Aletho News


Chinese embassy points to ‘real threat to the world’

RT | February 27, 2022

Chinese diplomats have published a list of US military adventures in recent decades, arguing that Washington was the “real threat” to the world, as the EU, the US, the UK, NATO, and the UN chief have all accused Moscow of an “unprovoked” attack on Ukraine.

The Chinese embassy in Russia on Saturday reposted an image originally shared by China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lijian Zhao earlier this week showcasing the United States’ “Democracy World Tour.” Listing many of the incidents where the US had either bombed or invaded other countries since the end of the Second World War, the image noted that these nations represented “roughly one-third of the people on earth.”

“Never forget who’s the real threat to the world,” Zhao captioned the photo. The embassy added the same caption to its post, but in Russian.

The embassy went on to point out that 81% of wars between 1945 and 2001 were launched by the US, accusing Washington of “pouring oil” on the conflict in Ukraine.

On Saturday, Zhao took yet another swipe at Washington with an image listing “bomb attacks, sabotage, attempted regime change” by Washington. The diplomat accompanied the post with a hashtag #NeverForget.

China was one of the three nations that abstained from the voting on a United Nations resolution condemning Russia’s “aggression” against Ukraine after it was vetoed by Russia. The resolution demanded the immediate withdrawal of troops engaged in the Kremlin’s “special military operation” in Ukraine. Bloomberg reported on Saturday that at least two of China’s largest state-controlled banks limited financing to purchase raw materials from Russia, reportedly out of concern about US sanctions.

February 26, 2022 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | 6 Comments

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov Exposes CNN Hypocrisy during Press Conference

Orinoco Tribune – February 26, 2022

Russian authorities have to constantly counter media manipulation when it comes to the current crisis in Ukraine and the Donbas. On Friday, February 25, Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov exposed the hypocrisy of Western media in response to a CNN journalist during a video press conference.

During the conference, Minister Lavrov responded to a question by a CNN journalist and demonstrated the hypocrisy with which Western journalists have handled the Ukraine crisis and their supposed concern for the people of Ukraine and the Donbas. In the last eight years, as over 14,000 people in the Donbas died from attacks by Ukrainian military and neo-Nazis, CNN has not covered these news on the ground in the region.

“Have you seen schools destroyed?” Lavrov asked. “Have you seen women carrying babies killed? Have you seen a children’s beach bombed? Has anyone ever visited that place?”

Minister Lavrov assured that Russia will not attack the civilian population of Ukraine. He urged the CNN journalist to read President Vladimir Putin’s statements that explained that the objectives of the Russian operation are merely military, and that Russia has no plans to occupy Ukraine.

“No one is going to occupy Ukraine, the objectives of the operation are demilitarization and denazification,” Lavrov reiterated. He blamed the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, for wasting all possibility of negotiation and forcing President Putin to make the decision of a military intervention in the Donbas.

Lavrov’s exact response to the CNN correspondent in Kiev was a series of counter-questions. “Why hasn’t any Western journalist covered what is happening on the frontlines controlled by the Ukrainian government in Donbas during these eight years? If they are now horrified by what is happening in Kiev, has anyone from CNN been to Donbas itself?”

February 26, 2022 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 2 Comments

Moscow and Kiev issue updates on Ukrainian border guards reported killed

RT | February 26, 2022

The Russian military has claimed that Ukrainian border guards, whom Ukraine initially declared entirely slain, survived, while Kiev’s military concurred that it might indeed be the case.

Both countries’ armed forces on Saturday said that a group of Ukrainian border guards stationed on Zmeinyy (Snake) Island, located some 48km off Ukraine’s southern coast in the Black Sea, were captured by Russian forces. Russia says they were taken alive and unharmed to Sevastopol in Crimea.

However, the initial story allegedly went as follows: a group of 13 border guards on the island were confronted by a Russian warship on Thursday. The Russian ship ordered the group by radio to surrender, the Ukrainians replied “go f**k yourself,” and the Russian ship opened fire. After several hours of fighting, all the guards were killed.

The story spread like wildfire on social media and was held up by the Ukrainian government, Western media outlets and journalists as an example of Ukrainian “heroism.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky honored the troops he declared slain, saying: “On our [Snake] Island, defending it to the last, all the border guards died heroically,” and promising to award them the posthumous title of “Hero of Ukraine.”

The first signs that something else may have happened came early on Saturday, as Russia’s Black Sea Fleet announced that dozens of Ukrainian border troops were delivered to Sevastopol, Crimea, with videos online purportedly showing their arrival.

Ukraine’s Border Guard Service stated shortly afterwards that the troops on Snake Island “bravely defended themselves,” but were taken prisoner when the island was captured. According to the military branch, reports that all had perished were “preliminary,” and came after the Ukrainian military lost contact with the island. The ministry did not say how many guards were stationed on the island, and did not claim to know whether any died or were injured.

The Russian Ministry of Defense likewise confirmed the capture of the island. Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said that 82 Ukrainian servicemen had been stationed on the island, that all surrendered, and that none were injured. Konashenkov said that as prisoners were being transported off the island, 16 Ukrainian Navy boats disguised as civilian vessels launched an attack on Russia’s Black Sea fleet.

Konashenkov said that Russians destroyed six of the Ukrainian vessels, and claimed that US drones were seen operating in the area, suggesting that the US “directed” the Ukrainian boats. These reports have not yet been corroborated.

A recording of the Snake Island garrison supposedly telling the Russian ship to “go f**k yourself” is still circulating on social media. There is currently no evidence that the recording is genuine, and Ukraine’s Border Guard Service only said that the troops gave a message indicating “no one will surrender.”

February 26, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | Leave a comment

Senator Mark Warner asks social platforms to curb Ukraine misinformation

By Dan Frieth | Reclaim The Net | February 26, 2022

Big Tech giants are increasingly positioning themselves, and being positioned by politicians, as speech police. And ever-increasing crises are being used as a justification for it.

Despite the fact that Twitter’s attempts to police inauthentic activity regarding the conflict have already gone awry, and it’s almost always independent journalists that suffer the most, politicians are demanding more.

Virginia’s Sen. Mark Warner has written to all major social media companies, urging them to make efforts to become the police of misinformation on social media with regard to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In the letter to Alphabet, Meta, Reddit, TikTok, Twitter, and Telegram, Warner urged the companies to increase their efforts to stop the spread of “harmful misinformation and disinformation campaigns, and a wide range of scams and frauds that opportunistically exploit confusion, desperation, and grief.”

We obtained a copy of the letters for you here: Meta, TwitterGoogleRedditTikTokTelegram

Warner asked the companies to look out for “malign influence activity related to the conflict,” and increase resources to identify fake accounts. He also suggested the establishment of reporting channels where experts can share credible information.

In the letter to Alphabet, which owns YouTube and Google, Warner asked the company to stop monetizing content “publicly attributed to have associations with Russian influence activity.”

He claimed that his staff identified TASS, Sputnik, and RT as having content “specifically focused on the Ukraine conflict to be monetized with YouTube ads – including, somewhat perversely, an ad by a major U.S. government contractor.”

“As one of the world’s largest communications platforms, your company has a clear responsibility to ensure that your products are not used to facilitate human rights abuses, undermine humanitarian and emergency service responses, or advance harmful disinformation,” Warner wrote.

The senator encouraged the companies to figure out how they will ensure Ukrainians get emergency communications. Warner also warned about the accounts of Ukrainian authorities and humanitarian groups being hacked.

February 26, 2022 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Russophobia | , , , , | 4 Comments

Australia suspends RT broadcast

RT | February 26, 2022

Australia’s satellite operator, Foxtel, has notified RT on Saturday that it is suspending the channel’s broadcast distribution in Australia as part of its services “in view of concern about the situation in Ukraine.” The operator will then further “consider” its rights under the channel license agreement, it added, without elaborating on any potential additional measures.

Foxtel is a satellite operator covering all of Australia’s territory and has its own over-the-top (OTT) server allowing media services to be offered to the audience directly via the internet. It has around 3.8 million clients.

On Thursday, Poland removed RT, along with some other Russian broadcasters, from its cable and satellite networks as well as internet platforms.

Every time a government or a certain organization calls for RT to be taken off air or bans its broadcast it only demonstrates “the fallacy of media freedoms” in the nation it represents, RT’s deputy editor-in-chief, Anna Belkina, said in a statement on Saturday, responding to the latest decisions by Australia and Poland.

“RT journalists tirelessly work to bring valuable facts and views to an audience of millions around the world,” she said, adding that “if ever there were a time to recognize the importance of all fact-gathering news … it is now.”

Even before the start of the Russian military operation, London had asked the regulator Ofcom to reconsider RT’s license to operate in the UK, accusing the company of being part of a “global disinformation campaign.” At that time, Belkina said that Ofcom had for a long time endorsed the channel as a license holder.

RT has been facing pressure for quite some time. European satellite TV operator Eutelsat took RT’s German-language channel RT DE off the air shortly after it was launched in December last year under pressure from the German regional media regulator MABB.

In early February, Germany’s top media regulator also sided with MABB and upheld a ban on RT DE’s broadcast in the country, citing an absence of a locally-issued license. The channel previously obtained a valid pan-European permit in Serbia but the German regulators declared it void. RT DE now plans to appeal the decision in court.

In response to “unfriendly actions” against RT DE, Moscow announced it would halt operations of German state-owned broadcaster Deutsche Welle in Russia.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has previously warned that bans on RT broadcasting in foreign nations would be met with reciprocal measures in Russia. The ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, specifically said on February 23 that “if the UK follows on its threats against the Russian media, a response will not be long in coming.”

February 26, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Russophobia | | 2 Comments

Facebook places new penalties on Russian state media

RT | February 26, 2022

Facebook announced on Friday that it would ban Russian state media outlets from advertising or monetizing their content on the social media network in response to the conflict in Ukraine.

Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of security policy, revealed in a statement that the company would start prohibiting the media “from running ads or monetizing on our platform anywhere in the world.”

“We also continue to apply labels to additional Russian state media. These changes have already begun rolling out and will continue into the weekend,” he said.

Russia’s media regulator, Roskomnadzor, announced this week that access to Facebook would be restricted in the country after Moscow accused the social media network and its parent company Meta of breaching “fundamental human rights” and Russian law with its censorship of Russian media organizations.

The announcement was made after four Russian news organizations, including RIA Novosti, had their access to Facebook limited.

Roskomnadzor said Facebook had censored Russia media on 23 occasions since October 2020.

Facebook’s vice president of global affairs, Nick Clegg – who previously served as the UK’s deputy prime minister between 2010 and 2015 – lashed out at Moscow’s decision in a statement. He added that his company wants Russians to use Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp to “make their voices heard” as they “organize for action.”

Conflict in Ukraine broke out this week after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced military action aimed at “demilitarizing” and “denazifying” the country. Moscow claimed military action was a necessary measure to protect the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics in the Donbass, which had requested Russian military assistance against “Ukrainian aggression.”

Kiev, however, accused Moscow of conducting an “unprovoked” attack on the country, and Russia has been publicly condemned and sanctioned by many Western powers, including the US, UK, EU, and NATO.

February 26, 2022 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

WHO planning new “pandemic treaty” for 2024

By Kit Knightly | OffGuardian | February 26, 2022

In December of last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced plans for an “international treaty on pandemic prevention and preparedness”.

According to the Council of Europe’s website, an “intergovernmental negotiating body” has been formed, and will be holding its first meeting next week, on March 1st.

The aim is to “deliver a progress report to the 76th World Health Assembly in 2023” and then have the proposed instrument ready for legal implementation by 2024.

None of this should come as much of a surprise, the signs have all been there. If you’ve been paying attention you could probably predict almost everything that will be in this new legislation.

A paper titled “Multilateralism in times of global pandemic: Lessons learned and the way forward” was published by the G20 in Decemeber 2020.

It details all the problems faced by international multilateral organizations during the “pandemic” [emphasis added]:

Individual states cannot effectively manage global public threats such as the COVID-19 pandemic on their own […] overcoming the current health crisis and rebuilding livelihoods can only be achieved through multilateral action on both the economic and social fronts […] The COVID-19 pandemic and its economic consequences have revealed the weakness of the current arrangements for multilateral cooperation. International organizations with the mandate to play leading roles in dealing with international crises have not functioned effectively.

And goes on to propose several solutions, including…

The G20 should reinforce the capacity of the World Health Organization. A stronger and more responsive WHO can help the international community manage pandemics and other health challenges more effectively. It can provide early warning systems and coordinate rapid global responses to health emergencies.

In January of 2021 the EU thinktank Foundation for European Progressive Studies published a 268-page document titled “Reforming Multilateralism in Post Covid Times”, which called for a “more legitimate and binding United Nations”, suggested the EU join the UN Security Council, and asked:

Is national sovereignty compatible with multilateralism?”

A few months later the United Nations Foundation published its own variation on this theme“Reimagining multilateralism for a post-Covid future”

Then, in May 2021, the International Panel on Pandemic Preparedness released its report on how the world handled Covid, which echoes the G20 paper almost word-for-word in places. We did a detailed breakdown of it here.

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, chair of the panel, told the Guardian

[The pandemic was] compounded by a lack of global leadership and coordination of geopolitical tensions and nationalism weakening the multilateral system, which should act to keep the world safe.”

Earlier this month, the UN Commission for Social Development met for the first time in 2022, with an emphasis on “Strengthening multilateralism”.

Then, on February 17th, the European Council on Foreign Relation’s Robert Dworkin published this articleHealth of nations: How Europe can fight future pandemics, which also expresses concern over “the failures of international cooperation during the pandemic” and proposes :

The EU should combine a push for reform of and increased funding for the WHO with support for a new fund for health emergencies, overseen by a representative group of countries.

It goes on and on and on… the messaging is more than clear.

Even just last week, speaking on a panel at the Munich Security Conference, Sweden’s Foreign Minister Anne Linde warned that Covid has “exposed holes” in the international order, and that the UN, WHO and EU were not empowered enough to take appropriate action.

The signs are all there, and they’ve been flashing like neon lights for months: New international legislation to “deal with future pandemics”.

We all knew it was coming eventually. Now we have a timeline, and it starts on March 1st.

Isn’t it amazing what you can almost miss when you’re distracted by a war?

Speaking of the war, the attitude the WHO takes to Russia during this process will be a very interesting barometer. Whether Russia denounces the proposed treaty, or is excluded from negotions, will tell us a lot about how real the conflict in Ukraine truly is, and what direction the Great Reset will take next.

Indeed, if the war itself is used to further argue we need “stronger multilateral institutions” or “important reforms in the security council”, it may go some way to revealing the grander agenda.

February 26, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , | 2 Comments

The Glorious Flop of New Zealand Virus Control


An infuriatingly consistent aspect of the mainstream media’s COVID coverage was their determination to prematurely credit a country with a wildly successful set of policy interventions.

While there has been no track record of universally accurate predictions or expectations, the desire to claim victory as far back as spring 2020 has led to subsequent embarrassments as trends change.

Naturally, New Zealand is no stranger to such untimely praise, with the BBC in July 2020 doing an in-depth look at how New Zealand became “COVID free.”

Of course, it was because New Zealand “… locked down early and aimed for elimination” and achieved “effective communication and public compliance.”

This is really the whole problem in a nutshell, isn’t it?

Assuming that elimination was possible through effective communication, compliance and early lockdowns ignores the inevitably that COVID will eventually spread throughout the population, whenever you “open up.”

Elimination of COVID throughout the world is and always was impossible, and therefore Fauci’s assertion that COVID could be “eliminated in certain countries” was inane and virtually impossible.

So how successful has New Zealand been in eliminating COVID in the long term through effective communication, public compliance and early lockdowns?

Well. The numbers speak for themselves.

When the BBC wrote the article explaining New Zealand’s remarkable success in eliminating the virus, they were averaging 1.5 cases each day. It’s now 2,918 cases each day.

That’s an increase of nearly 195,000%.

Elimination is a pipe dream.

No matter what policy interventions they’ve added, no matter how many early lockdowns they’ve tried, COVID has not been eliminated.

Remember how New Zealand’s amazing tracking and tracing system allowed them to identify transmission that could have only occurred via aerosols? And recall how all of the pre-pandemic guidance on masking suggested that masks could not stop aerosols? Did that stop New Zealand from using mask mandates to try and continue their elimination goals?

Of course not!

The following are the currently enforced rules on face masks in New Zealand:

  • As a general rule, you should wear a face mask whenever you are indoors. The exceptions are at your home or your place of work if it is not public facing. Your employer may encourage you to wear a face mask even if your job is not public facing.
  • When it is hard to physically distance from people you do not know, we encourage you to wear a face mask.
  • Everyone must wear a mask that is attached to the face by loops around the ears or head. This means people can no longer use scarves, bandannas or t-shirts as face coverings.

We know New Zealanders are complying because the BBC assured us that their success was due to population compliance, but the survey data backs that up as well:

Mask wearing has been consistently high since the mandate came into effect in August, yet cases have exploded anyway.

None of it has mattered.

And this isn’t an insignificant increase. New Zealand’s now reporting more new cases adjusted for population than the United States, and identical numbers to the United Kingdom:

Working perfectly!

Elimination Through Vaccination

In the previously referenced interview, Fauci said that the most successful way to “eliminate” COVID was to reach extraordinary levels of vaccination uptake in the population.

While the Our World in Data download hasn’t been updated in the past week, over 88% of the population had received at least one vaccination dose in New Zealand by February 15th.

The numbers are even more impressive when considering only those over 12 years of age. 95% of everyone over in that demographic has been at least partially vaccinated or booked their appointment. 94% are fully vaccinated:

Nearly 2.3 million people over 12 have been given boosters, roughly 53% of that entire population.

Clearly those incredible rates of uptake must have been enough to maintain the “blanket of herd immunity” that Fauci claimed would be achievable with 75-85% of the population vaccinated.

Not exactly!

Whenever you reference the dramatic failure of Australia or New Zealand to maintain “zero COVID” lockdowns and “elimination” strategies, adherents to the cult of inaccurate expertise will respond by claiming their goal was only to eliminate cases until widespread vaccination.

By allowing for vaccines to blunt the impact of cases, these countries would prevent surges in hospitalizations. We already saw that this was wildly off in Australia:

But what about New Zealand? Maybe they’ve been able to successfully stave off any surge in severe cases due to their exceptional vaccination rate:

Well. Not exactly.

Hospitalizations have risen dramatically since January and continue to rise significantly each day.

News reports from New Zealand sound like those from any generic location in the US where local doctors report concerns of hospitals being overwhelmed:

Authorities anticipate Omicron will become the predominant Covid-19 variant in New Zealand within just two to four weeks of it being introduced into the community – and hospitals are bracing to be “swamped”.

Dr John Bonning, a frontline emergency department doctor and immediate past president of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, said EDs were already under “enormous duress”.

So their elimination strategy did not prevent a dramatic increase in cases, nor a concerning, overwhelming surge of hospitalizations.

And deaths, while thankfully still low, have increased in recent months as well:

New Zealand’s supposed “elimination” through their zero COVID policy has completely collapsed.

Mask mandates, as their own research indicated, have not prevented surges. Elimination until vaccination has not prevented surges. Zero COVID has been an unmitigated failure, as any rational person would have known and suggested as far back as summer 2020.

They’ve maintained an unearned sense of superiority, exemplified in this quote from the BBC’s story:

He says it is “a bit of a puzzle for us at a distance to understand why” with the UK’s extensive scientific expertise and health care, “you haven’t looked at the evidence and worked out a pattern like New Zealand’s”.

The UK government has previously defended its coronavirus strategy, saying its approach was “being guided by the science.”

That undeserved attitude can no longer be maintained.

The policies that never had the slightest possibility of long term success, the policies that Fauci claimed could be successful in “certain countries,” have turned into yet another example of the delusions of hubris.

While many areas are lifting mandates, they’re doing so without acknowledging the underlying flaws in their strategy. Iceland’s health ministry summed up the inescapable reality of COVID while announcing an end to all restrictions:

“Widespread societal resistance to COVID-19 is the main route out of the epidemic,” the ministry said in a statement, citing infectious disease authorities.

“To achieve this, as many people as possible need to be infected with the virus as the vaccines are not enough, even though they provide good protection against serious illness,” it added.

Until they understand and accept those sentiments, there will always be excuses for politicians and public health officials to bring back their prized, ineffectual interventions.

New Zealand is the latest in a long list of countries to be hailed as showing the world the “right” way to prevent surges; to keep COVID under control.

But as with masks, vaccine passports and “early” lockdowns, zero COVID never had a chance of working — despite the endless media and expert praise.

As always, Eric Feigl-Ding had absolutely no idea what he was talking about:

February 26, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , , | Leave a comment

Public health needs restrictions

It is time for a taste of its own medicine

By Vinay Prasad MD MPH | February 26, 2022

Just yesterday, I read that NYC public schools will remove the OUTDOOR mask mandate starting Monday. How Brave!

Let’s reflect on this for a moment. NYC school district has been requiring children wear masks OUTSIDE all this time. Years after we knew the virus almost never spreads outside. During recess when kids play, forced to wear a mask while exerting themselves. Wow!

Whoever made the policy is an idiot. No way around it. They are not fit for policymaking. They abused the power of government to coerce children (at incredibly low risk of bad outcomes) to wear a mask in a setting where the virus simply does not spread. In other words, they participated in something done in the name of public health, which actually made human beings worse off. Worse, they used coercive force to do it.

Post-COVID we need to seriously talk about setting restrictions. But not on people. We need to place restrictions on public health and things done in the name of public health. We cannot allow individuals who are poor at weighing risk and benefit and uncertainty to coerce human beings, disproportionately the young and powerless (waiters/ servers) to participate in interventions that have no data supporting them, for years on end.

Public health be the subject of restrictions; a taste of its own medicine. Some of those restrictions should be placed on governments, but others on private actors who are appealing to public health. Here is what that might look like:

  1. In an emergency situation, if governments mandate or advise individual level behavioral interventions (e.g. masking), those entities should have to generate robust data in 3 months (cluster RCTs) to demonstrate efficacy, or the intervention is automatically revoked. Some may argue 3 months is too short, but if it is truly a crisis warranting emergency proclamations, then you should see a signal in 3 months, and governments can expand sample size to ensure prompt results.
  2. If a trial is positive that does not mean the policy continues forever, but must be debated (net benefit/ net harms/ tradeoffs) by the body politic.
  3. Private entities should be prohibited from mandating emergency drug products. Check out this tweet by my conversation partner— VPZD PODCAST— Zubin Daminia:

    Cal Academy is a museum in Golden Gate Park. Do they have any business nor ability to mandate boosters in adolescents? No, it is absurd. Two senior officials with the FDA— Gruber and Krause- resigned over this decision. Paul Offit and Luciano Boro and others have been publicly critical of boosters for young people, and Cal Academy mandates it? Cal Academy is not qualified to make this decision.

  4. The same is true for daycares and private schools that have already mandated kids vax 5 to 11. Should random private individuals be permitted to coerce vaccination under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)? I believe restrictions must be put in place to prevent them from doing such a thing. Perhaps it should be explicit that it is illegal to coerce any medical product under EUA status. This would stop Cal Academy and private schools.
  5. The same is true for boosters. Colleges should be prohibited from mandating medical products under the auspices of EUA. What is going on right now on college campuses is astonishing foolishness.
  6. Hospital patients deserve a bill of rights. Prohibitions on visitation, particularly of children or older people; especially near the end of life were cruel and disgusting. Even long after PPE was adequate— into 2022— these rules continued. Patients need a bill of rights, and hospitals should face severe restrictions on their ability to banning visitors. To my knowledge the US has not— like Hong Kong— Separated a baby from her parents, but our rules are unjust.
  7. Do people have the right to return to the their home country? Read this excellent article about Australians trapped in India. This is an important issue.
  8. Who decides if schools should close? Schools are too important to permit local decision makers to close them for years on end. In the USA, this happened along partisan lines, with the most progressive cities punishing children the most. There has to be some bill of rights for kids to prevent this from happening. Schools might need to close in rare circumstances in the future, but this should be done only in extraordinary times, and no one can justify closing schools only in Democratic cities. Kids need a real champion, and it is not the AAP.

These are just a few examples of where governments or institutions have overreached in the name of public health, but there are many more. Post COVID, the group that needs to face the strongest restrictions is public health itself. We must careful remove the power we have granted public health, which has often been misused.

Vinay Prasad MD MPH is a hematologist-oncologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California San Francisco. He runs the VKPrasad lab at UCSF, which studies cancer drugs, health policy, clinical trials and better decision making. He is author of over 300 academic articles, and the books Ending Medical Reversal (2015), and Malignant (2020).

February 26, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Progressive Hypocrite, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , | Leave a comment

Russia’s space agency responds to Western sanctions

RT | February 26, 2022

Roscosmos will cease work on joint space projects with Europe and the United States and instead seek cooperation with China, the head of the Russian space agency Dmitry Rogozin announced on Saturday.

Rogozin told Tass news agency on Saturday that he had given his team an order to start negotiations with Beijing on coordination and mutual technical support of all deep space missions, including the ‘Venera-D’ project, the first Russian mission to Venus since Soviet times.

“Under the conditions of sanctions, US participation in the project is impossible,” Rogozin said.

Earlier on Saturday, Rogozin also announced the suspension of cooperation with European partners on launches from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana.

In a tweet, Rogozin said Roscosmos was suspending the cooperation in light of new sanctions and “recalling its technical staff, including the launch team.”

The European Space Agency (ESA) has been using the Russian-made Soyuz rockets to send some of its satellites into orbit. Kourou’s proximity to the equator makes it an ideal place for space launches.

NASA said on Friday, however, that despite new sanctions and export controls imposed on Moscow it would continue working with Roscosmos on the operation of the International Space Station (ISS).

The West has implemented a harsh new wave of sanctions on Russia following its military attack on Ukraine, with restrictions varying from banning operations of Russian banks and companies to airspace closures, the suspension of visas, and personal sanctions aimed at President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

US President Joe Biden said on Thursday that restrictions slapped on Moscow would “degrade their aerospace industry, including their space program.”

Russia insists that its offensive in Ukraine was its only option to protect the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, which it recognizes as independent states, and to ensure that Russia would not be put under threat by NATO from Ukrainian territory. Moscow is now working on retaliation measures. Earlier on Saturday, Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that analysis and coordination of efforts between various agencies would be required to provide a response which “would best serve” Russia’s interests.

February 26, 2022 Posted by | Russophobia | , , , | 1 Comment

UKRAINE: Hysterical Western Reaction, Retaliation – May Lead to Wider War

By Peter Ford | 21st Century Wire | February 26, 2022

Russophobe, germophobe, it’s all the same.

I simplify. But it’s striking how the loudest Russophobic voices include all the same voices which were similarly hysterical about Covid – the mainstream media, the Labour Party, and the liberal elite (which includes much of the Conservative Party), while the few voices calling for even a modicum of restraint or understanding of Russia include anti-lockdown Farage (on GB News) and Trump, both of the Right. Piers Corbyn and Jeremy Corbyn, virtually alone on the Left have spoken up, while Starmer has forced 11 of his MPs who signed a Stop The War statement to withdraw their signatures.

The Labour Party in fact has tried to outflank the Tories on the Right, demanding the silencing of RT, the Russian broadcaster.

The Ukraine crisis rubs home the same messages we received loud and clear during the Great Covid Hysteria: Left and Right are meaningless now, the default option for any untoward contingency arising is to go to panic stations, muzzle any dissent, and bring in restrictions/interventions/sanctions without a thought about the side effects, or even direct consequences.

Just as Covid lockdowns were imposed regardless of wrecking society and economy, so the West is now imposing drastic sanctions on Russia without anybody even asking the question: well, might not Russia retaliate, with cyber attacks for example? It’s not appeasement to pause to consider if our moves might backfire, that’s just plain prudence and a sense of responsibility. And what about gas and petrol prices? Collapsing stock markets? Sterling, anyone?

Nor is it appeasement to appreciate that the problem didn’t begin just yesterday, that the West was asking for trouble sooner or later when it incorporated much of the former Soviet Union into its own sphere of influence (NATO membership), and started to establish forward military positions in Ukraine even though formally Ukraine was not a member of NATO. We poke the Russian bear and then cry in horror when it responds by showing its claws.

Grabbing other people’s land is always wrong. But tell that to the Americans, who have endorsed Israel’s annexation of Palestinian and Syrian territory without even a semblance of support from the inhabitants. The Americans have also stationed military forces in North East Syria, denying access to the region’s oil by the Syrian government, pretexting a pseudo-mission of ‘keeping ISIS out’ – when ISIS no longer poses any real threat. Tell NATO ally Turkey which mounted a similar ‘peacekeeping’ mission across its border into North West Syria, killing hundreds of Syrian government forces in the process and sustaining in control a local jihadi regime. Nobody in NATO breathes a word against any of this.

It’s not all bad news. The aggravation of the already dire energy situation is creating a new equation: people are realising you can have zero emissions, or you can be warm.

However, looking at the downside, the conflict over Ukraine could harm the cause of freedom supporters if the perception grows that we are siding with the nation’s enemies. Some might even say that our support for peace is toxic. But what is there to lose? We are demonised, harassed and persecuted already. And nobody else is interested in making peace, only in pouring fuel on the flames with arms supplies and punishing Russia with backfiring sanctions.

Putin may be making the same calculation, that he has nothing to lose. The West spurned feelers he put out about a neutral status for Ukraine, application of the Minsk accords on a settlement for the Eastern areas, and revival of arms limitation treaties. Why not go the whole hog and practise the same regime change tactics the West used or tried to use in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria?

Peter Ford is a global affair analyst and former British Ambassador to Syria (2003-2006) and Bahrain (1999-2002).

February 26, 2022 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia | , , | Leave a comment

Dublin and Monaghan – Britain forgets its recent history of “unleashing war in Europe”

By Gavin O’Reilly | OffGuardian | February 26, 2022

In the early hours of Thursday morning – in what will perhaps finally result in the COVID-19 mainstream media narrative being permanently banished from the headlines – almost nine years of Western provocations via its Eastern European proxy state Ukraine would culminate in Russia launching a military intervention into its Western neighbour.

With attempts to peacefully resolve the situation peacefully by Moscow over the past several months ultimately proving fruitless due to Kiev failing to implement its side of the Minsk Agreements – which would see a federalisation solution in which the breakaway pro-Russian Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, located in the predominantly ethnic Russian Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, being given a degree of autonomy whilst still remaining under the rule of Kiev.

Instead, both Republics were given formal recognition by Moscow on Monday, in response to the breakdown in negotiations.

With Russian President Vladimir Putin outlining in his speech commencing the military operation that a decisive factor in launching the intervention was a failure by NATO to honour a previous agreement that it would not expand eastwards following the end of the Cold War, and that the intention of the operation is to destroy Ukrainian military infrastructure that would ultimately be used by the alliance against Russia should Kiev become a member.

One can only hope that the current situation doesn’t escalate further into a long-term conflict in which ordinary Ukrainian citizens will suffer, or indeed a catastrophic global conflict involving the use of nuclear weapons should NATO decide to intervene directly – with Ukraine having come under the influence of the US-NATO hegemony following the 2014 Euromaidan, a CIA and MI6 orchestrated regime-change operation launched in response to then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s November 2013 decision to suspend a trade deal with Brussels in order to pursue closer political and economic ties with Russia.

The immediate Western reaction following Thursday’s intervention however, was to predictably shift all blame onto Moscow and pay little to no attention to the almost nine years of provocations which had preceded it – such as Western support for the notoriously anti-Russian neo-Nazi Azov Battalion of the Ukrainian National Guard, established post-Maidan. Both of which played a key role in Kiev’s war on Donetsk and Luhansk following their secession in April 2014, a month after the historically Russian peninsula of Crimea voted to reunify with Moscow.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also accused Moscow of ‘unleashing war in Europe’, seemingly forgetting his own warmongering in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, and also Britain’s not too distant history of unleashing war on its nearest European neighbour – Ireland.

In 1974, the occupied north of Ireland had been in a five-year-long grip of escalating violence – the civil rights movement, established in 1967 to seek equal rights for the north’s Irish Nationalist community, had been met with violence every time they took to the streets, being beaten and teargassed by a predominantly British Unionist police force.

This violence would eventually culminate in Bloody Sunday, the massacre of 14 civil rights demonstrators by the British Army in Derry in January 1972 – London having deployed its forces to the north in 1969, using the pretence of being a neutral peacekeeper between two warring sides as a means to counter the influence of the IRA, re-organised the same year in response to the ongoing violence, and whose membership would grow exponentially following the massacre.

Indeed, such was the violence inflicted on the Nationalist community of the north of Ireland by Britain and its proxies, that the southern 26-county Irish state would soon begin to dissent from its traditionally pro-British stance.

In 1969, during the initial outbreak of violence, then-Taoiseach Jack Lynch threatened to send troops to the north in order to protect Irish Nationalists, in 1970 government ministers Charles Haughey and Neil Blaney would be dismissed from their posts following a collapsed trial where they were alleged to have planned to import arms for use by the IRA, and in the aftermath of Bloody Sunday, Irish police stood by as protesters burned down the British Embassy in Dublin.

Britain, fearing that Dublin would go on to become an official state sponsor of the IRA, decided that a message had to be sent.

On the 17th of May 1974, a Friday afternoon, three no-warning car bombs detonated during rush hour traffic in Dublin, killing twenty-seven people, ninety minutes later, another no-warning bomb would explode in the border county of Monaghan, killing seven.

300 people would suffer injuries as a result of the bombings also, with the Irish Free State returning to its traditionally pro-British stance regarding British occupation of the north in the aftermath.

These coordinated attacks, resulting in the largest loss of life in a single day during the most recent phase of conflict related to the occupation of Ireland, were carried out by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), a Loyalist terrorist organisation operating under the command of the clandestine Special Reconnaissance Unit (SRU) of the British army.

This use of proxy terrorist groups by Downing Street was later used as a tactic against both Libya and Syria in 2011 and into the present day, having been perfected by Britain’s unleashing of war in Europe in 1974.

Gavin O’Reilly is an Irish Republican activist from Dublin, Ireland, with a strong interest in the effects of British and US Imperialism; he was a writer for the American Herald Tribune from January 2018 up until their seizure by the FBI in 2021, with his work also appearing on The Duran, Al-Masdar, MintPress News, Global Research and SouthFront.

February 26, 2022 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | 1 Comment