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How Israel deployed an intelligence deception to justify killing scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh

By Gareth Porter · The GrayZone · December 2, 2020

Israel’s Mossad has spent years on a propaganda campaign aimed at convincing the world Iran possessed a nuclear weapons program – and legitimizing its assassinations of Iranian academics.

The Israeli assassination of Iranian defense official Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is being treated as a triumph of Israeli intelligence, with ubiquitous references in the New York Times and other major media outlets to the killing of “Iran’s top nuclear scientist”. In fact, Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency eliminated Fakhrizadeh, a defense official, despite the knowledge that its public depiction of him as the key architect of an Iranian nuclear weapons program was a deception.

For years, US media outlets have portrayed Fakhrizadeh as Iran’s equivalent to J. Robert Oppenheimer, marketing him to the public as the mastermind behind an Iranian version of the Manhattan Project. This image was developed primarily through a carefully constructed Israeli disinformation operation based on documents that displayed signs of fabrication.

Birth of a Mossad propaganda operation

The origin of the Mossad propaganda operation on Fakhrizadeh lies in the early 1990’s, when the US and Israel first developed suspicions of Iranian ambitions to develop a nuclear weapon. U.S., British, German and Israeli intelligence analysts had intercepted telexes from Sharif University about various “dual use” technologies — those that could be exploited in a nuclear program but also be applied for non-nuclear use.

Many of the telexes contained the number of an organization called Physics Research Center that operated under the watch of Iran’s Defense Ministry. The CIA and its allied intelligence agencies interpreted those intercepts as evidence that the Iranian military was running its own nuclear program, and thus that Iran was covertly seeking a nuclear weapons capability.

During the first term of the George W. Bush administration, the notorious militarist and Likud ally John Bolton took charge of Iran policy, prompting the CIA to issue an estimate concluding for the first time that Iran had initiated a nuclear weapons program. Israel’s Mossad apparently saw Washington’s new posture as a green light to set into motion a black propaganda campaign to dramatize and personalize the secret Iranian nuclear weapons program that was presumed to exist.

Between 2003 and 2004, Mossad produced a large cache of alleged Iranian documents depicting efforts to mate a nuclear weapon with Iran’s Shahab-3 missile and a bench system to convert uranium.

The Mossad files contained multiple tell-tale signs of forgery. For example, the reentry vehicle depicted in the drawings had already been abandoned by 2002 – before these drawings were supposedly created, according to the documents themselves – in favor of a design that looked entirely different and which was first shown in an August 2004 test. So whoever was responsible for the drawings was clearly unaware of the single most important Defense Ministry decision affecting the future of Iran’s missile deterrent.

The CIA never revealed who spirited the documents out of Iran or how. However, former senior German Foreign Office official Karsten Voigt explained to this reporter in 2013 that the German intelligence agency, the BND, had been furnished with the collection by an occasional source whom the intel chiefs considered less than credible.

And who was this source? According to Voigt, he belonged to the Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK), the exile Iranian cult which had fought for Saddam’s Iraqi forces against Iran during the eight-year war and by the early 1990s was passing information and propaganda that Mossad did not want to have attributed to itself.

Painting Fakrhizadeh as nuclear mastermind

Those Mossad documents identified Mohsen Fakhrizadeh as the manager of a supposedly top-secret Iranian project called the “AMAD Plan.” In reality, Fakhrizadeh was an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps officer and official in the Ministry of Defense Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL), who also taught Physics at Imam Hussein University in Tehran.

To implicate him as a nuclear project mastermind, the collection of Mossad documents featured a directive supposedly signed by Fakhrizadeh. But since no one outside Iran had ever seen the previously obscure official’s signature, and given the lack of effort to show any official government markings on the documents, there was little to prevent Mossad from forging it.

In their 2012 history of Israel’s intelligence service, “Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service”, Michael Bar-Zohar and Nisham Mishal pointed to Mossad as the culprit behind the appearance of the supposed Iranian nuclear documents. The writers recounted how Mossad gathered the personal information on Fakhrizadeh that was later released to the public through the MEK, including his passport number and his home telephone number.

“This abundance of detail and means of transmission,” Bar-Zohar and Mishal wrote, “leads one to believe that… ‘a certain secret service’ ever suspected by the West of pursuing its own agenda, painstakingly collected these facts and figures about the Iranian scientist and passed them on to the Iranian resistance [MEK].”

The documents also fingered Fakhrizadeh as the former head of the Physics Research Centre, thus deceptively linking him to the procurement efforts for “dual use” nuclear items in 1990-91 that were well known to CIA and other intelligence agencies. That accusation was reflected in the 2006 United Nations Security Council Resolution 1747 listing Iranian officials responsible for nuclear and missile proliferation in Iran. In the UN resolution, Fakhrizadeh was identified as a “[s]enior MODAFL scientist and former head of the Physics Research Centre (PHRC).”

But the Israeli identification of Fakhrizadeh as the head of the PHRC was proven to be a lie. Iran turned over extensive documentation to the IAEA in late 2004 or early 2005 on the PHRC and the procurement telexes, and the documents — which the IAEA did not challenge — showing that a professor at Sharif University of Technology in Tehran named Sayyed Abbas Shahmoradi-Zavari had headed the PHRC from its inception in 1989 until it closed in 1998.

Further, the documents provided to the IAEA revealed that the dual-use technology that Shahmoradi-Zavari helped the university procure through his PHRC connections was actually intended for the university faculty’s own teaching and research. In at least one case, the IAEA personnel found one “dual-use” item had been procured by the university.

These facts should have put an end to the Mossad-created myth of Fakrizadeh as the head of a vast underground nuclear weapons program. But the IAEA never revealed Shamoradi-Zavari’s name, and therefore avoided having to acknowledge that the documents the agency had embraced as genuine had misled the world about Fakhrizadeh.

It was not until 2012 that David Albright, the director of Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, acknowledged that Shahmoradi-Zavari — not Fakhrizadeh — had been the head of the Physics Research Center – although he avoided admitting that the IAEA had relied on documents that turned out be false.

Revving up the propaganda 

The Mossad got busy again after the CIA’s November 2007 assessment that Iran had ceased work on nuclear weapons. Determined to neutralize the political impact of that finding, the Israelis apparently began work on a new batch of Iranian top secret documents. This time, however, the Israelis provided the documents directly to the IAEA in late 2009, as then-IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei revealed in his memoirs.

The documents supposedly revealed Iranian defense ministry activities related to nuclear weapons after the cessation of such work that the CIA. One of those documents, leaked to the London Times in December 2009, purported to be a 2007 letter from Fakhrizadeh as the chairman of an organization presiding over nuclear weapons work. But as ElBaradei recalled, the IAEA’s technical experts “raised numerous questions about the documents’ authenticity…”

Even the CIA and some European intelligence analysts were skeptical about the authenticity of the Fakhrizadeh document. Although it had been circulating among the intelligence agencies for months, even the normally unquestioning New York Times reported that the CIA had not authenticated it. Former CIA counterterrorism official Philip Giraldi, who had maintained contacts with active agency personnel, told this reporter CIA analysts regarded the document as a forgery.

A pattern of assassinations justified by disinformation

The killing of Fakhrizadeh was not the first time Mossad bumped off an Iranian it had baselessly accused of playing a leading role in a weapons program. In July 2011, someone working for Mossad — apparently an MEK member — gunned down a 35-year old engineering student named Darioush Rezaeinejad and wounded his wife in front of a kindergarten in Tehran.

The young man was targeted on the basis of nothing more than the research he had conducted on high-voltage switches and his publication of a scholarly paper about his scholarship. The abstract of the professional paper Rezaienejad had published made it clear that his work involved what is called “explosive pulsed power” involved in high-power lasers, high-power microwave sources and other commercial applications.

A few days after the assassination of Rezaienejad, however, an official of an unnamed “member state” provided Associated Press reporter George Jahn the abstract of Rezaienejad’s paper, successfully persuading Jahn that it “appeared to back” the claim that he had been “working on a key component in setting off the explosives needed to trigger a nuclear warhead.”

Then, in September 2011, the Israelis provided Jahn with an “intelligence summary” advancing the ludicrous claim that Rezaeinejad was not an electrical engineering specialist at all, but rather a “physicist” who had worked for the Ministry of Defense on various aspects of nuclear weapons.

The deployment of absurd assertions backed by paper-thin evidence to justify the cold-blooded murder of a young electrical engineer with no record of nuclear weapons involvement illuminated a Mossad modus operandi that has reappeared in the case of Fakhrizadeh: Israeli intelligence simply gins up a narrative centered around fictional ties to a nonexistent nuclear weapons program. It then watches as the Western press uncritically disseminates the propaganda to the public, establishing the political space for cold-blooded assassinations in broad daylight.

Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist who has covered national security policy since 2005 and was the recipient of Gellhorn Prize for Journalism in 2012. His most recent book is The CIA Insider’s Guide to the Iran Crisis co-authored with John Kiriakou, just published in February.

December 3, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama Is An Asshole, And Other Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

By Caitlin Johnstone | December 2, 2020

US empire: Assassinates scientists, invades countries, topples governments, circles the planet with military bases, deliberately starves civilians to death with sanctions, threatens the world with nuclear weapons.

Also the US empire: “Iran must begin acting like a normal country.”

Obama’s job is to tell you that the ruling establishment which murders, oppresses and exploits people all day every day is quite progressive actually and the people who oppose it are immature lunatics who should be scoffed at.

If you killed someone that’s all you’d be known for. When a US president kills thousands upon thousands of people all mainstream discourse is about his sound fiscal policy and ability to sink a three-pointer.

Nice guy fascism: A murderous and tyrannical political ideology whose iron-fisted agendas of oppression, exploitation and violent domination are hidden behind lip service to progressivism, diverse cabinet picks, and nice tweets.

The powerful are screwing us and there are more of us than there are of them. An entire culture and information ecosystem has been deliberately constructed around keeping a critical mass of us from awakening to this one basic fact.

Any issue of international conflict involving the US-centralized empire is going to be awash with western media propaganda marketed to western audiences. No one who ignores this indisputable reality is able to understand any major international news story.

It’s so weird how rich and powerful people are pouring massive amounts of wealth and manpower into manipulating our minds every single day and it’s not the main thing we talk about all the time.

Biden is like if everyone suddenly started gushing poetically about how wonderful and refreshing and inclusive the Chevron logo is.

Being part of the US-led liberal world order means that anyone, regardless of their race, gender or sexual orientation, is free to serve the globe-spanning murder machine in any way they choose.

Being a part of the US-led liberal world order means you are free to do absolutely anything you want, so long as it doesn’t inconvenience the powerful in any way, shape or form.

Sometimes I feel sad that Cobain died so young, but I brighten up when I remember it means we didn’t have to watch him turn into a cringey embarrassing shitlib.

Failing to pardon Snowden and Assange would be an inexcusable evil. Please re-evaluate your opinion of Trump as needed when he pardons neither.

Western imperialism is worse than every single issue the mass media are screaming in your face about on any given day. Without exaggeration it is worse than 100 percent of those issues. If people could really grasp the horrific nature of imperial warmongering, the wars would be forced to end.

It can be hard to avoid getting swept up in the MSM Issue Of The Day, but it’s important to keep your focus on the actual monster in the room. They’re ripping kids apart with explosives and starving them to death with sanctions, currently, and it is invisible to the news media.

Charles Manson never murdered anyone, he just convinced people that it would be a good thing to do. The mass media have convinced far more people that it would be a good idea to commit far more murders than the Manson cult ever committed, and should be reviled as such.

The fastest way to get yourself banned from social media is to say something that sounds like you’re inciting violence. But mass media which do that constantly are never banned, because what’s actually forbidden is inciting violence that isn’t authorized by the powerful.

In fact the easiest way to advance your career in media is to incite violence on behalf of the powerful. This is true in news media, and it’s even true in video games and Hollywood; make compelling games and screenplays glorifying military violence and your career will thrive.

We live in a society that is built on violence, sustained by violence, and driven by violence. Those who promote unauthorized violence are vilified while those who promote violence in service of the powerful can ride that wave to fame and fortune. This should disgust us all.

If you remove your propaganda-installed perceptual filters, you see a machine that is fuelled by the blood of the powerless being piloted by serial killer politicians, laughing skullface comedians, and news men with human flesh in their teeth. Once you’ve seen the horror of the empire you can never unsee it.

December 3, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | 3 Comments

Can a low carb diet cure diabetes?

By Sebastian Rushworth, M.D. | December 2, 2020

A study was recently published in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention, and Health that looked at the effect of a low carb diet on people with type 2 diabetes, and specifically, whether the low carb diet could be used to reverse type 2 diabetes and normalize blood sugar levels.

Type 2 diabetes is the type that is caused by life style choices (as opposed to type 1, which is an autoimmune disease, caused by the immune system attacking the cells that produce insulin). The prevalence of type 2 diabetes has increased enormously over the last few decades, ever since governments started telling people to eat less fat and more carbohydrates.

Of course, correlation is not causation, but it seems reasonable to hypothesize that the increasing levels of type 2 diabetes seen at a population level are due to an increased consumption of carbohydrates. If that is the case, then it should be possible to cure people with type 2 diabetes, or at least lessen the severity of the disease, by getting them to decrease their carbohydrate intake.

That is the basis for this study, which was a cohort study that followed patients with type 2 diabetes at one General Practice clinic in the UK. The authors became motivated to do the study after noticing an 800% increase in the prevalence of diabetes among their patients over the course of 30 years, and after finding that standard dietary recommendations were completely ineffective at reversing diabetes.

A cohort study means that a group of people are recruited, and then followed over time to see what happens to them. There is no control group, and no randomization to different treatments. This makes it harder to say what effect an intervention has, something we will discuss more later in the article.

The study enrolled 128 patients with type 2 diabetes (27% of the total number of type 2 diabetics in the clinic) in a low carb diet treatment program, and followed them for an average of 23 months. The average age of the participants was 63 at inclusion in the study. The average weight was 100 kg and the average HbA1c was 66.

At this point we should probably do a little detour to discuss what HbA1c is. Glucose that’s floating around in our bloodstreams has a certain tendency to attach to our red blood cells. HbA1c is a measure of how much glucose the red blood cells have bound to them, which is a good proxy for the average level of glucose in the blood stream over the course of the last few months. A normal HbA1c is less than 42 mmol/mol. The limit where someone is diagnosed with diabetes is 48 mmol/mol. Between 42 and 48 is considered pre-diabetic, i.e. the person is showing signs of insulin resistance, but has not yet developed full blown diabetes.

The low carb diet program in the study involved a couple of ten minute one-to-one sessions with a doctor or nurse per year, in which patients were coached on a low carb diet. The number of such sessions varied depending on the needs of the individual, but averaged three sessions per participant per year. The participants were also given low carb guidance during their other appointments with doctors and nurses. Optional 90 minute group sessions were also offered every six weeks.

Participants were recommended to avoid cereals, pasta, rice, bread, cakes, biscuits, and tropical fruits (bananas, oranges, grapes, mangoes, pineapples). Instead they were recommended to eat meat, fatty fish, full fat dairy, eggs, nuts, vegetables, and berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries). Certain fruits were also considered ok, such as apples and pears.

So, what were the results?

Over the course of follow-up (average 23 months), participants mean HbA1c decreased from 65 to 48. That is a huge reduction, and it is highly statistically significant. It means that the average participant on a low carb diet was able to go from having full-blown type 2 diabetes to a state of being pre-diabetic.

All other health markers studied also improved to a significant extent. Average weight decreased from 100 kg to 91 kg. Average systolic blood pressure decreased from 144 to 133 while diastolic blood pressure decreased from 83 to 78. Those number might not mean much to many readers, but a reduction from 144 to 133 means going from being diagnosed with hypertension to having a blood pressure within the normal range. So not only did the average patient stop fulfilling the diagnostic criteria for type 2 diabetes, they also stopped fulfilling the criteria for hypertension.

One criticism of a low carb diet from proponents of standard dietary recommendations is that it increases cardiovascular disease. This is based on the cholesterol hypothesis (which we’ve already debunked earlier on this blog), i.e. the belief that if you eat more saturated fats then your cholesterol levels will go up and you will get more cardiovascular disease. If you eat less carbohydrates, you will generally compensate by eating more fat, which is why those who believe in the standard recommendations are usually against a low carb diet.

That is why the doctors who performed this study measured the cholesterol levels of the participants. What did they find?

Total cholesterol decreased from 4,9 to 4,4 mmol/l, while HDL (so-called “good cholesterol”) increased from 1,2 to 1,3 mmol/l. At the same time triglycerides (fats in the blood stream) decreased from 2,6 to 1,7. Basically, all markers for cardiovascular disease moved in the right direction, not the wrong direction. So, it seems that the fears of proponents of standard dietary advice are unfounded.

It didn’t matter whether participants had had type 2 diabetes for a long time or a short time, or whether they had full blown diabetes or were just pre-diabetic, or whether they were older or younger. Everyone benefited from the low carb diet, and the biggest benefit was seen in those participants with the highest HbA1c at the start of the intervention.

Among the participants in the study, 29 diabetes medications were stopped, while four were started. 54 participants were on diabetes medications at the start of the study, and of these, 19 were able to become completely medication free. So overall, there was a big reduction in use of diabetes medications among participants. And apart from the reduction in diabetes medications, there was also a 20% reduction in the use of blood pressure medications.

Among the participants who had type 2 diabetes at the start of the intervention, 46% were in drug free remission at the end of the intervention (in other words, they had been cured of their type 2 diabetes, since they no longer fulfilled the criteria for it). In a normal GP practice offering standard dietary advice and regular treatment routines, only 2% are in drug free remission after two years.

What can we conclude?

First of all, there are weaknesses with this study. The biggest weakness is that there was no control group. Without that, we can’t say what would have happened to a group that was getting some kind of sham placebo treatment, and we can’t say how big the benefit of low carb is when compared with that.

On the other hand, most doctors who treat people with type 2 diabetes would probably agree that it’s relatively rare to see people go in to disease remission. As stated, only 2% are in drug free remission after two years with standard recommendations. And, in general, in a group of patients with type 2 diabetes, the number of medication prescriptions increases over time, it doesn’t decrease. That does suggest that the low carb intervention is effective.

A second problem with the study is that there was significant risk of selection bias. Participants who choose to take part in a study are usually more motivated than the average patient, so the benefit seen is often greater than would be seen in the real world. That being said, the results from this study are so impressive that, even if the real world results are much smaller, that could still mean huge health gains for a lot of people.

This study should be followed up by a large randomized controlled trial, in which participants with type 2 diabetes are randomized to either a low carb diet or standard dietary recommendations and followed for a few years, in order to confirm the results and get a clearer idea of what benefits can be expected. Although such trials have been performed earlier, they have invariably been small and/or short term. In the meantime however, I do think it makes sense for people with type 2 diabetes to try the low carb diet that was used in this study, after consultation with their primary care provider, of course, and see what happens.

You might also be interested in my article comparing a low carb vs a low fat diet for weight loss or my article about why deprescribing medications is so important for health in the elderly.

December 3, 2020 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | Leave a comment

Betting other people’s money on green

Climate Discussion Nexus | December 2, 2020

With pandemic lockdowns crushing the private sector, it’s obviously time to launch an ambitious redesign of our economy. Or so they tell us. And “they” are not just the architects of the Great Reset whose plans, we noted last week, offer a strange mix of cosmic ambition and predictable futility. But “they” also includes those who keep insisting, against all evidence, that there are vast commercial opportunities in this new economy. If that were true it would mean we don’t need sweeping government intervention, just the same old profit motive and efficient capital markets. Unfortunately neither profits nor efficient capital markets seem to enter the picture. Yahoo! Finance just noted that “The chief executive officers of eight Canadian pension funds, collectively representing about $1.6 trillion in assets under management, are calling for a green recovery from the COVID-19 economic slump.” But every single one of those massive funds is… a government agency gambling with other people’s money. Every one.

We’re talking state capitalism not the private kind because the CEOs who signed the letter in question run “AIMCo, BCI, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, CPP Investments, HOOPP, OMERS, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, and PSP Investments.” All stuffed with public-sector money and insulated by government guarantees from the cost of any failed investment in magic beans. Unlike, say, taxpayers.

In case some of those pension funds are not familiar to you, HOOPP is the “Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP)” whose website boasts that “As one of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension plans, we are dedicated to providing retirement security to more than 380,000 healthcare workers in Ontario.” As for AIMCo, aka “Alberta Investment Management Corporation”, its website touts first “New Commitments to Diversity & Inclusion” then “Investors Collaborate on Climate Change Mitigation”. Not return on equity. So you’re not astonished to learn from their 2019 Annual Report that they call themselves “Alberta’s investment manager” and that their shareholder, in the singular, is… “the Government of Alberta”. Or that they are “a non-profit, crown corporation responsible for investing on behalf of most of Alberta’s public sector employees and, through the Heritage Fund, on behalf of all Albertans.”

Shall we continue? Let’s. Sure enough, BCI is the “British Columbia Investment Management Corporation” aka “The Investment Manager of Choice for British Columbia’s Public Sector”. Obviously the Caisse de depot is a branch of the Quebec government. It claims its clients are “41 depositor groups. Most are pension plans and public and parapublic insurance plans which, together, pay out benefits to more than two million Quebecers each year.” But of course its real client is the government of Quebec, which appoints the Board of Directors and mandates the Caisse to generate money for the government’s pension plans “while at the same time contributing to Quebec’s economic development” in, you understand, an independent manner.

Where are we? Ah yes, CPP Investments, whose name speaks for itself, though we might add that it is “one of the world’s largest investors in private equity”. So it is not your grandfather’s capitalism we’re seeing here.

Then there’s OMERS, the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, a branch of the Ontario government that, Wikipedia notes, “has become one of the largest institutional investors in Canada”. And as its own website notes, it runs a “defined benefit pension plan” so if the market returns aren’t there, well, the government will come to the rescue with however many billions are needed.

We don’t have to tell you that the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is another of these parastatal behemoths. But we should mention that PSP Investments is… yes… the “Public Sector Pension Investment Board”, a branch of the federal government that is also “one of Canada’s largest pension investment managers” and once again oversees defined-benefit plans.

We dwell on the “defined-benefit” aspect here because it is vital to understand that these outfits are free to gamble with other people’s money for two vital reasons. First, by law their beneficiaries get paid whether the investments work out or not. And second and related, they are free from the sort of scrutiny normal investment firms face from clients concerned about losing their savings if the fund bets heavily on trendy exotic ideas because their clients are not those whose pensions they manage but governments that can just raise taxes, borrow against other people’s assets or, for the federal government, print the stuff to make up for any failure to find a pot of gold at the end of the green rainbow.

This consideration deserves emphasis because when you hear “institutional investors” you might well be inclined to think, well, if sober money managers taking care of Canadians’ hard-won savings are into this stuff it must not be trendy or exotic. Green must be blue chip. But no. It’s just more of the public-sector song and dance you pay for whether you like it or not.

Except for one nasty thing: The bigger they are the harder they fall. Especially now, with public sector balance sheets a soggy red mess, if one or more of these major holders of often badly underfunded public-sector pension assets should bet the wind farm on something that goes thud, as alternative energy generally does, it may not be possible for the government or governments in question to find the tens or hundreds of billions of dollars needed to make up the losses. (The CPP, the Chief Actuary of Canada has said, must earn a real rate of return of 4% for 75 years to cover projected payouts. Good luck with that mate. And as Andrew Coyne has been tireless in exposing, what was once a small outfit pursuing a “Wealthy Barber” plan of passive investment with 164 employees and administrative costs of $118 million has since 2006 become a bloated behemoth whose 1,661-strong host of managers costing $3.3 billion a year pursue risky ventures around the world. So they’re riding the gravy train even if we’re not.)

There is this meme out there that big companies are extra-right-wing entities that send lavish cheques to deniers and oppose regulation. But it’s not true. Like GM, which just switched from Trump’s position on California’s strict new emissions to Biden’s, many are smooth operators convinced they can game the system. They may find, as carmakers in Europe are already finding, that feeding the crocodile in the hope of being eaten last is just exactly as bad an idea as it sounds. But in any case private companies no longer dominate financial markets. Public and parapublic entities do.

As a result, the only meaningful shareholder revolt possible here is that of citizens. And just imagine trying to make OMERS’ investment strategy a key election issue. But it matters, because that CEOs’ letter is full of trendy verbiage like “The pandemic and other tragic events of 2020 have revealed pre-existing business strengths and shortcomings with respect to social inequity, including systemic racism and environmental threats.” And so all your chips, as a taxpayer and as a retired or even current public employee, are on the notion that a Great Reset is a fiscal winner.

December 3, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Economics | | Leave a comment

UN calls for probe into Israel’s use of armed force against children

Palestine Information Center – December 2, 2020

RAMALLAH – The UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner has called for a transparent investigation into the use of armed force by Israeli soldiers against Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank.

The UN Human Rights Office said that the Israeli forces critically injured at least four children with live ammunition and rubber-coated metal bullets in separate incidents across the West Bank in the past two weeks.

“All injuries resulted from the use of potentially lethal force in circumstances where available information suggests the children did not pose a threat to life or serious injury of the soldiers or to anyone else.”

“It thus appears the force used was not in accordance with international law,” the Human Rights Office said in a statement, pointing out that a 16-year-old boy was shot in the chest and critically injured in al-Bireh city on November 29.

“On 27 November, during protests in Kafr Qaddum village in the north of the West Bank, soldiers shot a 16-year old boy in the head with a rubber-coated metal bullet. The boy fell from the impact and is hospitalized with a fractured skull.”

“On November 17, a 15-year old boy on his way back from school lost his right eye after being hit by ricochet ammunition in Qalandia refugee camp north of Jerusalem. Although there were clashes taking place between soldiers and residents of the camp, none of the available information suggests the boy would have posed a threat to anyone at the time he was shot,” the statement elaborated.

“UN Human Rights Office calls on Israel to promptly, transparently and independently investigate all instances of (Israeli army) use of force that have led to killing or injury and to hold those responsible accountable,” the statement said.

“In accordance with international law, use of lethal force is only allowed as a measure of last resort, in response to a threat to life or of serious injury. Stone-throwing does not appear to constitute such threat. In addition, force must always be used in a manner which causes the least possible harm. Shooting in the head or upper body does not appear to conform with this requirement.”

“Children enjoy special protection under international law and must be protected from violence at all times.”

December 3, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 4 Comments

UN General Assembly adopts five anti-Israeli resolutions

Press TV – December 3, 2020

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has approved five anti-Israeli resolutions, which are part of a package of 20 pro-Palestinian texts that the 193-member body adopts on an annual basis.

One of the documents, passed on Wednesday, condemned Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights — a territory the Tel Aviv regime seized from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War and annexed four years later — in a move that was never recognized by the world community.

Endorsed by 88-9 votes with 62 abstentions, the resolution urges Israel to withdraw from the “occupied Syrian Golan to the line of 4 June 1967 in implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions.”

It also affirmed that Israel’s unilateral annexation of the Syrian territory in 1981 “constitutes a stumbling block in the way of achieving a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the region.”

Over the past decades, Israel has built dozens of settlements in the Golan Heights in defiance of international calls for the regime to stop its construction activities on the occupied land.

Damascus has repeatedly reaffirmed its sovereignty over the Golan Heights, saying the area must be completely restored to its control.

In a major pro-Israel policy shift, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order in 2019 recognizing Israel’s control over occupied Golan in a blatant violation of international law.

The second resolution, entitled a “Peaceful Settlement of the Question of Palestine,” was approved 145-7, with nine abstentions.

It called on the Tel Aviv regime to withdraw from all territory over the pre-1967 lines in occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds, the West Bank and the Golan Heights.

The document also demanded a halt to Israel’s settlement construction activities, spoke of the illegality of annexation plans, and warned the occupying entity against making changes in East Jerusalem al-Quds.

It further took Israel to task for a wide range of actions against the Palestinian people, including the demolition of their homes in Area C of the West Bank.

The three remaining UNGA resolutions affirmed the work of UN Committees operating on behalf of the Palestinians.

Before the vote, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan chastised the General Assembly for not referencing the regime’s recent normalization deals with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain.

“Can this forum be any more detached from the real world?” he asked, claiming, “Instead of encouraging the Palestinians to see how these agreements can transform the region and be used as a catalyst for peace with Israel, this institution votes in favor of these biased resolutions.”

A Palestinian representative denounced Erdan’s “flip” and “offensive” comments, including one where he accused the UNGA of being detached from reality.

“On the contrary, what was discussed today in this debate is the reality. What was discussed today is not so-called ‘Palestinian talking points.’ These are the international talking points,” she said. “This is the international consensus that Israel, the occupying power, continues to object, obstruct, to deny, to belittle and to attempt futilely to destroy.”

The regime has gotten “accustomed to violating the law with zero consequences,” she added. “Only accountability can change this miserable situation and give hope for a future of justice and peace… The hypocritical and degrading claim by the Israeli representative that this institution’s approach has failed perhaps should highlight even more the need of concrete actions by states to implement the resolutions adopted by the UNGA to ensure accountability.”

She also stressed that the passage of the anti-Israel texts showed that support for the Palestinian people remained strong.

Before the General Assembly’s vote, a Jordanian representative, whose country is the custodian of the holy sites in Jerusalem al-Quds, said Israel must maintain the status quo at Haram al-Sharif or Temple Mount.

Israel is attempting to “impose a fait accompli on al-Aqsa mosque and Jerusalem,” he said, adding that the occupied city’s “holy sites will remain the focus of Jordanian care and guardianship.”

Jordan will “combat a new fait accompli or change the historic or legal status of the holy city especially at the al-Aqsa Mosque,” he emphasized.

Separately, Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour asked the international community to hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law and stick to the so-called two-state solution to the Middle East conflict.

He also called for a boycott of Israeli settlement products and urged Western nations to recognize Palestinian statehood.

Palestinian PM calls for boycott of Israeli settlements

In another development on Wednesday, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh urged donor countries and international organizations to take serious measures towards boycotting Israeli settlements.

He stressed that the status quo imposed by Israel is deteriorating as the Palestinian land is shrinking, the settlers’ violence is escalating, and access to resources is decreasing daily.

“Economic development is not separate from the political and national project. Rather, it is a lever towards ending the occupation and establishing the Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital,” he said, noting that the world must move to end this occupation because the current status quo cannot continue.

Iran envoy blasts Israel for violating Palestinians’ rights

Mohammad Reza Sahraei, counselor at Iran’s Mission to the UN, said the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People provides an opportunity to “highlight the dire and painful situation endured by Palestinians over the course of decades as a result of the gross and systematic violation of their rights by the Israeli regime.”

“The question of Palestine is the longest-running crisis of our time with no foreseeable conclusion in sight…. In fact, the non-compliance of the occupying regime with relevant international laws and regulations has further prevented the international community from achieving a just and lasting solution to the crisis,” he said.

“After more than seven decades, the Israeli regime has continued to violate the fundamental human rights and dignities of the Palestinian people as well as other Arabs living under its occupation. As a result, Palestinians are not only deprived of their lands and properties while being forcibly evicted but also subjected to violence, terror, and intimidation,” the diplomat added.

December 3, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 1 Comment

Suzanne Humphries – Dissolving Illusions: The Information You Wish You Had Known Before

AutismOne Media | May 30, 2017

Not too long ago, lethal infections were feared in the Western world. Since that time, many countries have undergone a transformation from disease cesspools to much safer, healthier habitats. Starting in the mid-1800s, there was a steady drop in deaths from all infectious diseases, decreasing to relatively minor levels by the early 1900s.

The history of that transformation involves famine, poverty, filth, lost cures, eugenicist doctrine, individual freedoms versus state might, protests and arrests over vaccine refusal, and much more.

Today, we are told that medical interventions increased our lifespan and single-handedly prevented masses of deaths. But is this really true?

Suzanne Humphries, MD, will detail facts and figures from long-overlooked medical journals, books, newspapers, and other sources. Using myth-shattering graphs, board certified internist and nephrologist Dr. Humphries will show that vaccines, antibiotics, and other medical interventions are not responsible for the increase in lifespan and the decline in mortality from infectious diseases.

This presentation will bring to your mind the question “If the medical profession could systemically misinterpret and ignore key historical information, what else is ignored and misinterpreted today??”

December 3, 2020 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | 4 Comments