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Poland ready to deploy all their MIG-29 jets to the Rammstein Air Base

Statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland regarding the statement by the US Secretary of State on providing airplanes to Ukraine – 08.03.2022

The authorities of the Republic of Poland, after consultations between the President and the Government, are ready to deploy – immediately and free of charge – all their MIG-29 jets to the Ramstein Air Base and place them at the disposal of the Government of the United States of America.

At the same time, Poland requests the United States to provide us with used aircraft with corresponding operational capabilities. Poland is ready to immediately establish the conditions of purchase of the planes.

The Polish Government also requests other NATO Allies – owners of MIG-29 jets – to act in the same vein.

March 8, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

Are Vaccine Passports About to Go Totally Global?

By Nick Corbishley – naked capitalism – March 1, 2022

As the world is transfixed by the escalating war in Ukraine and its economic fallout, big moves concerning vaccine passports are taking place behind closed doors.

An article published last Thursday by Politico, citing a source from the so-called Vaccine Credential Initiative (VCI™), reported that the World Health Organization is poised to convene member States and representatives of Covid-19 immunization credential technology groups to recognize different vaccine certificates across nations and regions. In other words, as countries around the world drop almost all of their COVID-19 public health measures, it looks like digital vaccine passports are going to be made not just universal but permanent (as I warned would happen in April 2021):

The WHO is bringing together the groups to develop a “trust framework” that would allow countries to verify whether vaccine credentials are legitimate, said Brian Anderson, chief digital health physician at MITRE and a co-founder of the VCI.

Why it matters: The effort would aid international travel by allowing proof of vaccination to be more easilyshared and verified, Anderson said. Many countries and regions have different standards for proof of inoculation, creating confusion for travelers and officials.

“It’s piecemeal, not coordinated and done nation to nation,” Anderson said. “It can be a real challenge.”

The WHO would say only that news on the topic should be coming “soon.”

The VCI is behind SMART Health Cards, which have become the de facto standard for digital vaccine credentials in the U.S., with dozens of states developing or adopting the technology. The group will participate in the initiative.

The Vaccine Credentials Initiative (VCI™) is one of a number of private partnerships working to harmonize vaccine passport standards and systems at a global level. The VCI™ is leading the development and implementation of the open-source SMART Health Card Framework and specifications. Its partners include U.S. government contractor MITRE Corporation, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Oracle, Sales Force and Mayo Clinic.

According to its own website, the VCI™ has helped to implement SMART health cards in 15 jurisdictions: the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, Hong Kong, Israel, the Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Senegal, Qatar, Rwanda, North Macedonia and Aruba. It has also helped to “quietly” roll out digital vaccine certificates across 21 US states, as Forbes recently reported:

While the United States government has not issued a federal digital vaccine pass, a national standard has nevertheless emerged. To date, 21 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico offer accessibility to the SMART Health Card, a verifiable digital proof of vaccination developed through the Vaccination Credential Initiative (VCI), a global coalition of public and private stakeholders…

And very soon, at least four more states will be rolling out access to SMART Health Cards. “We’ve seen a notable uptick in states that have officially launched public portals where individuals can get verifiable vaccination credentials in the form of SMART Health Cards with a QR code,” says Dr. Brian Anderson, co-founder of the VCI and chief digital health physician at MITRE.

Another global partnership seeking to standardize vaccine passports is the Commons Project Foundation (CPJ), which was founded by the Rockefeller Foundation and is supported by the World Economic Forum.

There is also the Good Health Pass Collaborative, which was founded last year by Mastercard, IBM, Grameen Foundation and the International Chamber of Commerce. The organization is the brainchild of the world’s largest digital identity advocacy group, the New York-based ID2020 Alliance, which itself was set up in 2016 with seed money from Microsoft, Accenture, PwC, the Rockefeller Foundation, Cisco and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The ID2020 Alliance’s goal is to “enable access to digital identity for every person on the planet.”

WHO Changing Course

This is all happening as the general messaging around vaccine passports in most countries is that they are on their way out, at least for domestic purposes, as we all return to some semblance of normality. The vaccine passports are moving to the backburner — at least that’s what we are being told. But at the same time, governments, companies and supranational governing entities are working behind the scenes to extend the use of vaccine passports for all international travel, in the process making them a permanent feature of the global legal landscape.

According to the Politico article, the World Health Organization, after publicly opposing vaccine passports for more than a year, is ready to lend its endorsement. If true, it represents a sea change in policy.

Just over a month ago, at the tenth meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the WHO reiterated its opposition to vaccine passports, urging states “NOT… to require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 for international travel as the only pathway or condition permitting international travel given limited global access and inequitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.”

Now, just over a month later, that opposition appears to be crumbling — and not just according to VCI™. On February 23, T-Systems, the IT services arm of Deutsche Telekom, announced in a press release that it had been chosen by the WHO as an “industry partner” in the introduction of digital vaccine passports as a standard procedure not only for COVID-19 vaccines but also “other vaccinations such as polio or yellow fever, across 193 countries” as well as presumably other vaccines that come on line in the future:

The World Health Organization (WHO) will make it easier for its member states to introduce digital vaccination certificates in the future. The WHO is setting up a gateway for this purpose. It enables QR codes on electronic vaccination certificates to be checked across national borders. It is intended to serve as a standard procedure for other vaccinations such as polio or yellow fever after COVID-19. The WHO has selected T-Systems as an industry partner to develop the vaccination validation services.

Garrett Mehl, Unit Head, WHO Department of Digital Health and Innovation, said: “COVID-19 affects everyone. Countries will therefore only emerge from the pandemic together. Vaccination certificates that are tamper-proof and digitally verifiable build trust. WHO is therefore supporting member states in building national and regional trust networks and verification technology. The WHO’s gateway service also serves as a bridge between regional systems. It can also be used as part of future vaccination campaigns and home-based records.”

Adel Al-Saleh, Member of the Deutsche Telekom AG Board of Management and CEO T-Systems, explained: “Corona has a grip on the world. Digitization keeps the world running. Digital vaccination certificates like the EU’s are key to this. We are pleased to be able to support the WHO in the fight against the pandemic. Health is a strategic growth area for T-Systems. Winning this contract underscores our commitment to the industry.”

The timing of the WHO’s purported policy reversal is certainly curious given that back in April 2021 the organization said it was not yet ready to commit to vaccine passports because it was not yet clear whether the vaccines actually prevented transmission of the virus.

“We at WHO are saying at this stage we would not like to see the vaccination passport as a requirement for entry or exit because we are not certain at this stage that the vaccine prevents transmission,” WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said at a UN news briefing. “There are all those other questions, apart from the question of discrimination against the people who are not able to have the vaccine for one reason or another.”

Now that we know for sure that the COVID-19 vaccines do not prevent transmission of COVID-19 in the Omicron era (and recent public health data from Scotland, whose disclosure the Scottish government has now terminated, England and Denmark suggest they may actually exacerbate it), the WHO apparently feels that now is an ideal time to endorse vaccine passports for global travel. This is happening less than two months after the region of the world with the highest per-capita take up of vaccine passports, Europe, was the epicenter of the Omicron wave. It’s also happening as concerns are quickly growing about the safety of the mRNA vaccines for COVID-19.

Closing All Borders for the Unvaccinated

If the WHO does reverse policy on vaccine passports and its 194 member countries follow the organization’s new guidelines and implement vaccine passport systems, it will presumably mean that anyone who is not up to date with their vaccine schedule will not be able to cross international borders in the future. And that would essentially mean the end of two fundamental ethical principles underpinning modern medicine: bodily autonomy (the right to make decisions over one’s own life and future); and bodily integrity (the right to self-ownership and self-determination over one’s own body). In other words, if we ever want to travel again we will no longer have any say over what goes inside out body.

And all this for the sake of non-sterilizing vaccines that offer virtually no protection against transmission or infection of COVID-19 and whose safety profile is looking increasingly suspect. There are plenty of other reasons why we should worry about the mandatory application of vaccine passports for global travel, including:

  • The threat they pose to our privacy;
  • The additional abilities and powers they grant to governments and corporations to track, trace and control the population;
  • The not insignificant risk that our most personal data, including our health information and biometric identifiers, could be hacked, leaked or simply shared with third parties;
  • The polarizing, discriminatory and segregational effects vaccine passports are already having across societies, affecting marginalized groups the most;
  • The threat they pose to many of our most basic rights and freedoms.

For the moment, the WHO’s legal framework – the so-called International Health Regulations (IHR) – does not grant the organization inspection, policing or enforcement powers against its member States. In other words, it cannot force member States to follow its guidelines. But that could also be about to change. As the Politico article reports, talks are under way to establish a “global pandemic treaty” that will give the WHO more powers to “strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.”

The U.S. government, the WHO’s biggest donor, “has been involved in backdoor discussions with the WHO on the treaty and how to strengthen the organization,” notes the article. The proposed amendments “would require swift action by countries and the WHO during an emergency and give the WHO greater powers to act during a crisis.” In other words, the WHO  could soon be given much sharper teeth when it comes to shaping global health policy.

This process officially began on December 1, 2021 when the 194 members of the World Health Organization (WHO) agreed to draft and negotiate a convention, agreement or other international instrument granting the WHO greater powers. According to the European Council, “an intergovernmental negotiating body will now be constituted and hold its first meeting by 1 March 2022 (to agree on ways of working and timelines) and its second by 1 August 2022 (to discuss progress on a working draft). It will then deliver a progress report to the 76th World Health Assembly in 2023, with the aim to adopt the instrument by 2024.”

As I note in my upcoming book Scanned: Why Vaccine Passports and Digital ID Will Mean the End of Privacy and Personal Freedomwhile there is a case to be made for establishing pandemic control processes and standards at a global level, especially given how badly many national governments have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and how poorly they have coordinated their containment efforts, giving so much power to a largely unaccountable, heavily conflicted institution comes with huge risks:

[A] centralized global pandemic response under the auspices of an organization like the WHO will mean that health authorities will be even less answerable to local populations. One thing that is clear is that the WHO, in its current form, is not the body to do it.

The organization has already done a shoddy enough job of combatting the current pandemic. For example, it failed to recognize that the COVID-19 virus was an airborne disease until far too late. It also fought, at every step, to discourage national health authorities from using cheap, off-patent medicines… in the early treatment of COVID-19 patients. The WHO is also heavily conflicted by the donations it receives from private companies, many in the pharmaceutical industry, and private trusts, such as the Gates and Rockefeller foundations, both at the forefront of efforts to push global digital identity on the world’s population. Those donations now account for 80 percent of the organization’s funding.

It seems those companies now want more bang for their buck. The Global Business Coalition — whose members include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, BusinessEurope, the Confederation of Indian Industry and others across six continents — recently sent a letter to the WHO requesting even more of a say in the agency’s decisions. “The current pandemic represents a paradigm shift in the way governments, business, and civil society forge deep bonds to respond to emergency situations and to develop sustainable health policies,” the coalition wrote.

March 8, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 2 Comments

GoFundMe admits violence allegation from Mayor was enough to shut down speech

By Cindy Harper | Reclaim The Net | March 8, 2022

GoFundMe said it shut down the Freedom Convoy’s fundraising page because the office of the mayor told executives that the protesters were committing “violent” acts, according to testimony during a House of Commons public safety committee hearing last week.

The admission raises the alarm on the issue of how the mere accusation of violence is enough to get speech shut down.

During the hearing, GoFundMe lawyer Kim Wilford said that the company had “reached out” to Ottawa’s mayor Jim Watson’s office about the Freedom Convoy.

The mayor’s office told GoFundMe that there were “reports of harassment, violence, damage occurring.”

“Based on this credible information we made informed decisions that this campaign no longer complied with our terms of service and we removed it from the platform,” Wilford said.

However, most of the 197 arrested protesters have been charged with mischief. The two people who were arrested for uttering threats and carrying a concealed weapon were not part of the actual convoy, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.

Watson’s office claimed that before meeting with GoFundMe, on Feb. 3, fights had already broken out, residents were being harassed and masks were being ripped off citizens.”

CPC MP Doug Shipley said during the hearing, that all MPs were “given briefings” about the protests, but “nowhere ever did I see in any of the reports shared that there was violence, threatening behavior and damage and destruction.”

Canada’s Minister of Public Safety, Marco Mendicino, countered by claiming that the lack of criminal charges “doesn’t mean it [violence] did not happen.”

March 8, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 1 Comment

Timeline: The Crimean Referendum

Brutal act of military conquest, or peaceful (and popular) transition of power? Here are the facts to help you decide.

OffGuardian | March 8, 2022

In part one of our recap on the recent history of Ukraine, we looked at the chain of events that lead to the removal of President Viktor Yanukovych from power.

You can read that here.

In this second part, we will be focusing on Crimea, how the peninsula came to be a part of the nation of Ukraine, whether or not this was ever popular with the public, and how the transition back to being a part of Russia was handled.

1954

Soviet leader Nikita Kruschev signs a decree transferring Crimea from the Russian SSR to the Ukrainian SSR. His motivation for doing so is a matter of historical debate, as is the constitutionality of the decision. However, as they were all one nation at that time, the administrative decision is more of a “symbolic gesture” than anything else.

Prior to this, Crimea had been a part of Russia since 1783 when the Russian Empire took control of the Crimean Khanate following the decline in power of the Ottoman Empire.

1965

Sevastopol, Crimea’s major port city, is officially named a “Hero City” of the USSR, an honour given to 12 cities across the country to mark the 20th Victory Day. Sevastopol held against major assaults from the Axis powers in October and December of 1941, before holding out for a six month siege and finally falling to the Nazis in June of 1942.

1990

As the USSR begins to crumble, Ukraine declares itself an independent republic, beginning the process of leaving the union and taking Crimea with it.

1991

January: The Crimean government hold a referendum asking if Crimea should declare its independence from Ukraine, reform itself as the Crimean Soviet Socialist Republic (as it had been prior to 1945), and rejoin the USSR. The vote passes with 94% support, and Crimea declares independence.

February: The Ukrainian parliament recognises this independence, passing the “Law On Restoration of the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialistic Republic as part of USSR”.

September: Ukrainian parliament reverses their February decision and declares Crimea a part of Ukraine once again. There is historical debate over the legality of this decision.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and official Ukrainian independence, Crimea is no longer politically unified with Russia for the first time in over 200 years.

1992

Crimean parliament again declares itself independent as “The Republic of Crimea”, they draft their own constitution and plan a referendum on secession from Ukraine. The Ukrainian parliament refuses to acknowledge the declaration and forces the cancellation of the referendum.

As a compromise, Crimea is granted special status as an “Autonomous Republic”, and given control over its own budget and other devolved powers, as long as they add a line to their constitution designating Crimea a part of Ukraine.

1994

Newly-elected President Yuriy Meshkov of Crimea holds a referendum, asking the population of Crimea three questions, most notably:

  1. Do you support a return to the May 1992 constitution that didn’t guarantee Crimea was part of Ukraine?
  2. Do you support establishing that all Crimean citizens were entitled to dual citizenship with Russia?

All three parts of the referendum pass with at least 77% of the vote, and President Meshkov restores the old constitution. The Ukrainian government declares the referendum illegal and refuses to recognise either the results or the new constitution.

1995

Ukrainian government abolishes the post of President of Crimea, and cuts the powers of their parliament. For the rest of the year the President of Ukraine governs the peninsula by decree.

2001

The 2001 Ukrainian census records that over 60% of the population of Crimea describe themselves as ethnically Russian. In total 77% of Crimeans, and over 94% of the people of Sevastopol, reported being native Russian speakers.

2004

Following the “Orange Revolution”, and over-turning of Viktor Yanukovych’s victory in the Presidential election, leaders of Eastern Ukrainian oblasts – including Crimea – raise the issue of increased autonomy and even secession from the country. A conference of politicians from the Donbas region call for a referendum on federalization, but are ignored.

2006

A US Navy ship docks at the Crimean port of Feodosiya, leading to mass protests on the peninsula and a peaceful blockade of the port. Then-leader of the opposition Viktor Yanukovych claims that allowing foreign military units onto Crimea’s soil without consulting the regional parliament is a violation of both the Ukrainian and Crimean constitutions. A contemporary Radio Free Europe article notes that 55-60% of all Ukrainians oppose joining NATO.

2008

Following the Russo-Georgian war, and on the back of increased calls for Ukraine to join NATO, the BBC sends a reporter to Crimea. Their article details the strong pro-Russian feeling on the peninsula, the key part Sevastopol has played in Russia’s history, and warnings from Crimeans that “nationalists in Kiev” are trying to “force Russians out”.

A 2008 poll by the Ukrainian Centre for Economic and Political Studies found 64% of Crimeans favored secession from from Ukraine to rejoin Russia, and 55% favored increased autonomy from Kiev.

2009-2011

Between 2009 and 2011 the United Nations Development Program conducts a series of polls in Crimea on the question of Russian reunification. Every single poll returns 65-70% positive response, with another 16-25% undecided and only 9-14% favoring staying with Ukraine.

2013

A poll done by the US-based Gallup agency finds 82% of Crimeans speak only Russsian at home, and further 6% speak Russian and one other language. Only 2% report speaking only Ukrainian.

The pro-EU/pro-NATO Maidan protests begin, violence erupts in Kiev.

2014

JANUARY
27/1 – As protests intensify in Kiev and Ukraine becomes increasingly unstable, local officials in Simferopol and Sevastopol propose Crimea become a federal state, and prepare legal groundwork:

to use its right to self-determination and to exit Ukraine’s legal space in the event of a state coup, or seizure of power by force.”

28/1 – An open letter from the Sevastopol city council calls on President Yanukovych to outlaw the “extremist group” Svoboda, and invites the people of the city to form “People’s Squads” as described under Ukrainian law, and defend the border of Crimea:

It is impossible to allow specially trained and armed militants of the “Right Sector” and other pro-fascist and extremist organizations to penetrate our city and dictate their terms. We will provide reliable defense of Sevastopol. Extremism, lawlessness, banditry will not pass in the hero city.

FEBRUARY
14/2 – Yahoo News reports “Ukraine’s autonomous Crimea region leans towards Moscow “. The article notes that the Crimean parliament amended the constitution to describe Russia as a “guarantor of Crimea’s safety”, and that elected officials have asked Russia for help if the Maidan protesters should attempt to move into Crimea.

18/2 – Radio Free Europe reports on the “rise of pro-Russian separatism in Crimea”. They interview Crimean MP Sergei Shuvainikov, who claims the Ukrainian nationalists want to ban the Russian language and kill Russian culture in Ukraine.

20/2 – Crimean MP and Speaker of Parliament tells an international meeting in Moscow that Crimea “may secede form Ukraine, if the country splits”.

22/2 – Less than 24 hours after signing a peace deal, Maidan protesters storm government buildings in Kiev and take control of the country. President Yanukovych flees to Kharkiv.

In a vote that violates the consitution of Ukraine, the Rada removes Yanukovych from office for being “unable to carry out his duties”.

The same day, The Washington Post publishes this article:

“The battle for Kiev is over, is the battle for Crimea about to begin?”

23/2 – One of the first bills passed by the new government repeals the law making Russian an official state language. Neo-Naziprit leaders Oleh Tyanobohk and Dimitri Yarosh propose going further and banning both the Party of the Regions and the Ukrainian Communist Party, both traditionally political parties representing Eastern Ukraine, including Crimea.

The same day, thousands of Crimeans attend a protest in Sevastopol, chanting about re-uniting with Russia. The Guardian headlines Ukraine crisis fuels secession calls in pro-Russian south”, reporting that when the Crimean Prime Minister ruled out secession in his speech he was booed by the crowd.

26/2 – Crimean parliament meets in a special session to discuss the crisis and situation in Kiev. Thousands rally outside the building as the meeting is taking place, chanting “Russia! Russia! Russia!” and “Crimea Rise Up!”

The Parliamentary speaker emerges from the session to address the crowd, saying:

I share your alarm and worry over Crimea’s fate… We will fight for our autonomous republic to the end… Today Kiev doesn’t want to solve our problems, therefore we must unite and act decisively. The people of Crimea have enough strength. Neo-Nazism will not work in Crimea. We will not betray Crimea.”

The Irish Times reports “Many Russian-speakers worry that Ukraine’s new government will be pulled to the right by ultra-nationalist groups that played a major role in the protests”.

28/2 – In the early hours of Friday 28th February, men in fatigues bearing no insignia take control of every airport, seaport, train station and border crossing on the Crimean peninsula. They also secure all government buildings in Simferopol. These men are later revealed to be Russian troops from the bases at Sevastopol.

Kiev and their NATO backers call the troops’ presence an invasion, but Russia defends their deployment, claiming the troops are there at the invitation of both the local Crimean authorities and Viktor Yanukovych, whom they still recognise as the legitimate President of Ukraine.

Further, the Russians claim their lease agreement allowed up to 25,000 Russian military personnel to be stationed in Crimea, and they did not exceed that number.

With the peninsula effectively cut off from mainland Ukraine, a second special session of Parliament is held, during which they vote to terminate the current government and choose a new Prime Minister. They also established plans for an independence referendum to be held in May.

March
11/3 – Crimean parliament, along with the Sevastopol city council, issue a decree declaring Crimea independent.

The new Autonomous Republic of Crimea brings forward the planned referendum from May to March 16th, changing the question from one of independence to a choice between re-joining Russia or re-joining Ukraine.

12/3 – The Crimean government formally invite members from the OSCE to observe the referendum and make sure its fair. The OSCE describes the vote as “illegal”, and refuses to attend.

16/3 – The referendum goes ahead, with the ballot papers asking:

  • Do you support the reunification of Crimea with Russia with all the rights of the federal subject of the Russian Federation?
  • Do you support the restoration of the Constitution of the Republic of Crimea in 1992 and the status of the Crimea as part of Ukraine?

Though official observers from both the OSCE and UN refused to take part, the Crimean authorities claimed to have invited 190 independent observers from 23 different countries, including the majority of the nations of th EU.

Kiev, along with most western governments, claim the vote is illegitimate because it took place “at the barrel of a gun”.

The reported results are massively in favour of joining Russia, 97% vs 3% against, on an estimated turnout of 83%.

21/3 – President Vladimir Putin of Russia officially signs the law recognising Crimea as part of the Russian Federation. Street parties are held in Sevastopol and Simferopol, and all across Russia.

April
Claiming they are owed money, the Ukrainian government closes dam on North Crimea Canal, reducing flow of fresh water to the peninsula. Access to water is protected by article 29 of the Geneva convention, and its use to punish a civilian population could be a warcrime.

2015

Forbes publishes this article, headlined “One Year After Russia Annexed Crimea, Locals Prefer Moscow”, it details all the polling done by Western polling agencies since the referendum:

  • A Gallup study from June 2014 found 83% Crimeans agreed with the result of the referendum, including 94% of ethnic Russians. 74% said being part of Russia would make life better for them and their families.
  • In January 2015, a joint German-Canadian study done by GfK for “Free Crimea”, found 82% of Crimeans fully supported the referendum and thought Crimea had made the right choice, with another 11% partially supporting it and only 4% opposing it.
  • A Pew Research study from 2014 found 91% of Crimeans thought the vote was free and fair, and 88% thought Kiev should recognise the results.
  • A US government-funded study published on the Soros-backed OpenDemocracy website found 84% of Crimeans “absolutely” supported the Crimean referendum, and 88% thought Crimea was moving in the right direction.

*

So, there it is, a timeline of the key events leading to Crimea’s separation from, and evenutal reunification with, Russia. Military occupation and annexastion, or a referendum supported by the majority of the population? You decide.

We previously catalogued Ukraine’s Maidan revolution and eventual fall of Viktor Yanukovych in part 1 of this series here. In part three we will be going into Kiev’s “anti-terror” operations in Donetsk and Luhansk and the collapse into chaos and civil war.

March 8, 2022 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

Dutch internet providers block RT, Sputnik – media

RT | March 8, 2022

Several major Dutch internet providers have reportedly begun blocking websites belonging to RT English, RT UK, RT DE, RT France, RT Spanish, as well as Sputnik.

According to the ANP news outlet, the Netherlands’ Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) targeted the said Russian media, as they are on the EU’s sanctions list, which the bloc enacted in response to Moscow’s military offensive in Ukraine.

It is said that the ACM on Monday sent a list of undesirable media to internet providers,including VodafoneZiggo, KPN, and T-Mobile.

A VodafoneZiggo spokesperson told journalists that the company was indeed going to block the websites “as soon as possible, probably Tuesday,” with T-Mobile expected to comply soon as well.

KPN, while agreeing to restrict access to the Russian media, has made it clear that it is “fundamentally” against the idea of blocking any websites in general. A spokesperson for the provider clarified that KPN does not think it is up to them to “determine what is good and what is bad.” The company would want to see “net neutrality” instead.

Last Wednesday, the European Commission ruled that all RT channels, as well as Sputnik, be banned in all 27 member states over allegations of “systematic” disinformation regarding Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.

Commenting on the move, the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said that “systematic information manipulation and disinformation by the Kremlin is applied as an operational tool in its assault on Ukraine.” The official went on to claim that the Russian outlets posed a “significant and direct threat to the Union’s public order and security.”

Meta, Google, YouTube, Twitter and TikTok are complying with the ban already, not displaying RT and Sputnik’s material in the EU member states.

On February 24, Russia launched a military offensive against Ukraine, with President Putin citing the need to “demilitarize and denazify” the country as well as to prevent Kiev from being dragged into NATO. Moreover, according to the Russian president, the Ukrainian government’s policies toward the Russian-speaking population in the Donbass republics were tantamount to “genocide.” Ukraine and the West, however, suspect that the Kremlin in fact wants to install a pro-Russian puppet government in Kiev, coming up with pretexts for an aggressive and “unprovoked” war.

March 8, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Russophobia | , | 2 Comments

Who Wants War with Russia?

The neocons and their allies might be making it happen

BY PHILIP GIRALDI • UNZ REVIEW • MARCH 8, 2022

Well, the genie is well and truly out of the bottle and there is no easy way to encourage it to return. Thanks to a relentless flow of propaganda, the American public has become increasingly convinced that the United States “looks weak” and must stand up against Vladimir Putin. Richard Haass of the Council on Foreign Relations is now calling for “regime change” in Russia while Senator Robert Wicker and Congressman Adam Kinzinger as well as several former Joint Chiefs of Staff generals are demanding that the United States establish a “no fly zone” over Ukraine, which would require US destruction of Russia’s air defense capabilities and shooting down of Russian planes among other measures. If that were to occur the war could quickly turn nuclear. Other media and government “experts” are speculating that Russian President Vladimir Putin is insane with much of the other disinformation coming from Russia haters like Bill Browder and former Ambassador Michael McFaul. But FOX news commentator Sean Hannity possibly wins the hate race, calling for the assassination of Putin because has he has “forfeited his right to live,” a view also shared by Senator Lindsey Graham.

Former GOP Vice President Mike Pence has called for anyone supporting Russia to be kicked out of the party which will no doubt produce a purge of members who are reluctant to go to war on behalf of foreign country and no ally Ukraine. Meanwhile a completely deranged Senator Mitt Romney has described anyone speaking up for Russia as “almost treasonous,” suggesting that Romney would benefit from looking up the definition of “treason” in the US Constitution. And the completely looney-tunes televangelist Pat Robertson is warning that Russia attacked Ukraine but the real target is Israel, which will result in a great war and Armageddon leading to the “End Times” when the world will end and all true believers will be raptured up to heaven.

But other more stable folks are making two basic arguments to justify the increasing engagement of Washington in the fighting. The first is the vague claim that what Ukraine versus Russia is all about is the maintenance of “freedom and democracy” in Europe. That is generally how President Joe Biden and other politicians describe it since it does not require any further explanation or discussion. The other argument is rather an elaboration of that, claiming that there was some kind of post-Second World War consensus that aggressive war to acquire someone else’s land should be condemned by all nations and steps should be taken to contain and repress any such activity. This led to the creation of the United Nations.

The problem is that neither justification for involving the US in a conflict where it is not actually threatened requires something more substantial given the danger of escalation of the fighting to the point where the world’s two leading nuclear powers would find themselves going head-to-head. And there is the little matter of history to reckon with, which tells us that not everything taking place can be reduced to such simplistic terms to justify taking action. The status quo in eastern Europe is a consequence of the break up of the Soviet Union in 1991-2 and, beyond that, of the configuration of the Russian Empire of the Tsars that preceded communism. Ukraine itself has had its borders adjusted numerous times.

Currently, the Ukrainian government of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is seeking to broaden the conflict with Russia by attempting to join the European Union while also calling for weapons as well as direct military intervention from NATO. He has called for volunteers to join the fight as a “foreign legion” and has also contacted Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and suggested that Bennett persuade Putin to participate in peace talks in Jerusalem. There has also been a less conciliatory appeal to world Jewry to join in on the attack directed against Moscow’s economy. In a video circulated among Jewish international organizations Zelenskyy said “Don’t you see what is happening? That is why it is very important that millions of Jews around the world not remain silent right now. Nazism is born in silence.”

There is also more than a measure of hypocrisy in the Biden Administration taking the lead on punishing Russia for aggression. The United States has gone to war with a non-threatening Vietnam and has destroyed governments and engaged in completely illegal military occupations of Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya and Syria. It has assassinated senior officials from Iran. It has not been punished for any of those actions. Its ally Israel bombs Syria on nearly a daily basis, engages in assassinations, kills Palestinian children, and annexes Arab land that it has obtained by force on the Golan Heights and West Bank, dispossessing the original inhabitants. When that happens, the US Congress and White House look the other way. All the Israeli war crimes as well as those being carried out by the Saudis against Yemen’s Houthis have been endorsed by the successive Bush, Obama, Trump and now the Biden administrations.

Beyond that, Ukraine is no democracy. The nation’s current government came into power after the 2014 coup engineered by President Barack Obama’s State Department at an estimated cost of $5 billion. The regime change was driven by State Department Russophobe Victoria Nuland with a little help from international globalist George Soros. It removed the democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych who was unfortunately for him a friend of Russia. Ukraine is reputedly both the poorest and most corrupt country in Europe, witness the Hunter Biden saga. Zelenskyy who is Jewish and claims to have holocaust victims in his family tree is a former comedian who won election in 2019. He replaced another Jewish president Petro Poroshenko, after being heavily funded and promoted by yet another fellow Jew and Ukraine’s richest oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi, who is also an Israeli citizen and lives in Israel. As an entertainer, one of Zelenskyy’s musical acts consisted of his playing a piano with his penis, suggesting that Ukrainian humor has some unique characteristics.

After the election of the post-coup new model Ukrainian government in 2014, opposition parties were declared illegal and some leaders were arrested for “treason,” the media was censored and the parliament outlawed Russian, the language of a third of the population, as an official language. Then the government declared war on the predominantly Russian Eastern provinces and, for past eight years, has killed 14,000 people.

I keep asking myself, why do Washington policymakers and the media who should know better give so much of a damn about Ukraine? It is of no strategic value to the United States and Russian demands were both reasonable and negotiable. So the claims that Ukraine’s defense is intended to keep Europe democratic and free is just so much window dressing to justify waging economic war on Russia. And, in any event, American hypocrisy is clearly visible regarding the Kremlin’s possible intention to annex a couple of heavily Russian Ukrainian regions. It is not in any way worse than what Israel has been doing in Jerusalem, on the West Bank and on the Golan Heights, all endorsed by successive US administrations. So what’s it all really about?

After considering the parallels with Israel, it then occurred to me that maybe there was the usual angle, meaning that it was all about “protecting” Jews, the argument that succeeds in Washington where all else fails and makes the Bidens, Blinkens, Pelosis and Schumers stand up and salute. Even a befuddled Donald Trump has seen the light and is now calling the Russian intervention a “holocaust” and is joking about false-flagging US F-22 fighter bombers as Chinese and “bombing the shit out of Russia.” The Jewish media is also showering Zelenskyy with praise, referring to him as a genuine “Jewish hero,” a modern Maccabee resisting oppression, a David versus Goliath. T-shirts bearing his image are being sold that read “Resisting tyrants since Pharaoh” while the Jewish community in New York City is raising millions of dollars for Ukrainian aid.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that a “2020 demographic survey estimated that besides a ‘core’ population of 43,000 Jews, around 200,000 Ukrainians are technically eligible for Israeli citizenship, meaning that they have identifiable Jewish ancestry. The European Jewish Congress says that number could be as high as 400,000.” If that is true, it is one of the largest Jewish communities in the world and it includes at least 8,000 Israelis, many of whom are trying to return to Israel. Other Ukrainian Jews are also fleeing the country.

Israel, with close ties to both nations through the Jewish diaspora, has been attempting to play both sides, offering support to Ukraine while also not condemning Russia. Its Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is increasingly playing the role of mediator between the two adversaries, having met with Putin and spoken several times with Zelenskyy. Jews, some of whom have Israeli citizenship, are, in fact, disproportionately represented among the so-called oligarchs in both countries, controlling key sectors of the respective economies. Several Russian Jewish oligarchs have already fled on their superyachts to ports providing non-extradition in an attempt to preserve their assets from US and European sanctions directed against Moscow’s economy.

So there appears to be a Jewish/Israeli story that is part and parcel of what is going on in Ukraine. It has long been recognized by many that a particular antipathy directed against Russia permeates the neocon world view. Most neocons are Jewish and a number of them are running the State Department while also holding high level positions elsewhere in the Biden Administration as well as in the foreign policy think tanks, including Haass at the influential Council on Foreign Relations. Likewise, the intensely Russophobic US and Western media and social networking sites are disproportionately Jewish in their ownership and staffing. As US-Russian negotiations leading up the current fighting were clearly designed to fail by the Biden Administration, one has to wonder if this war is largely a product of a long enduring ethno-religious hatred. I am speculating of course, but there is even some historical evidence to support such a view in the Iraq invasion and the hostility towards Iran, both of which have been and continue to be driven by Israeli interests, not those of the United States. Is Russia the enemy a similar contrivance? It has to be considered…

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

March 8, 2022 Posted by | Russophobia, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

Ukraine faces defeat

BY M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | INDIAN PUNCHLINE | MARCH 8, 2022 

Belying the predictions of western media, Russia’s special operation in Ukraine is entering a successful endgame on the political and diplomatic track much sooner than one would have thought. 

A close reading of the outcome of the 3rd round of peace talks in Belarus last night is that the Ukrainian negotiators have sought some more time to come up with a full response to the Russian terms for ceasefire. 

Ukraine has signalled willingness to be a neutral country ruling out NATO membership. The main sticking points narrow down to: a) recognition of Crimea as part of Russia; and, b) sovereignty of Lugansk and Donetsk. 

They are non-negotiable demands. But they are a bitter pill for the Ukrainian leadership to swallow. The Ukrainian stance is that these demands are “practically” impossible. 

But, as Vladimir Medinsky, leader of the Russian team, told RT, “In my opinion, there is a big difference between impossible and ‘practically impossible’… I hope that eventually we will find a solution.” 

The Russian side feels encouraged albeit yesterday’s talks produced no tangible results. They are in no hurry to rush into major military offensives. 

Indeed, the pattern throughout has been that the Russian generals would apply coercive military power to create synergy to kickstart a parallel political / diplomatic track to attain Moscow’s objective (which is not about territorial conquest.) 

The western analysts who expected the Russian generals to behave like Patton or MacArthur with a massive attack on Kiev instead witnessed a confusing Russian strategy — slow, halting operations, without excessive force and with a distinct preference to avoid fighting by encircling and bypassing pockets of resistance, and avoiding set battles. 

Putin revealed yesterday that “conscripts aren’t and won’t be taking part in hostilities, and there will be no additional call-up of reservists from the reserve… Missions are carried out only by professional troops.” 

The Ukrainian side realises that the Russian strategy is winning, as Russian forces are encircling Kiev from the northwest, west and east, Black Sea ports are no longer accessible, and the forces in the east are entrapped. Yesterday, Zelensky acknowledged the grim situation. 

After the third round in Belarus, he hastened to assure that talks will continue until a settlement! In his words,

“Today the third round of negotiations took place in Belarus, and I would like to say ‘the third and final one,’ but we are realists. Therefore, we will talk, we will insist on negotiations until we find a way to tell our people, ‘this is how we will come to peace.’” 

Russians are in no tearing hurry. They eschew triumphalism, and instead allow enough space for the Ukrainian side to take some really hard decisions on surrender — while military pressure is kept up on Kiev. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said yesterday, “We keep the door open to diplomatic options. As soon as there are corresponding signals, we will be acting on them.”  

Importantly, the two sides have agreed on a roadmap for creating humanitarian corridors and Russian side has announced a ceasefire. Also, these corridors will be operated in close coordination through a hotline.

The Russian statement says that a “continuous communication link shall be established between the Russian and Ukrainian sides for mutual exchange of information about the preparation and implementation of the evacuation of civilians and foreign citizens.” 

The Russian side since conveyed all relevant details to foreign embassies, appropriate UN and OSCE agencies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other concerned international organisations. The humanitarian corridors will be: 

  • from Kiev and adjacent regions to Gomel (Belarus); 
  • from Sumy along two routes to Poltava (central Ukraine) and to Russia; 
  • from Kharkov to Russia or to Lvov, Uzhgorod and Ivano-Frankovsk (all three in western Ukraine); and, 
  • from Mariupol along two routes to Russia and Zaporozhe (on the Dnieper river in southeastern Ukraine.) 

This joint work and the lull in fighting sets the stage for the crucial meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart Kuleba in the Turkish resort of Antalya on Thursday. The very fact the talks have been elevated to foreign minister level signals hope that a critical mass may be accruing. 

Thoroughly disillusioned with the betrayal by the US and NATO, Zelensky is inching toward an agreement with Moscow. It is futile to pre-judge the outcome, but there is a game changer. The major European countries — UK, France, Germany, Netherlands — have rebuffed Washington’s hawkish proposal to impose sanctions on Russia’s oil exports. 

Oil exports are Russia’s principal source of income, therefore, this is a strong rejection of Washington’s efforts to isolate Russia. French President Macron captured the zephyr in his remark yesterday: 

“It is impossible to build a lasting peace if Russia doesn’t participate in building a comprehensive security architecture on our continent, because history and geography mandate this. Our responsibility is to preserve all the ties that we can preserve. We must continue to talk with the Russian and Belarusian peoples. We need to do this with help from representatives of the world of culture, the scientific and technical community, non-governmental organisations.” 

On Sunday, in an op-ed in the New York Times, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also wrote: “We have no hostility toward the Russian people, and we have no desire to impugn a great nation and a world power. Ukraine had no serious prospect of NATO membership in the near future. This is not a NATO conflict, and it will not become one.” 

Meanwhile, major European countries, especially Germany, are ruling out EU membership for Ukraine, either — which, ironically, was the issue that had precipitated the US-backed coup in Kiev in 2014 triggering the catastrophic slide toward conflict involving Russia.

March 8, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , | 2 Comments

China urges Pentagon to open up about ‘biolabs’ in Ukraine

RT | March 8, 2022

China’s foreign ministry has called on the US to disclose information on the Pentagon’s alleged biological laboratories in Ukraine “as soon as possible”.

On Monday, the Russian military said Ukrainian authorities had been destroying pathogens studied at its laboratories. Moscow claimed that 30 US-financed Ukrainian biolabs have been actively cooperating with the American military.

Kiev has denied developing bioweapons. According to the website of the US embassy in Kiev, the US Department of Defense’s Biological Threat Reduction Program only “collaborates with partner countries to counter the threat of outbreaks” of infectious diseases. In 2020, the embassy called such theories about US-funded biolabs in Ukraine “disinformation.”

Speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday, however, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian claimed that, according to his country’s information, the laboratories in Ukraine are just “a tip of an iceberg” and that the US Department of Defense “controls 336 biological laboratories in 30 countries around the world.” This is done under the pretext of “cooperating to reduce biosecurity risks” and “strengthening global public health,” Zhao said.

It is the first time that Beijing has disclosed the alleged figure. Zhao said that according to data “released by the United States itself,” there are 26 US laboratories in Ukraine. In light of Russia’s military offensive in the country, he urged “all parties concerned” to ensure the safety of the labs.

“In particular, the United States, as the party which knows these laboratories best, should publish the relevant details as soon as possible, including which viruses are stored and which research has been carried out,” he said.

He claimed the US “has been exclusively obstructing” the establishment of an independent verification mechanism. Such behavior, Zhao said, “further aggravates the concerns of the international community.”

According to a report in The Rio Times, the US embassy in Ukraine deleted all information about Pentagon-financed bio-labs in the country from its website on February 26. However, journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva claimed embassy staff forgot to remove a document showing that the Pentagon is funding two new biolabs in Kiev and Odessa.

“Ukraine has no control over the military biolabs. The Ukrainian government is not allowed to release sensitive information about the program,” the Brazilian news outlet claimed.

Over the past 20 years, the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine, jointly established with the United States, invested over $285 million in about 1,850 projects carried out by scientists who, according to Gaytandzhieva, previously worked on the development of weapons of mass destruction.

US authorities are yet to comment on the latest claims.

March 8, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , | 2 Comments

Ukraine and the Global American Empire

eugyppius | March 8, 2022

Some have asked for my thoughts on Ukraine.

Since 2014, the Ukraine has been experiencing a quiet civil war, between the Ukrainian majority in the west, and a Russian minority concentrated in the east. The ethnic Ukrainian side in this conflicted has been co-opted by the supranational global imperial monolith. This is the cadre of western elites that determines political, medical and cultural orthodoxy across the world. They control not only all major political parties in most western countries, but also global international consortia from the United Nations to the World Economic Forum to the European Union to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Their goal is to further squeeze Russia by turning Ukraine – including the Russian-speaking eastern regions – into another political constituent of American globalism.

To the Russians – many Russians – this is unacceptable. After the Soviet Union collapsed, the globalists descended upon Russia to rape and pillage. In the years after 2000, NATO expansion was used to hem in Russia along the Baltic. These were hard years, but Russia finally reasserted its sovereignty. Since then, the western globalists have considered unaligned Russia to be their enemy, and they have adopted Ukraine as a convenient proxy against her. Ukraine is useful for this purpose, because it has considerable strategic significance, whether as a gateway to Russia through the open Ukrainian plains, or as a staging ground for American missiles.

The same western globalists who hate Russia, also count us as their enemies, and my sincere advice is to take them seriously in this. They have a kind of myopia for internal political dissidents; we are the unaligned domestic element, Russia is the unaligned international element, and so when Donald Trump is elected to the presidency, this must be, for them, the result of Russian interference.

I keep calling these people American or western globalists, but that’s only one way to understand them. I don’t have anything against Americans; I lived there for many years and have a great many American friends. It is only an historical accident, probably, that America finds itself at the centre of this globalist excrescence, this post-political, post-national order.

Rolf Peter Sieferle, one of my favourite thinkers, wrote about the fundamental conflict, between the globalists on one hand, and the unaligned people like me and unaligned countries like Russia, in more abstract terms. For him, the clash is between “politics” and “system”:1

Politics belongs to an older stratum of existence, ordered in terms of the state and of history, crystallised in statesmen, leaders and ideologues. It has programmes, values and goals. What is required are virtues and commitments directed towards a super-ordinate whole. The last resort of politics is war – the willingness of the individual to sacrifice himself for a higher cause, for his community.

System characterises newly emerging orders of higher complexity, which successively displace politics. Systems organise themselves without focus, without values, goals or programmes. Their only maxim is freedom and emancipation for individuals. Virtue and sacrifice are anachronisms. Wars are nothing but catastrophic conflicts that must be prevented through skilful management. Order is created by objective, autonomous constraints, not by a normative orientation. The structures of systems are as inescapable for individuals as a magnetic field is for iron filings. They do not “know” anything about it, but they conform to their predefined paths. The most important processes are not controlled and can hardly be grasped theoretically.

System has largely prevailed in advanced “western” countries. Yet the rest of the world in many ways still thinks politically. This strikes the West as anachronistic fundamentalism. …

The system-globalists don’t recognise the legitimacy of Russian strategic interests, or the legitimacy of anybody’s strategic interests. Globalists do not have security concerns in that way. Many of them even believe their own hollow rhetoric, that they are spreading freedom and democracy, even after these last two years of experimentation in forced vaccination and intermittent mass house arrest. Even if they don’t believe all of that about democracy, they nevertheless imagine that they are missionaries of light and goodness to all peoples everywhere, and that human potential will only be fully realised, when every last Russian is on Facebook and subscribed to Amazon Prime.

The global American empire doesn’t invade; that is not what systems do. It assimilates. It is basically a borg that imposes economic and political constraints on an ever expanding expanse of the globe, which progressively fatten, distract and deracinate populations, with a view towards blending them into the same shallow multinational consumerist soup. Their plan was to make Ukraine part of the borg, and in this way further encroach upon Russia. Russia responded in political fashion, by taking up arms. Because the western borg never knows when to stop, Ukraine will now be destroyed and probably partitioned, as a means of keeping it forever outside the western globalist fold.

However much the globalists like the idea of encircling Russia with NATO, in their saner moments they’re not actually willing to risk nuclear war to defend the easternmost reaches of Europe. For the globalists, Ukraine was just a pawn. After they finish throwing their tantrum, they’ll go pick another proxy fight somewhere else, and ruin some other country; and they’ll also continue to grind away at unaligned unassimilated internal dissidents within their borders too. They make no distinctions here.

Western media and politicians don’t want to explain the cause of the Ukrainian war, because it is a defeat that they brought upon themselves. This is why they have chosen instead to portray Putin as some kind of crazy lunatic, in the mould of a Kim Jong-un or a Saddam Hussein. That is precisely wrong: Those are unpredictable tin-pot dictators who command paper-tiger armies. The Russians are a nuclear-armed global force, and the Ukrainian war is not something that Putin himself dreamed up yesterday. It surely enjoys substantial support within the Russian political and military establishment.

So, now that I’ve angered some of you: Nothing in the above is at all original; a lot of people (from John Mearsheimer to Noam Chomsky to a late 1990s Joe Biden) have made similar observations. I think there is little room for original thought, when it comes to the major events of global politics. Most of what is happening becomes obvious, as soon as you step outside the crazy media framing and observe things as they are.

1 – From Sieferle, Finis Germania (2017) p. 40–41. My translation.

March 8, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

US bans Russian energy imports

High gas prices displayed at a Mobil station on March 7, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. © Mario Tama / Getty Images
RT | March 8, 2022

US President Joe Biden has announced a ban on Russian oil and gas imports in response to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine on Tuesday, a move that threatens to send global gas and oil prices even higher than the record-setting costs the commodities are already fetching.

The president called on the nation to use the events as an opportunity to transition to renewable energy, insisting that if “no one has to worry about the price at the gas pump in the future, tyrants like Putin won’t be able to use fossil fuels as weapons against other nations.”

Biden warned oil and gas companies against jacking up prices unnecessarily, declaring that while “Putin’s war against ukraine is causing gas prices to rise… it’s no excuse to exercise excessive price increases or padding profits or any kind of effort to exploit the situation or American consumers.”

“Russia’s aggression is costing us all, and it’s no time for profiteering or price-gouging,” Biden said, hailing the blanket ban on all imports of Russian oil and gas as “another powerful blow to Putin’s war machine.”

Americans will have to pay “the price of freedom” in the coming weeks as the sanctions are expected to send energy prices soaring worldwide, Senator Chris Coons (D-Delaware) told CNN on Tuesday ahead of the sanctions announcement.

The Democratic senator warned that the price of oil could very well double to $300 per barrel, with gas prices more than tripling to $10-$14 per gallon.

The repercussions from the price shock will be felt worldwide, he continued, as costs continue to surge. Acknowledging that “the strength of our sanctions, of the costs we’re imposing on Putin… are more successful and more sustainable when they’re coordinated,” he praised the administration for working together with Europe on the looming import ban instead of pushing ahead unilaterally.

“We have to realize that it’s a global integrated market, it is tough to just turn on the taps and increase production quickly – it’s not like phoning up Amazon,” he explained, cautioning “we are going to see increased gas prices here in the US, in Europe they will see dramatic increases in prices, that’s the cost of standing up for freedom and of standing alongside the Ukrainian people. We need to see the cost and benefit here.”

The senator also admitted the White House has been in negotiations with its once-sworn enemies in Venezuela and Iran, two major oil producers Washington is suddenly seeing in a new light for their potential to bail out countries soon to be running on empty in the absence of Russian energy supplies, but argued the focus should be on Canada first. However, he acknowledged Putin “had Western Europe over a barrel” – literally and figuratively – regarding the highly sought-after commodities.

Russia is the second-largest oil exporter in the world, while the US is the largest oil consumer. While Moscow supplies only about 7% of US oil, Europe is much more heavily reliant on the nation for its energy supplies.

Fresh polls claim that Americans are willing to pay more at the pump in order to stick it to Putin. A Quinnipiac survey conducted over the weekend, which found 71% of Americans supported a ban on Russian oil even if it led to higher gas prices. More than half of respondents (56%) even suggested the US hadn’t gone far enough with its sanctions and called for tougher moves.

March 8, 2022 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

The climate scaremongers: BBC’s campaign against fossil fuels

By Paul Homewood | TCW Defending Freedom | March 4, 2022

As political pressure mounts for the UK fully to exploit North Sea oil reserves and begin fracking, the BBC is doubling down in its campaign to fight fossil fuels.

There is nothing new in this, of course: we have become used it down the years. But now they don’t even attempt to disguise it, so convinced are they of their moral superiority in the matter.

Last week they published two articles attacking critics of Net Zero. The reports were full of the opinions of the BBC’s chums in the Green Blob, such as Greenpeace, Carbon Brief and the Committee on Climate Change, but gave scant mention of opposing views.

The first report, ‘Climate change: Can the UK afford its net zero policies?’ was an attempt to take down the arguments of the Net Zero Scrutiny Group (NZSG), made up of about 20 Conservative MPs, who have perfectly legitimately drawn the public’s attention to the very real costs of Net Zero.

The article begins by portraying the NZSG as a tiny bunch of ultra Right-wing Brexiteers – you know, the ones who should be ignored!

The rest of the article carries on in the same one-sided vein, with grossly misleading and inaccurate comments and a failure to present the other side of the argument.

It starts by claiming that our energy bills are only £159 a year higher on average because of climate policies. But this does not reflect the full cost of those policies, which in total are estimated to cost £17.6billion this year. That is not £159, but £650 per household.

Much of this cost is paid by the public sector and industry/commerce, meaning higher taxes and prices. Either way, the public end up paying.

The BBC then go on to claim that we should be building wind farms, because they are cheaper than gas power stations.

They imply that you can simply swap wind for gas, ignoring the fact the former is highly intermittent. Currently we need reliable, dispatchable generation, such as gas, to turn on when wind power fails to meet demand. When this is factored in, wind power is nearly double the cost of gas power.

Next the BBC turns its attention to claims that fracking will reduce energy prices in the UK. They argue that we cannot affect global prices of gas, which totally misses the point. Even if UK gas is sold at world prices, the country will still benefit hugely, and in particular government revenues will be boosted. Moreover it will greatly enhance our energy security.

The NZSG have rightly raised the question of how much we will all have to pay for Net Zero, something which the public has been kept in the dark about. The BBC’s response quotes the ultra optimistic calculations of the Committee on Climate Change, which have already been proved to be false and give a cost of ‘only’ £344billion by 2050.

Anybody who claims what the economy will look like three decades hence is a charlatan. But what we do know about is the crippling cost being imposed on the public in the short term. Things like heat pumps, insulation and electric cars will cost us tens of thousands of pounds. The new hydrogen networks being proposed will drive our energy bills up yet further.

For some reason, the BBC makes no mention of any of this.

But won’t the costs of climate change far outweigh all of this? The BBC think so:

‘The UK government’s latest report into the risks of climate change warns that based on a conservative estimate of a 2C temperature rise by 2100, flooding for non-residential properties across the UK is expected to increase by 27 per cent by 2050 and 40 per cent by 2080. At 4C this increases to 44 per cent and 75 per cent respectively.’

Leaving aside the fact that these claims are pure make-believe, does the BBC really think that eliminating the UK’s 1 per cent of world emissions will have the slightest effect on the climate?

The second BBC article, ‘Government climate advisers say cut fossil fuels to lower energy bills’ is by our old friend Roger Harrabin, ‘BBC environment analyst’. Again it does little but report the views of the Committee on Climate Change and others in the Green Blob, who are campaigning for more renewable energy.

As in the first article, it repeats the claim that energy prices won’t drop if we develop shale and North Sea gas reserves as the amounts are so insignificant. However, a recent study by the Warwick Business School estimated that our shale reserves could easily supply a quarter of the UK’s gas consumption over the next twenty years – a hardly insignificant amount at a time when North Sea gas output is expected to halve.

But for ideological reasons, the Committee on Climate Change would like to throw this all away!

John Kerry worries about Ukraine war’s effect on emissions

Joe Biden’s Climate Tsar, the gaffe-prone John Kerry, put his foot in it again last week. In an interview with a Middle East TV station he said he was worried that the Ukraine war would have ‘massive emissions consequences’, and that it could divert the world’s attention away from climate change.

This is the same John Kerry who flew in a private jet to Iceland last year to collect an Environmental Award.  When asked why he chose private jet, he responded it was ‘the only choice for someone like me’.

It was only the other day that Kerry was full of praise for India’s climate efforts, despite the fact they continue to burn more and more coal. He was impressed by Prime Minister Modi’s promise to build lots of solar farms, which Kerry claimed would make India compliant with the 1.5C goal set at Glasgow, a goal which requires global emissions to be cut in half in this decade.

Evidently arithmetic is not John Kerry’s strong suit!

While Modi’s plans would increase wind and solar output tenfold by 2040, this will not be enough to even meet the rising demand for energy in India, which is projected to increase by 69 per cent by then. This means that fossil fuel consumption will continue to grow as well.

Even with all of this investment in renewables, wind and solar together will still only be supplying 20 per cent of India’s energy in 2040.

BP Energy Review & International Energy Agency Outlook

While John Kerry strolls around with his head in the clouds, the Indian Government have long realised that you cannot run a modern economy just on the wind and the sun.

Selling the UK steel industry down the river

As I explained a few weeks ago, the UK operates an Emissions Trading Scheme, a cap and trade system, applying to electricity generators, energy intensive industry and domestic aviation.

The scheme is designed to cut the use of fossil fuels by forcing companies to purchase carbon allowances if they dare to use them.

As a direct consequence of government policy, the price of these allowances has in effect quadrupled in the last couple of years. (Although the UK system was only introduced last May, it directly replaced a similar EU scheme, which it now tracks.)

Higher carbon prices have not only pushed electricity prices through the roof, but they are also hitting industry hard as well, not least the steel industry.

According to the Telegraph, steelmakers are now facing the prospect of cutting production thanks to a doubling of the carbon price in the last nine months.

Steel companies receive a set number of free allowances each year, but this quota is reduced each year. Once they have used these up, they must buy them on the market, which adds £175/ton to the cost of the steel produced. This amounts to a third of the price they sell the steel for, which is quite clearly unsustainable.

Indeed, so high are the carbon prices that firms can often be better off selling their allowances and producing nothing!

Cutting production however has its own problems for the steel industry, because its fixed costs are so high. In the real world, steel plants need to run at near to full capacity to be profitable. It makes no financial sense shutting down furnaces and rolling mills for days at a time.

In other words, they are stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Furthermore there is little that steel firms can do to cut fossil fuel use. By definition, making steel is a highly energy intensive process. From personal experience I know that steel works have forever been looking at ways to reduce energy use on a daily basis.

It is true that electric arc furnaces, which melt scrap steel, don’t need the colossal amounts of coke required in blast furnaces, but higher electricity prices have already crippled their viability.

The inevitable result of government policy is that we will end up importing more steel instead of making it ourselves. It will be made in countries like China and India, where carbon emissions will be much higher than here. And more emissions will arise from shipping it halfway around the world.

The whole thing makes no sense whatsoever.

It is just another senseless sacrifice to the Great Green God.

March 8, 2022 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

How Many Actual Scientists Were Involved With the Latest Apocalyptic IPCC Climate Report?

By Chris Morrison | The Daily Sceptic | March 5, 2022

IPCC scientists outline a harrowing summary of climate impacts already hurting people and species. The Guardian says it is clear that not enough is being done to head off a climate disaster. Up to 14% of species on land face extinction if the temperature rises another 0.3°C. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres describes the abdication of leadership by world powers as “criminal”.

Welcome to the latest IPCC report, painting its usual grim picture of future ecological and societal disaster, and claiming to provide “scientific evidence” for all its key findings. In its summary for policymakers, it notes that “human-induced climate change, including more frequent and intense extreme events, has caused widespread adverse impacts and related losses and damages to nature and people, beyond natural climate variability”. Furthermore, the report says with “high confidence” that if the temperature rises more than 0.35°C, it would cause “unavoidable increases in multiple climate hazards and present multiple risks to ecosystems and humans”. In fact, since about 1800 the global temperature has risen about 1.1°C, seemingly without catastrophic consequences.

So back in the real world, it is ‘Spot the Scientist’ among the 330 listed authors of the latest IPCC report. The Daily Sceptic took a sample consisting of all the British authors listed down to number 120. This is what we found.

The first to appear is Mike Morecroft who runs ‘climate change’ at the Government body, Natural England. Professor Camille Parmesan holds the National Aquarium Chair in Understanding Oceans and Human Health at Plymouth University. Jeff Price works at the University of East Anglia, and holds a PhD in animal psychology. Marie-Fanny Racault has a doctorate in philosophy from the University of East Anglia. According to her web page, she is a Biological Oceanographer whose PhD was in Environmental Science. She returned to UEA in November last year, “to take the lead on the next stage of developments on the ecosystem component of the PlankTOM model series”.

The Head of Climate Impacts Research at the Met Office, Professor Richard Betts, does actually have a degree in physics. Nevertheless, in January his organisation promoted a climate impacts report that warned of future societal collapse and armed gangs roaming a U.K. ravaged by climate change. Philip Thornton works for CGIAR, a non-profit food researcher and has a BA in agriculture. James Morison is described as a “senior climate change scientist” at the Forestry Commission. Mark Pelling is a Geography Professor at King’s College, while Richard Dawson is a Professor of Earth Systems Engineering at Newcastle University. Vanessa Castan Broto is a Professor of Climate Urbanism, having joined Sheffield University in 2017 following her appointment as a Professorial Fellow in the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Dr. Helen Adams is a senior lecturer at King’s College in Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation. Her PhD concentrated on the “role of the environment in migration decision-making in rural Peru”. It was the BBC that said the IPCC scientists had outlined a “harrowing” summary of climate impact. It quoted Dr. Adams saying it was “really, really clear” that things are bad, “but actually the future depends on us, not the climate”.

The final two scientists/authors are Emily Boyd, a Professor of Sustainability at Lund University in Sweden, where she is also described as a “leading social scientist”, and Lindsay Stringer, another Geography Professor, this time at York.

The definition of science is obviously somewhat elastic these days and geography departments have been successful in reinventing themselves under names such as Earth Sciences. Nevertheless, the lack of involvement from ‘pure’ scientists – people who study chemistry and physics – is noteworthy. Ultimately all the speculative disaster prose arises from the hypothesis that humans are causing the climate to change by burning fossil fuel and creating extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The effect of CO2 is hotly disputed in atmospheric science circles, although much of the debate is ignored under the ‘settled’ science agenda. In fact, there is not yet one single, peer-reviewed science paper that proves conclusively that humans cause all or most global warming. Nobody knows how much the atmosphere warms if COlevels are doubled. Climate model guesses range from 1-6°C.

Meanwhile, much of the disaster prose that is endlessly recycled has been debunked. Coral reefs are not doomed – it seems the Great Barrier Reef has rarely been in better health; Pacific islands are increasing in size; the oceans are not turning into an acid bath. Declaring a climate emergency and basing all the warnings on something called global warming is starting to wear thin. Global temperature rises started running out of steam two decades ago. In fact, according to accurate satellite data, they haven’t budged for the last 88 months. No plausible link between temperature and COhas been established in the current, historical or geological record.

Professor Roger Pielke from the University of Colorado has been a long time critic of the politicisation of science. His initial view is that the latest UN report “is more heavily weighted to implausible scenarios than any previous IPCC assessment”. In particular, he notes that RCP8.5 accounts for 57% of scenario mentions. According to Pielke, this alone accounts for the apocalyptic tone and conclusions throughout the report.

RCP stands for Representative Concentration Pathways. There are four pathways and the worst case RCP8.5 assumes an improbable rise in global temperature of 5°C in less than 80 years. “Remarkably, RCP8.5 is characterised  in the report as a ‘business as usual future’,” said Pielke. “In reality, RCP4.5 [quoted in only 17.5% of scenario mentions] is currently thought of as an upper bound trajectory under current or stated policies, and RCP8.5 is implausible,” he added.

The climate writer Paul Homewood has spent years debunking many of the disaster tall tales. In characteristic blunt fashion, he notes that the IPCC, “relies heavily on studies written by grant-funded activist scientists. Many of these are easily debunked and they are usually based on very dodgy computer models”.

Finally comes news of a possible climate research strike. According to a recent paper from Bruce Glavovic: “Given the urgency and criticality of climate change, we argue the time has come for scientists to agree to a moratorium on climate change research as a means to first expose, then renegotiate, the broken science-society contract.” Glavovic is a Professor at the School of People, Environment and Planning at Massey University in New Zealand. Sometimes, a job title does not require any further comment.

Chris Morrison is the Daily Sceptic‘s Environment Editor.

March 8, 2022 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment