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Fatah rejects Algeria proposal for internal Palestinian reconciliation

MEMO | October 12, 2022

Before the start of Palestinian national meetings in Algiers yesterday, Fatah rejected an Algerian proposal for the internal Palestinian reconciliation, Quds Press reported yesterday.

“While the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas has accepted the Algerian proposal for the reconciliation with Fatah, the latter rejected the proposal and suggested two major changes,” an informed source told Quds Press.

The source added: “Fatah set a condition that Hamas must accept the International Quartet’s decisions and recognising that the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) is the only representative of the Palestinian people.”

According to the source, Fatah wants Hamas to recognise the PLO without seeking to make any change to it.

For its part, Hamas told the Algerian mediator that “it completely rejects Fatah’s conditions,” stating that the Quartet, which was created in 2002 by the UN, US, UK and Russia, wanted Hamas to recognise the Israeli occupation of Palestine and give up legal resistance.”

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune is hosting a comprehensive Palestinian dialogue for the Palestinian factions, including Fatah and Hamas. Talks began yesterday and are due to resume today.

October 12, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , | Leave a comment

UN votes on Ukraine’s ‘territorial integrity’

Samizdat – October 13, 2022

The UN General Assembly has adopted a non-binding resolution accusing Moscow of an “attempted illegal annexation” and calling on member states to ignore the results of referendums in four former eastern Ukrainian regions to join Russia.

Wednesday’s 143-5 vote followed the General Assembly’s refusal on Monday to use secret ballots, as requested by Russia, amid pressure from the US and its allies to join them in condemning Moscow for the accessions. Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia had argued that for many countries “it may be very difficult” to express their views publicly.

Despite that pressure, four nations joined Russia in voting against the UN resolution, including Belarus, Syria, Nicaragua and North Korea. Among those 35 abstaining were China and India, as well as South Africa, Pakistan, Thailand, Cuba, Vietnam, Armenia and Algeria.

Before launching its military operation in Ukraine in February, Russia recognized the sovereignty of two Donbass regions, the Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (LPR) People’s Republics, arguing that the central power in Kiev has for far too long failed to represent and protect people living there. Residents of two other regions, Kherson and Zaporozhye, also voted by wide margins in public referendums last month to declare independence and join Russia. President Vladimir Putin signed the unification treaties with the four new Russian regions on October 5.

The UNGA condemned those plebiscites as “illegal,” saying the four regions are temporarily occupied because of Russian aggression, in violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Wednesday’s resolution calls on all nations and the UN to refuse recognition of the accessions.

Moscow argued the referendums were the only legitimate way for people to exercise their right for self-determination and be protected from their former government. In a recent speech, Putin cited “an inherent right sealed in Article 1 of the UN Charter, which directly states the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.”

Putin also previously argued that the UN itself set a legal precedent for the referendums, after its International Court of Justice ruled that Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008 did not violate international law.

UN leaders have dismissed such parallels, with General Assembly President Csaba Korosi reiterating on Monday that the referendums in the former Ukrainian regions were illegal while calling to “find a political solution based on the UN Charter and the international law.”

Rejecting the referendums as a “sham,” Kiev – which receives military assistance, training and intelligence from NATO nations on an unprecedented scale –  said it is determined to beat Russia on the battlefield. Ukraine insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked, even as its former president admitted that Kiev’s main goal since 2014 Minsk agreements was to use the Germany- and France-brokered ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”

October 12, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 9 Comments

Anti-science

The infinite list

The Naked Emperor’s Newsletter | October 12, 2022

Almost three years ago science entered a new dark age.

Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine at Stanford University and co-author of the Great Barrington Declaration, seems to agree. He has been compiling a list of the examples of anti-science we have unfortunately become used to.

I have listed his thoughts so far but the list is continually expanding. The list is probably infinitely long so feel free to add your own examples of anti-science in the comments below.

  1. Insinuating that the lab leak hypothesis is a racist conspiracy theory is anti-science;
  2. Closing international borders to keep a virus out when the virus is already established in-country is anti-science;
  3. Panicked killing of Danish mink was anti-science. Public health apologizing for the mistake is pro-science;
  4. Redefining herd immunity to exclude immunity conferred by disease recovery is anti-science;
  5. Sending covid infected patients back to nursing homes to keep hospital beds empty was anti-science;
  6. Lockdowns and other trickle down epidemiology are anti-science;
  7. Science bureaucrats using their power to smear scientists who disagree with them is anti-science;
  8. Instituting lockdowns & restrictions on the basis of overly-simplistic covid models is anti-science;
  9. Pretending there is a scientific consensus on lockdown and so much else when there is not a scientific consensus (Especially while censoring sceptical voices) is anti-science;
  10. Arbitrarily dividing society into essential and non-essential is anti-science;
  11. Ignoring the obvious and devastating economic costs of policy is anti-science;
  12. Censorship of scientific debate is anti-science. Literally.
  13. Zoom school is anti-science;
  14. Politically partisan public health is anti-science;
  15. Not permitting healthy people to leave home for more than an hour, even for exercise, is anti-science;
  16. Jumping off the sidewalk to avoid the breath of an unmasked person walking by is anti-science;
  17. Shutting down kids’ sports is anti-science;
  18. Public health shaming people for not following public health diktats is anti-science;
  19. Forcing school kids to eat six feet apart from each other, outdoors and in silence was anti-science;
  20. Redefining health to be synonymous with the avoidance of a single infectious disease is anti-science;
  21. Six-foot social distancing is anti-science;
  22. Not letting family members visit dying relatives is anti-science;
  23. Contact tracing to contain a highly infectious and aerosolized respiratory virus is anti-science;
  24. Zero covid is anti-science;
  25. Mask mandates are anti-science;
  26. White washing the harm done to children by school closures by glibly asserting that ‘kids are resilient’ is anti-science;
  27. Institutionalized hypochondria is anti-science;
  28. Masking toddlers is anti-science;
  29. Requiring waiters to mask to serve unmasked patrons is anti-science;
  30. Noble lies are bad public health practice and anti-science;
  31. Pharmaceutical company funding of on-air news media and professional medical organizations is anti-science;
  32. Policing private doctor patient communication for non-CDC approved content is anti-science;
  33. Science & medicine are the common inheritance of all, regardless of party. Medical and scientific professional societies officially endorsing political candidates and thereby alienating half the population is anti-science;
  34. Not rapidly running randomized trials to evaluate off-patent early treatment options and denigrating doctors and patients who tried them (“horse paste”) when better options were not available is anti-science;
  35. Ignoring age-stratification in risk in determining pandemic policy and vaccine recommendations is anti-science;
  36. Vaccine discrimination is socially divisive and is anti-science;
  37. Public health experts have an obligation to speak respectfully with everyone, including people who oppose their recommendations (such as on vaccines). Guilt-by-association attacks on experts who fulfil this obligation are anti-science;
  38. Asserting that a vaccine stops transmission when it does not stop transmission is anti-science;
  39. Ignoring immunity after covid recovery is anti-science;
  40. Vaccine mandates have demolished public trust and are anti-science;
  41. Pausing childhood vaccination programs and tuberculosis treatment in poor countries because of fear of covid led to many unnecessary deaths and is anti-science;
  42. Ignoring legitimate vaccine injury is anti-science;
  43. Declaring oneself to be The Science itself is anti-science;

October 12, 2022 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , | 3 Comments

Saskatchewan drafting legislation to protect economic autonomy

By Jorgen Soby | The Counter Signal | October 12, 2022

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has begun drafting Alberta-style Sovereignty Act legislation.

Moe says it’s time to defend and assert Saskatchewan’s economic autonomy by “drawing the line.” He wants to take several steps, including introducing provincial legislation to clarify and protect Saskatchewan’s constitutional rights.

The proposal would give the province exclusive use over their resources like electricity and any emissions associated with fertilizer, oil and gas.

Like all provinces, Saskatchewan has exclusive areas of jurisdiction under the Constitution, but Moe’s government is accusing the Trudeau Liberals of infringement.

“Saskatchewan is taking action to unlock our economic potential and defend Saskatchewan’s economy, families and jobs from federal intrusion that could cost our province as much as $111 billion by 2035,” Moe wrote on Twitter.

According to the Saskatchewan government, new climate change policies could cost the province over $110 billion within the next thirteen years.

The Alberta government called proposed federal environmental laws a “Trojan Horse.”

Chief of Justice Catherine Fraser, who spent 30 years serving as the Chief of Justice for Alberta, described the proposal as an unconstitutional legislative scheme. Fraser retired shortly after providing her statement.

Saskatchewan’s SaskPower says the Canadian federal government proposed Clean Electricity Standard is not achievable.

While the Canadian government has debated additional energy costs, many EU countries face an ongoing energy sector supply crisis. Some people in Scotland have been burning their energy bills to protest aggressive energy price increases. Law enforcement in France has been refusing gas station access to some citizens.

October 12, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | | 1 Comment

THERE IS NO SINGLE WAR IN UKRAINE AND NATO IS IN TROUBLE

By Larry Johnson | A Son Of The New American Revolution | October 11, 2022

Not to beat a dead horse, but most of the world has a delusional image in their head of the war in Ukraine. As I have written previously, much of the fault lies with Hollywood, which through a plethora of movies has conditioned the masses to think of war as the conquest of critical territory. But that is a misleading image when it comes to Ukraine. Yes, there are strategically important pieces of territory that must be captured or defended, but there also are vast swaths of plains (we call them prairies here in the United States) that are tactically difficult to control and, if you succeed in capturing an area of land, you create a problem of how to defend it.

Russia has a decisive advantage over Ukraine when it comes to battling for this territory, even though it ceded some of it a few weeks ago to advancing Ukrainian troops. Why? Because Russia’s air force is still intact and can be used to attack massed Ukrainian units. Ukraine’s air capability has been eviscerated. Russia also enjoys a lopsided advantage in tanks.

At the beginning of its full-scale invasion in Feb., Russia had around 3,330 operational tanks (2,840 with the ground forces, 330 with its naval infantry, and 160 with its airborne forces), according to the Military Balance 2021 database. . . .

However, Russia still has some 2,000 battle-ready tanks at hand, as well as an enormous amount in storage.

The Military Balance 2021 database says Russian storage facilities have around 10,200 tanks, including various T-72s, 3,000 T-80s, and 200 T-90s.

Tank battles on rolling plains is great grist for a Hollywood blockbuster, but the real peril for Ukraine has been on display over the last two days–Russia’s hypersonic missiles, cruise missiles and air launched rockets mangling power nodes and military headquarters throughout Ukraine. The Russian strikes in the last two days significantly degraded Ukraine’s ability to supply electricity and critical heat to its major cities. The attacks also are disrupting Ukraine’s cell phone network and its ability to move troops and equipment from the west to the frontlines in the east.

Ukraine does not have a comparable capability to counter the Russian attacks. Moreover, the Russian missile barrage has highlighted the weakness, if not absence, of Ukraine’s anti-missile defense system. It is neither a mistake nor a coincidence that Russia’s strikes in major Ukrainian cities–more than 100 missiles– caused very few human casualties, especially on the civilian side of the ledger. Despite Ukrainian claims that Russia’s strikes killed civilians, the evidence suggests otherwise–Ukraine’s own anti-missile system failed to intercept the Russian targets and then fell to earth and hit apartments and schools.

What is the United States and NATO going to do? Immediately deploy the Iron Dome anti-missile system? Unfortunately, these Western anti-missile systems are not designed to defeat the missiles Russia is launching. Then there is the logistics problem–i.e., getting those systems deployed and training personnel to operate them. This will take weeks, if not months. And Ukraine does not have the luxury of time in this regard. Making matters worse, the United States and NATO do not have the reserves to quickly resupply Ukraine:

The United States will soon be unable to supply Ukraine, as it has up to now, with the sophisticated equipment essential for its defense against Russia as its reserves are reaching their limits, especially in terms of ammunition. . . .

But US stockpiles of certain equipment are “reaching the minimum levels necessary for war and training plans” and getting weapons stockpiles back to pre-invasion levels could take years, Mark Cancian wrote in a recent analysis. of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Washington is “learning lessons” from the conflict about ammunition needs in a very powerful war, and that it is “much larger” than expected, said a US military official who requested anonymity.

Then there is the nightmare scenario for Ukraine and NATO of Russia invoking the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and Russia asking Belarus to join the fray. Russian and Belarusian troops already are gathering on Ukraine’s northern border. Whether this is a bluff by Russia or genuine preparation for opening a new front in the north, the massing of forces requires Ukraine to deploy already depleted forces to the northern border. This will weaken Ukraine’s ability to hold off a Russian offensive in Kherson and Zaporhyzhia.

I believe that the events during the next five weeks will create a crisis within NATO and the United States. If Russia seizes the initiative and moves in force against Ukrainian units, NATO will not be in a position to rescue Ukraine from defeat on the battlefield. Any further intervention by NATO will make it, in the eyes of the Russians, a legitimate military target.

Compounding the military challenges confronting the United States and NATO, there are the economic and political headwinds. Joe Biden is likely to lose control of the House of Representatives and the Senate. If this happens, he will no longer have a congressional ally eager to keep shoveling money and weapons into Ukraine. The economic conditions throughout Europe of inflation and shuttering businesses will fuel more domestic unrest and diminish enthusiasm for keeping Ukraine afloat.

When you take all of these factors into consideration, the conclusion is clear–Russia enjoys a strategic and tactical initiative that will be difficult to surmount. Conversely, NATO is in trouble.

October 12, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 2 Comments

PayPal is still threatening to fine users $2,500 for promoting “intolerance that is discriminatory”

By Tom Parker | Reclaim The Net | October 12, 2022

While  has walked back its threat to fine users $2,500 for “misinformation,” the payments company is still reserving the right to fine users the same amount for other alleged transgressions.

In its current “Acceptable Use Policy,” which has been active for a year, PayPal states that: “Violation of this Acceptable Use Policy constitutes a violation of the PayPal User Agreement and may subject you to damages, including liquidated damages of $2,500.00 U.S. dollars per violation which may be debited directly from your PayPal account(s).”

And PayPal’s list of “prohibited activities,” which can trigger this $2,500 fine, include any activities that relate to transactions involving “intolerance that is discriminatory,” “the promotion of hate,” and “items that are considered obscene.”

Not only is PayPal reserving the right to fine users based on broad and subjective terms but its “User Agreement” states that PayPal will fine users if it “believe[s]” they’ve engaged in a prohibited activity.

“If we believe that you’ve engaged in any of these activities, we may take a number of actions to protect PayPal, its customers and others at any time in our sole discretion,” the PayPal User Agreement states.

The terms that PayPal is using to justify these potential fines of up to $2,500 are often used by companies and governments to restrict online speech. One of the most relevant examples of this speech policing is fundraising platform GoFundMe’s decision to suspend a campaign from political commentator Candace Owens for “intolerance” over opinions on protests.

And even when it doesn’t fine users, there are many examples of PayPal suddenly shutting down user accounts for alleged violations of its Acceptable Use Policy.

Related: How to delete your PayPal account

October 12, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | | 2 Comments

Europe’s descent into totalitarianism

By John Laughland | Forum for Democracy | October 11, 2022

On 7 October 2022, late in the evening, at around 11.30 pm, I was detained at Gatwick Airport in London by anti-terrorism police. I was not released until shortly before 1 am and my computer was taken from me. It has not yet been returned.

My passport and all my personal belongings – my wallet, my phone, my keys, everything – were removed. I was taken to a room where I was questioned for an hour by two anti-terrorism police officers, acting under powers given to the police (as I learned for the first time) by Schedule 3 of the 2019 Counter-terrorism and Border Security Act.

The Act is supposedly designed to allow the police to detain ‘hostile actors’ who are travelling to the country to ‘plan, prepare or carry out their hostile acts’ (according to the leaflet the officers gave me). But the Act itself says, ‘An examining officer may exercise the powers under this paragraph whether or not there are grounds for suspecting that a person is or has been engaged in hostile activity’ (my emphasis)[1].  So an Act ostensibly designed to allow hostile actors to be stopped in fact applies indiscriminately to everyone, according to its own explicit terms.

It is certainly surprising that the powers were wielded, in my case, against a British national. Nationals should not normally be questioned in this way about their reasons for entering the territory of their own country.

One of the officers opened the interrogation by saying that I was not being detained and that therefore I could not have access to a lawyer. But of course I was being detained, since it was impossible for me to leave the interrogation room and, even more so, the airport, without my passport and personal effects. (I was kept on the ‘air side’, i.e. before passing through passport control.) The word ‘detained’ has evidently been emptied of all meaning.

According to the leaflet, ‘Unlike most other Police powers, the power to stop, question, search and, if necessary, detain persons under Schedule 3 does not require authority or any suspicion.’ So the special powers enjoyed by the Police at UK ports are a ‘regime of exception’ in which the normal safeguards of the rule of law have been tossed aside.

It goes on, ’You can be searched, and anything you have with you … this includes electronic devices … where searches are conducted, there is no requirement for a written notice of search to be provided to you.  Under certain circumstances, the officer can seize any property they find.’

What are these ‘certain circumstances’? When I protested at the fact that my computer was being taken from me, which would prevent me from working until it is returned, and when I offered to bring it to a police station the following day, the officer replied that it was out of the question that it would not be taken.  In other words, there are no ‘certain circumstances.’ The seizure of such devices is, on the contrary, the rule.

In a state of law, the Police can search someone’s property only with a search warrant. This is a document signed by a judge which authorises private property to be searched and seized. If you look up ‘search warrant’ in Wikipedia, it says, ‘In certain authoritarian nations, police officers may be allowed to search individuals and property without having to obtain court permission or provide justification for their actions.’  According to this standard, the UK is now an ‘authoritarian nation.’ 

It is precisely what separates a legal state from a dictatorship that the work of the police is not abused for political purposes, yet this is what occurred to me.

The officers questioned me about my work at the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation in Paris from 2008 to 2018 and about my work at the European Parliament since then, and more recently for FVD. All the information they wanted is available publicly, for instance on Wikipedia. The questioning was polite but amateurish.

I was asked about my political views. The officer said, ‘It is a free country, not everyone is so lucky.’ I believe this is what is called ‘the British sense of humour’.

The officers told me that they had had two or three hours to prepare. This means that they were alerted in London to my imminent arrival at the moment when my boarding pass was scanned in Budapest. Everyone should know this.

They spent those hours looking things up on the Internet. The officer questioning me seemed unsure of what he was really trying to find out. The Internet, as everyone should know, is a veritable cesspit of false information and there are endless claims on it about me which are untrue. Many of these have been repeated recently in the Dutch press, as journalists go online, find what they are looking for and repeat lies told earlier by others.  In my case, they never tire of telling the same fairy tale. 

It is bad enough when journalists do this but it is frightening to think that anti-terrorism police officers regard Google as a reliable source of information. One dreads to think how many genuinely hostile actors pass through the net if this is the Police’s idea of investigation. Unfortunately that is the state of the world today.

It is particularly symbolic that this should happen to me.  Ever since I started to get interested in international criminal law over 20 years ago, I have criticised the way in which international tribunals toss aside the myriad rules and procedures which have accumulated over the centuries to ensure due process. The British are traditionally proud of these procedures which have protected citizens against abusive state power for centuries. I have repeatedly warned that these dictatorial practices would soon percolate down into national jurisdictions and destroy the precious inheritance known as the rule of law. This has now happened.

Ever since the EU announced its Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime in December 2020, moreover, I have also pointed out that the EU has given itself the power to punish individuals by executive order. This is a very dangerous development.  Individuals are punished under this regime without any legal procedure (no trial) and without any means of defending themselves. So much for human rights! I have warned for two years now that citizens of Western states would themselves be the target of these sanctions. This duly happened in July when a British blogger, Graham Philipps, was sanctioned by the United Kingdom which has the same system as the EU and the US.

In other words I, who have been warning that these procedures, introduced at international level, would soon corrupt the criminal law in domestic jurisdictions, have now been proved horribly right by an example of this abuse of which I have now personally been a victim. It was a profoundly disturbing experience.

Shortly before it happened, FVD International tweeted its disapproval of the EU sanctions imposed on the philosopher, Alexander Dugin. As we showed with a screen shot of the relevant EU document, the European Council (i.e. the executive) sanctioned Dugin purely for his views. Nowhere it is alleged that he has actually participated in the invasion of Ukraine nor even that he is guilty of incitement. Instead, he is sanctioned for thoughtcrime. 

Some people who do not like Dugin are pleased at this. But they should understand that these are seriously abusive powers which can easily, as in my case, be directed against totally innocent people. To such people I can find no better response than the famous remarks by Pastor Martin Niemöller:

First they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the Socialists and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me.  And there was no one left to speak out for me.

Europe is sliding into dictatorship.  In fact, it is already there.

October 12, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | 3 Comments

Biden sets condition for meeting with Putin at G20 summit

Samizdat – October 12, 2022

US President Joe Biden says he has “no intention” of meeting with Vladimir Putin at the upcoming G20 summit in Bali to talk about Ukraine, unless the Russian leader approached him first to discuss issues like the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner who is currently imprisoned in Russia.

Speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper on Tuesday, Biden discussed the various issues plaguing Russian-US relations and condemned Putin’s alleged threat to use nuclear weapons in the military conflict with Ukraine.

When asked if he was willing to meet with the Russian leader at the G20 summit in November, Biden said: “Look, I have no intention of meeting with him. But for example, if he came to me at the G20 and said ‘I want to talk about the release of Griner,’ I’d meet with him. I mean, it would depend.”

Brittney Griner is a Women’s National Basketball Association star and Olympic gold medalist who was detained at a Moscow airport in February for possessing vape cartridges filled with cannabis oil. Griner pleaded guilty to the charges of drug possession and was sentenced to nine years in prison by a Russian court on August 4.

Biden went on to state that neither he, “nor is anyone else” prepared to negotiate with Russia about anything related to Ukraine and so a meeting between the two leaders would depend on “specifically what [Putin] wanted to talk about.”

“He’s acted brutally. I think he’s committed war crimes. And so, I don’t see any rationale to meet with him now,” the US leader said.

Biden and Putin have not spoken to each other directly since before Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine in late February. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov earlier said that the Kremlin would consider such a meeting, but has yet to receive a proposal from Washington.

October 12, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , | 3 Comments

Two potentates meet up at St. Petersburg

A 19th century painting of Konstantinovksy Palace, St. Petersburg
BY M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | INDIAN PUNCHLINE |  OCTOBER 12, 2022

There was something profoundly meaningful that the President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan undertook a visit to Russia amidst the gathering storms in Ukraine. Conscious of the symbolism, Russian President Vladimir Putin received Sheikh Mohammed on Tuesday in a grand setting befitting a monarch — at the gorgeous Konstantinovksy Palace in St. Petersburg whose heritage dates back to Peter the Great, a symbol of the revival of Russia and its cultural heritage. 

The meeting of the two potentates couldn’t have been more timely. Sheikh Mohammed and his Saudi kinsperson, Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud had just handed down a strategic defeat to a superpower in the geopolitics of oil, as the world community witnessed disbelievingly and understood that the sun has set on the American Century in international politics. 

Putin too stands at the threshold of a historic victory over the combined might of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which is poised to redraw the contours of the new world order. Putin told Sheikh Mohammed that the relations between Russia and the UAE are “an important factor of regional and overall global stability.”

Putin said, “I know that you are concerned about the entire situation that is developing, and I know about your desire to make a contribution to resolving all contentious issues, including the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. I would like to note that, indeed, this substantial factor makes it possible to use your influence to help gradually resolve the situation.” 

The words were carefully chosen. Putin noted the UAE’s desire “to help gradually resolve the situation” in Ukraine, underscoring that a denouement is not in the cards in a near term. [Emphasis added.] However, the centrepiece of Putin’s remarks was something else — OPEC Plus where Saudi Arabia, UAE and Russia are virtually navigating the global energy markets.  

Putin signalled that Moscow is not at all viewing the OPEC+ decision in zero sum terms. Rather, its aim is “to stabilise global energy markets, so that consumers of energy resources and those supplying them to global markets would feel calm, stable and confident, and so that supply and demand would be balanced.” Of course, embedded within this polite submission is a tough message to the G7 that any further attempt on their part to extend their weaponisation of sanctions to the global energy market is unacceptable and will be resisted and defeated. 

These were Putin’s first remarks on the collective decision announced by the OPEC+ at its meeting in Vienna last Thursday to cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day. Putin concluded firmly that Russia will “respond to market requirements all the time, and we try to do this in line with current developments.” 

Sheikh Mohammed unmistakably signalled that his visit focused on boosting its bilateral relations with Russia, especially in the economic sphere. As the western sanctions atrophy Russia’s flourishing economic ties with Europe, Moscow is turning to the non-Western world for partnerships, and reorienting its regional strategies. Putin has repeatedly stated that Russia will gladly engage with any country that stands up to western bullying. 

The UAE has been quick to grasp that Russia prioritises the Emirates as a favoured destination to conduct business. The uniqueness of the UAE for Moscow lies in its dynamic environment for doing business as well as for opening a window for Russian industry to the Western world. Moscow has been receiving strong feelers from European partners about resuming business ties albeit indirectly. After all, the Russian market is synonymous with high business returns. 

A crucial template here is Moscow’s appreciation of the growing emphasis by the UAE on preserving its strategic autonomy. The Russian elites admire Sheikh Mohammad for rapidly transforming the Emirates from an economy once reliant on fishing and pearls, to becoming a financial powerhouse and diverse economy, and providing a stable political system, strong capital flow, favourable taxation environment and liberal trade regimes. 

Indeed, the UAE is now an attractive investment hub with a ‘2021 Vision’ of becoming the economic, touristic and commercial capital for over two billion people. As the Russians see it, these ambitious goals will continue to facilitate a hospitable, well-regulated and secure business ecosystem in the UAE. The World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index ranks the UAE among the top dozen out of 160 countries in terms of trade logistics.

Equally, Moscow does not envisage that it could be “business as usual” with the Europeans anytime soon — if ever. The the resuscitation of the West’s Nazi heritage to spite Russia and the destruction of the Nord Stream gas pipelines to punish Russia are only the culmination of an excessively obnoxious behaviour by the US and its allies to humiliate Russia over the decades — pouring scorn over its cultural heritages of language, literature, music, etc.  out of sheer envy — in an appalling zest to “erase” Russia as a powerhouse. This has created deep wounds in the Russian psyche.   

With 4,000 Russian companies operating out of the UAE, there is a rapidly growing Russian community in the Gulf region and Sheikh Mohammed noted that the Emirates will provide a friendly ambience for the Russian expatriates by approving the opening of the first Russian school in the Emirates. Conceivably, this must be the first such Russian school in that part of the world.  

The Russian business community visualises the UAE as a prime launch-pad  to access markets around the world. Its geographical location and amicable time zone (GMT +4), give businesses wishing to access markets in Africa, Asia and Europe a regional and business-centric hub from which to operate. Russia has set its sights high for expanding its relations with African countries, where it enjoys tremendous “soft power” dating back to the Soviet era.

In geopolitical terms, Sheikh Mohammed’s decision to travel to Russia to meet with Putin comes in the backdrop of the temper tantrums of the American political elites threatening to “punish” Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The Democrats have brashly called for the withdrawal of US troops in the UAE and Saudi Arabia and cutback on arms supplies. 

These Neanderthal men ought to have become museum pieces by now. They do not comprehend that the West Asian elites have a cosmopolitan mindset and know these hollow men well enough, having interacted with them in their pristine years and watched stoically more recently as they began ageing, showing signs of exhaustion and senility.

By this visit to St. Petersburg, Sheikh Mohammed may have in his own astute way shown that such crude American threats will only be counter-productive. Earlier once, the Biden Administration had bullied him to sever the UAE’s relations with China to qualify for F-35 jets, whereupon, in disgust, he turned to France’s Rafale. 

Russia, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have the potential to form a troika where each of the members augmented the political power of the other two members and at the same time collectively impacted the actual distribution of power in a multipolar world. The OPEC Plus has shown the way. Sheikh Mohammed’s meeting with Putin comes within the week of the OPEC Plus meeting in Vienna.

October 12, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , | 3 Comments

US lies when talking about peace proposals – Russian FM

By Lucas Leiroz | October 12, 2022

During a press conference on October 11, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov severely criticized the recent American speech insisting that Moscow had rejected peace proposals allegedly offered by the West. The minister stated that no serious proposal was made by Washington, therefore there was no Russian unwillingness to negotiate peace.

Lavrov claimed that the Americans indeed made some calls but did not show any concrete peace proposals during the talks. According to him, not even these calls were ignored, having Moscow responded, showing willingness to continue the dialogue in order to seek the formulation of a specific plan that benefits both sides. However, the West has shown itself to be uninterested in initiating conversations in this direction.

“This is a lie [that Russia refuses to negotiate]. We did not receive any serious proposals to enter into contact. There were some not very serious calls, to which we also did not respond negatively, but offered to formulate specific proposals, with which some people want to contact us through indirect contacts. And in this case, we did not receive more specific explanations from anyone”, he said. 

The day before Lavrov’s interview, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby had publicly reiterated that Moscow was not responding to US calls for negotiations. Earlier, some US officials and journalists had already said that there would be no further dialogue as the Russian government was not interested in any proposals. But Russia does not endorse this narrative and claims that no US proposal has been presented.

Journalists also asked Lavrov for his opinion on the possibility of resuming peace talks with Turkey as a mediator, given the recent rumors that Ankara is planning a new negotiation for the conflict. According to Lavrov, no Russian official has yet received any information about such an initiative, but he made clear the Russian willingness to negotiate if the proposals seem reasonable. He stated that the meeting between Putin and Erdogan in Astana would be a good opportunity to clarify this topic.

Regarding the Ukrainian decision to not continue any form of dialogue with Russia and veto peace talks, Lavrov stressed that it does not seem to be something really resolute. For him, Zelensky’s decisions could change at any time, depending on a series of factors, mainly his “mood”, considering the instability already demonstrated by Zelensky so far, and the orders he will receive from the West in the near future. For Lavrov, if the Western powers order Zelensky to start peace talks, he will simply accept and ask to talk to Moscow.

“I do not rule out that he, as he forbade himself [to talk with Russia], will then forget about it, depending on his mood when he gets up in the morning and what he does. Well, or he will receive an order from Washington, from London – he will say ‘Yes’ and figure out how to explain all this so as not to lose face”, Lavrov said.

The veto of peace negotiations is precisely a consequence of orders received by the West, which is the side most unwilling to negotiate and which most seeks to escalate the conflict. So, if the opinion of Western leaders on the direction of peace talks eventually changes, it is actually expected that Zelensky will rethink the veto and suddenly ask to talk to Moscow.

The narrative that “Moscow does not want to negotiate” has been spread precisely in order to justify new actions in support to Kiev and Western active participation in the conflict. On many occasions, the West has made it clear that the longer the fighting lasts, the more beneficial this will be to NATO’s interests, because, given the impossibility of defeating Russia militarily, what is sought is simply to prolong the situation of security instability in the Russian strategic environment. 

Since February, the Russian side has been the only one to actively pursue peace talks. To stop the special military operation, Moscow makes it clear that it only expects a list of requirements to be met. These requirements include some Russian territorial and political goals, such as the self-determination of Russian-majority regions and the demilitarization of Kiev. For Moscow, this is not an “expansionist ambition”, as the West says, but a real necessity, since present-day Ukraine is a direct threat against the Russian state.

For peace to emerge in Ukraine, the West must “authorize” Kiev to act sovereignly and negotiate with Russia proposals that meet the demands made by Moscow. There is no way to negotiate peace without fulfilling these requirements and what prevents Ukrainians from following them is precisely the order they receive from Western leaders to continue fighting in a war in which they have no chance of winning.

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

You can follow Lucas on Telegram.

October 12, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Militarism | , , , | 2 Comments

Ex-Aussie PM Calls Quad ‘Piece of Strategic Nonsense’

Samizdat – 12.10.2022

The Quad was officially launched in 2007 but suspended in 2008 after Australia pulled out of the US-led grouping over concerns expressed by China. The grouping was revived in 2017, a year after the US announced its ‘Indo-Pacific Strategy’. Beijing has labelled the Quad ‘Asian NATO’, accusing Washington of inciting tensions in the region.

Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating has slammed the US-led Quad grouping as “illegitimate” and a “strategic piece of nonsense,” as he advised Canberra to not be a part of the US-led efforts to “ring-fence” China.

The Quad, which comprises Australia, India, Japan and the US, says that its official goal is to maintain a “free and open Indo-Pacific region”.

“We shouldn’t be stringing together the US, Japan, India and Australia to try to contain China,” Keating, a senior party colleague of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, said on Wednesday.

Keating argued that that Beijing’s “ambitions are in the west, not the east,” as he underlined the inroads made by the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in regions outside Asia. “Everywhere between Wuhan and Istanbul, in the next 30 years, will have a huge Chinese influence.”

Keating pointed out that the BRI has already financed infrastructure projects in the Baltic states as well as in former Soviet countries.

The multi-trillion-dollar BRI initiative was launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 and strives to connect east Asia with Europe and beyond through connectivity and infrastructure projects. As of March 2022, a total of 147 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, South America as well as North America have been members of the Beijing-backed global initiative.

Keating also reckoned that the era of US “supremacy” as the pre-eminent global power has already passed.

“This idea that the US is an exceptional power… they have God’s ear and proselytizing democracy was fine in the 20th century. The 20th century was owned by the US. The 21st century belongs to someone else,” stated Keating.

He also expressed doubts whether the US would come to the help of Taiwan if Beijing went ahead with the re-unification of the island with the mainland through military means.

Beijing has doubled down on its commitment to “reunify” Taiwan with the mainland following the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taipei in August. Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that reunifying Taiwan is part of China’s goal to achieve “national rejuvenation”.

“China would see every amphibious vessel coming towards the United States, whether it is San Diego or Honolulu. They would see them and sink them,” the former Australian PM claimed, suggesting that the chances of an American “victory” in such a scenario would be “nil”.

Keating advised the Australian government not to get involved in the “geopolitical conflict” around Taiwan.

“We should be no more interested in the political system of Taiwan than Vietnam and Kazakhstan,” argued Keating.

October 12, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Can Western air defense systems help Kiev regime forces?

The systems will hardly make any groundbreaking contribution, as the Kiev regime already operates longer-range SAMs.

By Drago Bosnic | October 12, 2022

In late February, the Kiev regime was in possession of one of the largest and most advanced air defense networks in Europe, if not the world. After the Soviet Union’s dismantlement in late 1991, Ukraine inherited approximately 30% of the Soviet military, the largest and the most powerful conventional military force in the world at that point. This provided the then-newly independent country with an extensive air defense network that survived decades of corruption, mismanagement and lack of proper maintenance. After the Western-backed Neo-Nazi coup in 2014, NATO provided billions of dollars’ worth of “military aid” which restored and modernized most of Ukraine’s Soviet-era air defense systems. Still, when Russia launched its special military operation, these SAM (surface-to-air missile) systems failed to produce the desired result.

The number of downed Russian military aircraft was much lower than initially expected. The Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) launched hundreds of successful SEAD (suppression of enemy air defenses) missions, destroying most of the radars and launch sites operated by the Kiev regime forces. Hundreds of variants of older, albeit modernized systems such as the S-300, Buk, Osa, Strela-10, etc. have been destroyed, effectively leaving the Kiev regime without mid to long-range air defenses. As proven by Russia’s recent missile strikes, this has made the Neo-Nazi junta especially vulnerable and unable to protect its critical military infrastructure. In order to tackle this issue, NATO member states have been promising to deliver modern SAM systems. This includes the NASAMS (joint US-Norwegian project) and the German-built Iris-T.

During a “Face the Nation” interview with Volodymyr Zelensky that aired Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, on CBS, the Kiev regime frontman confirmed that the NASAMS (National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System) has been transferred to the Neo-Nazi junta forces:

“Zelensky thanked the U.S. for the system as well as the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems it’s received, but added that his troops absolutely need the United States to show leadership and give Ukraine additional air defense systems it has requested.”

According to The Hill, the Biden administration approved the shipment of six missile systems in late August as part of a nearly $3 billion “lethal aid package”. NASAMS is considered a medium-range system capable of defending against drones, aircraft and cruise missiles at a range of up to 50 km.

Recently, the German Ministry of Defense announced the delivery of at least four Iris-T SL air defense systems to the Kiev regime forces. A military convoy was spotted in the vicinity of the city of Katowice in southern Poland. Reports indicate that it was heading from Germany toward Ukraine. At least three German IRIS-T SLS (the short-range version) SAM systems are seen in the photos that were taken at night. The decision to supply the system was considered back in May, but was postponed several times.

According to the German media, the final decision to send the weapons to the Kiev regime was made on October 10, immediately after Russian missile and UAV strikes hit dozens of critical military targets across Ukraine.

“Russia’s missile strikes on targets in Ukraine show the importance of the early transfer of air defense systems to Kiev,” Defense Minister Kristine Lambrecht said.

However, the timing indicates that the decision to send the IRIS-T SLS was taken much earlier. Still, the Kiev regime doesn’t seem to be content with the current version of this SAM system, as its engagement range of only 12 km is considered subpar. Recent reports indicate that the Neo-Nazi junta is trying to acquire the IRIS-T SLM version, which has an engagement range of approximately 40 km. German media think this variant could be sent to the Kiev regime forces in November if the decision is confirmed by the German MoD. Regardless of what Germany decides, the system will hardly make any groundbreaking contribution, as the Kiev regime already operates longer-range SAM systems.

The primary downsides of the IRIS-T SL are its limited range and the infrared-based guidance system which makes it vulnerable to active counter-measures like flares. They are also unlikely to provide any new capability, as the Neo-Nazi junta forces are already using mid to long-range SAM systems like the aforementioned S-300 and Buk, most of which have been neutralized. What’s more likely is that the German military is providing the air defense systems to test them in combat, particularly in a situation where the enemy has air dominance. Western powers have been sending thousands of short-range air defense systems to the Kiev regime forces even before Russia launched its counteroffensive against NATO’s crawling encroachment on its borders.

So far, NATO countries have sent thousands of MANPADS (man-portable air defense systems), but their impact doesn’t go beyond the tactical level. However, most countries of the political West lack mid to long-range SAM systems which could replace the Kiev regime’s losses, as such systems have never been the focus of the Western style of warfare which is based on the concept of air dominance. Thus, even the somewhat longer-range NASAMS, which uses more advanced radar-guided missiles, is extremely unlikely to hurt Russian forces. This is especially true when it comes to Russian missiles, both low-flying subsonic cruise missiles such as the now-legendary “Kalibr” and the high-flying hypersonic missiles like the “Iskander” or “Kinzhal”. The latter is capable of speeds in excess of Mach 12 (approximately 4 km per second), making it virtually impossible to intercept by any means at NATO’s disposal.

Drago Bosnic is an independent geopolitical and military analyst.

October 12, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment