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Explosion hits Israel’s Ashdod reactor facility

Press TV – July 13, 2021

An explosion has been reported at the Israeli regime’s Ashdod reactor facility in the south of the occupied territories, with reports not providing details on the cause of the blast or the number of possible casualties.

The blast was reported by the Israeli journalist Edy Cohen, who posted a video on his Twitter account on Tuesday and said the explosion had taken place at the Ashdod reactor facility in southern Israel.

Israeli media sources said the blast had rocked the regime’s Ashdod oil refinery and that firefighters had been dispatched to the scene after hearing the sound of the explosion. Hebrew-language sources said the blast caused fuel leaks at the refinery and efforts were underway to stop the leakage.

The sources have not yet mentioned the cause of the explosion and whether there were any casualties.

In recent months, similar incidents have taken place in important facilities run by the Israeli regime.

In April, a powerful explosion rocked a sensitive Israeli missile factory allegedly during a test for advanced weapons in the city of Ramla.

July 13, 2021 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 6 Comments

Does it make sense to vaccinate those who have had covid?

By Sebastian Rushworth, M.D. | July 13, 2021

One of the strangest things about the last few months on planet Earth has been the relentless drive to vaccinate everyone, regardless of what their individual risk from the virus is, and whether or not they’ve already had the disease. It was well known long before covid came along that people who have had an infection are usually at least as well protected as those who get vaccinated. The whole point of vaccination is, after all, to mimic infection so as to stimulate immunity. If you’ve had measles, you don’t need to take the measles vaccine. If you’ve had hepatitis A, you don’t need to take the hepatitis A vaccine. If you’ve had chickenpox, you don’t need to take the chickenpox vaccine. Yet if you’ve had covid, you should supposedly still take the covid vaccine. Strange.

The obsession with vaccinating everyone is particularly odd in a situation where access to vaccines is limited and the stated goal is to reach herd immunity as quickly as possible, since wasting time vaccinating people who have already had the infection will inevitably delay the time it takes for a population to reach herd immunity.

Yet many people who should know better have been happy to play along with the “everyone needs to be vaccinated” mantra, in spite of the fact that it runs counter to the stated goal of governments and public health agencies. Many doctors had covid during 2020, yet they were more than happy to stand at the front of the line and take the vaccine in late 2020 and early 2021, even though they knew (or should have known) that they were almost certainly already maximally protected from the virus, and that taking the vaccine would inevitably mean a delay in vaccination of those who had not yet had the infection.

A few months back I wrote about a study, published in The Lancet in April, that showed a 93% decreased risk of re-infection in people who had already had covid. That would make prior infection equivalent to the most effective vaccines, in terms of its ability to protect against covid (which is as we would expect).

For those who remain unconvinced that prior infection is at least equivalent to vaccination, however, a very interesting study was recently posted on MedRxiv. This was a retrospective cohort study of the 52,238 employees of the Cleveland Clinic, who were followed from December 16th 2020 (when the Cleveland Clinic started vaccinating its staff) until May 15th 2021. The objective of the study was to compare the relative rates of infection between four groups of employees: Thos who had had covid and been vaccinated, those who had had covid but not yet been vaccinated, those who had not had covid but had been vaccinated, and those who had neither had covid nor been vaccinated.

A PCR test was used to diagnose covid in the study. The Cleveland Clinic was not engaging in any screening of asymptomatic staff during the study period, so tests were in almost all cases carried out when participants developed symptoms suggestive of covid. In other words, the method used to diagnose covid in this study was equivalent to the method used in most other studies, and also the method that is used in the real world.

So, what were the results?

There were 2,139 new covid infections among the 52,238 participants. In other words, 4.1% of the participants in the study developed covid during the five month period. 99.3% of these infections were among participants who had neither had covid nor been vaccinated. The remaining 0,7% were among participants who hadn’t had covid but had been vaccinated.

2,579 participants had already had covid at the start of the study. Not a single one of them developed covid during the five month period. This includes both the 1,229 with prior infection who were vaccinated, and the 1,359 who weren’t. What that means is that prior infection was associated with a 100% reduction in the relative risk of infection. That was true regardless of whether the person with prior infection was vaccinated or not. Vaccination did not provide any additional benefit to those who had already had covid.

What can we conclude?

Prior infection is highly effective at protecting against covid. There is thus no need for people who have already had covid to get vaccinated. When governments do vaccinate people who have already had covid, they are wasting taxpayers money and putting people at risk of side effects for no good reason.

July 13, 2021 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

Because no animal reservoir has been found for SARS-CoV-2, it cannot properly be termed a zoonosis.* Should we call it a labnosis? And what does that mean?

By Meryl Nass, MD | July 12, 2021

After a year and a half of seeking but not finding SARS-2 in any wildlife anywhere (apart from domesticated or zoo animals that appear to have caught it from humans) is it time to say, yes, it didn’t just escape from a lab. It was created, built, assembled in a lab. Or many labs

Coronavirus scientists have been constructing new viruses out of bits and pieces of other viruses for a long time.

Why did they do it?

One answer is that it was relatively easy to do. Easier than for many other viruses. Scientists like to tinker.

Okay, but after the SARS-1 outbreak in 2002-3, and a series of SARS-1 lab leaks over the ensuing several years in China, Taiwan and Singapore, which killed a few people, especially lab workers, didn’t scientists know it was dangerous to do this?

SARS viruses were designated by the US government as “Select Agents,” meaning they had the potential to cause a deadly pandemic and/or severe economic damage to crops or livestock. Scientists had to handle them in special ways, and get permission to transfer or share them with other labs. Scientists working on SARS coronaviruses had to have been aware of the risks in what they were working on.

I previously cited a statistic from STAT. The statistic is that Fauci’s NIAID has been funding coronavirus research for over twenty years, and at a price of up to $51 million per year, pre-Covid. Until 2002, everyone thought that all coronaviruses did to humans was cause colds: 10-30% of all colds. NIAID doesn’t spend money on colds.

Coronaviruses do cause animal diseases. But still, animal diseases are not in NIAID’s bailiwick. USDA funds research on them.

Some coronavirus research made sense, such as the 2005 CDC study that showed chloroquine killed SARS-1 at achievable human doses, in the test tube. Or the 2014 NIAID study that showed chloroquine killed MERS.

But no new drugs or vaccines came out of the hundreds of millions of dollars in coronavirus research sponsored by NIAID. And when Covid hit, Fauci and his NIAID hid information on the drugs they had found to be effective against coronaviruses in the lab.

So, what were Fauci and NIAID actually doing with all the coronavirus research? What were they looking for?

It seems they were remarkably successful in creating new chimeric, pathogenic coronaviruses. But they buried the research on effective treatments.

Americans need to ask, what in heaven’s name were Fauci and his masters trying to accomplish? Who are his masters? And what other deadly viruses have they created, with or without their friends in Wuhan?

We need to know what they heck they were doing. What did these programs create? Why did these programs exist?

We need to know now, before the fear of the variants wears off, and the next dangerous bug might appear.

* https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7725765/pdf/fpubh-08-596944.pdf

Other than circumstantial evidence of zoonotic cases in mink farms in the Netherlands, no cases of natural transmission from wild or domesticated animals have been confirmed. More than 40 million human COVID-19 infections reported appear to be exclusively through human-human transmission. SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19 do not meet the WHO definition of zoonoses. We suggest SARS-CoV-2 should be re-classified as an EID of probable animal origin.

July 13, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , | 3 Comments

Gemma Peters- did I hear you right?

By Roger Watson | Unity News Network | July 12, 2021

Unfortunately, I did. I caught snippets on 9 July of an interview on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme with Gemma Peters, Chief Executive of the charity Blood Cancer UK. Ms Peters has already declared and tweeted that ‘19 July won’t be freedom day for everyone’ so she is going to keep wearing her mask. Fair enough, I don’t care if she wears a paper bag over her head. But why tell us about it? And then I heard something so absurd that I had to go to BBC Sounds to re-run that section of the Today programme to verify it. And I had heard right.

According to Gemma Peters, many people with blood cancer and who may thus be immune system compromised either do not know they are compromised (something to do with ‘saving the NHS’ apparently) and others who do and who may or may not have been vaccinated may still be vulnerable to COVID-19. The answer? You probably worked it out. We should all be wearing masks all the time and socially distanced indefinitely to protect this group of people. We never know when we might be sitting next to someone who is vulnerable due to being immune compromised. I could, perhaps, appreciate this advice: 1. if face masks were effective; 2. if immune compromised people were coming down our streets in droves. But we all know masks are ineffective and the risk that Gemma Peters was pointing to applies, in the UK, to half a million people; 0.7% of the population.

So, Ms Peters, the immune compromised tail must wag the immune competent dog. Of course, that will be interpreted by my detractors as insensitivity to people with blood cancer. But what have these poor people, for whom I have every sympathy, done during influenza, norovirus and common cold epidemics? In fact, is this what they want? Do they really want to impose an ineffective and damaging restriction on the rest of the population? To tweak the heartstrings, the slot on Today opened with an interview with a man suffering from blood cancer who said how difficult it would be for him to get to work using public transport if people were unmasked. Hardly a representative sample but, of course, it gives meddling do-gooders like Gemma Peters the excuse to lecture the rest of us on how we should behave.

It strikes me that Gemma Peters and her executive team may not have enough to do. After all they have changed the name of their charity twice in four years. This undoubtedly involved a consultancy company and a fat fee. Now they have decided it is their job to try to control the lives of the rest of the population. I can imagine a host of other charities jumping on this bandwagon. How long before The Stroke Association, The Alzheimer’s Society and the British Heart Foundation weigh in? If they do, we must resist this ‘tyranny of niceness’.

July 13, 2021 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 1 Comment

Blinded with science

By Ivor Williams | The Conservative Woman | July 13, 2021

FEW MPs have a science background, which is why the government needs scientific advice. Sage, for instance: the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies provide scientific and technical advice to support government decision-makers during emergencies. Since early last year we have had a great deal of advice from them and there have been (and still are) times when they are clearly running the country.

How do these 87 scientists from different fields agree about how to deal with Covid-19? Another group, HART: the Health Advisory and Recovery Team, point out that ‘A lot of what people have come to regard as clear scientific consensus over the last year is nothing of the sort. The voices of scientists with different views have simply not been heard.’

A similar thought must have occurred to Sir David King, scientific adviser to the Government 2000-2007. Last year he formed Independent Sage, which their website says is ‘a group of scientists who are working together to provide independent scientific advice to the UK government and public on how to minimise deaths and support Britain’s recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.

Sir David is the expert responsible for advising the UK government to encourage the sale of diesel cars, and who said in 2004 that ice in Antarctica was only 40 per cent as thick as it used to be, even though there was no evidence then (or now) to support such a wild statement.

Why are so many scientists working for us? We now have proper-Sage, still busily advising/instructing the government. Then we have pseudo-Sage, busily telling us what we should really be doing. Curious.

But there’s more, even more curious.

Global warming scientific advice comes from the Climate Change Committee (CCC), whose purpose is ‘to advise the UK and devolved governments on emissions targets and to report to Parliament on progress made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for and adapting to the impacts of climate change’.

It is chaired by Lord Deben, otherwise John Selwyn Gummer (who read history at Cambridge), and has about a dozen members. In May 2019 they said the UK must aim to reach net zero by 2050. Again there seems to be no disagreement between members about either the reasonableness of this target if Asian countries continue to build coal-fired power stations, or the possible enormous cost to householders of their recommendations.

How were these people chosen? How can they be so dogmatic about such an uncertain topic? How can they possibly recommend such extreme actions? Our climate changes can be interpreted in many different ways. Why is there no input from, for instance, the Global Warming Policy Foundation?

Sir David King, ever critical of government committees, thought that the CCC were not capable of interpreting the climate situation and giving suitable advice. He has recently formed the Climate Crisis Advisory Group (CCAG), with 14 experts from ten nations, which ‘aims to have more of an international reach and provide the global public with regular analysis about efforts to tackle the global heating and biodiversity crises’.

Notice that ‘Crisis’ in the title. Their June 2021 report sets out to justify that loaded word, line after line, paragraph by paragraph. The impression is that unless we do something today, or at the latest tomorrow, we are doomed.

The real crisis is in what they are recommending. ‘Targeted repair is needed,’ the report states, ‘for those parts of the climate system that have gone beyond their tipping points.’ It quotes three examples: refreezing the Arctic, ‘marine cloud brightening’ (a technique that aims to create whiter clouds in order to reflect more sunlight back to space) and solar radiation management ‘through the engineered installation of compounds into the stratosphere’.

Here we have an additional committee, unofficial, saying we should conduct experiments on the Arctic, in our atmosphere, and on the oceans. These projects (called geo-engineering) have been much discussed for years, but many scientists have expressed grave concerns about conducting potentially uncontrollable experiments on our planet.

The media are doing their best to make us believe that we need to be rescued by science. Every outbreak of unusual weather is now apparently caused by global warming. Temperatures, rainfall, forest fires, tornadoes, flooding, droughts, every new record is seen as indisputable evidence. This line of reasoning is nowhere more evident than in the CCAG report quoted above.

England has the longest temperature record in the world: 362 years from 1659. Nowhere else has measurements of temperature, rainfall or anything else for even half that. The last ice age ended 12,000 years ago. We therefore only have data (though only for England and only for temperature) for 3 per cent of that time. If 97 per cent of world weather data is unknown, records will be broken for hundreds of years to come.

MPs without a scientific background are reluctant to challenge or question the advice given by their committees. But we cannot let these mysteriously selected and unbelievably single-minded bodies tell us what we must do. Covid-19 and our climate are both very complex subjects. There are many different, strongly held and soundly-based opinions about how to deal with both. We need to hear them all.

In the Covid-19 nightmare we have had only one group of scientists telling us what to do, when to do it, and how. In the growing hysteria about the global warming ‘crisis’ it seems as if we will again have only one source of advice.

July 13, 2021 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

‘Scientists’ Want Climate Change Deaths Reported Daily Like Covid

By Richie Allen | July 13, 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic is a hoax. The public are convinced that their lives are in danger, largely due to the media’s relentless reporting of cases and deaths every hour of every day.

Climate change is also a hoax. There is no evidence that CO2 is warming the planet and is responsible for extreme weather events. No really, there is not a jot of evidence to support the claim. Most people are indifferent to it. They’re not scared enough. What to do?

Climate evangelicals calling themselves scientists, want deaths caused by climate change, to be reported every day, just like covid. They also want climate change to be declared a global emergency.

According to SKY News today:

Climate change should be treated with the same urgency as the covid-19 pandemic, according to a study. The study, which was led by Glasgow Caledonian University Centre For Climate Justice, reported concerns that resources used for the pandemic response, would detract from those allocated to climate action.

It said that the recovery from covid-19 should be integrated with tackling climate change and that the public should be able to see climate data as easily as they were able to see data on coronavirus.

This would include real-time reporting of deaths and damage caused by adverse weather.

SKY News is there already. Since March, it has presented a climate change show called “The Daily Climate Show.” It’s usually hosted by Anna Jones. The programme features reports on adverse weather events from all over the world and how they ruin livelihoods, render people homeless and in some cases kill.

The show never offers any evidence that links Co2 to the bad weather. Along with the BBC, SKY has declared the science on climate change to be settled.

As I’ve reported on The Richie Allen Show, there are plans to introduce climate lockdowns in the future to reduce carbon emissions. Flights will be grounded, driving restricted, events shut down, certain foods banned and all in the name of protecting the planet.

It might be an easier sell, if people are shown a daily climate death count on the 24 hour news channels. It certainly worked with covid-19.

Despite the fact that bodies were not piled high in the streets, despite the fact that most people hadn’t been unwell or even known someone who had been seriously unwell or died, they believed that they were in imminent danger.

They believed it because it was repeated ten times a day, seven days a week. I believe that absent that level of propaganda, most people would have ignored covid-19 and we’d have been all the better for it.

Most people are indifferent to climate change. On some level they know that it is nonsense. Will their heads be turned by the reporting of daily death totals by the mainstream media? Time will tell.

July 13, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment

Fit for 55 — EU Green Deal and the Industrial Collapse of Europe

By F. William Engdahl – New Eastern Outlook – 12.07.2021

One of the rare honest statements by Bill Gates was his remark in early 2021 that if you think covid measures are bad, wait until the measures for global warming. The European Union is in the process of imposing, top-down, the most draconian measures to date, that will effectively destroy modern industry across the face of the 27 states of the European Union. Under cute names such as “Fit for 55” and European Green Deal, measures are being finalized in Brussels by unelected technocrats that will cause the worst industrial unemployment and economic collapse since the crisis of the 1930s. Industries such as automobile or transport, power generation and steel are on the chopping block, all for an unproven hypothesis called manmade global warming.

While most EU citizens have been distracted by endless restrictions over a flu-like pandemic called covid19, the technocrats at the EU Commission in Brussels have been preparing a program of planned dis-integration of the EU industrial economy. The convenient aspect of an unelected supranational group far away in Brussels or Strasbourg is that they are not accountable to any real voters. They even have a name for it: Democratic Deficit. If the measures about to be finalized by the EU Commission under German President Ursula von der Leyen and Vice President for Global Warming Dutch technocrat Frans Timmermans, are enacted, here is a hint of what will happen.

Fit for 55”

On July 14, the EU Commission presents its “Fit for 55” green agenda. While the title sounds more like an ad for a middle-ager health studio, it will be the most draconian and destructive de-industrialization program ever imposed outside of war.

Fit for 55 will be the central framework of new laws and rules from Brussels to reduce CO2 emissions dramatically, using schemes such as carbon taxes, emission caps and cap and trade schemes.

In April 2021 the EU Commission announced a new EU climate target: Emissions to be reduced by 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990, up from the 40 percent as previously agreed. Hence the cute name “Fit for 55.” But the industry and workforce of the EU states will be anything but fit if the plan is advanced. Simply said, it is technocratic fascism being imposed without public debate on some 455 million EU citizens.

This Fit for 55 is the first time in the world that a group of countries, the EU, officially imposes an agenda to force an absurd “Zero” CO2 by 2050 and 55% less CO2 by 2030. EU Green Deal czar, Commissioner Frans Timmermans said in May, “We will strengthen the EU Emissions Trading System, update the Energy Taxation Directive, and propose new CO2 standards for cars, new energy efficiency standards for buildings, new targets for renewables, and new ways of supporting clean fuels and infrastructure for clean transport.” In reality it will destroy the transport industry, steel, cement as well as coal and gas fuel electric generation.

Here are major parts of the sinister Fit For 55.

Cars and Trucks

A major target of the EU Green Deal will be measures that will force internal combustion engine vehicles– gasoline or diesel cars and trucks—to adhere to such punitive CO2 emission limits that they will be forced off the roads by 2030 if not sooner. The plan will change the current target of a 37.5% reduction in vehicle CO2 emissions by 2030 to a rumored zero emissions by 2035.

On July 7 a coalition of trade unions, transport industry companies and suppliers including the European Trade Union Confederation and the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, wrote an urgent appeal to EU Green Czar Frans Timmermans. They stated, “… we want to see industrial transformation and innovation in Europe, rather than de-industrialisation and social disruption.” The letter pointed out that the EU has no plans for a so-called “Just Transition” for the EU auto industry including no new skills training for displaced workers: “Currently, there is no such framework for the 16 million workers in our mobility eco-system, and notably Europe’s automotive sector which is a powerhouse of industrial employment.”

This is no minor issue as the transition from internal combustion engine cars and trucks to E-autos will mean a huge unprecedented disruption to the present auto supplier chains. The letter points out that EU-wide, the auto sector has 8.5% of all European manufacturing jobs and in 2019 produced nearly 10% of GDP in Germany alone, along with 40% of the country’s research and development spending. The EU today makes up more than 50% of the world’s exports of auto products. They point out that the transition to zero CO2 vehicles will mean a loss of at least 2.4 million skilled, high-wage jobs across the EU. Entire regions will become depressed. The letter points out that Brussels has yet to even map the consequences for the auto sector of the Green Deal.

In April German EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen indicated Fit for 55 could extend a draconian carbon emissions trading scheme (ETS) from beyond power plants or industry to cover road transport and buildings in a “polluter pays” add on. The tie to the ETS will automatically force financial penalties on drivers or home owners beyond the present carbon taxes despite a very limited impact of some 3% on emissions. This, on top of tighter auto emission standards, will deal a killer blow to consumers and industry. When the French government imposed such a carbon tax in 2018 it triggered the Yellow Vests national protests and forced Paris to withdraw it.

Steel

The drastic EU plan contains new provisions that will mean drastic change for the energy-intensive EU steel and cement industries. Steel is the second biggest industry in the world after oil and gas. Currently the EU is the second largest producer of steel in the world after China. Its output is over 177 million tons of steel a year, or 11% of global output. But the Timmermans plan will introduce new measures that ostensibly penalize steel imports from “dirty” producers, but that in fact will make EU steel less competitive globally. Leaks of the EU plan indicate that they plan to eliminate current free ETS pollution permits for energy-intensive industries such as steel or cement. That will deal a devastating blow to both essential industries. They call it the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism. As the Center for European Policy Network points out, EU steel exporters will “not receive any compensation for the discontinuation of the free allocation. As a result, they suffer considerable competitive disadvantages compared to their competitors from third countries.“

Coal Carbon Taxes

The EU’s new 55% climate target for 2030 implies a near-complete coal phase-out by 2030 in the whole EU. This will hit Germany, far the largest EU coal power user. The German government, already with the world’s most expensive electric power owing to the Merkel Energiewende transition to unreliable solar and wind that will see the last nuclear power plant closed in 2022, has just recently dropped its plan to phase out coal by 2038. It will phase out far earlier, but for obvious political reasons in an election year, has not revealed its new “zero coal” date.

The absurdity of believing the EU, especially Germany, will be able to achieve zero coal by 2030, replacing not even with natural gas, but rather unreliable solar and wind, is already clear. On January 1, 2021 as part of the Government mandate on coal power reduction, 11 coal-fired power plants with a total capacity of 4.7 GW were shut down. That phase out lasted eight days as several of the coal power plants had to be reconnected to the grid to avoid blackouts due to a prolonged low-wind period. The shut coal plants were ordered to operate on reserve status at the cost of the consumers. The Berlin government commission that drafted the coal phase-out plan included no power industry representatives nor any power grid experts.

With the new element of the destructive EU Commission Fit for 55 plan, the heart of European industry, Germany, is pre-programmed not only for severe industrial unemployment in steel, cement and auto sectors. It is also pre-programmed for power blackouts such as that that devastated Texas in early 2021 when wind mills froze. In 2022 in Germany, as noted, the last nuclear plant along with other coal power will be closed, removing 3% of the power. An added 6,000 wind turbines also will exit due to age, for a total cut of 7%. Yet planned addition of new wind and solar doesn’t come close to replace that, so that by 2022 Germany could have a shortfall of between 10% and 15% in capacity on the generation side.

WEF Great Reset and EU Green Deal

The hard thing for ordinary sane citizens to grasp with this EU Fit for 55 and the Davos Great Reset or the related UN Agenda 2030 globally, is that it is all a deliberate technocratic plan for dis-integration of the economy, using the fraudulent excuse of an unproven global warming danger that claims– based on dodgy computer models that ignore influence of our sun on Earth climate cycles– that we will see catastrophe by 2030 if the world does not slash harmless and life-essential CO2 emissions.

The ever-active Davos World Economic Forum as part of its Great Reset is also playing a significant role in shaping the EU Commission’s Europe Green Deal. In January 2020, the World Economic Forum at its Annual Meeting in Davos brought together leaders from industry and business with Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans to explore how to catalyze the European Green Deal. The July 14 unveiling by Brussels is the result. The WEF supports the CEO Action Group for the European Green Deal to get major corporations behind the Brussels dystopian plan

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University.

July 13, 2021 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , , | 1 Comment

Alternative for Germany Party Leader Wants Exit From EU, More Cooperation With Moscow

By Ilya Tsukanov – Sputnik – 12.07.2021

The popularity of the nationalist Alternative for Germany (Alternative fur Deutschland – AfD) party shot up dramatically from a state of virtual obscurity in the mid-2010s as Germans struggled to deal with the migrant crisis of 2015-2016, with the party winning 94 seats and becoming the third largest party in the Bundestag in the 2017 elections.

Germany has no choice but to leave the European Union and to create a “new European space” in which Russia will also have a place, AfD parliamentary group co-chair Tino Chrupalla has said.

“Germany should exit today’s European Union, which simply cannot be reformed, and establish a new European economic and interest group,” Chrupalla said in an interview with Welt published on Sunday.

The politician lamented that Germany’s post-World War 2 national identity and culture had been heavily influenced by the “psychological warfare of the Allies, especially the Americans,” which he compared to the Nazis. As an example of such malign influence, the politician cited Washington’s strategy of trying to torpedo the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project between Germany and Russia, suggesting that the US was pursuing “strategic interests” via a “deliberate strategy of disinformation and the manipulation of public opinion” in Germany.

Chrupalla went into greater detail on his party’s vision of a new association of European nations to replace the EU in an op-ed in the Junge Freiheit newspaper, rejecting the concept of an EU “superstate” in favour of a ‘Europe of fatherlands’. The EU, he suggested, had failed utterly in tackling several major emergencies, including the euro crisis, and the migrant and coronavirus crises.

The politician also clarified that instead of the concept of a UK-style ‘Gexit’, AfD’s policy was to support ‘Neustart’, or ‘Reset’ – a “common reset for Europe” which includes an invitation for all AfD’s European sister parties “to join us.”

On the prospect of improved ties with Moscow, Chrupalla emphasized in his op-ed that “a good relationship with Russia is not negotiable,” and that Russia is “an integral part” of Europe economically, politically and culturally.

The politician accused EU elites of “sticking to old Cold War thought patterns” about Russia, and noted that while “communism in Eastern Europe has long been defeated, European opinion leaders were importing new Western ideologies from the US ‘New Left’,” such as identity politics and its promotion of positive discrimination, resulting in social unrest which he stressed “must be overcome.”

“With Russia, a large European state and an important trade partner has been excluded from the European Union. Furthermore, at the insistence of our US partners, we are constantly imposing new trade sanctions on the Russians for new reasons,” Chrupalla wrote.

According to the politician, these restrictions ultimately come back and hit the German economy and medium-sized businesses, causing them to lose out as Russia replaces its imports from Germany with new trade ties with Asia. “Trade between Germany and Russia fell by 25 percent between 2013 and 2019, and in Saxony by 70 percent. It cannot go on like this!” Chrupalla argued.

Ultimately, the politician suggested that both countries would benefit if sanctions are lifted and new ones are ruled out. “Russia is also an integral part of Europe culturally and politically, and Germany always does well when it has good relations with Russia,” Chrupalla stressed.

Chrupalla’s views on foreign policy aren’t representative of the AfD as a whole, with party co-chair Jorg Meuthen recently suggesting that a German exit from the EU is a “poorly thought out idea.” The party is also traditionally in favour of close ties to the US and Israel, and of keeping Germany a member of NATO. Since its emergence as a major political force in the Bundestag following the 2017 elections, the party has experienced an intense internal debate regarding these and other policies.

Germans will go to the polls on 26 September for general elections to the Bundestag and multiple state parliaments. Longtime German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to retire after the elections. A recent INSA/YouGov poll indicated that Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union alliance enjoys a plurality of 28 percent support at the moment, with the Social Democratic Party and the Greens second with 17 percent support each. 12 percent of respondents said they plan to support the Free Democratic Party, 11 percent said they would vote for the AfD, and 8 percent said they plan to give their vote to the democratic socialist Die Linke. Like the AfD, Die Linke supports an improvement in Germany’s relations with Russia. The party also has a firm policy of opposition to NATO and proposes to replace the alliance with a new collective security system for Europe with Russia as a member. Despite their ideological differences, AfD and Die Linke occasionally cooperate on certain issues.

July 13, 2021 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , , , | 1 Comment

Putin: Kiev would rather play the ‘victim’ than work for peace

Reunification with Donbass now nearly a lost cause

RT | July 12, 2021

Russian President Vladimir Putin has blasted Ukraine’s apparent lack of interest in striking a deal to resolve the bloody civil war in the east of the country, saying that Kiev politicians are using it to score political points.

In a lengthy article published on the Kremlin’s website on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that much of modern Ukraine had been formed out of his country’s historical territories, and at Moscow’s expense. Arguing that the two nations shared deep historical and cultural roots, he said that modern conflicts were derived from the fact that Ukraine was “the brainchild of the Soviet era” and effectively an experiment by “Bolsheviks” who drew its borders.

However, Putin said, the implications of ongoing disputes within the Eastern European nation were catastrophic. “According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the total number of victims associated with the conflict in Donbass has exceeded 13,000 people,” he said. “Among them are elderly people and children. Terrible, irreparable losses.”

“Russia did everything to stop fratricide,” he went on, arguing that Moscow sees no other way out of the bitter dispute than for Kiev to honor the Minsk Agreements that were intended to provide a roadmap to ending the conflict. However, he said, talks with Ukrainian officials have fallen flat because “they prefer to exploit the image of a ‘victim of external aggression’ and trade in Russophobia.”

Insisting that Kiev is using the conflict to its advantage in dealing with the West, Putin also claimed that “they arrange bloody provocations in the Donbass” and, “in a word, are trying to attract the attention of their external patrons and masters by any means necessary.”

“I am more and more convinced that Kiev simply does not need Donbass,” the president went on. “Why? Because, firstly, the inhabitants of these regions will never accept the rule they are trying to impose by force, blockades and threats.” In addition, he said, the Minsk protocols could be readily implemented but, in his words, “contradict the whole logic of the anti-Russia project” and would undermine “the constant cultivation of the image of an internal and external enemy.”

Fighting between Kiev’s forces and those loyal to the two breakaway self-proclaimed Donbass Republics has escalated in recent months, with a number of civilian casualties reported. A tense standoff between Ukrainian forces and Russian soldiers across the frontier sparked concerns of an all-out conflict earlier this year, until Moscow announced that its units would be redeployed and that readiness exercises had been concluded.

Last month, Putin said that he saw little point in meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, to discuss the situation in the east of Ukraine given, he alleged, that much of the country’s policies were imposed from abroad.

“Why should I meet Zelensky?” the Russian leader asked. “If he has given up his country to full external control, the key issues about life in Ukraine are resolved not in Kiev but in Washington, and, to some extent, in Berlin and Paris. What then would we talk about?”

July 13, 2021 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia | , , , | 3 Comments

Mexican President Says Protests in Cuba Manipulated From Outside

Sputnik – July 12, 2021

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday that US-funded organizations were behind the recent protests in Cuba.

On Sunday, Cuba witnessed its largest protests since 1994, fueled by anger over shortages of basic goods. Thousands of people demanded free elections and the resolution of social issues. According to local media, protests and gatherings took place in eight Cuban cities, including Havana. In response, government and Communist Party supporters held their own marches following President Miguel Diaz-Canel’s calls to take to the streets and repel provocations.

“I see that there is meddling. For example, yesterday I saw a social media post from a group called Article 19, which is an association of journalists in Mexico funded by the US government, the US embassy … They condemned President Diaz-Canel’s call for confrontation …,” Lopez Obrador told reporters.

The Mexican president expressed solidarity with the people of Cuba and said the only way out of this crisis was through dialogue, without the use of force, confrontation and violence.

“Mexico has always been in solidarity with Cuba and with all the peoples of the world, if the Cuban government deems it necessary and its people demand it, the Mexican government could help with medicines, vaccines, supplies and food, without the interventionist political manipulation … because health and food are fundamental human rights,” Lopez Obrador added.

The president further noted that the US economic embargo of Cuba should be brought to an end.

“If you want to help Cuba, the first thing that would have to be done is to lift the blockade of Cuba, as required by most of the countries of the world. It would be a true humanitarian gesture, no country in the world can be fenced off, blocked. This is worse than the violation of human rights,” Lopez Obrador stressed.

Bolivian President Luis Arce echoed his Mexican counterpart’s sentiment, saying that Cuba’s domestic affairs must be handled internally.

US restrictions on trade with Cuba date back to the island nation’s communist revolution in the late 1950s and involve at least half a dozen different US laws. Former President Barack Obama took steps to normalize bilateral relations, but many of those steps were reversed by the Trump administration.

Current President Joe Biden has promised that he would return Obama’s policy on Cuba but has yet to reverse his predecessor’s steps.

On June 23, the United States voted against a UN General Assembly resolution condemning the embargo on Cuba, which was adopted by the overwhelming majority of 184 other nations.

July 13, 2021 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 5 Comments

Afghanistan Faces a New Future With Some Positive Signs

By James ONeill – New Eastern Outlook – 12.07.2021

The news from Afghanistan is not good for the Americans. The troops abandoned the Bagram military base in the dead of night without bothering to advise their Afghanistan “allies”. Looters moved in before being replaced by the Taliban forces who naturally rejoiced at the treasure trove of weapons and other equipment that the Americans had abandoned.

Throughout the rest of the country the Taliban are making record advances and it is now likely only a matter of weeks before they control the whole of the country. The rapid defeat of the regular government troops has raised some alarm in countries on Afghanistan’s borders. In particular the rapidly changing situation in Afghanistan has raised concerns among member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) several of whom share borders with Afghanistan.

The rapidly changing situation has led to China’s foreign minister Wang Yi to make urgent visits to 3 countries that share a border with Afghanistan. The visits come at the invitation of the governments of Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and will take place between July 12th and 16th.

These meetings will precede a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation-Afghanistan contact group. The object of the meeting is for the parties to exchange views on promoting peace in the region, including, importantly, increasing the level of cooperation between the SCO and Afghanistan.

The rapid United States withdrawal from Afghanistan has given rise to a level of instability in Afghanistan that China, among other neighbouring countries, fears create instability within their own territories.

The SCO has a potentially important role to play in promoting stability in Afghanistan which is one of four observer states of the SCO. Six of Afghanistan’s neighbours are members of the SCO. As such the SCO is uniquely placed to promote a range of development assistance to Afghanistan, including the promotion of projects to develop Afghanistan rich resources. The latter have largely been neglected through the 20 years of American occupation and that of its allies.

A Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen gave an interview to This Week in Asia last Wednesday. Mr Shaheen said that the Taliban sees China as a friend and once they hold power they will engage in talks with China about beginning the process of reconstruction of the country’s assets, neglected during the years of occupation.

And important announcement made by the Chinese government through its foreign minister Wang Yi was for an expansion of the huge Pakistan – China economic development corridor to include Afghanistan. If this succeeds it will play an important role in securing Afghanistan’s economic recovery, which has essentially been handicapped for the past 20 years by continuous warfare.

It is clear that Russia will be an important part of Afghanistan’s redevelopment. Although the Russian government does not officially recognise the Taliban group it has nonetheless played host to several important meetings in Moscow involving representatives of the Taliban regime. When asked about a possible Russian return to Afghanistan the foreign minister Sergei Lavrov was dismissive. It is clear that any future Russian involvement in the country will be in the context of the SCO.

At the request of the Tajikistan government Russia has sent a contingent of troops to that country to assist with border protection. The Tajikistan government became alarmed at the influx of Afghan refugees across its borders which threatened the country’s capacity to cope with a sudden and large influx of refugees.

The numbers however, remain relatively small. They do not begin to compare with the estimated 1.5 million Afghans who have sought refuge in Pakistan over the years. The Pakistan government is sympathetic to the Taliban, which is one reason why it refused an American request for the use of its military facilities following the United States withdrawal from Afghanistan, now scheduled for August.

The Americans have announced that they reserve the right to mount air attacks in Afghanistan, presumably flying from one of their Middle East bases. It is difficult to see the rationale behind this announcement. The United States has no sustainable interest in Afghanistan. The flights will presumably be in support of Afghan government troops, but it is difficult seeing the latter having any substantial role following the inevitable Taliban takeover of the country which must now be only a matter of time.

The position of other foreign troops must also be open to question. The Australian government for example, has been conspicuously quiet on the fate of its military contingent in Afghanistan which began 20 years ago. They were first committed to Afghanistan following 11 September 2001 attacks [?] on the World Trade Centre and have been there ever since. The then Australian Prime Minister John Howard cited the ANZUS treaty as the rationale for the involvement, the only time the treaty has ever been invoked.

A number of Australian troops are now under investigation for allegedly murdering Afghanistan prisoners. Whether that matter now proceeds in the light of Australia’s withdrawal of his troops from Afghanistan is an open question. Post withdrawal support for the Afghan government is now conspicuously absent. The response to a Taliban takeover is unknown, but it is unlikely to be favourable.

Afghanistan’s best hope for the future lies in its association with the SCO. The early signs are encouraging with a positive response being shown both by the Taliban leadership and also the major countries involved in the SCO, especially China and Russia. For the first time in several decades, Afghanistan future at last looks positive.

James O’Neill, an Australian-based former Barrister at Law

July 13, 2021 Posted by | Economics | , , , | Leave a comment