Aletho News


US weapons supply to Ukraine prepped in January

Samizdat | April 29, 2022

A scheme to send US weapons to Ukraine, using the “lend-lease” formula pioneered during WWII to skirt neutrality laws, was officially approved by Congress this week. However, it was put together all the way back in January – more than a month before Moscow recognized the Donbass republics as independent and sent troops into Ukraine.

Republican Senator John Cornyn introduced the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act, also known as S.3522, on January 19, 2022. This is according to the official page for the bill. On the same date, it was co-sponsored by senators Benjamin Cardin, Jeanne Shaheen and Roger Wicker.

Senators Richard Blumenthal and Lindsey Graham endorsed it the very next day, January 20. Other endorsements trickled in over the following weeks, with a total of 14 senators on board by February 9, again according to

Russia did not recognize the independence of Donetsk and Lugansk until February 21. The “special military operation” to demilitarize Ukraine began on what was already February 24 in Washington.

Oddly enough, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee only took up Cornyn’s proposal on April 6. It was approved unanimously, proposed on the floor by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and adopted by voice vote – whereupon it sat in limbo for weeks while the Democrat-dominated House was on vacation. On Thursday, after an hour of pro-forma debate, the House approved it in a 417-10 vote. Every single Democrat voted in favor, while all 10 dissenters were Republicans.

Supporters and critics alike have made much of the proposal, named after a WWII-era scheme to bypass neutrality laws limiting US arms exports. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt concocted lend-lease in March 1941, months before the US entered WWII, to send billions of dollars worth of weapons to Britain, and later the Soviet Union and other countries.

Cornyn’s bill, by contrast, suspends two existing US laws to make it easier for the White House to ship all sorts of weapons to Ukraine. It eliminates the five-year limitation on the program duration, suggesting the US hopes the conflict goes on for a long time – but also conditions the aid on Ukraine eventually repaying the “lease” or returning the gear if in working condition.

Cornyn has so far not revealed what might have motivated him to introduce the scheme to “protect civilian populations in Ukraine from Russian military invasion” before any military operations began.

The motivations of his first co-sponsor, Cardin, are more obvious. He is the architect of a series of anti-Russian laws, starting with the 2012 Magnitsky Act, the 2016 Global Magnitsky Act, and the 2017 CAATSA law, which tied the hands of the Trump administration in dealing with Russia.

In January 2018, at the height of the “Russiagate” craze, Cardin published a report he commissioned from the Democratic staff on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, accusing Russia of an “assault” on “democratic and transatlantic institutions and alliances,” using “disinformation, cyberattacks, military invasions, alleged political assassinations, threats to energy security, election interference, and other subversive tactics.”

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 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 29, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , | 5 Comments

1.2 Million Reports of Injuries After COVID Vaccines, VAERS Data Show

By Megan Redshaw – The Defender – April 29, 2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today released new data showing a total of 1,247,131 reports of adverse events following COVID-19 vaccines were submitted between Dec. 14, 2020, and April 22, 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 27,532 reports of deaths — an increase of 183 over the previous week — and 224,766 serious injuries, including deaths, during the same time period — up 1,930 compared with the previous week.

Excluding “foreign reports” to VAERS, 810,171 adverse events, including 12,672 deaths and 80,743 serious injuries, were reported in the U.S. between Dec. 14, 2020, and April 22, 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 12,672 U.S. deaths reported as of April 22, 16% occurred within 24 hours of vaccination, 20% 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., 572 million COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered as of April 23, including 338 million doses of Pfizer, 215 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 22, 2022, for 5- to 11-year-olds show:
U.S. VAERS data from Dec. 14, 2020, to April 22, 2022, for 12- to 17-year-olds show:
  • 31,455 adverse events, including 1,803 rated as serious and 44 reported deaths. The most recent reported death involves a 14-year-old girl from Tennessee (VAERS I.D. 2238618) who died after receiving her second dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. According to the VAERS report, the girl had a previous history of cancer but was hospitalized 29 days after receiving her second dose of Pfizer with severe COVID-19 and COVID pneumonia. She became “critically ill,” developed respiratory failure and bradycardia and later died.
  • 65 reports of anaphylaxis among 12- to 17-year-olds where the reaction was life-threatening, required treatment or resulted in death — with 96% of cases attributed to Pfizer’s vaccine.
  • 649 reports of myocarditis and pericarditis — two fewer than last week — with 637 cases attributed to Pfizer’s vaccine.
  • 165 reports of blood clotting disorders — 1 fewer than last week — with all cases attributed to Pfizer.
U.S. VAERS data from Dec. 14, 2020, to April 22, 2022, for all age groups combined, show:

Megan Redshaw is a staff attorney for Children’s Health Defense and a reporter for The Defender.

© 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 29, 2022 Posted by | War Crimes | | Leave a comment

D.C. Schools Can’t Vaccinate Kids 11 and Up Without Parents’ Consent Until Lawsuits Settled

The Defender | April 28, 2022

preliminary injunction prohibiting the mayor of the District of Columbia, the D.C. Department of Health and D.C. public schools from enforcing the D.C. Minor Consent for Vaccination Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Minor Consent Act) will remain in place after the defendants declined to file an appeal within the required 30-day period.

The preliminary injunction reverts D.C. to the standard age of consent of 18, at least until the conclusion of the case.

The injunction stemmed from two lawsuits filed against the D.C. Minor Consent Act, which allows children 11 and older to consent to vaccinations without their parents’ knowledge or consent.

The law, passed on Dec. 17, 2020, specifically targets children whose parents filed religious exemptions for their children.

“This is a significant legal victory,” said Rolf Hazlehurst, senior staff attorney for Children’s Health Defense (CHD). “But the legal battle is by no means over.”

D.C. is the legal testing ground for mandatory vaccinations, according to Hazlehurst, which makes this a “high-stakes” battle.

“The defendants and other states are twisting and distorting the ‘mature minor’ doctrine to push the limits of government overreach at the expense of parental rights,” Hazlehurst said. “They will not abandon this tactic or their assault upon our children or parental rights.”

The two lawsuits challenging the D.C. Minor Consent Act include one filed by CHD and the Parental Rights Foundation and a second brought by Informed Consent Action Network.

Both lawsuits sought a preliminary injunction to immediately prohibit D.C. schools and public health officials from enforcing the law until the lawsuits are concluded.

During oral arguments on March 3, Hazlehurst argued the D.C. Minor Consent Act violates the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution because it contains multiple provisions that strip away the meager protections guaranteed to parents under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986.

Hazlehurst also argued the law violates the right to freedom of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Hazlehurst told the court the mayor of D.C. created a “pressure-cooker environment,” enticing and psychologically manipulating minor children to defy their parents and take vaccinations against their parents’ will.

To make his point, Hazlehurst relied on a drawing, “Peer Pressure,” by a child of one of the plaintiffs. The drawing depicts the dilemma children face at school when they don’t want to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

On March 18, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the preliminary injunction.

In obtaining the preliminary injunction, the plaintiffs overcame a high legal hurdle that the “threatened injury must be certainly impending” as established by the U.S. Supreme Court precedent Clapper v. Amnesty Int’l, Hazlehurst said.

The court also ruled the plaintiffs in both lawsuits have legal standing based on preemption because the D.C. Minor Consent Act conflicts with the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act.

In CHD’s case, U.S. District Judge Trevor N. McFadden made the additional finding that the plaintiffs have standing based upon the fact that they are likely to succeed on the merits that the law violates the free exercise of religion clause in the First Amendment.

“This preliminary injunction is part of ongoing litigation in an extremely important national precedent-setting case,” said Hazlehurst. “The rights of parents to decide what is best for their children’s health is at stake. Government can’t be allowed to make such decisions for minor children.”

The D.C. Minor Consent Act contains several provisions designed to deceive parents by hiding the fact that their children have been vaccinated against their parental judgment, authority or religious convictions.

The law requires healthcare providers to falsify records by leaving the child’s school vaccination records blank.

It also allows doctors to bill parents’ insurance companies for vaccines administered to children against their parents’ written directive. However, insurance companies may not send parents of those children an explanation of benefits.

April 29, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | Leave a comment

Another Scientist Who Publicly Dismissed Lab Leak Gave It Credence in Private Email

By Noah Carl | The Daily Sceptic | April 27, 2022

When it comes to the lab leak theory of Covid origins, there’s a lot of inconsistency between what scientists have announced in public and what they’ve revealed in private.

First, there was Professor Kristian Andersen, an American virologist. Writing to Anthony Fauci on 1st February 2020, he said of the virus that “some of the features (potentially) look engineered”, adding that he and several colleagues “all find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory”.

Mere weeks later, Andersen co-authored a paper stating, “we do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible”.

Next, there was Professor Jeremy Farrar, head of the UK’s Wellcome Trust. He wrote in his book Spike that he initially believed there was a 50% chance the virus had leaked from a lab, and that other scientists to whom he’d spoke had put the percentage even higher.

Yet Farrar signed the infamous Lancet letter, which referred to claims that “COVID-19 does not have a natural origin” as “conspiracy theories”.

A new freedom of information request, made by the group U.S. Right to Know, has revealed that another author of the Lancet letter gave credence to the lab leak in a private email. Professor Charles Calisher, an American epidemiologist, said he did not see how “anyone could definitively state that the virus could not possibly have come from that lab”.

Interestingly, Calisher’s email was sent one month after the Lancet letter’s publication, which means he either changed his mind or was not expressing his true beliefs when he co-signed the letter.

According to a March 2021 article in the MIT Technology Review, Calisher said the “conspiracy-theory phrase” was “over the top”. However, the article doesn’t make clear whether Calisher believed this at the time he co-signed the letter, or whether he subsequently came to believe it.

In any case, calling the lab leak a “conspiracy theory” is a pretty strong statement. So if Calisher did change his mind about it, he could have let the public know – for example, by removing his name from the letter, or clarifying his position in some other public forum.

What’s more, in September of 2021, Calisher told The Telegraph that “the letter never intended to suggest that Covid might not have a natural origin, rather that there was insufficient data.” But this doesn’t make sense.

If the letter’s purposes was merely to suggest “there was insufficient data”, it wouldn’t have used the phrase “conspiracy theory”, or else it would have dismissed both the natural origin and the lab leak as “conspiracy theories”. For example, it might have said, ‘We stand together to strongly condemn unfounded speculation about the origin of COVID-19’.

There’s much about the official narrative on the lab leak that doesn’t add up. The public has a right to know why so many scientists made blatantly unscientific claims that contradict their private correspondence.

April 29, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | Leave a comment

60 countries sign declaration that commits to bolstering “resilience to disinformation and misinformation”

By Tom Parker | Reclaim The Net | April 29, 2022

The United States (US) and 60 partner countries, including the United Kingdom (UK), Canada, Australia, and members of the European Union (EU), have signed a sweeping “Declaration for the Future of the Internet” which commits to bolstering “resilience to disinformation and misinformation” and somehow upholding free speech rights while also censoring “harmful” content.

The White House framed the declaration as something that supports freedom and privacy by focusing on its commitments to protect human rights, the free flow of information, and privacy. The EU put out similar talking points and claimed that those who signed the declaration support a future internet that’s open, free, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure.

However, the commitments in the declaration are vague and often conflicting. For example, the declaration makes multiple commitments to upholding freedom of expression yet also commits to bolstering “resilience to disinformation and misinformation.” It also contains the seemingly contradictory commitment of ensuring “the right to freedom of expression” is protected when governments and platforms censor content that they deem to be harmful.

Furthermore, many of the governments that signed this declaration are currently pushing sweeping online censorship laws or openly supporting online censorship.

For example, just a few days ago, the Biden administration called for private companies to censor online “misinformation” – the latest of many similar calls. The EU also recently passed its Digital Services Act (DSA) which contains requirements to censor “hate speech” and “misinformation.”

Some government officials, including Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry François-Philippe Champagne and UK Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) Secretary of State Nadine Dorries, even mentioned their country’s online censorship laws during the live launch of this Declaration for the Future of the Internet.

“The vision outlined in this declaration aligns very well with the many initiatives we are working on here in Canada, including our Digital Charter,” Champagne said.

Canada’s Digital Charter was launched in 2019 and threatens platforms with “meaningful financial consequences” if they fail to fight online “hate” and “disinformation.”

“I am enormously encouraged to see online safety is a key principle of that declaration,” Dorries said. “As the UK’s Digital Secretary, doing more to protect people online is one of my main priorities – and last month, I was proud to introduce a groundbreaking Online Safety Bill to the UK Parliament that will make the internet safer for everyone.”

The UK’s Online Safety Bill will give the government sweeping censorship powers, censor some “legal but harmful” content, and criminalize “harmful” and “false” communications.

Like the commitments to freedom of expression, the declaration’s commitments to privacy are also being made by governments that engage in or allow mass surveillance.

For example, the EU is allowing the linking of face recognition databases to create a mega surveillance system. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently boosted its social media surveillance technology. And the outgoing London Metropolitan police commissioner recently congratulated herself on extending the surveillance state.

While the current signatories of this declaration are governments, the White House plans to work with “the private sector, international organizations, the technical community, academia and civil society, and other relevant stakeholders worldwide to promote, foster, and achieve” the “shared vision” of this Declaration for the Future of the Internet.

Big Tech companies such as Facebook and Google have already welcomed this declaration.

“It’s great to see countries coming together today to launch the Declaration for the Future of the Internet (DFI),” Google’s Vice President, Government Affairs & Public Policy, Karan Bhatia, wrote in a blog post. “We are committed to partnering with governments and civil society through the Declaration to disrupt disinformation campaigns and foreign malign activity, while ensuring people around the world are able to access trustworthy information.”

Google and its video-sharing platform YouTube have used the term misinformation to justify the mass censorship of content. Additionally, Bhatia’s commitment to ensuring access to “trustworthy information” echoes YouTube’s commitment to boosting “authoritative sources” – a practice that creates a huge disparity between mainstream media outlets and independent creators and results in mainstream media outlets being artificially boosted by as much as 20x.

“This Declaration is an important signal from some of the world’s leading democracies,” Nick Clegg, the President of Global Affairs at Facebook’s parent company Meta, tweeted. “The only way to preserve and enhance the best of the open internet, prevent it from fragmenting further and protect human rights in the digital space is by working together.”

While Clegg’s statement focuses on the open internet and protecting human rights, Meta also mass censors content on its platforms and plans to continue this censorship in its metaverse.

And despite the declaration’s commitment to privacy, both Google and Meta’s businesses rely heavily on surveilling users to serve targeted ads.

The current list of countries that have endorsed this Declaration for the Future of the Internet includes Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cabo Verde, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Estonia, the European Commission, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, North Macedonia, Palau, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom, the United States, Ukraine, and Uruguay.

The declaration isn’t legally binding but is intended to be used as a “reference for public policy makers, as well as citizens, businesses, and civil society organizations.” The signatories also intend to translate its principles into “concrete policies and actions; and, work together to promote this vision globally.”

We obtained a copy of the Declaration for the Future of the Internet for you here.

April 29, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | | 3 Comments

The EU’s Digital Services Act is the next big threat to free speech

By Didi Rankovic | Reclaim The Net | April 29, 2022

Authorities across the world continue to use the Ukrainian crisis as the backdrop against which to pass, in some cases unprecedented in the way they restrict or censor free speech, legislation regulating the digital industry.

These trends are nothing new, but the current massive global crisis presents an excellent excuse to introduce draconian measures with little or no scrutiny or opposition. And so, in the EU, the Digital Services Act just got “enriched” by a new law that will allow the bloc to declare a state of emergency – on the internet.

The law, referred to as a “crisis mechanism” is a part of the Act and got ushered into existence last Saturday.

A state of emergency normally gives governments extraordinary powers and suspends normal laws and regulation in order to preserve lives and property – something that has thus far been used in case of war or natural disaster, i.e., those events affecting a country’s physical security, economy, etc.

But now the 27 EU countries will be able to do the same in imposing extraordinary control on all key, public-facing elements of the web: social platforms, search engines, and e-commerce sites.

A good chunk of these three categories means this is not about the usual emergency measures in a time of crisis – they also concern freedom of speech, which is where things get very complicated. What critical voices who manage to find their way into corporate media seem to be admitting is legislation like this can bring harmful outcomes, but they’re also trying to normalize it.

Daphne Keller of Stanford’s Cyber Policy Center has been quoted as telling Wired, “It looks like the war in Ukraine created a political opportunity for advocates of tighter restrictions to push their agenda. That’s pretty normal politics, if bad law.”

But many others, whose voices cannot these days be heard in the mainstream, will argue that this is also an example of “bad politics”: in Europe, that part of the world that has given birth to democracy and always strives, though does not always succeed, at implementing its tenets, sneakily passing extreme regulation almost literally “under cover of the night” (reports say that the vote on the new EU law took place “in the early hours of Saturday”) could highly likely backfire, down the road.

For the moment, the EU seems happy to explain its latest attempt at dipping its toe in the authoritarianism pond by saying that forcing tech companies to silence or completely censor information should be considered as not controversial, if a crisis is taking place, whether that concerns public security or – a health threat. Yes, the Covid panic, and its possible future (re)apparitions in European societies and economies, has also been factored in, when deciding to draft and then approve the new law.

With issues sensitive as this, every word counts – but the definition of what constitutes a “threat” big enough to invoke these massive new powers is predictably murky and bureaucratic.

Members of a European Parliament (EP) grouping called the European People’s Party (EPP), said only that when the EU Commission decides, “very large” platforms will have to “limit any urgent threat on their platforms.”

There’s more. “All measures under the crisis mechanism will be limited in time and accompanied by safeguards for fundamental rights,” European Commission spokesperson Johannes Bahrke promised.

These statements mean everything and nothing, and that’s exactly what they’re designed to do.

There’s other news revealing a bid to centralize power in the EU, now a very diffuse, and at times confused organization. Thus European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen will be given the power to enforce the new rules, bypassing a previous system where countries like Ireland, that have the most to lose if Big Tech is pushed out of Europe, had a voice.

It’s of interest to note that Big Tech has been playing along pretty well so far, making this latest legislative push somewhat unclear. Both during the Covid and Ukraine war events, these large corporations have been heeding political messages and catering to political needs, basically to a fault.

Reports suggest that now, the bureaucrats in Brussels may just want to make their jobs simpler. Instead of having to go to the sanctions regime and relying on Big Tech to obey – like they did when they blocked Russian media outlets like RT and Sputnik – they will now have a whole new law that enforces all this in one fell swoop.

This is happening as Big Tech – both the from the West, like Google, Facebook, and Amazon, and from the East, like TikTok, are yet to make any comment.

And now it’s up to EU member countries to approve the law and allow the “crisis mechanism” to kick into gear.

April 29, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment

US dusts off WWII scheme to arm Ukraine

Samizdat | April 28, 2022

The US House of Representatives has approved a bill that would remove several constraints on sending weapons to Ukraine amid the ongoing Russian offensive. Adopted by the Senate earlier this month, the “Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act” revives the program Washington used to send military equipment to belligerents in WWII while officially staying neutral.

The final vote on Thursday afternoon was 417-10, with three members not voting. All of the Democrats voted in favor, while all of the ten members opposed were Republicans.

Introduced by Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), the bill was passed by the Senate on April 6, but the Democrat-dominated House adjourned for a two-week Easter recess before taking it up.

It authorizes the White House to “lend or lease defense articles” to Ukraine or any “Eastern European countries impacted by the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine to help bolster those countries’ defense capabilities and protect their civilian populations from potential invasion or ongoing aggression.”

Cornyn’s bill does not create a new program, but rather makes it easier for President Joe Biden to send weapons to Kiev by suspending limitations imposed by two existing laws, one of which caps the length of the aid at five years.

However, the whole thing is conditioned on Ukraine having to pay for the “return of and reimbursement and repayment for defense articles loaned or leased” to it. Kiev’s ability to make such payments is questionable, since the Ukrainian government is currently asking the US and the EU for $7 billion per month just to keep paying salaries and pensions.

The lend-lease bill is separate from the ongoing US effort to send Kiev weapons from the Pentagon stockpiles. Biden has already blown through almost $3.5 billion authorized by Congress for the purpose, and is seeking more funding. However, it risks being held up if the Democrats insist on bundling it with their Covid-19 funding plan, as Republicans have warned they would only support a stand-alone bill.

“We don’t have the mechanism yet,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Tuesday.

The original lend-lease was enacted by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in March 1941 – nine months before the US entered WWII – and amounted to $50.1 billion (980 billion in 2022 dollars) by September 1945, when the program ended. Most of the weapons and equipment went to the UK ($31.4 billion) with a $11.3 billion share going to the Soviet Union and another $7.4 billion to other countries. In theory, the aid was supposed to be repaid or returned, but the US accepted the lease of military bases abroad instead.

April 29, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Militarism | , | 5 Comments

Biden’s Mammoth $33BN Ukraine Package Includes Help With Wartime Propaganda

By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge | April 28, 2022

Politico’s Christopher Miller noted earlier that the record-smashing $33 billion spending package that the White House is proposing for Ukraine actually “dwarfs the annual defense budgets of most nations.” To which we naturally asked: how many billions of dollars does it take to turn a ‘proxy’ war into a ‘direct conflict’?

For starters it’s clear that such a massive amount of taxpayer money means that Washington clearly doesn’t expect that the war will end anytime soon, as multiple US defense and intelligence officials have recently testified. In fact General Mark Milley, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the House Armed Services Committee during the first week of this month that he sees this as a “very protracted conflict” to come that will be “at least measured in years.”

Biden in his Thursday rollout remarks described that the new aid package “begins the transition to longer-term security assistance.” But interestingly as part of this assistance, a key area that the US will fund is what’s essentially information warfare

Independent journalist and media commentator Michael Tracey has pointed out…

White House fact-sheet says part of the mammoth $33 billion spending package it’s requesting for Ukraine will be to “support independent media.” Because nothing screams “independent” like being directly funded by the US Government as part of its “information warfare” initiative.

Of course, going back to at least 2014 the US government has funded such Ukraine initiatives as “citizen journalism” to push back against ‘Russian influence’ in the country.

As WikiLeaks has documented long ago, there was similarly heavy State Department and US intelligence funding of “independent” and “opposition” media in Syria in the lead-up to and during the decade-long war to try and overthrow Assad.

But this marks a huge expansion of the United States much more directly assisting Ukraine in its media and wartime propaganda efforts. The White House fact sheet detailing the scope of the security aid package spells out in a bullet point:

  • Counter Russian disinformation and propaganda narratives, promote accountability for Russian human rights violation, and support activists, journalists, and independent media to defend freedom of expression.

This as “freedom of expression” is often suppressed at home, ironically enough especially targeting independent media outlets.

Also of little comfort to the US taxpayer in terms of a potential eventual path to WW3 between two nuclear armed powers is this section under a header titled Help Ukraine Defend Itself Over the Long-Term…

  • A stronger NATO security posture through support for U.S. troop deployments on NATO territory, including transportation of U.S. personnel and equipment, temporary duty, special pay, airlift, weapons system sustainment, and medical support.

Ultimately this means hundreds of millions will go toward propping up “independent media” which will actually in truth be US-state funded pro-NATO information efforts.

April 29, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism | , , | 4 Comments

Moldova says no alternative to Russian gas

Samizdat | April 28, 2022

Moldova’s President Maia Sandu has acknowledged that her country has no way to substitute Russian gas, expressing hope that deliveries by Gazprom will continue despite an unsettled debt.

“We find ourselves in a very difficult situation,” Sandu said in an interview with broadcaster Jurnal TV on Wednesday.

Moldova’s contract with Gazprom expires on May 1. In order for it to be prolonged, the country has to complete an audit of its huge debt for earlier gas deliveries before the Russian side. But Chisinau is unlikely to meet the deadline, having claimed earlier that the conflict in Ukraine has prevented it from hiring a foreign auditor to do the job. According to Gazprom, Moldovagas owes it some $709 million.

“We can’t give up on gas when we have no other alternative. Electricity supply also depends on gas, so there’s no alternative here, too,” the president pointed out.

Sandu, who came to power in 2020 on a promise of European integration, expressed hope that deliveries of Russian gas won’t come to a halt and leaving the country no option but to look for other supplies.

Moldova, a former Soviet republic of 2.6 million sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania, has the technical means to get gas from other sources, but it needs to find a supplier, who could propose a good midterm contract, she said.

“But it’s even more difficult when it comes to electricity. The government had earlier launched a tender in order to acquire it, but was left unsatisfied as the offers were too expensive,” the 49-year-old explained.

Earlier this month, Moldova addressed Gazprom in order to get a respite so that deliveries would continue despite the debt issue remaining unsettled.

April 29, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , | 2 Comments

Bulgarians want Russian gas back – minister

Samizdat – April 28, 2022

Bulgarian businesses want Sofia “to make it possible to resume talks with Gazprom” after the Russian energy giant cut off gas supplies to the country, according to Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Kornelia Ninova.

“We propose that, by then, gas prices should be frozen or capped at their level in the contract with Gazprom and the difference with the higher prices of alternative supplies be paid for by the State,” she said at a press conference after meeting with the Bulgaria Professional Employer Organization (PEO).

The calls come a day after Gazprom ceased delivering gas to Bulgaria after the country refused to pay for energy supplies in rubles. Bulgaria relies on Russia for nearly 90% of its gas, with the remainder coming from Azerbaijan.

Earlier in the day, Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said that Bulgaria has enough gas supplies to last more than one month should nothing change, stressing that Sofia would not accept Russia’s terms on exports of gas.

“But we hope to complete the construction of a new interconnector with Greece by the end of June. And we also look forward to a common strategy for the procurement of liquefied gas by the European Commission,” Petkov said in an interview with Le Monde.

April 29, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Russophobia | | 1 Comment

Solomon Islands Fires Back at Australia for Criticising Security Deal With China

Samizdat | April 29, 2022

The Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands accused Australia of hypocrisy on Friday, saying that Canberra should have been more transparent with other Pacific nations when signing the AUKUS pact before criticising the new Honiara-Beijing security deal of secrecy.

Last week, China and the Solomon Islands signed a framework agreement on security cooperation. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the construction of a Chinese military base in the Solomon Islands will be a “red line” for Canberra and Washington.

“One would expect that as a member of the Pacific family, Solomon Islands and members of the Pacific should have been consulted to ensure this AUKUS treaty is transparent since it will affect the Pacific family by allowing nuclear submarines in Pacific waters,” Manasseh Sogavare told parliament, as quoted by Australian broadcaster ABC News.

Sogavare said he had learned about Australia’s security pact with the United Kingdom and the United States from media.

“Oh, but Mr Speaker, I realise that Australia is a sovereign country which can enter into any treaty it wants to, transparently or not. Which is exactly what they did with AUKUS,” Sogavare said in an apparent mocking of Morrison’s tone.

He also criticised the “gaps” in a bilateral 2017 Honiara-Canberra security treaty. He said that when Australia sent troops to the Solomon Islands at its request to appease riots last year, they refused to protect Chinese infrastructure and investments. Sogavare said the Australian government’s refusal to admit this was “disappointing”.

Australia, the US and the UK announced a new trilateral defence partnership last September. Australia prioritised it over a $66 billion contract with France for 12 conventionally powered military submarines, as AUKUS partners promised it technology to develop its own nuclear-powered submarines.

April 29, 2022 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , | 1 Comment

IRGC chief: Resistance sole way to liberation of Palestine

Press TV – April 28, 2022

Chief Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hossein Salami says negotiations and accords brokered by the United States only aim to buy time for Israel, and weaken the Palestinian resistance front.

The senior commander made the remarks in a televised address to a ceremony in Gaza City on Thursday, on the eve of International Quds Day.

“The so-called peace treaties like the Camp David Accords, the Oslo Accords, the Sharm El Sheikh Memorandum etc have never been and will never be able to result in the liberation of Palestine.

“All such accords, which former US presidents, [former Israeli prime ministers Ehud] Olmert, [Benjamin] Netanyahu, Yitzhak Shamir and Yitzhak Rabin tried to seal, as well as the deal of century are nothing but deception and a conspiracy to marginalize jihad, weaken the resistance front, buy time and obliterate the awareness of the nations,” he stated.

He underscored that Palestinian people have come to realize that they will not achieve their goals except through resistance and struggle in the path of God (jihad).

Salami described the recent developments in the occupied Palestinian territories as a sign of the Israeli regime’s brutality and the strength of resistance groups, stressing that Palestinian resistance fighters have reinforced the Muslim Ummah and changed the balance of power in the region.

The IRGC chief hailed International Quds Day as a gift from Imam Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic in Iran, stating that the designation of the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan for the event made Palestine a top priority for the entire Muslim world.

“Palestinian people are close to victory as the Zionist enemy is growing weaker. Weakness inside the Zionist entity is evident in its politics, economy and security apparatus, he said.

“All Muslims around the world are united with Palestinians in the struggle against the Israeli regime. Al-Quds and al-Aqsa Mosque are symbols of unity among Muslims in support of Palestinians,” Salami pointed out.

IRGC: Events herald Israel’s imminent end

Earlier, the IRGC said current developments in the occupied Palestinian territories show that the demise of Israel is imminent and the regime is doomed to end very soon.

“Recent developments, particularly the fact that the flames of Intifada (uprising) have passed through the inner walls of the regime, suggest that the Tel Aviv regime’s days are numbered and occupiers of holy al-Quds are quickly nearing their end,” the force said in a statement released on the eve of International Quds Day.

It lauded the decision by Imam Khomeini to designate the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan as International Quds Day, describing the prudent initiative and historic move as a novel phenomenon and a source of pride for the Iranian nation to play an effective role in supporting the oppressed Palestinian nation.

The IRGC underlined that free and justice-seeking nations have joined forces more than ever to support the oppressed Palestinians, the Palestinian cause and the liberation of al-Quds.

“Zionists thought they could consign the Palestinian issue and the cause of al-Quds to oblivion by following satanic schemes such as the so-called ‘Deal of the Century’ and normalization of ties with some Arab countries. They were, however, wrong and their dream of sustainable and permanent security has now been broken,” the statement read.

The statement further stressed that the discourse of resistance and support for Palestine states that an end to the Israeli occupation, expulsion of occupiers, return of Palestinian refugees and free elections are the only solution to the Palestinian issue.

The IRGC went on to term any concession, including normalization of ties with the child-killing regime of Israel as an act of treason, emphasizing such bids are doomed to failure.

Hamas official: Normalization with Israel a crime

Meanwhile, a high-ranking official from the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement said the Arab states that have normalized diplomatic ties with the Israeli regime have not only committed a grave crime against Palestinians but also their own peoples.

Khalil al-Hayya, a member of the Hamas political bureau and the deputy chief in the Gaza Strip, made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Iran’s English-language Press TV television news network on Thursday ahead of International Quds Day.

Hayya slammed normalization with Israel as the regime kills Palestinian civilians, including women and children, in cold blood.

He stressed that establishment of relations with Israel only serves the best interests of the United States and the Tel Aviv regime.

The senior Hamas official said Palestinians are a nation under occupation and reserve the right to defend themselves against Israeli occupiers.

Hayya also condemned Israeli forces’ attacks against Palestinian worshippers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied Old City of al-Quds.

He said Palestinians are always ready to defend the holy place, warning that Israeli officials are seeking to alter its true image by preventing Palestinians from entering the site.

April 29, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | Leave a comment