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They lied about everything else, but believe them about this war

By Frederick Edward | TCW Defending Freedom | March 5, 2022

HOW long until we get reports of people pelting Siberian huskies on the street?

Probably not too long. Already there are videos of Russian food shops being vandalised such as this one in Germany.

A friend who runs a Russian language school in Britain has received threats, including that all Russians should leave the UK. That the school employs mostly Ukrainians and the owner’s wife is from Kiev is neither here nor there when you’re caught up in the latest tide of moral righteousness.

Having forgotten utterly about the preoccupations of yesterday – Covid, Partygate (whatever happened to Sue Gray’s report?) – we are now fully at work with our latest, all-consuming passion. War. Lots of it. Each detonation of a mortar round more titillating than the last. I haven’t seen this much unanimity since the first days of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Do you believe what you read in the media? Plucky Ukrainians, incompetent Russians. After a few days, claims that ‘Russia has lost the war’ abound. Stuck in the mud and stranded without fuel. That wars are rarely decided on the opening day seems lost to a world obsessed with only the present moment. There is plenty more time for Ukraine to fall.

But not without additional, unnecessary bloodshed, all encouraged by our politicians and media. Those wishing to volunteer for Kiev are sent away on a bandwagon of positive vibes and profile pictures with superimposed Ukrainian flags. That they are being sent to a probable death is neither here nor there.

The Russians are evil. The West never puts a foot wrong. Ignore the wars of the past – Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya – we are geopolitically chaste and without sin. That Ukraine is of approximately zero geostrategic interest to us does not matter. The forward march of Western hubris in its institutional form cannot be impeded.

Why would Nato not just say Ukraine will remain a buffer state? That nation’s entry into the alliance was so clearly a red line for the strategists of Moscow, nevertheless we courted its favour, assuming that being on the ‘right side of history’ would be enough. When Russia finally did invade, our ignorance leads us to throw our hands up and scream ‘bully!’ at Putin. I do not care much for Putin, but it is for the birds to assume that the West is entirely without blame.

Having been systematically lied to about every imaginable topic, I cannot simply buy our government’s line. Warrior Truss, whose unfamiliarity with the geography of the area should set alarm bells ringing, solemnly plays her role as a second-rate Thatcher-at-war. Johnson, who until yesterday was on the ropes of various scandals, is recast as a latter-day Churchill.

We’re fighting for democracy and freedom. Fighting for it in a corrupt eastern European state, cleft in two by a linguistic and ethnic fault line, and whose elites have bought the ear of the American President and his family.

We’re fighting it from the high horses of the West, which has just spent two years imprisoning its own citizens and demanding they undergo forced medical procedures. From the same West which would not dare comment on Trudeau’s totalitarian seizure of the bank accounts of those who dared disagree with him, nor on the dictatorial powers used daily in the Antipodes.

Forget all of that. We are the good guys. They are the bad guys. The world is black and white. We are not to blame, not one iota. Cheerlead for war and let the stakes get higher. Assume that Russia’s interests are invalid and to be ignored. We’re back to the gilded age of liberal democracies beating the drum of war.

Whatever you do, don’t look back or think about the recent past. Let your minds be firmly occupied by the indulgent orgy of violence, peddled by the same people who conned you so many times before, and who seek to keep us in a perpetual state of crisis. And certainly, never think about the law of unintended consequences.

March 4, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 3 Comments

Jacinda Ardern Orders Vicious Attack on Peaceful Demonstrators in Wellington

21st Century Wire | March 4, 2022

After Canada’s burgeoning fascist regime in Ottawa brutally cracked-down on the historic truckers protest against the Trudeau government’s authoritarian vaccine mandates, other World Economic Forum acolytes saw this as a signal to crush peaceful protests around the world.

One of the more brutal ‘clean-up’ operations was ordered by New Zealand’s embattled Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

The BFD reports…

If she was prepared to use violence on the steps of parliament then she would be prepared to use it anywhere.

Yesterday was the dawning of a new more violent era by the Ardern regime. The tyrant deployed the strong arm of her jackbooted Police thugs, who used tear gas, pepper spray, batons, riot shields, rubber bullets, sonic weapons and fire hoses on peaceful protestors on the grounds of Parliament. […]

Never before have I been so angry at a tyrannical government. I will do everything within my power to see the end of every party currently in parliament.

This is all on them. They should all be ashamed, but I suspect they will go full Biden and claim that the sanctity of parliament has been desecrated. The tyrant has already done that but, like dutiful lickspittles, so will all the others.

March 4, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | 2 Comments

Public Health Scotland and the misinterpretation of data

Health Advisory & Recovery Team | March 4, 2022

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive” – Sir Walter Scott

Throughout the last two years Public Health Scotland (PHS) has punched above its weight by providing reliable data that has quantified the impact of the Scottish government’s COVID-19 response on the health of the Scottish population. In particular, it has documented the unprecedented excess death that occurred in summer and autumn 2021, prompting the establishment of an official enquiry as to the cause, and uncovered a spike in September 2021 in the number of stillbirths in Scotland that is currently under investigation.

However, in its report of 14th February 2022, PHS has declared that it will no longer publish data on COVID-19 outcomes (cases, hospitalisations and deaths) classified by vaccination status, a hitherto valuable component of the COVID-19 vaccination surveillance strategy. The reason given for making this change is that ‘PHS is aware of inappropriate use and misinterpretation of the data when taken in isolation without fully understanding the limitations’.

It is certainly true that claims have been made about the deleterious effects of COVID-19 vaccines that go well beyond what can be supported by the data published by PHS. In this case critical appraisal of these unsubstantiated claims, rather than the blanket withdrawal of valuable information, would seem the better antidote to the spread of misinformation.

However, it is important to note that implicit in the decision made by PHS is that the information they provide is above reproach, both in terms of inappropriate use and misrepresentation of the data to which they alone are privy. To investigate whether PHS analysis is indeed above reproach, we can look in a little detail at the way in which they have presented the information on COVID-19 outcomes by vaccination status in their last report of February 2022. We will concentrate on the analysis of death with COVID-19 by vaccination status, unvaccinated or booster, found in Table 15, using the data for week 29 January – 04 February 2022. The relevant data from that table is reproduced below:

No. of Deaths Population Age Standardised Mortality Rate per 100,000 with 95% confidence intervals
Unvaccinated 13 1,524,406 10.95 (3.40 – 18.50)
Booster 73 3,229,938 1.50 (1.15 – 1.85)

A superficial inspection of this table would suggest to the casual reader that the death rate with COVID-19 in those who have received a booster is far lower than that suffered by those who are unvaccinated when the difference in age distributions of the booster and unvaccinated populations are taken into account. Indeed, PHS draw the conclusion that ‘the death rate in individuals that received a booster or 3rd dose of a COVID-19 vaccine was between 4.6 and 9.5 times lower than individuals who are unvaccinated or have only received one or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine’. Let us look in detail at how the data were treated to arrive at this conclusion, and ask whether this very strong affirmation of the benefits of the booster can be substantiated.

We first look at the way in which the two populations that we are comparing, unvaccinated and booster, are defined. For this we turn to Appendix 6 of the report. Here we learn that the unvaccinated population is not, as we might have assumed, those that have never been vaccinated. Instead, it also includes all those individuals who have received a first vaccine, but for whom the time since vaccination is less than 22 days. Thus, if any deaths occur within the 21 days post first vaccine, these deaths will be attributed to the unvaccinated category. This misattribution may have significant consequences because deaths from adverse vaccination reactions principally occur shortly after vaccination. This idiosyncratic classification of the unvaccinated artificially, and misleadingly, inflates the death rate in the unvaccinated population. Would it not have been better to classify the unvaccinated as those never receiving a vaccine, to preclude the introduction of such bias against the unvaccinated into the analysis?

Turning to the boosted population we find that this is not defined as the number of individuals who have received a booster, but rather the number that have received a booster at least 14 days prior to the reporting period. Therefore, if deaths of boosted individuals occur within the first 14 days of this vaccination, they will not be counted as booster deaths, but as a 2-dose death. The mortality rates given are also dependent on the size of the vaccinated population. If the addition of boostered individuals is a continuous process then, depending on accounting, the last two week cohort added to the boostered population may effectively be excluded from contributing to deaths, while the unvaccinated population during the same time period will not. PHS’s redefinition of the booster population again serves to artificially and misleadingly reduce the reported rate of deaths in the PHS booster population relative to the unvaccinated population. Would it not have been better to classify the booster population simply as those who have received a booster shot, and avoided the inevitable bias in favour of the boosted population that is introduced by the PHS redefinition?

Notwithstanding the biases introduced by PHS’s redefinition of the populations to be compared, we can now concentrate our attention on the methods they have used to correct for the fact that the age distribution of the unvaccinated is likely to be much younger than that of the boosted population. To begin our explanation, it is helpful to use the raw data provided in table 15 for week 29 January – 04 February 2022 to calculate the individual rate of death with COVID-19 per 100,000 per week without making any adjustment for differences in age distribution. This can be compared with the figures PHS calculated from the data to quantify ‘Age Standardised Mortality Rate per 100,000 per week’.

Unvaccinated Booster
Unadjusted COVID-19 mortality per 100,000 per week 0.85 2.26
Age Standardised Mortality Rate per 100,000 per week 10.95 1.50

The comparison is illuminating and a little worrying. An unadjusted death rate 2.7 times higher in the booster population than in the unvaccinated population has been converted into an age standardised mortality rate that is now 7.3 times higher in the unvaccinated population than in the booster population. To understand what is going on we have to know both how to calculate an Age Standardised Mortality Rate per 100,000 per week, and to understand what this value actually represents.

The Age Standardised Mortality Rate is a measure of the impact, in terms of mortality, on the whole population rather than a particular age group. Rather than calculating a population Age Standardised Mortality Rate based on the age distribution of the Scottish population, Public Health Scotland used the standard WHO age distribution. In this age distribution there is a much lower representation of older people. The consequence is that a very low weight is given to deaths in older age groups and a disproportionately high weighting to deaths in young age groups. In fact, the weighting of a young death can be 10 times higher than for an old death. Through this unjustified weighting a raw mortality rate which was 2.7 times greater in the vaccinated is turned into an age standardised mortality rate which is 7.3 times greater in the unvaccinated.

The age standardised mortality does not relate to individual risk – we may have much higher risk in old age groups individually, but this translates into a very small effect on overall deaths at a population level because the percentage of old people in the population is very low. The point of calculating age standardised mortality is not to compare risks. It is designed to allow comparison of the relative burden of a disease on a population – what proportion of a population will be lost from that population by a particular disease. Its use to somehow correct for differences in age distributions on risk of death is completely inappropriate.

The important thing to note is that what has been calculated is a measure of population impact of COVID-19 in a hypothetical population; what proportion of the population die in this hypothetical population as a consequence of the disease. It is assuredly not a measure of individual mortality risk from COVID-19. As such it is completely inappropriate and misleading to use it to compare the risk of death with COVID 19 between populations of different vaccination status as has been done by PHS. Therefore, their statement that ‘the death rate in individuals that received a booster or 3rd dose of a COVID-19 vaccine was between 4.6 and 9.5 times lower than individuals who are unvaccinated or have only received one or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine’ is utterly false and misleading and completely unsupported by the data. The simple and transparent way of comparing individual mortality risk would be to use the data in PHS’s possession to estimate individual risk of death for each age category and population, and compare these values within each age category. Rather than compare the whole population, the risk for each age group by vaccination status would provide useful information. UKHSA do provide this data but PHS never have done. The magnitude of the error in using Age Standardised Mortality Rates as a metric calls into question the competence of PHS to analyse and interpret data that are critical to the formulation of Scottish government health policy which directly impacts the wellbeing of literally millions of people.

The final point to make is that in order to receive a booster, an individual must previously have received both a first and a second dose of vaccine. There is a risk of a bias being introduced whereby only survivors, who are by definition less likely to die, are being measured. Therefore, deaths that occurred after first and second vaccinations should be included with deaths after the booster vaccination itself in order to properly assess the overall COVID-19 death rates in the vaccinated population. In other words, the appropriate comparison to make when assessing the effect of booster doses on COVID-19 mortality is between the unvaccinated population and the vaccinated population, where the latter includes anyone who has received any injection.

In conclusion, by announcing that data on COVID-19 outcomes by vaccination status will no longer be provided due to “misrepresentation and misinterpretation of their analyses”, PHS has drawn attention to their own glaring shortcomings in this area. They have been shown to introduce unwarranted bias into their analyses by manipulation of the definitions of vaccination status, and they have used a wholly inappropriate metric to compare the risk of death with COVID-19 among the vaccinated and unvaccinated in the Scottish population.

Truly they are hoisted by their own petard.

March 4, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Russia blocks Facebook

The ban comes in retaliation to the platform’s efforts “to restrict access to Russian media”

RT | March 4, 2022

Russian media regulator Roskomnadzor imposed a blanket ban on Meta’s Facebook social media platform on Friday. The decision was taken in response to Facebook blocking access to Russian media outlets, the watchdog said in a statement.

“Since October 2020, we have reordered 26 cases of discrimination against Russian media and information resources by Facebook,” the statement reads.

“In recent days, the social network has limited access to the accounts of the Zvezda TV channel, the RIA Novosti news agency, Sputnik, Russia Today, Lenta.ru, and the Gazeta.ru news outlets.”

Meta blocked access to accounts belonging to RT and Sputnik in the EU earlier this week, accusing the outlets of serving as a “propaganda arm.” Over the past week, Western private-owned tech giants and multiple government entities took action against Russian state-funded and state-affiliated outlets.

Google, for instance, restricted access to content by outlets owned by the government media holding Rossiya Segodnya on Google Discover and Google News. The holding blasted the move as “information manipulation.”

The renewed push against Russian state-affiliated media, which has been repeatedly targeted in the West for years already, comes amid the offensive in Ukraine that was launched by Moscow last week. Russia said it was the only option to end the bloodshed in Ukraine’s east, where the Kiev forces have been struggling with the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk for some eight years already.

Donetsk and Lugansk split from Ukraine after the 2014 Maidan coup, which ousted the country’s democratically-elected government. The new Kiev authorities launched a military operation to quell the unrest, leading to years of low-intensity warfare in the region.

March 4, 2022 Posted by | Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

CHD Says Pfizer and FDA Dropped Data Bombshell on COVID Vaccine Consumers

Children’s Health Defense | March 03, 2022

Washington, DC, — In a 55,000-page set of documents released on Tuesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) is for the first time allowing the public to access data Pfizer submitted to FDA from its clinical trials in support of a COVID-19 vaccine license. This follows U.S. District Judge Mark T. Pittman’s decision on January 6 to deny the request from the FDA to suppress the data for the next 75 years which the agency claimed was necessary, in part, because of its “limited resources.”

A 38-page report included in the documents features an Appendix, “LIST OF ADVERSE EVENTS OF SPECIAL INTEREST,” that lists 1,291 different adverse events following vaccination. The list includes acute kidney injury, acute flaccid myelitis, anti-sperm antibody positive, brain stem embolism, brain stem thrombosis, cardiac arrest, cardiac failure, cardiac ventricular thrombosis, cardiogenic shock, central nervous system vasculitis, death neonatal, deep vein thrombosis, encephalitis brain stem, encephalitis hemorrhagic, frontal lobe epilepsy, foaming at mouth, epileptic psychosis, facial paralysis, fetal distress syndrome, gastrointestinal amyloidosis, generalized tonic-clonic seizure, Hashimoto’s encephalopathy, hepatic vascular thrombosis, herpes zoster reactivation, immune-mediated hepatitis, interstitial lung disease, jugular vein embolism, juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, liver injury, low birth weight, multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, myocarditis, neonatal seizure, pancreatitis, pneumonia, stillbirth, tachycardia, temporal lobe epilepsy, testicular autoimmunity, thrombotic cerebral infarction, Type 1 diabetes mellitus, venous thrombosis neonatal, and vertebral artery thrombosis among 1,246 other medical conditions following vaccination.

“This is a bombshell,” said Children’s Health Defense (CHD) president and general counsel Mary Holland. “At least now we know why the FDA and Pfizer wanted to keep this data under wraps for 75 years. These findings should put an immediate end to the Pfizer COVID vaccines. The potential for serious harm is very clear, and those injured by the vaccines are prohibited from suing Pfizer for damages.”

The U.S. government has already purchased 50 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine intended for children under five years of age to be delivered by April 30, 2022 although the FDA has yet to grant an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for this age group. The risk of serious injury or death from COVID to healthy children is practically nil and so far, the vaccine is not effective when used in young children.

According to The Guardian, “Pfizer made nearly $37bn (£27bn) in sales from its Covid-19 vaccine last year – making it one of the most lucrative products in history – and has forecast another bumper year in 2022, with a big boost coming from its Covid-19 pill Paxlovid.” President Biden advertised Paxlovid in his State of the Union address on Tuesday, the same day the Pfizer data was released to the public. “We’re launching the ‘Test to Treat’ initiative so people can get tested at a pharmacy, and if they’re positive, receive antiviral pills on the spot at no cost,” Biden said during his speech.

From mid-December, 2020 through February 18, 2022, the U.S. government’s database, the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), has received 1,134,984 reports of adverse events, including 24,402 deaths, following COVID vaccination. Additionally, there have been 4,021 cases of myocarditis and pericarditis in the U.S. with 2,475 cases associated with Pfizer, 1,364 cases with Moderna and 171 cases with J&J’s COVID vaccine. These include 643 reports of myocarditis and pericarditis in children aged 12 to 17.

“It would be criminal to expose infants and young children to this extremely risky product,” said Holland. “VAERS data show the catastrophic health impacts the vaccine is having on millions of people, yet Pfizer and other vaccine makers are raking in billions of dollars with no fear of being held accountable for injuries and deaths from their vaccines.”

The FDA’s attempt to suppress these data in support of the pharmaceutical industry’s bottom line isn’t a new phenomenon in this country’s public health system. For more information on pharmaceutical corruption and the tight relationship the industry has with government regulatory agencies, read The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health by CHD Chair and lead counsel Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

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Children’s Health Defense is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Its mission is to end childhood health epidemics by working aggressively to eliminate harmful exposures, hold those responsible accountable, and establish safeguards to prevent future harm. For more information, visit ChildrensHealthDefense.org.

March 4, 2022 Posted by | Deception | , , | 2 Comments

Putin: Crazy Like a Fox

By Scott Ritter | Consortium News | March 2, 2022

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine goes on, the world wonders what the reason was behind such a precipitous act. The pro-Ukraine crowd has put forth a narrative constructed around the self-supporting themes of irrationality on the part of a Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and his post-Cold War fantasies of resurrecting the former Soviet Union.

This narrative ignores that, far from acting on a whim, the Russian president is working from a playbook that he initiated as far back as 2007, when he addressed the Munich Security Conference and warned the assembled leadership of Europe of the need for a new security framework to replace existing unitary system currently in place, built as it was around a trans-Atlantic alliance (NATO) led by the United States.

Moreover, far from seeking the reconstitution of the former Soviet Union, Putin is simply pursuing a post-Cold War system which protects the interests and security of the Russian people, including those who, through no fault of their own, found themselves residing outside the borders of Russia following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In this age of politicized narrative shaping, which conforms to the demands of domestic political imperatives as opposed to geopolitical reality, fact-based logic is not in vogue. For decades now, the Russian leadership has been confronting a difficult phenomenon where Western democracies, struggling to deal with serious fractures derived from their own internal weakness, produce political leadership lacking in continuity of focus and purpose in foreign and national security relations.

Consistent Leadership

Whereas Russia has had the luxury of having consistent leadership for the past two decades, and can look to another decade or more of the same, Western leadership is transient in nature. One need only reflect on the fact that Putin has, in his time in office, dealt with five U.S. presidents who, because of the alternating nature of the political parties occupying the White House, have produced policies of an inconsistent and contradictory nature.

The White House is held hostage to the political constraints imposed by the reality of domestic partisan politics. “It’s the economy, stupid” resonates far more than any fact-based discussion about the relevance of post-Cold War NATO. What passes for a national discussion on the important issues of foreign and national security are, more often than not, reduced to pithy phrases. The complexities of a balanced dialogue are replaced by a good-versus-evil simplicity more readily digested by an electorate where potholes and tax rates matter more than geopolitics.

Rather than try to explain to the American people the historical roots of Putin’s concerns with an expanding NATO membership, or the impracticalities associated with any theoretical reconstitution of the former Soviet Union, the U.S. political elite instead define Putin as an autocratic dictator (he is not) possessing grandiose dreams of a Russian-led global empire (no such dreams exist).

It is impossible to reason with a political counterpart whose policy formulations need to conform with ignorance-based narratives. Russia, confronted with the reality that neither the U.S. nor NATO were willing to engage in a responsible discussion about the need for a European security framework which transcended the inherent instability of an expansive NATO seeking to encroach directly on Russia’s borders, took measures to change the framework in which such discussions would take place.

Russia had been seeking to create a neutral buffer between it and NATO through agreements which would preclude NATO membership for Ukraine and distance NATO combat power from its borders by insisting the alliance’s military-technical capabilities be withdrawn behind NATO’s boundaries as they existed in 1997. The U.S. and NATO rejected the very premise of such a dialogue.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine must be evaluated within this context. By invading Ukraine, Russia is creating a new geopolitical reality which revolves around the creation of a buffer of allied Slavic states (Belarus and Ukraine) that abuts NATO in a manner like the Cold War-era frontier represented by the border separating East and West Germany.

Russia has, by redeploying the 1st Guards Tank Army onto the territory of Belarus, militarized this buffer, creating the conditions for the kind of standoff that existed during the Cold War. The U.S. and NATO will have to adjust to this new reality, spending billions to resurrect a military capability that has atrophied since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Here’s the punchline — the likelihood that Europe balks at a resumption of the Cold War is high. And when it does, Russia will be able to exchange the withdrawal of its forces from Belarus and Ukraine in return for its demands regarding NATO’s return to the 1997 boundaries.

Vladimir Putin may, in fact, be crazy — crazy like a fox.

Scott Ritter is a former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD.

March 4, 2022 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | 1 Comment

Understanding the Ukraine Crisis From the Last Free Enclave in Europe – Outside of Russia and Belarus, That Is

By Aleksandar Pavic | Strategic Culture Foundation | March 3, 2022

To any Serb who has not lost his mind or has just become numb from three decades of relentless anti-Serbian propaganda and lies emanating from the “free and democratic” West’s power centers and media – the speed and totalitarian scope of anti-Russian measures and the intensity of anti-Russian propaganda censorship that has captured the West cannot come as a surprise. As Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic stated a few days before the beginning of Russia’s denazification and demilitarization campaign in the Ukraine, about 85% of Serbs are “always” on the side of Russia. Even as Serbia has, over the past several days, come under immense Western pressure as the lone independent enclave in Europe, a sort of a West Berlin of the new multipolar world in the making, surrounded by NATO and/or EU countries that have been, with varying degrees of voluntarity, sucked into the ongoing anti-Russian hysteria and the accompanying sanctions, closing of airspace to Russian planes, etc.

The reason is simple, even if one sets aside the centuries-old spiritual, ethnic and just plain fraternal ties between the two peoples. For the Serbs were, so to speak, the canaries in the coal mine in the years that followed George Bush Senior’s proclamation of a “new world order.” Early on after the fall of the Berlin Wall, at the beginning of the 1990s, while innocents and just plain people of good will were still enamored with the announced “end of history” and the glorious triumph of “liberal democracy,” in the Serbian parts of Yugoslavia, we were experiencing, firsthand, something completely different, dark and ominous. We were witnessing the gradual return of pure, cynical power politics, only this time couched in the clothing of politically correct, sugarcoated homilies invoking “human rights,” “democracy,” “European integration” and “peace,” which, as it soon enough turned out, served as a mere “liberal” fog of war, as a preparatory rhetorical, diplomatic and media artillery fire for legitimizing the West’s self-anointed right to define what is good and what is not and to, on the basis of the newly prescribed definitions, interfere and expand its purely pragmatic, base interests wherever it could. The world was the victorious West’s oyster, “democracy expansion” its new quasi-religion, putting a moral veneer on its newest geopolitical outreach, a modernized version of the “white man’s burden” couched in the newfangled terminology of a supposedly post-ideological era.

Thus, during the violent dismemberment of Yugoslavia, its chief external instigators and facilitators – led by Germany and Austria, with essential help from the U.S. ambassador to Yugoslavia – could, thanks to their vast domination of the media-informational space, present themselves as “peace brokers” and, even more sickening, as moral arbiters. The new-old expansionist West could portray itself to the uninformed and the gullible as some sort of force for good, while painting the enemy – the Serbs then, the Russians today – as evil incarnate. It was on the ashes of the Western-fomented destruction of Yugoslavia that the myth of “indispensable NATO”, “benevolent EU” and the “good West” received much of their subsequent affirmation and post-Cold War soft power. And therein lies much of the reason why Russia’s – and not only Russia’s – endless polite requests and pleas to halt the North Atlantic military pact’s steady expansion to the east, were not taken seriously, or at least seriously enough, by a critical mass of those who had no direct contact with the Western wolves in sheep’s clothing, like the Serbs (and the Syrians, Libyans, Iraqis, Afghans, Yemenis, Somalis, Venezuelans, etc.) did. Simply put, the West was only starting to spend the huge surplus moral value it had accrued as victor of a global struggle with an “evil empire,” the chinks in the (artificially manufactured) armor were still too microscopic for the ordinary, inexperienced, well-meaning eye to detect.

Even NATO’s illegal bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in spring of 1999, in the name of “prevention of genocide” in Serbia’s historic and sacred Kosovo province – of which no evidence has ever been presented over the ensuing 23 years – did not awaken the critical mass of Western public opinion and decision-makers necessary to reexamine the wisdom and necessity of continuing on the path of, essentially, a new Drang nach Osten (however, seeing what happened with Trump, much later in the game, it’s beyond obvious that election outcomes and decision-making in the West have been captured by the military-industrial complex even then, just as Eisenhower had warned back in 1961) .

It did, however, finally awaken Moscow, opening the way to Vladimir Putin’s ascendance to Russia’s highest office on the last day of that fateful year. Like the Serbs, the Russians still remembered the true horrors of the last world war and could recognize the all-too-familiar patterns far more easily than most on the European continent. Unfortunately, Moscow could not do much about them initially, other than to ceaselessly warn, beginning with Munich in early 2007, ask for a general reassessment and renegotiation of common European security and – aware that its tactful warnings, suggestions and proposals were being blithely ignored in the key Western capitals – rearm and prepare itself for the inevitable. Which finally came with the collective West’s refusal to talk about Ukraine’s neutrality and the halting of NATO’s further expansion, in parallel with the Ukrainian puppet president’s raising of the threat of Ukraine becoming a nuclear state.

Why would Moscow agree to the very real possibility of nuclear missiles deployed at its borders, which could reach it in 7-8 minutes (and, in the case of future hypersonic missiles, in 5-6 minutes)? Why would it trust NATO’s (true) power centers, whose leading figures had assured it that not one further inch would be taken to the east as the Warsaw pact self-dissolved – and then proceeded to do precisely the opposite?

So, no, the endless verbal assurances and endless empty talk of the past three decades would no longer work, as all Russia had gotten out of it was a hostile, Axis-like alliance at its borders and a campaign of steadily rising demonization that had, of late, in many aspects exceeded that experienced by the U.S.S.R. at the height of the Cold War. When threatened with nuclear missiles under its nose in Cuba, the U.S. was willing to launch nuclear war to prevent it. Russia has threatened no such thing.

A day after the beginning of the Russian demilitarization and denazification campaign, Serbia’s president announced Serbia’s official position regarding the situation in Ukraine, as outlined in the conclusions of the Serbian National Security Council. In essence, Serbia’s position is that it respects Ukraine’s territorial integrity as it respects the territorial integrity of all states in accordance with the UN Charter and the Helsinki Act of 1975, that it considers the violation of the territorial integrity of any state, including Ukraine “very wrong,” but that it will not impose sanctions against the Russian Federation.

It is enough just to look at a current political map of Europe to see the significance, courage and difficulty of Serbia’s decision. Serbia and neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) are islands in the NATO sea that surrounds them – and BiH is not a NATO member only due to the opposition of the Serbs in that country, led by the Serbian member of the BiH Presidency, Milorad Dodik. In addition, all the surrounding states have joined the Western condemnations of Russia’s intervention in Ukraine and have joined or voiced support for the newest sanctions imposed on Russia, including the EU’s closure of air space to Russian planes.

As expected, over the past few days, as testified by Vucic himself, Serbia has been subjected to “intense” Western pressure to join the sanctions and condemnations front against Russia. The EU Parliament Rapporteur for Serbia, Vladimir Bilchik has already stated that Serbia’s decision not to join the EU’s sanctions against Russia is a “defining foreign policy decision for much broader relations between the EU and Serbia.” Former Swedish foreign and prime minister and the first High Representative for BiH Carl Bildt Tweeted that Serbia has “de facto disqualified itself from the EU accession process,” as new members are expected to share in the EU’s “fundamental values and interests.” European Commission spokespeople Ana Pisonero and Eric Mamer have also voiced expectations that Serbia would join the EU sanctions policy.

These are all rather ominous words – and not because anyone in Serbia, other than a handful of well-paid diehards and hopeless cases, truly believes that the country will ever be admitted to the self-proclaimed “most successful peace project in human history” (which expressly approved the sending of fighter jets to neo-Nazi “democrats” in Ukraine), but because the out-of-control Western elites’ “either you’re with us or against us” mentality is certain to find ways to make its displeasure known to all dissidents. Especially to an encircled, friendly-to-Russia enclave that stubbornly refuses to join the anti-Russian hysteria being fanned all over the Western “liberal” landscape. After all, Serbia was viciously and illegally bombed by NATO in 1999 for not voluntarily agreeing to its own occupation by the alliance of “democratic values.” Since then, the alliance has gained 11 more members and about a thousand kilometers to the east. So, we shall wait and see in the coming days and weeks what practical measures of punishment or censure will be applied by the EU (and NATO) against Serbia, which has been an official candidate for EU membership since 2012 and is, thus, obliged to gradually harmonize its policies, including foreign policy, with the “peace loving” union.

Russia has shown appreciation and understanding for Serbia’s position. In his reaction to Serbia’s official stance, the Russian ambassador in Belgrade stated that Russia “understands that Serbia is being pressured and does not ask anything of Serbia,” being well aware of the mutual respect and trust that exist between President Vucic and Russia’s President Putin, that Serbia “respects Russia’s national interest,” and that Russia is “at peace” with Serbia’s position and its foreign policy.

In addition, as stated in the National Security Council conclusions, Serbia was itself a victim of Western sanctions during the 1990s and, even more importantly, aggression on the part of 19 NATO states in 1999 precisely for defending its own territorial integrity. In other words, Serbia is not only refusing to join Western sanctions against a traditional friend and ally but also to be a part of traditional Western double standards, which it has felt on its own skin both in the past and in the present. Towards that end, the speaker of the Serbian parliament, Ivica Dacic, clearly stated that, unlike the rest of “democratic” Europe, Serbia would not join in the “totalitarian” methods and close or censor either Sputnik or RT. So, as things stand, Sputnik’s last non-Russian European outpost now sits in Belgrade, which is, nevertheless, still not sufficiently “democratic” to pass muster with the free-thinking bureaucrats in Brussels

On that same tangent, because you can never have too much trans-Atlantic hypocrisy, the U.S. embassy in Belgrade also reacted to Serbia’s position regarding the Russian intervention in Ukraine by Tweeting that the U.S. “salute Serbia’s and President Aleksandar Vucic’s repeated position of support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity, which was violated by Russia’s illegal and completely unprovoked attacks.”

Aside from the brazen twisting and pure invention in which the U.S. embassy engaged – as no Serbian official has used any remotely harsh words to describe Russia’s intervention – American diplomats are conveniently ignoring the fact that their own country has been consistently and aggressively violating Serbia’s own territorial integrity since February 2008, when the U.S. recognized the independence of Serbia’s historical and sacred province of Kosovo (Kosovo and Metohija is the full name of the province, in accordance with the Serbian constitution). And, of course, except for the 5 EU states that have refused to recognize the secession of so-called Kosovo from Serbia (Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Spain and Slovakia) – the rest of the EU, headed by its most powerful members (Germany, France, Italy and the Benelux countries), is also being its usual hypocritical self in expecting Serbia to condemn violations of other’s territories when the majority of its own member states have also recognized the violation of Serbia’s territorial integrity by recognizing “Kosovo” and, indeed, actively promoting its “independence” which, in practice, is non-existent, as the territory is a black hole of drug and human trafficking, whose politicians take orders from abroad, as well as home to a large U.S. military base built on land stolen from Serbs.

The Serbian leadership’s initial decision met with the support of the great majority of the Serbian public, which is, nevertheless, well aware of Serbia’s difficult position. However, on March 2, Serbia joined the majority in the UN General Assembly and condemned the Russian “aggression against Ukraine.” In a rather sorry display of public self-pity, Vucic tried to justify the vote at a press conference by explaining that Serbia still refused calls to join the anti-Russian sanctions, as well as resisting new Western pressures to nationalize Russian-owned property in Serbia. However, his popularity will suffer as a result, so it’s still a win-win for Western interests in Belgrade, because they always prefer weakened leaderships, as they are more pliable and, thus, sensitive to outside pressure.

Serbia’s current position is eerily reminiscent of the country’s position in the spring of 1941. At that time as well, the Serbian elite in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was the lone voice of opposition in the country against joining the Axis powers, even though Yugoslavia itself was, along with Greece, surrounded by countries that had fallen under the occupation or political domination of the Axis powers. As a result of the coup of March 27, 1941, organized by Serbian officers opposed to a pact with the Axis, Yugoslavia was attacked by Germany and its allies on April 6, 1941, the country itself dismembered and occupied, and the Serbian population subjected to political repression and genocidal annihilation over the next four years. Although the Serbs organized two large guerilla liberation fronts, it was only with the aid of the Soviet Red Army that the territory of Yugoslavia was fully liberated in the fall of 1944. Alone among the former peoples that made up Yugoslavia (which also included Croats, Slovenes and Slavic Muslims, along with substantial Albanian and Hungarian minorities), the Serbs still remember this, just as many Russians remember that only the Serbs refused to join Nazi German troops on the Eastern Front against the U.S.S.R.

Might this be, in Yogi Berra’s immortal words, déjà vu all over again?

March 4, 2022 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , , | Leave a comment

Western anti-Russian agenda threatens UN’s existence

By Lucas Leiroz | March 4, 2022

Amid the abusive wave of sanctions against Russia due to the special operation in Ukraine, some specific rumors have caught the attention of experts, suggesting that there are plans on the part of the Western states to simply pressure to remove Russia’s permanent seat on the UN Security Council (UNSC). This kind of illegal maneuver is a real coup attempt and could lead to the end of the UN.

Apparently, an effort is under way to diplomatically isolate Moscow and even challenge Russia’s right to a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, alleging that Russia took the seat of the former Soviet Union in 1991 without proper authorization – which in fact is nothing more than a public “justification” to promote such an illegal maneuver.

Currently, there are reports circulating on several websites alleging that Western diplomats, mainly American and British, are starting a research work to investigate whether there is a legal possibility of removing Russia from its position on the UNSC within the current international documents. Obviously, this type of “research” is useless and there is no possibility of carrying out such a maneuver within the limits of public international law. In practice, when reporting that diplomats are investigating this kind of maneuver, it is only possible to conclude that they are somehow conspiring to carry out a coup against Moscow at the United Nations.

This absolutely absurd idea has become a common discourse in the Western media recently. This is due to the fact that the West has become furious with the Russian veto on the American resolution against the operation in Ukraine, voted on at the UNSC last week. Western political analysts began to say that “administrative reform” was needed at the UN to prevent “aggressor nations” from vetoing sanctions against themselves. Shortly thereafter, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelesnky, during one of his online speeches, claimed that Kiev “demands” Russian removal from the Council, strengthening Western discourse.

Quite unexpectedly, diplomats seem to have paid attention to this utterly unrealistic idea suggested by Zelensky and some ideologically fanatical analysts, initiating the current plan, in which Western officials plan to form a legal argument about the “illegitimacy” of the Russian presence on the Council. It is expected that some document will soon emerge containing various distortions and arbitrary interpretations of the norms of international law, just in order to justify the idea of removing Russia.

It is questionable whether the analysts and diplomats involved in this type of maneuver are taking into account all the consequences of this attitude. This irresponsible, illegal, rude and anti-diplomatic act could simply generate the biggest crisis in international relations since the Second World War, directly threatening the stability of global peace.

The very existence of the UN will lose its meaning without the Russian presence in its Security Council, considering the country’s military and nuclear importance. If that happens, the Russian attitude may simply be to abandon the UN, as it will have become a mere pro-Western international organization. China would certainly take the Russian side in this dispute as it would also have its interests affected by the coup in the Security Council. Russia and China would perhaps form a new organization together. And that would be the end of the UN as the regulator of world peace. The UN would have the same end of its predecessor league and this is something that everyone wants to avoid – except the Western officials who are planning the coup against Russia.

Obviously, administrative reform is needed at the UN and until a few days ago there was a consensus on the need to expand the Security Council’s permanent seats, including new emerging states of geopolitical relevance, such as India, Pakistan, Brazil, among others. Trying to reduce the Council is absurd considering that the world is increasingly multipolar. This would be a mere attempt on the part of NATO to carry out a global coup d’état, but instead of controlling the world, it would only bring about the end of the UN.

It is necessary that good sense prevails in the UN, in order for such an illogical project to be promptly rejected, so that the organization survives. The attempt to “cancel” Russia cannot go beyond the limits of international law. It is essential that the main world powers are on the Security Council and that the most important of them have veto power to prevent the interests of one side from prevailing over those of the other. It is this structure that guarantees world peace. It is necessary to increase the permanent seats, giving this right to new world powers, adapting the UN’s structure to the multipolar world. Any attempt to the contrary threatens the very existence of the organization.

Lucas Leiroz is a researcher in Social Sciences at the Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; geopolitical consultant.

March 4, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Russian MoD responds to Zaporozhskaya nuclear power station incident

RT | March 4, 2022

The spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defense, Major General Igor Konashenkov, issued an official statement on Friday morning concerning the shootout and fire that had occurred at Ukraine’s Zaporozhskaya nuclear power plant earlier the same day.

“Last night, an attempt to carry out a horrible provocation was made by Kiev’s nationalist regime on the area surrounding the station,” he announced, claiming the Russian troops patrolling the territory had been attacked by a Ukrainian sabotage group.

According to the spokesman, the Ukrainian forces had attacked Russian soldiers at about 2am local time, opening heavy fire from the training facility next to the power station in order to “provoke a retaliatory strike on the building.”

The Russian patrol had neutralized the group’s firing points, but the saboteurs had then set fire to the training facility as they retreated, Konashenkov said. The blaze was put out by the Ukrainian State Emergency Service’s firefighters. “At the moment of provocation, no staff members were at the facility,” he noted.

In response to the Russian Ministry of Defense’s statement, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky denied the provocation claims and accused Russian forces of having staged the attack.

The mayor of the nearby town of Energodar had originally reported that the fire had been caused by Russian shelling, and that the blaze had engulfed the power plant itself, but the emergency services dismissed the latter claim.

It was reported on Monday that the facility had been captured by Russian forces, and that staff were keeping operations going and monitoring radiation levels. The International Atomic Energy Agency has offered assurances that there has been no change in those levels in the wake of the incident.

Russia began its military offensive in Ukraine last week, claiming its invasion was aimed at “demilitarizing” and “denazifying” the government in Kiev and stopping what it called the “genocide” in the two breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk. Ukraine has accused Moscow of an unprovoked offensive, with the US and its NATO allies following suit and imposing severe economic sanctions.

March 4, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Nuclear Power | , | 1 Comment

Ukraine War reveals ugly face of Western Europe’s anti-Russian racism

By Paul Antonopoulos | March 4, 2022

No matter one’s opinion of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the war in Ukraine, it appears that the famous “tolerant liberal West” are using the war to express their most disgusting Russophobic racism and dehumanization of the Russian people. With Russian troops pouring into Ukraine, Western liberals excitedly used this as an opportunity to cancel Russian art, history and cultural contributions to humanity. This is occurring at humiliating proportions and has a more dangerous dimension as even simple Russian shop owners in Western Europe are being targeted in racist attacks.

Russia has already been stripped from hosting the Champions League football final and Formula One’s Russian Grand Prix – with much hypocrisy. The Grand Prix did not condemn Russia but cited the “impossibility” of holding the race under the current circumstances. It now appears the event will be hosted in Turkey, where there is no “impossibility” for race organizers despite the country’s illegal occupation of Cyprus, Syria and Iraq.

This was followed by Russian and Belarussian athletes being banned from competing in the 2022 Beijing Winter Paralympics. Although the International Paralympic Committee [IPC] announced that competitors from both countries would be permitted to take part, albeit under a neutral banner, this was not satisfactory for Ukrainian athletes who issued a joint statement accusing Paralympic bosses of “choosing bloodshed over principle.” Apparently for the Ukrainian athletes, even just the very presence of a Russian or Belarussian – no matter their political positioning or opinion of the Ukraine War, is enough to warrant complaints in evident racism. None-the-less, the IPC succumbed to the pressure and even flagless Russians cannot compete now.

However, it is not only in the sporting arena where Russians are being embargoed, targeted and restricted.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said Russia would no longer be allowed to participate in this year’s Eurovision song contest; Britain’s Royal Opera House cancelled a planned residency by Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet, one of the oldest and most prestigious ballet companies in the world; and the Ukrainian Film Academy has called for an international boycott of Russian cinema, including a ban on Russian films at international festivals.

Although banning Russians from participating in sports competitions and cancelling current events is an immediate response to the War in Ukraine, there are much darker undertones that aim to even smear and cancel “dead Russians.” What is meant by this?

On March 2, Italian journalist Alessandra Bocchi tweeted: “Italy’s main University in Milan just banned teaching Fyodor Dostoevsky because he’s a Russian writer. Dostoevsky was sent to a Siberian labour camp for reading banned books in Tsarist Russia. We are reaching levels of hatred and stupidity that I thought were never possible.” At time of publication, nearly 35,000 people had retweeted her, easily one of the most viral social media posts of the day.

The University of Milano-Bicocca informed the Italian writer Paolo Nori on Tuesday night that his course on the author of Crime and Punishment had been cancelled “to avoid any controversy, in a moment of high tension.” Nori on an Instagram live video read the email and slammed the university’s decision as “ridiculous”, saying “even dead Russians” are now the target of censorship in Italy. After the justified backlash, the course on Dostoevsky was approved to go ahead as originally planned and the rector of the university said he would be meeting Nori next week “for a moment of reflection.”

However, it is not only sports stars, entertainers, artists and dead authors who are being targeted, but even Russian students in France, Belgium, Czechia and other European Union countries where they have been expelled. The irony is that many of these Russian students are liberal and anti-Putin but are now being driven away by Western liberals from the liberal West.

This demonstrates that the so-called tolerant liberal West does not only have a hatred for Putin, but also for all Russian people, culture and art. After many years of normalizing the demonization of Russians in the media, the Ukraine War has provided the perfect opportunity for Russophobes to openly express their racism knowing that they will face little recourse.

None-the-less, no matter one’s opinion of Putin and the Ukraine War, this crisis has exposed the ugly head of Russophobic racism, something that has culminated for years in Western media and its political landscape, particularly during and after the so-called “Russiagate” incident.

Paul Antonopoulos is an independent geopolitical analyst.

March 4, 2022 Posted by | Russophobia | , | 2 Comments