Aletho News


Moscow lays blame for stalled Ukraine talks

London and Washington made Zelensky backtrack on Istanbul deal, Russian FM Sergey Lavrov says

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, April 22, 2022
Samizdat | April 26, 2022

There is a belief in Moscow that Washington, London and other Western capitals – not Kiev – are the real decision-makers when it comes to Ukraine, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview on Monday. He said that Kiev’s negotiators backtracked on the tentative understanding reached last month in Istanbul on advice from the US and the UK.

Ukrainian and Russian negotiators met face-to-face in Turkey at the end of March. Russia then took Ukraine’s outline, put it together in a “contractual” format and sent it to Kiev, only to get back “radically different” ideas in what was a “huge step back,” Lavrov said in the interview with the ‘Great Game,’ a political show on Russia’s Channel One.

“We know for sure that neither the US nor the UK – which is trying in every possible way to compensate for its current lonely status after leaving the EU – advised [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky to speed up the negotiations, but to harden his position each time,” Lavrov said. The backtracking after Istanbul, he added, “was taken on the advice of our American or British colleagues. Maybe the Poles and the Balts played some role here.”

Meanwhile, Western leaders – such as the British PM Boris Johnson and EU foreign minister Josep Borrell – make statements to the effect that Russia “must be defeated” and that the conflict needs to be resolved “on the field of battle,” while sending weapons to Kiev, Lavrov pointed out.

“These weapons will be a legitimate target for the Russian Armed Forces,” the foreign minister said. “Warehouses, including in the west of Ukraine, have become such a target more than once. How else? NATO is essentially going to war with Russia through a proxy and arming that proxy. In war, as in war.”

While “casting spells” against a Third World War, the West is fueling the conflict with weapons and hoping to have the “fight Russia to the last man” in order to bleed Moscow, Lavrov said.

“You know, goodwill is not unlimited,” he added. “If it is not reciprocated, then this does not contribute to the negotiation process. As before, many of us are convinced – as I have already mentioned – that the real position of Ukraine is determined in Washington, London and other Western capitals,” he said, noting that some political scientists have said that talks should be held with NATO, and not Zelensky.

However, Lavrov also pointed out that Russia has not had much luck talking to NATO directly. When Moscow presented its security proposals to the US and NATO in December 2021, they were politely heard and then ignored.

“Rather impolitely, they made it clear that what was needed for our security was not up to us to decide,” Lavrov said.

The objectives of the “special military operation” announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24 have not changed, Lavrov said: the destruction of military infrastructure in Ukraine that threatened Russia, with “the strictest measures in order to minimize any damage to the civilian population.”

Lavrov also offered a prediction how the conflict would end. “As in any situation where armed forces are used, everything will end with a treaty,” he said. “But its parameters will be determined by the stage of hostilities at which this treaty becomes a reality.”

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’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 Minsk Protocol was 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 25, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 2 Comments

5 signs they are CREATING a food crisis

By Kit Knightly | OffGuardian | April 25, 2022

It’s no secret that, according to politicians and the corporate press, “food shortages” and a “food supply crises” have been on the way for a while now. They have been regularly predicted for several years.

What’s really strange is that despite its near-constant incipience, the food shortage never seems to actually arrive and is always blamed on something new.

As long ago as 2012, “scientists” were predicting that climate change and a lack of clean water would create “food shortages” that would “turn the world vegetarian by 2050”.

In 2019, UN “experts” warned that “climate change was threatening the world’s food supply”.

Later the same year, the UK was warned that they could expect a food shortage as a result of “post-Brexit chaos”.

By early March 2020 supermarkets were already “warning” that the government had been too slow to act on the coronavirus outbreak, and they might run out of food. (They never actually did).

A month later, in April 2020 when the “pandemic” was less than three months old, “officials” warned Covid was going to create a global food crisis. Three months later it had ballooned into “the worst food crisis for 50 years”.

In the Summer of 2021 the British press was predicting the “worst food shortages since world war 2” and “rolling power cuts”, allegedly due to a lack of truck drivers blamed equally on Covid and Brexit (neither the shortages nor power cuts ever really materialised).

By September 2021, the UK was told the gas price spike would create a shortage of frozen food, and just a month later, that we may have to ration meat ahead of Christmas, due to the gas crisis. (There never was any rationing)

In January 2022, Australia saw “empty supermarket shelves” blamed on the Omicron variant crippling the supply chain, while the US had the same empty shelves blamed on bad winter weather.

Moving into the spring of 2022, the food crisis is still on its way…only now it’s because of the war in Ukraine, or China’s “Zero Covid” policies, or the bird flu outbreak.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that – since the food crisis is always expected but never arrives, and is always blamed on the current thing – that it doesn’t really exist. That it’s nothing but a psy-op designed to spread panic and give suppliers an excuse to jack up their prices in response to fake “scarcity” created by the press.

However, there are indications that this may be about to change.

In a Brussels press conference on March 25th of this year, Joe Biden said…

Regarding food shortages – yes, we did talk about shortages, and they’re going to be real.”

… which is a decidedly odd thing to say.

Most of the time the only reason to strongly affirm something is “going to be real” from now on, is that up to that point it was not.

Indeed, there are a few signs that the food supply is about to genuinely come under attack.


It’s well documented that Russia’s “special operation” in Ukraine has driven up the prices of oil, gas and wheat. Partly due to disruption on the ground, but mostly due to Western sanctions.

Russia is the largest exporter of wheat and other grains in the world, and these products are used not just for making food for humans, but also as animal feed. Western nations boycotting Russian wheat will therefore potentially drive up the price of a huge variety of foodstuffs.

We have already seen rationing of sunflower oil (a major Ukrainian export), with reports that this could extend to all kinds of other products including sausages, chicken, pasta and beer.

This war did not need to happen, it could have been prevented (and could still be stopped) by a simple agreement on Ukrainian neutrality. Combine that with the sweeping nature of the anti-Russian sanctions – unmatched in recent history – and you can reason that the chaos on the ground and concomitant increase in food prices is part of a deliberate policy serving the Great Reset agenda.


The increased price of oil has natural and obvious knock-on effects for every industrial sector – most especially transport, logistics and agriculture. Despite fears of a cost of living crisis, warnings of food shortages and Russia’s status as the largest exporter of oil and gas in the world, Western nations and their allies have made virtually zero effort to lower the cost of oil.

The high oil price has already seen the Russian ruble bounce back to pre-war strength, and yet Saudi Arabia has been increasing their prices, not flooding the market to tank the price as they did in 2014/15.

Keeping the cost of petroleum high is a deliberate policy decision, and one that shows the cost of living crisis – and any resultant food shortages – are being engineered on purpose.


The press is claiming there is a major bird flu outbreak going on. As we published last week, the dynamics of “bird flu” seem to be identical to Covid. Birds are tested for the virus using PCR tests, culled if they are “positive”, and these culls are then labelled “bird flu deaths”.

This process has already seen at least 27 million poultry birds destroyed in the US alone, the world’s largest exporter of both chicken and eggs. France, Canada and the UK have also culled millions of birds.

Bird flu has already (allegedly) caused the price of chicken and eggs to skyrocket.

(As a potentially important aside, a new report has also warned that pigs can pass “superbugs” to humans, so pigs may be for the chop sometime soon, too)


Going back to last May, the Biden administration began pushing farmers to add agricultural land to the “conservation reserve program”, a federally funded program allegedly aimed at preserving the environment. The program is essentially paying farmers not to farm. A very odd policy decision, given the widely predicted food shortages.

A state-level plan in California is going to pay farmers to grow less, this time in the name of saving water.

Interestingly, the UK has a similar program going on for (again, allegedly) totally different reasons. Starting this past February, the British government is paying lump sums of up £100,000 to any farmers who want to retire from farming. Again, a strange policy during a period of geopolitical unrest impacting the food supply.


Russia and Belarus are two of the biggest exporters of fertiliser and fertiliser-related products in the world, accounting for around 10 billion dollars worth of trade manually. So, the war in Ukraine (and the sanctions) are already hitting the fertiliser market hard, with prices hitting new all-time highs in March.

China, the third biggest exporter of fertiliser in the world, has had a self-imposed export ban on the product since last summer, allegedly in an effort to keep domestic food prices low.

Given that, it is very strange that America’s Union Pacific Railway has suddenly placed a limit on the number of fertiliser deliveries it will make, informing fertiliser giant CF Industries they will need to cut their train car use by as much as 20%.

In their public response, CF Industries stated:

The timing of this action by Union Pacific could not come at a worse time for farmers…Not only will fertilizer be delayed by these shipping restrictions, but additional fertilizer needed to complete spring applications may be unable to reach farmers at all. By placing this arbitrary restriction on just a handful of shippers, Union Pacific is jeopardizing farmers’ harvests and increasing the cost of food for consumers.”


This get’s a bonus slot, not an official spot, because of the multiple unknowns in this case.

In the strangest and most ephemeral story on the list, it seems there has been a rash of fires at food processing plants all over the United States in the last six months. Since August 2021 at least 16 major fires have broken out at food processing plants all across the country.

In September last year a meat processor in Nebraska burned down, impacting 5% of the country’s beef supply. In March of this year fire shut down a Nestle frozen food plant in Arkansas and a major potato processing site in Belfast, Maine was almost levelled by a huge fire.

The examples just keep on coming.

In just the last week two different single-engine planes have crashed into two different food plants, causing major fires. One at a potato processing plant in Idaho, another at a General Mills plant in Georgia.

Right now we can’t prove this is a deliberate campaign, or even statistically unusual, but it certainly warrants some further investigation.

There’s a good write-up on this story on Tim Pool’s website, and an in-depth twitter thread covering all the recent events from Dr Ben Braddock here.


In summary …

  1. A war which did not need to happen is driving up food and oil prices.
  2. Sanctions which did not need to be put in place are also driving up food and oil prices.
  3. Western allies are intentionally raising their oil prices.
  4. Despite warning of a food crisis, US and UK are paying farmers not to farm.
  5. A “bird flu epidemic” very much like the fake Covid “pandemic” is driving up the price of poultry and eggs.
  6. Western companies are actively making the fertiliser shortages worse.
  7. Bizarre fires are crippling large sections of the US food industry.

Taken individually maybe these points could all be seen as mistakes or coincidences, but when you put them all together it’s not hard to spot the pattern. The press may claim we are “sleepwalking” into a food crisis, but it looks more like they’re running head-first into it.

After years of saying there’s a food shortage on the way, it looks like they might be about to finally actually create one.

April 25, 2022 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , , | 2 Comments

Christian Drosten, Karl Lauterbach try to block Health Ministry committee set to evaluate lockdowns and other containment measures

Health minister Karl Lauterbach caught maskless on a train
eugyppius | April 25, 2022

In March 2021, the German Bundestag ordered the Ministry of Health to set up an expert committee to evaluate the effectiveness of containment measures in Germany, from lockdowns to masks. They required this committee to complete their evaluation by 30 June 2022, and to publish a report before the end of September.

The committee finally convened on 22 April via video conference, delayed apparently because communicating with Karl Lauterbach’s ministry has been a huge problem. In the hours after that meeting, the committee chair notified its members that he had finally heard from Lauterbach. The health minister had raised the idea of extending the evaluation deadline to 31 December, and suggested that the committee mandate might end up being redefined.

As Welt explains, Christian Drosten had previously voiced staunch opposition to the project of investigating the efficacy of containment measures:

… [A]n internal virtual meeting in March, Charité virologist Christian Drosten argued against individually evaluating the containment measures. In a nine-minute speech, he said there was too little data, it was too early for such a study, and one could end up “in hot water,” according to WELT information. In view of this intervention from Drosten, who has been one of the most important advisers to political decision-makers since the start of the pandemic, the committee turned to the Ministry of Health for further instructions.

Nothing came of that meeting; the committee had a mandate from the Bundestag, the legal force of which does not rest upon Drosten’s feelings.

When Welt asked the health ministry to comment on the latest delays, a Lauterbach spokesman said the experts don’t have sufficient data, and that the ministry is in discussions with the Bundestag about how to handle this. He even denied that there would be any delay in the committee’s work, which is plainly a lie, because Welt has documents and off-the-record statements from committee members to the opposite effect. One such member even complained to their reporter that “It shows great disrespect to try to withdraw our mandate to evaluate containment measures after so many hours of work.”

We are asked to believe that containment measures have been super successful in the past, and that they remain an important tool for future waves. Lauterbach himself has promised the return of containment in the Fall, because he did not get his vaccine mandate. At the same time, nobody must be permitted to evaluate the efficacy of these allegedly crucial measures. We can’t be allowed to know which ones work and which ones don’t. That would be dangerous somehow, even for an expert committee. In fact it would be so dangerous, that Christian Drosten, the public face of mass containment in Germany, felt compelled to deliver a secret lecture warning against any such evaluative process.

What’s really galling about all this, isn’t that they’re lying, but that they’re terrible at it.

April 25, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | Leave a comment

Big Tech monopolies are good for national security, former intelligence officials say

By Didi Rankovic | Reclaim The Net | April 25, 2022

Big Tech, its lobbyists and allies, have come up with yet another, opportunistic given the current geopolitical situation, “argument” as these corporate behemoths fight to prevent any legislation that would limit their already vast and growing power.

And the argument is that Big Tech serves US foreign policy as an important asset, essentially by means of providing wide-reaching censorship, and needs to be preserved just the way it is: with its monopolistic power not restricted with new laws, and that means no breaking up of these companies into parts that would render their stranglehold on the market weaker, nor passing any meaningful new regulation.

The ongoing war in Ukraine is used as a handy example and excuse for how important Big Tech companies are to the ability of the US to advance its policy around the world. (How this functions domestically, and what ties to what centers of power Big Tech has in that scenario, is a different question.)

The recommendation to leave Big Tech alone for the sake of US national interests abroad came in a letter signed by a number of former intelligence officials, whose names have already been cropping up over the years in a variety of now debunked affairs, complete with the claim that the Hunter Biden emails were not authentic, and were instead a product of Russian disinformation.

These officials include Obama administration-era CIA head Michael Morrell, Leon Panetta, who was both at the helm of Pentagon and the CIA during that time, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Observers critical of the Big Tech-Big Government dynamic, like Glenn Greenwald, consider these figures to be “disinformation agents” themselves, while presenting their activities as a relentless fight against disinformation; and on top of that, some of them have financial ties to some of the largest tech corporations. None of that is stopping these figures from assuming the self-styled role as spokespeople for national security.

But what’s happening here is just another instance of Big Tech lobbying, which has over the years and decades gone through different phases, enlisting at different times lobbying pros, public figures, and even small businesses who wind up suffering from the giants’ grip on the digital markets. Sometimes this lobbying has been “hidden” inside alleged grassroots campaigns, but not this time – this time it’s former spies, bringing up the issue of the importance Big Tech has for foreign policy, at a time when geopolitics is on everyone’s mind.

Boiled down, however, they do it to shore up Big Tech’s offensive against two particular pieces of legislation currently considered at various levels in the US Congress: these are bipartisan proposals that aim to tackle tech giants’ antitrust behavior that harms competition, thanks to the comprehensive nature of these companies’ control over various markets. One example given is how Google can – and does – use its Search to downrank video platforms, competitors to another of Google’s arms, YouTube. Not to mention what are by now notorious app store practices put in place by the Google/Apple duopoly. Beyond that, there’s the issue of the digital ad market tightly controlled by Google and Facebook.

Both bills designed to put an end to this and loosen the monopolistic stranglehold of Google, Apple, Amazon, and others – one in the Senate, and another in the House – have been doing well so far, receiving support from many lawmakers from both parties, emboldened by the general anti-Big Tech mood.

Even those senators that have financial ties with these corporations and refused to sponsor the Senate bill, eventually voted in favor when it was considered by the Judiciary and Antitrust Committee. This is seen as a sign that the public’s odium toward tech giants has now gained momentum that means politicians can no longer afford to ignore it, despite their campaigns, donations, and personal financial priorities.

All in all, many believe that the two bills have a good shot at becoming law – and that has clearly been the signal to the rattled tech juggernauts to bring out the big lobbying guns. And wrap the message in a big narrative: national security, and the Russian threat.

The signatories of the new letter, Greenwald writes, demand that the anti-Big-Tech bills “first be reviewed not only by the judiciary and antitrust committees, but also the national security committees where they wield power and influence, which have traditionally played no role in regulating the technology sector.”

April 25, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment

Twitter Employee Undergoes Therapy Over Elon Musk Takeover

The Babylon Bee | April 15, 2022

April 25, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite, Video | Leave a comment

US and Australia spreading fake news – Beijing

Samizdat | April 25, 2022

Beijing has dismissed as “fake news” allegations made earlier by Canberra and Washington that China is intending to set up a military base in the Solomon Islands.

At a press conference on Monday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, insisted that the “so-called Chinese military base in the Solomon Islands is completely fake news made up by a few people with ulterior motives.” The diplomat also pointed out that cooperation between the two nations was “based on the principles of mutual equality, mutual benefit and win-win results.”

Wenbin called out Washington’s hypocrisy, saying that the US was among the loudest voices expressing concern over China’s alleged plans to set up a base in Oceania, while itself having “nearly 800 military bases in more than 80 countries.”

The Chinese official went on to remind Washington that the Solomon Islands is an “independent sovereign country, not the ‘backyard’ of the United States and Australia.”

Last Tuesday, China announced that State Councilor Wang Yi and Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele had signed a security pact between the two nations.

The US was quick to express concern. The White House National Security Council’s spokesperson claimed that the signing followed a “pattern of China offering shadowy, vague deals with little regional consultation in fishing, resource management, development assistance and now security practices.”

Several days later, the White House revealed that the American delegation to the Solomon Islands had warned the nation’s leadership that the US would “respond accordingly” should Chinese military installations appear in the country.

Canberra has also made it clear that such a military base, which would be some 2,000km (1,200 miles) from Australia’s shores, would represent a “red line.”

Meanwhile, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare insisted that the deal was necessary to beef up security and was “guided by our national interests.” He stated last week that the agreement does not allow China to set up a military base on the islands.

April 25, 2022 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | 3 Comments

Former US-NATO commander wants to put troops on the ground in Ukraine

By Kelley Beaucar Vlahos | Responsible Statecraft | April 25, 2022

Former NATO top commander Gen. Philip Breedlove is the latest big name to come out for putting troops on the ground in Ukraine. Breedlove, who has been angling for weeks for a more muscular policy against Russia, told The Times of London that it’s time for real action. And he may have the ear of the White House: the article says he’s named as one of “several high-ranking retired commanders advising the Biden administration on Ukraine.”

“So what could the West do? Well, right now there are no Russian troops west of the Dnieper River. So why don’t we put Nato troops into western Ukraine to carry out humanitarian missions and to set up a forward arms supply base?”

Of course it wouldn’t stop there. Most likely Russia will react aggressively, if not explosively, since setting up “a forward arms supply base” would be fully entering this war on the side of Ukraine. NATO would be a co-belligerent in every way, with its 40,000 troops now stationed on alliance’s eastern front considered future enemy combatants. At the end of April, the Pentagon mobilized some 14,000 troops, along with F-35 strike fighters and Apache helicopters to Poland, Hungary, and the Baltics. A total of 100,000 U.S. troops now spread across Europe would no doubt be on some level of alert if NATO entered the fray.

Breedlove, who served as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander from 2013 to 2016, said this move was essential for the protection of Odesa, a strategic Ukrainian port city on the Black Sea.

“If Odesa falls, Ukraine will become a land-locked country with no access to the Black Sea. The impact on Ukraine’s GDP would be huge. It would be ruinous for the economy,” he told the Times.

“The West is saying it is providing everything Ukraine needs to defend against the Russians. But the people of Mariupol had to fight without Stingers [anti-aircraft missiles]. That was a failure by the West.”

He added: “Now we need to make sure that the Ukrainians win the battle for Odesa.”

Earlier this month, Breedlove was complaining that the West’s fears of nuclear war were working in Putin’s favor.

“We have been so worried about nuclear weapons and World War III that we have allowed ourselves to be fully deterred. And [Putin], frankly, is completely undeterred. He has switched into the most horrific war against the citizens of Ukraine, it is beyond criminal at this point.”

U.S. weakness on this score bleeds over to our relations with Iran, North Korea, and China, he asserts:

“The message we’re sending to the entire world is if you get a nuclear weapon, you’re going to have a certain reaction from the West and certainly from the United States…[that’s all]. And I don’t think that’s the message we want to send them.”

Of course, a month before this Breedlove said he was “not advocating a war” when asked about what appeared to be his support for a “humanitarian no fly zone.” Today, advocating NATO involvement directly in Ukraine would be a giant leap beyond that, and who knows what kind of opening for others coming down with similar war fever in Washington. Last week, Delaware Sen. Chris Coons was forced to walk back comments he made that suggested he too, was in favor of putting troops on the ground against Russia.

April 25, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 4 Comments

Former US Ambassador to Ukraine Admits Trump Would Have Prevented War

But absurdly suggests that would have been a bad thing

By Paul Joseph Watson | Summit News | April 25, 2022

Marie Yovanovitch, the former US Ambassador to Ukraine, let slip during an interview that Trump would have prevented war in Ukraine via diplomacy, but then absurdly asserted that would have been a bad thing.

Yovanovitch, who testified against Trump during his 2019 impeachment trial, made the remarks during an interview with PBS this past weekend.

The former ambassador was asked by host Margaret Hoover about her previous claim that Russia’s invasion “never would have happened in the Trump administration.”

“I’ve heard that you have also suggested that Putin might not have gone to war if Trump was still in office,” said Hoover.

“Trump was very dismissive of NATO – I mean, dismissive, it’s obviously a diplomatic word – very critical of NATO, critical of our allies,” said Yovanovitch. “And his close associates, including John Bolton, have said that if he had won a second term, he would have pulled us out of NATO. I mean, why go to war with Vladimir Putin if the United States is going to present kind of the corpse of NATO on a silver platter? You don’t need to do that.”

Hoover then asked Yovanovitch directly, “I mean, how do you think the invasion would have been different if Trump had remained as president?”

“I think that Trump would have provided Putin with enough of what he wanted that perhaps he wouldn’t have invaded,” she responded.

Yovanovitch was then asked what Ukraine would have looked like if Russia hadn’t invaded (thanks to Trump). She bumbled around before trying to cover her tracks.

“We are now getting into– You know, this is why diplomats are told [LAUGHS] never to answer theoretical questions! So we’re getting into areas of– you know, I mean, it’s a hypothetical question, right? I don’t know what Trump would have done, and I don’t know what Putin would have done. But I can’t see Trump, President Trump standing up for Ukraine the way President Biden is right now.

Apparently, “standing up for Ukraine” means continually feeding them weapons to prolong the war.

As we previously highlighted, prominent voices within NATO want to extend the conflict for as long as possible, something that will undoubtedly please the US deep state and transnational weapons contractors.

April 25, 2022 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

‘Traitors’ collaborating with Russia will be executed – Ukrainian governor

Samizdat | April 25, 2022

Vitaly Kim, who serves as the governor of Ukraine’s Mykolaiv Region, warned that citizens helping Russian forces would face extrajudicial execution. He revealed the chilling fate awaiting “traitors” during a live broadcast on Ukraine 24 TV channel last Thursday.

Kim made the comment after the presenter brought up claims made earlier by officials in Kherson, according to which, information about pro-Ukrainian activists, veterans who had fought in the Donbass, as well as journalists living in the city had been leaked to Russian forces.

Kim, in turn, cited the recent killing of a pro-Russian blogger in the city, who was shot dead on April 20, as proof that “Kherson is Ukraine,” and that “there are guerrilla fighters there.”

Moreover, Kim warned that “traitors will be executed,” adding that he is “not afraid of this word.”

The Ukrainian official expressed absolute certainty that “it will be like that.”

In response, the presenter cited a top Ukrainian official who had previously said that a special force had been established which would be eliminating traitors.

Kim interjected, assuring the anchor that this secret force was in fact already operating. The presenter, in turn, urged everyone listening to the broadcast to keep this fact in mind.

The governor also claimed that Ukraine had developed superior tech and IT capabilities which allowed its special services to track down practically anyone. Kim concluded that “no one will be able to hide from justice.”

April 25, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, War Crimes | | 1 Comment

The Dynamics of Escalation: ‘Standing With Ukraine’

By Alastair Crooke | Strategic Culture Foundation | April 25, 2022

As it dawns on the West that whereas sanctions are deemed capable of bringing countries to their knees, the reality is that such capitulation never has occurred (i.e. Cuba; North Korea; Iran). And, in the case of Russia, it is possible to say that just ain’t going to happen.

Team Biden still has not fully grasped the reasons why. One point is that they picked precisely the wrong economy to try to collapse via sanctions (Russia has minimal foreign supply lines and oodles of valuable commodities). Biden’s staffers too, have never comprehended the full ramifications of Putin’s monetary jujitsu linking the rouble to gold, and the rouble to energy.

They condescend to Putin’s monetary jujitsu as yet another forlorn strike versus the dollar’s ‘impregnable’ reserve currency status. So they choose to ignore it, and assume that if only the Europeans would take fewer hot showers, wear more woollen jumpers, forego Russian energy, and ‘stand with Ukraine’, the economic collapse finally would materialise. Hallelujah!

The other reason why the West misconstrues the strategic potential of sanctions is that the Russia-China war on western hegemony is assimilated by its peoples to be an existential one. For them, it is not just about taking fewer hot showers (as for Europeans), it is about their very survival – and consequently their pain threshold is much, much higher than the West’s. The west is not going to smoke their challengers out so ridiculously easily.

At bottom, the Russia-China axis possess food, energy, technology and most of the world’s key resources. History teaches that these elements make the winners in wars.

The strategic problem though, is two-fold: Firstly, the window for a Plan ‘B’ de-escalation via a political deal in Ukraine has passed. It is all or nothing now (unless Washington folds). And secondly, albeit in slightly differing context, both Europe and Team Biden have elected to take the stakes sky-high:

The conviction that the European liberal vision faces humiliation and disdain, were Putin to ‘win’, has taken hold. And in the Obama-Clinton-Deep State nexus, it is unimaginable that Putin and Russia still regarded as the author of Russiagate for many Americans, might prevail.

The logic to this conundrum is inexorable – Escalation.

For Biden, whose approval ratings continue to tank, disaster looms in the November mid-terms. The consensus amongst U.S. insiders is that the Democrats are set to lose 60–80 seats in Congress, and a small handful (4 or 5 seats) in the Senate too. Were this to come about, it would not be just a personal humiliation, but would token administrative paralysis for the Democrats until the notional end of Biden’s term.

The only possible path out from this approaching cataclysm would be for Biden to pull a rabbit from the Ukraine ‘hat’ (one that, at the very least, would distract from soaring inflation). The Neo-cons and the Deep State (but not the Pentagon) are all for it. The arms industry naturally are loving Biden’s laundering weapons into Ukraine (with huge ‘spillage’ somehow vanishing into ‘the black’). Many in DC profit from this well-funded boondoggle.

Why are we seeing such euphoria over such a seemingly reckless scheme of escalation? Well, strategists suggest that were the Republican leadership to go bi-partisan on escalation – become complicit in ‘more war’, as it were – they argue that it might prove possible to stem Democratic losses in the mid-terms and blunt an Opposition campaign assault focussed on a mismanaged economy.

How far might Biden go with this escalation? Well, the arms splurge is a no-brainer (another boondoggle), and Special Forces are already in theatre, poised to light a fuse to any escalation; moreover, the mooted no-fly zone seems to have the added advantage of enjoying European support, particularly in the UK, amongst the Baltics (of course) and from the German ‘Greens’, too. (Spoiler Alert! First, of course, in order to implement any no-fly zone, it would be necessary to control the airspace – which Russia already dominates, and over which it implements full electronic-magnetic exclusion).

Would this be enough? Dark voices are advising not. They want ‘boots on the ground’. They even talk of tactical nukes. They argue that Biden has nothing to lose by ‘going big’, especially if the GOP are persuaded to become accomplices. Indeed, it might just save him from ignominy, they urge. U.S. military insiders already point out that the arms supply will not ‘turn around’ the war. A ‘lost war’ must be avoided going into November at all costs.

Is such a consensus for escalation realistic? Well, yes, it is possible. Recall that Hillary (Clinton) was the alchemist who fused the 1980s Neoconservative wing to the 1990s Neoliberals to create an interventionist broad-tent that could serve all tastes: Europeans could imagine themselves wielding economic power in a globally significant way for the first time, whilst the Neo-cons have resurrected their insistence on forceful military intervention as the requisite to maintaining the rules-based order. The latter are cock-a-hoop that financial war is failing.

From the Neo-cons’ perspective, it puts military action firmly back on the table and with a new ‘front’ opening: The Neo-cons today, precisely are questioning the premise that a nuclear exchange with Russia must be avoided at all costs. And from this shift away from the prohibition on actions that could trigger a nuclear exchange, they say that circumscribing the Ukraine conflict on such basis is unnecessary and a strategic error – asserting that in their view, Putin would be unlikely to resort to nuclear weapons.

How can this Neo-con-Liberal interventionist élite superstructure wield such influence when the broader American political class historically has been ‘anti-war’? Well, the Neo-cons are the archetypal chameleons. Loved by the war industry, a regular loud presence on the networks, they rotate in and out of power, with the ‘China hawks’ nesting in the Trump corridors, whilst the ‘Russia hawks’ are migrated to populate the Biden State Department.

Is escalation already ‘baked-in’? There may yet be one iconoclastic ‘fly in the ointment’: Mr Trump! – through his symbolic act of endorsing J.D. Vance for the GOP Senate Primary in Ohio, against the wishes of the GOP Establishment.

Vance is one (amongst many) representatives of America’s populist tradition seeking office in the coming Congressional ‘churn’. But the salience here is that Vance has been questioning the rush to escalation in Ukraine. Many other would-be populist contenders among the GOP’s new crop of interesting senators and senators-in-waiting already have succumbed to GOP old-establishment pressure to endorse war. (Boondoggles again).

The GOP is divided on Ukraine at its upper representational level, but the popular base traditionally is sceptical of foreign wars. With this political endorsement, Trump is nudging the GOP towards opposing escalation in Ukraine. Ross Douthat in the NY Times confirms that the Vance endorsement connects more closely to the sources of Trump’s 2016 popularity, as he mined the anti-war sentiment amongst the deplorables, whose focus more is with caring for their own country’s welfare.

Shortly after the endorsement, Trump issued a statement:

“It doesn’t make sense that Russia and Ukraine aren’t sitting down and working out some kind of an agreement. If they don’t do it soon, there will be nothing left but death, destruction, and carnage. This is a war that never should have happened, but it did. The solution can never be as good as it would have been before the shooting started, but there is a solution, and it should be figured out now—not later—when everyone will be DEAD!”, Trump said.

Trump effectively is wedging apart the possible key fault-line for the coming elections (even if some GOP panjandrums – many of whom are funded by the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) – favour a more robust military involvement).

Trump too, always has an instinct for an opponent’s jugular: Biden may be highly attracted to the argument for escalation, but he is known to be sensitive to the thought of body-bags coming home to the U.S. before November becoming his legacy. Hence Trump’s exaggeration that sooner rather than later, everyone in Ukraine “will be DEAD!”.

Again, the fear amongst Democrats with military understanding is that the western weapons airlift to the borders of Ukraine will not change the course of war, and that Russia would prevail, even were NATO to engage. Or, in other words, the ‘unthinkable’ will occur: The West will lose to Russia. They argue that Team Biden has little choice: Better to bet on escalation than to risk losing all with a debacle in Ukraine (particularly after Afghanistan).

To eschew escalation presents such a challenge to the American missionary psyche of global leadership that momentum for it may not be overcome through Biden’s innate caution alone. The Washington Post already is reporting that “the Biden Administration is shrugging off fresh Russian warnings against providing Ukrainian forces with more advanced arms and new training – in what appears to be a calculated risk Moscow won’t escalate the war”.

The EU élites, by contrast, are not just persuaded (Hungary and one faction in Germany, apart) by the logic of escalation, they are frankly intoxicated by it. At the Munich Conference in February, it was as if the EU leaders were intent on out-bidding each other in their enthusiasm for war: Josep Borrell re-confirmed his commitment to a military solution in Ukraine: “Yes, normally wars have been won or lost on the battlefield”, he said upon arrival for a meeting of the EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg, when asked to comment on his previous statement that “this war will be won on the battlefield”.

Their euphoria is centred around the belief that the EU – for the first time – is wielding its economic power in a globally significant way, and, at the same time, enabling and arming a proxy war against Russia (through imagining the EU as a real Carolingian empire, actually winning on the battlefield!).

The euphoria of the EU élites – so completely de-coupled from national identities and local interests, and loyal rather to a cosmopolitan vision in which men and women of consequence network endlessly amongst themselves and bask in their peer approval – is opening deep polarisation within their own societies.

The unease arises among those who do not regard patriotism, or a scepticism towards today’s Russiaphobia, as necessarily ‘gauche’. They are concerned that perception-delimited EU élites, advocating sanctions on Russia and NATO engagement with a nuclear power, will bring disaster to Europe.

The Euro-élites are on a crusade – too highly invested in the emotional charge and euphoria of the Ukraine ‘cause’ to have even considered a Plan ‘B’.

And even if a Plan ‘B’ were to be considered, the EU has less of a reverse-gear than the U.S. The Brussels zeitgeist is set in concrete. Structurally, the EU is incapable of self-reform, or of radically changing course and wider Europe now lacks the ‘vessels’ through which decisive political change can be effected.

Hold onto your hats!

April 25, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

AR6 Model Failure Affirmed: ‘No Model Group Succeeds Reproducing Observed Surface Warming Patterns’

By Kenneth Richard – No Tricks Zone – 25. April 2022

new study published in Geophysical Research Letters highlights the abysmal model performance manifested in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report (AR6). The 38 CMIP6 general circulation models (GCMs) fail to adequately simulate even the most recent (1980-2021) warming patterns over 60 to 81% of the Earth’s surface.

Dr. Scafetta places particular emphasis on the poor performance of the highly uncertain estimates (somewhere between 1.83 and 5.67°C) of equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) and their data-model agreement relative to 1980-2021 global warming patterns.

The worst-performing ECS estimates are the ones projecting 3-4.5°C and 4.5-6°C warming in response to doubled CO2 concentrations (to 560 ppm) plus feedbacks, as the 1980-2021 temperature trends are nowhere close to aligning with these trajectories.

Instead, the projected global warming by 2050 (~2°C relative to 1750) associated with the lowest ECS estimates and implied by the warming observed over the last 40+ years is characterized as “unalarming” even with the most extreme greenhouse gas emissions (no mitigation efforts undertaken) growth rate.

In addition to the conclusion that “no model group succeeds reproducing observed surface warming patterns,” poor modeling of heat transfer physics, ocean and atmospheric circulation patterns, polar sea ice processes… is also evident in the latest IPCC report.

“Accurately reproducing regional temperature differences over the past 40+ years is beyond the capability of climate model simulations, and even fails for major ocean basins and continents.”

The fundamental modeling failures in simulating responses to sharply rising greenhouse gas emissions over the last 40+ years “calls into question model-based attribution of climate responses to anthropogenic forcing.”

April 25, 2022 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | Leave a comment

German businesses note impact of skyrocketing energy costs

Samizdat | April 25, 2022

About 40% of German companies have already felt the consequences of the rapid rise in energy prices over the past several weeks, a survey by the Ifo Institute for Economic Research in Munich published on Monday has found.

The survey covered 1,100 German enterprises, 950 of which were family owned. As many companies surveyed have long-term supply contracts, not all respondents said they felt hefty price increases so far. However, a quarter of the firms surveyed said they expect their energy costs to spike in the second half of this year, while another quarter believe it will happen in 2023. The survey also showed that almost 90% of businesses are likely to raise prices to counter the skyrocketing energy costs, and three-quarters of the companies intend to invest more in energy efficiency.

Some 11% of the firms are considering the possibility of completely abandoning energy-intensive business areas, and 14% are studying the possibility of cutting their staff. Still, only a small percentage of the surveyed companies want to move their offices abroad.

“We need a policy that corrects this distortion of competition and stops skyrocketing energy prices,” Professor Rainer Kirchdörfer, one of the experts behind the survey, said, referring to the fact that Germany had significantly lost its competitiveness in energy policy even before the current energy crisis, brought about by the events in Ukraine.

Energy prices soared last month, after Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine, which triggered a flood of Western economic sanctions against Moscow, though the measures stopped just short of an embargo on Russian crude oil and natural gas. Russia retaliated by introducing a new ruble-based payment mechanism for its natural gas, hinting at the possibility that other energy exports might follow.

According to the German news agency DPA, citing data from the Verivox online platform, the increase in energy prices will inevitably lead to a significant increase in electricity prices for private consumers in Germany this year. Electricity suppliers in the country, responsible for roughly 13 million households, have already announced an increase in tariffs in April, May and June by an average 19.5%. Growth in gas prices is expected to be even greater, at about 42.3%.

According to Verivox, if a household paid an average of €1,171 ($1,258) for electricity per year prior to the Ukraine crisis, with the current costs it will have to pay some €1,737 ($1,867). The situation is even worse with natural gas: a household that paid €1,184 ($1,272) for gas annually in April last year would pay €2,787 ($2,995) at current prices, which equals to an increase of 135%.

The EU pledged to end its dependence on Russian energy earlier this month, despite importing roughly 40% of its gas and 30% of its oil from the country. However, experts and politicians within the bloc have warned that banning Russian energy imports could only lead to further price spikes, as it would be impossible to find an alternative quickly enough.

April 25, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | | 1 Comment