Aletho News


Who watches the watchmen?

Health Advisory & Recovery Team | November 8, 2022

Early this month, HART outlined the detailed mechanisms that have been deployed to crush constructive dissent in the Covid era. The assault on the rational mind has been one of shock & awe — a concerted effort to ridicule, gaslight and coerce those considering the ultimate heresy of questioning what they have been told to believe. “Moving at the speed of science” (big pharma terms and conditions apply) seems to imply the opposite of what normal human beings would describe as the scientific method.

Bloated and corrupt monopolies tend, over time, to buckle and collapse under the weight of their own inconsistencies. Discrepancies become harder to paper over; the truth will out. ‘Fact’-checkers — so often funded by those their ‘fact’-checks protect — are increasingly having to back-pedal and deal with periodic humiliation as they post-rationalise their obviously fallible discernment.

Despite all these bloopers, ‘fact’-checkers are still hawking their wares: much like flares and chaff on the battlefield, they distract, distort and deflect efforts to engage in substantive debate. It is usually best to ignore their antics — engaging in serious dissection of straw men erected by po-faced (yet well-funded) narrative ninnies just stymies effort that could otherwise be expending on sorting wheat from chaff. After all — cui bono? If one has spotted a genuine warning signal that might undermine a profitable grift, is it not likely that the peddler of that grift will wish to muddy the waters so as to protect their racket? The more the fact-checkers squirm as they face up to a litany of their own contradictory assertions, the more it highlights the work of those that are scientifically critiquing the pronouncements emanating from big pharma’s marketing mouthpieces.

It is no secret that members of HART devoted some of their spare time in support of Dr Aseem Malhotra whose two peer-reviewed journal papers were recently published in the Journal of Insulin Resistance (the JIR Papers ). Up popped the usual suspects with a cacophony of denigrating ad hominem and otherwise spurious attacks. To be quite honest, the more abusive and baseless these are, the more likely it is that they do not have anything material to contribute, and the noise just brings the papers to the attention of a wider audience.

On a more positive note, some of the ‘fact’-checkers at least sugar-coat their ‘findings’ in polite language. This is to be encouraged — after all, the thrust & parry of scientific discourse requires hypotheses to be challenged. Science Feedback, via their subsidiary Health Feedback, wrote a long article in response to Dr Malhotra’s JIR Papers. It seems they did not really have much of a legitimate complaint, because the first 350-odd words are devoted to ‘criticism by association’. One might paraphrase: “Dr Malhotra has links to HART, who have said things that big pharma do not like!”.

Moving on, Health Feedback attempts to undermine the evidence presented in the JIR Papers that the mRNA injections “might do more harm than good”, which they claim is unsupported, citing a supposed p-hacking issue in the conclusions of one (a pre-print) of the 48 references in the Part I of Dr Malhotra’s papers. It is bold of Health Feedback to attempt to rubbish this claim given the conclusions of a 23 million-strong cohort study published in JAMA Cardiology in April 2022 that supported this statement.  Subsequently, a pre-print has also demonstrated that mRNA boosters resulted in 18 severe adverse events for every Covid hospitalisation prevented for 18-29 year-olds, and another new publication from Japanese researchers finds that: “SARS-CoV-2 vaccination was associated with higher risk of myocarditis death, not only in young adults but also in all age groups including the elderly. Considering [the] healthy vaccinee effect, the risk may be 4 times or higher than the apparent risk of myocarditis death. Underreporting should also be considered. Based on this study, risk of myocarditis following SARS-CoV-2 vaccination may be more serious than that reported previously”.

While of course the last two of these papers only became available after their ‘fact’-check, Health Feedback still doubles down on its claims by arguing in a subsequent section that there is little evidence that post-vaccine myocarditis has long-term health implications. This is a classic ‘hostage to fortune’ statement which, over time, will answer itself — in the meantime, why should unsuspecting vaccinees be unwitting guinea pigs in a real-world experiment to find this out? It is somewhat pertinent that this question is being asked in a week that Moderna admitted — deep in the supplementary data from a clinical trial of its mRNA injections — that there had been a “new-onset Type 1 diabetes mellitus and diabetic ketoacidosis” in a one-year-old infant which was considered related by the trial assessors. No need for a ‘fact’-check on this one: this tragedy is both a travesty and the truth.

Health Feedback takes the above criticisms as supporting evidence for the claim that Dr Malhotra has deployed a ‘cherry picking’ strategy to ignore evidence that does not support his conclusions. This is a touch rich. Dr Malhotra covered a lot of ground in the JIR Papers, citing almost 110 references, a large proportion of which are published journal papers. A legitimate response to the JIR Papers is to challenge the specific claims made and to seek to challenge the logic that underpins the conclusions. The p-hacking point (which was invalid as explained by HART member Prof Fenton here) that they bring to bear is a useful challenge that contributed to the debate — it just so happens that Health Feedback’s response strengthens Dr Malhotra’s argument by allowing these other references to be brought to the attention of the reader.

As for the various (slightly pathetic, it has to be said) attempts to ridicule and “play the man, not the ball” with respect to organisations like HART, characterising us as misinformation spreaders: these are particularly noteworthy for their lack of supporting evidence. We would encourage Health Feedback to interrogate our output and come up with specific evidence of their claim. While they are at it, they might like to comment on this somewhat unfortunate statement from one of Health Feedback’s front of house members:

“The experts are saying that the vaccines do not reduce transmission, but that is an inaccurate statement,” [Dr Monica] Gandhi says. “Vaccines have always decreased transmission. What they should be saying is that the clinical trials were not designed to test for asymptomatic infection, but there is every biological reason in the world to believe that they will reduce asymptomatic transmission”.

The highlighted text above is incorrect: it is well known that so-called ‘leaky vaccines’ do “not prevent infection, viral replication or transmission”. Call the ‘fact’-checkers. Oh.

And as for ‘every biological reason’ to ‘believe’… are ‘fact’-checkers in the business of proving things scientifically or amplifying beliefs? Real-world evidence seems to indicate that transmission seems to be somewhat unaffected — or possibly worsened — by the injections.

Given that this statement was published in a March 2021 Association of American Medical Colleges article that was claiming to address vaccine hesitancy (read: coerce people to participate in the mRNA injection scheme), perhaps Health Feedback might wish to look at the plank in its own eye while addressing any motes in Dr Malhotra’s?

HART applauds Dr Malhotra’s attempts to sound the alarm that the precautionary principle is not being adhered to. The Nelsonian ignorance of various ‘public health’ bodies — who keep declaring that they “really do not see the signal” — is the real villain of the piece.

All in all, HART welcomes the publicity that outfits like Health Feedback provide, despite the disappointing ‘fact’-checking moniker. They are, in a somewhat peculiar way, furthering scientific discourse by advertising Dr Malhotra’s work to the wider public. We are honoured to be associated with brave and principled people such as him.

November 9, 2022 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 1 Comment

Pfizer to fast-track more vaccines for pregnant moms, despite mounting evidence rushed COVID shots harmed babies

The Defender | November 9, 2022

On Nov. 1, Pfizer issued a press release about an investigational vaccine for pregnant women the company said will protect babies from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

Not coincidentally, RSV is the latest viral bugaboo to hit the headlines, with frantic news accounts of “overwhelmed” hospitals sounding eerily reminiscent of the early coronavirus fear-mongering.

Buoyed by the successful global marketing of its COVID-19 jabs — an estimated 49% of pregnant women worldwide reportedly views the vaccines favorably and almost 1 in 4  pregnant women in the U.S. took them — Pfizer is hoping to hit another home run with the RSV vaccine.

The vaccine maker said it intends to seek U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval by the end of the year.

The FDA, meanwhile, has been busy handing out “Breakthrough Therapy” designations to Pfizer as if they were papal dispensations, signaling a regulatory willingness to speed up approval not only for Pfizer’s RSV vaccine but also for a maternal Group B Streptococcus (GBS) vaccine the company is developing.

To this expedient end, the FDA allowed Pfizer to “stop the [RSV] study short,” halting enrollment at about 7,400 participants — though the trial was supposed to involve 10,000 pregnant women.

Researchers devoted to vaccine orthodoxy pay lip service to the need for an extra-high evidentiary bar for pregnancy vaccines — stating that such vaccines should not only prove they reduce illness, with minimal reactogenicity in the woman, the fetus and the neonate, but should also “demonstrate safety or lack of evidence of harm.”

However, those turn out to be empty words.

In fact, the influenza and Tdap (tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis) vaccines that public health agencies have long recommended for pregnant women never underwent any clinical trial safety testing in that population, and the FDA never licensed those vaccines specifically for pregnant women.

Moreover, flu shots and Tdap shots have never even resulted in any statistically significant reduction in the outcomes they are supposed to address.

With the advent of Emergency Use Authorization COVID-19 vaccines, the FDA, Pfizer and other manufacturers barely made any pretense of assessing maternal safety, and likely “colluded together to conceal damaging data” about high rates of fetal death.

Other researchers, however — and even vaccine insiders — began to speak out in 2021.

For example, Canadian researchers writing in late 2021 worried that many of the systemic reactions commonly reported after COVID-19 vaccination might be “sufficient to affect fetal/neonatal development.”

Those authors included vaccinologist Byram Bridle, Ph.D., who earlier in 2021 characterized the COVID-19 vaccines’ disturbing biodistribution and accumulation in vital organs as “a big mistake,” and neurology professor Dr. Steven Pelech, who expressed repeated concerns about myocarditis and the vaccines’ risks to young people.

Now, as horrified pregnant women who took the COVID-19 jabs experience skyrocketing miscarriages, stillbirths and fetal malformations, they are wondering why regulators issued no warnings.

But as Pfizer’s exuberant RSV press release and the FDA’s complacent endorsement of clinical trial shortcuts suggest, vaccine makers and regulators not only intend to ignore or bulldoze even the most outsized safety signals but are clearly positioning themselves to go after pregnant women in an even bigger way.

‘Quibbles’ and questions

The details provided — or omitted — about Pfizer’s RSV clinical trial exemplify manufacturers’ and regulators’ cavalier approach toward pregnant women.

Commenting on Pfizer’s announcement, family physician Dr. Buzz Hollander — who clarified that he is predisposed to celebrate the new RSV vaccine offering — nonetheless noted a number of serious criticisms:

  • Pfizer released “just a press release” but no data, making it “impossible to pick [the vaccine’s declared efficacy] apart.”
  • Pfizer offered no explanation as to how it defined “severe” disease, its primary endpoint.
  • A year into the trial, Pfizer fishily altered an important endpoint, defying a fundamental clinical trial design principle that “involves setting out in advance the endpoints that will be assessed.”
  • In Hollander’s words, Pfizer “switched their secondary (critical!) endpoint of RSV hospitalizations to 360 days from 180 days… and then inspired my suspicion by not reporting any hospitalization data, interim or otherwise, in their breathless press release.”
  • Researchers have published only one small safety study for the RSV shot, about which Hollander said: “I quibble with studies finding >40% of placebo participants reporting systemic symptoms; when queried enticingly enough, half of us might recall a headache or some fatigue the day after our placebo shot, and that can bury a difference in real adverse reactions compared to the vaccine group.”
  • Curtailing study enrollment was unwise, Hollander said, because “bigger is better when it comes to … finding safety signals.”
  • Earlier this year, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) “stopped cold” a three-times-bigger trial of a similar RSV vaccine for pregnant women after detecting a safety signal, yet there has been no discussion as to why Pfizer’s maternal RSV vaccine is “fine” while GSK’s was deemed “untouchable.”

Hollander’s modest conclusion: “We should have all learned by now that even the appearance of cutting corners in the vaccine approval process will carry its own unknown costs.”

Readers reacting to Hollander’s post were less circumspect. One acerbically remarked, “The problem here is Pfizer. They’ve paid billions in fines for shady practices and data manipulation. And that was before the Covid vaccines (for which they’re indemnified).”

Another reader expressed his reservations even more succinctly: “Trust Pfizer numbers? You must be joking.”

Adverse pregnancy outcomes after COVID vaccination — no joke

As Pfizer, with the FDA’s help, tees itself up to “dominat[e] the maternal RSV vaccine market,” OB-GYNs on the front lines of maternal care are stepping forth to sound the alarm about the COVID-19 shots’ infanticidal fallout.

Dr. Kimberly Biss recently tweeted, “Since the vaccine rollout started, we have seen in our practice a decrease in new OB numbers, which would be infertility, by about 50%; we’ve also seen an increase in miscarriage rate by about 50%, and … probably about a 25% increase in abnormal pap smears as well as cervical malignancies.”

Similarly, Dr. James Thorp, in multiple interviews, described an “off-the-charts” rise in sudden fetal death and other adverse outcomes, including fetal malformation and fetal cardiac arrest.

Asked to comment on information recently leaked from a California hospital, Thorp characterized the uptick in fetal deaths — from under 6 per 1,000 in 2020 to more than 29 per 1,000 following the rollout of COVID-19 injections — as being “way way beyond” what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ordinarily would consider a safety signal.

Thorp published a preprint in September (along with co-authors who include Children’s Health Defense’s Megan Redshaw) describing “significantly more frequent” pregnancy-related adverse events reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or VAERS, after COVID-19 shots than in the aftermath of flu shots — which themselves are far from benign.

Cataloging significant increases in “miscarriage, fetal chromosomal abnormalities, fetal malformation, fetal cystic hygroma, fetal cardiac disorders, fetal arrhythmia, fetal cardiac arrest, fetal vascular mal-perfusion, fetal growth abnormalities, fetal abnormal surveillance, fetal placental thrombosis, low amniotic fluid, and fetal death/stillbirth” and also menstrual abnormalities, Thorp and co-authors called for a “worldwide moratorium on the use of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy.”

For children who survive, Thorp suggested they may suffer from lifelong “vaccine-induced acquired immune deficiency syndrome.”

In Scotland, meanwhile, the government ordered an investigation into the “spike in newborn baby deaths” in 2021 and 2022, an increase “larger than expected from chance alone.”

Even in a gerrymandered study clearly designed to exonerate the COVID-19 shots during pregnancy — focusing on immediate reactions after a first or second dose and hampered by “limited perinatal outcome assessment” — researchers found that 4.4-7.5% of pregnant women reported obstetrical symptoms.

Careless and worse

As Substack writer Etana Hecht wrote last May, “The topic of pregnant and nursing moms getting vaccinated under encouragement and coercion is painful,” particularly once one becomes aware of “how carelessly the most precious among us are being treated.”

That carelessness is evident as we witness some of the same players involved in the COVID-19 vaccine fiasco now circling back around to help build the case for Pfizer’s RSV vaccine.

That includes figures such as Dr. Robert Frenck, the Pfizer-beholden principal investigator of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital clinical trial that tested the company’s COVID-19 shot in children. Frenck reported 12-year-old Maddie de Garay’s serious vaccine injuries to the FDA as a mere “stomachache.”

Graphs clearly show that none of the vaccines pushed on pregnant women are safe for babies or moms — but given that from one-fourth to one-half of pregnant women acquiesce to getting them, those who know the truth need to work even harder to get the word out.

This article was originally published by The Defender — Children’s Health Defense’s News & Views Website under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Please consider subscribing to The Defender or donating to Children’s Health Defense.

November 9, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 1 Comment

The REAL story behind RSV & the so-called “tripledemic”

MSM sources are now warning of a co-pandemics of flu, RSV and Covid…but is there any reason to be afraid?

By Kit Knightly | OffGuardian | November 9, 2022

The “tripledemic” is upon us, according to the mainstream media. What is a “tripledemic”, you ask?

Apparently, it’s when we have simultaneous pandemics of influenza, Covid and RSV at the same time. At least, according to the LA Times :

A ‘tripledemic’ of flu, RSV and COVID is feared in California

And the Atlantic :

What a ‘Tripledemic’ Means for Your Body

And CBS:

“Tripledemic” in U.S. could bring deluge of patients to hospitals

All three stories – and there are many others out there too – hit the same handful of talking points.

They report that the flu is back after its “mysterious” disappearance during the Covid “pandemic” (the Alantic notes US flu cases reduced by well over 90% and calls it “getting lucky”, the doublethink is unbelievable).

They also warn that Covid is “still around” or “not over”, or some variation on that.

However, the main thrust of the fear is reserved for RSV. Now, you’re all probably more than familiar with “flu”. And you’re definitely tired of hearing about Covid. But RSV could be a new one for you… so let me explain.


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is  – according to virus theory – one of the many viruses circulating in the general population at all times. To quote the Mayo Clinic’s website [emphasis added]:

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes infections of the lungs and respiratory tract. It’s so common that most children have been infected with the virus by age 2. Respiratory syncytial (sin-SISH-ul) virus can also infect adults. In adults and older, healthy children, RSV symptoms are mild and typically mimic the common cold.

And according to the CDC:

Almost all children will have had an RSV infection by their second birthday […] Most RSV infections go away on their own in a week or two.

So, according to official sources, RSV is not serious in the vast majority of cases, and almost all of us have already had it.

In fact, seeing as the symptoms are both generic and mild, the odds are you have had it multiple times throughout your life and never really known. It’s simply one of the many viruses known to cause what we refer to as “the common cold”.


There’s a trick being played here, and as usual in the age of the “pandemic”, it’s a trick of language. The powers that be are exploiting linguistic ambiguity in order to generate fear.

Across most of the world, we simply refer to “a cold” or “the flu” almost interchangeably to describe the dozen or so respiratory infections we all get throughout our lifetime.

Most of the time we don’t know what specific virus or bacteria is supposedly the cause, we have no way of finding out and it doesn’t make any difference because the symptoms and treatments are all the same: Cough, fever, headache – bedrest, orange juice and painkillers.

Now, essentially, the media are taking advantage of that ubiquitous ambiguity by naming something that has always been there but pretending it is something new.

Here’s a case in point, the Scientific American published this article on November 4th, which headlines:

RSV Is Surging: What We Know about This Common and Surprisingly Dangerous Virus

Now, although the headline claims RSV is “surprisingly dangerous”, the article seems to go out of its way to prove the opposite.

  • “the virus is so common that nearly all children have encountered it by their second birthday.”
  • “It’s that ubiquitous,” Flores says. “Even adults are exposed to it repeatedly over time, so we develop some immunity to it.”
  • “In healthy adults and children, though, RSV typically presents as a common cold, with symptoms similar to those caused by other “common cold” viruses, such as rhinovirus, adenovirus and a couple of common coronaviruses.”
  • “For the average person, RSV is little more than a nuisance”

The article does warn that RSV can be “particularly dangerous for newborn babies and adults older than age 65” and the immunocompromised, but this is true of literally every pathogen. And even then, they go on to add:

only about 1 to 2 percent of children under six months with RSV need hospitalization (usually for a couple of days), and death is rare.

This is a tactic we’re all familiar with – it was routine, throughout the Covid narrative, for official voices to tell us to be afraid, whilst simultaneously explaining there was nothing to be afraid of.

This approach clearly serves some purpose, although I could not say for certain what that may be.

Regardless, the deception is obvious and clearly deliberate.

The question is, why?


To sum up – there is no reason to fear RSV infection. The media are clear about that themselves, even if they bury it under layers of hysterical headlines.

It is just one of the many viruses which cause – or are said to cause – cold or flu symptoms, all of which circulate the whole world constantly, especially at this time of year.

There’s ALWAYS a “tripledemic”, or a quademic or a septemic. The only difference is now they are naming it.

They are taking the routine and pretending it’s exceptional simply to try and frighten you.


Well, rather predictably, to sell vaccines.

Yes, you’ll be relieved to know that just as RSV is hitting the headlines for the first time EVER, they’ve also just produced the first ever vaccines against it.

On November 1st, Vox reported:

New RSV vaccines are coming. This is very, very good news.

Which claims:

After decades of failed efforts to produce an RSV vaccine, several highly effective ones are finally on the verge of approval.

On the same day, Pfizer announced “positive top-line data” for their new RSV vaccine, with CNN reporting:

After promising trial results for maternal RSV vaccine, Pfizer says it will seek FDA approval this year

That’s right, after decades of trying and dozens of failed attempts, the pharmaceutical companies have finally managed to create not just one but multiple effective vaccines against an endemic virus… just as the virus has  hit the headlines.

Now, this all sounds rather familiar, doesn’t it?

If you didn’t fall for this last time you don’t need me to warn you.

If you DID fall for this last time?

Well, fool you once shame on them, fool you twice…

November 9, 2022 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 2 Comments

No end in view for Ukraine war


The US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s meetings with Ukrainian leaders, including President Vladimir Zelensky, in Kiev has created a lot of confusion and misperceptions. On one side, the White House maintains that the trip aimed “to underscore the United States’ steadfast support to Ukraine and its people.” The readout stated that Sullivan also affirmed “the continued provision of economic and humanitarian assistance, as well as ongoing efforts with partners to hold Russia accountable for its aggression.” 

However, unnamed US officials gave the spin that Sullivan’s real mission was to “nudge” Zelensky to negotiate with Moscow and urge that “Kyiv must show its willingness to end the war reasonably and peacefully.” Politico later reported that Zelensky indeed heeded Sullivan’s “soft nudging”. The US media also reported that the US officials have been nudging the Ukrainians for sometime. 

The Washington Post reported last week that the Biden administration privately encouraged Ukrainian officials to show they are willing to engage in dialogue with Russia, in an acknowledgment of the growing frustration in the US and some of its allies at the cost and duration of the war. But, apparently, the Ukrainians pushed back.  

Sullivan also added some spice to the media speculation by claiming on Monday that the US has channels to communicate with Russia at senior levels. The Wall Street Journal had earlier reported, citing unnamed US and Western officials, that Sullivan had allegedly held a series of confidential meetings recently with Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov and Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev on the conflict in Ukraine. (Moscow has not reacted to these reports.) 

The heart of the matter is that Sullivan has been on a PR exercise in the run-up to the midterms in the US (November 8) in a concerted strategy aimed at countering the growing criticism among the Democrats and Republicans that the Biden Administration is avoiding the diplomatic track to try to end the war in Ukraine. In fact, all indications are that the Biden Administration is preparing for the long haul in Ukraine. 

Stars and Stripes reported on Wednesday that a three-star general will lead a new Army headquarters in Germany called the Security Assistance Group Ukraine, or SAGU, that will include about 300 US service members responsible for coordinating security assistance for Ukraine. On Sunday, The New York Times had reported that Lt. Gen. Antonio Aguto Jr., head of the First US Army headquarters at Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois, was a leading candidate for the new job. 

The SAGU will be based out of US Army Europe and Africa headquarters in Wiesbaden. Sabrina Singh, the deputy Pentagon press secretary, told reporters the new command will “ensure we are postured to continue supporting Ukraine over the long term.” She added the US remains “committed to Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

It is improbable that Moscow has fallen for Sullivan’s dissimulation. There is reason to believe that Sullivan who is a thoroughbred neocon from the Clinton clan would only have urged Zelensky to expedite the planned Ukrainian offensive on Kherson, which has been in the limelight. The Biden Administration is badly in need of a success story from Ukraine as the newly-elected Congress convenes in January with a likely Republican Party majority in the House of Representatives. 

No doubt, the Russians are taking the Ukrainian offensive in Kherson seriously. In a stunning announcement in Moscow on Wednesday, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu ordered a troop pullout from the western side of the Dnieper River in the Kherson Region. The fact that the Kremlin is risking criticism from the Russian public opinion for ordering such a retreat (from a region that is actually an integral part of Russia) underscores the gravity of the Ukrainian military threat. Zelensky is forcing Moscow to literally eat its words about the “demilitarisation” of Ukraine! 

Zelensky continues to be in a belligerent mood. On Monday, Zelensky did make a peace offer but with five conditions for a settlement:  

  • Restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity; 
  • Russia respecting UN Charter on sovereignty and territorial integrity;
  • Russia paying off all war reparations; 
  • Punishing each war criminal; and,  
  • Guarantees that such an invasion and atrocities will not happen again.

The only “concession” Zelensky made is that he didn’t mention his earlier precondition that President Vladimir Putin should relinquish office before any negotiations. 

There is no end in view for the war in Ukraine. By the way, although the midterm elections are typically the point in a US presidential cycle where one expects to see top Cabinet members begin to turn over, there is no sign of that happening to Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin. 

Austin, 69, being a critical voice in the Ukraine conflict, who mobilised billions of dollars worth of military aid from around the world for Kiev, Biden anticipates that the war effort may only become more entrenched and this is not the time to change up the top ranks of the Pentagon.

Indeed, the ground situation shows that the ongoing Russian operations in the areas of Ugledar and Bakhmut in Donetsk have run into strong resistance from Ukrainian forces, contrary to the Russian narrative Kiev’s military is a demoralised lot. 

In particular, the advance of the Russians around Ugledar got stuck in the village of Pavlovka, located on the important crossroads, and in a fierce battle three days ago, reportedly, hundreds of Russian soldiers were killed. Putin’s decision to retreat in Kherson is probably meant to avoid a similar fate, as the Russians are experiencing logistical difficulties to supply their forces on the western side of Dnieper river. 

Of course, this seamy picture is not the whole picture insofar as the phase of regrouping and resupplying following the Russian mobilisation is still a work in progress and the ongoing fighting in Donbass and Kherson is at the tactical level and does not involve any large movements of troops. 

Equally, the intensive Russian strikes on Ukrainian depots, command centres and artillery and air-defence systems plus the destruction of Ukraine’s military-industrial facilities and energy system are yet to impact Kiev’s capacity to wage the war.  

To be sure, the situation on the front lines in Kherson region remains extremely tense. The Ukrainian forces are on the prowl probing the Russian defence line incessantly to break through to capture the city of Kherson. A large-scale offensive by the Ukrainian forces on Kherson is to be expected any day. So far, Russians are holding their positions, repelling the ongoing Ukrainian attacks and fortifying their defences. 

From Kherson, Ukrainian artillery can threaten Crimea. In the prognosis of Moscow’s close ally, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, “Challenging times are ahead of us. Next winter will be even harsher than this one because we’re facing the Battle of Stalingrad, the decisive battle in the conflict in Ukraine, the battle for Kherson.” He predicted that both sides are likely to deploy thousands of tanks, aircraft and artillery pieces in the struggle for the key city.

Vucic said, “The West thinks it’ll be able to ruin Russia that way, while Russia believes it’ll be able to defend what it secured at the start of the war and bring it to an end.” 

November 9, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 1 Comment

Russia brands US weapons claim ‘a lie’

RT | November 9, 2022

US accusations that North Korea was supplying Russia with ammunition are lies, the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, said on Wednesday. She added that Washington was just looking for a pretext to impose new sanctions on North Korea and made up the ammunition claim for that purpose.

“There was no clear explanation for these statements, nor could there be, because everything said by American representatives is a lie from the beginning to the end,” Zakharova said in a daily briefing, further describing the claim as “another example of [fake news] and speculations spread by the West about Russia.”

On November 2, the US National Security Council spokesman, John Kirby, announced that North Korea had sent a “significant” number of artillery shells for resupplying the military effort in Ukraine. CNN also reported the claim, citing US intelligence assessments.

North Korea denied the accusations on Tuesday. “We once again make clear that we have never had ‘arms dealings’ with Russia and that we have no plan to do so in the future,” said the Defense Ministry in Pyongyang, accusing the US of “persistently spreading a groundless rumor.”

US claims about North Korean ammunition supplies to Russia date back to September. In response, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, demanded in the Security Council that the US and UK provide evidence of their claims, or be considered peddlers of fake news.

Meanwhile, the US has supplied Ukraine with weapons, ammunition, and assorted military equipment valued at over $54 billion since the hostilities escalated in February. Most of its NATO allies have followed suit, all the while insisting they were not a party to the conflict.

Last month, Czech media reported that Washington was looking to buy $3 billion worth of anti-aircraft missiles and artillery ammunition from South Korea. When Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned that report at the Valdai Discussion Club, South Korea denied it.

“We’ve provided humanitarian and peaceful assistance to Ukraine but never lethal weapons,” said South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, adding that his country is “trying to maintain peaceful relations with all countries around the world, including Russia.”

November 9, 2022 Posted by | Fake News | , , | Leave a comment

US Siege Persists: Lebanon Prevented from Importing Iran’s Fuel Donation

Al-Manar | November 9, 2022

After several months of vagueness, the US administration announced clearly that sanctions will be imposed on Lebanon if it approves the Iranian fuel donation, according to a report posted by Al-Akhbar daily.

The Lebanese newspaper mentioned that the remarks made by the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Barbara Leaf, indicated that the US siege on Lebanon persists.

Al-Akhbar added that the US vague stances pertaining the Iranian fuel donation during the past months aimed only at sustaining the positive atmosphere of the maritime border demarcation.

It is worth noting that Hezbollah secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah mentioned during his latest speech that the Americans will not allow Lebanon to import the Egyptian gas, Jordanian electric power, and Iranian fuel.

According to Al-Akhbar, the Lebanese caretaker prime minister, Najib Mikati, followed the US vagueness with time consuming steps, including sending a technical team to Tehran to study the fuel specifications.

The newspaper added that, after the energy minister Walid Fayyad sent a report about the Iranian fuel specifications to Mikati, the latter contacted the US administrations whose various offices told him that Washington rejects granting Beirut any waiver in this regard.

November 9, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 10 Comments

Travesty of justice: 1,100 days of torture, solitary confinement for Iranian in Sweden

Press TV – November 9, 2022

Hamid Nouri, a former Iranian judiciary official who has been illegally incarcerated in Sweden, on Wednesday completed three years in solitary confinement despite the court’s order that the cruel restrictions on him be lifted.

Nouri’s son, Majid Nouri, said on Wednesday that his father has been languishing in solitary confinement since his arrest on flimsy charges in November 2019.

Nouri was arrested immediately upon his arrival at the Stockholm Airport three years ago. Swedish authorities alleged that he was involved in the execution and torture of the members of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO) in 1988.

He has repeatedly and vehemently rejected the allegations.

In July, a Swedish court sentenced Nouri to life imprisonment. The court, which was described by Iranian officials as illegal, convicted Nouri of so-called war crimes and crimes against humanity, based on allegations leveled by the MKO terrorist cult.

Majid Nouri said he received an email in early July from the judge who acknowledged that restrictions over his father’s imprisonment had come to an end.

“However, prison authorities have unfortunately maintained the restrictions by ignoring the judge’s ruling and my father is still in solitary confinement and he cannot visit or contact family members,” he said.

He also noted that his father has suffered torture while in custody, which has caused damage to his eyesight and hearing ability as Swedish authorities bar him from visiting a doctor. “My father is under physical and spiritual torture in the prison, and we are very worried about his health condition.”

Nouri had already given details of his physical torture at the hands of his jailers in a short phone contact with his family before the illegal sentence was issued. He had then complained about the failure of human rights organizations in visiting him and dealing with the rights violations.

Meanwhile, Heibatollah Nazhandi-Manesh, who is a legal advisor to Nouri’s family, said on Wednesday that since no calls or visits are allowed between Nouri and his family, Swedish lawyers of the case are informing the family about his health condition.

Even consular access to him has become limited, he said, adding that no human rights organization has responded to the family’s call to address the case.

The Swedish government, he said, is required to respect the rights of detainees based on the European Convention on Human Rights as well as EU regulations and directives.

“Keeping an individual in solitary confinement for three years is tantamount to torture,” he said.

Iranian Judiciary spokesman Masoud Setayeshi vowed that the judicial branch will follow up on Nouri’s rights.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, he said Nouri “has been in solitary confinement for a thousand and one hundred days, and human rights claimants are silent.”

Nouri had only a “five-minute” conversation with his family in the past two months, he said.

November 9, 2022 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture | , | Leave a comment

Western Intelligence Services Played Key Role in Staging Mass Riots in Iran: Moscow

Samizdat – 09.11.2022

MOSCOW – Western intelligence services played a key role in organizing mass riots in Iran and spreading further disinformation about the situation in the country, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said on Wednesday.

“We note the key role of Western intelligence services in organizing mass riots in Iran and the subsequent dissemination of misinformation about the situation in the country through the Persian-speaking Western media controlled by them. We perceive this as blatant interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state,” Patrushev said at a meeting with Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) of Iran Ali Shamkhani in Tehran, as cited by the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper.

On September 16, a series of protests against the current political regime of Iran broke out throughout the country. Riots were ignited by the reports of the death of a 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested by morality police for wearing a hijab improperly.

Amini was detained by Iran’s morality police in Tehran on September 13 for wearing an “improper” hijab, an offense punishable by prison. The woman was sent to one of the FARAJA centers belonging to the police department and military intelligence for an explanatory conversation. In the center, Amini reportedly had a heart attack, after which she was immediately taken to hospital where the young woman passed away on September 16.

Tehran said that the weeks-long mass riots were planned from abroad and summoned the ambassadors of the United Kingdom, Norway, and the charges d’affaires of France in Iran in late September. The European diplomats were given a note of protest in connection with anti-Iranian media reports and calls to overthrow the Iranian government.

November 9, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , | 2 Comments

German MP added to Kiev’s ‘terrorist list’ because he called for a ceasefire

Free West Media – November 9, 2022

BERLIN – The head of the SPD parliamentary group, Rolf Mützenich said the Ukrainian government put him on a “terrorist list” because he had called for a cease-fire in Ukraine. He added that he had also “received threats”.

The criteria according to which Kiev differentiates its friends from its enemies has irked the president of the group SPD in the Bundestag, Mützenich. German politicians are particularly indignant that their names are now on the list of people who “promote narrative people in accordance with Russian propaganda”.

This document is published on the website of the Center for Combating Disinformation to the National Defense and Security Council of Ukraine.

“I was irritated that the Ukrainian government had put me on a terrorist list on the grounds that I was working for a cease-fire or for the possibility of taking new diplomatic measures,” he told the German news agency dpa. According to him, he has since also received “secondary threats, so to speak, which are not easy to manage either”.

Mützenich stressed that if the commitment to a cease-fire is a criterion for inclusion on this list, then the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, must also be included. He complained of “discrimination” against those who, like him, campaign for diplomacy as a means of ending the conflict.

He also accused the partners of the SPD coalition, namely the Greens and the FDP, of resorting to the same discrimination. “I oppose this rigorism. The fact remains that most wars did not end on the battlefield.”

The deputy has been on the list since July. As proof, the Ukrainians cited an article published on the website of the German information agency RND.

The article indicated that the deputy found it “normal” that the German Chancellor, with the American and French Presidents, discussed ways to end the war in Ukraine. According to the article, Mützenich referred to the sanctions packages, but also to the attempt to achieve humanitarian ceasefires.

November 9, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 1 Comment

France Increases Military Budget by Over 20%

Samizdat – 09.11.2022

The French government has increased the country’s military budget by more than 20% and will continue modernizing the army, French government spokesman Olivier Veran said on Wednesday.

“We have increased the military budget by over 20%, and we are doing everything to modernize our army,” Veran told French media.

The spokesman also said that the French authorities would soon review and adopt a law on military programming, providing for a further budget increase.

Veran rejected the statements suggesting that France weakens the capabilities of its own troops by sending military aid to Ukraine.

“When we supply weapons to our allies, we are not weakening our army, on the contrary, we are strengthening our forces within the European Union. We are not ‘undressing’ our army at all,” the spokesman added.

November 9, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , | Leave a comment

Hungarian objections to EU aid for Kiev regime in line with what most Europeans think

By Drago Bosnic | November 9, 2022

The bureaucratic empire in Brussels seems to be pushing all the wrong buttons in regards to Budapest. The European Union’s failed attempts to force it into submission are effectively being laughed off in Hungary. The bloc’s suicidal anti-Russian sanctions and policies are creating numerous points of contention between Brussels and Budapest. Viktor Orban’s Hungary has run out of patience for this, especially as the EU is also threatening the Central European country with internal sanctions and other restrictions under various pretexts. There are very few things Brussels and Budapest agree on and the differences aren’t only limited to domestic EU policies, but foreign relations as well.

While Hungary prefers a realpolitik approach in regards to other countries and global powers, particularly Russia (and to a certain extent China), the EU’s foreign policy framework is ideological. This often results in accusations that Budapest is a “Russian puppet/asset” and that it’s “trying to ease” the bloc’s economic pressure on Moscow. However, the reality is much simpler – Hungary is trying to ease the pressure on its citizens, as the economic fallout of the failed siege of Russia is deeply affecting the regular people. In the meantime, the detached bureaucrats in Brussels are left unscathed and thus unmoved by the struggles of tens of millions of EU countries’ citizens.

Being fully aware of this for years and determined to prevent economic consequences of such policies, Budapest stated that it won’t support the bloc’s latest “aid” package for the Kiev regime. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto openly stated that the country will not change its stance as long as it’s forced to fight for access to EU funds blocked by the “rule-of-law” dispute. Namely, Brussels is still holding up at least €7.5 billion in funds for Hungary under the pretext of “persisting corruption and fraud” in the country. In reality, the reason is Budapest’s refusal to follow anti-Russian sanctions and policies which would effectively destroy its economy.

The Western mainstream propaganda machine often portrays Hungary as a “rogue state” and the main obstacle to the futile attempts of isolating Russia, while its leader Viktor Orban is usually presented as a “dictator”, although his popularity in the country suggests otherwise. Hungary’s persistence in its demands for exemptions from anti-Russian energy sanctions is usually used to accuse it of being pro-Russian. However, the country accomplished retaining lower energy prices in comparison to the rest of the EU, which is going through economic and financial unraveling thanks to Brussels’ suicidal subservience to Washington DC.

As there is growing conviction among many EU member states that anti-Russian policies have not only failed to produce desired results, but have even backfired and are ravaging their economies, Hungary is hardly alone in this regard. In addition, the claim that Budapest is pro-Russian is genuinely laughable, as it has provided ample support for the Kiev regime and will continue to do so, as stated by the country’s foreign minister Szijjarto, who said so on November 7 during a conference in Sofia. However, “Budapest still opposes any arrangement that would see funding [for Kiev] jointly with other EU member states,” he added.

Today, November 9, the EU is set to propose a new €18 billion “aid” package for the Kiev regime, which would provide constant cash flow to the Neo-Nazi junta in 2023. The plan is to use the bloc’s joint budget as a guarantee to secure funding for the Kiev regime. The move also involves changes to the EU’s rules that require a unanimous vote to pass proposals. Hungary objects to this, as it would be a dangerous precedent which would force members who voted against certain policies to still follow them, regardless of the negative consequences for those who objected. What’s more, even if a member state voted for a certain decision, it could still be denied funds if it was under sanctions of the unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.

This paradox is precisely what’s happening to Hungary. Namely, the country already supported the EU’s decision to jointly raise debt to finance the bloc’s recovery from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the funds Budapest is set to receive are being blocked until it “ensures the rule of law.” Brussels is planning to discuss the status of those funds on November 22, which is the deadline given to Hungary to meet the bloc’s “rule of law” requirements. EU bureaucrats are currently working on an assessment of Hungary’s compliance regarding 17 pieces of legislation the bloc insists on. Still, Budapest is not hiding its frustration with the way it’s being treated.

“They’re punishing us and openly blackmailing us with EU money,” Viktor Orban said in a statement for the Budapester Zeitung news outlet last month. “But there’s no legal basis for this — it’s blackmail, pure and simple,” he concluded.

Drago Bosnic is an independent geopolitical and military analyst.

November 9, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Economics, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

5 Warning Signs You May Be a Party to the Ukrainian Conflict

Samizdat – 09.11.2022

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reiterated last month that the alliance “is not [a] party to the conflict” in Ukraine, echoing similar claims made by US and European leaders in recent months. But can one ever be sure about their involvement in a security crisis threatening to escalate into a global inferno? Here are a few warning signs.

The “NATO is not a party” in Ukraine talking point has been repeated ad nauseam over the past eight months, with Moscow catching the military bloc tripping up in its own lies last month after Mr. Stoltenberg warned that a Russian victory in Ukraine would constitute a “defeat” for NATO that would “make the world more dangerous.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the NATO chief’s comments were direct confirmation of the Western military bloc’s involvement in the crisis.

$100 Billion Worth of ‘Non-Involvement’

According to this handy Ukraine aid funding tracker, Washington and its allies have already poured more than $100 billion worth of military and economic support to Kiev since February, with the Kiel Institute of World Economy’s “Ukraine Support Tracker” estimating that some $27.5 billion of that constitutes US military aid alone. The UK, Poland, Germany, Canada, and other NATO allies have contributed more than $9 billion in additional weapons assistance.

What’s Ukraine getting for this? The list is quite comprehensive, and includes stuff you’d expect in a Cold War-style proxy conflict, from Stinger and Javelin missiles and precision rocket artillery to troop transporters, drones, radars, night vision, helmets, and body armor. There’s also some unusual “assistance,” like a CIA slush fund (size unknown), $900 million for non-profits, and even $54 million in COVID aid (after all, gotta keep troops safe from the virus as bombs and bullets literally rain down all around them).

Intelligence, Fire Support, and Planning Assistance

NATO’s “non-involvement” isn’t limited to weapons and cash. According to the US Congressional Research Service, Washington has gifted Kiev a broad range of “security assistance” going back to the 2014 Euromaidan coup, including intelligence support, “electronic warfare detection and secure communications,” and “satellite imagery and analysis capability.” This includes a continuous stream of access to images obtained by commercial satellites for use by Ukrainian military planners.

What does the latter mean in practice? Put simply, it gives the Ukrainian Armed Forces access to the Western bloc’s spy satellites – which are the most advanced in the world thanks to bottomless funding and three decades of US and NATO wars of aggression across the Middle East, Yugoslavia, Asia, and North Africa.

In September, French media reported that the Pentagon has even been directly involved in planning Ukrainian military operations, complementing Sputnik’s reporting from the summer revealing that Ukraine’s HIMARS were being manned by outstaffed NATO military personnel. How’s that for “non-involvement”?

Boots on the Ground, Boots in the Ground?

Late last month, the Pentagon confirmed that “small teams” of US military personnel have been dispatched to Ukraine, ostensibly to inspect weapons deliveries to ensure that Western military aid is going where it needs to after a series of reports that much of the military aid was being smuggled out of the warzone by arms dealers.

The story has gone heavily underreported, drowned out by the US midterms and celebrity gossip. However, a few outlets have sounded the alarm about this development, pointing out that the repercussions of US troops potentially getting injured or killed in a Russian military strike on a Ukrainian arms cache have not been sufficiently mapped out.

Diplomatic Doldrums

NATO’s fingerprints are all over Ukraine even on the diplomatic front. This week, Volodymyr Zelensky expressed openness to “genuine peace talks” with Russia, walking back a decree signed just last month ruling out any negotiations with President Vladimir Putin altogether.

US security officials were quick to take credit for the Ukrainian president’s apparent change of heart, telling media that it was made possible “due to soft nudging by the Biden administration.” One security official explained that Zelensky’s new stance came following a visit to Kiev by Biden National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, who reportedly “relayed” to Kiev that Washington considers it essential for Ukraine to show willingness to put an end to the crisis in a “reasonable” and “peaceful” manner.

Washington’s direct influence on Kiev has not escaped the eyes of Russian officials, who have spent the past eight-and-a-half years blasting the US, the EU, and NATO for starting the Ukrainian crisis in the first place. On Wednesday, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov reiterated in an interview with Sputnik that “the decision-making center” determining Ukraine’s fate is not even located in Kiev.

“Everyone could see this in March, when one cry from Washington was enough for the Zelensky regime to nullify the agreements reached during intensive contacts” between Kiev and Moscow, Antonov said, recalling the reports that now-former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was speedily dispatched to Kiev at Washington’s behest to sabotage Russian-Ukrainian peace talks.

‘iStand With Ukraine’

All this costly and exhausting non-involvement by NATO in the Ukraine crisis has been accompanied by wartime footing against Russia not just by Western governments and militaries, but by corporations as well. Since February, over 1,000 companies have cut, partially curtailed, or dramatically downsized operations in Russia in a bid to “punish” Moscow and demonstrate that they “Stand With Ukraine.” The campaign has been accompanied by a massive ad campaign targeting Russian IPs informing the hip urban youth and yuppie masses that Putin had robbed them of their beloved symbols of Western consumerism, from Coca-Cola and McDonald’s to iPhones and Mercedes. So far, though, the Russian people seem to have been able to cope with these terrible losses somehow, replacing Coke with Chernogolovka and CoolCola, swapping Mickey D’s for Vkusno I tochka, and ramping up the production of domestic brand vehicles while negotiating the import of more cars from countries like Iran, China, and Turkey.

Exercise in Political Sophistry

NATO’s “non-involvement” rhetoric is little more than an act of political “sophistry,” according to Global Policy Institute senior research fellow George Szamuely.

“According to Stoltenberg, unless you have troops of your own on the ground you are not a combatant. This is the very acme of sophistry. There is nothing in international law to support his contention,” Szamuely said in a recent op-ed.

The observer pointed out that under the Hague Convention Respecting the Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers in Cases of War on Land, “a neutral power is not permitted to use its territory for purposes of moving troops or munitions to a combatant.” The analogous convention concerning naval warfare is even more explicit, stating that “the supply in any manner, directly or indirectly, by a neutral power to a belligerent power of ammunition or war material of any kind is forbidden.”

“There’s nothing here to suggest that it’s okay to do so as long as you don’t have forces of your own taking part in armed combat. The NATO powers in fact are doing much more than providing Ukraine with weaponry. They are also providing training on their own and on Ukrainian territory. NATO powers are also involved in targeting decisions,” Szamuely said. “Multiple sources have revealed that the US is directly involved in Ukrainian tactical and operational decisions… NATO’s assertion that it’s not a combatant is as plausible as its claim that it’s a defensive alliance,” the observer emphasized.

November 9, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment