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How Dangerous Are Masks for Children?


Our public health agencies such as the CDC and NIH, and television medical experts seem unable to address key health messages that could have a dramatic effect in reducing risk of severe sequelae in higher-risk populations such as the minority and African-American population to the scourge of SARS-CoV-2.

These agencies and media echo chambers squandered many opportunities to inform the public on simple yet very effective messaging (vitamin D supplementation, obesity control, early treatment etc.) that could have reduced morbidity and saved lives. They continue to. Not just for Covid-19, but for many other illnesses.

For example, obesity emerged as a potent super-loaded risk factor behind age in the harmful sequelae and a human target for SARS-CoV-2 in most studies, in addition to being elderly, frail and having comorbid conditions. Being younger with comorbid conditions also placed one at risk.

We knew this data very early on, maybe one month post-March 2020 yet the CDC etc. failed to either read the data, understand the data, or act on the data. It would have behooved our agencies to have addressed these risks in large-scale education programs for the populace and especially by calling for a reduction in body weight and particularly for the minority sub-groups (African-Americans).

In a similar light, studies showed that vitamin D supplementation for African-Americans has been associated with a lowered risk of severe disease and mortality from SARS-CoV-2. So the evidence was there; just the action by health agencies was absent.

Early ambulatory outpatient treatment with successful combination and sequenced antiviral agents, corticosteroids, and anti-clotting therapeutics should be used (and should have been used) widely to help the people at risk. The African-American community is aware that “Covid (is) a killer for the obese: like pouring gasoline on top of a fire.”

Unfortunately, more than two years into the pandemic, the manifest issue of public health education and sound policy decisions remain absent and aloof, given the erratic and confusing responses from the health and governing officials.

Now we face another looming concern: the potential danger of the chlorine, polyester, and microplastic components of the face masks (surgical principally but any of the mass-produced masks) that have become part of our daily lives due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Emergent reports, albeit nascent and anecdotal but nevertheless vitally important (and will be clarified and defined in time) regarding the manufacture of masks, where, “many of them (face masks) are made of polyester, so you have a microplastic problem… many of the face masks would contain polyester with chlorine compounds… if I have the mask in front of my face, then of course I inhale the microplastic directly and these substances are much more toxic than if you swallow them, as they get directly into the nervous system.”

A very recent 2022 British publication (Jenner et al. Detection of microplastics in human lung tissue using μFTIR spectroscopy) focused on polypropylene that is a component of the face masks and reported that such “microplastics were identified in all regions of the human lungs using μFTIR analysis.” Furthermore, “polypropylene and polyethylene terephthalate fibres were the most abundant.” Researchers concluded that inhalation was “a route of MP exposure.” And that this study “is the first to report MPs within human lung tissue samples, using μFTIR spectroscopy.”

There were also early reports of toxic mold, fungi, and bacteria that can pose a significant threat to the immune system by potentially weakening it. Of particular concern to us is the recent report of breathing in synthetic fibers in the face masks. This is of serious concern.

“Loose particulate was seen on each type of mask. Also, tight and loose fibers were seen on each type of mask. If every foreign particle and every fiber in every facemask is always secure and not detachable by airflow, then there should be no risk of inhalation of such particles and fibers. However, if even a small portion of mask fibers is detachable by inspiratory airflow, or if there is debris in mask manufacture or packaging or handling, then there is the possibility of not only entry of foreign material to the airways, but also entry to deep lung tissue, and potential pathological consequences of foreign bodies in the lungs.”

Reports are that “Graphene is a strong, very thin material that is used in fabrication, but it can be harmful to lungs when inhaled and can cause long-term health problems.”

There is a risk of potential inflammatory/fibrotic lung diseases because we are inhaling these materials in the masks now for two years with more duration to come and no end in sight. These substances might also be highly carcinogenic. Not just for us as adults but we must be very concerned about the risks especially to our children since they depend on us as mentors and guides for their decision-making.

These blue surgical masks pervade our lives. They remain ubiquitous. “Health Canada issued a warning about blue and gray disposable face masks, which contain an asbestos-like substance associated with “early pulmonary toxicity.” The warning is specific to potentially toxic masks distributed within schools and daycares across Quebec. Health Canada (and full praise to them)….“discovered during a preliminary risk assessment that the masks contain microscopic graphene particles that, when inhaled, could cause severe lung damage.”

Reports are and were that “for a while now, some daycare educators had expressed suspicion about the masks, which were causing children to feel as though they were swallowing cat hair while wearing them. We now know that instead of cat hair, children were inhaling the equivalent of asbestos all day long.”It appears to be a substance known as graphene.

What is indeed alarming is that “the SNN200642 masks that were being used all across Canada in school classrooms had never been tested for safety or effectiveness.” This is indeed a catastrophic failure by the regulators as these surgical face masks are linked to early pulmonary toxicity.

What is indeed frightening is that all of these blue and similar surgical face masks cause plastic fiber inhalation and the outcomes could be devastating, especially to our children. Yet it has pervaded and persons making Covid policy decisions do not seem to care about the harmful implications. These face mask plastics will degrade very slowly over time and as such, in the lungs it may remain and just build up to dangerous levels.

We do not even know what is an ‘acceptable’ level, for there should be none. There is debate that the immune system can attack such foreign objects, thus driving prolonged inflammation which may lead to diseases such as cancer. And reused masks which pervade our daily lives, and based on our personal experiences, do produce more loosened fibers.

Dr. Richard Urso showed us just how dangerous these are by putting them under a microscope, revealing the melt-blown polypropylene plastic. Some masks even contain fiberglass and this is very dangerous as we know to inhale. We as parents make these decisions; we have to step back and question many of these decisions we are making that seem suboptimal. If it does not seem right, then you have to push back and question and demand the science, demand the data from these seemingly untethered experts.

We certainly did not get (across the last two years) and are not presently getting the due diligence and protection from public health experts, the relevant health agencies, and policy makers that we need.

Moreover, the mass media seems incapable of doing the investigative type of journalism to fully inform the populace on what the public needs to know. We close by reiterating the warning in the JAMA publication that “Face masks should not be worn by healthy individuals to protect themselves from acquiring respiratory infection because there is no evidence to suggest that face masks worn by healthy individuals are effective in preventing people from becoming ill.”

Every act has a consequence, and there is always risk. It is therefore imperative to weigh the consequences before embarking on a specific course of action. These are risk management decisions especially for parents and not because a Dr. Fauci type tells you to do something means that it is accurate or necessary. Just consider the nonsense we heard about double masking where he said use them one day only to then retract on another day.

Children come with a potent innate immune system that works tremendously well. At the same time and similarly, their immune systems are still being developed, and we have forced lockdowns, school closures, and masking on a developing child. We have no prior experience on the subsequent outcomes pertaining to children’s development, health, and well-being.

We may be faced with catastrophic consequences of what we did to our children over the last two years of unsound Covid restrictive policies, and allowed government technocrats to force these upon them. These are matters too important to nonchalantly disregard.

Dr. Paul Alexander is an epidemiologist focusing on clinical epidemiology, evidence-based medicine, and research methodology. He has a bachelor’s in epidemiology from McMaster University, and a master’s degree from Oxford University. He earned his PhD from McMaster’s Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact. Paul is a former WHO Consultant and Senior Advisor to US Department of HHS in 2020 for the COVID-19 response.

April 15, 2022 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

More Than 1 Million COVID Vaccine Injuries, Nearly 27,000 Deaths Reported to VAERS: CDC Data

By Megan Redshaw | The Defender | April 15, 2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today released new data showing a total of 1,226,314 reports of adverse events following COVID vaccines were submitted between Dec. 14, 2020, and April 8, 2022, to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). VAERS is the primary government-funded system for reporting adverse vaccine reactions in the U.S.

The data included a total of 26,976 reports of deaths — an increase of 277 over the previous week — and 219,865 serious injuries, including deaths, during the same time period — up 2,564 compared with the previous week.

Excluding “foreign reports” to VAERS, 805,921 adverse events, including 12,471 deaths and 79,811 serious injuries, were reported in the U.S. between Dec. 14, 2020, and April 8, 2022.

Foreign reports are reports foreign subsidiaries send to U.S. vaccine manufacturers. Under U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, if a manufacturer is notified of a foreign case report that describes an event that is both serious and does not appear on the product’s labeling, the manufacturer is required to submit the report to VAERS.

Of the 12,471 U.S. deaths reported as of April 8, 17% occurred within 24 hours of vaccination, 21% occurred within 48 hours of vaccination and 59% occurred in people who experienced an onset of symptoms within 48 hours of being vaccinated.

In the U.S., 564 million COVID vaccine doses had been administered as of April 8, including 334 million doses of Pfizer, 212 million doses of Moderna and 19 million doses of Johnson & Johnson (J&J).

Every Friday, VAERS publishes vaccine injury reports received as of a specified date. Reports submitted to VAERS require further investigation before a causal relationship can be confirmed.

Historically, VAERS has been shown to report only 1% of actual vaccine adverse events.

U.S. VAERS data from Dec. 14, 2020, to April 8, 2022, for 5- to 11-year-olds show:

U.S. VAERS data from Dec. 14, 2020, to April 8, 2022, for 12- to 17-year-olds show:

U.S. VAERS data from Dec. 14, 2020, to April 8, 2022, for all age groups combined, show:

Woman develops fatal brain disease after second Moderna dose

Carol Beauchine died from sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), a rapidly evolving, fatal degenerative brain disorder she developed after her second dose of Moderna’s COVID vaccine.

In an exclusive interview with The Defender, Carol’s son, Jeffrey Beauchine, said it was excruciating to watch his 70-year-old mother — who was healthy until she got the vaccine — die from a disease he believes the vaccine caused.

Beauchine said Carol received her first dose of Moderna on Feb. 16, 2021, and didn’t report any complaints. After getting the second dose on March 17, Carol immediately said she “felt different.” She developed numbness that spread throughout the entire left side of her body, blindness and hearing loss. She lost the ability to walk and communicate, and her brain degenerated until she passed away on Aug. 2, 2021 — just five months after receiving her second dose of Moderna.

The family submitted a report to VAERS, but the CDC has not followed up on Carol’s death. The Defender has received numerous reports of people who died from sporadic CJD after receiving a COVID vaccine — all women who were between the ages of 60 and 70, including Cheryl Cohen and Jennifer Deason Sprague.

Biden administration extends COVID public health emergency needed to keep vaccines under EUA

The Biden administration on Wednesday extended the COVID public health emergency, now two years old, for an additional 90 days — allowing vaccines and other drugs to remain under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Keeping COVID vaccines and other countermeasures under EUA shields pharmaceutical companies from liability for the harms caused by their products.

According to Reuters, a public health emergency was initially announced in January 2020, when the COVID pandemic began. It has been renewed each quarter since and was due to expire on April 16.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said in a statement it was extending the public health emergency and will give states 60 days’ notice prior to termination or expiration. This may be the last time HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra extends it, according to policy experts.

Pfizer to seek authorization from FDA for COVID booster shot for kids 5 to 11 years old

Pfizer and BioNTech Thursday said they plan to apply for EUA of a COVID booster dose for healthy 5- to 11-year-olds based on the results of a small study that has not been published or analyzed by independent experts.

Pfizer said in a press release the third dose of its vaccine produced significant protection against the Omicron variant in children 5 to 11 in a small Phase 2/3 clinical trial. The study was based on data from only 140 children 5 through 11 years old who received a booster dose six months after the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID vaccine as part of the primary series.

Pfizer claimed a closer look at 30 children showed a 36-fold increase in virus-fighting antibodies — levels high enough to fight the Omicron variant, and that a third dose was “well tolerated with no new safety signals observed.”

Although Pfizer said more than 10,000 children under the age of 12 have participated in clinical trials investigating Pfizer’s COVID vaccine, only 140 were selected for the study forming the basis for the company’s EUA request.

CDC launches internal review over failed COVID response

The CDC announced Monday it was launching a month-long comprehensive agency-wide review following widespread criticism of the agency’s response to the COVID pandemic.

The agency plans to evaluate its structure, systems and processes, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told staff in an email obtained by The Washington Post. Walensky said the goal of the review is to “modernize” the agency and “to position CDC, and the public health community, for greatest success in the future.”

The review will be conducted by Jim Mcrae, associate administrator for primary healthcare at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The HRSA and the CDC are part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Last month, the CDC’s decision to remove from its data tracker website tens of thousands of deaths linked to COVID — including nearly a quarter of the deaths the agency said had occurred among children — eroded public trust in the CDC’s handling of case counts.

Children’s Health Defense asks anyone who has experienced an adverse reaction, to any vaccine, to file a report following these three steps.

April 15, 2022 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 1 Comment

Pfizer to Ask FDA to Allow 3rd COVID Shot for Healthy 5- to 11-Year-Olds, Based on Study of 140 Kids

By Megan Redshaw | The Defender | April 14, 2022

Pfizer and BioNTech today said they plan to apply for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of a COVID-19 booster dose for healthy 5- to 11-year-olds based on results of a small study that has not been published or analyzed by independent experts.

The companies also plan to request authorization from the European Medicines Agency and other regulatory agencies around the world as soon as possible.

Pfizer said in a press release the third dose of its vaccine produced significant protection against the Omicron variant in children 5 to 11 in a small Phase 2/3 clinical trial.

The study was based on data from only 140 children 5 through 11 years old who received a booster dose six months after the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID vaccine as part of the primary series.

A closer look at 30 children showed a 36-fold increase in virus-fighting antibodies — levels high enough to fight the Omicron variant, ABC News reported.

Pfizer claimed the third dose was “well tolerated with no new safety signals observed.”

Although Pfizer said more than 10,000 children under the age of 12 have participated in clinical trials investigating Pfizer’s COVID vaccine, only 140 were selected for the study forming the basis for the company’s EUA request.

Commenting on the news, Dr. Brian Hooker said, “The clinical trial used to support the notion of a COVID-19 booster for 5- to 11-year-olds is entirely inadequate to make any such recommendation.”

Hooker, chief science advisor at Children’s Health Defense (CHD), added:

“This small-scale, limited-time trial contains only 140 patients, which is not sufficiently sized to assess vaccine adverse events at all, especially rarer injuries such as the devastating medical maladies sustained by Maddie de Garay — an adolescent injured in the original Pfizer clinical trial.”

Hooker said he was also concerned there are “no data on the prevention of COVID-19 infection, only neutralizing antibody titers, which are not necessarily predictive of transmission and severity of the disease.”

Dr. Liz Mumper, a pediatrician, said, “Once again, Pfizer does science by press release.” Mumper said the rise in antibody titers is just one small piece of the story of kids and COVID.

“The more important issue is that, on the basis of careful risk-versus-benefit analysis, healthy children do not need a COVID vaccine,” Mumper said, because many kids already had COVID and developed robust and durable antibodies.

CHD President Mary Holland accused Pfizer of reaching “a new low” by seeking authorization of booster shots for children based on an “unpublished, non-peer-reviewed study of 140 children.”

Holland said:

“Following the science on COVID vaccination shows that the risks outweigh the benefits for COVID shots for kids, let alone boosters. One suspects this is simply a misguided ploy to use up Pfizer’s vaccine inventory before its expiration.”

Pfizer tested its booster dose while Omicron was the dominant variant this winter. In recent weeks, BA.2 has become the dominant COVID variant. It has not been determined whether a third dose provides any protection against the new variant.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in October 2021 authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine for children 5 through 11 and recently authorized a booster dose for teens 12 through 15 and older and also immunocompromised children 5 and older.

According to a study published late last month in The New England Journal of Medicine, Pfizer’s vaccine showed “reduced effectiveness” against the Omicron variant among children 12 and older.

According to an analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data by the American Academy of Pediatrics, as of April 6, 2022, 9.7 million U.S. children ages 5 to 11 had received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine — representing 34% of 5- to 11-year-olds.

Approximately 7.8 million U.S. children ages 5 to 11 completed the 2-dose primary vaccination series — representing 28% of 5- to 11-year-olds.

About 18.7 million children 5 to 11 had yet to receive their first COVID vaccine dose.

Seventeen million U.S. adolescents ages 12 to 17 have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine — representing 68% of 12- to 17-year-olds.

Only 58% completed the 2-dose vaccination series and 8.1 million adolescents in this age group have yet to receive a COVID vaccine.

There are 72.8 million children under age 18 in the U.S., which is 22% of the U.S. population. Children aged 5 to 11 represent 8.6% of the U.S. population.

The FDA has not authorized any COVID vaccines for use in children under 5.

According to the latest data from the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), between Oct. 1, 2021, and April 1, 2022, 10,157 adverse events, including 239 rated as serious and 5 reported deaths after COVID vaccines, were reported in the 5- to 11-year-old age group.

Although reports submitted to VAERS require further investigation before a causal relationship can be confirmed, the system has been shown to report only 1% of actual vaccine adverse events.

Megan Redshaw is a freelance reporter for The Defender. She has a background in political science, a law degree and extensive training in natural health.

© 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.

April 15, 2022 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | | 3 Comments

Over 150 Palestinians injured as Israeli police storm Al-Aqsa

MEMO | April 15, 2022

More than 150 Palestinians were injured at dawn on Friday as the Israeli police stormed the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Anadolu Agency reports.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said that 152 Palestinians were injured by Israeli police in the courtyards of the mosque.

The Palestinians were injured by rubber bullets, tear gas, and beaten by the Israeli police which also fired a barrage of stun grenades.

In a statement, the Islamic Endowment Department in Jerusalem, said that one of the mosque’s guards was hit in the eye by a rubber-coated metal bullet.

Eyewitnesses told Anadolu Agency that the Israeli police pursued the worshipers and beat them in the mosque’s courtyards.

For its part, the Israeli police announced in a statement that three of its members were slightly injured by stones thrown at them.

The police also noted in another statement that its forces removed the “rioters” in Al-Aqsa Mosque and arrested about 300 of them.

Thousands of worshipers were in the mosque where they were performing the morning prayer.

April 15, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 1 Comment

The UK is Trying to Drag the US into World War III

By Michael Tracey | April 14, 2022

There’s a chap called Tobias Ellwood who’s spent the past week doggedly promoting his latest idea to save Western civilization. “From a military perspective,” Ellwood explained during a recent speaking engagement, it’s never been more urgent to impose a “humanitarian sea corridor” off the coast of Ukraine. This would involve an outright naval intervention by NATO in the Black Sea — with the objective being to prevent Russia from seizing control of the strategically important city of Odesa. Perhaps upon commencement of this mission, Ellwood suggested, listless denizens of “The West” will finally come to appreciate the existential stakes of the conflict now before us, and “accept that we are actually in a 1938 period, but actually worse.” The double “actually” was presumably included for maximum emphasis.

Notably, Ellwood is not some random crank. He is “actually” a Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom, and the chairman of the impressively-titled Defence Select Committee. In that latter capacity, he seeks to exert influence over the Defence policy of Her Majesty’s Government, which is currently led by his Conservative Party colleague Boris Johnson.

During the private event, hosted by a Think Tank which unilaterally and hilariously decreed his comments “off the record,” Ellwood described the plan he envisaged for how this new phase of military intervention in Ukraine would unfold. It should be up to the UK to “create a coalition of the willing,” he declared — borrowing the terminology once used for countries that participated in the US invasion of Iraq, which memorably included the UK. Ellwood evidently detected no ignominy at all in this historical association.

On the subject of Ukraine, Ellwood’s view is that the UK and Europe must stop waiting around for the US to get its act together, and instead proactively initiate the kind of muscular, unapologetic military action that is currently needed against Russia. The lesson of last year’s Afghanistan withdrawal, Ellwood charged — as well as Joe Biden’s purported Ukraine-related dithering — has been to “expose America to be very, very hesitant indeed.” He explained: “I see the United States almost catching up with where, from a military perspective, a vanguard may actually go.”

Note that Ellwood’s plan certainly does not assume that the US would somehow just sit out whatever forthcoming war the UK may instigate. With the US as the real firepower behind NATO, that’s obviously not feasible. Instead, his idea would simply be for the UK to place itself at the “vanguard” of precipitating the new military action, after which the US would inevitably be engulfed as well. Time is of the essence, Ellwood contends, because China has ominously joined with Russia to set about “dismantling the liberal world order” — a development Ellwood believes will elevate the conflict to a magnitude on par with the Peloponnesian War of Greek antiquity. “China will exploit the war in Ukraine to hasten America’s inevitable decline,” he warned.

Out of these ashes, at least according to Ellwood’s apparent calculus, will rise the UK: “If we want Putin to fail,” Ellwood declared, “then we need to conclude this in months. We need to vow to press forward.” He added, “I underline how critical it is: if Odesa falls, then I’m afraid it’s going to be very, very difficult for us to turn this around.” (Note his use of the pronoun “us,” as though it should be understood that the UK is already an official combatant.)

In his quest to position the UK at the head of this new “vanguard” for greater military intervention, Ellwood is aided by a supportive clamor emanating from what some might regard as an unlikely quarter: the British Left. Broach the subject of Ukraine with prominent figures in the Labour Party, the trade unions, or the left-wing media, and you might be amazed to find that their critique of current Government policy is not that Boris Johnson has been too cavalier or militaristic with regard to Ukraine. Rather, it’s that Johnson hasn’t been cavalier or militaristic enough. Or in other words, what they’re really taking the Conservative Government to task for at the moment is its alleged unwillingness to escalate the war to their liking.

Adjust the ideological contours slightly, and this new Labour Party line is a mirror image of the Republican Party’s current critique of Joe Biden. According to the incessant shrieks of GOP elected officials, Biden is nothing but a wimpy appeaser — even though he’s escalating US involvement in new and exciting ways virtually every single day. Just this week, Biden rolled out something like a back-to-back escalatory special: on Tuesday he publicly accused Putin of committing “genocide,” and by Wednesday he was announcing yet another $800 million in arms shipments, with this latest tranche featuring heavier weaponry than ever before — including a fleet of attack helicopters. That coincided with a classified meeting held at the Pentagon, where the eight largest US defense contractors had been summoned “in preparation for a protracted conflict against Russia.”

But no matter how much Biden intensifies the military intervention, it’s never enough for the GOP, which constantly needs an angle of attack whereby they’re lambasting Biden for not being sufficiently “tough.” (In a heartwarming display of bipartisan unity, Donald Trump just went on Fox News and repeated Biden’s “genocide” accusation. The jury’s still out on whether Trump accused Putin of committing genocide only because he’s secretly conspiring with Putin: tune in tonight on MSNBC for the latest updates.)

This GOP-esque “never tough enough” oppositional dynamic is also evident in the UK, except with putatively left-wing opposition figures leading the charge. Addressing a pro-war rally in London last weekend was Alex Sobel, a Labour Party MP who serves in the Shadow Cabinet of Keir Starmer, the current Opposition Leader. When I asked Sobel to clarify his policy grievance against Boris Johnson, he told me: “There’s been a lack of military assistance. And there’s been a lack of support within NATO more broadly, in terms of military assistance.” This can be translated as: Boris Johnson, NATO, and the US have not been militarily aggressive enough in Ukraine! That’s the criticism!

Expressing his reluctance to countenance any kind of negotiated resolution to the war, Sobel told me: “The Russians only understand force, they do not understand peace.” This is a weirdly common allusion to a supposed genetic predisposition of Russians that makes them inherently… warlike? Sounds very similar to when James Clapper, the top Intelligence Official in the Obama Administration, would go around intoning that Russians were “almost genetically-driven to co-opt” and “penetrate.”

Much of the UK media shares the view that Boris Johnson has exhibited insufficient “force” in his dealings with Russia. This includes The Observer newspaper — understood to be the UK’s leading bastion of respectable left/liberal opinion — which threw caution to the wind last weekend and published an official unsigned editorial institutionally endorsing “direct intervention” in Ukraine by NATO. In particular, the editorial promoted the very same naval blockade plan touted by Tobias Ellwood — the aforementioned Conservative MP who might otherwise be considered the newspaper’s ideological foe. “Declare the unoccupied city of Odesa off-limits,” the Observer editorial demands of Johnson, “and warn Russia to cease coastal bombardments or face serious, unspecified consequences.” Wariness to start World War III has now turned into a timid “excuse” for inaction, the editorial writers allege.

So that’s the basic gist of the left/liberal position on Ukraine. In order to placate his political opponents, Boris Johnson would have to drastically escalate the UK’s existing military intervention. Jeremy Cliffe, a writer for the left-wing New Statesman magazine, confirmed as much to me directly:

Also behold the recent activism of Owen Jones, the noted left-wing journalist whose “beat” appears to be a never-ending series of exhortatory instructions to some amorphous assemblage he calls “The Left.” Jones is now of the view, amazingly, that supporting the “armed struggle” of Ukraine is the only proper “anti-war” position. So here we have another “anti-war” leftist who happens to be in favor of provisioning tanks, fighter jets, missiles, and grenades into an active warzone, for the purpose of facilitating warfare. As is also the case in the US, these UK left/liberals often find it unpleasant to straightforwardly label themselves “pro-war” — so they have been forced to play word-games galore to avoid acknowledging reality. And the reality is that the policy action they’re advocating must necessarily be enacted by some combination of Boris Johnson, the US military-industrial complex, and NATO — all of whom have now been enlisted to carry out these leftists’ desired war aims.

The most vivid manifestation of this increasingly incoherent left-wing viewpoint could be observed a few days ago at the pro-war march and rally in Whitehall, the governmental corridor of Central London. I found out about the rally because it was endorsed and promoted by Owen Jones on Twitter. Upon arrival, I discovered that leading the march was another left-wing journalist, Paul Mason, who organized the action in concert with a strange Trotyskist faction called the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty. “We support Ukraine’s war and demand the West provides weapons,” the group’s pamphlet declares, along with a bitter condemnation of NATO for “steadfastly refusing to fight.”

Mason had many magical moments as rally leader, but his most comical interlude was when he stopped along the march route to bellow, via bullhorn, in the general direction of the UK Ministry of Defence — shouting for the workers inside to come out and join. I asked Mason if he reckoned this was the first “anti-war” and/or “left-wing” rally in British history for which the Ministry of Defence (of a Conservative government!) was considered a natural ally — but he caustically refused to talk, instead denouncing me as a “Putin shill.” (Direct quote.) Clever guy, that Paul. Supremely confident in his convictions, surely, and quick with the novel insult.

A former employee of the BBC and Channel 4, Mason offered up an inventive rationalization for his pro-war advocacy when it was his turn to clasp the microphone that afternoon. “In a war like this, our natural demand for peace — our natural fear of military action — has to take second place,” he proclaimed. Because don’t you know, according to Mason, this particular war is actually being waged on behalf of the vaunted “Working Class”!

“It is in the interest of working class people to support Ukraine in this war,” Mason beseeched from the rally pulpit, expressing his hope to mobilize the whole of the British Labor Movement behind the pro-war cause. “I know how hard that is for many of us, who’ve stood outside here in so many other wars and said — you know, screw your hypocrisy over Iraq, and Afghanistan, and the rest,” Mason acknowledged. “It’s hard. But the only way to get arms into the hands of the Ukrainian people right now… is to keep the pressure on the government.”

So there you have it, clear as day: the object of this left-wing “anti-war” rally was to “keep the pressure” on the ruling Conservative Government… to continue ramping up weapons shipments to Ukraine. For use in… intensifying warfare. As Mason barreled forward with his speech, the Ukraine flag shimmered triumphantly in the sunlight atop Boris Johnson’s Cabinet Office, located right across the street at 70 Whitehall — a moving symbol of cross-ideological unity.

I found that a very simple line of questioning posed to the assembled leftist demonstrators — merely asking them whether they viewed the event they were partaking in as a “pro-war” rally, or an “anti-war” rally — tended to elicit spells of bewildered anger. When asked this question, a number of the pamphleteers insisted to me that the rally was in fact “anti-war” in nature, even though they were distributing placards featuring the injunction to “Arm Ukraine” — a task which would necessarily have [to be] accomplished by the US, UK, and other governments, in conjunction with NATO. One of the chants fervently screamed on the march went as follows: “Put an end to Putin’s reign! Arm, arm, arm, Ukraine!” That’s the new mantra of the British anti-war movement! If nothing else, one has to appreciate this audacious innovation in the fluidity of language.

Another Labour MP, Nadia Whittome, also addressed the pro-war rally — naturally beginning her speech with a fulsome greeting to her fellow “Comrades.” As the youngest member of Parliament at age 25, she can hardly be accused of representing some stodgy old guard; she even had the presence of mind to tie the cause of battlefield victory for Ukraine with the cause of Palestinians. “Slava Ukraini!” Whittome cried. I would’ve asked her to expand upon her views, but at the time had been temporarily accosted by a duo of pro-war demonstrators who identified me based on my Twitter feed, and attempted (unsuccessfully) to kick me out of the rally. It was pretty funny.

At one point, a woman representing UNISON, one of the UK’s largest trade unions, read aloud a message she’d received from the head of the Federation of Trade Unions in Ukraine — purportedly some bold demonstration of organized labor solidarity. The only catch, at least for anyone who might not be so hot on the idea of World War III, was that this letter from the Ukrainian union leader included a demand to “secure our Ukrainian sky.” Which, of course, is another variation on the No Fly Zone demand that Zelensky and other Ukraine government officials have been lobbying for relentlessly over the past seven weeks. And that was the demand — for World War III, more or less — which was boldly read aloud at this reputedly left-wing “anti-war” rally. At times, you really just had to step back and appreciate the dark humor.

If there’s one figure on the British Left who’s still slightly reticent to support overt cataclysmic warfare, it’s Jeremy Corbyn, the former leader of the Labour Party. Though he immediately condemned Russia’s invasion after it was launched in February, Corbyn has also reiterated his longstanding skepticism about the utility of NATO — even “refuting” the idea that NATO is merely a “defensive alliance.” He has further opposed the massive US/UK/NATO arms-funneling operation in Ukraine, and instead indicated a preference for a negotiated resolution to the conflict — positions which put him on the radical fringe in both the UK and the US.

Alex Sobel, the Labour MP I interviewed, had previously served on Corbyn’s front bench in Parliament — so I asked him what he made of Corbyn’s position on Ukraine, which conflicted resolutely with the message being propounded at the left-wing pro-war rally. Sobel replied coldly: “I don’t know what his position is. He’s not a Labour MP.” (Corbyn was expelled from the parliamentary Party in 2020.)

“Arm Ukraine” ralliers in London on April 9, 2022

The left-wing tactic of characterizing overt escalation of warfare as #actually being “anti-war” is firmly in league with the chosen PR strategy of the Ukraine government — keenly aware that they must cater to the sensibilities of liberal Europeans and Americans, most of whom would probably prefer not to think of themselves as disreputable pro-war boors. After the slick visit paid by Boris Johnson to Kiev last weekend, wherein he strode around for the cameras with Zelensky, it was announced that the UK would deploy additional shipments of armored vehicles and missile systems to the warzone. An advisor to Zelenksy heralded the move as further evidence that “The UK is the leader… in the anti-war coalition.”

Has there ever been an “anti-war coalition” that so passionately and openly advocated literal warfare? It’s truly remarkable!

By the way, to any staunch advocates of military intervention who may be reading this: it would be more than possible for you to finally drop the phony “anti-war” pretense, and simply argue in favor of what you believe to be a “just war.” There’s a fairly healthy tradition of such arguments. And in that case, at least the terms of the debate could be clarified!

But, there’s a strong interest among these various factions to ensure that the terms of the debate are not clarified. An old saying goes that the Conservative Party and the Labour Party are really “two cheeks of the same backside.” On the subject of Ukraine, that’s eminently applicable. And you can throw in the Democrats and Republicans as well — another a pair of pimples on the same “arse.”

Whatever the UK’s ultimate designs for future military escalation, it’s very possible that the US won’t need very much cajoling after all. Last week, to conspicuously little fanfare, the US Senate unanimously revived the “lend-lease” program — originally created in 1941 to arm the UK in the Second World War — on behalf of Ukraine. Seems like a potential omen for what’s to come. And who knows what else Joe Biden, who’s already declared his intention to engineer regime change in Russia, has up his crusty old sleeve.

Nevertheless, Boris Johnson has every incentive to go full-steam-ahead and do exactly as he’s been enjoined to do by clamorers on both the Left and Right. Upon receiving a fine this week from the police for partying during COVID lockdown, and thus violating the rules he himself imposed — a scandal that not long ago had him teetering perilously close to being ousted as Prime Minister — Johnson delivered a statement that was really one for the ages. He said that his receipt of the fine now instilled in him an “even greater sense of obligation” to “ensure that Putin fails in Ukraine.” Really, that’s what he said.

It remains to be seen what form this “sense of obligation” will take. Perhaps it will culminate in fulfilling the wishes of Tobias Ellwood and The Observer, and a naval intervention in the Black Sea will be launched. Or perhaps some other plan is in store. Richard Shirreff, a retired British Army officer and former high-level NATO commander, has recently declared that either way, Britons “need to brace ourselves, prepare ourselves for war.” Whichever escalatory option Johnson may choose, it can be carried out with a certain satisfaction in knowing that left-wing activists will be marching right behind him, in unbridled support — apparently on behalf of the “working class.” You really couldn’t make it up.

April 15, 2022 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Germany seeks to spend billions on weapons for Ukraine – media

Samizdat | April 15, 2022

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has announced plans to spend an additional €2 billion ($2.16 billion) on military needs, most of which is aimed at providing supplies to Ukraine, Reuters reported on Friday.

Citing a government source, the news agency said that approximately €400 million ($432.5 million) of the new money is being allocated to the European Peace Facility, a funding mechanism through which military aid is being procured for Ukraine. The remaining part of the additional funds will be deployed directly on supplies for Kiev, among other needs.

The decision of the German authorities to send weapons to Ukraine, which was announced two days after Moscow’s launch of its military operation, marked a major shift in Berlin’s policy of not providing Kiev with lethal weapons.

Soon thereafter, Scholz announced a plan to beef up the German military, which has been plagued by equipment shortages for years. He pledged €100 billion ($112.7 billion) of the 2022 budget for the armed forces and committed to reaching the target of 2% of GDP spending on defense that is requested by NATO. However, later on the chancellor took a rather cautious approach when it came to the conflict in Ukraine.

Earlier this week, Scholz said that Germany would continue military supplies to Kiev but would send only “correct and reasonable” weapons and only in close coordination with its partners. Berlin also made it clear that it was not planning to send “offensive” weapons, such as tanks and other armored vehicles, despite Ukraine’s numerous requests.

Such a policy, along with the government’s reluctance to support the plans for an EU ban on Russian oil and gas, has prompted criticism from the Green Party, which controls the foreign and economy ministries. On Monday, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock urged the West to provide Kiev with heavy weaponry and appeared to criticize Scholz, stressing that “now is not the time for excuses.”

A senior Green MP, Anton Hofreiter, called the chancellor’s approach “damaging” not only to Ukraine but also to Germany’s reputation in Europe and in the world.

Many of his compatriots seem to agree. According to a recent poll conducted by the outlets ARD and Welt, 55% of Germans support supplying heavy weapons to Ukraine, while 37% do not back such an idea.

Initially, Berlin provided Ukraine with 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 anti-aircraft Stinger missiles. In mid-March, Germany said that due to security risks it would not disclose further information about supplies of weapons to Ukraine

April 15, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

Boris Johnson Supports Ukraine to the Detriment of the Brits

By Valery Kulikov – New Eastern Outlook – 15.04.2022

A highly sensationalist article by Bloomberg clearly shows that the British government left more than 5 million Britons without support in the current crisis in implementing its pronounced Russophobic policy!

As the publication emphasizes, a significant part of the British population feels the consequences of the cost of living crisis especially strongly, and this is due more to politics than to the economy. An increase in electricity bills and in the cost of food and loan rates has already become a difficult test for all the British without exception. Thus, since April 1, gas and electricity prices alone have increased by 54%! Prices for fruits and vegetables in Britain may soon rise by a third, which is already creating problems and a shortage of products on the shelves of British stores. At the same time, warehouses are already running out of sunflower oil, which jeopardizes the production of traditionally beloved British dishes, writes Daily Mail.

New statistics shows that food inflation in Britain has already increased by 5.3% year-on-year. The Bank of England warned last week that the incomes of many Britons will experience an “historic” shock after inflation jumped to a 30-year high last month, has already reached 6.2%, and, according to forecasts, may rise to 8% this spring, notes Daily Mail.

The independent Food Aid Network, which consists of more than 550 food banks from all over Britain, has sent a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, writes The Independent, with a demand to take urgent measures, since the number of requests for help has increased enormously in recent weeks. This is due to high electricity bills, rising food prices and health insurance. For this very reason, many families are barely surviving, and in some food banks the number of requests has doubled since the end of 2021. Some food banks have already had to reduce the amount of food they provide.

Britain is witnessing the biggest decline in living standards since the 1950s, and many British families in such conditions have to wonder, “how to survive further”?

“Fuel poverty” has affected 88% of the British population, Sky News reports. As the British told the TV channel, against the background of rising energy prices, they are forced to go to bed earlier or take buses and trains all day to keep warm. At the same time, the country predicts that as energy prices continue to rise, it will be even more difficult for families already living on the brink.

However, instead of providing effective assistance to the residents of the kingdom and reducing unnecessary spending, at the expense of the British taxpayers, on “settling in and helping Ukraine,” the British government continues to take not just a wait-and-see stance, but one overtly contradicting the interests of its own people. Against this background, the “decision”, covered by The Sun, of the British company Octopus Energy to distribute blankets with electric heating to financially struggling customers in order to “help them survive a sharp rise in heating prices,” is perceived as a cruel joke on the impoverished Britons. This company did not even stop to think about how the British will pay bills for the use of electric blankets when they do not have enough money to pay for heating their homes! Do not forget that in early April, energy prices in the United Kingdom jumped by 54% due to a strong rise in wholesale gas prices. The rates increase has hit millions of households across the kingdom. Now the energy bill for the country’s residents will increase by an average of 700 pounds per year.

The results of a survey conducted by the National Statistical Service indicate that residents of the United Kingdom have to seriously reduce spending. More than half of respondents stated that they save on “non-essential” goods, 34% – on gas or electricity, and 31% – on food and essential goods.

On March 28, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, speaking before the British Parliament, said that although rising costs have been hitting people across Europe in recent weeks, no major economy leaves its unemployed population in such a vulnerable position. There are 5.3 million people in Britain today who could work but depend solely on state aid, and more and more Britons are forced to resort to the services of food banks and apply for short-term cash loans at high interest rates. This number of disadvantaged Britons is approximately equal to the number of all residents of Scotland and accounts for a tenth of people of working age in the United Kingdom.

Against the background of the lack of financial assistance from the government to the catastrophically impoverished Britons, the inhabitants of the kingdom were perplexed at learning the results of the recent trip of the British Prime Minister to Kiev, where he arrived with a new package of financial and military assistance to this country. In particular, Boris Johnson said that Britain would supply Ukraine with an additional 120 armored vehicles and anti-ship complexes. In addition, Kiev will receive new loan guarantees from Britain worth USD 500 million through the World Bank, while the British Prime Minister expressed readiness to help in the restoration of Kiev and the Kiev region after the end of the Russian military operation.

This is causing new anti-government protests among Britons who are outraged by the sharp rise in the cost of living over the past couple of months and the failed government policies. Protest demonstrations took place across the country, including in Belfast, where the rally participants demanded that the government allocate an additional thousand pounds to each family in Northern Ireland to help the population reduce the rising costs of fuel and food. Similar actions took place in dozens of other cities across the kingdom. British households are telling the government that they are experiencing more blows to their finances amid an unprecedented crisis caused by the rising cost of living.

“The residents of Britain are facing difficult times due to anti-Russian sanctions, but the country’s authorities, apparently, do not realize the threat,” was the conclusion of retired General Jonathan Shaw made on the pages of The Independent. He is convinced that the Johnson government’s Russophobic policy of banning, in particular, imports of wheat and oil, will hit the standard of living of the population, which will become “much worse.” Shaw believes that many people in Britain, like the government, have “the wrong mentality” about the severity of the consequences of the “new cold war” with Russia.

Recall that in early March, the British government announced its intention to stop importing oil and petroleum products from Russia. After that, the cost of gasoline and diesel fuel at British gas stations went up sharply, breaking several records along the way.

Considering how much attention Boris Johnson pays to the sanctions policy against Russia, it is surprising how this Titanic still manages to stay afloat despite the widespread negative attitude towards it. At the same time, his criticism is growing every day, in proportion to the rate of decline in the standard of living of the population and the resolution of the issue of Scotland’s independence referendum.

In principle, it is already obvious to everyone today that the era of economic liberalism in its former form has come to an end. In fact, the current Western political elites openly follow the path of forming an ultratotalitarian supersystem, supranational hyperfascism, in which the former values of capitalism, free market and political freedoms of citizens have almost entirely lost their value. And the “welfare state” that the collective West was so proud of is already a thing of the past. And by trying to unleash an even more Russophobic sanctions policy, the rulers of Britain and some other parts of the West only accelerate the change of political power in their states.

April 15, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Russophobia | | 2 Comments

NATO warships arrive to Baltic Sea

Samizdat | April 15, 2022

A group of NATO warships belonging to the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1) have started arriving in the Baltic Sea to partake in joint exercises with allied and partnered nations, with some having already docked in a port in Tallinn, Estonia, according to a NATO press release published on Thursday.

The bloc announced the move on Monday, saying “NATO regularly deploys maritime forces in the Blatic Sea in order to maintain a credible and capable defensive capability in accordance with treaty obligations.”

The SNMG1 consists of flagships from the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom, while the SNMCMG1 is composed of Norwegian, Belgian, German, Estonian, British and Dutch mine layers and minesweepers.

These are two of a total of four task groups comprising ships from various allied countries that are continuously available to NATO to perform different tasks ranging from participation in exercises to operational missions.

Four ships from the SNMG1 group arrived at the Port of Tallinn on Thursday, where they were joined by the Canadian frigate HMCS Halifax (FFH 330).

“I am very pleased to welcome the SNMG1 teams in Tallinn,”  said commodore Jüri Saska, commander of the Estonian Navy. “The call is especially important in the current security situation, in which our neighbor to the east has taken up arms against the freedom and independence of the people of Ukraine.”

Saska added that a strong maritime presence on NATO’s eastern border showcased the speed, flexibility and determination of the alliance to defend member states on land, by air and at sea.

The group is set to conduct routine operations and joint exercises with the Estonian Navy next week, which are intended to “improve interoperability among NATO forces and increase shared knowledge of maritime tactics, while promoting professionalism among sailors, cultural understanding and trust,” according to the NATO press release.

April 15, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , | 2 Comments

Le Pen promises to pull France out of NATO

By Uriel Araujo | April 15, 2022

NATO now has become one of the most important issue in Europe, with the new developments in Sweden and Finland, and electoral impacts in France. French Presidential candidate Marine Le Pen (who heads for the second round to be held on April 24) has vowed to pull France out of NATO’s military command. It would not be unprecedented, as the country did it in 1966. Le Pen claims the alliance structure “perpetuates the anachronistic and aggressive logic of the Cold War bloc”.

France was one of the Alliance’s founding members in 1949 and even hosted it for 15 years. This was a major event in French history. To help French ordinary citizens to accept the presence of foreign troops on their territory in times of peace, films like À votre service were shown in movie theaters, as part of a NATO PR campaign, so to speak. France’s relationship with the Anglo-Saxon structure (which is hegemonic within NATO), and with the alliance itself has always been complex, and Le Pen’s promise should be understood in this context and not necessarily as mere “extremism”.

In doing so, if elected, Le Pen would be in fact following the steps of general Charles de Gaulle (who ruled the country 1940-46 and 1958-1969). The conservative French leader wanted a truly independent nuclear France who would engage with Washington on more equal terms, becoming perhaps a kind of third force in the then Cold War’s bipolar world and even possibly reaching a détent with the USSR. The British-American “special relationship” was seen by him as detrimental to Europe.

Moreover, the US veto power regarding nuclear weapons also prevented Paris from pursuing its own atomic goals. Unable to place France in the tripartite directorate he proposed in his 1958 memorandum to US President Dwight Eisenhower and UK Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, de Gaulle refused to sign the 1963 agreement against nuclear testing – and, by 1969, France was already a fully fledged nuclear power. He also vetoed British entry into the European Union in the same year and, in 1964, told West Germany it should cease to follow a policy subordinated to Washington and adopt one for European independence (albeit not hostility). Of course, no NATO country followed his lead.

Isolated, France went on to withdraw from the Alliance’s so-called integrated military structure in 1966 (although not completely leaving the Treaty) and expelled all of its headquarters and units on French territory. It was  President Nicolas Sarkozy who finally ended Paris “estrangement” from the organization in 2009 – so it took 43 years for Paris to change its course.

Even though Paris still hosted some NATO meetings and civilian structures, the spirit of Gaullism still shaped to some degree French strategic thinking during the Cold War, and the NATO-France relationship alternated between phases of rapprochement and tension. It was President Miterrand who started to bring France back into the Alliance’s integrated military command. And even so, it has been a kind of “flexible membership” (as it is often described).

Charles de Gaulle was one of the most important political leaders of the 20th century and even so, France remained relatively isolated in the European continent pertaining to its stance on NATO during the time of his leadership. He also faced several challenges, as the European countries acted in concert to try to neutralize many of his efforts. One cannot really tell whether Le Pen would be up to such a task, and estranging from NATO in any case is obviously not so simple, but the current situation on the other hand is also full of contradictions from a French and European perspective.

Meanwhile, on April 13 both Finland and Sweden took a major step towards joining NATO. In their joint press conference, the Prime Ministers Sanna Marin (Finland) and Magdalena Andersson (Sweden) both claimed that the security landscape in the continent has changed. Marin stated that Finland which shares a border with Russia will decide within weeks whether to join the Alliance. While a tight majority in Sweden now are in favor of joining the Atlantic Alliance, according to a recent poll, about 70% of Finnish people back it and this figure has more than doubled since the current Russian-Ukrainian war started.

Currently, both Nordic countries are NATO partners, since they abandoned their previous neutral stance by joining the European Union in 1995 and thus take part in military exercises and intelligence exchange, but they are not full-fledged members. Both countries were publicly assured by NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg that their applications would indeed be welcome, and they also received public support from Germany, France, and the UK. Joining or leaving the Alliance is not so simple – an application to join it  must be accepted by all 30 member states, and this should take a minimum of four months and probably at least a whole year to be processed. In any case, it will be seen by Moscow as yet another provocation, amid a situation of escalating tensions.

Experts such as University of Chicago political scientist  John Mearsheimer have been warning since 2014 that the ongoing Ukrainian war was mainly the West’s fault and Mearsheimer maintains it remains the West’s fault to this day. NATO’s constant expansion breaking the 1990 promises that were made during the fall of the Soviet Union as well as Washington’s policy of “encircling” and “containing” Moscow have cornered it to its limits. As Russian President Vladimir Putin said in December 2021: “What would Americans do if we went to the border between Canada and the U.S. or to the border with Mexico and deploy our missiles there?” Mearsheimer also warns that should tensions escalate, there is a real risk of a nuclear war.

Today the world faces the risks of a global food crisis and hunger, as well as on-going international energy crises, and a migration crisis in Europe. It is up for responsible Western leaders to open communication and dialogue channels with the Kremlin. Further provoking Moscow at this point is simply irresponsible and not in Europe’s best interests. France could thus play a key role in the continent. The EU in fact now faces the hard choice between being a self-dependent Europe or an Atlantic Europe.

Uriel Araujo is a researcher with a focus on international and ethnic conflicts.

April 15, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | Leave a comment

Russia comments on outcome of Sweden and Finland joining NATO

Samizdat | April 15, 2022

Sweden and Finland will lose part of their sovereignty while compromising their security if they join NATO, the Russian Foreign Ministry warned on Friday, referring to the two nations’ expected requests for formal membership in the US-led military bloc.

Sweden and Finland have long been close to the organization but have maintained formal nonalignment with NATO since the Cold War. Both may soon apply for membership amid the ongoing security crisis in Ukraine. The Russian ministry warned that Sweden and Finland would not gain anything by moving forward with the plan.

NATO membership “is unlikely to help build Sweden’s and Finland’s international prestige,” spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in a comment released by the Russian ministry. She said the two nations will lose the opportunity to act as “conveyors of many constructive, unifying initiatives” as they did in the past.

“Naturally the choice belongs to the authorities of Sweden and Finland. But they should realize the consequences of such a move to our bilateral relations and the European security architecture, which currently is in a state of crisis,” she added.

The official argued that the two nations would become platforms used by NATO to threaten Russia and that neither they, nor the region of northern Europe as a whole, would benefit from it. She added that NATO membership “implies de facto surrender of a part of sovereignty in making decisions on defense, and also on foreign policy.”

Dmitry Medvedev, the former Russian president and prime minister, who is currently deputy chairman of the country’s Security Council, implied earlier this week that, if the two nations joined the trans-Atlantic bloc Russia, would deploy nuclear weapons in the Baltic region.

Finland and Russia have a 1,340-km-long land border. Finland used to be part of the Russian Empire before making a successful bid for independence when Russia was torn apart by the revolutions of 1917. The USSR and Finland fought a bloody war in 1939-1940 in the build-up to World War II that resulted in some territorial concessions on Helsinki’s part.

Sweden was Russia’s primary rival in northern Europe for several centuries, with the two powers fighting multiple wars for dominance. The conflict of 1808-1809 ended with the eastern part of the Kingdom of Sweden relinquished to Russia as the Grand Duchy of Finland.

Russia attacked Ukraine in late February, following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk Agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

April 15, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

Should We Commit to Fight Russia — for Finland?


The prime ministers of Sweden and Finland, Magdalena Andersson and Sanna Marin, both signaled Wednesday that they will likely be applying for membership in NATO.

The “prospect” is most “welcome,” says The Washington Post: “Finland and Sweden Should Join NATO.”

The editorial was titled “A Way to Punish Putin.”

Before joining the rejoicing in NATO capitals, we might inspect what NATO membership for these two Nordic nations would mean for the United States.

Finland is a nation the size of Germany, but with a population only 4% of that of Russia and a border with Russia that is 830 miles long.

Should Finland join NATO, the United States, under Article 5 of the NATO treaty, would be obligated to go to war with the world’s largest nuclear power to retrieve Finnish lands that an enraged Russia might grab.

Moscow has already indicated that, should Sweden and Finland join NATO, Russia will introduce new nuclear weapons into the Baltic region.

Why is it wise for us to formally agree, in perpetuity, as NATO is a permanent alliance, to go to war with Russia, for Finland?

Given the war in Ukraine and concomitant crisis in Eastern Europe, it is understandable why Stockholm and Helsinki would seek greater security beneath the U.S. nuclear umbrella.

But why would we voluntarily agree to give Sweden and Finland these war guarantees? Why would we commit to go to war with Putin’s Russia, a war that could, and likely would, escalate to the use of tactical nuclear weapons, especially if Russia were losing?

Finland was neutral during the Cold War. Sweden has been neutral since the Napoleonic wars of the early 19th century.

How did we suffer from their neutrality?

In Helsinki and Stockholm, the benefit of a U.S.-NATO commitment to go to war for Finland or Sweden is understandable.

But how does it benefit our country, the USA, to be obligated to go to war with a nation that commands the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear weapons — over some quarrel in the Baltic Sea or Gulf of Finland that does not affect us?

Asked for his view on Sweden and Finland’s campaign to join NATO, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov had a note of warning:

“We have repeatedly said that the (NATO) alliance remains a tool geared towards confrontation and its further expansion will not bring stability to the European continent.”

Should Putin’s Russia clash with Finland or Sweden today, the U.S. is free to respond, or not to respond, as it sees fit, depending on our own assessment of risks and rewards.

Why not keep it that way? Why surrender our freedom of action in some future collision involving our main adversary?

History holds lessons for us here.

In March 1939, six months after Munich, when Czechoslovakia disintegrated into its ethnic components, Britain issued an unsolicited war guarantee to Poland, then negotiating with Germany over the port city of Danzig taken from Germany by the victorious Allies after World War I.

When Germany, on Sept. 1, 1939, invaded Poland, Britain was obligated to declare war on Germany over a matter that was not a vital interest of Great Britain or its worldwide empire.

Lest we forget, it was the Bucharest Declaration of 2008, opening the door to membership in NATO for Ukraine and Georgia, that led to the recent crises in Eastern Europe and the current war.

The Russia-Georgia War of August 2008, the U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine in 2014, and Putin’s annexation of Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine all proceeded from NATO’s decision in 2008 to open the door to membership for Georgia and Ukraine.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine today is partly due to the U.S. and Ukraine’s refusal to rule out NATO membership for Kyiv.

No NATO nation today has a border with Russia nearly as long as that of Finland. If Finland joins NATO, will we put U.S. boots on the ground along that 830-mile border with Russia? Will U.S. warplanes fly in and out of Finnish airfields and air bases up to the border of Russia?

Collective security is said to be a good idea.

But the core of NATO security is provided by U.S. war guarantees, while most of the collecting is done by our 29 NATO allies, which could become 31 by summer’s end.

Otto von Bismarck predicted that the Great War, when it came, would be ignited by “some damn fool thing in the Balkans.”

And World War I was indeed triggered by the assassination of the Austrian archduke in Sarajevo in June 1914. The Germans came in in part because the kaiser had given Austria a “blank check” for war.

What enabled America to stay out of both world wars for years after they began was our freedom of “entangling alliances” when they began.

But today we not only lead an alliance of 30 nations, but we are adding two more members, one of which has a border of 830 miles with Russia.

How long does our luck last?

April 15, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 2 Comments

The West doesn’t want peace in Ukraine

By Timur Fomenko | Samizdat | April 15, 2022

Late Thursday, the Russian Ministry of Defence confirmed that the Russian Black Sea flagship the Moskva had sunk after a fire was triggered by an unconfirmed cause. There is no independent confirmation of what happened amidst the sea of Ukrainian propaganda, which was quick to claim Kiev’s forces had struck the vessel with a Neptune missile. Meanwhile, the United States had also confirmed a new $800 million package of military aid to Kiev, including new heavier weapons, while EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell had recently affirmed a commitment for Kiev to win on the ‘battlefield’. As Moscow gears up for a new offensive to secure the Donbass region, it should be abundantly clear that the Western powers are not seeking to resolve the conflict or secure peace, but to escalate it and transform it into a fully-fledged proxy war against Russia.

Apart from its own invasions, bombings, coups, and regime change attempts imposed on countries around the world, one of America’s preferred methods of confronting its adversaries is to ‘wage war by proxy’ against them, that is, to support the war of a group or country against them without militarily engaging themselves. The history of the Cold War is littered with such examples, such as America’s backing of the Mujahideen against the Soviets in Afghanistan, its backing of Saddam Hussein against Iran in the Iran-Iraq War, or, on a more contemporary note, its failed attempt to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad via the local rebels. Proxy wars allow the US to minimize its own losses by having someone else die for them while also procuring geopolitical gain for themselves by undermining rival states, at the same time maximizing profits for the military-industrial complex by keeping the arms flowing.

After spending the first month of the Russia-Ukraine conflict calling for Russia to withdraw, it is now increasingly apparent that the US and its allies have changed course and are set on an ambition to drag out the conflict to impose as much damage on Russia as possible, in particular by intensifying weapon supplies, and providing training and intelligence for the Ukrainian Army. Although it was, of course, Moscow that made the choice to initiate the conflict in the first place, it has always been abundantly clear that the US viewed the situation in absolutist terms. Washington opposed any kind of prior compromise between Russia and Ukraine that may have helped avoid hostilities, which encouraged Zelensky’s overconfidence in refusing to negotiate. The same situation is panning out now. Washington does not want the war to end in a swift settlement whereby Ukraine makes concessions to Russia, because the ideal outcome is to ensure Moscow takes as much damage as possible, which means that a war of increasing escalation is in fact in the US’ interests.

There are several reasons for this. First of all, Russia’s tactical withdrawal from the north of Ukraine and a renewed focus on Donbass appears to give confidence to the West they can succeed in undermining Putin’s ‘core war goals’. Secondly, intensifying the conflict and escalation gives the West the political space to continue to impose more sanctions on Moscow and allows the US to impose more ‘unity’ on its European allies. Washington has also calculated that the broader context of this conflict will allow it to push harder for China’s isolation, force countries to take sides and expand military blocs. It has been reported recently that the US is seeking for Japan to join the AUKUS alliance and to expand the military containment of China. Recent comments by Janet Yellen also demanded Beijing oppose the Russian offensive in Ukraine or risk “losing standing” in the world. In other words, the more the US can prolong this, the more geopolitical outcomes it can get in its favour.

This escalation scenario for Russia, however, risks turning the Ukraine crisis into a new ‘great patriotic war’ – that is, a conflict in which the survival of the nation itself is at stake. Why so? The United States and its allies have made it no secret that they want the war to end in failure for Russia. Some of them would like nothing more than for a military failure to precipitate the downfall of President Putin and the government – even if the only straight-up regime change call was ostensibly a slip of the tongue by US President Joe Biden. This confirms the Kremlin’s long-held suspicions about the true intentions of the West and the goals behind the expansion of NATO.

In conclusion, this means we’re now going into very dangerous territory. The US and its allies could not be clearer that they never wanted peace or compromise and are escalating the situation in Ukraine as a bid to affirm their own geopolitical hegemony over the world, be it against Russia, India, or China. For Russia, this becomes an ever-growing struggle against the Western bid to dominate, coerce, and subjugate their country, with Ukraine as the sacrificial pawn.

April 15, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 1 Comment