Aletho News


Crashing Saudi Oil Economy Explains Urgent Yemeni Peace Offer

By Finian Cunningham | Strategic Culture Foundation | March 26, 2021

After six years of blowing up Yemen and blockading its southern neighbor, the Saudi rulers are now saying they are committed to finding peace. The move is less about genuine peace than economic survival for the oil kingdom.

The Saudi monarchy say they want “all guns to fall completely silent”. Washington, which has been a crucial enabler of the Saudi war on Yemen, has backed the latest “peace offer”. Secretary of State Antony Blinken this week endorsed the initiative from the Saudi rulers, saying he had spoken with them “on our work together to end the conflict in Yemen, facilitate humanitarian access and aid for the Yemeni people”.

The Saudi foreign ministry stated: “The initiative aims to end the human suffering of the brotherly Yemeni people, and affirms the kingdom’s support for efforts to reach a comprehensive political resolution.”

Can you believe this sickening duplicity from the Saudis and the Americans?

So, after six years of relentless aerial bombing in Yemen causing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, according to the United Nations, the Saudis and their American military supplier, seem to have developed a conscience for peace and ending suffering.

The real reason for trying to end the conflict is the perilous state of the Saudi oil-dependent economy. Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil, gas and petroleum industry, recently announced that its profits have slumped by nearly half in 2020 compared with the year before. Down from $88 billion to $49 billion.

Given that its oil economy provides nearly 90 per cent of state budget that is a stupendous hit on the Saudi finances. The Saudi rulers rely on hefty state subsidies to keep its 34 million population content. With income from the oil industry nosediving that means state deficits will explode to maintain public spending, or else risk social unrest from dire cutbacks.

Saudi Arabia remains the biggest oil exporter, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic and world economies going into recession crude oil prices have plummeted. At one point oil prices fell to around $20 a barrel. The Saudi economy needs an oil price of around $70 a barrel to reel in a profit.

The upshot is the Saudi war in Yemen has become a critical drain on state finances and potentially jeopardizing the superficial stability of the absolute monarchy.

Of further alarm is the increasing missile and drone attacks by the Houthi rebels in Yemen on key Saudi locations, including the capital Riyadh.

The Yemeni rebels are escalating airstrikes on Aramco installations at its headquarters in Dhahran and Dammam in Eastern Province, as well as in the cities of Abha, Azir, Jazan, and Ras Tanura. The targets include oil refineries and export terminals. The Saudis claim they have intercepted a lot of the missiles with U.S.-made Patriot defense systems. Nevertheless, the mere fact that the Yemenis can hit key parts of the Saudi oil economy over a distance of 1,000 kilometers is a grave security concern undermining investor confidence.

The first major strike was in September 2019 when Houthi drones hit the huge refinery complex at Abqaiq. That caused Saudi oil production to temporarily shut down by half. It also delayed an Initial Public Offering of Aramco shares on the stock market as investors took fright over political risk.

At a time when the Saudi oil economy is contracting severely due to worldwide circumstances, an additional debilitating threat is the intensifying campaign of Houthi airstrikes. They are taking the war into Saudi heartland.

The Biden administration has condemned the Houthi missile attacks on Saudi Arabia as “unacceptable”. Such American concern is derisory given how Washington has been providing warplanes, missiles and logistics for the Saudis to indiscriminately bomb Yemen causing tens of thousands of deaths. The Americans also enable the Saudis to impose a blockade on Yemen’s sea and airports, which has prevented vital food and medicines from being supplied to the country. Nearly 80 per cent of Yemen’s 30 million population are dependent on foreign aid deliveries. The blockade is a war crime, a crime against humanity, and the Americans are fully complicit.

President Joe Biden has said he is ending U.S. military support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. It was an election promise. However, it is not clear what military support the U.S. has actually stopped, if at all. The Saudi bombing of food depots continues and the blockade on the country could not be maintained without essential American logistics.

More cynically, the Biden administration realizes that the Saudis started a war back in March 2015, when Obama was president and Biden was vice-president, that has turned into an un-winnable quagmire whose horrendous human suffering has become a vile stain on America’s international image.

That’s why Biden and his diplomats have been urging the Saudi rulers to sue for peace. Now it seems the Saudi monarchy realizes that the reckless war launched by “defense minister” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has come with a price that they can’t afford to sustain if they want to preserve their rickety house of cards, known as the House of Saud.

On the latest peace proposal, the Yemeni rebels have rejected it out of hand. They say it contains “nothing new”. The Houthis say the only way to end the war is for the Saudis and their American sponsors to end the aggression on their country. There is no “deal”. It is a case of the Saudis and the Americans just getting out.

Meantime, the airstrikes on Saudi oil infrastructure are going to continue with ever-increasing damage to the royal coffers. Thus, the Saudi rulers have no choice but to unconditionally surrender in this criminal war. They are facing a humiliating defeat as the Yemenis take revenge and Uncle Sam washes his hands of blood.

March 27, 2021 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , , | 2 Comments


ice.age.farmer | March 19, 2021

Geert Vanden Bossche has made a splash by coming out against the current COVID-19 vaccinations — but is he genuine, or revealing the next leg of the agenda? Either way, his explicit warning about the enhanced risk of zoonotic spread is worth discussing.

March 27, 2021 Posted by | Economics, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | | 1 Comment

Why Is Everyone in Texas Not Dying?

By Jeffrey A. Tucker | AIER | March 26, 2021

I’m sitting at a bar in Texas, surrounded by maskless people, looking at folks on the streets walking around like life is normal, talking with nice and friendly faces, feeling like things in the world are more-or-less normal. Cases and deaths attributed to Covid are, like everywhere else, falling dramatically.

If you pay attention only to the media fear campaigns, you would find this confusing. More than two weeks ago, the governor of Texas completely reversed his devastating lockdown policies and repealed all his emergency powers, along with the egregious attacks on rights and liberties.

There was something very un-Texan about those lockdowns. My hotel room is festooned with pictures of cowboys on horses waving guns in the air, along with other depictions of rugged individualism facing down the elements. It’s a caricature but Texans embrace it. Then a new virus came along – as if that had never happened before in Texas – and the new Zoom class took the opposite path, not freedom but imposition and control.

After nearly a year of nonsense, on March 2, 2021, the governor finally said enough is enough and repealed it all. Towns and cities can still engage in Covid-related mischief but at least they are no longer getting cover from the governor’s office.

At that moment, a friend remarked to me that this would be the test we have been waiting for. A complete repeal of restrictions would lead to mass death, they said. Would it? Did the lockdowns really control the virus? We would soon find out, he theorized.

I knew better. The “test” of whether and to what extent lockdowns control the virus or “suppress outbreaks” (in Anthony Fauci’s words) has been tried all over the world. Every serious empirical examination has shown that the answer is no.

The US has many examples of open states that have generally had better performance in managing the disease than those states that are closed. Georgia already opened on April 24, 2020. South Dakota never shut down. South Carolina opened in May. Florida ended all restrictions in September. In every case, the press howled about the coming slaughter that did not happen. Yes, each open state experienced a seasonality wave in winter but so did the lockdown states.

So it was in Texas. Thanks to this Twitter thread, and some of my own googling, we have a nice archive of predictions about what would happen if Texas opened.

  • California Governor Gavin Newsom said that opening Texas was “absolutely reckless.”
  • Gregg Popovich, head coach of the NBA San Antonio Spurs, said opening was “ridiculous” and “ignorant.”
  • CNN quoted an ICU nurse saying “I’m scared of what this is going to look like.”
  • Vanity Fair went over the top with this headline: “Republican Governors Celebrate COVID Anniversary With Bold Plan to Kill Another 500,000 Americans.”
  • There was the inevitable Dr. Fauci: “It just is inexplicable why you would want to pull back now.”
  • Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke of Texas revealed himself to be a full-blown lockdowner: It’s a “big mistake,” he said. “It’s hard to escape the conclusion that it’s also a cult of death.” He accused the governor of “sacrificing the lives of our fellow Texans … for political gain.”
  • James Hamblin, a doctor and writer for the Atlanticsaid in a Tweet liked by 20K people: “Ending precautions now is like entering the last miles of a marathon and taking off your shoes and eating several hot dogs.”
  • Bestselling author Kurt Eichenwald flipped out: “Goddamn. Texas already has FIVE variants that have turned up: Britain, South Africa, Brazil, New York & CA. The NY and CA variants could weaken vaccine effectiveness. And now idiot @GregAbbott_TX throws open the state.” He further called the government “murderous.”
  • Epidemiologist Whitney Robinson wrote: “I feel genuinely sad. There are people who are going to get sick and die bc of avoidable infections they get in the next few weeks. It’s demoralizing.”
  • Pundit Bill Kristol (I had no idea that he was a lockdowner) wrote: “Gov. Abbott is going to be responsible for more avoidable COVID hospitalizations and deaths than all the undocumented immigrants coming across the Texas border put together.”
  • Health pundit Bob Wachter said the decision to open was “unforgivable.”
  • Virus guru Michael Osterholm told CNN: “We’re walking into the mouth of the monster. We simply are.”
  • Joe Biden famously said that the Texas decision to open reflected “Neanderthal thinking.”
  • Nutritionist Eric Feigl-Ding said that the decision makes him want to “vomit so bad.”
  • The chairman of the state’s Democratic Party said: “What Abbott is doing is extraordinarily dangerous. This will kill Texans. Our country’s infectious-disease specialists have warned that we should not put our guard down, even as we make progress towards vaccinations. Abbott doesn’t care.”
  • Other state Democrats said in a letter that the decision was “premature and harmful.”
  • The CDC’s Rochelle Walensky didn’t mince words: “Please hear me clearly: At this level of cases with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained. I am really worried about reports that more states are rolling back the exact public health measures we have recommended to protect people from COVID-19.”

There are probably hundreds more such warnings, predictions, and demands, all stated with absolute certainty that basic social and market functioning is a terrible idea. The lockdown lobby was out in full force. And yet what do we see now more than two weeks out (and arguably the lockdowns died on March 2, when the government announced the decision)?

Here are the data.

The CDC has a very helpful tool that allows anyone to compare open vs closed states. The results are devastating for those who believe that lockdowns are the way to control a virus. In this chart we compare closed states Massachusetts and California with open states Georgia, Florida, Texas, and South Carolina.

What can we conclude from such a visualization? It suggests that the lockdowns have had no statistically observable effect on the virus trajectory and resulting severe outcomes. The open states have generally performed better, perhaps not because they are open but simply for reasons of demographics and seasonality. The closed states seem not to have achieved anything in terms of mitigation.

On the other hand, the lockdowns destroyed industries, schools, churches, liberties and lives, demoralizing the population and robbing people of essential rights. All in the name of safety from a virus that did its work in any case.

As for Texas, the results so far are in.

I’m making no predictions about the future path of the virus in Texas. Indeed for a full year, AIER has been careful about not trying to outguess this virus, which has its own ways, some predictable and some mysterious. The experience has, or should have, humbled everyone. Political arrangements seem to have no power to control it, much less finally suppress it. The belief that it was possible to control people in order to control a virus produced a calamity unprecedented in modern times.

What’s striking about all the above predictions of infections and deaths is not just that they were all wrong. It’s the arrogance and confidence behind each of them. After a full year and directly observing the inability of “nonpharmaceutical interventions” to manage the pathogen, the experts are still wedded to their beloved lockdowns, unable or unwilling to look at the data and learn anything from them.

The concept of lockdowns stemmed from a faulty premise: that you can separate humans, like rats in cages, and therefore control and even eradicate the virus. After a year, we unequivocally know this not to be true, something that the best and wisest epidemiologists knew all along. Essential workers still must work; they must go home to their families, many in crowded living conditions. Lockdowns do not eliminate the virus, they merely shift the burden onto the working class.

Now we can see the failure in black, white, and full color, daily appearing on our screens courtesy of the CDC. Has that shaken the pro-lockdown pundit class? Not that much. What an amazing testament to the stubbornness of elite opinion and its bias against basic freedoms. They might all echo the words of Groucho Marx: “Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?”

March 27, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 1 Comment

Not quite convinced about the vaccine? Neither is this guy

Self Reliance Central | March 27, 2021

Dr. Yeadon is cynical about the vaccine, especially for women of child-bearing years. He believes there was no need for a vaccine at all. As he was Pfizer’s former Vice President and Chief Scientist for Allergy & Respiratory we should probably listen to him. This is what he said this week. Obviously, he is being painted as a lunatic. But given his pedigree I stop to listen when he speaks.

If you want to listen to an amazing podcast with Dr Yeadon go here to my friend James Delingpole’s podcast. James has an informal technique so you may have to hang on for a few minutes while they get the chit-chat out of the way (although it’s interesting if you like cool facts about WWII!)”>

Dr. Michael Yeadon – Unlocked Why Lockdown was a mistake

March 27, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , | 2 Comments

Inside the Department of Homeland Security’s Plan to Crush Right-Wing Americans

 By Eric Striker | National Justice | March 26, 2021

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is preparing to use mass data collection, interagency prioritization directives, psychological operations and online censorship to crush what its recently confirmed Secretary Alejandro Mayourkas, a Jew from Cuba, has deemed “domestic violent extremism,” National Justice can report.

Who does the DHS consider to be a domestic violent extremist? The March 1st Director of National Intelligence threat assessment ordered by the Biden administration lists anti-abortion activists, environmentalists, members of militias, and advocates for white people as America’s top national security threats.

Besides intensifying police repression and government surveillance, DHS outlined on Wednesday its plan to use grants to fund private, unaccountable organizations that specialize in experimenting on “extremists,” psychological operations and brainwashing, and training teachers to spot and report children engaging in “hate speech.”

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a 77-year-old woman with purple hair, led the House Appropriations Committee discussion on combating “domestic violent extremism” with DHS’ two counter-terrorism department leaders, John Cohen and John Picarelli. Rep. DeLauro is the wife of former Ehud Barak advisor, Stan Greenberg.

Much of the discourse revolved around the frustration officials are having shutting down supposed “extremists” due to the fact that these individuals they claim are posing a national security risk are often not committing any criminal offenses. Rep. DeLauro frantically ranted about the need for legislation that would make membership in a patriotic militia of any kind illegal.

During the hearing, Cohen described how the DHS has been active behind the scenes in pushing social media companies to censor what he vaguely characterized as “toxic narratives,” legally dubious behavior that none of the Republicans — whose party is currently fundraising off opposing tech censorship — showed any interest in pressing him on.

Picarelli later added that his department has also been instructing online gaming and e-sports platforms to examine ways to quickly suppress and prevent what he claimed are “radicalizing” discussions.

The view that young men are “radicalized” by shouting obscenities at one another while playing video games with one another is a narrative made up by the Anti-Defamation League, not something based on sound data. Even more preposterous was Cohen’s assertion that “incels” — men who do not have regular sex — were in an of themselves a category of terrorist.

The most disturbing part of Picarelli’s testimony was when he revealed that DHS has been using NGOs to outsource projects intended to manipulate people and manufacture changes in political beliefs. They admitted that this is being used as a loophole. It would be illegal for the government to directly engage in this CIA-style activity in the homeland.

Historically, the federal government has primarily reserved NGO funding as a tool of war, regime change and influence in foreign lands, but under both the Obama and Trump administrations, and now accelerated under Biden, they have been increasingly utilized against Americans who disagree with the left-liberal Washington/New York/San Francisco consensus.

When asked about the results produced by grant making in recent years, Picarelli cited his favorite development on this front: research and experimentation being done at American University by a far-left activist that seeks to “inoculate” individuals exposed to political, religious or philosophical arguments and ideas the US government believes are undermining its power and credibility.

US Intelligence Cutouts

Some of the NGOs involved in these operations had representatives at the meeting, where they explained to the House their specialties, methods and goals.

They are as follows,

1) Richard Aborn — Citizens Crime Commission of New York City

Richard Aborn was invited to showcase his group’s “counter-terrorism” innovation, DEEP, which stands for Disruption and Early Engagement Program.

According to his description, individuals with radical beliefs are recommended to the program by the NYPD, FBI or other police organizations either before they’re arrested, while they’re in custody, or after they finish their prison sentences.

Once enrolled in the program, the “subject” (how a DHS fact sheet refers to candidates for the program) is subjected to a year or more of undisclosed psychological techniques designed specifically to depoliticize them. The way Aborn represented it sounded like a dystopian brainwashing scheme copied straight from the film A Clockwork Orange.

The ethically dubious program was created and is directed by a self-described counter-terrorism expert named Claire Abrahams.

Abrahams’ LinkedIn shows that she is a Zionist operative who has served on the committee of the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces, a group of American Jews who provide funding to the Israeli military. While the group is allowed to keep non-profit status, it is for all intents and purposes an instrument of a foreign government.

2) Tyler Cote — Division 250

Another Jewish individual, Tyler Cote, peddled his Massachusetts based program, Division 250, which specializes in warning middle and high school students against accessing “hate speech” on the internet while also training teachers to spot politically problematic students.

Cote, a former math teacher at Fall River Jewish Home, has never attempted to hide his intense personal prejudices or loathing of Trump voters.

His main academic achievement is a 2017 academic paper titled “The Rhetorical Psychology of Trumpism: Threat, Absolutism, and the Absolutist Threat.”

3) Sammy Rangel — Life After Hate/Exit USA

Sammy Rangel’s group, Life After Hate/Exit , is also being utilized by the government.

Rangel, showing off his con, was the least vitriolic of all the people at the hearing.

According to Rangel, the group employs white nationalists who claim to have been “cured” and now see themselves as liberals, leftists, or in Christian Picciolini’s case, Antifa supporters.

In response to an inquiry about what he’s trying to do, Rangel admitted to the Committee that white nationalists often have real, fact based grievances.

His methodology revolves around pretending to befriend nationalists and talking them into channeling their anger at injustice and lack of political representations in an anti-racist direction.

The group is heavily inspired by a German program which shares the same name (EXIT).

The German equivalent is funded by the Amadeu Antonio Foundation, which is led by a Jewish woman who used to work for the infamous East German secret police unit, the Stasi.

Jewish Power Is Bipartisan

The Republicans at the inquiry expressed nothing but support for the malevolent schemes being plotted against their voters.

Only one serious concern about civil liberties was expressed to Cohen and Picarelli. Lauren Underwood, who represents Illinois’s 14th, demanded that DHS take extra care in protecting people’s civil rights and privacy, but only in cases involving minorities. Cohen reassured her that his relatives were “Civil Rights attorneys” and would stop him if they thought he was violating the rights of blacks and non-whites.

Ashley Hinson, Republican from Iowa, asked Cohen about four illegal aliens apprehended at the US border who were listed on the FBI’s terrorist watch list. Cohen responded by saying that being on the list doesn’t mean actually mean you’re a terrorist. Hinson failed to follow up with a logical question: then why does it exist?

Many of the names involved in this COINTELPRO revival are Jewish individuals who seem to lack respect for American civil traditions, and in some cases, basic human rights.

While Cohen — the “good” cop to Picarelli’s bad — paid some lip service to the First Amendment and constitutionally protected speech, the question was largely treated as an afterthought throughout the meeting.

There is no meaningful distinction between what Washington is doing and how political dissidents are treated in so-called authoritarian countries. Between 2018 and 2019, Ken Cuccarelli and Chad Wolf both began aggressively targeting primarily white nationalists. Now the Biden administration is expanding their precedent to politically persecute white Christians, libertarians, veterans and regular conservatives as well.

While this could be construed as him misspeaking, Joe Biden’s comment that the GOP may not exist in 2024 should be read as ominous in light of all that is happening.

At least half of America have been declared enemies of the state. The ruling class’s thirst for vengeance appears insatiable.

March 27, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , | Leave a comment

Iran, China to sign cooperation document

IRNA – March 27, 2021

Tehran – Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Friday night that Iran and China would sign the 25-year Cooperation document on Saturday.

Speaking to IRIB TV Channel 1, Khatibzadeh said that China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi is visiting Iran on the verge of the 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries and the document would be signed in this trip.

The Chinese Foreign Minister, who arrived in Tehran Friday night, is also going to have meetings with a number of Iranian authorities, according to the Spokesman.

He also said that the cooperation document was discussed in 2015, when the Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Iran, to lead bilateral ties to a comprehensive and strategic level.

“Relations between Iran and China are multi-layered, deep and having different dimension and this necessitates them to be included in a document. Therefore, the document has been exchanged between the two states for several times and it will eventually be signed on Saturday by Foreign Ministers,” Khatibzadeh went on to say.

The document has a comprehensive road-map, said the diplomat, adding that the economic dimension, as the main axis of the document, includes cooperation in different areas, as well as Iran’s participation in One Road, One Belt initiative and special focus on the private sector in both countries.

“No comprehensive strategic participation is established unless the exact cultural, popular and media basis is formed. This has been addressed in the cultural part of the document,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman said, adding “We expect the document to serve as a road-map for Iran-China relations in the next 25 years.”

March 27, 2021 Posted by | Economics, Solidarity and Activism | , | 1 Comment

Moscow accuses NATO’s Stoltenberg of lying about Russian refusal to speak to alliance, says he ignored Russian proposals

By Jonny Tickle | RT | March 26, 2021

Claims by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg that Russia has been unwilling to engage in dialogue with the bloc are completely false, and Moscow is ready for a conversation, according to the country’s Foreign Ministry.

Speaking on Friday, the ministry’s spokesperson Maria Zakharova called on the NATO chief to stop spreading disinformation about Moscow’s position.

“Stoltenberg’s statements that Russia is refusing [to enter] dialogue are not true. They are lies,” she told a press briefing. “A substantive conversation was offered.”

According to Zakharova, Moscow suggested specific discussions involving experts on “a wide range of issues,” with the Kremlin wanting to steer clear of a politicized PR exercise.

During a press conference at this week’s meeting of NATO foreign ministers, Stoltenberg said that the US-led alliance views Russia’s actions in recent years as increasingly aggressive. He also claimed that there had not been a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) since the summer of 2019 because Moscow did not respond to the invitation.

Instead, Zakharova quipped that the proposals for a meeting are on his desk, and he should find them.

“Stop spreading misinformation about Russia allegedly refusing to engage in dialogue,” she said.

The spokesperson also noted that Moscow would take NATO’s “confrontational mindset” into account when making military plans, slamming the bloc for using Russia’s “mythical aggression” as an excuse to increase financing.

The two-day NATO meeting, which took place earlier this week, was held at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels. Before it began, Stoltenberg accused Russia of suppressing “peaceful dissidents at home,” as well as displaying “a pattern of aggressive behavior abroad.”

At the same meeting, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell called Russia a “dangerous neighbor” but encouraged continued dialogue on “common interests,” like the nuclear agreement with Iran or climate change.

March 27, 2021 Posted by | Deception | , | Leave a comment

US/EU Russia Bashing

By Stephen Lendman | March 26, 2021

On Wednesday after talks with interventionist Blinken, EU foreign policy chief Borrell said the following:

“We agreed to coordinate our efforts in addressing Russia’s confrontational behavior (sic) and encourage Russia to abandon this path (sic).”

No Russian “confrontational behavior” exists — how the US-dominated West operates, not Moscow.

A hostile joint statement by Blinken and Borrell said the following:

They’re “determin(ed) to further address, in a coordinated manner, Russia’s challenging behavior (sic), including its ongoing aggression against Ukraine and Georgia (sic); hybrid threats, such as disinformation (sic); interference in electoral processes (sic); malicious cyber activities (sic; and military posturing (sic).

All of the above reflect US/EU war on Russia by other means — for its freedom from Western control, unrelated to alleged threats that don’t exist.

The above misinformation, disinformation, fake news, and bald-faced Big Lies also aim to distract attention from US-led Western war on humanity internally against their own people and abroad against nations free from their control.

Blinken and Borrell continued their war of words on Russia as follows:

They “decided to coordinate their response to the shrinking space in Russia for independent political voices (sic), civil society (sic), media freedom (sic), and the dwindling respect for human rights and the rule of law (sic).

All of the above reflect how the hostile to peace and stability US and EU operate.

Russia pursues higher standards, according to the rule of law — what the US-dominated West long ago abandoned.

If global war 3.0 is launched, it’ll be made-in-the-USA, a major threat to humanity that could happen by willful design.

The US-dominated West poses an unparalleled threat to everyone everywhere.

On all things related to Russia, China, and other nations free from its control, Borrell operates as a US imperial tool, bending to its will.

Along with the Biden regime, he threatened more illegal EU sanctions on Russia.

In response to hostile US/EU actions, head of Russia’s Delegation to the Vienna Negotiations on Military Security and Arms Control Konstantin Gavrilov said the following:

US-dominated NATO can’t “have its cake and eat it too.”

The alliance must choose between cooperative dialogue with Russia or confrontation, adding:

“It is obvious to us that it is impossible to build trust in the military field when the North Atlantic Alliance goes ahead with its activity and builds up presence along Russia’s borders.”

“In these conditions, collective persuasions to support the ‘package’ of proposals put forward by 34 OSCE member states to modernize the VD (Vienna Document 2011) are futile and will have no effect.”

Separately, head of Russia’s UN Human Rights Council in Geneva delegation Dmitry Vorobyov slammed the UNHRC’s resolution on Syria.

As US-led aggression enters its 11th year — resolution unattainable because its hardline belligerents reject restoration of peace and stability to the war-torn country — Russia called the UNHRC resolution “utterly biased, based on unproven stories and false thinking, distorts reality and can be characterized as blatantly politicized.”

Syria’s representative in Geneva Hussam al-Din Ala, said that states sponsoring terrorism, occupying parts of the country and impose unilateral measures that rise to the level of crimes against humanity, have no political or moral legitimacy to submit resolutions about the human rights status in Syria, adding:

US imperial partner Britain, “the main sponsor of the (UNHRC) resolution… fabricat(ed) allegations and circulat(ed) political and media campaigns against the Syrian government (in support of the pro-Western) commission of Inquiry on Syria whose reports” falsely blame its ruling authorities for US-led aggression.

US pressure, bullying, threats and bribes got 27 of 47 UNHRC member states to support what demanded opposition.

“Russia, Armenia, Bolivia, China, Cuba and Venezuela resolutely denounced it, 14 countries abstained.

The Biden regime upped the stakes further in Syria by sending a convoy of around 80 trucks carrying weapons, humvee armored vehicles and supplies to the country’s northeast.

Jihadists armed with Western weapons accompanied what was sent to continue endless US-led aggression on Syria and its people.

Much the same is ongoing in Afghanistan, Yemen, and intermittently in Iraq — part of endless US war on humanity.

March 27, 2021 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | Leave a comment



A couple of posts ago, I mentioned that I intended to read Robert English’s book Russia and the Idea of the West, which examines how Westernizing ideas gradually took hold of an element of the Soviet intelligentsia from the 1950s onwards. I’m now about halfway through, and on page 125 I came across a passage that I thought was very appropriate for today. Here English writes the following:

The steady growth of reformist, anti-isolationist thought [in the USSR] was also aided by two other developments. The first was a sharp deterioration in relations with China, to the point of armed conflict; this forced a deeper rethinking of the two-camp outlook … Second, and more important, was the rise of détente with the West; though accompanied by a tightening of ideological orthodoxy at home, détente provided specialists their broadest access to the West in 50 years… [As a result] the early-mid 1970s saw many calling not just for expanded intercourse with the West, but also for more radical changes that would move their country toward broader integration with the liberal international community.

Détente was a brief effort in the 1960s and 70s to lessen East-West tensions by negotiating arms control settlements, increasing trade, and carrying out cultural exchanges. Eventually it was abandoned by the United States once Ronald Reagan became president, on the grounds that it had emboldened Soviet aggression. But English argues that rather than promote aggression, détente had a positive effect (from a Western perspective) by encouraging pro-Western sentiment in the Soviet foreign policy community.

Today, it seems to me, we’re moving, or perhaps have already irrevocably moved, in the opposite direction. Russia-China relations have never been stronger, and we have entered an era of anti-détente. In this, the West is cutting relations with Russia via sanctions, and is also shredding what remains of the old arms control system. Somehow, this is meant to induce Russia to change in what the West considers a positive direction, i.e. to make it more ‘liberal’ and more friendly. Yet, if English is right, then one might expect it to have the opposite result.

Of course, historical parallels are never 100% valid. Circumstances are very different now compared to 1970s. Back then, opening up the West to the Soviets enabled the West to flex its soft power, by exposing Soviet intellectuals to Western ideas as well as to the obvious superiority of the capitalist economic system in terms of wealth production. This is a strategy that can’t be repeated today because Russians are already very well acquainted with the West. As I’ve pointed out before, cultural exchanges don’t have the ‘wow’ factor they once did.

That said, English points out other ways in which détente encouraged liberal, pro-Western thinking in sections of the Soviet elite. Arms control created strong personal ties between Soviet and US diplomats. After months of working together and then reaching agreement, the former came to respect and admire the later, and with it also came to reject ideas of the necessity of East-West conflict. In the process, détente created its own bureaucratic momentum. This is the way of things; to do something, you have to create institutions and cadres dedicated to it, who in due course become committed to doing more of it, in part out of genuine belief but in part because out of bureaucratic interest and inertia.

And so it was within the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs, elements of which became decidedly more ‘liberal’,  if that is an appropriate word, than the regime as a whole. English thus describes how liberal-minded diplomats, notably Lev Mendelevich and Anatoly Kovalev, slipped the Helsinki Final Act, with its commitments to human rights, past Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, who ‘signed the Final Act “without really reading it through”.’ The diplomats hoped, thereby, ‘to encourage domestic reforms, a gradual liberalization of the Communist system, and a humanization of Soviet society.’

One might wonder why diplomats thought that such domestic issues were their concern, but that’s by the by. The point is that détente helped to develop a liberally-inclined, pro-Western element within the Soviet diplomatic service, which used its position to, let’s put it somewhat crudely, undermine the Soviet Union from within. (I’m sure that wasn’t that element’s intent, but it was the effect.)

English describes the intellectual process that took place in the Soviet Union as a gradual abandonment of the isolationist outlook. Compare this to today: the Western policy of endlessly piling up the pressure on Russia, with what seems like a new round of sanctions every month, is having the opposite effect. I can’t say that I follow the readings of the Russian foreign policy community in huge detail, but insofar as I do, I get the strong impression that it’s becoming more and more inclined to the view that it’s pointless to make any concessions to the West because the latter is incapable of responding in kind.

One can see this even among what I call ‘establishment Westernizers’, such as, say, Dmitry Trenin. Particularly striking are some recent articles by one of Russia’s leading foreign policy experts Fyodor Lukyanov, who is now arguing that Russia and the West need to go their own ways and have as little to do with each other as possible. ‘External interactions’ with the USA should be reduced to the ‘absolutely essential’, writes Lukyanov. The two countries should ‘keep out of each others’ way’, he adds. It’s quite a contrast to the kind of thinking that English describes as having developed in the Soviet Union in the era of détente.

I suspect that the more the West tries to isolate Russia, the stronger this tendency in Russian thinking is likely to become. If nothing else, there will be subtle shifts within the Russian foreign policy bureaucracy. Fewer and fewer people will be involved in arms control, trade and other negotiations with Western partners. Meanwhile, more and more will be dealing with China and other parts of the world. With that, the power that the West exerts on Russian foreign policy thinking will inevitably diminish.

As far as the West is concerned, this is very much a self-inflicted wound. The way you influence people is by having contact with them, and reaching agreements with them. It is something that we once at least partially understood. I fear that we do so no longer.

March 27, 2021 Posted by | Book Review, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Blinken’s Pièce de Théâtre Failed; Its Script Was Passé

By Alastair Crooke | Strategic Culture Foundation | March 26, 2021

Global Times editorial assessed that the China-U.S. Anchorage talks would come to be seen as “a landmark in history”. For the first time, U.S. hegemony was treated disdainfully; for the first time, the U.S. ‘right’ to claim its values – its ‘style’ of democracy – as universally applicable, was publicly and flatly contradicted. Even the posture of ‘speaking from strength’ was dismissed, and the U.S.’ pressure of an alliance ‘bloc’ system ‘despised’. All spoken with an air of impunity (you need us, more than we need you). Strong stuff; no wonder Blinken looked shell-shocked.

Yet, this was not ‘it’. Anchorage was, in practice, a play of several acts. Well before ‘Opening Night’, a supportive cast was being mobilised as chorus to the play’s anticipated moment of climax: The Quad (U.S., Japan, Australia, and India) were warmed up; NATO activated, and the Europeans co-opted.

Even before the audience could take their seats, a small early drama was enacted in Moscow. It set in place the scenery to the climactic Act that was expected at Anchorage. The EU High Representative who had travelled purposively to read the ‘Riot Act’ to Moscow for its treatment of demonstrators, and of Alexei Navalny himself, was completely nonplussed to find the tables entirely turned – it was the EU that was led to the Moscow dock, chastised for criminalising Catalonian leaders as seditionists, and presented with videos of European police heavy-handedness in dealing with demonstrators. The first crack to the mould appeared.

FM Lavrov later made it unmistakably clear that Moscow was more than a little browned-off with Europe. The EU, he said, had “destroyed” Russia’s ability to have relations with Brussels: “There are no relations with the EU as an organization. The entire infrastructure of these relations has been destroyed by unilateral decisions made from Brussels”.

As the day approached for the main theatrical ‘piece’, even before the curtain rose, one actor (playing Uncle Sam), strolled the forestage to ‘warm up’ the audience with a recitation of the villainy perpetuated by the anti-hero (China). That was the mood-setter – the crux to the pièce de théâtre. A rolled document was in his hand, but not shown to the audience. It was just possible to glimpse its title: The Longer Telegram.

Aahh! The audience took the hint; it made the connection – The Longer Telegram was a ‘play’ on an earlier 1946 work by George Kanaan, excoriating the USSR, and warning that Russia must never be allowed to side with China. The Longer Telegram however, identified China as chief villain, and assailed President Xi and the CCP precisely as fault-lines who should be reviled, and if possible, wedged and broken apart. Though the conclusion to both Telegrams at least remained unchanged: Russia and China must never be allowed to join forces with each other.

What made this work so tantalising was that no one knew who wrote it – his/her identity was concealed by the Atlantic Council. “The author of this work has requested to remain anonymous, and the Atlantic Council has honoured this for reasons we consider legitimate but that will remain confidential. The Council has not taken such a measure before, but it made the decision to do so given the extraordinary significance of the author’s insights and recommendations as the United States confronts the signature geopolitical challenge of the era” [i.e. China – does the phrasing sound familiar?].

Almost certainly, it was thought, a member of the Biden Administration was the author. But might it have been Blinken himself? No one knows, but The Longer Telegram was read in Beijing too.

So, as the night arrived, and the curtain started to rise, the actor-narrator prepared the seated audience for the key dénouement saying that the anticipated clash with the anti-hero Yang, would be a “once-off” climactic duel, rather than the ‘start of something’, adding that the prospective duel also would be opportunity for an “airing of grievances” about China’s terrible behaviour.

But, when it came to the main scene, it all went wrong. Blinken, having duly read out the prepared ‘grievances’ indictment, found that the anti-hero, Yang Jiechi, instead of being chastened and reproved, hit back. (He had read the Theatre promo, and was prepared). It was a disaster. The End of Act. The mould was broken. An editor at the U.S. Spectator surmises: “The United States, said Yang, in one of the most dismissive diplomatic rejoinders I have ever heard, does not have the ‘qualifications’ to address China ‘from a position of strength’. F, my dear Blinken, you”.

Then we come to a further scene, where the play’s two anti-heroes turn out not to be ‘anti-heroes’, but brothers-in-arms. It turns out that the Russian anti-hero’s patron had been earlier impugned as a soulless ‘killer’. Lavrov and Li seal a pact in Beijing after the talks. And China warns any regional actor who sides with Uncle Sam – against either of the brothers-in-arms – ‘would not succeed in standing alone’ against either brother, but to face them jointly would be unimaginable. “Anyone putting their faith in the U.S. would be disappointed. The U.S. is weakening”.

The mould is in pieces – and Russia and China have come together.

Last Act opens (a thunderstorm is heard in the background): The ‘Bloc’ strikes: The U.S., Canada, the UK and EU act in a co-ordinated strike on the ‘brothers’, for infringing Muslin human rights in Xinjiang Province (a fiercely contested claim). Within minutes of the EU sanctions being imposed on party officials in Xinjiang, Beijing retaliates with sanctions on European parliamentarians, the EU Council political and security committee, scholars and the human rights sub-committee. (It is the EU’s turn to be shell-shocked now).

Dismissing the EU’s move “as based on nothing but lies and disinformation”, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, “the Chinese side urges the EU side to reflect on itself, face squarely the severity of its mistake and redress it. It must stop lecturing others on human rights and interfering in their internal affairs. It must end the hypocritical practice of double standards and stop going further down the wrong path. Otherwise, China will resolutely make further reactions”. Ouch … another convention lies shattered.

The U.S. and EU are unused to being treated with disdain; and their sanctions ignored and brushed aside, with a curt ‘China doesn’t care for your pressures’. Even more perplexing to the EU’s unremittingly mercantilist mindset, China is evidently reconciled to losing the January Investment Pact (CAI) signed with the EU, but not ratified by parliament, and now almost certainly lost to both parties. And Moscow too, seems not to care that Nordstream 2 might also be at greater risk now. EU leaders will be disturbed that its’ ‘400 million market’ may not be the ‘ace’ which it imagined it to be.

The EU faces a dilemma: It had been crying out for a return to so-called ‘multilateralism.’ It got it – the Bloc sanctioning of Xinjiang officials, Putin impugned, and Russia sanctioned, and paradoxically, the EU is now sanctioned itself – its foreign relations with the great powers of Eurasia lie mired in the mud. It faces economic losses in respect to the China Investment Pact, and in trade with Russia.

The scene then changes one final time: It has Brussels’ NATO HQ as its backdrop now. The actor-narrator steps again onto the theatre forestage to say that whilst a collective response to China’s coercive behaviour “which threatens our collective security and prosperity” was indeed the thrust of our script, the latter “doesn’t mean countries can’t work with China, where possible. The United States will. We can’t afford not to … The United States won’t force our allies into an ‘us-or-them’ choice with China”.

The Bloc cannot hold – the crystal snapped, emitting a sharp crack. The theatre play was all about re-legitimising (a ritual, one-off re-enactment) of the American myth of its innate moral quality for holding leadership of the world, and its right to mobilise allies against those (here the tone is of a man – Blinken – shocked at what he is about to say) that don’t share our values: “They actually try and undermine the international rules-based order”.

The curtain is down. The script didn’t gel. The play is critiqued and it revealed paradoxically, that the ‘the myth’ that it precisely intended to re-validate, in a post-Trump, ritual exorcism, is indeed date-expired – it is passé. It is a very different world, four years on.

March 27, 2021 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 1 Comment

‘Gangster-like logic’: North Korea rejects Biden’s missile launch criticism, points to Washington’s own saber-rattling

RT | March 26, 2021

Responding to American criticism of its recent missile launch, North Korea has accused Washington of denying its right to self-defense, even as the US holds war games at the country’s doorstep and tests advanced weaponry.

“It’s a gangster-like logic that it is allowable for the US to ship the strategic nuclear assets into the Korean peninsula and launch ICBMs any time it wants but not allowable for the DPRK, its belligerent party, to conduct even a test of a tactical weapon,” senior North Korean official Ri Pyong-chol said in statement on Saturday.

The comments came after US President Joe Biden condemned a series of missile launches by Pyongyang, which test-fired several newly developed “tactical guided missiles” on Thursday, with the US leader vowing to “respond accordingly” if North Korea opted to “escalate.”

Defending the launches, Ri argued that the guided missile test was merely an “exercise of the full-fledged right of a sovereign state to self-defense,” given that the US and its allies routinely flex their military muscles in the region with “dangerous war exercises” and are happy to arm themselves with advanced weapons.

Ri appeared to reject speculation that the rocket launches, all conducted within a span of a week in the run-up to Biden’s much-anticipated first solo press conference on Thursday, were meant to send a signal to the new administration.

“We are by no means developing weapons to draw someone’s attention or influence his policy,” the official said. Ri, who according to North Korea’s state media, oversaw the latest launch, went on to denounce Biden’s vow of retaliation as “an undisguised encroachment” on North Korea’s right to self-defense and “provocation,” warning that the US “may be faced with something that is not good” if it continued such rhetoric.

The missiles test-fired on Thursday were described by the Japanese and South Korean militaries as ballistic missiles. While North Korea is banned from testing ballistic missiles under UN Security Council resolutions, Washington is not bound by such constraints. Last month, the US military fired an unarmed LGM-30G Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) from a California base, with the US Air Force saying that the launch showed that Washington’s “strategic deterrent is safe, secure and effective.”

“Our nation’s ICBM fleet stands ready 24/7,” Lieutenant General Anthony Cotton, deputy commander of the Air Force’s Global Strike Command, said at the time.

Earlier this month, the US and South Korea held a nine-day joint military exercise that was scaled back this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The scope of the annual computer-simulated drills has been limited since the previous US administration attempted to strike a denuclearization agreement with Pyongyang, though the effort ultimately failed after Washington refused to provide any sanctions relief until North Korea carried out “complete and irreversible” denuclearization.

March 27, 2021 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , | 1 Comment

US Anti-North Korea Propaganda

By Stephen Lendman | March 26, 2021

US hostility toward North Korea is all about its freedom from imperial control.

It’s unrelated to alleged threats from its ruling authorities that don’t exist.

Since the Korean peninsula was divided post-WW II, the DPRK never attacked another nation.

It threatens none now — except in self-defense against aggression, its legitimate UN Charter right.

North Korea is an invented US enemy, not a real one.

Its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile capabilities are solely for defense.

They’re deterrents against possible US aggression.

DPRK ruling authorities know that what happened in the early 1950s can repeat because of US imperial rage to dominate other countries, including by brute force.

On Thursday, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Pyongyang launched two ballistic missiles that landed outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

Claiming the test launches threaten regional security defy reality.

Yet the Kyodo news agency reported that Japan is holding an emergency National Security Council meeting in response to the tests.

They were the first North Korean ballistic missiles launched since March 2020.

An unnamed Biden regime official confirmed the launch, saying the Pentagon and US intelligence are analyzing the tests.

It’s unclear if short, intermediate or long-range missiles were launched.

According to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, the country’s military confirmed “at least one unidentified projectile” launched by North Korea.

In response to provocative US/South Korean military exercises near its territory, Pyongyang condemned them and launched several short-range missiles last weekend.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s sister Kim Yo-jong slammed ongoing US/South Korean military drills, saying:

If Seoul “resort(s) to more provocative acts, we may take a special measure of resolutely abrogating even the north-south military agreement,” adding:

“Perhaps they are expecting ‘flexible judgment’ and ‘understanding’ from us but it is, indeed, ridiculous, impudent and stupid.”

“War drills and hostility can never go with dialogue and cooperation.”

Weeks earlier in a joint Biden regime/South Korea press release, their foreign ministers agreed on pushing for denuclearization of North Korea, calling it a matter of urgency.

Ignored was nuclear armed and dangerous USA and its key imperial partners.

They pose an unprecedented threat to world peace — in sharp contrast to North Korea threatening no one.

Its KCNA news agency earlier slammed Biden, calling him a “rabid dog (in) the final stage of dementia.”

As part of its propaganda drumbeat against nations free from US control, the NYT called North Korea’s missile tests “a show of force, raising tensions to gain leverage as the Biden (regime) finalizes its review of Washington’s North Korea policy,” adding:

“It was a warning to Washington that North Korea will follow up with more provocative tests (sic), involving longer-range missiles, depending on whether Biden decides to adopt more sanctions, engage in dialogue or a mix of both in dealing with the country’s growing nuclear and missile threats (sic).”

Weeks earlier, North Korea’s leadership announced plans to upgrade its nuclear capabilities.

It’s developing miniaturized nuclear warheads, tactical nuclear weapons, multiple independently-targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs), solid-fuel ballistic missiles of varying ranges, nuclear propulsion systems for submarines, and hypersonic weapons.

Kim Jong-un stressed the importance of strengthening the country’s ability to deter aggressors from launching attacks.

If the above capabilities are developed, they’ll be powerful deterrents against possible US aggression.

March 27, 2021 Posted by | Militarism | , | 1 Comment