Aletho News


It’s time to open the AstraZeneca files

By Dr Ros Jones | TCW Defending Freedom | November 2, 2022

The AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine has all but disappeared from use. We need to know why, and whether troubling evidence from its trials was ignored by the regulators or withheld from the public. That is why HART, the independent Health Advisory and Recovery Team, has demanded a ‘Pfizer files’ style data release from the Medicines and Healthcare Product Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Last week, we submitted an FoI request to the MHRA prepared by PJH Law requiring the release of all data submitted by AstraZeneca in their application for a licence for their Covid-19 vaccine (AZD1222/Vaxzevria), the data that the MHRA relied on before granting a conditional marketing authorisation for its use.

We asked for:

1. Pre- and post-authorisation safety and efficacy data for this product;

2. All information that allowed a ‘rigorous scientific assessment’ of all the available evidence of quality, safety and effectiveness by the MHRA;

3. All information and full data set that the MHRA stated their expert scientists and clinicians reviewed from the laboratory preclinical studies, clinical trials, manufacturing and quality controls, product sampling and testing of the final vaccine and the conditions for its safe supply and distribution;

4. Anonymised data from their clinical trials.

Why is this necessary?

AstraZeneca’s Vaxzevria was approved for use in the UK on December 30 2020 to a fanfare for UK science. It had been pre-ordered and prioritised for Britain by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who boasted it was not just safe and effective but a triumph for ‘Global’ Britain. To date the failings of this novel technology vaccine have been brushed under the carpet, never explained and never apologised for.

Within weeks of AZ’s rollout, concerns about the vaccine (trials of which had been paused twice, see here and here) were being flagged. In a short time successive European governments followed Denmark’s lead in suspending its use. The UK’s advisory body, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) continued to insist it was still safe, but in May advised it should not be given to anyone under 40. By that stage millions of doses had been administered. From the start, the vaccine was disproportionately associated with adverse reactions, yet it was administered to children: some 11,500 have received 1st doses and 8,700 second doses and ‘extremely limited boosters’. These have resulted in 266 Yellow Cards at an adverse reaction reporting rate of 1 in 43 children.

To date, 49.16million adult AZ doses have been administered and 246,393 people impacted by adverse effects, according to the MHRA’s Yellow Card adverse reports, admitted by the MHRA to be likely to be only 10 per cent of the true number.

The first pay-out under the vaccine injuries compensation scheme was to the widow of a 48-year-old who died of brain blood clots commencing days after his AZ vaccination, a death that occurred two months after Denmark had suspended AZ use because of side effects. The US never purchased the AZ vaccine because of health officials’ concerns.

The British people have a right to see all the data provided by AstraZeneca to the MHRA, both as a basis for the initial conditional use authorisation, and subsequently as part of AstraZeneca’s ongoing safety surveillance. Firstly, because a large sum of taxpayers’ money was allocated to the development and subsequent rollout of this vaccine, but secondly because people put their faith in the safety of this home-produced vaccine. When told that vaccines were our way out of the pandemic, who wouldn’t want to get jabbed? Indeed, the WHO’s definition of herd immunity was changed in November 2020 to remove all mention of naturally acquired immunity, leaving only vaccination as the new ‘gold standard’ – ‘fool’s gold?’ one wonders.

The AstraZeneca product officially remains in clinical trials until next year, though like the other vaccines, volunteers in the control arm were vaccinated early on, negating much of the scientific basis for a randomised controlled trial. The latest autumn booster programme states that AstraZeneca is ‘currently unavailable’ but at no point has the public been told why this is the case. Does the company or the regulator know something that has not been shared?

‘Safe and effective’, the marketing banner whenever the ‘vaccines’ were being discussed by the MHRA, MSM or Pharma, is of grave concern, especially when it comes to the vaccination of healthy children. But at all ages, it is clear that properly informed consent has been set aside, in contravention of the General Medical Council Good Practice Guidelines.

The battle to obtain the data and information relied upon by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to licence the Pfizer vaccine pointed to the secrecy that had shrouded these trials. The FDA planning to retain the material for 75 years, but a court granted an FoI request and required the FDA to release all the data over eight months. This has resulted in 451,000 pages of information now being analysed by 3,500 experts and 250 lawyers. Evidence of fraud would negate any indemnity for Pfizer.

The overstating of efficacy and understating of harms continues unabated not least by the MHRA, the very same UK body responsible for ensuring that medicines meet applicable standards of safety, quality and efficacy, and for pharmacovigilance across the UK, the objectives of which are to:

·  Prevent harm from adverse drug reactions in humans arising from the use of authorised medicinal products;

·  Promote the safe and effective use of medicinal products, through providing timely information about the safety of medicinal products to patients, healthcare professionals and the public.

At a press briefing on the AstraZeneca vaccines in December 2020, the MHRA chief Dr June Raine glibly stated:

·  Safety of the public comes first, and this comes after a thorough and scientifically rigorous review of all the evidence in terms of safety, effectiveness and quality;

·  ‘We are facing one of the biggest threats to health, in the UK and around the world’;

·  The vaccine ‘protects’ against Cov-19 and will save many thousands of lives;

·  There are no specific precautions if you have had Covod-19 and you do not need testing before the injection;

·   Vaccines should be considered for pregnancy (and those breastfeeding) when the potential benefit outweighs the risks following individual talks with every woman and their healthcare professional.

The latter directly contradicted the MHRA’s own summary assessment that ‘it is considered that sufficient reassurance of safe use of the vaccine in pregnant women cannot be provided at the present time’. 

Dr Raine’s alarming unilateral declaration of the MHRA’s switch from a regulatory function to  an enabling role alongside her consistent ‘playing down’ of vaccine injuries and treating adverse effects as coincidental, further underlined the need for the AZ trials data disclosure.

We need to know whether the MHRA has a defined point at which it pulls a drug or vaccine and if not, why not?


The government has invested millions of taxpayers’ monies to develop and market the AZ product. A large percentage of its population have been injected with a liability-free vaccine and we therefore require complete transparency. It would show utter contempt for our democracy if the British people are denied access to this information.

If their due diligence has been thorough, releasing this data should confirm their oft-repeated declaration that the AZ vaccine is safe and effective, thus providing reassurance.

The public’s need for this information is urgent, given that the vaccination programme is ongoing. Despite the evidence of unprecedented harms (deaths and debilitating injuries) on their own pharmacovigilance databases, governments across the world have told their citizens and our children that the covid-19 genetic vaccines are safe. It is time for total transparency and honesty.

The full background report to the HART FoI and the FoI itself can be found on HART’s website here. 

November 2, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

All Those Responsible Must Pay a Price for Terrorising and Harming the People They Are Meant to Serve


I belong to a privileged generation. Not that I was raised in affluence; far from it. Born in 1958, to a mother who worked all her life as a weaver in the textile industry and a father employed as a maintenance mechanic at the local factory, I lived on a council estate for the first decade of my life. Money was tight, holidays were basic and infrequent, and treats – in the form of confectionary – were rare, usually restricted to a Turkish Delight chocolate bar each Sunday evening. Although I never realised it until I was 62, I was, however, part of a cohort who possessed something sacrosanct, something so very precious and – deplorably – something future generations may never enjoy again: individual freedom.

To be clear, the world I have lived in has been far from perfect. My era has been one incorporating fundamental inequalities and injustices, widespread poverty, discrimination and – particularly in my young-adult years – a recurring risk of physical assault. But despite this context, each of us took for granted a range of basic human rights: to meet with whomever we wished; to leave our homes whenever we chose; to eat whatever we wanted; to express opinions others might not agree with; to take risks, make mistakes and learn sometimes painful lessons; to wear whatever we wanted; to work to improve our career prospects and earn more money to enhance our lives and those of our families; and to decide what drugs and other medical interventions to accept. When cheap flights emerged in the 1970s and 80s, the whole world became wonderfully accessible.

My perception (probably a naïve one) of successive Labour and Conservative Governments was that, although often inept and guilty of policy errors, they broadly sought to improve the lives of their citizens and could at least be relied upon to protect us against external malignant forces. Furthermore, it seemed that the life-spans of our elected politicians were dependent upon keeping us – their constituents – satisfied by acting primarily in the interests of U.K. citizens.

But 30 months ago, this illusion was shattered.

I knew something was awry as early as February 2020. By March the same year my early-warning detector would not rest. While the media, politicians and the science ‘experts’ informed us – incessantly – that a uniquely lethal pathogen was spreading carnage across the world, and unprecedented and draconian restrictions on our day-to-day lives were essential to prevent Armageddon, I wasn’t buying it. I formed the view that a momentous event, unparalleled in my lifetime, was unfolding, but it was not primarily about a virus.

Why, at that point in time, did I recognise that something sinister was underway while almost everyone else I met seemed to be swallowing the dominant narrative? It is a difficult question to answer. Perhaps my time in the early 1980s as a psychiatric charge nurse in an NHS hospital, occasionally interfacing with the ‘infection control’ department, gave me insight into how this professional group operate. Although well-meaning, their advice regarding how to minimise the spread of contagion on a ward often seemed impractical, revealing an apparent inability to see the bigger picture. Or maybe my in-depth knowledge of risk assessment (gleaned in my doctoral thesis during my time as a clinical psychologist) had impressed upon me how woefully inaccurate we are in gauging the relative threat levels posed by various hazards inherent in our environment. What I did know for sure was that Big Pharma – arguably the most corrupt industry in the world – would exploit the emerging ‘crisis’ for its own ends. And how right I was.

The list of state-driven human rights abuses we have endured under the pretence of ‘keeping us safe’ and the (ominous) ‘greater good’ is long: prohibition of travel; confinement in our homes; social isolation; closure of businesses; denial of access to leisure activities; de-humanising mask mandates; directives (scrawled on floors and walls) dictating which way to walk; an arbitrary ‘stay two metres apart’ rule; exclusion from the weddings and funerals of our loved ones; the seclusion and neglect of our elderly; school shutdowns; children’s playgrounds sealed off with yellow and black tape; muzzled children and toddlers; students denied both face-to-face tuition and a ‘rites-of-passage’ social life; and coerced experimental ‘vaccines’ that turned out to be more harmful and less effective than initially claimed. Equally egregious were the strategies deployed to lever compliance with these restrictions, namely psychological manipulation (‘nudging’), pervasive censorship across the media and academic journals and the cancellation and vilification of anyone brave enough to speak out against the dominant Covid narrative. All-in-all, a state-driven assault on the core of our shared humanity.

As the state-orchestrated infringement of our basic human rights continued, I felt compelled to act in ways that were far outside of my comfort zone. The 61-year-old man who had never been on a protest march until summer 2020, and who had innocently assumed that most of society’s leaders were decent people who tried to do what was right, had changed. I found myself walking with tens of thousands of others along Regent Street, London, screaming “Freedom!” I pushed “Back to Normal” leaflets through the letterboxes of hundreds of my neighbours. I stood on the corner of our local shopping street with a placard held aloft stating, “Say No To Vaccine Passports”.

Throughout 2020 and 2021, I struggled to find reasons for the irrational, masochistic Covid restrictions and the ubiquitous infringement of our basic human rights. My explanations evolved. Initially I clung to the ‘panic and incompetence’ rationale, that our governments had been spooked by the images coming out of China – remember the videos of people falling dead in the streets – and the mono-focused, blinkered and catastrophic prophecies of our so-called epidemiological experts. As the atrocities persisted, this explanation was rendered inadequate, and it morphed into an ‘opportunistic agendas’ account where activists – promoting green aspirations, digitalised IDs, social credit systems, a cashless society, universal income, a biosecurity state – had exploited the anxieties associated with the emergence of a novel respiratory virus. By 2021 these conclusions, in turn, seemed insufficient to explain the persistence of the horrors we were enduring and it – belatedly – became clear that globalist and ‘deep state’ powers were at work, striving to realise their inhuman aspirations. My further reading about the activities of World Economic Forum, the United Nations, the European Union, the World Health Organisation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, Anthony Fauci and Big Pharma, and others, confirmed this emerging conclusion.

As the Covid event fades from media attention (replaced by a focus on similarly dehumanising and totalitarian responses to environmental threats, the war in Ukraine and the imminent cost-of-living crisis) it is intriguing to reflect upon its residual effects.

I continue to mourn what I have lost, a process associated with a complex mix of fluctuating emotions. For two years, our Government, aided and abetted by state-funded scientists, denied us opportunities for fun and human connection, stymied our freedoms and orchestrated a systematic campaign to coerce us to both accept experimental ‘vaccines’ and to slavishly cover our faces with cloth or plastic. Consequently, I feel anger and disgust towards many of our politicians, epidemiological ‘experts’ and behavioural scientists who were complicit with this shameful period in our history. And I now distrust all sources of information, whether it be the media, the ‘scientific’ world or public health experts. Without an anchor for truth, I float – incredulous – in an ocean of mainstream-generated misinformation.

My 60-plus years of naivety have been shattered. I believe only those few who have shown selfless integrity throughout the Covid debacle. Also, I am now sceptical about much of the green agenda: state-funded scientists lied to us about Covid so why wouldn’t they show the same self-serving dishonesty about the climate?

Closer to home, it is clear my life has changed. I feel disappointment and irritation towards many people who I previously respected and liked, such as friends who colluded with the catastrophically damaging Covid restrictions because of fear, ignorance or a desire to avoid hassle and condemnation. Many relationships are now more distant. On the rare occasions we meet there is often an ‘elephant in the room’, and when the Covid issue is touched upon I typically feel frustrated that many do not want to consider the implications of what has been inflicted upon us.

I feel similarly towards mental health colleagues who, for years, I had stood alongside and respected, collectively fighting the tyranny of biological psychiatry (its human rights infringements, coercion, overuse of drugs and vilification of those who questioned them) but who failed to recognise a much bigger tyranny when it emerged in 2020. While a handful of this anti-psychiatry lobby did soon recognise the totalitarian threat inherent to the Covid response, most bought into the dominant narrative. Heated disagreements ensued with a few, followed by ongoing mutual resentment; for most we just avoid each other.

But the residual effects of the Covid debacle are not all negative. New friendships have emerged with people from across the political spectrum. Based on a mutual respect, enduring bonds have formed with fellow sceptics both locally (through the Community Assembly and the Stand in the Park initiatives) and nationally via joint endeavours in HARTSmile Free, and PANDA. And it was uplifting to recently discover – via a chance meeting in the local pub – that the family I had lived across the road from for the last seven years, yet had rarely spoken to, had always been as sceptical as me about the dominant Covid narrative.

Furthermore, I have noticed that my behaviour has changed in subtle ways. I now make more of an effort to smile and gain eye contact with – unmasked – strangers. Similarly, when greeting acquaintances, I’m more inclined to hug or shake hands as compared to pre-2020 levels of bodily contact. (Non of that fist-bump and elbow-touch nonsense for me.) It’s as if I’m striving to compensate for the human connection deficit that we’ve accrued over the last 30 months. Or perhaps I’m making a defiant metaphorical one-finger salute to any onlookers who still adhere to the risk-averse and dehumanising dominant Covid narrative?

While we continue to drown in a sea of propaganda, censorship and coercion, who knows what the future might hold?

One thing is for sure: We must never forget what the political leaders and public health specialists inflicted upon us. Whether the reason was weakness, groupthink, conflict of interest or unadulterated corruption, the miscreants must all be held to account and pay a price for terrorising the people they are meant to serve. This assertion is not fuelled by a primitive desire for retribution – well, not primarily – but by an expectation that, if the guilty are not named and shamed, the same totalitarian impositions will be repeated again and again.

The conviction sheet is a long one. It includes political leaders at home (Boris Johnson, Keir Starmer, Nicola Sturgeon, Mark Drayford) and abroad (including Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron, Joe Biden and Jacinda Ardern); Bill Gates and his various funding agencies; SAGE scientists who danced to the tune of their academic and political paymasters; the behavioural science ‘nudgers’ at the helm of the worldwide psychological manipulation strategy; the professional organisations that have manifestly colluded with the state-driven tyranny (including the British Medical Association and the British Psychological Society); the conflicted drug regulators (such as the MHRA); the powerful, profit-driven pharmaceutical companies, deploying their financial clout to influence health policy decisions; and the mainstream media, who have slavishly peddled the dominant Covid narrative while dismissing alternative viewpoints.

To successfully expose the wrongdoings of such powerful individuals and institutions is a big ask. Realistically, only bottom-up resistance and protests from millions of ordinary people could achieve this aim, and in this regard there are reasons for optimism. Truth will – eventually – reveal itself. Despite the ongoing censorship and manipulation, public dissent to the attempted imposition of a biosecurity state is becoming increasingly visible. Masking in the community is – at the time of writing – practised only by an eccentric minority. The net harms of Covid restrictions are more widely recognised. Ordinary citizens increasingly claim they will not be locked down and separated from their loved ones ever again. And – perhaps more importantly – the ‘safe and effective’ vaccine narrative is crumbling, as indicated by more and more people rejecting the jabs.

If we do not wish to live in a ‘transhuman’ society devoid of personal freedoms, where our day-to-day decisions – where we go, what we say, what we eat, how we spend our money, what drugs we ingest – are determined by the state’s version of the ‘greater good’, we must all continue to show visible dissent to the globalists’ new world order.

Together, I believe we can defeat the biggest threat to Western values witnessed in my lifetime. And even if we don’t succeed, history will show that at least we tried.

Dr. Gary Sidley is a retired NHS Consultant Clinical Psychologist and co-founder of the Smile Free campaign. He blogs at Coronababble

November 2, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Friends are Dying of Heart Attacks

A 50th birthday celebration and reunion is marred by multiple deaths

By John Leake | Courageous Discourse | November 2, 2022

I’m headed out to Maui to celebrate my brother’s 50th birthday. One of our oldest friends—a 53-year-old named Dan who was my roommate in graduate school—was scheduled to be on my flight, but he isn’t because he died of a heart attack two weeks ago. Both of his parents attended the funeral; both were in exceptionally good physical condition in spite of their advanced age. Dan received the initial two doses of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine last year, but apparently decided to forgo the boosters.

Another one of our closest friends—a 55-year-old surfing legend named Loch Eggers —was also looking forward to celebrating with us. I spoke to him on the phone last week. He expressed great excitement about our forthcoming reunion and all of the fun we are were going to have surfing, barbecuing, and partying.

Loch also won’t make it because he had a fatal heart attack last Saturday. His life and death are chronicled in this beautifully illustrated obituary.

Loch’s case was especially poignant. He was found on the side of a hiking trail that led to a peaceful place where he’d recently erected a shrine to his brother, Hunter, who died of a heart attack a few months ago. Both Loch and Hunter were in exceptionally good physical condition from daily water sports. Loch was one of the greatest amateur surfers on earth.

The Maui County Medical Examiner mentioned to Loch’s devastated girlfriend that he’d autopsied Hunter a few months ago and noted that his heart was conspicuously inflamed. I am waiting to hear the autopsy report in Loch’s case. Both brothers received the mRNA vaccinations. Loch also received a booster. I’m not sure if Hunter was boosted or not.

Both of their parents reached life expectancy. Their father died of a heart attack at 82. Their mother was in exceptionally good condition for her advanced age when she died of choking on food.

That both brothers died of heart attacks in their mid fifties raises the suspicion of a genetic basis of sudden death after receiving COVID-19 vaccines. Such a condition was documented in a recent study by Chupong Ittiwut et al. The authors propose that the period of acute danger is within 7 days of vaccination. However, the case of the Eggers brothers warrants an investigation to determine if this particular genetic condition—or some other genetic condition not yet documented—may result in a longer period of danger following COVID-19 vaccination.

Our entire medical establishment, and especially medical examiners, need to get very serious about investigating such sudden deaths.

Do the vaccines initiate a cardiovascular disease process that may not manifest with life threatening symptoms until months or even a year later?

Alternatively, is it possible the vaccines amplify existing cardiovascular disease processes that would eventually result in death, but not (without the vaccine) until much later in life?

November 2, 2022 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | | 3 Comments

Senator Dick Durbin says free speech doesn’t protect “misinformation” that downplays political violence

The statement itself is misinformation

By Christina Maas | Reclaim The Net | November 2, 2022

“Free speech does not include spreading misinformation to downplay political violence,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who also is chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, tweeted – referencing an alleged “uptick in hate speech” since Elon Musk took  private.

“Misinformation” is protected by the .

The uptick that Senator Durbin is referencing was a bot campaign that Twitter suggests was used to troll the platform and the media as soon as Musk took control of the company.

Senator’s Durbin’s comments followed Twitter CEO Elon Musk tweeting a link to an article containing claims about the attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul.

Musk posted the link in response to a tweet by Hillary Clinton that contained a link by the Los Angeles Times. She wrote: “The Republican Party and its mouthpieces now regularly spread hate and deranged conspiracy theories. It is shocking, but not surprising, that violence is the result. As citizens, we must hold them accountable for their words and the actions that follow.”

While posting the link, Musk wrote: “There is a tiny possibility there might be more to this story than meets the eye.” Musk deleted the tweet after about six hours. However, it already had over 100,000 likes and 28,000 retweets.

Musk did not explain why he deleted the tweet.

He has initially claimed to be a “free speech absolutist.” However, in a statement to advertisers after he became Twitter’s new owner, he said that the platform will not become a “free-for-all hellscape.”

November 2, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 1 Comment

Zimbabwe threatens to Jail Dr. Jackie Stone for prescribing off-label Covid treatment

World Council for Health | November 2, 2022

Dr Jackie Stone, MD is a globally respected medical figure known for saving lives and pioneering treatment options during the Covid era. Rather than being revered for saving lives, Dr Stone is currently being threatened with a custodial sentence for treating her patients.

At a time when fear was gripping the world, Dr Stone did not sit by the sidelines. Instead, she sprang into action, ultimately reducing suffering and death in Zimbabwe by using widely available, innovative, and safe tools like ivermectin and colloidal silver. Dr Stone then worked tirelessly to share her findings with healthcare professionals around the world.

Despite her success, medical institutions the world over have neglected the opportunity to learn from Dr Stone and honor her noble work. Instead, the Medical Council is attempting to punish her.

Dr Stone has had the following four charges laid against her:

  1. Contravening section 135 2 (a) of the Health Professions Act (Pertaining to Advertising)
  2. Contravening section 92 of the Health Professions Act (Practicing without a license)
  3. Contravening section 99 of the Health Professions Act (Practicing from an Unlicensed Health Institution)
  4. Contravening section 29 of the Medicines and Allied Substances Control Act (Use of specified [banned] substances)

Because both ivermectin and colloidal silver are not on Zimbabwe’s list of banned drugs, she was found not guilty of both charges 1 and 4 on Friday, September 23. Dr Stone maintains that she is being charged with crimes that do not exist.

The World Council for Health calls on Zimbabwe’s president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, to intervene, liberate, and honor hero and world-renowned practitioner, Dr Jackie Stone.

Those wishing to advocate on Dr Stone’s behalf can contact President Emmerson Mnangagwa by sending an email here or on Twitter. Dr Stone’s next appearance in court is scheduled for Thursday, November 3.

A peaceful demonstration has been organized in South Africa in support of Dr Stone on Thursday morning.

November 2, 2022 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment

Who’s afraid of US troops in Ukraine?


Very innocuously, the Biden Administration has ‘sensitised’ the world opinion that American troops are indeed present on Ukrainian soil in Russia’s immediate neighbourhood. Washington made a “soft landing” with an unnamed senior Pentagon official making the disclosure to the Associated Press and the Washington Post. 

The official gave an ingenious explanation that the US troops “have recently begun doing onsite inspections to ensure” that Ukraine is “properly accounting” for the Western weapons it received. He claimed that this was part of a broader US campaign, announced last week by the State Department, “meant to make sure that weapons provided to Ukraine don’t end up in the hands of Russian troops, their proxies or other extremist groups.” 

In effect, though, President Biden is eating his own word not to have ‘boots on the ground’ in Ukraine under any circumstances. There is always the real danger that the clutch of Americans on tour in Ukraine may come under fire from the Russian forces. In fact, the US deployment comes against the backdrop of intense Russian missile and drone attacks currently on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure. 

Plainly put, wittingly or unwittingly, the US is going up the escalation ladder. So far, the US intervention involved deployment of military advisors to the Ukrainian military command, supply of intelligence in real time, planning and execution of operations against Russian forces and allowing American mercenaries to do the fighting, apart from steady supply of tens of billions of dollars worth weaponry. 

The qualitative difference now is that the proxy war may turn into a hot war between the NATO and Russia. The Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu estimated today at a joint board meeting of the Russian and Belarusian defence ministries that the number of NATO forces in Eastern and Central Europe had risen by two and a half times since February and might increase further in the near future.

Shoigu underscored that Moscow understands fully well that the West is pursuing a concerted strategy to destroy Russia’s economy and military potential, making it impossible for the country to pursue an independent foreign policy. 

He flagged that NATO’s new strategic concept suggested moving from containing Russia “through forward presence” to creating “a full-scale system of collective defence on the eastern flank,” with the bloc’s non-regional members deploying troops to the Baltic countries, Eastern and Central Europe, and new multinational battalion tactical groups being formed in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. 

It may not be a coincidence that Washington acknowledged the presence of its military personnel in Ukraine at a point when the Russians have alleged the participation of British intelligence in the recent sabotage act on the Nord Stream pipelines and the drone strikes on Saturday at the base of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet at Sevastopol. There are grey areas in the so-called special relationship between the US and the UK.

The US-UK calculus has been to get the Russians bogged down in a quagmire in Ukraine and to incite an insurrection within Russia opposing ‘Putin’s war.’ But it has miserably failed. The US sees that over 300,000 trained ex-military personnel from Russia are being deployed to Ukraine for launching a major offensive to end the war in the coming 3-4 months. 

That is to say, the roof is coming down on the entire edifice of lies and deceptive propaganda that formed the western narrative on Ukraine. The defeat in Ukraine could have disastrous consequences for the US’ image and credibility as a superpower not only in Europe but on the global stage, undermine its leadership of the transatlantic  alliance and even disable NATO. 

The Biden Administration made a terrible mistake in assuming that the war would lead to a regime change in Russia ensuing from the collapse of the Russian economy under the weight of western sanctions. On the contrary, even the IMF admits that the Russian economy has stabilised. 

The indicators show that the Russian economy will be registering growth by next year. The comparison with the western economies that are sinking into high inflation and recession is far too glaring to be missed by the world audience. 

Suffice to say, the US and its allies have run out of sanctions to hit Russia. The Russian leadership, on the other hand, is consolidating by pushing ahead with the shift to a multipolar world order and a de-dollarised international financial system. If these processes proceed further, it will dent the status of the American dollar as “world currency.” 

Fundamentally, it is the capitalist system itself which is responsible for this crisis. We are currently suffering under the effect of the longest and deepest crisis the system has known since the redivision of the world that took place in World War II. The imperialist western powers are once again preparing for war to redivide the world in the hopes of getting out of their crisis, much as they prepared prior to World War II. 

The big question is what Russia’s response is going to be. It is all but certain that Moscow hasn’t been caught by surprise at the revelation in Washington regarding the presence of US troops in Ukraine. It is highly unlikely that Russia will resort to knee-jerk reaction. 

The so-called ‘counter-offensive’ by Ukraine has fizzled out. It made no significant territorial gains or gained any breakthrough. But it suffered heavy casualties in the thousands and huge losses in military equipment. Russia has gained the upper hand and it is conscious of that. All along the frontline, that is becoming evident.  

On the other hand, the fact remains that neither the US and Britain nor their NATO allies are in a position to fight a continental war. Therefore, it will be entirely up to the American troops moving around in the steppes of Ukraine to stay out of trouble and keep their body and soul together in such harsh winter conditions without electricity, heating or a decent body wash. Who knows, the Pentagon may even work out a ‘deconfliction’ mechanism with Moscow!  

That said, seriously, the auditing of US weaponry on Ukrainian soil per se is not a bad thing at all. Ukraine is a notoriously corrupt country, after all. There is real danger that the weapons supplied by the US may reach Europe and turn that beautiful manicured garden into a jungle (like Ukraine or America) — to borrow the colourful metaphor used recently by Josep Borrell, EU’s foreign policy chief.  

November 2, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , | 2 Comments

Forget its freedom rhetoric, Germany suppresses all who stand in solidarity with Palestine

By Adnan Hmidan | MEMO | November 2, 2022

In supposedly democratic Germany, the country that was reunited when the Berlin Wall was broken down, human rights activists who express solidarity with Palestine face discrimination and persecution under the pretext of the drive against anti-Semitism. In some ways, this is worse than what happens within the occupation state of Israel itself.

How else should we interpret the persecution of German Palestinians and persons of similar status because they participate in peaceful activities in solidarity with occupied Palestine? Although such activities are protected by the constitution and human rights charters, official persecution has got so bad that people are held to account for “liking” posts on Facebook and other such social media.

Not so long ago, a man applied for permanent residence in Germany, but was ordered to leave the country because of his peaceful solidarity with Palestine. In 2019, the German authorities refused to renew the residence permit of Palestinian writer Khaled Barakat and gave him just a month to leave the country after he was detained and prevented from speaking at a symposium in Berlin. The pretext was that Barakat was involved in “anti-Israel” activities and the German people must be protected from him. He was banned from attending any family gathering in Germany if there was more than ten people there.

Palestinian journalist Maram Salim was fired from her job with Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. The decision was justified by the fact that she had written on her own Facebook page that she had encrypted or deleted some of her posts out of fear of censorship. Her employer decided that she must have written something anti-Semitic and then deleted it, so she must be an anti-Semite.

Dr Nima Al-Hassan was born in Germany to parents from occupied Palestine and Lebanon, and a winner of a number of prestigious awards. She was targeted after a photo report in 2014 showing her wearing the hijab and the Palestinian keffiyeh in a Jerusalem solidarity march in Berlin. Then the photo was republished in a local newspaper after seven years, prompting a vicious campaign against Al-Hassan due to her “anti-Semitism”. Her apology for taking part in the march did not stop the defamation campaign against her.

This hysterical persecution of anyone who rejects the claim that opposition to Israel’s many crimes in its occupation of Palestine is “anti-Semitism” also includes anti-Zionist Jews. Any Jew who rejects Zionism is “anti-Semitic” as far as the German security services are concerned, and faces a lot of pressure from the pro-Israel lobby in the media and political circles across Germany.

German MPs in the Bundestag (parliament) have criminalised the peaceful Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Likewise, the commemoration of Nakba Day has been banned as have protests in solidarity with Palestine and raising the Palestinian flag.

Democratic Germany is the Palestinian Authority’s biggest financial donor, although the aid it provides is restricted to contributing towards the PA’s role in serving the Israeli occupation as designed by the Oslo Accords. Anyone who monitors the decision-making process in Berlin is well aware that this could and would not be done without a green light from Israel.

It is amazing that Germany regards itself to be an ambassador for human rights around the world, and readily imposes punitive measures on countries which habitually disregard such rights. At the same time, and with much hypocrisy, nobody in Germany can express their peaceful support for legitimate Palestinian rights and the Palestinian struggle for freedom from Israel’s daily breaches of international law and violations of human, civil and political rights.

International human rights organisations are silent on Germany’s violations of the rights of peaceful solidarity with Palestine. They are, in effect, accomplices in its silence and double standards on human rights issues. Such Western hypocrisy has been highlighted by the campaign against Qatar’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup later this month; the response to Ukrainian resistance against occupation by Russia compared with the “terrorist” designation imposed on Palestinians who resist Israeli occupation; and the blind eyes turned whenever coups take place in dictatorships across the Third World where Western interests might be threatened by democracy.

However, all that is happening must not discourage Palestinian solidarity activists in Germany and elsewhere from continuing to work peacefully for justice and freedom in Palestine. Freedom of speech is, after all, supposed to be a right guaranteed by law across the West.

November 2, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 2 Comments

Russia resumes participation in grain deal – Defense Ministry

Samizdat – November 2, 2022

Russia has resumed its participation in the Türkiye and UN-mediated deal on the export of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea, the Defense Ministry announced on Wednesday.

Moscow agreed to reverse the suspension after receiving written guarantees from Kiev that it would not use the safety corridor provided by Russia for military purposes, the statement said.

“At this time, the Russian Federation considers the issued guarantees sufficient,” the ministry noted.

Moscow’s decision to suspend participation in the arrangement was announced last week after the Russian military accused Ukraine of using the corridor for a drone attack on the port of Sevastopol.

The statement on Wednesday credited the UN and Türkiye for securing the written pledge from Kiev. The scheme, which was first negotiated in July, is technically a set of two trilateral agreements between the two mediators and Russia and Ukraine respectively.

Moscow has long expressed concern about the implementation of the deal, which was touted by Kiev and its Western backers as necessary to curb surging prices in the global food market. Contrary to its stated goal, many of the shipments were sent to rich European countries rather than struggling nations elsewhere in the world, Russia said.

Moscow also blamed the UN for failing to have the US and its allies lift economic sanctions against Russian maritime traffic, which is necessary for shipping Russian food and fertilizers to other nations. It was also part of the terms of the Black Sea grain initiative.

The attack on Sevastopol happened early on Saturday last week and involved unmanned aerial and naval craft, which were detected and intercepted by the Russian Navy, according to statements by the defense ministry.

It claimed that the British military assisted Ukraine in planning and executing the operation. It further claimed that the same Royal Navy unit was involved in an attack on the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea in September.

The UK Ministry of Defence responded by accusing its Russian counterpart of peddling false claims of “epic scale.”

November 2, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , , | Leave a comment

Russia comments on NATO troop deployment near its border

Samizdat – November 2, 2022

The number of NATO forces stationed close to Russia’s western borders has reached more than 30,000, the country’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Wednesday.

He stated that the US-led military bloc had augmented units in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as in the Balkans and Baltic states.

“The contingent has grown in size by two and a half times to more than 30,000 people since February, and may grow more in the nearest future,” Shoigu said during a joint ministerial session with military officials from Belarus.

He said that such a concentration of Western forces poses a threat not only to Moscow, but to Belarus, Russia’s ally.

The defense of both countries is a “priority task” of the Union State of the Russian Federation and Belarus, he stated.

The West’s ultimate goal in its confrontation with Russia is to “destroy its economy, military potential, and to deprive it of the ability to conduct independent foreign policy,” Shoigu said.

In response to Russia’s campaign in Ukraine, NATO enhanced military units and weapon stockpiles in the east as a “deterrence” measure. The bloc described Russia as “the most significant and direct threat” to peace and security in its chief strategic document, which was updated in June.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at the time that the bloc’s rapid-response force would increase sevenfold to over 300,000. The bloc also agreed to establish four new battalion-size battlegroups in Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria, in addition to those in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.

Russia and Belarus announced the creation of a joint military force last month, which was said to include several thousand Russian troops. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko linked the move to tensions with the West. The first trains carrying Russian soldiers arrived in Belarus on October 15.

According to the Belarusian Defense Ministry, up to 9,000 Russian soldiers and around 170 tanks will be deployed in the country. The first trains carrying Russian soldiers arrived in Belarus on October 15.

In his speech on Wednesday, Shoigu said that the alliance with Minsk is especially important amid the “growing tensions across the world,” and the standoff with the West. He added that Russian and Belarusian units are training together, while the two states are conducting joint military planning as part of the new force.

November 2, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , | 1 Comment

Vietnam reassures China: no foreign military bases will be hosted on its territory

By Ahmed Adel | November 2, 2022

China and Vietnam are strengthening their partnership to resist Western interference in their internal and regional affairs. Although the two Asian countries have major issues between them and centuries worth of historical animosity, Hanoi will never allow the US to use Vietnam to fight or pressure China.

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Vietnamese Communist Party (VCP) Central Committee General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in Beijing on October 31. Xi Jinping emphazised in their meeting that the Communist Party of China and the Communist Party of Vietnam should not allow anyone to interfere in the sustainable progress of their respective countries.

For his part, Phu Trong clarified that China has the right to count on Vietnamese support in sensitive issues of regional security. Specifically, the Vietnamese leader assured that his country would maintain peace and stability at the land and sea border and not let issues over territorial waters hinder overall bilateral relations. He assured that Hanoi would not develop any official relations with Taiwan, and significantly, that no foreign country will be allowed to set up military bases on Vietnamese territory.

Reaffirming Vietnam’s position on issues that are sensitive and critical to regional security was one of the important outcomes of the high-level talks in Beijing. As Vietnam is the biggest country in Southeast Asia which borders China, in terms of economic power, the US hoped to use Vietnam as a tool of pressure against China. For Washington, it would be ideal if Vietnam and China clashed in the South China Sea so Hanoi could pivot towards AUKUS and/or QUAD.

To Washington’s disappointment though, Hanoi made it clear that it shares Beijing’s position on no foreign military bases and military alliances. At the same time, Vietnam maintains its position against Beijing on the South China Sea issue. Although this could be an issue for the US to exploit, Hanoi has stated that it will not use military force to solve it. Effectively, Vietnam signalled to the US that it will not be a tool to confront China.

At the meeting in Beijing, Xi Jinping noted that development between China and Vietnam faces serious risks and challenges. The Russia-Ukraine conflict has further highlighted the geopolitical issue between great powers, which has contributed to the multitude of challenges that developing countries are facing. Specifically, the energy and food crises are issues that deeply concern Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam.

According to the World Bank, Vietnam is projected to become the fastest growing economy in Asia this year despite a regional downturn caused by China’s sharp economic deceleration. In its most recent economic outlook report for East Asia and the Pacific, the World Bank forecast these regions to grow by 3.2% in 2022, down from 7.2% in 2021, before accelerating to 4.6% in 2023. The projected growth rate for this year marked a significant reduction on the 5% that the World Bank forecast for the year in its last outlook report in April.

Vietnam appears to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of this growth, with the World Bank estimating the country’s economy to grow by 7.2% in 2022, up from its projection of 5.3% in April. The World Bank then projects it to grow by a further 6.7% in 2023. Impressively, Vietnam was one of the few countries whose economy grew during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. This comes as there is also a continuing trend to move high-tech production from China to Vietnam.

Given Vietnam’s growing importance in the region, the US hoped to exploit the historical animosity the Southeast Asian country has with Beijing and differences over the South China Sea. However, this has failed.

In fact, the two countries, along with several ASEAN countries, are working on a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, something that Washington opposes. The Americans want to tighten pressure on China, but the successful visit of Phu Trong to Beijing has ended any thoughts of the US using Vietnam to pressure China. In this way, the US is finding it extremely difficult to find Southeast Asian allies to oppose China.

Ahmed Adel is a Cairo-based geopolitics and political economy researcher.

November 2, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Solidarity and Activism | , , | 1 Comment

China says it will ‘never seek hegemony’

Samizdat – November 2, 2022

China has condemned the US’ new National Defense Strategy (NDS), saying American policy is driven by “the logic of domination,” while insisting that Beijing will never seek “hegemony” over other nations.

Asked about the Pentagon’s 2022 NDS released in late October – which declares that China poses the “most consequential and systemic challenge” to US national security – Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the document “plays up major-country competition and deliberately misrepresents China’s foreign and defense policies.”

“It is driven ostensibly by a Cold War zero-sum mentality and the logic of domination and hegemonism and says everything about the ill intention of the US to contain and suppress China under various false pretexts,” the spokesman continued, adding that his country will reject all “attempts to blackmail, contain, blockade and exert maximum pressure.”

While the new NDS claims China has used its growing military and economic power to undermine US alliances across Asia, Zhao insisted Beijing’s foreign policy is aimed at “upholding world peace and promoting common development” between nations.

“No matter what stage of development we reach, we will never seek hegemony or engage in expansionism,” he said, urging Washington to “follow the trend of peace and development, abandon the Cold War zero-sum mentality, stop viewing today’s world and China-US relations from a confrontational perspective, and stop distorting China’s strategic intentions.”

The administration of US President Joe Biden has repeatedly declared China to be America’s top competitor and foremost concern, putting heavy focus on the country in its new NDS, as well as in a separate Nuclear Posture Review and Missile Defense Review.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing have risen significantly since August, when US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan despite loud objections from Beijing, which sees the island as part of its own territory. Though the trip prompted an unprecedented round of Chinese military drills in the air and waters surrounding Taiwan, Western delegations have nonetheless continued to visit Taipei in the months since, with Germany sending lawmakers on a junket there last week.

November 2, 2022 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

How the West Brought War to Ukraine: A Review

By C.B. Forde | The Postil Magazine | November 1, 2022

It can be rather effectively argued that the greatest export commodity of the USA is war, commonly known as the Military Industrial Complex, which has spent the bloody decades after WWII bringing “democracy” to the benighted of the world—by bombs and sanctions, if necessary.

The latest such grand crusade is the war in Ukraine, which we have all been told to think of as “us” defending a fragile “democracy,” invaded out of the blue by the latest manifestation of Attila the Hun. Here was Ukraine happily minding its own business, until one day Putin woke up and decided that he needed to be a world-conqueror and off he went to “invade” Ukraine. The simplistic narrative of the “innocent” and the “criminal” has deep appeal in the Western psyche, conditioned no doubt by Hollywood. Thus, all the media had to do was point out the “criminal,” and the rest took care of itself. Out came all the virtue-signaling that the West is now so good at mustering. Now, there is not a shred of doubt in the minds of the majority in the West that this is a war between the “good guys” and the “Great Villain,” with the likes of Biden, Justin Trudeau, Britain and all the other cheerleaders for “democracy” constantly handing David’s loaded sling-shot to Ukraine to get the job done—but which the likes of Zelensky keep dropping. This is what fighting villainy to the last Ukrainian actually looks like.

But there is a far worse invasion that was completed a long time ago—that of the Western mind, addled by what is euphemistically known as “the mainstream media,” which knows that spin is the most effective form of victory in any war.

This is why Benjamin Abelow’s book, How the West brought War to Ukraine is a must-read, for it shows that this war is not about Ukraine, but about Russia, which needs to be brought to heel and become “democratic”: “…the vaunted goal of ‘regime change,’ which in the United States is sought by an informal alliance of Republican neoconservatives and Democratic liberal interventionists” (p. 5).

Abelow is careful in his analysis and gives a thorough and balanced account of what led Russia to undertake an attack on Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Despite mainstream narratives, the attack was carefully provoked (orchestrated comes to mind). So, unlike “settled history,” which would have us believe that Ukraine is the “innocent bystander” in all this, Abelow undertakes a meticulous unpacking of the various provocations (Ukrainian and Western), which began in 1990 and finally came to a head on February 24, 2022. Wars don’t just happen; they are the result of a long series of failures and outrages. In the words of Professor Richard Sakwa: “In the end, NATO’s existence became justified by the need to manage the security threats provoked by its enlargement. The former Warsaw Pact and Baltic states joined NATO to enhance their security, but the very act of doing so created a security dilemma for Russia that undermined the security of all” (p. 51).

Given that Russia is a nation-state, it must look after its geopolitical interests and defend what is crucial to what it deems necessary to continue, as Jacques Baud has so often pointed out in this magazine. Not to recognize these interests is to be blind to reality: “The underlying cause of the war lies not in an unbridled expansionism of Mr. Putin, or in paranoid delusions of military planners in the Kremlin, but in a 30-year history of Western provocations, directed at Russia, that began during the dissolution of the Soviet Union and continued to the start of the war. These provocations placed Russia in an untenable situation, for which war seemed, to Mr. Putin and his military staff, the only workable solution” (p. 7).

These provocations are now well-known, and thus rigorously ignored, denied or glossed over as “Russian propaganda.” These include bringing arms as close to the Russian border as possible; the expansion of NATO, despite promises given to Russia that that would never happen; the withdrawal of the US from the Antiballistic Missile Treaty and the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (which now gives the US first-strike capability); the ousting of a democratically elected Ukrainian government and installing neo-Nazis into power in 2014; NATO military exercises along the Russian border; pushing Ukraine to join NATO, despite warnings from Russia that that would mean war; since 2014, training and arming the Ukrainian military, in which many of the units are openly neo-Nazi; actively nurturing Russophobia in Ukraine; encouraging the bloody war in the Eastern portions of Ukraine, which were seen as “pro-Russian” and therefore hostile. There are many others that can be listed.

Of course, the last provocation was telling Zelensky not to negotiate when Russia attacked on February 24. He was ready to do so, and a war would have easily have been avoided, and many helpless lives saved. But Boris Johnson flew out, met the Ukrainian president, and negotiation was off the table.

And this is the most baffling thing—the West does not want peace at all. It wants a war of total annihilation for Russia, which will never happen, of course, but which the West so far seems not to understand (perhaps because it is now governed by leaders who have little understanding of warcraft). No Western politician bravely calls for negotiations, for a ceasefire, for peace, for even a little breather. It’s war and more war, and the billions and arms keep pouring in: “To my knowledge, Zelensky never received any substantial American support to pursue his peace agenda. Instead, he was subjected to repeated visits by leading American politicians and State Department officials, all of whom spouted a theoretical principle of absolute Ukrainian freedom, defined as the “right” to join NATO and to establish a U.S. military outpost on Russia’s border. In the end, this “freedom” was worse than a pipe dream. Although it advanced the aims of the United States—or, more accurately, the interests of certain American political, military, and financial factions—it destroyed Ukraine” (p. 60).

The military historian Bernard Wicht, whose interview appears elsewhere in this magazine, very astutely observes that the West no longer has the ability to wage conventional war—not even the United States; this is why armed conflict in the 21st century is now “farmed” out to modern-day condottieri, who bring their private armies wherever their paymasters tell them to go. Is this is why billions are being sent to Ukraine, to pay for all the mercenaries? The war machine chugs along, indeed.

The strength of Abelow’s book is that it makes complexity accessible. Wars have so many moving parts, and Abelow with a deft hand guides the reader along. As is true of all good writers, this book is filled with clarity and insight, with an eye for the bigger picture, and all the while letting facts lead where they will. This is a rare talent nowadays.

Given the much-mentioned threat of nuclear war, the book ends with a prescient warning: “Policy makers in Washington and the European capitals—along with the captured, craven media that uncritically amplify their nonsense—are now standing up to their hips in a barrel of viscous mud. How those who were foolish enough to step into that barrel will find the wisdom to extricate themselves before they tip the barrel and take the rest of us down with them is hard to imagine” (p. 62).

Finally, as professor Sakwa pointed out, this entire tragedy would have been easily avoided if Zelensky had been encouraged to say just five little words: “Ukraine will not join NATO.” Why he could not say that lays the entire blood-guilt upon the collective leadership of the West.

How the West brought War to Ukraine is satisfying to read because it brings truth to light—and that is the highest calling any worthy writer can pursue. Rush out and buy it; and after you’ve read it, you will be both amazed and infuriated. The condottieri now run the show—but perhaps we the decent folk of this world will learn once again how to get rid of them. Perhaps this will be this war’s silver lining.

November 2, 2022 Posted by | Book Review, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 2 Comments