Aletho News


Tales of American POWs in Vietnam

Tales of the American Empire | December 24, 2020

During the Vietnam War, 766 Americans were confirmed Prisoners Of War. Of them, 114 are known to have died in captivity , but the actual number is higher because many of those listed as missing in action probably died after capture. The status of American POWs was never clear. Vietnam never attacked the United States and the United States never declared war on Vietnam. One day American warplanes began bombing Vietnam and the Vietnamese declared these criminal attacks. When American pilots were shot down many were killed by vengeful farmers and were lucky not be executed by the Vietnamese government since they had no legal status as a Prisoner Of War. They were kept alive to collect military information and as political bargaining chips.


“The Case of Sergeant Jon M. Sweeney”; Laurel Macondray; National Archives; June 2, 2015; https://unwritten-record.blogs.archiv…

“Traitors or patriots? Eight Vietnam POWs were charged with collaborating with the enemy”; Michael Ruane; Washington Post; September 22, 2017;…

“Marines and Military Law in Vietnam”; Chapter 10; United States Marine Corps; Dec 22, 2010;…

“McCain’s broken marriage fractured other ties as well”; Richard Serrano; Los Angeles Times; July 11, 2008;…

December 26, 2020 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Video | , | Leave a comment

The Curious Case of Seth Rich: Why DNC Staffer’s Murder Continues to Stir Up Political Controversy

By Ekaterina Blinova – Sputnik – 26.12.2020

DNC staffer Seth Rich’s unresolved murder case is still raising questions on both sides of the US political aisle. An American investigative journalist has shed light on the efforts to get to the bottom of the case and the FBI’s potential role in investigating the 27-year-old’s death.

Earlier this month, American attorney Ty Clevenger announced on his blog that his years-long search of documents concerning the mysterious murder of 27-year-old DNC employee Seth Rich had eventually borne fruit: after repeated denials, the FBI reportedly admitted that it has over 20,000 pages of records mentioning the victim and, more importantly, his personal laptop currently being under examination by the bureau.

To back his claim, Clevenger quoted a letter he received from Assistant US Attorney Andrea Parker, who is representing the FBI in a case against his client. Previously, the bureau claimed that it had sought but didn’t find any documents concerning the murdered DNC employee. Clevenger repeatedly requested the investigative agency’s records about the DNC staffer, citing a client with second-hand knowledge of documents that the FBI supposedly extracted from Seth Rich’s electronic devices.

Was the FBI Somehow Involved in the Inquiry Into Rich’s Death?

“The FBI’s involvement in any potential Seth Rich investigation is significant because they don’t normally investigate murders of ordinary citizens”, says Jason Goodman, US investigative journalist and Crowdsource the Truth founder, who interviewed Clevenger on 11 December. “Seth was not a Federal employee; he was a private citizen working for the DNC. The Washington DC Metro Police responded to the scene of the shooting and their detectives would normally conduct the investigation”.

There are a number of other circumstances that could attract the FBI, but it would have to involve crimes that span multiple US states, the investigative journalist highlights. To complicate matters further, the public does not know that much about the shooting “because there has been virtually no police investigation”, he says, adding that “the entire matter is extremely unusual”. The crime has remained unresolved for over four years.

On 10 July 2016, DNC employee Seth Rich was shot dead in what appeared to be a botched robbery. Rich’s death triggered a lot of controversy:

·         It occurred less than two weeks before the release of thousands of DNC internal emails and documents by WikiLeaks.

·         In August 2016, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange dropped a very vague hint in an interview with a Dutch TV reporter concerning a murdered “27-year-old who worked for DNC” while speaking about the group’s source. Assange’s remark was interpreted as a reference to Seth Rich.

On 16 May 2017, Fox News’ Malia Zimmerman published a story claiming that the DNC documents were handed over to WikiLeaks by Rich. The article said that “a federal investigator” had reviewed “an FBI forensic report” on the matter and “detail[ed] the contents of Rich’s computer”. It also floated the idea that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) deliberately blocked the investigation into the case.

The story was immediately denounced as “bogus” by US mainstream news agencies and intelligence officials: an FBI official and a former law enforcement member “with first-hand knowledge of Rich’s laptop” told NBC News the same day that the DC MPD had not given the bureau the DNC staffer’s laptop to analyse after his murder. On 23 May 2017, Zimmerman’s story was retracted as not meeting the network’s “standards”, and shortly after that Fox News was sued by the DNC staffer’s parents.

NBC News argued at the time that there was no way Rich could be WikiLeaks’ source, since the DNC email leak “came from a Russian hacking operation”. Moscow resolutely denied the claim that it was involved in an alleged breach as absurd.

Obvious Flaws in the “Russia Did It” Theory

The “Russia did it” story with regard to the alleged hack of DNC servers raised more questions than answers. Although the US Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) formally pinned the blame on Moscow in January 2017, the committee’s hardware has never been examined by the FBI, which completely relied on data provided by CrowdStrike, a DNC contractor.

However, CrowdStrike President Shawn Henry stated in a sworn testimony in December 2017 in the US Congress that the firm “did not have concrete evidence that the data was exfiltrated [moved electronically] from the DNC, but [it has] indicators that it was exfiltrated”. Henry reiterated that “there’s no evidence” that the data was exfiltrated several times during the interview.

​Speaking to Sputnik in August 2020, William Binney, a cryptographer and former technical director at the US National Security Agency (NSA), explained why the DNC emails were not obtained through a “hack”, but downloaded on a thumb drive instead, which indicates that it was likely an “inside job”.

“We looked at the DNC emails that were documented by WikiLeaks on the web”, he said. “There are 35,813 emails, all with the same property FAT (file allocation table) formatting saying that this was read [i.e. downloaded] to a thumb drive or a CD-ROM before WikiLeaks got it to publish. Which meant it was physically transported to WikiLeaks. So, for us, that meant it was not a hack. Period”.

Referring to the “indicators” mentioned by Henry during his December 2017 testimony, Binney suggested that “the indications that it was [exfiltrated], is this FAT file format”.

Seth Rich’s Story is Still Shrouded in Secrecy

The story of Rich being the source for WikiLeaks has nevertheless continued to make the rounds in social and alternative media, while the US mainstream media has continued to denounce it as a conspiracy.

In August 2019, Yahoo investigative reporter Michael Isikoff told NPR’s Terry Gross that he had specifically asked Andrew McCabe, who was the acting director of the FBI at the time, whether the bureau had anything to do with Rich’s investigation. “McCabe says when he first heard this, he reached out to his agents and was told there’s nothing there”, Isikoff stressed. “There’s no there there”.

Nevertheless, the letter received by American attorney Ty Clevenger from a lawyer representing the FBI speaks to the contrary. The Epoch Times, a US-based conservative media outlet, stated on 11 December that it had “confirmed the email is legitimate”.

“In our conversation, Mr Clevenger spoke about a simple way FBI agents can keep evidence out of the public view and hide from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) [requests]. They simply don’t log it into their database”, says Jason Goodman.

It remains unclear whether the bureau will provide Clevenger with the materials in question in response to his FOIA request. The letter says that the FBI is continuing the search and is also “working on getting the files from Seth Rich’s personal laptop into a format to be reviewed”, adding that “unfortunately, these efforts are hampered by FBI FOIA office’s reduction to a 50% staffing posture due to Covid”.

“It is difficult to know what Mr Clevenger will receive and when”, Goodman notes. “This is the back-and-forth dance of litigation. They’ve been ordered to produce materials, now it will be interesting to see if they actually do and how heavily redacted the released information will be. They could always claim ‘national security’ and limit the release”.

Meanwhile, the DNC employee’s murder continues to prompt new theories and official narratives, neither of which, according to the investigative journalist, properly explains what actually happened to Seth Rich.

December 26, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

A very odd year

By Sebastian Rushworth, M.D. | December 26, 2020

I graduated from medical school in January 2020. Long before starting to study to be a doctor, I had become interested in how diet and health are related, with a particular interest in the paleolithic diet. I think this was borne primarily out of my strong interest in evolution and biology – it just made sense that the diet humans were evolutionarily adapted to over the course of millions of years would also be the diet that is healthiest for us.

During my five and a half years of medical training, a few things became clear to me. First, while doctors receive a lot of training in how to deal with medical emergencies, they are taught extremely little about how to avoid chronic disease and maximize long term health, and much of what they are taught is wrong. Over those years, I think I received a total of three lectures about nutrition. In other words, three hours during five and a half years were spent learning about how to avoid chronic disease in the first place.

One of those lectures, during the last few months before graduating, struck a very strong chord. The lecturer showed a powerpoint slide, and said, “this is your bible. This is what you are going to tell people.”

Here’s what was on that list:

  1. Eat more fruit and vegetables.
  2. Eat more fish.
  3. Eat more whole grain cereals.
  4. Eat less sugar.
  5. Eat less saturated fat.
  6. Eat less salt.
  7. Eat low fat dairy.
  8. Eat less meat.

Since I have a strong personal interest in nutrition, and have spent a lot of time going through the science, I knew that at least half of the advice on that list was complete nonsense, not supported by the scientific evidence. And yet we were being told that this was our “bible”. Just the word chosen showed clearly that this was not science we were being taught, it was religion.

Another problem with medical school is that we were taught what to do in different situations, but we were rarely given any nuance in terms of the probability of success, or size of benefit, of a treatment. For example, we were taught that, after someone has a heart attack or a stroke, they should be prescribed a statin. But we were never told what that would really mean for the patient. How much longer could they expect to live?

I decided that, after graduating, I would start a blog about health and medicine, to try to get the truth out as much as possible, both to patients and to colleagues in the medical profession. Apart from helping others, it would also allow me to delve deeper in to many of the topics I hadn’t been taught in medical school.

Anyway, three days after graduating, I started working in the Emergency Room of one of the hospitals in Stockholm. For the next few months I was too busy to think further about my blog idea. And then, just a few months in to my new job, came covid.

It came suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere. One day it was something happening far away, in other countries, in Italy and South Korea, and China. The next it was everywhere. For a while, it felt like every single covid test I ordered came back positive. I even had a case where a patient came in with a nose bleed, and for some reason someone decided to take a nasal swab to test for covid. The test came back positive.

Now, I don’t want to give the impression that the Emergency Room was being overwhelmed, because that would be false. I went from seeing eight or more patients per shift to seeing two or three. While a very large proportion of the patients were covid positive, there were in total many fewer patients than usual. All the usual suspects in the Emergency Room were gone.

Official statistics bear this out. They show, for example, that hospital admissions for heart attacks in Stockholm were down 40% during the spring covid peak. Presumably people were choosing to stay home rather than go to the hospital and risk getting covid. And presumably this was resulting in unnecessary deaths – indirect deaths, not due to the virus itself, but rather due to the hysteria surrounding the virus.

This continued for about a month, and then the covid patients started to disappear. More and more of the tests came back negative. I noticed that the official statistics were telling the same story. From mid-April until early August there was a continuous decline in the number of people dying of covid in Sweden.

I follow the medical literature quite closely, and there seemed to be a clear consensus among the experts at that point that covid was not a seasonal virus. Putting these two pieces of data together, the decline in deaths and the lack of seasonality, I figured that we must have reached the point of herd immunity in Sweden. I was surprised that it came so quickly, but if both suppositions were true, then nothing else could explain what we were seeing in the data.

I figured that, if this was the case, then the virus could not possibly be anywhere near as deadly as it was being portrayed in the media. Only 6,000 people had died, out of a population of 10 million, and the pandemic was over. So it seemed.

I was given a few weeks holiday in late July, and with more time on my hands, I decided to start the blog that I had been planning for several months. Around this time I had a conversation with my mother, who follows the mainstream news media closely, about covid. I hadn’t been following the news myself, but had rather been going straight to the source for my information, looking at the official statistics and the scientific studies, and it became clear that we had very different world views in relation to covid.

From my perspective, based on my experience in the hospital, and what was being shown in the official statistics and scientific studies, it was clear that covid was no worse than a bad flu, of the kind seen several times per century. It was certainly nowhere near as bad as the horrific 1918 flu pandemic, which is estimated to have killed 3% of the world’s population, and which was particularly dangerous to young people. And yet covid was frequently being compared to that pandemic in the media.

By summer, it was clear that covid was nowhere near as bad as had initially been feared. In Stockholm a large field hospital had been erected to deal with the expected deluge of covid patients, but it never had to take a single patient. And yet, the reaction from media and governments seemed more in line with a global ebola outbreak than a bad flu.

I realized that my mother was typical of most people, who were getting their news from the mainstream sources, and so I decided to write an article about it on my new blog. After writing the article, I sent it to Malcolm Kendrick, a British doctor I admire, who had written a couple of very skeptical articles about covid, in order to see what he thought about it. He liked it so much that he asked if he could re-post it on his website.

I had a feeling that the article might generate some interest, but it immediately went viral. In less than two weeks, my blog had received half a million visits. The Spectator newspaper in the UK contacted me and asked to reprint my article, as did several other newspapers and blogs. And multiple TV and radio channels asked to interview me.

It was clear that there was a huge hunger for an alternative view of the pandemic to that being presented in mainstream media. At the same time, I had only just started the blog, and it wasn’t really a blog about covid. My main interest is in what people can do to maintain their long term health, and that is what I want my blog to be about. So, although I wrote the odd article about covid over the next few months (mainly because I kept getting a large number of e-mails from people asking me about my opinion on different things to do with covid), I tried to focus on the other things, that I personally think are more important and interesting over the long term.

Then came autumn, and with it the second wave. Considering that the consensus among the “experts” was that covid wasn’t seasonal, I was surprised, again. “Non-experts”, like Ivor Cummins, who had said all along that covid was acting in a seasonal manner and would be back in autumn, were right. And with the second wave came a renewed wave of hysteria that was in many cases worse than the first time around.

In Sweden, that was certainly the case. The Swedish government struck a much more alarmist chord the second time around, even though it was clear that the first wave had been much worse, at least in terms of the number of people dying. And even though there was now robust evidence that the fatality rate was much lower than had been believed initially, and increasing evidence that the fear mongering and lockdowns during the first wave had done much more harm than good, there were renewed calls for even stricter measures. Just as with the official dietary guidelines, the mainstream response to covid started to feel more like it was based on religion than on science.

Amid the renewed hysteria, I was contacted by a publisher here in Sweden, who asked me to write a book about covid, to get a more nuanced and scientifically sound view out in to the public arena than was being presented in mainstream media. I’ve now been working on that book for a few months, and I’m currently putting the finishing touches to it. It will be out in the early part of 2021, in English and Swedish, and my hope is that it will contribute to changing the way the world thinks about covid.

Let’s hope 2021 ends up being a saner year than 2020.

You might also enjoy my article about how many years of life are lost to covid, or my article about how long immunity to covid lasts after infection.

December 26, 2020 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | 5 Comments

What Is the Great Reset? Part I: Reduced Expectations and Bio-techno-feudalism

By Michael Rectenwald – Mises – 12/16/2020

The Great Reset is on everyone’s mind, whether everyone knows it or not. It is presaged by the measures undertaken by states across the world in response to the covid-19 crisis. (I mean by “crisis” not the so-called pandemic itself, but the responses to a novel virus called SARS-2 and the impact of the responses on social and economic conditions.)

In his book, COVID-19: The Great Reset, World Economic Forum (WEF) founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab writes that the covid-19 crisis should be regarded as an “opportunity [that can be] seized to make the kind of institutional changes and policy choices that will put economies on the path toward a fairer, greener future.”1 Although Schwab has been promoting the Great Reset for years, the covid crisis has provided a pretext for finally enacting it. According to Schwab, we should not expect the postcovid world system to return to its previous modes of operation. Rather, alternating between description and prescription, Schwab suggests that changes will be, or should be, enacted across interlocking, interdependent domains to produce a new normal.

So, just what is the Great Reset and what is the new normal it would establish?

The Great Reset means reduced incomes and carbon use. But Schwab and the WEF also define the Great Reset in terms of the convergence of economic, monetary, technological, medical, genomic, environmental, military, and governance systems. The Great Reset would involve vast transformations in each of these domains, changes which, according to Schwab, will not only alter our world but also lead us to “question what it means to be human.”2

In terms of economics and monetary policy, the Great Reset would involve a consolidation of wealth, on the one hand, and the likely issuance of universal basic income (UBI) on the other.3 It might include a shift to a digital currency,4 including a consolidated centralization of banking and bank accounts, immediate real-time taxation, negative interest rates, and centralized surveillance and control over spending and debt.

While every aspect of the Great Reset involves technology, the Great Reset specifically entails “the Fourth Industrial Revolution,”5 or transhumanism, which includes the expansion of genomics, nanotechnology, and robotics and their penetration into human bodies and brains. Of course, the fourth Industrial Revolution involves the redundancy of human labor in increasing sectors, to be replaced by automation. But moreover, Schwab hails the use of nanotechnology and brain scans to predict and preempt human behavior.

The Great Reset means the issuance of medical passports, soon to be digitized, as well as the transparency of medical records inclusive of medical history, genetic makeup, and disease states. But it could include the implanting of microchips that would read and report on genetic makeup and brain states such that “[e]ven crossing a national border might one day involve a detailed brain scan to assess an individual’s security risk.”6

On the genomic front, the Great Reset includes advances in genetic engineering and the fusion of genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics.

In military terms, the Great Reset entails the creation of new battle spaces including cyberspaces and the human brain as a battle space.7

In terms of governance, the Great Reset means increasingly centralized, coordinated, and expanded government and “governmentalities,” the convergence of corporations and states, and the digitalization of governmental functions, including, with the use of 5G and predictive algorithms, real-time tracking and surveillance of bodies in space or the “anticipatory governance” of human and systems behavior.8

That being said, “the Great Reset” is but a coordinated propaganda campaign shrouded under a cloak of inevitability. Rather than a mere conspiracy theory, as the New York Times has suggested,9 the Great Reset is an attempt at a conspiracy, or the “wishful thinking”10 of socioeconomic planners to have corporate “stakeholders”11 and governments adopt the desiderata of the WEF.

In order to sell this package, the WEF mobilizes the warmed-over rhetoric of “economic equality,” “fairness,” “inclusion,” and “a shared destiny,” among other euphemisms.12 Together, such phrases represent the collectivist, socialist political and ideological component of the envisioned corporate socialism13 (since economic socialism can never be enacted, it is always only political and ideological).

I’ll examine the prospects for the Great Reset in future installments. But suffice it to say for now that the WEF envisions a bio-techno-feudalist global order, with socioeconomic planners and corporate “stakeholders” at the helm and the greater part of humanity in their thrall. The mass of humanity, the planners would have it, will live under an economic stasis of reduced expectations, with individual autonomy greatly curtailed if not utterly obliterated. As Mises suggested, such planners are authoritarians who mean to supplant the plans of individual actors with their own, centralized plans. If enacted, such plans would fail, but their adoption would nevertheless exact a price.


Contact Michael Rectenwald

Michael Rectenwald was a professor of liberal studies at New York University (retired).

December 26, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Economics, Environmentalism, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

JPost Fabricates Alleged Hezbollah Involvement in ISIL Captagon Ship Seized in Italy, Arab & Lebanese Media Outlets Endorse Slander

Al-Manar | December 26, 2020

The Zionist newspaper, Jpost, fabricated a report which alleged that Hezbollah was behind the captagon ship seized in Italy last July, knowing that the Italian authorities confirmed that drugs were made to fund the takfiri group.

JPost’s fabricated report was not confirmed by the Italian authorities which did not even comment on the rumors, according to Al-Manar correspondent in Italy.

The correspondent stressed that even the Italian media outlets disregarded JPost’s fabricated report , except a modest agency called Agenzia Nova which republished it so that the anti-Hezbollah media outlets in Lebanon and the Arab countries can endorse it.

Indeed, the anti-Hezbollah propaganda in Lebanon and the Arab countries waged a war of accusations against Hezbollah, knowing that the fabricated report has not been conformed by any Italian official.

December 26, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 1 Comment

Why are Tel Aviv and Washington Inflaming the Situation in the Persian Gulf?

By Vladimir Platov – New Eastern Outlook – 26.12.2020

During the run-up to the anniversary of the insidious assassination of Iranian General Soleimani – and after one month had passed since the equally controversial massacre of leading nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh – Israel and the United States, which are the ones responsible for this atrocity, are demonstratively increasing their military presence in the Middle East, and doing so in demagogic fashion under the guise of fearing “retaliation from Iran”.

The United States, located both at a considerable distance from Iran and outside the range of its missiles, having provoked this crisis clearly fears only a missile attack on its diplomatic mission in Iraq, as well as other American facilities in the region. Washington is trying to validate these fears with reports from American intelligence services, according to which pro-Iranian armed formations that can deliver a “retaliatory strike” have allegedly stepped up their activity in Iraq.

However, on December 21 Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh denied these suspicions, which especially resounded in recent statements made by US Secretary of State Pompeo about the alleged complicity of pro-Iranian militia in the latest rocket strikes executed on Baghdad’s “Green Zone”. Along with that, Khatibzadeh wrote on Twitter that for Tehran “attacks on diplomatic facilities are unacceptable”.

Washington still dispatched additional warships and a squadron of fighters to the Middle East, and demonstratively conducted a nonstop flight of a B-52 strategic bomber that has the ability to carry nuclear weapons, by doing so intending to “intimidate Tehran”. In addition, on December 21 a US naval unit entered the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz that included a USS Georgia (SSGN 729) Ohio-class submarine, which carries up to 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles and is capable of taking on board up to 66 special operations service personnel, as well as two Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers: a USS Port Royal (CG 73) and a USS Philippine Sea (CG 58). Previously, at the end of November, a USS Nimitz (CVN-68) aircraft carrier was sent off the Persian Gulf “to help contain the enemy”; this was rationalized by the need “to have additional defensive capabilities in the region in case of any unforeseen circumstances.”

As far as Israel goes, it clearly fears a “retaliation strike” from Iran since, given the Jewish state’s modest size, a successful attack on it could actually terminate its existence. This is especially true if the strike were to hit the Dimona Nuclear Research Center, which is considered to be the site where Israeli nuclear weapons originated; Tel Aviv neither confirms nor denies that the center exists. Incidentally, Ayatollah Mohammad-Ali Movahedi Kermani already delivered a warning to Israel that “if Iran decides to put up resistance, then one missile strike on the Dimona reactor would be enough”.

It is clear that Iranian missiles will not really be launched at Dimona, since this is fraught with consequences that entail nuclear contamination and destruction not only for Israel, but for Iran and quite a few neighboring countries across the region. And that is why the Iranian media occasionally names another target: the Israeli city of Haifa.

Israel, fearing the hysteria itself that potential military action could unleash, in a speech made by IDF Chief of General Staff Aviv Kochavi on December 21 cautioned Iran not to attack Israel, stating that “the Jewish state will retaliate against any aggression”.

Along with that, A. Kohavi evidently pointedly forgot to mention that it is not Iran, but Israel itself, that has already demonstrated its aggressive stance toward the Islamic Republic to the whole world by organizing and initiating acts of terrorism and assassinations – and not only against nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. After all, this is far from the first time that Iranian scientists and leading representatives from Iranian society have been killed by an Israeli act of terrorism. For example, in Tehran, five nuclear physicists have been assassinated recently – and this specifically includes Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam, the architect of Iran’s ballistic missile program. All this points to the systematic destruction of the best Iranian scientists employed in the defense industry, which is being accomplished by the international community with impunity. This series of assassinations of prominent Iranian scientists, politicians, and military personnel – who ended up being unacceptable for the United States and Israel – substantiates the suspicions first voiced long ago that Western intelligence services and Israel have adopted the terrorist practice of eliminating key personnel and various prominent figures in those countries with which they are at war; this is done to weaken their defense systems and technological potential.

In addition to the words it speaks to help deter Tehran, Tel Aviv has taken a series of measures to test the combat readiness of its army against any potential foreign attacks, and is active about consulting with Washington – especially with representatives from the Pentagon – about how to work out joint coordination for the two countries to take military action against Iran. In particular, large-scale, unprecedented exercises came to an end in December, during which the capabilities of the three levels of Israel’s anti-missile defense (ABM) systems to neutralize various air threats were put to the test. Senior Israel Defense Forces officers, according to the Internet publication Breaking Defense, held “negotiations on coordination work” with their counterparts in the US Central Command (CENTCOM, which includes the Middle East) to bolster cooperation between the armed forces in the two countries “against Iran possibly taking revenge in the region”. According to this publication, Israel has reached its highest degree of readiness, in particular with regard to repelling “some of the 140,000 missiles that Iran-backed Hezbollah has in Lebanon, and the Houthi rebels in Yemen.” At the same time, it has been reported that although the Israeli command does not disclose the details about how it prepares for war, its tactical and operational anti-missile defense systems, and long-range missile systems, are still on high alert.

In addition, as reported by The Times of Israel, on December 17, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley arrived in Israel as part of his Middle East tour to discuss the threat that Iran poses to Washington’s allies, including the Jewish state.

As part of preventive measures taken against the armed situation in the region potentially escalating, Israel began to actively spread out its naval fleet around Iran. An Israeli Navy Dolphin-class (Type 800) submarine carrying cruise missiles on board passed through the Suez Canal, and on December 21 demonstratively surfaced in the Persian Gulf, in the waters that stretch between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Dolphin is a series of German modified diesel-electric submarines that are specially designed for Israel, and which have from 6-10 torpedo tubes. Besides torpedoes, they are armed with mines and Popeye Turbo SLCM cruise missiles that have a range of up to 1,500 km, and are capable of carrying nuclear charges with a capacity of up to 200 kilotons launched from torpedo tubes. The Israelis regularly keep at least two of their the Indian Ocean, in the immediate vicinity of the Persian Gulf.

Today, in the assessments made by numerous experts, there is reason to presume that in January 2021, before Donald Trump [prospectively] leaves the White House, a joint American-Israeli missile strike could be launched against Iran, primarily to neutralize Iran’s air defense systems, as well as its nuclear industry facilities.

However, while ramping up the degree of military tension in the region Tel Aviv and Washington cannot help but clearly see that Iran does not intend to attack either the United States or Israel. Iran is not in an ideal condition to wage war now, since its economy is seriously undermined by the restrictive measures imposed on its oil sales abroad, as well as by the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, the deficit inflicting its national budget, and the weakening of its national currency. Yes, military operations “against American and Israeli aggressors” can raise patriotic sentiments in the Islamic Republic for a certain period, but they would quickly drain the Iranian economy and militaristic zeal. In addition, hoping for a change in the attitude taken toward it after the White House administration [potentially] changes, for political and economic reasons it would now be clearly disadvantageous for Tehran to carry out any large-scale “retaliatory strike”. Therefore, the maximum that Tehran is capable of doing today, without causing itself significant damage, is to carry out a special operation against the Israelis involved in the murder of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh – or to inflict a targeted strike on American facilities in the region through its “proxies.”

As for the United States, Israel, and their allies taking military action against Iran right now, it should be kept in mind that the Islamic Republic, despite all its existing economic problems, is a pretty tough nut to crack in terms of its military, and aggression against it would have serious costs. And this cost is obviously unacceptable for either Trump or Netanyahu, who intend to keep pursuing their political careers.

December 26, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Israel Strikes Pediatric Hospital in Gaza, Injures Palestinian Child

The Al-Durrah Pediatric Hospital in Gaza was damaged by Israeli airstrikes
Palestine Chronicle | December 26, 2020

A pediatric hospital, a center for disability services, and several homes were damaged early this morning in Israeli airstrikes and artillery attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip, Palestine Chronicle correspondent Wafa Aludaini reported.

Israeli warplanes fired five missiles east of the neighborhood of Tuffah in Gaza City injuring a six-year-old girl and a young man.

A fire broke out at the location of the airstrike as the firefighters worked all night to put out the fire in the attack that took place an hour after midnight. Electric power was also cut off to several areas east of Gaza as a result of the strikes.

Israel claimed the attacks came after two missiles were fired from Gaza and fell in open areas in southern Israel without causing any damage or injury.

“It was a horrible night for the children at the Al-Durrah Hospital, due to the missiles fired by the Israeli occupation warplanes, which caused deep damage to the hospital, spreading fear and panic among children and their families,” Dr. Majed Hamadah, manager of the hospital, told our correspondent.

“This is not the first time that the Al-Durrah Hospital has been bombed by the Israeli occupation, despite the fact that it is a pediatric hospital,” Dr. Hamadah added.

More photos

December 26, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

India arrests 75 in restive Kashmir following local polls

Press TV | December 26, 2020

Indian authorities have arrested at least 75 Kashmiri political leaders and activists in anticipation of an uprising following the triumph of an alliance of Kashmir’s regional political parties in a local election, a senior police official unveiled.

Those arrested included pro-independence leaders and members of the banned Jamat-e-Islami group, who were rounded up in what the government described as preventive custody, the official told Reuters on the condition of anonymity.

The detentions challenge the verdict of the people, said Imran Nabi Dar, spokesman for regional party, the National Conference, and a key member of the alliance.

The District Council election that ended early this week was the first such exercise since the government of India’s ultra-nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi revoked the special status of the Muslim-majority region under its control last year.

Authorities in New Delhi then waged a crackdown on opposition activists in the restive region and rounded up hundreds of people in purported efforts to forestall protests and violence.

The alliance’s latest victory confirms that Kashmiris have not accepted Modi’s decision to end Kashmir’s special status, said Omar Abdullah, a former chief minister and head of the National Conference.

Following their release from prolonged detention, Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, chief of the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Democratic Party, announced the alliance in October aimed at seeking a peaceful restoration of Kashmir’s autonomy.

Meanwhile, the elections in Kashmir appear to have paved the way for other electoral processes in the volatile region. However, many say this ballot has made people of Kashmir politically aware of the fact that New Delhi is trying to thrust such an electoral process in order to create the impression that normalcy has taken hold after it stripped Kashmir of its autonomy, without actually working on building trust and bridging the gaps.

India last year scrapped the semi-autonomy of its part of Kashmir. New Delhi unilaterally introduced a slew of laws that locals say are aimed at shifting the region’s demographics and economically disempowering local residents.

Modi’s government revoked the New Delhi-controlled Jammu and Kashmir’s special status last year and claimed at the time that ending Kashmir’s special status was necessary for closer integration of the territory into the rest of India.

New Delhi’s approach towards the region has been widely criticized as being an extension of its tolerating instances of egregious discrimination and occasional deadly attacks against Muslims on the mainland.

Kashmir has long been a flash point between India and Pakistan, which have fought three of their four wars over the disputed Himalayan territory. Both countries rule parts of Kashmir while claiming it in full. Thousands of people have been killed since early 1990s.

December 26, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment