Aletho News


Israel advocates pass new definition of antisemitism at 15 more U.S. colleges

By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | March 22, 2022

In a triumph of Orwellian newspeak, over the past academic year Israel advocates at 15 American colleges succeeded in pushing through a newly created definition of ‘antisemitism’ that focuses on Israel. The formulation for the new definition – known as the IHRA definition – originated with an Israeli official in 2004 and has been promoted worldwide ever since.

As an Israel advocate writes, the IHRA definition is “the only definition which includes anti-Zionism within it.” Anti-Zionism is a highly diverse movement that supports Palestinian rights and opposes Israel’s ethno-religious discriminatory system, which is widely considered a form of apartheid.

The normal, traditional definition of antisemitism is simply “hostility to or prejudice against Jewish people.”

According to the American Jewish Committee,* the definition has now been endorsed by at least 30 American colleges and universities:

  1. Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ (September 2020)
  2. Brooklyn College, New York, NY (November 2020)
  3. California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA (April 2021)
  4. California State University, Northridge (CSUN), Los Angeles, CA (December 2020)
  5. Chapman University, Orange, CA (May 2017)
  6. City College of New York, New York, NY (November 2020)
  7. East Carolina University, Greenville, NC (February 2017)
  8. Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL (July 2020)
  9. Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, CA (October 2020)
  10. Indiana University, Bloomington, IN (December 2018)
  11. Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA (March 2021)
  12. Northeastern University, Boston, MA (November 2020)
  13. Pace University, New York, NY (October 2020)
  14. Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA (April 2021)
  15. San Diego State University, San Diego, CA (April 2017)
  16. St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY (November 2020)
  17. Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA (February 2019)
  18. Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY (March 2021)
  19. Texas A & M University, College Station, TX (September 2020)
  20. University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA (March 2015)
  21. University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA (February 2021)
  22. University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA (February 2021)
  23. University of Georgia, Athens, GA (January 2021)
  24. University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA (May 2021)
  25. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN (March 2021)
  26. University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN (April 2021)
  27. University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX (March 2021)
  28. University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX (April 2021)
  29. University of Wisconsin, Madison, Madison, WI (September 2017)
  30. Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC (December 2018)

While adoption of the new definition for antisemitism may seem symbolic, pro-Israel groups have a reason for promoting it: under Trump’s 2018 executive order on antisemitism it can potentially be used to censor information about Israel-Palestine on the campuses.

*Although it is named “the American Jewish Committee,” the AJC is actually an international Israel advocacy organization with offices throughout the world.

March 23, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 2 Comments

A Damning Opinion Piece in the British Medical Journal on the Illusion of Evidence Based Medicine

How medicine has been corrupted by corporate interests

The Naked Emperor’s Newsletter | March 23, 2022

A reader sent me this opinion piece published in the British Medical Journal last week. The authors argue that evidence based medicine (EBM) has been corrupted by corporate interests, failed regulation and commercialisation of academia.

The article begins by discussing how EBM was meant to improve medicine but as pharmaceutical documents have been released we realise that this remains an illusion.

The advent of evidence based medicine was a paradigm shift intended to provide a solid scientific foundation for medicine. The validity of this new paradigm, however, depends on reliable data from clinical trials, most of which are conducted by the pharmaceutical industry and reported in the names of senior academics. The release into the public domain of previously confidential pharmaceutical industry documents has given the medical community valuable insight into the degree to which industry sponsored clinical trials are misrepresented. Until this problem is corrected, evidence based medicine will remain an illusion.

They then look at how large corporations have dominated the market and in doing so have slowed scientific progress by supressing information and data and failing to report adverse events.

The philosophy of critical rationalism, advanced by the philosopher Karl Popper, famously advocated for the integrity of science and its role in an open, democratic society. A science of real integrity would be one in which practitioners are careful not to cling to cherished hypotheses and take seriously the outcome of the most stringent experiments.5 This ideal is, however, threatened by corporations, in which financial interests trump the common good. Medicine is largely dominated by a small number of very large pharmaceutical companies that compete for market share, but are effectively united in their efforts to expanding that market. The short term stimulus to biomedical research because of privatisation has been celebrated by free market champions, but the unintended, long term consequences for medicine have been severe. Scientific progress is thwarted by the ownership of data and knowledge because industry suppresses negative trial results, fails to report adverse events, and does not share raw data with the academic research community. Patients die because of the adverse impact of commercial interests on the research agenda, universities, and regulators.

Universities were once respected institutions but by seeking funding from the pharmaceutical industry, they have become corrupted.

The pharmaceutical industry’s responsibility to its shareholders means that priority must be given to their hierarchical power structures, product loyalty, and public relations propaganda over scientific integrity. Although universities have always been elite institutions prone to influence through endowments, they have long laid claim to being guardians of truth and the moral conscience of society. But in the face of inadequate government funding, they have adopted a neo-liberal market approach, actively seeking pharmaceutical funding on commercial terms. As a result, university departments become instruments of industry: through company control of the research agenda and ghostwriting of medical journal articles and continuing medical education, academics become agents for the promotion of commercial products.6 When scandals involving industry-academe partnership are exposed in the mainstream media, trust in academic institutions is weakened and the vision of an open society is betrayed.

Academics no longer succeed because of their achievements but because of what they can offer to the pharmaceutical industry.

The corporate university also compromises the concept of academic leadership. Deans who reached their leadership positions by virtue of distinguished contributions to their disciplines have in places been replaced with fundraisers and academic managers, who are forced to demonstrate their profitability or show how they can attract corporate sponsors. In medicine, those who succeed in academia are likely to be key opinion leaders (KOLs in marketing parlance), whose careers can be advanced through the opportunities provided by industry. Potential KOLs are selected based on a complex array of profiling activities carried out by companies, for example, physicians are selected based on their influence on prescribing habits of other physicians. KOLs are sought out by industry for this influence and for the prestige that their university affiliation brings to the branding of the company’s products. As well paid members of pharmaceutical advisory boards and speakers’ bureaus, KOLs present results of industry trials at medical conferences and in continuing medical education. Instead of acting as independent, disinterested scientists and critically evaluating a drug’s performance, they become what marketing executives refer to as “product champions.”

Ironically, industry sponsored KOLs appear to enjoy many of the advantages of academic freedom, supported as they are by their universities, the industry, and journal editors for expressing their views, even when those views are incongruent with the real evidence. While universities fail to correct misrepresentations of the science from such collaborations, critics of industry face rejections from journals, legal threats, and the potential destruction of their careers. This uneven playing field is exactly what concerned Popper when he wrote about suppression and control of the means of science communication. The preservation of institutions designed to further scientific objectivity and impartiality (i.e., public laboratories, independent scientific periodicals and congresses) is entirely at the mercy of political and commercial power; vested interest will always override the rationality of evidence.

They discuss how the regulators have been captured without any questions raised by governments.

Regulators receive funding from industry and use industry funded and performed trials to approve drugs, without in most cases seeing the raw data. What confidence do we have in a system in which drug companies are permitted to “mark their own homework” rather than having their products tested by independent experts as part of a public regulatory system? Unconcerned governments and captured regulators are unlikely to initiate necessary change to remove research from industry altogether and clean up publishing models that depend on reprint revenue, advertising, and sponsorship revenue.

Their suggested reforms are probably what most naïve people already think happens but unfortunately doesn’t.

Our proposals for reforms include: liberation of regulators from drug company funding; taxation imposed on pharmaceutical companies to allow public funding of independent trials; and, perhaps most importantly, anonymised individual patient level trial data posted, along with study protocols, on suitably accessible websites so that third parties, self-nominated or commissioned by health technology agencies, could rigorously evaluate the methodology and trial results. With the necessary changes to trial consent forms, participants could require trialists to make the data freely available. The open and transparent publication of data are in keeping with our moral obligation to trial participants—real people who have been involved in risky treatment and have a right to expect that the results of their participation will be used in keeping with principles of scientific rigour. Industry concerns about privacy and intellectual property rights should not hold sway.

Overall, a scathing opinion piece which highlights some truths which many of us recognise but which the majority would call you crazy for suggesting. Whenever I have tried to discuss how the pharmaceutical companies “mark their own homework”, the common response I get is “rubbish, the regulators conduct their own trials to see how safe and effective the vaccines are”.

If more people understood how the system worked then we wouldn’t be in the situation we are today. However, that is easier said than done when governments and the media have also been captured along with the regulators and academia.

The authors have published a book called The Illusion of Evidence-Based Medicine: Exposing the crisis of credibility in clinical research and is available here.

March 23, 2022 Posted by | Book Review, Corruption, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | Leave a comment

High vaccination not preventing COVID deaths in South Korea

Very disturbing data worth examining

By Joel S Hirschhorn | March 21, 2022

South Korea’s whole population is currently 86% vaccinated, one of the highest in the world, with about 63% of its population boosted as well. Of countries with 10 million or more people, South Korea is the third most vaccinated in the world and one of the most boosted.

By January of 2022, the Korean Herald reported that 93% of the population aged 18 and up had been “fully vaccinated” with either the two-dose AstraZeneca, Pfizer, or Moderna series or single dose of Johnson and Johnson. Among the elderly, 94% have been fully vaccinated and 78% boosted. All the booster doses have been mRNA-based vaccine product from Pfizer or Moderna.

March 23, 2022 Posted by | War Crimes | | 2 Comments

New Taxpayer-Funded Ads Push COVID Shots for Young Kids

By David Charbonneau, Ph.D. | The Defender | March 22, 2022

The Biden administration last week launched an advertising campaign urging parents to vaccinate their young children against COVID.

The campaign, funded by taxpayers through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, features emotional pleas from leaders of some of America’s largest professional healthcare associations.

The ads — a pair of 60-second spots titled “Oath” and “Trust” — were posted to social media March 18, and are scheduled to appear on TV screens beginning this week.

“You can trust us” is the underlying message of the campaign, which relies heavily on professional credibility and emotional appeal — rather than data — to make the case for childhood COVID vaccination.

The healthcare professionals offer heartfelt testimonials implying that because they trust the vaccines for their kids and grandkids, so should the viewer.

In one spot, the three doctors and one nurse state:

“COVID vaccines are safe and effective for kids … What’s not safe is getting COVID. So we want you to know we trust the COVID vaccine for ourselves, for our patients, for our kids. So should you.”

The ads also point out that some of the doctors are grandparents.

There is no mention in any of the ads of the potential risk of injuries or death associated with the vaccines.

Emotional claims versus factual data

One of the few factual claims used in the ads to support vaccination in pre-teens references raw case numbers:

“We know that millions of cases of COVID have been in kids … in kids … in kids,” says a chorus of three of the healthcare professionals.

While this statistical reference may technically be correct, it also may not give an accurate picture of the risks for children. That’s because the data on cases don’t differentiate between asymptomatic or mild cases and those that involved serious infection or hospitalization in children.

At the height of the Omicron surge, Professor Mark Woolhouse, an infectious disease expert at Edinburgh University, Edinburgh, Scotland, told The Guardian :

“This is a very discriminatory virus. Some people are much more at risk from it than others. People over 75 are an astonishing 10,000 times more at risk than those who are under 15.”

Research shows many cases of COVID in pre-teen groups are asymptomatic and the vast majority of children experience nothing more than mild symptoms.

Perhaps because of this, many parents have chosen not to vaccinate their young children. More than four months after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) first recommended the vaccine for children as young as 5, just upwards of a quarter of kids 5 to 11 have received both shots. Close to two-thirds of children 12 to 17 years old are “fully vaccinated.”

The latest data from CDC surveys show 33% of parents of children aged 5 to 11 said they would “probably [not] or definitely will not” vaccinate their children against COVID. Another 26% said they would probably get their children vaccinated or were still unsure.

Benefits don’t outweigh risks, data show

According to COVID-NET data, as of the end of 2021, the weekly rate of COVID-associated hospitalization in the 5 to 11 age group ranged from zero to a peak of 1.1 per 100,000.

However, as The Defender reported Monday, the CDC on March 14 removed from its data tracker website tens of thousands of deaths linked to COVID-19, including nearly a quarter of the deaths it had attributed to children.

In a statement to Reuters, the CDC said it made adjustments to the mortality data because its algorithm was “accidentally counting deaths that were not COVID-19-related.”

“Data on deaths were adjusted after resolving a coding logic error,” the CDC’s website states. “This resulted in decreased death counts across all demographic categories.”

At the time of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) December 2021 risk-benefit assessment, used to recommend the vaccine for children 5 to 11, the overall weekly average COVID-associated hospitalization rate for this age group was approximately 0.4 per 100,000 children.

Before the CDC made its adjustments to COVID mortality rates, the total number of COVID hospitalizations for children under 18 in 2021 was 2,100. The total number of COVID-related hospitalizations for children under 5 was 920.

By comparison, the CDC reports that on average 58,000 children younger than 5 are hospitalized each year with respiratory syncytial virus.

The CDC also published a study on March 11 in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report estimating that two shots of the Pfizer vaccine were only 31% effective against Omicron variant infections in children ages 5 to 11 in an analysis of data from July 2021 to February 2022.

This followed a study released February 28 that found the Pfizer vaccine was only 12% effective against Omicron in children 5 to 11 and adolescents 12 to 17 in an analysis of data from Dec. 13, 2021, to Jan. 30, 2022.

Despite the low numbers, there remains a strong push for the FDA to authorize COVID vaccines for the last remaining age group: infants and preschoolers.

Originally, Pfizer had expected to submit its authorization request for this group to the FDA as early as last month, but then delayed it until next month due to initial results showing no clear benefit for this group.

The lack of evidence proving the vaccines are of more benefit than risk was underscored by Pfizer’s latest trial for children 5 to 11, in which both the vaccinated and the placebo groups showed no incidents of hospitalization or death.

Last week, Florida followed Norway in recommending against COVID vaccines for young children.

© 2022 Children’s Health Defense, Inc. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Children’s Health Defense, Inc. Want to learn more from Children’s Health Defense? Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. Your donation will help to support us in our efforts.

March 23, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

Pfizer offered me $1 million & $50,000 month wage; essentially to stop writing & hammering them

I said NO!

By Dr. Paul Alexander | March 21, 2022

Yes, this happened. That I would not call out Bourla again. Of course no one would put this in writing but of course this was to silence me. Of course if I worked for Pfizer I would be muted complete from that moment on. That is how they silence you, put you on payroll.

To me, the battle is so huge, so transformational, that a POTUS could be so mislead that decisions were made Feb/March 2020 that shaped the next 2 years in the US and world and negatively so. Of course I cannot be part of that nor would ever consider it. I am in the fight for my peoples, my family, my children and the world I will leave behind one day. I have lost enough that I cannot go back now. As they say “balls to the wall”!

And I will say again, Bourla and Bancel and all at FDA, all at NIH, Fauci et al., all who have acted in this COVID fraud, must be allowed to defend their decisions and policies as we live in good governance etc. and we function with laws (though many argue the judicial system is corrupted) but if we show in proper legal inquiring and public inquiries that their actions costed lives, that their decisions killed people, that people and children died as a result, then they must be held to account with jail time! Financial penalties and jail time.

I am hurt financially, personally, as are a core 12-15 of us globally who have stood up, but the fight we are in is beyond money. Those of us who have been cancelled have been hurt, name wise, career, slandered etc. But for each person there is a time in life that we chose to stand up or not… we rise or shrink away, and most scientists, universities, doctors, public health officials, technocrats, governments, COVID Task Forces etc, chose to sell the people out for money, their grants, their salary was more important, so their silence was bought…so yes, we are hurt as our careers and income were hurt, I being one of them and I was stunned at what I was told on the phone twice in the call with the ask on a trip to TO…would have changed my life, but I said no, shove it, and so be it… money can come again and we will survive. Money is not the key in life. There is something called a line of integrity that must not shift based on money etc.

I joined with the Canadian truckers and now the US truckers to help stop the unscientific mandates and emergency powers, and I will remain fighting… its that critical.

These vaccines by Pfizer, Moderna et al are criminal, because they were non-sterilizing, and they knew it like how Pfizer knew there were 1,223 deaths that they and FDA hid from the public (see recent tranche of released documents, and 1290 special adverse effects etc., all hidden and they hoped for 55 or 75 years) it would have only driven infectious variants and more likely more virulent, more lethal ones. This is happening now. We are at this point where not only is the sub-optimal non-neutralizing Abs driving increased infectiousness of the virus via new variants, but it is driving increased virulence.

March 23, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Solidarity and Activism | | 2 Comments

British military wants prank call censored

Britain’s Defense Secretary Ben Wallace © Luka Dakskobler / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images
Samizdat | March 23, 2022

London has asked YouTube on Wednesday to censor any videos of the call between pranksters Vovan and Lexus – pretending to be the Ukrainian PM – and Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, claiming they are propaganda by the Russian state that was manipulated to show falsehoods and undermine British reputation and Kiev’s morale.

“We are calling on YouTube to help us support Ukraine by taking down videos doctored by the Russian state and disseminated to try and sap the morale of a people fighting for their freedom,” said the defense ministry (MoD) in London.

In the attached letter – which lacks the name of both the sender and the recipient – the ministry claims “the Russian State was responsible for the hoax call” and that “Russian disinformation presented in this video creates a substantial risk to UK national security” as well as “risk to international unity working to support Ukraine.”

The MoD claims the videos were “modified and edited” to show Wallace saying things that are not true, such as that the UK is “running out of our own” NLAW anti-tank missiles.

This is “factually incorrect,” the MoD said in the letter. “We have no supply shortages.” Another claim the MoD labeled false – presumably made by the pranksters – was that the NLAWS sent to Ukraine “often failed.”

“Any perceived failure of our lethal aid supplied to support Ukraine will provide an immediate detrimental effect upon the morale of Ukrainian forces,” the MoD letter said.

“I am confident you would not wish to be a conduit for Russian propaganda or be in any way associated with the potential consequences of this type of media manipulation,” the unnamed MoD official tells YouTube, demanding that the platform “remove (or at least block) access” to any videos of the call.

Wallace raised a stink over the call last Thursday, claiming he hung up on the person pretending to be Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmygal after getting suspicious about the “misleading” questions. It later emerged that the Microsoft Teams call lasted for almost 10 minutes, and came while Wallace was visiting Poland.

Blaming the government in Moscow, the minister denounced the call as an example of “Russian disinformation, distortion and dirty tricks” and launched an internal security investigation into how the pranksters were able to contact him in the first place.

On Tuesday, the notorious pranksters Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov – going by the monikers Vovan and Lexus – confirmed they had been behind the call and posted several teasers, saying the full video would be up soon. The duo has a long history of pranking celebrities and public figures, including Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They have denied being agents of the government.

March 23, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

DOJ secretly spied on Project Veritas journalists

By Didi Rankovic | Reclaim The Net | March 23, 2022

Project Veritas, whose declared goal is to expose media and Big Tech bias and other irregularities happening behind the scenes at these corporations, says that the FBI spied on the organization’s email communications for close to a year.

This was reportedly done using gag orders, i.e., mandating that those whose communications were searched cannot be informed about it. An example of the gag orders can be found here.

The claim has come out in a letter (obtained here) Project Veritas sent on Tuesday to a federal judge in charge of a case involving a controversial FBI raid that took place last November of the home of Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe and two other employees, carried out as part of an investigation into a missing diary belonging to US President Biden’s daughter.

The FBI at the time had obtained warrants to take phones and computers from the three persons the agency targeted in the raids, but the court has since allowed a request filed by Project Veritas for a special master to look into whether protected information falling under the attorney-client privilege was violated by the prosecutors handling the investigation.

But in the letter to the judge, Project Veritas now says that for almost a year before the raids, gag orders were used by prosecutors to hide their activities around the diary investigation.

Among the information obtained in this way were three months’ worth of emails belonging to O’Keefe and several other employees, dating back to 2020, as well as grand jury subpoenas.

In one case, a Project Veritas journalist’s emails sent and received for over a year in 2020 and 2021 were secretly turned over to the FBI using the same tactic. Reports say that it appears the entity that received the bulk of the demands to turn over the emails was Microsoft.

The gag orders kept being renewed even as the special master was hearing from both sides in the probe into the lawfulness of the data the FBI seized in November. For this reason, stated Paul Calli, an attorney for Project Veritas, the government’s failure to disclose “other privilege invasions” it had carried out, “makes a mockery of the proceedings.”

Calli further stated in the letter that it was “impossible for us to understand how the government convinced multiple magistrate judges to extend non-disclosure orders for an investigation that was already public and widely-reported,” and added:

“Project Veritas had the right to know of these government infringements. The government’s clandestine invasions of journalist’s communications corrode the rule of law.”

The US Attorney’s Office in charge of the investigation is yet to comment on the letter.

March 23, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , | Leave a comment

Russia’s ruble payment plan leaves European gas buyers confused

Samizdat | March 23, 2022

German gas industry group Zukunft Gas said on Wednesday it was confused by the statement of Russian President Vladimir Putin about the switch of payments for Russian natural gas supplies to rubles.

“We took the message that Russia wants [us] to pay for gas supplies only in rubles with great confusion,” Timm Kehler, the director general of Zukunft Gas, told DPA agency. “We can’t predict at this moment what specific implications this will have for the gas trade,” Kehler said.

Meanwhile, Austrian OMV said it was going to continue to pay for Russian gas in euros. According to the head of the company, they have no other contractual basis.

President Putin announced earlier in the day that Russia will now accept payment for gas exports to “unfriendly countries” in rubles only.

The measure is the first serious response from Moscow to sanctions imposed on Russia by the US and its allies over the conflict in Ukraine. A number of mostly Western countries have taken steps to isolate Russia from their financial systems. Major Russian banks have been cut off from the SWIFT payment network, making it difficult for the country to continue transactions in euros and US dollars.

March 23, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , | 2 Comments

US is reestablishing a new Inquisition using Russia-Ukraine crisis as excuse

Global Times | March 22, 2022

The US, leading several attendants, is launching a round of international mobilization to condemn Russia. After US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused China of standing “on the wrong side of history” in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison immediately followed suit by putting pressure on China. During his visit to India, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida raised his voice on the Ukraine issue, attempting to lobby New Delhi to switch its stance to condemn Russia. Even the Associated Press tweeted, “Amid a worldwide chorus of condemnation against Russia’s war on Ukraine, Africa has remained mostly quiet.”

It is not up to Washington to decide who stands “on the wrong side of history.” The US cannot forcibly pin the label that belongs to itself to someone else. As a netizen commented under the AP’s tweet, “Us drinking panadol for your own headache is not something we’ll be doing.” The US is the one that triggered the conflict and is the biggest hidden hand behind the curtain, who has made the Russia-Ukraine crisis where it is today. To shirk its responsibility and seek its own interests, Washington concocted a new charge for those who haven’t condemned Russia to set up a new moral high ground for global sanctions against Russia.

The US is reestablishing a new Inquisition, infamous in medieval Europe, and all who disagree with the US have been labeled  “heretics.” And the US also wants to tie and burn the “heretics” on the pillars of international public opinion.

Yet, to the disappointment of the US and its attendants, although they have been clamoring that countries should take sides, they cannot cover the fact that they are still the minority in the international community. The US wishes that the whole world will follow it to condemn and sanction Russia, but more than 100 countries are not involved in imposing sanctions against Russia.

The attitude of non-Western major powers, including India, Brazil, and South Africa share a similar attitude with China – hoping to facilitate dialogue for peace and quell the conflict as soon as possible. Why? Because everyone with a sober mind can see that extreme sanctions will not help solve the crisis. On the contrary, they will only add fuel to the fire.

Washington has been clamoring that only sanctions against Russia are “correct” moves. It is humiliating the judgment and political experience of the entire international community. If the crisis can be resolved by simply condemning or sanctioning Russia, it is believed the international community will surely have done it.

But the situation is completely different. Condemning Russia or adding a few names on the sanctions list won’t fix anything. Instead, they cut off ties that could have maintained communication and mediation between Russia and Ukraine. Doing so has further weakened the intermediary role in facilitating dialogue for peace.

By mobilizing the international community to “condemn” Russia and join the US sanctions team, Washington has no sincerity or idea of solving the Russia-Ukraine crisis. The “united front” it is advocating is only to satisfy US interests.

Now it wants to pressure China to “condemn” Russia to create a rift in China-Russia relations. If China resists the pressure and does not do it, the US will have an excuse to blame China. For the US, it would be ideal if China were to participate in sanctions against Russia which would result in the breakup of China-Russia relations. In other words, the US has dug a hole and imagines that China will have to jump into it.

It has to be said that this smart-aleck bullying is very “American.” But there is a fundamental difference between China’s logic and that of the US. China has always decided its position and policy based on the merits of the matter itself.

China has no self-interest in the Ukraine issue and is making real efforts to alleviate the humanitarian crisis while urging peace and promoting talks, which is in stark contrast to Washington’s inflammatory operations of sending weapons and imposing extreme sanctions. Who is on the right side of history? The international community can judge by itself, and it is not up to the US, the initiator of this crisis, to define it.

It was noted that on March 20, Chinese Ambassador to the US Qin Gang was interrupted 23 times by the host during a 9-minute interview with CBS. In the same program that day, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and US Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell were never interrupted by the host. This is a reflection of the political climate in Washington, where any dissenting voice is considered “heretical.” This is the most dangerous thing for the Russia-Ukraine situation.

March 23, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

The Return of the Hawks

By Sohrab Ahmari | Compact | March 22, 2022

Liberal hawks are flying high once more, talons extended for the hunt. For weeks now, Javelins, NLAWs, and other “defensive” arms have been flooding Ukraine, courtesy not just of the Pentagon, but good liberals and social democrats in Brussels, Berlin, Paris, Stockholm, Lisbon, Madrid, and elsewhere. Hawks dominate TV news and major editorial pages on both sides of the Atlantic, and their propaganda multiplies online, aided by friends in Silicon Valley.

A NATO no-fly zone over Ukraine would lead to a direct and possibly apocalyptic confrontation with nuclear Russia. Nonetheless, some hawks continue to press for it. When even The Guardian publishes claims that a NFZ “shouldn’t be off the table,” it becomes clear that a deep consensus is in formation. Judging by some polls, broad majorities in the West favor a perilously escalatory response to Vladimir Putin’s misbegotten invasion.

At home, war fever manifests in sordid expressions of Russophobia: attacks against Russian businesses, the effective “cancellation” of Russia’s literary and philosophical masters, the firing of Russian artists from Western orchestras and operas. Anyone who dares question the prudence of escalation, or the wisdom and justice of US and NATO policy toward Moscow, faces the usual censure and censorship so characteristic of the “open society.”

In short: It feels like 2002-2003 all over again.

That was when Western opinion, with precious few exceptions, cheered Washington as it bombarded Afghanistan and Iraq with democracy. The project’s failure was already apparent toward the end of George W. Bush’s first term, as the Iraqi insurgency hardened and “Fallujah” became synonymous with the grinding brutality of America’s post-9/11 wars. Yet it would take much longer for members of the interventionist uniparty to accept this reality; some never did.

The consequences of those years are familiar enough: hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis and Afghans and thousands of allied service members killed; ethnic and sectarian wars; statelessness and terror; mass dislocation and migration; warlordism and bacha bazi and a booming opium trade. The dénouement came just a few months ago, when the Taliban dealt a humiliating blow to the liberal imperium, punctuating these two decades of disastrous adventurism. President Biden ignored the hawks’ spluttering—and pulled the plug on the “good war.”

Yet it is springtime again for the “democracy” export industry: for their governmental operatives (Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland, ex-Ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul), institutions (National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House), and pet theorists (Bernard-Henri Lévy, Robert Kagan, Francis Fukuyama, Larry Diamond). As for media organs, the hawks’ takeover of mainstream, left-of-center outlets is so thorough as to render the old neoconservative bastions almost superfluous.

How did they pull off this astonishing comeback? One reason is that few of the politicians and pundits who promoted the regime-change wars paid a serious price. Fukuyama published a book-length reassessment in 2007. But penitent hawks were the exception, unreconstructed ones the norm. Even Fukuyama has now re-emerged as something of a hard-line liberal enforcer, overseeing a blog dedicated to fending off challenges to Democracy, Inc.

More typical is Nuland, whose résumé is proof that the existence of the American uniparty is no conspiracy theory—but a plain fact. Launching her career in the Clinton administration, she went on to advise Dick Cheney during the early Iraq War before being dispatched to Brussels as NATO ambassador in the second Bush term, followed by stints as State Department spokeswoman and assistant secretary of state under Obama. Now she is Biden’s pointwoman on Ukraine. In the in-between years—notice which administration she didn’t work for?—Nuland retreated to a think-tank redoubt, at Brookings, where her husband, Robert Kagan, the uber-hawk historian and adviser to the 2012 Mitt Romney campaign, is also a fellow.

Partisan differences mean nothing in these circles. What matters is commitment to Democracy, Inc.

To see such figures racking up sinecures and esteem, you wouldn’t know that they presided over an epochal fiasco, a supermassive black hole of imperial hubris and nitwitted idealism that swallowed entire nations, while weakening the United States. If some other state acted as Washington and its allies did under the hawks’ leadership—violating sovereignty willy-nilly, sowing chaos and civil war—the hawks would label that state “rogue” and seek regime change.

If the liberal West were an effective empire—or America a robust democratic republic—people like Nuland wouldn’t go from strength to strength. Yet they do. Following her role in the Benghazi debacle, which earned a gentle senatorial knuckle-rapping, Nuland in 2013 went down to Maidan Square to personally supervise the velvet revolution. The Ukrainians were promised integration, Westernization, NATO-ization—things Nuland and her bosses knew would raise blood pressures in the Kremlin, no matter who sat on the Russian throne. And here we are.

Fact is, Democracy, Inc. works concertedly to see off potential threats. In the aftermath of Trump’s election, for example, men like Carl Gershman, then head of the National Endowment for Democracy and Freedom House boss Michael J. Abramowitz convened defend-democracy meetings on both sides of the Atlantic. I know, because I was asked to participate as a writer with hawkish sympathies I have since renounced.

The goal, according to the formal documents: to counter threats to “our broad system of liberty . . . from outside our borders and from within.” The external threat emanated mainly from the Kremlin, which many of the attendees believed had installed Trump in the Oval Office; some no doubt still believe it. The internal threat was more or less understood to be Trump himself and his allies, as well as “the rapid rise of digital communication, [which] has posed unique challenges for democracy, including the viral spread of fake news.”

This all sounds innocuous until you realize that by “democracy,” Democracy, Inc. means the liberal imperium, at home and abroad. And “authoritarianism” refers to Trumpism and similar ballot-box movements across the Atlantic channeling popular discontent with the imperium. At the time, it puzzled me why one of Google’s main political men, ex-Bush official Scott Carpenter, was ubiquitous at these gatherings. It takes on a more sinister aspect in light of the Big Tech censorship regime that has since gagged everyone from congressional critics of mandatory masking to a former commander-in-chief of the United States.

Half a decade later, in response to the Russian invasion, the coalition organized by Gershman, et al., published a statement urging outsiders to “trust only official sources/of official Ukrainian institutions (national army, president, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, etc).” Nuance, complexity, context, hearing the other side—such things impede liberal interventionism’s grammar of assent. The 2003 déjà vu you’re experiencing is carefully manufactured.

Sohrab Ahmari is a founder and editor of Compact.

March 23, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

Putin wants rubles for Russian gas

Samizdat | March 23, 2022

Russia will now accept payment for gas exports to “unfriendly countries” in rubles only, President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with the government on Wednesday.

The president explained that Russia plans to abandon all “compromised” currencies in payment settlements. He added that illegitimate decisions by a number of Western countries to freeze Russia’s assets destroyed all confidence in their currencies.

“I have decided to implement in the shortest possible time a set of measures to change the payments for – yes let’s start with this – for our natural gas supplied to the so-called unfriendly countries in Russian rubles, that is to stop using all compromised currencies for transactions,” the Russian president said.

“It doesn’t make sense to deliver our goods to the EU and the US and get paid in dollars and euros,” he added.

Putin gave the Central Bank and the government a week to determine the procedure for operations for buying rubles on the domestic market for importers of Russian gas.

The president added that Russia will continue to supply gas in accordance with the volumes and pricing principles of the contracts. Only the currency of payment will change.

The announcement caused a spike in the cost of contracts for gas supply at the TTF European hub, Forbes Russia quoted data from the Intercontinental Exchange as indicating. During Wednesday’s trading, the gas price rose from €97 per megawatt hour (MWh) to approximately €108.5 per 1MWh, but after the president’s speech, it jumped by another €10 to €118.75 per 1MWh, before retreating to €114 per 1MWh as of 1pm GMT.

In the past month, Russia has been hit with several rounds of unprecedented international sanctions over its military operation in Ukraine. The US, EU, and their allies have cut off the country from their financial systems, limited dollar and euro transactions, and froze roughly $300 billion in Russian forex reserves abroad, among other measures. At the same time, they have continued to buy Russian oil and gas.

March 23, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , | 4 Comments

India, US have different priorities


An extraordinary week has passed for the Modi government’s dalliance with the Quad. Call it a defining moment, a turning point or even an inflection point — it has elements of all three. 

The last week saw a 2-day visit to Delhi by Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida, virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian PM Morrison, and foreign ministry level consultations with the visiting US Undersecretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland. The leitmotif was the situation around Ukraine. 

Biden has since taken a jab that India has a “somewhat shaky” stance on Ukraine. Who would have imagined that the geopolitics of Ukraine was going to shake up Quad? 

Certainly, India had a premonition. The Indian foreign-policy establishment has had no misconceptions about what began unfolding in Ukraine in the last week of February. It had spotted as far back as November/December at least, like Elijah in the Bible, a small cloud like the palm of a hand coming up from the sea. 

Unlike the Indian media, academia or think tanks at large, the Indian leadership could sense that an epochal global struggle for ascendancy by the US and its western allies versus Russia and China was breaking out in Ukraine. Modi sensed that there would be collateral damage to India unless it saddled up to get down from the mountain, as the sky began to grow black with wind-driven clouds, before the huge cloudburst of rain arrived.

There is a background to it. Any perceptive observer would have noticed that Modi has been in a reflective mood as regards foreign affairs for the past several months. His participation in the Summit for Democracy last December discernibly had a fin-de-siècle air about it — the closing of one era and onset of another. One could attribute it to the sobering effect of the pandemic. 

The point is, India struggled with the pandemic all by itself. No matter the hype about it, India realised that it has no real partnership with the US or EU, that it was a mere transactional relationship — and that in the final analysis, India lived in its region. 

Indeed, India handled the pandemic far better than most countries. International experts acknowledge it today, and those who threw stones at that time grudgingly accept it, too.

However, with the economy ravaged beyond recognition, the government is picking up the pieces and staggering forward. There is still so much of uncertainty in the air about yet another “wave” of the pandemic stealthily advancing to drown all ceremonies of repair and reconstruction of life. 

Succinctly put, the big-power struggle in faraway Europe, precipitated by the Biden administration for geopolitical purposes to isolate and weaken Russia, erupted at a most critical juncture when India has been increasingly sceptical about American policies and statesmanship. The picture that the US is presenting of itself is far from convincing either: a battleground of tribalism and culture wars, an ageing superpower in decline with dwindling influence globally. 

In the Indian economy’s tryst with destiny, the US is of no help. On the other hand, the waning multilateralism and the new constraints imposed on growth by the US’ growing propensity to weaponise the dollar, threaten to blight the shoots of post-pandemic growth in the Indian economy. 

On Monday, Biden celebrated a Business Roundtable with the CEOs of the largest corporations in the American economy. He boasted: “6.7 million jobs last year –- the most ever created in one year; more than 7 million now.  678,000 created just last month, in one month.  Unemployment down to 3.8 percent.  Our economy grew at 5.7 percent last year, and the strongest in nearly 40 years… We reduced the deficit by $360 billion last year…  And we’re on track to reduce it by over $1 trillion this year.” 

Biden is understandably thrilled beyond words. Yet, when he deliberately orchestrated a confrontation with Russia at this juncture, it didn’t occur to him what crippling impact and downstream consequences his draconian “sanctions from hell” against a major G20 economy would have on the developing economies. 

A UNCTAD report on March 16, titled The Impact on Trade and Development of the War in Ukraine, concludes, “The results confirm a rapidly worsening outlook for the world economy, underpinned by rising food, fuel and fertiliser prices, heightened financial volatility, sustainable development divestment, complex global supply chain reconfigurations and mounting trade costs.

“This rapidly evolving situation is alarming for developing countries, and especially for African and least developed countries, some of which are particularly exposed to the war in Ukraine and its effect on trade costs, commodity prices and financial markets. The risk of civil unrest, food shortages and inflation-induced recessions cannot be discounted…” 

Does Biden even know that at least 25 African countries depend on Russia for meeting more than one-third of their wheat imports? Or, that Benin actually relies 100% on Russia for its wheat imports? And that Russia supplies wheat at concessional prices for these poor countries? 

Now, how do these meek and wretched countries of the planet import from Russia when Biden and EU chief Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen join hands to block the banking channels for trading with Russia? Can Delaware find a solution?

The cruelty and cynical complacency with which the Biden Administration and the EU conduct their foreign polices is absolutely stunning. And, mind you, all this is happening in the name of “democratic values” and “international law”! 

India cannot agree with the US and EU’s reckless attempt to weaponise global economic links. The fact of the matter is that the US and EU may not even win this war in Ukraine. Russia has almost completed 90 percent of its special operations. Unless Biden allows Kiev to agree to a peace settlement, the division of Ukraine along the Dnieper river is in the cards. 

The US is destabilising the European security order while the western sanctions are destabilising the global economic order. The US and EU must bear responsibility for this collateral damage. The West is in panic that the world is living in the Asian century already. 

“One reason for the optimism across the heart of Asia is the immense natural resources of the (Asian) region,” writes the famous Oxford historian Peter Frankopan in his recent book The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World. For, the Middle East, Russia and Central Asia account for almost 70% of global proven oil reserves, and nearly 65% of proven natural gas reserves. 

Prof. Frankopan writes: “Or there is the agricultural wealth of the region that lies between the Mediterranean and the Pacific… which account for more than half of all global wheat production… (and) account for nearly 85% of global rice production.” 

“Then there are elements like Silicon, which plays an important role in microelectronics and in the production of semiconductors, where Russia and China alone account for three-quarters of global production; or there are rare earths like yttrium, dysprosium and terbium that are essential for everything from super magnets to batteries, from actuators to laptops — of which China alone accounted for more than 80% of global production… Resources have always played a central role in shaping the world… This makes the control of the Silk Roads more important than ever.”    

The West still seems to want to “return to ‘normal’”, Frankopan writes, “and expects the newcomers to resume their old positions in the world order.” Clearly, India, an erstwhile British colony, understands the real agenda behind Washington and Brussels’ geopolitical struggle with Russia. Principally, India is looking in all directions — Russia and China included — for partnerships.

If the Chinese news website Guancha is correct, which it mostly is, “China-India diplomatic relations will significantly ease and enter a recovery period. China and India will realise the exchange of visits of diplomatic officials in a relatively short time. Chinese officials will go to India first, and Indian Foreign Minister Jaishankar will come to China.” 

This is good news. Modi’s unique stature in Indian politics enables him to take difficult decisions. The renewed mandate he secured from the heartland puts him in a position to break fresh ground in foreign policy. 

March 23, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , , , , , , | Leave a comment