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Media Scare Themselves, Confuse “Unprecedented” Weather Model Temperature Spikes with Actual Temperatures

By Anthony Watts | ClimateRealism | March 22, 2022

This past week two left-leaning media outlets, MSN (via The Washington Post aka WaPo), and the always alarmed UK based The Guardian ran stories saying the Arctic and Antarctic, had experienced “unprecedented” high temperatures. These claims can’t be verified since they were the results from a set of weather model simulations, indicating variations of above normal temperatures for the regions, not actual surface temperatures measured by ground-based weather stations.

The Guardian headline was full of worry courtesy of author Fiona Harvey:

Heatwaves at both of Earth’s poles alarm climate scientists

Antarctic areas reach 40C above normal at same time as north pole regions hit 30C above usual levels

She writes:

Startling heatwaves at both of Earth’s poles are causing alarm among climate scientists, who have warned the “unprecedented” events could signal faster and abrupt climate breakdown.

At the same time, weather stations near the north pole also showed signs of melting, with some temperatures 30C above normal, hitting levels normally attained far later in the year.

At this time of year, the Antarctic should be rapidly cooling after its summer, and the Arctic only slowly emerging from its winter, as days lengthen. For both poles to show such heating at once is unprecedented.

They key phrase here is: “weather stations near the north pole.” The northernmost weather station is Alert, Nunavut and it is 817 km (508 mi) from the North Pole. That’s like trying to gauge the temperature in Indianapolis from a  warmer temperature reading in Atlanta.

MSN/WaPo authors Jason Samenow and Kasha Patel had this flabbergasting headline:

It’s 70 degrees warmer than normal in eastern Antarctica. Scientists are flabbergasted.

The coldest location on the planet has experienced an episode of warm weather this week unlike any ever observed, with temperatures over the eastern Antarctic ice sheet soaring 50 to 90 degrees above normal. The warmth has smashed records and shocked scientists.

“This event is completely unprecedented and upended our expectations about the Antarctic climate system,” said Jonathan Wille, a researcher studying polar meteorology at Université Grenoble Alpes in France, in an email.

“Antarctic climatology has been rewritten,” tweeted Stefano Di Battista, a researcher who has published studies on Antarctic temperatures. He added that such temperature anomalies would have been considered “impossible” and “unthinkable” before they actually occurred.

Both articles mentioned “climate” in the context of blame or contribution to these weather events.

To the uninitiated reading about these “events,” it must surely seem like evidence the planet is on its way to being wrecked from global warming aka “climate change,” and that the polar icecaps are in danger of melting away to nothing.

The reality is entirely different.

The MSN article includes this graphic:

Figure 1 – the image that has scientists “flabbergasted.”

It always pays to read the fine print, and in this case the MSN caption for that Figure 1 image (when you click on it at MSN to enlarge it) is telling:

Simulation of temperature differences from normal centered over Antarctica from the American (GFS) model.

That’s right, it isn’t temperature that actually measured at the surface of that forlorn icecap, it’s a model simulation of temperature from a single climate model, the GFS model.

If we look at that same “model simulation” today, from the same source, all of the sudden that “flabbergasting” image is gone, and temperatures are frigid again as seen in Figure 2 below.

Figure 2 – The same model simulation, just 4 days later.

Once again, the media proves itself incapable of differentiating between short-term model simulations of a weather event from long-term evidence climate change. Indeed, the “flabbergasting” spike in temperature may very well have been nothing but a glitch of mathematics in the model, and not actual weather.

Verifying actual weather is difficult. There are very few actual surface weather stations on the eastern Antarctic icecap, and none at all at the North Pole. See more at this map.

In the Arctic, it is a similar story after last week’s alarming model simulated “heat wave,” temperatures are back to their frigid normal as seen in Figure 3 below:

Figure 3 – North pole temperatures on Tuesday March 22nd are at -30 to -40°C

Surface weather stations in both the Arctic and the Antarctic are relatively recent developments in meteorology. In the Arctic, the ice floats on the ocean. It is unstable, moves, and breaks up in the spring making it nearly impossible to keep a weather station in one place, much less operational. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) started deploying floating weather stations and web cams in 2002 at the North Pole, but gave up due to “funding constraints” in 2015.

In Antarctica, due to the extremely harsh conditions of temperature, blowing snow, and lack of sunlight to power solar cells, Automated Weather Stations (AWS) are few and far between. Plus, such weather stations have only been present in Antarctica since 1978. The harsh environment often buries these weather stations in snow, leaving them with faulty temperature data, or completely inoperable due to solar panels being covered. The AWS’s have to be dug out of the snow each year.

This is why meteorologists often rely on mathematical simulations of the atmosphere to “guess” the temperatures of the air at the north and south poles – they can’t always trust the actual data to be there or be accurate.

So, in summary we have these points to consider about Arctic and Antarctic weather data:

  • We don’t have actual weather data in many places at the North and South poles.
  • The weather data we do have may be compromised or intermittent due to harsh weather conditions affecting ground based weather stations.
  • Compared to larger 100+ years of climate data for the globe, we have maybe 40 years of data for the poles at best.

Since we have at best 40 years of data and observations from the poles, is science capable of determining if weather events like the one modeled in Antarctica are “unprecedented” or not?

We simply don’t know if they are, because we haven’t been looking that long.

Indeed, science can’t say for sure if the brief spikes in temperature at the poles last week were real or simply a product of one flawed model’s simulation, a glitch in the numerical model output. Even if it were real, one brief spike in temperature is not the same as a long-term climate change, which is defined as a trend of 30 or more years of data.

Yet, somehow, climate scientists are “alarmed” and “flabbergasted” at a single day weather event simulated from a computer model.

Scientists (and journalists) that use those terms might be better off keeping a lid on their opinions until they have real data to confirm their “unprecedented” claims. Carl Sagan rightly opined, paraphrasing Laplace’s principle, “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

These researchers, and the corporate media outlets which uncritically parroted their claims, have presented no extraordinary evidence that either Antarctica or the Arctic experienced an unusual spike in warming. Model simulations simply aren’t evidence.

March 26, 2022 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | 1 Comment

Two years that trampled on freedoms earned over centuries

By James Rogers | TCW Defending Freedom | March 26, 2022

PATRICK Benham-Crosswell’s excellent article in TCW on Thursday stimulated a need to consolidate a few thoughts.

The concept of ‘man-made climate change’ has always been a complete falsehood. I used to think it was a simple scam that enabled governments to raise taxes and levies on prosperous Western societies; but it is now a much bigger, and more complicated, matter. Whether or not, back in 1992, with Al Gore’s book Earth in the Balance, our current situation was the planned destination, or whether or not other agendas have been piggy-backed on to environmentalism, we don’t know.

Two years ago we were presented with another ‘inconvenient truth’, that the government – indeed governments almost everywhere – were suspending our liberties ‘for a few weeks’. As March 2020 dragged into April and May, stuck in their homes, people began to do their own research. It became obvious to me that what was happening was not about a ‘deadly virus’, and I stated my belief was that vested interests were working to ensure that the temporary socialisation of our society and economy became permanent. Expressing this belief cost me many relationships.

In spring 2020, despite Johnson’s effective parliamentary coup to rule by decree, I did not believe that our government’s C-19 strategy represented those vested interests. By autumn though, I did. Dr Mike Yeadon and friends demolished the Corman-Drosten Paper on PCR tests. This dishonest paper asserted that PCR testing for C-19 was both valid and necessary, and we know that Hancock based his whole act and legal authority on there being legions of ‘infectious’ people around, all procured by PCR tests. Two of the signatories of the Corman-Drosten Paper, Maria Zambon (also a senior Sage member) and Joanna Ellis, are senior staff of Public Health England, so the British government knew full well that their strategy was based on scientific fraud.

At Christmas 2021 we learned that in spring 2020 our government certainly did not believe that C-19 was a deadly illness: they worked in offices together, celebrated birthdays and Fridays together, all in the face of the ‘worst viral pandemic since 1919’.

Nothing about C-19 has made any sense whatsoever. It was a purposely manufactured ‘crisis’ and entirely sustained by propaganda and massive government over-reach. For the past 25 years various viruses created problems that were dealt with quite quickly, and emergencies were normalised swiftly. Isn’t that one of the principal functions of government? To keep society calm, stable, well-managed and productive? So why was a cold virus, fatal only to 0.1 per cent of those who caught it, allowed to dominate our lives for two years? Two years in which the democratic values and legal freedoms that took centuries to generate have been well and truly stomped on, and the integrity of science trashed. Why have governments, health services and academics all around the world wilfully ignored the undeniable damage that the jabs have done? Why have they ignored the fact that the jabs never worked as advertised? Why have the media been complicit in this?

In WWII governments came down very hard on defeatism and fear-mongering. Anyone claiming the nation was doomed was arrested and faced a possible death penalty. With C-19, governments went out of the way to generate fear. With our own money, they bought the media, and created the illusion of a devastating ‘crisis’ needing radical solutions that only governments could provide.

Foolish people and lazy thinkers accepted this without question, especially as governments paid people not to work, and/or allowed them to ‘work from home’. What was for them not to like? In 2020 and 2021 a lot of people saved a lot of money – but they never questioned the true cost of submitting to regulation.

Governments abused their powers and trampled on freedoms, and in parallel, without too many people noticing, they proceeded to create digital systems that will enable them to keep the people subdued and manipulated for ever. In all probability, digital ID, health records and currency are nearly ready to be implemented; they are just waiting for the ‘right time’. What the signal will be and who will give it are interesting questions to ponder.

Governments’ responses to C-19 also created significant economic problems, all of which have been and will be disproportionately borne by small businesses and lower income households while making big business much, much richer. These economic issues have been compounded by what is happening in Ukraine. Nothing about this ‘crisis’ makes any sense either. It is clear that the West has been manipulating Ukrainian politics for over 20 years.

So, together with ‘pestilence’ and ‘war’, the other ‘crisis’ that has been rolling along for 25 years is ‘climate change’, or more accurately, the West’s source(s) of energy. Once again, there’s not much about the West’s renewable energy strategy that makes sense. That carbon dioxide is a ‘problem’ makes no rational sense. Power generation by means of nuclear technology [?], fracking and even creating energy from burning household waste makes perfect sense; yet all have been eschewed in favour of more expensive and damaging options, windmills and solar energy, the construction, maintenance and operation of which costs far more than the alternatives. They desecrate the environment and provide nowhere near as much energy as is required.

It is clear that we are all going to have to consume less energy than we do now. How this will be managed is another interesting question. It seems it will be possible only with coercion. Coercion? Impossible? Not at all – how easy was it for governments to ‘persuade’ people to get jabbed? How easy was it for them to get people to turn on their neighbour for not being jabbed? How easy was for them to make useless face masks a symbol of virtue and integrity? How easy has it been for governments to get people to believe that the Ukrainian government is a squeaky-clean ‘victim’?

When the power cuts come – and they will: why else has the government been pushing ‘smart meters’ for ten years? – watch out for the signs in windows that proudly claim, ‘Happy to sit in the cold and dark to save polar bears’ or ‘Don’t drive, save the world’ or ‘Proud to eat raw food so we don’t have to buy Russian gas’.

It’s been so easy for them to make new truths, which in turn must create deniers, who are unequivocal demons.

Ever wondered why we are being continually told that ‘racism’ is a huge stain on the world, and that footballers must kneel before every game? Why are we constantly being made to feel bad about being white? Why were Britons not allowed to continue the good progress in race relations that commenced in the mid-1980s, and saw Britain morph into a nation that was very comfortable with itself in the 1990s? Why has racism become a ‘devastating problem’, when we all know that our society is tolerant and benevolent?

Because governments use ‘racism’ as a method of dividing and conquering. Similarly, all the tripe about LBGTQ. It easy for governments to accomplish their prime task of economic devastation and the socialisation and total control over society, if people are too busy arguing about ‘micro-aggressions’, not feeling ’safe’, the ‘right to choose gender’ and why there aren’t enough black people playing cricket for England.

Those who ‘went green’ are the same people who insist that Britain is a ‘racist country’, the same people who voted ‘remain’ and demanded the result of a democratic referendum be overturned, the same people who hated Trump, declared that he would bring about disaster and were happy when a senile man became leader of the free world. They are the same people who wear masks and demand that you get jabbed, the same people who demanded lockdown regulation and cheered the £400billion spent on it all, the same people who are holding fundraisers for Ukraine. They are the same people who believe in the ‘toxic privilege of white males’ and the same people who believe that gender is not a matter determined by nature and science.

These are people who believe in the ‘greater good’; they are no doubt genuinely nice people, but they are wrong about almost everything. They have believed everything that the BBC and Guardian have told them for 25 years. Has anyone else noticed how every vox pop and interview with a sports star involves questions about ‘emotions’? Emotion is now the sole currency of television, it has become far, far more important than reason. Emotions can be manipulated, and so can people – think about all of those who spent Thursday evenings banging pots for the NHS (which had shut down). These people ceased to do their own reading and research, they stopped thinking critically and rationally, they feel guilty about being comfortably off and they have no qualms at all about sacrificing individual freedom and democracy if doing so justifies their beliefs and helps ’their side’ win.

The very fact that society – even the Royal Society – can entertain unscientific, and totally uneconomic, ideas about the climate, about viruses and the basic biology of gender, tells us everything about the situation we are in. Governments are manipulating everything, and a huge section of society has swallowed, or is too polite or afraid of being controversial, to stand against it.

In the not-too-distant future, it is highly likely that the ‘crises’ of pestilence, war and energy will create economic devastation. I guess that this will be the point where they impose their systems of control and universal basic income, and if you want your ‘income’, you’d better get a jab – yes, it will kill you at age 70, but it’s for the greater good. Our society will be socialised permanently, our lives will change for ever, and this will be cheered to the rafters by people whose mindset has been trained to ‘care’ about things other than their basic freedoms.

March 26, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Progressive Hypocrite, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

US Government Paid News Media $1 Billion to Promote Vaccines

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | March 25, 2022

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released information to TheBlaze1 in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The information showed that the federal government had purchased advertising to the tune of $1 billion taxpayer dollars as part of a media campaign to build vaccine confidence.

HHS2 has billed the campaign as a “national initiative to increase public confidence in, and uptake of, COVID-19 vaccines while reinforcing basic prevention measures such as mask-wearing and social distancing.” Data don’t support these measures, but the media campaign was likely hiding something more sinister.

HHS Paid News Media to Build Vaccine Confidence

Within the documents sent from HHS, TheBlaze3 found that hundreds of organizations in the news media were paid to produce TV, print, radio and social media advertising timed to coincide with an increasing availability of the genetic therapy shots.

The government also collaborated with social media influencers whose audience included “communities hit hard by COVID-19” and also engaged “experts” to be interviewed and promote the mass vaccination campaign in the news.4 One of those experts was the director of NIAID and chief medical adviser to the White House, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

In other words Fauci, the man who has been the “face” of COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021,5 who publicly disparaged anyone who questioned the data he was using to support his recommendations, and who blithely referred to himself as “the science,”6,7 was, in fact, a shill.

Virtually every one of the news organizations paid by HHS, including ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and the New York Post, covered stories about the vaccines and did not disclose they had accepted taxpayer dollars to support the vaccine effort. It is common practice for the editorial teams to function separately from the advertising departments, so it appears the organizations felt there was no need to disclose their funding.

The advertising took several forms, including an amusing social media campaign featuring Elton John and Michael Caine, fear-based ads that featured survivor stories and straightforward informational ads promoting the safety and efficacy of the current mRNA shot for COVID-19.

Shani George, vice president of communications for The Washington Post made a statement about the funding they received for media advertising from the federal government, saying:8

“Advertisers pay for space to share their messages, as was the case here, and those ads are clearly labeled as such. The newsroom is completely independent from the advertising department.”

A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Times also responded to TheBlaze and gave a similar response. Other publications either did not respond or declined to comment. However, it is important to note that the reporters and editorial staff responsible for news also likely read their own publication or watch the online videos.

It’s not hard to imagine that a large news organization promoting vaccinations through their advertising department would not look kindly on editorial staff who choose to report facts that do not align with large sums of money spent by advertisers. You can guess what the editorial staff may be told to write. TheBlaze offered several examples of thinly disguised advertising published as “news,” including:

  • An October BuzzFeed 9 article featured “essential facts” about eligibility for the vaccine and unbalanced, pro-vaccine statements from health agency experts such as CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and epidemiologist Dr. George Rutherford.
  • Articles in the Los Angeles Times 10 featured “experts” advising people how to convince their vaccine-hesitant friends and relatives to change their minds.
  • A Washington Post article covered “the pro-vaccine messages people want to hear.”11
  • A Newsmax article in November ran the headline “Newsmax Opposes Vaccine Mandate, Here’s Why.”12 The article, obviously an opinion piece, began by saying the mandate was a “dangerous overreach” and then proceeded to support the vaccine campaign with statements like, “The vaccine … has been demonstrated to be safe and effective” and “Newsmax has encouraged citizens, especially those at risk, to get immunized.”

Journalistic Objectivity Likely Impossible

The U.S. government is not the only entity to recognize the power behind controlling the news media. Bill Gates is another. Using more than 30,000 grants, Gates has contributed at least $319 million to the media, which senior staff writer for MintPress News Alan McLeod revealed.13

Recipients included CNN, NPR, BBC, The Atlantic and PBS. Gates has also sponsored foreign organizations that included The Daily Telegraph, the Financial Times, and Al Jazeera. More than $38 million has also been funneled into investigative journalism centers.

Gates’ influence within the press is far-reaching, from journalism to journalistic training. This ultimately makes true objective reporting about Gates or his initiatives virtually impossible. MacLeod writes:14

“Today, it is possible for an individual to train as a reporter thanks to a Gates Foundation grant, find work at a Gates-funded outlet, and to belong to a press association funded by Gates. This is especially true of journalists working in the fields of health, education and global development, the ones Gates himself is most active in and where scrutiny of the billionaire’s actions and motives are most necessary.”

It is important to note that Gates has an intense interest in health, and specifically vaccinations.15 And with this power to control the media and his strong connections with health organizations such as Johns Hopkins, with whom he collaborated for Event 201,16 it’s not hard to imagine that his influence can be seen in many of the stories you read or watch each day.

This government overreach into the Fourth Estate is not unique to the U.S. Leaked documents17 have demonstrated that the BBC News and Reuters have also been involved in a covert operation in which the U.K. sought to infiltrate Russian media and promote a U.K. narrative using a network of Russian journalists.

Multimillion-dollar contracts were used to advance these aims, which included 15,000 journalists and staff. The campaign closely follows a U.S. clandestine CIA media infiltration campaign launched in 1948 called Operation Mockingbird.18,19 About one-third of the CIA budget, or $1 billion each year, was spent on bribes to hundreds of American journalists, who then published fake stories at the CIA’s request.

While it may sound like ancient history, there’s evidence to suggest it continues today. Although the messages have changed with the times, the basic modus operandi of dissemination remains the same. Other reports20,21,22 have also highlighted the role of intelligence agencies in the global effort to eliminate “anti-vaccine propaganda” from public discussion, and the fact that they’re using sophisticated cyberwarfare tools to do so.

Facts Reveal Reason Government Is Paying News Media

All-cause mortality and death rates are difficult statistics to change. People are either dead or they’re not. There is only one reason a person is included in the National Death Index Database: They have died regardless of the cause. Evidence is mounting that all-cause mortality is rising to levels greater than were seen during 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

OneAmerica,23 a mutual insurance holding company, announced the death rate in working-age Americans from 18 to 64 years in the third quarter of 2021 was 40% higher than prepandemic levels. Other insurance companies are also finding similar results and citing higher mortality rates.24

The Hartford Insurance Company announced mortality had increased 32% from 2019 and 20% from 2020 during 2021. Lincoln National also reported claims increased by 13.7% year-over-year and were 54% higher in the fourth quarter compared to 2019. Funeral homes are posting an increase in burials and cremations in 2021 over 2020.25

The overall mortality increase noted after the global release of the COVID shot is also being reported in other countries. A large German health insurance company reported their data26,27 were nearly 14 times greater than the number of deaths reported by the German government. The health insurance company gathered the data directly from doctors who were applying for payment from a sample of 10.9 million people.

A reporter from The Exposé 28 notes that while the world has been distracted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the U.K. government quietly released a report29 that confirmed 9 in every 10 deaths from COVID-19 in England were in people who were fully vaccinated.

Each week the U.K. Health Security Agency publishes a surveillance report. The February 24, 2022, report shows 85% to 91% of adults who are infected, hospitalized or died from COVID-19 were fully vaccinated.

Pfizer Documents Show Vaccines Not Fully Safe

Four days after the FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine for ages 16 and older, a group of public health professionals, doctors, scientists and journalists submitted a FOIA request to release the data Pfizer used for the approval of Comirnaty.30 The nonprofit group of professionals is called the Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency (PHMPT).31

Despite the FDA’s claim that the organization was committed to transparency,32 the agency first requested 55 years33 to release the data that supported the approval of Comirnaty after the FOIA was filed, and then asked for another 20 years to fully comply.34 All told, the FDA wanted 75 years to release documentation that supported their approval of a genetic therapy being promoted for mass vaccination.

When the FDA did not release the data, the PHMPT sued the FDA since it is the FDA’s statutory obligation35 to publish the documentation within 30 days of approving a drug. Although they asked for 75 years, January 6, 2022, the court ordered the FDA to release 55,000 pages of the documents each month so they would be completed within 8 months.36

March 1, 2022, the first of those documents were released and have been posted for public view on the PMHPT website.37 What’s included in these documents may answer the question of why the government felt $1 billion was required to boost vaccine confidence.

An initial review of some of the papers by one Trial Site News reporter revealed many errors and anomalies. In an interview with Stephen Bannon, mRNA technology inventor Dr. Robert Malone talked about the documentation and the need to develop a team to comb through the information and catalog it for reference. He said:38

“So, all this information comes piped through pharmacovigilance what’s called the pharmacovigilance shop at Pfizer and BioNTech. I presume Pfizer. And then that’s been summarized and submitted to the FDA as a series of documents. So this is a window into what FDA actually knows, which is by inference what CDC knows.

When they tell us there’s no risks and we should go ahead and start mandating or forcing vaccination on our children, what we have for instance, in that section you’re referring to of the listed adverse events is a huge list of what is considered to be adverse events of interest, which means that they’re not just one-offs.

It happens multiple times throughout the world and what we’re finding is embedded throughout this huge volume of documents that the judge has forced Pfizer and the FDA … remember our government tried really hard to keep this information from us and fortunately the courts have called their bluff and forced them to disclose it. Now it’s up to us to comb through it.”

Malone went on to describe the trouble that will likely arise in the coming weeks and months for Pfizer and the FDA from the information that is now freely available to the public when Bannon asked, why is it so important that the courts demanded the information be released now?

“The courts have forced Pfizer and the FDA to comply with the law which is that after licensure is granted these documents must be made available. Previously they’re considered confidential.

And remember that as Naomi’s [Naomi Wolfe] about to discuss, and the truckers are so upset about, we have been forced to take these vaccines and we have been told that they’re fully safe and effective. What this documents is the government has been well aware that they are not fully safe and has hidden this information from us.

What that really matters for Pfizer is that the indemnification clauses require Pfizer disclose known adverse events and this documentation demonstrates they didn’t do so. A lot of the lawyers are licking their chops over this because it seems to indicate a break in the veil that may allow legal action basically due to fraud and concealment of these risks from the general public.

This is why you have not been able to have full informed consent, is they’ve hidden all this information from you and they’ve used all the propaganda and censorship tools — which you’re about to cover — and paid media, to keep all this information from you and spin it, so that you think the left is right and the down is the up and the moon is made of green cheese.”

Sources and References

March 26, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 1 Comment

How Dare the Government Think it is Entitled to Trample on Our Fundamental Freedoms to Keep Us ‘Safe’

By David Seedhouse | The Daily Sceptic | March 25, 2022

One of the most troubling aspects of the Government’s response to the pandemic was its complete disregard for ethics. It seems not to have occurred to the decision-makers that the instant removal of fundamental civil liberties required – and must always require – the most comprehensive ethical justification.

During the largely self-made crisis, the Government passed sweeping mandates with barely any serious reflection on the impacts on millions of people’s lives, and stubbornly refused to listen to a multitude of far more thoughtful, well-informed alternatives.

Inexcusably, it appears that the main reason the Government and its advisors neglected to consider ethics was brute ignorance – they didn’t think about ethics because they have no idea why it is important. To them ethics is at best a scarcely relevant adjunct to ‘following the science’.

Had they understood ethics – or bothered to ask people who do – they would have been able to approach policymaking in a properly balanced and effective manner.

There are several ways to include ethics in decision-making. Two of these are 1) to apply ethical standards and principles and 2) to deliberate holistically. Both can be undertaken simultaneously.

Ethical standards

A range of carefully considered ethical standards has been developed and fought for in the Western world over the past 70 years and more. Arguably the most fundamental of these is the principle of informed consent to interventions, established in both ethical theory and health care law. It is now regarded as essential that any health care professional – including public health professionals – must fully explain the range of possible interventions available and disclose the reasoning behind any recommendation they make. Anything less is either negligent or coercive.

Holistic deliberation 

Beyond the application of fundamental principles, ethics may be seen as a thoughtful, wide-ranging decision-making approach which seeks to balance a variety of factors to reach reasonable conclusions. These conclusions will aways include both evidence and values. Taking one without the other is bound to lead to inadequate choices: the evidence cannot speak for itself and value judgements alone quickly become dogma.

The Government and its advisors failed woefully to take account of either understanding of ethics.

Any robust analysis of a personal or social problem requires the consideration of a range of ideas. However it seems that where public health is concerned, policies are routinely drawn up according to a single imperative – ‘we must reduce disease and therefore save lives’ – but of course this imperative itself requires ethical standards and ethical deliberation because, as we have tragically witnessed, trying to save lives in one way risks lives in other ways.

As soon as you start to think beyond the fear of infection to consider the bigger picture, there is a flood of specific ethical issues.

  • Is it ethical to force businesses to close their doors?
  • Is it ethical to cause so many people to lose their livelihoods?
  • How is it acceptable to override basic human rights with so little public involvement?
  • Is it ethical to close schools, particularly when the evidence that this will help control the spread of the virus is unclear? (In 2022 it is now clear that this made little or no difference to ‘stopping the spread’.)
  • Do restrictions heighten social inequalities (it is easier to self-isolate in a comfortable home, it is easier to cope if you have a pleasant garden, it is easier to weather financial uncertainty if you have a secure career and savings)?
  • Given that governments have borrowed many billions to weather the crisis, and this debt will have to be repaid, is it ethical to cause hardship and suffering to future generations in the interest of existing generations?

There are many other measurable harms that should have been considered. ‘Minimising death’ was only one of many possible rationales. Consequently, the Government’s stubborn failure to reflect in a professional, balanced way caused massive, avoidable damage.

Ethics is ultimately a matter of respecting thoughtful traditions grounded in compassion and human rights, and thinking as deeply as possible about the many effects your choices will have on other people. Ethics is the essence of civilised human co-existence. Over the past two years a handful of people, quite out of their depth, were able to dismiss ethics – along with previous well-documented Government pandemic planning – with what seemed like a mere wave of the hand.

We must ensure that this can never happen again.

Dr. David Seedhouse is an Honorary Professor of Deliberative Practice at Aston University.

March 26, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Canada School of Public Service panel proposes digital IDs tied to vaccine passports

By Ken Macon | Reclaim The Net | March 26, 2022

A federal panel in Canada discussed the possibility of using digital IDs to track vaccination status. The panel also discussed making Canada a global leader in digital identification.

The Canada School of Public Service (CSPS) held an event on February 1st to discuss how digital IDs could be used to track vaccination status in future pandemics. The event, titled “The New Economy Series: Digital Identity as a New Policy Frontier, was moderated by the Senior Assistant Deputy Minister for Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Francis Bilodeau.

Bilodeau asked the panelists, “How could digital identity and a proper digital infrastructure help us deal with future situations or future pandemics?”

Joni Brennan, the President of the Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada replied: “I think that the identity is important for the pandemic – any time you would need to verify someone, anytime you would need to also do supply chain tracking and management about how do we even get the vaccine to people? How many people do we need to get it to? Have they had it yet or not? Are they due for their second dose?”

Brennan added that the scope of digital IDs should be expanded to include vaccination status.

“In terms of making this more real, perhaps, for some of the folks inside of government, I would say that we really need to close the chasm of what identity is and what identity does. When we’re talking about identifying someone in order to get them the vaccine and do that tracking that needs to be done to deliver the vaccine and know where and how to distribute it, that’s an identity issue. Knowing that the vaccine actually came from the company, that’s an identity issue.”

The discussion also touched on making Canada a global leader in digital identification.

“I think the time is perfect for us to do that, but it actually needs some teeth,” said the Chief Officer for Innovation Labs and New Ventures at Interac, Debbie Gamble. “It needs political will to pull the various players across the public and private sectors together. And together, I am confident that over a number of years we can actually start to become leaders in the marketplace.”

The Canadian Bankers Association is also pushing for the setting up of a federal digital identification system.

March 26, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 1 Comment

Two Weeks To Flatten The World

By Michael Bryant | OffGuardian | March 25, 2022

All this is a digression. The real power, the power we have to fight for night and day, is not power over things, but over men. How does one man assert his power over another? … By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating?
George Orwell, “1984”

“We become slaves the moment we hand the keys to the definition of reality entirely over to someone else, whether it is a business, an economic theory, a political party, the White House, Newsworld, or CNN.“
B.W. Powe

COVID-19 has magically disappeared.

After more than two years of non-stop bombardment with Covid “news”, there has been none at all in mainstream headlines for over a week. The media giveth and the media taketh away.

Through the immaculate erasure of the ‘Covid Crisis,’ those responsible for these harms are attempting to make us forget what they did to us, our families, and the permanent damage they caused to society.

Think back to what life was like two years ago and imagine if someone told you that a “health emergency” would require a crackdown on all social and economic life.

Remarkably, the public health orders moved quickly from “flattening the curve” and “slowing the spread” to containment, suppression, contact tracing, social isolation, quarantine, face coverings, de facto house arrest aka “lockdowns” (a prison/slave camp term), and mandated experimental injections.

In order to “keep us safe” government policies mushroomed from innocuous instructions into draconian decrees.

The limitation of the right to engage in basic economic transactions; the limitation of the right to freedom of movement; limitations on the right to practice religion; the suspension of the right to an education; the denial of the right to a livelihood; the removal of the right to receive or refuse medical attention; suspension of public meetings; suspension of juries; suppression of the right to freedom of expression; denial of the right to assembly; and much else became the new operating principles of “The Covid World.”

The institution of a bio-security police state was birthed according to health authorities and others the power to quarantine someone considered “infected” or simply to have been in contact with a purported “case.”

To make this appear necessary and acceptable, an intensive full-spectrum psychological assault on our sensibilities was implemented. Covid-19 was hyped as the ‘New Black Death’.

We were told by ‘important-looking people’ that millions will die, the entire planet is in danger, a global response is required and everyone must get in line with the program whilst “heroes” and “experts” take charge of this new global war to keep us safe.

Illogical catchphrases designed to hypnotize the public into a malleable mental state were repeated over and over in every media outlet, across virtually every social institution, and plastered throughout all walks of the public sphere.

“Flatten the Curve”, “The New Normal”, “Social Distancing” and “Follow the Science“ became the nation’s Covid shibboleths. Media bullhorns relentlessly blasted the doublespeak into the public psyche. Oxymorons and euphemisms dominated the contours of any and all “Covid-related” discourse.

Such linguistic manipulations were readily absorbed and seamlessly adopted by much of the public and became the Doublethink phraseology of the Covid Era.

Mantras of the Covid Era were followed by a fleet of psychologically disorienting and arbitrary ‘regulations’, ‘advice‘, and ‘guidelines’ which were quickly put in place, selectively enforced and subsequently changed.

No one was spared.

Children came under sustained psychological attacks, branded ‘super spreaders’, and were told to keep away from the grandparents lest they “kill granny.”

Operating in a fog of psychological trauma, everyone moved through a world devoid of smiles and laughter where faces were hidden by masks and smothered in cloth.

This barrage of brutalizing manipulations was designed to condition us to accept the tyrannical impositions of “The New Normal.” The emotional toll, because of COVID fear-mongering and media hysteria, caused the citizenry to become mentally tamed like institutionalized prisoners who would come begging for “a way out.”

The preordained and only “allowed” exit from this viral nightmare demanded that society embrace the magical “cure” of the “miracle” inoculation. A medical miracle promised to be so effective that it would be required year after year after year.

When not embraced it would be enforced.

One of the striking characteristics of the media blitzkrieg surrounding the Covid “pandemic” – or, to be more precise, the reporting of the “pandemic” – is how it so easily resembled the “War on Terror” or indeed, any war, when considered purely in terms of its effect.

Mask wearing became a patriotic duty. “Security theater” became a feature of everyday life. The vast carnage of Covid policies was sloughed off as “collateral damage.”

Lost in the sound and fury of this media bombardment were evidence, observation, and measurement– 3 of the key pillars of science.

These were replaced by make-believe forecasts, computer-generated estimates, or other not to be questioned ‘scientific metrics’ that hospitals would be over-run, mortuaries would spill into the streets and crematoriums would run out of fuel disposing of all the bodies.

Even as direct observation and real scientific data showed none of this to be true, the public health apparatus and media juggernaut ensured the public would not be exposed to such heresy.

A digital curtain of mass McCarthyite-like censorship descended upon this “Brave New World” of fact-free hysteria.

No amount of evidence could slow the propaganda machine which remained in high gear spitting out a non-stop stream of sanctimonious slogans and exaggerated death tallies.

The intended effect was widespread panic, resulting in a collective psychosis that negated all thought.

“We don’t have time!”

“We must act now!”

“Listen to the “experts!”

“Follow the science!”

“We don’t have the “luxury” of critical thinking!”

And most importantly:

“All who question the “official” narrative must be condemned.”

Put simply, Covid-19 was not an epidemiological event, it was a psychological operation.

Two years later, as bureaucrats and politicians wind down the Covid restrictions in order to quell growing unrest, we can be assured they will insist on retaining the “right” to re-impose them at will.

As long as “new variants lurk right around the corner”, public health bureaucrats and pandemic profiteers can invent the next “health emergency” to impose more shutdowns for any “viral event” that conveniently suits their political and financial aims.

While the Covid propaganda has vanished it is imperative we keep the mountain of lies under scrutiny and continue unveiling the massive corruption that defines the “Covid Era.” This is the only path towards justice and is necessary to defend against future episodes of “pandemic” hysteria.

Ultimately there can be no comprehensive debate and complete understanding of the devastating consequences of the ‘Covid Crisis’ policies without a historical and up-to-date analysis of the Medical Industry’s role in pushing socioeconomic and political agendas which benefit the ruling elites.

It is vital to understand that the public health industry is now directly tied to global markets and operates based on the demands of those financial conglomerates. Manufactured pandemics are now mammoth investment opportunities that increase the wealth of billionaires and further consolidate their power.

It is also necessary to recognize that the primary purpose of the medical industry is no longer the “art of healing”, rather as a financial instrument benefiting investors.

‘We the people‘
 must also recognize that the Medical Industry has now been fully weaponized as a punitive system designed to process, dehumanize and control every single person in the system. Before our very eyes, we have seen up close how mere biological existence is criminalized by that system.

The magic act of Covid vanishing from media view and public perception is not due to any medical miracle or the natural trajectory of a virus losing its potency. It was performed by those who manufactured this reality and committed countless crimes, coordinated in an attempt to slip out the back door, avoid further public inquiry and escape any legal consequences.

Though the story of the virus is nearly over, the sorcery that created it has not been exorcised.

The urgent message that we must take from these past two years is that we are under sustained psychological warfare and have been for quite some time.

We won’t have truly won until it is universally established that Medical Freedom is not a negotiable commodity controlled by state bureaucrats, political opportunists, or the medical cartel.

Nothing has been won until the ideology that the state controls our bodily autonomy has been thoroughly repudiated.

This story is not finished until the individuals and institutions that deceived the public and censored and persecuted dissenting voices over the past two years are publicly held accountable.

This fight is not over.

Michael Bryant is a freelance journalist/activist and researcher who presently focuses primarily on issues surrounding health freedom. His work has appeared on HealthFreedomDefense.org

March 26, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

“They did it on purpose, but the Europeans don’t know – they were poisoned, too”

TANJUG | MARCH 24, 2022

During the bombing of FR Yugoslavia, NATO also poisoned Europe, Dr Danica Grujičić told the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

The director of the Institute of Oncology and Radiology of Serbia explained that chemical plants and various dangerous industries were bombed, which, as she says, created an ecological catastrophe and poisoned Europe.

According to Grujičić, the use of NATO bombs with depleted uranium and the destruction of environmentally dangerous facilities during air strikes have led to Serbia being now the leader in the number of cancer deaths in Europe, with almost 60.000 new cancer patients a year.

“The North Atlantic Alliance did not pay attention to civilian casualties. Everyone knows the famous conversation between former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and Finnish diplomat Martti Ahtisaari, who said that Belgrade would be levelled to the ground (if it does not accept the ultimatum),” Grujičić added.

“If we had a nuclear power plant, they would definitely hit it, because they attacked everything on the list of facilities dangerous for the environment. They knew that a local environmental catastrophe would be created in every oil refinery, chemical company. They did it on purpose”, she said.

Grujičić recalled that about 15 tons of depleted uranium were officially dumped on Serbia, but emphasized that “no one knows how much it really was, and it will never be known.”

“We have taken the initiative to determine with mathematical precision, not only medical, but also environmental consequences. The data we received show that the whole of Europe was polluted. Europeans who were looking forward to the bombs over Belgrade and Serbia are also endangered and do not know what they were breathing, eating, drinking,” she added.

March 26, 2022 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

Dissecting the Ukraine imbroglio

By Former Ambassador MK Bhadrakumar | The Tribune | March 21, 2022

A successful war is invariably a popular one. The paradox is, to be a success, the war has to be popular, but not necessarily vice versa. This is where American policymakers, especially in the state department, and a big chunk of political elite, find themselves carousing in some fantasyland pinning hopes on a colour revolution in Russia due to the leadership’s decision to go to war in Ukraine. It must have come as a surprise and huge disappointment to them that according to even independent (rather, unfriendly) polls conducted in Poland, President Vladimir Putin’s rating has only soared to over 70 per cent during these past three weeks.

The unusual form of Russian action is because of its focus on restoring security of Donbass region and its boundaries.

For Putin himself, it is nonetheless a double challenge, as the statesman in him is defending Russia’s national security from the predatory mindset of the US and NATO while the politician in him is not only sensing and responding to the expectations of the people regarding the war but getting them to adjust to a painful (but historic) economic transition in the country due to its decoupling from the western economies. That involves switching attention from one planet to another on a sustainable 24X7 basis.

These nuances also explain the anatomy of Russia’s war in Ukraine — its ponderous progress, interspersed with lulls like a slowcoach of a provincial passenger train from time immemorial. In reality, though, in about half the time that the Pentagon took to seize control of Iraq during the 2003 invasion (with all the advantages that it was fighting an emaciated enemy degraded through a decade), Russia’s special operation appears to have more or less achieved its core military objective, which is to secure the Donbass region that has a big Russian population with extensive family kinships within Russia — an emotive issue, no doubt, given the genocide that followed the CIA-backed coup in Ukraine in 2014.

New kids on the block wouldn’t know that unspeakable atrocities were perpetrated by extreme nationalist and fascist groups against the Russian population through the past 8-year period. Over 14,000 civilians were killed, albeit in the American eyes, that didn’t qualify as “war crimes” because those fascist, neo-Nazi groups were largely mentored by them. Most of the 3.6 million people living in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions who survived the genocide speak Russian and one-fifth of them are Russian citizens. Arguably, the security of Donbass region and the restoration of its original administrative boundaries (as of 2014 before Ukrainian forces attacked pro-Russian separatists) is a salience of the Russian operation. That explains why the operation took an unusual form with the Russian forces avoiding fighting as far as possible and instead surrounding the Ukrainian forces and encouraging them to surrender. An estimated 60,000 Ukrainian troops are under siege and the effort is to make them surrender rather than take the easy route to vanquish them.

This has been the pattern of the Russian operation elsewhere too, which confused most Western analysts who expected sound and fury like General MacArthur’s in Japan — amphibious landings, frontal assaults on towns and cities and outright occupation. If we look at the map from northern Belarus border, clockwise, major cities — Chernihiv, Sumy and Kharkiv — have been surrounded. While Russian columns from Chernihiv and Sumy advanced toward the outskirts of Kyiv, those from east of Kharkiv moved south to link up with the forces in Luhansk and are currently engaged in taking control of the strategic Izium-Severodonetsk axis, which would establish Russian control of entire eastern region and virtually secure the Donbass region — that is, except for Mariupol port city on the Sea of Azov (which was originally part of Donetsk).

Mariupol will give the two independent Donbass republics a major port head that would provide them access to the world market, which is hugely significant for future development of that entire resource-rich region, straddling Ukraine’s rust belt. Mariupol is not only a centre for grain trade, metallurgy and heavy engineering but also higher education and business. Sensing Mariupol’s centrality to Russian strategy, the neo-Nazi Azov Brigade has been deployed to the port city. That explains the residual resistance.

The other focal point of the Russian operation currently is Kyiv, which is now surrounded on the west, north and east. On the face of it, Russian forces are not planning to launch a frontal assault on the capital city but that option remains. Again, Odessa, jewel in the crown of Black Sea and the legacy of Catherine the Great to Mother Russia, could be in Russian sights.

Clearly, the operation is limited to the eastern side of Dnieper river. The tactic is to target convoys of western arms with missile strikes. Lviv in western Ukraine witnessed an attack on Friday. Two days earlier, a large base 20 km from the Polish border and a major depot for weapons and training ground for mercenaries were also targeted. But the operations are not targeting Ukrainian cities and Moscow has no intentions of occupying the country, but is concentrating on limited surgical strikes to incapacitate Ukrainian military infrastructure.

Moscow seeks a peace agreement. But the catch is, the incumbent leadership of Volodymyr Zelenskyy is highly unstable and the ex-comedian himself is manipulated by folks in Washington who are wedded to the notion that the longer the conflict lasts, the more Russia ‘bleeds’. The global information field, which is traditionally dominated by American and British media — and the Anglo-Saxon countries in general — is creating self-serving narratives. Even in America, only Fox News presents some alternative point of view. To borrow from the Prussian General and strategist Clausewitz, the Ukraine war is veritably ‘a continuation of policy with other means’.

March 26, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

Turkey intercepts naval mine floating near Bosphorus

Samizdat | March 26, 2022

The Turkish military has intercepted an “old” naval mine near the Bosphorus strait, the country’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Saturday. The “mine-like object” was first spotted by a commercial vessel in the vicinity of the busy Black Sea strait in the morning, the official told reporters.

“Our SAS team was quickly deployed into the area. After the object in question was determined to be a mine, it was brought to a safe place,” Akar reported, adding that, “the mine, which was determined to be of an old type, was neutralized by the SAS team.”

Ankara has raised the issue with both Russian and Ukrainian officials, Akar said, without assigning blame to any party for the incident. While the defense minister said that maritime traffic “continues safely” in the area, the Turkish agriculture ministry has issued a notice prohibiting night-time fishing in certain areas of the Black Sea, in the wake of the incident.

Footage circulating online shows the mine floating close to Turkey’s shores. The object appears to be a classic ‘horned death’ naval mine, and may be similar to a Small Anchored Mine (MYaM), a Soviet-made munition dating back to the WWII-era.

The issue of naval mines threatening maritime traffic in the Black Sea was first raised by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) last week.

The Ukrainian military has placed anchor mines along its Black Sea coast in response to the ongoing Russian offensive launched late in February, the agency claimed, warning that a number of antique Soviet-made munitions have already detached from their cables and have roamed the Black Sea freely. Given the predominantly southwards currents in the area, the mines threatened the maritime traffic in Bosphorus and beyond, the FSB warned.

“It is not possible to rule out that the detached mines will drift into the Bosphorus and further into the Mediterranean Sea,” it cautioned.

The allegations, however, were disputed by the Ukrainian side, which claimed that the mine scare was merely Russian disinformation designed to serve as an excuse to close off parts of the sea.

March 26, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | | Leave a comment

US Afghan Military Arsenals are Up for Sale

By Vladimir Platov – New Eastern Outlook – 26.03.2022

While the exact number of US weapons, vehicles, aircraft and military equipment seized by the Taliban after the US and its allies had fled Afghanistan is unknown, the preliminary value of this lethal commodity is estimated by various experts at around $85 billion. In Kunduz, Afghanistan, regular Taliban military displays and military parades show, for example, US-made M1117 armored personnel carriers and other weapons that the Taliban have inherited from the US and have not yet been sold to Pakistan or other countries.  Of course, the US military and intelligence agencies will work to assess what ended up in Taliban hands, as US decision-makers have already indicated their desire for more information on the weapons seized, but this will take time. In late 2021, experts at the Center for International Policy in Washington published a study, “US Weapons Stockpiles in Afghanistan”, which noted that over two decades of war, the US had moved weapons, equipment and other materiel worth many tens of billions of dollars into the country. With Afghanistan’s bank accounts blocked and the dire humanitarian and economic situation in the country, the funds that could be raised by the Taliban from the sale of these arsenals are significant.

According to information from Afghanistan and neighboring countries, as well as from the Calibre Obscura blog, which specializes in black market arms analysis, the Taliban are willing to exchange some NATO military equipment for other weapons needed to fight in the difficult geographical conditions of their country. The Taliban plan to use the proceeds from the sale of “surplus” arms to buy food as the country is likely to face starvation after a long crisis.

The sale of US army and allied assets left behind by the hasty withdrawal of the NATO contingent has already begun in the markets of Afghanistan. In particular, body armor, military uniforms, boots, tents, dishes and much more have long been on sale. Most of the trophies are taken from warehouses that NATO has handed over to the Afghan army. It is noted that the Taliban are not asking more than $100 for a body armor, and about $50 or less for a helmet. New S&W Sigma SV9VE pistols are being sold for a third of the market price in Kandahar. In Herat, one can easily buy carbines and assault rifles at the market. Some of the weapons are sold by the Taliban themselves, some by locals who have looted US army bases and barracks.

Grey Dynamics website reports that the Taliban have begun selling off their weapons stockpiles to various groups in neighboring countries. According to their information, the weapons have ended up in the hands of the Balochistan Liberation Front (based in Iran), the Tehrik-e-Taliban-Pakistan and other extremist groups banned in the Russian Federation. Experts suggest that the weapons could resurface in neighboring states, particularly in the Central Asian republics.

It is estimated that Afghanistan could soon become the world’s largest arms seller, causing a spike in crime in the region. Previously, Iraq and, in part, Syria served as this type of arms market. Before them, it was Albania. But Afghanistan can give everyone a head start. After all, just by the most conservative estimate, the US has left about a hundred thousand pieces of small arms alone there. As can be seen from the data published in open sources, there are among the Afghan trophies the blast-resistant US-made wheeled armored vehicles to transport troops; more than two dozen light turboprop attack aircraft A29 Super Tucano (manufactured by Embraer, Brazil); more than 30 Mi-17 transport helicopters, which previously the US purchased from the Russian Federation for the Afghan government forces, as well as no less number of UH-60 Blackhawk transport helicopters and many other state-of-the-art military equipment.

According to separate media reports, the Taliban may decide to sell some of the wheeled armored vehicles to interested countries – the PRC, Turkey and all other states intending to explore US weapons. In particular, according to regional media reports, Chinese defense industries will be able to buy several UH-60 Blakchawk helicopters from the Taliban through Pakistani intermediaries to disassemble and study engine designs. Some of the A-29 Super Tucano strike aircraft may be sold off piecemeal to countries that have established close military and political contacts with the movement’s leadership (in particular, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar).

The Taliban’s determination to sell off seized military arsenals has only intensified in the absence of news of a possible unlocking of Afghanistan’s foreign exchange reserves by the US.

The Taliban themselves continue to have at their disposal attack aircraft and helicopters that are effective for combat operations in the region, including American, Russian and Brazilian-made aircraft. The Taliban are now offering large sums of money to pilots and airmen who have joined the group, and according to some reports the sums on offer are higher than those previously paid by the government in Kabul. It is known that a number of Kunduz Airbase personnel have already joined the Taliban, and there is a possibility that in the near future the Taliban will have their own air force, albeit on a limited scale.

However, even if the Taliban can obtain serviceable aircraft, they will inevitably face a maintenance problem. But the benefit to the Taliban from their presence remains so far limited by weak logistical and maintenance capabilities. The Taliban may well be able to put pilots in aircraft to make a few sorties, as they have already done, such as at a celebratory parade after the final withdrawal of US troops. But they will almost certainly need outside help to keep the aviation they have received in good working order. And the very number of qualified military pilots the Taliban have is clearly small. Moreover, Afghans are excluded from the global supply chain needed to access spare parts. And while they might be able to dismantle a few aircraft to service others, this model of combat aviation maintenance is highly unsustainable. However, it is quite possible that some external partners – Pakistan, Qatar or others – could provide the necessary assistance to the Taliban.

Furthermore, it should not be forgotten that, thanks to modern information technology and social media, the Taliban can find training programs on the use of even highly sophisticated NATO left-over military equipment and train the number of “operators” they need. Meanwhile, it is quite possible that there could be a strengthening of their “cooperation” in the near future, including in the form of the sale of their existing military equipment at quite reasonable prices or as part of “brotherly aid” to Muslims “fighting for freedom”.

March 26, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

Biden’s reality check in Europe

BY M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | INDIAN PUNCHLINE | MARCH 26, 2022 

The takeaway from the US President Joe Biden’s European tour on March 25-26 is measly. Dissenting voices are rising in Europe as western sanctions against Russia start backfiring with price hikes and shortages of fuel and electricity. And this is only the beginning, as Moscow is yet to announce any retaliatory measures as such. 

The unkindest cut of it all is that the Russian Defence Ministry chose Biden’s trip as the perfect backdrop to frame the true proportions of success of its special operation in Ukraine. The US and NATO’s credibility is perilously close to being irreparably damaged, as the Russian juggernaut rolls across Ukraine with the twin objectives of ‘demilitarisation’ and ‘denazification’ in its sights. 

The Russian General Staff disclosed on Friday that the hyped up Ukrainian Armed Forces, trained by NATO and the US, have sustained crippling losses: Ukrainian air force and air defence is almost completely destroyed, while the country’s Navy no longer exists and about 11.5% of the entire military personnel have been put out of action. (Ukraine doesn’t have organised reserves.) 

According to the Russian General Staff’s deputy head Colonel General Sergey Rudskoy, Ukraine has lost much of its combat vehicles (tanks, armoured vehicles, etc.), one-third of its multiple launch rocket systems, and well over three-fourths of its missile air defence systems and Tochka-U tactical missile systems. 

Sixteen main military airfields in Ukraine have been put out of action, 39 storage bases and arsenals destroyed (which contained up to 70% of all stocks of military equipment, materiel and fuel, and more than 1,054,000 tons of ammunition.)

Interestingly, following the intense high-precision strikes on the bases and training camps, foreign mercenaries are leaving Ukraine. During the past week, 285 mercenaries escaped into Poland, Hungary and Romania. Russian forces are systematically destroying the Western shipment of weapons. 

Most important, the mission to liberate Donbass is about to be accomplished. Simply put, the main objectives of the first phase of the operation have been achieved.

Apart from Kiev, Russian troops have blocked the northern and eastern cities of Chernigov, Sumy, Kharkov and Nikolaev, while in the south, Kherson and most of Zaporozhye region are under full control — the intention being to not only to shackle Ukrainian forces but to prevent their grouping in Donbass region. (See my article Dissecting Ukraine imbroglio, Tribune, March 21, 2022)  

“We did not plan to storm these cities from the start, in order to prevent destruction and minimise losses among personnel and civilians,” Rudskoy said. But, he added, such an option is not ruled out either in the period ahead.

It stands to reason that Washington and European capitals are well aware that the Russian operation is proceeding as scheduled and there is no stopping it. Thus, NATO’s extraordinary summit on March 24 confirmed that the alliance is unwilling to get into a military confrontation with the Russian Army. 

Instead, the summit decided to strengthen the defence of its own territories! Four additional multinational NATO combat groups of 40,000 troops will be deployed in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia on a permanent basis. Poland’s proposal to deploy NATO military units in Ukraine was outright rejected.

However, Poland has certain other plans, namely, to deploy contingents to the western regions of Ukraine to support the ‘fraternal Ukrainian people” with the unspoken agenda of reclaiming control over the historically disputed territories in the those regions. What Faustian deal has been struck in Warsaw on March 25 between Biden and his Polish counterpart Duda remains unclear. Clearly, vultures are circling Ukraine’s skies. (See my blog Biden wings his way to the borderlands of Ukraine, March 24, 2022) 

Indeed, if Poland makes a bid for Ukrainian territory (with Biden’s tacit support), would Belarus be far behind to take control of the regions of Polesie and Volyn in Ukraine? Possibly not. Suffice to say, in the period since the CIA-backed coup in Kiev in 2014 when the US moved into the driving seat, Ukraine has lost its sovereignty and is now perilously close to vanishing altogether from Europe’s map! 

Washington — Biden personally, having been the Obama administration’s point person in Kiev in 2014 — should carry this heavy cross in history books. 

As for European leaders, they find themselves in a surreal world, out of touch with the stunning realities of a new world order. Eighty-year old Biden with limited grasp of the torrential flow of events, made an astounding proposal in his press conference in Brussels on Thursday that Ukraine should replace Russia in the G20! 

But Biden has a soulmate in the European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen whose latest threat is that Russian oil and gas companies “will not be allowed to demand payment for fuel in rubles.” She is blissfully unaware that the EU has no more effective means to pressure Russian companies! 

Russian President Vladimir Putin caught the western leaders huddled in Brussels by surprise with his announcement that Russia will promptly start charging “unfriendly” countries in rubles for gas supplies. There are over 45 unfriendly countries on the list — the US and EU members plus the UK, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Montenegro and Switzerland. (See the RT’s explainer What buying gas in rubles means for Russia and the West.)

Effectively, Moscow is on the one hand strengthening the weakened ruble, while on the other hand, messaging that it is pioneering a new wave internationally to bypass the dollar as  commodity currency. 

Yet, Moscow is also continuing to routinely supply Russian gas for transit to Europe through Ukraine to meet the requests of European consumers (109.5 mln cubic meters as of March 26!) The point is, despite rhetoric and grandstanding, Europe recently increased its gas purchases from Russia significantly against the backdrop of astronomically high spot prices! 

The European Council meet at Brussels on March 25 with Biden in attendance failed to adopt any concrete measures to address the energy price growth, and could not come up with a unified approach to Russia’s decision to receive payments for its gas only in rubles. 

Apropos the European Commission’s proposal to establish a new system of common purchase of gas to prevent outbidding, the final statement of the European Council merely says that the leaders agreed to “work together on voluntary common purchase of gas, LNG and hydrogen,” meaning that common purchases may be carried out only by those EU countries who are willing to unite. [Emphasis added.] 

It is a long haul for Europe to dispense with Russian gas. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said yesterday:  “There are gas shortages, and that is why we need to talk to Russians. Europe will move towards reducing its dependence on the Russian gas, but can this happen in the coming years? This is very difficult.”

“Europe consumes 500 billion cubic meters of gas, while America and Qatar can offer 15 billion, up to the last molecule… That is why German and Austrian politicians told me: “We cannot just destroy ourselves. If we impose sanctions on Russia in the oil and gas domain, we will destroy ourselves. It’s like shooting yourself in the foot before rushing into a fight. This is how certain rational people in the West see it today.” 

With the doomsday predictions of Russian military failure in Ukraine coming unstuck and the blowback from Russia sanctions beginning to bite, Europeans are caught in a bind. They will be resentful as time passes. 

March 26, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , , , | 3 Comments

Hungary responds to Zelensky’s demand for support

Samizdat – March 26, 2022

“Hungary is on Hungary’s side,” its prime minister, Viktor Orban, said in a statement on Saturday, in response to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s calls for Budapest to quit sitting on the fence in the conflict between Kiev and Moscow.

Orban said that, while his country could not “be indifferent” to the “Russo-Ukrainian war going on in our neighborhood,” Hungary would look after its own interests first, and maintain a “Hungarian point of view.” He went on to stress that Budapest “want[ed] to stay out of this war,” but that this did not preclude it from helping “those in need.”

The statement came in response to Zelensky having urged Orban to choose a side in the conflict. Speaking to EU leaders via video link on Friday, the Ukrainian president thanked the Baltic states, Poland, France, and Germany for their support, but noted that Hungary was still declining to take a stand. He called on Budapest to “decide for yourself who you are with.” Addressing Orban directly, Zelensky asked him if he knew “what’s going on in Mariupol,” referring to the besieged southern port city, which has seen heavy fighting in recent days.

Zelensky reiterated his request that his country’s application to join the EU be swiftly considered, and once again appealed to Hungary in particular not to block the bid.

Unlike the other EU member states bordering Ukraine, Hungary has so far refused to either send weapons to Kiev or let other countries move such shipments through its territory.

Orban has argued that, as around 85% of its gas and over 60% of its oil is imported from Russia, it would not be in Budapest’s best interest to rile Moscow.

In his latest statement, however, the Hungarian prime minister emphasized that “it must be made clear to the Russians that it is not worth pursuing this war,” warning at the same time that Europe should avoid hurting itself “more than the Russians.” He also called on Brussels to provide Hungary with more funding to deal with the influx of Ukrainian refugees.

March 26, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , | Leave a comment