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‘The Machines Did The Killing’: Obama Awkwardly Defends Drone Kill List In New Memoir

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 11/24/2020

Former President Barack Obama still can’t shake his legacy as the “drone president” given he still holds the record for number of ordered covert assassination strikes via drones.

“There were ten times more air strikes in the covert war on terror during President Barack Obama’s presidency than under his predecessor, George W. Bush,” one prior human rights study found.

“Obama embraced the US drone program, overseeing more strikes in his first year than Bush carried out during his entire presidency. A total of 563 strikes, largely by drones, targeted Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen during Obama’s two terms, compared to 57 strikes under Bush,” the study said.

This infamously included not only the killing of Yemeni-American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki due to his suspected al-Qaeda links, but also his son, 16-year-old US citizen and Colorado native Abdulrahman Anwar al-Awlaki, by a drone airstrike ordered by Obama on October 14, 2011. The boy was not even suspected of a crime upon his death while he had been casually eating dinner with this friends at a cafe in Yemen.

The Obama administration later claimed the teen’s death was “collateral damage” and despite lawsuits related to the CIA operation, no US official has ever been held accountable for literally assassinating two US citizens without trial or so much as filing official charges.

In his new 768-page memoir out this month, A Promised Land, there’s scant mention of the massively expanded secret drone ‘targeted killing’ program under his watch, however, when it does receive brief attention, it’s merely in passing but is still filled with cringeworthy level of self-justification and rationalization:

“… the machinery I commanded, more often had me killing them instead,” he wrote.

Clearly he and the editor (and his ghostwriters) took pains to twist the limits of grammar and bizarre sentence structure to create as much distance as possible between the former president and owning up to the killings.

Here’s the section in full from the book, where he actually attempts to present himself as the ‘savior’ of those victims he ordered killed:

In places like Yemen and Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, the lives of millions of young men like those three dead Somalis (some of them boys, really, since the oldest pirate was believed to be nineteen) had been warped and stunted by desperation, ignorance, dreams of religious glory, the violence of their surroundings, or the schemes of older men. I wanted somehow to save them—send them to school, give them a trade, drain them of the hate that had been filling their heads. And yet the world they were a part of, and the machinery I commanded, more often had me killing them instead.

Under Obama estimates of the number of victims that were a result of the White House’s secretive “Kill List” often range from 300 to over 500 civilians killed, including over 60 children.

But that’s just a snapshot of a few years out his total two terms, and the true numbers remain classified.

The New York Times would report in 2012 that Obama began to designate “all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.”

Obama adviser Robert Gibbs previously said when asked point blank about the ordered killing of a 16-year old American citizen: He should’ve “had a more responsible father.”

So it seems years later Obama’s justification is now essentially ‘the machines did it’.

Or again in his own bizarre and twisted words, “… the machinery I commanded, more often had me killing them instead.”

Abdulrahman Awlaki, the 16-year old American-born son of Anwar al-Awlaki, was ordered killed by Obama in 2011.

And let’s not forget, this is the man awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, and who is still heralded by Liberals as the most enlightened leader this country has ever had.

November 24, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , | 4 Comments

‘Health passports’ for air travel mean mandatory Covid-19 vaccines cloaked in the illusion of choice

By Helen Buyniski | RT | November 24, 2020

An airline lobbying group has volunteered its service as private-sector enforcer for the Covid vaccine mandates many countries have promised not to enact. Good luck flying – or getting a job, or government benefits – without one.

The CEO of Australian airline Qantas got a less than enthusiastic reaction earlier this week when he suggested all international travelers will soon be required to provide proof of vaccination against the novel coronavirus before they’ll be allowed on board.

While establishment types thought it was a smashing idea, skeptics were horrified at the thoughts that a private corporation could force them to consume a pharmaceutical concoction just to fly.

The most sinister aspect of such a policy, however, is that it won’t be forced at all. Wannabe-travelers can either take the rushed-through, side-effect-ridden jab, or stay home.

The illusion of ‘choice’ adroitly skirts the thicket of legal issues surrounding mandatory vaccination in most Western countries, as even the most draconian pandemic emergency laws run into difficulties when they try to mandate what would amount to pharmaceutical experiments on unwilling participants. The Nuremberg Code, and the Geneva Convention, for that matter, exist for a reason, and the nuclear-level public shaming deployed against so-called ‘anti-vaxxers’ can only do so much.

Deploying the ‘carrot’ – exemption from travel restrictions and weeks-long quarantines, entry into concerts and football matches, and other perks – rather than the ‘stick’ of mandates and arrests is much more likely to drive reluctant populations to the needle.

The government of Slovakia was able to test a whopping 97 percent of its population in under three weeks by rewarding the compliant with certificates excusing them from curfew and gathering restrictions, and the UK’s ‘nudge unit’ is considering embracing this paradigm for vaccination itself. The International Air Transport Association (IATA), a global airline lobbying group, has shown with its backing of Qantas’ questionable quest that it’s 100 percent on board as well.

As the backlash to the Australian airline’s announcement erupted, spearheaded by UK travel agency Tradewinds Travel’s vow not to do business with Qantas going forward, the IATA revealed the entire industry would soon follow in the airline’s footsteps. Not only would passengers need to provide proof of vaccination, but they’d be expected to download and use a mobile ‘health passport’ app. Indeed, the group is already hard at work on a ‘Travel Pass’ that will allow passengers to flash both their vaccination status and Covid-19 test results at the airport – privacy be damned.

The IATA’s efforts have the backing of the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which sets international standards for air travel. But it’s individual airlines’ private-sector status that makes their promised regulations so valuable to governments who’d otherwise be restricted from impinging on the bodily integrity of their citizens with vaccine mandates. Just as Google, Facebook and Twitter are weaponized by the US and allied governments to dodge citizens’ rights to free speech, airlines can adopt whatever rules they like. Don’t want to get the jab? Buy your own private jet, they’ll say.

The IATA’s Travel Pass is far from the only competitor in the health passport field, either. The World Economic Forum’s CommonPass, funded by the pandemic-ubiquitous Rockefeller Foundation, emerged as the clear frontrunner earlier this month when three airline conglomerates lined up behind it, issuing a joint statement urging governments to embrace privacy-destroying health passports over freedom-trampling quarantines.

Indeed, it was the WEF which drew up the prototype for these health passports years ago with its Known Traveler Digital Identity program. The organization coyly admitted it’s currently testing “components of the KTDI concept in a real-life, cross-border context” and working with the IATA as well as the International Civil Aviation Organization to shove the program down the world’s throat.

Not that it’ll need much shoving. The powers-that-be seem confident that, after ‘Lockdown 2.0’, most people will be so eaten up with cabin fever they’ll jump through any hoop imaginable just to climb onboard a plane and get out of wherever they are. ‘Flights to nowhere’ taking off and landing at the same airports in Australia and Hong Kong earlier this year have already proved frequent flyers are jonesing to get back in the air.

But even the most desperate would-be traveler should be wary of what they’re signing up for. The WEF has made no secret of its desire to get rid of cash in its sprawling ‘Great Reset’ plot, embracing Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) tracked via blockchain (just like CommonPass, KTDI and other variations of the health passport). The establishment has strongly hinted that individuals who want to work in this brave new world will have to have their vaccines up to date, and a cashless society means the non-compliant won’t just be barred from travel and toil – they’ll be prohibited from conducting any transactions at all.

Sure, it will be great to be able to travel the world again. But is it really worth turning over the last shreds of privacy and control over one’s own body to a group of unelected, unaccountable megalomaniacs?

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

November 24, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Sen. Whitehouse Threatens to Prosecute Climate Realists If Dems Take Senate

By James Taylor – ClimateRealism – November 18, 2020

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) threatened climate realists with criminal prosecution in an interview with E&E News, published yesterday. Whitehouse said Democrats gaining control of the U.S. Senate would be key to launching investigations, hauling climate realists in front of Senate show trials, “or even potentially in grand juries.”

E&E News reported Whitehouse is “keen on investigating the fossil fuel industry and what he sees as a massive conspiracy of dark money hindering action on climate change.”

In the interview, Whitehouse said:

“If we are not vigorously investigating that with all of the tools at our disposal, then that machinery will continue undisturbed to do its dirty work of denial and obstruction,” Whitehouse said.

“If it’s having to explain itself to legislative committees, or produce discovery about its activities in litigation, or even potentially in grand juries, then there’s a whole different complexion to our prospects going forward.”

Whitehouse explicitly singled out The Heartland Institute, which publishes ClimateRealism.com, for his threats.

“Who funded 200,000 fake textbooks that the Heartland Institute mailed around to schoolteachers all around the country? That’s a hell of a big expense…,” Whitehouse said.

Whitehouse appears to be referencing Heartland sending 300,000 copies of the book, Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming, to K-through-12 and college science teachers throughout America. The book was co-authored by Ph.D. climate scientists S. Fred Singer, Robert Carter, and Craig Idso. Whitehouse does not appear to have a climate science Ph.D. degree.

Ironically, Whitehouse revealed his fascination with “dark money” conspiracy theories, and expressed his threats to prosecute people on the basis of his conspiracy theories, on the same day billionaire tech baron Jeff Bezos announced the first distributions from a $10 billion fund Bezos has set aside to advance climate alarmism. Recipients of Bezos’ money include dark-money climate activist groups ClimateWorks Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, Union of Concerned Scientists, World Resources Institute, and World Wildlife Fund – none of which publicly disclose the full list of their donors.

The costs for The Heartland Institute publishing and distributing Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming came up somewhat short of $10 billion. The Heartland Institute has an annual budget that varies between $3 million and $7 million, not $10 billion.

James Taylor is the President of the Heartland Institute. Taylor is also director of Heartland’s Arthur B. Robinson Center for Climate and Environmental Policy.

November 24, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite, Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment

Calling on International Civil Society to Join Them: Palestinians, Israelis Call for a Single Democratic State

One Democratic State Campaign

The following statement was issued by the One Democratic State Campaign (ODSC) on November 15, 2020. The ODSC is one the largest initiatives of Palestinians and Israelis championing a one-state solution as an alternative to the Israeli military occupation and apartheid in Palestine.

(November 15, 2020) The Palestinian-led One Democratic State Campaign (ODSC), comprised of Palestinians from every major community (’48, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the refugee camps and the Diaspora/Exile), together with their critical Israeli Jewish partners, has issued a call for the establishment of a single democratic state including everyone living between the River and the Sea, including Palestinian refugees who choose to return to their homeland.

Over the past three years, the ODSC, founded in Haifa but with working relations throughout the worldwide Palestinian community, has formulated a 10-point political program setting out the vision and framework of a shared democracy in which all the inhabitants of historic Palestine would enjoy common citizenship and equality under the law in a new and pluralistic political community. After decades in which the justice of the Palestinian struggle against Zionist colonization has been recognized by the international community, after decades of chasing after the chimera of a “two-state solution,” and after decades of asserting Palestinian rights with no viable political expression, the time for an effective campaign of decolonization and liberation is now, and it is urgent. Every day the Israeli government, aided by the international community, imposes draconian and irreversible “facts on the ground,” locking the country’s majority population, the Palestinians, into tiny, impoverished enclaves, perpetuating as well the exile of half the Palestinian population. A democratic state in historic Palestine is no utopia if we organize around a just political program, organize, strategize and effectively mobilize our forces, the global grassroots, the international civil society — you. We call on you to join our One Democratic State Campaign and help us build it into an effective anti-colonial, liberation movement.

For further information, contact us at contact@onestatecampaign.org. Much work still needs to be done to flesh out our program. We understand that we all will not agree on every issue, but our task in this historic moment is clear: armed with a clear and compelling political program, we need to fully enter the political arena. We call on the entire international community, and especially civil society, to support our Call for a democratic state in historic Palestine. The time has come.

It is in this spirit of solidarity, as part of a process of liberation, that we are reaching out to you to join us, beginning by endorsing our program. The struggle goes on.

In solidarity,

Awad Abdel Fattah, Galilee

Nadia Naser Najab, Ramallah, UK

Livnat Konopni, Tel Aviv

Haidar Eid, Gaza

Jeff Halper, Jerusalem

Leila Farsakh, USA

Diana Buttu, Haifa, Canada

Samah Sabawi, Australia

Mohamed Kabha, Galilee

Mohammad Al Helu, Ramallah

Rula Hurdal, Galilee

Jonathan Cook, Nazareth

Ilan Pappe, Haifa

Sami Miaari, Sakhnin

Saleh Hijazi, Ramallah

Nur Masalha, UK

Ramzy Baroud, USA

Jowan Safadi, Haifa

Rafah Anabtawi, Shefa-ʻAmr

Hamada Jaber, Ramallah

Naji al-Khatib, France

Sari Bashi, Ramallah

Bassem Tamimi, Nabi Salah

Johnny Mansour, Haifa

Jamil Hilal, Ramallah

Susan Abulhawa, USA

Haim Bresheeth, UK 

Areen Hawari, Nazareth

Abdallah Grifat, Galilee, South Africa

Amir Kaadan, Galilee

Munir Nuseibah, Jerusalem

Ronnen Ben-Arie, Haifa

Eitan Bronstein, Brussels

Umar al-Ghubari, Triangle

Raja Deeb, Yarmouk Camp, Netherlands

Bilal Yousef, Galilee

Areej Sabbagh, Nazareth

Yoav Haifawi, Haifa

Mohamed Noman, Jordan

Mazin Qumsiyeh, Bethlehem

Majd Nasrallah, Triangle

Wehbi Badarni, Nazareth

Ghada Karmi, UK

Bana Shaghri, Kufr Yaseef

Miko Peled, USA

George Bisharat, USA

Issa Debi, Haifa, Switzerland

Ramez Eid, Eilabun

Radi Jarai, Ramallah

Hatem Kanaaneh, ‘Arrabat al-Battuf

Nidal Rafa, Haifa

Issam Odwan, Gaza

Asaad Abu Sharkh, Gaza, Ireland

Shir Hever, Germany

November 24, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | 1 Comment

Israel woman who refused to take part in the country’s ‘killing, violence and destruction’ released

Hallel Rabin, a 19-year-old Israeli conscientious objector, poses for a picture outside the "number six" military prison near Atlit in northern Israel on November 20, 2020, upon release from jail for refusing to serve in the Israeli army. - Army service is compulsory for most Israeli citizens and while many seek exemptions on various grounds -- some arguably less than truthful -- Rabin's case is unusual in that she openly declared herself to be a pacifist and served prison time. Hallel had served a total of 56 days since August at the grim military prison "number six", and was facing up to 80 more in detention. But after grilling her at four hearings, an army board finally accepted that her pacifism was sincere and not driven by "political considerations," which would have landed her more prison time. (Photo by Emmanuel DUNAND / AFP) (Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty Images)

19-year-old conscientious objector, Hallel Rabin, poses outside the “number six” military prison near Atlit in northern Israel on November 20, 2020, [EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty Images]
MEMO | November 24, 2020

Nineteen-year-old Israeli woman, Hallel Rabin, who refused to complete her military service in the occupied Palestinian territories rejecting any involvement in what she called “killing, violence and destruction” has been released.

Rabin was kept in detention in a military prison for a total of 56 days for refusing to serve in the Israeli army and was facing a further 80 days in jail. But after four hearings, an army board finally accepted that her pacifism was sincere and not driven by “political considerations”, which would have landed her more prison time.

Initially members of the Israeli army’s “conscience committee” concluded that Rabin “opposes Israeli violence directed at the Palestinians” and this, according to the committee, is not regarded as conscientious objection, but political opposition. As such, the committee decided to imprison her.

Conscientious objectors in Israel are still limited in number and influence. They are seen as a minor departure from the norm and are considered by most Israelis to be traitors. Societies in the occupation state are still captive to colonial extremism, national and religious racism.

The army plays a central role in Israeli society and can impact a young person’s social status and job prospects. This is one of the ways in which some 20 per cent of the Israeli population that are Palestinians are discriminated against in the country. Job prospects and general access to state services are denied because they do not serve in the army.

Israel’s Ynet news reported Rabin standing at the gate of an army jail saying she was “the happiest person in the world”.

“My lawyer called me this morning and told me, ‘you’re free’,” she said.

Asked about Rabin’s case, the army noted that enlistment is mandatory and those who request “an exemption due to conscience-related reasons” are entitled to a hearing before a relevant committee.

November 24, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , | 2 Comments

Western universities, publications under pressure to shun Iranian academics

Press TV | November 24, 2020

Many sources within the Iranian academia have reported a trend among Western publications and universities of rejecting submissions and applications from Iranian academics and students.

Mohammad Hazrati, PhD student at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL)’s School of Law, reported the most recent case involving himself on Monday, saying Thomson Reuters had refused to publish one of his articles that had already been accepted by an international legal journal.

‘Effrontery, discrimination’

“In March, I submitted my article to International Energy Law Review. It was accepted a couple of weeks ago,” he wrote in a tweet.

“Today, to my complete surprise and through sheer effrontery, they emailed me, saying they won’t be able to publish it because my address referred to an Iranian location,” he added.

Hazrati shared a screen grab of Reuters’ email, in which the Western media organization had said it “has a sanctions policy” and was “not allowed to publish materials from Iranian residents.” The agency had, therefore, advised that he provide it with his UK or QMUL address or have the organization’s legal department “retract” his article.

Zeinab Qassemi Tari, assistant professor of American Studies at University of Tehran, retweeted Hazrati’s comments, verifying the Iranophoic trend and shedding more light on its full aspects.

She decried the ongoing “discrimination against Iranian academics,” regretting, “I’ve heard from several colleagues that their papers are being rejected without going thru the peer review process.”

“Some western governments have instructed universities to reject applications from Iranian students,” Qassemi also announced.

Speaking to Press TV on Tuesday, she said it had been “a year and half now” that her colleagues have been having their articles rejected by the Western journals.

Qassemi reminded that after an article is submitted to a given journal, it is usually reviewed by two people and then either rejected providing reasons or the academic is told how he or she could modify his article and make it suitable for publication.

However, the Iranian academics have been having their articles rejected either “instantaneously” or without any reason. She did not rule out that the submitted articles may not qualify for publications, but said Iranian-sourced articles have been being rejected so frequently that makes one suspect existence of a pattern.

The campaign, the academic said, would lead to “gradual and systematic elimination of the Iranian voice,” especially the voice of those residing in the Islamic Republic that have a more up-close access to the country’s situation than foreign-based researchers.

Given the standing conventions that outlaw such selective attitude on the scientific arena, the selective approach towards Iranians amounts to “educational discrimination” and “violation of human rights,” Qassemi stated.

Qassemi said even prior to establishment of the trend, Iranian academics used to have a very hard time getting something published that would not conform with the “dominant discourse” that the West has been promoting.

The discriminatory activities began by the United States. Throughout the controversy-riddled tenure of President Donald Trump, many Iranian academics have been arrested on several occasions and held for draw-out detention periods that in two cases, wound down only after the Islamic Republic embarked on diplomatic efforts to secure their release.

The developments prompted Tehran to warn that the US had begun luring the academics onto its soil and place them in detention after they walked into the trap.

Many Iranian students have also been granted an initial entry into the US, but not let back into the country again.

November 24, 2020 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | | 1 Comment

United Nations Confirms Nuclear Cooperation With Iran

teleSUR – November 24, 2020

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) published on Friday its new quarterly report in which it highlighted the goodwill of the Islamic Republic of Iran in allowing the international inspectors access to one of the Iranian strategic sites, which, according to the Agency, is one of the facilities where “suspicious” activities are allegedly taking place. The 40-page report ratifies Iran’s verification of the Non-Proliferation Treaty’s safeguards to prevent the manufacture of nuclear weapons.

In its dossier, the IAEA points out that Iranian heavy water reserves have been reduced to 130 tons, thus placing it within the framework of the Comprehensive Joint Action Plan (CJAP or JCPOA), the official name of the nuclear agreement signed in 2015 between Iran and the 5+1 Group, composed at that time by the U.S., the UK, France, Russia, and China, plus Germany.

According to the Iranian press, despite this confirmation, IAEA director Rafael Grossi, under pressure from the West, called last week for greater transparency in the Iranian peaceful nuclear program.

However, this Saturday, after learning the contents of the report, Mikhail Ulyanov, permanent representative of Russia to the international organizations based in Vienna, Austria, in a message published on his Twitter account, has stressed that this document disrupts all efforts of those who sought to undermine the issues related to Iran’s cooperation with the IAEA.

“The data in the report published by the IAEA indicates that Iran has begun to allow access to the sites indicated by the Agency. Those who wanted to create a crisis on this issue should be very disappointed,” wrote the senior Russian diplomat. After stressing that the spirit of cooperation between the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) and the IAEA prevailed, Ulyanov said that this understanding clarifies that Iran remains faithful to its nuclear commitments, unlike the United States.

U.S. President Donald Trump, despite multiple reports from the IAEA that Tehran was meeting all the commitments it accepted at the IACP, used the pretext that Tehran was not doing so to abandon the agreement May 2018 and re-impose a series of illegal sanctions on Tehran.

The new IAEA report comes after the Trump government added two major diplomatic defeats in recent weeks. First, its plan to extend the arms embargo against Iran and then its attempt to restore the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) international sanctions against Tehran, eliminated under the nuclear agreement, failed.

November 24, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

What NO ONE is Saying About The Lockdowns

Watch on Archive / BitChute / LBRY / Minds / YouTube

If you are advocating for lockdowns, you are complicit in tearing families apart. You are complicit in inflicting untold suffering on millions of people around the world. You are complicit in casting the poorest and most vulnerable in our societies into even further grinding poverty. You are complicit in murder.

TRANSCRIPT

This is James Corbett of corbettreport.com. November 24, 2020

In 2006, a 15-year-old high school student from Albuquerque, New Mexico won third place in the Intel science and engineering fair for her project on slowing the spread of an infectious pathogen during a pandemic emergency. Using a computer simulation that she developed with the help of her father, she argued that in order to slow the spread of the disease, governments should implement school shutdowns, keep kids at home and enforce social distancing.

Incredibly, that third place high school science fair project can be tied directly to the lockdown policies being implemented by governments around the world today. You see, that father that she developed her computer simulation with was no average doting dad, but a senior researcher at Sandia National Laboratories who at that time was working on pandemic emergency response plans for the US Department of Homeland Security. His proposal to implement school shutdowns and, if need be, workplace shutdowns in the event of a pandemic emergency was developed at least in part in response to his daughter’s high school project.

Now those advocating for lockdowns have seen the destruction and death that those policies have wrought this year and we are living through that right now. Not only are people being deprived of their livelihoods and forced into grinding poverty as a direct result of these shutdowns, but now the undeniable truth is that if you are advocating for lockdowns, you are advocating for some portion of the population to be consigned to death.

This is no longer debatable. It is even openly admitted—although months too late by the World Health Organization.

DAVID NABARRO: I want to say it again: we in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as a primary means of control of this virus. [. . .] We may well have a doubling of world poverty by early next year. We may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition because children are not getting meals at school and their parents and poor families are not able to afford it.

This is a terrible, ghastly global catastrophe, actually. And so we really do appeal to all world leaders: stop using lockdown as your primary control method. Develop better systems for doing it. Work together and learn from each other. But remember, lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never, ever belittle, and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer.

SOURCE: The Week in 60 Minutes #6

This is the point at which, no doubt, I’ll be expected to produce the data to back up the non-controversial observation that lockdowns kill, even though that data will do precisely nothing to penetrate the consciousness of those who have already decided that they occupy the moral high ground for advocating locking billions of people around the globe as prisoners inside their own homes. But persevere I will.

I’ll point, for example, to the letter signed by hundreds of doctors calling the lockdowns themselves a “mass casualty incident” and exhorting politicians to end the shutdowns.

I’ll point to the research that shows that thousands of people will die because of delays to cancer surgery treatments as a result of the medical shutdowns.

I’ll point to the research of the Well-Being Trust showing that 75,000 Americans are expected to die deaths of despair—including alcohol and drug misuse and suicide—this year alone as a result of the lockdowns.

I will point to the research of The Lancet showing that 265 million people are expected to be thrown into severe food insecurity as a result of these lockdowns.

I will even point to the research showing 125,000 children are expected to die from malnutrition as a result of these lockdowns.

But, as I say, none of these deaths will matter to those who have already decided that they are right and virtuous for advocating locking vast swathes of the human population inside their own homes to starve to death in the name of slowing the spread of a disease that even the epidemiologists who have been wrong about everything this year tell us will kill less than one percent of the infected.

Yes, slowing the spread, not stopping the spread. This was never about stopping a pandemic. Even the lockdown advocates never advocated that. But somehow that has been forgotten and “15 days to flatten the curve” has turned into a never-ending carte blanche for the biosecurity state to implement any number of draconian policies on its population, any number of policies on the checklist of the would-be dictator. Not only locking people inside their own homes, but constant surveillance of the population through the contact tracing and tracking apps that are increasingly being implemented around the globe, and, inevitably, the proposals for mandating the experimental vaccines which agents of the state will forcibly inject into people against their will.

This is not acceptable.

We cannot allow this to stand.

If we forsake this, our most basic right—the right to step foot outside of our own homes—then we forsake our humanity itself. An important part of what makes us human is being taken away from us in the name of stopping the spread of COVID-19.

But there is good news for those who have managed to retain their sanity in the time of insanity. We do not need a complicated plan in order to subvert this agenda. We do not need special deputization or to ask permission from the government. We do not need to join any particular political party or even any particular protest movement.

All we have to do is disobey these unlawful “orders.”

CASSIE ZERVOS: The persistent anti-lockdown protesters said they will not forget Melbourne’s strict 112 day measures as they took to the steps of Parliament. They carried signs saying “Don’t trust the government” and chanted for police to join them in their rally.

SOURCE: Melbourne anti-COVID lockdown protest turns ugly outside Parliament House

BUSINESS OWNER: I’ve lost friends who’ve killed themselves. I’ve seen clients die because they’ve lost their livelihood.

HEALTH INSPECTOR: I’m sorry to hear that.

BUSINESS OWNER: I know you are and i’m just a—I’m asking for you to guys have some compassion.

SOURCE: Buffalo, New York Business Owners Stand Up to Cuomo Lockdown Orders

ASHLEY DRIEMEYER: Can he arrest us all? Because, from what I am gathering, in this area we are all banding together and going against our governor.

SOURCE: Illinois restaurant owner will defy new state restrictions

[CROWD BANGS POTS AND PANS DURING PROTEST]

SOURCE: Protests in Denmark – Epidemic law and mandatory vaccines – EPIDEMILOV

BUSINESS OWNERS: Get out! Get out! Get out! Get out! Get out!

SOURCE: Buffalo, New York Business Owners Stand Up to Cuomo Lockdown Orders

If you have managed to retain your sanity during this time of widespread insanity, I applaud you and wish to assure you that you are not alone. Many, many people all around the world are defying orders. They are protesting against these lockdowns. They are standing up. They are disobeying.

But of course the corporate controlled press don’t want you to know that disobedience is an option on the table and they will not report on this. But disobedience is an option. Open your business. Leave your home. Do not ask for permission. Disobey.

To those who are still advocating for lockdowns, I encourage you to do so to the face of those parents who have lost their teenage children due to suicide as a direct result of the shutdowns and tell them that their child’s death doesn’t matter because it wasn’t listed as being due to COVID-19. Or do so to the face of the tens of thousands of others who have already lost loved ones as a direct result of these shutdown or the hundreds of thousands more who will die as long as these lockdowns endure.

If you are advocating for lockdowns, you are complicit in tearing families apart. You are complicit in inflicting untold suffering on millions of people around the world. You are complicit in casting the poorest and most vulnerable in our societies into even further grinding poverty. You are complicit in murder.

A line is being crossed right now. Which side of history are you on? Make your decision now and make it wisely, because your actions during these times will not be forgotten.

You have been warned.

This is James Corbett of corbettreport.com.

November 24, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | | 2 Comments

Khamenei: Sanctions crime of US, European partners against Iran

Press TV | November 24, 2020

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has described the illegal sanctions the United States has imposed on Iran with the support of its European partners as a “bitter reality” and a “crime” against the nation.

Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks on Tuesday during a meeting of the Supreme Council for Economic Coordination among the three branches of the Iranian government.

The Leader said the Iranian nation has been subjected to such a crime for many years, but that the sanctions have been stepped up over the past three years under the current US administration.

Ayatollah Khamenei said there are two ways to end the restrictions, either by “neutralizing the sanctions and overcoming them” or having “the bans removed.”

“Of course, we tried the path of [having] the sanctions lifted once and negotiated for several years [to that effect], but it produced no results,” he added.

Referring to the other solution, the Leader said, “This path may have difficulties at the beginning, but there will be a positive outcome.”

Ayatollah Khamenei said, “We have a lot of potential and capabilities to render the sanctions ineffective, provided that we muster the will, strive and meet the challenges outright.”

“If we manage to overcome the sanctions through [our own] efforts and initiatives while holding firm against the problems, the other side will gradually lift the bans since it will see their ineffectiveness,” the Leader added.

The Leader further urged Iranians not to rely on aid from abroad to resolve domestic problems.

“The situation of the United States is far from clear and the Europeans are constantly adopting positions against Iran,” the Leader said. “They tell us not to interfere in the region, whereas it is them who are interfering the most wrongly in the affairs of the region, with Britain and France possessing destructive nuclear missiles and Germany being on the same path. Then they tell us not to have missiles.”

November 24, 2020 Posted by | Economics, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Trump throws shade at ‘overrated general’ Mattis after ex-Pentagon chief says ‘America First’ must be ELIMINATED from policy

RT | November 24, 2020

US President Donald Trump has heaped scorn on his former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, after the general called on Joe Biden to ditch Trump’s “America First” foreign policy in favor of a “network of solid alliances.”

The president lamented not having “fired [Mattis] sooner,” insisting his administration did their “best work after he was gone” in a Tuesday tweet responding to a Fox News story about Mattis’ latest outburst of armchair-policymaking.

That says it all about Mattis. Obama fired him. I should have fired him sooner. Did best work after he was gone. World’s most overrated general! https://t.co/2i4jPWAAPA

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2020

Trump even spared a rare note of praise for his predecessor Barack Obama, admitting the Democrat had done at least one thing right – namely, firing Mattis, whom the incumbent president called the “world’s most overrated general.”

Mattis, who resigned from his post as Trump’s Pentagon chief in protest against the president’s efforts to bring troops home from Syria, had called on a Biden administration to “eliminate ‘America First’ from [the US national security strategy’s] contents” in an op-ed published Monday in Foreign Affairs. The piece was co-written with two of his Hoover Institute peers and a third think-tanker hailing from the right-wing American Enterprise Institute.

Rather than trying to wind down what even the Biden campaign and other Democrats have begun referring to as “forever wars,” Mattis argued, Washington should view the never-ending conflicts in “Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere” as providing “support to friendly governments struggling to exert control over their own territory.”

“It is in the United States’ interests to build the capacity of such governments to deal with the threats that concern Americans,” the general continued, glossing over the part where US taxpayer dollars are repeatedly used to arm and otherwise fund those same “threats.” From the mujahideen in Afghanistan to the “moderate rebels” in Syria, the US has a lengthy track record of funding terrorist groups it later either fights, or leaves for others to deal with.

Instead of ending wars and shifting spending focus to rebuilding America’s decaying infrastructure, Mattis and his co-writers argued, an incoming Biden administration should “expand the cooperative space in which all countries supporting a rules-based order can work together to advance shared interests.” The term “rules-based order” has become something of a dog-whistle for NATO supremacy and a cudgel to be wielded against the US’ rivals, though Washington itself has never had a problem flagrantly violating international norms and NATO itself has a habit of demanding concessions of non-members that member countries need not submit to – such as unilateral nuclear disarmament.

While Mattis urged Biden and his team to strengthen their alliances with China’s Asian neighbors in order to keep Beijing on a tight leash, the former defense secretary also suggested the incoming president find “opportunities to cooperate with China in areas of overlapping interests, such as pandemic response, climate change, and nuclear security.” The Trump administration has torn up multiple nuclear arms treaties with Russia and is expected to let another one, the New START Treaty signed by Obama, expire next year as Moscow is unwilling to sign it on Trump’s questionable terms.

However, Mattis also stressed the importance of couching the US’ bloated military apparatus in a civilian framework, noting that “militarizing US national security can dim the attractiveness of the American model, the appeal of which makes it easier for other countries to support US policies.” Given the hundreds of US bases peppering the globe, it’s not clear how US ‘national security’ could get any more militarized, but, the general formerly known as ‘Mad Dog’ complained, alleged US isolationism was “undermining the foundations of an international order manifestly advantageous to US interests.”

“In practice, ‘America first’ has meant ‘America alone.’”

In addition to opposing the president’s efforts to put an end to war in Syria, Mattis has been one of the many establishment critics of Trump’s eleventh-hour efforts to bring troops home from Afghanistan. The US military has been deployed in that particular quagmire for close to two decades, making it the longest war in American history – but Republicans and Democrats alike are loath to call it quits and miss out on all the natural resources [or the attraction of having airbases adjacent to Iran] to be had in central Asia. Meanwhile, Biden has signaled he’s ready to resume regime-change business as usual, tapping an array of Obama-era hawks to staff his cabinet.

November 24, 2020 Posted by | Militarism | , | 1 Comment

Under Biden, expect more bombing and regime change. Tony Blinken’s record speaks for itself

By George Szamuely | RT | November 24, 2020

A US foreign policy run by Antony J. Blinken and Jake Sullivan, the likely next secretary of state and national security adviser, will mean more global interventions and regime-change operations, Clinton and Obama style.

Blinken played a prominent foreign policy role in both the Bill Clinton and Barack Obama administrations, while Sullivan was part of the Obama one.

The Democrat-boosting media are, not surprisingly, excited by media-anointed President-elect Joe Biden’s choice of Blinken, his long-time national security adviser, as his secretary of state. Along with his pick of Jake Sullivan, another close aide, as his national security adviser, these appointments supposedly signal restoration of “internationalism” and “globalpartnerships” as guiding principles of US foreign policy.

Media fawns for fake ‘internationalism’

Blinken, a “defender of global alliances,” in the soothing words of the New York Times, will “help calm American diplomats and global leaders alike after four years of the Trump administration’s ricocheting strategies and nationalist swaggering.” To the Washington Post, Blinken’s appointment would be fulfillment of Biden’s “vows to reassemble global alliances and insert the United States into a more prominent position on the world stage.” The Guardian purred that the appointees are:

“… committed internationalists, in strong contrast to the Trump era, which saw a bonfire of foreign treaties and agreements, and abrasive relations with traditional allies under the banner of ‘America First’, which Biden said during the campaign had led to ‘America alone’.”

That’s the message then: The foreign policy professionals are back, and US allies can rest assured that the United States will once again treat them with courtesy and respect. Such talk is delusional, if not downright deceptive. Blinken’s outlook is that of a career US interventionist, as is that of Sullivan. The opinions of other countries are worth considering only if they coincide with the views of US policymakers. If they don’t coincide, then they can be discounted.

The war on Serbia

Never was this axiom as vividly illustrated as during the Clinton administration’s protracted war against the Serbs during the 1990s. The Clinton administration, of which Blinken was an important member, had facilitated the arrival into Bosnia of international jihadi terrorists, including one Osama bin Laden. No one among Washington’s supposedly closest allies was asked what he or she thought of this policy of introducing Islamic terrorism into Europe. Richard Holbrooke, former assistant secretary of state for European and Canadian affairs in the Clinton administration, subsequently boasted about the efficacy of this policy. For him, shipping mujahedin fighters into Bosnia brought to mind “Winston Churchill’s famous comments about why Britain made common cause with Stalin against Hitler… [It] was a legitimate decision for Churchill and he knew full well the consequences. Here at a much smaller scale, this was done.”

Subsequently, the Clinton administration helped arm and train the Kosovo Liberation Army. The hope was that a KLA terrorist campaign in Yugoslavia would provoke the Belgrade authorities into overreacting. The expected humanitarian disaster could then be used to launch a NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia. When Belgrade refused to take the bait, the Clinton administration – in which Blinken was at that time special assistant to President Clinton and senior director for European affairs at the National Security Council – had to invent a pretext for bombing. That was provided by the Yugoslav government’s refusal to sign a Kosovo peace package at Rambouillet, France. The Yugoslav government had been issued with an ultimatum: accept the US-drafted package or face NATO bombing. Included within this package was the notorious Appendix B, which gave NATO unrestricted rights to move anywhere it wished throughout the territory of Yugoslavia, and to enjoy total immunity from prosecution.

The Clinton administration had deceitfully kept from the US public the details of Appendix B, as well as the take-it-or-leave-it ultimatum it had issued at Rambouillet. Later, when NATO’s bombing triggered the entirely foreseeable refugee flow from Kosovo, the Clinton administration claimed – again deceitfully – that NATO had launched its bombing campaign in response to Serb attempts to drive out Kosovo’s Albanian population. The claim made no sense. The refugee flight from Kosovo took place only after the start of NATO’s attack; the flight couldn’t therefore have been the pretext for NATO’s bombing.

Blinken played an integral role in orchestrating NATO’s bombing campaign, and has continued to tout his role in NATO’s legerdemain. Revealingly, Blinken appears untroubled by the Clinton administration’s refusal to seek UN Security Council authorization for the use of force against Yugoslavia. He evidently shared Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s contempt for the legalistic concerns raised by UK Foreign Secretary Robin Cook. Told that international law experts were advising a UN Security Council resolution was necessary, Albright scoffed, “Get new lawyers!”

‘Protecting civilians’ in Libya

Blinken’s disdain for international institutions was very much in evidence during the Obama administration’s 2011 bombing of Libya. Blinken, at the time Biden’s national security adviser, was an enthusiastic advocate of the bombing campaign. There was a problem though. The bombing was undertaken ostensibly in order to save the residents of Benghazi who were supposedly under threat from the forces of President Muammar Gaddafi. However, Resolution 1973, which the US and NATO used to justify the attack, only instructed UN member states “to take all necessary measures… to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack.” It didn’t say that such “measures” should include bombing. Still less did the resolution authorize the US and NATO to use the bombing in order to topple Gaddafi. Yet, long after any conceivable threat to the residents of Benghazi had disappeared, NATO governments continued to justify their refusal to call a halt to the bombing by invoking the purported threat Gaddafi posed to Libya’s civilians. NATO didn’t let up on the bombing until the brutal execution of Gaddafi, a war crime in which NATO took an active part.

‘Doing too little’ in Syria

No sooner was Gaddafi overthrown and Libya thrown into chaos than the Obama administration shifted its attention to Syria, seeking there also to topple the legal government. The tools it deployed were familiar. Under Operation Timber Sycamore, the CIA was authorized to work with Arab intelligence services to arm and train rebels seeking to overthrow the government of President Bashar Assad. The weapons, needless to say, in no time found their way into the hands of the worst and most fanatical of the jihadi killers. Syria seemed to be on the brink of falling under the sway of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). Strangely enough, Blinken’s only regret about his activities in Syria is that the Obama administration didn’t do more to ensure the overthrow of Assad.

In an article last year that he co-authored with leading neocon publicist Robert Kagan, he argued that in Syria, the US made the “error of doing too little. Without bringing appropriate power to bear, no peace could be negotiated, much less imposed. Today we see the consequences, in hundreds of thousands of civilians dead, in millions of refugees who have destabilized Europe and in the growing influence of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah.”

In an interview earlier this year, Blinken made clear that regime-change in Syria was still on his agenda. He ruled out returning Syria’s oil fields to government control because the US needed leverage.

“That’s a point of leverage because the Syrian government would love to have dominion over those resources. We should not give that up for free.… And we should also use what leverage we have to insist that there be some kind of political transition that reflects the desires of the Syrian people.”

All the Russia tropes

Same old, same old is what we should also expect when it comes to Russia. Blinken repeats by rote all of the familiar Democratic Party talking points: Russia interfered in the 2016 elections, President Donald Trump is smitten with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump “took the word of Mr. Putin over our own intelligence community,” Russia put a bounty on the heads of US soldiers in Afghanistan, Russia invaded Ukraine. Blinken has advocated sending lethal weapons to Ukraine. “A President Biden would be in the business of confronting Mr. Putin for his aggressions, not embracing him,” Blinken has said. “Not trashing NATO, but strengthening its deterrence.”

A Blinken-run foreign policy will unquestionably mean abundant use of the familiar regime-change weapons in the US armory: bombs, cruise missiles, weapons shipments to jihadist and neo-Nazi groups to wage proxy wars, economic sanctions, fake “civil society” projects. As for the vaunted “international organizations” that Blinken supposedly champions, their role will be to sign off on US projects. If the organizations support US policy, including “regime change” operations, so much the better; if they don’t, they can safely be ignored. The “allies” who are now cheering the return of the “professionals” may soon have cause to regret their enthusiasm as the refugee flows from the Middle East return to 2015 levels in response to the Biden administration’s policy of relaunching the regime-change war in Syria. Should conflict with Russia escalate over Ukraine or the Baltics or the Caucasus, these “allies” may look back with nostalgia to the Trump era when the US largely preoccupied itself with its own national interests.

George Szamuely is a senior research fellow at Global Policy Institute (London) and author of Bombs for Peace: NATO’s Humanitarian War on Yugoslavia. Follow him on Twitter @GeorgeSzamuely

November 24, 2020 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment