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We Need to Hear Much More About Florida and Texas and Less About the Latest Covid Hotspots

By Will Jones • Lockdown Sceptics • April 30, 2021

Would that journalists and broadcasters paid as much attention to places with no restrictions doing fine as they do to the latest places experiencing a Covid surge.

All eyes are currently on India and especially Delhi where, after a year of little impact, the virus is making its nasty presence felt. But as Ivor Cummins points out, India for whatever reason has a long way to go to catch up with countries in Europe and the Americas when it comes to Covid deaths. The country is not a good comparison for the UK where the virus is endemic and substantial population immunity is now present.

If only our media would spend as much time telling the population about how Florida lifted its restrictions back in September, how South Dakota never had any, and how Texas and Mississippi reopened in full at the start of March, as they do telling us about how many people are in hospital in Delhi. The latest positive-test data for these open states is in the graph above, along with two other light-restriction states, South Carolina and Georgia. Note the conspicuous lack of surge despite being basically back to normal. What more evidence do our politicians and scientists need that the threat from the virus is overblown and does not warrant social restrictions or emergency measures? Is the Government interested in data which contradict their preferred narrative?

The Telegraph today is reporting that as of June 21st – another seven weeks away – Brits will be permitted once again to attend large events without anti-social and uneconomic distancing requirements and hug one another. Our ultra-cautious scientists are advising that these things might just be okay by then. Though in case you might have thought they would then end the seemingly endless state of emergency, they have said measures such as staggering entries to venues accommodating large groups and good ventilation will still be required. What part of normal don’t they understand?

Nor is there any indication of a move to return international travel to normal, as the country faces more limitations on travel this summer – when most of the country is vaccinated – than last summer – when nobody was. What this has to do with following the science is, as ever, unclear.

What’s strange is that even in America where parts of their own country are living free and showing that the measures aren’t needed, state governments, with popular support and backed by federal agencies, just carry on with their restrictions, lifting them only very slowly and with no obvious commitment to bringing them finally to an end. It’s as though people don’t want to know. Too much has been invested in the lockdown narrative, it seems, for people to be able to cope psychologically with the trauma of facing the truth that it is fundamentally false. Too many reputations are at risk. Too many interests coincide.

Are we doomed to live forever in this Covid state of emergency? I confess it is hard to see what will prompt governments to bring it to an end, now that we live in permanent fear of the appearance of variants and believe we must continually top up the whole world’s antibodies through rolling annual programmes of vaccinations. One of the most depressing thoughts is I find it almost impossible to imagine Boris Johnson facing the camera and announcing: “My friends, our ordeal is over. The data is clear. The virus is now one among many hazards with which we daily must live. Vaccines are available to the vulnerable, as are effective treatments, and we will continually strive to find the safest ways to protect those at risk from this and other illnesses. It is time to resume our old lives. I declare the state of emergency to be over.”

Will we ever reach a point where we no longer even think about whether some activity is “Covid secure”? Where we no longer see our fellow human beings as sources of infection? It would be good to hear much more often from the Government that this is where it believes we are headed, sooner rather than later.

May 1, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment

Doctor defends ‘80 clinical studies’ showing ivermectin ‘89% effective’ at preventing COVID

‘People are trying to scare us from taking ivermectin. It’s one of the safest drugs in the world.’

Life Site News | April 29, 2021

A doctor from the Philippines strongly defended the use of ivermectin for preventing and treating COVID-19, pointing to “80 clinical studies” which support his arguments, and alluding to “bias” and conflicts of interest, which have led medical bodies to be reluctant about promoting the drug.

Appearing on Philippine television channel ABS–CBN, Dr. Benigno Agbayani answered a range of questions about the efficacy and safety of the drug, as well as the peculiar reticence to recommend it for treating COVID-19.

Agbayani, the president of Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines, revealed that since last year, he had spent over five hours a day studying scientific literature on all things pertaining to COVID-19, including the non-effectiveness of lockdowns. “I think I’ve read more than anyone on COVID-19,” he stated.

However, Agbayani did not spend long defending his medical credentials, but instead advocated the use of ivermectin by referring to the wealth of scientific studies with which he was by now very familiar. He already prescribed ivermectin to over 300 of his own patients, but despite the success he has experienced so far, Agbayani stated that he looks “at the success rate of studies, rather than my personal experience, because that’s where I base my recommendations.”

“As much as anecdotal [pieces of evidence] are good, and we have many, I really prefer that we stick to the science,” he said. “People are trying to scare us from taking ivermectin. It’s one of the safest drugs in the world.”

Mentioning a study from September 2020, Agbayani stated that ivermectin had been shown to actually block “the receptor sites of the virus onto our cells, therefore blocking it from ever getting to the cell.”

“You have over 26, as of today, randomized control trials showing effectiveness, even as high as 89% for prevention, and as high as 80% for treatment. So I think regardless of what the other groups are doing, you have so much science behind it, I do not see why we have to be so concerned.”

Some studies mentioned ivermectin in conjunction with accompanying treatments, but Agbayani noted that even with this, it was possible to prove the effectiveness of ivermectin on its own. Pointing to the evidence found by Dr. Tess Lawrie, Agbayani explained that the drugs accompanying ivermectin in the studies were there, “but not all the time,” and that they “have already been proven not to work, so if you have two drugs given with ivermectin, and one drug doesn’t work, then you have to conclude that it must be ivermectin,” which produces the result.

He alluded to the peculiar antagonism which has been levied against ivermectin, noting how scepticism regarding studies promoting ivermectin is not mirrored with other drugs: “[T]he same thing can be said of every drug that we tried. Even people who are taking remdesevir, they also try other drugs, and yet you don’t question that.”

Continuing, he noted that “most” of the drugs accompanying ivermectin in the trials were “not even anti-virus [drugs], most of them are supportive of your immune systems.”

“There are 80 clinical studies [about the use of ivermectin]. If the 80 clinical studies show positive response, and maybe about 2% only showing no response to ivermectin, in clinical studies, of the doses that we give, I think that should be enough proof that it works.”

Drawing once more on the scientific data, Agbayani promoted ivermectin both as a prophylactic, and as a treatment once infected with COVID-19. Conclusions drawn from “at least 12 clinical studies,” of which 3 were randomized, controlled trials, revealed “an 89% rate of preventing COVID-19.”

Global Reluctance Regarding Ivermectin

Yet despite this, medical bodies have been consistently reluctant to promote the use of ivermectin, with Big Tech even weighing in and deleting videos which defended the drug. Thanks to the efforts of the Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC), the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) upgraded their recommendation for the “miraculous” drug ivermectin, making it an option for use in treating COVID-19 within the United States, but only since January.

Agbayani suggested two reasons for the global reticence regarding the drug. Dealing first with the NIH, he suggested that “the NIH, the U.S. I mean, just needs to update their data. I think the last time they gave an update was February. They said it could be useful, it may not be useful.”

But he also mentioned that there was some deliberate avoidance at properly promoting ivermectin, commenting on how the World Health Organization’s March 3 recommendation of the drug did not include preventative use, but “only mentioned treatment and for severe cases. For severe cases and early treatment.”

“They did not include prophylaxis, because I think they’re afraid to recommend it, that’s why they did not make a comment,” he continued. “If you look at the way they studied it, they did include so many other studies … there seems to be a bias in those recommendations and we feel that they do not want to look at certain studies preferentially, and this was observed even before this recent announcement.”

“There is some kind of bias going on that we’d like to question. This is the time in our history when we should look at conflicts of interest.”

Such a conflict of interest could exist in the vaccine company Merck, Agbayani added, in answer to why the company even issued a statement advising against the use of ivermectin for COVID, despite having developed it some 30 years prior. This was an “excellent example of conflict of interest,” stated Agbayani.

“Merck is coming out with a new drug for the early treatment of COVID-19. How can Merck make money out of ivermectin, if the patents already expired in 1996, so even if it tries that, I don’t think they’ll make money at all, when so many other companies are making ivermectin. So they have to put their mouth on their research expenses on their new drug.”

Despite Merck joining other vaccine companies in pushing out speedily developed new drugs, ivermectin was still being side-lined, although it has been “used for 25 years,” said Agbayani. Even taking a dose, “ten times” the NIH daily recommended amount, would “have no [side] effect.”

“Compare that to other drugs that we are now using that are fairly new, where you are getting so many reports of side effects. So it’s really amazing that people still say it’s an unsafe drug when it’s been used for 25 years, over 3.7 billion doses have been given.”

Dr. Agbayani is by no means alone in his promotion of ivermectin for treating and preventing COVID-19.

Back in December, intensive care specialist Dr. Pierre Kory, a founding member of the FLCCC, delivered an impassioned address to the Senate Homeland Security Committee, defending the “miraculous effectiveness of ivermectin,” and stating that it “basically obliterates transmission of this virus.”

“It literally destroys the virus in most people within 48 hours,” agreed fellow panelist Dr. Jean-Jacques Rajter, whose peer-reviewed study found 60% fewer deaths among patients given the drug.

In fact, the efficacy of ivermectin with regard to COVID-19 was already hinted at in April 2020, when researchers in Australia pointed to a dramatic effect the drug had on the virus. “We showed that a single dose of Ivermectin could kill COVID-19 in a petri dish within 48 hours, indicating potent antiviral activity,” stated Dr. David Jans, a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Monash University in Melbourne.

Even after just 24 hours, “there was a really significant reduction” in the virus, added Dr. Kylie Wagstaff, a senior research fellow in biochemistry and molecular biology at Monash University.

May 1, 2021 Posted by | Corruption, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , | 2 Comments

Update on EU’s Vaccine Passport Scheme

By Toby Young • Principia Scientific • April 29, 2021

We have an update today on yesterday’s vote in the European Parliament, which essentially waved through the Commission’s plans to roll out a vaccine passport scheme across the EU, which we covered yesterday. This is a guest post from a source within the EU.

In Brussels yesterday the European Parliament adopted a negotiating position on the Commission’s Digital Green Certificate proposal. 575 MEPs voted for a compromise text, with 80 against and 40 abstentions.

Voting took place remotely after three hours of speeches to a mostly empty chamber.

The Commission’s desire to create a universal system of health check points within the EU was apparent before the Plenary Session. During the debate it became increasingly clear that these checks will be taking place beyond Member State borders.

MEPs were resigned to passing the Regulation in order to “return to normal” even if it “puts Schengen at stake”.

Voter concerns that European society would be divided were occasionally relayed, usually as a prefix to a bald statement that the DGC would neither discriminate nor function as a pass for entry into Member States.

A handful of MEPs asked to examine the Proposal more critically.

With Parliament’s approval – and the three EU Institutions already in alignment – negotiations between Commission, Council and Parliament on the final text will be a mere formality.

We can expect the rubberstamp by June, ushering in a sophisticated and probably enduring system of health checks across Europe, enhanced by the draconian Passenger Locator Form, also on its way to becoming law.

May 1, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties | | 1 Comment

Most US & UK businesses to REQUIRE at least some employees to get vaccinated against Covid-19, poll shows

© ASU Workplace Commons /

RT | May 1, 2021

Many Americans and Brits will face de facto vaccine mandates, as a new poll shows that 56% of businesses will require at least some employees to be inoculated against Covid-19, in many cases under threat of losing their jobs.

The poll, which was conducted by Arizona State University and released on Thursday, showed that 40% of businesses will require all employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19, while 16% will mandate the jabs for at least some of their workers. All told, 88% of businesses will require or encourage their employees to be vaccinated, and 60% said they will demand some kind of proof of inoculation.

The survey, which was backed by the Rockefeller Foundation, paints a bleak picture for those who plan to resist getting the Covid-19 jabs. While the US and UK governments have refrained from making vaccines mandatory – and facing legal challenges that might ensue – the private sector may effectively do it for them. Businesses are already setting the stage to require so-called ‘vaccine passports,’ forcing customers to show proof of inoculation or a negative Covid test before accessing certain goods, services and events.

While many people can choose not to travel abroad or go to business venues that require proof of vaccination, an employer mandate could be more problematic. Arizona State said 31% of businesses plan to take disciplinary action, including possibly firing employees who refuse to comply with their vaccine policies.

A further 44% said non-compliant employees won’t be allowed to return to the workplace, while 27% said they will change the work responsibilities of those who fail to obey. Only 15% said there will be no consequences, even though the vaccines are being administered under emergency authorizations and so far lack the long-term study needed for full regulatory approval.

The survey was conducted at 1,168 companies, mostly large businesses with 250 or more employees based in the US and UK. The average business in the poll still has 57% of employees working remotely. About 75% expect workers to be back on site within the next one to six months, but 72% said they plan to offer more flexible work-from-home policies after the pandemic.

Employee wellbeing has suffered greatly during the pandemic. Nearly 58% of businesses said their concerns over employee mental health have increased, while 52% were more concerned about worker engagement. Other troubling issues included Covid-19’s impact on burnout, productivity and morale.

May 1, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , | Leave a comment

Twitter isn’t censoring accounts to keep users ‘safe’, but to spoon-feed establishment narratives

By Eva Bartlett | RT | April 30, 2021

It’s one thing to have policies against violence, abuse, and harassment. But in “protecting” users, Twitter is hell-bent on censoring voices that rock the boat, even when all they have tweeted is a peer-reviewed scientific paper.

Last week, Simon Goddek, who has a PhD in biotechnology and researches system dynamics, tweeted a link to a scientific study titled, “Is a Mask That Covers the Mouth and Nose Free from Undesirable Side Effects in Everyday Use and Free of Potential Hazards?”

Some time later, his account was frozen and he received a notice from Twitter that it would remain frozen until he deleted the offending tweet, and for the 12 hours following that.

In his Telegram group, he wrote:

“I was put into Twitter jail for citing a peer-reviewed scientific paper. Cancel science is real.

“What’s especially concerning is that I didn’t make any personal comment on the paper’s content. I only said that regarding that paper, masks CAN lead to massive health damages. It’s the conclusion of a scientific piece of work that has been peer-reviewed by at least 2 experts in the field.”

According to Twitter, Goddek violated their policy on, “spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to Covid-19.”

The article in question wasn’t even as risqué as others and merely addressed undesirable side effects of mask wearing. How is that “misinformation”?

I spoke with Goddek to learn more about what happened. Turns out, it’s not the first time.

“The first time I got censored because I cited a scientific, peer-reviewed paper on masks. I was just citing their work, and I got put into Twitter jail. In that tweet, I was saying, ‘Look, it seems masks don’t work.’  So, I also said my opinion.

“This time, I found another study on masks, which says there are adverse effects if you wear masks. So, I was citing the paper without putting my own opinion, and they censored me again, made me delete it and put me into Twitter jail again.”

On April 17, Naomi Wolf tweeted she had been locked out of Twitter for the fourth time for sharing a Stanford study, “proving the lack of efficacy of masks.” That study was also peer-reviewed.

This isn’t merely a case of Twitter deciding that Goddek and Wolf were not in the position to be discussing the efficacy or dangers of masks. Twitter is censoring pretty much anything about Covid that doesn’t match the narrative promoted by the WHO, CDC, and other such bodies.

Even a well-known epidemiologist has faced Twitter’s wrath. An article in the American Institute for Economic Research noted:

“Harvard Professor Martin Kulldorff and co-creator of the Great Barrington Declaration, one of the most cited epidemiologists and infectious -disease experts in the world has been censored by Twitter. His tweet on how not everyone needs a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 was not taken down. He had a warning slapped on it and users have been prevented from liking or retweeting the post.”

That article also emphasized:

“Dr. Kulldorff serves on the Covid-19 vaccine safety subgroup that the CDC, NIH, and FDA rely upon for technical expertise on this very subject.”

On April 10, a group called Drs4CovidEthics tweeted:

“Not a month on Twitter & we were locked out of our account, forced to delete our pinned tweet. We must self-censor or be banned says Twitter (paraphrasing) We mustn’t contradict official sources. But our letters contradict official sources. With good reason. Which we can’t tweet.”

What do they know better than Twitter censors? They’re merely “doctors & scientists from 25+ countries, including heads of ICU, world leading immunologists, experts in public health, drug safety, respiratory illness, GPs, researchers in vaccines, pharmacology, virology, biochemistry…”

I searched for more examples of extreme Twitter censorship and found further censorship of vaccine related information, and one person’s hypothesis on why vaccine talk is so particularly taboo: “$157 billion buys a lot of Facebook and Twitter bans.”

The popular independent website Off Guardian recently was locked out of Twitter for sharing one of its own articles on Covid vaccines, they told me.

In fact, Twitter has been censoring Off Guardian for at least a year. When users try to open a tweet to an Off Guardian article, they are met with a warning that the link could be potentially spammy or unsafe.

The warning continues with a large blue button advising to return to the previous page, and a teeny tiny “continue” on to the article option. Same thing for the independent Canadian website Global Research.

Last year, I tried to tweet an article written by respected journalist F. William Engdahl for New Eastern Outlook (NEO). Twitter wouldn’t allow me to even tweet it, instead giving me an error message about the link being “potentially harmful.”

And it’s not only matters of Covid. Just now, I tried to tweet another NEO article, not related to Covid, and was again met with the same message.

A Twitter account focusing on the propaganda around Xinjiang had his account suspended.

And when the New York Post wrote exposés about Hunter Biden’s emails, Twitter locked the Post’s account.

Which makes it all the more clear this isn’t about “facts” or “safety” but blatant censorship.

Whether or not you agree with a point or comment being made by one of the people censored by Twitter, we should be allowed to access their perspective, research for ourselves and come to our own conclusions. We don’t need Twitter to hold our hands and spoon-feed us establishment narratives.

Twitter’s “rules” page reads:

“Twitter’s purpose is to serve the public conversation. Our rules are to ensure all people can participate in the public conversation freely and safely.”

If you believe that, as the saying goes, I have a bridge to sell you.

Eva Bartlett is a Canadian independent journalist and activist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Palestine (where she lived for nearly four years).

May 1, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 1 Comment

Did Jeremy Scahill’s Analysis Fumble the Ball in Its Indictment of Joe Biden as an “Empire Politician”?

The Intercept series on Biden is marred by omissions and even State Department disinformation

By Jeremy Kuzmarov | CovertAction Magazine | April 30, 2021

Known for his exposés of Blackwater and the U.S. dirty wars in the Middle East, The Intercept reporter Jeremy Scahill’s latest blockbuster is a series on Joe Biden’s history as an “empire politician.”

The series is impressive and informative, however, it ignores certain unflattering historical facts and perpetuates a few popular misperceptions.

CovertAction Magazine commends The Intercept’s investigation into Biden’s influence on U.S. foreign policy over the last half-century, and hopes it will amend and improve it by examining some of the problems with what it reported—and the even greater problems with what it failed to report.

In his introduction, Scahill writes that after poring over congressional reports and speeches among other documents, he came to the conclusion that Biden is a man “dedicated to the U.S. as an empire, who believes that preserving U.S. national interests and ‘prestige’ on the global stage outweighs considerations of morality or even at times the deaths of innocent people.”

The series goes on to provide strong evidence to corroborate this assessment.

Scahill details, for example, Biden’s chairing of congressional hearings that helped build support for the 2003 War in Iraq, his staunch support for the bombing of Serbia and Kosovo, and for the kind of military occupation that the U.S. had conducted in Germany and Japan after WW II there.

Biden further supported U.S. aggression in GrenadaLibya and Panama in the 1980s, which resulted in the deaths of many civilians, and in 1981 voted to provide expansive aid to Pakistan in order to arm Islamic fundamentalists fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

One year later, Biden tried to justify Israel’s killing of civilians in Lebanon, which even the Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin couldn’t do.

In the 1990s, Biden backed President Bill Clinton as he bombed a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan, and supported President George W. Bush’s sending suspected terrorist suspects to Guantanamo Bay.

Sudanese factory destroyed by US now a shrine -

Biden supported the bombing of the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Sudan under false pretexts in 1998. [Source: ]

When he first ran for the Senate, Biden positioned himself as an opponent of the Vietnam War, albeit on tactical grounds, considering the war to have been “lousy policy” rather than a crime.

Before that Biden had obtained a draft deferment because he had asthma as a teenager. However, he never took part in antiwar protests and referred to antiwar protesters who had occupied the chancellor’s office at Syracuse University where he was a law student as “assholes.”

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Senator-elect Joe Biden, D-Del., takes his oath of office in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 13, 1972. [Source: ]

During his early years in the Senate, Biden co-sponsored the 1973 War Powers Act, which mandated that presidents obtain congressional authorization before going to war.

Eighteen years later, Senator Biden denounced President George H.W. Bush’s “monarchist” disdain for congressional authority and opposed the Gulf War in Iraq.

Soon after Bush declared victory in the Gulf, Biden, however, determined that his opposition was a political mistake and began a transformation into a top hawk on Iraq and supporter of many subsequent wars.

While early in his career voting to rein in the CIA, he evolved also into a foe of whistleblowers and helped block the nomination of Theodore Sorensen as CIA Director when it was discovered that Sorensen had given an affidavit in the case of Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg that sympathized with Ellsberg.

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Ted Sorensen, center, arrives with Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., right, at the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Sorensen’s nomination for CIA director on Jan. 17, 1977. [Source: ]

Distortions and Omissions

As the above summary indicates, there is much to learn from The Intercept’s series and admire.

However, there are certain topics that are only superficially covered, or inexplicably left out altogether.

Scahill, for example, says nothing about how Biden was mentored when he first came into the Senate “as a young kid” by Averell Harriman, the “father of the Cold War.”

A son of one of the original robber barons who founded the legendary Wall Street firm Brown Brothers & Co., Harriman served as U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union 1943-1946, Secretary of Commerce 1946-1948, Governor of New York 1955-1958 and Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs under John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.

Harriman’s support for an aggressive anticommunist foreign policy was both ideological and personal; he lost a fortune when zinc mines that he had invested in were nationalized by communist regimes in Eastern Europe.

In the late 1970s, Biden accompanied Harriman and his wife Pamela on a trip to Yugoslavia to attend the funeral of Eduard Kardelj, Tito’s intellectual mentor [Tito was the socialist leader of Yugoslavia from 1953-1980].

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W. Averell Harriman, Biden’s political mentor. [Source:]

During their visit, Harriman predicted that the Soviet Union would collapse and told Joe that he should “get to know Yugoslavia” because it was an “area we could bring into the 21st century as an ally.”

Two decades later, as a prominent member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden helped see to it that Harriman’s ambition was fulfilled.

He supported secessionist factions in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia that caused the breakup of Yugoslavia and aggressively promoted the bombing of Bosnia, Kosovo and Montenegro, whose end result was the establishment of a giant U.S. military base, Camp Bondsteel.

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Aerial photo of Camp Bondsteel. [Source:]

Scahill’s discussion of the Bosnia war omits any consideration of the geopolitical imperative underlying U.S. policy and presents a misleading narrative about the war.

He writes that “as Yugoslavia’ disintegrated in the early 1990s, Serbia and Croatia began a bloody battle for control of large swaths [of it].” The Serbs, however, had attempted to keep the Yugoslav federation together when Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina seceded with U.S. encouragement.

The IMF and World Bank had contributed to Yugoslavia’s dissolution through its promotion of fiscal austerity and neoliberal economic programs, which Scahill omits.

After his pithy assessment of the war’s origins, Scahill writes that in Bosnia, “Serb forces committed widespread atrocities, particularly against Muslims.” While this statement is true, it reinforces the dominant view of the Muslims as victims of Serb aggression and war crimes.

The Muslims not only committed their own gruesome atrocities, but were led by an Islamic fundamentalist, Alija Izetbegović, who had been arrested in World War II after recruiting Muslims for a military unit organized by the SS Gestapo.

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Then Senator Biden speaks with Alija Izetbegović in Sarajevo on April 9, 1993[Source:]

The Muslim fighting regiments were also bolstered by 4,000 Arab jihadist fighters from Afghanistan, Algeria, and other Islamic countries and included two future 9/11 hijackers—a fact Scahill ought to have mentioned.

Srebrenica Distortions

The quality of Scahill’s analysis descends further when he promotes misinformation about the July 1995 killings by Bosnian Serb forces of Muslims in Srebrenica.

Scahill writes that “the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)… determined that more than 8,000 people were killed during the massacre and ruled that the Bosnian Serb operations constituted genocide.”

But the 2001 ICTY judgment of Serb commander Radislav Krstic gave a low estimate of seven thousand men that were captured by the Serbian forces at Srebrenica and concluded that only a “few mortal remains” were found near the purported killing site.[1]

The Sarajevo-based International Commission for Missing Persons (ICMP), an adjunct of the ICTY, which matched the DNA from bone samples with family members of persons reported as missing, in 2007 identified a total of 6,930 Srebrenica victims.[2]

However, some on this list had gone missing prior to July 1995 and the study could not determine the cause of death.[3] Autopsy reports referred to bodies where only shell or mortar fragments were found, militating strongly against the thesis that they were executed.[4]

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Satellite image of alleged mass graves were presented by U.S. ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright at the UN several weeks after the alleged Srebrenica massacre. The problem is that proof of the mass graves has never been firmly established and Albright never made the photos available for public examination. [Source:]

Another thing Scahil omits is that Muslim regiments under Naser Orić, commander of the Bosnian Army’s 29th Division, killed over 3,000 Serb soldiers and civilians from the Srebrenica area, including the town Mayor, before the Serb massacre took place.[5]

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Naser Orić a U.S.-supported warlord who bragged about massacres of Serbs committed near Srebrenica. [Source: ]

Scahill makes a point of contrasting Biden’s agitation for war in the Balkans with his opposition to the use of force in Haiti to restore populist Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power after he had been ousted in a right-wing coup, insinuating that Biden was less concerned about Haitians because they were black.

This is fine, but Scahill could have written more about the politicization of human rights and geostrategic imperatives driving U.S. military intervention in the 1990s.

Biden and DuPont

A principle flaw of “Empire Politician” is that it does not discuss political-economy and the corporate interests that drove Biden’s support for the U.S. empire.

Readers are not made aware of the structural forces that need to be overcome for the forever wars to end. Scahill leaves the impression that Biden’s shifting and mostly odious record is the result of his own misjudgments, rather an oligarchic political system, and that a better man in his position might have done better.

We know that Biden enjoyed a particularly close relationship with the MBNA credit card company and big banks in Delaware along with the DuPont Corporation, the infamous war profiteer and polluter which for decades ruled Delaware like a personal fiefdom.

Biden’s first Senate campaign in 1972 was staffed by DuPont employees, had its office on a road named after DuPont and celebrated its victory in the Gold Ballroom of the Hotel DuPont.

Subsequently, Biden employed a DuPont lawyer as a top adviser and DuPont engineer as Senate chief of Staff and later head of his presidential transition team.

From 1974-1996, Biden lived in the DuPont mansion in Wilmington.

joe biden's former home in greenville, delaware

Aerial view of the DuPont mansion in Wilmington which Biden lived in from 1974 until 1996. [Source: ]

During the 2020 election cycle, DuPont provided the Biden campaign with $95,729.

Biden further received donations from DuPont lobbyists and executives working for companies owned by the Du Pont family.[6]

In the early 1980s, Biden launched an investigation into Summit Aviation Corp., a Middletown, Delaware company owned by Richard “Kip” DuPont that ferried bombs and guns to the Nicaraguan Contras, a right-wing paramilitary group fighting the left-wing Sandinistas, but never released the findings.[7]

Biden’s job clearly was to help to cover up for criminal activities by a prominent DuPont family member in return for DuPont supporting Biden’s political career.

DuPont later benefited from Biden’s policies in the Middle East, a fast-growing market for DuPont which supplies products to the oil and gas industry, and in Ukraine where the company opened a seed plant to support “increased demand for Pioneer brand corn hybrids.”

Imperial Vice President

Like with Biden’s ties to large corporations, Scahill is weak in analyzing Biden’s record as Vice President.

While acknowledging Biden’s role in supporting drone strikes and covert military interventions in the Middle East, he fails to discuss his advancement of U.S. corporate interests in Central America and record as the Obama administration’s key point man on Iraq.

In that latter capacity, Biden forged close relations with Nouri al-Maliki, the “Shia Saddam,” who helped trigger the growth of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) by oppressing Iraq’s Sunni population.

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Biden laughs with Nouri al-Maliki, the “Shia Saddam,” at a press conference in Baghdad in 2009. [Source:]

Biden later helped install Haidar al-Abadi as Iraq’s president in an attempt to fulfill the long-standing U.S. ambition of privatizing Iraq’s oil industry, and oversaw the Third Iraq War, which was among the least transparent in modern U.S. history.

Journalists Azmat Khan and Anand Gopal determined that one in five of the 27,500 coalition air strikes over Iraq resulted in at least one civilian death, more than 31 times that acknowledged by the U.S. government.[8]

Civilians walk on a street in the Dawasa neighborhood of southwest Mosul on March 30.

Scene from Mosul after its sacking by U.S.-coalition forces in 2016. [Source: ]


The biggest elephant in the room is Ukraine.

Biden’s actions there during his Vice-Presidency were arguably the most unethical of his career and showed the maturation of a corrupt political figure.

Biden played a key role in supporting a coup in Ukraine in 2014 that brought to power a regime infiltrated by Neo-Nazis, and was a close confidante of post-coup president Petro Poroshenko, who presided over one of the most corrupt regimes in the world.

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Biden enjoys a laugh with Petro Poroshenko, the most corrupt leader in Europe. [Source: ]

Biden further promoted expanded arms sales to the Ukrainian military while it carried out large-scale human rights atrocities in a dirty war in the East provoked by the coup.

Later Biden bragged about blackmailing Ukraine’s president to secure the firing of an honest Attorney General in order to protect a corrupt energy company, Burisma, which appointed his son Hunter to its board of directors—even though Hunter had no experience in the energy field.

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New York Post feature story Biden and his son Hunter’s misdeeds in Ukraine, which Scahill ignores. [Source: ]

Evidence has emerged that would indicate that Burisma was a CIA front, controlled by a warlord, Ihor Kolomoyskyi, who used it to finance private militias that were relied upon to wage the war in the East.

None of this is mentioned in “Empire’s Politician.”

Besides Ukraine, Scahill fails to address Biden’s support for color revolutions in Eastern Europe that resulted in the overthrow of pro-Russian leaders, and his support for oppressive rulers like Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia (2004-2007; 2008-2013), who provoked a deadly war with Russia that Biden supported.

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Saakashvili pins a medal on Biden in July 2009. [Source:]

Pierre Omidyar and The Intercept’s Black Hole on Ukraine

Given the shortcomings in Scahill’s study, the question needs to be asked: is Scahill limited in his skills as a researcher and historian—merely a B or B+ level performer, or is he compromised by his work for The Intercept?

The Intercept was launched in 2014 with $50 million in seed money from Pierre Omidyar, the founder of e-bay and owner of PayPal, whom Forbes ranked as the 24th richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $21.8 billion.

Profile of eBay founder, billionaire and philanthropist, Pierre Omidyar.

Pierre Omidyar [Source: ]

Journalists Max Blumenthal and Alec Rubinstein found that Omidyar has partnered closely with many of the U.S.-funded outfits that fulfill the role the CIA used to play during the Cold War in backing opposition media and civil society in countries targeted for regime change.

One of these countries is Ukraine. In 2011, Omidyar’s foundation, the Omidyar Network, gave $335,000 to “New Citizen,” an NGO that was mobilizing political support against Ukraine’s pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych, who was overthrown in the 2014 Maidan coup.

The head of New Citizen, Oleh Rybachuk, was a favorite of the State DepartmentDC neocons, the EU, and NATO—and the right-hand man to Viktor Yushchenko, who had led Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution against Yanukovych, which Biden supported.

Orange Revolution Ukraine | Orange revolution, Orange, Pumpkin patch

Scene from Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution. [Source:]

Before the Maidan Square protests, Rybachuk boasted that he was planning another “Orange revolution.”

Rybachuk: 'There is no model for post-Soviet development, just decay' - Dec. 27, 2009 | KyivPost | KyivPost - Ukraine's Global Voice

Oleh Rybachuk [Source: ]

In December 2013, The Financial Times reported that Rybachuk’s “New Citizen” NGO campaign “played a big role in getting the [Maidan Square] protest up and running.”

New Citizen, along with the rest of Rybachuk’s network of NGOs and campaigns—“Center UA,” which Omidyar’s network provided over $100,000 to in 2012,  “Chesno,” and “Stop Censorship”—targeted pro-Yanukovych politicians in an anti-corruption campaign that built its strength in Ukraine’s regions, before massing in Kyiv.

Omidyar’s Network further funded a virulently anti-Russian Ukrainian internet TV station, Hromadske TV, which promoted anti-Yanukovych propaganda during the Maidan protests, and Rappler, another internet TV station that allied with U.S. interests.

Omidyar’s background and support for the Maidan coup could very well explain why The Intercept’s exposé of Joe Biden leaves out Ukraine, and why Scahill watered down his analysis by omitting any discussion of political-economy.

Repression, Censorship, and Ideological Homogeneity on the Left

The Intercept’s black hole with regards to the Ukraine was apparent in the saga of Glenn Greenwald, who resigned after senior editors refused to publish an article of his about Biden and Ukraine before the November 2020 election.

Greenwald was The Intercept’s other star reporter who had published the Snowden leaks and reported on the machinations in Brazil that led to the impeachment of leftist leader Dilma Rousseff and jailing of Lula.

In his resignation letter, Greenwald wrote that “the same trends of repression, censorship and ideological homogeneity plaguing the national press generally have engulfed the media outlet I co-founded [The Intercept], culminating in censorship of my own articles.”

In a very subtle way, did Scahill succumb to the censorship and enforcement of ideological homogeneity by limiting the scope of his investigation into Biden?

After writing a puff piece about U.S. bombardiers in World War II entitled Bombs Away: The Story of a Bomber Team, famed author John Steinbeck wrote: “We were all part of the war effort… correspondents were not liars but it is in the things not mentioned that the untruth lies.”[9]

Scahill is a viable critic of the military, but it is in the things not mentioned—Ukraine, Burisma, Averell Harriman, Naser Orić, Mosul, the Shia Saddam, Camp Bondsteel, Petro Poroshenko, Alija Izetbegović, and Dupont—that the untruth lies.

  1. “Radislav Krstić becomes the first person to be convicted of genocide at the ICTY and is sentenced to 46 years imprisonment.” UN, ICTY Press Release, August 4, 2001, 
  2.; David Rohde, “Denying Genocide in the Face of Science,” The Atlantic, July 17, 2015. 
  3. Edward S. Herman and David Peterson, “The ‘Srebrenica Massacre’ Turns Twenty Years Old,” Dissident Voice, August 5, 2015, Military service records showed that 140 of the total had been killed in combat months or years before the fall of Srebrenica. Stefan Karganovic, Deconstruction of a Virtual Genocide (Srebrenica Project, 2011), 186. Some on the Red Cross’ missing list also turned up on voter rolls later on and could have been captured or killed in other battles. 
  4. See The Srebrenica Massacre: Evidence, Context, Politics, ed. Edward S. Herman (Evergreen Park, Illinois: Alphabet Soup, 2011); Karganovic, Deconstruction of a Virtual Genocide
  5. “The Fall of Srebrenica, July 1995, Bosnia’s Darkest Hour: Srebrenica: Background and Battle,” Clinton Presidential Library, Yugoslavia Genocide, Srebrenica, Orić even bragged about killing 114 Serbs in one single incident. Scahill’s discussion of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) is flawed because it omits its involvement in heroin trafficking and ties to Islamic extremism and fact that President Clinton’s special envoy to the Balkans, Robert Gelbard, referred to them as a “terrorist organization” mere months before the bombing commenced. Scahill misinterprets the reasons why KLA leader Hashim Thaçi was indicted for war crimes; he was accused of criminal involvement in over 100 murders during the war. 
  6. For a critical history of DuPont, see Gerard Colby, Du Pont Dynasty: Behind the Nylon Curtain (Secaucus, NJ: Lyle Stuart, 1984). 
  7. Colby, Du Pont Dynasty, 14, 786, 787. According to an international arms dealer who knew a Summit executive, Summit planes were used by high-ranking members of the Thai military in northern Thailand to protect illegal drug operations along the Cambodian border and for counterinsurgency operations in the Vietnam War and to protect the illegal Southeast Asian heroin connection by which the CIA funded mercenaries. Some of its warplanes–including ones outfitted for spraying crop defoliants–were sold illegally to dictatorships in Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala and Anastasio Somoza’s Nicaragua in operations supported by Theodore Roosevelt III. DuPont may have further set up military training camps at his Maryland farm where there were reports of automatic weapons being fired. 
  8. See Jeremy Kuzmarov, Obama’s Unending Wars: Fronting for the Foreign Policy of the Permanent Warfare State (Atlanta: Clarity Press Inc., 2019), 178-181. 
  9. John Steinbeck, Bombs Away: The Story of a Bomber Team (New York: Penguin Classics, 2009); Michael Sherry, The Rise of American Airpower (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987), 137. 

Jeremy Kuzmarov is Managing Editor of CovertAction Magazine and author of four books on U.S. foreign policy, including Obama’s Unending Wars (Clarity Press, 2019) and The Russians Are Coming, Again, with John Marciano (Monthly Review Press, 2018). He can be reached at:

May 1, 2021 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Israel soldiers diagnosed with cancer after work on Iron Dome, report says

MEMO | April 30, 2021

A group of Israeli soldiers said their army service near the Iron Dome missile defence systems has led them to be diagnosed with cancer, Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported.

The paper said yesterday that the soldiers had been diagnosed with cancer towards the end of their military service, or several months after being discharged from duty.

“New medical research has proven that the highest incidence of cancer in the Israeli army is among workers in the field of air defence,” it said.

The Israeli army said in a statement that its medical staff had conducted an in-depth investigation and had concluded that “the types of morbidity found were common among the characteristics of the population examined”.

The full report is due to be released today.

May 1, 2021 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

Biden to uphold Western Sahara recognition for sake of Israel

Press TV – May 1, 2021

US President Joe Biden has reportedly decided to uphold the Trump administration’s controversial decision to recognize Morocco’s alleged sovereignty over Western Sahara.

The recognition came as part of a deal with the despotic North African country to normalize relations with the Israeli regime.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken informed Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita during a Friday phone call that the Biden administration would not, “for the time being,” reverse his predecessor’s pro-Israeli move in the waning days of his presidency, US-based Axios news website reported, citing “two sources familiar with the call.”

“The secretary welcomed Morocco’s steps to improve relations with Israel and noted the Morocco-Israel relationship will bring long-term benefits for both countries,” according to a readout of the call released by the State Department.

Responding to inquires about the issue during a Friday press briefing, State Department deputy spokesperson Jaline Porter tried to dodge the issue.

“When it comes to Western Sahara, we are consulting privately with parties on how to best halt the violence there… We would also talk about having the goal to achieve a lasting settlement,” she said.

Trump’s recognition of Western Sahara as part of Morocco reversed decades of Washington’s policy regarding the disputed territory. It was part of a wider agreement with Rabat’s ruler that included the renewal of diplomatic ties between the Israeli and the Moroccan regimes that triggered massive protests in Palestine and Morocco.

The US thus became the only Western country to recognize Morocco’s alleged sovereignty over Western Sahara, which was annexed by the Rabat regime in 1975 after the former colonial government of Spain surrendered control.

The report further revealed that 10 days ago Biden’s Middle East advisor Brett McGurk “spoke to Bourita and gave the impression that there would be no change in the US policy on Western Sahara.”

It report said both Morocco and Israel had become concerned that the Biden administration may reverse Trump’s contentious decision, solely intended to press more Arab dictatorships to recognize Israel.

Last December, Morocco became the fourth US-backed Arab kingdom to strike a deal aimed at establishing ties with Israel. The others were the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.

The move sparked protests across the North African country, opposing the deal and expressing solidarity with the Palestinian cause while condemning the Israeli regime’s persisting atrocities against Palestine’s native population.

Later, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu invited Morocco’s King Mohammed VI to Tel Aviv in a “warm and friendly” phone conversation, agreeing to continue contacts in order to advance the normalization agreement.

Trump’s controversial decision, which contradicts UN resolutions on the issue, has been challenged by US lawmakers.

In February, half the US Senate signed a bipartisan letter led by Republican Jim Inhofe and senior Democrat Patrick Leahy calling on Biden to reverse Trump’s “illegitimate” decision.

“The abrupt decision by the previous administration on December 11, 2020, to officially recognize the Kingdom of Morocco’s illegitimate claims of sovereignty over Western Sahara was short-sighted, undermined decades of consistent US policy, and alienated a significant number of African nations,” the senators wrote.

“The Sahrawi people deserve the right to freely choose their own destiny. We hope that we can count on you to be a partner in this effort,” they added.

May 1, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

Syria Regime Change Still on Western Agenda – Ex-Ambassador Peter Ford

By Finian Cunningham | Strategic Culture Foundation | April 30, 2021

The United States, Britain, and other NATO powers failed in their covert military efforts for regime change in Syria, thanks in large part to the principled intervention by Russia to defend its historic Arab ally. However, Peter Ford, the former British ambassador to Syria, contends that regime change is still very much a top priority for Western powers and their criminal agenda of reshaping the Middle East according to their imperial objectives. In the following interview, Ford explains how the Western tactic has now shifted to intensifying economic warfare in order to buckle the Syrian government led by President Assad. Nevertheless, the former British envoy envisages that the presidential election on May 26 will see Assad being resoundingly re-elected by a nation defiant towards Western aggression.

Peter Ford is a former British ambassador to Syria (2003-2006) who has publicly denounced Britain’s proxy-terror war for regime change in the Arab nation, along with other NATO accomplices. He is a seasoned diplomat having graduated in Arabic Studies from Oxford University and serving as an envoy in several Middle East countries. Ford has incurred the wrath of the British establishment for his outspoken truth-telling about their nefarious agenda in Syria. On the other hand, he has won the admiration of many people around the world for his courage and integrity. He is a recipient of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromising Integrity in Journalism.


Question: What do you make of the ruling last week by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to strip Syria of its member rights based on allegations that the Syrian government military forces have repeatedly used chemical weapons during the 10-year war? It seems that the OPCW has become extremely politicized by the United States and its Western allies. Do you see a lot of arm-twisting of member states by Western powers to produce OPCW sanctions against Syria?

Peter Ford: The Western powers are like dogs with an old bone on the subject of alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria. There is no meat on it but they continue to gnaw away. Why? Because the trope that “Assad gasses his own people” has become a cornerstone of the whole Western propaganda narrative on Syria. Without it, justifying the cruel economic war on Syria, largely through sanctions, would be harder to justify. And with military efforts at regime change having failed, economic warfare is now the last hope for the Western powers of destabilizing Syria enough to topple the government. For this strategy to work the Western powers are more than ready to undermine the credibility of the OPCW by abusing their ability to manipulate it in the Syrian context.

Question: The OPCW’s executive has been exposed in distorting its own reports for the objective of incriminating the Syrian government over alleged chemical weapons attacks. Do you think the OPCW has been turned into a lever to enable Western powers to harass Syria because these powers have been blocked by Russia and China from using the United Nations Security Council as a mechanism for aggression against Syria?

Peter Ford: The United States and the United Kingdom have not hesitated to ventriloquize the OPCW executive to get their way on Syria, stifling whistleblowing even where the cases of misreporting have been flagrant. As a former United Nations official myself, I can say that international organizations are nearly all controlled and used by the U.S./UK, with the Security Council thankfully the one arena where they are unable always to get their own way. This irks them considerably, leading them to go even further in exploiting and debasing agencies like the OPCW.

Question: Three months into a new administration in the United States under President Joe Biden, is there any discernible change in Washington’s policy towards Syria? You have stated publicly before that the whole war in Syria was a regime-change operation orchestrated by the U.S., Britain, France, and others. Is regime change in Syria still on the Western powers’ agenda?

Peter Ford: Regime change is very much still on the agenda. It cannot be openly avowed, of course, but how else to describe a policy of seeking a  “transition” under conditions that would guarantee removal of the present government? Those conditions include rigged elections and “justice” against “war criminals”. The economic warfare is as severe as anything that was waged against Iraq to bring Saddam down. It is blatant deceit to pretend this policy is not aimed at President Bashar al-Assad’s removal. Biden brings no change. If anything he is doubling down on the policy of his predecessor, without even the pretense of wanting out of Syria, holding on to sanctions, and deliberately hampering reconstruction.

Question: The United States still has troops illegally occupying parts of eastern Syria near the country’s oil fields, denying the Syrian state important resources for national reconstruction. You have described the American forces there as functioning like a “tripwire”. Could you expand on that concept?

Peter Ford: U.S. forces in occupied parts of Syria number around a thousand. The Syrian Arab Army could overrun these forces and their Kurdish allies in a matter of days. What stops them? The certain knowledge that any advance towards the American forces would trigger massive retaliation from the U.S. Air Force operating from its bases in the region. So the function of these U.S. forces is not to help “eradicate ISIS terror remnants” as implausibly claimed, but to serve as a tripwire and thereby deter Syrian forces from recovering territories that hold most of Syria’s oil and grain resources. Denial of these resources is key to bringing Syria to its knees via economic warfare.

Question: Could Biden step up the military intervention in Syria? Or is it more likely that the U.S. and its Western allies will pursue economic warfare through sanctions against Syria?

Peter Ford: It must be considered unlikely that the U.S. would put many more boots on the ground but many in the Pentagon are straining at the leash to bomb Syria at the slightest pretext. For the moment, the policy planners are counting on economic sanctions and are content to wait for the Syrian government to buckle.

Question: What are the strategic reasons for Western regime change in Syria?

Peter Ford: It’s a way of getting at Russia and Iran, essentially. A little thought experiment proves it. Imagine Assad suddenly said he was ready to get rid of the Russians and Iranians and complete America’s set of Arab powers in return for being left in power. Egypt’s Sadat did something similar in the late 1970s so it’s not unthinkable, and Assad was having tea with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth not so very long ago. Would the U.S. not then cast aside without a moment’s hesitation all the blather about democracy and human rights?

Question: How significant was Russia’s military intervention in the Syrian war in October 2015?

Peter Ford: It was a life-saver. Most people do not realize how close ISIS and other terrorist proxies were to grabbing control of Damascus. Naturally, the Western powers never like to acknowledge this awkward truth.

Question: France’s former Foreign Minister Roland Dumas remarked in a media interview back in 2013 how he was privately approached by British officials with a scheme for regime change in Syria two years before the war erupted in 2011. As a former British ambassador to Syria (2003-2006) can you recall noticing any such plot being considered?

Peter Ford: Planning for regime change in Syria only really began when the aftermath of the Iraq war went really sour and rather than blame themselves, the U.S./UK sought to deflect blame on to Syria. It accelerated after Britain’s Conservatives with their anti-Russian and anti-Iranian obsessions, and their support for Israel, came to power in 2010.

Question: Your principled and outspoken criticism of the British government’s involvement in the Syrian war has won you much respect around the world. Do you feel personally aggrieved by the malign conduct of Britain in Syria?

Peter Ford: I feel ashamed for my country’s actions. It really is quite shameful that we have been instrumental in causing suffering for millions of Syrians while hypocritically claiming we are doing it for their own good.

Question: Finally, Syria is holding presidential elections on May 26 in which incumbent Bashar al-Assad is running for re-election. The Western powers disparage Syria as an “undemocratic regime”. How do you view Syria’s polity? Is Assad likely to win re-election?

Peter Ford: Of course Assad will win and of course the Western powers will try to disparage his victory. But I can state with certainty that if you could offer the Conservative party in Britain a guarantee of achieving in the next general election anything anywhere near Assad’s genuine level of support, albeit some of it reluctant from a war-weary people, the Tories would bite your hand off for such an electoral gain. Much of the current Western propaganda effort against Syria is geared at trying to spoil Assad’s victory and deny it legitimacy. But inside Syria itself, the people will see the election as setting the seal on 10 years of struggle, and Assad will emerge strengthened as he faces the next phase in the Western war on Syria.

May 1, 2021 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ten years on, Syria is almost destroyed. Who’s to blame?

Syria in ruins after ten years of conflict (File photo)

In George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm, the ruling pigs led by Napoleon constantly rewrote history in order to justify and reinforce their own continuing power. The rewriting by the western powers of the history of the ongoing conflict in Syria leaps out of Orwell. 

The joint statement issued by the foreign ministers of the US, UK, France, Germany and Italy last week to mark the tenth anniversary of the Syrian conflict begins with an outright falsehood by holding President Bashar al-Assad and “his backers” responsible for the horrific events in that country. It asserts that the five western powers “will not abandon” the Syrian people — till death do us part.

The historical reality is that Syria has been a theatre of the CIA’s activities ever since the inception of that agency in 1947. There is a whole history of CIA-sponsored “regime change” projects in Syria ranging from coup attempts and assassination plots to paramilitary strikes and funding and military training of anti-government forces.

It all began with the bloodless military coup in 1949 against then Syrian president Shukri al-Quwatli which was engineered by the CIA. As per the memoirs of Miles Copeland Jr, the CIA station chief in Damascus at that time — who later actually went on to write a fine book of high literary quality on the subject — the coup aimed at safeguarding Syria from the communist party and other radicals!

However, the CIA-installed colonel in power, Adib Shaishakli, was a bad choice. As Copeland put it, he was a “likeable rogue” alright who had not “to my certain knowledge, ever bowed down to a graven image. He had, however, committed sacrilege, blasphemy, murder, adultery and theft” to earn American support. He lasted for four years before overthrown by the Ba’ath Party and military officers. By 1955, CIA estimated that Syria was ripe for another military coup. By April 1956, a joint CIA-SIS (British Secret Intelligence Service) plot was implemented to mobilise right-wing Syrian military officers. But then, the Suez fiasco interrupted the project.

The CIA revived the project and plotted a second coup in 1957 under the codename Operation Wappen — again, to save Syria from communism — and even spent $3 million to bribe Syrian military officers. Tim Weiner, in his masterly 2008 book Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA, writes:

“The president (Dwight Eisenhower) said he wanted to promote the idea of an Islamic jihad against godless communism. “We should do everything possible to stress the ‘holy war’ aspect,” he said at a 1957 White House meeting… (Secretary of state) Foster Dulles proposed a “secret task force,” under whose auspices the CIA would deliver American guns, money, and intelligence to King Saud of Saudi Arabia, King Hussein of Jordan, President Camille Chamoun of Lebanon, and President Nuri Said of Iraq.”

“These four mongrels were supposed to be our defence against communism and the extremes of Arab nationalism in the Middle East… If arms could not buy loyalty in the Middle East, the almighty dollar was still the CIA’s secret weapon. Cash for political warfare and power plays was always welcome. It could help an American imperium in Arab and Asian lands.”

But, as it happened, some of those “right-wing” officers instead turned in the bribe money and revealed the CIA plot to the Syrian intelligence. Whereupon, 3 CIA officers were kicked out of the American embassy in Damascus, forcing  Washington to withdraw its ambassador in Damascus. With egg on its face, Washington promptly branded Syria as a “Soviet satellite”, deployed a fleet to the Mediterranean and incited Turkey to amass troops on the Syrian border. Dulles even contemplated a military strike under the so-called “Eisenhower Doctrine” as retaliation against Syria’s “provocations”. By the way, Britain’s MI6 was also working with the CIA in the failed coup attempt; the details came to light accidentally in 2003 among the papers of British Defence Minister Duncan Sandys many years after his death.

Now, coming down to current history, suffice to say that according to the WikiLeaks, since 2006, the US had been funding London-based Syrian dissidents, and the CIA unit responsible for covert operations was deployed to Syria to mobilise rebel groups and ascertain potential supply routes. The US is known to have trained at least 10,000 rebel fighters at a cost of $1 billion annually since 2012. President Barack Obama reportedly admitted to a group of senators the operation to insert these CIA-trained rebel fighters into Syria.

The well-known American investigative journalist and political writer Seymour Hersh has written, based on inputs from intelligence officers, that the CIA was already transferring arms from its Benghazi station (Libya) to Syria around that time. Make no mistake, Obama was the first world leader to openly call for the removal of Assad. That was in August 2011. Then CIA chief David Petraeus paid two unannounced visits to Turkey (in March and September 2012) to persuade Erdogan to step in as the flag carrier of the US’ regime change project in Syria (under the rubric of “anti-terror fight”.)

In fact, the US’ key allies in the Persian Gulf — Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE — took the cue from Obama to loosen their purse strings to recruit, finance and equip thousands of jihadi fighters to be deployed to Syria. Equally, from the early stages of the conflict in Syria, major western intelligence agencies provided political, military and logistic support to the Syrian opposition and its associated rebel groups in Syria.

Curiously, the Russian intervention in Syria in September 2015 was in response to an emergent imminent defeat of the Syrian government forces at the hands of the jihadi fighters backed by the US’ regional allies. Saudi Arabia withdrew from the arena only in 2017 after the tide of the war turned, thanks to the Russian intervention.

The joint statement issued last week by the US and its NATO allies belongs to the world of fiction. In reality, there is Syrian blood in the hands of these NATO countries (including Turkey) and the US’ Gulf allies. Look at the colossal destruction that the US has caused: in the World Bank’s estimation, a cumulative total of $226 billion in gross domestic product was lost to Syria due to the war from 2011 to 2016 alone.

The Syrian conflict has been among the most tragic and destructive conflicts of our time. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have died, half a nation has been displaced, and millions have been forced into desperate poverty and hunger. In the UNHRC estimation, after ten years of conflict, half of the Syrian population has been forced to flee home, 70% are living in poverty, 6.7 million Syrians have been internally displaced, over 13 million people need humanitarian assistance and protection, 12.4 million people suffer from lack of food (or 60% of the entire population), 5.9 million people are experiencing a housing emergency and nearly nine in 10 Syrians are living below the poverty threshold.

And, come to think of it, Syria used to have one of the highest levels of social formation in the entire Muslim Middle East. It used to be a middle income country until the US decided to destabilise Syria. Ever since the late 1940s, the US’ successive regime change projects were driven by geopolitical considerations. The agenda is unmistakeable: the US has systematically destroyed the heart, soul and mind of “Arabism” — Iraq, Syria and Egypt — with a view to perpetuate the western [Zionist] domination of the Middle East.

Former President Donald Trump intended to withdraw the US troops from Syria and end the war. He tried twice, but Pentagon commanders sabotaged his plans. What Joe Biden proposes to do is anybody’s guess. Biden doesn’t seem to be in any rush to withdraw the US troops.

The most disturbing aspect is that the US is methodically facilitating a Balkanisation of Syria by helping the Kurdish groups aligned with it to carve out a semiautonomous enclave in the country’s northeast. In fact, the the Arab population in northeastern Syria resents being under the Kurds’ governance, and this may eventually turn into a new source of recruits for Islamic State. Meanwhile, Turkey seized the US-Kurdish axis as alibi to occupy vast territories in northern Syria.

The sad part of the joint statement by the US and its European allies is not only that it is rewriting history and spreading falsehood but conveys a sense of despair that there is no hope for light at the end of the tunnel in the Syrian conflict in a conceivable future. 

The US policy in Syria is opaque. It has oscillated between aiming to prevent a resurgence of IS, confronting Iran, pushing back against Russia, providing humanitarian aid, and even protecting Israel, while the crux of the matter is that successive US administrations have failed to articulate a clear strategy and rationale for the US military presence in Syria.

May 1, 2021 Posted by | Book Review, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Cholesterol Conundrums Revisited, with Dr Jonny Bowden PhD

Ivor Cummins | April 26, 2021

Caught up with Jonny a while back and talked all things cholesterol – we didn’t hold back on the nonsense of it all!  Jonny’s new book, bang up to date:…

As mentioned at the start of the pod, there’s a seriously sinister censorship drive afoot – so please do sign up to my Odysee channel here:

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May 1, 2021 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | Leave a comment