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Head of the Lancet COVID-19 Commission discusses the likely Lab Origins of SARS-CoV-2

The Naked Emperor’s Newsletter | August 6, 2022

Professor Jeffrey Sachs is an American academic with specialities in economics, global poverty, human-induced climate change and financial crises. Jeffrey is University Professor at Columbia University and before this was professor at Harvard University. He has worked as Special Advisor to UN Secretaries-General Kofi Annan, Ban Ki-moon and Antonio Guterres.

The mini résumé above is to show that Professor Sachs is pretty mainstream. So mainstream in fact, that he was appointed, early in the pandemic, as the Chair of the Lancet Covid-19 Commission. So mainstream, that he appointed Peter Daszak of EcoHealth Alliance to chair the Lancet’s task force on the origins of SARS-CoV-2.

A few weeks ago, Professor Sachs said a few ‘controversial’ statements about the origins of Covid. Now, a more detailed interview with him, in Current Affairs, has revealed some important facts. Most of us have read much of this information for a few years now but coming from the head of the Lancet Commission, these statements are quite extraordinary.

Click on the link above to read the whole interview but I have included some fascinating quotations below.

When asked about his recent statement about being pretty convinced about a lab leak he said:

[Scientists are] creating a narrative. And they’re denying the alternative hypothesis without looking closely at it. That’s the basic point.

Now, what is the alternative hypothesis? The alternative hypothesis is quite straightforward. And that is that there was a lot of research underway in the United States and China on taking SARS-like viruses, manipulating them in the laboratory, and creating potentially far more dangerous viruses. And the particular virus that causes COVID-19, called SARS-Cov-2, is notable because it has a piece of its genetic makeup that makes the virus more dangerous. And that piece of the genome is called the “furin cleavage site.” Now, what’s interesting, and concerning if I may say so, is that the research that was underway very actively and being promoted, was to insert furin cleavage sites into SARS-like viruses to see what would happen. Oops!

Professor Sachs was asked to distinguish between facts and speculation; do we actually know gain of function research was actually ongoing somewhere?

We have a lot of reason to believe that it was, because the scientists that were doing that research loved that research. And they explained to us publicly why it’s so important. And they wrote editorials about why this research must continue. And they made grant proposals saying that it should continue. And for those of us in the business of writing grant proposals, the fact that a particular grant proposal that’s deeply troubling was turned down doesn’t mean that it wasn’t carried out afterwards…

And the scientists like those that talk about the Huanan market, they don’t even discuss that research that was underway. That is just misdirection, to my mind. It’s like sleight of hand art. Don’t look over there. Look over here…

And yet I see NIH with its head in the ground. “Oh, no, nothing here to look at.” And then I see the scientists. “Oh, nothing here to look at. We know it’s the market. Did we find an animal? No. Do we have an explanation of where that furin cleavage site came in? No. We don’t have an explanation of the timing, which doesn’t quite look right. Oh, but don’t look over there, because there’s nothing there, they keep telling us. Well, that’s a little silly.

What I’m calling for is not the conclusion. I’m calling for the investigation. Finally, after two and a half years of this, it’s time to fess up that it might have come out of a lab and here’s the data that we need to know to find out whether it did.

He continued about Gain of Function research.

But they [champions of Gain of Function research] weren’t actually aiming to just test viruses that they were collecting in nature. They were aiming to modify those viruses. Because the scientists knew that a SARS-like virus without a furin cleavage site wouldn’t be that dangerous. But they wanted to test their drugs and vaccines and theories against dangerous viruses. Their proposal was to take hundreds, by the way—or least they talked about in one proposal more than 180 previously unreported strains—and test them for their so-called “spillover potential.” How effective would they be? And to look: do they have a furin cleavage site, or technically what’s called a proteolytic cleavage site? And if not, put them in. For heaven’s sake. My God! Are you kidding?

Jeffrey was asked about the distinction between ‘kooky theories’ and plausible ones.

The right one to look at is part of a very extensive research program that was underway from 2015 onward, funded by the NIH, by Tony Fauci, in particular NIAID [National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases], and it was to examine the spillover potential of SARS-like viruses. The champions of this research explained in detail their proposals. But after the event, we’d never asked them, “So what were you actually doing? What experiments did you do? What do you know?” We somehow never asked. It was better just to sweep it under the rug, which is what Fauci and the NIH have done up until this point. Maybe they could tell us, “Oh, full exoneration,” but they haven’t told us that at all. They haven’t shown us anything.  So there’s nothing “kooky” about it, because it’s precisely what the scientists were doing…

So you saw a narrative being created. And the scientists are not acting like scientists. Because when you’re acting like a scientist, you’re pursuing alternative hypotheses. And the scientists just wrote recently an op-ed saying the only evidence that this came out of a lab that’s been put forward is that it came in a city, Wuhan, where an institute was located. Well, that’s a lie. That is not the only coincidence that leads to this theory. What leads to this alternative hypothesis is the detailed research program the NIH funded that was underway in the years leading up to the outbreak. So I see the scientists absolutely trying to create a narrative and take our eyes off of another issue.

Next, he was asked about the research being undertaken in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

We know that at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the scientists there had been trained by American scientists to use advanced bioengineering methodologies. And in particular, we have scientists in North Carolina, Texas, and so forth who do this kind of research, believe in it, argue for it, and say that they don’t want any regulations on it and so on. And they were in close contact with Wuhan Institute of Virology, and they were part of a joint research group that was stitched together by something called EcoHealth Alliance. And EcoHealth Alliance was the kind of marriage maker between the American scientists and the Chinese scientists. That was the vehicle for funding from the U.S. government, especially from the National Institutes of Health, and especially from Tony Fauci’s unit, the NIAID.

When asked about EcoHealth Alliance, Professor Sachs admitted that he hired Peter Daszak to head the task force on the origins of Covid.

I thought, naively at the beginning, “Well, here’s a guy who is so connected, he would know.” And then I realized he was not telling me the truth. And it took me some months, but the more I saw it, the more I resented it.

And so I told him, “Look, you have to leave.” And then the other scientists in that task force attacked me for being anti-scientific. And I asked them: “What are your connections with all of this?” They didn’t tell me. Then when the Freedom of Information Act released some of these documents that NIH had been hiding from the public, I saw that people that were attacking me were also part of this thing. So I disbanded that whole task force. So my own experience was to witness close up how they’re not talking. And they’re trying to keep our eyes on something else. And away from even asking the questions that we’re talking about…

He [Peter Daszak] could have explained to me right from the beginning that there was a big research program and that they were manipulating the viruses, and here’s how. He could have given me the research proposals. And when I asked him for one of the research proposals, he said, “No, my lawyer says I can’t give it to you.” I said, “What? You’re heading a commission. We’re a transparent commission. You’re telling me your lawyer says you can’t give me your project proposal.” I said, “Well, then you can’t be on this commission. This is not even a close call.”

But there were so many other things. He was just filled with misdirection.

He concluded that we need far more oversight over Gain of Function work.

I can tell you one thing that I’ve learned from talking to a lot of scientists in the last couple of years: the technological capacity to do dangerous things using this biotechnology is extraordinary right now. So I want to know what’s being done. I want to know what other governments are doing, too, not just ours. I want some global control over this stuff.

Furthermore, he is disappointed with the information that, even he as the head of the commission, is able to obtain.

The most interesting things that I got as chair of the Lancet commission came from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits and whistleblower leaks from inside the U.S. government. Isn’t that terrible? NIH was actually asked at one point: give us your research program on SARS-like viruses. And you know what they did? They released the cover page and redacted 290 pages. They gave us a cover page and 290 blank pages! That’s NIH, for heaven’s sake. That’s not some corporation. That is the U.S. government charged with keeping us healthy.

A fascinating interview which I recommend you read in full.

August 6, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Ghoulishly clever psyop pits our own defense mechanisms against us

By Meryl Nass, MD | August 6, 2022

1. Multiple papers now suggest that COVID mRNA vaccines impair not just immunity to COVID, but immunity and immune surveillance overall.

The implication is that the vaxxed are more susceptible to a variety of infections, and perhaps also to cancer. Immune surveillance is what identifies cancer cells and kills them before they can proliferate.

So, you are vaccinated. The implications of this information are too frightening to be allowed into consciousness. You don’t need the external censors to suppress this knowledge; you do it automatically with your built-in defense mechanisms.

2. Data from multiple countries now shows that all cause mortality (deaths from everything) are higher in the vaccinated.

This is just as scary, if not more so, than an increased risk of serious infections and cancer. You deny and/or suppress this information, because it simply cannot be allowed to be true.

3. You vaccinated your child. This may have impaired their fertility, increased the cancer risk, etc. etc. etc.

Of all pieces of information that absolutely cannot be allowed to enter your consciousness, let alone be openly discussed in polite company, this one tops all. So you will simply refuse to allow mention of it. Friends whose conversations veer off in this direction must be obliterated. Requiring that all family members and friends be vaccinated protects you from facing those for whom this discussion does not trigger the existential and uncontrollable pain it does for the vaccinated.

And Voila — you have a controlled and cowed population who have become their own thought police.

August 6, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | | 1 Comment

Vaccine Deaths Outnumber Covid Deaths in U.S. Households, Two New Polls Confirm


Polls of the U.S. public continue to show that up to twice as many Americans have lost a household member to a Covid vaccine injury as have lost one to Covid.

The pooled results of five surveys of the American public, now totalling over 2,500 people, show that while 4.4% of respondents reported that someone in their household had died from COVID-19, 8.9% said someone had died as a result of Covid vaccination.

The results also showed that 8.6% said they had been injured by their vaccination, 4.9% that they had sought medical help and 3.2% that they had been hospitalised, while 3.6% said that as a result of vaccination they were no longer able to work a full day or at all. These are percentages of all respondents. If we look only at the 74.0% vaccinated with at least one dose then the figures, as a proportion of vaccinated persons, are 11.7% injured, 6.7% needing medical help, 4.4% hospitalised and 4.8% unable to work. While these figures are self-reported and there is no control group, since the unvaccinated were not asked about adverse events, they are still alarmingly high.

The results also showed that, among those who reported a Covid death in their household, more than twice as many reported that it occurred after the person was vaccinated than before (2.8% vs 1.2%). The proportion who said they had contracted Covid before their vaccination (13.1%) was very similar to the proportion who said they contracted it afterwards (11.7%). These figures are not indicative of a highly effective vaccine against either infection or death.

The people polled were randomly selected, representative samples of the U.S. public, of whom 74.0% were vaccinated, so the samples were not inherently biased towards or against the reporting of vaccine problems, though as in all opinion polls (especially online ones) there may be an issue of self-selection bias.

I reported on the first three of these polls last month. Two more have now been added, each from a different polling company, and the results of all five are strikingly similar (see summary table below), indicating that the findings are a true representation, if not of the American public, at least of the section of the American public inclined to complete polls like this.

Some commentators have expressed scepticism about the results, implying they are skewed in some way. It’s true that they are funded by Steve Kirsch, a technology entrepreneur who is raising awareness of safety and efficacy issues around the Covid vaccines. However, the polls are by ordinary polling companies surveying an ordinary representative sample of the U.S. population, so there is nothing to criticise on that score. The results are not under the control of the funder and the questions are neutral. The fact that they are all similar, regardless of which polling company is used, shows that the results are not anomalous. Anyone can commission a similar survey if they wish – though Steve Kirsch discovered that Google and some other polling companies refused to run surveys asking people about their experience of the vaccines.

Steve has enlisted the help of a survey expert, who he says is nationally known and well-respected, though he hasn’t yet revealed his identity. The expert has done two surveys on vaccine safety, one for Steve and one for another client, and he says the safety signal is “real, significant and gravely concerning”.

Phase 1: Signal Detection. Using convenience samples, we validated that there is a significant signal that the general population is reporting a variety of issues and adverse events related to the Covid vaccine programme. While not representative of the entire population and certainly imperfect in design, the multiple iterations of the same questionnaire across two different independent survey panels validate the strong signal detection. Internal consistency matters even when dealing with subjective issues like surveys, and these data are absolutely consistent.

Phase 2: Validation. This first study using a more high quality sample source, and the planned duplication across at least one other independent platform, validates that the signal is real, significant and gravely concerning. The surprising level of coherence in these data, now across three unrelated sample sources, is indisputable. We’ll do one more study with a fourth source, but I am confident we’ll see the same high level of validation. The signal has been detected and it is clear; something is very, very wrong.

Steve Kirsch’s five polls have all been carried out in the last five weeks. You can find them here: June 30thJuly 2ndJuly 4thJuly 20thJuly 28th.

Despite the striking consistency between the surveys, it ought to be noted that the findings don’t fit neatly with what we know from other sources. For example, the surveys show 6-7% seeking medical care following vaccination, whereas government surveys have typically found just under 1%. Similarly, there are around 120 million households in the U.S, so if 4.4% of them had a Covid death (as per the surveys) then that would give 5.3 million Covid deaths – yet official figures show there have been around 1 million Covid deaths in the U.S. Why are the surveys coming up with figures that are five to seven times higher than other sources? This does need to be answered.

A further question is raised by a sixth poll commissioned by Steve Kirsch (on July 11th), this one much shorter, asking only two questions, one about household members having Covid and one about them having a vaccine injury. It found 22 of the 500 respondents (4.4%) reported a vaccine death in the household versus 40 (8%) who reported a Covid death. These proportions are still high, but they are not consistent with the other five polls, the two figures being reversed. Is this survey anomalous or would it be replicated in similar short polls? If so, it may indicate a source of bias in the length of the poll.

Nonetheless, such issues should not distract from the key point, that representative surveys of the American public are consistently finding alarmingly high reported rates of serious vaccine injury and death. This is not a safety signal that should be ignored.

August 6, 2022 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

U.S. Declares Monkeypox Health Emergency, FDA Offers Vaccine to Some Kids Despite No Clinical Trials

By Megan Redshaw | The Defender | August 5, 2022

The U.S. declared monkeypox a public health emergency to raise awareness and allow for additional funding to fight the disease’s spread, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said on Thursday.

“We’re prepared to take our response to the next level in addressing this virus, and we urge every American to take monkeypox seriously and to take responsibility to help us tackle this virus,” Becerra said.

Becerra said he also is considering a second declaration that would allow federal officials to expedite medical countermeasures — such as potential treatments and vaccines — designed to ensure drugs are safe and effective.

President Biden said in a tweet he remained “committed to our monkeypox response: ramping-up vaccine distribution, expanding testing, and educating at-risk communities.”

“That’s why today’s public health emergency declaration on the virus is critical to confronting this outbreak with the urgency it warrants,” Biden said.

The last time the U.S. declared a public health emergency was in January 2020, for COVID-19.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 7,100 cases of monkeypox have been reported in the U.S., including five cases in children.

Symptoms of monkeypox infection are usually mild and include fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes, and occasionally intense headache, back pain, muscle aches, lack of energy and skin eruptions that can cause painful lesions, scabs or crusts.

The virus is rarely fatal and no deaths have been reported in the U.S.

Monkeypox primarily is spread through skin-to-skin contact during sex and affects mostly gay and bisexual men, public health officials say, although the virus can affect anyone.

According to the CDC, about 98% of monkeypox patients who provided demographic information to clinics identified as men who have sex with men.

Public health emergency paves way for vaccine for kids

Now that the Biden administration has declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can move to issue an Emergency Use Authorization for the JYNNEOS vaccine for children under 18.

There are two vaccines that may be used “for the prevention” of monkeypox virus infection: JYNNEOS — also known as Imvamune or Imvanex — and ACAM2000, which is licensed by the FDA for use against smallpox and “made available for use against monkeypox under an Expanded Access Investigational New Drug application.”

The FDA told ABC News on Thursday that while the current monkeypox vaccine, JYNNEOS, is approved only for adults ages 18 and older, it will be available for kids on a case-by-case basis.

The JYNNEOS vaccine, delivered in a two-dose series, was not tested through clinical trials in children.

However, the FDA confirmed to ABC News that “numerous” children have been granted access to the vaccine through a special permission process, but declined to state exactly how many children have received the vaccine to date through this process.

“If a doctor decides a person under 18 was exposed to monkeypox and the benefit of the vaccine is greater than any potential risk, they can submit a request to the FDA,” ABC News reported.

According to the CDC, the “immune response” takes “14 days after the second dose of JYNNEOS and 4 weeks after the ACAM2000 dose for maximal development.”

The CDC website also states: “No data are available yet on the effectiveness of these vaccines in the current outbreak.”

According to the latest data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), between June 14 and July 21, 2022, 31 adverse events were reported following vaccination with JYNNEOS — manufactured by Bavarian Nordic.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared monkeypox a global health emergency after more than 26,000 cases were reported across 87 countries.

A global emergency is the WHO’s highest level of alert, but the designation does not necessarily mean a disease is particularly transmissible or lethal.

The U.S. makes up 25% of confirmed cases globally although the U.K. was the first to alert the world to the outbreak in May after confirming several cases.

A monkeypox fictional simulation was held in March 2021

As The Defender reported in May, the Nuclear Threat Initiative, in conjunction with the Munich Security Conference, in March 2021 held a “tabletop exercise on reducing high-consequence biological threats,” involving an “unusual strain of monkeypox virus that first emerged in the fictional nation of Brinia and spread globally over 18 months.”

This is similar to “Event 201,” a “high-level pandemic exercise” organized by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, along with the World Economic Forum and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — just weeks before the COVID-19 outbreak — that mirrored what later followed with COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the monkeypox exercise, which was “developed in consultation with technical and policy experts,” brought together “19 senior leaders and experts from across Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe with decades of combined experience in public health, biotechnology industry, international security, and philanthropy.”

The fictional start date of the monkeypox pandemic in this exercise was May 15, 2022. The first European case of monkeypox was identified on May 7, 2022.

Key participants in the simulation included Johnson & Johnson and Janssen, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Nuclear Threat Initiative, GAVI — the Vaccine Alliance, Merck and the WHO.

Several of the participants listed above also “participated” in Event 201.

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

© 2022 Children’s Health Defense, Inc. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Children’s Health Defense, Inc. Want to learn more from Children’s Health Defense? Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. Your donation will help to support us in our efforts.

August 6, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sanctions on Russia ‘irresponsible’, adviser to Brazil’s Lula says

Samizdat | August 6, 2022

Celso Amorim, Brazil’s former foreign minister and current foreign policy adviser to presidential frontrunner Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has condemned the West’s sanctions on Russia and said that should Lula take office, Brazil would chart a different course.

In an interview with Bloomberg published on Friday, Amorim claimed that the West’s response to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine – sanctions on Russia and billions of dollars worth of weapons for Ukraine – have made nuclear war a real possibility.

“For the first time since the Cuban missile crisis we see articles about the risk of nuclear weapons published on a weekly basis,” he said, arguing that “it’s irresponsible not to seek peace.”

Amorim’s argument mirrors that of Lula himself. Back in May the former Brazilian leader told Time magazine that he sees Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky as equally responsible for the conflict in Ukraine, and condemned Washington for encouraging him to oppose Russia.

“The United States has a lot of political clout. And Biden could have avoided [the conflict], not incited it,” Lula argued at the time.

From the perspective of the US, Amorim questioned the logic of driving Russia into a deeper partnership with China, another economic and military rival of America.

“I have nothing against China,” he stated, adding that both are part of the BRICS group, but said that he “can’t understand the interest of the US in strengthening the China-Russia relationship.”

This relationship aside, Amorim told Bloomberg that an economy as large as Russia’s is “too big and strategic” to isolate, and that Lula’s administration would not pursue such policies if the two-term leftist president is elected in October. Speaking to Time in May, Lula said that “many different countries” are having to “foot the bill” for Washington’s hardline anti-Russia policies, and that if he is elected, “Brazil will again become a protagonist on the international stage and we will prove that it’s possible to have a better world.”

Lula is currently polling 11 points ahead of incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro, according to an aggregate compiled by the US-based Americas Society. Should he triumph in October, Amorim will likely be influential in setting his administration’s foreign policy, having served as Brazil’s foreign minister during Lula’s two terms in office from 2003 until 2010.

Bolsonaro has not followed the US’ lead on Ukraine either. Despite Brazil voting in the UN General Assembly to condemn Russia over the conflict, the president has refused to sanction Moscow and announced his intention to keep purchasing fertilizer from Russia and sign a new deal to import Russian diesel.

Like Lula, Bolsonaro also partly blamed Kiev for the conflict. Ukrainians, he said in February, had “trusted a comedian with the fate of a nation,” referring to Zelensky.

August 6, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , , , | 1 Comment

The Intricate Fight for Africa: the Legacy of the Soviet Union vs. Western Colonialism

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | August 6, 2022

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s recent tour in Africa was meant to be a game changer, not only in terms of Russia’s relations with the continent, but in the global power struggle involving the US, Europe, China, India, Turkiye and others.

Many media reports and analyses placed Lavrov’s visit to Egypt, the Republic of Congo, Uganda and Ethiopia within the obvious political context of the Russia-Ukraine war. The British Guardian’s Jason Burka summed up Lavrov’s visit in these words: “Lavrov is seeking to convince African leaders and, to a much lesser extent, ordinary people that Moscow cannot be blamed either for the conflict or the food crisis.”

Though true, there is more at stake.

Africa’s importance to the geostrategic tug of war is not a new phenomenon. Western governments, think tanks and media reports have, for long, allocated much attention to Africa due to China’s and Russia’s successes in altering the foreign policy map of many African countries. For years, the West has been playing catch up, but with limited success.

The Economist discussed ‘the new scramble for Africa’ in a May 2019 article, which reported on “governments and businesses from all around the world” who are “rushing” to the continent in search of “vast opportunities” awaiting them there. Between 2010 and 2016, 320 foreign embassies were opened in Africa which, according to the magazine, is “probably the biggest embassy-building boom, anywhere, ever.”

Though China has often been portrayed as a country seeking economic opportunities only, the nature and evolution of Beijing’s relations with Africa prove otherwise. Beijing is reportedly the biggest supplier of arms to sub-Saharan Africa, and its defence technology permeates almost the entire continent. In 2017, China established its first military base in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa.

Russia’s military influence in Africa is also growing exponentially, and Moscow’s power is challenging that of France, the US and others in various strategic spaces, mainly in the East Africa regions.

But, unlike the US and other western states, countries like China, Russia and India have been cautious as they attempt to strike the perfect balance between military engagement, economic development and political language.

Quartz Africa reported that trade between Africa and China “rose to a record high” in 2021. The jump was massive: 35 per cent between 2020 and 2021, reaching a total of $254 billion.

Now that Covid-19 restrictions have been largely lifted, trade between Africa and China is likely to soar to astronomical levels in the coming years. Keeping in mind the economic slump and potential recession in the West, Beijing’s economic expansion is unlikely to slow down, despite the obvious frustration of Washington, London and Brussels. It ought to be said that China is already Africa’s largest trade partner, and by far.

Russia-China-Africa’s strong ties are paying dividends on the international stage. Nearly half of the abstentions in the vote on United Nations Resolution ES-11/1 on 2 March, condemning Russia’s military action in Ukraine, came from Africa alone. Eritrea voted against it. This attests to Russia’s ability to foster new alliances on the continent. It also demonstrates the influence of China – Russia’s main ally in the current geopolitical tussle – as well.

Yet, there is more to Africa’s position than mere interest in military hardware and trade expansion. History is most critical.

In the first ‘scramble for Africa’, Europe sliced up and divided the continent into colonies and areas of influence. The exploitation and brutalisation that followed remain one of the most sordid chapters in modern human history.

What the Economist refers to as the ‘second scramble for Africa’ during the Cold War era was the Soviet Union’s attempt to demolish the existing colonial and neo-colonial paradigms established by western countries throughout the centuries.

The collapse of the Soviet Union over three decades ago changed this dynamic, resulting in an inevitable Russian retreat and the return to the uncontested western dominance. That status quo did not last for long, however, as China and, eventually, Russia, India, Turkiye, Arab countries and others began challenging western supremacy.

Lavrov and his African counterparts fully understand this context. Though Russia is no longer a Communist state, Lavrov was keen on referencing the Soviet era, thus the unique rapport Moscow has with Africa, in his speeches. For example, ahead of his visit to Congo, Lavrov said in an interview that Russia had “long-standing good relations with Africa since the days of the Soviet Union.”

Such language cannot be simply designated as opportunistic or merely compelled by political urgency. It is part of a complex discourse and rooted superstructure, indicating that Moscow – along with Beijing – is preparing for a long-term geopolitical confrontation in Africa.

Considering the West’s harrowing colonial past, and Russia’s historic association with various liberation movements on the continent, many African states, intelligentsias and ordinary people are eager to break free from the grip of western hegemony.

August 6, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

Russia reacts to Biden’s remarks on nuclear talks

Samizdat | August 6, 2022

Russia has not received any concrete proposals to resume talks on replacing the landmark New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), despite recent remarks by US President Joe Biden on the matter, a senior Russian diplomat said on Friday. He also signaled that the negotiations should be held without any preconditions.

“Saying that you’re ready doesn’t mean you are,” the deputy head of Moscow’s delegation to the UN Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference, Andrey Belousov, told reporters.

According to the diplomat, a real commitment to resume dialogue with Russia “should be supported by concrete proposals, concrete signals” that Moscow could view as a firm decision on the part of the US to “resume close cooperation with Russia on a wide range of issues of strategic stability.”

“At the moment, we are not receiving such signals, except for these declarative statements, including those coming from the highest level,” he added.

Belousov noted that the timing of the US statements on arms control should also be taken into account.

“It is clear that the timing was chosen on purpose. The statement by the US president was made before the Conference [on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons] intentionally to show that the US is still a state you can cooperate with and which is ready to engage in dialogue,” the Russian representative said.

According to Belousov, Moscow does not think that the US is ready for constructive talks on the New START treaty that would accommodate the interests of all parties, at least not at this stage. He also noted that Russia views the preliminary conditions for the dialogue set by Washington as “unacceptable.”

“The statement by the US president, which, as we believe, reflects a softening of the US stance on resuming dialogue with Russia on a wide range of issues of strategic stability, is linked to some sort of a preliminary condition,” Belousov said, adding that it has not been formulated in black and white, but rather looks like a hint.

The high-ranking diplomat recalled that previous statements on the matter were “more specific and understandable.”

“There were specific conditions under which the United States would agree to resume this dialogue with us,” he said. “But in any case, no matter how these preconditions are phrased, we deem them unacceptable.”

The diplomat echoed comments made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who said on Wednesday that the US had not made any “requests on reopening this negotiating process.” The West, he said at the time, “has developed a habit of making announcements on the microphone and then forgetting about them.”

Earlier this month, Biden revealed that Washington was ready to negotiate “a new arms control framework” with Russia that could potentially replace the New START treaty when it expires in 2026. The landmark document, which entered into force in 2011 and was extended in 2021 after Biden’s inauguration, puts caps on the number of strategic nuclear missiles and warheads held by Russia and the US.

August 6, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

The US keeps reneging on arms control agreements, so why should Russia trust Joe Biden’s latest overtures?

By Scott Ritter | Samizdat | August 6, 2022

This week, in an address to the Tenth Review Conference for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons – which had convened at the United Nations Headquarters in New York – US President Joe Biden made a forceful appeal to Russia regarding the need to resume arms control talks. “Today,” Biden said, “my Administration is ready to expeditiously negotiate a new arms control framework to replace New START when it expires in 2026.” But, he added, “negotiation requires a willing partner operating in good faith. And Russia’s brutal and unprovoked aggression in Ukraine has shattered peace in Europe and constitutes an attack on the fundamental tenets of international order. In this context, Russia should demonstrate that it is ready to resume work on nuclear arms control with the United States.”

Biden has made arms control a central theme in his dealings with Russia. Indeed, one of his first major acts as president was to sign on to a five-year extension of the Obama-era New START treaty, which had been allowed to languish under the Trump administration. “Extending the New START Treaty,” Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, declared in a press release issued at the time, “ensures we have verifiable limits on Russian ICBMs, SLBMs, and heavy bombers until February 5, 2026. The New START Treaty’s verification regime,” Blinken noted, “enables us to monitor Russian compliance with the treaty and provides us with greater insight into Russia’s nuclear posture, including through data exchanges and onsite inspections that allow US inspectors to have eyes on Russian nuclear forces and facilities.”

Blinken then added a critical statement. “The United States,” he declared, “has assessed the Russian Federation to be in compliance with its New START Treaty obligations every year since the treaty entered into force in 2011.”

Unfortunately, Russia cannot say the same about the US. Since 2018, Russia has accused the United States of “converting a certain number of Trident II SLBM launchers and В-52Н heavy bombers, in the way that the Russian Federation cannot confirm that these strategic arms have been rendered incapable of employing SLBMs or nuclear armaments for heavy bombers.” The bottom line is that America accomplished its conversions in a manner which allowed them to be easily reversed, something Russia believed circumvented the intent of New START, which was the permanent reduction of each side’s nuclear arsenals.

The US rejected the Russian allegation, noting that New START does not explicitly require the conversions on either the Trident II SLBM launchers or the B-52H bombers to be irreversible. As long as the treaty was in force, the US contended, Russia could use its inspection provisions to verify that the goal of “rendering incapable” was still in place. The Russians, with reason, believe that the US position violated both the spirit and intent of treaty, a position which carried over into the extension of New START.

But Russia’s problems with America’s compliance are just one of the issues when it comes to judging whether to trust Washington’s good faith on arms control overall. The US has walked away from three foundational treaties in the past two decades – the anti-ballistic missile (ABM) treaty in 2002, the intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) treaty in 2019, and the Open Skies Treaty in 2020. Likewise, America’s intransigence over fairly adapting the conventional forces in Europe (CFE) treaty to reflect post-Cold War realities led to its demise. New START is the last man standing when it comes to arms control accords between Russia and the US.

Biden tried to further strategic arms control with Russia, discussing the matter with President Vladimir Putin during their Geneva Summit in June 2021. The two leaders agreed to pursue “an integrated bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue” that would “seek to lay the groundwork for future arms control and risk reduction measures.” Indeed, two such meetings were on July 28 and September 30, 2021. Following the conclusion of the second round of talks, the negotiators agreed to “form two interagency expert working groups” covering the “Principles and Objectives for Future Arms Control” and the “Capabilities and Actions with Strategic Effects.”

But then came the crisis in Ukraine, and the talks gave way to the issue of security guarantees demanded by Russia in the face of NATO expansion, which threatened to bring Ukraine into the fold of the trans-Atlantic military bloc. In direct talks with the US, NATO and the OSCE in January 2022, Russia was repeatedly rebuffed in its efforts to negotiate a new European security framework that considered its national security interests, setting in motion the conditions that resulted in Russia initiating its Special Military Operation in Ukraine, prompting President Biden to terminate the strategic stability dialogue, an action which essentially froze US-Russian relations, at least in the arms control field.

Biden’s announcement on restarting talks with Moscow took the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, by surprise. “No requests on reopening this negotiating process have been made,” Lavrov announced during a press conference in Myanmar, adding that the West “has developed a habit of making announcements on the microphone and then forgetting about them.”

Regardless of the lack of any prior notice on the part of the US, Russia announced that it was ready to engage in arms control talks at any time, the sooner the better. Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, during a conference call with the media, declared that “Moscow has repeatedly spoken about the necessity to start such talks as soon as possible as there is little time left.” If the New START treaty expired without a replacement, Peskov said, “it will negatively impact global security and stability, primarily in the area of arms control.” For this reason, Peskov noted, “We [Russia] have called for an early launch of talks, but until that moment it has been the US that has shown no interest in substantive contacts on the issue.”

Peskov further emphasized that negotiations on a new arms control pact can only be held “on the basis of mutual respect and taking into account mutual concerns.”

Washington’s push for talks with Moscow, however, appear to be little more than an effort to get Russia to negotiate away the advantage in strategic nuclear weapons delivery systems that it has accrued in recent years through the development of weapons such as the Sarmat heavy intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and the Avangard hypersonic re-entry vehicle. In this way, the US would have Russia walk away from new systems which cost billions of dollars to develop and field, while the US would only be called upon to give up a handful which have not yet been fully tested and deployed (the US is poised to spend hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming years to replace the Minuteman III ICBM, B-2 bomber, and Ohio-class submarine with a new missile (the “Sentinel”), a new bomber (the B-21), and a new submarine (the “Columbia” class). The high cost of these new weapons is likely to become an issue in a tightening economic environment, which may explain Biden’s push for fresh negotiations.

The current US approach to arms control negotiations appears to be one-sided in nature, premised on sacrificing existing Russian capacity for future American systems which are currently under development. In addition to this, the US has a poor track record when it comes to either treaty compliance (the ongoing controversy over New START verification of Trident and B-52 conversions comes to mind), or treaty adherence (the US withdrawals from the ABM treaty, the INF treaty, and the Open Skies treaty serve as an historical precedent).

The US approach ignores the fundamental approach taken by Russia when it comes to arms control – that any such negotiations must take place as part of a comprehensive restructuring of existing security frameworks that fully integrate Moscow’s legitimate national security concerns. This includes issues pertaining to missile defense (including the two US facilities in Poland and Romania), intermediate nuclear forces (a ban on the deployment of such systems on European soil), and non-strategic nuclear weapons (the US stockpile of B-61 bombs currently stored in Europe, and releasable to non-nuclear NATO members during any potential conflict.)

The White House has flipped the script when it comes to advancing the cause of arms control. Former US President Ronald Reagan appropriated a Russian saying– “Trust but Verify”– when discussing his approach to implementing the groundbreaking INF treaty back in 1987. At that time, the “trust” was assumed, and the focus was on constructing appropriate verification regimes to ensure treaty compliance.

Today, there is no trust between Russia and the US, primarily because of the dismissive manner which the Biden administration has treated the issue of Moscow’s concerns over European security that has been inexorably linked to aggressive NATO expansion. But the abysmal track record of the US under existing and past arms control agreements must also be considered. Even if Biden were willing to consider Russia’s concerns, the question that must be answered for Russia is whether the Americans can be fully trusted as a partner in disarmament.

As things stand today, the answer to this question is, sadly, ‘No.’

August 6, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

Ukrainian strike in Donetsk kills three civilians – officials

Multiple casualties were reported after a bus was hit by a projectile
Samizdat – August 5, 2022

At least three civilians were killed in Ukrainian shelling of northwestern Donetsk, the local territorial defense force claimed on Friday. One of Kiev’s projectiles hit a regular bus carrying people home from work, the authorities said, adding that the vehicle was “destroyed.”

Photos and videos which surfaced on social media show the charred wreckage of the bus. It was apparently moving along a street in the city when it was hit by a Ukrainian projectile fired by a Grad multiple rocket launcher.

Three people died in the incident and five more received injuries, the local authorities said.

Earlier on Friday, Donetsk authorities claimed that Ukrainian forces had shelled several areas in the city, including a hospital. At least one rocket made a direct hit through the roof, images from the scene indicate. The attacks left at least one person dead and 14 others injured, officials in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said.

Kiev denies the accusations that its forces launch daily artillery attacks on civilian targets in Donetsk. It claims the shelling is done by DPR and Russian forces to discredit the Ukrainian troops.

August 6, 2022 Posted by | War Crimes | | Leave a comment

Kamala Harris Deemed a ‘Hypocrite’ for Brittney Griner Comments

Samizdat – 06.08.2022

On Thursday, Brittney Griner, the 31-year-old American professional basketball player, was sentenced to nine years in prison after she was convicted of smuggling hash oil, an illegal substance in Russia, into the country. The nine year prison term is one of the strongest punishments possible in Russia for drug charges.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is being accused of hypocrisy after she condemned Russia for WNBA player Brittney Griner’s prison sentence. The Phoenix Mercury player was sentenced to nine years in prison for admitting to having accidentally packed vape cartridges, allegedly used for pain management, in her luggage. Griner was also ordered to pay a one million ruble ($16,600) fine.

While U.S. President Joe Biden—along with several U.S. diplomats and government officials—called the ruling “unacceptable” and demanded Russia release Griner, Harris also condemned the conviction via Twitter, labeling the imprisonment of Griner as “wrongful.”

“With today’s sentencing, Russia continues its wrongful detention of Brittney Griner. She should be released immediately. @POTUS and I, and our entire Administration, are working every day to reunite Brittney, as well as Paul Whelan, with loved ones who miss each of them dearly,” Harris wrote on Twitter.

Social media users were quick to jump on the V.P. for her hypocrisy regarding the sentencing of Griner. During her tenure as both San Francisco’s district attorney and California’s attorney general, Harris oversaw more than 1,900 marijuana convictions, and prosecutors under her supervision convicted people on charges related to the substance at a higher rate than her predecessor.

Between 2011 and 2016 while Harris worked as California attorney general, at least 1,560 people were sent to state prisons on marijuana-related charges, according to the Washington Free Beacon. Harris was outspoken about her belief that marijuiana should not be legalized, and fought against a ballot measure to legalize it in 2010.

“Brittney Griner got 9 years for drug possession in Russia… which sounds like most of the criminal sentences Kamala Harris got people for the same thing when she was attorney general of California,” author Tim Young tweeted in response to Harris’ comments.

“You locked up people for possession of marijuana. And you’re only condemning this because the US cannot profit from her incarceration in Russia,” wrote another Twitter user.

August 6, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Progressive Hypocrite | , , | 3 Comments

Bank executive pushes personal carbon wallets that allocate “emission rights” to citizens

By Tom Parker | Reclaim The Net | August 5, 2022

A senior executive at the multinational banking and financial services company Rabobank has called for personalized carbon wallets that give individual citizens “emission rights” and allow wealthier citizens to buy emission rights from those who can’t afford to fly.

Barbara Baarsma, who is the CEO of Rabo Carbon Bank, a division of Rabobank that allows its customers to buy and sell CO2 credits, announced her proposal for personalized carbon wallets during an appearance on the Dutch radio station BNR Newsradio.

“What if we now have all the remaining rights we still have when it comes to the emission of CO2 equivalents, greenhouse gases?” Baarsma said. “If we just let everyone start the Netherlands distributing emission rights and that every household or every citizen and amount get emission rights until we have money.”

Baarsma continued by proposing that these emission rights could be managed via a personalized “carbon wallet” and noted that wealthier citizens who want to fly can buy emissions rights from citizens that don’t have the money to fly.

She added that these personalized carbon wallets represented an opportunity for those who can’t afford to fly to get “a little more money” and outlined other ways wealthier people could continue living elaborate lifestyles by buying carbon credits from citizens with less money.

“He lives in smaller rented houses and I live in a large house so I need more emission rights to heat my house and so people with a narrow wallet can also earn something from greening my number,” Baarsma said.

After the interview, Rabobank came out in support of Baarsma’s statements about personalized carbon wallets.

“We support this as a thought experiment,” a Rabobank spokeswoman said. “It’s not reality.”

Baarsma’s comments come just a few months after another high-ranking executive, J. Michael Evans, the President of Chinese multinational Alibaba Group, announced that his company is working on tech that tracks a person’s individual “carbon footprint.” Evans discussed the project at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting and boasted that the tech would monitor people’s travel, eating habits, and other consumption. Like Baarsma’s personal carbon wallet proposal, this Alibaba Group carbon tracker will also tie back to carbon credits where people can earn money for making “low carbon choices.”

These carbon tracking proposals are one of many invasive surveillance proposals being pushed by powerful institutions. Data-grabbing biometric health monitoring systems are being built into cars, biometrics are being associated with phone numbers, and there are even proposals for turning people’s heartbeats into a digital ID.

August 6, 2022 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | | 1 Comment