Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Putin tells US to stop ‘looting’ Syria

Samizdat | July 19, 2022

The US needs to stop “stealing” the oil from the Syrian people and state, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday, after meeting with his Iranian and Turkish counterparts in Tehran. The three guarantors of the “Astana process” also agreed that the US should leave the trans-Euphrates, and stop making the humanitarian crisis in Syria worse with their unilateral sanctions.

American troops must leave the territory east of the Euphrates river and “stop robbing the Syrian state, the Syrian people, exporting oil illegally,” Putin told reporters on Tuesday evening. He said this was a “common position” of Russia, Iran and Turkey.

Several hundred US troops are illegally present in Syria, mainly controlling the oil wells and wheatfields in the country’s northeast, controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia since the defeat of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorists. The US-backed SDF has refused to reintegrate with the government in Damascus, which Washington wishes to see overthrown.

Since 2019, the US has sought to punish anyone trying to assist the reconstruction of war-torn Syria via the “Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act,” accusing the government of President Bashar Assad of war crimes and blocking all assistance to Damascus.

Putin said on Tuesday that such sanctions have had “disastrous results” and that humanitarian aid to Syria “should not be politicized.”

During Tuesday’s summit in Tehran, Putin met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In a joint declaration, the three presidents confirmed their conviction that “there can be no military solution to the Syrian conflict,” only a political one under the leadership of the UN. They also condemned “unilateral sanctions violating international law” that are exacerbating the serious humanitarian situation in Syria, urging the UN and other international organizations to “increase assistance to all Syrians, without discrimination, politicization and preconditions.”

Russia sent an expeditionary force to Syria in September 2015, at the request of Damascus, to help defeat IS and other terrorist groups. In January 2017, Moscow, Ankara and Tehran launched the “Astana process” – named after the capital of Kazakhstan – to resolve the conflict in Syria, which began in 2011.

July 19, 2022 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , , | 10 Comments

The omniscient medical establishment is baffled

Vatican’s new 20-euro coin dedicated to a theme very close to Pope Francis’ heart… the need to be vaccinated.
By Rusere Shoniwa | The Exposé | July 19, 2022

The medical establishment professes to know an awful lot. A few days before lockdown in March 2020, it knew that covid was not a High Consequence Infectious Disease and downgraded it accordingly. Exhibiting an Orwellian capacity for doublethink, it also knew that societies ought to be bludgeoned with lockdowns to prevent the spread of the not so highly consequential, and therefore downgraded, pathogen. In addition, it somehow just knew, without being able to explain why, that a cost-benefit analysis would be superfluous, so none was done. Until July 2020, it knew, based on decades of established science, that masking in community settings was useless in preventing the spread of respiratory illnesses. Then, with no new science to support a 180-degree turn, it just knew that masks had to be mandated.

It was so certain that mass vaccination with the experimental injections was the only course of action to take in the face of the not so highly consequential covid disease that it suppressed alternative cheap, safe and effective treatments. It was also quite sure that it had to censor and threaten doctors like Sam White with debarment because he expressed concerns about mass vaccination with the shoddily tested and hastily marketed novel ‘vaccines’. It somehow reasoned that doctors expressing genuine concern for patient safety was a threat to patient safety and that the only way to guarantee patient safety was for every single doctor, journalist and media outlet to sing from the same Big Pharma-sponsored hymn sheet.

Granted, the medical establishment’s stance during covid has not been underpinned by rational considerations, but that is precisely what has given it so much latitude to respond to ‘the crisis’. There is no limit to what you can know and do when you don’t have to prove rationally how you came to know it. Life is a never-ending carousel of trade-offs. You can either plod through things methodically and get it right or you can blast ahead at Warp Speed with the misplaced confidence of Joe Biden on a bicycle.

So, given the medical establishment’s boundless knowledge in times of crisis, it’s more than a little odd that it does not know why young and apparently healthy adults all over the world are dying in unprecedentedly large numbers. It is uncharacteristically stumped: it professes that there are simply no clues whatsoever to this disturbing phenomenon.

It is in the grip of such uncharacteristic knowledge paralysis that it seems incapable of exploring obvious lines of enquiry, such as asking questions like: when was the last time that governments all over world put a jackboot on the neck of every adult citizen to inject them with novel ‘vaccines’ employing an experimental gene-based technology tested under quality control conditions that would have run-of-the-mill crack dealers shaking their heads in disbelief?

What’s in a name?

Once you unlock the mystery of the medical establishment’s peculiar brand of epistemology, you begin to understand that how it comes to ‘know’ things is directly related to how it defines the problems it is trying to solve. For people who think in straitjackets, the problem of young people dying inexplicably is a medical problem. But, for the unbounded thinkers in charge of the medical establishment, it is a Public Relations problem. Through that lens, the obvious line of enquiry into experimental mass vaccination gets ruled out because it is too rational, too much of a threat to its reputation and too unprofitable.

The solution to this PR problem is to repackage it in such a way that it is seen as an insoluble medical mystery, as insoluble as the mystery of life itself – a mystery that one can debate in philosophical terms but never get to grips with in any practical way. The most insoluble mysteries are those that have been around since the dawn of time and yet continue to evade unravelling. This is axiomatic to the quality of insolubility – Plato, Seneca, Aquinas, Voltaire and Heidegger will have all given it their best shot and yet here we are today, none the wiser. The seed must be sown in the public mind that this is not a new problem that arose coterminously with mass global experimental covid vaccination but has been ‘a thing’ since the dawn of medical things.

The key to all successful narrative management is naming the problem. When Edward Bernays, the father of propaganda, was tasked by the tobacco industry in the early 20th century with breaking the taboo against women smoking cigarettes, he didn’t call them cancer sticks. He called them torches of freedom. With one ingenious stroke of the naming pen, the tobacco industry doubled its market overnight and women won the right to lung cancer.

In a similar vein, society must understand that young adults inexplicably dying before their time is the result of a bona fide disease of unfathomable cause – a mysterious and yet proper medical thing – and not a possible crime against humanity.

At first glance, the name they’ve hit on does not fill you with confidence that the best medical minds were enlisted in the brainstorming session. But it certainly has an air of does-what-it-says-on-the-tin. It is partly for that reason that Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (“SADS”) is a stroke of marketing genius. It’s got an easy acronym that chimes flippantly with the tragic outcome and yet is also readily accessible to authoritative tones after three pints in the pub. This is 90 per cent of the battle in getting the public to understand in no uncertain terms that SADS is ‘a thing’. A serious thing. It trips off the tongue very easily and yet is not so silly that it sounds like the lead-in to a crazy story developed by a contestant in an episode of BBC One’s Would I Lie to You.

As far as the medical establishment is concerned, the perception that SADS on this scale is a recent global phenomenon must be resisted on the grounds that it could become associated with a big new event – like mass global experimental covid vaccination. So no, SADS is not new. It’s been a thing for eons. And for sure, a Google search seems to suggest that SADS has been around for as long as cancer. But Allan Stevo’s investigation using his “8.6 pound Webster’s Encyclopaedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language from 1992” – which is impervious to algorithmic re-engineering – reveals that the term did not exist in 1992. But who are you going to trust – the colourful, digital pages of Google or the crumbling ancient parchments of Webster’s Encyclopaedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language?

I’m not saying there have never been mysterious unexplained deaths of young and apparently healthy adults. They were just so rare that they weren’t on the radar, even of dictionaries whose job it is to define all things known to the vast bulk of humanity. Surely this merits delving into a little deeper?

Whatever you do, don’t solve the problem – autopsies die a sudden death

One way to solve the apparently insoluble problem of sudden adult death would be to conduct autopsies on as many sudden adult deaths as resources will allow. It turns out that the Chief Pathologist at the University of Heidelberg, Dr. Peter Schirmacher, was doing just that very thing. In the summer of 2021, his team had just finished conducting 40 autopsies on people who had died within two weeks of vaccination and concluded that 30-40% of them died from the vaccine. He was pushing for many more autopsies of vaccinated people.

His claims were naturally dismissed by the German Government. From Dr. Schirmacher’s perspective, the dismissal by bureaucrats of his professional autopsy findings must have felt like being an army private in the battlefield reporting by radio to a lieutenant that he’d just been shot in the leg, only to have the lieutenant ask, “How can you be sure?”. But the powerful bureaucrats must have had good reason to dismiss his professional work although these reasons weren’t made clear.

Calls by the Federal Association of German Pathologists pushing for more autopsies of vaccinated people were also treated with disdain. No other autopsies have been performed apart from 15 done by Dr. Arne Burkhardt towards the end of 2021, which found “clear evidence of vaccine-induced autoimmune-like pathology in multiple organs” in 14 of 15 cases, all of which were ignored by all health authorities and mainstream media. No further autopsies have been reported and Dr. Schirmacher and his colleagues have gone quiet, after being so emphatic about the risks and the need for as many autopsies as possible.

On the face of it, the only way to prove what is causing the uptick in mysterious sudden deaths has died a sudden death. But the sensible and mature conclusion to draw from the silence of the autopsy doctors is that they have realised they were wrong and that the powerful bureaucrats and MSM journalists, who know nothing about autopsies, were right. Only a ‘conspiracy theorist’ would think there was a cover-up going on, right?

Public Relations – The Mail Online takes a proper gander at SADS

In any case, why bother with autopsies when, according to this article in the Mail Online, the best medical minds in Australia are getting to grips with the problem by “opening up a new national register”. Yes, that’s right, they’re at the cutting edge of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in which all our problems will be solved by data, algorithms, AI and registers. We’re leaving behind the grime of autopsies, post-mortems and diagnosing diseased patients by prodding them with stethoscopes and asking them time-wasting questions. We’ve got registers now.

Now, at first glance it might seem that the article would not be out of place in The Onion or the Babylon Bee because of idiotic tautologies like this one:

Healthy young people are dying suddenly and unexpectedly from a mysterious syndrome – as doctors seek answers through a new national register, Mail Online, 8 June 2022

But pointing out that SADS, a death syndrome, is fatal is not cheap satire. It is a reminder that contained in SADS is both the disease and its inescapable prognosis of death.

Another reason why SADS is more of a thing than any other medical thing is that a diagnosis of SADS can never be wrong. It can only be given after death has occurred and only three boxes need to be ticked – did the deceased die without warning; was the deceased an adult in the prime of life and, crucially; do we intend to follow 4IR protocols to establish cause of death by doing nothing other than entering some data in a register? Yes, to all three? Job done. The clever cardiologist who is quoted extensively in the article jokes that SADS is a “diagnosis of nothing” but, once she has taken her tongue out of her cheek, I’m sure she is only too aware of how clever a diagnosis this is.

After correctly informing the reader that this particular death syndrome is fatal, the article recounts how a typical sudden death unfolds. The victim doesn’t come down for breakfast, but no one is concerned because we (white-collar workers at least) all work from home these days so having a lie-in is par for the course. The whole tone of the description of the tragic death of a young person in the peak of life is bizarrely deadpan. Again, you would be wrong to interpret this apparently tasteless approach as cheap satire. The banal tone is deliberately intended to drive home the point that SADS is just another puzzle in the countless puzzles that the universe, with its twisted sense of humour, flings at humanity on a regular basis.

The article contains pictures of very young actors clutching at their hearts with distressed expressions. Again, you would be wrong to think this is cheap and tasteless. How else are we to understand that SADS really is a thing? I think the visual message here is that if you’re under 40 and find yourself clutching at your heart while out jogging, be appropriately but not overly distressed because, while your heart may stop beating and no-one will ever know exactly why, SADS is definitely a thing. And the national register will never forget you.

Because the article is intended to be as informative as possible, it shares some very helpful warning ‘signs’ of SADS. Top warning sign number one is a family history of a SADS diagnosis. The happy smiley cardiologist who was selected to educate the public about SADS advises that your SADS clock might be silently ticking down if any of the following things have happened to you: fainting from exercise, over-excitement or just being ‘startled’. If you are one of those people who faints at the mere thought of exercise, you would have obviously been on the SADS register a very long time ago, had it been in operation. Your continued existence is actually more of a mystery than SADS itself, but let’s not complicate things any further. Suffice to say your clock is ticking down and your housemates should not be too surprised if you don’t come down for breakfast in the next couple of weeks. At least the Mail Online has prepared them. And you, come to think of it.

If you are wondering why I refer to the cardiologist as “the happy smiley doctor”, click the link to the article and it will be as clear to you as her sparkling eyes and teeth. There is a photo of her beaming as though she has just been awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine when in fact, she is being quizzed about the grizzly business of young people dying for reasons that cannot be fathomed by the best brains in medicine. Why is she happy and smiley instead of sombre and uneasy? Is this another tactless error by the Mail Online inadvertently making the whole article look like cheap satire? Not at all. World War II propaganda used the very same technique to placate the masses in times of great uncertainty. Here is a WWII poster of a woman exuding the same brand of devil-may-care insouciance in the face of adversity:

Ok, so I’ve chosen a Nazi propaganda poster to compare with the happy smiley Australian doctor. Is this in bad taste? Personally, I don’t think so. Today’s brave new world of forced masking, forced lockdowns and forced medical experimentation must be met head-on with bold comparisons. Yesterday’s Nazis weren’t big on bodily autonomy and nor are today’s Australians (or Canadians, or Austrians, or French for that matter). Am I saying, rather unsubtly, that the Western world is becoming the very thing it fought 75 years ago? Only if you believe that people were robbed of the human right to voluntary informed consent by being coerced into taking the ‘vaccines’. ‘Vaccines’ which, let’s be clear, have absolutely nothing to do with the current spate of sudden adult deaths all over the world.

Am I unsubtly hinting that the Mail Online’s proper gander at SADS is actually propaganda for the medical establishment? Only if you believe that the responsible thing to do would be to show a picture of a doctor holding her head in her hands, tears of shame flowing from her eyes for failing to at least consider one potential and obvious cause of the mysterious deaths. I think we’re all in agreement here – that would not be responsible journalism. Far better to show a happy beaming doctor exuding the confidence of someone who is certain that SADS really is a thing, that it’s been a big thing for quite some time and that, while getting a ‘diagnosis’ of SADS is indeed the end of the world for you, you will die knowing that we are getting on top of this very real thing because we’re fighting it with a register and not with futile autopsies.

There’s a mention in the article about the role of genes because you can’t have a totally mysterious and fatal death syndrome (if the Mail Online can get away with this clever tautology, why can’t I?) without genes playing a role. Of course they haven’t, and never will, find a SADS gene, but that’s beside the point when proffering genes causality. Genes are the building blocks of life; your life ends suddenly without warning, ergo there must have been something wrong with your building blocks.

The ‘best advice’ the happy smiley cardiologist can give is: if you’re related to anyone who’s had an unexplained death, ‘it’s extremely recommended you see a cardiologist.’ Which seems pointless because a SADS diagnosis rests entirely on you having no detectable condition right up to the point you clutch your heart in desperation and keel over. If the condition was a recognised detectable one, mitigation strategies would likely kick in pre-heart clutching and, even if you ended up dying from that condition, your death would be labelled something other than SADS by virtue of its having been detected. SADS is the ultimate catch-22 – the doctors don’t know what’s wrong with the patient before they die and there’s no way of knowing afterwards (autopsies now being off the table) so the patient gets a posthumous SADS ‘diagnosis’, and is successfully entered on a register.

The Mail Online article is perfect except for that flawed bit of advice which seems to fail to recognise the complex circular nature of SADS. Telling people to have a thorough check-up before SADS threatens the very existence of SADS. Being cynical, I would say this advice is a ruse to give a boost to the happy smiley doctor’s billings.

July 19, 2022 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

WHO Used Bad Measure of Excess Mortality

BY NOAH CARL | THE DAILY SCEPTIC |  JULY 18, 2022

As I’ve repeated ad nauseum here at the Daily Sceptic, excess mortality provides a far better measure of the pandemic’s impact on mortality than the ‘official’ Covid death rate.

When it comes to cross-country comparisons, the ‘official’ Covid death rates are particularly deficient. Testing and diagnosis vary dramatically, so two countries with the same actual death tolls may still have very different ‘official’ death tolls – just because one tested more or had broader criteria for diagnosis.

Excess mortality, as most readers are no-doubt aware, is the difference between the number of deaths observed during the pandemic and the number that were expected, based on previous years. A five-year average is often used for the number of expected deaths – though one can use a linear trend or more complicated extrapolation instead.

Here’s a very simple example. Suppose a country had roughly 100,000 deaths per year in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Then in 2020, it records 120,000 deaths. In that case, excess mortality would be 20,000 deaths.

But of course, if we want to compare this country to other countries, the ‘20,000 deaths’ isn’t very useful. Larger countries will have more excess deaths just because there are more people at risk of death. And this is something we need to account for when making comparisons, or else we’ll conclude that all the small countries did well and all the large ones did badly.

So why not just divide the ‘20,000 deaths’ figure by the country’s population, thereby obtaining ‘excess deaths per 100,000 people’? Indeed, that’s exactly what the WHO did for its recent estimates of excess deaths associated with the pandemic (which were widely covered in the media).

Well, there’s a problem with this method of adjustment: countries have different age structures. And this matters because the risk of death (from both Covid and everything else) is far higher in older age-groups than in younger age-groups.

Consider two countries with the same number of excess deaths, say 20,000. One has a population of 10 million and one has a population of 12 million. Suppose the 2 million ‘extra’ people in the second country are all under the age of 40. So above the age of 40, the two countries have identical age structures.

Using the WHO’s method of adjustment, excess mortality would be 200 per 100,000 in the first country, but only 167 per 100,000 in the second country. Yet this clearly ‘rewards’ the second country. Why? Very few deaths occur among people under 40, so including them in the denominator artificially pulls down the rate of excess mortality.

Rather than dividing by the country’s population, there’s a much better way of making excess mortality figures comparable: divide by the number of expected deaths. This gives you a percentage, which is neither biased against large countries, nor against countries with aging populations.

As a matter of fact, the WHO’s decision to divide by the country’s population may help to explain its widely-reported (but almost certainly wrong) finding that Britain had less excess mortality than Germany. Estimates based on percentages clearly show that Britain had more excess mortality. Yet because Germany’s population pyramid has a narrower base, the denominator in the WHO’s calculation will have been smaller.

Having said that, I doubt the WHO’s estimates are substantially different from those based on percentages. But that’s not the point. The point is they used a bad method of adjustment, when an equally simple and better one was available.

July 19, 2022 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , | Leave a comment

What would be your prediction for those who are both unvaccinated against COVID-19 and never previously infected?

Q&A #18

By Geert Vanden Bossche | Voice for Science and Solidarity | July 19, 2022

Extended question:‍

What would be your prediction for those who are both unvaccinated against COVID-19 and never previously infected? Let’s say those of working age(20 – 55) in fairly good health.

Should they be worried about Avian Flu and Monkeypox, since they have not experienced an infection by SARS-CoV-2?

Are they at risk for serious illness from these more infectious (and future more virulent) SARS-CoV-2 mutants?

Answer:‍

It would be quite unbelievable that they didn’t get exposed to SC-2 given the high infectiousness of previously and currently circulating variants. Ideally, they should have their Abs tested (anti-S would be sufficient since they’re not vaccinated). They can also have their Abs tested against Flu. If all this is negative (which would point to poor activation of natural immunity), they can just take one shot of a live attenuated measles or mumps or rubella or varicella vaccine (or all together in one shot) to boost their innate immune response. (However, they should only do so if they got MMR(V)-vaccinated in the past. The better their innate immune status, the lower the likelihood they are going to catch severe disease from these viruses. But anyhow, for a person in good health, it is highly unlikely to develop severe disease from Monkeypox (as it is – for now(!) – not highly infectious) or from Avian Flu as they must at least have had contact with Flu viruses in the past and hence, have some ‘Flu-trained’ innate immunity.)

Unvaccinated can now largely forget about contracting severe C-19 disease as the next big mutation will most likely make the unvaccinated resistant to the virus. However, if they have not yet been infected at all by any of these highly infectious variants, they could still contract C-19 disease (before that new variant emerges) and become seriously ill (but not ‘severely ill’ as longas they are in good health with no comorbidities and predisposing factors). To avoid this, they should either prevent risky contacts (difficult) till the next variant appears (in my opinion, just a matter of weeks) or take Ivermectin or HCQ as soon as symptoms manifest (but not prophylactically).

July 19, 2022 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 5 Comments

China blames US for Ukraine conflict

Samizdat | July 19, 2022

A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry accused the US of starting the crisis in Ukraine and fueling the conflict. Zhao Lijian told reporters at a regular press briefing on Tuesday that Washington should stop playing “world police” and work on creating conditions for peace talks instead.

Zhao was asked about the recent remarks by US State Department spokesperson Ned Price, who once again threatened China with a “very steep cost” should Beijing help Moscow evade Western sanctions – even though there was no evidence China was actually doing so.

Accusing Price of sounding “as if the US were the world police,” Zhao said that China “takes an objective and fair stance and stands on the side of peace and justice” when it comes to Ukraine.

“As the one who started the Ukraine crisis and the biggest factor fueling it, the US needs to deeply reflect on its erroneous actions of exerting extreme pressure and fanning the flame on the Ukraine issue.”

“We firmly oppose any unwarranted suspicion, threat and pressure targeting China. We are also firmly against unilateral illegal sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction with no basis in international law,” Zhao said.

Washington needs to “stop playing up bloc confrontation and creating a new Cold War by taking advantage of the situation,” Zhao added, urging the US to instead “facilitate a proper settlement of the crisis in a responsible way and create the environment and conditions needed for peace talks between parties concerned.”

This is not the first time China has pushed back on US pressure to side with the West against Russia in the matter of Ukraine. Last month, Zhao’s colleague Wang Wenbin also chided Washington for fueling the conflict and wanting to “fight to the last Ukrainian” while Beijing wanted a negotiated peace. He stopped short of blaming the US for starting the current military confrontation, however.

At the end of June, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters the alliance had been “preparing for this since 2014,” referring to the US-backed government in Kiev which came to power after the coup ousted the elected president and triggered the crisis with Crimea and Donbass.

At Tuesday’s press conference, Zhao also rejected US accusations that China was contributing to food shortages in Africa, pointing the finger back at Washington.

“It is quite clear to the world who exactly is causing the global food crisis,” he said. “We hope that the US will seriously reflect on its disreputable role in the global food crisis and stop smearing and making groundless accusations against China.”

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”

In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.

July 19, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 4 Comments

NATO would have attacked Crimea if not stopped – Iran

Samizdat | July 19, 2022

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared on Tuesday that had Russian President Vladimir Putin not “taken the initiative” in Ukraine, the NATO alliance would have launched a war with Russia over Crimea, which Kiev claims as its own land.

Speaking alongside Putin in Tehran, Khamenei stated that “as regards Ukraine, if you did not take the initiative, the other side would have initiated the war.”

Describing the West as “completely opposed to a strong and independent Russia” and NATO as “a dangerous entity that sees no boundaries in its expansionist policy,” the Iranian leader added that “had they not been stopped in Ukraine, they would have launched the same war sometime later under the pretext of the Crimea issue.”

Considered Russian land since imperial times, Crimea was an autonomous republic within the Soviet Union until it was ceded to the Ukrainian SSR by Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev in 1954. The region fell under Ukrainian control after the breakup of the USSR, and voted to join Russia in 2014.

NATO considers Crimea to be “illegally annexed” Ukrainian territory. While the alliance has not threatened Russia with open war, it has demanded that Moscow return the region to Ukrainian control and a number of decisions made by its leaders and the government in Kiev suggest a possible path to war over Crimea.

NATO first established a partnership with Ukraine in 1997, and in the 2008 Bucharest Declaration stated that Ukraine and Georgia “will become members of NATO” at an unspecified future date. The Declaration remains alliance policy, and were Ukraine to join NATO, its 30 other members would instantly become parties to a territorial dispute with Russia.

For its part, Ukraine has signaled that it both intends to join NATO and intends to act on this dispute. Under President Pyotr Poroshenko, the country wrote its goal of becoming a NATO member into its constitution in 2019, despite Moscow’s warnings that having the alliance’s forces and weapons on its border would constitute an unacceptable security threat. Two years later, President Vladimir Zelensky signed a decree ordering his government to “prepare and implement measures to ensure the de-occupation and reintegration” of Crimea.

Ukraine’s ambitions of joining NATO appear to have fallen by the wayside, with Igor Zhovkva, an adviser to Zelensky, telling Financial Times last month that Kiev won’t pursue accession any further. Its ambitions of seizing Crimea, however, persist. Zelensky announced last month that he intends to “liberate” Crimea, and a spokesman for Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense, Vadim Skibitskiy, declared on Saturday that his forces may use American missiles to strike the peninsula.

July 19, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 3 Comments

Pulitzer Board Turns Down Trump’s Request to Rescind Prizes Given to NYT, Washington Post

Samizdat – 19.07.2022

WASHINGTON – The Pulitzer Prize Board has rejected former US President Donald Trump’s appeal to revoke awards given to The New York Times and The Washington Post for their reporting on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

“The 2018 Pulitzer Prizes in National Reporting stand,” the Pulitzer Prize Board said in a Monday statement, explaining that it had received several inquiries, including from Trump, about The New York Times and The Washington Post reporting, but independent reviews have found nothing to discredit the prize entries.

“Both reviews were conducted by individuals with no connection to the institutions whose work was under examination, nor any connection to each other. The separate reviews converged in their conclusions: that no passages or headlines, contentions or assertions in any of the winning submissions were discredited by facts that emerged subsequent to the conferral of the prizes,” the Pulitzer Prize Board said.

In October of last year, Trump sent a letter to the Pulitzer Prize Board demanding that it rescind the prizes given to over a dozen articles from The New York Times and The Washington Post, arguing that the publications engaged in “false reporting.”

Russia has repeatedly denied claims of its meddling in the 2016 presidential election in the United States.

July 19, 2022 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | 3 Comments

Ukraine’s ‘Great Game’ surfaces in Transcaucasia

BY M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | INDIAN PUNCHLINE | JULY 19, 2022 

If the metaphor of the “Great Game” can be applied to the Ukrainian crisis, with the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) at its core, it has begun causing reverberations across the entire Eurasian space. The great game lurking in the shade in the Caucasus and Central Asian regions in recent years is visibly accelerating. 

The edge of the game is above everything else the targeting of Russia and China by the United States. This unfolding game cannot be underestimated, as its outcome may impact the shaping of a new model of the world order. 

Starting with the Caspian Summit in Ashgabat on June 29, the inter-connected templates of the great game in the Caucasus began surfacing. The fact that the summit was scheduled at all despite the raging conflict in Ukraine — and that Russian President Vladimir Putin took time out to attend it — testified to the high importance of the event. 

Basically, the presidents of the 5 littoral states — Kazakhstan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Russia — synchronised their watches, based on the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea — the Constitution of the Caspian Sea — that was signed at their last summit in 2018. While doing so, they considered the current international situation and geopolitical processes worldwide. 

Thus, one of the key points of the Final Communiqué of the Ashgabat Summit was the reiteration of a fundamental principle regarding the total exclusion of the armed forces of all extra-regional powers from  the Caspian Sea (which primarily meets the geopolitical interests of Russia and Iran.) The fact that the heads of the Caspian countries confirmed this in writing can be regarded as the main result of the Summit. Secondly, the leaders focused on the Caspian transport communications and agreed that the region could become a hub for the East-West and North-South corridors. 

The Caspian Summit was held just 5 weeks after Russian forces gained control of Mariupol port city (May 21), which established its total supremacy over the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait in eastern Crimea. Kerch Strait has a strategic role in Russian policies, being the narrow maritime gateway (5 kms in length and 4.5 km. wide at the narrowest point) which links the Black Sea via the Sea of Azov to Russia’s major waterways including the Don and the Volga. 

In effect, it is yet to sink in that in the geopolitics of the entire Eurasian landmass, the liberation of Mariupol by Russian forces  was a pivotal event in the great game, since the Kerch Strait ensures maritime transit from the Black Sea all the way to Moscow and St Petersburg, not to mention the strategic maritime route between the Caspian Sea (via the Volga-Don Canal) to the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.

United Deep Waterway System of European Russia linking Sea of Azov and  Caspian Sea to Baltic Sea and the Northern Sea Route

Now, to get the “big picture” here, factor in that the Volga River also links the Caspian Sea to the Baltic Sea as well as the Northern Sea Route (via the Volga–Baltic Waterway). Suffice to say, Russia has gained control of an integrated system of waterways, which connects the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea to the Baltic and the Northern Sea Route (which is a 4800 km long shipping lane that connects the Atlantic with the Pacific Ocean, passing along the Russian coasts of Siberia and the Far East.) 

No doubt, it is a stupendous consolidation of the so-called “heartland” — per Sir Halford Mackinder’s theory (1904) that whoever controls Eastern Europe controls the Heartland and controls the “world island.” 

Looking back, therefore, there is no question that the reunion of Crimea with the Russian Federation in 2014 was a major setback for the US and NATO. Putin caught Washington and its allies by total surprise. It complicated their objective to integrate Ukraine into the NATO. 

The US was caught unawares for the second time when in the early days of the current special military operation, when all western eyes were trained on the Kiev region, Russian troops captured the highly strategic southern city of Kherson as early as on March 2. The significance of it was understood only by those who could perceive the great game unfolding in Ukraine as something much more than a mere military conflict. (Most Americans still don’t get it.) 

The capture of Kherson in early March practically spelt doom for NATO’s design to extend its military presence in the Black Sea basin. Today, the game is practically over for the US and NATO, once Russia took control of the entire basin of the Sea of Azov. Russia now de facto controls the access of Dniepr to and from the Black Sea. And Dniepr happens to be the main river way for Ukraine’s transportation links to the world market. 

To the immediate east of the Kerch Strait is Russia’s Krasnodar region, which extends southwards to Russia’s largest commercial port on the Black Sea, Novorossiysk at the cross-roads of major oil and gas pipelines between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. In sum, control of the Kerch Strait gives Russia a big say with regard to the transportation routes linking Western and Eastern Europe to the Caspian Sea basin, Kazakhstan and China. Put differently, this part of the Russian special military operation becomes an integral part of Moscow’s Eurasian project linking up with China’s Belt and Road Initiative.   

Washington has belatedly understood that Russia has outwitted the western alliance and gained the upper hand in the great game in the eastern Black Sea region. So, the Western strategy towards the Caucasus and Central Asia is being reworked. The NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg scheduled a meeting in Brussels today with the foreign minister of Azerbaijan Jeyhun Bayramov. 

Importantly, Bayramov also attended a meeting of the EU-Azerbaijan Cooperation Council today in Brussels. The EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell later said at a joint news conference with Bayramov that “Azerbaijan is an important partner for the European Union and our cooperation is intensifying.” Meanwhile, yesterday, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visited Baku to sign a memorandum of understanding with Azerbaijan on energy cooperation.

All this is taking place against the backdrop of Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, spearheading efforts to mediate between arch rivals Azerbaijan and Armenia. As part of the EU’s diplomatic efforts, Michel hosted in April a meeting in Brussels between Azerbaijan’s President Aliyev and Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan where the two sides expressed willingness to secure a peace agreement. Last week, CIA Director William Burns paid an unpublicised visit to Yerevan in this connection. Evidently, Washington and Brussels are jointly strategising a game plan to replace Russia and Turkey, which have hitherto taken the lead roles in Transcaucasia. 

There should be no doubt that Moscow is watching closely the synchronised US-EU-NATO moves in the Caucasus targeting Azerbaijan with a view to undermine Russia’s consolidation in the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea regions, which poses a formidable hurdle to the advancement of the NATO strategies toward Central Asia and Xinjiang. This is a high-stakes game. 

It will be recalled that on February 22, just two days prior to the launch of the special military operation in Ukraine, Putin hosted the president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in the Kremlin. They signed “a wide-ranging agreement,” the details of which were not divulged. The document is titled the Declaration on Allied Interaction. 

Clearly, oil-rich Azerbaijan, which is not only a littoral state of the Caspian Sea but a gateway to both Central Asia and Russia’s Volga region, is destined to play a key role in the great game in the period ahead.

July 19, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 1 Comment

Breakaway region bordering Ukraine seeks security guarantees

Samizdat | July 19, 2022

Transnistria, a breakaway region of Moldova, has proposed that all parties in the ongoing ‘5+2’ peace talks sign a document providing security guarantees for the unrecognized republic that borders Ukraine.

Transnistrian President Vadim Krasnoselsky floated the idea during his meeting with Russia’s representative at the talks, ambassador-at-large Vitaly Tryapitsin, on Tuesday.

“There is an idea to appeal to all participants in the ‘5+2’ format [to] draw up a single document on the guarantees of peace and security of Transnistria,” Krasnoselsky said, as quoted by his press service. “If they keep talking about peace, let’s see them all sign it.”

The talks between Moldova and Transnistria are being mediated by Russia, Ukraine and the OSCE, while the US and EU attend as observers. They began in 2005 in an attempt to find a solution to the conflict between Chisinau and the breakaway republic. They have effectively been on hold since 2019.

According to Krasnoselsky, even if the ‘5+2’ format shows no signs of progress, there still should be at least some bilateral engagement between Moldova and the Russian-speaking breakaway Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR).

“There are political representatives, there is the president, there are other Moldovan officials who should now be talking and finding compromises on the issues that are currently not being solved. The agenda of the talks is known by everyone quite well, and it still holds true,” he said.

The disputes between the PMR and Moldova should now be viewed “in a different light” because of Chisinau’s decision to apply for EU membership, the president added. “Moldova and the PMR are moving in opposite directions,” he said.

A nation of 2.6 million people sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania, Moldova declared itself a neutral state soon after gaining independence as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, it has long aimed to become a member of the EU – and was finally granted candidate status in late June, along with Ukraine.

Since the start of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Transnistria has seen a number of explosions and other provocations. The region, stretching along the Ukrainian border, maintains strong ties with Moscow and hosts Russian peacekeepers.

July 19, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 1 Comment

Civilians in Severedonetsk blame Ukraine for destruction

Press TV – July 19, 2022

Russian forces have gained control of what is left of the city of Severodonetsk as they advance in the Donbas region of Ukraine, our correspondent on the ground Johnny Miller reports.

Severodonetsk, which has seen some of the fiercest clashes of the war so far, lies mostly in ruins, resembling a post-apocalyptic wasteland. On the outskirts of the city one can see ruins of a grain silo.

Russia and Ukraine blame each other for the destruction of the city. However, eyewitnesses put the blame for the destruction on “sly” Ukrainian forces.

“Ukraine acted in a sly way. They would bring a howitzer here, fire and then leave. Then Russia would strike and they would say Russia is bombing civilians. They were occupying kindergartens and would fire from there,” a local resident told Miller who visited the war-torn city.

Another local resident said Ukrainian troops occupied local homes and fired shots from them. “They made them sit in the basement and then took over their flats. They put mortars on the roofs and fired. We don’t know what Russia did. We didn’t see them until we returned.”

In the meantime, Russia says the Kiev forces shoot rockets at and shell the infrastructure in the eastern territories it flees from.

While the focus of the war, now in its fifth month, has moved to Ukraine’s eastern Donbas, Russian forces have been striking cities elsewhere in the country with missiles and rockets.

As the conflict continues to rage across various parts of Ukraine, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered military units to intensify operations to prevent Ukrainian strikes on territories in eastern Ukraine and other areas in the hands of Russia, according to a statement from the ministry.

“The Russian defense ministry gave the necessary instructions to ramp up the actions of groups in all operational areas in order to exclude the possibility of the Kiev regime launching massive rocket and artillery strikes on civilian infrastructure and residents of settlements across Donbas and other regions,” said the statement.

July 19, 2022 Posted by | War Crimes | | 2 Comments

EU approves another 500 million euros in military aid to Ukraine

Press TV – July 19, 2022

The European Union has approved another 500 million euros to supply arms to Ukraine, taking the bloc’s total financial support for Kiev to 2.5 billion euros.

The money will be disbursed via the so-called European Peace Facility, as EU rules prevent the bloc from using its seven-year budget to fund military operations.

The EU approved its first tranche of aid to Ukraine just after Russia launched its special military operation in the country’s eastern Donbas region in late February.

The new pledge comes despite the fact that half of the seven-year facility has been already given to Ukraine in just five months since the conflict started.

Apart from supplying financial aid, the EU has also imposed a wide range of sanctions on Moscow in support of Kiev.

The bans, however, have so far backfired, with inflation across the continent hitting record highs on top of an unprecedented devaluation of the euro.

There is growing disquiet in the EU regarding the negative impact that the sanctions against Russia are having on the European Union’s economy.

July 19, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , | 6 Comments

EU to soften Russia sanctions – Reuters

Samizdat | July 19, 2022

The European Union is planning to amend its sanctions on Moscow to facilitate trade in food and fertilizers, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

The changes will allow EU nations to unfreeze the funds of top Russian banks, which may be required to ease bottlenecks in the global trade of food and fertilizers, Reuters explained, citing a draft document it has seen.

The document said the funds could be released “after having determined that such funds or economic resources are necessary for the purchase, import or transport of agricultural and food products, including wheat and fertilizers,” the agency said.

The revised sanctions will also help facilitate exports of food from Russian ports, which traders had stopped servicing despite food exports being explicitly exempted from the sanctions, Reuters added, quoting an official.

The amendments are expected to be adopted on Wednesday, and will reportedly concern Russian lenders such as VTB, Sovcombank, Otkritie FC Bank, Promsvyazbank, and others.

Russia is the world’s largest exporter of fertilizers and wheat. According to Reuters, the changes follow criticism from African leaders about the negative impact the sanctions have had on the trade of critical commodities. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine and broad restrictions on Russia have led to food-supply shortages, rising grain and fertilizer prices, and have triggered fears of a global food crisis.

July 19, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Russophobia | | 1 Comment