” of them. While they hem and haw, the rampage continues, and the debate ends with helpless, fear-crazed city dwellers throwing up their hands and begging Cuomo and de Blasio to Do Something, Anything, to Make the Bad Men Stop. Both men play dumb – there’s nothing they can do! Better get used to crime, or flee!


The plight of the subway is instructive. The city’s legendary 24-hour train system was ordered to close down service from 1am to 5am back in May, ostensibly for “cleaning” because of the virus. The homeless people who’d taken to sleeping on the cars in the wee hours were a health risk, New Yorkers were told, and the city promised free transit alternatives for those whose jobs required them to be able to move around during those times (promises which in many cases did not materialize). Ridership, already severely curtailed due to pandemic fears, was down 90 percent at one point, sending the already cash-strapped system deep into the red.

Now, we’re told, the lack of people (and cops) on the subway has made it a predator’s playground. The lack of witnesses makes it easy for unscrupulous crooks to nab a wallet, attack an innocent commuter, and otherwise strike fear into the hearts of those New Yorkers who still think there’s a future for their city. “We need more cops!” the law and order types cry, only to find the MTA is deeper in the financial hole than ever and de Blasio is leery of upping the police budget. Presumably, the next move will be to decrease operating hours still further, guaranteeing the downward spiral continues indefinitely.

A tourism and entertainment-based city without so much as a public transit system is, quite simply, doomed. The only question, then, is why are de Blasio and Cuomo so determined to run New York into the ground?

Cuomo’s “economic reopening council” is guided by private equity partners who actually make their profits off the carcasses of dead and dying businesses, so it’s no mystery why he’s eager to see restaurants and theaters crash and burn. Private equity stands to make billions on all the vacant office space and abandoned properties from city institutions forced to pull up stakes. If Cuomo does what his deep-pocketed donors tell him – he’s not called “Governor 1 Percent” by progressives for nothing – he might even get that rumored Attorney General spot he’s being reportedly considered for in a Democratic Joe Biden administration. And perhaps de Blasio – despite never polling above 0.1 percent during the 2020 primaries – actually thinks he has a shot at the governor role.

Better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven, as the saying goes.

Helen Buyniski is an American journalist and political commentator at RT. Follow her on Twitter @velocirapture23

October 12, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Economics | | 1 Comment

Dying Alone: When We Stopped Caring for Palestinian Prisoners

By Ramzy Baroud | Dissident Voice | October 12, 2020

“No one cares about the prisoners.” Over the past few years, I have heard this phrase — or some variation of it —  uttered many times by freed Palestinian prisoners and their families. Whenever I conduct an interview regarding this crucial and highly sensitive topic, I am told, repeatedly, that ‘no one cares.’

But is this really the case? Are Palestinian prisoners so abandoned to the extent that their freedom, life and death are of no consequence?

The subject, and the claim, resurfaces every time a Palestinian prisoner launches a hunger strike or undergoes extreme hardship and torture, which is leaked outside Israeli prisons through lawyers or human rights organizations. This year, five Palestinian prisoners died in prison as a result of alleged medical negligence, or worse, torture.

Even international humanitarian aid workers, like Mohammed el-Halabi, are not immune to degrading treatment.  Arrested in August 2016, el-Halabi is yet to be charged for any wrongdoing. News of his plight, which originally received some media attention — due to his work with a US-based organization – is now merely confined to Facebook posts by his father, Khalil.

As of October 1, el-Halabi has been paraded before 151 military trials, yet unaware what the charges are. The cherished Palestinian man, who has played a major role in providing cancer medicine to dying children in Gaza, now holds the record of the longest military trial ever carried out by the Israeli occupation.

Desperate for some attention, and fed up with cliches about their ‘centrality in the Palestinian struggle’, many prisoners, whether individually or collectively, launch hunger strikes under the slogan: ‘freedom or death’. Those who are held under the draconian and illegal ‘administrative detention’ policy, demand their freedom, while ‘security prisoners’, who are held in degrading conditions, merely ask for family visitations or food that is suitable for human consumption.

Health complications resulting from hunger strikes often linger long after the physical ordeal is over. I have interviewed families of Palestinians who were freed from Israeli prisons, only to die in a matter of months, or live a life of endless pain and constant ailments for years following their release.

According to some estimates, over 800,000 Palestinians have been imprisoned in Israeli jails since the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza in June 1967.

Maher al-Akhras is currently writing the latest chapter in this tragic narrative. At the time of writing this article, he has just concluded 77 days of uninterrupted hunger strike. No medical opinion is necessary to tell us that al-Akhras could die any moment. A recent video released of al-Akhras on his Israeli hospital bed conveyed a glimpse of the man’s unbearable suffering.

With a barely audible voice, the gaunt, exhausted-looking man said that he is left with only two options: either his immediate freedom or death within the confines of Israel’s “phony justice system.”

On October 7, his wife, Taghrid, launched her own hunger strike to protest the fact that “no one cares about” her husband.

Once again, the lack of concern for the plight of prisoners, even dying ones, imposes itself on the Palestinian political discourse. So, why is this the case?

The idea that Palestinian prisoners are all alone in the fight for freedom began in the early 1990s. It was during this period that the various Oslo Accords were signed, dividing the Occupied Territories into zones governed by some strange Kafkaesque military system, one that did not end the Israeli occupation, but, rather, cemented it.

Largely dropped from the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations agenda at the time, but permanently, eventually, were several pressing issues fundamental to Palestinian rights and freedom. One of these issues was Israel’s brutal system of incarceration and imprisonment without trial.

Certainly, some Palestinian prisoners were released in small batches occasionally, as ‘gestures of goodwill’; but the system, itself, which gave Israel the right to arrest, detain and sentence Palestinians, remained intact.

To date, the freedom of Palestinian prisoners — nearly 5,000 of them are still held in Israel, with new prisoners added daily — is not part of the Palestinian leadership political agenda, itself subsumed by self-interests, factional fights and other trivial matters.

Being removed from the realm of politics, the plight of prisoners has, over the years, been reduced to a mere humanitarian subject — as if these men and women are no longer political agents and a direct expression of Palestinian resistance, on the one hand, and Israel’s military occupation and violence, on the other.

There are ample references to Palestinian prisoners in everyday language. Not a single press release drafted by the Palestinian Authority, its main Fatah faction or any other Palestinian group fails to renew the pledge to free the prisoners, while constantly glorifying their sacrifices. Unsurprisingly, empty language never produces concrete results.

There are two exceptions to the above maxim. The first is prisoner exchanges, like the one that took place in October 2011, resulting in the freedom of over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. And, second, the prisoners’ own hunger strikes, which are incremental in their achievements, but have, lately, become the main channel of resistance.

Sadly, even solidarity with hunger strikers is often factional, as each Palestinian political group often places disproportionate focus on their own striking prisoners and, largely ignores others. Not only has the issue of prisoners become depoliticized, it has also fallen victim to Palestine’s unfortunate disunity.

While it is untrue that ‘no one cares about Palestinian prisoners’, thousands of Palestinian families are justified to hold this opinion. For the freedom of prisoners to take center stage within the larger Palestinian struggle for freedom, the issue must be placed at the top of Palestine’s political agenda, by Palestinians themselves and by Palestinian solidarity networks everywhere.

Maher al-Akhras, and thousands like him, should not risk their lives to obtain basic human rights, which should, in theory, be guaranteed under international law. Equally important, Palestinian prisoners should not be left alone, paying a price for daring to stand up for justice, fairness and for their people’s freedom.

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). Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs, Istanbul Zaim University (IZU). Read other articles by Ramzy, or visit Ramzy’s website.

October 12, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Iran to use funds in Iraq for basic goods imports: CBI governor

Press TV – October 12, 2020

Iraq has agreed to release Iranian funds blocked in the Arab country because of American sanctions for Iran’s purchase of staples and basic goods, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) governor Abdolnasser Hemmati said after meetings with senior Iraqi officials in Baghdad on Monday.

Hemmati said in a post on his Instagram page that some “good agreements” had been reached on the issue in a trilateral meeting involving him and his Iraqi counterpart as well as the CEO of Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) where the Iranian funds are blocked.

Iran has billions of dollars in a TBI account which processes Iraq’s payments for imports of natural gas and electricity from Iran.

However, the funds have been blocked because of US sanctions on Iran which restricts the use of dollar for transactions involving Tehran.

Hemmati said Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi had welcomed the agreement to use the funds to reimburse Iran’s basic goods imports.

“In the meeting with the Iraqi premier … he issued the required orders to the Iraqi central bank and the TBI to speed up the implementation of the agreement,” said Hemmati, adding that Kadhimi had vowed to personally follow up the case on a weekly basis.

Hemmati made a first visit to Baghdad in June to pursue the case of blocked funds in Iraq. The CBI governor had expressed optimistic remarks about the release of funds in Iraq on that occasion but a final decision on the issue has been waiting reportedly because of growing American pressure on Baghdad.

A high-ranking trade and banking delegation accompanied Hemmati in his Monday trip to Iraq. The top banker said the visit would bolster the already growing trade relations between the two countries.

Iraq is only second to China in purchase of goods and services from Iran with recent figures showing Iranian exports to the Arab country reached $565 million in value terms in the Persian calendar month to September 21.

October 12, 2020 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , | 3 Comments

Britain selling arms to Saudi Arabia at unprecedented rate

Amnesty International activists march with homemade replica missiles bearing the message 'Made in Britain, destroying lives in Yemen' across Westminster Bridge towards Downing Street during a protest over UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia in March

Activists march with replica missiles bearing the message ‘Made in Britain’ in London, UK on March 2016
MEMO | October 12, 2020

Britain is issuing arms licences to Saudi Arabia at an unprecedented rate of almost one a day, making up for months of lost time after the appeal court banned the sale of arms to the Kingdom over allegations that British made weapons are used to target civilian populations.

Official figures released last week revealed Britain’s growing role in the dangerous flow of arms across the globe. The UK is holding its position as the second highest exporter of arms, despite last year’s ruling. Now more details have been uncovered about the trade, prompting allegations of British “complicity” in the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Yemen.

“By arming the brutal Saudi dictatorship the UK is making itself complicit in the atrocities and abuses inflicted on Yemen,” said Andrew Smith of Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT). “A return to business as usual will only increase the suffering.” The war in Yemen is only possible because of military support provided by Britain and other governments, he added.

Eighty-seven export licences were granted between 20 June 2019 and last month. However, only 19 licences were issued in 11 of those months, for £15 million worth of “defensive” military equipment such as body armour and navigation systems. This means that most of the licences were issued in just 12 weeks.

Saudi Arabia tops the global table in terms of military expenditure as a proportion of GDP. The Kingdom reportedly has twice as many British-made warplanes as the Royal Air Force.

October 12, 2020 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Zionist War on Palestinian Festival in Rome is Ominous Sign of Things to Come

A book reading at the Falastin Festival in Rome
By Ramzy Baroud & Romana Rubeo | Palestine Chronicle | October 12, 2020

A Zionist-led war on a Palestinian cultural festival in Rome has exposed the fragility of the Italian political system when it comes to the conversation on Palestine and Israel. The sad truth is that, although Italy is not often associated with a ‘powerful’ pro-Israel lobby as is the case in Washington, the pro-Israel influence in Italy is just as dangerous.

The latest episode began on September 24, when the Palestinian community in Rome announced plans to hold ‘Falastin – Festival della Palestina’, a cultural event that aims at illustrating the richness of Palestinian culture in all of its grandeur. The idea behind it is not to simply humanize Palestinians in the eyes of ordinary Italians, but to explore commonalities, to cement bonds and to build bridges. However, for Israel’s allies in Italy, even such unthreatening objectives were too much to bear.

The festival, sponsored by II Municipio of Rome – one of the administrative subdivisions of Rome central municipality – found itself at the center of a major – and ludicrous – controversy.

On September 25, an odd pro-Israel post appeared on the Partito Democratico II Municipio – the center-left Italian political party that controls that particular subdivision. Without any context or marking any specific occasion, the post, which displayed the Israeli flag, celebrated the friendship between the Democratic Party and Israel while condemning the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS).

The haphazardness of the post and the strange timing suggested that the Democratic Party is under attack for its sponsorship of the Palestinian festival. Overwhelmed by angry comments on social media, the Party’s Facebook page abruptly removed the anti-Palestinian post without much explanation.

But clarity followed soon when, on September 30, the Jewish Community of Rome issued a statement expressing outrage at the II Municipio for allegedly sponsoring ‘an anti-Semitic festival’. Taking advantage of the deliberate distortion between anti-Semitism and the legitimate criticism of apartheid Israel, the Community’s representatives raged on about BDS and the alleged boycott of Jewish businesses.

The statement, part of which we translate here, claimed that “… the BDS Movement will attend the initiative (The Festival), and this is unacceptable and dangerous (because) the boycott movement denies the very existence of the state of Israel and it is linked to the terrorist groups of Hamas and Fatah.”

Aside from the unsubstantiated – more accurately, completely fallacious – claims, the statement referenced the ‘IHRA definition of anti-Semitism’, further explained below, which was accepted by the Italian government as well as the French and Austrian parliaments. Based on that logic, the statement concluded that, one, “the BDS movement is anti-Semitic” and, two, “the II Municipio is legitimizing anti-Jewish hatred”.

In a clearly coordinated move, the Wiesenthal Center, which often poses as a progressive organization, also went on the attack. On the same day that the Jewish Community of Rome released its statement, the Center dispatched a letter to Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, also recounting the same false claims of BDS’ alleged anti-Semitism, the IHRA definition and so on.

The Center stooped so low as to compare the BDS movement to Germany’s Nazi program. It claimed that the Palestinian boycott movement was, in fact, inspired by the Nazis’ boycott of Jews, referencing the slogan “Kaufen nicht bei Juden” (Do not buy from Jews).

The fallout was quick and, judging by the typical gutlessness of European politicians, predictable as well. II Municipio councilor, one Lucrezia Colmayer, abruptly declared her resignation, “distancing” herself from the decision of II Municipio President, Francesca Del Bello, for sponsoring the Festival.

“With this gesture, I want to renew my closeness to the Jewish Community of Rome, with which I shared this important cultural and administrative path,” Colmayer wrote.

Del Bello soon followed with her own statement. “I apologize if the sponsorship of the II Municipio to ‘Falastin – Festival della Palestina’ … offended the Jewish community and led a councilor to resign,” she wrote, rejecting Colmayer’s resignation and inviting her to return to the Council.

Fortunately, despite all obstacles, “the Festival was a great success,” Maya Issa, a member of the Palestinian Community of Rome and Lazio, told us.

The Festival “was a way for people to learn about Palestine and to see Palestine under a different light. The atmosphere was magic – Palestinian colors, scents, food, Dabkah, art and literature”.

The good news is that, despite the well-coordinated Italian Zionist campaign, the Palestinian Festival still went ahead and, according to Issa, “many Italian politicians understood our message and they decided to participate”.

Now that the Festival is over, the pro-Palestinian groups in Italy are ready to counter the false accusations and the defamatory language lobbed at them by the pro-Israel camp.

“We will respond with the truth and we will refute all the false claims, especially the lies about the BDS Movement,” Issa said, adding “we, the Palestinian community, must resist, along with all those who support true democracy and freedom”.

There is no doubt that the Palestinian community of Italy is more than capable of achieving this crucial task. However, two important points must be kept in mind:

First, the “IHRA definition of anti-Semitism”, also known as EUMC, has been deliberately misused by Zionists to the point that a genuine attempt at curbing anti-Jewish racism has been transformed as a tool to defend Israeli war crimes in Palestine, and to silence critics who dare, not only to censure Israel’s illegal actions, but to even celebrate Palestinian culture.

Of particular significance is that the very person who drafted that ‘definition’, US attorney Kenneth S. Stern, has condemned the misuse of the initiative.

In a written statement submitted to the US Congress in 2017, Stern argued that the original definition has been greatly misused, and that it was never intended to be manipulated as a political tool.

“The EUMC ‘working definition’ was recently adopted in the United Kingdom, and applied to campus. An ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ event was cancelled as violating the definition. A Holocaust survivor was required to change the title of a campus talk, and the University (of Manchester) mandated it be recorded, after an Israeli diplomat complained that the title violated the definition,” he wrote.

“Perhaps most egregious,” Stern continued, “an off-campus group citing the definition called on a university to conduct an inquiry of a professor (who received her PhD from Columbia) for anti-Semitism, based on an article she had written years before. The University (of Bristol) then conducted the inquiry. While it ultimately found no basis to discipline the professor, the exercise itself was chilling and McCarthy-like.”

A second point to also consider is that Italian politics has reached the point that, on many issues, it has become difficult to easily distinguish between supposedly progressive parties and the populist ones. Palestine, in the new Italian political discourse, especially that of the Democratic Party is, perhaps, the most obvious case in point.

This is particularly disturbing, considering that Partito Democratico was, itself, the ideological culmination of parties that existed during the era of Italy’s First Republic (1948-1992), which were known for their strong stances in favor of Palestinian rights and self-determination and strong opposition to Israel’s violations of international law.

This is no longer the case, as the party’s stance on Palestine now hardly deviates from the stifling mantra, “Due popoli due stati” – “Two people two states”.

The new era of Italian politics makes it possible for the likes of Lia Quartapelle – a Democratic Party MP – to pose as a human rights defender on the global stage while referring to Israel as “an extraordinary exception, a plural democracy in a region that fed sectarian and fundamentalist policies”. Her statement is not only wrong and deluding, it also embodies a deep-seated form of anti-Arab sentiment, if not, arguably, outright racism.

The attempt at shutting down the Palestinian Festival is a microcosm of Italy’s foreign policy agenda in Palestine and Israel, where Rome offers Palestinians nothing but empty rhetoric, while practically remaining subservient to the chauvinistic and racist right-wing agenda of Tel Aviv.

Italians must understand that this is no longer just a conversation on Palestine and Israel, but one that directly affects them and their democracy, as well. Italy is a country that brought, then fought and defeated fascism; allied with, then fought and defeated Nazism. Once more, they are presented with the same stark options: siding with Israeli racism and apartheid or upholding the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom.

Romana Rubeo is an Italian writer and the managing editor of The Palestine Chronicle. Her articles appear in many online newspapers and academic journals. She holds a Master’s Degree in Foreign Languages and Literature, and specializes in audio-visual and journalism translation. 

– 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). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) and also at the Afro-Middle East Center (AMEC). His website is

October 12, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment

Suzanne Humphries – Dissolving Illusions

Kidney specialist speaks about kidney dysfunction following vaccination

Canal2ndOpinion | October 21, 2014


Dr. Suzanne Humphries speaks on her background and about how she started to question the safety on vaccines. She also gives information about how authorities work to persuade people to vaccinate.

The first full part of four contains information about tetanus.

Dr Humphrie speaks on the disease, how it works, how to deal with it and the history of tetanus.

Part one also contains information on measles and what vaccines are made of.

October 12, 2020 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | Leave a comment

The Yugoslav Wars: Biden’s Belligerent Militarism Revisited

By Nauman Sadiq | Global Research | October 11, 2020

Ironically, while three US presidents have been accused of impeaching the Constitution for relatively minor offenses, including Bill Clinton for perjury and Donald Trump for using political influence to discredit opponents, no US president has ever been charged, let alone convicted, of waging devastating wars of aggression.

Unless impeachment proceedings are initiated against war criminals, including George Bush and Dick Cheney for invading Afghanistan and Iraq and Barack Obama and Joe Biden for waging proxy wars in Libya and Syria, the impeachment provisions in the US Constitution would serve as nothing more than a convenient tool for settling political scores.

The fact is not only the domestic law enforcement and judicial systems of the Western powers but also international institutions, such as International Criminal Court, have been used as tools of perception management for solely prosecuting alleged “war criminals” of former Yugoslavia and impoverished African nations and real war criminals have never been prosecuted for the crimes of destroying entire nations with their militarism and interventionism.

Before being elected as Obama’s vice president in 2008, as a longtime senator from Delaware and subsequently as the member and then the chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Joe Biden, alongside inveterate hawk Senator Joe Lieberman, was one of the principal architects of the Bosnia War in the Clinton administration in the nineties.

Reflecting on first black American president Barack Obama’s memorable 2008 presidential campaign, with little-known senator from Delaware, Joe Biden, as his running-mate, Glenn Kessler wrote for the Washington Post [1] in October 2008:

“The moment when Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. looked Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic in the eye and called him a ‘damned war criminal’ has become the stuff of campaign legend.

“The Democratic vice presidential nominee brings up the 1993 confrontation on the campaign trial to whoops of delight from supporters. Senator Barack Obama mentioned it when he announced he had chosen Biden as his running mate.

“During vice presidential debate with his counterpart on the Republican ticket, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Biden twice gave himself credit for shifting US policy on Bosnia. The senator from Delaware declared that he ‘was the catalyst to change the circumstance in Bosnia led by President Clinton.’ At another point he noted: ‘My recommendations on Bosnia — I admit I was the first one to recommend it. They saved tens of thousands of lives.’”

Instead of “saving tens of thousands of lives,” the devastating Yugoslav Wars in the nineties in the aftermath of the break-up of the former Soviet Union and then the former Yugoslavia claimed over 130,000 fatalities, created a humanitarian crisis and unleashed a flood of millions of refugees for which nobody is to blame but the Clinton administration’s militarist policy of subjugating and forcibly integrating East European states into the Western capitalist bloc.

Regarding Washington’s modus operandi of waging proxy wars in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, since the times of the Soviet-Afghan jihad during the eighties, it has been the fail-safe game plan of master strategists at NATO to raise money [2] from the oil-rich emirates of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and Kuwait; then buy billions of dollars’ worth of weapons from the arms markets [3] in the Eastern Europe; and then provide those weapons and guerilla warfare training to the disaffected population of the victim country by using the intelligence agencies of the latter’s regional adversaries. Whether it’s Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, Libya or Syria, the same playbook was executed to the letter.

Raising funds for proxy wars from the Gulf Arab States allows the Western executives the freedom to evade congressional scrutiny; the benefit of buying weapons from unregulated arms markets of the Eastern Europe is that such weapons cannot be traced back to the Western capitals; and using jihadist proxies to achieve strategic objectives has the advantage of taking the plea of “plausible deniability” if the strategy backfires, which it often does. Remember that al-Qaeda and Taliban were the by-products of the Soviet-Afghan jihad, and the Islamic State and its global network of terrorists were the blowback of the proxy war in Syria.

Nevertheless, smugly oblivious to the death and destruction caused by Washington’s global domination agenda, national security shill Glenn Kessler further noted in the aforementioned Washington Post article:

“Biden focused on deficiencies in US policy toward Bosnia, he called for NATO expansion before it became fashionable and most recently prodded the Bush administration to back a $1 billion package to rebuild Georgia after the Russian invasion.

“As the incident with Milosevic shows, Biden is hardly shy about emphasizing his own role in world affairs. Biden’s book portrays him frequently confronting Clinton and bucking him up on Bosnia when the president had doubts about his own policy. But the hard legislative work was left to others. Biden did take an early stab at prodding action, writing an amendment in 1992 — opposed by George H.W. Bush’s administration — that authorized spending $50 million to arm the Bosnian Muslims.

“In April 1993, Biden spent a week traveling in the Balkans, meeting with key officials, including a three-hour session with Milosevic. The trip was detailed in 15 pages of the senator’s autobiography.

“By all accounts, the meeting was tense. Milosevic spent a lot of time poring over maps and expressing concerns with peace proposals crafted by a group of international mediators. Milosevic denied he had much influence over the Bosnian Serbs, but then immediately summoned Radovan Karadzic, their leader, with a curt phone call.

“According to Biden’s book, Milosevic asked the senator what he thought of him. ‘I think you’re a damn war criminal and you should be tried as one,’ Biden said he shot back. Milosevic, he said, did not react.

“Upon his return to the United States, Biden issued a 36-page report on the trip, laying out eight policy proposals, including airstrikes on Serb artillery and lifting the arms embargo on Bosnian Muslims.

“Biden continued to make fiery statements on Bosnia, demanding action. Richard C. Holbrooke recalled that when he was nominated as assistant secretary of state for Europe in late 1994, Biden ‘in no uncertain terms made it clear to me that the policy on Bosnia had to change and he would make sure it did. He believed in action, and history proved him right.’

“’When you look back, Senator Biden got Bosnia right earlier than anyone. He understood that a combination of force and diplomacy would revive American leadership and avoid a disaster in Europe,’ said James P. Rubin, a Biden aide at the time who later became spokesman for Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright.”

It’s pertinent to mention that though touted as a “collective defense pact,” the trans-Atlantic military alliance NATO and its corollary economic alliance European Union were conceived during the Cold War to offset political and economic influence of the former Soviet Union which was geographically adjacent to Europe.

Historically, the NATO military alliance at least ostensibly was conceived as a defensive alliance in 1949 during the Cold War in order to offset conventional warfare superiority of the former Soviet Union. The US forged collective defense pact with the Western European nations after the Soviet Union reached the threshold to build its first atomic bomb in 1949 and achieved nuclear parity with the US.

But the trans-Atlantic military alliance has outlived its purpose following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 and is now being used as an aggressive and expansionist military alliance meant to browbeat and coerce the Central and Eastern European states to join NATO and its corollary economic alliance, the European Union, or risk international isolation.

It was not a coincidence that the Soviet Union was dissolved in December 1991 and the Maastricht Treaty that consolidated the European Community and laid the groundwork for the European Union was signed in February 1992.

The basic purpose of the EU has been nothing more than to entice the former communist states of the Eastern and Central Europe into the folds of the Western capitalist bloc by offering financial incentives and inducements, particularly in the form of foreign direct investment and grants and loans to the tune of billions of dollars, and by abolishing internal border checks in the common European market, allowing free movement of workers from Eastern European nations seeking employment in prosperous Western European economies.

Naively giving credit to former Senator and Vice President Joe Biden for his supposed “humanitarian interventionism” and for creating a catastrophe in the Balkans in the nineties, Paul Richter and Noam N. Levey, writing for the LA Times [4] in August 2008, observed:

“Biden has frequently favored humanitarian interventions abroad and was an early and influential advocate for the US military action in the Balkans in the 1990s.

“Biden considers his most important foreign policy accomplishment to be his leadership on the Balkans in the mid-1990s. He pushed a reluctant Clinton administration first to arm Serbian Muslims and then to use U.S. air power to suppress conflict in Serbia and Kosovo.

“In his book, ‘Promises to Keep,’ Biden calls this one of his two ‘proudest moments in public life,’ along with the Violence Against Women Act that he championed.

“In 1998, he worked with McCain on a resolution to push the Clinton administration to use all available force to confront Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, a move designed to force the president to use ground troops if necessary against Serb forces in the former Yugoslavia, which was beset by fighting and ethnic cleansing.

“In addition, Biden, who claims close relationships with many foreign leaders, has demonstrated a readiness to cooperate with Senate Republicans in search of compromise — a trait that meshes with Obama’s pledge to reduce the level of partisan conflict and stalemate in Washington.

“He has called his new adversary, presumed Republican presidential nominee in the 2008 elections, Senator John McCain of Arizona, a ‘personal and close friend.’”

Birds of a feather flock together. Not only did Joe Biden collaborate with Joe Lieberman in the Clinton administration to create a humanitarian crisis in the Balkans in the nineties but he also shared the hawkish ideology of late Senator John McCain.

Though a decorated Vietnam War veteran who died battling cancer in 2018, McCain was a highly polarizing figure as a senator and was regarded by many Leftists as an inveterate neocon hawk, who vociferously exhorted Western military interventions not only in the Balkans in the nineties but also in Libya and Syria in 2011.

McCain was a vocal supporter of the 2011 military intervention in Libya. In April 2011, he visited the anti-Gaddafi forces and National Transitional Council in eastern Libyan city Benghazi, the highest-ranking American to do so, and said that the rebel forces were “my heroes.”

Regarding Syria’s proxy war that began in 2011, McCain repeatedly argued for the US intervening militarily in the conflict on the side of the anti-government forces. He staged a visit to rebel forces inside Syria in May 2013, the first senator to do so, and called for arming the Free Syrian Army with heavy weapons and for the establishment of a no-fly zone over Syria.

Following reports that two of the terrorists he posed for pictures with had been responsible for the kidnapping of eleven Lebanese Shia pilgrims the year before, McCain disputed one of the identifications and said he had not met directly with the other.

In the aftermath of a false-flag chemical weapons attack in Ghouta in 2013, McCain vehemently argued for strong American military action against the government of Bashar al-Assad, and in September 2013, cast a Foreign Relations Committee vote in favor of then-President Obama’s request to Congress that it authorize a military response, though the crisis was amicably resolved after seasoned Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov staged a diplomatic coup by persuading Damascus to ship its alleged chemical weapons stockpiles out of Syria under Russian supervision.


Nauman Sadiq is an Islamabad-based attorney, columnist and geopolitical analyst focused on the politics of Af-Pak and Middle East regions, neocolonialism and petro-imperialism. He is a regular contributor to Global Research.


[1] Biden Played Second Fiddle to Joe Lieberman in Bosnia Legislation:

[2] U.S. Relies Heavily on Saudi Money to Support Syrian Rebels.

[3] Billions of dollars weapons flowing from Eastern Europe to Middle East.

[4] On foreign policy, he’s willing to go his own way:

October 12, 2020 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

European oil companies will not tolerate Poland’s attempt to cancel Nord Stream 2

By Paul Antonopoulos | October 12, 2020

By handing out a €6.5 billion fine against Gazprom, Warsaw has obviously and massively miscalculated because it did not only antagonize the Russian energy company as was intended, but also European partners of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, which the Polish government obviously had not considered. Even leaders within the European Union were shocked at the huge fine that Poland is attempting to impose against Nord Stream 2.

It may very well be that the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) has lost itself when deciding on the price of the fine against Gazprom. But regardless of that, UOKiK has apparently also exceeded its jurisdiction. As the Düsseldorf-based energy supplier Uniper reports, the existing agreements on Nord Stream 2 have nothing to do with a joint venture, which is why the Polish laws on merger controls do not apply to them. The initial plans were to finance the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline through the establishment of a joint venture. For this, however, the companies involved should have received a permit in all the countries in which they operate, as well as from Poland, the only EU state that blocked this decision. The decision for it not to be a joint venture was made without further ado so as not to waste time or money in a dispute with Polish authorities.

The pipeline partners designed an alternative financing model for Nord Stream 2 and instead of joining Nord Stream 2 AG (Company) as a co-partner, the European energy companies are participating in the project as lenders so that Polish antitrust laws do not apply to them. However, Gazprom, the majority shareholder of Nord Stream 2 AG, has given its European partners shares in the company as collateral for the financing provided. If the loans from the Russian side are not paid, the European corporations automatically become the owners of Nord Stream 2 AG. Referring to this fact, the Polish antitrust authorities have declared the European partner companies to be quasi-shareholders in the pipeline project.

With this UOKiK also justifies the exorbitant fine against Gazprom and the fines of around €55 million against Uniper (German), Wintershall (German), Engie (French), OMV (Austrian) and Shell (English-Dutch). Neither Gazprom nor Nord Stream 2 are financially at risk at the moment and the Russian group has already announced that it will take the fine to court.

Poland is of course now aware that their attempts to fine the Nord Stream 2 project will amount to nothing. The aim of the Polish government is not so much to force a large sum of money from Gazprom in the long term, but rather to bury the pipeline project entirely. And this is the part where Warsaw has grossly miscalculated, not only European reactions, but Russian determination.

The goal to cancel Nord Stream 2 also explains why Polish authorities published their decision last week. Relations between the EU and Russia are extra strained because of the Navalny case and the situation in Belarus. France and Germany are working on new sanctions against Russia for the Navalny case and continue to apply pressure against Belarus.

Another question is how effective these measures will be. Sanctions have long degenerated into ambiguity as it is the usual way the West deals with Moscow. Russia has learnt how to adjust their economy accordingly, meaning that sanctions have turned into a farce. The West is regularly expanding its blacklists of sanctioned companies and private individuals, but there has been no significant effect. Political forces with a keen interest in the failure of Nord Stream 2 are plentiful in the West and they are currently advancing the Navalny case in the hope that it will cut the EU from Russia more strongly or permanently. This will not occur as Europe desperately needs Russian energy, which is why Nord Stream 2 is such a critical project for all involved.

Poland plays the main role in trying to cancel Nord Stream 2 and the decision by UOKiK is just another push to finally get Europe to abandon the pipeline project. According to a joint declaration by France and Germany, measures are currently being prepared for those alleged to be responsible in the Navalny case and their participation in the so-called Novichok program.

Despite these measures, Western Europe is bringing its energy project which is important for its own future out of the danger zone, while Poland is attracting even more displeasure from EU giants through its own operation. A penalty against Gazprom may be a Russian problem, but fines against leading corporations from Germany, France, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Austria are guaranteed to leave many of Europe’s biggest capitalist angered. The effort Warsaw is making to thwart Nord Stream 2 is visibly turning opposite to what they expected as there is little doubt the Nord Stream 2 project will come to fruition and completion.

Paul Antonopoulos is an independent geopolitical analyst.

October 12, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , | 2 Comments