Aletho News


California Bill on Governor’s Desk Puts in Jeopardy Medical Licenses of Doctors Who Do Not Toe the Line on Coronavirus

By Adam Dick | Ron Paul Institute | September 8, 2022

During the coronavirus scare, a small dissident group of American doctors stood up against the concerted effort of many politicians, people in the media, “public health” bureaucrats, doctors, and medical organizations to portray the coronavirus “vaccine” shots as “safe and effective” and something everyone should take.

Dissenting doctors also explained that, despite the scare campaign proclaiming otherwise, exposure to coronavirus created natural immunity, most people — especially younger and healthier people — faced minimal to nearly zero risk of death or serious sickness from coronavirus, and early treatments with common medicines and vitamins could prevent serious sickness.

Some doctors also wisely pointed out early on that actions such as mask wearing, business closures, and “social distancing” were ineffective in stopping the spread of coronavirus. A major warning from dissident doctors was that hospital protocols for dealing with coronavirus such as forced isolation of patients from friends and family, as well as routine use of ventilators early on and remdesivir later, created huge health risks of their own.

Pushers of the coronavirus scare denigrated all of these arguments of dissenting doctors as fringe and dangerous. But, as time has passed, more and more evidence supports these arguments. It is becoming increasingly understood among critical observers that it is the doctors derided as disinformation agents who turned out to be right all along.

These brave doctors stood up for people’s health and liberty by disputing the heavily pushed, and dangerous, coronavirus party line.

If only more people had heeded these doctors’ protestations, the harm from coronavirus and extreme actions taken in the in the name of countering coronavirus could have been significantly reduced.

Government, media, and big tech companies sought to silence these heroic doctors. In some cases, medical boards even sought to revoke their licenses — an action that puts a doctor out of business.

Now, in California, Governor Gavin Newsom has a bill — AB 2098 — on his desk that tells the state’s medical boards to punish doctors who challenge the coronavirus orthodoxy. AB 2098 directs the state medical boards to take action against such doctors in the state, including revoking these doctors’ license. That threat hanging over doctors would serve as a huge disincentive for even a small group of doctors to stand up for what they believe is true. It is a means of placing on doctors a medical propaganda straitjacket preventing them from using their unique expertise to advise people.

Suzanne Burdick provides a detailed examination of AB 2098 in a Wednesday Children’s Health Defense article you can read here.

Copyright © 2022 by RonPaul Institute. 

September 8, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment

“The Regime of Censorship Being Imposed on the Internet is Dangerously Intensifying in Ways I Believe Are Not Adequately Understood”


U.S. journalist Glenn Greenwald has condemned the Government, media and Big Tech for coordinating to censor dissent. Writing on Twitter on Tuesday, the Intercept cofounder blasted those who have taken advantage of a series of ‘crises’ as a pretext to conspire to suppress their ideological opponents. The searing Twitter thread is reproduced in full below.

The regime of censorship being imposed on the internet – by a consortium of Washington D.C. Democrats, billionaire-funded ‘disinformation experts’, the U.S. Security State, and liberal employees of media corporations – is dangerously intensifying in ways I believe are not adequately understood.

A series of “crises” have been cynically and aggressively exploited to inexorably restrict the range of permitted views and expand pretexts for online silencing and deplatforming. Trump’s election, Russiagate, January 6th, Covid and war in Ukraine all fostered new methods of repression.

During the failed attempt in January to force Spotify to remove Joe Rogan, the country’s most popular podcaster – remember that? – I wrote that the current religion of Western liberals in politics and media is censorship: their prime weapon of activism.

But that Rogan failure only strengthened their repressive campaigns. Dems routinely abuse their majoritarian power in D.C. to explicitly coerce Big Tech silencing of their opponents and dissent. This is Government censorship disguised as corporate autonomy.

There’s now an entire new industry, aligned with Dems, to pressure Big Tech to censor. Think tanks and self-proclaimed ‘disinformation experts’ funded by Omidyar, Soros and the U.S./U.K. Security State use benign-sounding names to glorify ideological censorship as neutral expertise.

The worst, most vile arm of this regime are the censorship-mad liberal employees of big media corporations (@oneunderscore__, @BrandyZadrozny, @TaylorLorenz, NYT tech unit). Masquerading as ‘journalists’, they align with the scummiest Dem groups (@mmfa) to silence and deplatform.

It is astonishing to watch Dems and their allies in media corporations posture as opponents of ‘fascism’ – while their main goal is to unite state and corporate power to censor their critics and degrade the internet into an increasingly repressive weapon of information control.

A major myth that must be quickly dismantled: political censorship is not the byproduct of autonomous choices of Big Tech companies. This is happening because D.C. Dems and the U.S. Security State are threatening reprisals if they refuse. They’re explicit.

But the worst is watching people whose job title in corporate HR Departments is ‘journalist’ take the lead in agitating for censorship. They exploit the platforms of corporate giants to pioneer increasingly dangerous means of banning dissenters. These are the authoritarians.

This is the frog-in-boiling-water problem: the increase in censorship is gradual but continuous, preventing recognition of how severe it’s become. The EU now legally mandates censorship of Russian news. They’ve made it illegal for companies to air it.

So many new tactics of censorship repression have emerged in the West: Trudeau freezing bank accounts of trucker-protesters; Paypal partnering with ADL to ban dissidents from the financial system; Big Tech platforms openly colluding in unison to de-person people from the internet.

All of this stems from the classic mentality of all would-be tyrants: our enemies are so dangerous, their views so threatening, that everything we do – lying, repression, censorship – is noble. That’s what made the Sam Harris confession so vital: that’s how liberal elites think.

This is why I regard the Hunter Biden scandal as uniquely alarming. The media didn’t just ‘bury’ the archive. CIA concocted a lie about it (it’s ‘Russian disinformation’); media outlets spread that lie; Big Tech censured it – because lying and repression to them is justified.

The authoritarian mentality that led CIA, corporate media and Big Tech to lie about the Biden archive before the election is the same driving this new censorship craze. It’s the hallmark of all tyranny: “Our enemies are so evil and dangerous, anything is justified to stop them.”

How come not one media outlet that spread this CIA lie – the Hunter Biden archive was ‘Russian disinformation‘ – retracted or apologised? This is why: they believe they are so benevolent, their cause so just, that lying and censorship are benevolent.

The one encouraging aspect: as so often happens with despotic factions, they are triggering and fueling the backlash to their excesses. Sites devoted to free speech – led by Rumble, along with Substack, Callin, and others – are exploding in growth.

But as these free speech platforms grow and become a threat, the efforts to crush them also grow – exactly as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, other Dems and their corporate media allies successfully demanded Google, Apple and Amazon destroy Parler when it became the single most popular app in the country.

It is hard to overstate how much pressure is now brought to bear by liberal censors on these free speech platforms, especially Rumble. Their vendors are threatened. Their hosting companies targeted. They have accounts cancelled and firms refusing to deal with them. It’s a regime.

It’s not melodrama or hyperbole to say: what we have is a war in the West, a war over whether the internet will be free, over whether dissent will be allowed, over whether we will live in the closed propaganda system our elites claim the Bad Countries™ impose. It’s no different.

In even the most despotic nations, the banal, conformist citizen thinks they’re free. As Rosa Luxemburg said: “He who does not move, does not feel his chains.” Of course the Chris Hayeses and Don Lemons think this is all absurd: Good Liberals threaten nobody and thus flourish.

The measure of societal freedom is not how servants of power are treated: they’re always left alone or rewarded. The key metric is how dissidents are treated. Now, they are imprisoned (Assange), exiled (Snowden) and, above all, silenced by corporate/state power (dissidents).

For more than a month, I’ve removed myself from the news cycle and the Discourse because my only priority right now is my family, my kids and my husband’s health. But distance brings clarity. This censorship mania consuming Western liberals is deeply dangerous – and growing.

As I’ve often said, the media outlets screaming most loudly about ‘disinformation’ are the ones that spread it most frequently, casually and destructively (NBC/CNN/Washington Post, etc.). It’s equally true of those now claiming to fight ‘fascism’: real repression comes from them.

I’m going to remain detached until the health crisis in our family is resolved. But internet freedom and free speech are not ancillary causes. They are central. This was the core cause of the Snowden reporting. Without a free internet and free speech, dissent is an illusion.

Above all, stay focused on who your real enemies are. They’re not your neighbours who have been deceived into supporting the wrong party or wrong ideology. They are victims of the repression, which is all about maintaining a closed system of propaganda that can’t be challenged.

The worst of all – the most repugnant and despicable – are those calling themselves ‘journalists’ while doing the opposite of what that term implies: they serve rather than challenge power, they deceive rather than inform, they demand censorship rather than free and open inquiry.

Heap scorn on the corporate outlets and their deceitful, pro-censorship employees abusing the ‘journalist’ label. Read them with full scepticism, or just ignore them. Support outlets and platforms that want to protect free inquiry and the right of dissent, not rob you of it.

At the Daily Sceptic we would of course add climate alarmism and wokery to the list of current pretexts for censorship.

September 8, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | 3 Comments

Judge Orders Fauci to Cough It Up


A lawsuit against the federal government – Anthony Fauci in particular – from the Attorneys General of Missouri and Louisiana has been brewing for a good part of the summer of 2022. The issue concerns the censoring of certain high-level experts on social media, three of whom are senior scholars of the Brownstone Institute. We know for sure that this censorship began early in the pandemic response and included exchanges between Fauci and then head of NIH Francis Collins, who called for a “quick and devastating takedown” of the Great Barrington Declaration.

At issue is whether and to what extent the government itself has had a hand in encouraging tech companies to squelch speech rights. If so, this is unconstitutional. It flies in the face of the First Amendment. It never should have happened. That it did required arduous legal means to expose and, hopefully, stop.

The Framers guaranteed that Congress would make no law “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” The Constitution never allowed an exception for an administrative bureaucracy answerable not even to voters to collaborate with large-scale private corporations to obtain the same result by other means. It’s still a violation of free speech.

It is of course true that any private company can regulate itself and make terms of use. But matters are different when its managers directly collude with government agencies to distribute only information of high priority to administrative bureaucrats while censoring dissident voices at the behest of government and its interests.

In order to determine if that happened, courts need access to full information on precisely what was going in their circles of communication. On September 6, U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty released a decision that orders the government to give up information relevant to the case and do so in 21 days.

Dr. Fauci’s communications would be relevant to Plaintiffs’ allegations in reference to alleged suppression of speech relating to the lab-leak theory of COVID-19’s origin, and to alleged suppression of speech about the efficiency of masks and COVID-19 lockdowns. (Karine) Jean-Pierre’s communications as White House Press Secretary could be relevant to all of Plaintiffs’ examples.

Government Defendants are making a blanket assertion of all communications to social media platforms by Dr. Fauci, and Jean-Pierre based upon executive privilege and presidential communications privilege. Plaintiffs concede they are not asking for any internal White House communications, but only external communications between Dr. Fauci and/or Jean-Pierre and third-party social media platforms.

This Court believes Plaintiffs are entitled to external communications by Jean-Pierre and Dr. Fauci in their capacities as White House Press Secretary and Chief Medical Advisor to the President to third-party social media platforms…

The initial complaint was filed May 5, 2022 and can be read in full here. It includes vast evidence of collusion between government officials and social media companies. But the government answered by claiming some kind of executive privilege and would not fork over information.

An amended complaint added the fireworks: It documented that 50 government officials in a dozen agencies were involved in applying pressure to social media companies to censor users, reports Zachary Stieber of Epoch Times.

That second filing might have flipped the switch and resulted in the judge’s decision to pull no punches. Indeed, it is a remarkable document, reproducing vast amounts of correspondence between government agencies and Facebook, Google, and Twitter.

What you see here is not antagonism but obsequious friendship: ongoing, relentless, guileless, as if nothing could be wrong here. They knew what they believed to be the problem voices and were determined to stamp them out. And that target included the documented censorship of top scientists associated with Brownstone Institute along with thousands of other credible experts and regular citizens who disagreed with the government’s extreme policy response to Covid.

Martin KulldorffAaron Kheriaty, and Jay Bhattacharya are represented in the filing by the New Civil Liberties Alliance with Jenin Younes leading the legal team for the scientists. Within weeks, we’ll have a better sense of whether and to what extent these individuals were the targets directly and how many other accounts were named in takedown orders. For example, we know for sure that Naomi Wolf, another writer for Brownstone, was directly named in correspondence between the CDC and Facebook.

All of this went on for the better part of two years, during which time the First Amendment was a dead letter insofar as it concerned Covid information on platforms that are overwhelmingly dominant on the Internet. Through those means, individual citizens were restricted in their access to a diversity of views and instead inhabit a world of censorship and tedious hegemonic exhortation that have seriously hurt the credibility of the platforms that cooperated.

Finally we see courts coming around to the view that government needs to be held accountable for its actions. It is happening far too little and far too late but at least it is happening. And at long last, we might gain a clearer look into the mysterious works of Fauci and its imperial reign over American public health during the worst crisis for constitutional rights in many generations.

Jeffrey A. Tucker, Founder and President of the Brownstone Institute, is an economist and author. He has written 10 books, including Liberty or Lockdown, and thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press.

September 8, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Netanyahu tries to secretly record meeting with US delegation

MEMO | September 8, 2022

Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu placed cameras in the room where he met with a delegation of US senators, without informing them beforehand that the meeting’s venue would have recording equipment, Israeli website Walla News reported.

A member of the American delegation noticed a video camera in the meeting room, which one of Netanyahu’s advisers had turned on while Netanyahu was holding a microphone in his hand.

The news site added that the US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides asked Netanyahu why he was holding a microphone, but Netanyahu tried to evade the question saying, “This is nothing.” But the ambassador and the senators were not convinced and asked for that recording equipment to be removed before the start of the meeting.

Walla cited sources as saying that Netanyahu wanted to record the meeting in order to use the footage in his campaign for the upcoming Knesset elections.

Israel is set to hold its fifth election in four years in October after the Knesset was dissolved in June.

September 8, 2022 Posted by | Deception | , , | 3 Comments

Moratorium on nuclear tests must turn into legally binding obligation: Iran UN envoy

Iran’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Zahra Ershadi
Press TV – September 8, 2022

An Iranian envoy to the United Nations says unilateral promises by countries about stopping nuclear tests cannot replace the nuclear disarmament, unless they turn into legally binding obligations.

Iran’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Zahra Ershadi made the remarks on Wednesday while addressing a meeting of the UN General Assembly on the occasion of the International Day against Nuclear Tests.

“Pending the achievement of this goal [stopping nuclear tests], besides the implementation of these moratoriums by the NWSs (nuclear weapons states), consequently, should be replaced by a legally binding instrument to effectively prevent such tests,” she said.

She stressed the importance of the immediate implementation of Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as a “meaningful” step toward ridding the world from any threat of nuclear weapons, reaffirming it as the sole responsibility of the NWSs.

“The international community must hold the NWSs responsible and accountable by implementing this legal obligation and refrain from any activity inconsistent with that obligation,” she added.

The Iranian diplomat stressed the need to apply the approach to the Middle East “where the Israeli regime, as the sole possessor of all types of WMDs, poses the most serious threat to regional peace, security and stability.”

She criticized lack of implementation of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in the world 26 years after its signature.

Ershadi said the international community has been and continues to be adamant about ending nuclear tests, adding that achieving this noble goal relies on the political will of the nuclear weapon states.

She noted that Iran regrets the delay in halting nuclear tests and considers it a major reason for the failure of the 10th NPT review conference.

“Should these calls be effective, these ominous tests would not have been utilized for the production, proliferation and even use of nuclear weapons. After all, the world, including the NWSs, should have taken note of the devastating consequences of nuclear tests that are nearly identical to the actual use of nuclear weapons,” the Iranian envoy said.

She highlighted the importance and necessity of “putting an end to all nuclear tests for not only the sake of humanity and its future generations but also mother Earth.”

She said the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) was a “right step in the right direction” and the only guarantee against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons.

September 8, 2022 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

India, China Break Border Deadlock as They Begin Withdrawing Troops From Contested Ladakh

Samizdat – 08.09.2022

The last disengagement of troops on the loosely demarcated Line of Actual Control (LAC) took place a year ago. Delhi and Beijing have held more than half a dozen military and diplomatic talks following clashes on the border in 2020 that resulted in 20 Indian soldiers and four PLA troops being killed.

Indian and Chinese troops deployed at Gogra-Hotsprings (PP-15) in the eastern sector of the LAC have begun to disengage in a “coordinated and planned way,” the armies announced in a joint statement on Thursday afternoon.

The disengagement, halted for more than a year, began per the “consensus reached in the 16th round of India China Corps Commander Level Meeting” held on July 17.

The development is conducive to peace and tranquility in the border areas, the Indian Army added.

The news comes days ahead of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand, which will be attended by world leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and China’s President Xi Jinping.

The border stand-off between India and China broke out in April 2020 over infrastructure development works in the Pangong Tso region, escalating into violent clashes on June 15-16, in which 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers were killed.

Each side deployed tanks, fighter jets, and 60,000 troops in the areas behind the LAC.

Even as the two countries withdrew troops and tanks from Lake Pangong in February 2021, the process to separate their forces from other “friction areas” such as the Depsang Plains, Gogra, and Hotspring were stalled over a range of issues.

September 8, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , | Leave a comment

The West Gives Lip Service to Fighting Hunger

By Vladimir Danilov – New Eastern Outlook – 08.09.2022 

Although the energy crisis and the impoverishment of Europe’s population due to the Russophobic sanctions policy of European leaders have been the main themes of the Western media in recent weeks, articles on the fight against hunger nevertheless continue to appear.

Above all, media publications are discussing the consequences of the Istanbul package of documents signed on July 22 to tackle the issue of food and fertilizer supplies on world markets in fighting hunger in several parts of the world. It should be recalled that one of the agreements regulates the procedure for grain exports from Kiev-controlled Black Sea ports, based on the need to urgently address the food crisis in developing countries.

The Director of the World Food Program, David Beasley, who spoke to CNN on August 21, said the daily ships carrying Ukrainian grain would solve problems with access to food around the world, improving the situation in Somalia, Ethiopia, northern Kenya and several other poorer countries where it is most needed.

However, as the German magazine Der Spiegel admitted on September 2, despite the UN’s initial stated aims to fight hunger, only 13 of the 63 cargo ships that had left Ukrainian ports as of early September were carrying wheat. According to the publication, the remaining vessels were mainly carrying corn, used overwhelmingly as animal feed or to produce biofuel. A dozen ships were loaded with soybean or sunflower products, which are also mainly used to feed livestock.

In this regard, the interview given on August 18 to the Rossiya Segodnya news agency by Pyotr Ilyichev, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for International Organizations, was quite remarkable. He stressed in particular that the 16 ships that had left Ukrainian ports up to that day, carrying 535,000 tons of wheat and fodder crops, had, to great surprise, gone not to needy developing countries, but to rich countries. In particular, to the UK, Ireland, Italy, France and the Republic of Korea – in other words, the countries which are not threatened by hunger but which need fodder for livestock. At the same time, many experts emphasize that Ukrainian grain, primarily corn, is mainly fodder grain. And such actions publicly neglect the urgent problems of Africa and other world’s poorest countries.

Mikhail Ulyanov, Permanent Representative of Russia to International Organizations in Vienna, said in August that ships carrying grain from Kiev-controlled Black Sea ports were primarily destined for countries not at all threatened by hunger.

On August 23, Vasily Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN, pointed out the same fact at a Security Council meeting on conflicts and food security, noting that of all 34 ships with grain that had left Ukraine, only one sailed to Africa, which needs this food. “Here, of course,” Nebenzia pointed out, “it is worth recalling the public image failure of the ‘pioneer’ ship Razoni, which in fact brought to Lebanon not the wheat they had been waiting for, but corn, and at the same time, fodder.” The Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN also stressed that against this background, the reaction to UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ words at the UN Security Council on May 19 that 49 million people in 43 countries are threatened with famine and nearly 140 million people in 10 countries, including Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen and several African states face severe food shortages, raises a lot of questions. As does the statement by the Secretary-General of the world organization in the port of Odessa that “grain exports and lower prices on global food markets will not bring relief to countries in need that cannot afford to buy it anyway.”

Meanwhile, Western politicians and media continue to persist in promoting the view that the main factor driving up grain prices is the restriction of Ukrainian grain supplies to importers, allegedly due to events in that country. However, an analysis of grain production and supply from Ukraine shows that the special operation currently taking place in that country has very limited influence on the situation with grain supply on the global food market. Because of Ukraine’s record 2021 harvest of grains, pulses and oilseeds, the increased supply of Ukrainian reserves further increases the supply of grain on the market and reduces the price of grain.

Overall, an analysis of the global food market shows that the destabilization of the market is not due to a decline in food production and supply, but to more fundamental causes. As Zhang Jun, Permanent Representative of China to the UN, emphasized at the UNSC meeting on May 19, 2022, “the current crisis once again brings to light the structural problems of the global food system. The world food supply and demand pattern is characterized by food production highly concentrated in a few countries, while consumer countries are geographically well dispersed. This makes the balance of food supply and demand highly vulnerable to extreme weather conditions pandemics, armed conflicts, and other emergency and unforeseen factors.”

Igor Kostyukov, Head of Main Directorate of General Staff of Russian Armed Forces, said in August at a Moscow conference on international security that Western countries were provoking a global food crisis by imposing restrictions on Russia. In particular, he stressed that well-functioning mechanisms for supplying grain and fertilizers to global consumers are being disrupted, leading to artificial price rises on world markets. For example, before the sanctions were imposed, Russia supplied more than 20 million tons of crops and about 11 million tons of fertilizers annually to the Middle East and North Africa, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria and other countries. However, the West’s current Russophobic sanctions policy has disrupted this logistical process.

The pattern of world hunger is therefore not at all what Antony Blinken and Josep Borrell originally painted. The problem is the emergence of food shortages due to declining yields caused by a shortage of fertilizers from Russia and Belarus. And also because of attempts to impose on Russia, which, unlike Ukraine, is actually one of the world’s biggest grain exporters, restrictions in trade in food, including grain.

It is clear to everyone that rich countries will not suffer too much because of the fall in yields, and that they will solve their food problems by raising prices and eliminating certain products. For example, vegetables, which were available all year round thanks to cheap energy and greenhouse facilities, but in an economic crisis they will simply become seasonal again and unaffordable for most of the population during the cold season because of their price. The “civilized world” will try to solve all its global food problems at the expense of poor countries: food exchange prices will rise and it will be the rich who will buy it back to curb inflation in their own countries and contain popular discontent. Poor countries, on the other hand, may simply get nothing in such circumstances. Of course, the G7 leaders will demonstrate their ostentatious concern for the people of poor countries and even invent “humanitarian programs” whereby, for example, several ships carrying food will be sent to starving regions of Africa, presenting it through the Western media “as a massive operation to save Africans from starvation.” But this will save few, for the only thing that can save is a return of the world to adequate trade rules that do not involve the imposition of unilateral sanctions and other restrictions.

September 8, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Russophobia | , , , | Leave a comment

Pentagon unveils new Ukraine weapons package

Samizdat | September 8, 2022

Artillery ammunition, armored vehicles, and remote-launched mines make up the bulk of the new package of US military aid to Ukraine, which Washington values at $675 million, according to a list published by the US Department of Defense on Thursday.

This is the 20th “drawdown” of equipment for Ukraine from US military stocks since August 2021 – months before the conflict escalated.

According to the Pentagon, Kiev will receive ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and High-speed Anti-radiation missiles (HARM) – without specifying the quantities of either – as well as 36,000 105mm artillery rounds and four howitzers of the same caliber.

In addition to 100 armored Humvee cars, Ukraine will get 1.5 million bullets, 5,000 anti-tank rockets, 50 armored ambulances, and 1,000 rounds of the 155mm Remote Anti-Armor Mine (RAAM) Systems, as well as some night vision devices, the Pentagon said.

Speaking at the meeting of the “Ukraine Defense Contact Group” in Ramstein, Germany, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin boasted that Kiev has so far received 126 of the M777 howitzers since April, and a total of 26 multiple-launch rocket systems – including the US-made HIMARS – capable of firing long-range missiles.

Austin claimed the weapons have “demonstrably” helped Ukraine in the conflict, but said it was time for NATO to “sustain Ukraine’s brave defenders for the long haul” by “moving urgently to innovate and to push all of our defense industrial bases” so they could supply Kiev on “the hard road ahead.”

Of other countries that have chipped in, Austin singled out the UK for sending 2.3 billion pounds in military aid, and Poland for “serving as the linchpin of our efforts to support the Ukrainians,” including “generous donations” of tanks and artillery.

By the Pentagon’s own admission, the US has committed “more than $17.2 billion in security assistance to Ukraine” since 2014, and another $14.5 billion since February. Just this week, the US State Department pledged another $2 billion for long-term investments in military industry, half to Ukraine and half to 18 of its neighbors.

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

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

September 8, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

Timely assertion of India’s strategic autonomy


Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address at the plenary sessions of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) at Vladivostok has been a regular feature of the annual event since 2019. But this year’s address on Wednesday was invested with added significance as the PM was speaking for the first time on India-Russia relationship after Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine began in February.  

The backdrop couldn’t have been more dramatic as Modi had Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Chairman of the National People’s Congress of China Li Zhanshu listening to him on the podium in Vladivostok. 

The Russian Far East is the world’s last frontier, endowed with vast mineral resources. In the prevailing geopolitical conditions, Moscow has prioritised Asian countries for partnership. India gets a fast track both by virtue of its “Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership” with Russia as well as the warmth and cordiality in the personal equations between Modi and Putin. 

The PM was speaking hot on the heels of the G7 decision to endorse the Biden Administration’s latest project to weaken and “erase” Russia by imposing a price cap mechanism on its oil exports. The US hopes to derail Russia’s energy cooperation with China and India, the two big-time  players in the global oil market, given the size of their economies and the staggering scale of their future energy needs. China is refusing to play ball. So should India. That makes the G7 project a non-starter. 

The power dynamic works this way: Energy security is all about a country’s economic future and world strategy. Economic strength brings influence and respect in international politics and is a vital component of a country’s strategic autonomy and its capacity to pursue independent  foreign policies. This co-relation is well understood by everyone. 

That is why, the Biden Administration inserted a dagger deep into the heart of the thriving 50-year old energy cooperation between Moscow and Western Europe. What better way to reassert the US’ transatlantic leadership that had been on the wane in the recent decades since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991! 

The mediocre, pusillanimous leadership in Europe didn’t resist. Looking ahead, Europe’s subaltern role is useful for the US, which no longer has the capacity to force its will globally. 

The conflict in Ukraine is quintessentially a proxy war that the US has imposed on Russia to weaken Russia. The ploy has not worked, but in the process, paradoxically, Russia has turned it back on Europe and is courting  the non-western world for partnership. India sees seamless opportunities stemming out of this paradigm. 

Today, the Biden Administration is the single biggest impediment to peace talks between Kiev and Moscow. Two top “Russia hands” in previous US administrations who have authored books on Russia (and are well-known “hawks” on Russia) in the strategic community in North America — Fiona Hill and Angela Stent — recently penned an article in Foreign Affairs magazine where they wrote: 

“Russian and Ukrainian negotiators appeared to have tentatively agreed (in March) on the outlines of a negotiated interim settlement. Russia would withdraw to its position on February 23, when it controlled part of the Donbas region and all of Crimea, and in exchange, Ukraine would promise not to seek NATO membership and instead receive security guarantees from a number of countries.” 

Indeed, the Ukrainska Pravda, citing official sources in Kiev, reported at that time that “Following the arrival of former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Kyiv (on April 9), a possible meeting between Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin has become less likely… The Russian side was actually ready for the Zelenskyy-Putin meeting.” 

Johnson reportedly brought to Kiev a powerful message in two parts: first, that Putin is a war criminal who should be pressured, not negotiated with; and, second, even if Ukraine is ready to sign some agreements on guarantees with Putin, the western powers are not.

Unsurprisngly, the PM’s address at the EEF on Wednesday drew attention for its “messaging” amidst the US’ attempts to isolate, weaken and “erase” Russia. The resuscitation of India’s ties with Russia has been one of the finest legacies of Modi’s foreign policy. The PM made a pointed remark that “Since the beginning of the Ukraine conflict, we have stressed the need to take the path of diplomacy and dialogue. We support all peaceful efforts to end this conflict.” This is exactly the Russian position, too! 

The following are salients of the PM’s speech: 

India’s “Act Far-East policy… has become a key pillar of the “Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership” of India and Russia.” 

The PM recalled that he pioneered the “Act Far-East policy”. With the rupture in Russia’s ties with the West and its pivot to Asia, vast opportunities are opening up for India to tap into the Far East’s fabulous resources. Beyond a matter of trade and investments, he also envisaged that “the talent and professionalism of Indians can bring about rapid development in the Russian Far East.” 

India is keen to strengthen its partnership with Russia on Arctic issues.” 

Modi’s above remark comes only ten days after the sensational statement by the NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on August 26 about Russia posing a threat in the Arctic, and his advocacy of the alliance stepping up its presence in the region to counter Russia. 

There is also immense potential for cooperation in the field of energy.” 

Ironically, the PM was speaking within the week of the G7 finance ministers’ decision towards disrupting Russia’s income from oil exports! Clearly, the vacation of Western companies from Russia’s energy sector opens up huge opportunities for Indian investment in Russia’s oil and gas fields both in upstream and downstream. 

“Along with energy, India has also made significant investments in the Russian Far East in the areas of pharma and diamonds.” 

Russia mines nearly a third of the world’s diamonds, according to the US Department of Treasury. As of 2021, Russia’s natural diamond reserves were estimated to be approximately 1.1 billion carats. Russian company Alrosa is the largest diamond mining company in the world and is responsible for 90 percent of Russia’s diamond mining capacity. Of course, India is the world’s largest cutting and polishing centre for diamonds and is rated amongst the fastest growing markets in the world. India’s diamond industry, based in Mumbai and Surat, has an estimated one million-strong work force. 

Russia can become an important partner for the Indian steel industry through the supply of coking coal.” 

India has huge need for coking coal (and coking coal mining and washing technology) which is critical for the self-reliance of its steel industry. Russia’s coal reserves rank second in the world and account for about 16% of the world’s total coal reserves, which means it has about 767 years of coal left (at current consumption levels and excluding unproven reserves).

By bringing in an inter alia reference to the Ukraine conflict at the end of his address, PM underscored that India’s determination to pursue the directions of the India-Russia “special comprehensive strategic partnership” is in no way hostage to the proxy war going on in Europe.

The PM touched on the impact of the Ukraine conflict on global supply chains. The fact of the matter is that recent UN-brokered deal to facilitate exports of food grains from Ukraine and Russia and fertilisers from Russia have run into trouble, as the EU and the US have gone back on their promise to remove the restrictions on Russian exports. Meanwhile, it emerges that the West prioritises European needs over Africa’s. 

Putin disclosed yesterday that out of the two million tonnes of food grain that left Ukrainian ports in 87 shipments, 97% headed for Europe for consumption in the EU countries and only 3% for the starving millions in the so-called Global South! To quote Putin, 

“What I am saying is, many European countries today continue to act as colonisers, exactly as they have been doing in previous decades and centuries. Developing countries have simply been cheated yet again and continue to be cheated.” 

A purposive signalling as regards India’s strategic autonomy and the government’s determination to expand and deepen the India-Russia “special comprehensive strategic partnership” regardless of the vicissitudes of international politics was overdue.

September 8, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , | 1 Comment

Deceiving West, Detached Elites: Highlights of Putin’s Speech at Eastern Economic Forum

The Russian president accused Western leaders of hurting their own people through rank corruption and gross incompetence

Samizdat – September 7, 2022

President Vladimir Putin delivered a lengthy speech at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, in Russia’s Far East.

Among other things, he commented on the unfolding crisis in the global economy, which he attributed to the shortsightedness of Western elites. According to Putin, they are trying to cling to global power while it slips from their hands.

Here are some of the key points Putin made in his address…

Western dominance is dwindling

The world is facing serious economic challenges, and unlike the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the current turmoil is the result of conscious decisions made by Western nations, Putin said. The West caught “sanctions fever” as it sought to impose its will on other nations.

According to the president, though this is nothing new, the current situation is marked by special circumstances – the US is losing its dominance in the global economy and politics, a “tectonic shift” that Western elites are not willing to acknowledge.

Elites are ‘lashing out’

“Western nations want to preserve the old world order, which benefits only them, to make everyone follow the ‘rules’ they invented themselves and which they regularly break or change to their benefit,” Putin said.

Resistance from other nations “makes Western elites to ‘lash out’ and take shortsighted cavalier decisions affecting world security, politics, and economics” he added.

Western leaders are ‘detached’ from their people

The policies adopted by the leaders of the US and its allies run counter to the public’s interests, which they are supposed to protect – this shows the Western elites are “detached from their own people,” according to Putin.

EU governments are a good example – they decided to decouple their economies from Russia, denying their businesses affordable energy and access to the Russian market, which makes them unable to compete, he said.

Putin predicted that American companies would lead the charge to capture the market shares of businesses based in the EU as a result. “When [the Americans] pursue their interests, they don’t limit themselves or shy away from anything.” 

The West deceives poor nations

The global economic crisis will hurt vulnerable nations worst of all, according to the president – for many people, it’s a life-and-death situation, as impoverished countries will have no ability to buy crucial products.

Meanwhile, Western nations pretend they want to help while only doing what is in their own interests, as exemplified by the Ukraine grain export deal, according to Putin. Russia agreed to help ships loaded with grain to leave Ukrainian ports under an arrangement mediated by Turkey and the UN in July. However, most of the ships have gone to EU nations rather than struggling countries, the president said.

“Just two ships out of 87 were loaded [in Ukraine] under the UN Food Program, which works to provide assistance to needy countries… just 3% that were sent to developing nations.”

According to Putin, Western nations have decades and even centuries of experience in plundering colonies, and are using the same approach today. In order to prevent humanitarian disasters, Russia suggests limiting the destinations for Ukrainian grain to change the situation.

Russia is weathering the sanctions 

Russia is dealing with the damage caused by the West’s “economic, financial and technological aggression” relatively well, Putin said. He noted that the country’s financial system had been stabilized, inflation is going down, and unemployment is at record lows.

Some companies were indeed hurt, especially those whose business depended on Europe in some way, he said. The Russian government has mechanisms in place to support them.

Asian nations want cooperation

Most of the nations in the Asia-Pacific Region (APAC) reject “the destructive logic of sanctions” and seek to foster business ties and economic growth for the benefit of their people, Putin said. Russia appreciates players that share its attitude to national sovereignty. The abundance of countries like this in APAC is “its great competitive advantage” and a source of long-term development.

Russia did not start the conflict in Ukraine

When asked by the host for comments on how the crisis in Ukraine has affected Russia, he reiterated Moscow’s position that the conflict was forced upon it.

“We did not start anything in terms of military action. We are trying to end it. Military action was started in 2014, following an armed coup in Ukraine by those who did not want normal development and sought to subjugate their own people, carrying out one military action after another, and subjecting Donbass citizens to genocide for eight years.”

Russia decided to use military force eight years later. Doing so was a moral obligation to the people of Donbass, who Moscow could not protect through peaceful means, Putin said. In the end, Russia will emerge from the conflict stronger domestically and internationally, he added.

September 8, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , | Leave a comment

India May Dodge US-Led Coercive Oil Cartel as Part of ‘Strategic Triangle’ With Russia, China – Prof

By Rishikesh Kumar – Samizdat – 08.09.2022

The US hopes India and China will join a coalition seeking a cap on Russian oil prices to reduce their income. However, Delhi and Beijing have so far refused to bow to the pressure.

The US expectation that China and India would join a coalition of countries seeking to impose a price cap on Russian oil at a cheaper price sounds like an admission of failure to convince its close allies to stop buying Russian energy, an Indian expert says.

Swaran Singh, a professor at India’s Center for International Politics, Organization and Disarmament at the School of International Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, said that the refusal to denounce the Russian military operation in Ukraine and increasing Russian commodity imports by India and China “only strengthen their strategic triangle where India is the only exception for keeping close ties with the US.”

On Tuesday, US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo claimed that countries like China and India would take advantage of the price cap coalition. However, Singh believes the appeal of the US Treasury Secretary defies elementary logic, prompting him to wonder what makes Adeyemo think Beijing is going to do Washington’s bidding.

“While China has no possibilities of joining hands with the US in curbing prices of Russian oil, even India is least likely to join such a cartel. What is interesting is that there may be dissensions even within US alliance partners,” Singh told Sputnik.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to increase energy ties with Russia. Modi also underlined India’s interests in the areas of pharma and diamonds.

Nirmala Sitharaman, the country’s finance minister, on September 8 lauded Modi’s decision to increase Russian crude imports even in the face of Western sanctions announced by the US and some of its allies in response to Moscow’s special op.

Highlighting the pace at which India ramped up crude oil purchases at a “discounted price,” the Indian finance minister said that Russian crude accounts for 12-13 percent of the total basket, up from below two percent in February. China is the biggest importer of Russian crude oil.

Professor Singh mentioned that China and India are already beneficiaries of Russia voluntarily offering “deep” discounts.

“Why would they (India, China) try coercion to obtain something they have already been getting?” Singh underlined.

He also highlighted that the US and EU countries are themselves struggling to make up for shortages of oil and gas.

“Russia accounts for over 40% of gas and 30% of oil imports of Europe. And as winter approaches, it is Russia that has the power to dictate rather than the other way around,” Singh stated.

Since June, several US officials have visited New Delhi to pressure India to stop buying discounted crude oil from Russia. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken termed India’s cheap oil purchase from Russia as support for Moscow. Despite this, Delhi has maintained that its crude purchases are meant to ensure the country’s national interests.

September 8, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

Importing Crude From Russia Part of India’s ‘Inflation Management’ Policy, Finance Minister Says

By Dhairya Maheshwari – Samizdat – 08.09.2022

Indian retail inflation in July was roughly 6.7 percent higher than in 2021 in the same month, largely due to volatility in global food and fuel prices triggered by Western sanctions against Russia over its military operation in Ukraine. India’s top bank, the RBI, aims to reduce the overall inflation to below 6 percent.

Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that New Delhi’s decision to import crude from Russia despite warnings from Western nations is part of New Delhi’s overall efforts to manage retail inflation in the country.

“Whereas our overall crude imports had just 2 percent or less than two percent of [a] Russian component into our crude basket, it was ramped up to almost 12 to 13 percent. That’s talking about a couple of months,” Sitharaman stated during a speech at the event “Taming Inflation,” organized by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIEC).

The minister underlined that India’s overall crude imports from foreign countries was to the tune of 85 percent, with the remaining requirements met from domestic sources of energy.

Sitharaman revealed that the decision to import crude from Russia was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who chairs the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).
“At that stage, to take a very strong political decision. I respect the Prime Minister for his courage on this,” Sitharaman said.

“Get it from Russia because they are willing to give you oil at a discount,” she quoted the PM as saying.

She noted that the prime minister made the decision to boost Russian oil imports in spite of the threat of political implications arising from such a move from New Delhi’s Western partners. US President Joe Biden was among those who criticized New Delhi’s purchases of Russian crude back in April.

“And that’s where I give credit to the statesmanship of the prime minister, to make sure that we kept intact our other global relationships yet managed, till today, to get the Russian fuel,” Sitharaman stated.

She further noted that other US allies such as Japan and even EU nations like Italy were continuing to import Russian crude, which have been kept out of six rounds of Western economic sanctions leveled against Moscow by the G7+1 allies, which include US, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, as well as the European Union (EU).

During the G7 Leaders’ Summit held in Germany in June, where Prime Minister Modi was invited as the head of one of the “partner countries,” the Indian leader rebuffed the West’s criticism about India-Russia energy trade. At the time, Modi said that India would continue to “ensure its energy security.”

Global crude prices hit a record high of $120 a barrel in June, the highest since the global financial crisis (GFC) in 2008, amid worries over supply-side constraints in the wake of Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine launched in February this year.

While the EU, traditionally the biggest importer of Russian energy, drew down its import of Russian oil, countries like India and China decided to significantly upgrade their energy ties with Moscow in view of the prevailing high global prices.

September 8, 2022 Posted by | Economics | | Leave a comment