Aletho News


Spain, convincing therapeutic evidence

Dr. John Campbell | February 13, 2021

Effect of calcifediol treatment and best available therapy versus best available therapy on intensive care unit admission and mortality among patients hospitalized for COVID-19: A pilot randomized clinical study (October 2020)

n = 76, Calcifediol treatment

50 patients treated with calcifediol

One required admission to ICU (2%)

No deaths

26 untreated patients

13 required admission to ICU (50 %)

2 deaths

Calcifediol treatment and COVID-19-related outcomes

(22nd January)



Effect of calcifediol treatment

In admitted patients

On ICU admission

and mortality

N = 930

Randomly assigned

Calcifediol treatment group n = 551

Day one, 532 ug (21,000 iu)

Days, 3, 7, 15, 30, 266 ug (10,640 iu)

No adverse effects reported

Required ICU, 30 (5.4%)

Deaths, 36 (6.5%)

Death RR = 0.36

64% reduced chance of death

Control group n = 379

Required ICU, 80 (21.1%), p less than 0.0001

Deaths, 57 (15%), p = 0.001

Adjusted for




Linearized 25(OH)D levels at baseline

Treated patients

Reduced risk to require ICU

RR 0.18

Baseline 25(OH)D levels

Inversely correlated with the risk of ICU

Predictors of reduced mortality

Higher baseline 25(OH)D levels

Predictors on increased mortality




In patients hospitalized with COVID-19, calcifediol treatment at the time of hospitalization significantly reduced ICU admission and mortality.

Early calcifediol after admission

Prior to ARDS development, is critical for mortality reduction

Initiation of calcifediol during ICU admission did not modify patient survival

February 21, 2021 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | | 4 Comments

New York activists respond to brutal Black on Asian attack by rallying against White Nationalism

RT | February 21, 2021

Anti-racism activists in New York have risen up to rally against white supremacy as they demand justice for a Filipino American man who was viciously slashed with a box cutter on the subway. Never mind that the attacker was black.

Hundreds of protesters gathered at New York’s Washington Square Park on Saturday afternoon and marched through parts of Manhattan, chanting, “Whose streets? Our streets.” The marchers congregated in front of the iconic Macy’s store on 34th Street. One carried a sign declaring, “White nationalism is the virus.”

Organizers billed the event as seeking “justice for the attack on Noel Quintana.” A promotional poster also said, “End the violence toward Asians. Let’s unite against white nationalism.”

The 61-year-old Quintana, a native of Manila, was attacked on February 3 on a crowded subway car as he headed to work in the morning rush hour. The attacker repeatedly kicked Quintana’s tote bag, then slashed his face from ear to ear with a box cutter after the Asian man complained. Quintana had to seek help on his own, as none of the by-standers stepped in or called for an ambulance, and he received about 100 stitches to close his wounds.

Police described the alleged attacker as “wearing a black mask with a Louis Vuitton logo and a black North Face coat.” While apparently having a sharp eye for the apparel brands favored by the suspected knifeman, police didn’t mention other appearance aspects revealed in security camera footage of the man, such as his black skin and afro.

Social media users pointed out the apparent disconnect between the perpetrator of the crime and the race of people targeted in the march for justice. “This is the suspect if you want to identify him,” conservative commentator Ian Miles Cheong said Sunday on Twitter.

Another poster for the anti-racism rally featured Vicha Ratanapakdee, an 84-year-old Thai immigrant who was killed in late January in San Francisco when a man came running from across the street and slammed into him, knocking him to the ground. A 19-year-old black man, Antoine Watson, was arrested and charged with Ratanapakdee’s murder earlier this month.

“Is there a shred of evidence that 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee was killed by white nationalism?” journalist Lee Fang asked. Former Republican congressional candidate Joshua Foxworth responded with sarcasm, saying, “White nationalism is to blame for black people assaulting Asians.”

The incident involving Ratanapakdee was one in a series of unprovoked attacks on elderly Asian Americans in the San Francisco Bay area recently. Yahya Muslim, a 28-year-old black man, was arrested for allegedly shoving a 91-year-old man to the pavement from behind, then knocking down two other Chinese pedestrians on the same street in Oakland’s Chinatown area. Like the Ratanapakdee murder, the January 31 Chinatown attacks occurred in broad daylight.

And just as with the Quintana case in New York, the black-on-Asian attacks in California were blamed on white people. Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen argued that Asians must recognize the violence as “part of a pattern of white supremacy.” Even if the assailants are black, he added, “the solution is not to fall back on racist assumptions of our own but to hold the system of white supremacy responsible for dividing us.”

San Francisco diversity activist Michelle Kim offered a similar view, saying Asians have “more work to do to eradicate anti-blackness.” She added that Asians have a “perceived proximity to whiteness,” partly because their “solidarity work with other marginalized communities” was covered up. She wrote an article on the recent spike in hate crimes against Asians, asking, “Who is our real enemy?” Despite acknowledging that the attacks on elderly Asians were perpetrated by blacks, she answered her own question predictably: “white supremacy culture.”

Countless social media observers pointed out the dishonesty of shifting the blame for anti-Asian violence away from those who are committing the crimes, and some pointed out the potential consequences of such deception. “Don’t expect them to stop without addressing who the real perpetrators are,” one commenter said. “If sacrificing your grandma to prove you aren’t racist is worth it, go ahead.”

February 21, 2021 Posted by | Aletho News | | 1 Comment

Biden adviser threatens to punish Russia with ‘tools seen & unseen’ for SolarWinds hack

RT | February 21, 2021

The Biden administration will soon deliver a sweeping response to SolarWinds breach, so that the usual suspect, Russia, understands where Washington draws the line on cyberattacks, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said.

During his appearance on CBS’s Face The Nation program on Sunday, Sullivan was asked about what the team of new US President Joe Biden was going to do about the SolarWinds hack, given that sanctions have proven to be ineffective against Moscow.

The adviser replied by saying that the American “response will include a mix of tools seen and unseen.” He didn’t specify what those ‘tools’ might be.

And it will not simply be sanctions because, as you say, a response to a set of activities like this require a more comprehensive set of tools, and that is what the administration intends to do.

“It will be weeks, not months” before the US prepares retaliatory measures against Russia, Sullivan stated.

We will ensure that Russia understands where the US draws the line on this kind of activity.

SolarWinds breach was reported in December, becoming one of the largest and most sophisticated cyberattacks to date. The hackers were able to insert software backdoors into a widely used network-management program, distributed by Texas-based SolarWinds company. This allowed them to compromise the systems of more than a hundred commercial firms globally, as well as nine US government agencies, with the breach only discovered eight or nine months later.

Washington insists that such an operation could not have possibly been carried out without a foreign government support, while US intelligence and security agencies declared that the hack was ‘likely Russian in origin,’ echoing evidence-free mainstream media claims as well as their own language in the ‘assessments’ about the 2016 election. Moscow has denied any involvement in the SolarWinds breach, calling it “yet another unsubstantiated attempt” by the US to scapegoat Russia.

February 21, 2021 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | 2 Comments

Greg Palast, the left wing of the Lobby

By Israel Shamir

I always had a problem with Greg Palast. Apparently this critic of Bush and Blair, an opponent of the war in Iraq, who wrote for the Guardian and the Observer is a man on our side, a good left-wing guy. He is apparently against the corporations, against the neoliberal setup; some of his ideas are surely good. He is considered “Chomsky for Dummies” [“more accessible than Chomsky”, his publisher-suggested quote from a newspaper] and he has a good class attitude, for instance: “The world’s three hundred richest people are worth more than the world’s poorest three billion. The market’s up, but who is the market? The Gilded One Percent own 4/5th of the nation’s stocks and bonds.” His philippics against Bush (“an evil sonovabitch”) are as fiery as those of a preacher in a mosque in my neighbourhood, and this is not a fault in my eyes. He is equally outspoken against the war in Iraq. What else could one ask from a guy?

But at the second sight, there were small alarums. He was against Bush and passionately – for Gore and Kerry. As if Gore and Kerry would keep the US troops out of Iraq. As if Gore and Kerry would pass the spoils of three hundred richest men to the poorest three billion. He claimed that Bush administration covered up… “Saudi financing of terror”. This smacked of a familiar claim – that the US made a mistake to attack Iraq – instead of Saudi Arabia, or Iran. He disliked America, his native land, with too strong a passion. “Antisemite is one who dislikes Jews too much”, quipped Yael Lotan, an Israeli writer. The same goes about America: it’s quite all right to dislike the superpower, but do not dislike it too much, it’s bad for your karma.

Palast wrote: “The United States is ugly. [It is] a numbing repetitive vortex of sprawled Pizza Huts, Wal-Marts, Kmarts, the Gap, Jiffy Lubes, Kentucky Fried Chickens, Starbucks and McDonald’s up to and leaning over the Canyon wall.” In my view, this is too much. Even if your mother – and one’s native land should be as important as your mother – is ugly, you do not say it, not even think it.

Palast’s unequivocal support for unlimited immigration was not inspired by his compassion to les miserables of the Third World (also an erroneous position, in my view, but still comprehensible), but by his profound disdain of the ordinary local indigenous native. Characteristically, in his Best Democracy Money Can Buy Palast argues with a London cockney cabby, whether England should accept millions of refugees and asylum seekers. The cabby was horrified by his multiculturalist attitude, by his indifference to local culture and tradition. But Palast pooh-poohed “the cabby’s fear of losing his English identity. Face it, Shakespeare’s dead. England’s cultural exports are now limited to soccer hooligans, Princess Di knickknacks and Hugh Grant.” Face it, Palast, “England’s cultural exports are now limited to soccer hooligans” because England’s cultural imports were limited to Greg Palast and others of your ilk. A new Shakespeare may be alive in England, as well as a new Melville in the US, but you won’t recognise him for he won’t fit your ideas. For you, ordinary people are “brown-shirted antiforeign electoral mobs”, for us – the sovereign people.

Palast is obsessed with money, as evident from his title Best Democracy Money Can Buy. He is not even aware of other motives, whether noble or vile. For him, “the number one question on the minds of Americans was not, “Does Saddam really have the bomb?” but “What’s this little war going to cost us?”

I have no idea of Palast’s ethnic background, but ideologically, nobody can be more Judaic than this man, who worships money, despises the native and wishes to bomb some place in the Middle East. These are classic Judaic attitudes, so I was not surprised when Palast emerged as an apologist for the Jews and an accuser of greedy WASPs and Arabs. In his Was the Invasion of Iraq A Jewish Conspiracy? essay published in the Jewish ‘progressive’ magazine Tikkun, Pallast pulls usual ropes; for him, whoever thinks that the Jewish establishment pushed for the war on Iraq (including Mearsheimer and Walt, apparently) must adhere to the Elders of Zion and Christ-killers paradigm. He writes: “after killing Jesus, did the Elders of Zion manipulate the government of the United States into invading Babylon as part of a scheme to abet the expansion of Greater Israel?” Not surprisingly, he finds the Jews “not guilty”. The bad guys are “a devout Christian, Norquist [who] channeled a million dollars to the Christian Coalition”, and “the Houston-Riyadh Big Oil axis”. The Jews? Forget it: “Wolfowitz and his neo-con clique— bookish, foolish, vainglorious—had their asses kicked utterly […] A half-dozen confused Jews, armed only with Leo Strauss’ silly aphorisms, were no match for Texas oil majors and OPEC potentates.”

This is not the place to repeat the discussion of the Jewish Lobby. This was done by many people, including Mearsheimer and Walt (their recent response to Lobby’s attacks is on  ), by Philip Weiss (whose blog makes more and more sense – actually, this man grew a lot since his triumphalist pieces of 2001, and I read him with great interest), by our friend Jeff Blankfort, whose emailing list scans much of American and British media, and even by my humble self.

The conclusions we reached are only fortified by the massive apology for the Lobby coming from various Trots, from Socialist Viewpoint, from Greg Palast and others. The Jewish Lobby is like a Stealth jet, and these guys provide it with invisibility. Palast will have to live many more years if he wants to see us weeping over the “neo-con leader of the pack Wolfowitz being cast out of the Pentagon war room and tossed into the World Bank”. We know of worse fate. And he will have to live as long as Methuselah to see us feeling sorry for General Jay Garner, the first Gauleiter of occupied Iraq sacked by his superiors –see item 4.

In short, we went part of the way with Mr. Palast, but what’s enough, enough. Let him prefer General Jay Garner to Paul Bremer III, Kerry to Bush, Jews to Texans and Saudi Arabia to Iraq as a good place to bomb. Coprophagi may choose between various kinds of excrements, but we are free from this worry.

P.S. After the first publication of the article, our friend Ian Buckley wrote: According to this, Greg Palast is indeed ‘a Jewish leftie’ : . He is often funny and has an agreeable habit of getting up the noses of some of the powerful, but the above article illustrates his deficiencies… The article in the Jewish newspaper Forward makes it clear:

[In his eyes] his fans are too conspiracy-theory-minded. Too anti-American. Too antisemitic. “A large part of my European readership I wouldn’t urinate on,” Palast told the Forward. Some Europeans aren’t so wild about him, either. Unlike some of his fellow Jewish lefties, Palast is not ready to dismiss antisemitism when he sees it. “The members of the Jewish left — and I certainly am one of them — are very glib about antisemitism and the dangers out there,” he said. “The British left is infused with the worst elements of antisemitism.”

He even sees antisemitism in the pages of his own newspaper.

“When the Hebrew teachers in Tehran, in Iran, were put on trial as spies for Israel — which was beyond unlikely — my paper had an editorial by some fool saying, well, we shouldn’t attack Iran — there’s very good evidence, and we shouldn’t vilify everyone George Bush says is our enemy,” he said. “They want Israel to release people who are admitted child killers, but the Hebrew teachers should rightly be in jail.”

Never one to compromise his opinions, when the Arab news channel Al-Jazeera offered Palast a job, he turned it down cold; he refers to the station as TNN, Terrorist News Network.”

Thus an opinion of Mr Palast about the Lobby is as valid as that of Abe Foxman and Daniel Pipes.

P.P.S. To my great regret, our wonderful Cynthia McKinney accepted Greg Palast’s help in her electoral campaign, and she wrote:

From: “Cynthia McKinney” Subject: Free!! Blog with Greg Palast and me 7:00 this evening!

Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2006 15:12:47 -0400

If you’d like to blog directly with Greg Palast and me, please join us by following the directions sent to me below by Christy in Palast’s office.  It’s free and hopefully, will be loads of fun!

Probably we shall witness erosion of her position vs. Israel very soon. She is not to be blamed: no politician in the US can do without a pipeline to the Lobby.

  1. Here is a response of Jeff Blankfort:

This is an interesting article by investigative journalist Greg Palast who has, in the past, has avoided any mention of Israel or the Israel lobby even in his book, “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy,” when, if he really wanted to know who the biggest buyers were, he could have readily found them in the internet among the Mother Jones 400, and the big donors from the Communications and Finance industries on the Center for Public Integrity site, and they are not oil men. Of the 400 top donors to the 2000 election cycle, 7 of the top 10, 12 of the top 20 and at least 125 of the top 250 were Jewish. Haim Saban, an Israeli-American, and a big backer of AIPAC, gave to the Democrats in 2002, $12.3 million, which is two million more than Ken Lay and Exxon gave to the Republicans over a 10 year period but strangely, it didn’t get the same media attention.

On the other hand, this article of his bears out what I have been saying for the three years, that the neo-con notion to take over and privatize Iraqi oil was nonsense and flied in the face of how the oil industry operates, that the neo-cons were no longer running the show, but what Palast doesn’t deal with is the initial opposition to the war on the part of Bush Sr., as well as James Baker, and oil company executives including Phillip Carroll of Shell, nor does he, once again, mention that not only were the neo-cons the main tub thumpers for the war, it was also supported by the major organizations of the Israel lobby, led by AIPAC and the parade of pro-Israel Jewish columnists who are nationally syndicated and led by Tom Freedman, William Safire (since replaced by David Brooks), Charles Krauthammer, Jeff Jacoby, and all the publications of Rupert Murdoch and Mortimer Zuckerman. The war was also called for by the major principals of both Likud and Labor in Israel, Sharon, Netanyahu and Peres, as well as Chef of Staff Shall Mofaz who said that after taking care of Iraq, the US should do the same with Syria and Iran.

If Palast was not so intent on shielding Israel and its American supporters from scrutiny, he would have acknowledged that the reason that the Democrats joined the Bush administration in supporting the war was that the majority of their funding comes from pro-Israel lobbyists which makes the Party, as Prof. Francis Boyle recently said, “a front for AIPAC.” Now that the war has taken out Saddam and literally destroyed the country, the Democrats are allowed to criticize the conduct of the war, but not so directly the war itself, and will be ready to serve the lobby’s call when it comes to taking on Iran. They have already overwhelmingly approved the Iran Freedom Act, the latest AIPAC war-mongering effort.

It is a shame that Palast has not employed his excellent investigative skills to examine this aspect of American society and instead has allowed them to play second fiddle to his attachment to Israel. Otherwise, he would not also be trying to convince us that both Bolton and Wolfowitz have important roles still to play for the Bush regime.

February 21, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , | 4 Comments

US position on how to revive Iran nuclear deal ‘preposterous’

Press TV – February 21, 2021

The Biden administration’s position that Iran must return to “full compliance” with the 2015 nuclear deal before the United States would consider removing the economic sanctions is “nothing short of preposterous,” says an American political analyst, adding that sanctions relief is the “only plausible starting point” in any attempt to revive the landmark accord.

“Removing the sanctions imposed after the US repudiated the accord is the only plausible starting point for negotiations intended to revive the JCPOA. This is the only logical starting point. There absolutely cannot be any other,” foreign affairs journalist Patrick Lawrence told Press TV in an interview, referring by abbreviation to the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday that [proclaimed] US President Joe Biden has spurned predecessor Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure policy” against Iran only in words, but has so far pursued the same course of action in practice.

“Nothing has changed. Biden claims that Trump’s policy of maximum pressure was maximum failure… But for all practical purposes, they are pursuing the same policy,” the top diplomat said in an exclusive interview with Press TV.

Lawrence said that Biden administration officials have acknowledged that the maximum pressure policy has been a failure, yet they are making demands they know Iran would never accept.

“Maximum pressure has proven a failure, as anyone who knows Iran and Iranians could have predicted. It has accomplished nothing other than to cause very many Iranians to suffer, and Iranians will never give into it,” the journalist said.

“The Biden administration is now trying to cover past US mistakes by announcing it wishes to recertify the JCPOA, but on conditions it knows very well Iran cannot accept. This is sheer posturing. As to what will happen next, in my view the answer is, ‘Nothing,’” he continued.

President Biden, who condemned Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA on the campaign trail, has signaled his intention to bring the United States back to the multilateral agreement, which was clinched when he was vice president under former president Barack Obama.

However, since taking office on January 20, Biden and his foreign policy team have been demanding to see changes from Tehran before Washington would consider lifting the sanctions. The Islamic Republic says as the party that has abandoned its international obligations, the US should make the first move by removing the sanctions in a verifiable manner and then rejoining the JCPOA.

In his remarks to Press TV, Foreign Minister Zarif reminded that Paragraph 36 of the JCPOA enables Iran to take “remedial action” against failure by other sides to implement their obligations.

Following the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, Iran waited for an entire year for the European signatories to hold up their end of their bargain and secure Iranian business interests, guaranteed by the deal, in the face of US sanctions. However, as the Europeans failed to deliver under US pressure, Tehran began to scale back its commitments in several phases in retaliation.

“At the very least, Washington must, as Minister Zarif frequently states, remove the sanctions imposed after the Trump administration withdrew from the accord,” Lawrence said.

In a symbolic gesture that US officials framed as a major step toward reviving the JCPOA, the Biden administration told the UN Security Council on Thursday that the United States was rescinding a Trump administration assertion that all UN sanctions had been reimposed on Iran in September– a claim that was repudiated by Tehran, the European signatories of the deal and the Security Council.

They argued at the time that the United States was in no position to invoke a provision in the 2015 Security Council resolution endorsing the JCPOA that allowed the “snapback” of international sanctions because it was no longer a party to the deal.

“The US position on the JCPOA is nothing short of preposterous at this point,” Lawrence said. “Secretary of State Pompeo, in his last year in office, tried at the United Nations to argue that the US still had standing to impose demands on Iran even though it had withdrawn from the agreement. Now Biden’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, says, ‘The ball is in Iran’s court.’ This is patently ridiculous.”

Zarif said that the so-called snapback mechanism was an American distortion that was not at all incorporated in the text of the JCPOA.

As to why the Biden administration is making unreasonable demands concerning the JCPOA, Lawrence said, “Biden and his national security people are entirely beholden to Israel, and Israel has made it perfectly clear it opposes any attempt to revive the nuclear accord.”

“This will turn out the way numerous other Biden policies have already done: A statement of good purpose, no action whatsoever to follow it,” he regretted.

February 21, 2021 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , | 2 Comments

Biden Launches Campaign to Silence Critics of Killer Vaccine

By Mike Whitney | Unz Review | February 21, 2021

Imagine if an ordinary working man went on a rampage and killed 929 people and maimed 316 others. The media would naturally call such a man a serial killer or a homicidal maniac. Now imagine if a big pharmaceutical company did the same thing by releasing a vaccine that killed and maimed a similar number people. Would the drug company be treated the same as the working guy? Would their product be denounced as a “killer vaccine” and shunned by the public, or would they be praised on the cable news channels, provided lavish funding by the government, granted full immunity from liability for personal injury, waved through the regulatory process, and had the red carpet rolled out for their spectacular nationwide “Product Launch” extravaganza?

(NOTE: “According to new data released today, as of Feb. 12, 15,923 adverse reactions to COVID vaccines, including 929 deaths, have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) since Dec. 14, 2020.” Children’s Health Defense)

And what about the small number of critics who don’t see the vaccine as a life-saving wonder drug but who seriously believe it is a gene-altering experimental concoction that was not sufficiently tested, did not go through the normal protocols, has not met long-term safety standards, excluded critical animal testing trials, and uses toxic synthetics that can trigger anaphylaxis, Bell’s Palsy, miscarriage, Antibody-dependent Enhancement (ADE) and a score of other potentially-lethal or debilitating long-term ailments that have not yet been diagnosed since the vaccine was rushed into service at breakneck speed?

What about these vaccine critics, what rights do they have? Do they have the right to speak their minds and express their concerns on social media or should they be smeared, castigated, blacklisted, censored and dragged through the mud?

In a free country, it is the vaccine manufacturers that should be scrutinized, lambasted and taken to task for the shortcomings or lethality of their product, but not in America. In America, it is the vaccine critics that are being condemned and targeted by the state. According to an article in the New York Post, the Biden Administration is joining forces with Big Tech to actively seek out and eliminate those people who challenge the official narrative and who reject the idea of inoculating the entire population with a dodgy experimental vaccine that poses a clear threat to one’s safety and well-being. Here’s an excerpt from the article in the Post :

The White House is asking social media companies to clamp down on chatter that deviates from officially distributed COVID-19 information as part of President Biden’s “wartime effort” to vanquish the coronavirus.

A senior administration official tells Reuters that the Biden administration is asking Facebook, Twitter and Google to help prevent anti-vaccine fears from going viral, as distrust of the inoculations emerges as a major barrier in the fight against the deadly virus.

“Disinformation that causes vaccine hesitancy is going to be a huge obstacle to getting everyone vaccinated and there are no larger players in that than the social media platforms,” the White House source told the news agency.

The news out of Washington is the first sign that officials are directly engaged with Silicon Valley in censoring social media users; Biden’s chief of staff Ron Klain previously said the administration would try to work with major media companies on the issue….

Social media leaders have vowed to squash anti-vaccine “disinformation” on their platforms, but the spreading of such content has persisted....

A Twitter spokesman said the company is “in regular communication with the White House on a number of critical issues including COVID-19 misinformation.” (White House working with social media giants to silence anti-vaxxers”, New York Post )

So, what’s going on here? Why has the government joined with big tech to actively target people who do not accept the ‘official doctrine’ regarding the new vaccines?

It’s simple, isn’t it? The government wants to control want you think by controlling what you read. You see, the oligarchs who control the government behind the mask of the political parties, assume you are an ignorant beast incapable of critical thinking. They believe that your opinions are shaped by the things you read, therefore, they want to control what you read in order to push and prod and coerce you into the behavior that helps them achieve their malign objectives. In this case, they want everyone to submit to vaccination so they can reduce global population in order to curtail carbon emissions that, they believe, are a dire threat to human survival. This, of course, is just my own lunatic conspiracy theory. Nevertheless, the question remains the same: Does the government have the right to shut me up or do I have the right to speak my mind?

According to the report above, I do not have the right to speak my mind, in fact, the government is now explicitly taking aim at people like me who–they feel– are undermining the strategic agenda of the big money elites they work for.

What are we to make of this? What are we to make of this new alliance between the State and big tech or the State and big pharma or the State and Wall Street? Are we no longer a country that is “of, by and for the people” or are we edging closer to Mussolini’s definition of “fascism” as “the merging of the state and the corporation?” It seems to me that Mussolini’s definition is much more applicable.

And what does this tell us about the way the Biden administration plans to conduct business in the future?

It tells us that Joe Biden is essentially the corporate meat-puppet that he’s been for the last 5 decades and, that now, he intends to cancel vast swaths of the Bill of Rights to accommodate his deep-pocket managers. No one should be surprised by this. Biden has always been the Establishment’s best friend.

But do the oligarchs and corporate honchos really gain anything by silencing their critics?

Perhaps, after all, China has experienced exponential growth in the last two decades and, presumably, that is the model of governance our rulers now seek; absolute dictatorial power that allows the people who own the primary industries and businesses to arbitrarily set policy and impose their own laws independent of any democratic process.

Are we there yet?

Well, if the state is able to shut us up and remove us from public platforms, we’re a helluva lot closer than anyone thought.

February 21, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | Leave a comment

No Biden Regime Fresh Start with Iran

By Stephen Lendman | February 21, 2021

On Friday, Biden regime press secretary Psaki said “(t)here’s no plan” to lift (illegal) sanctions on Iran or take other good faith steps.

No plans exist for direct negotiations with Iran, no intention to shift from confrontation to engaging in good faith diplomacy.

Ignoring US responsibility for wrecking the JCPOA nuclear deal, Psaki changed the subject with a bald-faced Big Lie, saying: “Iran is a long way from compliance (sic).”

Iran fully complies with JCPOA provisions in stark contrast to flagrantly breaching them by the US, UK, France and Germany (E3 countries).

Once again, she raised the phony issue of “Iran… acquiring a nuclear weapon.”

Knowing no such threat exists, she ignored nuclear armed and dangerous Israel like always before by the US.

Last week, the London Guardian reported that the Netanyahu regime is “expand(ing) its Dimona nuclear facility in the Negev desert, where it has historically made the fissile material for its nuclear (bomb) arsenal.”

In the mid-1980s, Dimona nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu publicly revealed the existence of Israel’s nuclear weapons program.

Today its thermonukes can destroy large cities. In 2009, anti-nuclear activist John Steinbach published a paper on Israel’s nuclear weapons program, saying:

“With several hundred weapons and a robust delivery system, Israel has quietly supplanted Britain as the world’s fifth largest nuclear power, and now rivals France and China in terms of the size of its nuclear arsenal.”

Its secret program is likely further advanced, more robust and dangerous today — while continuing to maintain nuclear ambiguity, fooling one one.

Last week, Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stressed the following:

“We have heard many nice words and promises (from the US and E3), but in practice, they have not been honored and on the contrary, they have acted against those promises.”

“It is no use talking. It is no use giving promises. This time, only actions matter!”

“If we see actions on the part of the other side, we will take action too.”

“This time, the Islamic Republic will not be satisfied with hearing such and such words and promises.”

“Things will not be like the past.”

Even when positive actions are taken by the US and West, time and again they’re reversed.

Despite agreeing to the JCPOA and affirming it by Security Council Res. 2231, the US and E3 breached their obligations.

It’s clear proof that they can never be trusted no matter what they say or agree to.

Negotiations leading to agreements with the US-dominated West aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.

And when Washington abandons international agreements, colonized Britain and EU countries follow suit, in compliance with their US boss.

There’s virtually no prospect that Biden will engage with Iran responsibly.

It’s virtually certain that he and hardliners around him will continue dirty business as usual — no lifting of illegal sanctions, no return to the JCPOA in its affirmed form, no good faith diplomacy — just empty rhetoric and hollow promises when made.

At the same time, the US falsely blames Iran for its own breaches of international law.

On Friday, Biden’s national security advisor Sullivan said Iran must “take the steps required to assure the world and to prove to the world that their program is for exclusively peaceful purposes (sic).”

It’s done this consistently. Its legitimate nuclear program has no military component, no evidence suggesting otherwise.

It’s more intensively monitored by IAEA inspectors than any other nations with nuclear power.

In sharp contrast, nuclear armed and dangerous USA and Israel won’t let IAEA inspectors near their bomb-making facilities.

Sullivan saying that the Biden regime “is prepared to come back into compliance with (JCPOA) terms if Iran is ready to come back into compliance” ignores Tehran’s fulfillment of its obligations while the US and E3 remain in breach of their own.

Defying reality, Sullivan falsely accused Iran of “refus(ing) to cooperate with the (IAEA) to ensure that nothing in Iran’s program is being used for weapons purposes.”

Obsessing over Iran’s legitimate nuclear program by inventing a bomb-making threat that doesn’t exist continues endlessly.

No matter what Tehran does to comply with its obligations, it’s never good enough.

It never will be as long as the Islamic Republic is free from US control.

That’s the core issue, the reason for US/Western hostility toward the country.

Claiming an Iranian nuclear threat is head fake deception. There is none.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei religiously banned development and production of nukes.

Yet the West ignores his fatwa that’s obeyed to the letter. Not a shred of evidence suggests otherwise.

A Final Comment

On Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif said the following:

Talks with the US and E3 will begin when they fulfill their JCPOA obligations.

They’ve been no actions by Biden to comply with Washington’s obligations, just broken promises.

So far, he’s continuing failed Trump regime maximum pressure.

Illegal US sanctions remain in place.

Iran responded to US maximum pressure with “maximum resistance.”

“Pressure never works with Iran, only respect.”

“The US is addicted to sanctions, bullying, and pressure. But it doesn’t work” and never will with Iran.

Unacceptable Trump regime policies followed by Biden assures continued “maximum failure.”

“Iran (did not) violat(e) (the) JCPOA. (It) implement(ed) remedial measures” as permitted under Articles 26 and 36.

After Trump’s lawless abandonment of the JCPOA in May 2018, the US and E3 breached virtually all their obligations mandated by its provisions.

Because of what happened and overall Western war on Iran by other means in cahoots with apartheid Israel, there’s virtually no chance of these countries engaging with Iran in compliance with their international law obligations.

February 21, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

Voluntary implementation of Additional Protocol must stop if sanctions remain in place: Iran MPs

Press TV | February 21, 2021

Iranian lawmakers have once again highlighted the necessity of stopping voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic remain in place.

The call came in a statement issued by 226 members of the Iranian Parliament following an open session of the legislature on Sunday.

“All Iranian officials, including the administration officials, are duty-bound to stop voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol as of Esfand 5, 1399 (February 23, 2021) and restrict the (International Atomic Energy) Agency’s inspections [of Iran’s nuclear facilities] to those stipulated in the Safeguards Agreement if sanctions are not lifted,” they said.

The statement added that following the conclusion of the multilateral nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), between Iran and major world powers in 2015, Western parties, including the United States and three European countries – Britain, Germany and France – were expected to treat the Iranian nation with honesty and fulfill their obligations under the accord.

“Although the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has verified 15 times at various intervals that Iran has fully implemented its JCPOA commitments, enemies of the Iranian people have not fulfilled any of their fundamental and important obligations.”

Based on the JCPOA, sanctions on Iran’s banking and oil sectors were scheduled to be lifted in January 2016 but “unfortunately” more restrictions were imposed on the country, the lawmakers said.

They added that the process of harming the Iranian people’s interests and imposing more sanctions on Tehran under different pretexts started under the former democratic US president, Barack Obama, and culminated in the decision by former Republican president, Donald Trump, to withdraw from the JCPOA in May 2018.

In 2015, Iran and six world states — namely the US, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China — signed the historic nuclear deal, which was ratified in the form of UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

However, Trump unilaterally pulled out of the JCPOA in 2018 and reinstated the anti-Iran sanctions that had been lifted by the virtue of the deal.

The Trump administration also launched what it called a maximum pressure campaign against Iran, targeting the Iranian nation with the “toughest ever” restrictive measures.

Elsewhere in their statement, the Iranian legislators further noted that in order to defend the Iranian nation’s nuclear rights and make enemies of the nation lift unjust sanctions, Iran finally decided to start the process of enriching uranium to 20 percent purity and also to give a two-month deadline to the US and the three European parties to the JCPOA to lift cruel sanctions.

Another part of that decision, the parliamentary statement said, was to stop voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol based on articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA and in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2231, if the opposite side failed to fulfill its obligations.

On December 1, 2020, Iranian lawmakers overwhelmingly voted in favor of the ‘Strategic Action Plan to Lift Sanctions and Safeguard Interests of Iranian People’, which intends to counteract sanctions imposed on Iran. The bill became law after being endorsed by Iran’s Guardian Council.

According to the new law, the Iranian administration is required to suspend more commitments under the nuclear deal if the US sanctions are not eased by February 21.

The law tasked the AEOI with producing and restoring at least 120 kilograms of enriched uranium at a 20-percent purity level every year and also enrichment beyond 20 percent if the country’s peaceful nuclear activities demanded.

In January, Iran started the process to enrich uranium to 20 percent purity at its Fordow nuclear facility.

The lawmakers’ statement came on the same day that the IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi held talks with Iranian officials, including Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran, hours before the deadline set by the Islamic Republic to limit inspections by the agency if US sanctions are not lifted.

Grossi announced on Tuesday that he was ready to visit Iran after the country informed the UN body of its decision to end voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as of February 23 in line with the new law passed by the Parliament.

Grossi said in a statement that the aim of the visit was to find a solution for the agency to continue to carry out its verification work under the JCPOA.

In an exclusive interview with Press TV on Sunday, the Iranian foreign minister said the Islamic Republic will be open to negotiations on reviving the historic 2015 nuclear accord once all signatories begin fulfilling their obligations.

He said US President Joe Biden has spurned predecessor Trump’s Iran policy in words, but has so far pursued the same course of action in practice.

“Nothing has changed. Biden claims that Trump’s policy of maximum pressure was maximum failure… But for all practical purposes, they are pursuing the same policy,” Zarif added.

February 21, 2021 Posted by | Deception | , , | Leave a comment

As deadline nears for Trump-negotiated Afghanistan withdrawal, press prepares public to accept its breach

RT | February 21, 2021

The Biden administration is expected to break the Trump-negotiated deal with the Taliban and keep NATO troops in Afghanistan, according to media reports, and this is supposedly the right thing to do.

The agreement signed in Doha in late February 2020 sets May 1 as the deadline for a full withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan. The Pentagon currently has 2,500 service personnel deployed in the country, with NATO allies fielding some 7,000 more. Under the agreement, the Taliban pledged to make sure the territory under its control is not used by international terrorist groups to launch attacks on the US and to negotiate a peace deal with the US-propped government in Kabul.

While the Taliban did deliver on the promise it gave a year ago not to attack foreign troops, any hope of a reduction in violence in Afghanistan has faltered in the year since. The Biden administration has therefore ordered a review of the agreement, and “the overwhelming consensus among Afghan leaders, foreign diplomats and Western army officers” is that “the US will abandon the deadline,” according to the Sunday Times.

The prediction in the British newspaper comes from veteran war correspondent Anthony Loyd and follows a slew of other news reports outlining Biden’s Afghanistan conundrum and opinion pieces that rationalize breaking the deal.

The Democratic president has inherited a “mess” from Trump and has no good options, according to CNN, which said NATO allies are “growing increasingly concerned” about the situation. If he does withdraw, he would share some of the blame “if there is a collapse of the elected Afghan government,” the New York Times said. And a Taliban takeover would be disastrous for human rights, especially for the rights of women, Deutsche Welle warned.

Keeping Trump’s word and leaving now “would carry a reputational risk for the United States,” because it would “embolden jihadists and perhaps rejuvenate their movement, which has been in retreat,” columnist David Ignatius said. “And there would be an unmeasurable cost to American credibility.” So, of course Biden should listen to his head, not his heart, and keep “a small but sustainable force in Afghanistan,” which would cost relatively little and give the benefit of “checking terrorists, supporting NATO allies, and giving the Kabul government a fighting chance.”

The nudging press stops short of calling the Doha agreement “the worst deal ever made” the way Trump did with the Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran, but they might just as well have done so. The accord with Tehran was scrapped by Trump, but Biden is reluctant to simply deliver on the commitments made by Obama, even if it was one of the crowning achievements of his former boss’ diplomacy. With the Doha deal, history may repeat itself.

But if Biden follows the advice and reneges on the terms agreed to by his predecessor, how will it be read by the Taliban? Or Tehran, or Pyongyang, or Beijing, or Moscow? Probably as the latest proof that a deal with Washington is not worth the paper it’s written on.

The pattern of the US back-pedaling on its promises once there’s a change of leadership in the White House existed long before Trump. This was the case with assurances made to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not expand into Eastern Europe after the reunification of Germany, for example.

The same thing happened with the 1994 Agreed Framework with North Korea. It was meant to prevent Pyongyang from going nuclear, and thus offered it some concessions, such as building proliferation-proof nuclear power plants. But the George W Bush administration eagerly scrapped it, courtesy of one John Bolton.

Even if given to an ally, Washington’s word is not necessarily solid. Pakistan, for instance, was famously denied the right to purchase F-16 fighter jets after the Soviet withdrawal from neighboring Afghanistan in 1989 made Islamabad a less crucial partner for the US.

Proponents of US global dominance, such as Robert Kagan, say the US is indispensable as a custodian of liberal world order and lament the fact that many Americans are not willing to embrace this role. That they “refer to the relatively low-cost military involvements in Afghanistan and Iraq as ‘forever wars’ is just the latest example of their intolerance for the messy and unending business of preserving a general peace and acting to forestall threats,” the neoconservative commentator and spouse of Victoria Nuland, the Biden-nominated under-secretary of state for political affairs, said in a recent opinion piece.

The ‘low cost’ in Afghanistan was 3,500 dead coalition troops and over $2 trillion dollars in direct and indirect spending. So, what does the US have to show for it? The longest-lasting war in its history that nevertheless failed to produce a self-sustaining government in Kabul. Withdrawal may be perceived as the US losing the war to the Taliban, but what a victory is supposed to look like remains a mystery.

February 21, 2021 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

US Marines “Stay Put” In Norway, Russia Responds With Bomber ‘Warning’ Flights In Arctic

By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge | February 21, 2021

In a hugely significant move that will put Russia-Europe relations further on edge amid an ongoing build-up of NATO forces along sensitive border regions, the large contingent of Marines that arrived in Norway last month are now expected to stay for an indefinite period.

“About 1,000 Marines who arrived in Norway last month — only to have their military exercises canceled due to the pandemic — will remain in the country for arctic training,” reports based on Marine Corps statements.

They plan to stay and engage in “valuable arctic and mountain warfare training” through at least the springtime. The deployed units are mostly from the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines but will now essentially “stay put”.

Marines have been training on a rotational basis in Norway for years, but the reality is their stays and rotations have been increasingly extended over the past years. Moscow has meanwhile condemned a ‘Cold War’ style build-up near the Arctic Circle, where it also frequently conducts military exercises.

The AFP wrote that Russia is “fuming”, citing a Russian ambassador to say:

“Nobody in the Arctic is preparing for an armed conflict. However, there are signs of mounting tension and military escalation,”  Russia’s ambassador to the Arctic Council, Nikolai Korchunov, said.

The current militarization in the region “could turn us back decades to the days of the Cold War,” he told Russia’s RIA news agency in early February.

As we described earlier this month, the US Air Force for the first time ever sent multiple B-1 Lancer bombers along with 200 airmen to Norway, which came amid greater NATO calls to “confront Russia”.

And now just days ago, Forbes detailed that in response “the Russian air force is mobilizing its own warplanes. Fighters to intercept the B-1. And bombers to strike back.”

Here’s more on Russia’s response:

After the U.S. Air Force announced the B-1 deployment, the Russian air force wasted no time sortieing its own bombers. Two of the service’s Tu-160 heavy bombers flew an epic, 12-hour sweep of Northern Europe, the Kremlin announced on Feb. 9.

The 6,000-mile round-trip took the swing-wing Tu-160s from their base at Engels in western Russia north to the Arctic Ocean then west to Svalbard, south into the Norwegian Sea, east along the Norwegian coast and finally south back to Engels.

A pair of MiG-31 interceptors flying from Rogachevo air base in northern Russian briefly escorted the bombers as they roared across the Kara Sea toward the Arctic.

And not helping this Cold War style throwback, President Biden on Friday warned a global audience of Russian “bullying” and “autocracy”.

“The trans-Atlantic alliance is back,” he said before the Munich Security Conference in words intended to restore trust from European allies in NATO.

February 21, 2021 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | 1 Comment