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The Highwire with Del Bigtree | May 13, 2022


May 14, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Washington moves to annex north-east Syria by proxy

By Vanessa Beeley | May 14, 2022

Under cover of media focus on the NATO proxy war in Ukraine and the Zionist assassination of Al Jazeera senior correspondent Shireen AbuAkleh, Washington is making moves to annex Syrian territory.

On May 11th during the meeting of the “global coalition against Islamic State” in Marrakech, Morocco the U.S acting assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, made an extraordinary move that has largely gone under the radar of even independent media. Everyone is distracted by events in Ukraine and the Palestinian Occupied Territories.

Nuland who famously exclaimed “Fuck the EU” during recorded conversations that exposed the US State Department involvement in the 2014 coup in Ukraine and the subsequent massacre in Odessa by the Washington’s Nazi Contras is now turning her attention to Syria’s north-eastern territory.

Nuland has announced that the US will allow foreign investment in north-east Syria under the control of the Kurdish Separatists, another US Coaliton proxy in Syria. These investments will not be affected by the unprecedented sanctions that are effectively blockading Syria.

The most savage of these economic measures were introduced under the Trump administration – the Caesar sanctions that are designed to inhibit any external assistance for Syria from within the Syrian alliance, including Russia and Iran.

The Caesar Syrian Civilian Protection Act is also fraudulent by claiming to “protect civilians”. In reality, it is punishes and hurts the vast majority of 17 million persons living in Syria. It will result in thousands of civilians suffering and dying needlessly. – Rick Sterling

Needless to say that the de-facto unilateral sanctions being applied as a collective punishment for the entire Syrian population living in areas protected by the Syrian government are illegal. To extend those sanctions to sovereign nations providing assistance to rebuild Syrian infrastructure is barbaric and a deliberate attempt by the US to ensure that Syria cannot recover from the eleven year war waged against it.

The correlation between economic and military coercion in Syria was made clear by previous Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo’s point-man on Syria, Ambassador James Jeffrey, who not only described Al Qaeda as a “US asset” in Syria but also bragged openly about the misery that sanctions had brought to the Syrian people:

And of course, we’ve ratcheted up the isolation and sanctions pressure on Assad, we’ve held the line on no reconstruction assistance, and the country’s desperate for it. You see what’s happened to the Syrian pound, you see what’s happened to the entire economy. So, it’s been a very effective strategy….

Journalist Rick Sterling also pointed out the illegality and brutality of the Caesar sanctions:

The US has multiple goals. One goal is to prevent Syria from recovering. Another goal is to prolong the conflict and damage those countries who have assisted Syria. With consummate cynicism and amorality, the US Envoy for Syria James Jeffrey described his task: “My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians.”

Nuland said Washington would issue a general licence, which frees companies from U.S. sanctions restrictions in north-east Syria.

“The United States intends in the next few days to issue a general license to facilitate private economic investment activity in non-regime held areas liberated from ISIS in Syria.”

The irony here of course is that ISIS is in reality another proxy of the US Coalition that had benefitted from the oil resource revenue prior to the occupation of the oil fields by the Kurdish Contras. There is also a degree of collaboration mired in corruption between the Kurdish Separatists and ISIS both focused on the ethnic cleansing of the north-east to make way for an “autonomous region” effectively controlled by Washington, London and Israel. As Syrian researcher, Ibrahim Wahdi, wrote back in February 2022:

We can clearly see that the largest organized smuggling and mass transfer of ISIS militants towards the Syrian Badia connected with the Iraqi border north of Al-Tanf region, which coincided with the Ukraine crisis and the negotiations of the Iranian nuclear deal, aims to trigger chaos by CIA and Israeli intelligence through reviving ISIS to keep it as a pretext for the US occupation of Syrian lands.

Nuland’s claims that investment in areas “previously held” by ISIS are “needed to prevent a resurgence of Islamic State by allowing it to recruit and exploit local grievances” is hypocrisy of the highest order. Washington and London are recruiting, arming and equipping ISIS terrorists and embedding their fighters in areas of the Badia desert (East of Homs) where they can do the most damage to Syrian Arab Army installations and convoys – this includes the disruption of the meagre oil supply to Damascus from the north-east. As Wahdi pointed out:

The danger of the ISIS card lies in the large numbers distributed among 9 prisons in the US-backed SDF-controlled areas, which are potential targets for similar attacks [to release ISIS terrorists], especially the “Kamba Al-Bulgar” prison, east of Al-Shaddadi city in the southern countryside of Hasaka, which includes 5,000 ISIS militants.

In addition to Al-Sina’a prisons, Al-Shaddadiyah, Derek/ Al-Malikiyah, Al-Kasra, Al-Raqqa Central Prison, Rmelan and Nafker in the Qamishli city, from which 60 ISIS militants were transferred to a prison in Al-Hasakah last September.

Both ISIS and the Kurdish Contras are responsible for the theft of oil from Syria. Al Qaeda has the monopoly of the processing of the stolen oil via its WATAD organisation. The US Coalition has a vested interest in bringing the Syrian population to its knees and to stir up dissent against the Syrian government that has trashed the Coalition military plans for regime change.

The war against Russia in Ukraine is also revenge for Russia’s role in genuinely fighting ISIS in Syria and forcing the terrorist entity to withdraw to the north-east and Iraq where it is equally responsible for the destruction of civilian infrastructure in particular electrical installations to further punish any Iraqi resistance to US occupation.

Nuland and Washington are deliberately enflaming local grievances and enabling ISIS recruitment and expansion.

Not only will these sanction-free licences apply to the Kurdish Contras but the Turkish backed militia occupying the northern border zones of Syria will also be included in the deal. This means that Syrian territory will be de-facto annexed by these NATO-member-state proxies including Al Qaeda (Turkey) and affiliates.

According to a diplomat who has discussed the issue extensively with U.S officials, the licence will apply to agriculture and reconstruction work but not to oil. I guess there is no need to include oil as that is already considered a U.S benefit of the war they started in 2011. After all Trump said very clearly “we’re keeping the oil – I’ve always said that — keep the oil. We want to keep the oil, $45 million a month. Keep the oil. We’ve secured the oil.”

If the licence will apply to reconstruction and agriculture, this will legitimise the building of settlements and the continued theft (by the Kurds) of Syrian agricultural produce in the region, the occupation of the wheat storage centers and the reduction in supply to Damascus of these essential resources. Essentially doubling down on the siege of the Syrian people who are already suffering severe food insecurity, poverty, fuel and energy deprivation on a terrible scale.

The act of withholding means of sustaining life to innocent civilians in order to coerce an entire nation into submission to foreign agendas in the region must surely qualify as economic terrorism. The destruction of essential civilian infrastructure is a war crime, the withholding of essential resources or occupation of those resources is also a war crime. One could argue that the US Coalition is responsible for genocide in Syria under Genocide Convention article II (e) – deliberately inflicting on the group, conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part”.

When Washington talks about “stabilisation” activities in the areas its “allies” took from Islamic State they are lying. Its “allies” are being led to believe they will benefit from cooperation with the U.S. In reality they are useful tools to facilitate the U.S and Israeli agenda in the region – to balkanise Syria and above all to secure the illegal US Al Tanf military base in the south-east (bordering Jordan) to prevent the linking of the Resistance Axis from Iran to Lebanon and ultimately Palestine. To protect “Israeli security” in the region.

The organised smuggling and transfer of ISIS terrorists towards the Syrian Badia connected with the Iraqi border north of Al Tanf is to maintain the CIA/MI6/Israeli chaos strategy in Syria and to justify US occupation of Syrian territory under the faux ISIS pretext.

What Nuland is proposing is a step forward for Washington in the annexation of Syria’s most resource rich territory. It is annexation by proxy. Turkey will also benefit from these licence schemes and will further embed its Al Qaeda-led militia in the northern border areas thus ensuring permanent insecurity for Syria to the north.

Arabs, Assyrians and Armenians will necessarily be ethnically cleansed from these zones to make way for these US-sanctioned settlements and it is common knowledge that the Kurdish Contras have been preparing for this for some time – banning the Syrian curriculum in schools and razing Arab houses in the area while forcing conscription onto local communities, running campaigns of kidnapping and detention.

Nuland informed coalition members in Marrakech that “Washington wanted to raise $350 million for these alleged “stabilisation” activities in north-east Syria during 2022. Iraq is also the target of the same “stabilisation” campaign. What Nuland really means is that Washington under cover of Ukraine will move to secure permanent violation of Syria’s territorial integrity while feigning outrage that Russia is violating the sovereignty of Ukraine already occupied by NATO and little more than Washington’s satellite vassal state on the border with its arch enemy Russia.

May 14, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , , | 6 Comments

The Subtleties of Anti-Russia Leftist Rhetoric

By Edward Curtin | Behind the Curtain | May 13, 2022

While the so-called liberal and conservative corporate mainstream media – all stenographers for the intelligence agencies – pour forth the most blatant propaganda about Russia and Ukraine that is so conspicuous that it is comedic if it weren’t so dangerous, the self-depicted cognoscenti also ingest subtler messages, often from the alternative media.

A woman I know and who knows my sociological analyses of propaganda contacted me to tell me there was an excellent article about the war in Ukraine at The Intercept, an on-line publication funded by billionaire Pierre Omidyar I have long considered a leading example of much deceptive reporting wherein truth is mixed with falsehoods to convey a “liberal” narrative that fundamentally supports the ruling elites while seeming to oppose them. This, of course, is nothing new since it’s been the modus operandi of all corporate media in their own ideological and disingenuous ways, such as The New York Times, CBS, the Washington Post, the New York Daily News, Fox News, CNN, NBC, etc. for a very long time.

Nevertheless, out of respect for her judgment and knowing how deeply she feels for all suffering people, I read the article.  Written by Alice Speri, its title sounded ambiguous – “The Left in Europe Confronts NATO’s Resurgence After Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine” – until I saw the subtitle that begins with these words: “Russia’s brutal invasion complicates…”  But I read on.  By the fourth paragraph, it became clear where this article was going. Speri writes that “In Ukraine, by contrast [with Iraq], it was Russia that had staged an illegal, unprovoked invasion, and U.S.-led support to Ukraine was understood by many as crucial to stave off even worse atrocities than those the Russian military had already committed.” [my emphasis]

While ostensibly about European anti-war and anti-NATO activists caught on the horns of a dilemma, the piece goes on to assert that although US/NATO was guilty of wrongful expansion over many years, Russia has been an aggressor in Ukraine and Georgia and is guilty of terrible war crimes, etc.

There is not a word about the U.S. engineered coup in 2014, the CIA and Pentagon backed mercenaries in Ukraine, or its support for the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion and Ukraine’s years of attacks on the Donbass where many thousands have been killed. It is assumed these actions are not criminal or provocative. And there is this:

The uncertain response of Europe’s peace activists is both a reflection of a brutal, unprovoked invasion that stunned the world and of an anti-war movement that has grown smaller and more marginalized over the years. The left in both Europe and the U.S. have struggled to respond to a wave of support for Ukraine that is at cross purposes with a decades long effort to untangle Europe from a U.S.-led military alliance. [my emphasis]

In other words, the article, couched in anti-war rhetoric, was anti-Russia propaganda. When I told my friend my analysis, she refused to discuss it and got angry with me, as if I therefore were a proponent of war I have found this is a common response.

This got me thinking again about why people so often miss the untruths lying within articles that are in many parts truthful and accurate. I notice this constantly. They are like little seeds slipped in as if no one will notice; they work their magic nearly unconsciously. Few do notice them, for they are often imperceptible. But they have their effects and are cumulative and are far more powerful over time than blatant statements that will turn people off, especially those who think propaganda doesn’t work on them. This is the power of successful propaganda, whether purposeful  or not.  It particularly works well on “intellectual” and highly schooled people.

For example, in a recent printed  interview, Noam Chomsky, after being introduced as a modern day Galileo, Newton, and Descartes rolled into one, talks about propaganda, its history, Edward Bernays, Walter Lippman, etc. What he says is historically accurate and informative for anyone not knowing this history. He speaks wisely of U.S. media propaganda concerning its unprovoked war against Iraq and he accurately calls the war in Ukraine “provoked.” And then, concerning the war in Ukraine, he drops this startling statement:

I don’t think there are ‘significant lies’ in war reporting. The U.S. media are generally doing a highly creditable job in reporting Russian crimes in Ukraine. That’s valuable, just as it’s valuable that international investigations are underway in preparation for possible war crimes trials.

In the blink of an eye, Chomsky says something so incredibly untrue that unless one thinks of him as a modern day Galileo, which many do, it may pass as true and you will smoothly move on to the next paragraph. Yet it is a statement so false as to be laughable. The media propaganda concerning events in Ukraine has been so blatantly false and ridiculous that a careful reader will stop suddenly and think: Did he just say that?

So now Chomsky views the media, such as The New York Times and its ilk, that he has correctly castigated for propagandizing for the U.S. in Iraq and East Timor, to use two examples, is doing “a highly creditable job in reporting Russian crimes in Ukraine,” as if suddenly they were no longer spokespeople for the CIA and U.S. disinformation. And he says this when we are in the midst of the greatest propaganda blitz since WW I, with its censorship, Disinformation Governance Board, de-platforming of dissidents, etc., that border on a parody of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. 

Even slicker is his casual assertion that the media are doing a good job reporting Russia’s war crimes after he earlier has said this about propaganda:

So it continues. Particularly in the more free societies, where means of state violence have been constrained by popular activism, it is of great importance to devise methods of manufacturing consent, and to ensure that they are internalized, becoming as invisible as the air we breathe, particularly in articulate educated circles. Imposing war-myths is a regular feature of these enterprises.

This is simply masterful. Explain what propaganda is at its best and how you oppose it and then drop a soupçon of it into your analysis. And while he is at it, Chomsky makes sure to praise Chris Hedges, one of his followers, who has himself recently wrote an article – The Age of Self-Delusion – that also contains valid points appealing to those sick of wars, but which also contains the following words:

Putin’s revanchism is matched by our own.

The disorganization, ineptitude, and low morale of the Russian army conscripts, along with the repeated intelligence failures by the Russian high command, apparently convinced Russia would roll over Ukraine in a few days, exposes the lie that Russia is a global menace.

‘The Russian bear has effectively defanged itself,’ historian Andrew Bacevich writes.

But this is not a truth the war makers impart to the public. Russia must be inflated to become a global menace, despite nine weeks of humiliating military failures. [my emphasis]

Russia’s revanchism? Where? Revanchism? What lost territory has the U.S. ever waged war to recover? Iraq, Syria, Cuba, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, etc.? The U.S.’s history is a history not of revanchism but of imperial conquest, of seizing or controlling territory, while Russia’s war in Ukraine is clearly an act of self-defense after years of U.S./NATO/Ukraine provocations and threats, which Hedges recognizes. “Nine weeks of humiliating military failures”? – when they control a large section of eastern and southern Ukraine, including the Donbass. But his false message is subtly woven, like Chomsky’s, into sentences that are true.

“But this is not a truth the war makers impart to the public.” No, it is exactly what the media spokespeople for the war makers – i.e. The New York Times (Hedges former employer, which he never fails to mention and for whom he covered the Clinton administration’s savage destruction of Yugoslavia), CNNFox News, The Washington Post, the New York Post, etc. impart to the public every day for their masters. Headlines that read how Russia, while allegedly committing daily war crimes, is failing in its war aims and that the mythic hero Zelensky is leading Ukrainians to victory. Words to the effect that “The Russian bear has effectively defanged itself” presented as fact.

Yes, they do inflate the Russian monster myth, only to then puncture it with the myth of David defeating Goliath.

But being in the business of mind games (too much consistency leads to clarity and gives the game away), one can expect them to scramble their messages on an ongoing basis to serve the U.S. agenda in Ukraine and further NATO expansion in the undeclared war with Russia, for which the Ukrainian people will be sacrificed.

Orwell called it “doublethink”:

Doublethink lies at the very heart of Ingsoc, since the essential act of the Party is to use conscious deception while retaining the firmness of purpose that goes with complete honesty.To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality one denies – all this is indispensably necessary… with the lie always one step ahead of the truth.

Revealing while concealing and interjecting inoculating shots of untruths that will only get cursory attention from their readers, the writers mentioned here and others have great appeal for the left intelligentsia. For people who basically worship those they have imbued with infallibility and genius, it is very hard to read all sentences carefully and smell a skunk.  The subterfuge is often very adroit and appeals to readers’ sense of outrage at what happened in the past – e.g. the George W. Bush administration’s lies about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Chomsky, of course, is the leader of the pack, and his followers are legion, including Hedges. For decades they have been either avoiding or supporting the official versions of the assassinations of JFK and RFK, the attacks of September 11, 2001 that led directly to the war on terror and so many wars of aggression, and the recent Covid-19 propaganda with its devastating lockdowns and crackdowns on civil liberties. They are far from historical amnesiacs, of course, but obviously consider these foundational events of no importance, for otherwise they would have addressed them. If you expect them to explain, you will be waiting a long time.

In a recent article – How the organized Left got Covid wrong, learned to love lockdowns and lost its mind: an autopsy – Christian Parenti writes this about Chomsky:

Almost the entire left intelligentsia has remained psychically stuck in March 2020. Its members have applauded the new biosecurity repression and calumniated as liars, grifters, and fascists any and all who dissented. Typically, they did so without even engaging evidence and while shirking public debate. Among the most visible in this has been Noam Chomsky, the self-described anarcho-syndicalist who called for the unvaccinated to “remove themselves from society,” and suggested that they should be allowed to go hungry if they refuse to submit.

Parenti’s critique of the left’s response (not just Chomsky’s and Hedges’) to Covid also applies to those foundational events mentioned above, which raises deeper questions about the CIA’s and NSA’s penetration  of the media in general, a subject beyond the scope of this analysis.

For those, like the liberal woman who referred me to The Intercept article, who would no doubt say of what I have written here: Why are you picking on leftists? my reply is quite simple.

The right-wing and the neocons are obvious in their pernicious agendas; nothing is really hidden; therefore they can and should be opposed. But many leftists serve two masters and are far subtler. Ostensibly on the side of regular people and opposed to imperialism and the predations of the elites at home and abroad, they are often tricksters of beguiling rhetoric that their followers miss. Rhetoric that indirectly fuels the wars they say they oppose.

Smelling skunks is not as obvious as it might seem. Being nocturnal, they come forth when most are sleeping.

May 14, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite | , | 2 Comments

The Bizarre, Unanimous Dem Support for the $40b War Package to Raytheon and CIA: “For Ukraine”

By Glenn Greenwald | May 14, 2022

After Joe Biden announced his extraordinary request for $33 billion more for the war in Ukraine — on top of the $14 billion the U.S. has already spent just ten weeks into this war — congressional leaders of both parties immediately decided the amount was insufficient. They arbitrarily increased the amount by $7 billion to a total of $40 billion, then fast-tracked the bill for immediate approval. As we reported on Tuesday night, the House overwhelmingly voted to approve the bill by a vote of 388-57. All fifty-seven NO votes came from Republican House members. Except for two missing members, all House Democrats — every last one, including all six members of the revolutionary, subversive Squad — voted for this gigantic war package, one of the largest the U.S. has spent at once in decades.

While a small portion of these funds will go to humanitarian aid for Ukraine, the vast majority will go into the coffers of weapons manufacturers such as Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and the usual suspects. Some of it will go to the CIA for unspecified reasons. The extreme speed with which this was all approved means there is little to no oversight over how the funds will be spent, who will profit and how much, and what the effects will be for Ukraine and the world.

To put this $54 billion amount in perspective, it is (a) larger than the average annual amount that the U.S. spent on its own war in Afghanistan ($46 billion), (b) close to the overall amount Russia spends on its entire military for the year ($69 billion), (c) close to 7% of the overall U.S. military budget, by far the largest in the world ($778 billion), and (d) certain to be far, far higher — easily into the hundreds of billions of dollars and likely the trillion dollar level — given that U.S. officials insist that this war will last not months but years, and that it will stand with Ukraine until the bitter end.

What made this Democratic Party unanimity so bizarre, even surreal, is that many of these House Democrats who voted YES have spent years vehemently denouncing exactly these types of war expenditures. Some of them — very recently — even expressed specific opposition to pouring large amounts of U.S. money and weaponry into Ukraine on the grounds that doing so would be unprecedentedly dangerous, and that Americans are suffering far too severely at home to justify such massive amounts to weapons manufacturers and intelligence agencies. Here, for instance, is the shocking-in-hindsight warning of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) on March 8 — just two months before she voted YES on this $40 billion weapons package:

Just as stridently, her progressive House Democratic colleague, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), appeared on Democracy Now on February 8 to discuss the imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine, and he explicitly and repeatedly demanded that no lethal arms be sent by the U.S. into Ukraine. Indeed, Khanna, while repeatedly denouncing Putin’s aggression, heaped praise on former President Obama for long resisting bipartisan demands to send lethal arms to Ukraine — based on Obama’s oft-stated belief that Ukraine is and always will be a vital interest to Russia, but will never be to the U.S. — and argued that such a move would be dangerously escalatory:

I certainly join [House progressives] in the concerns of having increased aid, lethal aid, into that area. That will only inflame the situation. I also join them in the concern that we need restraint, that the last thing the American people want is an escalation which could lead us to some long war in Ukraine with Russia, that that’s a very dangerous situation, and no one in this country — or, very few people in this country would want that. There’s a reason President Obama didn’t send lethal aid into Ukraine and had a greater restraint in his approach. So, I do think we should do everything possible not to escalate the situation, while having the moral clarity that Putin is in the wrong in this case….

The arguments Khanna was endorsing from House progressive leaders came in the form of a January 26 press release from co-caucus-leaders Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA). The progressive duo argued: “There is no military solution out of this crisis — diplomacy needs to be the focus.” Then they added this: “We have significant concerns that new troop deployments, sweeping and indiscriminate sanctions, and a flood of hundreds of millions of dollars in lethal weapons will only raise tensions and increase the chance of miscalculation. Russia’s strategy is to inflame tensions; the United States and NATO must not play into this strategy.” Just over three months later, both Lee and Jayapal voted not for a “flood of hundreds of millions of dollars in lethal weapons,” but to flood Ukraine with tens of billions of dollars in lethal weapons.

One would think that when a member of Congress engages in such a remarkable and radical shift in their position, they would at least deign to provide some explanation for why they did so. In the case of the Squad and dozens of House progressives, one would be very wrong. On Friday morning, I emailed and/or texted the press representatives of the five Squad members who have said nothing about their vote (only Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), in a doozy of a statement discussed below, bothered to explain), and directly texted both Omar and Khanna. Other reporters also have requested statements. More than seventy-two hours after they cast this enormously consequential war vote, they still have refused to explain themselves or even issue a cursory statement as to why they supported this (see update below).

This vote, and their silence about it, is particularly confounding — one could, without hyperbole, even say chilling — given how rapidly Democrats’ rhetoric about Ukraine is escalating. As we noted on Tuesday, many leading Democrats, such as Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO), have begun speaking about this war not only as an American proxy war — which it has long been — but as “our war” that we must fight to the end in order for “victory” to be ours, while Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) vows that there be “no off ramps” to end the war diplomatically, since the real goal of the war is regime change in Moscow.

Even worse, the eighty-two-year-old House Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), now in his twentieth term in Congress, went to the House floor on Friday to twice say that “we are at war” — meaning the U.S is now at war with Russia — and that it is therefore inappropriate to heavily criticize our president:

As the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has spent decades pointing out, there is nothing more dangerous to humanity than a war between the two nations with the planet’s largest nuclear stockpiles. One might think that those who just voted to dangerously escalate such a war would at least deign to explain themselves, especially those who have repeatedly made recent statements violently at odds with the YES vote they just cast. Even Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who has thus far said nothing about this House vote, warned in The Guardian in early February, that while Putin is immoral and tyrannical, the West bears some blame for provoking this war with reckless NATO expansion and, more importantly, warned of the grave and unpredictable dangers of having the U.S. pursue a strategy of fueling the war rather than trying to solve it diplomatically.

So exceptional is this headlong rush into this war that even The New York Times — usually loyally supportive of U.S. war policies and the Democratic establishment — published a highly unusual news article about the House vote which repeatedly and harshly criticized Congress for being too frightened to ask questions or express skepticism about Biden’s war policy. The NYT took the members of Congress voting YES in both parties to task for being cowed into submission, meekly falling into line. The headline of the article told the story — “House Passes $40 Billion More in Ukraine Aid, With Few Questions Asked” — as the Paper of Record all but called these YES-voting members of Congress cowards and abdicators:

The escalating brutality of the war in Ukraine has dampened voices on both the right and left skeptical of the United States’ involving itself in armed conflict overseas, fueling a rush by Congress to pour huge amounts of money into a potentially lengthy and costly offensive against Russia with few questions or reservations raised….[L]awmakers in both political parties who have previously railed against skyrocketing military budgets and entanglements in intractable conflicts abroad have gone largely silent about what is fast becoming a major military effort drawing on American resources….

That total — roughly $53 billion over two months — goes beyond what President Biden requested and is poised to amount to the largest foreign aid package to move through Congress in at least two decades….But stunned by the grisly images from Ukraine and leery of turning their backs on a country whose suffering has been on vivid display for the world, many lawmakers have put aside their skepticism and quietly agreed to the sprawling tranches of aid, keeping to themselves their concerns about the war and questions about the Biden administration’s strategy for American involvement…..

And as Mr. Biden’s requests to Congress for money to fund the war effort have spiraled upward, leaders in both parties have largely refrained from questioning them…..The result has been that, at least for now, Congress is quickly and nearly unanimously embracing historic tranches of foreign aid with little public debate about the Biden administration’s strategy, whether the volume of military assistance could escalate the conflict, or whether domestic priorities are being pushed aside to accommodate the huge expenditures overseas.

Perhaps the most remarkable part of this surreal episode is the statement issued by Rep. Bush, ostensibly explaining and justifying her YES vote. If you are able to discern some sort of cogent explanation from this statement, it means that you have better reading skills than I. While Rep. Bush at least deserves credit for bothering to try to explain her vote — in contrast to her fellow Squad members who have thus far refused to do so — by far the clearest and most significant part of what she says are her admissions of the horrible and dangerous parts of this bill, for which she just voted YES. Behold these admissions:

Additionally, at $40 billion, this is an extraordinary amount of military assistance, a large percentage of which will go directly to private defense contractors. In the last year alone, the United States will have provided Ukraine with more military aid than any country in the last two decades, and twice as much military assistance as the yearly cost of war in Afghanistan, even when American troops were on the ground. The sheer size of the package given an already inflated Pentagon budget should not go without critique.  I remain concerned about the increased risks of direct war and the potential for direct military confrontation. 

Imagine saying this about a bill — recognizing how wasteful and dangerous it is — and then snapping into line behind Nancy Pelosi and voting for it anyway to ensure Democratic Party unanimity in support of this war. Credit to Rep. Bush for candor, I suppose.

One person whose name has not yet appeared in this article is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). That is because we published on Wednesday a comprehensive video report on Rumble, documenting how AOC’s YES vote on this war package so violently contradicts virtually everything she has ever claimed to believe about questions of war, militarism and military spending. AOC, needless to say, has not bothered to reconcile this vote with the drastically divergent body of statements she has uttered her entire adult life because her blind followers do not demand anything of her, let alone explanations for why she does what she does (which is why she knew she could, in the middle of the COVID pandemic, attend the Met Gala — the nation’s most gluttonous celebration of capitalist excess and celebrity culture — and attended to indoors by a team of masked servants while she and her boyfriend remained comfortably and glamorously unmasked, and then show total contempt for her fans by hilariously spray-painting a banal, inoffensive phrase on the back of her designer gown, knowing this would make them not only accept her behavior but celebrate her heroic subversiveness).

The full video about how the Squad and AOC just permanently killed whatever was left of the U.S. left-wing anti-war movement can be seen on our Rumble page.

Only two months ago, those who observed that this was not a war between Russia and Ukraine, but really a proxy war between Russia and the U.S./NATO, were vilified as Kremlin propagandists. Now, U.S. leaders openly boast of this fact, and go further, claiming that the U.S. is actually at war with Russia and must secure full victory. That there is not a single Democratic politician willing to object to or even question any of this speaks volumes about what that party is, as well how dangerous this war has become for Americans and the world generally.

Rep. Khanna provided the following comment in response to our question of how he can reconcile his argument in his February 8 Democracy Now interview that the U.S. should not send lethal arms to Ukraine with his vote on Monday to send lethal arms:

I wanted to do everything we could to prevent conflict through diplomacy and so did not want to escalate prior to invasion. But once Putin invaded and has been barbarically destroying towns and cities, I believe it is morally justified to stand firmly with Ukraine in defense of their territory and provide them with military and economic assistance. We at the same time need to be aggressively encouraging diplomatic talks and a ceasefire and enlisting countries who can play a mediating role to help us bring this brutal war to an end.

Note that the assumption of that entire interview was that Russia would invade Ukraine. Indeed, the first question to which Rep. Khanna responded, when arguing that the U.S. should not send lethal aid to Ukraine, was this one: “And do you support the threat of devastating sanctions against Russia in the event of any kind of Russian invasion of Ukraine?” Nonetheless, in contrast to many of his House colleagues, at least he is willing to account for the vote he cast. We will add any further comments in response to our requests for comment if and when we receive them.

May 14, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia | | 1 Comment

The US-Hosted Summit of the Americas May Deal a Humiliating Blow to Biden

By Ekaterina Blinova | Samizdat | May 14, 2022

Less than three weeks before the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, it is unclear whether some major Latin American heads, including the presidents of Mexico and Brazil, will show up, creating yet another PR debacle for President Joe Biden.

The ninth Summit of the Americas (SOA) is due to take place on 6-10 June 2022 in Los Angeles, California. The City of Angels is home to the largest Hispanic/Latino community in the US. The event is held every three or four years. It will be convened in the US for the first time since its 1994 inaugural session in Miami.

According to the US State Department, a wide range of issues is expected to be discussed at the gathering, including the COVID-19 pandemic, “the cracks in health, economic, educational, and social systems”; threats to democracy; the climate crisis; and “a lack of equitable access to economic, social, and political opportunities” for “most vulnerable and underrepresented”.

As White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told journalists on 10 May, no formal invitations have been sent so far. Nevertheless, the upcoming event’s exclusiveness has already raised questions.

In March, it was revealed that Cuban officials and the presidents of Venezuela and Nicaragua would not be included, according to the New York Times. Cuba has long been subjected to Washington’s embargo, while the US has not formally recognised Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro or his Nicaraguan counterpart Daniel Ortega.

In response, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador signalled that he would skip the summit if the heads of those countries were not invited.

“If there are exclusions, if not everyone is invited, then a delegation from the Mexican government will go, but I will not go,” López Obrador told a news conference on 10 May.

The same day, Reuters broke that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is not planning to attend the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, citing two people familiar with the matter.

Brazil’s Foreign Ministry was less categorical telling the media outlet that “the president’s attendance is being studied and is not confirmed.”

Brazil is the largest country in South America and the fifth largest nation in the world, which will obviously make its absence notable.

At the same time, the absence of the Mexican president from the summit could axe the Biden administration’s opportunity to achieve any viable migration deal amid the US border crisis. Mexico remains one of the largest sources of migrants to the US, according to the NYT.

“[T]he boycott threats underscore the challenges facing the Biden administration in advancing its interests in the Americas, where the United States has long played an outsized role,” the newspaper notes.

What’s more, the unfolding situation is “threatening to deliver a humiliating blow to the White House,” acknowledges the NYT.

May 14, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

The vaccine cajolers, Part 4: Rewriting history

This is the fourth instalment of Paula Jardine’s six-part investigation into the planning behind ensuring vaccine acceptance and countering vaccine ‘hesitancy’. You can read Part 1, published on Wednesday, here,  Part 2, published on Thursday, here, and Part 3, published yesterday, here

TCW Defending Freedom – May 14, 2022

WHEN Unicef launched the Child Survival Revolution in 1983, it openly acknowledged that infectious childhood diseases in industrialised countries had ceased to be a serious threat before vaccines were introduced, thanks primarily to improvements in sanitation and nutrition.

Later, something resembling a bait and switch took place in traditionally accepted scientific thinking on this empirical observation. The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) now brands the central role played by improved sanitation and nutrition an anti-vaccination myth, and largely credits vaccines for the reduction in disease burden instead. This amounts to a misrepresentation, an untrue statement of a material fact that is being used to inflate the past performance of vaccines. It would count as unlawful mis-selling in other commercial contexts.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says: ‘Immunisation is a global health and development success story, saving millions of lives every year.’ It puts the number of lives saved annually at between 3.5million and 5million.

Yet, perversely, universal vaccination may be masking health and mortality problems that arise from the vaccines as, by definition, there’s no control group for comparison. Igor Chudov analysed the 2021 statistics from Florida: ‘What I found is that in 2021, parents of newborns in Florida were much more “vaccine hesitant”, for reasons obvious to my readers, and therefore childhood vaccinations decreased from 93.4 per cent previously to only 79.3 per cent in 2021. During the same time, “all cause” infant mortality under one year of age in Florida also DECREASED by 8.93 per cent.’ (his emphasis)

Chudov’s findings chime with those of Australian physician Dr Archie Kalokerinos who investigated a doubling of the infant mortality rate in Aborigine communities in the 1970s on behalf of the Northern Territories government. He discovered the death rate rose after they began vaccinating malnourished Aborigine children. In some communities, every second child was injured or died.

A 2016 meta-analysis of studies into the DTP vaccine, against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough) found it increases female mortality rates. Court cases in the US in the 1970s linked it with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The CDC calls this association ‘one myth that won’t seem to go away’. Disturbingly in this context, the extent of DTP vaccination coverage is a metric used to monitor access to primary health care and is used by the vaccine alliance GAVI as an equity measure.

A 2021 vaccination impact study led by Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London made the great claim that vaccine campaigns in low and middle income countries had saved a total of 23million children’s lives over the past two decades, and projected that this figure will increase to 37million by 2030. But as with any honest cost-benefit analysis, Ferguson’s estimates need to be offset against another statistic. GAVI itself acknowledges that vaccination campaigns had, until a decade ago, negligently added to the chronic infectious disease burden in the developing world: ‘In 2000, roughly 39 per cent of all healthcare-related injections administered globally were delivered with reused disposable or inadequately sterilised syringes, which resulted in an estimated 23 million people infected annually with hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).’

It took a decade to reduce these incidental infections to near zero by using disposable syringes.

The official line from the WHO is that people have become complacent: vaccines are such a successful intervention that the public have forgotten how serious and how deadly the diseases were. To keep people compliant with national immunisation schedules and hit WHO vaccination coverage targets, practitioners are told to tell parents ‘better safe than sorry’.

The example that is used to generate sufficient anxiety or fear is measles, a highly transmissible virus which remains a leading cause of death in parts of Africa and Asia. The CDC insists that getting the vaccine is safer than getting the disease yet provides no statistics to illustrate the relative risk.

According to the UK-based Vaccine Knowledge Project, ‘in high income regions of the world such as Western Europe, measles causes death in about 1 in 5,000 cases, but as many as 1 in 100 will die in the poorest regions of the world. Worldwide, measles is still a major cause of death, especially among children in resource-poor countries.’ One US-based website aimed at public health students and practitioners ignores the nuance, putting the risk of death from measles at 1 in 500 while selectively setting it against a one in a million chance of an allergic reaction to the MMR and ignoring the risk of all the other potential adverse reactions on the US government’s official table of measles vaccine injuries.

A measles mortality map produced by the US government in 1890, seventy years before the vaccine was introduced and before the improvements in sanitation, water quality and nutrition occurred, shows geographical differences in death rates that indicate other underlying factors contributing to measles deaths. The greatest of these risk factors was shown to be malnutrition, as the body’s demand for vitamin A increases in response to a measles infection. Likewise people whose diets are lacking in animal protein, vitamin A’s primary dietary source, are at the greatest risk of death or serious complications.

In countries where malnutrition is a problem, the antibody response to measles vaccines can be boosted by giving vitamin A supplementsProtein malnutrition is amongst the leading causes of death in many places where measles mortality remains high.

May 14, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , | Leave a comment

“The government doesn’t plan to close borders or stop mass gatherings during any Pandemic” – Why did Britain throw away its pandemic plan?

By Will Jones | The Daily Sceptic | May 14, 2022

Of the many myths that have taken hold during the pandemic, perhaps none is more central than that the Government was caught out by Covid with no idea about how it ought to respond. Thus the extreme and unprecedented response of lockdown appears to many to be justified by this notion that ministers had little choice but to ‘play it safe’, and the subsequent experiments in social restrictions as we awaited and delivered a rushed vaccine and beyond are imagined as a heroic voyage into the unknown of how a government ought to respond to an ‘unprecedented’ disease.

In fact, though, the Government had a plan for what it should do, the U.K. Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Strategy 2011, and COVID-19 was well within the bounds of what the plan anticipated. As Dr. Noah Carl has noted, this was the plan the Government was following until mid-March 2020, with SAGE re-affirming at a meeting on February 4th 2020 that officials “should continue to plan using current influenza pandemic assumptions”.

While the strategy was focused on influenza, it expressly anticipated the possibility of a new SARS virus:

A pandemic is most likely to be caused by a new subtype of the Influenza A virus but the plans could be adapted and deployed for scenarios such as an outbreak of another infectious disease, e.g. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in health care settings, with an altogether different pattern of infectivity.

The Covid death toll has also been well within what was anticipated, the 193,000 deaths over more than two years being below what the plan suggested should be anticipated as a minimum within four months:

When planning for excess deaths, local planners should prepare to extend capacity on a precautionary but reasonably practicable basis, and aim to cope with up to 210,000 – 315,000 additional deaths across the U.K. over a 15 week period (or a higher level where possible).

Even Neil Ferguson’s infamous prediction of 500,000 deaths is not a long way above this level, and that was always an absurdly high number to anticipate for Covid, as many pointed out at the time.

The pandemic plan could not be clearer that no attempt should be made to prevent the virus spreading. In a way this was the fundamental error from which all else flowed. Why was the Government even listening to advisers modelling the impact of restrictions on spread when its plan was clear that it should not attempt to ‘control’ the virus in this way? In no fewer than three places the plan states that it will not be possible to prevent the virus spreading and no attempt should be made to do so, as this would be a huge waste of resources.

It will not be possible to halt the spread of a new pandemic influenza virus, and it would be a waste of public health resources and capacity to attempt to do so.

It almost certainly will not be possible to contain or eradicate a new virus in its country of origin or on arrival in the U.K. The expectation must be that the virus will inevitably spread and that any local measures taken to disrupt or reduce the spread are likely to have very limited or partial success at a national level and cannot be relied on as a way to ‘buy time’.

It will not be possible to stop the spread of, or to eradicate, the pandemic influenza virus, either in the country of origin or in the U.K., as it will spread too rapidly and too widely.

Instead, the strategy states, the aim should be to minimise the impact on wider society, by ensuring the sick can be treated and not closing down society. Normality should be maintained as far as possible and restored as quickly as possible.

Minimise the potential health impact of a future influenza pandemic by… Ensuring the health and social care systems are ready to provide treatment and support for the large numbers likely to suffer from influenza or its complications whilst maintaining other essential care.

Minimise the potential impact of a pandemic on society and the economy by… Promoting a return to normality and the restoration of disrupted services at the earliest opportunity.

Whole of society response: Business as usual. During a pandemic, the Government will encourage those who are well to carry on with their normal daily lives for as long and as far as that is possible, whilst taking basic precautions to protect themselves from infection and lessen the risk of spreading influenza to others. The U.K. Government does not plan to close borders, stop mass gatherings or impose controls on public transport during any pandemic.

Given this was the pre-prepared strategy, based on sound science and wide experience, it should be the standard against which Government policy during the pandemic is assessed, as in, for example, the independent public inquiry. Anything else is to let ministers off the hook, and to buy into the lie that Covid was something that we were not and could not have been prepared for. In fact, we had planned for exactly the kind of outbreak that occurred, so ministers had no excuse at all for winging it, copying China, or thinking we should try out something radically authoritarian. The legacy of 2020 must not be the dawn of a new era of extreme, ineffective and destructive public health policy, but a clear-eyed resolve that it will never happen again.

May 14, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Global demand for vaccines drops sharply

Free West Media | May 14, 2022

Chinese biotech firm Kexing Holdings has made a fortune selling Sinovac’s Chinese vaccine. A few days ago, however, it became known that the bonus payments were withheld and most of the workforce has been laid off. Exports of Chinese vaccines (Sinovac, Sinopharm, CanSino) were 97 percent lower in April than in September 2021.

The Chinese outlet Caitong News reported, citing Kexing employees, that the company made a profit of 82 billion yuan (around 11.6 billion euros) last year. At the same time, the company announced that the year-end bonus payment for the past year would be “postponed”.

Shortly thereafter, Kexing suddenly announced massive layoffs. According to Kexing officials, the company has given staff two options: resign themselves and collect an indefinite severance pay, or take indefinite leave. In the latter case, with 80 percent of Beijing’s minimum wage as compensation.

According to the report, Kexing (Sinovac) has already laid off up to 70 percent of its staff. After the last wave of layoffs was completed in April of this year, the year-end bonuses were then distributed to the remaining employees on April 25. There is no statement or justification for the layoffs by Kexing. However, according to Japanese media reports, China’s vaccine exports have fallen sharply.

Thus, Nikkei Asia, citing UNICEF, reported that the vaccine against Covid-19, which is manufactured by three Chinese companies Sinopharm, Sinovac and CanSino, exported a total of 6,78 million doses in April this year. This is a drop of 97 percent compared to the peak exports in September 2021.

Massive drop in exports also for other Covid jabs

Global demand for vaccines has fallen sharply this year. Not only the exports of Chinese vaccines have fallen sharply due to their ineffectiveness against the Omicron variant.

Exports of Moderna’s and Pfizer’s mRNA drugs are also down 57 and 71 percent, respectively, compared to September last year, according to the report. Pfizer’s exports are nevertheless still eight times those of the three Chinese companies combined.

In South Africa, vaccine production has been grinding to a halt due to the fact that there are no orders.

Vaccine production in Africa almost halted

In South Africa, for example, the pharmaceutical company Aspen, which produces its own filling of the vaccine from Johnson & Johnson and sells it under the name Aspenovax, reported that there were no orders.

“It is feared that the production of the vaccine in South Africa will have to end. There is simply no demand for it. Not a single order has come in for weeks,” German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.

The risk is “very high that the company will actually stop producing Johnson & Johnson vaccines,” the head of the African health authority (African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is quoted as saying in the report. Only around 12 percent of the population in Africa have been vaccinated twice. About 40 percent of the vaccine doses shipped to Africa were not used.

The over-supply of free Covid-19 vaccine doses — donated by high-income countries — had closed the gap that Aspen was meant to fill in the market.

According to another German daily, the Tagesanzeiger, millions of BioNTech vaccine doses will have to be disposed of in June.

The comparatively young population of Africa is hardly affected by Corona and faces completely different challenges, such as malaria or the impending starvation catastrophe. Against the background of the threat of starvation or an infection with malaria, which affects millions of people and kills hundreds of thousands every year, there is simply no room for media hysteria around the Corona virus.

May 14, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 1 Comment

An invitation to visit New Zealand

By Guy Hatchard | TCW Defending Freedom | May 14, 2022

AFTER two years of being closed for business, New Zealand has re-opened its borders. The outcome: unprecedented numbers are leaving rather than arriving. The question is, are you willing to take their place?

For those of you in the UK who are worried that there is one law for the government and another for the people, spare a thought for the people of New Zealand where the government is actually following its own advice.

At least in the UK you can look at your leaders partying and think ‘If they can do that, so can I’. We have to listen to the voices of our leaders filtered through a mask, and then follow them.

Last week I visited Wellington, seat of government and dull party central of the civil service. It was an extraordinary experience. Conformity to the fore. Masking was as near 100 per cent as makes no difference.

This has happened despite there being almost no evidence that masking reduces the spread of infection, and a great deal of evidence that it harms our health.

Medical mask exemptions will soon have to prominently display your name. Fines and jail sentences related to masking non-compliance are slated to be introduced.

Students still have to be fully vaxxed to enrol in universities. Many, if not most, apprenticeship schemes require Covid vaccination.

The government has allowed businesses to continue to enforce vaccination mandates, and many have. In some industries, even employees working from home are being required to show proof of Covid vaccination – to no one.

Just imagine if you are watching The Chase on TV and between every contestant you are subjected to a 60-second government Covid vaccine ad advising you to ‘keep your family safe’with an ineffective mRNA vaccine known to be dangerous. Not only do you know that it is borrowed money paying for this saturation government messaging, but you and your children are going to have to repay it for decades. You are not told that government statistics show that boosted individuals are more likely to end up in hospital with Covid than the unvaccinated – too embarrassing to warrant a media mention.

Can you imagine the level of despair if the leader of the opposition is also a vaccination freak? Ours is on record before the pandemic saying that single mothers should lose benefits if their children are unvaccinated.

Third party leader David Seymour (ACT Party) told people who have lost their jobs due to coercive mandates that it was their choice. So no joy there either.

The Green Party is more pro-mandate than the government and additionally would have us all back on bicycles. Their deputy leader struggled to hospital riding a bicycle to give birth while already in labour, presumably just to show us retirees how it is done.

Undercover surveillance is on the increase. Anti-mandate bloggers have had visits from the police.

Last week a 78-year-old farmer was fined $30,000 (£15,300) for selling a pail of raw milk to a government undercover agent who, along with his back-up team, had taken weeks to worm his way into the veteran farmer’s confidence. In contrast, France has made an international business success out of selling cheese made from raw milk. NZ, dairy capital of the world, has opted out of opportunity.

The government is ready and willing to encourage habits that damage health. Jacinda has famously said that NZ is on track to stamp out smoking within a decade but she forgot to mention that the government has encouraged the switch to vaping. A survey completed in November found an unprecedented and alarming 26 per cent of NZ school students vaped during the previous week. Another good markup for commercial pharma.

There is no end to our nanny state. This week it was suggested that the government would enter the supermarket business. We may soon be collecting our meagre processed rations from them.

So if it’s still on your bucket list and you will be visiting us, well done. Put on a brave face. You will need to test prior to departure and three more after landing. You may not know if anyone you meet is smiling or not, but you can always imagine that you are part of a fan club for the Mask of Zorro.

Oh, and by the way, our Labour tourism minister says NZ now wants to give preference to wealthy tourist. You may think that is a bit rich, or just a sign of an antisocial illness.

May 14, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment