Aletho News


China reinforces bilateral ‘guardrail’ to US

Partisan struggle may ‘bring crisis to Taiwan Straits’

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi | Photo: VCG
By Yang Sheng and Liu Xuanzun | Global Times | July 28, 2022

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s unconfirmed plan of a trip to the island of Taiwan keeps troubling the US as Pelosi, US President Joe Biden and Democrats are now facing pressure instead of “encouragements” from the Republicans on the matter, with Chinese experts warning that if the US eventually let the partisan struggle and internal politics hijack its strategic decision-making, it would definitely bring a new crisis in the Taiwan Straits.

Republicans knew that Democrats, especially Pelosi and Biden, are now facing a dilemma – visiting the island may prompt China’s military reaction and a serious geopolitical crisis will emerge and Pelosi will be in danger as well. According to analysts, canceling the trip will benefit Republicans, as they can say that Democrats are being too weak and dare not to challenge China. The Biden administration and Pelosi still have a chance to keep the mistake from becoming a much bigger one, and if they – both Democrats and Republicans – underestimate China’s warning, it would be extremely dangerous.

China has issued six warnings in the past few days and has stressed the danger of the US provocations, including those coming from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of National Defense and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.

On Tuesday, China’s top political advisor Wang Yang stressed the importance of upholding the one-China principle and the 1992 Consensus, and called for jointly striving to achieve the reunification of the motherland, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Wang, at a meeting in Beijing marking the 30th anniversary of the 1992 Consensus, said the Taiwan authorities’ denial of the 1992 Consensus, along with certain countries’ connivance and instigation of the secessionists’ provocation, will only plunge Taiwan into catastrophe, and cause misery for Taiwan people.

He warned that no individual and no force should underestimate the resolve, the will, and the ability of the Chinese people to defend their national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Analysts said the high-profile commemoration for the 1992 Consensus has once again highlighted the bottom line of China on the Taiwan question. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had already told US State Secretary Antony Blinken at a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Indonesia that “the three China-US joint communiqués are the most reliable guardrails for the two countries.”

China is telling the US loud and clear where the bilateral “guardrails” are, and the US should keep its promise of not supporting Taiwan secessionism. If Washington doesn’t keep the bilateral ties away from the edge but instead, insists on crashing against the “guardrails,” the consequence will definitely be a deadly disaster, experts warn.

Sick partisan politics

Pelosi’s reported plan has “upended Washington’s political divide,” with prominent Republicans offering encouragement to a political opponent they normally scorn, AP reported on Tuesday.

Pelosi’s supporters include a conservative Republican senator, at least two former Trump administration officials, including former secretary of state Mike Pompeo who is sanctioned by China, and Newt Gingrich, the speaker of a Republican-controlled House under Democratic president Bill Clinton, who made a trip to the island in 1997. They are urging Biden to back the trip even as China threatens a forceful response if she goes.

Some Democrat Congress members also joined the choir of encouraging voices, according to NBC News on Wednesday. This dangerous trend reflects that the US partisan struggle has made politicians in Washington blind to actual risks that could cause geopolitical disaster, while they keep only the midterm elections in sight.

“Republicans’ encouragements to Pelosi are more like setting a trap than real approval. If Pelosi eventually goes to the island and causes a military crisis that the US can’t handle, Republicans can still criticize the Biden administration for the failure to handle a crisis,” said a Beijing-based senior expert on international relations who asked for anonymity.

A Chinese proverb goes that “When the weasel pays respects to the hen, his intentions are certainly not good,” which perfectly describes the Republicans’ push for Pelosi’s possible visit, he noted.

Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday, “Republicans would love to see the Biden administration’s situations, both internal and external, to get as messy as possible, because they want to maximize the advantage to win the upcoming midterm elections.”

Pelosi just made a very big mistake to have made such a plan though she still refuses to confirm or deny it publicly, which could only bring trouble and nothing good for Democrats at the moment, Lü said.

“Maybe before the information got leaked to the media, she had underestimated how serious the consequences would be, and the firm response made by China,” Lü remarked.

The above-quoted anonymous expert stressed that “the Biden administration and Pelosi still have an opportunity to keep the mistake away from worsening into a huge geopolitical crisis, otherwise, if Pelosi gets eventually taken over by the pressures from Republicans, and decides to make the provocative move to visit the island of Taiwan, the US partisan struggle would spark a new round of Taiwan Straits crisis.”

Possibilities and consequences

Pelosi’s plan is a big headache for Biden, and the White House has publicly told media multiple times that Biden is seeking talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, about which the Chinese side has released no information. Experts say Pelosi’s plan of visiting Taiwan island will definitely worsen the atmosphere and the conditions for possible talks between the two heads of states.

“Biden wants to engage with the Chinese top leader to seek help for the relief of inflation pressure as well as for the management of the competition and differences between the two sides, but when Pelosi, the House speaker who is in the same party as the president, is likely to make an extreme provocation against China on the most sensitive Taiwan question, it’s very unlikely to be conductive to constructive and friendly talks, and the agenda of such an exchange would also be greatly impacted,” Lü noted.

China has set a “very high guardrail” to keep the China-US relations away from falling off a cliff, but now it seems that the US, or some US politicians, are intending to crash through that “guardrail,” Lü said.

Tan Kefei, a spokesperson of China’s Ministry of National Defense, said on Tuesday the Chinese armed forces will by no means sit idly by, on the contrary, they will take strong measures to thwart any external interferences and “Taiwan independence” secessionist attempts, resolutely safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Chinese mainland analysts and experts said that Tan’s remarks indicate that the PLA is fully prepared to respond if Pelosi does visit the island.

The PLA can send fighter jets to intercept Pelosi’s plane if it approaches Taiwan, then escort it and have it landed in the Chinese mainland, another Chinese mainland military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Wednesday.

An alternative is that the PLA can declare air and maritime zones around the island of Taiwan as restriction zones for military exercises, Song Zhongping, a Chinese mainland military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

In addition, the PLA can conduct large-scale military drills around the island of Taiwan, including on the waters between Taiwan island and Japan as well as between Taiwan island and Guam, experts said. The drills should include joint efforts of all PLA service branches, with all combat elements including electronic warfare, missile and long-range rocket strikes, seizing of air superiority and control of sea, amphibious landing, as well as anti-access and area denial against external military interference, they said.

On Monday a TB-001 drone of the PLA made a full circle flight around the island of Taiwan for the first time, media on the island reported on Tuesday, but Taiwan’s defense authority failed to report its activity. This exposed the island’s defense loopholes against drones, which is a great vulnerability the PLA can exploit, analysts said.

Lü noted that no matter what military actions the PLA may take, one thing is for sure, “as the status quo has already been broken by the US’ side due to Pelosi’s visit, China will actively shape a new status quo with comprehensive measures including military actions, aimed at making the best use of the US’ mistakes and at fully taking control of the Taiwan Straits situation to better promote the reunification process in the future.”

July 27, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 3 Comments

New IPCC attribution statistics are distorting observational evidence 

Global Warming Policy Foundation | July 27, 2022

A new paper from the Global Warming Policy Foundation finds that the IPCC’s recent shift in methodology has led to misleading claims about changes in weather extremes.

The review, from physicist Dr Ralph Alexander, finds that IPCC claims that many of these weather extremes are increasing significantly are largely unsupported by observational evidence.

According to Dr Alexander

“On almost every kind of extreme weather, with the possible exemption of heatwaves, the evidence for significant changes is scant. But the latest IPCC report has introduced novel ‘attribution’ statistics and now insists that things are getting worse. It’s yet another case of scientists trying to scare the public into compliance.”

Dr Alexander’s paper looks at:

– droughts
– floods
– hurricanes
– tornadoes
– wildfires
– hot and cold extremes
– coral bleaching.

He concludes that

“The mistaken belief that weather extremes are worsening because of climate change is more a perception, fostered by media coverage, than reality. The IPCC’s new statistical method is playing an unworthy part in bringing this sorry state of affairs to pass.”

GWPF invited the Royal Society and the Met Office to review this paper, and to submit a response to be published as an appendix to it. No reply was received.

Ralph Alexander: Extreme Weather: The IPCC’s Changing Tune (pdf)

July 27, 2022 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | Leave a comment

Farmers slam Trudeau over rising fertilizer costs

By Keean Bexte | The Counter Signal | July 27, 2022

Canadian farmers slammed Justin Trudeau over rising fertilizer costs resulting from his decision to put tariffs on Russian fertilizer.

According to Ryan Koeslag, executive director of Ontario Bean Growers, tariffs on Russian fertilizer are wreaking havoc on the Canadian Agriculture Sector and the ability of farmers to merely keep their heads above water.

“Around one-third [of the 2022 shipments] had not been delivered into Ontario yet when that tariff was applied, and some of those ships were even being told that they would have to turn around,” Koeslag told CBC News in an interview. “… It’s hard to be a green farmer when you’re operating in the red.”

He also wonders why Canadian farmers are being forced to flip the bill for the war in Ukraine, despite other G7 countries abstaining from imposing such tariffs as they knew it would hurt their citizens.

“The United States is not applying a tariff. The U.K. and France are not applying a tariff. Why is it that Canada is the one that’s forcing our farmers to pay for the cost of the war in Ukraine?” asked Koeslag.

Indeed, as noted by Atlantic Grains Council chairman Roy Culberson, “The world needs Canadian farmers to produce our best crop this year. You cannot grow crops without fertilizer, and you cannot produce food without crops. An additional tariff paid by farmers on a global product such as fertilizer just penalizes the farmer. We look forward to working on a resolution with government.”

Earlier this year, Deputy PM and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland acknowledged that the government’s decision to put tariffs on Russian fertilizer would negatively impact the Agriculture Sector but assured Canadian farmers that it wouldn’t be too bad.

“Tariffs and retaliation and sanctions are the most effective when you can devise policies that have the maximum impact on the counterparty whose attention you are seeking to get and do the minimal damage to yourself,” Freeland said a week after the Russia-Ukraine war kicked off.

How could it not cause more than “minimal damage,” though? According to Grain Farmers of Ontario, “Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada rely heavily on fertilizer imports. Approximately 660,000 – 680,000 tonnes of nitrogen fertilizer is imported from Russia to Eastern Canada annually, which represents between 85-90 per cent of the total nitrogen fertilizer used in the region.”

Trudeau, of course, hasn’t addressed any of the farmer’s concerns regarding tariffs. Moreover, the rising fertilizer costs come at a time when the Trudeau government is pushing forward with a 30% emissions reduction cap on nitrous oxide from fertilizer.

Indeed, as noted by Fertilizer Canada CEO Karen Proud, farmers are already reducing fertilizer use due to rising costs (resulting in less food and rising prices), and the nitrogen policy will only exacerbate the problem.

“We are talking about the food supply,” said Proud. “Canada is already among the top countries that use nitrogen efficiently. We don’t have much room to go before we start affecting yields.”

Agriculture Ministers from several provinces have also voiced their frustrations over the actions of the Trudeau government, explaining that this has already been the most expensive year for farming in recent memory, and Trudeau’s climate fanaticism is only going to make things worse.

“We’re really concerned with this arbitrary goal,” Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture David Marit said. “The Trudeau government has apparently moved on from their attack on the oil and gas industry and set their sights on Saskatchewan farmers.”

Alberta Agriculture Minister Nate Horner agreed, adding, “This has been the most expensive crop anyone has put in, following a very difficult year on the prairies. The world is looking for Canada to increase production and be a solution to global food shortages. The Federal government needs to display that they understand this. They owe it to our producers.”

With what appears to be a coordinated attack on Canada’s Agriculture Sector and food supply, it’s no surprise that farmer’s groups speaking to Farmers Forum are wondering if he’s intentionally trying to cause a food shortage — which Trudeau previously told Canadians to prepare for.

July 27, 2022 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | | 2 Comments

German mayors want Nord Stream 2 opened

Samizdat | July 27, 2022

Berlin’s policy of trying to give up imports of Russian natural gas is likely to create hardship and spark unrest, seven mayors from the German island of Ruegen wrote in a letter sent to the regional and federal governments on Wednesday. They also urged the federal government to allow gas imports via the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, given the current technical difficulties with Nord Stream 1 – something Berlin has steadfastly rejected.

In the letter addressed to federal economy minister Robert Habeck and Manuela Schwesig, prime minister of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the mayors “strongly condemn” the current conflict in Ukraine but urge the government to consider the damage its policy could do to the German population and the economy, according to the news agency DPA.

“We are of the opinion that the path taken by the federal government to disconnect from Russian energy sources is not the right one,” the seven mayors wrote. Initially drafted by the leaders of Bergen, Binz and Sassnitz, the letter was later signed by four more jurisdictions on Ruegen, Germany’s largest island and a popular tourist destination.

Giving up gas imports from Russia would mean an explosion in the cost of living, which would lead to social instability and unrest that could get out of control, the mayors wrote, according to German media. Calls from the federal government to save energy – such as showering less and foregoing hot water – “defy understanding,” they added.

“As the mayors of this island, we don’t want to have to accept any further restrictions,” Sassnitz city manager Frank Kracht told the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern affiliate of the TV station NDR.

Rejecting the proposals to expand the number of wind turbines near residential areas, calling them a health hazard, the mayors advocated “a general rethinking of the solution to the current problems in relations with Russia.”

Among their suggestions was to get additional natural gas via the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Finished in late 2021, the pipeline from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea was just waiting for the operating permit from Berlin – which was suspended indefinitely on February 22, two days before Russia sent troops into Ukraine.

NS2 was supposed to double the volume of Russian gas exports, but was delayed by US sanctions seeking to protect Ukraine’s gas transit earnings. Nord Stream 1, which continues to supply Germany with gas, is currently operating at only 20% capacity, due to maintenance requirements. Its operator, Gazprom, says several turbines at the Portovaya compressor station need servicing to maintain certification. The first one was held up by Canada, citing anti-Russian sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine, until Berlin intervened seeking an exemption. NS2 does not use Siemens turbines, and can be maintained regardless of the sanctions.

Berlin has refused to even consider the possibility of using NS2, however. Economy minister Habeck has said that the pipeline cannot operate without certification. He also accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of trying to damage EU solidarity with Ukraine by driving up the price of gas.

“Putin has the gas, but we have the power,” Habeck said on Tuesday, appealing to Germans to stand together.

Recent polls showed widespread pessimism in German industry regarding future business prospects. Commenting on the turbine delay last week, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said gas shortages could lead to an insurrection.

“If we don’t get the gas turbine, then we won’t get any more gas, and then we won’t be able to provide any support for Ukraine at all, because then we’ll be busy with popular uprisings,” she told the TV outlet RND. Baerbock hastened to add that this may have been “exaggerated” and insisted most Germans supported sending weapons to Ukraine, though.

July 27, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Russophobia | | 1 Comment

Washington tries to redefine concepts to mask crisis situation

By Lucas Leiroz | July 27, 2022

The financial crisis in the US seems increasingly difficult to hide. The reality worries the Biden government, whose unpopularity creates a serious risk in the midst of this unstable scenario. In this sense, in order to avoid an unprecedented crisis of legitimacy, Washington’s officials seem to be betting on the redefinition of elementary concepts of the economic sciences as a way of masking the country’s social chaos.

According to US Treasury chief Janet Yellen, the current US economic status needs to be reassessed by experts as it would not be fair to classify it as a “recession”. Yellen said she considers the classical concept of recession “not technical”. Despite the decreasing numbers, Yellen thinks it is necessary to assess factors other than the national GDP in order to classify the situation more “appropriately”.

“That’s not the technical definition [of recession] (…) There is an organization called the National Bureau of Economic Research that looks at a broad range of data in deciding whether or not there is a recession. And most of the data that they look at right now continues to be strong. I would be amazed if they would declare this period to be a recession, even if it happens to have two-quarters of negative growth. We have a very strong labor market. when you are creating almost 400,000 jobs a month, that is not a recession”, she said during a recent interview.

The most interesting point is that this speech has been not limited to Yellen’s personal words but was also the topic of an article published on the US government website. The text was titled “How Do Economists Determine Whether the Economy Is in a Recession?” and its only objective is to point out directions for a “re-signification” of the concept of recession just to say that the American economic data for 2022 does not indicate what economists would call a recession.

“What is a recession? While some maintain that two consecutive quarters of falling real GDP constitute a recession, that is neither the official definition nor the way economists evaluate the state of the business cycle. Instead, both official determinations of recessions and economists’ assessment of economic activity are based on a holistic look at the data—including the labor market, consumer and business spending, industrial production, and incomes. Based on these data, it is unlikely that the decline in GDP in the first quarter of this year—even if followed by another GDP decline in the second quarter—indicates a recession. (…) Recession probabilities are never zero, but trends in the data through the first half of this year used to determine a recession are not indicating a downturn”, the article states.

Experts reacted to these White House’s pronouncements by accusing the current Administration of being “propagandistic” in its economic reports. And, in fact, the case really looks like an attempt to hide the gravity of the American situation through propaganda techniques. According to the economic sciences, recession is a period of downturn in the economic activity, caused by one or more factors. Usually, the result of this economic drop is the emergence of visible material impacts for the population: decrease in GDP and HDI, decline in the population’s purchasing power, bankruptcy of companies, indebtedness, unemployment, inflation, among others. These characteristics are currently part of the American reality and there is no way this situation can be “masked”.

The US economy contracted by 1.4% in the first quarter of 2022 and 1.6% in the second, according to the Fed. GDP is the clearest and most direct indicator of the economic situation and it is the data that can define whether or not the country is – or is heading towards – a recession. However, even considering factors other than GDP, the American social reality is clearly complicated. Inflation is already at 9%, a record in more than 40 years. The purchasing power of American citizens is dropping. So even analyzing it “holistically” – as the White House proposes – it is obvious that the optimism about the economy is totally unjustified.

If Washington is experiencing a decline in GDP for two consecutive quarters of the year, then the country is definitively in recession and economic crisis. Changing the meaning of words and concepts will not imply material improvements for the American people. Call it a “recession” or something else, the result is only one: the American economy is in dangerous situation. Instead of trying to hide the truth, the Biden Administration should look for real solutions to this problem.

Lucas Leiroz is a researcher in Social Sciences at the Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; geopolitical consultant.

July 27, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Economics | | Leave a comment

New Normal Newspeak #5: “Recession”

Don’t worry, the economy is fine, we’re definitely not in a recession…according to the new definition

OffGuardian | July 27, 2022

Our new series of micro-articles deals with the newly everyday occurrence of the modern media simply changing what a word means. Today’s word is “recession”.

The United States is not in a recession. The government want to be very clear about that.

Yes, it’s true that a “recession” is generally defined as…

a period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two successive quarters.

And yes, it’s true that the US has likely seen a “fall in GDP in two successive quarters”…but that doesn’t mean there’s a recession.

OK, it might technically be a recession but, apparently, there’s a difference between a “technical recession” and a “real recession”. The Whitehouse posted a blog about it a few days ago (as this reddit user pointed out):

What is a recession? While some maintain that two consecutive quarters of falling real GDP constitute a recession, that is neither the official definition nor the way economists evaluate the state of the business cycle.

There you have it – the US isn’t in a recession (not a real one, anyway), by this different definition of “recession”.

This does not constitute the Whitehouse changing the definition. They want to be very clear about that, too. And, as usual, the official “fact-checkers” have their back.

Newsweek headlines: Fact Check: Did The White House ‘Change Definition of Recession’?, which does a lot of prevarication and double-talking around the subject.

CNBC is both more forthright and more patronising, defending the Whitehouse position under the headline “Here’s how to know if we’re in a recession, and it’s not what you think”

Business Insider are even less subtle about it: “No, the White House isn’t changing the definition of a recession”

The point many of them are clinging to is that we can’t be in a recession because of all the “new jobs”. A startling piece of intellectual dishonesty, since the “new jobs” are not new at all, they’re all the old jobs everyone lost due to lockdown.

At the end of the day the price of energy is skyrocketing, inflation is hitting record highs all over the world, there’s a food crisis and a fuel crisis and a housing crisis and a general cost of living crisis.

… who cares what we call that? Does changing the name change the thing? A recession by any other name is still as deep.

The people in charge believe that as long as they keep changing the names of things it doesn’t matter that everyone is starving. They are wrong.

July 27, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Fake News, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | Leave a comment

WHO calls for global censorship to combat monkeypox “misinformation”

TCS WIRE | July 27, 2022

WHO Director-general Tedros Adhanom has requested that social media companies around the world combat all “misinformation” regarding monkeypox.

“As we have seen with COVID-19, misinformation and disinformation can spread rapidly online. So, we call on all social media platforms, tech companies, and news organizations to work with us to prevent and counter harmful information,” Adhanom said earlier today.

This news comes only four days after the WHO chief Adhanom declared monkeypox an international health emergency, overruling a majority of panel members that voted against making such a declaration.

Now, it looks like the WHO is taking the next step: censoring anyone who isn’t on board with their monkeypox madness.

This is the same step the World Health Organization took in 2020 and 2021 when the WHO claimed that all information that went against the narrative was part of a broader “infodemic.”

“Soon after the world started getting used to the terms coronavirus and COVID-19, WHO coined another word: “infodemic” — an overabundance of information and the rapid spread of misleading or fabricated news, images, and videos. Like the virus, it is highly contagious and grows exponentially. It also complicates COVID-19 pandemic response efforts,” reads a 2020 article entitled “Immunizing the public against misinformation.”

Over the course of the pandemic, the WHO began partnering with countries to combat the “infodemic,” which, more often than not, meant censoring people online who had genuine concerns or were trying to proliferate the truth of adverse reactions following mRNA jabs.

Such adverse reactions are now known to be a fact, and health officials worldwide have begun warning people of the risk from things like post-vaccine myocarditis, which the WHO has consistently waved away as a conspiracy theory.

July 27, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 2 Comments

Member Of European Parliament Labels COVID Vaccine Coercion “Worst Crime Ever Committed on Humanity”

By Steve Watson | Summit News | July 27, 2022

In a speech in the European Parliament earlier this month, German MP Christine Anderson described the coercion of people into taking COVID vaccines as the “biggest crime ever committed on humanity.”

“This vaccine campaign will go down as the biggest scandal in medical history,” Anderson declared, adding “moreover, it will be known as the biggest crime ever committed on humanity.”

The MEP was addressing mass flight cancellations and staff shortages in airports and on planes, asserting that while it is claimed the situation stems from companies not hiring back enough staff after the pandemic, the real reason is that pilots and other staff have refused to get vaccinated.

Anderson further warned that “unscrupulous globalist elites” have used the pandemic for their own ends, asking “What in God’s name have they done with this?”

Addressing “each and every elected representative of people in every western democracy,” Anderson asked “What have you done?”

“You didn’t do your job, and do not tell me you didn’t know,” Anderson further asserted, adding “it is your job to protect the people that you were elected by.”

She continued, “There is so much coming to light, all of the adverse side effects, numerous studies now available, on foetal disfigurements… genetic defects of babies born to women who got vaccinated.”

“What in the hell is going on here?” Anderson urged, vowing “We will do all we can to make sure this is brought to light and ensure the rights of the people to be protected.”

Anderson previously made headlines for slamming the “political elite” for imposing vaccines and vaccine passports using “extortion and manipulation”.

Anderson stated that “In the entire history of mankind there has never been a political elite sincerely concerned about the wellbeing of regular people. What makes any of us think that it is different now?”

July 27, 2022 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | | Leave a comment

Israel fears a nightmare scenario as the crisis with Russia escalates

By Dr Adnan Abu Amer | MEMO | July 27, 2022

Israel is convinced that Moscow’s threat to close down the Jewish Agency in Russia is retaliation for the Zionist state’s positions on the war in Ukraine. In fact, Israel now fears that the crisis with Russia will escalate further, which has prompted officials in the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice, and the National Security Council, to hold urgent discussions to assess the situation.

The feeling is that Israel is running out of time to deal with the crisis with Russia, because the Russian Jews in the occupation state maintain close links with their homeland. Israeli diplomats are working to guarantee that the “vital” activities and services provided by the Jewish Agency continue.

By closing the offices of the agency, Russia has dealt a severe blow to Jewish migration from the country to Israel, hence the occupation state’s concern. There is now even more tension between Moscow and Tel Aviv.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Israel’s interim Prime Minister and former Foreign Minister Yair Lapid has taken a hard line against the Russians. He was the first to join the West in issuing strong condemnations of President Vladimir Putin and accusing Moscow of “war crimes”. He also led Israel’s decision to support the condemnation of Russia at the UN. He has not spoken to Putin since taking over as prime minister, nor did the Russian leader call to congratulate him on his new role. This suggests that Russia’s closure of the Jewish Agency is purely political, an act of revenge, although it is alleged that the agency has broken Russian law.

Jewish immigrants to Israel from Russia are increasing in number, with 19,168 people making the move since the beginning of the year. In the whole of 2021, only 7,824 Jews made “aliyah”. The figures show that so far this year 48 per cent of all Jews migrating to Israel are from Russia.

Israel’s position on the war in Ukraine is not the only reason for the crisis with Russia. Another reason being talked about in Israel is the occupation state’s ongoing aggression in Syria, especially the recent attack that led to the closure of Damascus International Airport, and the attack on the port of Tartus, where there is a Russian naval base.

A third reason is related to the Russian demand for ownership of Alexander’s Court in the Old City of occupied Jerusalem, which was blocked by an Israeli court. Putin sent a personal message to former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in this regard, but nothing happened, and things got to the point where Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke about the alleged “Jewish roots” of Adolf Hitler.

It is understandable to be astonished at Israel-Russia relations right now. They once enjoyed an era of mutual interests and harmony which led to great success for Jewish capitalists in Moscow, where some occupied influential positions in the Kremlin and others owned major media outlets. It also led to the largest migration of Russian Jews, close to one million people, to Israel between 1990 and 2006. That was the largest such migration since the upheaval of the occupation of Palestine in 1948.

Israeli leaders made routine official visits to Moscow. Of all world leaders, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the Kremlin more than any other between 2016 and 2020. Moreover, the strategic regional environment saw Israel boosting its desire to build bridges with Russia, as the Middle East became a very competitive arena.

Decision-making circles in Tel Aviv intensified their communication with their counterparts in Moscow, after realising the weakening of the US position in the region, especially since President Joe Biden took office and the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq. It slowly dawned on Israeli officials that Washington was leaving behind a huge vacuum.

None of this prevented Israel from following the West in its position on Ukraine, in line with the international stance and the return of a Cold War atmosphere. Israel has been trying to curry favour with both sides in the war, as it usually does, but it did not succeed this time. Hence, the deteriorating relations with Moscow. The longer the war continues, the higher the price that Israel will have to pay.

Israelis tend to agree that they do not want the current tension with Moscow to become irreversible to the point that Russia would ban Israel’s air force jets from using Syrian airspace; that would be a nightmare scenario for Tel Aviv. At the time of writing, Israel does not have a clear idea of what its reaction would be if things get to that stage, but it would push it into a corner and limit the options on its northern front.

Many Israelis believe that they will need a miracle to get Russia to reverse the decision to close the Jewish Agency. Moscow seems to be heading towards the end of Jewish migration from Russia, and orders from the highest levels have been issued in this regard. This is not a whim, but a serious initiative stemming from the Kremlin’s vision for global leadership.

Hence the Israeli worry that things will not stop at the closing down of the Jewish Agency. Other Jewish institutions that disseminate information about Israel and teach the Hebrew language may also face closure. Putin appears to have decided to escalate the crisis with Israel, and the occupation state’s efforts and achievements over the past thirty years may well be negated as a result.

July 27, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 5 Comments

BASF Prepares To Slash Ammonia Production In Germany Amid Worsening NatGas Crunch

By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge | July 27, 2022

German chemicals company BASF SE paid an extra 800 million euros ($809.5 million) to keep its plants operating in the second quarter compared with a year earlier amid skyrocketing natural gas prices. The impact of high energy prices has forced the company to make a difficult decision: slash the production of ammonia, which could have potential consequences for farming to the food industry.

“We are reducing production at facilities that require large volumes of natural gas, such as ammonia plants,” BASF Chief Executive Martin Brudermuller said in a conference call after an earnings report.

Brudermuller said BASF would tap external suppliers to fill the deficit as German plants reduced output. He warned about potential supply disruptions that could boost fertilizer costs for farmers.

Reuters details how ammonia plays a critical role in manufacturing nitrogen-based fertilizers, plastic-making, and diesel exhaust fluid. A byproduct of ammonia production is high-purity carbon dioxide (CO2) which is heavily used in the food industry.

The news of BASF reducing ammonia production because of soaring NatGas prices comes as Russian state-owned energy producer Gazprom PJSC is expected to halve supplies via Nord Stream 1 to Europe to about 20% today. EU member states agreed Tuesday to reduce NatGas demand by 15% over the next eight months, though countries like Germany, without any liquefied natural gas (LNG) port terminals to replace Russian pipeline NatGas, might have to make more considerable sacrifices.

Benchmark NatGas prices in Europe at the Dutch TTF hub hit their highest level since March. Prices have shot up 35% in a week, over 200 euros per megawatt-hour (MWh), as Putin turns the screws on Europe by reducing pipeline capacity to Europe.

“Chemical companies are the biggest industrial natural-gas users in Germany, and ammonia is the single most gas-intensive product within that industry,” Reuters said.

Arne Rautenberg, a fund manager at Union Investment, said ammonia is a prime candidate by chemical companies to cut production first over the NatGas supply squeeze.

“In the northern hemisphere, nitrogen fertilizer is applied primarily during the spring. It can also be produced in the United States and shipped to Europe,” Rautenberg said, adding that the CO2 supply for the food industry could experience disruptions.

The chemical industry lobby VCI indicates German ammonia production has been curbed (some of which began last October) considerably because of soaring energy prices. This could soon impact industries that rely heavily on ammonia and ripple through the economy already facing recession.

July 27, 2022 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | | 1 Comment

Russia’s Vostok 2022 has big messages


The announcement by Russian Defence Ministry on Tuesday on Vostok-22 strategic command post exercises during August 30-September 5 gives a big message to the West in political and military terms. 

The announcement said, “In addition to the troops (forces) of the Eastern Military District, units of the Airborne Troops, Long Range Aviation and Military Transport Aviation, as well as military contingents from other states, will be involved in these manoeuvres.” 

If there is going to be participation by China, it will be highly significant in the present context of global politics, especially in the Far East. 

Vostok 2018, held exactly four years ago, was the first time such a massive military exercise was held after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. (At the height of the Cold War in 1981 under Leonid Brezhnev, the Soviet Union held its last Vostok exercise). In the event, Vostok 2018 turned into a Russia-China gun show. 

The Russian Federation put more than 300,000 troops in the field—alongside tens of thousands of tanks, helicopters, and weapons of every sort—for a huge war game in Russia’s far-eastern reaches, and invited the Chinese People’s Liberation Army to play along, which it did.

And a whole new groove in international affairs began appearing, signifying that the interests of Russia and China have once again begun to align — this time around, in response to US military power under a pugnacious president, Donald Trump.  

On the sidelines of the exercise, Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping had a breakfast of blinis together in Vladivostok. It was a powerful signal that Russia no longer saw China as an adversary but as a potential military ally. It was widely noted internationally as heralding a major shift in the co-relation of forces in world politics. 

To be sure, any Chinese participation in Vostok 2022 will be similarly subjected to close analysis by Washington and its allies at a time of heightened tension in US-China relations, with Beijing warning last week to take “resolute and strong measures” should the Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi proceed with reported plans to visit Taiwan. 

China has vowed to annex Taiwan by force if necessary, and has advertised that threat by flying warplanes near Taiwanese airspace and holding military exercises based on invasion scenarios. At a meeting in Singapore early July  with Chairman, US Joint Chiefs of Staff, the chief of the Joint Staff Department of China’s Central Military Commission Gen. Li Zuocheng  had warned that Chinese military would “resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity. If anyone creates a wanton provocation, they will be met with the firm counterattack from the Chinese people.” 

However, at the end of the day, Chinese participation in Vostok 2022 will be seen as an expression of solidarity with Russia in the best spirit of the February 4 joint statement by the two leaderships, which states that  “Friendship between the two States has no limits, there are no ‘forbidden’ areas of cooperation.” 

No matter the usual mantra that the Vostok 2022 is not directed against any third party, its optics will be as a counter to the US pressure on Russia and China. Both Russia and China face new security challenges in the Far East in the recent period — especially, the revival of “militarism” in Japan, NATO’s growing Asia-Pacific posturing, and the belligerence in the US’ provocations over Taiwan. 

Tass news agency has reported that the Russian Defence Ministry has proposed certain amendments to Russia’s Federal Law “On territorial waters, territorial sea and the contiguous zone of the Russian Federation”, putting restrictions on the passage of foreign military ships through the Northern Sea Route connecting Europe and East Asia. 

The proposed amendment will require foreign military and state ships to sail through the Northern Sea Route without entering ports or naval bases, and, furthermore, seek permission from Russian authorities at least 90 days in advance. The amendment will effectively restrict the use of the shortest sea route to Asia for the western navies operating in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Significantly, this Russian move comes in the wake of the NATO’s plans to forge stronger security links between the North Atlantic area and Asia-Pacific countries (Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand) in a coordinated strategy to counter China’s rise.  

Equally, the staging of Vostok 2022 comes at a juncture when Russia’s military operations in Ukraine are entering a crucial phase. In a major speech in Moscow on July 7 at a meeting with leaders of the parliament, Putin warned that everyone should understand that Russia “by and large hasn’t started anything seriously yet” in Ukraine.

To be sure, Vostok 2022 flies in the face of western propaganda that Russian military capabilities are steadily weakening due to the conflict in Ukraine. The MOD announcement on Vostok 2022 made it a point to touch on it indirectly.

The MOD statement said, “A number of foreign media are spreading inaccurate information about alleged mobilisation activities. Please note that only a part of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is involved in the special military operation, the number of which is sufficient to fulfil all the tasks set by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief.

“Moreover, none of the planned operational and combat training and military-technical and international cooperation activities of the Russian Ministry of Defence have been cancelled and will be provided with the necessary personnel, weapons, military equipment and materials.” 

This is only logical, since, following the massive haemorrhage suffered by the Ukrainian military in the past 5-month period, the military balance is now working favourably for the Russian forces. Equally, the Russian military strategy to grind the Ukrainian forces with heavy artillery and missile strikes and the slow pace of the conflict also mean that the operations are sustainable over a prolonged period.

At any rate, given the hostile posturing of the NATO forces all along Russia’s western borders, it is inconceivable that Moscow would have taken risks by heavily committing its forces to the Ukraine operations. Interestingly, Germany’s army chief Lieutenant General Alfons Mais told Handelsblatt newspaper recently in an interview that Russia has “almost inexhaustible” resources.  

In the general’s estimation, “With its artillery superiority, the Russian army is apparently working its way forward kilometre by kilometre. This is a war of attrition that will raise the question of how long Ukraine can hold out… The Russian army is getting stronger, and Russia has resources that are almost inexhaustible.” 

The focus of Vostok 2022 will be “on the use of groupings of troops (forces) to ensure military security.” It will be staged in 12 different locations spread across the Eastern Military District, one of Russia’s five military districts, with  a vast geographical spread of 7 million sq. kilometres, headquartered in Khabarovsk on the Amur river in the Russian Far East near the Russia-China border, and comprises the regions up to Sakhalin Oblast, which includes Kuril Islands.

July 27, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 2 Comments

NATO arsonist-in-chief Jens Stoltenberg wants the Western public to pay for a Ukrainian fire he helped ignite

By Scott Ritter | Samizdat | July 27, 2022

The General Secretary of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, took it upon himself recently to lecture the members of the European Parliament about the need to “pay the price” necessary to keep Ukraine able to function and fight in its ongoing conflict with Russia. What he failed to admit was the major role he himself played in bringing about this conflict.

The Norwegian has an important role. In many ways, one can liken it to that of a fire commissioner whose job is to bring together various neighborhood fire departments into a large mutual aid pact, where a fire in one district automatically causes the resources of the neighboring districts to be dispatched in response. That’s Article 5 of NATO’s Charter in a nutshell.

Like any membership-based bureaucracy, joining a fire district, like joining NATO, involves a process which requires specific undertakings by all parties involved. The mutual aid pact, like Article 5, can’t be triggered unless the involved party is a member.

Now imagine a scenario where a fire commissioner was pushing for the membership of a questionable fire district, and in the middle of the processes involved in making this district a member, a giant fire breaks out. The fire commissioner encourages his constituent districts to turn over equipment and resources (but not manpower) to the non-member district to fight the fire. The fire is big. The fire commissioner asks for more resources.

And now imagine that it turns out that the fire commissioner is an arsonist who helped set the fire in the first place.

That’s pretty much the scenario which faces NATO today, where the US-led bloc is struggling to deal with the consequences of 14 years of fundamentally flawed policy which saw it promise Ukraine eventual membership, despite knowing that Russia was adamantly opposed to such a move. NATO then watched as its constituent members helped conduct a coup in Ukraine in February 2014, replacing a duly elected president with a cohort of politicians hand-picked by Washington.

The coup in question was made possible only with the involvement of radical Ukrainian right-wing nationalists whose lineage can be traced back to Nazi Germany and, post-World War Two, covert CIA backing which lasted from 1945 through the present. The involvement of these neo-Nazi elements can be likened to the fire commissioner dispatching a team of fellow arsonists to ostensibly help prepare the prospective member for joining the fire district, only to have them secretly conspire amongst themselves to instead burn down entire neighborhoods within the territory of the candidate district.

For eight years Jens Stoltenberg oversaw a system which pretended to pursue peace in Ukraine post-coup through the Minsk Accords, only to secretly conspire with Ukraine, France, and Germany to prevent closure on the accords for the purpose of buying time for Ukraine to build a NATO-standard military capable of delivering a massive knockout blow to the breakaway Donbass region, and perhaps even Crimea.

Stoltenberg helped light the match that set Ukraine ablaze. And now it turns out, during a meeting with members of the European Parliament, the secretary general of NATO chastised the parliamentarians to “stop complaining and step up and provide support to Ukraine”.

The arsonist-in-chief was lecturing the insurance underwriters of Europe to suck it up and pay the price of his handiwork.

His hypocrisy was sickening. “The price we pay as the European Union, as NATO,” he declared, “is the price we can measure in currency, in money. The price they [Ukrainians] pay is measured in lives lost every day. We should stop complaining and step up and provide support, full stop.”

Left unsaid was the fact that Stoltenberg and NATO were responsible for the conflagration which has swept over Ukraine. With Kiev gearing up for an offensive against the Donbass, only Russia’s decision to launch its own special military operation prevented the NATO/Ukrainian plan from reaching fruition.

But the arsonist cannot admit that he started the fire. Instead, Stoltenberg not only shifted responsibility for the Ukraine conflict onto Russia, but then had the audacity to state that the fire he started posed a threat to all of NATO. “It is in our interest to help Ukraine,” Stoltenberg declared to the European parliamentarians, “because you have to understand that if Ukraine loses this, that’s a danger for us.”

Ignoring the fact that he was largely responsible for the disaster that struck Ukraine when Russia initiated its military operation, Stoltenberg planted his banner firmly onto a hill of hypocrisy, proclaiming: “If you don’t care about the moral aspect of this, supporting the people of Ukraine, you should care about your own security interests. Pay for the support, pay for the humanitarian aid, pay the consequences of the economic sanctions, because the alternative is to pay a much higher price later on.”

What Stoltenberg was really saying was: “pay for my mistakes, your mistakes, our mistakes.”

But admitting a mistake is not part of the moral fiber of an arsonist.

July 27, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , | 1 Comment